January 13, 2017

At CNN's Paul Ryan Propaganda Event Town Hall on CNN Thursday night, Jake Tapper asked Paul Ryan to discuss repeal of the ACA.

Eagerly, Ryan leaned in and swore they could come up with a way to cover people with pre-existing conditions and everyone else while keeping it affordable. This, even though they haven't managed to come up with a single plan that would actually do that.

So watch what happens when he's questioned by a Republican and cancer survivor whose life was saved by the ACA.

Tapper introduced Ryan to Jeff Jeans, a lifelong Republican, who told his story. Jeans was so opposed to the ACA that he swore he'd close his business before he complied with it. And then he was given six weeks to live after a cancer diagnosis.

"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I'm standing here today," he told Ryan.

He added, "I want to thank President Obama from the bottom of my heart because I would be dead if it weren't for him."

Ryan deflected that touching moment by playing the familiar politician, waxing about some city manager and being a good old boy before he basically told the guy the premium increases were terrible and the ACA was to blame.

As if a cancer survivor gives a damn about that. I should also mention that his citation of those premium increases seemed like an indictment of the man standing before him after successful cancer treatment. After all, if those expensive cancer patients weren't in the pool, would those premiums have gone up like that?

The fact is that premiums went up because Republicans squashed the ACA's risk corridor protections which paid insurers when they had cost overruns in the first few years. They stripped funding for it and forced insurers to pass on the costs to insureds in a deliberate effort to undermine the ACA's effectiveness.

And then, adding insult to injury, he went off on his Big Plan to shovel sick people into high risk pools, which have proven themselves to be utterly useless, unnecessarily expensive, and ridiculously discriminatory.

If Republicans want to replace the ACA there's only one replacement that will suffice: Medicare for All. No high risk pools, no shoveling people with pre-existing conditions into limited liability hell. Just Medicare for All. If they want to pass that and take credit for it, I'll be applauding them right alongside everyone else.

But if they proceed with these hairbrained plans to shove sick people into bankruptcy pools, we'll be on street corners, on the phone, and in their faces telling them why it is absolutely unacceptable.

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