Mulvaney: Let states figure out 'essential health benefits'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE's budget director says people who believe insurers should be required to offer a set of "essential health benefits" should become active in their state's lawmaking rather than rely on the federal government.

“If you live in a state that wants to mandate maternity coverage for everybody, including 60-year-old women, that’s fine,” Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday on “CBS This Morning." "If you want to live in a state that wants to do that differently, you can as well.”

The House is set to vote Friday on an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill that would eliminate minimum insurer requirements for the 2018 plan year.

The change, which lets states set their own standards instead, was an attempt to woo skeptical conservatives ahead of a full House vote that afternoon.

It's not clear whether the change will be enough to secure the bill's passage.

Mulvaney was unapologetic toward critics of the change. 

People who want stricter standards "can figure out a way to change the state you live in,” he said. He said they could also seek to change their state's laws. 


“Why do we look to the federal government to try to fix our local problems?” he said.

Mulvaney added the federal government’s power over ObamaCare is one of the healthcare law’s biggest flaws.

“It took that one-size-fits-all and crammed it down on the entire country,” the former GOP House representative from South Carolina said.

“As a result, you have a system where everybody just about can afford to have insurance, but nobody can afford to go to the doctor.  That’s what we’re trying to fix and that’s what the House bill does.”

Currently, essential health benefits include services like maternity care, addiction treatment, outpatient services and hospitalization.

ObamaCare requires insurers to include these benefits in plans.