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"And the red flags are going up big time in this effort," Inslee said

"Nobody knew health care could be so complicated," Trump said

CNN  — 

The governor of Washington said Tuesday the Trump administration’s unwillingness to promise that Americans would not lose coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed is a “red flag.”

“At this late date, not to have a plan that he can articulate is very, very disturbing,” Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day.” “To have the architect at the White House, which is (Health and Human Services Secretary Tom) Price, be unable to ensure us governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, that they would not take away people’s health insurance, that is a red warning sign. And the red flags are going up big time in this effort.”

President Donald Trump noted with some exasperation Monday how the complexity of the nation’s health laws are making his vow to reform Obamacare difficult.

“We have come up with a solution that’s really, really I think very good,” Trump said at a meeting of the nation’s governors at the White House.

“Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” he added. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

Inslee said economists have conducted research showing that eliminating Obamacare will have a devastating impact on tens of thousands of Washington residents.

“It will take away 60,000 people health insurance in my state. We’ve had 20,000 cancer survivors get cancer treatment because of the Affordable Care Act,” he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

Washington is one of 11 states that runs its own Obamacare exchange and has expanded Medicaid. A record 225,000 residents signed up for coverage through Washington’s exchange for 2017, a 13% increase over last year.

Inslee showed the HHS secretary data presented to the bipartisan National Governors Association explaining the potential impact of repealing the health care law.

“I said, ‘We are not going to allow that in my state. This is so important to our people’s physical health and fiscal security,’” he said. “I said, ‘Can you give us assurance that this is not going to happen?’”

“He could not give us that assurance,” Inslee said.

The Washington Democrat said the GOP is starting to realize the difficulty of coming up with a replacement for Obamacare.

“What is happening right now is Republicans are having a head on collision with reality,” he said. “You can not take all of this money out of health care; put it into tax cuts for wealthy – which is the real desire here.”

He added, “The effort here is not to improve health. It’s just to have a piggy bank to give tax cuts to the wealthy and what they have found out is you can’t do that.”