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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

We hear that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is warning Republicans that there'll be a political and policy price to pay if healthcare goes down — that failure would have painful implications:

  • Senators are being told it's not possible to just let Obamacare fail — that if the Better Care bill fails, Rs will have to work with Ds (horrors!) later this year to help shore up the exchanges.
  • That would require Republicans making big concessions on important priorities.
  • An aide adds: "He's said publicly that it's a disaster if Better Care doesn't pass. Obamacare exchanges are getting worse, not better; insurers are leaving the exchanges, not growing their presences; premiums are going up, not down."
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Go deeper

President Joe Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.

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