Republican House Majority Leader Paul Ryan was confronted during a CNN town hall, seen in the video below, by a former Republican who said his life was saved by the Affordable Care Act, which Republican lawmakers want to repeal (video below).
“I was a Republican, and I worked for the Reagan and Bush campaigns. Just like you, I was opposed to the Affordable Care Act,” said Jeff Jeans, according to GQ. “When it was passed, I told my wife we would close our business before I complied with this law. Then, at 49, I was given six weeks to live with a very curable type of cancer. We offered three times the cost of my treatment, which was rejected. They required an insurance card. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’m standing here today, alive.”
Jeans added: “Being both a small businessperson someone with preexisting conditions, I rely on the Affordable Care Act to be able to purchase my own insurance. Why would you repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement?”
"Oh, we wouldn’t do that,” Ryan responded, according to The Hill. “We want to replace it with something better. First of all, I'm glad you're standing here."
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Before Ryan could continue, Jeans added one last comment.
“I want to thank President Obama from the bottom of my heart, because I would be dead if it weren’t for him."
Ryan then made the case for repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, by pointing out the vast price increases of premiums in many states, including a 116 percent hike in Oklahoma and a 59 percent increase in Minnesota.
“This thing is collapsing,” Ryan said, according to Real Clear Politics. “So, do we want to make sure that a person with -- like yourself, with a pre-existing condition gets affordable care? Of course. Of course. There is a better way to fix that problem without giving everybody else all these massive premium increases. Deductibles are so high it doesn't even feel like you've got insurance anymore.”
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Ryan suggested state high-risk pools and described them as “a smart way of guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.”
“So we, obviously, want to have a system where they can get affordable coverage without going bankrupt because they get sick,” he continued. “But, we can do that without destroying the rest of the healthcare system for everybody else. That's the point I'm trying to make. What we should have done was fix what was broken in healthcare without breaking what was working in healthcare, and that's what, unfortunately, Obamacare did.”