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Andy Slavitt, a former top health care official in the Obama administration, is chairing a new health care advocacy group. Photo: Al Drago / CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

A new health care advocacy group called the United States of Care is bringing together a wide range of people — from actors Bradley Whitford and Andy Richter to billionaire Mark Cuban t0 prominent health care names like Atul Gawande and Bernard Tyson — to push for policies that would reduce the number of uninsured and underinsured people.

The bottom line: It's easy to form a new group but difficult to change the status quo in the health care industry. Success will be determined by actual policy ideas that are implemented and supported by voters.

The background: Andy Slavitt, the former top Medicare and Medicaid official in the Obama administration and board chair of the new group, said United States of Care formed after he and others met with people who voiced concerns about their health care. "People are worried that political parties are going to get locked into 'victory' at the expense of coming together and doing what’s right," he said.

  • So what will the group do? It's still vague, but the group's members will work with state and federal lawmakers to propose policies — based on what they hear from people on the ground — that help people get coverage and address commonsense concerns, like "making sure someone doesn’t lose their home because someone gets sick," Slavitt said.
  • The group will start with public listening events this month in Minnesota, North Carolina and Utah.
  • The group won't use the Affordable Care Act as a centerpiece, Slavitt said.

Funding: United States of Care will not accept money from politically backed groups or from for-profit companies. Funding will come from foundations, not-for-profit health care organizations and individual donors unaffiliated with politics, but actual donors won't be disclosed.

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.

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