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Evan Vucci / AP

No, they don't just want to do whatever House Republicans are putting in their Obamacare replacement plan. By the end of the National Governors Association meeting this weekend, the GOP governors were closing in on a framework for Medicaid reform to recommend to Congress, I'm told — and it goes beyond the standard Republican proposals of block grants or per-person limits on the funding.

Here's how it would work:

  • If a state that expanded Medicaid wanted to keep the expansion, and the extra federal money that goes with it, they'd have to agree to "put the state on a budget" by eventually switching to per-capita caps or block grants.
  • If they're not willing to do that, they could keep the expansion, but they'd have to do it under the regular federal matching rate — they'd stop getting the extra funds.
  • For a state that didn't expand Medicaid, but wanted to do so now, they could add coverage of childless adults up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line — not the 138 percent under Obamacare. And they, too, would have to switch to per-capita caps or block grants in the future.
  • If they're not willing to switch to per-capita caps or block grants, they could cover everyone up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line, but only with the regular matching funds.

They'd also get more flexibility to help them live within a budget — including using managed care plans, having more ways to control prescription drug spending, and requiring premium contributions.

Why we're going to hear more about this: The Republican governors made it clear to Trump that they don't want any of their residents to lose coverage, and this is how they think they can avoid that problem. But first, they'll have to draft it into enough detail to get cost estimates — and find out what happens to coverage over the long term.

Go deeper

Updated 13 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

15 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.

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