Mar 28, 2019

Trump's health agenda gets boxed in

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's health care agenda is making more enemies than friends, hitting brick walls and fierce opposition in the courts, in Congress and even within his own administration.

Driving the news: Yesterday was a bad day for two of Trump's biggest health care priorities.

  • A federal judge slapped down the administration's approval of Medicaid work requirements — arguably the biggest change it has actually made to health policy so far.
  • Some congressional Republicans, meanwhile, are quietly (and not-so-quietly) hoping the administration will also lose the separate lawsuit in which it's trying to get the Affordable Care Act thrown out.

The big picture: These are different kinds of setbacks, and there's still a long way to go in all of these legal proceedings. But together, the crosswinds — the political resistance on one side and substantive losses on the other — leave Trump's agenda in a precarious place.

This will keep happening. The administration appears close to finalizing the part of its drug-pricing plan that calls for including drugs' sticker prices in their TV ads. The pharmaceutical industry will likely challenge that proposal in court.

  • Another component on drug prices — the plan to tie Medicare payments for certain drugs to the prices European countries pay — is still a hard sell for some conservatives on Capitol Hill.
  • They are giving the administration the benefit of the doubt now, but — as we're beginning to see with the ACA lawsuit — the benefit of the doubt doesn't always last forever.

Go deeper: Kevin McCarthy tells Trump new health care push makes no sense

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

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The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

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