Jan 22, 2017

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."

Go deeper

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

George W. Bush breaks silence on George Floyd

Goerge Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.