Jordangruener / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health, two massive not-for-profit hospital systems exploring a merger (they call it an "affiliation"), are sitting on very different financial foundations right now.

The numbers: Dignity Health reported Thursday a $165 million operating surplus in the first six months of its fiscal year, which ended Dec. 31, on $6.6 billion of revenue. CHI, meanwhile, lost $384 million on $8.1 billion of revenue in the same time period. CHI has struggled to manage its health insurance company, which it is selling, and the system has been weighed down by bloated expenses and fewer patients with commercial insurance.

Why this matters: This is one of the largest potential deals in the health care industry right now, and both sides are still evaluating the pros and cons. A combined CHI-Dignity system would have almost $30 billion in annual revenue, making it larger than companies like McDonald's or Macy's. But a glaring issue is whether CHI can stop the bleeding.

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Updated 20 seconds ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court clears way for first federal execution since 2003

Lethal injection facility in San Quentin, California. Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled early Tuesday that federal executions can resume, reversing a lower court decision and paving the way for the first lethal injection since 2003 to take place at a federal prison in Indiana, AP reports.

The big picture: A lower court had delayed the execution, saying inmates had provided evidence the government's plan to carry out executions using lethal injections "poses an unconstitutionally significant risk of serious pain."

1 hour ago - Health

More Republicans say they're wearing masks

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Nearly two-thirds of Americans — and a noticeably increasing number of Republicans — say they’re wearing a face mask whenever they leave the house, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: A weakening partisan divide over masks, and a broad-based increase in the number of people wearing them, would be a welcome development as most of the country tries to beat back a rapidly growing outbreak.

Buildings are getting tested for coronavirus, too

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Testing buildings — not just people — could be an important way to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: People won't feel safe returning to schools, offices, bars and restaurants unless they can be assured they won't be infected by coronavirus particles lingering in the air — or being pumped through the buildings' air ducts. One day, even office furniture lined with plants could be used to clean air in cubicles.