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Trump to Roll Out His Plan for the Future of Medicare

Yuval Rosenberg

President Trump will reportedly lay out his plan for the future of Medicare as part of a speech in Florida retirement community Thursday focused on defending his health care record and contrasting it with progressive Democratic proposals for a Medicare for All system.

“The president intends to draw a clear contrast with Democrats: He aims to protect and improve Medicare while providing choice, even as some Democrats push for vastly expanded or universal Medicare that Trump argues will increase costs and kill existing plans,” Bloomberg News reported.

Trump is expected to sign an executive order calling in part for further privatization of Medicare via the expansion of popular Medicare Advantage plans administered by private insurers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has said that it will let Medicare Advantage plans offer new supplemental benefits that go beyond just paying for traditional hospital and doctor visits if the offerings can be expected to maintain or improve the wellbeing of plan enrollees.

Trump’s order is titled “Protecting Medicare from Socialist Destruction,” according to Bloomberg, though the Washington Examiner says it’s called “Protecting and Improving Medicare For Our Nation’s Seniors.”

“We will be looking for more options for seniors to choose Medicare Advantage and tailor different Medicare Advantage programs for them,” Joe Grogan, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, told an Orlando cable news channel.

The Washington Examiner detailed some of the offering private insurers will be marketing to customers ahead of this year’s open enrollment period, which starts October 15:

  • Cigna will let patients reach their doctors over their computers and smartphones to get routine care;
  • SCAN Compass in California is opening up options for acupuncture and massage therapy;
  • Anthem’s MaineCare will provide patients with nutritional advice and with rides to doctors’ appointments;
  • HealthPartners is setting up online and delivery options for prescription drugs and providing a higher allowance for hearing aids;
  • and Amerigroup in Texas is letting its customers pick a handful of wellness services, such as a fitness device, pest control, or service animal support.

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