US President Donald Trump is committed to providing health care to every American, Health Secretary Tom Price said today amid reports that the proposed replacement of Obamacare would leave scores of people without any health care.
"The president is committed to that (healthcare to all), as am I and those of us at the Department of Health and Human Services," Price told CNN.
The fact of the matter is, this bill that is moving through Congress right now is simply the first step in this process, he said.
"Imagine, if you will, a system that actually drives down costs of health coverage for individuals. That's the one that we envision," he said.
"Imagine, if you will, a system that actually provides patients with an array of options, something that works for them, not that the government dictates to them that they must purchase...So they can see the doctor that they want to see, they can see the health care provider that they want to see, they can go to the hospital that they want to go to," Price said.
Those are the kinds of new things in a plan that the administration envisions, he said.
Price said the new plan will make certain that those with preexisting illness and injury are covered.
He said the administration needs to make certain that it provides the states the kind of flexibility that they need to fashion their Medicaid programme for their vulnerable population in a way that actually works for patients.
The administration needs to make certain that it has tax credits for people, so that every single American has the financial feasibility to purchase coverage.
The administration also needs to address the purchase across state lines, to make certain that it is driving down drug costs, and to make certain that it addresses the lawsuit abuse that exists in the country in the area of health care that drives up the costs for so many individuals, he said.
"So, the plan in its entirety is one that we believe will be strong, will be efficient, will make it so that every single American has access to the kind of coverage that they want, not that the government forces them to buy," Price said.
Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz, a former Republican presidential candidate, told CBS News that Obamacare has increased the healthcare insurance significantly and has become unaffordable for the common man.
At the same time the bill that has been introduced in the US House of Representative does not bring down the premiums, he said.
"The current House bill, as drafted, I do not believe it will pass the Senate. It doesn't fix the problem. My biggest concern with the House bill is, it doesn't lower premiums. And CBO, in fact, projected that, in the first two years, premiums would rise 10 to 20 per cent," Cruz said.
"If Republicans hold a big press conference and pat ourselves on the back that we have repealed Obamacare, and everyone's premiums keep going up, people will be ready to tar and feather us in the streets, and quite rightfully," he said.