HHS Secretary defends eliminating required health benefits

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In an interview with CNN, HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, continued to defend Republican alternatives to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), calling the American Health Care Act (AHCA) “a significantly better program than the one we currently have.”

The AHCA was pulled before the full House of Representatives could vote on the bill. It had faced opposition from almost all major medical organizations, particularly over the elimination of the ACA’s “essential health benefits” that insurers are required to cover, including hospitalization. When asked by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, MD, about whether it’s an improvement to allow “skimpy plans” which don’t cover those services, Price said it offers more choices for coverage to those who have chosen to remain uninsured.  

“You’ve got 20 million people in this country who have said, ‘Nonsense. I’m not going to be forced to do what you want me to do because I don’t believe it’s necessary for me,’” Price said.

Price also indicated Republicans will continue working on a ACA replacement, saying that despite the last effort failing to gain the support it needed in the House, “there’s always a ‘Plan B.’”

Watch more of the interview at the link below: