Jun 23, 2017

Key moderate says he opposes Senate health bill

(AP file photo)

Sen. Dean Heller is a "no" on the Senate health care bill released yesterday, he announced today alongside Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. Both emphasized how beneficial expanding Medicaid has been for the state. Heller also said he's concerned about a provision that would let states waive the Affordable Care Act's benefit requirements.

What he said: "This bill that's currently in front of the United States Senate is not the answer. It's simply not the answer…In this form, I will not support it ... It doesn't protect Nevadans on Medicaid and the most vulnerable Nevadans."

What he wants: "They could put money into Medicaid expansion states long-term … they can bolster legacy Medicaid to a level that it doesn't hurt the state of Nevada."

This would an extremely hard sell in the Senate. The bill's Medicaid cuts — both the rollback of the ACA's expansion and a deeper restructuring of the program — provide the savings that pay for the rest of it.

Why this matters: Heller was the most obvious moderate to defect, as he's up for re-election next year in a state Hillary Clinton won. But now the bill has both moderate and conservative defectors, making compromise extremely challenging. Heller's move also could embolden other moderates to publicly oppose the bill.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 775,306 — Total deaths: 37,083 — Total recoveries: 164,435.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 159,184 — Total deaths: 2,945 — Total recoveries: 5,595.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  7. What should I do? Answers 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.

Ford, GE aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

A Model A-E ventilator, left, and a simple test lung. The ventilator uses a design that operates on air pressure without the need for electricity, addressing the needs of most COVID-19 patients. Photo: Ford

Ford and GE Healthcare announced plans on Monday to build a simplified ventilator design licensed from a Florida medical technology company, with the goal of producing 50,000 machines by early July to fight the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The companies are moving in "Trump time" to meet demand for urgently needed ventilators, says White House Defense Production Act Coordinator Peter Navarro. But with deaths expected to peak in two weeks, the machines won't arrive in large numbers in time to help the hardest-hit cities.

Go deeperArrow17 mins ago - Health

DMV area issues coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser 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 and territory 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.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 27 mins ago - Health