Jul 14, 2017

The least convincing Republican holdout

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

It's Marco Rubio. He went on a mini-tweetstorm on Wednesday night, saying he needed things like more hospital money for Florida and the ability to waive Medicaid spending limits if there's another outbreak like the Zika virus. Yesterday, he told reporters he got some of what he needed, but he claimed he was still undecided on the bill.

  • "On the Medicaid side, I see things about it that are better than the original," Rubio said, including a provision that allows more Medicaid spending in a public health emergency — which takes care of his Zika concerns.
  • But he said he's still "concerned" about Florida's treatment as a state that didn't expand Medicaid: "I just want to make sure Florida's not penalized for not buying into an unfair baseline in perpetuity because we were fiscally responsible."

Reality check: Rubio is not going to be the vote that kills Affordable Care Act repeal. But if you're a senator who wants maximum attention for your priorities, now's the time to get it.

Go deeper

Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next

Zipline's drone drops medical supplies via parachute. Image courtesy of Zipline.

Zipline, a California drone company, has made its U.S. debut by delivering medical supplies to hospitals in North Carolina under a pilot program honed in Africa.

Why it matters: The effort, made possible by a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration to Novant Health, is the nation's longest-range drone delivery operation and could demonstrate how drones could be used in future pandemics, Zipline officials said.

NHL unveils 24-team playoff plan to return from coronavirus hiatus

Data: NHL; Table: Axios Visuals

The NHL unveiled its return-to-play plan on Tuesday, formally announcing that 24 of its 31 teams will return for a playoff tournament in two hub cities, if and when medically cleared.

Why it matters: Hockey is the first major North American sports league to sketch out its plans to return from a coronavirus-driven hiatus in such detail, and it's also the first one to officially pull the plug on its regular season, which will trigger ticket refunds.

Rising home sales show Americans are looking past the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Americans are behaving very differently than they have in previous recessions — convinced that the coronavirus pandemic will soon pass, many continue to spend money as if nothing has changed.

Driving the news: The latest example of this trend is the Commerce Department's new home sales report, which showed home sales increased in April despite nationwide lockdowns that banned real estate agents in some states from even showing listed houses.