Republican Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia recently compared Obamacare to North Korea, claiming the health care system is somehow at odds with the free market.
Brat made his comments on April 19 at the “Hold Their Feet To The Fire” conference, noted RightWingWatch.org (video below).
Brat began the segment by pushing back against a report by Politifact that ruled against his earlier claim that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act would save "our nation more than $2 trillion."
Politifact stated, "Brat’s statement focuses on the expenses of Obamacare but ignores the revenue and saving sides of the program, which also would be wiped out by the repeal."
This time, Brat compared Obamacare, which regulates the free market of health insurance sales by insurance companies, to the oppressive communist government of North Korea:
"If you don't use the price system, you can look at every country in the world. Look at North Korea and South Korea. It’s the same culture, it’s the same people, look at a map at night, half of one of the countries is not lit, there’s no lights, and the bottom free-market country, all Koreans, is lit up. So you make your bet on which country you want to be, you want to go free market."
Brat failed to mention that South Korea has universal health care, a government-run system. He also failed to mention that free market health care costs in the U.S. were skyrocketing before Obamacare took effect.
According to Bloomberg, "On average, the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance increased 26 percent from 2009 to 2014. But costs increased faster before the law was enacted: From 2004 to 2009, costs increased 34 percent. From 1999 to 2004, they went up 72 percent."
The U.S. health care system is far more expensive than non-oppressive countries, including Canada, France, Sweden and others, which have universal government health care, noted the Commonwealth Fund in 2014.
In 2013, The New York Times reported how hospitals in the U.S. mark up the cost of common saline solution, which is sterile saltwater, from the actual $1 cost to hundreds of dollars. The pricing is done in secret, keeping patients in the dark until they see their bill.
The Republican Party's claim that Obamacare was causing skyrocketing heath care costs in 2014 was ruled "mostly false," by Politifact.