Trailing bigly behind his Democratic rival Joe Biden on health care in North Carolina, Trump pulled out his sharpie and signed two executive orders preceding a campaign rally on Thursday.
- The first of these is not much more than a promise to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, something that is already law, and one of the most popular provisions of Obamacare. The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to dismantle Obamacare, which would remove the pre-existing condition protections, and offer skimpy plans that would allow insurers to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
- The second executive order addresses surprise billing from out-of-network providers. It orders Alex Azar to work with Congress (as if!) to ban surprise bills from emergency or out-of-network care. Instead of an actual billing fix, it’s an order for an “investigation” to stop the practice. Many sources believe the administration is seeking to remove these providers from Medicaid and Medicare programs, a crucial source of income for providers.
- Another “promise” pertains to an “incredible” $200 drug discount card for seniors on Medicare.
This “America First Healthcare Plan” is far from a “full and complete” plan Trump has promised since the 2016 campaign, and neither is it the “historic” proposal Trump officials promised before the bigly North Carolina rally.
When officials were asked how Trump’s plans would become reality, Alex Azar summed it up: “It is what it is.”
Trump has repeatedly promised a better health care plan than the Affordable Care Act, which will again be challenged in the Supreme Court on November 10, one week after the election.