Feb 24, 2017

Obamacare repeal is getting bad news from the number crunchers

Keith Cooper / via Flickr Creative Commons

It's become pretty obvious that Obamacare repeal isn't moving ahead — with no committee action scheduled yet for next week — and now we're getting a better idea why.

The Washington Post posted a piece this morning about how House Republicans want to steer away from Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid without hurting the states. Most of the details — keeping some money flowing to the expansion states, helping the non-expansion states with extra payments for the poor and uninsured — have been floated before. But the bigger news starts in the 11th paragraph: The Congressional Budget Office says the new, age-based tax credits, another part of the replacement plan, "would cost the government a lot of money and would enable relatively few additional Americans to get insurance."

Between the lines: This tracks with what we've heard unofficially through other sources, and suggests that Republicans are having trouble designing their plan in a way that would get acceptable cost estimates. That doesn't mean they can't tinker with the plan until they get better CBO estimates — Democrats did a lot of that during the writing of Obamacare. But it does mean the plan probably won't be ready quickly enough to meet the Republicans' ambitious timeline.

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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