White House's Mick Mulvaney: Abolishing Obamacare Won't Result in Health Care Loss For Americans

During a Sunday morning appearance on ABC's This Week, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney claimed that millions of Americans are not at risk of losing health care coverage based on pre-existing conditions if the President Donald Trump is successful in his latest attempt to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The conversation came as the Trump administration revived attempts to replace so-called Obamacare. Last Monday, The Department of Justice signaled that it supported a federal court's ruling that the 2010 health care act is unconstitutional and should be thrown out entirely. Previously, the administration said it only opposed certain provisions, including the one that protected patients with pre-existing conditions.

"Can you guarantee that if you succeed in court that all of those tens of millions of people who have health coverage guaranteed because of Obamacare will not lose their coverage?" host Jonathan Karl pressed Mulvaney during the appearance.

"Yes," Mulvaney responded. "The debate about pre-existing conditions is over. Both parties support them and anyone telling you anything different is lying for political gain." He added that Republican lawmakers would be devising a new plan while the lawsuit works its way through the courts.

Mulvaney made a round of appearances on Sunday shows to support the White House's latest efforts to crush the sweeping health care law, which has provided coverage to more than 20 million previously uninsured people.

In a separate interview with CNN, the chief of staff argued that past efforts to overturn Obamacare would have passed had it not been for a midnight vote by Sen. John McCain. When host Jake Tapper appeared critical of nixing Obamacare without a viable substitution in place, Mulvaney once again claimed that a new plan would be developed.

'There is no Republican plan right now. You're talking about how you want one, but there is no Republican plan right now," said Tapper said. "You're taking legal action to kill Obamacare with no replacement for these tens of millions of Americans."

"We have offered plans in the House, we came up with the plans in the Senate," Mulvaney countered. "We came up with a bunch of ideas out of the White House. Yes, they didn't pass primarily because John McCain went back on his word to vote for it in the middle of the night."

The issue has already resurrected the bitter battle between Democrats and Republicans over the Affordable Care Act — a debate that proved bruising for the GOP during the midterm elections. President Donald Trump said earlier this week that the Republican party "will soon be known as the party of health care," while leading Democrats responded by condemning the White House for resurfacing the divisive issue.

On Tuesday, Democrats unveiled a largely symbolic resolution that blasted Republican efforts to overturn the law.

"The actions taken by the Trump Administration seeking the invalidation of the ACA's protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and later the invalidation of the entire ACA, are an unacceptable assault on the health care of the American people," the resolution states.

Numerous polls have shown that public opinion on the Affordable Care Act rests along party lines. A survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation last week found that support for the federal program holds a narrow majority.

Mick Mulvaney
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 18. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
White House's Mick Mulvaney: Abolishing Obamacare Won't Result in Health Care Loss For Americans | U.S.