Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

It looks like the House Republican health care bill may be coming back to life after all. And if the leadership is this close to having 216 votes, they may well get the rest when the roll call starts. But don't get the impression this means the Affordable Care Act repeal effort is alive and well. This is Republicans just scraping by, getting a deeply unpopular bill off of their plates as quickly as they possibly can.

The debate in two quotes:

  • "The president has worked to make sure that in every single scenario, anybody — everybody — he has kept true to his word that pre-existing conditions are covered." — White House press secretary Sean Spicer
  • "Hey GOP, don't ever lecture us again on fiscal responsibility. You're about to reorder 1/6 of the US economy w no idea what it costs." — Tweet from Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy

Here's what to keep in mind for today's vote:

  • The bill is now a patchwork of classic Republican health care ideas mixed in with just enough concessions to conservatives and moderates to attract the bare minimum votes that they need.
  • The final change, the one that won the votes of Rep. Fred Upton and a few others, was an $8 billion fund created by an amendment that no one outside of a handful of Republicans even saw before last night.
  • The House will vote on this version of the Affordable Care Act replacement without a Congressional Budget Office estimate, and therefore no idea what it costs, how many people it might help, or how many it might hurt.
  • What Republicans will gain from this vote: They'll be able to say they didn't give up on their campaign promises to get rid of Barack Obama's health care law.
  • They'll also be able to put some of their ideas into practice, like lowering insurance prices through competition and flexibility.
  • In an op-ed for CNBC last night, Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price noted that it will also give states waivers from some of the ACA's insurance rules, "based on the insight — gleaned from experience, not partisan ideology — that the people closest to a problem are best equipped to fix it."
  • But any Republican who votes for this bill is also taking a lot of risks. They're voting for waivers from the ACA's ban on charging higher premiums to sick people, as well as waivers from the minimum benefits it requires insurers to cover.
  • They're also voting for $880 billion in Medicaid cuts over 10 years.
  • And — based on the original CBO estimate — they're voting for a bill that could cover 24 million fewer people.

Go deeper

18 mins ago - World

Iran's nuclear dilemma: Ramp up now or wait for Biden

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The world is waiting to see whether Iran will strike back at Israel or the U.S. over the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran's military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Senior Iranian officials have stressed that Iran will take revenge against the perpetrators, but also respond by continuing Fakhrizadeh’s legacy — the nuclear program. The key question is whether Iran will accelerate that work now, or wait to see what President-elect Biden puts on the table.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

Biden says he won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.