Skip to main content

  President Trump Delivers Remarks on Health Care Prices  CSPAN  November 15, 2019 2:12pm-2:48pm EST

2:12 pm
2:13 pm
at the white house president trump is giving live remarks on health care costs. >> we're up over 100 times for the stock market. that means jobs. that means companies are moving back into the united states that left. we have many, many companies coming back. the employment numbers are at a record. we're very close, and we just got a new number on african american employment is best it's ever been. you could say employment or unemployment, they're the best numbers they've ever been. we're proud of what's happened with our economy. a few months ago you were predicting a recession. perhaps some day there will be a recession. we have a long way to go. the consumer has never been stronger and we're going to make the consumer even stronger yet with transparency, because they're going to get much better pricing at hospitals. i think we can probably add this
2:14 pm
to the number. you saw a median household income for president bush eight years was $450 for president obama for eight years, eight years, think of that, $975. for president trump, a little over two and a half years when they did the final number was $5,000, and they add to that 2000 thanks to kevin and everybody. thank you, kevin. you're behind me someplace. they had 2000 or 2500. what would you say in right there. add 2,000 and then add 3,000 for regulation and add something for the energy savings. $10,000. it's 400 and $975 for eight and eight and then for two and a half years it's 10,000. that's not bad, but the consumer is very powerful. and this is going to make them more powerful.
2:15 pm
welcome, everyone. this afternoon we celebrate something that i'm very proud of. another major victory in the mission to deliver great health care at a price that you can afford. this will have a tremendous impact on prices. a certain gentleman in the room who will say a couple words actually said this is more important than health care. and when he said that, my ears really perked up. i listened. and they were right. and they gave me plenty of examples. that person recently got the presidential medal of freedom. his name is art lafer, and he's a very talented guy. where is he? >> i'm short today. >> i didn't see you back there. stand up here. a great gentleman, and you brought a man here who is the king of that world, and -- hello. how are you? that's the guy. and you made that statement to me, more important than health care. that was a big statement. as soon as i heard that, i said that sounds good to me.
2:16 pm
it's transparency. so i signed, as you know, an executive order, historic. and we're requiring price transparency in health care forcing companies to compete for your business. it's a very important thing that we've done here. i don't think it will be covered by you. but it will be in the years to come. our goal was to give patients the knowledge they need about the real price of health care services. they'll be able to check them, compare them, go to different locations so they can shop for the highest quality care at the lowest cost. and this is about high quality care. you're also looking at that. you're looking at comparisons between talents which is very important, and then you're also looking at cost. in some cases you'll get the best doctor for the lowest cost. that's a good thing. today i'm proud to announce two new actions implementing that order first. we are finalizing the rule that will compel hospitals to publish
2:17 pm
prices publicly, online, for everyone to see and to compare to you're able to go online and compare all the hospitals and the doctors and the prices, and i assume get resumes on doctors and see who you like. and the good doctors like i assume these two guys are fantastic doctors, otherwise you wouldn't be here. and the bad doctors, i guess they have to go and hide someplace. i don't know. maybe they don't do so well, i don't know. but if they're not good, we're more interested in the good ones. it's called rewarding talent. second, we're putting forward a proposed rule for health insurance providers to provide information to consumers. the freedom to choose the care is right before them on the internet. and elsewhere, but on the internet. very, very open. very transparent. that's why it's called transparency. and this has been done on small basis on individual hospitals. in fact, art, you were telling
2:18 pm
me about that with your hospital. that you're on a board of a hospital that did this. i'd like you, before i go further, i'd like you to talk about that for a moment. explain that if you could. >> you've got to lower it really far. sorry about that. i was the chairman of the board of centennial hospital. we had problems, but this is the biggest revolution i've seen in generations. i mean, and as opposed to most revolutions, this revolution saves lives. it doesn't cost lives. and in this revolution, it saves money. you don't have to spend money. and what you've seen here before is that we have no transparency whatsoever in medical. it's like the hermit kingdom of industries. you don't know what the price is. you don't know what the outcome is, and you don't know what the inputs are. what this does is this pulls away the veil and allows people to see exactly what they can and what they do. and if i can say, i think this will lead to a phenomenal change
2:19 pm
in the u.s. outcome of employment output production. it's just one of the industries that desperately needs this. i'll stop about here, but the last one i can remember being involved with was with lady thatcher when she privatized coal, steel, and the railroads. i mean, the changes there -- this outdoes all those revelatio revelatiolugss. it takes real leadership and real practicers to get it through. and secretary azar is a great practitioner, and my buddy larry van cohorn is also a great practitioner. thank you, sir. >> i'd like to have larry say a few words and explain. >> sure, mr. president. well, this is a momentous day. americans year over year have been faced with higher and higher health care costs, facing higher and higher obligations to pay for those without information around the price and the quality associated with
2:20 pm
that. the charges that have been put out are fictitious. nobody pays the charges. this effort is to make real prices transparent. the net allowed amounts that drive the decision-making for patients every day will now be in their hands. they can make better tradeoffs and have hopefully more money in their wallets and paychecks to pay for all the goods and services they need to live their lives. i appreciate the efforts of the administration all the way through in terms of being able to follow through and execute this. >> we did it max. right? we didn't do a small. >> we did it max. a plus. a plus. >> there are versions of this. i said no, i don't want the c or the d. i want the a plus, and we did it the a plus. i'm very happy with that. i think you're going to see things. it's kicking in immediately. it will kick in as of today. but it's going to really start going during the course of the year, the following year, this year coming. and you'll see some results that are going to be incredible in
2:21 pm
terms of costs coming down. and i think in terms of the quality of the care because you're picking people that you'd want to be with. this afternoon we're graltful to be joined by secretary steve mnuchin. secretary gene scalia. good time first base department of labor. >> a great story to tell. >> thank you very much. good. secretary alex azar, thank you, alex. and administrator sheena verna. they're spread all over the place. i also want to welcome kevin brady, michael bunch us and greg walden. they've been fantastic on getting us to a really good position with the taxes. we're going to do a major middle income tax cut if we take back the house. and we'll be talking about that
2:22 pm
sometime later, but we're going to be doing a very major middle income tax cut, mostly devoted to middle income who have really been big beneficiaries of the tax cut we did which was the largest in the history of our country, but we're doing a major tax cut for the middle income. and that will be subject obviously to taking over the house, because democrats like tax increases, not tax cuts. i also want to thank our state leaders. we have a lot of state leaders here today at the highest level. i want to thank them for being here, and a special thanks, again, to highly respected economist, dr. larry van horn, and art laffer. they came to my office, we congratulated art because he did a an incredible job with ronald reagan and beyond. when i said the presidential medd medal of freedom, he told me
2:23 pm
this little story about a certain hospital he was involved with where they did this, and every hospital has had incredible experience with it. i said tell me more. and then we got involved with larry and larry kudlow also, by the way, and we had a little group of four people that talked about it a lot. and i think it's going to have a tremendous impact. and again, the statement was made, this is bigger than health care. and i think it will be. i think it will be more meaningful in many ways informal you'll save so much money and get the care that you want, and you'll choose the doctor you want which was not possible despite the many pleas. you know, you can have your plan and have your doctor. well, they turned out to be untrue statements about obama care. for decades, hospitals j insurance companies, lobbyists and special interests have hidden prices from consumers who they could drive up costs for you and you had no idea what was happening. you'd get bills that were unbelievable and have no idea why. for example, researchers found that for the same mri at the
2:24 pm
same hospital, patients were charged anywhere from $248 to $2,500. ten times more, at the same hospital. i assume that's different doctors within the same hospital. i don't know if the hospitals are going to like me too much anymore with this, but that's okay. right? that's okay. i think the doctors are going to, actually. in the boston area the price of delivering a baby can cost anywhere from roughly $4700 to nearly $16,000. one survey found that within a single metro area the highest negotiated price for simple blood test was roughly 40 times more than the lowest price. they were given exactly the same service. in some cases sent them to the same labs, and were charged 40 times more money. under the new price transparency rule, we are finalizing today, and it will be all finalized. it is finalized. it will be put out today. all of that will change.
