“I’m sorry he does not understand,” Cassidy said of Kimmel. “Under Graham Cassidy Heller Johnson, more people will have coverage, and we protect those with preexisting conditions. States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri — there will be billions more dollars to provide health insurance coverage for those in those states who have been passed by by Obamacare, and we protect those with preexisting conditions.”
“There will be more people covered under the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment than are under status quo and we protect those with pre-existing conditions,” Cassidy said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
And the reality that Kimmel laid out so clearly—that Cassidy’s bill simply does not live up to the tests he set himself and will hurt a lot of people—remains:
That statement, similar to one Cassidy also made on CNN, is virtually impossible to defend. The Graham-Cassidy proposal, which Republicans are rushing to take up for a floor vote next week, calls for reducing federal spending on health care through two sets of changes. [...]
As for Cassidy’s other claim, that his bill would protect people with pre-existing conditions, that’s not true, at least in the sense most people would understand it. The bill would very explicitly allow states to waive existing rules, which the Affordable Care Act put in place, prohibiting insurers from charging higher premiums to people based on their medical status. With that flexibility, insurers could make coverage prohibitively expensive for people with a variety of medical conditions, from diabetes to cancer.
Cassidy wants to make his bill seem different from the wildly unpopular Republican bills that failed, but the only thing that’s really different is that this time, Republicans are up against a September 30 deadline for repealing Obamacare and the pressure to get on board will be that much more intense. This bill will still gut the Medicaid expansion that’s gotten so many people the health coverage they need and it will still weaken protections for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits and much more. He lies, he lies, he lies—and he lies in the service of harming millions of Americans.