With all of the recent talk and debates about “Medicare For All”, President Trump has decided to take action. In October, Trump signed an executive order while visiting Florida, pertaining to the Medicare health program. His goal is to improve Medicare by giving seniors the ability to choose from more affordable plans.
Protecting and Improving Medicare for our Nation’s Seniors
Because Democrats are pushing to expand Medicare to everyone, Trump proposed this plan in response. He stated that he will do whatever it takes to prevent the “socialist” proposal of Medicare For All. Trump’s order is aimed to reduce regulations, curb fraud, and provide quicker access to therapies and medical devices.
The order wants Medicare to offer and use more medical telehealth services, in order to reduce costs to seniors. The more that seniors have access to their doctors through telehealth, then the fewer emergency room visits would occur. And in order to accomplish this, Trump proposes to get rid of regulatory requirements that prevent medical professionals from practicing at the top of their licenses.
This means that the focus will move from doing clerical tasks that don’t require a physician’s level of training to the patient’s care. For example, instead of filling out forms, faxing paperwork, and requesting medical records, the tasks can be alleviated by an assistant, freeing up the medical staff’s time to give more attention to the sick.
Allowing nurse practitioners and medical assistants to practice at the top of their license would “really enhance access to care, enhance provider availability for all Medicare beneficiaries, including in fee-for-service, and really help, especially with the rural healthcare crisis,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the media call.
More Money Back To Seniors
The order directs Medicare to create a new payment model that adjusts Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits. The purpose is to allow seniors to directly be a part of any cost savings that Advantage plans generate. This will include any monetary rebates, and lowered prescription drug prices.
Azar stated, “The executive order commissions us to examine all practices, regulations, and guidance to just make sure that we are not steering people into fee-for-service as opposed to giving them a genuine choice of Medicare Advantage or fee-for-service.”
“We’re lowering the cost of prescription drugs, taking on the pharmaceutical companies. And you think that’s easy? It’s not easy… I wouldn’t be surprised if the hoax didn’t come from some of the people that we’re taking on,” Trump said. He was referring to drug companies that were backing the impeachment efforts in Washington. He believes they were doing this as a way to sabotage his efforts of making prescriptions more affordable to medicare recipients.
What Trump Is Pushing For
The order is undoubtedly a way to pushback against Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All proposal, which would open the Medicare gates to everyone in America. Trump sees it as socialism, with the administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma backing it up, calling it a “pipe dream” that would just lead to higher taxes.
Trump hopes that his proposal will be more beneficial to seniors, making Medicare a little more affordable, while at the same time condemning Medicare for All proposals.