Tom Price: Obamacare repeal is ‘better way’ to treat pre-existing conditions

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price speaks during a White House press briefing on Tuesday in Washington. Alex Wong/ Getty Images

Health Secretary Tom Price took his star turn on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday to defend the House health care bill’s treatment of Americans with pre-existing conditions, calling the Obamacare repeal a “better way” to cover those illnesses.

Pressed by Andrea Mitchell on a coalition of health groups and other advocates who oppose the measure, Price said it said it would allow “for every single person to get the access to the kind of coverage that they want.” He continued:

Look, nobody wants folks who have a pre-existing illness or injury not to be covered. We want to make certain that we can do it at a lower price and [with] broader choices for patients. So that again, they’re able to see the doctor that they want to see. They’re able to go to the hospital that they want to go to, and to the clinic that they want to go to, not that Washington forces them to participate in.

Asked whether the plan would raise the “costs on the sickest people,” Price said the House plan would capture more of the 20 million or so who have sought to avoid Obamacare’s mandates. Said Price:

The fact of the matter is that if those individuals who are sicker, who are older, who are poorer, they will get larger subsidies so that they’re able to gain the kind of coverage that they need and want for themselves and for their family. Our desire is to make certain that we have a system that works for patients, not for government, not for insurance companies, but for patients. That’s the goal.

When you are reducing spending by more than $800 billion over 10 years, you can’t pretend you are boosting spending “every single year.”

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