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White House Briefing Continues. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired March 7, 2017 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:00:46] SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And they've actually proposed more money for -- for women's health care than currently exists. So I think that they're -- they're working their best to address that issue.

In terms of whether or not old plans that were available before might -- might be available, absolutely. And we believe that -- that the opportunity to provide a robust market, robust choices for individuals across this land will be secured.

And again, that's one of the keys to bringing down the premium costs, of bringing down the cost for health coverage. So we're excited about that and look forward to that coming to pass.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: If the new plan calls for repealing the revenue- generating taxes and penalties but keeping the entitlements, how is that sustainable?

PRICE: Well, that's -- that's the work that somebody mentioned over here, the Congressional Budget Office score. And once the -- once the Congress receives that score, then they'll be working through that to make certain that in fact it is fiscally responsible.

Imagine if you would, however, a system where -- where the incentives within the system are all to drive down costs, to provide greater choices and competition for folks, and respond to the specific needs of patients. And in so doing, what you do is actually get a much more efficient system for the provision and the delivery of -- of health care.

It's a system we don't have right now because -- because the previous administration felt that the government ought to -- the federal government ought to do all of this.

And we've seen what -- what came about when the federal government does all of that. That is increasing premiums, increasing deductibles, decreasing choices. You've got a card that says you've got insurance and you walk in and you can't afford what it is that's trying -- for the doctor that's trying to take care of you.

So, this is not a system that's working for folks in that individual and small group market and in the exchanges.

(CROSSTALK) QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, many have complained that Obamacare resulted in higher wait times in the emergency room. Will this new bill cause (ph) that? Have you -- do you have any idea on that (ph)?

PRICE: One of the things that the previous administration said was that they were going to be able to drive folks away from one of the most expensive areas for -- for the provision of health care, and that is the emergency rooms. In fact, they did just the opposite. And -- and much of that is because of, again, the rules and the regulations that they put in place.

So, from our perspective, we -- we believe that if you -- if individuals are able to purchase the kind of coverage that they want, then they'll have access to the kind of doctors and other providers that -- that they desire and won't need to be able to be seen in the emergency room. They'll already have the -- the care.

Emergency rooms ought to be for emergencies, not for the standard care that individuals tend to receive right now.

So we believe that if you put in place the right system, then emergency rooms and emergency physicians will be able to have the opportunity to care for those individuals that appropriately present to their department.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I'm interested in following up on your comment that it's important that no one vote on anything that violates their conscience.

Federal funding already can't be used for abortion. But are you saying the administration has a position on provision of birth control at the community health centers?

And secondly, is the administration looking to actively withhold funding to Planned Parenthood if they continue to provide abortions, as has been reported?

PRICE: We're working through all of those issues. As you know, many of those were through the rulemaking process and -- and we're working through that. So, that's not a part of this piece of legislation right here...

QUESTION: (inaudible) have a view on provision birth control and access to it? You're talking women's health care, which you brought up. You say you wanted to expand more community funding (ph).

PRICE: Yeah, what -- what we're doing, as I say, is working through the rules and the regulations to see where the previous administration was, see how they did it, and whether or not it needs to be addressed, with the understanding that what we believe is important when we look at the rules and regulations is to define whether or not the rule -- that rule or regulation actually helps patients or -- or -- and decreases costs or harms patients and increases costs.

If it does the latter, then we need to do away with it. If it does the former, then we ought to accentuate it. QUESTION: What was the issue of conscience you were talking about? What was the issue of conscience you were talking about, then?

PRICE: To make certain that individuals in -- in the market are not forced to do things that violate their conscience.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Secretary, thank you, sir.

Some people and the small businesses have been waiting for this new bill under President Trump, so any message for them?

PRICE: Well, I -- I think that -- that this is the culmination of -- of years of work. It's the culmination of years of concern and -- and frustration by the American people.

They knew at the time that the previous bill -- previous law passed that it wasn't going to help them. They knew that -- that the costs were going to go up. In fact, we predicted at the time that costs would go up and that access would go down.

And so, this is the culmination of years of -- of hard work by the electorate, by the citizens of this country to say that we want a system, again, that respects patients and families and doctors in these decisions.

