Trump pushing for more transparency in health care costs

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Donald Trump on Friday announced the steps he’s taking to make sure Americans are well-informed about the cost of health care.

His administration wants the public to know exactly how much a visit will cost before stepping into a hospital or doctor’s office.

“Stopping American patients from getting ripped off. They’ve been ripped off for years – a lot of years,” Trump said.

The president unveiled two rules he believes will increase price transparency in health care as well as competition, which lowers health care costs.

“We will not rest until every American has access to the highest quality, most affordable health care anywhere in the world,” he added.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says insurance companies and hospitals will have to provide price information to consumers in a user-friendly format.

“Right now, even me, as the health secretary, I can’t find out before I, my family members, get health care services,” Azar said.

According to Azar, the American people have the right to know what the cost will be in every facet of their health care needs.

“Insurance companies would have to provide you in advance about what your hospital or doctor services would cost,” he said.

Azar says beginning in January 2021, hospitals will be required to share details of what they charge different groups.

“What their charges are and what their discounts that they’ve negotiated with insurance companies so that you can shop and find the lowest cost, highest quality hospital to go to for various services,” Azar explained.

The administration says it’s also committed to working with Congress to implement more changes to drive costs down for consumers.

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