Apr 17, 2017

Nevada senator grilled on Trumpcare and pre-existing conditions

Republican Sen. Dean Heller discovered firsthand today how dangerous Trumpcare can be for constituents who don't want to lose Obamacare's pre-existing condition coverage. CNN reports that an audience member with multiple sclerosis pressed Heller hard on whether she would be forced into a separate high-risk pool to cover sick people — an outcome she absolutely didn't want.

What it means: The exchange shows how dangerous the subject is for Republicans, even if they think they're taking care of sick people by setting up high-risk pools as an alternative.

"Yes or no? High-risk pools, that's my question," the woman told Heller. "Don't give me a fuzzy answer." Heller said he "will support high-risk pools, because there are some people who want them" — but also insisted he'll make sure everyone has "access to the health care that you want."

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America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.