One more.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

QUESTION: The president tweeted out earlier today that he believes -- that he's working on a plan to have drug prices come down by spurring (ph) competition. Tell us a little bit about what that plan is going to be, when it might be rolled out. Is it part of these phases?

Then, the second question, the bill also includes a tax break for insurance executives that make more than $100,000. You said this was about patients. Why is that tax break important for this legislation?

PRICE: To the latter, I'm not aware of that. I'll -- I'll look into that.

Drug pricing is really important. So many individuals are now having significant difficulty being able to afford the medications that they've been -- they've been prescribed. So, we -- it -- it -- whether it's -- and it's not able to be addressed specifically in -- in the -- in -- in this phase one, because it's not a revenue or spending issue for the federal government. So, it -- it can't be in this phase one.

But in phase two and three, which may be concurrent and -- along with this phase one, but in phase two and three then we look forward to bringing solutions to solve the remarkable challenge that patients have across this land with the -- with the increasing price of -- of drugs.

I've got to run. You've got a guy right here who's going to answer all the rest of the questions. Thank you so much. God bless you.

SPICER: Thank you, Dr. Price.

Let me just, kind of, continue on.

The bottom line I think that the secretary's making is that Obamacare sought to cover 20 million people, and in the process it drove up costs for everybody, whether or not you were in the exchange or not.

Most people get their insurance through their employers. Older populations get their health care through Medicare. Low-income populations get their health care through Medicaid. And veterans get their insurance through TRICARE. So what we're talking about here is a very defined amount of individuals that we're trying to address and not affect the entire system. Obamacare turned our health care system on its head to address the pool of individuals who don't fall into any of the buckets that I mentioned.

Our plan that we're talking about today with the House will ensure that those individuals will receive the care that they need if they want and affordable costs, while not sending rates skyrocketing.

Obamacare was an over-complicated bill that served the special interests and not the American people. These over-974 pages that were passed and then we were told we had to read them are filled with carve-outs by over $1 billion of health care-related lobbying that was spent on the year that Obamacare was crafted.

Our plan in far fewer pages, 123, looks smaller, looks bigger. So far we're at 57 for the repeal plan and 66 pages for the replacement portion. We'll undo -- and remember, half of it, 57 of those pages, are the -- are the repeal part. So when you really get down to it, our plan is 66 pages long; half of what we actually even have there. We'll undo the massive disaster and replace it with a plan to return health care back to the patient.

As the president outlined in his joint address, he expects five core principles to guide Congress through this health care process.

First, ensure that the American people with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage.

Second, ensure a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the exchanges.

Third, provide more equitable tax treatments and tax credits for people who already don't receive tax-advantaged health care from their employer, and I know that's something that Secretary Price is talking about. For the vast number of people who get their insurance through -- through their employer, they're getting it tax free. They are not taxed on that -- that benefit. Which is something that is not afforded to people who are in the individual market, who either run a small business or -- or are sole proprietors.

Fourth, we should expand the power of health savings accounts to return control to Americans over their health care dollar and decisions.

They should be able to choose the plan they want, not the plan that's forced on them by government.

And finally, we should give our state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicare to make sure that no one is left out.

This is the Obamacare replacement plan that everyone has been asking for, the plan that the president ran on, and the plan that will ultimately save the system. It's also a culmination of years of dedicated work and careful thought by Republicans to find a replacement that will best undo the damage that's been caused by Obamacare, while ensuring that all Americans have peace of mind during this stable transition period.

These are the principles for which conservatives have been fighting for for years.

President Trump looks forward to continuing the dialogue between the administration and the Hill on saving the health care system.

What's important to remember is that we're not going to be able to do all this in one bill. As the secretary mentioned, there are two other steps, as well, that allow us to get more of the president's plan accomplished after we pass this first, important, major step.

The second piece is already under way, and that's what Secretary Price can do through executive action. He has already rolled out a handful of important actions, including the major marketplace stabilization regulation, to help bring stability to the collapsing insurance market. He'll continue to enact a number of policy changes in the regulatory and administration space -- administrative space to achieve what the first step cannot, because of the nature of reconciliation.

