By: Zack Duvall
President Donald Trump met with leaders and executives from major U.S. healthcare insurance companies such as United Healthcare, Aetna, and Anthem healthcare to discuss his plans for replacing the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare”. The meeting, one of many such meetings between the President and business leaders, occurred on Monday just ahead of a major policy speech set for Tuesday night in his first official address to congress.
The President told reporters, who were present for questions as the meeting concluded, that meetings such as that one were needed to ensure that the transition from the Affordable Care Act, to the health plan that he and members of the Republican congress plan on rolling out within the year goes smoothly for the millions of Americans who will rely on the coverage.
“We must work together to save American’s from Obamacare.” The President told the executives that attended the meeting. The executives that were present for the round-table discussion included even representatives from the Aetna branches and other companies that had removed itself from the Obamacare plan in several states around the country.
The meeting also comes with recent statements by the White House about its coming healthcare plan and details about what any potential healthcare bill the administration puts forward will include. These details include the President’s intentions to make good on campaign promises to expand on the healthcare savings account program. This program allows for patients to open a tax-free savings account, usually paired with a high-deductible insurance plan. Another aspect of the President’s plan includes the prospect of the sale of plans across state lines, a move that the President and supporters of this idea say will drive down costs by promoting competition between companies.
President Trump also told the insurance executives that he was instructing newly confirmed Secretary of Health and Human Services department, Tom Price, to “work with them to ensure smooth transition to the new plan.” A plan that many within the administration fully believe will be rolled out by the end of next month, with Price going on the record to saying that a new plan will be ready in “3 to 4 weeks.”
In an move possibly to show good faith to insurers, the White House granted them one of their biggest requests of the government on the healthcare issue and proposed a rule that would tighten the eligibility verification for subsidized plans, and allow companies to seek and go after unpaid premiums.
In recent weeks the White House and many Republicans across the country have come under fire from angry protesters and constituents who are frustrated with the lack of details about a plan that was talked about throughout the election, and a staple of the President’s platform. With many Republican Congressional leaders defending the time it’s taking to unveil a new plan as needed to ensure the best for the American people.
Ahead of the President’s first address before Congress Tuesday night, Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, had tough words for the President and White House. “The political rhetoric has hit the reality of governing.”