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AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

It's up in the air what Senate Republicans will vote on next week, following their meeting with President Trump on Wednesday. The goal seems to be to get something passed, regardless of whether it just repeals parts of the Affordable Care Act or tries to replace them.

When asked whether the vote would be on repeal, the latest version of the Senate replacement bill, or some other replacement plan, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said, "It could be all of the above, but at least one." He said Trump's message to the caucus was to "unify and get things done."

Why this matters: It can't be overstated how wild it is that Senate Republicans are planning to vote on a massive restructuring of the health insurance system next week, without knowing what it will look like. And though passage of anything seems unlikely, if they do manage to pass a replacement bill, it'll be a patchwork of last-minute compromises on top of a bill that is already massively unpopular and hasn't been thoroughly analyzed. And Republicans will then own whatever happens under their bill.

What we know:

  • The first vote will be a vote to begin debate on the House bill. If that passes, the Senate can vote on amendments, including substitutes to the underlying bill.
  • "The plan is to bring up the 2015 bill, but there was an agreement today to continue talking on some of the issues that our members have," said Sen. John Thune, the third-highest ranking Senate Republican.
  • The 2015 repeal bill already has three defectors. Only two — or one, if Sen. John McCain is still out when the vote happens — are needed to kill it.
  • The most recent version of the Senate replacement bill had four defectors, split among moderates and conservatives. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski indicated after the bill was shelved that they would have voted against it.
  • There's no reason both senators couldn't vote on both the 2015 bill and the latest replacement plan — if the vote to begin the debate succeeds. But that's a huge "if."

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

5 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

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