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US President Donald Trump laid out plans for reforming the US healthcare system in his prepared remarks to Congress on Tuesday. While signalling support for several elements that are part of the Affordable Care Act, he also pointed to areas where he expects to make significant changes.
Calling on Democrats and Republicans to work together, he said legislation aimed at reforming the ACA signed into law in 2010 should “ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage”.
He also said that “we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts”.
Both of those reflect existing elements of the ACA, which is often called Obamacare, one of former US President Barack Obama’s most consequential initiatives.
Mr Trump also offered muddied remarks on the future of the Medicaid expansion, another important portion of Obamacare that uses federal money to broaden the income eligibility requirements for the health insurance programme for America’s needy.
“We should give our great state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out,” he said.
Still, Mr Trump held his objection to numerous core portions of Obamacare, including the individual mandate, saying that: “Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America.”
Here are Mr Trump’s full prepared remarks:
Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.
Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. As an example, Arizona went up 116 percent last year alone. Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky just said Obamacare is failing in his State — it is unsustainable and collapsing.
One third of counties have only one insurer on the exchanges –- leaving many Americans with no choice at all.
Remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor, and keep your plan?
We now know that all of those promises have been broken.
Obamacare is collapsing –- and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice –- it is a necessity.
So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in the Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.First, we should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges.
Secondly, we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts –- but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government.
Thirdly, we should give our great State Governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.
Fourthly, we should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance – and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.
Finally, the time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across State lines –- creating a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring cost way down and provide far better care.
Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing, and hope.
Our citizens deserve this, and so much more –- so why not join forces to finally get it done? On this and so many other things, Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country, and for the good of the American people.