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Kellyanne Conway defends Medicaid comment: 'It's not a lie'

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway defended herself against accusations that she was caught in a lie on Sunday when the presidential adviser said there were “no cuts to Medicaid” in the new Republican health care bill.

“It’s not a lie,” Conway told Fox News’ Fox & Friends when asked about the criticism she received after a Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week. “In fact, this is slowing the growth of Medicaid and allowing governors more flexibility in their states to be able to give the dollars out … because they are closest to the people in need. Also, Medicaid continues to be funded. Medicaid over time would be unsustainable and unaffordable. Because ObamaCare failed to bring the costs down for health care, so these states are having very difficult time meeting the bills. Medicaid is intended for the poor, the needy, and the sick.”

She added, “What it’s done under Obamacare, it’s expanded the Medicaid pool of people who, quote, qualified beyond that. So if you have an able bodied American — who, again is not poor, sick, needy. We’re not talking about the elderly who benefit, the children, the pregnant women, the disabled. If you’re able-bodied and you would like to go and find employment and have employer-sponsored benefits then you should be able to do that. And maybe you belong, as Secretary Price made clear, maybe you belong in other places. But I’m not going to allow people and detractors and Trump haters to call me a liar because they don’t want to do the homework and look at what’s happening to Medicaid.

Speaking to ABC on Sunday, Conway said, “Obamacare took Medicaid, which was designed to help the poor, the needy, the elderly, the sick, the disabled also children, and pregnant women, it took it and it went way above the poverty line and opened it up to many able-bodied Americans who should probably find other — should at least see if there are other options for them. If they’re able-bodied and they want to work, then they’ll have employer-sponsored benefits like you and I do.”

As TIME noted, the current Republican health care bill that made its way through Congress will cut Medicaid spending $880 billion

Watch Conway in the video above.