Donald Trump bragged on Monday he did better than Obamacare when he signed an executive order requiring hospitals to disclose their prices to patients.
‘It really is in a true sense the opposite of Obamacare. You get much better pricing, the doctor you want and maybe you’ll get better than the doctor you originally thought about. It’s pretty incredible,’ the president said of his order.
The executive order Trump signed orders the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a rule that requires hospitals disclose prices that reflect what insurers and patients pay for common items and services.
‘This is a truly big action. People have no idea how big it is,’ Trump bragged. ‘Some people say bigger than health care itself.’
Donald Trump bragged he did better than Obamacare when he signed an executive order requiring hospitals to disclose their prices to patient
President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010
The president has been looking for ways to counter Democrats on health care – an issue they’ve owned since President Obama passed his Affordable Care Act in 2010 with the help of a Democratic Congress.
It’s an issue Trump sees as key in the 2020 election as Democrats argue they won the House in 2018 in large part thanks to the health care issue.
‘We’re going to have a plan. That’s subject to winning the House, Senate and presidency, which hopefully we’ll win all three. We’ll have phenomenal health care,’ Trump told ABC News in an interview that aired last Sunday.
And he presented that plan Monday in the Grand Foyer of the Old Executive Office Building, surrounded by patients, medical staff and health officials in his administration.
‘We are fundamentally changing the nature of the health care market place,’ Trump said. ‘This is bigger than anything we’ve done in this particular realm.’
But hospitals and insurance companies argued if they have to share their secret price negotiations, it would destroy competition among health-care institutions and insurers – a move that would drive up prices.
Trump, however, argued ‘the cost of health care will go way, way down.’
He railed about the Affordable Care Act – which Republicans unsuccessfully tried to dismantle – in his remarks.
‘Obamacare doesn’t work but it works at least adequately now,’ he said of its implementation under his administration.
He invoked President Obama’s line about ‘keeping your doctor’ when Obamacare passed and described it as a ‘lie.’
Trump often rails against the late Senator John McCain’s iconic July 2017 thumbs down vote that ended Republican hopes of dismantling Obama’s health care law.
The president has complained bitterly about McCain since.
But, on Monday, he emphasized what his order will do to help the middle class.
‘There will be some rich people who won’t be too happy about this but the people will be happy about it,’ Trump said.
‘We will empower patients with what they need to search for the lowest costs and the highest quality care.’
‘No Americans should be blindsided by bills they never agreed to,’ he noted.
Trump argued his order will bring health care costs down but hospitals and insurers argue they will rise
The idea behind Trump’s order is to give patients practical information they can use to save money.
It would, for example, allow patients to compare costs of tests at different medical facilities.
But insurers vowed the idea would backfire and see facilities raise their prices to compete with the highest instead of lowest.
Trump’s order also requires that patients be told ahead of time what their out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays will be for many procedures.
Consumers won’t see a lot of change. The order institutes the rule-making process in the proper federal agencies, which could take months or years.
The order is the third the president has signed relating to health care since he took office.
The first, issued hours after Trump took the oath of office, instructed agencies to look for ways to lessen regulations written under the Affordable Care Act.
The second, signed in October 2017, directed officials to foster inexpensive types of insurance allowed to skirt Obamacare’s required benefits and consumer protections.