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Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Presidential budget proposals — all of them, no matter the president — are aspirational. They are not bills with the potential to be signed into law; they are statements about an administration's priorities.

Between the lines: With that in mind, here are the health care highlights from the budget proposal the White House released yesterday.

Things that only matter politically:

  • The budget still embraces Republicans' failed repeal-and-replace policy, including its enormous Medicaid cuts.
  • That's not going anywhere in Washington, but it'll be a big deal for Democrats on the 2020 campaign trail.

Ideas to watch:

  • Trump's budget proposes big payment cuts for brand-name drugs that enter into "pay for delay" settlements — agreements in which they pay a potential generic competitor to stay off the market, which keeps other generics at bay, too.
  • It proposes an annual fee on e-cigarette makers to help fund FDA regulation of their products. Cigarette companies already pay such a fee.
  • And it calls for capping seniors' out-of-pocket drug costs.

The details:

  • Budgets are about money, and this one would cut several HHS offices.
  • The National Institutes of Health would lose almost $5 billion (Congress will never go along with that), while the FDA would get a slight bump.
  • HIV/AIDS activists praised the budget for including nearly $300 million toward Trump's plan to "eliminate the HIV epidemic" within the U.S., but criticized its proposed cuts to housing and other social services, as well as international HIV prevention efforts.

What's next: HHS Secretary Alex Azar heads to Capitol Hill for hearings on the budget today (before House Energy and Commerce), tomorrow (House Appropriations) and Thursday (Senate Finance).

Go deeper: Trump proposes record $4.75 trillion budget, with $8.6 billion for border wall

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Health

Popular independent COVID tracker officially ends daily updates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Energy and climate move closer to center stage on Capitol Hill

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The imminent enactment of Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package creates space for lawmakers and the White House to craft infrastructure plans with big climate and energy-related provisions.

Why it matters: President Biden, during the campaign, vowed to make low-carbon energy, climate-resilient infrastructure and transportation projects a big focus of an economic recovery package. And the Texas power crisis could give fresh momentum to investments in grid modernization.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The European Central Bank and the market's moment of truth

ECB president Christine Lagarde; Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The biggest event for markets this week will be Thursday's meeting of the European Central Bank's governing council and the press conference following it from ECB president Christine Lagarde.

Why it matters: With interest rates jumping around the globe, investors are looking to central bank heads to see if they will follow the lead of Fed chair Jerome Powell, who says rising rates are nothing to worry about, or Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who has drawn a line in the sand on rates.