ThinkProgress filed this report from a town hall meeting in Astatula, FL.
More than a year later, such outlandish rhetoric continues unabated.
This week, Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) met with constituents for a town hall meeting in Astatula, FL. During the event, a constituent asked Webster about how repealing health reform would affect citizens like her who have cancer (or other preexisting conditions) and found it next to impossible to get insurance in the private market. Webster agreed with the constituent that – despite his voting to strip such protections in January – preexisting conditions ought to be covered by insurance. However, Webster then went on to tell the audience that unless the health reform law, which covers preexisting conditions, is repealed, “we won’t have a country” anymore:
CONSTITUENT: All the years that your party has had to work on this, you still don’t have an answer for people like me, if I have a cancer recurrence before I’m eligible for Medicare, what’s your answer for people like me? You’ve been working on it year after year after year, and you never have an answer. I’m sorry, but it’s unacceptable to find out that there’s a clinic someplace that serves primary care to Medicare or Medicaid patients, when I want to know who serves cancer care to people with preexisting conditions who are uninsurable in a private marketplace because they’re interested in profits.
WEBSTER: Thank you for that question and I’ll answer it. Here’s how I’ll answer you first. I got to Congress here. [Points to January 2011] [...] I’ve told you, first of all, that I believe there is a need to have preexisting conditions covered. I’ve said that. So I’m not trying to eliminate that at all, and that would be the answer to your question. All I’m saying is, left to the community and the states and having partnerships will free us from this. [Points to debt chart] We can’t afford it. We can either do it on borrowed money and run our country into the ground and then no one gets coverage because we won’t have a country.
Still, Webster isn’t the only one predicting dire consequences for our country as a result of health reform. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) surmised that “a lot of people are going to die,” while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) recently said that if you believe in a right to health care, “you believe in slavery.” Last year, then-House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) even called the law “Armageddon” that will “ruin our country.”
Listening to such over-the-top rhetoric, one can certainly be forgiven for believing that the rapture is indeed nigh.