July 11, 2019

In yesterday's hearings on Capitol Hill about the Affordable Care Act, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used her allotted five minutes to lay waste to the notion that improving health care for Americans will lead to some kind of "dystopian outcome." The biggest talking point from those against ACA and Medicaid expansion is that it will lead to "rationing of health care." Well, what they mean is that it will lead to the government rationing out how much health care we citizens can have.

AOC turned that notion completely on its head by demonstrating that under the current system of for-profit health care, we are already rationing how much care we can have — we are just doing it to ourselves, based on what we can afford.

AOC: When you talk about rationing care in a for-profit health care system with no guardrails, where it's the Wild West, where you're allowed to profiteer off of insulin, off of people's lives...How many of you, in your time of being uninsured, or having health care that was too expensive, delayed getting a prescription, or delayed going to the doctor? (Many hands were raised) So you RATIONED your own care, is that correct, Ms. Burton?

MS. BURTON: Yes, absolutely.

AOC: The cost of a for-profit insurance company forced you to ration your own care, correct?

MS. BURTON: Absolutely.

She then confirmed with Mr. Assasi that a key part of the ACA was Medicaid expansion. "This allows people of lower incomes to essential get Medicaid, correct?" she asked. AOC wondered about the states that refused to participate in that, and proceeded to list each state by name after which Mr. Assasi confirmed "Correct" each time. For the record, they are:

North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota

AOC: And these are the states that are also, we're seeing a lot of their representation trying to combat the ACA, when they're not even buying into it to protect their own, correct?

MR. ASSASI: That's correct. We're talking about 2.5 million people that do not have coverage because they have not expanded Medicare.

AOC: Why do you think they are doing that?

MR. ASSISI: You know, I used to work with the governors on this very question, and the truth to that answer is because it was tainted as Obamacare. And it was a completely political decision.

AOC: So, people are not getting insurance in these states for political reasons, that's your assessment?

MR. ASSISI: Absolutely

Chairman Elijah Cummings punctuated her time of questioning by saying, "And, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, people are dying."

But this administration doesn't care. The Republicans don't care. They just want to destroy anything that is connected to anything successful created by President Obama. If it hurts low-income Americans, especially Black and brown ones, so much the better. We know from absolutely everything else they do that the only thing this White House and the GOP cares about is money and white people.

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