A wide ranging commentary and dialogue
on the media, politics, today's headlines and the popular culture. Always fresh and new every day!
Monday, July 27, 2020
President Trump Welcomes VERY SPECIAL Guest!
For six years, Terry Sharpe—or the “Walking Marine,” as he’s known—has completed seven 300-mile walks to raise awareness for veteran suicide.
Today, 69-year-old Sharpe completed his eighth and final walk, arriving in Washington all the way from Summerfield, North Carolina. He was joined by Second Lady Karen Pence at the Washington Monument, and the pair crossed the finish line on the South Lawn of the White House, where Sharpe was greeted by President Trump.
Our country loses an average of more than 20 veterans to suicide each day. President Trump has taken several important actions to help end this tragedy, including establishing the PREVENTS veteran suicide task force last March. Mrs. Pence serves as the task force’s lead ambassador.
President Trump has also secured a record $73.1 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs and signed the VA MISSION Act into law in 2018, which revolutionized the VA healthcare system and restored much-needed accountability to the agency.
The President signed four sweeping executive orders on Friday, which together will significantly lower the cost of prescription drugs while increasing access to life-saving medications such as insulin:
The first order directs federally qualified health centers to pass along massive discounts on insulin and epinephrine from drug companies to low-income Americans.
The second order will allow the safe, legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where the price for identical drugs is lower.
The third order will prohibit secret deals between drug manufacturers and pharmacy “benefit manager” middlemen, ensuring patients directly benefit from available discounts at the pharmacy counter.
The fourth order ensures the United States pays the lowest price available among economically advanced countries for Medicare Part B drugs. The United States often pays 80 percent more for these drugs than other developed nations.
“The four orders that I’m signing today will completely restructure the prescription drug market, in terms of pricing and everything else, to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans,” President Trump said.
In 2018, prescription drugs saw their largest annual price decrease in more than half a century. Average basic premiums for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans have fallen by 13.5 percent since 2017, saving beneficiaries $1.9 billion in premium costs. Friday’s four executive orders build on this crucial progress.
At the White House on Friday, a number of Americans shared personal stories about the importance of lowering medicine costs for all patients.
After her husband died in an auto accident, Andrea Eckles ended up with more than $15,000 in medical debt when she had to switch healthcare plans. "I work in a very small dental office, and so my only choice for healthcare at that time was what I call the 'Unaffordable Care Act,'" she said.
Paul Madden has lived with insulin-dependent diabetes for 59 years. “Your work, sir, to ensure that insulin is affordable under Medicare will help guarantee that I and millions of seniors who take insulin realize healthier, more productive, independent, happier lives,” Mr. Madden told the President.