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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

A top White House official suggested the Trump administration supports Sen. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee's proposal to add more health insurance choices to the Senate health care bill — including plans that might not include all of the Affordable Care Act's protections for pre-existing conditions. "We hope it's part of the process of bringing everybody together," White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said on Fox News Sunday.

Between the lines: Cruz's "Consumer Choice" proposal is divisive within the GOP — some say Senate Republicans had already agreed not to waive any of the ACA's pre-existing condition rules. But Short's statement suggests that the White House sees it as a positive, not a negative. He compared the Cruz-Lee efforts to the negotiations between conservative and moderate Republicans that helped the House pass its bill.

Why it matters: Experts worry that Cruz's proposal would split the market and undermine protections for sick people. But Cruz says his proposal would help bring down premiums for other people, and that it would be better to pay for sick people through the subsidies they'd get.

Go deeper

CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces "ultra-millionaire" wealth tax bill

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced a bill in the Senate that would impose a new tax on the assets of America's wealthiest individuals.

Why it matters: The plan, which Warren introduced along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is similar to a proposal that was the centerpiece of Warren's campaign for the presidency in 2020.

3 hours ago - World

Former French President Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption

Nicolas Sarkozy, 2011. Photo: XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A court in Paris on Monday sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence after he was found guilty of trying to bribe a magistrate, AP reports.

Driving the news: Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the first president in France’s modern history to have gone on trial for corruption, per AP. He was charged with corruption and influence-peddling.