Republicans have been having tremendous difficulty selling their plan to repeal Obamacare, especially when they’re faced by cancer patients who are just alive due to Obamacare’s Medicaid growth.
At a CNN town hall, Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price may have delivered the coldest reply so far to individuals confronting a potential death sentence when Obamacare is repealed, then proceeded to lie directly to the person’s face.
Price’s first question came from Brian Kline, a cancer survivor who claims the Medicaid expansion saved his life and saved him from medical bankruptcy. Kline asked Price why he would like to take away the Medicaid expansion upon which his life depends.
Price began by congratulating the man for surviving cancer, told him that once he is kicked off Medicaid, he could “move to a system that might be much more responsive” (to a cancer patient who makes $11.66 an hour), but finished up with a revealing and icy acknowledgement of the trade-off involved:
What Price appears to be saying is that Kline might need to take his opportunities, without the Medicaid expansion that saved his life, because individuals who aren’t sick now need to pay less for insurance that does not pay as much.
A dissatisfied Kline was given the opportunity to follow up with Price and has been lied to because of his difficulty. Price clarified that although Medicaid had worked good for Kline, Republicans would like to “strengthen” it by kicking people like Brian from it and cutting nearly a trillion dollars in funding out of it:
None of what Price is saying makes sense if you listen to it as a human being: He is telling a man who is about to be kicked off of the Medicaid expansion that kicking people off Medicaid and cutting its funding will actually “strengthen” the program. And his reasoning, cloaked as it is in smiles and well-wishes, is that people like Brian are what is weakening Medicaid and causing the program to have “extreme difficulty providing the care that’s needed for all of the individuals on it.”
This is the constant theme of this Republican repeal effort: Rather than attempting to cover more people, they have attempted to make not attempting to cover more individuals a virtue of their plan.
These cancer sufferers will either need to become poor enough to be eligible for the newly-slashed Medicaid or take their opportunities in emergency rooms. Voters are not purchasing it, and performances like Price’s will serve just to solidify the massive resistance to this unconscionable bill.
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