Tags: Tom Price | AHCA | House | Vote

Tom Price: AHCA Just One Part of Plan; House Will Say Yes

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Friday, 24 Mar 2017 09:09 AM

The American Health Care Act, expected to come up for a House vote Friday, is just one step in an entire plan to "bring about patient-centered healthcare," and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said he believes reluctant Republicans will agree to vote for the measure to improve the nation's healthcare coverage.

"We have costs going up and care and choices going down, and it's only getting worse," Price said in an MSNBC "Morning Joe" interview, reiterating that the bill is one of three steps of a plan that will allow families and doctors to make medical decisions, not the government.

"The second step are the kinds of things we are able to do at the [HHS] department, and third step was just actually happening concurrently even this week, with other pieces of legislation like purchase across state lines and association healthcare plans. The kind of things that actually make healthcare coverage more affordable for people so that they can get care," said Price.

He believes, despite the dozens of Republicans who say they won't vote for the plan, that when the time to vote comes, representatives will "understand and appreciate this overall plan is what needs to be started today and why the bill, I believe, has a great opportunity to pass."

However, one of the show's panelists pointed out, a Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday, shows American voters disapprove by 56 - 17 percent, with 26 percent undecided, of the GOP replacement plan. Even among Republicans, the poll said, support stands at 41-24 percent.

Price said that's because people are focused just on bill at hand, but "that's not the plan. That's part of a plan, and that is why it's so important to appreciate that there is so many other things that are going on in the area of healthcare to make certain we move in that direction of patient-centered healthcare."

Price said he also has confidence in Trump and "his ability to bring people together" for the bill to get the 60 votes it requires to pass in the Senate, even though Democrats have decided, as a block, that they will not vote to repeal Obamacare.

There are also parts of the third phase of the legislation that do enjoy bipartisan support, said Price, including allowing insurance purchases across state lines and to allow people to create pools to bring down the cost of coverage.

Price, also appearing on Fox News' "Fox & Friends," said he is confident of the House vote because members will appreciate that the current system has failed while prices are going up.

"The bill before Congress is done," said Price. "The kinds of proposals and kinds of changes that were agreed to yesterday. That's it. As the president said yesterday, it is time to put up your vote. We need to pass this again so we can move forward with the entire plan that will bring about patient centered health care."

Price also pointed out that Democrats "refused to come to the table" to try to help with the bill, but he thinks they will once the first phase is approved.

"They don't want to have anything to do what they believe in repealing Obamacare and ACA," said Price. "They appreciate the healthcare system in so many ways is broken."

Story continues below video.

Also appearing on CNN's "New Day," Price addressed numbers from the Congressional Budget Office showing millions would lose coverage under the GOP plan.

"I would tell people that what the CBO looked at was not the plan," said Price. "What the CBO looked at was this one piece of legislation that's going to change through the legislative process and they made an estimate, understanding their estimates in the past have been off by significant numbers."

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The American Health Care Act, expected to come up for a House vote Friday, is just one step in an entire plan to "bring about patient-centered healthcare," and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said he believes reluctant Republicans will agree to vote...
Tom Price, AHCA, House, Vote
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2017-09-24
Friday, 24 Mar 2017 09:09 AM
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