About Trump’s Executive Order on Medicare: Brainstorm Health

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Good evening, readers.

The Trump administration made a pretty significant move today on health care policy—President Trump issued an executive order on Medicare aiming to further privatize the public program, which covers some 60 million elderly and disabled Americans.

To be clear, Medicare already contains a significant private component. More than 20 million beneficiaries (or about a third total) are covered under the Medicare Part C “Medicare Advantage” program, which incorporates supplemental private coverage. Millions also subscribe to the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.

But the new Trump administration proposal appears to squarely target “Medicare-for-All” proposals from Democratic politicians and set up a starkly contrasting program that favors the private market.

“Instead of ending the current Medicare program and eliminating health choices for all Americans, my Administration will continue to protect and improve Medicare by building on those aspects of the program that work well, including the market-based approaches in the current system,” wrote the White House in a statement. “The [private Medicare Advantage] component, for example, delivers efficient and value-based care through choice and private competition, and has improved aspects of the Medicare program that previously failed seniors.”

The politics of health care tend to be convoluted. Right now, we’re in a debate about whether or not traditional Medicare is better than non-traditional Medicare, and whether expanding one or the other would hurt… Medicare. More details on this soon as we parse the proposal.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee, @the_sy_guy, sayak.mukherjee@fortune.com


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