On Sunday, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to discuss his party’s effort to swiftly repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a bill that is basically a tax cut for the wealthy.
While Johnson is one of the few Republican senators to publicly express skepticism about the newly unveiled Better Care Reconciliation Act, he also made an unfortunate comparison while explaining his position against a vote on the bill next week.
“We know why those premiums doubled. We’ve done something with our health care system that you would never even think about doing, for example, with auto insurance,” Johnson said in response to host Chuck Todd’s question about rising premium costs. “You’d require auto insurance companies to sell a policy to someone after they crash their car. States that have enacted guaranteed issue, which is the guarantee for people with preexisting conditions, it crashes their markets.”
Johnson’s argument, in essence, equates people with preexisting conditions to people who have crashed a car. Both occurrences are horrible, but not precisely comparable. Preexisting conditions include a litany of health issues well beyond a person’s control. Someone who crashes a car might be completely culpable for the accident.
Admittedly, Johnson did get something right during the interview: Congress’s inability to address healthcare truthfully and with bipartisan efforts. “We don’t have the courage in Washington, the honesty, to talk about this issue with real facts,” Johnson told Todd. “There’s no way we should be voting on [the bill] next week.”