Apr 26, 2017

Trump administration won't promise to keep making insurer payments

Andrew Harnik / AP

The Affordable Care Act insurer payments are in trouble again, as Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney is reportedly not promising that the Trump administration will make the payments next month. He told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last night that the administration hasn't decided whether to pay insurers for the cost-sharing reduction subsidies they have to provide to low-income ACA customers, according to an aide familiar with the conversation.

Mulvaney's side: His office disputes that Mulvaney suggested the administration might stop making the payments altogether. The only thing standing in the way of a spending agreement "is a handful of Democrats who are insisting on an 11th hour bailout of Obamacare," Mulvaney said in a statement. "This administration has made CSR payments in the past, and the only reason some are raising this now is to hold the government hostage and find an excuse to oppose a bipartisan agreement."

Why it matters: The conversation is sure to make it harder to reach a deal to fund the government for the rest of the year, since Pelosi told Mulvaney that Democrats are still insisting that the insurer payments have to be part of the package.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,131,713 — Total deaths: 59,884 — Total recoveries: 233,591Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 278,458 — Total deaths: 7,159 — Total recoveries: 9,897Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The renaissance of the American family

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It used to be scarce and hard-earned, but suddenly family time is abundant in the era of shelter-in-place.

Why it matters: For the first time since the early 19th century, many parents and kids — and even grandchildren — are all under the same roof round-the-clock. And if past periods of emergency are any guide, this enforced togetherness could deepen our relationships for years to come.

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Biden says he's starting VP search this month

Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson / Staff

Joe Biden said he's spoken to Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama about selecting a running mate — and that he wants to build "a bench of younger, really qualified people" who can lead the nation over the course of the next four presidential cycles.

Driving the news: Biden spoke about the state of the 2020 race during a virtual fundraiser on Friday night that was opened to pooled coverage.