Jan 22, 2017 - Health

Conway: Trump wants to get rid of individual mandate "almost immediately"

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed health care analysts' suspicions Sunday that Obamacare's individual mandate was one of the main targets President Trump's executive order Friday — but she fudged on how quickly the administration would act on it.

Here's what she said on ABC's "This Week with George Stepanopoulous" this morning when Stephanopoulos asked about the executive order:

He wants to get rid of that Obamacare penalty almost immediately. Because that is something that is really strangling a lot of Americans, to have to pay a penalty for not buying health care.

But when Stephanopoulos asked whether that meant Trump would stop enforcing the individual mandate right away, Conway hedged: "He may."

Why it matters: Conway's comments suggest that Trump administration officials may not recognize the market turmoil they could cause next year if insurers still have to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions — a rule that hasn't changed — without the individual mandate to draw healthy people. Conway, however, is still trying to reassure Americans that everything will be OK: "We want to make very clear to everyone that those who are relying upon coverage will not lose it."

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