VP Pence Cites Fake Jefferson Quote In Non-Answer On Healthcare

By on September 21, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence was asked recently to defend his position to repeal-and-replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). His answer — which relied on a fake quote from a founding father — was less than inspiring.

In an interview with “Fox and Friends” on FOX News Thursday morning, Pence explained his view on healthcare. “Almost anything would be better than Obamacare,” he said. “Obamacare is imploding, it’s collapsing all across the country.”

True to form for the administration of Donald Trump, however, the idea that the Affordable Care Act is imploding is a lie. Marketplaces are stabilizing, according to the research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The ACA isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination — but it’s not in any disastrous state like the vice president insists that it is.

Pence was already telling fairy tales early in his interview about Obamacare. But then he responded to a question about preexisting conditions in the bill by providing no answer at all.

When Pence was asked whether preexisting conditions would still be covered under the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill being debated on, Pence responded by bringing up Thomas Jefferson. “Jefferson said the government that governs least governs best,” Pence said. “Who do you think will be more responsive to the healthcare needs in your community? Your governor and your state legislator? Or a congressman and a president in a far off nation’s capital? This is the concept of federalism.”

Our nation does indeed work under a system of federalism — in which the national government’s laws take precedence over the states’.

To be sure, there is a certain truthfulness in Pence’s words: local leaders do respond quicker. But those same leaders are not always equipped to handle huge challenges, including the complexities of healthcare. And did you notice one more thing missing in Pence’s response? He never said preexisting conditions would be covered. He was asked a question, and refused to answer it.

Oh, and that Jefferson quote that Pence cited? Completely fabricated. Jefferson never once said “a government that governs least governs best.” That Pence uses it in his response is just another indication on how ignorant he truly is.

Pence gave a fake quote and a non-answer in responding to concerns about preexisting conditions being covered (or not) in the Graham-Cassidy bill. And he’s situated to be the tie-breaking vote in the Senate. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that., and that reason rules the day in the minds of other Republican senators before we rely on Pence to have a change of heart.