White House chief of staff Reince Priebus appeared on Fox News Sunday and straight up lied to Chris Wallace about the American Health Care Act (AHCA/Trumpcare). Wallace had to repeatedly point out to Priebus that Trumpcare is not what the alleged president promised the American people during his campaign.
On the campaign trail, Trump promised repeatedly that he would repeal Obamacare, and replace it with “something terrific.” “I am going to take care of everybody,” the former reality show star said at the time. “I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
His plan was supposed to be less expensive, but Republicans pushed it through without a score from the CBO. The elderly will pay more and those with pre-existing conditions are at risk. But, wealthy Americans get a trillion dollar tax cut which will be paid by middle-class and lower-income Americans.
Priebus turned himself into a pretzel trying to explain that what was presented as an Obamcare replacement is not what the final bill will look like.
“It’s up to the Senate to make improvements if they’re to be made,” Priebus said. “Everyone is excited and ready to go to work and take the time necessary to look at the bill. No one’s going to be beating down their door.”
As far as pre-existing conditions, a hot-button issue right now, Priebus said that 176 million Americans who get employer-based insurance will not be affected. Obamacare, without a doubt, covered Americans with pre-existing conditions.
But Priebus said the nine and a half million people with pre-existing conditions will be able to keep their insurance as long as Republican governors don’t ask for a waiver which would allow them to deny coverage.
Priebus said with a straight face that the plan provides “billions” with coverage.
“Eight billion dollars over five years,” Wallace countered.
Priebus told Wallace that the CBO has been “wrong before” when the Fox host noted that Congressional Budget Office estimates showed 24 million people losing their insurance by 2024.
“That is not taking care of everybody like the president promised,” Wallace said. “You’re rolling back Medicaid, older people are going to end up paying five times as much or even more.”
“That’s the old bill,” Priebus said.
“But that part of it stays,” Wallace shot back.
“That’s before the Senate takes the bill and makes it even better,” Priebus said.
On the campaign trail, Trump said, “You will end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that will take place immediately after we go in. Immediately! Fast! Quick!”
And now Priebus has put it firmly in the hands of the Senate to fix the hot mess Republicans call a health care plan. A major rewrite could take months. That’s not what “immediately” means.
Image via screen capture.