OMB Director Mick Mulvaney: Insurance Coverage Is "Plastic Piece Of Paper"


White House Office of Management & Budget director Mick Mulvaney joins ABC's 'This Week' host George Stephanopoulos to discuss the Trump administration's health care reform plan.

Mulvaney said he opposes the tendancy to measure health care quality by insurance coverage. He called health insurance a "piece of paper," and said that people who were still insured might not be able to afford to go to the doctor because of high deductibles.

"They can afford to have a little plastic piece of paper that says they have an insurance policy, but they can't afford to go to the doctor," he said about healthy people for whom having no coverage would be less expensive.

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: George, there's a lot of moving pieces at one time. Let me see if it can break it down into smaller pieces and parts, maybe talk about a bunch of different ones.

Talk about the coverage levels, the number of people covered. We continue to think, and have for a long time, that the CBO was scoring the wrong thing. They're scoring Obamacare as it exists today, not tomorrow. Obamacare is this close from completely collapsing.

For example, I live in South Carolina. We are down to one provider in that state. There are four or five states that I think are down to one provider. And the CBO is failing to take into consideration what happens to folks in South Carolina when there are no providers, which there may be as soon as next year.

So, we don't think the CBO is counting correctly that way.

But at the same time, we also think they're not counting the right thing. Go back to the original idea of Obamacare was supposed to be that people could afford to go to the doctor. They can't. They can afford to have coverage. They can afford to have a little plastic piece of paper that says they have an insurance policy, but they can't afford to go to the doctor.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the president said insurance for everybody.

MULVANEY: I was on Obamacare when I was in the House. My family's deductibles were over $15,000 a year. Other folks who don't make as much money as I did were on the exact same plan. Do you think they could afford to go to the doctor? That's what we're trying to fix. Not coverage for people, not coverage they can afford, but care they can afford. When they get sick, they can go to the doctor. That's what the Donald Trump plan is working on, and that's where we think it is going to be wildly successful.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, they -- but it -- but they will have fewer -- less money to pay for that coverage right now, less money to pay for that care. But, also, on the point of Medicaid, the president said during the campaign he would not cut Medicaid, this bill is going to reduce federal Medicaid funding by about $370 billion over 10 years.

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