Senator David Perdue (R-GA) was a guest on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily, offering his view of the House Republican Obamacare replacement bill.
“Is this new bill real relief?” asked SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam.
“In some cases, yes. In some cases, I’m not so sure,” Senator Perdue replied. “I’m dizzy from the rhetoric right now, Raheem.”
He reminded listeners of the disaster that will ensue if nothing is done and Obamacare is allowed to collapse on its own: “In my state, 96 counties out of 159 – that’s millions of people, Raheem. They will lose their insurance. They only have one insurance carrier today, and those are very fragile. The individual market’s a little more than ten percent of the total market, and there’s every reason to believe that those carriers could leave this market. They’re losing money in it now.”
“Here’s the issue: The question is we want to try to find a way to arrest this dramatic rise in our cost of health care in America. Our aging population combined with this inflation of health care is outrageous. The active debate we should have is how do we manage that without causing costs to rise again?” he said.
“There’s a lot yet to come on this. I know we’re getting down to a lot of rhetoric, a lot of public selling going on, but there’s still a lot of behind-the-scenes conversation going on,” said Perdue.
Kassam argued that Republican voter anxiety about the elements of Obamacare that survive in the House bill is softening congressional support, prompting GOP leadership to offer various tweaks and fixes.
“I think that right now, they’re trying to find the sweet spot,” Perdue agreed. “But my concern is that the fundamentals here are not being discussed. What’s causing health care to so dramatically rise?”
“What they were really looking for, in my opinion, was a single-payer structure here, and that’s what would happen in my state,” he said. “The only insurer of last resort would be the government, I think. I’m not sure. But we can’t let that happen. What we’ve got to do is get back to free market solutions and focus on the patient and the doctor. This is what we’ve done: we’ve put a bureaucrat in between those two individuals, and that’s just not working.”
Perdue described himself as “frustrated” by the politics of healthcare reform.
“Obviously, tort reform causes us a lot of extraneous costs,” he said, addressing Kassam’s point that lawsuits and malpractice insurance dramatically increase the cost of medicine. “But there’s another one – drug costs – here, too. It’s absolutely ridiculous, in my opinion, that Medicare doesn’t bid out costs for drugs. These are areas that we’ve got to focus on.”
“The other is if you look at the three drivers of our underlying healthcare costs – Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes – these things can be dealt with, but right now, we have a lot of people coming on the system, getting treatment, it being paid for by the system, and then them dropping out of the system,” Perdue said.
“Let me give you a couple of numbers: before the Affordable Care Act, we had 48 million people in the United States out of 320 million that did not have coverage. Now, there are about 28 million that don’t have coverage, and people are dropping out of it every day because of the cost. Of the 20 million that got care during the system, 16 of them – this is the number that’s not really talked about – 16 was because of the state Medicaid growth,” he explained.
“Only four million got insurance strictly because of Affordable Care, and then only one million of those were what we would call the ‘safety net.’ These are the low income, indigent people that really need help getting health care. So we turned the entire 17 percent of our economy upside down, called health care, because of this idea of how to treat that one million people. There are better ways to do that, as we see around the world,” he said.
Kassam, as a native of the United Kingdom, strongly advised Americans not to emulate the U.K.’s decrepit national healthcare system but worried that Obamacare was pushing the United States closer to such a single-payer calamity.
“Absolutely, I’m very concerned that we end up with a single-payer because this is what happens in single-payers. My son lived in London for a while, in Chelsea, and I lived in France a couple of decades ago. I saw and lived under single-payer nationalized health care,” Perdue revealed.
“Here’s what happens: it bifurcates healthcare delivery. The wealthy get private health care. They go to private doctors. They pay out of their own pocket. They don’t care to use the insurance in the national healthcare system. You don’t necessarily get the best care, and that’s not what the American system should be about,” he declared.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.