Carlos Osorio/AP

Surgeon/author Atul Gawande makes an interesting prediction in a New Yorker podcast: Even if Republicans are deadlocked on how to replace Obamacare, the Trump administration may be able to expand coverage just by granting more waivers from Obamacare:

You could ironically be in a situation where … there is an increase in coverage because conservative governors start opening the gates to let people have coverage, paid for by the federal government.

Why it matters: At a minimum, President Trump's top health care officials, including Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price, have signaled that they want to use their authority to grant more waivers — for Medicaid and for Obamacare itself. That's a factor that many have overlooked in all of the focus on repeal.

Yes, but: Even if Republican governors do expand coverage that way, there will be a lot of debate over what counts as adequate coverage. And if repeal does go forward, the Trump administration and Congress still have to keep insurers from pulling out of the markets in the meantime — an event that could cause huge coverage losses.

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26 mins ago - Technology

Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.