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CMS administrator Seema Verma. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Utah lawmakers have answered the big questions about how they would seek to overturn a popular vote in favor of adopting the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Now the question is whether the Trump administration will let it happen.

Driving the news: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed off on a bill yesterday to adopt only a partial Medicaid expansion — something the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has never before approved.

Details: Utah wants to only expand Medicaid to people whose incomes are at or below the poverty line, as opposed to the full expansion, which goes up to 138% of the poverty line.

  • But Utah wants full federal funding for its partial expansion.
  • State officials say they've gotten informal encouragement from CMS — including from administrator Seema Verma.

And the cuts could get bigger: Two officials from Herbert's administration told the Washington Post that CMS signaled the partial expansion would be on stronger footing if Utah also sought a per-person cap on Medicaid spending.

  • That would be an even more dramatic change, reviving one of the most contentious ideas from Republicans' repeal-and-replace bills in 2017.

What's next: If CMS approves the partial expansion, expect lawsuits to follow immediately.

  • One big change: Earlier versions of the Utah measure would have canceled the expansion altogether if CMS rejects the state's waiver, but the final version instead would implement the full expansion as a fallback in that case, per the Desert News.

Go deeper: States are using Medicaid to target social needs

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.