The White House’s top economic adviser said Sunday that every American enrolled in ObamaCare will continue to have access to health insurance under the Republicans’ replacement plan, amid arguments that millions will lose their coverage.
“We don’t think so,” White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn said on “Fox News Sunday,” when asked if many of the insured will lose their health care. “We believe if you want to have coverage, we're providing you access to coverage.”
"We have to make a better plan," he said.
Cohn said Americans who have bought ObamaCare insurance through Medicaid will continue to have that option while others will be offered tax credits to buy insurance.
Still, he suggested that some of the estimated 20 million Americans on federally-backed ObamaCare will fall into a “middle group” in the transition.
Cohn also appeared to hedge against the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report to be released as early as Monday. The report should include numbers on costs associated with the plan, presented last week by leader of the Republican-led House, and about the projected number of recipients.
“In the past, the CBO score has really been meaningless,” said Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs chief executive. “They have said that many more people will be insured than are actually insured.”
Congressional Democrats strongly oppose a replacement plan and argue that House GOP leaders are hustling their American Health Care Act through the chamber before a bad CBO report.
“The American people and (congressional) members have a right to know the full impact of this legislation before any vote in committee or by the whole House,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said last week to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Two committees in the Republican-led House have already voted in favor of the bill, with leaders hoping to pass the legislation in the full House during the week of March 20, then send it to the Senate, where it would need support of 51 of 52 Senate Republicans to reach Trump’s desk for signature.
Former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law insured millions of Americans since its 2010 inception, but has since struggled under rising premium costs and dwindling policy options for customers.
House conservatives argue that the Republican replacement plan doesn't do enough to dismantle Obama’s plan, which could keep Ryan from getting the minimum 218 votes. And the bill could face an even tougher road in the Senate, considering GOP members in states that like ObamaCare will face tough votes.