Tom Price defends Medicaid cuts in new health care bill – New York Post

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Sunday defended cutting nearly a trillion dollars from Medicaid in the GOP-backed health-care plan as being necessary to fix a “fundamentally flawed” system — and give people the coverage they need. ​

“There are no cuts to the Medicaid program,” Price said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “There are increases in spending, but what we’re doing is apportioning it in a way that allows states greater flexibility.”

A Congressional Budget Office analysis of a previous version of the American Health Care Act — a new version of which narrowly passed the House last Thursday — predicted $880 billion would be cut from Medicaid and 14 million fewer people would enroll in the program in the next 10 years.

Price, a former Republican congressman from Georgia, said it’s all part of an effort to make the system more responsive to patients.

“What we’re fashioning is a system that would allow the states to tailor their medical programs to those specific individuals, thereby saving money and also making it so they have a higher level of care,” he said.

Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether slashing Medicaid was just a way to provide a $1 trillion tax cut for the country’s wealthiest, Price said the plan gives states flexibility to fix patient care.

“What we’re trying to do is to improve the Medicaid system — make it more responsive to patients,”​ he said.

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