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RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer joined CNN's Carol Costello this Thursday morning to discuss the debacle that was the previous day's grilling of HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius and the ongoing problems with the healthcare.gov web site, and Spicer had plenty to say when it came to trashing the Democrats for the problems with the rollout of the ACA, but very little in response when asked what the Republicans solutions are to keep health care affordable in the United States.
After Costello tried repeatedly to pin him down on specifics, the best Spicer could come up with is "Using private based health care system to like exchanges that allow people to buy across state lines so that they can drive down costs." Or in other words, a race to the bottom on coverage if you don't put some basic protections in there for consumers. He also touted Rep. Tim Griffin's "new" proposals, which sound a whole lot like their old proposals, except now it seems they're for protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Anyone think they'd have been for that before the Affordable Care Act became law? Me either.
If this is the best the RNC has to sell the country on their grand plans for health care, I say good luck to them. The Republicans' new solutions for health care look a whole like their old "solutions." And when asked if there was going to be an ounce of cooperation to help to do something about any of the problems with the law that they're complaining about day in and day out, of course the answer was a resounding "No."
COSTELLO: But Sean the Web site is up and running and Obamacare is here to stay as long as we have a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate.
SPICER: No, it's not.
COSTELLO: My question to you is.
SPICER: But -- but let me --
COSTELLO: -- can't Republicans -- I mean -- they like to govern, right? They like to find solutions, right? So can they find a solution to this?
SPICER: But -- but when you -- this is -- this goes back to the -- Carol this goes back to the old saying when you're in a hole, you stop. And you don't keep digging. Just because they implement it, it doesn't mean that we all go sing Kumbaya and say hey let's keep going down this rabbit hole. There is a point at which we can we say, "Hey, we told you were wrong, you are wrong, let's go the other way. Because it's a better way, it's better for healthcare, it's better for the American people and it's better for cost as well in terms of people have to fund."
So I don't think that you keep putting -- pouring money good money after bad. You can say at some point admit defeat, say, we are wrong, let's look at a different model. But clearly that would be the worst thing that could happen. We're talking about one-sixth of our entire economy and frankly beyond the financial aspect of it, you and everyone listening knows how important good health care is, and being able to go see a doctor when you're sick, whether it's for yourself or your spouse or a family member.
COSTELLO: That's right. That's right and if this goes away, there will still be 40 million people without insurance. I want to read you a quote from Daryl Hanson who wrote an op-ed in the "The Detroit News".
Quote, "The problem is that as much as Republicans dislike the Affordable Care Act, it can't be fixed, improved, or changed without Republican support. Even if every Democrat coalesced around a set of solutions, nothing will happen if Republicans' only participation is "I told you so."
Americans you're in for a party that can actually govern. Is Hansen right? I mean will the Republicans just say, "I told you so?" They should go away?
SPICER: No. This is not "I told you so." It's "Hey we told you so, and we have a better solution." And this is interesting because whenever Democrats have a problem with the Republican policy.
COSTELLO: What's your solution? But what's your solution?
SPICER: I just talked about it. We've got -- what's our solution? Using private based health care system to like exchanges that allow people to buy across state lines so that they can drive down costs.
I mean there's a million of them that are out there that Republicans passed in the House frankly that that could drive down costs, create greater coverage, which is what we all want at the end of the day. So I don't think that you have to say its Obamacare or nothing. Frankly all Republicans are onboard on something like keeping kids under 26 it's a false choice to say if you don't believe in Obamacare there is no other solution. That's absolutely ridiculous. There are plenty of solutions out there --
COSTELLO: Yes but we've been down this road and the President is not -- I mean it's just not going to happen. So -- ok let me just -- let me just put out an example. The health care exchanges -- what should happen to the Web site? In a Republican view, what should happen to the Web site?
SPICER: Well first of all, I think you've got to bring in a real team that's accountable and can answer real questions. I mean in terms of how many people have signed up, what's going on and what's the plan to fix it. I mean to be talking about -- you and I talked about before --
COSTELLO: Should we keep it?
SPICER: After the fact.
COSTELLO: Should we -- should we continue with the exchanges?
SPICER: Hold on of course we should fix it. Of course, well you've got to get it right but first you have to understand the problem but again yes so I think we have to fix it, we have to understand the problem and we have to figure out so that we don't do this again. I mean the problem right now that I see more and more is that we've got everyone going, yes, it's not a big deal, it's a glitch, it's just a temporary problem.
COSTELLO: Well I don't think anyone is saying that right at this moment.
SPICER: Hey absolutely the Secretary said yesterday the site didn't go down, it was just moving slowly. If people aren't going to --
COSTELLO: I meant outside of the administration.
SPICER: But -- but who's going to fix it if not for them. I mean you're basically saying the Republicans should get involved and quote, "govern" when it's the administration that won't even acknowledge that they have a problem. That's a big, big issue.
So instead of putting the burden on Republicans, we might want to start putting on the burden and the accountability frankly on the people that said it was good to go, day one, we're all set, this is nothing is going -- this is going to be beautiful oh, and then by the way the first few days, we're just talking about it, it's so popular, that that's the big problem right now. Demand is killing it. They knew that that was not the case.
COSTELLO: Ok so my final question -- my final question is do you foresee a time when Republicans will sit down with Democrats and both parties will try to come up with a way to fix what's wrong with Obamacare?
SPICER: Not if it means throwing good money after bad. If it means Republicans sitting down with Democrats to say, ok, let's actually implement real healthcare solutions that allow for greater coverage that drive down costs, that could probably happen today. But I don't think that we're going to sit there and say, "Ok let's just roll over and keep throwing American tax payers money down the hole because you guys -- you guys passed this you know a few years ago. That's just stupid.
COSTELLO: All right. Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee. Thank you so much.