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Health Care Policy Forum, With Kindly And Mavericky Grandpa McCain

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Beloved media icon and losing presidential candidate but not of the gender that gets instructed never to be seen in public again John McCain has some very detailed thoughts about health care policy he would lake to share as he prepares to vote in favor of a bill to take away health insurance from 23 million people to pay for a massive upper-class tax cut:

Tara Golshan, Vox

Generally, what are the big problems this bill is trying to solve?
John McCain

Almost all of them. They’re trying to get to 51 votes.
Tara Golshan

Policy-wise. What are the problems [in the American health care system] this is trying to solve — and is the bill doing that right now?
John McCain

Well, it’s whether you have full repeal, whether you have partial repeal, whether you have the basis of it. It’s spread all over.
Tara Golshan

But based on the specifics of the bill you have heard so far, is it solving the problems [in the health care system]?
John McCain

What I hear is that we have not reached consensus. That’s what everybody knows.
Tara Golshan

Right, but outside of getting the votes. From what you hear of the actual legislation being written, is it solving the problems you see —
John McCain

It’s not being written. Because there’s no consensus.
Tara Golshan

But generally speaking, what are the big problems it is trying to solve?
John McCain

You name it. Everything from the repeal caucus, which as you know, they have made their views very clear — Rand Paul, etc. And then there are the others on the other side of the spectrum that just want to make minor changes to the present system. There’s not consensus.

“The problem Obamacare repeal is trying to solve is repealing the Obamacare.” Very compelling. Surely Chuck Grassley has a better answer?

Jeff Stein, Vox

I want to ask a very broad question: What do you think this health care bill will accomplish that will improve America? What’s the positive case for this bill?
Chuck Grassley

Well, I can tell you what it’s going to do for Iowa. We are one of those states that in a couple of weeks if [the insurer] Medica pulls out, we’ll have 94 of our 95 counties won’t have any insurance ,even for people who have the subsidies. That’s what we have to concentrate on now.
Jeff Stein

How do you think the bill will fix that problem?
Chuck Grassley

Well, by bringing certainty to the insurance market. They don’t have that certainty now.
Jeff Stein

By bringing certainty to the insurance market. What certainty?
Chuck Grassley

What?
Jeff Stein

What do you mean by certainty?
Chuck Grassley

Well, they can’t even file. They have to check the rates real high if they don’t know what the government policy is. And so the certainty is that passing a bill gives the health insurance companies certainty.
Jeff Stein

Wouldn’t not passing a bill also do that?
Chuck Grassley

No, it … well, yeah — it gives them certainty that you’ll have a lot higher rates than if you pass the bill.
Jeff Stein

So you’re saying [the bill] will lower the rates?
Chuck Grassley

Um, if you’re talking about lowering the rates from now down, no. The rates could be way up here. [Points to sky] And if they — if we get a bill passed, it maybe wouldn’t go up or would go up a heck of a lot less than they would without a bill.
Jeff Stein

By “rates,” are you talking about premiums?
Chuck Grassley

Yeah, premiums. … I’m sorry I have to go.

It’s pretty much all like this. It’s good that the Party of Ideas is finally in charge!

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