MSNBC host Ali Velshi clashed with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) over the popularity of universal health care systems.
Jordan argued during a Thursday interview on MSNBC that Republicans should do a “clean” repeal of President Barack 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,” the MSNBC host continued. “There were higher premiums before Obamacare, there are higher premiums during Obamacare. But the rate of increase has been slower.”
Deflecting Velshi’s point, Jordan complained 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 is from Canada, stepped in to defend the success of universal health care systems throughout 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?”
“Because you see it all the time,” Jordan opined.
“It’s just not true!” Velshi pointed out.
“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.”
“You think Obamacare is great?” Jordan quipped.
“No, I’m not arguing Obamacare,” Velshi noted. “I’m arguing the fact that you keep on saying that a free market works. Just name me one country, one country in the world where a free market system for health care works.”
Instead of answering the question, Jordan said that Republicans have a mandate from voters to repeal the Affordable Care Act.