Sen. Pat Toomey Compares Those With Pre-Existing Conditions to Burned Houses

A 24-second-long CSPAN clip of Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is making its way around social media after the Republican Senator compared people with pre-existing conditions to burned down houses.

The clip, which is part of the Senate confirmation hearing for Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows Toomey questioning Price about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and insuring people with pre-existing conditions.

Toomey asks:

Now one way to force it [coverage] is to force insurance companies to provide health insurance coverage to someone as soon as they show up, regardless of what condition they have, which is kind of like asking the property/casualty company to rebuild the house after it’s burned down.

The soundbite is preceded by Toomey explaining how 43 percent of Pennsylvanians have one choice of insurer under the ACA and then asking how to reform that system and keep coverage for pre-existing conditions. Toomey noted that forcing insurance companies to “show up” is one way of ensuring coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and asked Price if he believes there are more effective ways achieve this without a mandate.

In a request for comment from PennLive, Toomey’s spokesperson defended the Senator’s metaphor, stating:

Senator Toomey was making an analogy about how insurance markets work, and why Obamacare is in the midst of a ‘death spiral,’ where prices for insurance continue to rise, and healthier, wealthier and younger Americans are finding it more appealing to go without insurance.

Regardless of Toomey’s explanation, his constituents and those living with pre-existing condition have take to social media to explain why you can’t reduce people with disabilities and illnesses to burned down houses.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

Girl sitting on a bench

11 Ways to Tell That Someone Has a Hidden Illness

Many chronic illnesses are hidden – meaning you cannot see any physical evidence that there is any disability. There is no cane, no bandages, no helmets, no braces. People with hidden illness are often stuck in a limbo between facing debilitating symptoms and looking like a healthy person. Here is one moment I spent in that limbo. I [...]
pill bottles on a table

7 Things Healthy People Should Know About Their Chronically Ill Roommate

So we’re friends, we get along great and have never had a conflict. We are both amiable people who would like to room together. You are also empathetic and know I (or said chronically ill person) have major health struggles. Let’s say for the sake of this post that we decide to become roommates and [...]
man and woman linking pinky fingers

To the Spoonies Who Don't Think They Are Worthy of Love

The last two nights, I’ve had dreams about my partner cheating on me. I wake up in the morning with a giant pit in my stomach, the kind that comes from a dream that just literally makes you sick. And when you wake up, in those few precious seconds before reality hits, you wonder — [...]
Image of a Tesco bathroom sign which says "not every disability is visible. Accessible toilet." and then shows the symbols for a man, woman and wheelchair sign.

Tesco Supermarkets' New Inclusive Bathroom Signs Welcome Those With Invisible Illnesses

Not everyone who needs to use an accessible toilet has a physical disability, but for people living with invisible illnesses that warrant using an accessible stall – like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, for example – stigma or judgment from others can prevent them from using the bathroom most comfortable for them. Now, popular U.K. [...]