In a Friday interview with Wolf Blitzer, President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, tried to justify the decision to defund the Affordable Care Act’s access for lower income Americans.
In a 2016 interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Trump explained that the poor were hurting because they couldn’t afford their healthcare. On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order killing subsidies that helped provide healthcare to the poor, going against a campaign promise to help low-income people afford healthcare. During the interview Friday, Mulvaney claimed that these were essentially checks to major corporations from the government and that’s why the insurance companies went along with the policy to begin with.
Blitzer cornered Mulvaney on that take, wondering how he could say that when the subsidies essentially funded healthcare for the poor. He warned the competition in states would go down because fewer people will be buying health insurance and thus fewer Americans will have access to insurance.
He then hammered Mulvaney on the obviousness that Trump has made this decision because he claimed that Obamacare is failing, and to ensure it does, he’s going to shove it off a cliff. Mulvaney claimed that this is all about Trump not wanting to write a check to corporations who are making millions of dollars since the ACA went into effect. That seems to be in conflict with Trump’s tax plan, which gives a substantial tax cuts to corporate business owners and higher wage earners. His excuse in that case was that it will create jobs.
Blitzer brought up the Democratic plan that would fix some of Obamacare’s shortcomings but doesn’t repeal it and asked Mulvaney why the GOP and the White House is refusing to support it. Mulvaney said “we are interested in repealing Obamacare and replacing it.” Blitzer quoted Trump’s legislative director Marc Short, who spoke with CNN Thursday, and explained it isn’t possible to try and repeal or replace again until next spring. That leaves low income Americans with at least five months without health care.
Mulvaney claimed that Democrats are refusing to make a deal on anything because they’re refusing to repeal the law. Democrats have said that they have fixes to the plan and are perfectly willing to allow Trump to rename the law after himself if he wants. However, Mulvaney maintained that Democrats are refusing to repeal and therefore aren’t interested in solutions. Mulvaney even admitted that the bill by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) is to “to fix the problem” and he’d support it if it is a clean bill.
Watch the full interview below: