Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks on Efforts To Increase Transparency in Health Care Prices and an Exchange With Reporters

November 15, 2019

The President. Thank you very much, everybody. It's a great honor. The stock market is up big today, set a new record. I think it's the 22d time this year, and it's over a hundred times for the time that we're in office. We've set over a hundred. I think it's substantially more than a hundred. 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 a hundred 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 a median household income—for President Bush, 8 years—was $450. For President Obama, for 8 years—8 years, think of that—was $975. For President Trump—a little over 2½ 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?

Representative Kevin P. Brady. Yes. Right about there, Mr. President.

The President. Right there?

Rep. Brady. Yes, sir.

The President. 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 8 and 8. And then, for 2½ 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 health care 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 health care. 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?

Economist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Arthur B. Laffer. I'm, sort of, short today. [Laughter] The President. Hello, Art. I didn't see you. I didn't see you back there.

Mr. Laffer. I know.

The President. 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?

Vanderbilt University Associate Professor of Management (Economics) and Executive Director of Health Affairs R. Lawrence Van Horn. Good to see you, Mr. President.

The President. That's the guy. [Laughter] And you made that statement to me: "More important than health care." 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 health care, forcing companies to compete for your business. It's a very important thing that we've done here. I don't think it will 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 health care 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 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 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 health care 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 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.

Mr. Laffer. Sure. Thank you. You, kind of, lowered 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.

[At this point, Mr. Laffer continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

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—Larry Van Horn is also a great practitioner—as well as Larry Kudlow, by the way. [Laughter] Thank you, sir. The President. And I'd like to have Larry maybe say a few words and explain what this is that we're being—for the public.

Mr. Van Horn. Sure, Mr. President. This is a momentous day. Americans, year over year, have been faced with higher and higher health care 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 decisionmaking for patients every day will now be in their hands so they can make better tradeoffs 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.

The President. And it we did max, right? We didn't do a smaller version?

Mr. Van Horn. We did it max.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II. A-plus.

Mr. Van Horn. It's A-plus.

The President. I kept saying——

Mr. Van Horn. A-plus. [Laughter]

The President. There are versions of this. I said: "No, I don't want the C or the D. I want the A-plus." And we did it the A-plus, so I'm very happy with that. And I think you're going to see things. It's kicking in immediately. It will kick in as of today, but it's going to really start going during the course of the year, the following year—this year coming. And you'll see some results that are going to be actually incredible in terms of costs coming down and, I think, in terms of the quality of the care, because you're picking people that you'd want to be with.

This afternoon we're grateful to be joined by Secretary Steve Mnuchin, wherever you may be, Steve. Where is Steve?

Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin. Right here, behind you.

The President. Hi, Steve.

Secretary Gene Scalia. And I hear you're really doing a job over there. Huh?

Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. We're doing our best.

The President. Labor is doing okay. Your numbers are certainly doing very good. It's a good time to be Department of Labor. Right? This is a——

Secretary Scalia. A great story to tell. Everybody is——

The President. Right. Thank you very much. Good.

Secretary Alex Azar. Thank you, Alex. Thank you. Thank you, Alex.

And Administrator Seema Verma. Thank you very much, Seema. Where's Seema?

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma. Right behind you. [Laughter]

The President. This is an unusual group today. They're spread all over the place. I also want to welcome Representatives Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, and Greg Walden. They've been so fantastic on getting us to a really good position with the taxes.

We're going to be doing a major middle-income tax cut if we take back the House. And we'll talking about that sometime later. But we're going to be doing a very major middle-income tax cut, mostly devoted to middle income who have really been big beneficiaries of the tax cut we did, which was the largest in the history of our country. But we're doing a major tax cut for the middle income, and that will be subject, obviously, to take—taking over the House, because Democrats like tax increases, not tax cuts.

I also want to thank our State leaders. We have a lot State leaders here today at the highest level, and I want to thank them for being here. And a special thanks again to highly respected economists, Dr. Art Laffer and Dr. Larry Van Horn.

And really, it was those two people that came to my office. We were talking about Art, and we were all congratulating him because he did an incredible job over a lot of years with Ronald Reagan and beyond. And when I said, "The Presidential Medal of Freedom," which is the highest civilian award you can get, he told me this little story about a certain hospital he was involved with where they did this. And every hospital has had just incredible experience with it. And I said, "Tell me more." And then, we got involved with Larry and Larry Kudlow also, by the way. And we had a little group of four people that talked about it a lot. And I think it's going to have a tremendous impact.

