By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
President Donald Trump on Friday attacked the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine as she was testifying in Democrats’ impeachment probe, and announced a new rule on hospital prices.
Trump tweeted criticism of Marie Yovanovitch as the former ambassador was speaking before House lawmakers, saying “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.”
Yovanovitch opened the second day of impeachment hearings by saying her abrupt removal by Trump’s administration played into the hands of “shady interests the world over” with dangerous intentions toward the United States.
Asked by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff about Trump’s attack, Yovanovitch said his comments were intimidating. Trump rejected a suggestion of witness intimidation, saying, “I’m allowed to speak up.”
Trump held an afternoon event after his administration released a plan that would for the first time force hospitals and insurers to disclose their secret negotiated rates.
“We’re stopping American patients from just getting — pure and simple, two words, very simple words — ripped off,” he said.
Administration officials, reports The Wall Street Journal, said the final rule will compel hospitals in 2021 to publicize the rates they negotiate with individual insurers for all services, including drugs, supplies, facility fees and care by doctors who work for the facility .
Shares of hospital companies HCA Healthcare Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205934574/composite HCA -0.50% and Universal Health Services Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208539347/composite UHS -1.32% rose in afternoon trading, as economic data and trade optimism pushed U.S. stock indexes /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.01% /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.0073% /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.20% to record highs.