Trump Promised Cheaper Insurance For Everyone. Price Says That’s ‘The Goal’

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price speaks during the White House press briefing, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price speaks during the White House press briefing, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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March 8, 2017 9:47 a.m.

The secretary of Health and Human Services dodged questions on insurance affordability under House Republicans’ proposed replacement for Obamacare on Wednesday.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Price, during an appearance on “Good Morning America,” whether the American Health Care Act would live up to President Donald Trump’s promise in January that the eventual health care proposal would result in “insurance for everybody … Much less expensive and much better.”

“Can you guarantee that promise will be kept?” Stephanopoulos asked. “Insurance for everybody, at a lower cost?”

“I think that’s certainly the goal,” Price said, “and it’s important for people to realize, as I’m sure that you do, that the current system is not satisfactory for many individuals.” He added later: “What we want to do is fix the system and make certain we put it in the hands of patients and families and doctors.”

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Stephanopoulos said that calling it a “goal” was different than Trump’s “guarantee,” and asked specifically about the case of Martha Brawley, who the New York Times reported was part of a large group that would receive less government assistance to purchase health care under the Republicans’ proposal.

“I would suggest to Martha that what our desire is, is to make sure certain you are the individual that is able to select the physician and the treatment that you desire for yourself, not that the government dictates to you,” Price responded.

Pressed again about the specific difference between Obamacare’s subsidies and the AHCA’s tax credits, Price said that the “goal” was “to make certain that costs come down.”

Stephanopoulos asked yet again for a guarantee about what Brawley would pay for coverage.

“George, did you look at the state innovation grants and put that into your model?” Price responded, referring to the Standard & Poors and AARP analyses cited by Stephanopoulos. “Did you look at the safety net grants and put that into your model? Did you look at the low income pool and put that into your model?”

“You can’t pick out one individual and say this individual isn’t going to be able to get coverage,” he continued. “Right now people are losing coverage. We have a plan we believe that will allow individuals to pick the coverage that they want and the physician and the treatment model that they want. Not have the government dictate it to them.”

Watch the interview below via ABC:

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