May 3, 2017

Who killed the GOP health care bill this time?

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Looks like the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act may be dead again, and by "dead," I mean "until it comes back again." Unless House Republicans can turn some "no" votes into "yes" votes, they probably can't pass the bill. If that happens, any or all of these people are responsible for its latest death:

  • Rep. Fred Upton, by announcing yesterday that he can't support the bill because the latest amendment "torpedoes" the ACA's protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Rep. Billy Long, for saying the same thing and reportedly resisting President Donald Trump's pleas to change his mind.
  • Jimmy Kimmel, for delivering the viral monologue about his newborn son's heart defect and turning it into an emotional plea to keep covering pre-existing conditions. Former President Barack Obama tweeted his thanks for Kimmel's story.

Why they made the difference: They undermined everything the White House and Republican leaders were trying to say about why the bill would still protect sick people, even with state waivers that would let insurers charge higher rates in some cases to people with health problems.

What Republican leaders said: House Republican leaders were starting to talk yesterday about "layers of protection" for people with pre-existing conditions, including pricing protections for people who stay insured and high-risk pools as a safety net for sick people. (But that would be in place of the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions and keeps insurers from charging them more.)

What's next: GOP leaders haven't given up, and there's still a chance that they offer moderate holdouts new concessions. Rep. Mike Coffman, who said he'd vote for the bill before the waiver portion was added but is now undecided, told Caitlin Owens that adding more risk pool money "would help ... Anything that helps with people with pre-existing conditions is positive."

The optimists: "I think the odds are still better than 80 percent that we still have a vote this week," Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows said last night on Hannity.

Yes, but: As New York magazine noted after the Kimmel video went viral: "What wavering House Republican is going to decide now is the time to come out in favor of the bill?"

Truth bomb: Rep. Mark Sanford to Alexandra Jaffe of Vice News: "Full repeal was, in essence, a pipe dream from the very start."

Go deeper

The other coronavirus test we need

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Researchers are racing to develop tests that detect whether someone may have developed immunity to the coronavirus, which could help society return to normal faster.

Why it matters: These tests could help people know if they are able to go back to work, as well as aid researchers in tracking the scale and death rate of the disease — key data for current and future pandemic policies.

What the U.S. can learn from other countries in the coronavirus fight

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Note: Cases are shown on a logarithmic scale; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The countries that have most successfully fended off the novel coronavirus have mainly done it with a combination of new technology and old-school principles.

Why it matters: There's a lot the U.S. can learn from the way other countries have handled this global pandemic — although we may not be able to apply those lessons as quickly as we'd like.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 640,589 — Total deaths: 29,848 — Total recoveries: 137,270.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 112,468 — Total deaths: 1,841 — Total recoveries: 918.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter. Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month. New York moved its presidential primary to June 23, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day. In Spain, over 1,300 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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