White House Roosevelt Room Washington D.C. November 15 2:12 P.M. EST
Thank you very much, everybody. It's a great honor. The stock market is up big today. It set a new record. I think it's the 22nd time this year, and it's over 100 times for the time that we're in office. We've set over 100. I think it's substantially more than 100. We'll get the exact number because I know you wouldn't want me to have that wrong. They don't like that.
But we're up over 100 times for the stock market. And that means jobs. That means companies are moving back into the United States that left. We have many, many companies coming back.
The employment numbers are at a record. The - or very close. And we just got a new number on African American employment. It's the best it's ever been. You could say employment or unemployment - they're the best numbers they've ever been.
So we're very proud of what's happened with our economy. A few months ago, you were predicting a recession. Perhaps someday there will be a recession, but we have a long way to go. The consumer has never been stronger, and we're going to make the consumer even stronger yet, with transparency, because they're going to get much better pricing at hospitals. So I think we can probably add this to the number.
You saw median household income - for President Bush, eight years - was $450. For President Obama, for eight years - eight years, think of that - was $975. For President Trump - a little over two and a half years - when they did the final number, it was $5,000. And they add to that $2,000, thanks to Kevin and everybody. Thank you, Kevin. You're behind me someplace, right? Add $2,000 or $2,500, Kevin. What would you say?
Yeah. Right about there, Mr. President.
Right there? So let's add $2,000, and then add $3,000 for regulation, and add something for the energy savings. So you have $10,000. So it's $400 and $975 - that's for eight and eight. And then, for two and half years, it's $10,000. That's not bad. But the consumer is very powerful, and this is going to make them more powerful.
So, welcome, everyone. This afternoon, we celebrate something that I'm very proud of: another major victory in our mission to deliver great healthcare at a price that you can afford. This will have a tremendous impact on prices.
A certain gentleman, who is in the room - who will say a couple of words - actually said this is more important than healthcare. And when he said that, my ears really perked up, and I listened. And they were right, and they gave me plenty of examples. And that person recently got the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His name is Art Laffer, and he's a very talented guy.
Where is Art? Is he here? Yes?
I'm sort of short today. (Laughter.)
Hello, Art. I didn't see you. I didn't see you back there. All right, stand up here. A great gentleman. And you brought a man here who's the king of that world. And - hello. How are you? That's the guy. And you made that statement to me: "More important than healthcare." That was a big statement. As soon as I heard that, I said, "That sounds good to me." It's transparency.
So I signed, as you know, an executive order - historic. And we're requiring price transparency in healthcare, forcing companies to compete for your business. It's a very important thing that we've done here. I don't think it'll be covered by you, but it will be in the years to come.
Our goal was to give patients the knowledge they need about the real price of healthcare services. They'll be able to check them, compare them, go to different locations, so they can shop for the highest-quality care at the lowest cost. And this is about high-quality care. You're also looking at that. You're looking at comparisons between talents, which is very important. And then, you're also looking at cost. And, in some cases, you get the best doctor for the lowest cost. That's a - that's a good thing.
Today, I'm proud to announce two new actions implementing that order. First, we are finalizing a rule that will compel hospitals to publish prices publicly online for everyone to see and to compare. So you're able to go online and compare all of the hospitals and the doctors and the prices, and, I assume, get résumés on doctors and see who you like.
And the good doctors - like, I assume these two guys are fantastic doctors, otherwise you wouldn't be here. (Laughter.) And the bad doctors, I guess they have to go and hide someplace. I don't know. Maybe they don't do so well. I don't know. But if they're not good, we - we are more interested in the good ones. It's called "rewarding talent."
Second, we're putting forward a proposed rule to require health insurance providers to disclose their pricing information to consumers. We're giving American families control of their healthcare decisions. And the freedom to choose that care is right before them on the Internet and elsewhere, but on the Internet. Very, very open. Very transparent. That's why it's called transparency.
And this has been done on a small basis, on individual hospitals. In fact, Art, you were telling me about that, with your hospital, that you're on the board of a hospital that did this.
I'd like you to actually - before I go further, I'd like you talk about that just for a second. Art Laffer. Art, just mention that, if you could.
Yeah. You've got to lower it really far. (Laughter.) Sorry about that.
Let me, if I can, just say I was the chairman of the board of Centennial Hospital. We had some problems. But when you look at this, this is the biggest revolution I've seen in generations. I mean - and as opposed to most revolutions, this revolution saves lives; it doesn't cost lives.
And, in this revolution, it saves money. You don't have to spend money. And what you've seen here before is that we have no transparency whatsoever in medical. It's like the hermit kingdom of industries. You don't know what the price is. You don't know what the outcome is. And you don't know what the inputs are.
What this does is this pulls away the veil and allows people to see exactly what they can and what they do. And if I can say, I think this will lead to a phenomenal change in the U.S. outcome of employment output production. It's just one of the industries that desperately needs this.
I'll stop about here, but the last one I can remember being involved with was with Lady Thatcher when she privatized coal, steel, and the railroads. I mean, the changes there with Sir Keith Joseph. And this outdoes all of those revolutions, sir. It's the most amazing of all time.
And it takes real leadership to do it and real practitioners to be able to get it through. And Secretary Azar is a great practitioner, and my buddy Larry Ku- - Larry Van Horn is also a great practitioner - as well as Larry Kudlow, by the way. (Laughter.) Thank you, sir.
And I'd like to have Larry maybe say a few words and explain what this is that we're being - for the public.
DR. VAN HORN:
Sure, Mr. President. This is a momentous day. Americans, year over year, have been faced with higher and higher healthcare costs, facing higher and higher obligation to pay for those out of their own wallets without information around the price and the quality associated with that.
The charges that have been put out are fictitious. Nobody pays the charges. This effort is to make real prices transparent. The net allowed amounts that drive the decision-making for patients every day will now be in their hands. They can make better trade-offs and have, hopefully, more money in their wallets and their paychecks to pay for all of the goods and services they need to live their lives.
So this is a very momentous day. And I appreciate the efforts of the administration all the way through in terms of being able to follow through and execute this.
And it we did max, right? We didn't do a smaller version?
MR. VAN HORN:
We did it max.
MR. VAN HORN:
I kept saying -
MR. VAN HORN:
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