Health Care a Central Issue in President Trump’s Speech to Congress

March 1, 2017

In his address to Congress, Trump hinted at what could be in the future for healthcare reform.

In his speech to Congress, President Donald J. Trump again called for the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and called for “reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time provide better health care.”

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The country should lower the cost of health insurance because this is the way to make it available for everyone, he said. Health insurance premiums in Obamacare had doubled and tripled in price in some cases, he noted. Some counties in the United States have only one health insurer, which means that many people have no real choice in their health insurance.

The speech touched on three principles that should guide Congress in creating a better health-care system:

  • Any reform of the health-care system should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage and that there is a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the health-care exchanges.

  • Americans should be assisted in purchasing their own health-care coverage through tax credits and expanded health savings accounts, without forcing the choice of any specific plan.

  • State governors should receive the “resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.”

  • There should be legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up insurance costs and work “to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.”

  • Americans should be allowed to purchase health insurance across state lines.

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Trump also noted that yesterday was Rare Disease Day, and singled out Megan Crowley, a sophomore at Notre Dame University who has Pompe disease and whose father founded a company to look for a cure. He then called for cutting regulations imposed by the FDA that keep advances from moving forward. “If we slash the restraints, not just at the FDA but across our government, then we will be blessed with far more miracles just like Megan,” he said.

Trump’s remarks about health care came a little more than halfway through his hour-long speech.