Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tim Walz came back to Mankato, MN yesterday to meet and greet constituents at South Central College, along with Rep. Collin Peterson. The three Democrats addressed an agricultural symposium, where Peterson talked at length about the farm bill. But KEYC’s Ryan Gustafson captured a priceless moment when one attendee wanted to know why Democrats promised that ObamaCare would save families $2500 a year in premiums:
The lawmakers fielded other questions as well, talking debt and immigration reform, but it was the question about the struggling health care law that everyone in the audience wanted to see answered, and two out of the three Democrats on the dais seemed hesitant to tackle.
The question: “I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2500 per family. What happened?”
After Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Walz looked at each other, laughter broke out in the room.
Rep. Peterson quickly picked up the microphone to say, “I voted ‘no’, so I’ll let these guys handle that,” to the applause of the crowd.
Walz then tried out the line that Democrats will use in their defense in the midterms:
Walz says, “This health discussion has got to be broader, it’s got to point out where there are weaknesses and failures, it’s got to make sure we’re not leaving people behind or distorting the system. But don’t pretend there was some type of safe harbor before this where everything was just peachy keen.”
Really? We can test this thesis. Before the passage of ObamaCare, we have polling from Gallup about the status of satisfaction with health care in the US. In September 2009, 85% of Americans had health insurance — and 87% expressed satisfaction with their health care, while 61% were satisfied with the costs associated with it. Fifty percent of the uninsured were satisfied with their health care, although 69% were dissatisfied with the costs. The system worked for the overwhelming majority of Americans until Democrats decided that they knew better than doctors and insurers how to remake the market.