CMS administrator explains Trump’s health care vision

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – More than three-and-a-half years into his presidency and 40 days from an election, President Donald Trump on Thursday launched what aides termed a “vision” for health care heavy on unfulfilled aspirations.

“This is affirmed, signed, and done, so we can put that to rest,” Trump said. He signed an executive order on a range of issues, including protecting people with preexisting medical conditions from insurance discrimination.

But that right is already guaranteed in the Obama-era health law his administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss President Trump’s healthcare agenda. Verma said, “the President wants to take on special interests in Washington D.C.”

He promised quality health care at affordable prices, lower prescription drug costs, more consumer choice and greater transparency. His executive order would also to try to end surprise medical bills.

“’If we win we will have a better and less expensive plan that will always protect individuals with preexisting conditions,” Trump declared.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Trump’s executive order would declare it the policy of the U.S. government to protect people with preexisting conditions, even if the ACA is declared unconstitutional. However, such protections are already the law, and Trump would have to go to Congress to cement a new policy.

On surprise billing, Azar said the president’s order will direct him to work with Congress on legislation, and if there’s no progress, move ahead with regulatory action. However, despite widespread support among lawmakers for ending surprise bills, the White House has been unable to forge a compromise that steers around determined lobbying by interest groups affected.

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