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Whoops! Republican Actually Says What They’re All Thinking About Who Deserves Healthcare

You weren't supposed to say that out loud!

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Right now, Republicans in Congress are scrambling to get the votes they need to pass an even worse version of “Trumpcare,” the bill that was too awful to even get enough of the GOP on its side the first time around. As they attempt to strip healthcare coverage from people in order to save other people some money, we’re all pretty sure their moral priorities are way out of whack, but we never expected them to say it as bluntly as this: people who are sick did something to deserve it.

A big concern with the “American Health Care Act” is that it erodes protections for those with “preexisting conditions,” a.k.a. people who actually need healthcare. Of course, if insurance companies can price gouge the sick, then the healthy can pay less money, even though that’s a heartless scheme that undercuts the whole point of health insurance to begin with. What would cause someone to think that was a justifiable way to do things? Someone who blames the sick for being sick, as GOP Rep Mo Brooks illustrated perfectly in a CNN interview.

Brooks told Jake Tapper that the result of charging sick people more would be “reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy. You know, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy, and right now those are the people who’ve done things the right way, that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.” Wow. I’ve plenty of very sick family and friends throughout my life—from cancer, to auto-immune diseases, to loss of eyesight, to diabetes—and I guess I was just blissfully unaware that it was all their own fault, but I can live a lie no longer. I’d also like to remind everyone that being a woman is a preexisting condition, but blaming women just for existing is nothing new to the GOP.

I bet Representative Jason the-poors-should-buy-healthcare-instead-of-iPhones Chaffetz is glad that he’s pretty much guaranteed not to have the worst soundbite for the bill’s second time around, huh?

Brooks did, then, allow for the possibility that some people may actually be sick through no fault of their own, but he made it sound like that was a separate, rare circumstance to be dealt with at an unspecified time that wouldn’t affect the GOP’s anti-“Obamacare” crusade, rather than the majority of people who need such protection. This isn’t the first time a Republican has slipped up and admitted the true garbage motivation behind their policies (my favorite being Mike Turzai admitting that Voter ID laws in Pennsylvania were intentional voter suppression), but it’s certainly one of the most glaringly callous in its moral superiority over people’s health.

As for the specifics of the current bill before the U.S. House of Representatives, it doesn’t allow for those with preexisting conditions to be outright refused coverage, but it would allow insurers, on a state-by-state basis, to drastically change the cost and quality of that coverage. It currently looks like the bill won’t reach the level of support it needs to pass, but you might want to call your state’s Representatives if you don’t think sick people deserve to be punished for being sick.

(image: Comedy Central)

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