And again, the statement was made: "This is bigger than health care." And I think it will be. I think it will be more meaningful, in many ways. You'll save so much money, and you'll get the care that you want, and you'll choose the doctor you want, which was not possible despite the many pleas. You know, "You can have your plan, and you can have your doctor." Well, they turned out to be untrue statements about Obamacare.

For decades, hospitals, insurance companies, lobbyists, and special interests have hidden prices from consumers so they could drive up costs for you. And you had no idea what was happening. You'd get bills that were unbelievable, and you have no idea why.

For example, researchers found that for the same MRI at the same hospital, patients were charged anywhere from $248 to $2,500. So 10 times more, at the same hospital. I assume that would be different doctors within the same hospital. I don't know if the hospitals are going to like me too much anymore with this, but that's okay, right? [Laughter] That's okay. I think the doctors are going to, actually.

In the Boston area, the price of delivering a baby can cost anywhere from roughly $4,700 to nearly $16,000. One survey found that within a single metro area, the highest negotiated price for a simple blood test was roughly 40 times more than the lowest price. They were given exactly the same service—in some cases, sent them to the same labs—and were charged 40 times more money.

Under the new price transparency rule we are finalizing today—and it will be all finalized—it is finalized; it will be put out today—all of that will change. Hospitals will soon be required to publish the price of everything from individual medical supplies to the total cost of common procedures.

Next, we will bring much-needed price transparency to insurance companies. I'm sure they'll be thrilled. This will allow you to see your out-of-pocket costs and other vital price information before you go in for treatment. So you're going to know what it's going to be, and you're going to be able to have lots of choices, both in terms of doctors, hospitals, and price. And we're stopping American patients from just getting, pure and simple—two words, very simple words: ripped off. Because they've been ripped off for years. For a lot of years.

With us today is Melissa Ural who works for a company that benefits from price transparency. And, Melissa, could you come up and say a few words?

HB Global, LLC, Vice President for Human Resources Melissa K. Ural. Thank you, sir.

The President. Great. Thank you, Melissa. Thank you very much.

Ms. Ural. Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Melissa Ural, and I am the vice president of human resources for HB Global. We are an employee-owned mechanical contracting company. Transparent pricing initiative aligns with our ownership model because it allows employees to get the care that they need at the cost that they want.

[Ms. Ural continued her remarks, concluding as follows.]

We wouldn't expect our employees to go buy a car or a house without knowing the price up front. Why should their health care be any different? I want to thank the President for bringing this important initiative to the front. Thank you.

The President. Thank you very much, Melissa.

Ms. Ural. Thank you.

The President. Thank you. Good job, Melissa.

We're also joined by Kara Boeckel, who works for the same company and benefited when her employer shopped for the best price on a surgery, a surgery that she needed. And I'd like to have Kara come up and please tell us about it. Kara? Please.

HB McClure Co. service dispatcher Kara Boeckel. Thank you.

The President. Thank you.

Ms. Boeckel. My name is Kara Boeckel, and I work for HB Global, along with Melissa. And in January of this year, I had surgery on my ankle. I'm the sole provider of my 2-year-old son, so this impact was huge for his and my day-to-day life.

[Ms. Boeckel continued her remarks, concluding as follows.]

Thankfully, my company was able to work with a brokerage firm and shop around to know what prices were going to be beforehand. With insurance, the claim my company would have paid was $19,500, and we wouldn't have known that cost until afterwards. By shopping around beforehand, we knew the claim was going to be $7,800, which is a 60-percent price difference. And it was at zero cost to me. I was even able to get the care out of the same facility that I was going to go to if I would have used my insurance.

I want to thank the President for making health care more transparent so that others in my situation don't have to have these unexpected financial surprises and hardships.

The President. Thank you very much.

Ms. Boeckel. Thank you.

The President. Thank you very much, Kara. Also with us is Dr. Rick Schultz, chief medical officer at Texas Free Market Surgery. Doctor, I'd like to have you come up and say a few words about what we're doing and how we're doing it. Thank you, Dr. Rick.

Texas Free Market Surgery Chief Medical Officer Rick Schultz. Thank you. Well, thank you very much for having us here today. This is a very exciting day. I'd like to take a minute to talk about stewardship. First, I'd like to thank Jesus for allowing me the opportunity and charging me with being a good steward of the opportunity and the abilities to practice orthopedic surgery in Texas for the last 20 years.

[Dr. Schultz continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

Finally, I'd really like to challenge the Americans that this is a right that you're getting back, to know the price of your health care. This is going to be a fight. This is very disruptive. The people who are currently making a lot of money off of us are going to fight this tooth and nail. If you aren't ready to fight for this, then don't complain when it gets taken away from you.

