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Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Congress is expected to soon announce a deal to repeal the Affordable Care Act's health insurance, medical device and "Cadillac" employer health plan taxes — and to raise the smoking age to 21, according to a senior House Democratic aide familiar with talks.

Why it matters: The decision is a colossal win for the health care industry.

  • If this wasn't good enough news for the industry, the deal won't address surprise medical bills — and it avoids prescription drug prices except for the CREATES Act, which helps generics get to market faster.
  • The taxes have been repeatedly delayed. And while the industry has pushed for their repeal for years, it hasn't yet been successful.

Between the lines: Voters are decidedly not asking Washington to lift industry taxes while avoiding dealing with two of the most popular health care issues, but if that's how this plays out, it's a great indicator that the industry's lobbying strength is as good as ever.

  • It's also a good sign that cost control — the intention of the Cadillac tax, a 40% excise tax on the most generous employer plans — is still not very popular with lawmakers, even as health care costs continue to rise.
  • The tax was expected to raise $200 billion over 10 years.

The other side: The industry says that the ACA taxes end up getting passed along to patients.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.