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Evan Vucci / AP

This is the week when House Republicans want to take up their Obamacare repeal and replacement bills in the main health care committees. A senior GOP aide says they're still doing the last-minute drafting and tweaks, but we should see the big release "early this week." Here's what you need to know.

  • Top Republicans insist there's not a huge mystery about what's in the replacement plan. On the Opportunity Lives podcast, House Speaker Paul Ryan said it's "very similar to the bill that Tom Price had worked on for so many years."
  • The main elements, per Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady on Fox News: repealing Obamacare's taxes, penalties and subsidies, giving states more control over Medicaid, creating new tax credits, and expanding health savings accounts.
  • But the final details could make the difference between covering a lot of people and covering almost nobody.
  • Jonathan Swan confirmed yesterday what has been widely suspected — that a big reason for the last-minute weekend scramble is that the early Congressional Budget Office coverage estimates were awful, and Republicans wanted to make them better.
  • Per Jonathan, House Republicans are adding an income cap to their tax credits. The exact details are TBD, but that's how they're going to target the tax credit better and avoid spending money on wealthy people.
  • That may not solve all of the problems with the flat tax credits in their first draft. Avik Roy, a conservative health care expert, tells me that unless there's a sliding scale, people could still face "benefit cliffs" — a big increase in costs the moment they make too much money to stop getting the credit.
  • In Oregon this weekend, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden said everyone who's on Medicaid now will keep getting it, but that federal funding may be scaled back in the future "because this is not sustainable," per OPB.
  • In the meantime, Republican senators are warning GOP leaders not to present the bill to them as a "take it or leave it" repeal package. Sens. Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham both delivered that message at separate events.
  • And in case you thought GOP leaders could stop worrying about the moderates, Sen. Susan Collins said on "Face the Nation" that "there is not a consensus" on Obamacare replacement.

What it all means: The real suspense isn't what's in the bill — we already have a pretty good idea. It's whether it can pass at all.

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.