2:25 pm
hospitals will soon be required to publish the price of everything from individual medical supplies to the total cost of common procedures. next we will bring much needed price transparency to insurance companies. i'm sure they'll be thrilled. this will allow you to see your out of pocket costs and other vital price information before you go in for treatment. so you're going to know what it's going to be, and you're going to be able to have lots of choices. both in terms of doctors, hospitals, and price. and we're stopping american patients from just getting pure and simple, two words, very simple words, ripped offer, because they've been ripped off for years. for a lot of years. with us today is melissa ural who works for a company that benefits from price transparency, and melissa, could you come up and say a few words? >> yes. >> thank you, melissa. >> thank you, mr. president. i am the vice president of human
2:26 pm
resources for hb global. we're an employee-owned mechanical contracting company. transparent pricing initiative aligns with our ownership model because it allows employees to get the care they need at the cost they want. currently we are partnering with a broker to work and negotiate prices for surgeries and other procedures at local surgical centers. this allows our employees to know what the procedure, what the costs will look like when they walk through the door. this also allows our employees to get great care at a fraction of the cost with the same quality and standard of care that they would have gotten, and they won't receive any surprise bills. right now we have some transparency behind the scenes but with full price transparency up front, our employees can make the best decisions possible. we wouldn't expect our employees
2:27 pm
to go buy a car or a house without knowing the price up front. why should their health care be any different? i want to thank the president for bringing this important initiative to the front. thank you. >> thank you very much, melissa. thank you. thank you. good job, melissa. we're also joined by kar a buckle who works for the same company and benefitted when her employer shopped for the best price on a surgery, a surgery that she needed, and i'd like to have care kara come up and plea tell us about it. kara? >> thank you. i am kara bagel. i work forhb in january of thi surgery on my ankle. i'm the sole provider of my two-year-old son, so this impact was huge for his and my day today life.
2:28 pm
when i initially went to an orthopedic urgent care, i had no idea what i was going to pay. no idea what the costs were going to be. i just know i needed to get help. i ended up with a bill for over $1,000. this was an unexpected expense that my family now had to endure, and it had a huge impact on us. it was a huge stres sor to know i needed surgery and not know what the cost was going to be, and how it was going to impact my life. thankfully my company was able to work with what prices were going to be beforehand with insurance. the claim my company would have paid buzz $19,500 this. we wouldn't have known that cost until avenue. by shopping around beforehand, we knew the claim was going to be 780 0. that's a 60% price difference. and it was at zero cost to me. i was even able to get the care
2:29 pm
at the same facility that i was going to go to if i would have used my insurance. i want to thank the president for making health care more transparent so that others in my situation don't have to have these unexpected financial surprises and hardships. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. thank you very much, kara. also with us is dr. rick schultz, chief medical officer at texas free market surgery. doctor, i'd like to have you come up and say a few words about what we're doing and how we're doing it. thank you, doctor. >> thank you. thank you very much for having us here today. this is a very exciting day. i'd like to take a minute to talk about stewardship. i'd like to thank god with charging me with the abilities to practice orthopedic surgery in texas the last 20 years. i'd also like to thank the nce he's been his leadership and
2:30 pm
elected he trusts americans to be courageous and make smart decisions with their own money and their own health care. and he knows we're smart enough to make good decisions now. this policy, this transparency, will be the fuel for health care innovation very similar to what we're doing with texas free market surgery in texas medical management. right now we take good care of patients at a fair price and it's completely transparent. this is not something in the future. this is something we're doing today. if you don't believe me, check out our website. finally, i'd really like to challenge the americans that this is a right that you're getting back. to know the price of your health care. this is going to be a fight. this is very disruptive. the people who are currently making a lot of money off of us are going to fight this tooth and nail. if you aren't ready to fight for this, then don't complain when it gets taken away from you. mr. president, thank you for
2:31 pm
