Katy Tur nails GOP senator for lying to his constituents about pre-existing conditions


Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming repeatedly tried to deflect and lie about Obamacare when MSNBC's Katy Tur asked him to promise his constituents no one with a pre-existing condition would lose coverage.

One the most appalling features of the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill that Senate Republicans are trying to ram through without debate is its impact on sick people.

The bill would totally wipe out all Obamacare protections, and let insurers jack up prices based on pre-existing illness. According to the Center for American Progress, asthma would increase your premiums by $4,340 a year, autism by $5,510, diabetes by $5,600, pregnancy by $17,320, and metastatic cancer by $142,650.

Republicans like Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, however, would just as soon not talk about that.

When MSNBC's Katy Tur challenged Barrasso to promise his constituents that no one would see their costs go up due to a pre-existing condition, Barrasso refused to answer:

TUR: Can you guarantee the people of Wyoming that the cost associated with their pre-existing conditions will not go up so much so that they will be unable to afford it?

BARRASSO: The costs have gone up already under Obamacare, Katy, which is why—

TUR: I'm asking this for Graham-Cassidy, I'm not talking about Obamacare.

The segment devolved into crosstalk, with Barrasso plowing over Katy's question and ignoring her repeated pleas to tell his constituents they will not see an increase if they get sick.

"People can't afford Obamacare because the prices are so high already," Barrasso kept saying over and over again, conveniently ignoring the fact that over 20 million more people have insurance now than before Obamacare.

Tur did not take the bait.

TUR: Let me finish. Can you tell your voters, the people of Wyoming, that the costs associated with their pre-existing condition will not go up so much that they will not be able to afford health care coverage?

BARRASSO: People can't afford it now.

TUR: That's not what I asked, Senator.

BARRASSO: You don't understand. If they can't afford it now — we're trying to get more people to be able to afford it.

Barrasso concluded the interview by saying that Donald Trump "got 70 percent of the vote in Wyoming" because "people were absolutely fed up with what the Democrats have done." At no point did he give a straight answer about whether people with pre-existing conditions would have to pay more under Graham-Cassidy.

Republicans know this bill is the worst one yet, but are being pushed by their top donors to pass something, anything. That is why senators like Barrasso want it passed immediately, and why they do not want you to look too closely.