Exclusive–Domestic Policy Council Director Joe Grogan: Democrats Too ‘Distracted’ by Impeachment to Pass Substantial Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 15: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on October 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. House Democrats will not hold a vote to authorize impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Also pictured is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff …
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White House Domestic Policy Council Director Joe Grogan told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that the Donald Trump administration has continued to work to improve Americans’ health care, while Democrats are too “distracted by impeachment” to pass substantial legislation.

White House Domestic Policy Council Director Grogan spoke with Breitbart News regarding the White House’s initiatives to lower healthcare costs for the average American, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democrats remain too preoccupied with their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump to pass important bills.

Grogan, one of President Trump’s top policy advisers, said that Pelosi remains unable to pass any substantial bills due to the relentless focus on impeachment and because the speaker has become “captured” by the most progressive Democrats in her conference.

Director Grogan said that Democrats are not able to pass any substantial legislation “because they are distracted by impeachment, and Speaker Pelosi is so captured by her left flank.”

Impeachment is a “massive [legislative] time suck,” he added.

Grogan said that impeachment has removed much of the ability for Democrats and Republicans to work together on kitchen-table issues such as drug pricing.

“We are losing time, we are losing bandwidth, and we are losing the ability to compromise in a bipartisan way” and pass important bills because of impeachment, he said.

House Speaker Pelosi claimed in October that, despite their impeachment inquiry, they could still work with President Trump on issues such as fixing drug pricing and passing the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.

Grogan said, in contrast to Democrats, he and the administration continue to work on the drug, pricing, mental health, pediatric cancer, healthcare cost transparency — which is “certainly a different approach than what Democrats are going for with Medicare for All…and more government control.”

After the Trump administration and the congressional Republicans eliminated the Obamacare individual mandate, Trump has managed to continue lowering the cost of health care for millions of Americans. The administration’s continued reforms serve as part of the president’s move to make the Republican Party the party of “health care.”

In October 2018, the Trump administration managed for the first time in Obamacare’s history to lower the health insurance premiums for Americans.

In October, the Trump administration expanded options for Americans on Medicare, including the option to choose private treatment or insurance over the government-run program.

In June, President Trump signed an executive order to increase healthcare transparency by helping the average American find the typical price “for major health services before you have to purchase them.” The Trump administration has already approved records of approvals for low-cost generic drugs.

In an op-ed for the New York Post, Grogan and Health and Human Services Department Secretary Alex Azar cited the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term duration plans, health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), and Association Health Plans (AHPs) as three major advancements to lower the cost of health care and health insurance for millions of Americans, while protecting patients with preexisting conditions.

HRAs allow businesses the ability to set up individual accounts for their workers and will enable them to purchase their own health insurance. The administration estimates that up to 800,000 employers and more than 11 million workers and family members will benefit from the healthcare expansion. Eighty percent of businesses offer only one type of health insurance plan, meaning that the Trump administration’s expansion of HRAs would give American workers more flexibility when choosing their healthcare plan. HRAs will also give workers the ability to maintain their coverage when they switch jobs.

“This is going to create significant benefits for employers, particularly small employers, and millions of workers,” then-White House health policy adviser Brian Blase told reporters in June.

One Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) study found that short-term plans could cost 80 percent less than Obamacare “bronze” plans, while Land O’ Lakes’ AHP offers health insurance to their employees at roughly half the cost of Obamacare plans. The Land O’ Lakes AHP also covers patients with preexisting conditions.

While the Trump administration and Grogan continue to make advances on health care, both Republicans and Democrats have chastised Speaker Pelosi for focusing on impeachment, which has prevented Democrats from pursuing their legislative agenda.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that Democrats have delivered “more subpoenas” than they have passed “laws.” Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), a freshman swing-district Democrat, said that moderate Democrats need to ensure that that impeachment does not “overshadow” their legislative agenda.

Former San Francisco, California, Mayor Willie Brown criticized Democrats for failing to deliver on their 2018 midterm election promise to both protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pass legislation that would lower the cost of health care, such as drug pricing.

Brown asked rhetorically, “Remember health care, the issue that won so many elections for Democrats in 2018? You might, but they don’t seem to.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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