January 18, 2019

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

26 June 2017, 02:24 | Marion Schneider

Sunday on ABC's "This Week", White House aide Kellyanne Conway said the Senate health care bill changes to Medicaid only affect the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare which "went way above the poverty line and opened it up to able-bodied Americans".

"We don't see them as cuts". Take away their Medicaid and they won't be covered.

But the draft of the health care bill Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released on Thursday includes steep cuts to Medicaid, aiming to phase out the federal funding implemented under Obamacare for states to expand Medicaid eligibility. Obamacare expanded the pool of Medicaid recipients beyond its original intentions.

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The bill proposes phasing out federal funding to states that had been used to expand the program under the Obama administration. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-Brooklyn) will continue to fight the legislation which he has called "heartless".

Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation bears that out: "Among Medicaid adults (including parents and childless adults - the group targeted by the Medicaid expansion) almost 8 in 10 live in working families, and a majority are working themselves". In 2014, just 30 percent of working adults with incomes at or below the poverty line had employer-sponsored coverage available to them.

Host George Stephanopoulos pressed Conway on President Donald Trump's looking to break his promise to not cut Medicaid considering the Senate bill actually has deeper cuts to the program than the previously passed House plan. "This slows the rate for the future, and it allows governors more flexibility for the future with Medicaid dollars".

That claim, which the Trump administration and its allies in GOP leadership have made repeatedly in recent weeks, has drawn rebukes from Republican senators ― including Susan Collins of ME, who appeared on "This Week" shortly after Conway. Regarding Conway's comments, she said: "I respectfully disagree with her analysis".

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