Feb 27, 2017

The GOP's big problem: Lost health coverage

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The warning signs are becoming inescapable for Republicans: Their most likely Obamacare replacement plans are getting terrible estimates on how many people they'll cover. Republicans have been pretty open that they're not trying to compete with Democrats on enrollment numbers — they just want to make sure everyone has access to coverage if they want it. But now the consequences are becoming more real.

  • This weekend, Caitlin Owens reported that a leaked presentation to the National Governors Association warned of massive coverage losses under a standard GOP proposal — and states could lose anywhere between 65 and 80 percent of their federal health care funding.
  • The Washington Post reported that the Congressional Budget Office believes the GOP's new, age-based tax credits "would cost the government a lot of money and would enable relatively few additional Americans to get insurance."

Why it matters: The danger isn't just that Democrats will tear them apart if they don't get better coverage numbers. Republican governors are also starting to sound the alarm. "We've had 29,000 Alaskans that now receive health care" because of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said at the governors' meeting. Ohio Gov. John Kasich promised to "stand up for the people wouldn't have the coverage if they don't get this thing right."

Not the best setup for Trump's meetings with the governors this morning and health insurance executives later today. On the bright side, Jonathan Swan reports that the Trump administration and House Republicans are narrowing their differences on a replacement — though the Post reminds us that there's always a chance that Trump will veer off in some other direction, as he almost did after talking with Kasich.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

A combine in Rippey, Iowa harvests soybeans in October 2019. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. U.S. soybean stockpiles expected to drop as exports rebound, USDA says
  2. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  3. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins
  4. Reports: Facebook offers up to $5 for voice recordings
  5. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps