Donald Trump's comment this weekend that he wants to provide "insurance for everybody" underscores the conflicting views of the president-elect and congressional Republicans on what an Affordable Care Act replacement should look like.
Trump’s views are starting to sound similar to the goal of providing universal coverage, as the ACA sought to accomplish with enrollment pushes and the individual mandate. But GOP lawmakers have been leaning toward the goal of providing “universal access” to health insurance, which focuses on expanding more affordable—if less comprehensive—coverage options.
As for Rep. Tom Price, the nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, he previously introduced a very conservative bill that would provide refundable tax credits for health insurance coverage and health savings account contributions, as well as allow insurers to deny coverage to individuals outside of open enrollment periods.
While a number of Senate Republicans told Politico that they doubt Price’s agenda as head of HHS will mirror the ideas in his old legislation, some House Republicans think it could form the basis of the GOP’s replacement strategy.
Adding to the confusion, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch told the publication, is the fact that “we’ve got a new element in Donald Trump.”
In an interview with the “Today” show on Monday, Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the president-elect, elaborated on Trump’s position, saying his aim is to “to get insurance for everybody through marketplace solutions, through competition, through bringing costs down, negotiating with pharmaceutical companies, allowing competition over state lines.”
The Trump administration also plans to stick with its promise to enact a quick replacement of the ACA, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday.” “I would anticipate in the first 100 days that we’ll deliver on that promise for the American people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Republicans are faced with an increasingly outspoken movement against the repeal of the ACA, buoyed by rallies across the country this weekend and fired-up Democrats, the New York Times notes. Starting today, liberal groups will launch a two-month bus tour to galvanize support to save the law, called “Save my Care,” The Washington Post reports.