Steve Cannon / AP

Republican Gov. Rick Scott's budget for the next fiscal year would cut Medicaid payments to hospitals by $930 million.

Scott didn't mince words. "Florida's hospitals continue to have record profits, and the governor is committed to fighting price gouging and unfair costs for Floridians needing important medical care," his office said in a release. Most of the cuts will come from allowing the state's Medicaid health insurers to pay hospitals less. The Florida Hospital Association told the Naples Daily News it condemned the policy.

Why this matters: Scott used to run HCA, the country's largest for-profit hospital company, which was embroiled in a massive fraud probe as he left and later paid $1.7 billion in fines. The Medicaid cuts would disproportionately affect not-for-profit and public hospitals that treat more poor patients. And despite the tough words, Scott indirectly praised his former company when he said he wanted to eliminate "supplemental payments for hospitals that provide less charity compared to the for-profit hospital industry."

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Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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