Viewpoint: 5 Trump administration healthcare initiatives that should stick around

Hannah Mitchell -

As President Joe Biden works to reverse policies enacted by the Trump administration, there are some healthcare initiatives implemented during that time that are worth preserving, Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD, former emergency room physician and editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, wrote in a March 11 column published in The New York Times.

Five initiatives Dr. Rosenthal said the Biden administration should preserve or work to continue:

1. Former President Donald Trump's administration required most hospitals post lists of their standard prices, supplies, drugs, tests and procedures. Dr. Rosenthal said it encouraged some healthcare providers to lower their prices.

2. In 2019, his administration ordered hospitals to publish discounted rates they agree to accept from insurers for common medical services and prices for uninsured patients who pay in cash. Pricing transparency allows patients to shop around for the most affordable care.

3. Drug makers were ordered to list prices in advertisements for medications that cost more than $35 per month. It was blocked by a court before the order took effect.

4. President Trump's health secretary, Alex Azar, said importing medicine from Canada “poses no additional risk to the public’s health and safety” and would result in “a significant reduction in the cost," Dr. Rosenthal said. This opened the door to importing prescription medicine, which could significantly lower the cost of prescription medications.

5. President Trump issued an executive order to ensure prices for certain drugs purchased by Medicare did not exceed the lowest price available in other developed countries. The court later ruled against this measure.

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