Good morning. Here's all you need to know about yesterday's Congressional Budget Office report on the choices involved in "Medicare for All," from the NYT's Margot Sanger-Katz:
Attorney General Bill Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
The Trump administration has laid out its full argument for why a federal appeals court should invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act. And it's a doozy, my colleague Sam Baker reports.
The big picture in this case comes down to "severability," and severability comes down to congressional intent. If the ACA's individual mandate is unconstitutional (which is not a given), can other parts of the law function the way Congress intended?
The challenge for the Justice Department is squaring the intentions Congress expressed in 2010, when it first passed the ACA, with the intentions Congress expressed in 2017, when it nullified the individual mandate but left the rest of the law intact.
Even that logic only takes you as far as striking down the mandate and protections for pre-existing conditions — the provisions Congress said were tied together. But that’s not the case DOJ is making. It says the whole ACA should go.
The ACA is much more than its insurance reforms. And the DOJ's latest brief acknowledges that "there are other provisions that might be able to operate in the manner that Congress intended" even if those reforms are struck down.
Some states have stopped paying for retirees' health care benefits in response to rising health care costs and squeezed budgets, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Between the lines: There's about a $600 billion gap between what states have promised retirees — mostly in health benefits — and what they have actually saved up, according to government data compiled by Eaton Vance Corp.
My thought bubble: The problem of rising health care costs is even more dire at the federal level, but states — unlike the federal government — must balance their budgets.
Supporters of the ACA in Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
One vote prevented Medicaid expansion from moving forward yesterday in the Kansas state Senate, the Kansas City Star reports.
Yes, but: The member with the key vote, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, left the door open. "I'm not saying no," he said, according to the Star. "I'm saying this policy isn't ready."
The founders of uBiome, who served as co-CEOs, have been placed on leave as the FBI investigates the microbiome startup for its billing practices, Stat News reports.
Flashback: WSJ first reported on the FBI search last week.
A cruise ship with nearly 300 people on it was quarantined in St. Lucia after a case of measles was confirmed on the ship, NBC reports.
The bottom line: Measles is really contagious. Get vaccinated.
Have a great day!