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!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Senate Republicans aren't sure what they're going to vote on this week — yet their options are vastly different. They all would make massive changes, but to different parts of the health care system, and with different winners and losers.

The "repeal-only" bill — which would gut most of the Affordable Care Act without replacing it — would likely cause the individual market to collapse in most of the country within 10 years and would end the ACA's Medicaid expansion, but would leave traditional Medicaid basically untouched. The "repeal and replace" bill, on the other hand, would be far gentler to the individual market but would make much deeper cuts to Medicaid.

Why this matters: While none of the options on hand are likely to pass, it's important to remember that the Senate GOP isn't having substantial debate about these big ideas. They're just trying to find something that will get 50 votes.

Here's a rundown of the biggest differences between the two leading two bills under consideration. The first, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, is the leading replacement plan — although what's in it is certainly subject to change, including a controversial addition from Sen. Ted Cruz. The second is an updated version of a 2015 repeal bill passed by Congress and vetoed by President Obama, which would gut major pieces of the ACA beginning in two years.

ACA regulations

  • The BCRA (with the Cruz amendment) addresses these in two major ways. First, it would let states waive some of the law's regulations, like essential health benefits. Second, the Cruz amendment would allow insurers offering ACA-compliant plans to also offer noncompliant plans. This would likely create two separate markets: One mostly for healthy people, and one mostly for sick people.
  • The repeal-only bill doesn't touch these, although there's an argument that if there are no functional exchanges in the majority of the country, people with pre-existing conditions don't have much access to affordable health care.

Individual market subsidies

  • The BCRA largely keeps the ACA subsidy structure intact, but makes the subsidies less generous, especially for older people. It also substantially increases patients' cost-sharing .
  • The repeal bill eliminates all federal financial assistance in two years. This will hit low-income people exceptionally hard.

Medicaid expansion

  • The BCRA phases out the Medicaid expansion over three years
  • The repeal bill completely repeals the expansion in two years.

Traditional Medicaid

  • The BCRA creates a new way of funding the traditional Medicaid program. It would institutes a per-person funding cap, and calculates that cap using a formula that most experts say would not keep up with rising medical costs.
  • The repeal bill generally doesn't touch traditional Medicaid.

Go deeper

Biden says $1,400 stimulus payments can start going out this month

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month.

Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.

7 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.