During an appearance on CSPAN’s Washington Journal Thursday morning, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed that the Affordable Care Act would increase the number of Americans without health insurance, dismissing analysis showing that 30 million people would gain coverage under the law.
“Everybody in America has access to health care, and we even have many many organizations that make sure they fill those holes,” King explained. “The effort was to increase the number of insured in America and that number does not look like it will increase under Obamacare”:
KING: We’re actually going to get more people uninsured under Obamacare and this creates the foundation for a one-size-fits-all federally-run socialized medicine system. We’re not completely there and I think we are a lot better off to let the free markets do this and encourage people to be personally responsible.
King’s analysis of health policy couldn’t be more wrong. While organizations and hospitals do provide emergency services to uninsured Americans, the cost of that uncompensated care is shifted to private premium payers, resulting in higher health care spending system-wide. Obamacare accepts King’s premise of encouraging personal responsibility and will require able-bodied citizens to pay for their own health care expenses beginning in 2014.
During the interview, King also reiterated his opposition to requiring insurers to provide health care coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and said that Republicans should repeal the health care law in its entirety without preserving its popular provisions. This position puts him at odds with Republican leaders, who are drafting a plan to maintain aspects of the law that allow young people to stay on their parents health care plans and outlaw discrimination against sick people.