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It’s pretty clear from this NPR profile of Seema Verma, Trump’s pick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, how she sees the future of Medicaid. She wants low-income people to pay at least something for their health care. That’s how she designed the Indiana program that revised and expanded Medicaid under Mike Pence. Key quote from Cindy Mann, former Medicaid official under President Obama: Verma was “very committed to extending coverage to low-income families,” and also “very committed to a particular ideology” — personal responsibility.

What it means: Not every state is going to do what Indiana did, but there are other Republican governors who would like to make poor people contribute to their health care — and Verma will have the power to grant waivers to let them do it. The story shows how the idea can cause problems for people who are barely getting by, but it never really grapples with the debate that lies ahead: Is it fair or unfair to expect them to make monthly payments like people with private health insurance? That’s where this story is headed, especially during Verma’s confirmation hearings.

Go deeper

21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.