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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put forward an aggressive plan allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices of some prescription drugs that could also be applied in the commercial market.

Why it matters: Under any other GOP administration, this plan would be dead on arrival. But Washington is waiting to see whether President Trump bites — and can then browbeat other Republicans into voting for it.

Between the lines: The framework of the plan is very similar to the draft that recently leaked, with changes likely made to appease various factions within the Democratic caucus.

Details:

  • The HHS secretary would identify 250 drugs without meaningful competition each year, and negotiate the prices of at least 25 of them. The negotiated price couldn't be more than 1.2 times what other countries pay for it, on average.
  • If a drug manufacturer refuses to negotiate, it'd get hit with an excise tax on annual gross sales beginning at 65% and increasing 10% every quarter that it remains out of compliance.
  • The manufacturer would be required to offer the negotiated price to commercial plans.
  • The plan also limits price increases in Medicare Part D and Part B to inflation (applied retroactively to 2016), creates an out-of-pocket spending cap in Part D, and restructures how Part D is paid for.

Go deeper: The Trump-Pelosi mind meld on drug costs

Go deeper

Pelosi announces bid for re-election ahead of 2022 midterms

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced her bid for re-election Tuesday, amid a deluge of other safe-seat Democrats announcing their retirements.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s announcement follows months of speculation — despite her denials — that she was preparing to leave Congress.

Scoop: Qatar emir to visit White House on Monday

The emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, leaves the White House after meeting President Trump in 2019. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The emir of Qatar will meet with President Biden at the White House on Monday to discuss Afghanistan as well as contingency plans to provide natural gas to Europe in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Europe's reliance on Russia for 40% of its natural gas is undermining Biden's attempts to coordinate "massive" sanctions to be imposed from both sides of the Atlantic if Russia invades. The White House wants Qatar to help ensure European countries can enforce tough sanctions without risking an energy crisis.

Biden: There won't be "American forces moving into Ukraine"

President Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday that he does not foresee U.S. troops moving into Ukraine.

Why it matters: Biden's comments come as tensions between Russia and Ukraine persist, and a Russian invasion of Ukraine appears increasingly likely.

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