MSNBC's Melber: Tea Partiers Want to 'Make Sure More People Are Uninsured'
On the Wednesday, April 23, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, guest host Ari Melber ignored concerns expressed for some time by conservatives that ObamaCare regulations would cause Americans to lose private health insurance plans they already had as the MSNBC host suggested that Tea Party Republicans do not care about people being uninsured and claimed that the goal of repealing ObamaCare is to "make sure more people are uninsured."
After MSNBC's Krystal Ball complained about Republican governors who have refused to expand Medicaid, Melber turned to recent claims by Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp that fewer people in Kansas are insured now than before ObamaCare. [See video below.]
After contradicting Rep. Huelskamp's numbers, Melber cracked:
Since when do these Tea Party Congressmen care about people being uninsured? The whole point of repeal is to make sure more people are uninsured.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, April 23, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:
KRYSTAL BALL: We've already seen some red state governors, some Republican governors like Jan Brewer, go forward with the Medicaid expansion because it just doesn't make sense. It's popular, as Jonathan said. It is political malpractice, it is public service malpractice to deny this to your citizens.
ARI MELBER: Yeah, what you just said is so important because we've heard so much heat around the concept of ObamaCare. Everyone remembers the White House even decided at one point: Should we try to get people to call it the ACA? Then we go back to ObamaCare. Sometimes people feel differently about it depending on what they're told that it's called.
But when you say something like the "Jindal gap," which brings to mind something like the "Carter recession" or "Carter stagflation," you want to brand some of the negatives onto some of these Republicans, as a political strategy. Jonathan, to that point, let me play for you a Republican Tea Party Congressman, Tim Huelskamp, at a town hall, pretending, I guess, to care about the uninsured. Take a listen.
REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R-KS): The numbers we see today is that, as I understand them, and we believe there are more people uninsured today in Kansas than before the President's health care plan. And I thought the goal was to bring more people on insurance.
MELBER: Okay, so, just a couple of things. Number one, the Kansas State Institute says the uninsured rate did decline from about 13 percent in '09 to 12 percent in 2012. So he's a little off there. One could argue it's close. But more importantly than getting lost in the numbers is, since when do these Tea Party Congressmen care about people being uninsured? The whole point of repeal is to make sure more people are uninsured.