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Timothy D. Easley / AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear he doesn't want to negotiate with Democrats on health care — but he's no longer dismissing the option. Here's what he said today at a Rotary Club lunch in Kentucky when asked whether he might need bipartisan cooperation to pass a health care bill, per AP:

"If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur ... We've got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state."

Between the lines: Just two weeks ago, McConnell told reporters that he'd rather not deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer because Republicans wouldn't be able to achieve any of their health care priorities, including rewrites of Medicaid and insurance rules. But he's not blind to the spectacle of Republicans running away from the health care bill — and his comments suggest he knows he may need a backup plan.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.