The measures, which are far from in line with a comprehensive proposal, come less than six weeks before the presidential election and serve as a political game to heighten worries about the volatile state event. Democratic candidate Joe Biden is already committed to making health care the focus of the rest of his campaign, highlighting Trump’s actions to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the unprecedented protections the law already provides to people with preconditions.
The president is also seeking to divert attention from criticism of his approach to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 200,000 Americans have died from the virus in the past six months.
The first executive order will state that American policy is to protect people who suffer from existing conditions, the president said. Any legislation that Congress sends to its bureau must include that provision, he said.
“We put it under pressure because our opponents, the Democrats, like to talk about it all the time, and yet the existing conditions are much safer for us than for them,”
The president and Republicans have repeatedly said they will protect these Americans, even when they try to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which already protects them. Speaking to reporters, Health and Humanitarian Services Minister Alex Hazard declined to say how the administration would guarantee this protection if the Supreme Court overturned the landmark health care reform law in a case in which it would consider the deadline.
The second executive order instructs Congress to pass legislation to address surprise medical bills by the end of the year, and if lawmakers fail to do so, Hazard will seek to do so through enforcement or regulatory action.
Trump has already called for an end to the practice in a speech in 2019 and in his address to the Union earlier this year. Although legislators on both sides of the aisle agree, the legislation is hampered by differing views on who should cover the section – insurers or suppliers.
Although the president has repeatedly promised to present a health care proposal, the administration has decided to impose the wide variety of measures that Trump has taken as his vision.
In his speech, Trump outlined what he called his plan for America’s health care, which includes many measures taken by his administration during his first term – some of which have been accepted but others that remain proposed or bound in court. These include: Expanding cheaper alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, requiring hospitals to disclose negotiated prices, reducing the cost of insulin for the elderly and improving kidney health. He also noted that Americans insured through Medicare Advantage have seen a drop in premiums.
Trump also said senior citizens will receive $ 200 cards in the coming weeks to help them buy prescription drugs.
A senior administration official told CNN that the money would come in the form of discount cards for prescription drugs.
The official said the cost of the cards would be offset by savings from Trump’s recent “Favored Nations” campaign, which called on Medicare to try paying the same price for some expensive prescription drugs as other developed countries.
Funding for the cards will come from the Medicare Centers and Medicaid Services as a special Medicare demonstration project.
Protection of those with pre-existing conditions
The protection of the Affordable Care Act for those with pre-existing conditions proved to be among its most popular provisions. Protecting the law from Democrats helped them gain control of Parliament in 2018.
The protections include a ban on insurers refusing coverage or charging higher premiums to people based on their medical history – both common practices in the individual market before Obamacare. About 54 million Americans – or 27% of the elderly who are elderly – have conditions that would make them uninsured under the old system, according to the Kaiser Foundation.
The law also requires insurers to provide comprehensive benefits in the individual market and prohibits them from imposing annual or lifetime restrictions on coverage.
Although the president has repeatedly said he will continue to defend, his actions say otherwise. The administration largely supports a coalition of Republican-led prosecutors general who say Obamacare’s individual mandate has been declared unconstitutional when Congress reduces the penalty for lack of insurance to zero in 2017. As a result, the entire law must fall , they claim. This case is now before the Supreme Court.
In addition, the president’s efforts to continue protections are not helping people afford health insurance if Obamacare is declared unconstitutional. The law provides generous subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans to purchase policies on the Affordable Care Act exchanges and supports states that extend Medicaid to low-income adults. About 38 countries, as well as the District of Columbia, have expanded Medicaid or adopted voting measures to do so.
End of surprising medical billing
The president also spoke a few about solving the problem of the surprising medical bill, another of Americans’ major health concerns.
Efforts to address the problem in Congress had stalled amid lobbying and advertising blitz from the healthcare industry. Insurers prefer the government to set a reference rate, but hospitals and other providers – often backed by private companies – strongly support resolving the issue through arbitration.
Proposals to reduce drug prices
In recent weeks, the president has tried to renew his focus on efforts to lower drug prices, one of the main promises of his campaign and first term. The high cost of prescription drugs has long been a major health concern for Americans.
But his measures, which included calling on drug manufacturers on Twitter, did not lead to lower drug prices, although the rate of price growth slowed between 2015 and 2019. Manufacturers increased the prices of 857 drugs by an average of 6.8 % in the first six months of this year, according to GoodRx, which follows several thousand brands and generic drugs.
Trump officials have also proposed a separate rule that would require insurers to provide consumers with estimates of their own costs for all health services through an online tool. However, some experts say the rules will not help many consumers, as people do not usually shop for medical services.
CNN’s Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.