HHS Secretary Tom Price, teabagger orthopedic surgeon, tells Jonathan Karl he is very, very perplexed as to why a prominent insurance industry group came out against Ted Cruz's nuclear bomb of a health care amendment
"There's no doubt there's significant problems with the current system," Karl said.
"But if you look at the Republican plan to modify it and replace it, more than 10 medical groups are against it. Thirty-two cancer organizations oppose it. And on Thursday, in a rare joint statement by the biggest insurance companies in the country, called the Cruz Amendment unworkable in any form and warned it would lead to, quote, 'widespread terminations of coverage.'
"So, Dr. Price, why this wall of opposition?"
"It's really perplexing, especially from the insurance companies, because all they have to do is dust off how they did business before Obamacare," the Tea Party extremist said. (You can tell he's perplexed, because his brow is wrinkled.)
"A single risk pool, which is what they're objecting to, is exactly the kind of process that was -- that has been utilized for decades to care for individuals."
"But they're against it. The doctors are against it," Karl said.
"The challenge that we have is that the bill itself isn't the entire plan. It is a significant and an important and integral part of the plan, but it's not the entire plan," the man who wants to kill Medicaid said.
"What we're doing over at Health and Human Services is going through all the rules and regulations that were promulgated pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. Those places where it said the Secretary shall or Secretary may, 1,442 times, and we're looking at those and asking the question does this help patients or does it harm patients? Does it increase costs or does it decrease costs? And where the answer is wrong, we're going to move it in a much better direction."
Tom, much smarter people than you put that plan together. But whatevs!
Karl brought up some of the criticisms made by Price during the ACA passage.
"One of the things that you were very critical of were the special provisions that were put in the bill to win over key senators, the 'Cornhusker kickback,' the 'Louisiana purchase,' as you called both of them, these were provisions to win, you know, senators that were on the fence -- Democratic senators that were on the fence.
"Now we see special provisions that are in this bill for Alaska, for Florida, for Louisiana, again, seem to be directly aimed at winning over key Republican senators. Do you have a problem with this? I know you're not in the Senate. It's not your -- you're not putting this stuff in. But you must be a little uncomfortable."
Ha ha! Of course he's not uncomfortable with hypocrisy, he's a Republican!
"Let me respectfully suggest that that really isn't an appropriate characterization. What we're trying to do is throughout this..." Price said.
"This is different treatment. I mean, Alaska is going to get more money under a
special provision that is clearly written to -- tailored to Alaska," Karl said.
"You talk about a state that's unique, it's Alaska. I've learned from Senator Murkowski and Senator Sullivan the incredible uniqueness of Alaska and how difficult it is to actually provide care for individuals where they have I think it's like 650 municipalities or cities that you can't reach by car.
That's a unique situation. So what we need to do is to make certain -- and our goal is to make certain that nobody falls through the cracks, that we're able to provide coverage for every single American that -- for their physicians and their care. And that it's done in a way that makes it possible."
Oh, my aching sides.