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Phot: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House is preparing another big executive order on drug prices, Reuters scooped last night.

The big picture: Citing industry sources who had discussed the plan with the administration, Reuters says that it would likely seek to lower prices in Medicare Part D, which covers drugs you pick up at the pharmacy counter. The administration's most sweeping proposal to date — to piggyback off of the lower prices in European countries — was limited to Part B, which covers drugs administered by a doctor.

  • It's not clear whether the new Part D proposal would also rely on international pricing, per Reuters. Part D is much bigger than Part B.

Between the lines: It's probably no coincidence that this threat is being floated just as the White House is trying to build support for the Senate Finance Committee's drug-pricing bill, despite Republican objections.

  • In fact, Sen. Chuck Grassley made that point explicitly, The Hill reports.
  • "Who knows what he's going to do at the last minute,” he said, referring to Trump. “If he would join forces with Pelosi, look at what that would do to everything that we Republicans stand for."
  • “It seems to me that the Grassley-Wyden approach is a very moderate approach [compared] to what could come out,” he added.

Where it stands in the Senate: Finance approved the Grassley-Wyden bill yesterday, but the proceedings left no doubt that there are still stark divisions within the GOP over drug pricing, and more resistance than we're used to seeing on policies Trump supports.

The intrigue: Nine of the committee's 15 Republicans voted against the bill. All of the Democrats supported it, leading to a final vote of 19-9.

  • The bill's proposal to cap price increases within Part D is clearly the biggest sticking point for Republicans. An amendment to strike that provision, offered by Sen. Pat Toomey, failed on a 14-14 vote.

What's next: Pharma's best bet is probably to stop the Senate from passing anything.

  • That would prevent an eventual conference between the House and Senate, in which Pelosi and Trump could make good on Grassley's predictions and strike up an alliance (if she wanted to help Trump claim a win on drug prices, which is far from a sure thing).
  • But that's a tall order, so expect pharma and its allies to keep trying to water down the Senate package while waging that bigger-picture fight.

The bottom line: “This bill is not anywhere near action on the floor,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said yesterday, per The Hill.

Go deeper: Axios' Deep Dive on drug pricing

Go deeper

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

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