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  Health Care Executive Order  CSPAN  October 12, 2017 11:29am-11:48am EDT

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[applause] >> good morning. president trump and his administration are committed to ensuring hardworking americans have access to affordable health care. mr. president, your executive order signed today is an important step in achieving that goal. i want to thank you and your
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administration for continuing to focus in finding affordable health care solutions. in addition to instructions given to the treasury and health and human services departments, the president will task the department of labor with considering ways to deliver quality, affordable health care to the american work force. i'd now like to call upon senator rand paul to say a few brief words. thank you. senator paul: thank you. today is a big day. president trump is doing what i believe is the biggest free market reform of health care in a generation. this reform, if it works and goes as planned, will allow millions of people to get insurance across state lines at an inexpensive price. 28 million people were left behind by obamacare. do not have insurance today. this specifically targets and will help people who don't have
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insurance or people for whom insurance is too expensive. i'm very glad to be part of this and i really want to commend the president for having the boldness and the leadership and the foresight to get this done and i'd like to introduce the vice president of the united states. vice president pence: well, good morning. secretary costa, senator paul, secretary mnuchin, administrator mcmahon. senator paul, thank you for those thoughtful remarks and to congressman greg walden and congresswoman virginia foxx, other distinguished members of congress, and job creators, it's an honor to share this moment with you today. president trump will take a critical step to lower the cost of health insurance for working americans. since day one of our administration, president trump has made it a top priority to rescue the american people from the disastrous failure of
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obamacare. every day obamacare survives is another day the american people struggle. and all the job creators gathered here today at the white house have witnessed the failures of obamacare firsthand. premiums have more than doubled since obamacare went into effect. and next year premiums are set to increase even more. while costs have been skyrocketing, choices are plummeting. next year nearly half of america's counties will have only one choice of health insurance provider which essentially means they have no choice at all. as the president and i have traveled around the country we have heard from working families, small business owners who are struggling under the weight of obamacare. today, president trump will take decisive action, to provide the american people with flexibility and freedom from the burdens of obamacare and expand the number of affordable health care options for working americans. mr. president, i can say i speak for everyone here and for millions of americans when i say how grateful we are for your determination to repeal and replace obamacare and your
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commitment demonstrated today by this action, to provide the american people with more choices, for more affordable health care in the 21st century. and with that, ladies and gentlemen, it's my privilege to introduce the president of the united states of america. [applause] president trump: thank you. thank you very much to vice president pence for that wonderful introduction and for the great job you do and i want to thank secretary acosta, secretary mnuchin, acting secretary hargen and administrator mcmahon for joining us today. we are all gathered for something that i believe is going to be very, very powerful for our nation and very good for a lot of people.
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but before i begin, i have an important update. yesterday, the united states government, working with the government of pakistan, secured the release of caitlyn coleman, joshua boyle and their three children from captivity from the haqqani network, a terrorist organization with ties to the taliban. the pakistani government's cooperation is a sign that it is honoring america's wish that it do more to provide security in the region. and i want to thank the pakistani government. i want to thank pakistan. they worked very hard on this, and i believe they're starting to respect the united states again. it's very important. i think a lot of countries -- right now a lot of countries are starting to respect the united states of america once
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again. we hope to see this type of cooperation and team work in approximate helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations. so with that i want to begin by saying it's my pleasure to welcome so many great small business and association leaders to the white house as we prepare to make this truly historic announcement and that's exactly what it is. we've been hearing about the disaster of obamacare for so long. in my case, many years, most of it outside in civilian life. and for a long period of time since i started running and since i became president of the united states. i just keep hearing repeal, replace, repeal, replace. well, we're starting that process and we're starting it in a very positive manner. i can say when you get rand paul on your side it is
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positive. let me tell you. [laughter] [applause] i was saying as he was getting up and saying all these wonderful things about what we're going to be announcing i said, boy, that's pretty unusual. i am pretty impressed. [laughter] but seven years ago, congressional democrats broke the american health care system by forcing the obamacare nightmare onto the american people. it has been a nightmare. you look at what's happening with the premiums and the increases of 100% and 120% and even in one case, alaska, over 200%. and now every congressional democrat has blocked the effort to save americans from obamacare. along with a very small, frankly, handful of republicans. three. and we're going to take care of that also because i believe we have the votes to do block grants at a little bit later time.
