Mar 29, 2017

House chairman doesn't want to add ACA insurer payments to funding bill

Sue Ogrocki / AP

Rep. Tom Cole, who heads the subcommittee that funds health care programs, says he doesn't want to add money for Obamacare cost-sharing subsidies to the bill to fund the government for the rest of the year — because it's all worked out and he doesn't want to reopen it. "I can't reopen the negotiation," Cole told reporters, because there's already an agreement between Republicans and Democrats and both sides "bargained in good faith."

Why it matters: It means health insurers may have to wait for another bill to get their payments for the subsidies to low-income Obamacare customers — even though Cole has said he wants to find a way to give them the money. Insurers have been saying they need those payments to keep offering Obamacare coverage for next year.

And no NIH cuts, either: Cole used the same argument to push back against the Trump administration's new request to cut the National Institutes of Health by $1.2 billion through the end of the current fiscal year. The administration request "came very late in the process," Cole said. "With all due respect ... I can't reopen a $163 billion negotiation."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Spain's cases exceed China's — Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

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