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Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Caitlin Owens stayed into the early morning hours at the Ways and Means markup of the Obamacare replacement bills, so you should definitely read her story here. Me? I went to sleep and got up early. Didn't miss a thing. The big question right now is: What would it actually take to stop the hemorrhaging of conservative support?

President Trump met with the leaders of conservative groups yesterday, and they seemed pleased to have face time with him. And House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden insists the outreach will make a difference, telling reporters yesterday:

I think when the president of the United States who campaigned on repeal and replace says, 'This is the repeal and replace bill' ... the dynamic changes.

That might be wishful thinking, though. As Jonathan Swan and I reported yesterday, the conservatives want such major changes in the bill that a few more Trump meetings probably aren't going to change anything. They want to get rid of the refundable tax credits and end the Medicaid expansion, and they want more in the bill that would be specifically aimed at cutting people's health care costs. "It's not going to be cosmetic fixes," a Freedom Caucus aide told me.

That was underscored by the statement FreedomWorks president Adam Brandon put out after the Trump meeting. He said his group wants to "get to 'yes' on this bill," but look at the list of objections his group raised and see how easy you think the solutions would be:

  • The tax credit
  • The continuation of Medicaid expansion (until 2020)
  • The possibility that Congress will keep delaying the end date of Medicaid expansion
  • The "continuous coverage" provision that would penalize people who don't stay insured
  • The "remaining regulations in the bill"

Yes, but: The Trump team may give it a shot: CNN's Jim Acosta reports that the White House might be willing to move up the Medicaid reform start date to 2018 to appease the conservatives.

Nice try: House Speaker Paul Ryan used one of his best arguments at a meeting with House Republicans yesterday: If they don't pass the repeal bill quickly, it will delay their other priorities, like tax reform. That didn't change anything.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

FDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill

The Merck Cherokee Plant in Riverside, Pa. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An FDA advisory panel on Tuesday voted 13-10 to endorse an antiviral pill developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to treat adults at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, despite concerns over its effectiveness and safety.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools, if proven effective, especially as new variants emerge. If authorized, the Merck drug, known as molnupiravir, would be the first treatment of its kind to be made available in the United States.

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 6 wounded

Screengrab: CBSN

Three people dead and six others are wounded after a shooting at a high school in Michigan according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

Driving the news: The alleged shooter was a 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High School and has been arrested, per police.

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.