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Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday signed executive orders that revive several of the administration's previous drug pricing ideas — including attempts to require Medicare to pay no more for drugs than the lowest prices paid by other countries and changing how drug rebates work within industry middlemen.

Reality check: The Trump administration has not enacted any major policies on drug prices. Today's executive orders on their own have limited authority and could take a long time to go into effect, if they go into effect at all.

The big picture: A lower drug pricing index and Canadian drug importation have been longstanding initiatives within the Trump administration. Together, all four executive orders would:

  • Link Medicare payments to drug prices in foreign countries.
  • Lower the price of insulin and Epi-Pens provided at hospitals from a current drug discount program.
  • Create a way for Americans to purchase cheaper prescription drugs imported from Canada.
  • Give patients the drug rebates that are obtained by pharmacy benefit managers, a proposal that the administration already killed in 2019.

Go deeper

Biden on Trump's "socialist" attack: "He thinks he's running against somebody else"

"He's a very confused guy," Joe Biden said during the final presidential debate on Thursday after President Trump cited Sen. Bernie Sanders' attempt to make single-payer health care work in Vermont. "He thinks he's running against somebody else"

Why it matters: The Trump campaign has sought to paint Biden as an empty vessel for radical socialism, despite the former vice president's more moderate positions compared to candidates he ran against in the Democratic primary. Biden said the public health insurance option in his plan is not an example of socialized medicine, but is meant to ensure that Americans "have the right to have affordable health care."

1 hour ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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