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Trump lays out long-awaited "vision" for health care

Officials "not aware" of Trump health care plan
Officials "not aware" of Trump health care pl... 00:55

President Trump on Thursday outlined his health care "vision," which he had pledged to release two months ago. The president signed an executive action that lays out that vision, but has no legislative power. 

His vision is called the "America First Health Care Plan." The president said the three pillars of his vision are "more choice" for health care options, "lower costs for families and seniors" and "better care" for American patients. 

"Today I will lay out my vision for a health care system that puts patients first, families first and perhaps most importantly for all of us, America first," the president said in North Carolina. "Under the America First health care plan, we will ensure the highest standard of care anywhere in the world, cutting-edge treatment, state-of-the art medicine, groundbreaking cures and true health security for you and your loved ones. And we will do it rapidly and it's in very good order and some of it has already been implemented."

The president said he kept provisions protecting preexisting conditions, even though his administration has been fighting against those protections in court. The Supreme Court, which now has only eight justices, will hear arguments on the fate of the ACA a week after the election. Mr. Trump is determined to confirm his replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before then. 

Mr. Trump said his health care vision will include provisions to protect those with preexisting conditions. The president said it is now the official policy of the federal government to protect preexisting conditions, and he won't sign any bill that comes to his desk that doesn't protect preexisting conditions. 

"We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions," he said. 

Mr. Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, but failed to do so even when Republican controlled the House, Senate and White House. He did eliminate enforcement of penalties under the ACA.

The Trump campaign on Thursday blasted Joe Biden over his proposed plan. 

"The fact that Joe Biden even has a healthcare proposal is proof that Obamacare was a colossal failure from the beginning. Premiums went through the roof, choices dwindled, and people suffered under the twin lies that they could keep their doctors and their existing healthcare plans," said Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director. "Biden's new proposal would lead to a government takeover of the entire healthcare system and would end with the elimination of employer-provided health insurance for 180 million Americans."

Larry Levitt, executive vice president of Kaiser Family Foundation, said the president's vision is "something of a mirage."

"President Trump here has promised to protect people with pre-existing conditions but doesn't have a plan to execute. This is something of a mirage," he told CBS News. "Much of the president's record has been to weaken protections, including his effort to try to get ACA overturned. I do think the fact that the president is saying people with pre-existing conditions should be protected shows how far this debate has shifted since the Affordable Care Act has passed."

After Mr. Trump's remarks in North Carolina, he headed to Jacksonville, Florida, where he held a campaign rally

— CBS News' Nicole Sganga contributed to this report. 

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