Trump signs executive order detailing health care plan
President Donald J. Trump recently signed an executive order detailing his “America First Healthcare Plan,” a combination of old and new initiatives that aim to lower drug prices and insurance premiums.
“This plan is about better care, lower costs and more choices,” Brian Harrison, HHS chief of staff, said during a conference call with reporters.
As part of the plan, HHS said it:
- issued a notice of proposed rulemaking from the Health Resources and Services Administration to pass discounts at community health centers on insulin and epinephrine to those who are uninsured or have high cost sharing;
- requested private-sector proposals that allow for lower-cost, FDA-approved drugs and insulins from American pharmacies via importation and reimportation, as outlined in a July executive order; and
- released the 2021 Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Premium landscape, which shows that average 2021 premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are expected to drop 34.2% and that Part D premiums are expected to decrease 12% from their 2017 amounts.
During a trip to North Carolina yesterday, Trump said his plan will have more options and benefits for Medicare enrollees. He also said that 33 million Medicare beneficiaries will soon receive a card containing $200 that they can use to help pay for prescription drugs.
The FDA also announced actions to lower prescription drug prices. The agency issued a final rule and guidance that opens the first-ever pathway for states, the District of Columbia and Native American tribes within United States borders to safely import prescription drugs from Canada to lower drug costs. It also provided procedures for foreign drug manufacturers to obtain a National Drug Code for certain FDA-approved prescription drugs, including biological products and combination products, that were originally manufactured and intended for sale in that foreign country.
“Products will reach Americans in a safe manner that complies with applicable laws and without degradation in efficacy, safety and potency,” Harrison said. “The potential for savings, even if you assume significant administrative costs, is really huge.”