Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Trump administration is working on a proposal to lower seniors' out-of-pocket costs for insulin, which have nearly doubled over the last decade.

Why it matters: Voters care deeply about prescription drug prices, and if the policy comes to fruition, it could both help seniors afford their insulin and give the administration political points.

Details: The White House, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are jointly working on the policy.

  • Details are unclear or undecided. One idea is to give insurers an incentive to offer plans with lower cost-sharing, a source familiar said.
  • "The goal is to make sure it’s technically sound and if it helps patients, get it out" as soon as possible, a senior administration official said.
  • A CMS spokesperson declined to comment.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar is recused from the effort because he was previously the president of Eli Lilly, one of three dominant insulin manufacturers.

The big picture: Even as patients are struggling to afford prescription drugs across the board, insulin stands out.

  • It's an old drug whose initial patent was sold for a mere $1. Yet its price continues to rise.
  • One-third of Medicare beneficiaries had diabetes in 2016, and total Part D spending on insulin rose from $1.4 billion in 2007 to to $13.3 billion in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Seniors spent, on average, $588 out-of-pocket for insulin in 2016 — nearly double the price they paid in 2007.

Yes, but: Lowering patients' out-of-pocket spending probably wouldn't lower the actual cost of the drug, meaning that it'd get shifted onto taxpayers.

Between the lines: The Trump administration has either dropped a lot of its drug-pricing ideas or has seen them held up in court.

  • But a meaningful insulin policy could be a big political win, especially because insulin is a poster child for runaway prescription drug prices.

Go deeper: The outrage over insulin prices

Go deeper

Delta CEO: Trump administration should issue mask mandate for air travel

Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Friday told CNN that he believes the Trump administration should move to require the use of face masks during air travel amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

The big picture: Delta already requires passengers to wear masks during its flights, but Bastian says it can be difficult to enforce that directive if passengers refuse — and he's not sure if other airlines would be on board.

Trump's outdoor New Hampshire rally postponed due to weather

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's outdoor campaign rally in Portsmouth, N.H., slated to take place on Saturday, was postponed on Friday due to weather from Tropical Storm Fay, a senior White House official confirmed to Axios.

The state of play: Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Air Force One that the event would take place in "a week or two" instead. The outdoor rally — which had encouraged the use of face masks — was scheduled after sparse attendance at Trump's indoor comeback to the campaign trail in Tulsa.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 12,333,740 — Total deaths: 556,110 — Total recoveries — 6,781,353Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 3,140,840 — Total deaths: 133,542 — Total recoveries: 969,111 — Total tested: 38,032,966Map.
  3. Public health: The U.S.' new default strategy: herd immunity
  4. ✈️ Travel: Delta CEO says Trump administration should issue mask mandate for air travelAirlines say air quality, cleanliness lower risk.
  5. Sports: Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls on colleges to cancel fall sports.