President Trump speaks and signs executive order in The Villages

By  | 

THE VILLAGES, Fla. (WCJB)- President Donald Trump and his plans for Medicare Advantage took center stage in The Villages Thursday.

He says he has a plan to protect Medicare and opening up privatization.

"In America, we believe in freedom and liberty, not government nomination and government control," said the President at a speech at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in the Spanish Springs Town Square, shortly before signing an executive order.

Unlike the government's Medicare system, Advantage lets people pick and choose between private companies like UnitedHealth Group and Humana.

President Trump says upping this system offers more personal, affordable and "Patient-centric care,"

In The Villages, billed as "Florida's Friendliest Active Adult55+ Retirement Community", health care is a top-of-mind issue, says Mike Mason, Chairman of the Florida Veteran's Foundation. He says this order will, "...probably have a larger effect on this community than a lot of them."

But some worry this will have the exact opposite effect

Anne Wade, a resident of The Villages and Democrat, says that she thinks the order will set back her ability to get good health care, saying, "Medicare's purpose is to take care of senior's healthcare needs. Privatization will destroy that."

This executive order comes as a contrast to what several Democratic candidates for President are discussing heading into the 2020 election, with candidates, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, supporting some form of a single-payer system.

Governor Ron DeSantis also joined the President at the retirement community.

The Governor's own healthcare-related focus has been to get approval to import prescription drugs from other countries where costs are a fraction of those in the United States. Governor DeSantis saying, "America patients must no longer be forced to subsidize lower drug prices in other countries."

The President signed the executive order saying he has four main goals in mind, like protecting people with preexisting conditions, maintaining affordability, giving people the option to chose providers and finally, fighting the opioid epidemic.

The President said shortly before the end of the speech and signing ceremony, "We are going to expand our growing economy to make retirement easier, better and far more secure."