On Thursday, Federalist Senior Writer Mary Katharine Ham wrecked CNN anchor Chris Cuomo as they discussed health care, as Ham pointed out that adding mandates onto health insurance plans makes them too expensive for many people to use. When Cuomo accused Ham of being “cheap about it,” Ham fired back, “You can be nasty about it or you can listen to me.”
Ham began with this:
On the essential health benefits, look; the idea that you gut all the essential health benefits and then there are no requirements of insurance companies is just not true. This is a highly-regulated industry and it would go back to the state regulations, so there would be plenty of those preserved in the pre-existing conditions part, which you’re discussing, is part of this package. That’s part of balancing this whole act, and part of trying to bring down these prices by getting rid of some of these essential elements because you sir, are paid for pediatric dental even if you don’t have children. That is a problem.
Cuomo responded, “Right. But state by state – There was a reason, right? Everything has a reason. And this was about preexisting conditions.”
Ham interrupted, “Yes, because liberals love federal power.”
Cuomo snapped, “Look, you can be cheap about it or you can look at the facts. You make your choice. State by state you’re gonna get different types of regulations.”
Ham snapped back, “You can be nasty about it or you can listen to me.”
Cuomo continued, “So answer my question. State by state you get different types of regulations, right? The reason they built it into the ACA was because states weren’t covering it, right? Because you were having shortfalls, right?”
Ham slam-dunked him:
They were not covering all of the things, sometimes including pediatric dental for single men with no children, yes. They were not covering those things. Look, these things bring up the prices. I am a person, single mom of two, who has lost three or four plans since Obamacare passed. I was told I would not; that was a lie. When I said that I would lose my plan, people called me a liar when this was going on. I have had 160 percent increase in my premiums; I was told those would go down, and I have had a 300 percent increase in my deductible. People are getting coverage that they cannot use because it is so expensive. That is something we have to deal with. One of the ways you can deal with that is cutting some of these, quote unquote, essential health benefits because some of them are, indeed, not essential. And you could give people more flexibility to have slightly less expensive and slightly less comprehensive plans, which is what many young people would like to buy.
Last October, Ham noted that her premium was rising 96 percent. She added, “For this astronomical payment, I get a plan with an astronomical deductible that my healthy family of three will likely never hit except in the most catastrophic of circumstances.” She pointed out regarding Obamacare:
We’re now seeing the fruits of the whole law in a 25-percent average rate increase. When congressional Democrats were constructing the worst legislative Jenga tower of all time, they called critics’ predictions “lies.” But here we are with lower-than-expected participation in exchanges, extremely low numbers of healthy young people in the risk pools, and insurance companies jacking up rates or exiting the exchange entirely in an attempt to remain solvent under the weight of increasing benefits for increasingly older, sicker customers.
Video of Ham and Cuomo below: