Marilinda Garcia, the Republican candidate for Congress in the Second District, says she’s adamantly opposed to the Affordable Care Act. But how is she getting her healthcare?
Garcia seemed to be stumped when a NHPR reporter question her about her own healthcare. He asked if she got healthcare through the Affordable Care Act exchange.
Garcia: “I… that’s my own issue.”
NHPR: “So you don’t want to say?”
Garcia: “No that’s fine, I don’t need to share everything.”
NHPR: “Is it fair to say you are not getting your health care through Obamacare, through the (federal) exchange?”
Garcia: “I don’t need to talk about that. Thank you.”
This entire exchange completely puzzles me. This is a very simple question, asked of someone who has put herself in the public arena by running for a high-level federal office.
It should have been really easy for Garcia to answer – unless Garcia she’s trying to hide the truth. Did she have healthcare insurance at all before this interview? If she had insurance before, where was she getting her insurance from?
If someone were to ask me if I get healthcare from the ACA, the answer would be, “No, I get my health insurance through my employer.” Since Marilinda was nice enough to inform us that she only has a part time job giving harp lessons, we can be pretty sure she is not getting healthcare from her employer.
Garcia’s campaign was also nice enough to tell us that Garcia is in her early 30s and is still living at home with her parents. It is too bad she is not under 26 because then she could have stayed on her parents’ healthcare plan. (How old is her sister Bianca? I wonder if she is still their parents’ healthcare plan.)
Garcia is trying, and failing, to get people to believe that – at least during this campaign – she is buying insurance from a private company on a month-to-month basis, without going through the ACA exchange in any way. Even though her campaign admits she is eligible to use the ACA exchange.
I wonder how much Garcia’s monthly insurance costs?
I also wonder how a harp teacher who only works part time can afford to purchase an individual policy directly from the insurer on a month-to-month basis. I can’t think of a more expensive way to buy insurance. Even the lowest-rated plans (with high deductibles and high out-of-pocket limits) cost about $350 a month.
Of course, if Marilinda gets elected, she will undoubtedly sign up for the federal healthcare plan, while she collects that $174,000-a-year Congressional paycheck.
“I want to represent those who have seen their situation go beyond the bounds of what they expected” when the law was implemented, Garcia told the Union Leader. “People were told they could keep their doctor. People were told they could keep their plans if they liked them. All of that was false.”
It’s easy for Garcia to spout negatives and toss around blame. In fact, Republicans in the US House of Representatives put together a step-by-step instruction manual on exactly how to do that. Read the House Republican Playbook here, and then try to figure out if Garcia is saying anything that wasn’t pre-scripted for her.
(Then, maybe you’ll want to consider whether scripting political attacks is a very good use of Congressional funds.)
I guess it is very easy for Garcia to blame Congresswoman Kuster and President Obama for passing healthcare reforms that have been in the works for decades. A healthcare plan that expanded access for millions of Americans. A healthcare plan that lowered premiums for tens of thousands of Granite Staters while mandating better coverage.
What happened to the “old plans” that Garcia is so nostalgic for? Those canceled policies didn’t meet the ACA’s minimum standards for health insurance. But instead of changing the policies to meet the requirements, insurers across the nation just canceled them.
Except here in New Hampshire. Here in the Granite State, Anthem is still renewing those out-of-compliance health care plans.
What happened to limit coverage? That’s private market forces at work. If you’ve been following New Hampshire health insurance for a while, maybe you remember Anthem’s contract dispute with Exeter Hospital and Core Physicians?
Anthem was not willing to negotiate or mediate, and in order to ensure uninterrupted access to high quality, local care for more than 20,000 patients who utilize the services of Exeter Hospital and Core Physicians, we had no choice but to accept Anthem’s demand for more favorable reimbursement rates.
“Although the $10 million in concessions Anthem has demanded will have a negative impact on the health care resources available to this community, we will strive to provide the very best health care services to the tens of thousands of patients we care for every year,” says Kevin Callahan, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Aren’t Republicans supposed to be in favor of market forces? But Garcia doesn’t the practical effects? (This sort of thing wouldn’t happen with Single-Payer.)
Or maybe Garcia finds it more provocative to blame the President and the incumbent Congresswoman, rather than Anthem corporate executives.
WellPoint is known as a company that lavishes money and stock on its CEOs. Braly’s predecessor, Larry Glasscock, once pulled down total disclosed annual compensation of almost $50 million. Most of that rich outlay was a stock and cash award, payable over three years, given after he orchestrated the 2004 merger of Anthem and WellPoint.
“Tea Party extremist Marilinda Garcia signed the Koch Brothers pledge calling to take away health care from tens of thousands of Granite State families, but refuses to say where she receives her own coverage,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. “If Marilinda Garcia is going to make denying health coverage to hard-working Granite Staters a central part of her campaign, then voters deserve to know what she is hiding when it comes to her own health care.”