Tom Price: ObamaCare mandate repeal will drive up costs

Tom Price: ObamaCare mandate repeal will drive up costs
© Getty Images

Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceTrump’s shifting Cabinet to introduce new faces Cummings sends 51 letters to White House, others requesting compliance with document requests Interior chief Zinke to leave administration MORE on Tuesday said that the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate would drive up costs, a remark seized on by Democrats.

“That may help, but it still is nibbling at the side,” Price told the World Health Care Congress, according to The Washington Times. “And there are many, and I’m one of them, who believes that that actually will harm the pool in the exchange market, because you’ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market, and consequently, that drives up the cost for other folks within that market.”

Democrats immediately highlighted the remark from President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE’s own former health secretary and fierce opponent of ObamaCare.

ADVERTISEMENT

They say his statement reinforces the argument that Republicans are to blame for coming premium increases in large part due to their repeal in the December tax bill of the mandate that most people obtain health insurance or pay a fine.

"We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves,” Matt House, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerProtecting our judiciary must be a priority in the 116th Congress Baldwin's Trump plays 'Deal or No Deal' with shutdown on 'Saturday Night Live' Sunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal MORE (D-N.Y.), said in email linking to Price’s comments.

Added Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySen. Murray says Washington behavior reminds her of former preschool students Senate rejects government-wide ban on abortion funding Overnight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal MORE (D-Wash.), “I’m glad to see former Secretary Price admit the truth, which is that families’ premiums are going up because President Trump and Republicans in Congress have spiked prices with their relentless, partisan health care sabotage.”

Democrats are hoping to pin the blame for premium increases on Republicans as an important part of their midterm elections message.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected that repeal of the mandate will increase premiums by 10 percent as fewer healthy people sign up to balance out the costs of the sick.

Republicans have argued that repealing the mandate removes fines that largely hit low-income people who choose not to buy insurance that they found to be unaffordable.