Republicans have a huge advantage when it comes to the debate over health care, simply because it’s easier to fear-monger than sell people on a new idea. It really is astonishing to think we live in a country where Medicare, a form of universal health care, is extremely popular among seniors — while millions of Americans oppose the idea of that popular system being expanded to cover everyone. Especially considering nearly every current complaint about health care (cost of premiums, type of coverage, how complicated it is) are all arguments for a true universal health care system.
During a recent interview with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) bit off more than he could chew when he tried to defend Trumpcare and attack countries with universal health care.
“This is so logical,” Jordan stated. “We know Obamacare is a mess: fewer choices, higher premiums, higher deductibles. It’s a complete disaster.”
“I hear this talking point all the time,” Velshi said, cutting off Jordan. “There have always been higher premiums. Higher premiums every year. And under Obamacare, the premium increase has been lower. I heard you guys at your press conference yesterday sort of mincing words with that one.”
“We do have to acknowledge that,” he added. “There were higher premiums before Obamacare, there are higher premiums during Obamacare. But the rate of increase has been slower.”
Naturally, Jordan side-stepped that fact, instead trying to pivot toward the usual fear-mongering talking points used to scare people into opposing the Affordable Care Act.
But Velshi is absolutely right. While premiums have gone up, they’ve increased at a rate slower than before the ACA became law. All Republicans did was seize on the reality that health care premiums in a for-profit system are almost always going to increase, and blamed every increase over the last few years on Obamacare.
Though Velshi wasn’t done ripping into Jordan’s nonsensical arguments.
“There was never affordable insurance,” Velshi said. “Nowhere on the face of the Earth is there a free health insurance market that works. If you could point me to one and say that a free market works, it’s just one of those areas that a free market doesn’t work.”
“It will work much better than it’s working now under complete government control.” Jordan responded. “Do you think that people are satisfied now? How about people in the individual market who went from paying $100-200 a month to paying $500-600 a month.”
And that’s when Velshi completely shredded Jordan’s argument.
“You know, sir, in all those countries, in all those countries that have single payer systems or universal health care, happiness about health care is actually substantially greater than it is in the United States,” Velshi pointed out.
“Then why do they all come here?” Jordan asked.
“They don’t all come here!” Velshi quickly replied. “Republicans say that all the time. They don’t all come here. People in Canada, people in Norway, people in the United Kingdom, people in Sweden, people in Denmark, they don’t all come to the United States for health care. Why do you say that?”
“People in Canada come here for extensive surgery,” Jordan pressed on. “They come here and get it done in the United States.”
“I grew up in Canada,” Velshi shot back. “I lived in Canada, my entire family is in Canada. And nobody I know ever came to the United States for health care. I’m sure you have a handful of stories about things like that. It’s not actually statistically true.”
“You think Obamacare is great?” Jordan sarcastically asked.
“No, I’m not arguing Obamacare,” Velshi responded. “I’m arguing the fact that you keep on saying that a free market works. Just name me one country, one country in the world where a free market system for health care works.”
Once again, Jordan was unable to provide a single country where a free market health care system works, instead choosing to ramble on about the American people wanting Obamacare repealed — which isn’t even true considering Donald Trump lost by 3 million votes to Hillary Clinton (a pro-Obamacare candidate) and the American people elected Barack Obama twice.
If there was actually a “mandate” to repeal the law, then Mitt Romney would have won in 2012 or Trump would have been supported by the majority of the American people. Neither of which happened.
I commend Velshi on how he took Jordan to task on issues I feel more people in the media need to confront Republicans on concerning the health care debate. Too often the GOP is allowed to push these ridiculous lies about health care. However, as the MSNBC host proved during this interview, when pressed to provide even one example of a country where a completely free market approach to health care works, Rep. Jordan was unable to do so.
Watch the video below via MSNBC by way of Raw Story: