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Sen. Orrin Hatch controversially said this week that repealing the Affordable Care Act subsidies and Medicaid expansion is difficult because once you get people "on the dole, they'll take every dime they can."

Reality check: Nearly every American benefits from subsidized health insurance, not just those who gained coverage under the ACA. The largest health care subsidy is the same one that Hatch and millions of others take advantage of: the tax break for employer-based coverage.

Expand chart
Data: Department of the Treasury; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Employer health insurance premiums are exempt from income and payroll taxes, costing the federal government $359 billion in lost tax revenue this year, according to the Treasury Department. That figure is expected to rise to almost $600 billion by 2026.

The ACA attempts to alter job-based health benefits through the so-called Cadillac tax — to the delight of health economists as well as many Republicans and Democrats who want to put a limit on high-cost health plans. But taxing employer-based coverage has proven to be politically unpopular with companies, unions and workers, and House Republicans abandoned plans to limit the tax break in the health care bill the House just passed.

Go deeper

Clinton-linked lawyer indicted in investigation of FBI's Russia probe

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has returned an indictment against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer whose firm represented the 2016 Clinton campaign, for lying to the FBI about not representing "any client" when he presented them with allegations about a secret Trump Organization back-channel to a Russian bank.

Why it matters: It's the second criminal charge stemming from special counsel John Durham's review of possible misconduct by the intelligence community and prosecutors who investigated the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.

2 hours ago - World

Blinken, Austin call out China at event on Australia security pact

Blinken and Austin. Photo: Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned China's "aggressive" and "destabilizing" behavior at a press conference Thursday, as they inaugurated a major new trilateral security partnership with Australia and the U.K.

Why it matters: China was not explicitly mentioned in President Biden's announcement of the AUKUS alliance, through which the U.S. and the U.K. will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a broader effort to ensure "peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific."