President Donald Trump signed multiple executive orders on Thursday in North Carolina which will include his “America First” health care plan.
The announcement was confirmed by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administration Seema Verna, and Domestic Policy Council Director Brooke Rollins.
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All three claimed that the plan will fulfill three core tenets: lowering costs for patients, presenting them with more care options and increasing the quality of care offered.
Azar noted that the executive orders make it the official policy of the United States that insurers must offer coverage to all Americans with pre-existing conditions, even if the Supreme Court strikes down parts of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.
Pressed by reporters on this particular detail during the question and answer portion of the briefing, Azar declined to explain the mechanism the administration will use to extend coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
Azar further explained that one of the president’s executive orders will seek to do away with “surprise medical billing.” The order directs Congress, hospital groups, insurers, and other relevant bodies to craft legislation outlawing the practice. If Congress does not pass a bill by January 1, 2021, the order directs Azar to pursue additional executive action, including industry regulation, to achieve Trump’s desired goal. He stated that two congressional packages have recently “come close” to meeting the president’s standards, though neither crossed the “finish line.”
Trump’s plan is “all about putting patients first,” Rollins added. “Patients and doctors should be running the system… not politicians and bureaucrats.”
He took the time to also announce details of his new America First Healthcare Plan.
“In short, we’re delivering better care with more choice and a much lower cost,” said Trump.
Trump said his plan will help reduce the cost for medical care.
He also said he’s encouraging more generic-type prescription drugs and will push to reduce costs and will work to reduce costs of prescription drugs.
“You’ll get discounts of 40-50-60-80-90%, who knows, numbers you won’t even believe,” he said.
Trump also announced his administration will send prescription drug discount cards to more than 33 million seniors.
The plan will ultimately require hospitals and insurance companies to make their prices transparent, according to a press release.
The visit comes as the Trump administration is working to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The Trump administration said the plan also cuts out unnecessary parties involved in health coverage.
“The reality is that the American health care system has been run by Washington, D.C. and special interest groups and the president is taking that on,” said Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “He is tackling long-standing health care problems in our system.”
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