Oct 13, 2017

Trump told Alexander he likes his health care approach

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Trump told Alexander he generally likes his health care proposal. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

President Trump told Sen. Lamar Alexander during a phone call Saturday that he likes the approach Alexander is taking on a bipartisan health care package — but only if Democrats agree to the state flexibility Alexander and other Republicans have asked for, according to a senior GOP aide.

Why this matters: Trump potentially wreaked havoc on the individual market on Thursday night when he decided to stop making cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurers (payments a court has found illegal). The issue now falls squarely in the lap of Congress, and Alexander has been working with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray to try to strike a deal that would, among other things, fund the subsidies. However, the president clearly wants to use the issue to extract something from Democrats on health care.

"Alexander briefed Trump on the contours of the proposal and Trump thought it seemed like a good proposal if Democrats gave us meaningful flexibility," the aide told me, adding that the president "was focused on how to use [insurer subsidy payments] as leverage" and "liked what Lamar told him about state flexibility."

Yes, but: Democrats have been reluctant to concede any policies that would undermine the Affordable Care Act's insurance regulations, and a deal hasn't been struck. And Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told Politico on Friday the president doesn't like the Alexander-Murray effort, underlining the fact that we really don't know what Trump will end up deciding.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.