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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

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has be charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."