President Donald Trump announced a new rule requiring hospitals to publish their prices for services publicly, allowing customers to make more informed choices.
“For decades, hospitals, insurance companies, lobbyists, and special interests have hidden prices from consumers so they could drive up costs for you,” Trump said. “And you had no idea what was happening. You’d get bills that were unbelievable and you have no idea why.”
The president cited incidents of patients being charged exorbitantly high prices for MRIs and having a baby, even charging outrageous prices for a simple blood test.
“We’re stopping American patients from just getting, pure and simple — two words, very simple words: ripped off,” Trump said. “Because they’ve been ripped off for years. ”
The president also announced a proposed rule requiring insurers to tell patients their expected costs prior to the services.
Trump welcomed Dr. Art Laffer to the White House event to talk about the significance of the new rule.
“This is the biggest revolution I’ve seen in generations,” Laffer said. “As opposed to most revolutions, this revolution saves lives; it doesn’t cost lives.”
Laffer said that the health industry was in need of transparency reform, allowing patients to get better service.
The president’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare was successfully blocked despite Republicans having a majority in the House of Representatives in the first two years of his term. But Trump has worked within the system to make important regulatory reforms to make the cost of health care more transparent.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised the president’s actions.
“The changes you described, what we’re doing at HHS, will be revolutionary to our healthcare system — perhaps the biggest single change that President Trump has made to Americans’ healthcare experience,” he said.