Health Insurance

Trump advisor Conway says no one will lose health coverage after Obamacare repeal

Kellyanne Conway: Trump's plans for Obamacare
Kellyanne Conway: Trump's plans for Obamacare

One more time: If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

A senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday that after Obamacare is repealed and replaced with different health-care law no one who has health insurance would lose their coverage.

"That is correct. We don't want anyone who currently has insurance to not have insurance," the advisor, Kellyanne Conway, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

How that will be avoided, however, is a very big question.

Trump and his fellow Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, have said they intend to quickly repeal the Affordable Care Act after he takes office on Jan. 20. And Trump, as well as a number of GOP leaders in Congress, have said they want to replace the ACA with legislation that will be better for the American people.

"These folks have a mandate to repeal and replace Obamacare," Conway said Tuesday, citing the presidential and congressional election results from this past fall. "Obamacare was on the ballot. People want it repealed and replaced."

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., on Tuesday proposed a resolution that would begin the repeal process.

But Republicans haven't committed yet to a concrete plan for a replacement, and it is not clear how such a plan could avoid big drops in the number of Americans with coverage without keeping several key parts of Obamacare — parts that many Republicans object to.

And many health insurance experts warn that gutting the ACA while delaying crafting a replacement could lead to sharp coverage drops, even if the repeal is suspended for several years.

Conway on "Morning Joe" said, "There's no question that there will be different health insurance coverage in this country under President Trump," but also added that "some people, some experts, say it could take years to complete the process."

When asked if the Trump team had a replacement plan in place, Conway said, "We have pieces of it."

And she said, "that would be the ideal situation" if a replacement was passed at the same time that Obamacare was repealed. "Let's see what happens practically," she added.

But she suggested that the fact that Trump's nominee for secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., has not been confirmed as of yet is one reason that a broader replacement plan isn't ready.

"We need some help and we need some assistance from the Democrats, at least to be fair," to get a replacement passed, Conway said. "We're ready to go."

Trump earlier Tuesday tweeted additional criticism of Obamacare.


Benjamin Wakana, a spokesman for HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, suggested otherwise when asked for comment by CNBC.

"With a record number of people selecting plans for Jan. 1, Americans are once again proving that coverage is vital to them and their families," said Wakana, referring to the federally run Obamacare exchange that sells health coverage in 39 states.

About 6.4 million people signed up for individual health plans on that exchange in time for coverage that kicked in on New Year's Day. That was 400,000 people more than had signed up during the same time period in the last open enrollment season.

Enrollment in Obamacare plans continues through Jan. 31. Under the ACA, most Americans must have some form of health coverage or pay a tax penalty. That coverage can come from individual plans, employer-based plans, as well as Medicare, Medicaid and other government-run programs.