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Trump Signs ‘Landmark’ Executive Order, ‘Fundamentally Changing’ Health Care Marketplace

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday telling hospitals to let patients know ahead of time the costs for “common” procedures and tests.

The order also demands that patients be told upfront how much they will be paying out-of-pocket for certain medical treatments, as Fox News noted.

“Making meaningful price and quality information more broadly available to more Americans will protect patients and increase competition, innovation, and value in the healthcare system,” the order reads.

Trump said at a signing ceremony that the “landmark initiative continues our campaign to put American patients first.”

“We are fundamentally changing the nature of the health care marketplace,” he said.

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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar suggested the initiative will help patients save money on health care by allowing them to essentially shop around for cheaper procedures at local doctors’ offices rather than hospitals.

Details on how exactly this type of information will be disclosed to patients will be written out during the rules process.

However, this process could take months or even years to be spelled out by federal agencies.

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The process “will involve a complex give-and-take with hospitals, insurers and others affected,” according to Fox.

Health insurance companies, meanwhile, believe the executive order will actually cause prices to increase, not go down.

“Publicly disclosing competitively negotiated proprietary rates will reduce competition and push prices higher — not lower — for consumers, patients, and taxpayers,” read a statement from Matt Eyles, who leads the industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans

Industry officials say that Medicare-negotiated rates are publicly available, and that private insurance rates, which are usually not, should remain that way, Fox noted.

The officials claim these rates should be considered trade secrets and thus stay private.

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During the signing ceremony on Monday, Trump slammed the “Medicare for All” plan proposed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democrat presidential candidate.

Under Sanders’ plan, job-based private health insurance plans would essentially be replaced by “single-payer” government-run plan.

“As we fight to increase transparency and lower costs for patients, more than 120 Democrats in Congress support Bernie Sanders’s socialist takeover of American health care,” Trump said.

“It’s very dangerous.  The Democrat plan would terminate the private health insurance of over 180 million Americans who are really happy with what they have.”

“Under my administration, we will never let that happen,” he added.

“We believe in giving patients choice and freedom in health care, ensuring access to the doctors they want, the treatments they need and the highest standard of medical care anywhere in the world. And this will make it much better than it’s ever been.”

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