The White House is planning a major announcement on improving healthcare price transparency this month as it prepares to put the issue at the heart of President Trump’s 2020 reelection effort.
Trump issued an executive order in June asking health officials to begin work on a regulation that would ensure hospitals publish prices in an easy-to-understand way.
Joe Grogan, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said that work was coming to fruition.
“We will have an announcement in the month of November,” he said.
Senior administration officials say they see the Democrats’ shift to the Left with “Medicare for all” as opening an opportunity for a distinctive plan that protects patient choice and quality of care while allowing the president to pursue a populist assault on vested interests.
“There’s so much money sloshing through the system that a lot of times, big secret: People don’t care, a lot of these guys don’t care,” said one.
Grogan declined to offer more details of what his announcement will include, but campaigners say they expect the rules to apply to insurers and other parts of the system, as well as hospitals.
Grogan said transparency had the potential to transform patients’ experience of healthcare, driving down costs and extending choice.
“The foot is not off the accelerator on transparency,” he said. “We are really fired up about it. I think one of the reasons it hasn’t been confronted by other administrations before is that it’s hard, and it’s going to offend a lot of special interest groups.”
Trump has repeatedly heralded his intention to transform the American medical system with a “phenomenal” plan that will make Republicans the “party of healthcare.”
However, the absence of details and the failure to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act have generated skepticism that a comprehensive plan is forthcoming.
But Grogan said this month’s announcement would herald another major step.
“Where we would see it as we get toward the end of our first term is we’re going to have the most robust, expansive, ambitious healthcare agenda of any president ever,” he said.
“We’re going to be prosecuting the case in Medicare, modernizing it and protecting it for seniors, concentrating on drug prices, transparency, discrete issues that have been ignored for too long.
“And consistent with the president’s philosophy broadly: If there’s a problem, let’s fix it and not worry about where the idea comes from or how to do it.”
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