Apr 5, 2017

That was supposed to be a Trumpcare revival?

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

The Republican talks on patching up Trumpcare sure deteriorated in a hurry. For a while yesterday, they dissolved into bickering and finger-pointing, with members of the Freedom Caucus saying the proposed compromise is getting worse — and House Republican leaders saying it's bleeding votes. Now, they're back to talking again — and talking and talking and talking, with no legislative text and no visible signs of progress.

The latest, via reporting by Jonathan Swan, Caitlin Owens and me:

  • Vice President Mike Pence and House Republicans are supposed to meet again today after talking for two hours late last night and not getting closer to a deal. Here's Caitlin's wrapup from last night.
  • The sticking points are the same now as they've been all week: Conservatives want to get rid of more Obamacare insurance regulations, including the ones dealing with pre-existing conditions, and other Republicans really don't want to do that.
  • This has been largely a White House-driven show, and House Republican leaders started to realize early yesterday that the emerging compromise probably would have lost more votes than it gained.
  • That's mainly because of a proposal to let states drop the rule banning insurers from charging higher rates to sick people.
  • If that passed, insurers could price sick people out of the market even if they technically offered them coverage.
  • And that would put House Republicans in the uncomfortable position of voting to let insurers jack up rates for sick people — even though the GOP's website about the bill declares: "Americans should never be denied coverage or charged more because of a pre-existing condition." (h/t Steven Dennis)
  • It may be more than that. Freedom Caucus members say the "guaranteed issue" rule — the one that tells insurers they must cover pre-existing conditions — is on the table too. They'd rather cover the sick people through state high-risk pools, which would get more federal funding.
  • House GOP leaders say that's why the proposal is losing votes, not gaining them.
  • Freedom Caucus members think they're being unfairly accused of getting rid of all pre-existing condition coverage.

So how will the House GOP leadership sort all of this out? If only there was a House GOP leader we could ask. And there is! House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will join us at 8 am Eastern this morning for an Axios-NBC News event on health care, moderated by Jim VandeHei and Chuck Todd. They'll also get smart views on the road ahead from Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove and former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.