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Republican Rep. Burgess on 20 million losing health insurance: “…that's a good thing because we restored personal liberty in this country.”

Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:53
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Republicans are just defending freedom and liberty. It’s that natural born God give freedom and liberty to buy things, or not buy things. You might say freedom and liberty is based on consumer demand.

1. That’s why Arizona Republicans don’t have a problem with arresting protesters and seizing their property, despite being a First Amendment right, because it doesn’t have anything to do with buying things.

2. That’s why they hate corporate boycotts, because it’s unfair and asks people not to buy things.

3. It also explains why money is speech, because it buys things. 

It all starts making sense when you see what makes them spitting mad; not being able to buy big gulps, incandescent light bulbs, guns, and now…being forced to buy health insurance! Goodbye freedom and liberty.

Even though 20 to 30 million people may lose their ability to buy health insurance once the ACA is repealed, that’s not a Republican concern. What’s really important is having the freedom and liberty to buy or not buy insurance, says Republican Rep. Mike Burgess of Texas::

“First off, we’re not going to send an IRS agent out to chase you down and make you buy health insurance. So if the numbers (of insured people) drop I would say that’s a good thing because we restored personal liberty in this country.”

 Burgess built his argument on Rep. Paul Ryan’s original free market concept:


From the New Republic’s Brian Beutler, Ryan and Burgess got it all wrong: 

…since Obamacare’s major accomplishment was to counter those forces, and thus enable people to get health insurance, that in turn opened up whole new areas of personal freedom: the ability to take risks and get new jobs, or start new businesses, and or simply have a sense of security and peace of mind. So how exactly would it be a victory for “freedom” to pull out the rug from those who can finally buy health insurance?

MSNBC’s Steve Benen took the words right out of my mouth:

Under the Republican approach, Americans can have the “personal liberty” of not receiving needed medical care. We can all be “free” to ration health services based on our individual wealth.

Ryan believes “freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need,” but the Speaker may not understand the point of insurance: we don’t always know what we’ll need, which is why we seek medical coverage in the first place.

I look forward to Republican policymakers telling countless Americans, “Your family is one serious illness away from financial ruin, and your health is at risk from treatable ailments, but look at how great your liberty is!”

Note: No matter how much sense the above positions make, you’ll never hear Democrats pick up on any of these simple points and go on the offensive. Nope, it’s like nothing happened.

A former liberal radio talk host who likes to ask the “follow-up question” at


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