David Vitter gets double tapped on Affordable Care Act by Van Jones and Bernie Sanders

Last Thursday on CNN‘s “Crossfire,” Louisiana Senator David Vitter took a double shot from Van Jones and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders regarding the Affordable Care Act. It was a clash of Republican messaging versus Democratic messaging, and, for once, the Democrats won the battle.

First, as seen in the video above, Van Jones set up the question to Vitter by going on offense and setting up a narrative:

It seems to me that people were being thrown off of insurance programs and insurance plans for a very long time before Obamacare. In fact, we had a situation where that was happening so regularly that people were up in arms about it. I didn’t hear you or any other people in the Republican Party being concerned about those people being thrown off, so is there inconsistency on your part? If an insurance company throws somebody off and they do it for corporate greed, it’s okay with you; if they do it because of the regulations someplace, you hate it. How does that make sense?

Thrown back on his heels, Vitter responds with the usual GOP talking points:

  • The Republicans had plenty of targeted fixes that could have made a difference.
  • There are 93,000 people in Louisiana somehow being negatively affected by the Affordable Care Act (presumably because insurance companies in Louisiana are canceling customers’ “junk” policies and not informing them that they can get can get better policies for the same or less money on the ACA exchange).

During Vitter’s response, Senator Sanders, on camera, looked like he was chomping at the bit. Indeed, Sanders started in before Vitter finished responding, and also went on the attack:

20 percent of your people living in poverty. About 20 percent of the people in Louisiana have no health insurance at all. And when you vote against the Affordable Care Act, you’re telling those people, that they’re not going to get health insurance, so your state, and I gather, you, have rejected the idea that Medicaid should be expanded, other Republican governors have done the same. So it seems to me that when you have people who are working really hard trying to make a living, who desperately need health insurance, and with the Affordable Care Act said we’re going to expand Medicaid, and you and others are saying ‘no, no no, it’s okay for over 200,000 people in Louisiana not to take it,’ I think that’s wrong.

Ka-Boom! That’s how you do the political double tap. Note that Jones and Sanders did not coordinate this attack; rather, they came armed with the facts and with the attitude that they would hit Vitter for Republican hypocrisy on the Affordable Care Act rather than play defense against phony Republican talking points.

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