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Medicare will be the primary payer of Aduhelm since most Alzheimer's patients are older than 65. Photo: Biogen

Medicare has initiated the process to determine whether the federal program for older adults and the disabled will deny, limit or allow full coverage of Aduhelm, the new Alzheimer's drug approved by the FDA despite no proof it effectively treats the brain disease.

The bottom line: The federal government will make a final coverage decision by no later than next April, and the public can submit comments now and after a proposed decision in January.

Go deeper

GOP targets Dems with "Medicscare" ads

A screenshot of an ad targeting Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). Courtesy: A Healthy Future

Conservative and industry groups are trying to whip up opposition to President Biden's massive social spending plan by warning it will imperil Medicare benefits, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: "Medicscare" is a well-worn political tactic precisely because it can be effective. For Democrats, there's zero room for defections against the $3.5 trillion proposal if they want to pass the bill.

D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates

Photo: Frederick J. Brown for AFP via Getty Images

D.C. is cracking down on vaccine mandates for some workers, going further than surrounding counties by getting rid of test-out options for public employees. 

Why it matters: With the region's rate of partially vaccinated individuals hovering around 70%, government mandates are a key tool in fighting COVID-19. 

Updated 20 mins ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

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