White House Budget Director: ‘Insurance Is Not Really The End Goal Here’ (VIDEO)

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The director of the Office of Management and Budget said Wednesday that Republicans wouldn’t use insurance coverage numbers as the ultimate metric for the success of the proposal to replace Obamacare.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mark Halperin asked Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s OMB director, for a “range of estimate of how many fewer people will have health insurance” under House Republicans’ proposed Replacement for Obamacare.

“We’re looking at it in a different way, Mark, because insurance is not really the end goal here, is it?” Mulvaney responded. “It’s one of the conservatives’ – one of the Republicans’ complaints about the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning: It was a great way to get insurance and a lousy way to actually be able to go to the doctor.”

“So we’re choosing instead to look at what we think is more important to ordinary people: Can they afford to go to the doctor? And we are convinced it will be possible for more people to get better care at the doctor under this this plan than it was under Obamacare.”

That is a slightly different metric than the one set out by President Donald Trump to the Washington Post in January: “Insurance for everybody … Much less expensive and much better.”

Asked about that specific pledge Wednesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, the White House’s point person for the health care overhaul, said “that’s certainly the goal.”

But Price specified, when asked about patients who stood to pay more out-of-pocket without Obamacare’s subsidies, that lowering the cost of coverage itself was a higher priority than the amount of assistance the government provided people to pay for it.

Watch the exchange below via MSNBC:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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