House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has once again gone on television and embarrassed himself. Yesterday, he appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, where Chuck Todd asked him what he has to say about the fact that Obamacare is working. Boehner didn’t just try to downplay that; he flat-out said that the uninsured rate has only fallen for one reason. Obamacare, to him, is an utter failure.
According to MSNBC, Todd specifically asked about the surveys that show more people are insured now than ever, and how it is that the country has added millions of jobs when the ACA is such a job killer. Boehner said:
Obamacare made it harder for employers to hire people. The economy expands and as a result, you are going to have more employees because businesses have to. But if you can ask any employer in America, and ask them whether Obamacare has made it harder for them to hire employees, they’ll tell you yes. Because it’s a fact.
When you look at – you know why there are more people insured? Because a lot more people are on Medicaid. And giving – you know, we expanded Medicaid in a big way. And giving people Medicaid insurance is almost like giving them nothing. Because there aren’t – you can’t find a doctor that will see Medicaid patients.
There’s no evidence supporting either of these statements, but Boehner can’t back down from his predictions that the ACA would cause our economy to implode. For instance, according to Bloomberg, the healthcare industry has seen unprecedented levels of entrepreneurship as the ACA spawned new healthcare companies.
Also, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that Wallethub analyzed, 57 percent of those who enrolled in private plans were previously uninsured. Medicaid is not a private insurance plan, and so Boehner’s assertion that it’s the reason the uninsured rate has dropped is outright false.
To be sure, the ACA has its faults. One of those faults is that many people feel there aren’t enough choices, and they feel they’re being forced to pay for types of coverage they don’t feel they need. This is especially hard on the self-employed, who have to buy health insurance for themselves. People should be able to tailor their insurance to their needs a little better than the ACA currently allows.
For some of the self-employed, it also means that deductibles and premiums no longer have an inverse relationship. Some are paying a ridiculous premium, with a deductible they’ll never meet. In essence, it’s like having no insurance, except they’re paying for having no insurance.
There are other problems, too. The ACA desperately needs some fixes and tweaks, and the GOP has a chance to do that. They have the chance to actually take a law that needs fixed and fix it, but they won’t do that. They’d rather continue to lie about the success stories with the ACA, and waste time and money trying to repeal it, than try to fix it, to make it better.
One of these days, when it comes to the ACA, Boehner will humiliate himself beyond repair. If he keeps up with this nonsense, that day will come sooner, rather than later.