Audio of the two-minute exchange with former State Senator Ray White was obtained by The Huffington Post, in which you can hear the lawmakers laughing as they decry how Obamacare “is barreling down on us like a jet landing into San Francisco, it’s [laughter]…it should make people really concerned.”
The comments quickly set off a flurry of condemnations, and Sanborn offered a politician’s apology within the day. “It was my mistake,” he told WMUR, a local television station. “If I offended anyone I am sorry.” He first told the station that he hadn’t remembered the comment. The state Democratic Party issued a statement in response to Sanborn.
“In his radical right-wing crusade against the Affordable Care Act, there is no rhetoric too shameful or appalling for Senator Sanborn,” said Harrell Kirstein, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “His comments are heartless and callous, ignoring the awful loss of human life from this tragic accident and then using it as political fodder for his Tea Party opposition to affordable health insurance reform for working New Hampshire citizens.”
Sanborn’s remark was especially ill-conceived given the circumstances. More likely than not, some of the victims of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash directly benefitted from key provisions of Obamacare, which expanded health insurance coverage to millions of younger Americans, helped keep premium costs in check and outlaws the denial of future health insurance based on pre-existing conditions.