SPICER: The third piece of executing the president's health care plan is on -- requires 60 votes in legislation -- maybe, maybe more, depending on what we can do and when. That's how we'll move forward on the policies of purchasing across state lines, lower drug prices that just came up, and repealing any of Obamacare's premium-spiking insurance market distortions that can't be done through this current bill.

Also yesterday, in addition to speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the president also had separate calls with Prime Minister of Japan Abe and South Korea's Acting President Kyo-ahn. During both of these calls, the president reiterated the United States's ironclad commitment to stand with Japan and South Korea in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea.

He also emphasized that the administration is taking steps to further enhance our ability to deter and defend against North Korea's ballistic missiles using a full-range of the United States's military capabilities.

Moving on to today's schedule, this morning the president had a call with President Kenyatta of Kenya. He'll have a readout for that call soon, if it's not already out.

The president and the first lady also announced the official reopening of public tours here at the White House. You may have seen the president stopped by to surprise -- greet some of the first visitors on their tour. We're looking forward to welcoming the people back to the -- the American people back to the what is affectionately referred to as the People's House. We are the world's only executive residence and office of head of state that also serves as a museum free to the people.

Visiting the White House is obviously an experience that's uniquely American, and we encourage guests of all ages to come visit the White House, their house.

Also this morning, the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross held a press conference announcing that Chinese ZTE Corporation has agreed to a record high combined criminal and civil penalty of $1.19 billion after the company illegally shipped telecommunications to Iran and North Korea in violation of sanctions.

This civil penalty is the largest ever imposed by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, and pending approval from a federal judge, the combined penalties between the Commerce Department, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Treasury would be the largest fine and forfeiture ever levied by the U.S. government in such a case.

This settlement tells the world that the days of flouting U.S. sanctions regime or violating U.S. trade laws are over. President Trump is committed to ending the disrespect of American laws and American workers.

So, back to the schedule for a second. This morning, the president also received his daily intelligence briefing. He had lunch with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who will continue to be an important partner as the president's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Gorsuch, begins the confirmation process in the next couple of weeks.

At this moment, the president is leading a discussion on immigration with Senator Cotton and Senator Perdue and members of the White House senior staff. The president and the senators were expected to discuss the merit-based immigration reforms that the president mentioned at last week's joint address.

Later this afternoon, the president will lead a meeting with the House deputy whip team focused on repeal and replace of Obamacare. There will be a pool spray at the top of that meeting. The gather time is 3:20.

The president will also meet with Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO. They're expected to discuss the importance of investing in our country's infrastructure and renegotiating trade agreements like NAFTA. There will also be a pool spray at the top of that meeting, and we'll have further details on it. This evening, the president will visit with a group of Boy Scouts who are in Washington to participate in near-century-old tradition of sharing scouting's achievement with key government officials. Looking ahead, I want to let you know that the president will be welcoming at least two foreign leaders in the coming weeks, and I expect additional announcements of additional leaders later.

But first, next week Chancellor Merkel of Germany will visit the White House, and the following week, the president will welcome Prime Minister al-Abadi of Iraq.

With that, I'll (inaudible) your questions.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Sean, it's been a full -- thank you...

(LAUGHTER)

... Sean, it's been a full...

SPICER: You're out of practice.

(LAUGHTER) QUESTION: I know. It's been a full three days since the president said that President Obama had his wires tapped, his phones tapped at Trump Tower. In those three days, has the White House come up with any evidence whatsoever to prove that allegation?

SPICER: Yeah, I addressed this multiple times yesterday. I think the president -- we put out a statement on Sunday saying that we would have no further comment and we were asking the House and the Senate Intelligence Committees to look into this concern and report back.

QUESTION: Can't the president just ask the FBI director to...

(CROSSTALK)

SPICER: Well, I think -- look, I think...

QUESTION: Has he asked him?

SPICER: No, the president has not. And I think that, you know, we -- we've gone back and forth with you guys. I think there is clearly a role that Congress can play in its oversight capabilities. They've made it very clear that they have the staff, the resources and the process. I think that's the appropriate place for this to handle.

I think if we were to start to get involved, you would then write stories about how we were getting involved, so it's a no-win situation.

I think the smartest, the most deliberative way to address this situation is ask the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, who are already in the process of looking into this, to look into this and other leaks of classified information that are troubling to our nation's national security. So, as the president said in the statement on Sunday, we believe that that investigation, as well as the investigation of other classified leaks and other important information that threatens our national security, be looked into by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and then we encourage them to report back.

