Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant today said “There is no one who doesn’t have health care in America.” Bryant, who has also bragged about trying to rid his state of every women’s health clinic in his battle to end abortion, was speaking with Kaiser Health News about why Obamacare is unnecessary and why he refuses to set up a state health insurance exchange.
“There is no one who doesn’t have health care in America,” Governor Bryant said. “No one. Now, they may end up going to the emergency room. There are better ways to deal with people that need health care than this massive new program.”
Mississippi is ranked at 44 for rate of those who are insured, with only six states in a worse position, “as nearly 1 in 5 Mississippians do not currently have health insurance.”
“Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, all of us Republicans across the nation believed this was a failed law,” Bryant also stated, adding, Obamacare is “a law that would drive up health insurance costs, a law that would causes taxes to go up on employers and cause all Americans to have to buy a product in a marketplace at the insistence of the federal government, and [you] could be punished for your inactivity.”
All of that is untrue.
Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress notes:
This is not a new train of thought in the Republican Party. During the presidential election, GOP candidate Mitt Romney claimed that “we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance” by picking them up in ambulance and taking them to the hospital. But suggesting that uninsured Americans can simply get the care they need in the ER is naive. Emergency room and ambulatory care are some of the most expensive medical services in the industry, and the current health care safety net isn’t able to accommodate the strain of an influx of uninsured, low-income Americans who can’t foot those bills.
And, of course, Bryant’s assertion that “there is no one” who lacks health care in this country is false. The Census Bureau estimates that nearly 49 million people were uninsured in 2011. Over 20 percent of working Americans don’t have health care, and 40 percent of the people living in poverty were unable to visit a doctor in 2010. Some of the country’s poorest residents arecurrently unable to qualify for Medicaid coverage — and even when they do, they can still struggle to access the health services they need.
In December of 2011, Rick Santorum said that no one ever died in this country because they didn’t have health care — an obvious lie.
Last year, Mitt Romney said that the emergency room is how America should “provide care” for the uninsured. He also said that, “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”
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