Trump administration asks supreme court to axe Obamacare

Democrats call legal push amid coronavirus crisis an ‘act of unfathomable cruelty’

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The Trump administration has asked the US supreme court to invalidate the Obamacare lawthat added millions to the healthcare safety net but has been at the centre of political controversy.

The government advocate, Noel Francisco, argued in a filing late on Thursday that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one of Ba...

Voting in the New York primary is by no means futile for Sanders supporters | Billy Richling and Francisco Navas

Voters need to understand that Sanders’ delegate candidates aren’t running against Biden’s delegate candidates – they’re running against each other

Although Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, voting in the New York primary on Tuesday (or during early voting) is by no means futile for progressives who were largely supporting Bernie Sanders and policies such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

Related: 'Just ridiculous': what it’s like to wait five hours in line to vote in the US

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Coronavirus US live: death toll nears 80,000 as Trump rages over Russia

Precautions against Covid-19 infection have been stepped up at the White House but are hampered by the cramped and poorly ventilated conditions in the West Wing, Kevin Hassett, a special adviser to Donald Trump on the pandemic response, said on Sunday.

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has been talking to Fox News Sunday about the Trump administration’s attempts to reopen and restart the stalled US economy, and whether there will be another huge stimulus bill. Democrats who control the House want one of those but the White House doesn’t – that’s the short version.

The White House is “absolutely pushing for a payroll tax cut”, Mnuchin says. Most observers think that is a non-starter, because Democrats won’t let it. Payroll taxes, meaning deductions from regular paychecks, include funds for Social Security and Medicare, vital social benefits.

Related: US job losses have reached Great Depression levels. Did it have to be that way?

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Trump’s pick for federal court ‘too inexperienced’, Democrats say

Justin Walker, 37, is facing a Senate confirmation hearing as Mitch McConnell restarts push to confirm federal judges

A federal judge nominated to the nation’s second-most powerful court said on Wednesday that he was writing as an academic and commentator when he criticized as “indefensible” a supreme court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.

Justin Walker, a 37-year-old protege of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and the supreme court Justice Brett Kavanaugh...

Democratic primaries: three states head to polls amid coronavirus crisis – live

  • Arizona, Florida and Illinois voters decide between Biden and Sanders
  • Former vice-president is ahead in polling
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11.43pm GMT

Bernie Sanders delivered remarks on the coronavirus crisis, predicting it would cost the US up to $2 tri...

Joe Biden takes big step towards Democratic nomination with crucial primary wins – live

Voters go to the polls in Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Michigan, Idaho and Washington state with the Vermont senator needing a boost

The Guardian’s Tom Perkins reports from a Sanders watch party in Michigan:

As results came in and showed Joe Biden’s lead widening beyond reach, Bernie Sanders’ Michigan campaign coordinator, Michael Fasullo, addressed supporters and volunteers, characterizing the night as “difficult” and “frustrating,” while underscoring what the progressive cause is up against.

“This work is not easy. If it was something that’s in the bag, then we would’ve had Medicare For All and a Green New Deal a long time ago,” Fasullo said.

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang just endorsed Joe Biden while speaking live on CNN.

“The math says Joe is our prohibitive nominee,” said Yang, who joined CNN as a commentator after dropping out of the race last month.

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Biden and Sanders cancel rallies over coronavirus concerns – live

  • Sanders and Biden call off Ohio events to heed public warnings
  • Joe Biden aims to cement lead in crucial Democratic primaries
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10.28pm GMT

Asked whether Trump — a self-described germaphobe — would continue to shake hands with people amidst the spread of coronavirus, the vice president said he expects so.

“Well, ...

Super Tuesday: voting under way as Sanders bids to extend lead amid Biden surge – live

My colleague on the west coast, Maanvi Singh, will take on the blog now as Super Tuesday voting - and related drama - continues. Later, Joan Greve in Washington, DC, will helm the blog as the polls begin to close and the results trickle in tonight.

Here’s what’s happened so far today:

The Trump administration is considering using a national disaster program to pay hospitals and doctors for their care of uninsured people infected with the coronavirus.

As concerns rise over costs of treating some of the 27 million Americans without health coverage, the government is looking for news ways to step in, a person familiar with the conversations told the Wall Street Journal. This would certainly be unexpected.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been in discussions about using that program to pay providers who treat uninsured patients with coronavirus, the person said.

Dr. Robert Kadlec, who is the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, also said Tuesday at a congressional hearing that discussions are being held about using the National Disaster Medical System reimbursement program.

Related: Coronavirus: health experts concerned US hospitals are not prepared

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Pete Buttigieg drops out as crucial Super Tuesday looms – live updates

The news of the Supreme Court taking up an Obamacare case is another reminder of how far apart the presidential candidates remain on the issue of healthcare.

Bernie Sanders has said he wants to create a government-run, single-payer healthcare system, which would eliminate the need for Obamacare.

The Supreme Court has announced it will hear a case on whether a part of Obamacare is unconstiutional.

The justices said they would take up the case in their next term, which begins in October, so a decision is not expected until after the 2020 election.

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Joe Biden wins South Carolina primary: ‘This campaign is taking off’ – live

  • Former vice-president scores much-needed primary victory
  • Biden tells cheering supporters: ‘We just won and we won big’
  • Follow the latest results in our live South Carolina tracker

4.02am GMT

That’s it from me in Columbia, South Carolina. Here’s how tonight’s primary shook out:

3.52am GMT

There will be considerable debate over the next few days about what Joe Bi...