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Ross D. Franklin / AP

The House Republican health care bill is alive again! It's picking up some votes from the conservative Freedom Caucus, and there's even legislative text now. The only thing it doesn't seem to have: moderate Republican votes.

That's a problem, though it may be mostly the moderates' problem. Because now all the pressure is going to be on them.

  • If House Republicans can't get the 216 votes they need to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act now, it's all going to be pinned on the moderates, which is exactly what they were afraid of.
  • But if they do vote for it, they're going to be slammed for weakening the Affordable Care Act's protections for people with pre-existing conditions, as well as the benefits insurers have to provide. The whole point of the amendment is to let states write their own rules on those.
  • These are exactly the kinds of changes that got disastrous polling numbers in the ABC News-Washington Post poll yesterday. (Just 26 percent of Americans want to let states decide pre-existing condition coverage.)
  • The amendment does have limits: people with pre-existing conditions couldn't be denied coverage, they'd just be charged more, but only if they lived in states that got waivers and they didn't keep themselves insured, plus the state has to have a high-risk pool. Try explaining that at the next town hall.
  • But if moderates reject the compromise, they'll be the target of conservative groups that have already accused them of standing in the way.
  • About the only moderate who's safe in this is Rep. Tom MacArthur, the author of the amendment. And he was already a yes on the GOP health care bill anyway.

Go deeper

36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.

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