Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price said on Sunday that he believes “nobody will be worse off financially” under the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and dismissed a report that millions will lose coverage if it passes.
“I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through,” Price told Chuck Todd on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
He said that coverage is “going to go up” under the American Health Care Act and dismissed again a report from the Brookings Institution estimating that at least 15 million people will lose coverage under the bill.
“I’ll tell you that the plan that we’ve laid out here will not leave that number of individuals uncovered,” he said. “In fact I believe, again, that we’ll have more individuals covered.”
Price said it was “tough to put numbers” on a definition of success for the bill.
“It means more people covered than are covered right now, and at an average cost that is less,” he said. “And I believe we can firmly do that with the plan that we’ve laid out there.”
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 12, 2017
On Friday, Price wouldn’t commit to saying that people would be able to keep their current health insurance plans under the AHCA.
“They may be moved from a plan that they currently have to a plan that is much more desirable for them to have,” he said.
He dismissed the Brooking Institute’s report as based on a “siloed situation where they don’t look at the kind of reforms and changes that will come about.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) nevertheless admitted Friday that the Congressional Budget Office will likely estimate that millions of people would lose health insurance under the AHCA.
“Our goal is not to show a pretty piece of paper that says, ‘We’re mandating great things for Americans,'” he said. “We always know, you’re never going to win a coverage beauty contest when it’s free market versus government mandates.”