Trump signs executive order on health care—live updates

President Trump is signing an executive order Monday requiring the cost of health care procedures to be published before patients receive the services, a sweeping overhaul of the health care industry, if implemented.
“This is a big action,” Mr. Trump said, adding that people have no idea how big it is, and some people say it’s an action bigger than health care itself. “…This is bigger than anything we’ve done in this particular realm.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters earlier Monday the order is aimed at making sure patients can access an explanation of their benefits ahead of a medical visit — including the cost of a procedure, the insurance-company negotiated price, and what they will pay out of pocket. As it stands, most patients only learn the actual costs weeks after when they’re billed, as most people who have ever gone through any medical procedure know.

“What we’re saying is you’ve got a right to know that information before the service,” one senior administration official said on a conference call with reporters Monday morning.

It’s unclear how the executive order would be enforced — it’s likely to face some blowback from many insurers and hospitals.

The health care executive order comes shortly after Mr. Trump announced new sanctions on Iran, this time on its supreme leader and his office, over multiple Iranian actions the U.S. interprets as aggressive and dangerous. Last week, Mr. Trump ordered a cyber attack to retaliate after Iran shot down a U.S. drone.

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