AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Senate Republicans are still deeply divided over the contents of their health care bill, and several big questions have yet to be answered. There's even talk of attempting a bipartisan alternative. And Majority Leader Mitch McConnell canceled the first two weeks of the August recess to give the chamber more time to work.

In short, things aren't looking good.

What we're hearing about the next iteration of the bill:

  • The Medicaid portions of the revised bill likely will stay largely the same as the first version — including the growth rate for new per-person funding caps and the process for phasing out the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. This is a loss for several moderates, including Sens. Dean Heller, Rob Portman, Shelley Moore Captio, Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, John Hoeven and Susan Collins. It's a win for conservatives, particularly Sen. Pat Toomey.A small tweak is likely to be added that would benefit Louisiana, a senior GOP aide told me. This would help with Sen. Bill Cassidy's concerns.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham said he's working on an alternative health care bill, which he hopes would attract some Democratic support. An aide said he was scheduled to present on his plan at Tuesday's GOP lunch.
  • The jury's still out on whether to include Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee's Consumer Freedom Option in the bill, but there's a strong chance it doesn't meet Senate budget rules anyways. That means it could be subject to a 60-vote threshold to be included — whether as an amendment or part of the overall bill — and it surely wouldn't muster that many votes.
  • There will be additional funding for the opioid epidemic — likely $45 billion — as well as a provision saying people can use health savings accounts to pay their insurance premiums.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
5 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
6 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

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