Kellyanne Conway on Senate health bill: 'These are not cuts to Medicaid'


Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price echoed Conway's comments on CNN Sunday morning, telling State of the Union guest host Dana Bash that cuts to Medicaid "just wouldn't happen" under the Senate bill. This slows the rate for the future and it allows governors more flexibility with Medicaid dollars.

Conway said, "We're confident that the Senate bill will get through and we'll have health care reform that takes away these draconian Obamacare taxes".

The non partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the House version of the bill would cut Medicaid spending by $880 billion, which President Donald Trump accounted for in his budget. "We are trying to get Medicaid back to its original mores".

When the ACA expanded Medicaid coverage, Conway said, that "opened it up" to healthy people who could, theoretically, work.

Conway said, "If you're able-bodied and would like to go and find employer-sponsored benefits then you should be able to do that, and maybe as Sec".

But Conway's talking point mischaracterizes the life circumstances of most Medicaid recipients, a majority of whom work low-income jobs that don't offer health insurance and that keep them near the poverty line.

"These are not cuts to Medicaid, George", Conway insisted. However, last month Trump and the GOP were able to pass the bill through the House and onto the Senate, where it now awaits further debate and a vote. "You have to look at the whole health care bill in order to have a full conversation".

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Seven "trigger" states - Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Washington - built requirements into their Medicaid expansions to protect them from the higher costs of covering so many more people.

The CBPP calculated how the costs to states from Medicaid expansion would jump if the federal matching percentage is reduced, both immediately or more slowly.

"Based on what I've seen, given the inflation rate that would be applied in the outer years to the Medicaid program, the Senate bill is going to have more impact on the Medicaid program than even the House bill", Collins said.

ROWLAND: Well, of the individuals who are adults on Medicaid who do not qualify on the basis of their disability status, we know that 41 percent of them are already working, and another 15 percent of them have part-time jobs.

That's unfortunate, because finding a job with health care benefits is not as easy as Conway makes it sound.

"That takes money", Stephanopoulos rebutted.

"These are not cuts to Medicaid, George". What can you tell us about the typical profile?