Rep. Steve King Says Pre-Obamacare Health Care System Was ‘Absolutely’ Better

Republican Congressman Steve King thinks the Affordable Care Act should be fully repealed and the United States should return to the old health care system.

That’s right – full repeal, no replacement. The Americans who would lose coverage, or even their lives, as a result? The congressman doesn’t seem too concerned about them.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Thursday, King bragged about writing a repeal bill on the same night as former President Obama signed the ACA into law, and said he believes that the system before that day was “absolutely” better.


After not being able to answer Hayes’ question about how many people in his district are covered under Obamacare, King said:

On balance, if the American people had to decide between continuing with Obamacare the way it is … or going back to the way we were, I’d be for going back the way we were, and then start the process of reform of the existing health care system, and I think people are better off that way.

When pressed by Hayes to answer whether he truly believes that the pre-Obamacare health care system was better, without any of the post-ACA changes, King doubled down: “Absolutely, I believe that.”

Two things are abundantly obvious: 1. King doesn’t talk to his constituents much; 2. He has a pretty poor memory when it comes to remembering the health care system a mere seven years ago.

So let’s take a trip down memory lane and consider health care in America before the Affordable Care Act.

If you had a pre-existing condition, you could be denied coverage. Women could be charged more for services. Young adults couldn’t stay on their parents’ insurance policy until age 26. Senior citizens were charged more for their prescription drugs. Millions of low-income Americans weren’t covered under Medicaid.

Those are just a few of the ways that Obamacare has improved the health care system in the United States.

Overall, millions of Americans have been able to get health insurance, driving the insured rate to historic lows and providing life-saving treatment to those who previously couldn’t get it.

It’s not surprising that King, a man who doesn’t even know how many of his own constituents get coverage through the Affordable Care Act, thinks the old way is better – but that doesn’t make it any less insane.

Millions of people are better off – and thousands of others are alive – today because of Obamacare. Just because King refuses to listen to them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.