Trump's Budget Director Has Some Deeply Distressing Advice to Americans Worried About Their Health Benefits

News & Politics

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has a solution to Americans who think they should have insurance that includes essential health benefits: Just change the state apparatus!

“If you live in a state that wants to mandate maternity coverage for everybody, including 60-year-old women, that’s fine,” Mulvaney told CBS News Friday morning, Talking Points Memo reported.  He argued that control over minimum coverage for insurance plans belongs at the state level and complained about the national standard imposed by Obamacare. “They could try to change their own state legislatures and their state laws.”

Mulvaney told those worried that House Republicans’ health care bill, backed by the White House, will cut coverage for things like maternity care and mental health to simply lobby their state governments to mandate insurance companies provide coverage for some of the most basic medical needs.

“What we’re doing is taking away the federal control of these systems,” Mulvaney, who voted as a member of the House of Representatives to shut down the federal government over Planned Parenthood funding in 2014, said.

When asked by co-host Alex Wagner about states that would allow insurers to strip their coverage of prescription drugs, emergency room visits, and preventative services under Trumpcare, Mulvaney offered a flippant suggestion for concerned Americans.In an effort to woo reluctant conservatives in the House, Republicans revised their American Health Care Act to do away with the Essential Health Benefits stipulation in Obamacare, which required insurance companies to cover 10 essential health benefits like maternity care and mental health services.

While the elimination of essential benefits might have made Trumpcare more appealing to some hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus members, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee came out against the bill Friday morning — citing it’s negative impact on health care coverage.

“The denial of essential health benefits in the individual market raise serious coverage and cost issues,” Rodney Frelinghuysen wrote in a statement on Friday.

Hal Lawrence, CEO of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told USA Today that eliminating essential benefits requirements is a “horrible idea that takes away women’s access to preventive and maternity care.”

Lawerence added: “What [members of Congress] will do is increase illness, pregnancy complications, cancer and death.”

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