Caught on tape: House Republicans have no clue how many of their constituents are on Obamacare

“I don’t know that number.”

CREDIT: MSNBC screengrab
CREDIT: MSNBC screengrab

On Thursday evening, two House Republicans — Steve King (IA) and Leonard Lance (NJ) — went on Christopher Hayes’ MSNBC show and were asked how many of their constituents have healthcare coverage obtained through an Affordable Care Act exchange.

Neither had a clue.

Hayes asked King, “How many people in your district are on the [ACA] exchanges, congressman?”

“I don’t know that number. You may have that in front of you, Chris, but I don’t know that number,” King replied.


As Hayes pointed out, roughly 11,400 people in King’s district have obtained health care through an ACA exchange in King’s district, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Hayes then pressed King as to whether he knows “what’s gonna happen to them under this [replacement] bill. Have you talked to constituents, particularly in rural areas, who are going to be paying more out of pocket under this plan?”

King suggested he hadn’t.

“Well, of course we don’t have that data, because first of all we just gotta look at this bill that’s been offered,” he replied.

But data is in fact available. According to numbers compiled by, 43,100 out of the 585,305 people in King’s district are projected to lose their healthcare if “Trumpcare” and the bill’s Medicaid rollback becomes law.

Later, Hayes pressed Lance with a similar line of questioning.

Asked how many people in his district are “on the exchanges,” Lance replied, “I would say roughly 5,000 or so, Chris.”


Hayes corrected Lance, telling him, “my understanding from Kaiser Family Foundation is it’s as much as four times that, I think it’s much more like 20,000.” Indeed, according to Kaiser, 20,600 people in Lance’s district are ACA enrollees.

A total of 38,063 people in Lance’s district are projected to lose their healthcare under Trumpcare.

Republicans are pushing Trumpcare through the House, but the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t yet released its officials estimate of how many people stand to lose coverage. According to a report from S&P Global, however, up to 10 million nationwide will lose their health insurance.

A study by the Brookings Institution pegs the figure even higher.

“[W]e conclude that CBO’s analysis will likely estimate that at least 15 million people will lose coverage under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) [aka, Trumpcare] by the end of the ten-year scoring window,” Brookings writes. “Estimates could be higher, but it’s is unlikely they will be significantly lower.”