May 2, 2017

New GOP claim: "Layers" of protections for sick people

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise raised the GOP's talking points to a new level this morning in defending the health care bill's treatment of sick people. Here's what he said at a leadership press conference after a meeting with House Republican members:

[The health care bill] provides multiple layers of protections for people with pre-existing conditions in a way that Obamacare doesn't do.

The case: Scalise said the layers include the bill's "continuous coverage" rule, which prevents people from being charged more for health conditions if they keep themselves insured, and high-risk pools to cover sick people in states that waive that rule.

Reality check: It's going to be hard for Republican leaders to win this argument against the Affordable Care Act, which specifically says insurers have to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions, and can't charge them more — with no exceptions. This wouldn't even be an issue if Republicans weren't trying to let states waive the pricing rules. But the fact that they're making the argument at all shows they're worried about losing more rank and file Republicans — and the public.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 887,067 — Total deaths: 44,264 — Total recoveries: 185,541Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 190,740 — Total deaths: 4,127 — Total recoveries: 7,141Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Vice President Mike Pence said that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  4. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest to issue stay-at-home orders, totaling 34 states and D.C.
  5. 2020 update: New York is latest state to delay primary — Bernie Sanders urges Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary.
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West Virginia is latest state to delay primary due to coronavirus

Photo: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice rescheduled the state's May 12 primary election to June 9 on Wednesday, citing fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while many states have issued stay-at-home orders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Florida governor issues stay-at-home order

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a statewide stay-at-home order on Wednesday after the number of coronavirus cases in the state rose to nearly 7,000.

Why it matters: DeSantis has been criticized for declining to order any statewide mandates to curb the spread of coronavirus as Florida — home to a significant elderly population — has increasingly become a hotspot. The order will go into effect at midnight and last for 30 days.

Go deeperArrow28 mins ago - Health