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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Here's what Senate Republicans have added to the latest version of their health care bill (summary here, text here):

  • A modified version of Cruz's proposal to let insurers offer health plans that don't comply with all Affordable Care Act regulations, as long as they offer ones that do. (It would be tied to a fund to cover people with health problems.)
  • Another provision, also by Cruz, that would let people pay for their insurance premiums out of health savings accounts.
  • An additional $70 billion, for a total of $132 billion over eight years, to help states reduce people's out-of-pocket costs.
  • Opioid treatment funds have been increased to $45 billion.
  • People could use the tax credit to buy catastrophic health plans.
  • They could also buy cheaper, high-deductible plans.
  • States could get waivers from Medicaid spending limits to help expand home and community-based care for the elderly.
  • A more generous formula would be used for payments to hospitals that provide uncompensated care.
  • States with public health emergencies don't have to count those costs toward Medicaid spending limits.

A gift for Alaska? The bill sets aside 1% of reinsurance funds for states where premiums are 75% higher than the national average. As the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt points out, the only state that fits that description is Alaska — and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is one of the holdouts who could determine the fate of the bill.

Go deeper

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
2 hours ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Snapchat.

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.