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“I’m not sure where they got the authority to do it, but, I’m sure the lawyers had vetted this and the president had the executive ability to do this, but, keep in mind, any executive order is going to be fairly limited. You need legislation to do big things. If we could have fixed health care with executive orders alone, we would have done that back in 2017,” Mulvaney told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.”
“What you’re seeing here is an important message from the administration that says, ‘Look, this is what we stand for.' The executive order about pre-existing conditions, for example, is entirely consistent with every single budget that I ever wrote for him. All of our budgets protected pre-existing conditions,” Mulvaney added.
“Under my plan, 33 million Medicare beneficiaries will soon receive a card in the mail containing $200 that they can use to help pay for prescription drugs,” Trump said during a speech in North Carolina.
Trump said the cards will be mailed out in the coming weeks and indicated the money is available because of savings that will be reaped from other policies in his broader plan.
Medicare covers individuals aged 65 and over and younger people with disabilities.
It has recently been reported that Medicare beneficiaries may not be able to receive a potential coronavirus vaccine cost-free if it is approved for emergency use. The program does not cover drugs approved via emergency authorizations.
The White House is said to be looking at ways to ensure coverage for a vaccine, which is intended to be free for all Americans.
Among the provisions in Trump’s “America First Health Care Plan” are measures to lower costs for seniors – including ending surprise medical billing – negotiating prices on the international stage, and allowing states to legally import drugs from Canada at a presumably lower price. The latter measure, Trump said, goes into effect on Thursday when the president planned to sign an executive order to kick off some of his health care initiatives.
Mulvaney said the America First Healthcare Plan is a way for the American people to know the Trump administration’s stance on protecting preexisting conditions.
“If you reelect the administration, what can you expect from them out of a second term so I think it is a smart political move. It may help some people, which will be great, but, at the end of the day, you’re going to need legislation to change health care dramatically in this country,” Mulvaney said.
Fox News' Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.