For once, he wasn’t the trash-talking, excitable President and he was down-to-earth. Does Donald Trump mean business and does he seek the “unity we need to deliver for the people” or is he simply a chameleon?
In his 80-minute State of the Union address last night, Trump touched fairly briefly on some healthcare issues, but they were the most volatile impacting the nation — drug abuse and healthcare reform. And he did so in a presidential manner, not as a street tough.
Among the issues, in order of his presentation:
Obamacare. Trump praised elimination of the “core of disasterous Obamacare – the individual mandate is now gone.”
FDA approvals. He noted the “FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history,” to speed access to “breakthrough cures an affordable generic drugs.”
Terminal conditions. He said he believes that “patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.”
“People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home,” Trump said. “It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”
Prescription Drug Prices. “One of my greatest priorities,” Trump said, is to reduce prescription drug prices. “In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down,” he said.
Opioid and other drug overdoses. Trump, referring to the “terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction,” said his administration is “committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult – but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.”
Trump said 64,000 Americans died as a result of drug overdoses in 2016: 174 deaths per day, seven per hour. “We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge,” he said.
Among Trump’s invited guests were Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan Holet, 27, an his wife Rebecca.
Trump said: “Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.
“In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: ‘You will do it — because you can.’ He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.”
About the battle against drug abuse, Trump said: “We will succeed; we will prevail.” – Joe Cantlupe