Mar 5, 2017

What's going to come after Republicans wavering on Obamacare repeal

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

Republicans are about to come under pressure to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare, the New York Times reports, highlighting a coming campaign backed by the Koch brothers and their allies. The key quote from Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, which is coordinating the effort:

"We've been patient this year, but it is past time to act and to act decisively . . . Our network has spent more money, more time and more years fighting Obamacare than anything else. And now with the finish line in sight, we cannot allow some folks to pull up and give up."

Why this matters: Initial spending is just in the "low six-figures" the NYT reports, but this could be a sign of pressures to come for Republicans as the Obamacare repeal (and replace) effort seems to have stalled in Congress. As the Times puts it: "this early rift between the party's activist wing and its leadership in Washington could be a taste of what Republicans can expect now that they control the government entirely and are no longer able to blame Democrats for blocking their agenda."

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

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14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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