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AP file photo

Health insurers are starting to speak up about the next steps they want to see now that the Senate's health care effort is collapsing. Mainly, they want Congress to fund the cost-sharing subsidies that insurers have to provide to low-income customers under the Affordable Care Act.

Here's what the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association had to say, in a statement from senior VP Justine Handelman this morning:

"With open enrollment for 2018 only three months away, our members and all Americans need the certainty and security of knowing coverage will be available and affordable for them. To achieve that, we have consistently urged that there be immediate, certain funding for the cost-sharing reduction program ... and other actions to stabilize the market including dedicated funding to care for those with significant medical needs."

Reality check: Republican leaders aren't in any mood to do that. "I personally will not be part of any bailout of insurance companies without reform," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said on the Senate floor this morning after Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen proposed funding the payments.

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

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