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President Trump signs Medicare executive order in The Villages

'As long as I'm president, no one will lay a hand on your Medicare benefits'

President Donald Trump touted his health care accomplishments to a crowd in The Villages on Thursday afternoon before he signed an executive order to protect Medicare for the nation's seniors.

Trump took the stage in the retirement community shortly after 1:30 p.m. He promised the 1,000 attendees that he would do everything in his power to make sure Americans get the best health care at affordable prices.

“As long as I'm president, no one will lay a hand on your Medicare benefits and that’s what we’re here to do today,” Trump said shortly after beginning his hourlong speech.

He said the executive order will create a system that makes health care more affordable, protects vulnerable patients and provides high-quality care.

While he touted his own plan, he also criticized proposals from Democrats, which he likened to socialism.

“Socialism is not about improving the health of American people. It’s about wielding power over the American people, taking things away from the American people," Trump said.

According to the president, the executive order will provide new tools and options for Medicare Advantage, a program for seniors, and will reduce unnecessary regulations, stop fraud and abuse, protect patients with preexisting conditions and more.

Trump also said his administration is working to bring down the cost of drug prices and bring down the wait time for new medications to hit the market. Already, he said, he has ended gag clauses that prevented pharmacists from telling customers about lower drug prices and allowed certain patients to try experimental medications provided they sign an agreement first.

“With your help, we are going to continue building the best, most advanced, most cutting-edge health care system anywhere in the world. We are going to expand our growing economy to make retirement easier and better and far more secure. We’re going to defend American lives, American values, American families and America’s glorious destiny," Trump said.

Watch Trump's full remarks in the media player below.


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