Release: Friday, December 6, 2013
White House Lambastes Ralph Hudgens as Example of GOP Obstructionism
WH Press Secretary Jay Carney says Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s Comments are Egregious Example of Republican Sabotage
Atlanta, GA – Yesterday in a press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney cited Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ remarks on pre-existing conditions while illustrating GOP sabotage of the Affordable Care Act.
“Just yesterday we saw a particularly egregious example of Republicans who, to this day, say they want to repeal the law and are trying to sabotage or undermine it and the protections provided by the Affordable Care Act,” said Carney.
“’It’s your fault,’ he said. So it’s your fault if you have asthma or cancer or some other pre-existing condition,” Carney said. “That kind of language is obviously wrong.”
Find video of the White House briefing here.
In footage distributed by the Georgia Democratic Party on Wednesday and published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hudgens appears at the CSRA Republican Women’s Club meeting explaining his analogy
Mother Jones: No, Pre-Existing Conditions Are Not Like Car Wrecks
People with pre-existing conditions aren’t folks trying to scam the system. They’re just people who got sick. And Republicans simply have no realistic plan for allowing them access to affordable health care. This is a problem for the GOP, because unlike the $100-a-plate crowd that tittered at Hudgens’ story, most people understand that pre-existing conditions can happen to anyone.
So, some kid with, say, cystic fibrosis is responsible for an accidental collision of genes at some intersection back in the primordial soup, and the kid’s just out of luck. Should’ve looked both ways before having parents, I guess. The only thing dumber than Ralph Hudgens is the idea that a state should elect its insurance commissioner.
The Economist: Think of something
It’s callous, cruel and, of course, wrong: the human body breaks down, and it breaks down in ways that are neither predictable nor fair. Mr Hudgens also shared his thoughts on the ACA a couple of months ago: to a round of applause he told his audience that “the problem is Obamacare”, and reassured them that “we are doing everything in our power to be an obstructionist.” Now, the ACA isn’t perfect, but it is at least a good faith effort to make sure that nobody dies or goes bankrupt from lack of insurance. One would expect the Insurance Commissioner of Georgia to at least mention, if only for appearance’s sake, his concern for the hundreds of thousands of Georgians that might suffer those fates. But no.
Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services: Pre–existing Conditions by State – First and Second Estimates
AJC 12/4/2013: Hudgens walks back remarks about chronically ill people
Democratic Party of GA 12/5/2013: ACA in Action: 4 Million Georgians no Longer Denied Coverage or Charged Higher Premiums Due to Pre-existing Conditions
For the first time, because of the new health care law, insurance companies will be prohibited from denying health coverage for the up to 129 million Americans – including up to 4,324,000 in Georgia – with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, asthma, or diabetes. Insurance companies will also no longer be able to charge higher premiums based on health status or history. Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act has prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage to the up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions – including up to 613,000 in Georgia. This protection is extended to adults beginning in January 2014.
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