The president applauded the rollback of a key portion of the Affordable Care Act, which he has called a disaster. He called for protections for people with preexisting conditions, though his administration has worked against keeping them by trying to eliminate Obamacare. He pledged to bring down the price of prescription drugs and called for childhood cancer funding, earning some applause from Democrats. But Trump also called for halting the spread of HIV transmission before 2030 — even though his previous budgets have proposed slashing money from government initiatives in that area.

President Trump spoke out on Wednesday against surprise medical bills, highlighting an issue that has received bipartisan concern in Congress. “The health care system too often harms people with some unfair surprises … medical bills and the like,” Trump said. “We’re going to stop all of it, and it’s very important to me,” Trump added. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) unveiled bipartisan legislation to end surprise medical bills in September, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) has legislation on the topic as does Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) in the House. 

The Health Care Choices Proposal would block-grant to each state its federal share of health care funding. When combined with their own health care resources, states would have the authority to determine how best to help their unique populaces obtain insurance. This private-insurance based program would give patients more choices—at multiple price points—to customize a health insurance plan that works best for their unique situation. It would empower employers, families, and individuals with expanded choices and premiums up to 32% lower.

As we head toward the end of the year, biopharmaceutical companies are announcing their pricing strategies for 2019.

Merck & Co. raised the list price of five drugs, including its blockbuster cancer treatment Keytruda, in November — raising the price of Keytruda by 1.5 percent and its human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil by about 6 percent. The other three treatments that saw increases were vaccines.According to Merck, the average net price of their drugs declined 1.9 percent in 2017.

The House on Tuesday passed a bipartisan bill aimed at reversing the maternal mortality crisis in the U.S. in what supporters say is the strongest action yet that Congress has taken on the issue.

The bill from Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) would support state-level efforts to track and investigate pregnancy-related deaths, and then look for ways to prevent future deaths from occurring.

A membership-based primary care model, known as “direct primary care,” provides patients with a set number of health care services in exchange for a flat monthly fee. For example, Epiphany Health in North Port, Florida charges $65 per month for an adult membership and $25 for one child. In exchange for that fee, they offer physical exams, EKG testing, strep and urine testing, blood-thinner monitoring, minor surgical procedures, joint injections, and much more. Patients don’t pay a single penny more for these services beyond the cost of their membership fee. When patients need additional tests and services, such as a CT or MRI scan, Epiphany Health has discovered ways to provide these tests at affordable rates, too, by cutting out health insurance companies with third-party partners in the area.

The blue ribbon for the Dumbest Tax in Obamacare goes to its tax on health insurance premiums, which the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates as raising $161 billion in revenue between 2019 and 2028. (The number would be higher, but for the fact that Congress passed a one-year premium tax holiday for 2019.) The problem is this: Health insurers aren’t in the business of going broke. So they pass along the cost of the tax in the form of higher premiums for consumers. According to estimates developed by consultants at Oliver Wyman, for every dollar Washington raises in taxes, premiums go up by around $1.27.

The free market leads to tangible savings across many sectors, and there’s no reason why that can’t be the case for health care, too. Rather than pushing for feel-good yet meaningless legislation such as Pelosi and Schumer’s price enforcer, congressional leaders should create an atmosphere ripe for competition.

Most Republican candidates failed to adequately address the issue of pre-existing conditions ahead of the midterm elections and for this they paid a political price. Voters said they trusted Democrats more on pre-existing conditions than Republicans (58-34 percent) and health-care voters broke for Democrats 3-to-1. The GOP sorely needs to demonstrate leadership on the issue of pre-existing conditions, not just by rejecting the ACA, but by offering a better solution.

Health care is one of the most regulated industries in American life.

Consider the myriad regulations preventing Americans from accessing quality care — and these potential solutions for giving health care reform a shot:

Short-Term, Limited-Duration Health Insurance Plans

Health Reimbursement Accounts

Repeal State Certificate of Need Laws