On Feb. 28, President Donald Trump outlined his administration's policy priorities during his first address to Congress. Among the topics he addressed were the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), prescription drug prices and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process.
President Trump called on Congress to repeal and replace the ACA, referring to the law as an "imploding ... disaster." He also presented health reform principles that he believes should guide Congress as it works to repeal and replace the ACA:
- ensure that Americans with preexisting conditions have access to coverage;
- make sure that Americans currently enrolled in the ACA exchanges have a stable transition;
- help Americans purchase health coverage that "they want" with the use of tax credits and through the expanded use of health savings accounts;
- provide governors with the flexibility and resources to reform the Medicaid program; implement medical malpractice reform to lower the cost of insurance; and
- allow Americans to purchase health insurance plans across state lines.
On the issue of prescription drug costs, President Trump called on lawmakers to "work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately."
The President also used his speech to acknowledge Rare Disease Week, recognizing one of his gallery guests, Meghan Crowley, who was diagnosed with Pompe Disease as a child. He then pivoted to criticize the FDA, describing the approval process as "slow and burdensome," and called on Congress to "slash restraints" on the approval process. Trump's recently announced nominee to head the FDA, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, similarly has advocated for reform with respect to FDA's review and approval processes, particularly with respect to rare-disease drugs.