Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Trump administration is plowing ahead on drug prices, hoping to break through the cycle of legal and political setbacks that have stymied the rest of its health care agenda.

The big picture: The administration has several proposed rules that take on some aspect of the drug-pricing system, and is quietly talking with congressional Democrats on the issue, too.

  • New rules should be finalized soon requiring drugmakers to include prices in their TV ads. The industry will likely sue.
  • Conservatives are uneasy about Trump’s plan to import some European price controls, but Democrats may be willing to help.

The administration needs a win.

  • Trump’s legal assault on the Affordable Care Act faces long odds and a backlash from congressional Republicans.
  • Medicaid work requirements — the most substantive rightward shift the administration has imposed so far on health policy — have been struck down in court.

The bottom line: There will be headwinds on drug prices, too, but the general political climate and some alliance-building on Capitol Hill could easily make it a bright spot for the White House. 

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
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Coronavirus surge is sinking consumer confidence

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rise in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the U.S. is stunting confidence across the country, a crop of new reports show.

Driving the news: After stalling during the previous two-week period, overall economic sentiment declined for the first time in two months, according to the Economic Sentiment Index, a biweekly survey from data firm CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS).

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.