Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "Democrats" are responsible for health care failures

During the off-screen press briefing, Sanders hinted the White House wouldn't prevent Obamacare from collapsing

Published July 18, 2017 6:21PM (EDT)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Susan Walsh)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Susan Walsh)

During an off-camera briefing on Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed the failures of the Senate health care bill on the Democratic Party, according to Politico.

When asked simply who the blame for health care should fall on, Sanders replied, "Democrats," according to Politico, even though Republicans have a Congressional majority. Sanders also said it was "unacceptable" that the Democrats have refused to help repeal Obamacare. "They’re responsible for passing Obamacare. They’re responsible for the mess we’re in," she added.

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R.-W.Va., and Lisa Murkowski, R.-Alaska, supported the repeal of Obamacare two years ago, but announced on Tuesday that they wouldn't vote for a measure that would repeal it without an immediate replacement. When Sanders was asked what she would say to these senators, she replied, "do your job," according to Politico.

"We should be very proud of the progress we’ve made in the first six months," Sanders said. "The process of reforming health care is certainly not over."

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the next step for health care reform would be to "let Obamacare fail." During the press briefing Sanders "would not say whether the administration will continue to fund key cost-sharing subsidies that help stabilize insurance markets, or whether the White House will take other steps to try and harm the Affordable Care Act," Politico reported.

Instead Sanders indicated that it's not their responsibility. "I don’t think that the White House has to take any actions for Obamacare to collapse," she said, according to Politico. The comment echoes the president's statements, who also said that he's "not going to own" the gridlock over health care.

According to Politico, the White House has not held a televised press briefing since June 29.

By Charlie May

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