QUESTION: Do you believe that President Obama ordered...

SPICER: You know, I get that that's a cute question to ask.

My job is to represent the president and to talk about what he's doing and what he wants. And he has made very clear what his -- what his goal is, what he would like to have happen. And so, I just -- I'll leave it at that.

I think we've tried to play this game before. I'm not here to speak for myself. I'm here to speak for the president of the United States and our government.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: One follow-up on what Secretary Price said earlier.

He was asked by John (ph) about whether the administration's willing to make -- for the American people right now who like their doctor or like their health insurance plan, is the White House willing to make a commitment to them today that when this -- when this replacement bill is passed, if it passes, that they will at the end of that be able to keep their doctor and keep their health care plan? And secondly, just changing gears rapidly onto China overnight issued some strong rhetoric promising consequences for the deployment of the THAAD missile system in South Korea. Do you have a response to that (ph)?

SPICER: So, on the first piece, I think -- look, one of the things that's important to understand about this process that's very different from when the Democrats did it, you recall then-Speaker Pelosi said, "You're going to have to read the bill to know what's in it." I think there's a big difference.

This is the bill. It's right here. It's on the website. We're going through regular order. If you go to the House of Representatives website, Speaker Paul Ryan's website, it's listed.

Everybody can read it and it's going to go what they call regular order. We're not jamming this down anybody's throat. It's going to go through a committee process. All parties involved, all representatives in the House will be able to have input into it.

I think that's the way to conduct this -- this process, is to do it to allow people to watch the process happen in the committees, allow members of Congress to have their input in it, to make amendments, to see that we get the best bill that achieves the goal for the American people.

When it was done the last time, it was jammed down people's throat and look what happened. You had 974 pages that people struggled to read afterwards and figure out what had just gotten passed and the consequences were, frankly, devastating.

So to your point about keeping your doctor, in a lot of cases you've lost your doctor for a couple reasons. One, they may not participate in the plan. They may not take insurance at all any more. Two, they may not take Medicaid -- or three, they may not take Medicaid. And the list goes on and on about why they might not be there. Or, your plan -- the plan that you got is no longer accessible.

As the secretary mentioned, one-third of all counties in the United States no longer take Medicaid -- or excuse me, have only one plan that you can choose from.

So it's a fact right now that you -- in most cases -- in many cases, you've lost that ability. Our goal is to actually add more choice and more competition.

Right now, the government tells you "You must have this plan or you will pay a penalty. And within this plan, here's what you have to have." We've lost the element of choice and competition in health care. And by bringing all of that back, I think there's a higher degree of likelihood that you're gonna get the plan that you want and you're gonna get the doctor you want, because it'll be your choice, not the government's choice.

And that's a big, big difference. This plan was jammed down everybody's throat and the consequences took their plans away, it took their doctors away, and it drove up costs.

This plan allows more competition, more people to enter it, and the American people and patients to make a decision on what plan they want. If they have a plan and a doctor they like, then they're going to choose a plan that allows them to continue with that doctor.

But there's going to be more competition and more choice, not less. And that's, frankly, what you have now.

With respect to China, I think I addressed this yesterday. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Japan and South Korea in doing what we can to protect that region in particular from an attack from North Korea. We understand the situation. We continue to work with them.

As I've mentioned, the president spoke to both leaders yesterday. We provided a readout of those calls.

But we obviously understand the concern of China, but this is a national security issue for them (ph).

Hunter (ph)?

QUESTION: Thank you, Sean.

How concerned is the president with the situation between North Korea and Malaysia right now?

***Through Spicer 09***

How concerned is the president with the situation between North Korea and Malaysia right now?

SPICER: Well, I would -- as I said, I think we're very well aware of what's going on in the region. The president, obviously, had a conversation with, in particular, the leader -- the acting president of South Korea last night, and -- with respect to what's going on there.

And again, I'm -- I'll refer that to the National Security Committee (sic) to -- to give you further.

I know, Cheryl Bollen (ph).

QUESTION: Thanks, Sean.

SPICER: Cheryl (ph), I know -- I -- sorry, I forgot you yesterday.

QUESTION: Thank you. I appreciate it.

So, two, then, questions, one on health care.

If the CBO scores this bill and it does not provide the amount of coverage that the Affordable Care Act did, will the president still support it?

SPICER: Well, I'm not going to get ahead of -- I mean, Secretary Price mentioned this, let's not get ahead of the CBO going through this.

But I think, as I mentioned to Zeke (ph), I mean, one of the things that it's important to understand, there's -- this -- this is -- this bill has to be done in the phases that it has to to address the repeal part of it and the replace part of it. There are only certain things we can do through reconciliation, and then there's the regulatory piece that we can do through -- through action that the secretary is empowered to do, frankly, under Obamacare. And third is -- is an additional piece of legislation that addresses things.

But there are cost-saving measures that -- and competition aspects of this that have to be included in two -- in phase two or three, because they are not allowed in -- in the reconciliation bill, because of the nature of how reconciliation works on Capitol Hill.

So, I think that one of the things we have to understand is that how that score comes out from the Congressional Budget Office will depend on what they -- whether they look at it specifically with just a phase one, or whether they look at it in its totality. But I'm confident that if you look at what's going on right now, Cheryl (ph), it's unsustainable. I mean, premiums in state after state -- as Dr. Price mentioned, they're up 25 percent on average. Arizona's 116 percent. I think, you know, Oklahoma's in the 50s. Minnesota's in the 40s. I mean, this is unsustainable for a family to continue to pay the premiums that they have, and for individuals, small-business owners, et cetera.

So the question is, can we allow people to go on this trajectory where more and more of their paycheck is getting eaten up in a plan that's, frankly, not giving them a choice, doctors or plans that they want>

This plan I think clearly achieves those goals a lot better. It gets the price -- cost containment down. It gets price control under it. And it allows doctors and plans to reengage in the marketplace as they were prior to this, and I think that -- that is a major asset.

(CROSSTALK)

SPICER: Hold on. Cheryl (ph) waited.

QUESTION: Thank you.

From yesterday, I had a nominations question. Is there something that's preventing the White House from submitting the nominations of Sonny Perdue for Agriculture and Alex Acosta for Labor?

SPICER: I believe Alex Acosta was sent up to the Hill earlier today. We should have an announcement officially out, so sometimes there's a little bit of a lag -- I apologize -- between my office and -- but that one's up and I'll check on Sonny Perdue. I think some of it's just in coordination with the -- with the Senate. So, pardon my time.

Trey (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sean.

I have two questions for you.

First, will the president offer a correction to his tweet this morning that states that 122 prisoners were released from Gitmo by the Obama administration and then returned to the battlefield? Can you take that first?

SPICER: Yeah -- I -- I mean, obviously the president meant in totality the number that had been released on the battlefield -- that have been released from Gitmo since -- since individuals have been released.

So that is -- that is correct.

QUESTION: Then my second question: Is the White House concerned about this new information that came out in WikiLeaks today that U.S. intelligence agencies are potentially purposely providing vulnerabilities to tech products here in the United States?

SPICER: I'm not gonna comment on that. I think, obviously, that's something that has not been fully evaluated, and if it was, I would not comment from here on that.

Kevin?

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Sean, you asked about branding (ph). The president's, in the past, put his name on buildings, different products. When it comes to health care, does the White House feel that the bill being presented today should be known as Trumpcare from here on out? I know it was asked of the secretary.

And at what point do you think that the transition should go away from Obamacare to the new administration?

SPICER: Well, as soon as it's repealed, we can get rid of that. I think that'll happen quickly.

And as Secretary Price mentioned, I think we're less concerned with labels right now and more in terms of action and results. And I think that's what our focus is then, is getting that cost down and getting that choice back that we mentioned.

Yeah?

QUESTION: Sean, DHS is reportedly considering separating families that cross the border illegally. How does the president feel about that?

SPICER: I'm going to -- that's a DHS matter. I mean, we don't get involved in either Customs or ICE enforcement. So I think that -- that's a question better reserved to -- to both DHS and ICE specifically.

Jim?

QUESTION: Oh, thanks, Sean.

On the Obamacare question, one of the criticisms on this is that there is still a de facto individual mandate, because it allows insurance companies to increase premiums up to 30 percent if people -- if there's a gap in coverage.

