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GOP Rep.: ‘Nobody Dies Because They Don’t Have Access to Health Care’

Congressman Raúl Labrador has come under intense fire in the past few days for a comment he made about health care during a town hall.

He was defending the bill passed in the House and, in an exchange with a constituent who said “you are making a mandate that will kill people,” Labrador countered, “No one wants anybody to die. You know, that line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

The reaction in the room was, well, not very positive.

Labrador subsequently posted a statement to Facebook saying, “During ten hours of town halls, one of my answers about health care wasn’t very elegant.”

However, he went on to defend himself and take shots at the media for focusing on those remarks:

In a lengthy exchange with a constituent, I explained to her that Obamacare has failed the vast majority of Americans. In the five-second clip that the media is focusing on, I was trying to explain that all hospitals are required by law to treat patients in need of emergency care regardless of their ability to pay and that the Republican plan does not change that.

The reason I held four towns halls in Idaho was to have an honest and frank discussion with my constituents about important issues. It certainly doesn’t help that the media is only highlighting a five-second video, instead of the entire exchange.

You can watch the full exchange (posted to Labrador’s YouTube page) above.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac