House speaker Paul Ryan was the featured guest for a CNN town hall on Thursday evening, and he got a comment from a lifelong Republican he probably wasn’t expecting.
Jeff Jeans is an Arizona resident who identified himself to Ryan as an opponent of Obamacare. Jeans, who said he had owned a small business told Ryan that he was diagnosed with cancer at age 49 and given six weeks to live. He had the money to pay for his treatment, but the hospital required that he have insurance. Thanks to the ACA, his “pre-existing condition” — cancer — didn’t disqualify him.
Jeans wanted to know why Ryan and the GOP would repeal Obamacare without a replacement that is ready to go, which is what many Republicans want to do. Ryan lied that Republicans wouldn’t do that, and added that they want to replace it “with something better.”
Then came the remark that Ryan probably wasn’t expecting. Jeans told Ryan, “I want to thank President Obama from the bottom of my heart because I would be dead if it weren’t for him.”
CNN tweeted the exchange, and of course it was met with the usual scorn from opponents of the health care law, with comments like these:
— Deplor🌈PooManChu🌈 (@KvnCormier) January 13, 2017
Agenda? What an asshole thing to say. Jeff Jeans does have an “agenda” — he wants to live.
A French Twitter user wanted to know how “deplorables” afford their insurance without Obamacare. “Taylor Welsh” offered a reply that is painfully stupid. Just hope you don’t really sick in your 20s, before you have reached your “career objectives.”
— Taylor Welsh (@TayJWelsh) January 13, 2017
And this guy obviously didn’t bother to listen to a word Jeans said. If Jeans had the money to pay twice the cost of his treatment, as he told Ryan, he certainly doesn’t qualify for an Obamacare subsidy.
@CNN Thank the taxpayers that are paying for your insurance, you lazy bum!
— Piluso (@Piluso75) January 13, 2017
RELATED: Trump’s Tuesday Twitter Attacks On Obamacare Show He’s Just As Ignorant As His Dumb*ss Followers
It’s the last two of those comments I want to address. Republicans have done a masterful job of convincing their base that everybody who has benefitted from the Affordable Care Act is getting some kind of handout. I rarely get personal in my posts, but I would like to tell everyone about my daughter.
My daughter is 31. She loves animals, and from the time she was about 15 she worked after school and weekends at a local dog grooming shop. After high school she went to college for three semesters, but realized her real love was in working with animals. So she went to work grooming dogs full-time. Five years ago she bought the business where she had worked for most of the previous ten years.
She got married in 2013, and my granddaughter arrived that summer, just before most of the provisions of Obamacare kicked in. My daughter and her husband had a “bare bones” insurance policy, thanks to her “pre-existing condition” — she had exercise-induced asthma as a teen. It was the only policy they could get. As I write this today, January 13, 2017, they are still paying the hospital for my granddaughter’s labor and delivery.
Fast forward to September 2016. My grandson was born a month premature, bringing with that all the extra support, and of course extra expenses of a premature birth. But this time things were different. The ACA-complient policy they bought on the exchange covered the expenses of labor and delivery after a copay. Now they’re not stuck with a bill amounting to thousands of dollars again.
It enrages me that people like “Deplor PooManChu” and “Taylor Welsh” callously speak of the millions who have been helped by Obamacare as “lazy” and people who “expect handouts.” My daughter’s family qualifies for a small subsidy, yes. But they, like thousands of others, pay the bulk of their Obamacare premiums.
Don’t tell me the people who have been helped by the ACA are lazy. There are many more out there like my daughter and her husband, who work full-time, or even more than full-time. Many, like my daughter and Jeff Jeans, are business owners. I thought Republicans were supposed to be fans of small business. If that’s the case, how come they’re willing to let small businesses go under if their owners wind up facing medical bills they can’t pay?
Screw the millions of hard-working Americans who now have some security thanks to the ability to buy insurance? No, screw people like these Twitter idiots and their GOP masters who simply don’t give a damn whether Americans live or die.
Here’s the exchange between Paul Ryan and Jeff Jeans: