President Trump said Tuesday that his long-promised replacement for the Affordable Care Act is ready to go. “I have it all ready, and it’s a much better plan for you,” Trump told an audience member at a town hall meeting hosted by ABC News.
Trump has been claiming for more than a year that a "phenomenal" new health care plan is just weeks away from being revealed, with the delivery date forever slipping into the future. (Kaiser Health News has a rundown on the “health care plan that never comes” here.)
Asked about the plan Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that the details are not available for public review. “It’s going to be a very comprehensive strategy — one where we’re saving health care while Democrats are trying to take health care away,” McEnany said. "I’m not going to give you a readout of what our health care plan looks like and who’s working on it. If you want to know, come work here at the White House."
Earlier in the day, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also said that Trump’s health care plan is ready and will be unveiled sometime before the election. The plan will focus on executive action, Meadows said, “with a legislative component that is more visionary.”
A review of Trump’s health care record so far. Avoiding the problematic issue of Trump’s alleged plan, analysts at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation released a report this week that examines President Trump’s record on health care over the last three and half years. Some highlights from the overview and the full analysis:
* On the Affordable Care Act: “From the start of his presidential term, President Trump took aim at the Affordable Care Act, consistent with his campaign pledge leading up to the 2016 election. He supported many efforts in Congress to repeal the law and replace it with an alternative that would have weakened protections for people with pre-existing conditions, eliminated the Medicaid expansion, and reduced premium assistance for people seeking marketplace coverage. While the ACA remains in force, President Trump’s Administration is supporting the case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the ACA in its entirety that is scheduled for oral arguments one week after the election.”
* On Medicare and Medicaid: “The Administration has proposed spending reductions for both Medicaid and Medicare, along with proposals that would promote flexibility for states but limit eligibility for coverage under Medicaid (e.g., work requirements).”
* On drug prices: “The President has made prescription drug prices a top health policy priority and has issued several executive orders and other proposals that aim to lower drug prices; most of these proposals, however, have not been implemented, other than one change that would lower the cost of insulin for some Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes, and another that allows pharmacists to tell consumers if they could save money on their prescriptions. The Trump Administration has also moved forward with an initiative to improve price transparency in an effort to lower costs, though it is held up in the courts.”
* On the response to the coronavirus: “The Trump administration has not established a coordinated, national plan to scale-up and implement public health measures to control the spread of coronavirus, instead choosing to have states assume primary responsibility for the COVID-19 response, with the federal government acting as back-up and ‘supplier of last resort.’ The President has downplayed the threat of COVID-19, given conflicting messages and misinformation, and often been at odds with public health officials and scientific evidence.”