Jun 16, 2018

Republicans' next war: Pre-existing conditions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans are continuing the repeal fight on two fronts:

  • The conservative group's proposal, a block grant that builds on last year's proposal by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, will be released in the next couple of weeks, according to Lanhee Chen.
  • A lawsuit by Republican attorneys general that argues the law's individual mandate is unconstitutional — the one that led to the Justice Department's decision to stop defending the ACA. (The tax penalty has been repealed, but the mandate is technically still on the books.)

Of the two, the lawsuit is the one that's most likely to get results — although it's still probably a long shot.

  • Top Republicans have been in no mood to try another repeal vote after last year's failures. But conservatives argue that they should do it to energize the GOP base for the midterms.

The big problem with the lawsuit: It picks a fight over pre-existing conditions. The Justice Department argued that if the mandate goes, the courts should get rid of the guaranteed coverage of pre-existing conditions too, since the two provisions work together.

  • That's not a fight Republicans are excited to have, after they spent all of last year trying to convince the public that they'd still cover sick people after the ACA is gone.

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Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.

Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media entities in the U.S.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook said Thursday it will begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. this summer. It's also rolling out a new set of labels to provide users with transparency around ads and posts from state-controlled outlets. Outlets that feel wrongly labeled can appeal the process.

Why it matters: Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, says the company hasn't seen many examples yet of foreign governments using advertising to promote manipulative content to U.S. users, but that the platform is taking this action out of an abundance of caution ahead of the 2020 election.