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‘It’s Absolutely True, Sir!’: MSNBC’s Ali Velshi Battles Ex-GOP Senator Over Healthcare Costs

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi welcomed former Republican Senator Tom Coburn to discuss the American Health Care Act. A nail-biter vote on the bill is expected today after it was postponed once due to lack of support within the GOP caucus.

Right off the bat, the two battled about support among the American public for the GOP Obamacare replacement plan. Coburn told Velshi it wasn’t correct that Republicans don’t widely embrace the AHCA. When Velshi pointed out the poll numbers on his screen, Coburn said he couldn’t see them. They further tussled about polls and whether the public understood what’s in the bill.

After some back-and-forth over the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the healthcare proposal, things got heated. Velshi attempted to point out how much more America spends on healthcare than other developed nations.

“That’s not really the problem with healthcare,” Velshi told the ex-senator, in response to Coburn bringing up Medicaid fraud. “The idea that America pays double per capita than any other developed nation is not including people who are relying on their Medicaid. The problem is costs are twice as much as they are of other developed nations with lower outcomes and lower life expectancies.”

“That’s not true at all,” Coburn shot back.

“That’s 100% true, sir, with all due respect,” the MSNBC host retorted. “Those are not poll numbers. That’s 100% true.”

Coburn promised the host he was going to give him some facts. “You give me a lot of opinion. I’d like some facts,” Velshi replied.

Watch the entire combative exchange above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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