Jun 10, 2017

Pence's AHCA promises could cause trouble for the Senate

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Vice President Mike Pence is making some big promises for the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. Here's what he said in Milwaukee this afternoon and why it increases the pressure on the Senate:

Promise: "A new tax credit to help you buy the insurance you need at a price you can afford."

The fine print: It means the Senate will have to seriously beef up the House bill's tax credits, which would have left low-income 64-year-olds paying net premiums of as much as $16,100 per year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Promise: "We're going to make sure that every person with pre-existing conditions has access to the coverage and the care that they need, no exceptions."

The fine print: Even if the Senate abandons the House plan to allow states to opt out of the ACA's pricing rules — and let insurers charge higher premiums to sick people — Caitlin Owens reports that it's still planning to let states relax the ACA's benefit rules. Senate Republicans will have to hope that doesn't allow insurers to steer sick people away by choosing not to cover certain things.

Promise: The bill will "reform and strengthen Medicaid to help the people who truly need it the most."

The fine print: The Senate may moderate the House bill's Medicaid cutbacks, but it's still going to end the ACA's Medicaid expansion and limit federal spending — so they could easily face headlines about low-income people who didn't get the care they needed.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 657,691 — Total deaths: 30,438 — Total recoveries: 139,263.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 119,748 — Total deaths: 1,991 — Total recoveries: 921.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers financial relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Infant dies after testing positive for coronavirus in Chicago

Hospital staff working inside a COVID-19 screening tent in Chicago on March 26. Photo: Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An infant less than one year old died in Chicago, Illinois after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the state health department said on Saturday.

Why it matters: The death would mark the first reported infant mortality from COVID-19 in the U.S. The fatality rate for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. is highest among those over 85 years old, per the CDC.

Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — states that have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing.

The big picture: With 112,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

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