Trump's acting chief of staff promises Americans won't lose health care if Obamacare is struck down

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney promised Americans wouldn't lose health coverage if Obamacare is struck down

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 31, 2019 3:45PM (EDT)

Mick Mulvaney (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Mick Mulvaney (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Donald Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, appeared on ABC News on Sunday to promise that no Americans would lose their health insurance if the White House is able to get Obamacare struck down in court.

Mulvaney offered this promise after ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked him whether he could guarantee that Americans wouldn't lose their coverage if Obamacare is overturned, according to ABC News.

"Yes and here's why," Mulvaney replied. "Let's talk about pre-existing conditions, because it gets a lot of the attention and rightly so. Every single plan that this White House has ever put forward since Donald Trump was elected, covered pre-existing conditions."

Mulvaney did not address how the 8.4 million Americans who have coverage through and state exchanges would be able to continue being covered, especially since the Republican Party has not come up with a replacement plan if Obamacare is repealed. The acting chief of staff instead simply insisted that "Obamacare is not working" and that "even Democrats admit that."

On a different news program, Mulvaney also defended Trump's recent decision to cut off America's aid to a trio of Central American countries — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, arguing that "they haven't done a thing for us."

"Honduras could do more. Nicaragua could do more. El Salvador could do more," Mulvaney told CNN's Jake Tapper during a Sunday appearance on "State of the Union." "And if we're going to give these countries hundreds of millions of dollars, we would like them to do more."

He added, "(That) is not an unreasonable position. We could prevent a lot of what's happening on the southern border by preventing people from moving into Mexico in the first place."

Mulvaney also challenged the effectiveness of America's humanitarian aid in the region after Tapper suggested that withdrawing that aid would only worsen the conditions causing the migrant crisis.

"If it's working so well, why are the people still coming? Why are these historic numbers — again, 100,000 people will cross the border this month alone. That is — that is a crisis. It's a humanitarian crisis. It's a security crisis," Mulvaney told Tapper.

The acting chief of staff also lambasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who has been under attack by the Trump administration for criticizing the administration's allegedly improper associations with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

"Again, the issue is not whether it's ethical," Mulvaney told Tapper when asked about Schiff's recent remarks that Trump's conduct may have been unethical even if it wasn't illegal.

He added, ""People liked (former President) Bill Clinton, even though they might not have thought he was that ethical. That's not the job of the House Intelligence Committee. It's not the job of the House Judiciary Committee. It's not the job of the House Oversight Committee. They're supposed to review the functioning of government. Voters make decisions about the candidates in other places. And, importantly, members of Congress, even if they are the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, don't get to substitute their judgment for the voters."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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