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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. 

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1pm the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.