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and we'll be able to do that. premiums have gone skyrocketing. but today 1/3 of all the counties in america have only a single insurer selling coverage it n exchange and next year looks like nearly half of all counties in our country -- think of that. all of the counties, one half will have one insurer. and many will have none. many will have absolutely created roadblocks for people to have any form of the insurance we're talking about. this is why in a few moments i will sign an executive order taking the first steps to providing millions of americans with obamacare relief. it directs the department of health and human services, the treasury and the department of labor to take action to increase competition, increase choice and increase access to
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lower priced, high-quality health care options, and they will have so many options. this will cost the united states government virtually nothing, and people will have great, great health care. and when i say people i mean by the millions and millions. first, we aim to allow more small businesses to form associations, to buy affordable and competitive health insurance. this would open up additional options for employers to purchase the health plans their workers want. i'm also directing secretary acosta to consider ways to expand these associations and these health care plans all across state lines. this will create tremendous competition and transformative in so many ways change aimed at
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creating more and lower prices for millions of americans. but the competition will be staggering. insurance companies will be fighting to get every single person signed up, and you will be hopefully negotiating, negotiating, negotiating and you'll get such low prices for such great care. should have been done a long time ago and it could have been done a long time ago. this will allow thousands of small business employers to have the same purchasing power as large employers to get more affordable and generous insurance options for their workers. bordre, where are you? come on up here. nice to see you, leslie. they're here today from louisiana. a great state. just left. had a little hurricane damage.
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they got hit, like charles, but we took care of it, right? >> absolutely. president trump: we took care of it. they're great people. they are small business owners and they know personally the benefits of association health plans one of which used to provide health insurance for their employees. but after obamacare, they were unable to afford their association plan. so they had a great thing, their employees were happy and then it ended like so many more. greg, you know exactly what i'm talking about. greg has been so incredible on this subject. and people had plans that worked and then all of a sudden they were just totally cut off. it happened to your company also. rich and leslie have said they would love once again to use an association health plan, and there are millions of americans who want more affordable options just like them. and now with this executive will likely ns will likely
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soon have those options. we will be very happy to provide them to you, and you will be very happy, rich. i think you're going to be extremely pleased. if not i think you can tell them right now. thank you, leslie of the appreciate it. great to see you. thank you very much. in addition, my administration will explore how we can expand something called short-term limited duration insurance. these health insurance policies are not subject to any very expansive and expensive boim care mandates -- obamacare mandates and rules. the cost of obamacare have been so outrageous it is absolutely destroying everything in its wake. they were to atrabtive that just last year the previous administration -- attractive that just last year the previous administration crippled the market in an effort to keep people from fleeing the obamacare plan. in fact, they prevented these plans from lasting more than three months.
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they will take action to fix that and to make these affordable flexible plans much more widely available. so we're going to have a very widely available plan that's going to cost much less, and from the standpoint of the united states government, we will be very happy, won't we, virginia? ms. foxx: we will. president trump: so it will get better and it will cost us nothing. that's not too bad, right? we need some more answers like that. finally, today's executive order instructs secretaries acosta, mnuchin and hargen to explore how they can have more businesses use h.r.a.'s to compensate their employees for hair health care expenses. currently, only about 1/3 of small business employees receive coverage at work, forcing millions of workers to enroll in the exchanges or remain uninsured and to pay the
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individual mandate penalty. not good. not good. that is one of the most unpopular things i've ever seen in government, i can tell you. this order takes first steps to make it easier for businesses to help their workers afford high-quality and more flexible health care through reimbursement accounts. with these actions, we are moving toward lower costs and more options in the health care market and taking crucial steps towards saving the american people from the nightmare of obamacare. today is only the beginning. in the coming months we plan to take new measures to provide our people with even more relief and more freedom. and by the way, on another subject, that will include massive tax cuts. we are going to get massive tax cuts.
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and i believe even senator rand paul, and i know virginia, greg, i think you're with us, but the whole country is looking for these massive tax cuts. and we will get them. and we are going to also pressure congress very strongly to finish the repeal and the replace of obamacare once and for all. we will have great health care in our country. thank you all very much. appreciate it. [applause] thank you very much. thank you, everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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president trump: this is promoting health care, choice and competition all across the united states. this is going to be something that millions and millions of people will be signing up for and they're going to be very happy. this is going to be great health care. so congratulations, everybody. [applause] president trump: thank you, everybody.
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>> what about the puerto rico comments? >> mr. president, are you committed to puerto rico for the long term? >> and by the way, later today the president is expected to head e his nominee to e homeland security, kirsten nielson. online at and on the free c-span radio app. legislative work getting under way at noon eastern. a number of bills today, including a $36.5 billion disaster relief bill following the recent hurricanes and the western wildfires. also a bill expanding federal whistleblower protections and other measures including possible further action on the defense programs and policy bill. live house coverage on c-span at noon. until then, part of today's