President Donald Trump and his Ayn Rand acolyte enabler Paul Ryan just celebrated their legislative victory in passing a House bill repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a series of measures that dramatically reshape how health care works in America.
These reforms, which remove many of the protections Obamacare gave to the poor and the middle class and anyone with pre-existing conditions, are sure to be personally disastrous for the constituents of the Republicans who voted for it. When pressed for why he voted for the coverage-killing bill, a Republican congressman from Texas just admitted that he does not really know what’s in the bill or how it works.
CNN’s John Herman confronted Rep. Joe Barton about his vote, and mentioned to him that in the bill states could get a waiver to nix rights for those with pre-existing conditions. Commented Barton, “I think Texas will lead the parade [for requesting waivers]. But when you opt out of the federal mandates, that doesn’t mean you’re opting out of providing quality care for those that cannot get it through their workplace. So, you know, you either believe in government or you believe in markets.” CNN’s Poppy Harlow then mentioned that the bill’s high risk pools do not have “nearly enough money to make it affordable for folks who have pre-existing conditions.” Barton replied that Texas could reduce the cost for those with pre-existing conditions by following the model of Maine.
Pressed Harlow, “Actually what the state of Maine did is they assessed everyone. They put a tax on everyone of $4 a month to pay for that. That was their funding mechanism. Are you willing to support a tax to do that, to put more money in these pools for high risk individuals, those with pre-existing conditions? You’re saying Maine works so this will work. And I’m telling our viewers, Maine worked because of the tax. Are you willing to support a tax?” Replied Barton, laughing, “I don’t know all there is to know about the Maine plan. But I do know that markets will work.” Followed up Berman, “How do you know it will be better? How do you know their rates won’t go up? And how do you know how much it will cost if there’s no [Congressional Budget Office] score?” Responded Barton, “I know that Obamacare is failing.” Asked Harlow later, “But are you saying essentially you hope that it works this time?” Answered Barton, “I’m not saying ‘I hope’, I’m thinking there is a reasonable expectation, there is a probability that this will be better than all the mandates that we had under Obamacare.” Are you disgusted that Barton voted for a bill that he doesn’t actually understand? Watch the full conversation below: