WASHINGTON â Trump administration officials defended Sunday the presidentâs victory lap over a health care bill far from completion, and the fact that the Rose Garden news conference featured mostly men.
âThe president achieved something that no one thought he would,â White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on âFox News Sunday.â âI think we were right to give the Congress an attaboy in the Rose Garden. But we also know that this is just the beginning, itâs the first step.â
Flanked by members of Congress and administration officials Thursday, President Trump celebrated the narrow House passage of a bill to rewrite major portions of the Affordable Care Act.
âWomen’s health experts in action,â Planned Parenthoodâs Cecile Richards tweeted about the fact that most attending were men.
The bill would cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood and allow states to scale back services insures have to cover, such as birth control and maternity care.
NBCâs Andrew Mitchell asked Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price why the group was âmostly all men and white men at thatâ when âwomenâs health issues arguably are going to be disproportionately affected.â
Price pointed out that Rep. Diana Black, who chairs the House Budget Committee, was there, as was Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
âOut of a group of dozens and dozens of people, you can cite two or three women?â Mitchell responded.
âThese are prominent individuals who are leadingâ¦in this area of health care,â Price said. âThe goal, as I mentioned, is to make certain that every single American, men, women, rich, poor, old, young, have the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their families, not that government forces them to buy.â
ABCâs George Stephanopoulos asked Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, why neither she nor any other female senator is included in the Senateâs 13-member group working on the Senateâs version of the bill.
âWell, the leaders obviously chose the people they want,â said Collins, whose objections to the House version include the cuts to Planned Parenthood.
Collins added sheâs continuing to push an alternative approach sheâs working on with Sen. Bill Cassidy. R-La., and others.
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