The repeal and replacement of Obamacare has not just been a GOP campaign promise for most of the past decade, it’s also been a topic that has provided some of the most soporific cable news programming. Director of OMB Mick Mulvaney appeared on CNN’s New Day this morning, however, and the discussion he shared with co-host Chris Cuomo proved to be a remarkably entertaining and insightful discussion.
Though never disrespectful in tone, the conflict at the root of the clip above (courtesy of CNN) is the much debated “death spiral” that Obamacare is suffering, at least as it has been described by a White House and GOP eager to repeal and replace the ACA. While both Cuomo and Mulvaney agree that the current health care system has many problems, the CNN host suggested to fix it, while Mulvaney seemed singularly focused on just getting rid of what he described as a failed policy.
The key exchange started when Cuomo asked if Mulvaney’s state accepted the Medicaid expansion money. After Mulvaney answered with the negative, Cuomo challenged him, saying “You see what I’m saying? You don’t think that factors into why the market became destabilized?”
“Not at all,” Mulvaney replied, adding “The market became destabilized because the system is broken and they couldn’t figure out a way to bring market forces to bear in the insurance business.”
A patient but slightly exasperated Cuomo pushed back, saying “what does that mean? When has that ever worked in the insurance world? When have we ever seen that this free enterprise notion makes things cheaper for people when it comes to health insurance, people crippled by the cost before the ACA?”
This is a complicated issue, but in an effort to top line the debate, the key issue discussed are “subsidies” insurance companies are receiving which are designed to keep premiums low for lower income recipients. President Trump believes that insurance companies are rich enough, asking why do they need to receive government funds, which is a reasonable position. The Democrats, however, do not see this as money to corporate fat cats, but rather a means to stabilize and underwrite health care coverage for those who cannot afford it otherwise.
Missing from this, and nearly every other discussion surround health care? Any discussion on how to actually LOWER the cost of health care in the United States, which is significantly higher than any other country in the world.
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