- The Washington Times - Monday, January 16, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump’s goal as he eyes an Obamacare replacement strategy is to secure “health care for everyone,” one of Mr. Trump’s top spokesmen said Monday.

“I think what Donald Trump said very clearly…his goal is to get health care for everyone. That is his goal,” incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on “Fox and Friends.”

“And he’s going to fight tooth and nail to make sure he gets it, and use his skill set as a successful negotiator [and] businessman to drive costs down, to create more plan options and doctor options,” Mr. Spicer said.

Mr. Trump said in an interview with the Washington Post over the weekend that he wants to have “insurance for everybody,” and also said he’d target pharmaceutical companies over drug prices.

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Mr. Trump told the paper, while also saying he doesn’t want a single-payer system. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”

Rep. Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania Republican, said he thinks Mr. Trump is referring to universal “access” to health insurance, which the GOP has talked about before.

“I think what he means is that every American should have access to affordable health insurance,” Mr. Dent said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“I hope that’s what he means, and I think that his instincts are generally, on this issue, good, where he wants to see as close to simultaneous repeal and replacement,” Mr. Dent said.

“So I think his instincts are generally good, but I think he’s really talking about access to affordable health insurance,” he said.

Many Republicans are opposed to the individual mandate in Obamacare that forces most Americans to secure health insurance or face a penalty.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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