Rep. Steve King Calls Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions A 'Minor Thing'

January 19, 2011 1:35 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Today, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) justified the GOP show vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act while dismissing the suggestion that Republicans would face a "backlash" for taking away coverage for pre-existing conditions or eliminating the ability of young people to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26. "It will not work for us to say there's a certain component of Obamacare that has some merit and so therefore we want to leave that in place and repeal the rest," King said on MSNBC. "This is too many pages, it's too cluttered, it's too big an argument to allow it to turn on one or two minor things."  

HOST: And so you're willing to go out there and repeal health care to everybody, even with a pre-existing condition, repeal the ability for kids to stay on their parents' health plan till they're 26 years old — don't you think that would be met with tremendous backlash?

KING: I actually don't think it would be met with tremendous backlash. There are Republicans who support those ideas and we start tomorrow the process of replacement of Obamacare. It will not work for us to say there's a certain component of Obamacare that has some merit and so therefore we want to leave that in place and repeal the rest. This is too many pages, it's too cluttered, it's too big an argument to allow it to turn on one or two minor things.

Watch:

The provisions mentioned above, of course, are hardly "minor things" for the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions and twenty-somethings who can't afford health insurance on their own.

Furthermore, while it is accurate to say that "there are Republicans who support those ideas," King is not one of them. "I wanted my kids to grow up," King said last week, explaining his opposition to letting young adults stay on their parents insurance. "When they turned 18, I told them 'my responsibilities are now done. I'm going to nurture you and give you advice and counsel you and I'll help you where I can, but I'm not obligated.'"

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