Alex Brandon / AP

Senate HELP Committee chairman Lamar Alexander says he wants to work with Democrats on a short-term bill to stabilize the Affordable Care Act's insurance markets — and he's asked President Trump to keep paying insurers for their cost-sharing reduction subsidies for two more months to give the Senate time to approve a package by the end of September.

What to watch: Alexander says he wants to hold hearings starting the week of Sept. 4 and approve a package by Sept. 27, the date by which health insurers must sign contracts to offer ACA coverage in 2018. He says he wants the package to fund the insurer payments for an additional year, but also "greater flexibility for states in approving health insurance policies."

Key quote: "If your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market."

Reality check: Alexander will have to convince other Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Cornyn, who insist they don't want "bailouts" without any changes to the ACA. But he could also run into resistance from Democrats if he pushes for too much "flexibility" for state insurance regulators. He'd also have to convince House Republicans, who he didn't mention at all.

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects GOP push to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an attempt by conservatives to shorten North Carolina's deadline for mail-in ballots from nine to three days.

The big picture: This is the latest of a series of decisions over mail-in ballot deadlines in various states.

Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm on Wednesday, bringing with it "life-threatening storm surge and strong winds," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

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