Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price visited Fox News to try to sell Trumpcare as “patient-centered health care” to unsuspecting viewers who might not check his facts. But even so, one simple question from host Neil Cavuto exposed Price’s lack of concern for patients.
Price ludicrously claimed that the Affordable Care Act, i.e. “Obamacare,” is “harming people.” He said, “We’ve got costs going up, we’ve got care going down, and it’s only getting worse.” This, despite the fact that 20 million people gained health insurance via the ACA.
Despite the fact that Trumpcare breaks every promise Donald Trump made about health care, Price said, “The president’s wholly behind this … The president understands, clearly, that this is to help people.”
Not mentioned in the nearly 13-minute interview was that up to ten million people could lose their health care if Trumpcare becomes law, according to an S&P report.
Yet Price called Trumpcare “a positive solution.” He also crowed that it “seeks to put patients and families and doctors in charge of health care and not the federal government.”
Host Neil Cavuto tentatively approached the subject of the millions losing coverage by asking, “Do you feel that you’re going to lose a lot of people who have insurance now? That the 20 million or close to that who have coverage through Obamacare, it’s inevitable that some will lose it?” That conveniently absolved himself of any responsibility for fact checking or pointing out the inconvenient-to-Trumpcare fact that yes, millions could lose coverage.
“I simply don’t believe that,” Price said, without offering any facts to back it up. “People are losing their insurance right now” because “insurance companies are pulling out of the market.”
Neither he nor Cavuto mentioned that insurance companies pulled out because Republican Senator Marco Rubio deliberately sabotaged Obamacare in 2015.
However, Cavuto also suggested that maybe “everyone should wait until the CBO scores this thing before they vote on it.” When Price turned down the idea, Cavuto said, “It’s like buying a car after you find out it might be a lemon, right?”
In reality, it’s more like finding out that millions of Americans’ cars are lemons. But Price shrugged off our health and wellbeing by saying, “That’s part of the legislative process.”
“I got you,” Cavuto said agreeably.
That was the first indication of Price’s lack of concern for patient wellbeing. But that was made even more explicit after the next exchange, in which Cavuto further challenged Price's claims about Trumpcare.
CAVUTO: Older Americans could be at a disadvantage, where they could pay up to five times more than what younger patients could. Right now, I think with the existing Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, it’s about three times more. So that you actually make it more disadvantageous for folks who need that coverage the most. You say what?
PRICE: You’ve got to make insurance work. Right now, insurance isn’t working.
In other words, it’s “insurance-centered health care,” not “patient-centered.” And too bad, so sad for those older folks.
Price came up with a bogus consolation.
PRICE: If you’re able to purchase across state lines, if you’re able to join larger insurance pools, if you’re able to see the accountability and the transparency that’s so necessary in insurance and the provision of coverage, then the prices will, of necessity, come down.
Purchasing insurance across state lines would likely leave people with pre-existing conditions up a Trumpcare creek because, as Media Matters explains, insurers would probably base themselves in states with the least regulations and the fewest coverage requirements.
As for the “accountability and the transparency” part, who is able to navigate the terms of a policy, much less know in advance what kind of health crisis will occur in the future and requiring what kind of coverage?
Watch Price try to pull the wool over viewers’ eyes below, from the March 8, 2017 Your World.
I get it. I’m old enough to recall Clintoncare where Bob Dole promised a replacement if Congress killed the bill. It died and fast forward to today we wouldn’t have any Republicans working on replacement if Obamacare wasn’t so successful.
I also heard Senator Mike Lee (I think) on NPR a while back saying flat out he wanted the Medicaid expansion repealed, no replacement required because those people shouldn’t be on government health insurance regardless of consequences. No, I’m not spinning; he was that blunt.
The GOP set their hair on fire Obamacare was destroying America. Fox News’ propaganda is 100% negative on ACA. They’re the ones lighting the match. It was all easy until they were in the driver’s seat and force to implicitly say ACA is actually quite successful but we want to kill it anyway re: we hate government except what’s necessary for a police state and super power status.
Hewitt’s position, while spit-take funny, is also consistent with what we’re hearing from Right Wingers across the country – that Medicaid is a waste of money and that somehow states and charities will make up the difference after the funds are slashed. Experience shows us that in fact what happens is that the funds get slashed and nobody fills in that gap. Just ask all the people who wound up homeless after Reagan’s people slashed the funding that would have helped them in the early 80s. And then blamed those same people for being homeless with lines like “They made their bed” when they passed them on the street.
“Morning Edition” also interviewed Hugh Hewitt who thinks Medicaid getting crushed is a good thing. He’s claiming “nobody’s getting care” under Medicaid (which the AHA who should know says is bulls—t) and assumes block granting means states will spend more on reimbursement and charities will make up the difference. Seriously, Hugh? 🤥
Hewitt – providing no evidence – claimed subsidies based on age without any allowance for income is a better system but said it was too difficult to go into detail because it’s not a policy supported by sound bites. 🤥
I could smell the stench of right-wing bulls—t over my radio. Not sure how NPR’s moderator didn’t choke on the fumes. 😷
It is ironic to me that their biggest hurdle in getting this through is the wish of many on the Right to be even more mean-spirited and draconian than the House bill already is. When Rand Paul says he wants to separate the notions of repealing and replacing, we should remember that he is steadfastly opposed to having ANY replacement and he knows full well that enough of his fellow Right Wingers will vote against the proposed replacement to kill it right away. Were the GOP to follow Paul’s instruction, he would get exactly what he wants – a repeal of the ACA with no replacement anywhere on the horizon. Which is exactly how Right Wing libertarians have consistently said they want this to go.
I’ve also wondered about the acronym for the new bill. I believe it should be more accurately referred to in the name of one of its primary inspirations, Heritage Action. Thus, I’d call it the Heritage Action Health Act, or HAHA for short.