And I have one more.

SPICER: Well, that's not -- I mean, that's not a -- I mean, the difference is under the current bill that's here, if you don't buy insurance, you pay a fine. Under the current bill, you don't have -- there's nothing that mandates you to buy insurance. That's up to an individual.

So, I mean, by -- by it's very definition, it is not -- can't be considered that.

What's your second one?

QUESTION: OK. Well, I mean, you think it's a de facto mandate in the sense that there's a penalty...

SPICER: It can't be.

QUESTION: ... in place, as there is now. I mean, it's not by the government, but it's by insurance companies.

SPICER: Right, but there's no -- that's -- I mean, I think you answered your own question on that one.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: I have one more.

SPICER: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: The president has blamed the Democrats in the Senate for blocking the Cabinet. Last Thursday, the Republicans actually called -- called a recess early, previously adjourned -- I'm sorry (inaudible) early -- previously they called a recess (inaudible) the floor.

Does the president have any plans to call for the Senate to remain in session and Congress stay in session until they approve the nominee, then maybe even (inaudible) Obamacare?

SPICER: This isn't -- this isn't a Republican issue. I mean, it's not Republicans that are playing beat-the-clock on a lot of these nominees. We've discussed this since the transition time. There were several nominees that frankly weren't even considered controversial by the standards of Senate Democratic leadership, and yet have been held up over and over again. I don't think that -- that's a very different scenario than going back and being with constituents, which was on the Senate schedule. So I don't think that's a synonymous thing.

But do we have Michael Medved ready to go on -- for a State question?

Michael?

QUESTION: Sean, thank you very much.

Obviously, today there was a big emphasis on Obamacare, which is profoundly important to the American people. But it seems that too often in the last several weeks, the administration has gotten distracted and media have gotten distracted by talk of wiretapping at Trump Tower or the president calling his predecessor a bad and sick guy, or criticizing the ratings of Celebrity Apprentice.

Do you think the White House could do a better job of focusing on the issues that really matter -- the reforms that matter to the American people, rather than getting distracted to these subsidiary conflicts as we move forward into the coming months?

SPICER: Thanks, Michael.

You know, respectfully, I would say that we have been focused. We're here talking about Obamacare and the need to drive down the cost and access for health care for every American. I think that's a pretty significant thing to be focused on.

Yesterday, we were talking about the president's effort to continue to keep the nation safe, to make sure that people aren't coming in to the country who aren't here for peaceful purposes.

The president has talked to almost 50 world leaders. He's had 30-plus executive actions on all sorts of stuff, from regulatory aspects to things that will create more jobs. I think that's a fairly focused effort.

That being said, I think, look, whether it was Candidate Trump, President-elect Trump or now-President Trump, the president has always made it very clear that -- or not he made it clear, but I think the voters made it clear that one of the things that they appreciate about him is his ability to be authentic and to speak very forcefully and very directly with the American people.

And that's an aspect that I think was central to why he was elected, is because he's not a canned politician that's going to give the same staid answers over and over again.

Sarah?

QUESTION: Going back to (inaudible), conservatives have started to call it "Obamacare lite." President Trump has promised to fully repeal Obamacare, but this bill leaves a lot of the structure of Obamacare intact. If this is the policy that passed, is President Trump confident in the future he can say that he fully repealed Obamacare?

SPICER: Yes, absolutely. As I mentioned, I mean, the first half of the bill that we put forward repeals it. There are three things. I mean, each phase that we've talked about -- phase one and phase two and phase three -- there's a repeal and replace aspect to each one. But Republicans and conservatives have been talking about adding competition and driving costs down for decades now -- selling across state lines, small business pooling.

All of those things have been part of conservative plans for a long time. And I think instilling that competition in it, allowing more access -- I mean, I think there's a big difference. There is no -- you know, we have for the longest time, if you're a conservative, I mean you think about this right now, that you have -- anyone who has an employer-based -- their job comes from an employer that gives them health care, they're getting a subsidy. They're getting a credit. They don't pay taxes on their health care.

SPICER: And their employer doesn't either. That's a huge disadvantage to anyone who's a sole proprietor or owns a small business.

[14:30:00]