Jun 19, 2017

Worrying numbers on health care plan for 'swing vote' senators

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, conducted polls in three states where a Republican Senator will have a key swing vote on the GOP health care plan: Nevada, West Virginia and Alaska.

The revelations: The Senate plan isn't out yet, but the repeal and replace plan that passed the House is deeply unpopular in all three states, and there are concerns about the secretive process through which the Senate plan is being crafted.

The findings:

  • In Nevada: 31% of all voters, 34% of independents and 61% of Trump voters approve of the AHCA.
  • In Alaska: 29% of all voters, 17% of independents and 59% of Trump voters approve.
  • In West Virginia: 35% of all voters, 27% of independents and 50% of Trump voters approve.
  • In all three states, majorities had either very serious or somewhat serious concerns about the lack of public hearings on the Senate plan, and lack of time for the public (and some members) to read and understand the bill.

Note: The polling was conducted on behalf of Save my Care, a group that wants to keep the Affordable Care Act in place.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health