The Evidence-Free Zone
Last weekend, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton derided politicians who operate in what she called “the evidence-free zone”:
Recently in Washington, unfortunately, we have seen examples of the wrong kind of leadership – when politicians choose scorched earth over common ground, when they operate in what I call the evidence-free zone, with ideology trumping everything else.
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) appears to be one of the Republicans living in that evidence-free zone. Along with her Republican colleagues, she shut down the government in order to try and deny health care to millions. She even voted in favor of a catastrophic and unprecedented default on our obligations — all in the name of stopping Obamacare.
So it’s unsurprising that today when she was confronted with evidence that Obamacare is working, Ellmers simply refused to believe it. ThinkProgress has the story:
The heated exchange came in response to comments made by Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY), who told CNN that his state-operated exchange, Kynect, is working well in Kentucky. “We’re signing up people at roughly a thousand a day. It’s a great rate and a great success so far,” he told on CNN’s “New Day,” describing the market as “a gold standard because it’s working.”
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) dismissed the state’s progress, however, insisting that Obamacare has “completely failed” and arguing that the governor is praising the program for political purposes:
ELLMERS: I know you had the clip of the governor and God bless him. He’s talking about a situation that he supports. American people cannot wait for this. there are hard working taxpayers —
CAROL COSTELLO (HOST): Was the governor joshing us? Is he not telling the truth?
ELLMERS: I’m not exactly sure it is working in Kentucky…..
COSTELLO: So the governor when he says he’s signing up 1,000 people a day and wants to get the 640,000 people in Kentucky insured, he’s just saying that for political purposes?
ELLMERS: Well, you know, let’s look at again the grand scheme of things. It is a failure at monumental levels. […]
COSTELLO: But you’re discounting everything that the Kentucky governor is saying. Instead of sitting down with him and saying, governor, let’s talk and figure this out together. Let’s figure out what’s political in what you’re saying. You’re discounting what he has to say outright.
Unable to directly respond to Kentucky’s enrollment numbers, Ellmers confronted Costello, saying, “you’re getting awfully angry about this situation!” Watch it:
Another important part of Obamacare, the expansion of the Medicaid program, is also working very well. Just yesterday, Ohio announced it would expand Medicaid, providing coverage to almost 300,000 people. Hundreds of thousands of Americans in states across the country have already enrolled in Medicaid in just the past three weeks.
BOTTOM LINE: Obamacare is more than just a website. It’s about making life better for millions of Americans.
As President Obama himself has acknowledged, the problems with HealthCare.gov are unacceptable and people are working around the clock to fix them. Meanwhile, nearly half a million people have filed applications to get Obamacare through the health insurance marketplaces and hundreds of thousands more have signed up for coverage under Medicaid.
Two-thirds of Americans agree: it’s time to work together and let Obamacare move forward.