Meet Clint Murphy. Last week, while Newt Gingrich was explaining why Republicans couldn’t repeal Obamacare unless they came up with a better replacement, Murphy showed a more direct example of why they can’t repeal Obamacare.
Murphy is a Republican foot soldier. The kind of party activist who has worked on Republican campaigns including Casey Cagle, John McCain, and Karen Handel. The problem is, political foot soldiers like Murphy only have paid jobs during campaigns. And even in this era of perpetual campaigns, they are going to find themselves out of work from time to time. Which means that if people like him ever get one of those dreaded “pre-existing conditions”, without Obamacare’s requirements that insurance companies cannot turn you down for having a pre-existing condition, they would never be able to qualify for health insurance.
And of course, in a high stress job like politics, eventually you will get a pre-existing condition. In Murphy’s case, it was testicular cancer.
It doesn’t matter that after some chemotherapy his cancer has been in remission for over a decade. And even if the cancer didn’t count as a pre-existing condition, Murphy also has sleep apnea, a condition for which the insurance companies also turned him down. So even though Murphy is only 38, he has no health insurance.
Last week, on the same day as Newt Gingrich was speaking, Murphy made a post to his Facebook account about Obamacare:
When you say you’re against it, you’re saying that you don’t want people like me to have health insurance.
When Georgia’s health insurance exchange opens in October, as mandated by Obamacare, Murphy says he will “absolutely” sign up.
Murphy also points out the irony of how repealing Obamacare could push people like him into bankruptcy, which could lead to welfare, and thus increase the cost of government.
However, Murphy himself isn’t above acting ironically. He is even supporting Karen Handel for the US Senate next year, even though Handel’s campaign remains committed to “a full stop and defunding of Obamacare in its entirety now” and calls for shutting down the government this fall if that doesn’t happen.
So is all the noise about repealing or defunding Obamacare just bluster to fire up the base? I for one do not believe the Republicans will ever do it. They would just be cutting off their own nose to spite their face.