Jan 4, 2017

Pence hints Trump will use executive action to help repeal Obamacare

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The executive orders -- which he didn't detail -- would be the way that President-elect Trump will begin the repeal process, Pence said at a press conference after meeting with House Republicans.

Pence said, "It will literally begin on day one. Before the end of the day we do anticipate that the president-elect will be in the Oval Office to both repeal executive orders and set into motion through executive action policies to implement promises that were made on the campaign trail."

How it might work: GOP aides have been looking into ways the administration can help undo the law. One of the areas Trump could target is regulations on insurers, such as the requirement all plans cover a set of essential health benefits. While the benefits themselves are written into law, the administration defines what they are.

At the GOP meeting, Pence gave them a justification for repealing the health care law immediately without a replacement: Republicans are providing Obamacare relief. And Trump will help.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.