Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Caitlin Owens / Axios

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows represents one of the most conservative districts in North Carolina. Even so, progressive groups are staging protests, a Democrat is already campaigning against Meadows and many people are worried about losing their health insurance under the GOP bill.

But Meadows won the district comfortably, and many of his supporters say they still love him. They often told me one of two things: They don't believe the Congressional Budget Office or media reports warning about millions of people losing health coverage, and they're not yet paying attention because the Senate is going to change the bill anyways.

The bottom line: Meadows' district is a classic example of people choosing their news: They either don't believe the worst things they've heard about the bill — and they might think anything is better than the Affordable Care Act anyway — or they believe all of the bad things and are up in arms about it.

The case for skepticism: People don't know what to think "until you see the end result," Bill Markwat, a Republican who owns a home in the district, told me. While he thinks 23 million people losing coverage "seems like a lot," it's hard for him to figure out what to think about the bill. "The worst part…is how do you validate the number you hear and what do you believe?"

What we're watching: According to an analysis done by the left-leaning Center for American Progress, more than 100,000 people in Meadows' district could lose their health care under the House bill. That leaves open the possibility that those who stand by him now could change their mind if the CBO's analysis is correct.

What Meadows' supporters are saying:

  • Merry Parris Guy, chairwoman of the Henderson County GOP: "I do know there was a lot of — pardon the term — fake news about people losing their insurance, people who were really sick not being able to get insurance. Those things are just not true.""Henderson County loves Mark Meadows. He's family."
  • Charlie Westmoreland, a Henderson County Republican: "It's so subject to change." He's read about the CBO score, but: "I read these stories about how they're wrong most of the time, so you take it with a grain of salt."When Meadows and the Freedom Caucus first blocked the bill, "I would have voted against him right then…now I'm sort of on the fence with him."But he and his wife, Nancy Sumner, both lost former spouses to cancer. Sumner says they think people with pre-existing conditions should be able to get insurance, "and I don't think [the cost] should be higher."
  • Russell England, a Nebo Republican: "They need to just repeal [The Affordable Care Act]. They need to get out of the insurance business…It doesn't need to be replaced."

What his opponents are saying:

  • Matt Coffay, a progressive Democrat who's running against Meadows: The national media has tried to turn Meadows into a hero, "but now that the second bill has come out especially, people are not happy about it."While far-right conservatives are unhappy the bill isn't full repeal, "you have people in the middle that voted for him that are really disturbed by the report that 23 million people are going to lose their health care. And then of course lots of Democrats and progressives that feel that way." (Meadows was on vacation this week, and a spokesman didn't respond to a request for comment.)
  • Ryan Ziegler, who gets insurance from the ACA exchange: "In this area, it is a lot of low-income people….We need health down here…we need something that will actually cover us."
  • Gayle Kemp, who has had cancer and heart failure: "We're from North Carolina…They're going to waive out of everything they can. There's no way I'm going to be able to afford insurance. I'll die."

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!