When you’re not in the hospital, what are you doing?
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Friday will be meeting with senior executives at private health care firms to discuss a wide range of issues, including the opioid crisis, in an effort to shore up support for his health care overhaul.
The meeting comes as the Trump administration continues to grapple with how to deliver on a promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and how to expand access to the law.
The White House says the meeting is part of a larger effort to “help inform the public and policy makers about the health and safety of our citizens, our country, and our country’s future.”
The meeting will include representatives from Kaiser Permanente, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, UnitedHealth Group, Medica Health, Kaiser Pampers, and other health care companies, according to the White House.
It comes as President Donald Trump continues to press for major changes to the ACA that would make it easier for Americans to get coverage, and as some health insurance companies have announced they would pull out of the marketplaces in 2018.
Price has pushed the president to expand coverage, as he has pushed for states to make changes to their policies.
“We’re going to make sure that everybody who needs health care has access to it,” Price said in June.
“And this is really an opportunity for states.
We have states that have already done the work.
I think it’s time for them to take a stand and take a look at what’s best for their constituents, for their states.”
The Trump administration has been slow to release its plan to help the nation’s 1.3 million people get health insurance, but the president said on Thursday that his administration was committed to the plan, which would allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines.
The health care reform law required insurers to provide health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, and those with a high deductible must pay more for the same coverage.
The Trump Administration announced last month that it would phase out the requirement for those with pre_existing conditions to purchase insurance, saying it would allow states to offer insurance to all Americans.
The move has been met with backlash from Democrats, who say the ACA has failed to protect the health of millions of Americans.
As Price and others push to help people get coverage this week, the White’s health and human services secretary said Thursday he was “disappointed” that the administration had not fully released its plan.
“This has been a very challenging and challenging administration, and it’s going to be a very, very difficult week,” Price told reporters on Friday.
“I was disappointed by the lack of openness to the American people, frankly.
The president is going to need to do much more to make the American public aware of this, so that they can make an informed decision.”
Health care reform, a key pillar of the Trump agenda, is at the heart of Price’s efforts to help stabilize the health care system.
A former Republican congressman, Price has been an outspoken critic of the ACA, which he called a “failure.”
The administration is also trying to shore it up, including by working with the private sector to expand marketplaces and improve access to doctors.
“There’s a lot of good stuff that the private industry can do,” Price acknowledged during a visit to a clinic in Louisville, Kentucky.
“But if you’re going in and you’re looking for an easy way to get to a doctor, I don’t know what you’re doing.
I’m sorry, but that’s not going to work for you.”
Health insurance plans and other businesses that offer health care are expected to contribute more than $300 billion to the healthcare system through 2018, according a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The private sector also is expected to play a role in expanding the markets, as insurers and other companies have been hesitant to participate in the market since the ACA was enacted.
Price told a panel at the Association of State Health Plans meeting on Thursday, “I think we can be sure that there’s going be a lot more collaboration and more communication going on in 2018.”
The White has also said that the Trump Administration will work with states to provide additional help for those who cannot obtain coverage through the private market, and that he hopes to have a bill ready for consideration by the end of the year.