Jul 25, 2017

How "skinny repeal" might work as Senate's last resort

AP file photo

A new idea has surfaced in the last 24 hours about what Senate Republicans might do if they can't pass anything else: they might pass a lowest-common denominator plan that only repeals a few pieces of the Affordable Care Act, the parts everyone hates. Vox has a good explainer about how this might work.

"Skinny repeal": If the Senate votes to start the debate, but it can't pass either its repeal-and-replace bill or a straight repeal bill, the last move might be something that just gets rid of the individual and employer mandates. It would be hard for any Republicans to vote against that. (We've also heard a third piece: the bill might also get rid of the ACA's tax on medical devices.)

The goal: Pass anything — anything at all — so the Senate can go to a conference committee with the House and work out a final version.

Why it matters: This is far from a decided plan, from what we can tell. But the fact that it's being floated at all shows how desperate Senate Republicans are not to let the ACA repeal effort collapse — and have to explain to voters why they couldn't do the thing they've been promising for seven years.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

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Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

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Syria's darkest chapter

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The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

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