President Trump speaking about his plan to confront the opioid crisis, in March. Photo: Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The number of overdose deaths in the U.S. “has begun to plateau,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said yesterday, in advance of a White House event today at which President Trump will sign Congress' most recent opioids bill into law.

What's new: Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the death rate holding steady, after years of increases.

  • “Plateauing at such a high level is hardly an opportunity to declare victory,” Azar said. “But the concerted efforts of communities across America are beginning to turn the tide.”

What’s next: The legislation Trump will sign this afternoon includes a couple of important policies, including expanded access to medication-assisted treatment. And health care companies are joining in with announcements of their own.

  • Express Scripts is announcing that it successfully redirected many of its clients toward shorter prescriptions and safer drugs.
  • Emergent BioSolutions will announce that it’s donating doses of naloxone, the overdose-revival drug, to every public library and YMCA in the country, senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Axios earlier this week.

Meanwhile, HHS announced a new initiative yesterday to improve Medicaid treatment for women who are dependent on opioids and are pregnant or have recently given birth.

  • The 5-year model will include up to $64.6 million in grants to states, with the goal of delivering treatment to women who need it and connecting them with other support networks.

Go deeper: The youngest victims of the opioid epidemic

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Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in Capitol's National Statuary Hall

Photo: Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall on Friday, making Ginsburg the first woman to ever receive the honor.

The state of play: The Supreme Court also announced Monday that Ginsburg will lie in repose on the front steps of the building on Wednesday and Thursday, allowing the public to pay respects to the late justice outside.

20 mins ago - World

Trump announces new Iran sanctions in effort to maintain international arms embargo

Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday that would impose sanctions on any person or entity that contributes to the supply, sale, or transfer of conventional arms to or from Iran or is engaged in providing training and financial support related to those weapons.

Why it matters: The executive order is the first step by the Trump administration to put teeth into its claim that international sanctions on Iran were restored over the weekend, one month after the U.S. initiated the "snapback" process under a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Exclusive: Conservative group launches $2M Supreme Court ad

Screengrab of ad, courtesy of Judicial Crisis Network.

The Judicial Crisis Network is launching a $2.2 million ad campaign to put pressure on vulnerable Senate Republicans in battleground states to support a quick confirmation when President Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee.

The big picture: "Follow Precedent," previewed by Axios, is one of the first national and cable television ads to run following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's death Friday.