Trump Budget Director Mocks CBS’s Bias Over ‘Slashing’ Help to the Poor

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Friday fought back at attempts to spin the health care bill as one that abandons the poor in a heartless way. He also corrected CBS This Morning's Anthony Mason on the facts. The co-host parroted talking points about a poll: “Seventy four percent, nearly three quarters, oppose cutting Medicare funding.” 

Mulvaney rebuffed, “First of all, nothing cuts Medicare. So I'm not sure where that's coming from.” Mason backtracked, “Medicaid. Excuse me.” Guest co-host Alex Wagner scolded, “Mr. Mulvaney, when you talk about something better, does that include the slashing of essential services, including maternity care, emergency services and prescription drugs?” 

The budget director mocked the bias: “I love the term slashing those essential terms.” He then explained: 

States not only have the ability to require those services, many of them already do. I talked to some folks in the northeast and it's like, "Yeah, we don't really mind that much about essential health benefits because our states already require insurance policies sold in those states to have that." What we're doing is taking away the federal controls of the system. If you live in a state that wants to mandate maternity coverage for everybody, including a 60-year-old woman, that's fine. 

A transcript is below: 

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CBS This Morning 
3/24/17
7:07:52 to 7:11:23

MAJOR GARRETT: Minutes ago, we spoke with White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney from the White House. 

MICK MULVANEY: Morning, Charlie. 

MULVANEY: Why do you think an ultimatum will work now with the caucus when it hasn't before? 

GARRETT: Because I think you've got a new president in place and a president who tried to deliver the message last night, which is that the Republicans are all on the same page. Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of the signing of ObamaCare. Today should be the beginning of its unwinding. We're all looking for the same thing. We want to take ObamaCare away and give people the control and options that they want, the quality that they deserve, and the affordability that they need. But we need to start it and do it today. 

MASON:  Budget director, this plan, a poll suggests the plan is very unpopular at this point. Fifty six percent of Americans disapprove of it. Seventy four percent, nearly three quarters, oppose cutting Medicare funding. 

MULVANEY: First of all, nothing cuts Medicare. So I’m not sure where that’s coming from. 
 
MASON: Medicaid. Excuse me. 

MULVANEY: That’s fine. That's fine. I do that all the time. I'm sure most folks don't know what's in the bill. We have made the bill much better over the course of the last weeks. Of course, it has to go to the Senate after this. My guess is most people don't know the phase two regulatory reforms or the phase three additional bills. The point of the matter is this: They know they don't like ObamaCare. It takes the control of their own health care out of their hands. It takes affordability away from them, and they want something better. What's sitting in the House today is better than that, and this is the chance to pass it. 

ALEX WAGNER: Mr. Mulvaney, when you talk about something better, does that include the slashing of essential services, including maternity care, emergency services and prescription drugs? 

MULVANEY: Sure. And I love the term slashing those essential terms. Keep in mind and I've talked to many of my colleagues about this. States not only have the ability to require those services, of them already do. I talked to some folks in the northeast and it’s like, “Yeah, we don’t really mind that much about essential health benefits because our states already require insurance policies sold in those states to have that.” What we're doing is taking away the federal controls of the system. If you live in a state that wants to mandate maternity coverage for everybody, including a 60-year-old woman, that's fine. 

WAGNER: What If you live in a state that doesn’t do that? 

MULVANEY: Then you can figure out a way to change the state you live in.  

WAGNER: So you should move? 

MULVANEY: Why do we look —  No. They should try to change their own state legislatures and their state laws. Why do we look to the federal government to try and fix our local problems? That's one of the problems of ObamaCare. That I took one size fits all and crammed it down. As a result, you have a system where everybody, just about can afford to have insurance.  But nobody can actually afford to go to the doctor and that's what we're trying to fix and that's what the House bill does. 

ROSE: There are many people who say it's not only members of Congress here but the President's agenda, that if he cannot get through a replacement health care, that the rest of his agenda will be at risk. 

MULVANEY: A couple of different things on that. First of all, the rest of the agenda will stand on its own. The tax policy will stand on its own merits. The infrastructure policy will stand on its own merits. The other efforts to put people back to work, of this is one by the way, there is excellent data from many sources that show ObamaCare depresses the desire to go to work. It takes an incentive away from going to work. So, this is actually a jobs bill today on the House. But in any event, all of those other policies will stand on their own merit, but folks will have to be accountable. Lawmakers will still have to be accountable as to why they didn’t vote to get rid of ObamaCare when they had the chance. And that chance is today.                     


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