Trump’s HHS Secretary Tom Price fell apart when he was asked a very simple question on ABC’s This Week. Price was asked are you going to sabotage the health care system or fix it, and all he could do was criticize Obamacare.
RADDATZ: OK, let’s talk about what you’re going to do. HHS has the ability to further destabilize the marketplace by stopping cost-sharing payments to insurers, not enforcing the individual mandate, working internally to undermine it. You have said nobody is interested in sabotaging this system.
So are you going to help it implode or try to fix it?
PRICE: That — the responsibility of the department is to improve the health and the safety and the well-being of the American people, and we take that mission extremely seriously. Which is why we are so passionate about making certain that we’ve got a health care system, again, that works for patients.
Right now, you’ve got a system that’s not working for patients. You’ve got folks who give us calls every single day and let us know that the concern that they have about their inability to get care for their family. We’ve got calls from physicians across this land who let us know that they’re no longer able to take care of the patients that they — they’re charged with caring for because of the rules and the regulations that are coming out of Washington.
RADDATZ: Secretary Price, I just want to go back this — the president saying imploding. It’s what the president is proposing, letting the existing system fail. Putting the needs of patients first.
I understand your views on Obamacare.
PRICE: Martha, the current system is imploding. The president has stated it. I understand it. The American people understand it. Again, you’ve got insurance companies — you’ve got 83 insurance companies before the administration came into office that fled the market. That said we can’t do this anymore.
You’re going to have 40 percent of the counties in this country next year that only have one insurance company providing coverage? That’s not a choice. You’re going to have dozens of counties in this country that have no insurance company providing coverage.
This system has failed. That’s what the president’s saying, and that’s why he is demanding that Congress act.
If we could fix it by regulation, we would do so. But it takes an act of Congress to take care of it, and that’s what the president is demanding.
ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked the vital question. Is Trump going to sabotage the health care system, or fix it? Sabotaging the ACA is not putting patients first as Republicans have been claiming that they are interested in doing.
Trump and Congressional Republicans thought that they could blame Democrats for their failures on health care, but they are the ones responsible now. If Trump undermines Obamacare, they own the consequences.
Tom Price fell apart when Raddatz asked what he was going to do because the Trump White House has no answers that they want to admit publicly. His ultimate answer was to blame Congress and say that he could do nothing, which is not true. Price has a choice. He can continue to make the cost sharing payments to insurers for the subsidies, or he can stop and crash the whole health care market.
Republicans are responsible for the mess that they have made out of health care, and blaming Democrats is simply not going to cut it. The point was made abundantly clear as Tom Price failed around and criticized Obamacare while offering zero solutions of his own.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association