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You have to try pretty hard to find good news for the Republicans in the Congressional Budget Office report on the final House health care bill.

The best news: Individual insurance premiums would go down in the long term — with some pretty important exceptions — and the House might not have to vote again. And that's about it.

Expand chart

Data: Census Bureau Current Population Survey Data, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

It didn't change the big picture. The costs and coverage losses didn't change that much from the original House bill, before Republicans added state waivers from Affordable Care Act insurance regulations. It used to cover 24 million fewer people — now it's just 23 million.

It really didn't help Republicans on pre-existing conditions. It says that people will health problems will face "extremely high premiums" in states that get waivers, and might have to stop buying it, despite the extra $8 billion that Rep. Fred Upton added to help cover their costs.

It's going to be harder for the Senate to wipe out regulations. One Senate GOP aide texted Caitlin Owens: "The destabilizing effect of the waiver on health status adds to the toxicity of that stupid proposal so will be easy to delete."

Premiums would go down in the long term — partly because insurance wouldn't cover as much. Republicans all pointed out that CBO said the bill would lower premiums, but it would mostly do that for younger and healthier people — sick people could end up paying a lot more. For more on this, read Caitlin's story from last night.

The White House and Republicans will try to ignore it. From a White House official last night: "History has proven the CBO to be totally incapable of accurately predicting how healthcare legislation will impact health insurance coverage."

The danger of a House re-vote is fading. We won't know for sure until after Memorial Day, after Republicans and Democrats have had more time to analyze it. But there's nothing obvious that says the House bill missed its budget targets, and House GOP aides feel pretty sure they're safe.

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

7 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.