If anyone needed a clearer understanding of how the Republican Party regards humans and health care, let Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) be their example.
During an interview with host Chuck Todd on NBC’s "Meet the Press" Sunday morning, Johnson revealed that he thought the Senate’s revisions to the American Health Care Act have made the bill too liberal by mandating coverage for people with certain pre-existing conditions.
As it currently stands, the Senate health care bill leaves in coverage for individuals suffering from pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart conditions, polio, and other chronic illnesses. While the legislation remains largely a health care farce, this allowance comes as a relief to millions, but not to Johnson.
“Those are the forgotten men and women in this entire healthcare debate, but we know why those premiums doubled,” he explained to Todd. “We’ve done something with our healthcare system that you never even think about doing, for example, with auto insurance, where you’d require auto insurance companies to sell a policy to somebody after they crashed their car. States that have enacted guaranteed issue, which is the guarantee for pre-existing conditions, it crashes their markets. It causes these markets to collapse, it causes premiums to skyrocket.”
As Annabel Thompson summarized in her piece for ThinkProgress, Johnson is essentially comparing people with pre-existing conditions to car crashes, most specifically bad drivers. That's an insane analogy given that many health conditions, particularly pre-existing ones, are unavoidable. According to Mark Rosekind of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of car crashes are due to human error. Comparing a baby born with cancer to a negligent driver is exactly as nonsensical as it sounds.
Not only does Johnson seek to deny health care for those grappling with illness, he also advocates a program that has been found to be ineffective. The idea is to create insurance programs, or "high risk pools," for those no other insurance company wants to provide coverage for. According to Modern Healthcare, this theory doesn't work in practice, as it can lead to extended wait times for ill individuals and requires increased taxpayer funding instead of placing the onus on insurance companies.
In that regard, it does make sense that Republicans peddle this theory. Like many in the GOP Party, Johnson's ideas seem a lot more like cover for funneling profit to their corporate friends instead of pushing for viable American health care.
“A truly moral and compassionate society does not impoverish future generations to bestow benefits in the here and now,” Johnson wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times on Monday, reiterating his point about pre-existing conditions.
Bold words coming from a known climate change denier who once made a case for dismissing precautions against global warming because "mankind has actually flourished in warmer temperatures."
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