Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway asserted Sunday that the Senate health care bill does not propose cuts to Medicaid, despite projections that it would cut the federal health insurance program by $800 billion.
“These are not cuts to Medicaid,” Conway said to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.
“This slows the rate for the future and it allows governors more flexibility for the future with Medicaid dollars,” she said.
“If you are currently in Medicaid, if you became [a recipient] … through the Obamacare expansion, you are grandfathered in. We’re talking about in the future,” Conway said.
When pressed by Stephanopoulos on how the proposal doesn’t amount to cuts when it directly curtails funding for Medicaid, Conway said the administration sees its actions as putting Medicaid back to pre-Obamacare levels.
“We don’t see them as cuts, it’s slowing the rate of growth in the future and getting Medicaid back to where it was,” she said.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to release its analysis of the impact of the Senate bill this week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes to bring the bill to a vote on the Senate floor before the July 4 recess.
So far five Republican senators have announced their opposition to the bill in its current form, and some others have said they are still reviewing the bill. That leaves in question whether the bill can win the support of at least 50 of the 52 Republicans in the Senate needed for it to pass, with Vice President Pence casting the tiebreaking vote.
Conway said the president is prepared to negotiate to pass the bill.
“The president is prepared to have a conversation and discussion and negotiation with those senators and others,” she said of the five who have announced their opposition.
“He hopes to get to yes,” Conway said of Trump. “We’re very open”