By Kaiser Health News | October 3, 2019
The president reportedly will sign an executive order that the White House hopes will be a potent way to compare Republican views about enhancing health care with the “Medicare for All” proposals endorsed by some Democratic presidential candidates.
The Associated Press: Trump Will Find Friendly Florida Crowd Amid Impeachment Talk President Donald Trump is leaving Washington for the first time since House Democrats ramped up their impeachment inquiry — and he’s heading straight into the warm embrace of a Republican stronghold. Trump is due to visit The Villages, a sprawling retirement hub about an hour north of Orlando that is a must-stop for GOP candidates. The president plans to announce an executive order to protect Medicare during his visit Thursday and address an invitation-only group. (Farrington, 10/3)
CQ: Trump To Sign Executive Order On Medicare, Drug Importation President Donald Trump’s anticipated executive order on Medicare and prescription drug importation, which he plans to sign Thursday, is designed as a rebuttal of Democratic candidates’ health care proposals. The high-profile signing ceremony in The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, indicates that politics will likely overshadow the order’s policy. The move will help Trump contrast his administration’s work with Democrats’ calls to extend the program’s eligibility through plans including “Medicare for All” government-run care. (Clason, 10/2)
The government also gives federal employees information about what’s to come for their health coverage in the upcoming open season –
The Washington Post: Health Insurance Premiums For Federal Employees, Retirees To Go Up An Average Of 5.6 Percent Next Year Federal employees and retirees on average will pay 5.6 percent more for their health-care premiums in 2020, but will have more plans from which to choose, the government announced Wednesday. Officials said the increase is similar to what other large employers have reported or estimated for 2020 — in the 4.5 to 6.5 percent range. The hike also is in line with recent increases in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, although well above the 1.5 percent for 2019. (Yoder, 10/2)
And the Trump administration gets bad reviews on science –
The New York Times: Bipartisan Report Says Trump’s Abuse Has Pushed Federal Science To A ‘Crisis’ Every president over the past two decades has, to some degree, undermined research and injected politics into science, the report said. But, it concluded, “Now, we are at a crisis point, with almost weekly violations of previously respected safeguards.” The report calls for stringent new standards to enshrine scientific independence. The study, to be formally released on Thursday, follows reports that President Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, pressured the commerce secretary to rebuke weather forecasters who appeared to contradict the president after he erroneously claimed a recent hurricane could affect Alabama. Earlier this summer a State Department intelligence analyst resigned in protest after the White House tried to edit scientific testimony about climate change and then blocked it from being entered into the permanent Congressional Record. (Friedman, 10/3)
In other administration news –
Frontline and The Associated Press: Trump Admin Shifting To Privatize Migrant Child Detention Sheltering migrant children has become a growing business for the Florida-based government contractor, as the number of minors in government custody has swollen to record levels over the past two years. More than 50 babies, toddlers and teens were closely watched on this day inside the clean, well-lit shelter surrounded by chain link fences. The children, many in matching black pants and gray sweatshirts, are officially under the custody of the federal government. But a joint investigation by The Associated Press and FRONTLINE has found that the Trump administration has started shifting some of the caretaking of migrant children toward the private sector and contractors instead of the largely religious-based nonprofit grantees that have long cared for the kids. (Burke and Mendoza, 10/3)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Feds Drop Search For Atlanta-Area Shelter For Immigrant Children The federal government has halted efforts to establish an Atlanta-area shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children apprehended along the southwest border. The government solicited proposals this year for at least 96,000 square feet for classrooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, medical facilities and two acres of outdoor play area in southwest metro Atlanta for up to 500 of the children. (Redmon, 10/2)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.