Mr. President, thank you for stepping into the gap, taking the slings and arrows, and helping to get this going.

The President. Thank you very much, Doctor. Thank you.

Dr. Schultz. Thank you.

The President. Thank you. I think, if I could, I'd like to have Kevin Brady come up just for a second and talk about what we've done with the individual mandate and how that's just a part of our—a small part, but it's a very big part in terms of health care; what we did with respect to our tax cuts and our reforms. And you might want to discuss the individual mandate. Getting rid of it was such a big deal. Thank you.

Rep. Brady. So thank you, Mr. President. So, first, thank you for being the President who led on letting people keep more of what they earn so they can afford health care costs, utility costs, college costs, all of which has seemed to go up.

[Rep. Brady continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

And I'll close with this: It's easy to have quality care or affordable care. The goal is to have both. Making these prices transparent allow our families and our businesses to have quality care and affordable at the same time. This really is transformational. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. Thank you very much. It all, sort of, fits in. It's like a puzzle. And I see my friend, Greg. I can't believe you're going to be leaving Congress one of these days. I was so disappointed to see that, but you're fantastic. And we all work together with everybody—all of us.

Come on up here, the two of you. I'd like you to discuss "right to try" a little bit. And I mean, you think about, it's really a very important part of health care.

Representative Gregory P. Walden. It is.

The President. The ultimate part of health care. And for 45 years, they've been trying to get it passed, and they couldn't do it. And Greg Walden, the three of us plus a lot, we've got it done.

Rep. Walden. Hear, hear.

The President. Congressman, thank you very much.

Rep. Walden. Hear, hear. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. Go ahead. Please.

Rep. Walden. Well, thank you, Mr. President. We've never had a President lean further, farther forward on behalf of patients than President Donald Trump. And we finally got into law—we finally got into law "right to try." Now you're going to get in place "right to know." [Laughter] We should have the right to know what these things cost.

[Rep. Walden continued his remarks, concluding as follows.] And your team, working with the Secretaries and Seema and others, have been at the forefront of this. And Americans are benefiting. And the one thing I hear about is what Kevin Brady talked about: We want affordable care, we want innovation, but we have to be able to afford it. And you can't know what things cost if they won't tell you. And it's all hidden back behind the curtain.

So, Mr. President, thanks for your leadership and your team's leadership.

The President. Thank you.

Michael, say a few words, please.

Representative Michael C. Burgess. Well, what I hear from constituents all the time—I practiced medicine for 25 years—they're concerned with the cost and complexity of health care. This is a major step—major step—in delivering on that promise for patients.

Look, there's another party in town that just wants to take away all your choices and give you one choice. This President is trying to expand your choices. That's a better choice.

The President. Thank you, Michael.

Rep. Burgess. Thank you.

The President. Thank you. Thank you very much.

So the actions that we're announcing today are only the latest steps in our campaign to deliver great health care for American patients. Our efforts to reduce the price of prescription drugs—and I don't know if you know that, but this is the first time, Secretary Azar, I think in 51 years, that prices have actually gone down——

Secretary Azar. Yes.

The President. ——for prescription drugs. So that's quite an achievement.

And if we had the help of the Democrats, which we don't—it's a shame, because we could knock drug prices down so low. We will be giving States the right to go to other countries to buy their drugs, because other countries—because they don't have these crazy, arcane rules that we could fix so quickly if we had the help of the Democrats. But they want the price of drugs to say high, I suppose.

But we brought it down the most in 51 years, and we're very proud of that. But we can bring them down much more. And one of the things I'm doing is, as an example, Canada will pay much less for drugs, because they don't have to pay for research and development, so their pricing is much cheaper. So we'll buy—I'm working with Ron DeSantis in Florida and some other Governors, great Governors. And they're going to buy from other countries and skip all of the nonsense. And I think, ultimately, what that's going to do is, the drug companies will bring the price of their drugs down, or they'll buy from other countries. That's okay too.

The same pill, made in the same factory, made by the same company, sells for 50-, 60-, and 70-percent less in one country than it does in another. And we're always the high country. So I'm going to be giving Governors the right, very shortly, to buy—I've already given some the right—to buy their prescription drugs from other countries. And we avoid—we skirt a lot of—that probably sounds like a pretty good idea to you. What do you think, huh?

Mr. Laffer. We love it. [Laughter]

The President. You, as the great economist. So anyway.

