Good morning. Here is a great example of a joke that may or may not have been funny to everyone involved.
Today's word count is 653 words, or <3 minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The Trump administration is pushing ahead with its drug pricing agenda even as impeachment sucks up all the political oxygen.
Why it matters: Drug pricing remains a huge issue that both parties want to run on in 2020. Trump has not actually moved forward on some of his most ambitious proposals; others have been tied up in the courts.
Driving the news: The administration is planning to have the next regulatory phase of the international pricing index — a notice of proposed rulemaking — ready to issue within a month, a senior administration official said.
The administration is also working with Congress on drug pricing legislation, and thinks that it's still possible that the Senate will pass a bill by the end of the year.
The bottom line: Trump certainly has a political incentive to get something done on drug prices, but some of these policies could go a long way toward helping Americans — especially seniors — afford their drugs.
Yes, but: These administrative actions haven't yet been formally proposed, and could take years to finalize — meaning there's no guarantee they'll actually happen before the 2020 election.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is out this morning with a new plan to address long-term care, along with other retirement-related priorities, Axios' Sam Baker reports.
Why it matters: Older people caucus, and long-term care is an enormous strain on millions of families.
The big picture: Medicare doesn’t cover the services performed in nursing homes or by home health aides.
How it works: The cornerstone of Buttigieg's plan is a stipend to help people cover their long-term care costs — $90 per day, which the campaign says "would kick in after an income-related waiting period."
Go deeper: The looming crisis in long-term care
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
At least 66 Indian Health Service patients died as a result of alleged malpractice since 2006, according to a sweeping report from the Wall Street Journal.
By the numbers: The U.S. government has paid out about $55 million in settlements in 163 malpractice cases at IHS hospitals, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.
Here's a story unlike any I've heard before: Brigham Young University-Idaho requires students to have health insurance, but announced this month that it will no longer accept Medicaid, the New York Times reports.
Why it matters: This makes coverage unaffordable for some students, or forces them to enroll in a plan that doesn't cover a comprehensive set of benefits.
Between the lines: The school recently "appeared to tie its decision to the Medicaid expansion," per NYT. Idaho's expansion, which was agreed to by voters in a 2018 ballot initiative, goes into effect in January.