President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address last Tuesday, in which he pledged to guarantee coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions, protect Medicare, and sign legislation to dramatically “lower prescription prices” if Congress would “get a bill on my desk.”
He announced $50 million in new funding for neonatal research and noted his administration’s initiatives on fighting Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, and HIV. While not included in the President’s remarks, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar released a statement saying the administration would also focus on issues such “improving maternal health and transforming health in rural America.”
The president is expected to submit his annual budget to Congress for Fiscal Year 2021 this week and many of the proposals he mentioned are expected to be included in it.
Democrats responded to the prescription drug comments in the speech by chanting “H.R. 3”—the drug price bill the House passed last year. And Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern (D) tweeted during the speech that by attempting to defeat the Affordable Care Act in federal court, the Trump Administration is actually seeking to eliminate, not guarantee, coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions.