Trump to unveil Medicare plan in bid to contrast with Democrat rivals

President Donald Trump will outline his approach for Medicare this week, contrasting plans with Democrats in a speech in which he will issue a promise to strengthen the program for the elderly and disabled.

Trump is scheduled to travel to Florida on Thursday where he’ll deliver a wide-ranging speech on his administration’s health policy, and announce an executive order regarding the Medicare system, which he will call “Protecting Medicare from Socialist Destruction.”

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Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, speaks during a campaign rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. As the U.S. presidential race heads into its final weekend, Trump is showing strength in Iowa and Ohio pre-Election Day voting, while Hillary Clintons advantage in early balloting looks stronger in North Carolina and Nevada. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Trump’s remarks will focus on Medicare Advantage, a program in which private insurers including UnitedHealth Group and Humana provide benefits in place of the government, according to two people familiar with the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Trump’s announcement before it is made public.

White House spokesman Judd Deere declined to share details of the announcement, but said Trump would defend his record on healthcare.

The president intends to draw a contrast with Democrats, contending he'll protect and improve Medicare while providing choice, even as some Democrats push for vastly expanded or universal Medicare that Trump argues will increase costs and kill existing plans.

He’ll also touch broadly on what he perceives to be the administration’s record on healthcare, including prices, a move to expand kidney dialysis services and the importance of strengthening value-based care, the sources said.

The administration has teased the speech, including signaling that it might soon issue a long-promised order requiring Medicare to create an “international pricing index” to match prices paid by other countries.

Trump has repeatedly made unfulfilled promises on drug prices and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said last month that Trump’s plan would overhaul Medicaid and enable workers to more easily buy insurance plans other than those provided by their employers.

Bloomberg News