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Democratic lawmkers hold a press conference regarding drug prices last year. Photo: Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call

Some Democratic-leaning advocates are working hard to keep drug pricing at the center of the political debate as we head toward this year’s midterms — and it may not be that hard of a sell.

The latest: New polling data from the advocacy group Patients For Affordable Drugs shows widespread support for more action on drug pricing — a popular campaign promise of President Trump’s, but one that hasn’t gotten a ton of traction yet in Washington.

  • 75% of those surveyed said Congress and Trump “need to do more” on drug prices; just under 10% said they’ve done enough.
  • Voters were split about evenly as to whether drug prices should be “a top priority” or “an important priority,” but few placed it any lower than that.

The big picture: This polling was done to help build support for the CREATES Act, a bill designed to make it easier for would-be generic competitors to obtain samples of brand-name drugs to use in their own development process. The bill has bipartisan support in the Senate, and backing from a bipartisan array of outside interest groups, too.

Go deeper

Birx: Trump White House could have reduced COVID deaths by 30 to 40%

Deborah Birx, then-coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a news conference in the White House last November. Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator under former President Trump, told a House subcommittee this month that the Trump administration could have prevented tens of thousands of deaths during the early stages of the pandemic.

Driving the news: "I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining ... and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30% less to 40% less range," Birx said in closed-door testimony to the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, according to excerpts provided by the panel.

Study: Fear of debt keeps Latinos out of college

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fear of never being able to pay off school loans is keeping many young Latinos in the U.S. from going to college or completing a degree, according to a report published in September.

State of play: Latinos tend to have more difficulty repaying school debt than white student borrowers, according to Federal Reserve data, at the same time that they need more loans in order to afford tuition.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Biden administration objects to Israeli settlements plan

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) meets with Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has privately protested to the Israeli government over its plan to approve the planning and construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: The approvals for new homes in the settlements will be the first since President Biden assumed office, and come after Biden and his top aides personally pressed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to restrain settlement activity and decrease the number of new housing units.