President Trump won't let Obamacare 'implode,' Health Secretary Tom Price says

Tom Price said the president won't let Obamacare 'implode.'

ByABC News
July 30, 2017, 12:44 PM

— -- Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price would not concede that President Trump intends to let "Obamacare implode," despite Trump's promise to do just that.

"The president’s passion about this is that he understands that this system may be working for Washington. It may be working for insurance companies. But it’s not working for patients. And that’s where his passion is," Price told ABC News' "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday.

"That’s why he keeps coming back to this and saying, 'Look, Senate, do your job. Congress, do your job. You said for seven years that you’re -- that you were going to repeal and replace Obamacare. Now get to work and get it done.'"

After the Senate failed to pass its "skinny" Obamacare repeal measure early Friday morning, President Trump tweeted "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode, then deal. Watch!"

Raddatz asked Price, "This week, he said he was going to let it implode. Is that what he’s going to do?"

“No,” the health secretary said.

“I think, again, the fact -- that punctuates the concern that he has about getting this moved in the right direction," he said.

In January, President Trump signed an executive order which would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to waive the individual mandate, a signature part of the Affordable Care Act that requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

This mandate is one of the least popular pieces of the health care law, but insurers have stressed it is necessary to keep the individual insurance market stable.

Asked by Raddatz if elimination of the individual mandate is still an option, Price said, "All things are on the table to try to help patients."

"What we’re trying to do is to make it so we have a health care system that responds to the needs of the American people," he said.

"And when the federal government gets in the way of responding to those needs, allowing the American people to actually provide coverage and care for themselves across this land, then it’s incumbent upon us as policymakers, and as individuals charged with responsibility in leading, to put in a place a system that actually works for the American people," Price said.

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