News & Politics

Robert Reich's Latest Warning Should Make Republicans Think Long and Hard About Repealing Obamacare

The former secretary of labor wouldn't want to run for office after passing the American Health Care Act.

Photo Credit: CNN / YouTube

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that a whopping 14 million people will be left uninsured next year if the GOP's new health care bill passes. To the surprise of no one, the Trump administration has responded by sticking its collective fingers in its ears.

"It's just not believable, is what we would suggest," Heath and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said, a sentiment echoed by former Trump campaign economic adviser Stephen Moore later that day. 

"I don’t believe this report,” Moore told Anderson Cooper in an interview on CNN’s AC 360.

“I think it’s hocus-pocus,” he added, insisting the GOP's multi-step process will “provide more competition and will make it more economical for people to buy insurance" long-term. 

Count Labor Secretary Robert Reich among the report's many believers.

“Donald Trump said over and over again during the campaign, and he said again after he was president, that nobody would lose coverage,” Reich recalled. “Well, here you have the Congressional Budget Office, whose director was appointed by the Republican Congress, saying in effect that you’ve got huge losses.” 

According to the report, that 14 million figure is set to nearly double over the course of a decade. Republicans, Reich explained, should proceed cautiously. 

"If I were a Republican—a member of Congress right now—I would be worried that possibly this bill could be enacted because then I’d have to run for Congress again, I’d have to run for Senate when people were losing their health care and their health insurance and they’re angry about that," Reich explained. 

He's not falling for the "access to heath care" rhetoric pushed by congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan. 

“What kind of choice do you have if you can’t afford it?" Reich asked Cooper. "That’s when the Republicans are using these words like well, ‘you don’t lose access.’ Of course, you lose access if you don’t have any wherewithal.”

“Where is the replacement if it wasn’t in the Republican bill?” he hammered. “When are we going to see a replacement if it wasn’t already provided by the House Republicans and it is now being marked up by at least two committees? There is no plan."


Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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