stepping into the gap, taking the slings and arrows and helping get this going. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i think if i could, i'd like to have kevin brady come up just for a second, and talk about what we've done with the individual mandate and how that's just a part of our -- a small part, but it's a very big part in terms of health care, what we did with respect to our tax cuts and our reforms. and you might want to discuss the individual mandate. getting rid of it was such a big deal. thank you. >> thank you, mr. president. first, thank you for being the president who led on letting people keep more of what they earned so they can afford health care, utility, college costs, all of which has seemed to go up. secondly, thank you for when we saw the failings of the affordable care act, especially forcing average texans, average americans into buying health care they couldn't use and couldn't afford, you stepped forward with congress to
2:32 pm
eliminate effectively that mandate. so -- it was another tax cut on the american people. you've also created association health plans, because if you're in a small bids, if you work for small business or have one, you've been left behind under the affordable care act. your plans allow our small businesses to join together to afford health care the way the big companies do. they're cutting prices 30%, 40%. today as art pointed out and you too, mr. president, look, patients are confused. families don't know what things cost. you can't shop around and you don't understand the price. this pulling back the curtain on health care prices will help competition occur, give us as families and patients choices ahead of time, and will ultimately lower the health care costs and i'll close with this. it's easy to have quality care or affordable care. the goal is to have both.
2:33 pm
making these prices transparent allow our families and our businesses to have quality care and affordable at the same time. this really is transformational. thank you very much, mr. president. >> thank you. it all sort of fits in. it's like a puzzle. and i see my friend gregg. i can't believe you're going to be leaving congress one of these days. i was so disappointed to see that, but you're fantastic. and we all work together with everybody, all of us. come on up here, the two of you. i'd like you discuss right to try a little bit. and i mean, you think about it's really a very important part of health care. >> it is. >> the ultimate part of health care. and for 45 years they've been trying to get it passed and they couldn't do it. and greg walden, the three of us plus a lot, we've got it done. congressman, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. go ahead. please. >> well, thank you, mr. president. we've never had a president lean further forward on behalf of
2:34 pm
patients than president trump. and we finally got into law a right to try. now you're going to get in place right to know. we should have the right to know what these things cost. i was here with you when you talked about surprise medical billing. and we are very close to legislating on that, mr. president. and that is a huge win for consumers. this is a huge win for consumers. you're doing the right thing and doctor mike burgess, now the top republican on health care has been a leader in this effort as well. and your team working with the secretaries and sema and others have been at the forefront of this, and americans are benefitting. and the one thing i hear about is what kevin brady talked about. we want affordable care. we want innovation, but we have to be able to afford it. you can't know what things cost if they won't tell you. it's all hidden back behind the curtain. mr. president, thank you for your leadership and your team's
2:35 pm
leadership. >> michael, say a few words, please. >> from what i flare swebts all the time, i practiced medicine for 25 years. they're concerned with the cost and complexity of health care. this is a major step. major step. and delivering on that promise for patients, look, there's another party in town that just wants to take away all your choices and giver you one choice. this president is trying to expand your choices. that's a better choice. >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. so the actions that we're announcing today are only the latest steps in the campaign to deliver great health care for american patients. our efforts to reduce the price of prescription drugs and i don't know if you know that, but this is the first time a secretary azar, i think prices have gone down for prescription drugs. that's quite an achievement. and if we had the help of the democrats, which we don't, it's a shame, because we could knock drug prices down so low. we will be giving states the
2:36 pm
right to go to other countries to buy their drugs, because other countries, because they don't have these crazy rules that we could fix so quickly if we had the help of the democrats, but they want the price of drugs to stay high, i suppose. we brought it down the most in 51 years and we're proud of that. but we can bring them down much more, and one of the things i'm doing is as an example, canada, will pay much less for drugs because they don't have to pay for research and development. so their pricing is cheaper. i'm working with ron in florida and other governors, great governors, and they're going to buy from other countries, and skip all the nonsense and i think ultimately what that's going to do is the drug companies will bring the price of their drugs down or they'll buy from other countries. that's okay. the same pill made in the same factory, made by the same company sells for 50% to 70% less in one country than
2:37 pm
