This morning, former HHS Secretary Tom Price admitted what every health policy expert, the Congressional Budget Office, state insurance commissioners – namely everyone other than repeal-supporting Republicans – has long said: the Trump Administration is responsible for the increase in premiums. Speaking of the repeal of the individual mandate, Price said, “And there are many, and I’m one of them, who believes that that actually will harm the pool in the exchange market, because you’ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market, and consequently, that drives up the cost for other folks within that market.” Here’s how it played:

Washington Post: Trump’s Former Health Secretary: Americans Will Pay More Because GOP Weakened Obamacare. “President Trump’s former top health official on Tuesday said the Republican tax law would raise the cost of health insurance for some Americans because it repealed a core provision of the Affordable Care Act. Tom Price, Trump’s first secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said people buying insurance on government-run marketplaces will face higher prices because the tax law repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The mandate had forced most Americans to have health coverage or face a financial penalty.” [Washington Post, 5/1]

Business Insider: Trump’s Former Top Health Official Just Broke With Him On The GOP’s Biggest Move To Undercut Obamacare. “Tom Price, the former Health and Human Services Secretary under President Donald Trump, criticized a key Republican change to Obamacare during a speech Tuesday. Speaking at the World Health Care Congress, Price suggested the Republican Party’s repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate — the requirement to buy insurance or face a penalty — was a faulty idea. He said it would drive up costs for people in the individual insurance marketplace.” [Business Insider, 5/1]

Vox: Trump’s Ex-Health Secretary Accidentally Told The Truth About Obamacare Repeal. “Repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate will hurt the law’s insurance marketplaces because fewer young and healthy people will buy coverage, leaving an older, sicker, and more expensive pool behind. Just ask, uh, former Trump health secretary Tom Price. Price, who was forced out of the US Health and Human Services Department last year after a scandal over luxurious charter jet travel, accurately described the pitfalls of the GOP’s decision to repeal the mandate in its tax bill in a speech to the World Health Care Congress in Washington, DC. This is, of course, exactly what health policy experts would tell you. The mandate didn’t quite work as well as planned, but the expectation is still that younger and healthier people are going to leave the Obamacare markets without it — especially with the Trump administration making cheaper, less comprehensive plans more available via regulation.” [Vox, 5/1]

Slate: Tom Price, Somewhat Belatedly, Starts Telling the Truth About Obamacare. “It took longer than expected, but disgraced former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price appears to have been welcomed back into polite society. Untethered from the political concerns that dictated what he could say either as a congressman or Cabinet member, Price is now able to tell certain truths about health care policy—though, in telling them now, he only confirms his own dishonesty about them when it mattered. Speaking at the World Health Care Congress on Tuesday morning, Price laid out the consequences of congressional Republicans’ decision to eliminate the individual mandate penalty in last year’s tax reform bill.” [Slate, 5/1]

Washington Times: Tom Price: Repeal Of Obamacare Mandate Will Drive Up Costs. “Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Tuesday the GOP’s decision to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate without a broader overhaul of the heath care system will likely increase costs on consumers who remain in the program. The comments from Mr. Price, who was ousted from HHS last fall over his pricey business travel, were remarkable, since he claimed the mandate was ineffective while in office. Also, Democrats have been making the same argument in accusing President Trump and his Republican allies of sabotaging the 2010 law’s marketplace.” [Washington Times, 5/1]

USA Today: Former HHS Sec. Price: Repealing The Individual Mandate ‘Will Harm’ People Insured Through Obamacare. “Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Tuesday that repealing the requirement that all Americans have health insurance or face a tax penalty, may not have been such a good idea after all… Price’s comments come the same day the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that studies health care and says it is focused on helping the most needy members of society, came out with a study that found since 2016 4 million working-age people no longer have insurance coverage. The foundation said the drop in coverage was not connected to a repeal in the individual mandate but instead due to  weaknesses with the current health care law that remain unfixed and the Trump Administration’s cuts to advertising and outreach related to getting people signed up for Obamacare.” [USA Today, 5/1]

CNBC: Trump’s Former Health Secretary, Tom Price, Now Thinks Repealing The Individual Mandate Will Increase Costs. “ormer Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price used to say that Obamacare’s individual mandate increased health-care costs. Now he’s saying Congress’ decision to repeal it could actually increase costs. Lawmakers repealed the individual mandate, which penalized people who did not purchase health insurance, in the GOP tax reform bill President Donald Trump signed into law in December. The change goes into effect next year. Price argued Tuesday, in a speech at the World Health Care Congress in Washington, that the move amounts to ‘nibbling at the sides’ of the Affordable Care Act, long a target of the GOP and Trump – and that it would probably boost costs.” [CNBC, 5/1]

Splinter News: Tom Price, Disgraced Ex-Trump Official, Admits He’s Also a Huge Liar. “Price said he ‘believes [the repeal] actually will harm the pool in the exchange market, because you’ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market, and consequently, that drives up the cost for other folks within that market.’ This is a very interesting development, given that last year, when he was actually in a position to influence whether or not this happened, he supported the repeal.” [Splinter News, 5/1]

The Hill: Tom Price: Obamacare Mandate Repeal Will Drive Up Costs. “Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price on Tuesday said that the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate would drive up costs, a remark seized on by Democrats… Democrats immediately highlighted the remark from President Trump’s own former health secretary and fierce opponent of ObamaCare. They say his statement reinforces the argument that Republicans are to blame for coming premium increases in large part due to their repeal in the December tax bill of the mandate that most people obtain health insurance or pay a fine. ‘We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves,’ Matt House, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), said in email linking to Price’s comments. Added Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ‘I’m glad to see former Secretary Price admit the truth, which is that families’ premiums are going up because President Trump and Republicans in Congress have spiked prices with their relentless, partisan health care sabotage.’” [The Hill, 5/1]

Inside Health Policy: Price: Individual Mandate Repeal Will Drive Up Costs, Hurt Risk Pools. “Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, who was at the helm of HHS during the Trump administration’s 2017 efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, told attendees at the 2018 World Health Care Congress that he is not a fan of the repeal of the federal individual mandate penalty and said the measure tucked into the new tax law will drive up costs and hurt the risk pools.” [Inside Health Policy, 5/1]

Talking Points Memo: Tom Price: Individual Mandate Repeal Will ‘Harm’ Insurance Exchanges. “Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, now safely out of power, said Tuesday that Republicans’ repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate will ‘harm’ the individual insurance marketplace… Price is making a mundane point to most health care policy experts: If, beginning in 2019, individuals on the non-group market are allowed to avoid choosing between paying for insurance or paying a penalty, many healthy people will simply drop their insurance. As a result, prices for individuals remaining in Obamacare’s individual insurance marketplaces will go up. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2016, and again in 2017, that repealing the individual mandate would increase the number of uninsured people in the United States.” [TPM, 5/1]