Bernie Sanders' curious claim that 'thousands will die' if GOP Obamacare repeal is passed
Senator Bernie Sanders made the extremely serious claim that "thousands will die" if the GOP Obamacare replacement bill is passed.
His only problem is that he can't recall where he got that information.
Sanders made the claim while speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper but could not provide any specific sources that backed his assertion, instead referring to "studies that have been done."
"You've said if this repeal and replace plan goes forward that thousands of Americans will die," Tapper said to Sanders. "Where do you get that estimate from?"
“I get that estimate from the fact that studies have been done that people who do not have health insurance, who do not go to the doctor when they should, who do not go to the hospital when they need to go, in fact die," Sanders said. "And thousands of people die every year because they don't have health insurance. And if you throw 24 million people off of health insurance, there is no doubt that many thousands of people will die."
Sanders was referring to the House Republicans' proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office said on Monday would reduce the number of insured Americans by 24 million in a decade.
Tapper also asked Sanders about insurance companies that are refusing to participate in the Obamacare exchanges in many states because the system is too expensive, leading to less coverage options and higher costs for many Americans. The CNN host asked whether these developments are the fault of Democrats because they passed Obamacare.
"No, I think what the American, look, what you're saying is true," Sanders replied. "No one, certainly not me, that the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, has many serious problems."
"Deductibles are too high, premiums are too high, we still have too many people who don't have any health insurance," Sanders said. "It's too complicated, it's too bureaucratic."
Incredibly, Sanders appears to have made a better argument than any Republican so far for Obamacare repeal.
Whenever I hear someone start an argument with the phrase "studies show..." the first questions that comes to mind is which studies? Conducted by whom? What was the sample size, the methodology?
Invariably, the exact provenance of "studies show..." is never mentioned.
It's an appeal to authority without the authority being identified. This breaks all the rules of debate but when you're spouting political talking points, it works fine.
The fact is, even with an Obamacare insurance policy, the deductible is usually so high that most people will refuse to go to the doctor, or the hospital, or seek treatement anyway. It's a myth that those with insurance are always better off than those without it.
Sanders fell victim to his own political double talk. When called out to prove his claim, he failed. I wish more reporters would hold all politicians from both parties to account for their statements. If they did, the American people would be better informed for it.