Cotton: People Loved Being Denied Healthcare!

Tom Cotton, the Republican candidate for the Senate from Arkansas, has a habit of saying egregiously stupid and dishonest things, but his claim during a campaign debate that those with pre-existing conditions just loved being thrown into high-risk insurance pools where they were still routinely denied coverage before the Affordable Care Act was passed.

But in his second and final debate Tuesday night against Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor, he went further, claiming the high-risk insurance pools that many states ran before Obamacare’s passage were better for people with pre-existing conditions than the current exchanges.

“Many people were happy with their coverage under the high-risk pool, before it was eliminated,” Cotton said. “They should have been allowed to keep that choice.”

Pryor shot back, saying his personal experience proved otherwise. “I am a cancer survivor,” he said. “I have been in the high-risk pool. I have lived there. It is no place for any Arkansan to be. If we go back to the high-risk pool, it’s like throwing sick people to the wolves.”

Many of the high risk pools Cotton praised were known for their sky-high costs, exclusion of many applicants, and strict limits on what care is covered. In Arkansas, out of pocket costs for patients in such pools could be as high as $20,000 and those with pre-existing conditions had an average 6 month waiting period for care.

Americans who could not afford or qualify for the program and lacked an offer of employer-based coverage, were forced to turn to the individual health care market, where they were routinely denied coverage. Common disqualifications included diabetes, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, quadriplegia, Parkinson’s disease and AIDS/HIV or even relatively mild health issues like acne.

Yeah, if there’s one thing people with chronic disorders love, it’s not having access to medical care to treat their illnesses. It was like a utopia for them.

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  • moarscienceplz

    Well, it is true that people who died while they were waiting for treatment, or those who now have to sleep under bridges because they lost all their money to hospital bills, don’t send many letters of complaint to their Senator.

  • Michael Heath

    One of the stupidest things the Republicans ever did soon after Obamacare took effect was the following. They started running ads of individuals who claimed their heath insurance was worse under Obamacare. Then journalists and fact-checking sites found, every one single one I’ve encountered, was the opposite or there was no difference. Every single person was lying.

    Coverage was typically significantly improved for every dollar spent on insurance and care and premiums were not being raised due to an increase in coverage and rose less than past inflation rates for insurance and care. “Typically” because in some cases, coverage and care costs were about the same, except there were no more limits in coverage as there were in the past or pre-existing condition limitations that limited people’s choice in insurance providers.

    One of the stupidest things the Democrats have done recently is to not effectively exploit this phenomena to their advantage. Democrats continue to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

    Sen. Pryor is an exception, I know he’s been running on the fact that Obamacare is doing what was promised. While I’m not a fan of his, kudos to him on this point.

  • http://syncanna.wordpress.com/ K.R. Syncanna

    I am so glad I live in MA. I am also glad that my schizophrenia is actually, ya know, being treated with the help my health insurance. Cotton is a naive little fucker.

  • eric

    As if more of a response was needed, but Pryor also could’ve challenged Cotton to put himself and his family on it for the next few years, if he thinks its so great.

  • NitricAcid

    It’s not a utopia, it’s more like Heaven. If you’re sick in the US with no coverage, it’s time to head to the Pearly Gates.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Many of the high risk pools Cotton praised were known for their sky-high costs, exclusion of many applicants, and strict limits on what care is covered. In Arkansas, out of pocket costs for patients in such pools could be as high as $20,000 and those with pre-existing conditions had an average 6 month waiting period for care.

    SEE?!!! GOVERNMENT ISNT THE SOLUTION ITS THE PROBLEM!!!

     

    Michael Heath “One of the stupidest things the Republicans ever did soon after Obamacare took effect was the following.”

    Stupid, yeah. Stupid like a fox!

     

    “They started running ads of individuals who claimed their heath insurance was worse under Obamacare. Then journalists and fact-checking sites found, every one single one I’ve encountered, was the opposite or there was no difference. Every single person was lying.”

    A fact checker fact checked your statement and gave it three Pinochios, because “Every single person was lying” is itself a lie, since a bunch of the people checked never bothered looking at the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Or something. Look, in any event, Both Sides Do It*.

     

    “One of the stupidest things the Democrats have done recently is to not effectively exploit this phenomena to their advantage. Democrats continue to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.”

    Duh. Democrats.

     

    * Both Sides Do It, trademark Village Media Inc. Village Media: Conflating neutrality with objectivity since the 1980s.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Mr. Heath, it wasn’t stupid if it worked. And it did.

  • http://www.clanfield.net janiceintoronto

    It is a continual source of amazement to me that the U.S. cannot seem to grasp just how well socialized medicine can work. I recently had to be rushed to the E.R. in an ambulance, had 4 electrocardiograms, drugs, IV’s, etc. and it cost me: $45.00

    Yes, I was billed $45.00 for the ambulance. That’s it. Total charge for the entire incident.

