Apr 4, 2017

Yes, there might be a Trumpcare sequel

The White House and Republicans are talking seriously about reviving Trumpcare, and they think they've found the ticket: fewer Obamacare insurance regulations and more high-risk pool plans, which offer coverage that's subsidized by a state government. Will it be enough to win over the Freedom Caucus? Chairman Mark Meadows said last night that the group wants to see the legislative text. Will it actually gain votes that Republicans didn't already have? Not clear yet.

Here's the latest, and a reality check on what it all means:

  • Vice President Mike Pence met with two groups of Republicans yesterday: a group of moderates in the afternoon, and the Freedom Caucus at night.
  • The emerging plan would let states opt out of some, though not all, of Obamacare's insurance regulations.
  • It would technically protect pre-existing condition coverage, but it would allow states to get rid of the "community rating" provision that prevents insurers from charging higher rates to sick people.
  • It would also go after the "essential health benefits" provision — things like prescription drug coverage, mental health services, and pregnancy and childbirth, among others — which was already on the table. Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price would be given the authority to grant waivers to the states.
  • The bill's Patient and State Stability Fund, which would give the states more than $100 billion over 10 years, would be targeted more narrowly to be spent on high-risk pools, as Jonathan Swan and I reported last night.
  • Pence left the Freedom Caucus meeting last night without a deal, but Meadows said the group was "encouraged."
  • Less clear is what Pence accomplished with his meeting with the moderates, who were mostly Republicans likely to vote for the bill anyway.
  • The most high-profile moderate who's a "no" vote — Rep. Charlie Dent — wasn't invited to the meeting to get to "yes." Instead, he talked with Sen. Rand Paul, who's circulating his own idea for jump-starting the talks: Keep Obamacare's structure for subsidies, but reduce the funding.

Reality check: All of the movement so far is pushing the bill to the right, so the Trump administration appears to be placing its bets with the conservatives, not the moderates. Even if the new proposal gains Freedom Caucus votes, the risk is that it could lose votes from other members — especially those who don't want to be accused of abandoning sick people.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,898,613 — Total deaths: 399,832 — Total recoveries — 3,087,714Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
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George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

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In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.