A pharmacist and technicians fill prescriptions. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Trump administration says it will try to soften the blow for industry as it prepares to overhaul part of the drug-pricing system — a potential acknowledgement that its plan may happen on time.

Driving the news: Trump has proposed eliminating drug-pricing rebates in Medicare Part D, beginning in 2020. But Medicare and Medicaid administrator Seema Verma said in a memo today that insurers and pharmacy benefit managers can assume rebates will still exist as they design their 2020 plans.

Details: The Trump administration is hedging both ways.

  • Companies that sell Medicare drug plans can assume rebates will exist in 2020, contrary to the proposed rule.
  • However, if the rule to eliminate back-end rebates does go into effect that year, Medicare and taxpayers will cover 95% of a company's losses through a "demonstration" program to account for the abrupt change, according to Verma's memo.
  • That demonstration also would exist for 2021 Medicare drug plans.

The bottom line: The rule would be a massive structural overhaul to the way drug companies, insurers and PBMs negotiate drug prices. Whether the administration formally delays that change or not, it's giving the industry time to adjust to a new business model.

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House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.

The nationwide K-12 tipping point

Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

The doors of public schools are swiftly slamming shut for many Americans ahead of this next school year.

Driving the news: Los Angeles and San Diego are starting out online-only this fall, forcing 825,000 students to learn with a laptop.

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 12,995,037 — Total deaths: 570,435 — Total recoveries — 7,157,634Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 3,341,838— Total deaths: 135,425 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for the foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: California orders sweeping rollback of open businesses as virus cases surge — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Politics: McEnany denies White House issued "opposition research" on Fauci.