  • anachronistes

    @8: Janice, that’s because there are a lot of U.S. citizens who like to pay thousands of dollars a year in health insurance so that they can go to one of two different health care providers, then pay hundreds in deductibles; that way they feel like they have real Freedom of Choice(tm) !!!

    Seriously, I’ve had this argument with my conservative brother, who argued against the ACA by asking, “do you want the government making your health care choices for you?”

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    janiceintoronto “It is a continual source of amazement to me that the U.S. cannot seem to grasp just how well socialized medicine can work. I recently had to be rushed to the E.R. in an ambulance, had 4 electrocardiograms, drugs, IV’s, etc. and it cost me: $45.00

    Yes, I was billed $45.00 for the ambulance. That’s it. Total charge for the entire incident.”

    Sure, but you haven’t even made the appointment for the Death Panel yet. That’s where they total the real cost. The moral cost, alone, of you not dying, is uncountable, and would be better spent on a Strong Defense, Slut Shaming, and tax cuts for Corporate Citizens.

  • Kevin Kehres

    NOBODY in the high-risk pool was happy with their coverage. I challenge him to name ONE person who was happy with their coverage.

    True story: before ACA, I was playing golf at a semi-private course (don’t judge) along with a very nice couple. Guy gets a cell phone call — dermatologist calling him back. Guy explains that he has recurrent basal cell carcinoma on his face and needs a procedure AND has no insurance coverage for it AND knows exactly how much it’s going to cost him ($6,000) AND when can he get this done.

    Turns out, they moved from New York to North Carolina, kept Blue Cross as their provider and STILL were denied coverage for his skin cancer, since he had been treated it a year before they moved. $6,000 a pop each time. They said they were just “holding out” until they were eligible for Medicare.

    These were people who were otherwise pretty well off by the looks of things. But $6,000 every time you need a mole removed is a pretty steep penalty for moving from one state to another.

    Lying liars and their lies.

  • busterggi

    “Yeah, if there’s one thing people with chronic disorders love, it’s not having access to medical care to treat their illnesses. ”

    If they didn’t love it then why did they look so peaceful in their caskets?

  • weatherwax

    #8 janiceintoronto: “It is a continual source of amazement to me that the U.S. cannot seem to grasp just how well socialized medicine can work. I recently had to be rushed to the E.R. in an ambulance, had 4 electrocardiograms, drugs, IV’s, etc. and it cost me: $45.00”

    That’s not entirely true, you pay higher taxes to fund the system. Many Americans still operate on the ‘personal responsibility’ idea, and haven’t come to terms with the idea that maybe that’s not the policy. Couple that with an attitude of ‘that’s for sick people, and I won’t get sick’, and it’s hard to make any progress.

    Way back in the day, when insurance was more affordable, I knew people who still refused to buy it on the reasoning that: “I spent $1300 on insurance last year, and I didn’t get sick once. I wasted $1300!” Well that works great until you get hit by a car.

  • vmanis1

    According to a recent study reprinted in Bloomberg, the U.S. ranked 44th of 51 countries in efficiency of its health care system, while Canada ranked 21st, and Singapore ranked 1st. Now, this is efficiency not effectiveness, so the table doesn’t give rates for infant mortality and other measures of how good the system is. Still, in Singapore, health care takes 4.5% of GDP, in Canada 11%, while in the U.S. it takes 17.2%. Regardless of whether the money comes from public or private sources, it’s clear that Canada is spending just under 2/3 of what the U.S. pays for not very different outcomes (Canada: USD 5741 per capita, U.S.: USD 8895 per capita).

    I’m not saying any of this to tub-thump for Canada or (heavens forfend!) Singapore. Canada is quite mediocre in the Bloomberg list; however, this myth that Canadians pay more for health care than Americans do is just that, a myth. (It is true that Canada has somewhat shocking wait times for some forms of elective surgery, notably hip replacement.) But there is no evidence that having public funding for core medical services is inherently more expensive than private funding.

    Disclaimer: all data in this comment come from the Bloomberg page cited above. I know nothing about health care economics. I do, however, know how to compare numbers.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    vmanis1 “…it’s clear that Canada is spending just under 2/3 of what the U.S. pays for not very different outcomes…”

    To be fair, most of that is because it’s in Canadian.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adrian.chan.77 adrianchan

    There’s a series of videos on youtube that does comparisons between health care systems of various countries. I don’t trust myself to not accidentally embed the video, so I’ll just stick the channel url here:

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCabaQPYxxKepWUsEVQMT4Kw

    I like how he uses examples from journal articles.