Aug 11, 2017

MacArthur and Meadows working on ACA stabilization package

AP file photo

Reps. Tom MacArthur and Mark Meadows are working together on an individual market stabilization package, according to a senior GOP aide. It will include funding for the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, although it's unclear for how long. While the duo has ideas for the rest of the package, they're open to input — especially from the Senate, where they're actively courting support.

The catch: One crucial piece, according to a second GOP aide, is an agreement on "very flexible 1332 waiver language" in exchange for CSR funding. The state waivers are an important priority for conservative Republicans. Discussions are currently only among Republicans, but could include Democrats in the future.

The goals of the package are to reduce premiums, stabilize the marketplaces and offer some kind of tax relief. They've had some discussions with individual senators, including one of the three Republicans who voted against the "skinny repeal" package (the aide declined to say which one). Serious discussions started sometime last week, after MacArthur approached Meadows about working together.

Context: Meadows and MacArthur — a former co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group — worked together on a waiver provision in the House ACA replacement bill that ultimately got it across the finish line. Since the ACA repeal effort failed in the Senate, Meadows has adamantly suggested that the fight to repeal the law isn't over, but this new effort suggests the Freedom Caucus chairman realizes the stakes of ignoring the individual market in the meantime.

Go deeper

Israeli election: Netanyahu has momentum despite corruption case

Netanyahu campaigns with a friend behind him. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters Israel's third elections in 10 months with momentum — and with his corruption trial looming just two weeks after the vote.

Why it matters: Israeli politics have been deadlocked for nearly a year as Netanyahu and his centrist rival, Benny Gantz, grapple for power. Monday's vote could provide the breakthrough, or set Israel on course for yet another election.

Go deeperArrow19 mins ago - World

Democrats lay out demands for coronavirus funding

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement Thursday outlining their demands for coronavirus funding, including a guarantee that the eventual vaccine is affordable.

The big picture: Pelosi criticized the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak, calling it "chaotic" and chiding President Trump for "name-calling" and "playing politics." She added at a press conference that bipartisan congressional leaders are nearing an agreement on emergency funding.

Coronavirus updates: Japan closes schools and Saudi Arabia bans holy site visits

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.

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.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health