- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday that health care discussions at a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C., were “very troubling, very disturbing and not at all reassuring.”

President Donald Trump and GOP leaders have pledged to repeal and replace the 2010 national health care law known as the Affordable Care Act.

Speaking with reporters by phone on the last day of the gathering, Inslee cited a consultant’s report shared with the governors about the fiscal impact on states if the repeal goes through. The report concluded that the changes under consideration by the GOP-led House would reduce significantly federal dollars for Medicaid and subsidized private insurance and threaten many people with the loss of insurance coverage.

Inslee said that on Monday he sought assurance from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price that whatever replaced the Affordable Care Act would not result in people losing insurance.

“He just simply failed to give us that assurance,” he said. “That’s very disturbing to me.”

Inslee was among the group of governors who met Monday morning with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Inslee said that Trump mostly took questions from Republican governors, with the exception of Democratic Gov. Terry McAullife of Virginia.

Inslee said that McAullife urged the president to ensure there weren’t going to be mass deportations. He said that Trump’s response was to say that the first phase was to focus on looking at people with criminal or gang affiliations.

Inslee said that the fact Trump only described a first phase “suggests there’s another phase coming.”

He said that Trump “has created this enormous blanket of fear” for young people who were brought into the country illegally as children and are currently allowed to stay and obtain work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Inslee, who has been a vocal opponent of Trump and supported the lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson that has led to a temporary halt of the president’s travel ban aimed at immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations, said he didn’t have confidence that a new executive order the Trump administration has said is forthcoming “would show a more judicious and thoughtful approach.”

“I’m more concerned than when the weekend started about it,” he said.

Inslee returns to Washington state on Tuesday.

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