Trump to sign executive orders as part of his 'America First' healthcare plan

The orders will focus on protecting the coverage of patients with preexisting conditions and preventing surprise medical bills

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President Trump at a rally, Sept. 10
President Trump at a rally, Sept. 10
(Scott Olson/Getty)
Updated: September 25, 2020 - 12:04pm

The Trump administration on Thursday announced a new healthcare-policy initiative to create "better care, more choice, and lower costs," for the American people.

The announcement was made by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. He also said that President Trump will sign a series of executive orders designed to "provide protections to ensure that Americans with preexisting conditions are protected regardless of whether the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and its protections for preexisting conditions invalidated." 

The president will also move to protect Americans from so-called surprise billing from doctors and hospitals, Azar told reporters on a press call. He call such billing "a source of financial insecurity for all Americans who do have insurance" and said the matter has "gone unaddressed for two years now." 

The executive orders will also direct HHS to work with Congress and special interest groups to get a comprehensive legislative packaged passed by the Jan. 1 on such billing. If that does not happen, Trump will direct Azar and his department to examine the executive and regulatory actions that the president can take to ensure all Americans are protected against surprise billing. 

The administration is also aiming to create legislation that would allow Americans understand the cost of medical services before accessing them, in addition to expanding the availability of Telehealth services and medical savings accounts.

The president is expected to speak about his "America First" healthcare plan during a campaign stop Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

The new healthcare plan comes as the administration moves to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which includes a provision protecting patients from being discriminated against by insurance companies. The administration's position is that Obama-era health care law failed to provide sufficient care for Americans with preexisting conditions. 

The Supreme Court will will hear the administration's case after the November presidential election. 

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