Rep. Tom Cotton still has one foot in the denial phase. At a townhall event focused on health care in Waldron last Monday (no media was present, but someone in attendance sent the Arkansas Blog an audio recording of the meeting—see here for a previous post on the event), Cotton told his audience that somewhere between 4.5 and 6 million had actually enrolled, and "that's also projected to decline over time." […]Cotton went on to talk about how the law was just intended to "take more power and control over your lives away from you as families or employees or small businessmen or small businesswomen," and besides that, it's a job killer. Never mind that the Congressional Budget Office expects that as many as 2 million people who now have the ability to get affordable health insurance on their own will take control of their lives, quit their jobs and do things like start their own businesses. Cotton does give a bit of a nod to reality. He says President Obama will never sign a repeal of his law, but then reality goes off the rails. Repeal is going to "have to wait until 2017," when "it’s going to have to occur because the law is so fundamentally flawed."
So, nothing to see here, people aren't gaining coverage! Repeal the Obamacare monstrosity! Oh, and what about the 150,000 (and counting) Arkansans who have gained coverage through the private option, funded by Obamacare? Cotton doesn't have a position on that.
Pressed by a constituent on what would happen next, Cotton hemmed and hawed and talked a lot about cell phones and innovation and competition, but offered up the same, lame ideas Republicans keep offering up—state risk pools for the sickest people (already tried and failed), insurers selling across state lines (leading to a race to the bottom as insurers flock to the states with the laxest regulation)—and one that's pretty much already in Obamacare, letting small businesses pool together. That's what the Small Business Health Options Program exchange is pretty much all about.
Cotton can stay in denial as long as he wants. But reality will at some point prevail, and the reality is that Cotton wants to take health insurance away from all the people who just, finally, were able to get it.