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I'm struck by how many people in D.C. health care circles are predicting the same outcome for the Obamacare repeal battles: Trump and congressional Republicans will end up with a program that's built on the framework of Obamacare, but modified to reflect Republican principles, like:

  • More choices of health coverage
  • An alternative to the individual mandate
  • More flexibility for states to try different approaches

In other words, the repeal will really be a rebranding of Obamacare, and Republicans will have to sell the hell out of it. Always Be Closing!

Giphy

That's not coming from hard intel from the Trump team, but it is the most popular prediction I'm hearing from experienced and politically savvy industry officials in Washington. They're not Democrats, but others who have been through the political battles many times and usually have a pretty good idea how they're going to turn out.

Trump has proven them wrong many times before, and he could again. But the argument is, there are only so many ways to cover as many people as Obamacare has, and once Republicans work through that process, their version may not look as different as the Trump voters may have hoped.

What's your prediction? Let me know.

Go deeper

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
10 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.