GOP Congressman Says Nobody Dies From Lack of Healthcare, Facts Disagree

by Mike Julianelle
Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Raul Labrador’s constituents let him have it when he told them “nobody” dies from lack of healthcare

In a scramble to defend their widely vilified vote that sent the AHCA to the Senate, Republican lawmakers are being even more brazen and ignorant than usual.

Thankfully, we have facts. The Trump administration hasn’t taken them all from us yet.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) held a town hall at his state’s Lewis-Clark State College on Friday morning, just hours after the House of Representatives squeaked their controversial new healthcare bill through. It was then that he was confronted by constituents with serious questions about the plan’s potential ramifications.

“You are mandating people on Medicaid accept dying,” one constituent told Labrador. “You are making a mandate that will kill people.”

Labrador begged to differ, in the most inaccurate way possible.

“No one wants anybody to die. That line is so indefensible,” Labrador replied. “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

Um, what? The crowd let him have it, jeering his totally nonsensical response. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that without access to doctors, hospitals, and medicine, plenty of people with treatable conditions wouldn’t survive. But don’t take my non-Ivy League educated word for it.

Because according to a 2009 study out of Harvard, before Obama’s Affordable Care Act was implemented, an estimated 45,000 people died annually from lack of healthcare.

If this bill becomes law, it’s estimated that some 24 million people would lose their coverage.

Let’s give Representative Labrador some credit.

Dude manned up and actually showed up to his town hall the day after he approved a bill that limits Medicaid, makes it harder for poor people to afford healthcare (while delivering an enormous tax cut to wealthy Americans), and lets states opt out, including the ban on discriminating against preexisting conditions. Of which there are dozens, including, somehow, rape.

It’s understandable that people would be upset. According to a table put together by the Center for American Progress, some 67,000 people in Representative Labrador’s district will lose their healthcare.

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder his brain is melting itself trying to find some justification for his and his colleagues’ despicable actions.