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GOP lawmaker: "People who lead good lives" deserve to pay less for health care

Conservatives in America never fail to outdo themselves when it comes to heartless arguments against the very notion of giving all citizens affordable and accessible health care. The latest iteration comes from Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who seemed indignant at the very notion of how insurance works — namely, that everyone pays into the pool […]

By Alison R. Parker - May 01, 2017
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Mo Brooks
Rep. Mo Brooks

The latest iteration comes from Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who seemed indignant at the very notion of how insurance works — namely, that everyone pays into the pool so that everyone can access care according to their needs.

On CNN, Brooks took issue with that idea, in a rather telling way. In his view, “people who lead good lives” and who have “done things to keep their bodies healthy” should not have to help offset costs for people who have pre-existing conditions.

My understanding is that it would allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy — and right now those are the people who’ve done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.

While he followed those comments by noting that many people have pre-existing conditions “through no fault of their own,” this moralizing of health itself is questionable at best. And dividing his constituents into “good” and, presumably, bad people based on their luck of the draw from the illness pool is a morally repugnant stance for a public servant to take.

But it is also par for the course with many in Brooks’ party.

House Speaker Paul Ryan declared that if people lose their health care under the Republicans’ plan to repeal Obamacare, it is simply because they did not want really want it.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) admonished people to choose health insurance over buying a new iPhone. And Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) stated that anyone without health insurance, including cancer patients, could simply go to the emergency room for their care.

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) told a mother at a town hall that her son did not deserve health care because of his low-skilled job, while another Republican, Rep. Roger Marshall of Kansas, said that, “Just, like, homeless people. … I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don’t want health care.”

The Republican Party has been facing blistering opposition over their attempts to dismantle Obamacare, and their efforts so far have been utter failures.

And comments like those from Brooks, alongside every other one of these cruel statements, just proves how out of touch they are with the real-world impact of their actions in Washington.


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