Trump signs rural healthcare and prescription drug executive orders

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Trump signs rural healthcare and prescription drug executive orders

President Trump signed an executive order Monday aimed at improving health care access for rural communities.  He told reporters, “I am directing the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Communications Commission, we were just with the heads of each one in the Oval Office just before I came up to the podium, to form a task force that will break down barriers to expanding rural health care.”

Trump says his order is to help approximately 57-million people living in rural communities face unique challenges, including shortages of healthcare workers, and limited transportation opportunities. 

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and agencies including the Federal Communications Commission have 30 days to “develop and implement a strategy to improve rural health by improving the physical and communications healthcare structure.”

Trump’s order says rural Americans are more likely to die from five causes including heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease, which are often preventable.

Trump also signed an executive order Monday directing Azar’s agency to expand safe access to lower-cost imported prescription drugs. He also told reporters, “Next month, we’ll be doing the immigration plan, so we’ll be doing that in September. We’ll be doing sometime during this month the health care plan, and I think that will be before the end of the month, and I think that will be impressive to a lot of people.”

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