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(Evan Vucci / VP)

The Obamacare repeal plan was for the House to move first, voting to gut key pieces of the law the second or third week of February. Then President-elect Trump started talking about his timeline, and things got confusing.

Trump said Tuesday he wanted to repeal the law, then replace it quickly afterwards. Then, on Wednesday, he said a replacement plan will be introduced as soon as an hour after Tom Price is confirmed as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. When that will happen is still TBD.

His muddled views on when a replacement needs to be ready comes as Senate moderates and House conservatives say they want to repeal and replace the law at the same time, or at least have a replacement ready by the time they vote to repeal. So that means to get everyone on the same page, there needs to be a replacement ready to go. Right now, there are lots of outlines, but nothing written, analyzed and ready to become law.

That creates two problems for GOP leadership:

  • Timing: They have been looking at including pieces of a replacement in the repeal bill, but having an entire replacement bill ready in a month is a very different story. It's almost impossible.
  • The actual replacement: If and when they write a replacement plan, everyone has to like it. Moderate Sen. Susan Collins probably wants something extremely different out of a GOP Obamacare alternative than House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

8 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.