Healthcare Takeaways from President Trump’s State of the Union Address

During his healthcare remarks in the State of the Union address on Feb. 5, President Donald Trump acknowledged the importance of Americans having affordable, innovative, hiqh-quality healthcare.

He highlighted his administration’s successes in providing insurance coverage options at lower costs, protecting patients with pre-existing conditions, and preserving Medicare.

Hen then called on Congress to pass legislation to prohibit free government healthcare for illegal aliens, and to dramatically lower prescription drug prices. “Get a bill on my desk, and I will sign it into law immediately.”

President Trump vowed to continue curbing the opioid epidemic until we have beaten it “once and for all,” pointing out that, for the first time in nearly 30 years, drug overdose deaths have declined during his tenure.

He also pledged his commitment to fighting infectious diseases, including coronavirus, finding new cures for childhood cancers, and eradicating the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. by the end of the decade. He also asked for Congress to provide an additional $50 million to fund neonatal research, and to pass legislation to ban late-term abortion.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer was selected by Congressional leadership to deliver the Democratic party’s response to President Trump’s address. Rather than responding to what the president said, because she said she’d “need a lot more than 10 minutes,” Gov. Whitmer highlighted what Democrats are doing to improve education, fix our infrastructure, build an economy that works for everyone, and protect healthcare coverage.

Highlighting her role in helping to expand healthcare coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders under the Affordable Care Act, through the Healthy Michigan Plan, she vowed the Democratic party’s commitment to expanding healthcare for all Americans, and supporting the ACA and its “life-saving protections.”

In response to the State of the Union, AAFP issued a statement thanking President Trump for highlighting the high cost of prescription drugs and concurring with the importance of Americans having access to affordable, innovative, high-quality healthcare.

The AAFP statement points out that healthcare coverage doesn’t help, however, if Americans can’t afford medications and treatments.

Family physicians are on the front lines of the U.S. healthcare system and see this financial tension playing out in their practices every day as they manage the chronic conditions of their patients and watch them struggle with prescription drug prices.

“The rapidly increasing cost of healthcare, particularly the cost of prescription drugs, threatens to undermine the expansion in coverage [through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion]. The AAFP is committed to ensuring that all patients have access to needed care and affordable coverage. We will continue to advocate for meaningful affordable healthcare for all.”