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AP file photo

The Department of Health and Human Services is trying to make it easier for states to apply for special waivers so it can opt out of certain Affordable Care Act rules, as long as it can accomplish the same goals in different ways. It issued a new "checklist" today for State Innovation Waivers (sometimes called Section 1332 waivers, after the section of the ACA that allows them).

What it does: In a statement, HHS Secretary Tom Price called the checklist "a guide for states that seek greater flexibility to lower costs, improve choices, and design a healthcare system that actually responds to the unique needs of their communities."

Why it matters: Price has been open about his intentions to grant as many of the waivers as possible to give states more flexibility. He's especially trying to encourage them to set up high-risk polls and reinsurance programs to help cover people with pre-existing conditions — which is also a goal of the House-passed health care bill.

Go deeper

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.