June 27, 2017

Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi this morning hosted David Hoppe, an anti-Obamacare lobbyist from the right wing group "One Nation Health." The hosts did a good job pushing back on each lie Mr. Hoppe brought to the table:

They opened the segment with some important statistics. Medicaid covers 20% of all Americans. 39% of all children, 49% of all births covered by Medicaid along with 64% of all nursing home residents.

And that other statistic. The Senate bill cuts federal Medicaid spending by $772 billion over the next ten years. 15 million people are expected to be dropped from the rolls, and they will not be able to afford other coverage. As Velshi says, "that's the reason they are on Medicaid."

Then they brought on David Hoppe. I guess the purpose of this segment is to let him lie so they can knock down the lies, a good exercise, but I'd rather have someone telling the truth on the "guest" side of things.

Here are the lies, followed by the pushback:

1. "People can't afford Obamacare's high premiums and deductibles."

A totally misleading statement, as it begs the question, "If you can't afford Obamacare, how will you afford health care better under Trumpcare? You won't.

2. We need a marketplace where people can "shop" for the cheapest healthcare, doctors, and procedures.

Ali Velshi asked a brilliant question, for which of course Hoppe had no answer:

ALI VELSHI: Give me one place, anywhere on earth, any country you want, you can even use adjoining planets, where a privatized fully private marketplace works to cover people for health insurance. Just one. ...Here's the situation, even if you put into effect and I hope they will put into effect a system which gives the states more authority to work with their people to find a better way of doing things than the federal government does it, and give families and doctors more choices, you will still have a system that includes Medicaid, Medicare and the employer funded system and also those people who are veterans and those people. It won't -- it's not like you're going to a system that's totally market oriented. It's not -- because there's going to be help for some people at the lower end and some people who are elderly.

Velshi doesn't mention that private insurance companies have ZERO interest in insuring people over 65, in fact, over 55. That's why premiums skyrocket for those over 55, people in that age bracket cut into profits too much to be worth it as customers. Several commentators have said expanding Medicare to age 55 and above would go a long way to "fixing" Obamacare and would bring insurers back into markets they have abandoned. Those counties with fewer than two insurers? The marketplace model has FAILED because there is no one willing to sell insurance to an aged rural population, period.

3. The AMA is a political organization and their opposition to the Senate bill is just their political lobbying.

Ha! Like David Hoppe isn't a lobbyist!

VELSHI: There are more than a dozen, AARP, American Cancer Association, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Nurses Association, every single one of them has come out against this bill.

RUHLE: And by the way, before Mitch McConnell met with the 13 members of his committee that wrote this, he met with lobbyists from the health care industry (big insurers, Stephanie, just say it -- eds), so to say there are special interest groups working with Obamacare, they are also working with the Senate.

David Hoppe was thanked for appearing on the show. You can bet he was glad his segment was over.

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