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Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump laid out his ideas for replacing Obamacare in his speech to Congress Tuesday night — and while most of it tracked with congressional Republicans' plans, he threw in a few twists of his own.

It wasn't detailed enough to be called a proposal, but Trump outlined enough principles to give a general idea of what he wants. He got more specific on some issues than he has in the past, like calling for tax credits — a nudge to conservative Republicans who don't like the idea. Another big change: he called for reducing drug costs, but didn't say how — glossing over the differences he has had with his Republican colleagues in the past.

He also signaled that he wants Congress to include tort reform — an issue he hasn't talked about much before, and a longtime Republican idea that has been sidelined in its latest health care proposals. Read on for the health care highlights of his speech.

Here's what Trump asked for:

  • Give people with pre-existing conditions "access to coverage." (He didn't say how.)
  • A "stable transition" for all current Obamacare customers.
  • Let Americans buy their own health coverage with tax credits and health savings accounts. (The "tax credits" line was aimed at the conservative hardliners who don't like the refundable tax credits in the draft GOP plan.)
  • Flexibility in benefits: "It must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the government."
  • More state flexibility in Medicaid, "to make sure no one is left out." (That's a nod to the governors who told him they want to make sure no one loses coverage.)
  • A hint that he wants tort reform: "legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance."
  • "Work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately." (But in a departure from his past comments, he said nothing about the government negotiating drug prices.)
  • Letting health insurers sell plans across state lines.

Hurry, up, FDA: Trump also suggested he wants to overhaul the approval process for new drugs. "Our slow and burdensome approval process at the Food and Drug Administration keeps too many advances ... from reaching those in need."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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