So the actions that we're announcing today are the latest steps. Our efforts to reduce the price of prescription drugs—we're going to have some tremendous results. We could do it so simply if we had any kind of help from the Democrats. But they're doing so many other things, namely one: wasting a lot of time. And very bad for our country, what they're doing.

And they should approve USMCA. By the way, it's the greatest trade deal ever made. And they should stop playing games. And you know, Mexico signed it many months ago. Canada keeps calling me: "When is this deal going to happen? Is this deal going to happen?" And it's sitting on Nancy Pelosi's desk for about 3 months, 4 months. Nervous Nancy—she needs a little nervous energy to get it done, because all she has to do is put it up. She's got plenty of Democrat votes. A lot of Democrats are pushing her, but she doesn't want to do it, because she doesn't want to have a victory for the American people. And that's all it is. So either she does it, or she doesn't do it.

But Mexico wants to know what's happening. Canada wants to know what's happening. They could live without it. Because it's a great deal for us. They could live without it. And they want to know what's going on.

We eliminated the Obamacare individual mandate penalty, and we're expanding affordable alternatives which cost up to 60-percent less than Obamacare plans. And it could be even quite a bit higher than that, in some cases. And we will always protect patients with preexisting conditions and, as I've been saying lately, and also patients with preexisting physicians. [Laughter] I thought that was good. I made it in one speech. I said, "You know, people like that." But it's true, because you didn't have your doctor, you didn't have your plan. And now you have the plan, and you have the doctor. So it's pretty good.

In everything we do, my administration is fighting for the rights of American consumers, the well-being of American patients, and the health of American people. We're taking on the bureaucrats in more ways than one. You probably notice that, right? We're taking on a lot bureaucrats. We're taking on the insurance companies, and we're taking on the special interests.

And that's one of the difficulties I have in Washington, because I've taken on a lot of the establishment. And a lot of the politicians are taken care of by the establishment, and they don't like that I take on the establishment. But I'm taking it on for the consumer, for the American people. And that's why you see prices going down. And you haven't seen anything yet. Things are going to happen that will be shocking. But there are people in Washington—as I say, there are people in the swamp that don't like what I'm doing for that reason.

We will not rest until every American has access to the highest quality, most affordable health care anywhere in the world.

And again, I want to thank you all. And I'd like to ask Secretary Azar to come up and say a few words. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Secretary Azar. Well, thank you very much, Mr. President. And thank you for your leadership. You asked us, as you said earlier, to deliver "A-plus" transparency in health care. Well, right now our system wouldn't even get a passing grade on transparency. Patients are at the mercy of a shadowy system with no control over their care. But thanks to your leadership and your transparency Executive order, we're changing that.

[Secretary Azar continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

So thank you, Mr. President, for delivering American patients the affordability that you need, the options and control that you want, and the quality that you deserve. A key leader in this work has been Administrator Verma, who will now say a few words. Seema.

Administrator Verma. Thank you, Alex. First of all, I want to thank the President, because people have been talking about price transparency forever. We all know that what's been going on in the health care system has been wrong. It's not fair that patients don't know the cost of the services that they're going to get. But only one man has been willing to stand up to special interests and do what's right for patients and put them back in control of their health care. So thank you, President Trump.

The President. Thank you very much.

Administrator Verma. Really appreciate it.

The President. Thank you very much.

Administrator Verma. Thank you.

The President. Thank you very much. Thank you.

So, after many, many years, we finally have transparency. It's going into effect today. It will have a tremendous impact. It will, sort of, go in sections and stages, but it all begins today. And, within about 12 months, I think it will be fully implemented and, we can even say, probably a shorter period of time than that. Some of it's complex and some of it's very easy. But it's all very good. It's—there's never been anything like this.

So the word is "transparency," and I love transparency in many ways. And this is going to be something that's going to be—it's going to be incredible for the consumer, for the patient. I think it's going to be really good for the good doctors, maybe not so good for other doctors. I think it's going to be really good for the great hospitals, frankly. And it's very exciting.

And it's something that again, Art, I want to thank you very much, because you really did bring it to my attention, and I appreciate it very much. Thank you very much.

Yes, please.

Impeachment Hearings

Q. Mr. President, what do you say to Democrats that say you were witness tampering this morning when you made that tweet—[inaudible]—Ambassador Yovanovitch?

The President. You don't want to talk about transparency?

Q. Well—[inaudible].

The President. You know, I'll talk about transparency. I like transparency here. And I'm the most transparent President in history.

