During an interview on MSNBC on Thurday, host Ali Velshi and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan got into a heated debate over the popularity and success of universal health care systems.
Jordan insisted that Republicans should just do a “clean” repeal of former President Obama’s health care reform law before trying to replace it.
“This is so logical,” Jordan insisted. “We know Obamacare is a mess: fewer choices, higher premiums, higher deductibles. It’s a complete disaster.”
“I hear this talking point all the time,” Velshi interrupted. “There have always been higher premiums. Higher premiums every year. And under Obamacare, the premium increase has been lower. I heard you guys at your press conference yesterday sort of mincing words with that one.”
“We do have to acknowledge that,” Velshi continued. “There were higher premiums before Obamacare, there are higher premiums during Obamacare. But the rate of increase has been slower.”
In an effort to deflect from the MSNBC host’s point, Jordan claimed that the current law meant “more taxes, more regulations, drive up the cost of insurance, mandate people buy it, and if they don’t they get penalized.”
“There was never affordable insurance,” Velshi observed. “Nowhere on the face of the Earth is there a free health insurance market that works. If you could point me to one and say that a free market works — it’s just one of those areas that a free market doesn’t work.”
“It will work much better than it’s working now under complete government control!” the Ohio Republican promised. “Do you think that people are satisfied now? How about people in the individual market who went from paying $100-200 a month to paying $500-600 a month?”
Velshi, who grew up in Canada, quickly defended the success of universal health care systems all over the world.
“You know, sir, in all those countries, in all those countries that have single payer systems or universal health care, happiness about health care is actually substantially greater than it is in the United States.”
“Then why do they all come here?” Jordan asked.
“They don’t all come here!” Velshi shot back. “Republicans say that all the time. They don’t all come here. People in Canada, people in Norway, people in the United Kingdom, people in Sweden, people in Denmark — they don’t all come to the United States for health care. Why do you say that?”
“People in Canada come her for extensive surgery,” Jordan said. “They come here and get it done in the United States.”
“I grew up in Canada,” Velshi revealed. “I lived in Canada, my entire family is in Canada. And nobody I know ever came to the United States for health care. I’m sure you have a handful of stories about things like that. It’s not actually statistically true.”