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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Sen. Ron Wyden joined the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) to call on the Senate to vote against the GOP's Better Care Reconciliation Act, saying that its Medicaid cuts will disproportionately affect American seniors. "We've got to kill a really bad bill," Wyden said during a call with reporters this morning.

The LCAO opposes the per capita caps in the Senate health care bill. These caps would limit the funds that the federal government contributes to states for Medicaid, leaving states to bear the burden of health care costs. And many seniors are in need of long-term care, which is especially costly. Caps could force states to roll back Medicaid services.

Why it matters:

Medicaid currently supports about 6 million seniors. Marsha Greenfield, VP of Legislative Affairs at LeadingAge, said this number is expected to more than double in the near future. She called Medicaid "the default for seniors who have exhausted their resources."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
31 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.