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The 5 Most Sickening Moments From Tom Price’s Health Care Town Hall

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The 5 Most Sickening Moments From Tom Price’s Health Care Town Hall

Tom Price, Obamacare

White House Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price hosted a town hall on CNN Wednesday night to trumpet the American Health Care Act, Republicans’ proposed replacement for Obamacare. Things quickly devolved, as he struggled to defend the bill’s tax breaks for the wealthy and its rollback of Medicaid expansion. In one especially galling sequence, Price all but dismissed a cancer survivor’s concerns about the elimination of his coverage.

Here are five of the secretary’s most sickening responses.

1. To a cancer survivor:

“Medicaid expansion saved my life and saved me from medical bankruptcy,” retail worker and cancer survivor Brian Kline told Tom Price. “Why do you want to take away my Medicaid expansion?”

“The Medicaid program itself has real problems in it,” Price answered. He then blamed doctors for refusing to see Medicaid patients, hinting Kline should be more grateful.

“It’s wonderful that you have received the care that you’ve received,” he added. “But that’s not necessarily true for everybody.”

2. To a family physician:

“Do you think the members of Congress really understand the hardship the patients will have, particularly those on the edge, if they lose their health insurance? And how can we help those patients who don’t have health insurance?” family physician Mitch Jaques asked Price.

The Health Secretary demurred, insisting Republicans weren’t interested in having anybody lose health insurance—this despite a Congressional Budget Office report that as many as 14 million will lose their coverage next year alone.

“We believe strongly that the current system is failing,” he rambled. “We’re not interested in having anybody lose their health coverage or lose access to coverage. [But we don’t want] a federal government that forces them to buy.”

A survey last month found that a majority of Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act.

3. To a retired public school teacher:

“The AHCA (American Heath Care Act) hikes the cost of health insurance for millions of Americans, with the biggest increase for older adults like myself,” retired public school teacher Teresa Caliari reminded Price.

“Premiums and out-of-pocket costs will rise because the bill allows insurance companies to charge premiums five times higher for people in my age group. How can you justify that change?” she continued.

The secretary argued that premium hikes were justified because insurers are already leaving Obamacare.

“They don’t take into account anything that’s happening out there in the real world,” he quipped.

4. To a Planned Parenthood patient:

“I am a Medicaid enrollee and I am a Planned Parenthood patient, and I would be absolutely devastated if Planned Parenthood were defunded,” New York resident Katie Needle told Price.

“More women’s health centers didn’t just magically appear [in Texas] because Planned Parenthood was defunded,” Needle added. “That just doesn’t happen.”

She also dismantled his argument that doctors are to blame for not accepting Medicaid.

“If that’s your big problem with Obamacare,” she said. “Then how does [defunding PP] make any sense?”

“We want to make certain is that we are responding to the concerns of the majority of the American people,” Price said, meaninglessly.

An overwhelming majority of the American people support Planned Parenthood.

5. To a Trump voter:

Denise Edwards, a Michigan resident and Trump supporter, wanted to know how the cost of her plan would vary if she accepted or denied certain services.

“Say somebody doesn’t want to take chemo, say somebody doesn’t want their child to have an immunization shot or doesn’t want to have a blood transfusion. How would that work under that plan?” Edwards asked Price.

Price grew expansive.

“This is key,” he said, “because it gets to the uniqueness of each and every individual and how they view their health care.”

Moderator Wolf Blitzer couldn’t help but notice something deeply disturbing in Price’s answer.

“Dr. Price, you’re a physician, you believe in immunizations,” the CNN anchor reminded him.



  1. secondclassguy March 17, 2017

    What would you expect from Dr Death

    1. Kristinjsimmons March 18, 2017

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  2. FireBaron March 18, 2017

    Does this guy have anything close to an operational clue? Good Lord, he not only skirted around every question he was asked, he effectively told them their problems were petty things beneath his dignity to actually address. I can almost see why the Senate approved him – to get him out of that body!

  3. FF March 18, 2017

    Republicans did everything they could to hinder Obamacare’s success, like withholding almost $2.5 billion in funding the insurance companies were supposed to receive as part of the ACA requirements. The funding was intended to go into the high risk pools to help the insurers offset the cost of covering their sicker (high risk) enrollees. When this didn’t happen, premiums rose and healthier people opted to go without coverage. Insurers, struggling to cover a largely sicker population, pulled out of the exchanges. It makes me want to scream when I hear Trump or Ryan saying Obamacare is a disaster, when they (Republicans in Congress) were actively working behind the scenes to make it so. The only solace I take is in knowing that if the new bill passes, they will own the new disaster waiting to happen.

    1. sigrid28 March 19, 2017

      You have to ask yourself. If people know they are dying without health insurance and medical care, what have they got to lose?

    2. sigrid28 March 19, 2017

      One of the toughest blows to the ACA was the ruling that allowed states to opt out of the exchanges. That alone destroyed the competitive edge the ACA was meant to provide for health insurers.

      The worst blow, however, was the insistence that a single payer option was out: That is what must happen if all Americans have the same right to decent health care that they have to bear arms: guaranteed by the constitution and protected by those who govern. Right now we are a nation more devoted to gun violence than health and well being.


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