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AP file photo

Tonight is the deadline for people to sign up for Obamacare for 2017 coverage, but there's going to be a big difference between this year and previous years. Every time open enrollment ended under the Obama administration, they'd eagerly give us real-time updates. "Look how many people signed up by noon! It's going gangbusters!" This year, there's no guarantee that we'll get any updates at all. I've been asking HHS officials from President Trump's team, and haven't gotten an answer yet.

Of course they don't have the same level of enthusiasm for the law as the Obama team did, but we're also still in that transitional period where the old HHS team isn't allowed to talk publicly and the new team is still getting its act together. So maybe we'll get some updates out of the blue — but it's also possible we'll end the day with no idea what happened.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.

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