Trump speaks at yesterday's roundtable. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Surprise medical bills are on President Trump's radar, as yesterday's White House roundtable on health care costs made clear.

One big quote: "Patients should know ... the real price and what’s going on with the real prices of procedures. Because they don’t know," Trump said. "They go in, they have a procedure, and then all of a sudden, they can’t afford it. They had no idea it was so bad."

Where it stands: It would mostly be up to Congress to address the issue of surprise billing. But there are a few things the administration — specifically, the Department of Labor — could do. A recent Brookings brief outlined the department’s options:

  • Clarify states’ authority to establish provider rates, including in surprise billing situations.
  • Determine that bills from out-of-network providers count toward patients' out-of-pocket maximums.
  • Require employer plans to comply with billing dispute resolution processes that states have created.
  • Require employer plans to notify patients that their providers might be out of network.

Go deeper: Surprise medical bills could be a powerful campaign issue

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.