Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price wouldn’t commit on Friday that people would be able to keep their health insurance plans as a result of the American Health Care Act.
He also said estimates that millions would lose coverage as a result of the bill didn’t take into account its entire effect on the insurance marketplace.
“We don’t believe that individuals will lose coverage at all so long as they are able select the kind of plan that they want for themselves and their family,” Price said, responding to a question on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about estimates that millions would lose health care coverage as a result of the bill.
The ACHA would provide much less government assistance to those purchasing insurance on individual marketplaces than the Affordable Care Act. Conservatives have argued that fewer regulations on health insurers will result in cheaper, and less comprehensive, plans.
“When it’s implemented, would anyone lose his or her health care?” MSNBC’s Willie Geist followed up.
“They may be moved from a plan that they currently have to a plan that is much more desirable for them to have,” Price responded, adding later on the timeline of the law’s rollout: “We want to make certain that nobody falls through cracks, that the rug isn’t pulled out from under anybody, that if somebody has a plan right now, they either are able to keep that plan or transition to a plan that again is much more responsive for them.”
Price also responded directly to the Brookings Institute, which estimated Thursday that 15 million people would lose health care coverage as a result of the ACHA.
“I believe that those numbers look at this in a siloed situation where they don’t look at the kind of reforms and changes that will come about, or the options and greater choices that individuals will have,” he said. “Again, we want nobody to lose coverage or lose access to coverage that currently has that, and we want to increase the number of individual that have access to coverage.”