In a contentious interview on Sunday, Chris Wallace of Fox News tells Paul Ryan his health care plan “isn’t freedom … your plan makes it unaffordable.”
Chris Wallace took Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to task on Sunday during a Fox News interview, pointing out that the Ayn Rand fan’s new “cost cutting” plan would put older Americans on the hook to pay thousands of dollars more for health insurance or drop coverage completely.
Wallace reminded Ryan that 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance under the dog-eat-dog GOP health care proposal, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Wallace grilled Ryan over the real implications of the GOP health care plan during the Sunday Fox News lineup:
“You said that part of that is that this is what freedom looks like. But is the major decrease in the number of people — according to the CBO — who will have health insurance, is it freedom or is it that some people will no longer be able to afford health insurance under your plan?
Wallace quoted the CBO estimate that predicts a 64-year-old worker who makes less than $27,000 per year paying half of their annual salary, $14,600, just on premiums alone under the GOP plan. Currently, Americans this age are paying about $1,700 under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Wallace admonished the Speaker:
“What they’re saying is that this isn’t freedom, this isn’t people voluntarily deciding not to have health insurance. It’s that your plan makes it unaffordable for people.”
Ryan then admitted that older Americans were not getting enough assistance under the GOP plan, but he doesn’t seem to care:
“We’re not going to make people buy something that’s so expensive that they can’t afford, that the market is not going to offer.
“And so where I dispute that comparison is it suggests that we’re going to have the same kinds of plans being offered in 10 years that Obamacare would otherwise offer.
“The person in their 50s or 60s does have additional health care costs than, say, a person in their 20s and 30s. The tax credit adjusts for that.
“You’re right in saying — and we agree — we believe we should have even more assistance and that’s one of the things we’re looking at for that person in their 50s and 60s.”
When Wallace questioned him further about making changes to the plan, Ryan said they were “looking at it.”
But Ryan still seems to believe that a competitive marketplace will drive down costs. Ryan proceeds to whine that the CBO didn’t account for the increase in plans available over the next 10 years as a result of GOP “deregulation” when they calculated the numbers, but then again, the GOP plan offers no details on expanding care that doesn’t exploit middle-aged and senior Americans.
It’s doubtful that the GOP plan will result in more health insurers offering low-cost plans for older Americans; but, even if it does, how many 50-64-year-olds, many of whom are still paying mortgages and putting children through college, will die prematurely in the next 10 years for lack of preventive or emergency care?
For-profit corporations can rarely be relied upon for offering low cost options in cases of life or death. The exploitive increases in the cost of insulin and EpiPens — both “life or death” medications — is a historical lesson in corporate greed.
And, apparently, Ryan doesn’t understand that most low and middle income people over the age of 50 don’t really have the luxury of shopping around when they need a refill on the heart medication that keeps them alive.
You can watch Chris Wallace grill Ryan about his health care plan in the video from Fox News below.