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  • Washington Highlights

    President Trump Focuses on Health Care and Immigration in Address to Congress

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
    Jason Kleinman, Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations

    President Trump Feb. 28 delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress. During his speech, the president outlined a number of policies of importance to medical schools and teaching hospitals, including health care, immigration, and budget priorities.

    President Trump called on Congress to “repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better healthcare.” Specifically, he laid out five principles “that should guide Congress as we move to create a better healthcare system for all Americans:”

    • Ensure Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage;

    • Help Americans purchase their own coverage through the use of tax credits and expanded health savings accounts;

    • Provide governors with greater flexibility for Medicaid;

    • Implement medical malpractice reforms to protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs; and

    • Allow insurers to sell health plans across state lines.

    President Trump’s immigration policy statements focused on enforcement and border security. He focused on “removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities,” but also referenced the “improved vetting procedures” of his recent executive orders [see Washington Highlights, Feb. 3], as well as shifting to a “merit-based immigration system.” The president appeared to call on Congress for legislation, stating that he believes “real and positive immigration reform is possible.”

    While he provided little detail, President Trump mentioned some budget priorities, including “a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States — financed through both public and private capital,” and “increase[d] funding for our veterans.”