David Nather Jan 21, 2017
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Obamacare executive order to HHS: Be flexible

Evan Vucci/AP

The executive order President Trump signed Friday night directs the Health and Human Services to give broad flexibility in implementing Obamacare, using sweeping language to suggest exemptions if the law presents a burden of just about any kind.

The key language, according to the text released by the White House: HHS would have to waive anything that would "impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications."

HHS would also have to give states greater flexibility and "encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers."

Timothy Jost, an Obamacare expert who has researched possible executive actions, said the vagueness of the order isn't a surprise. "Executive orders are not used for issuing detailed guidance or to change laws, but rather to set agendas for administrative agencies," Jost said.

Steve LeVine 6 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

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Trump, Sessions & GOP lawmakers to meet about sanctuary cities

Jeff Sessions claps behind Donald Trump's blurry profile at a speech
Attorney General Jeff Sesssions, Donald Trump, Melania Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty

The White House is hosting a roundtable on sanctuary cities Tuesday afternoon with the President, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security, Republican lawmakers and others, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Conservatives tried to use this week’s massive government spending bill to cut federal funds from sanctuary cities, but they failed, according to sources involved in the process. But Trump officials want to use Tuesday’s event to highlight the issue and put pressure on cities that don't comply with federal immigration law enforcement.