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Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy will introduce a new health care bill. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The substance of the Senate's latest health care bill is different from its predecessor, but the politics are not, in part because only a few Republican senators care about the substance of the bill.

The bottom line: The revised health care bill Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy are set to release today follows a familiar model: more money for the moderates (Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins) and more regulatory rollbacks for the conservatives (Sens. Rand Paul and, perhaps, Ted Cruz). We've seen this before, but the path to 50 votes might be even narrower this time.

Déjà vu: As much as the Graham-Cassidy process might have felt like a new thing playing out, with new developments, it's largely a repeat of July:

  • The latest effort — throw more money at moderates' states and beef up the regulatory flexibility to win over conservatives — is pretty much the same calculation GOP leaders made with the last-minute changes to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the first bill to fail over the summer.
  • It's still very hard to win over conservatives without at least edging up to the ACA's pre-existing conditions protections — and that still alienates moderates.
  • McCain — and to a lesser but non-trivial degree, Murkowski and Collins — are upset not just about the contents of these bills, but about the rushed, frantic and incomplete process. Another last-minute rewrite, days before the final deadline, won't help alleviate any of those concerns.

What's changed:

  • The latest revisions offer new funding streams or recalculated formulas that would benefit Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky and Maine. Those states would still see cuts, overall — but those cuts appear to be smaller this time around.
  • States would have even more flexibility to roll back some of the Affordable Care Act's insurance regulations — including the guarantees it provides for people with pre-existing conditions.

Why it matters: The deadline to pass a bill with just a majority vote is Saturday. If this strategy is going to succeed now where it has failed before, it'll need to happen fast — but still in a climate of frantic deadline pressure, little independent analysis and, now, a fight with Jimmy Kimmel.

Go deeper

Updated 50 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.

2 hours ago - World

China's ambassador warns Taiwan could spark "military conflict" with U.S.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's ambassador to the U.S. warned in a rare interview with NPR that if Taiwanese authorities "keep going down the road for independence," it would "most likely" lead to a "military conflict" between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Chinese officials rarely speak in such blunt terms, but veteran diplomat Qin Gang was unequivocal: "The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States."