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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivering a speech. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

State lawmakers in Michigan have abandoned an effort to exempt some residents from proposed work requirements in the state's Medicaid program, AP reports.

The impact: The aborted exemption was an effort to soften proposed work requirements. If those restrictions ultimately pass, there would be no exemption for anyone who might have a hard time finding a job in their area. The bill will likely include a temporary grace period as an alternative, per the AP.

  • Some Michigan lawmakers want to add work requirements to the state's expanded Medicaid program, but had proposed an exemption for people who live in counties with a particularly high unemployment rate.
  • Although that might seem like a common-sense exemption, in Michigan it would have disproportionately benefitted largely white, rural areas.
  • In cities like Detroit and Flint, with larger black populations, inner-city unemployment is high but suburban employment drives down the total rate for the county. So, poor people in those cities still would have been subject to the work requirements even though jobs are scarce where they live.

What's next: The same issue is playing out in Ohio.

Go deeper

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Pfizer CEO feels "liberated" after taking COVID vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tells "Axios on HBO" that he recently received his first of two doses of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Bourla told CNBC in December that company polling found that one of the most effective ways to increase confidence in the vaccine was to have the CEO take it.

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Ripple CEO: SEC lawsuit is "bad for crypto" in the U.S.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by U.S. regulators, it would put the country at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Between the lines: The SEC in December sued Ripple, and Garlinghouse personally, for allegedly selling over $1.3 billion in unregistered securities. Ripple's response is that its cryptocurrency, called XRP, didn't require registration because it's an asset rather than a security.

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Pfizer CEO: "It will be terrible" if COVID-19 vaccine prices limit access

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told "Axios on HBO" that it "will be terrible for society" if the price of coronavirus vaccines ever prohibits some people from taking them.

Why it matters: Widespread uptake of the vaccine — which might require annual booster shots — will reduce the risk of the virus continuing to spread and mutate, but it's unclear who will pay for future shots or how much they'll cost.