As expected, the Republican clowns are pouring out of the clown car this morning to fight common sense and facts against their desire to kill Obamacare. And Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin senator commonly referred to as The Stupidest Man in the Senate, tightened his hold on the title today on Morning Joe.
There are words, and they sound like English, but they make no sense. And despite the best efforts of Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle to pull out some kind of coherent explanation, they were not successful.
RonJohn threw out a bunch of misleading numbers and made statements like, "I would argue that Medicaid expansion, which was targeted at able-bodied working age, childless adults, where the federal government fully funded that. Ramping down contribution a little bit. Disabled, elderly and children --
"Senator, will not some of the people who enjoy coverage under Medicaid expansion no longer have Medicaid coverage? Will people who enjoy coverage under Medicaid expansion be now denied coverage they have now? Will those people be covered in some way or left in the lurch?" Geist pressed.
"I will say, not if governors manage their programs properly," he responded.
"What if we don't have enough money to cover that anymore?"
He then spun off into some more argle bargle about why Medicaid expansion should be for a bridge to a job. Tell that to the disabled children and adults, and the elderly in nursing homes, Ron!
Geist tried again. "Do you agree governors, if your plan becomes law, will have to make choices they didn't have to make now? If they have less money, that means somebody gets less coverage or somebody gets no coverage at all. Can you say this morning on this -- can you say this morning on this show under your plan no one will lose their coverage?"
"For example, Governor (Scott) Walker will have more funding. Not as much as our population will indicate," Johnson said.
"But people will lose coverage?"
"-- a benefit for the state of wisconsin."
"People will lose coverage under your plan?"
"I can't guarantee that."
"You can't guarantee they will, or they won't?"
"Premiums have already doubled." (No, they haven't.)
"Supposedly guaranteed coverage under pre-existing conditions under Obamacare, it's not a guarantee. if you're one of those forgotten people bill clinton talked about, people busting it, 60 hours a week, premiums tripled, coverage cut in half. unless you quit your job and have pre-existing conditions --"
"Senator, I want to clarify," Mike Barnicle interjected.
RonJohn kept going. "$5 billion in fines, premiums have doubled. This is unsustainable. We'll have to continue to throw billions of dollars into a failing system, which is one of the reasons the bipartisan effort I've been fully involved in, great discussions, they'll continue. This puts us on a path to state control, more flexibility."
Barnicle finally tried to pin him down with an example.
"Okay, senator. Let's try this one. This is a pretty simple question because I'm a pretty simple person."
"Mike, it's a pretty complex problem. That's part of the problem with simple questions, there are no simple answers," the man with simple answers said.
"There have to be simple answers for the people who you represent," Barnicle said.
"Here is one of them. Somewhere in Wisconsin, there's a family with a 9 or 10-year-old child with cystic fibrosis currently covered under what you call the disaster of Obamacare. Can you tell that family that their premiums under your proposed bill you're about to vote on, their premiums will not go up?"
More argle bargle. "Certainly shouldn't. They should be going down," he said.
"Obamacare artificially doubled premiums nationally. (No, it didn't.) So again, the state of Wisconsin, we'll get more funding because we've been disadvantaged under Obamacare funding scheme right now. (Because Scott Walker refused federal money for Medicaid expansion!) In Wisconsin, we're going to do very, very well. I think other states will as well. Maine, they instituted guarantee -- they didn't repeal it. Premiums fell to a third. Covering people with pre-existing and high cost conditions without skyrocketing premiums or collapsing insurance markets. Obamacare is a failed model, a faulty architecture. this will put us on a path to start fixing it."
"Senator, I'm begging you," Barnicle said. "Can you guarantee their premiums won't go up?"
"There are no guarantees under Obamacare. i just pointed out individuals that are busting, that are working hard, don't get subsidies, they're without coverage. some of them have pre-existing conditions, so there are no absolute guarantees. Other things, if we don't do anything, $5 billion in fines, premiums will continue to skyrocket unless we inject tens of billions into a failed system. We're trying to make sure that doesn't happen."
"Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, one of the sponsors of the Graham-Cassidy legislation under review in the United States senate. Senator, thanks for your time this morning."
The panelists then complained about how none of the Republicans who come on the show can explain the legislation or answer questions.
Despite what RonJohn said, it really is simple: They're taking money away from working people to give tax cuts to the rich. They can't defend it because... it's indefensible.
Same as it ever was!
NO EXCUSES. CALL YOUR SENATORS: 202-224-3121