another. we're always the high country. i'm going to give the governors the right shortly to buy their prescription drugs from other countries, and we avoid -- we skirt a lot of -- that probably sounds like a pretty good idea to you. what do you think? huh? >> love it. >> you as the great economist. anyway, so the actions that we're announcing today are the latest steps, our efforts to reduce the price of prescription drugs. we'll have some tremendous results. we could do it so simply if we had any kind of help from the democrats, but they're doing so many other things, namely one, wasting a lot of time, and very bad for our country what they're doing. and they should approve u.s. mca. it's the great e trade deal ever made. and they should stop playing games. and mexico signed it many months ago. canada keeps calling me, when is this deal going to happen? is this deal going to happen? it's sitting on nancy pelosi's
2:38 pm
desk for about three or four months. nervous nancy. she needs a little nervous energy to get it done. all she has to do is put it up. she has plenty of democratic votes. she doesn't want to do it because she doesn't want to have a victory for the american people. that's all it is. so either she does it or she doesn't do it, but mexico wants to know what's happening. canada wants to know what's happening. they could live without it. it's a great deal for us. they want to know what's going on. we eliminated the obama care individual mandate penalty and we're expanding affordable alternatives which cost up to 60% less than obama care plans and it could be even quite a bit higher than that in some cases and we'll always protect patients with preexisting conditions and as i've said lately, also patients with preexisting physicians. i thought it was good. i made it in one speech. people like that. it's true. you didn't have your doctor.
2:39 pm
you didn't have your plan. and now you have the plan and the doctor. it's pretty good. in everything we do, my administration is fighting for the rights of american consumers, the well being of american patients, and the health of american people. we're taking on the bureaucrats in more ways than one. you probably noticed that. right? we're taking on a lot of bureaucrats. we're taking on the insurance companies. and we're taking on the special interests, and that's one of the difficulties i have in washington. i've taken on a lot of the establishment, and a lot of the politicians are taken care of by the establishment. they don't like that i take on the establishment, but i'm taking it on for the consumer, the american people. that's why you see prices going on, and you haven't seen anything yet. things are going to happen that will be shocking. but there are people in washington, as i say, people in the swamp that don't like what i'm doing for that reason. we will not rest until every american has access to the highest quality, most affordable health care anywhere in the world. and again, i want to thank you
2:40 pm
all, and i'd like to ask secretary azar to come up and say a few words. thank you very much. thank you. >> well, thank you very much, mr. president. and thank you for your leadership. you asked us as you said earlier, to deliver a plus transparency in health care. well, right now our system wouldn't even get a passing grade on transparency. patients are at the mercy of a shadowy system without any control over their care. thanks to your leadership and executive order, we're changing that. the changes you described what we're doing at hhs, will be revolutionary to our health care system. perhaps the biggest single change that president trump has made to americans' health care experience. more than 70% of the most common hospital services are shopable. we're delivering american patients the information they need to make the right choices for themselves. that's crucial to the kind of system we're building for american patients.
2:41 pm
with affordable, personalized, patient centered care that puts you in control and treats you like a human being and not like a number. so thank you, mr. president, for delivering american patients the affordable that you need, the options and control that you want, and the quality that you deserve. a key leader in this work has been administrator verma who will now say a few words. >> thank you. first of all, i want to thank the president. people have been talking about price transparency forever. we all know what's been going on in the health care system has been wrong. it's not fair that patients don't know the cost of the services they're going to get. only one man has been willing to stand up to special interest and do what's right for patients and put them back in control of their health care. so thank you, president trump. really appreciate it. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you very much.
2:42 pm
thank you. so after many, many years we finally have transparency. it's going into effect today. it will have a tremendous impact. it will sort of go in sections and stages, but it all begins today. and within about 12 months i think it will be fully implemented and we can even say probably a shorter period of time. some of it is complex and some of it is very easy. but it's all very good. there's never been anything like this. so the word is transparency, and i love transparency in many ways, and this is going to be something that's going to be -- it's going to be incredible for the consumer, for the patient. i think it's going to be really good for the good doctors, maybe not so good for other doctors. i think it's going to be really good for the great hospitals, frankly. and it's very exciting. and it's something that, again, art, i want to thank you very much. you really did bring it to my attention, and i appreciate it very much. thank you very much.
2:43 pm
yeah, please. >> mr. president, what do you say to democrats who say you were witness tampering this morning when you made that tweet? >> you don't want to talk about transparency? i'll talk about transparency. i like it here. i'm the most transparent president in history. and i'll tell you about what tampering is. tampering is when a guy like shifty shift doesn't let us have lawyers. tampering is when schiff doesn't let us have witnesses or let us speak. i've been watching today for the first time, i started watching. it was really sad when you see people not allowed to ask questions. it's totally -- nobody has ever had such horrible due process. there was no due process, and i think it's considered a joke. all over washington and all over the world, the republicans are given no due process whatsoever. we're not allowed to do anything. it's a disgrace what's happening. but you know what? the american public understands it. that's why the poll numbers are so good. and that's why other things are so good. what they're doing in washington
2:44 pm
with that hearing, and it's a political process. it's not a legal process. if i have somebody saying i'm allowed to speak up, if somebody says about me, we're not allowed to have any kind of representation, we're not allowed to have almost anything, and nobody has seen anything like it. in the history of our country, there has never been a disgrace like what's going on right now. you know what? i have the right to speak. i have freedom of speech just as other people do, but they've taken away the republican's rights and i watched today as certain talented people wanted to ask questions and they weren't even allowed to ask questions, republicans. they weren't allowed to ask questions. it's a very sad thing. >> sir, with your freedom p, were you trying to intimidate -- >> i just want to have a total -- i want freedom of speech. that's a political process. the republicans have been treated very badly, and i watched a little bit of it today. i wasn't able to yesterday because we had the president of turkey here. i wasn't able to watch much.
2:45 pm
i watched some of it this morning. i thought it was a disgrace. when we have great republican representatives, people elected by the people, and they're not allowed to even ask a question, they're not allowed to make a statement, we're not allowed to have witnesses, we're not allowed to have legal white house counsel, it's a disgrace and embarrassment to our nation. >> reporte quiet. quiet. >> reporter: sir, do you believe you're free to be intimidating? >> yonksz at all. >> reporter: mr. president, do you think you're going to be impeached? >> i don't think so. i thought last night it ended. last night i was in louisiana where we're hopefully going to elect a great republican governor. and i was getting off the plane. they handed me a statement that was just made by the foreign minister and president of the ukraine. and ukraine they came out loud and clear that there was no linkage, not even a little bit.
2:46 pm
you all saw it. i said oh, well, that ends the impeachment. and you people don't even report it. look, the press is unbelievably dishonest. that was a major statement put out last night by the foreign minister of ukraine, and also by the president of ukraine. and you don't even report it. it's a disgrace. because it said there was absolutely no linkage. we had a perfect conversation. and i also, because of transparency, whether it's medical transparency or just transparency generally, i also put out today a statement. and in the statement we released and then congressman nunez read a call that i had with the president of ukraine. and it was a great call. it was a very nice call. everybody said it was perfect. i always say, it was equally as good as the other call. and i put it out today. and nobody even wants to report
2:47 pm
it, because it was so good they don't want to report it. look, if we had an honest press in this country, we would be so well-served. and you know what? when i look at your approval numbers, they're the worst they've ever been in the history of our country. the media, the approval numbers. they are horrible. and you ought to get yourself back and you ought to put yourself back in a position where people respect the media again. and i know some great journalists. i know some great people in the media, but there aren't enough of them. there's a lot of dishonesty, and many of you i just consider members of the democrats and it's a shame. okay. thank you all very much. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. zblrchgs watch live coverage right now on c-span2 of the
2:48 pm
house intelligence committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry against president trump. former u.s. ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch is testifying. again, the hearing is live on c-span2. online at or listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> jerome chair talks about monetary policy and the economy before the joint economic