WATCH: McConnell Says That Insuring Americans ‘Is Not The Issue’
If Republicans are going to use “repeal and replace” as their stock answer for how to “solve” the health care crisis in America, then they should really stop admitting that they have no plan to insure Americans.
The latest Republican to acknowledge that there is no Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act is none other than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. During a Sunday morning interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace, McConnell repeatedly dodged questions on what his party plans to do for the 30 million uninsured Americans after repealing President Obama’s health care reform — before finally snapping that “that is not the issue.”
Think Progress has a partial transcript of the interview:
WALLACE: One of the keys to ObamaCare is that it will extend insurance access to 30 million people who are now uninsured. In your replacement, how would you provide universal coverage?
MCCONNELL: Well first let me say the first single thing we can do for the American system is get rid of ObamaCare. … The single biggest direction we can take in terms of improving health care is to get rid of this monstrosity. […]
WALLACE: But you’re talking about repealing and replace, how would you provide universal coverage?
MCCONNELL: I’ll get to it in a minute. […]
WALLACE: I just want to ask, what specifically are you going to do to provide universal coverage to the 30 million people who are uninsured?
MCCONNELL: That is not the issue. The question is, how can you go step by step to improve the American health care system. … We’re not going to turn the American health care system into a Western European system.
Considering that McConnell’s stated goal as minority leader is to stop President Obama from being re-elected, it is not a surprise that he is far more interested in politics than in policy when it comes to health care reform. Still, to say so on television badly undercuts the Republican party’s primary talking point.
McConnell is not the first Republican to admit that there is no Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act; last Thursday, Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry flatly stated that his party has not yet come up with a plan.