Transcript for HHS Secretary Price: Health care system is 'crying out for reform and revision'
I'm joined now by health and human services secretary Dr. Tom price. Thank you for being here. Good to be with you. Our new poll shows that by a 2 to 1 margin, voters refer the Obamacare plan. Shouldn't Republicans be worried about voting far plan what that is actually less prop lar now than Obamacare has ever been? It depends how you ask the question. If you ask the question, to you ant to be able to select your doctor? Your insurance coverage? It's overwhelming that Americans want to do that. The current system, the ACA, Obamacare, whatever you want to call it, is failing the individuals in the individual and small group market. We have counties that only have one choice. Next year, there will be dozens of counties that don't have an issuer. We have premiums that are sky-rocketing. Deductibles that are so high that they have coverage but not care. This is a system crying out for reform and revision. That's what we're trying to do. No doubt there are significant problems with the current system. If you look at the Republican plan to modify it and replace it, more than 10 medical groups are against it, 32 cancer organizations oppose it. On Thursday in a rare joint statement by the biggest insurance companies cause the Cruz ameant unworkable in any form. And warned it would lead to quote widespread losses. A single risk pool is exactly the kind of process that has been utilized for decades. They're against it. The doctors are against it. The challenge that we have is that the bill itself is not the entire plan. It is a significant and an important and integral part of the plan. It's not the entire plan. What we're doing over at health and human services is going through all the rules and regulations that were promulgated pursue promulgate Ed pursuant to -- does it help patients or harm pashs? Increase costs or decrease costs? Where the Sans wrong, we'll move it in a better direction. I saw a picture of you talking to governor Brian Sandoval. Republican of Nevada. If you look at the governors. I understand you have the governor of Kentucky saying he supports the bill with reservations. There's not a single government in the country saying they're on the record unequivocally supporting the the bill. What they'll tell you, the vast majority of them, almost to a person, is that what they need is flexibility. They need to be able to design a medicaid program that works for their population. Don't dictate to us from Washington, D.C., what you're telling us to do. We know how to do it better than you. Nevada knows how to take care of Nevada citizens better than Washington, D.C. And it's true across the country. So what we have heard from the governors is virtually ewe name anymorety on that kind of flexibility that doesn't exist to the degree now that the bill would provide, would allow for. That's what the governors are calling out for. I remember I covered quite intimately the debate over Obamacare in the house. I think talked to you several times in the process. One of the things you were very critical of were the special provisions put in the bill to win key senators. The cornhusker kickback. The la purchase, as you called both of them. They were provisions to win democratic senators on the fence. Now we see special pro visions in the bill for Alaska, Florida, la plap again, seem to be directly aimed at winning over key Republican senators. Do you have a problem can this? I know you're not in the senate. You're not putting this stuff in. You must be a little uncomfortable. What we're trying to do is dlsh it's not an appropriate characterization. This is special treatment. Alaska will get more money in a provision tailored to Alaska. You talk about a state that's unique, talk about Alaska. They have 650 municipalities and cities that cow can't reach by car. That's a unique situation. Our goal is to make certain that nobody falls through the cracks. We're able to provide coverage for every single American for their physicians and their care. And it's done in a way that makes it possible. The bottom line is, this vote is delayed. It was going to be on Tuesday. Did Mcconnell have the votes to get it passed? I don't know. Let me take this opportunity to convey our best wishes to senator McCain. He's a fighter. He'll be back. I never underestimate senator Mcconnell's expertise in gettinging the votes. Thank you, Dr. Tom price. Thank you. Coming up, the powerhouse "Roundtable" take on the health
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