Uninsured, Obamacare hating former Sheriff Richard Mack talked to radio host Thom Hartmann on March 9, where he doubled down on his beliefs about the “evils” of the Affordable Care Act and insurance in general. In case you missed it, both Mack and his wife have suffered some recent medical issues which have resulted in large medical bills.
But the sheriff is holding true to his principles, which means that instead of protecting himself and his family with insurance coverage, he will continue to ask the general public to help him pay his bills.
Mack opens the interview by calling the Affordable Care Act “socialism,” which has been the rallying cry of ACA opponents since day one. It’s also the easiest of all the nonsense about Obamacare to rebut. Health care stocks have been soaring since the law went into effect.
Why? Because the law has expanded the market for health insurance, putting more money into the pockets of insurance companies. Many of the newly insured are seeking out medical care that they may have passed over before, which means more money for doctors, hospitals, and other medical care providers.
The sheriff believes that by being required to buy insurance, the government is forcing him, and the rest of the country, to be “charitable and compassionate.” No, sheriff, the government is forcing you to be responsible. But, since Mack doesn’t have insurance, he is having to rely on the charity of others to pay his bills for him.
Whatever happened to the conservative “culture of personal responsibility?”
Mack had a heart attack. The National Bureau of Economic Research says that the average cost for the first 90 days following a heart attack is $38,501. Mack has not said what medical issues his wife had to deal with back in the fall. It’s likely her medical care, if she had a serious illness, cost at least as much as her husband’s. So, if they are unable to beg enough money out of friends, relatives, and strangers, the Mack family will be left with a fairly large hospital bill.
They will likely have to work out a payment plan with the hospital to make small payments over time until the bill is paid off. Anybody want to guess who covers for them, while they’re paying the bill? Everyone with insurance, and the few who can afford to pay their bill out of pocket, that’s who. This is a situation that Obamacare was designed to address.
Hartmann does a quick review of the history of the ACA, and reminds Mack that something like Obamacare was first proposed by Richard Nixon, who was being lobbied by insurance companies. “It wasn’t a Democratic or a socialist idea. It was an idea to get more money to the insurance industry,” Hartmann says.
Mack’s reply shows he has absolutely no idea of what socialism actually is. “This is still big pharma, and big insurance companies making the bucks off of this,” he says.
“Sure,” Hartmann replies. “So, why is it socialist? That’s not socialism. That’s capitalism. That’s free enterprise.”
Richard Mack reveals that he doesn’t believe in ANY kind of insurance.
Hartmann asks Mack about car insurance. Mack grudgingly admits that yes, he does have his car insured, although he doesn’t think he should have to. Hartmann asks Mack if he thinks his body is more important than his car.
“Now you’re just talking logistics,” Mack responds. “I’m talking about socialism and freedom, and my right to choose. Every one of us should have a right to choose insurance. Insurance is a product. It’s not a right, like Obama says.”
Insurance is a way of protecting an investment. When you buy a car, you have to have collision insurance as long as you are making payments on that car, because the finance company wants to know that it will get its money back if something happens to the car. It’s the same thing when you buy a house. Most people would regard their body as the most valuable thing they have, so why would you not want to protect it with medical insurance?
Health insurance protects you and your family from large medical bills that could put you into bankruptcy. And it is something that, at some point or other, you are guaranteed to need. Not everyone has a heart attack.
Not everyone gets cancer. But, at some point in your life, you will need medical care.
Hartmann misses a major point in his interview with Mack. Thanks to the provision in the Affordable Care Act that does away with “pre-existing conditions,” should Mack decide at some point that it would be wise to buy health insurance, he cannot be turned down because he had a heart attack. His wife cannot be turned down because of her medical history. In the days before Obamacare, both Mack and his wife would now be uninsurable.
Mack says that he, “did not go begging in the streets, or go begging on GoFundMe,” which is technically correct, as the page was set up by his son. But he concludes the interview by enthusiastically sharing the link to the GoFundMe page that was set up for him. If you are so inclined to help out this misguided American who claims to believe in personal responsibility, but who is more than happy to ask you to give him your hard earned money because of his lack of responsibility, you can do so by clicking here.
Here is the complete, amazing interview, via The Thom Hartmann Program/YouTube:
Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr