Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) went on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday, where host Chuck Todd asked about Boehner’s previous predictions that the Affordable Care Act would be a complete disaster.
“[In 2014,] you said fewer people would have health insurance. According to plenty of surveys, more people have health insurance than they did before it went down from — the uninsured rate went down 17 percent to just under 12 percent. You said it would destroy jobs. The first year it was implemented, the country added 3 million jobs. Why…”
Boehner had a hard time responding, because the points Todd made are correct: Obamacare has drastically lowered the uninsured rate, cost less than original estimates, and hasn’t decimated the jobs market the way Republicans so desperately hoped it would. They were wrong, but of course Boehner can’t admit that.
He told Todd,
“Obamacare made it harder for employers to hire people. The economy expands and as a result, you are going to have more employees because businesses have to. But if you can ask any employer in America, and ask them whether Obamacare has made it harder for the to hire employees, they’ll tell you yes. Because it’s a fact.
When you look at – you know what there are more people insured? Because a lot more people are on Medicaid. And giving – you know, we expanded Medicaid in a big way. And giving people Medicaid insurance is almost like giving them nothing. Because there aren’t — you can’t find a doctor that will see Medicaid patients.”
Part of the problem here is that there is no evidence to back up Boehner’s ridiculous claims. As MSNBC’s Steve Bennen pointed out,
“The U.S. economy saw a jobs boom coincide with the implementation of the ACA. Indeed, the reform law has actually created plenty of jobs within the health care industry by spurring “unprecedented” levels of “entrepreneurial activity.”
At the same time, Boehner believes the drop in the uninsured rate is the result of Medicaid expansion, but that’s wrong, too – millions of consumers have gained private coverage by way of exchange marketplaces. This is even true of the Speaker’s home state of Ohio, which is prepared to create its own exchange if the Supreme Court makes it necessary.
As for the benefits of Medicaid, coverage through the program is not the practical equivalent of “nothing.” Many Americans who’ve gained health security through Medicaid have benefited greatly from affordable care.”
Watch Boehner’s full interview from Meet the Press.