Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Sunday the Trump administration is open to "beefing up" the Obamacare replacement plan in areas where it lags for coverage of poor and older Americans.
In an interview on ABC News' "This Week," Price said the administration is working with lawmakers to ensure the American Health Care Act "works for people in the real world."
"If it needs more beefing up, as you say, for the ... folks that are low income, between 50 and 64 years of age, that's something we would entertain," he said.
"This is not about Washington politics," he added. "This is about people's health care. That's where it's important to keep the focus. … We have had insurers tell us not only will we stay in the market, we'll get back into the market."
"We need choices for patients, competition to drive down costs so folks have greater opportunity to get the coverage they want for themselves and their families."
In a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Price also urged governors who now oppose the AHCA to be patient.
"I hate to sound like a broken record, but what they're looking at is not the plan," he said. "You can't put the kind of flexibility that is necessary for them to be able to fashion their program for their vulnerable population in the way that they see fit in the first piece of legislation. Which is why it's this three-phase or three-part or three-legs-of-a-stool plan."
Price said the Congressional Budget Office's look at the plan only took into account the first piece of the legislation, "which is not the plan in its entirety."
"A system that actually provides patients with an array of options, something that works for them, not that the government dictates to them, that they must purchase but something that works for them" is the ultimate goal, he said. "Those are the kinds of new things in a plan that we envision and parts one, two and three will accomplish all of that."
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