Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the primary architect of the Senate's secretly composed bill to repeal Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office estimated it will throw 22 million people off health insurance, will cut $770 billion from Medicaid and will greatly increase premiums and deductibles for those who can afford to stay in the health insurance market.
Twenty-seven years ago, that's exactly the kind of health plan McConnell pledged to fight.
Tonic has uncovered a video from McConnell's 1990 Senate campaign in which he extolls the benefits of affordable health care for all, promises he'll fight for it, and notes that his parents were nearly bankrupted in seeking treatment for his childhood polio.
1990 Roger Ailes ad for Sen. McConnell. Parents “almost went broke.” when Mitch had polio, so he fights for “decent, affordable health care” pic.twitter.com/vwUmJ61vmj— Jeff Nichols (@backwards_river) June 26, 2017
"When I was a child and my dad was in World War II, I got polio. I recovered, but my family almost went broke," he said. "Today, too many families can't get decent, affordable healthcare. That's why I've introduced a bill to make sure healthcare is available to all Kentucky families, hold down skyrocketing costs, and provide long-term care."
Kentucky is also one of the states that expanded Medicaid, making 440,000 low-income citizens eligible for free health insurance. The bill McConnell spearheaded would phase out Medicaid expansion and cap funds per enrollee. According to Larry Levitt, a senior vice-president at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, that would result in deductibles most Medicaid recipients could not afford.
These are individuals with incomes <$16,643 per year. Instead of Medicaid, they'd get insurance with a deductible at least 1/3 their income. https://t.co/jd00k4rf9b— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) June 26, 2017
McConnell actually increased the amount that would be cut from Medicaid when tweaking the version of the American Health Care Act that passed in the House.
In terms of McConnell's personal anecdote in the 1990 video, the organization that funded his recovery from polio was the March of Dimes — one of the 15 patient organizations that requested meetings with McConnell to discuss the American Health Care Act. McConnell declined to meet with them; his staff said he was "too busy."