CNN’s Erin Burnett tried to get Senator Rand Paul to admit that Obamacare is working in the states with individual exchanges on Tuesday, with his own state, Kentucky, being one of the most successful. In his inimitable fashion, Paul tap danced around her questions and avoided admitting the obvious.
By discussing the number of cancelled policies, he repeatedly tried to distract from the fact that the state is ahead of its targeted enrollment rate, and that many of those who have signed up through the exchange are in the critical demographic of young, healthy people.
Burnett began by observing,
One of the states that they say is outpacing enrollment estimates is actually Kentucky, obviously your state, and they say the Kentucky demographics that have come out have shown that 41% of the people who have signed up on the state run website were under the age of 35. That’s obviously above the magic number, 40%, that means Obamacare can work in terms of the young, and obviously Kentucky seems to be exceeding that. That’s pretty impressive. Are you going to say Kentucky is a success story for Obamacare?
Of course he wouldn’t. Paul replied,
What I would say is that what’s extraordinary about Kentucky’s situation is that 40 times more people have been cancelled than have signed up. Two hundred eighty thousand people have had their insurance cancelled under Obamacare and 7,000 have signed up. So the number being cancelled dwarfs the number actually signing up. So no, if that’s a success, I hesitate to see a failure.
First of all, his math is totally wrong — the number of cancellations is not 40 times more, it is 40 times the number, period — but Paul is ignoring the fact that many of the cancellations are questionable to begin with. Humana was fined $65,000 dollars for the unethical and illegal tactics they were using in Kentucky, and other insurance companies in the state have also been investigated for using shady tactics. Of course, the Senator doesn’t even acknowledge these well-documented facts.
Burnett tried to be accommodating, saying,
I understand your point, of course some might say, ‘Well once the website’s working, you’ll get some of those people to sign up, or the plans that are going to be offered to them are better,’ and I know those are fair conversations and discussions we could have, but at least I have to get you on the record, I mean, if young people are signing up in Kentucky, and you’re getting the math right there, that opens the door to Obamacare succeeding, right?
How many times does she have to interview the man before she figures out that he will find a way to avoid admitting that he is not 100% correct on every stance he takes?
The furthest he was going to go was to say “maybe,” before going back to his mantra about cancellations, and trying once again to claim that those people who have been cancelled will have to pay vastly increased premiums — even though it’s been shown time and time again that the people who cancelled never attempted to find another compliant policy less expensive than the one suggested by their current carrier as a replacement.
Throughout the interview, Paul returns to his figure of 40 times more cancellations than signups. If it was incontrovertibly proven to him that the law was an unqualified success – which it can’t be until fixes are made – he would still refuse to admit that it was working or that it ever could work.
Watch the entire interview below: