"People can go to the state that they want to live in," Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) told reporters Tuesday morning when asked if people with pre-existing conditions could be charged much more under the American Health Care Act."States have all kinds of different policies and there are disparities among states for many things: driving restrictions, alcohol, whatever," he continued. "We're putting choices back in the hands of the states. That's what Jeffersonian democracy provides for."
It's quite a pitch. You have a heart condition? I hope you're prepared to leave your job, sell your home, and move to some state that may offer the kind of protections that "Obamacare" already provides to the entire country.It's all about congressional Republicans and Donald Trump giving you "choices."Stories like these, about GOP lawmakers making ridiculously unpersuasive arguments in public, are increasingly common. The day before Pittenger said Americans with pre-existing conditions may need to move to a new state, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said those same Americans should pay more in order to help those who "lead good lives" and behave "the right way."And those comments came on the heels of a Huffington Post report on Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) who "told the mother of a service industry worker who has benefitted from the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion that her son should get a better job if he wants decent insurance when Obamacare is repealed."The Ohio Republican said the young man who relies on Medicaid probably has the wrong "skills," so he shouldn't be "entitled" to coverage through the Medicaid program.GOP leaders should be very pleased more Americans don't hear about quotes like these, because they're not the arguments of a party winning a policy debate.* Postscript: If Pittenger's name sounds familiar, he argued last year that black activists protesting against police violence "hate white people because white people are successful." The North Carolina Republican apologized soon after.