Jul 20, 2017

HHS is using outreach funds to attack the ACA

Ravell Call/The Deseret News via AP

The Department of Health and Human Services has been using its outreach budget for attacks against the Affordable Care Act, according to a report in the Daily Beast. HHS, under Secretary Tom Price, has tapped into its outreach budget to produce a series of anti-ACA videos — maybe as many as 130 of them.

Why it matters: It's unusual, to say the least, for a federal agency to spend taxpayer money undermining a program it oversees. The Trump administration has shown little interest in trying to make the health care law work, and this is another signal it's willing not just to "let" the law fail, but to actively try to weaken it.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 1,536,979 — Total deaths: 93,425 — Total recoveries: 346,376Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 451,491 — Total deaths: 15,938 — Total recoveries: 24,790Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week.
  5. World latest: Boris Johnson is moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Your hydroxychloroquine questions answered.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Biden rolls out new policies in effort to court Sanders supporters

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Biden campaign announced two new policies on Thursday on health care and student debt that are squarely aimed at appealing to supporters of Bernie Sanders, who ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The policies don't go as far as Sanders' platform, but they signal that Biden is serious about incorporating elements of his former rival's agenda in an effort to help unify the Democratic Party and defeat President Trump in the general election.

Reports: Saudi Arabia and Russia reach major deal to cut oil production

Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement Thursday to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: The revival of the OPEC+ collaboration patches up the early March rupture between the countries, which had pushed already depressed prices down much further by threatening to unleash even more new supplies into the saturated market.