And I'll tell you about what tampering is. Tampering is when a guy like Shifty Shift doesn't let us have lawyers. Tampering is when Schiff doesn't let us have witnesses, doesn't let us speak. I've been watching today.

Q. [Inaudible]

The President. For the first time, I started watching, and it's really sad when you see people not allowed to ask questions. It's totally—nobody has ever had such horrible due process. There was no due process. And I think it's——

Q. Republicans have been asking questions all day.

The President. I think it's considered a joke all over Washington and all over the world. The Republicans are given no due process whatsoever. We're not allowed to do anything. It's a disgrace what's happening. But you know what? The American public understands it. And that's why the poll numbers are so good. And that's why other things are so good. What they're doing in Washington with that hearing—and by the way, it's a political process. It's not a legal process. So if I have somebody saying, I'm allowed to speak up. If somebody says about me, we're not allowed to have any kind of representation, we're not allowed to have almost anything. And nobody has seen anything like it. In the history of our country, there has never been a disgrace like what's going on right now. So you know what? I want—I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech, just as other people do. But they've taken away the Republicans' rights.

And I watched today, as certain very talented people wanted to ask questions, and they weren't even allowed to ask questions—Republicans. They weren't allowed to ask questions. It's a very sad thing.

Go ahead.

Q. But why would you attack the Ambassador, Mr. President? Why did you attack her?

Impeachment Hearings

Q. Sir, with your freedom, were you trying to intimidate Ambassador Yovanovitch?

The President. I just want to have a total—I want freedom of speech. That's a political process. The Republicans have been treated very badly. And I watched a little bit of it today. I wasn't able to yesterday because we had the President of Turkey here, and I wasn't able to watch much. I watched some of it this morning. I thought it was a disgrace.

When we have great Republican Representatives—people elected by the people—and they're not allowed to even ask a question, they're not allowed to make a statement; we're not allowed to have witnesses; we're not allowed to have legal counsel, White House Counsel—it's a disgrace, and it's an embarrassment to our Nation.

Q. Do you believe your tweets and your words can be intimidating, sir?

The President. Yes, go ahead, please.

Q. Sir, do you believe your tweets and words——

The President. Quiet. Quiet.

Q. ——can be intimidating, sir?

The President. Quiet. Please.

The President's Use of Twitter

Q. Sir, do you believe your tweets and words can be intimidating?

The President. I don't think so at all.

Go ahead.

Impeachment/Ukraine-U.S. Relations/The President's April 21 Telephone Conversation With President-Elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine/News Media

Q. Mr. President, do you think you're going to be impeached?

The President. Well, I shouldn't be. In fact, I thought, last night, it ended. Because last night, I was in Louisiana, where we're going to, hopefully, elect a great Governor, a Republican Governor. And I was getting off the plane, and they handed me a statement that was just made by the Foreign Minister and President of the Ukraine.

And Ukraine—they came out loud and clear that there was no linkage whatsoever, not even a little bit. And you saw it. You all saw it. I said, "Oh, well, that ends the impeachment." And you people don't even report it. Look, the press is unbelievably dishonest. That was a major statement put out last night by the Foreign Minister of Ukraine and also by the President of Ukraine, and you don't even report it. It's a disgrace. Because it's sad. There was absolutely no linkage. We had a perfect conversation.

And I also, because of transparency—whether it's medical transparency or just transparency, generally—I also put out, today, a statement. And in the statement, we released—and then Congressman Nunes read—a call that I had with the President of Ukraine. And it was a great call. It was a very nice call. Everybody said it was perfect. I always say it was equally as good as the other call.

And I put it out today, and nobody even wants to report it. Because it was so good, they don't want to report it. Look, if we had an honest press in this country, we would be so well served. And you know what? When I look at your approval numbers, they're the worst they've ever been in the history of our country. The media, the approval numbers, they are horrible. And you ought to get yourself back, and you ought to put yourself back in a position where people respect the media again.

And I know some great journalists, I know some great people in the media, but there aren't enough of them. There's a lot of dishonesty. And many of you, I just consider members of the Democrats, and it's a shame.

Okay. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:12 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Martin A. Makary, chief of Islet Transplant Surgery, John Hopkins Hospital; National Economic Council Director Lawrence A. Kudlow; Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi; Rep. Adam B. Schiff, in his capacity as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey; White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone; Louisiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Edward L. Rispone; and Minister of Foreign Affairs Vadym Volodymyrovych Prystaiko of Ukraine. Reporters referred to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks on Efforts To Increase Transparency in Health Care Prices and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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