Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) on Sunday insisted that President Barack Obama’s health care reform law could be repealed because “some” insurance policies already covered pre-existing conditions.
CNN host Candy Crowley pointed out to Amash during a Sunday interview that some constituents had complained that Republicans lawmakers were being “purposely unhelpful” when it came to providing assistance with signing up to be covered by the Affordable Care Act.
Amash said that he didn’t know if those claims were true, but he had hosted town hall events over the last week and “the number one concern of Americans remains Obamacare.”
“I can tell you if there was a popular position at my town halls, it’s that Obamacare shouldn’t go forward,” he explained.
Crowley asked Amash to respond to former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s assertion last week that members of his party had “zero answers” for alternatives to Obamacare.
Amash’s solution was to “bring cost down by increasing competition,” instead of regulations and a mandate to purchase health insurance.
“If you had that in any other industry, you’d see costs go up,” the Michigan Republican opined. “If you told fast food restaurants they have to provide particular types of burgers on their menus, you’d see prices skyrocket and you’d have less access to fast food.”
“What’s the alternative to those who now find that their pre-existing conditions don’t matter, they can still get insurance?” Crowley asked. “What do you say to the 25-year-old that still needs to stay on his parents? What happens to them if Obamacare goes away?”
“Pre-existing conditions can be covered,” Amash replied. “In fact, they are covered by some insurance policies.”
“Some,” Crowley observed.
“You have to have a competitive marketplace that allows those products to be offered,” Amash remarked. “The way we have insurance now, you’re required to provide a particular insurance product. It creates a monopoly in the system and prices go up. If you want to increase access to health care, you have to have competition.”
As Think Progress noted, a Kaiser Family Foundation study published in June found that 49 percent of household had someone with a pre-existing condition, and someone in 25 percent of households had been denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
Watch this video from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Aug. 18, 2013.