Facing intense criticism from constituents about the Obamacare repeal bill, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) claimed Friday that the lack of health insurance is not a factor when people die from preventable deaths, the Huffington Post reported.
“You are mandating people on Medicaid accept dying,” a constituent told Labrador at a town hall meeting at Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, Friday evening. “You are making a mandate that will kill people.”
“Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care,” Labrador responded, infuriating the crowd.
It is virtually impossible to know exactly how many people would die from the GOP health care plan that the House of Representatives passed on Thursday. But according to a Harvard study, some 45,000 Americans will die annually due to their lack of health insurance following the Obamacare repeal.
And the Republican health care bill effectively guts Obamacare. It rolls back the bill’s expansion of Medicaid, slashes the federal money available to low-income Americans to purchase insurance on the health exchanges and allows states to opt out of federal regulations, including the ban on discriminating based on preexisting conditions.
It also further reduces Medicaid payments by capping federal funding per person. Taken together, the law cuts over $800 billion from Medicaid over 10 years, which is roughly the cost of the tax cuts on high earners it would enact.
According to Huffington Post, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that this bill would deprive 24 million Americans of health insurance in its first decade as law.
Perhaps that’s why so many of the 20 million Americans already benefitting from Obamacare view attempts to destroy the law as life-threatening.
“I keep wondering why they want to kill me,” Jacqueline Church Simonds, who has coverage thanks to Obamacare, told the website.