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Jonathan Alter: 'People will die' if Obamacare is repealed

Finally, somebody said it out loud.

Finally, somebody said it out loud.  

Jonathan Alter, msnbc Political Analyst and Bloomberg View columnist, said last night on The Ed Show that "a lot of " Americans will die if Republicans repeal Obamacare, as they have vowed to do countless times (the GOP-controlled House has already done so 31 times!).

"Repeal equals death," Alter said.  "People will die in the United States if Obamacare is repealed.  That is not an exaggeration.  That is not crying fire.  It's a simple fact."

Indeed, a recent study by health care advocacy group Families USA concluded that 26,100 people aged 25 to 64 died for lack of health coverage in 2010, up from 20,350 in 2005 and 18,000 in 2000.

Alter continued: "If you have preexisting conditions and you are thrown off of health insurance or if you get sick after you or your husband, spouse, loses the job, you're not going to go to the doctor as soon, your cancer or disease is not going to be caught as quickly, and your odds of dying are much, much increased."  

"So Obamacare will save, literally, thousands of lives.  And this is what the debate should be about. Do we, as a country, want to throw sick Americans to the wolves?"

The issue came up during a discussion about the pro-Barack Obama super PAC Priorities USA which implicates Mitt Romney's business practices in the cancer-related death of a former steelworker’s wife.

"This ad did imply that Romney was in some way responsible for this woman dying of cancer," said Michael Kinsley, another Bloomberg View columnist who was on the panel with Alter.  

Kinsley continued: "But I think you have to say that's fair, when you lay off hundreds of people and they are not going to have health insurance, statistically certain people with health insurance live longer because they go to the doctor when they get sick. And people without health insurance don't."

Alter, a cancer survivor, said the Obama campaign doesn't "need to embrace this ad and get into a big fight about whether they were calling Mitt Romney a murderer or whatever. They need to move on to a debate about the main issue, which is Obamacare. And they can bring death into the conversation and say, 'No, we're not calling Mitt Romney a murderer, what we are saying is that if he's elected president, a lot of people will die.'"