President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that puts forward his vision of a healthcare system that places Americans, and not the government, in charge of their healthcare needs.
“My Administration has been committed to restoring choice and control to the American patient,” the president stated in his order as he outlined the steps he has already taken to help Americans take control of their health care, including:
- Repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate
- Protecting patients with pre-existing conditions
- Increase in availability of renewable, less expensive, short-term healthcare plans
- Expansion of health reimbursement arrangements
- Rule to increase the availability of association health plans for small businesses
- Expansion of health savings accounts that can be paired with tax-advantaged accounts
- Dramatic increase in the availability of telehealth services
- Repeal of Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would have been a group of unelected bureaucrats who could make decisions on how to cut healthcare spending
- Improvement in care for our nation’s veterans
- Additional health insurance flexibility to states that waive rigid Obamacare rules in order to expand coverage options and decrease the cost of premiums
- Promotion of innovation to allow patients to safely send their own medical records to providers of their choosing
- “Patients over Paperwork” initiative to reduce red tape for healthcare providers
- Lowered the cost of prescription drugs to the largest annual price decrease in nearly half a century
- Repeal of the medical device tax, the annual fee on health insurance providers, and the “Cadillac” tax on certain employer-sponsored health insurance
- More transparent healthcare prices for consumers
- Concrete steps to eliminate surprise medical bills
- Modernization of Medicare program
- Investments in scientific research to address most pressing medical challenges
- Crackdown on waste, fraud, and abuse
The president said his administration remains committed to ensuring those with pre-existing medical conditions always get the health insurance coverage they need.
He added regarding President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare:
In an attempt to justify the ACA, the previous Administration claimed that, absent action by the Congress, up to 129 million (later updated to 133 million) non-elderly people with what it described as pre-existing conditions were in danger of being denied health-insurance coverage. According to the previous Administration, however, only 2.7 percent of such individuals actually gained access to health insurance through the ACA, given existing laws and programs already in place to cover them. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 has long protected individuals with pre-existing conditions, including individuals covered by group health plans and individuals who had such coverage but lost it.
“The ACA is neither the best nor the only way to ensure that Americans who suffer from pre-existing conditions have access to health-insurance coverage,” Trump said, adding Obamacare “was flawed from its inception and should be struck down.”
Several physicians who are also partners of the Job Creators Network Foundation weighed in on Trump’s healthcare vision.
In remarks to Breitbart News about the executive action, Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, said the president’s plan is “a proposal to support principles of patient choice and transparency.”
“He voiced again his opposition to socialism, which involves a centrally planned, bureaucratic system that eliminates choice,” she added. “American patients need to be freed from stultifying regulations and one-size-fit-nobody plans that increase costs and limit quality and availability of care. The Trump Administration has made a good start in doing that.”
Board-certified anesthesiologist Dr. Marilyn Singleton said in a statement, “A lot is at stake this election and healthcare reform is at the top of the list.”
“Americans should be careful not to be hoodwinked by the allure of socialized medicine when we can see the effects unfold in real time in Canada and the U.K.,” she added. “It’s time to adopt a reform framework rooted in patient choice and affordability, not rigid programs that cost more and provide fewer services. President Trump understands that.”
Tennessee-based physician Dr. Christine Hoffman noted the pandemic “has underscored the importance of a strong and high-functioning healthcare system, something President Trump clearly understands.”
“Reforming the system to provide patients with more choice and flexibility, while utilizing transparency as a tool to control costs, will help the U.S. prepare for everything from the next broken arm to a future public health emergency,” she said.