The leader of the moderate faction in the House, Charlie Dent, issued a statement late Wednesday evening saying he can't support the current healthcare bill. Key quote:

"I believe this bill, in its current form, will lead to the loss of coverage and make insurance unaffordable for too many Americans, particularly for low-to-moderate income and older individuals ... I hope that the House can step back from this vote and arbitrary deadline to focus on getting health care reform done right to ensure that American families have access to affordable health care."

Between the lines: Dent's statement is obviously catastrophic for the bill in its current form. But it should also be interpreted as a shot at the Freedom Caucus, which is in the midst of negotiating a deal with the White House to make the bill substantially more conservative. This is Dent, as leader of the moderate Tuesday Group, providing cover for the moderates. He's signaling that they won't be bullied into voting for a bill that could turn the 2018 midterms into a bloodbath.

What's next: The House GOP conference is meeting at 9am. We'll have a better idea then how many moderates have been lost if the bill makes a last minute lurch to the right.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines
  4. Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  5. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  6. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  7. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  8. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The 2020 holiday season may just kill Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Online retail and e-commerce have been chipping away at brick-and-mortar businesses over the years but the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 holiday season may prove to be a knockout blow.

State of play: Anxious consumers say financial concerns and health worries will push them to spend less money this year and to do more of their limited spending online.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.