President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), said Wednesday of the Trump administration’s plans for repealing Obamacare that it was “absolutely imperative” that people “be able to keep health coverage.”
“One of the important things that we need to convey to the American people is that nobody is interested in pulling the rug out from under anybody,” Price said at a hearing in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “We believe that it’s absolutely imperative that individuals that have health coverage be able to keep health coverage and move hopefully to greater choices and opportunities for them to gain the kind of coverage they want for themselves and for their families.”
Over the weekend, Trump told the Washington Post that he planned to unveil an Obamacare replacement plan after Price was confirmed that guaranteed “insurance for everybody.” That cut against the rhetoric that Republicans have used to explain their intentions, focusing on lower costs to ensure “access” to insurance, rather than universal coverage.
“I think there’s been a lot of talk about individuals losing health coverage. That is not our goal nor is it our desire nor is it our plan,” Price said at the hearing.
Later on in the hearing, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) attempted to pin Price down on whether he shared the goal of “insurance for everybody,” pointing to the Obamacare repeal bills he introduced as a congressman.
“My role in Congress was to always make certain that individuals had the opportunity to gain access to the kind of coverage that they desired and that they had the financial feasibility to do so,” he said.