Medicare is the fastest-growing part of the federal budget aside from interest payments — a problem that has only been made worse by declining revenues under the GOP tax law.

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Data: Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The big picture: Spending is expected to grow by 117% over the next decade due to rising health care costs and an aging population. There’s no sense of urgency in Washington about this. And even if there was, this political environment sinks any chance of massive problem-solving.

Why it matters: The Medicare trust fund runs dry by 2026 if Congress doesn't pass benefit cuts.

  • While that just means that there won’t be money to fill in the gap between Medicare spending and tax revenue paying for it, the gap only gets worse after that.

What they’re saying: “Lawmakers have their head in the sand,” said Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “For the most part, nobody wants to touch this.”

Go deeper: What happens when Medicare goes broke.

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Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden seeks $2 trillion clean energy and infrastructure spending boost

Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden expanded his energy and climate plans Tuesday with a call for spending $2 trillion over four years on climate-friendly infrastructure — a proposal the campaign is casting as part of a wider economic recovery package.

Why it matters: The plan, which is the focus of a speech Biden will deliver this afternoon, represents a long-anticipated plan to move his climate platform further left and make it more expansive.

2 hours ago - Health

4 former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk

CDC director Robert Redfield and President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four former directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blasted the Trump administration's "repeated efforts to subvert" agency guidelines related to reopening schools, accusing the White House in a scathing Washington Post op-ed of undermining science with "partisan potshots."

Why it matters: Former directors Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan and David Satcher and acting head Richard Besser served in parts of the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations. They said they "cannot recall over our collective tenure a single time when political pressure led to a change in the interpretation of scientific evidence."

Chinese students at U.S. colleges face deep uncertainty

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new visa guideline issued last week would strip international students in the U.S. of their student visa if their college classes are online-only amid the pandemic.

Why it matters: More than 360,000 Chinese students are enrolled at U.S. colleges. Many of them could be forced to return to China if the rule change is implemented.