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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."

Teachers across the U.S. protest laws restricting racism lessons

Thousands of teachers and other educators held protests across the U.S. Saturday against the actions of "at least 15 Republican-led states" that aim to restrict teaching about racism in class, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: There were demonstrations in at least 22 cities for the "Day of Action" to raise awareness about moves to limit students' exposure to critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to the nation's foundations and legal system, per Axios' Russell Contreras.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Lawsuit challenging Houston Methodist's COVID vaccine mandate dismissed

Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist staff over the hospital's policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: This is the first federal court ruling on a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Attorney Jared Woodfill, representing the plaintiffs, told KHOU 11 it's "the first battle in a long fight," as he vowed to file another lawsuit soon.

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