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JON SCOTT (HOST): I suppose, Richard, if low-income people need money to make their health care premiums, I would feel better if the government were cutting checks to those low-income people rather than big health insurers.
RICHARD FOWLER: I think that’s an argument that can be made. And I think that’s sort of the calls as to why Democrats are saying, “Hey, listen, Mr. President. Let’s negotiate a new deal. Let’s take repeal and replace off the table, and let’s actually try fixing the Affordable Care Act. Herein lies the problem with the president’s executive order. What these payments did were they paid for the co-pays and deductibles for the most vulnerable of Americans, right? Those who couldn’t afford it. What ends up happening here is, because the law requires these insurers to pay this money, this money is going to get paid, but in return, that money’s going to be sort of deflected onto those of us who can afford to pay more for health insurance. So what you’re going to do is middle class families, small business owners, working class individuals who could barely afford to make payments in the exchange market are going to end up paying more, and that’s the bad deal. I agree with Kristen, to some extent, that Congress should be the one allocating funds, but for the past nine months, this president has paid this money out. All of a sudden he woke up last week and decided he was going to stop paying these checks, or signing these checks, rather.
SCOTT: But what’s the motivation — if these are the poorest Americans who are getting their co-pays and things like that covered, what’s the motivation for them to try to live a healthier lifestyle? If it doesn’t cost them anything to go to the doctor, what’s the motivation?