Trump’s Pick for Governor of North Carolina Thinks Affordable Health Care Is an Attempt to “Enslave” People

What does Mark Robinson, the Donald Trump–endorsed GOP nominee for governor of North Carolina, think of the federal law that significantly increased health care coverage for Americans, protected those with preexisting conditions, and literally saved people’s lives? That it’s tantamount to one of the worst things that you can do to a human being short of murdering them, of course.

Yes, in a turn of events that should surprise exactly no one, the man who wants America to go back to a time when women couldn’t vote once said he believes that the Affordable Care Act—which has changed countless lives for the better—is on par with slavery. The Daily Beast reports that during a 2018 appearance on the YouTube show “Politics and Prophecy,” Robinson declared, of the ACA: “It is not just Black people. It is a concentrated effort to, to, uh, to enslave everybody.” Robinson’s beef with the law, signed in 2010 by Barack Obama, was that it allowed—but notably did not require—children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until 26 years of age. “That’s not a child, a 26-year-old?” host Chris Levels said during the conversation with Robinson just after ranting about fluoridated water, a pet cause of right-wing conspiracy theorists. “That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right,” Robinson replied, before going on to make comparisons between the ACA and slavery.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act was, of course, a cornerstone of Donald Trump’s first run for the White House. After being elected, the ex-president tried, unsuccessfully, to replace it with a much crappier alternative. But as The Daily Beast notes, Robinson at the time wasn’t even on board with repealing and replacing; he just wanted to scrap the whole thing. “I just want REPEAL! When it comes to insurance/healthcare the federal government can kick rocks,” he wrote in a 2017 Facebook post, adding later, “Healthcare’ is neither a ‘right’ or a ‘privilege,’ it’s a RESPONSIBILITY that lies with the individual.” On another occasion, Robinson posted an image on Facebook with the words “Repeal and Replace” with a line through “and Replace,” writing in the caption: “The federal government DOES NOT need to be involved with health insurance.”

Nearly 15 years after Obama signed the ACA, the law is now extremely popular. Not to mention: Last year, North Carolina expanded Medicaid to insure approximately 600,000 more people access to the program. Before the deal passed, Robinson said in an interview, “I’m not in favor of Medicaid expansion. I hope that it fails because I don’t want our health care in this state to be turned over to the federal government.” After it went through, he said he was “dismayed” and was “still not in favor of that.” Naturally, NC Democrats are hoping to use Robinson’s disdain for affordable health care to derail his campaign for the governor’s office. “I can only imagine he will continue to double down on this stance. And our work is educating voters on the impacts of that,” Elisabeth Greenleaf, campaigns director for Progress North Carolina, told The Daily Beast. “It’s going to be a big issue in this race.” Asked about Robinson’s previous Medicaid comments on Friday, the candidate’s communications director told the outlet: “While the lieutenant governor did not support Medicaid expansion, he understands that it is now the law in North Carolina. As governor, Mark Robinson will work tirelessly to ensure that the people of North Carolina get the absolute best results and care possible from our new Medicaid expansion program.”

Incredibly, Robinson’s views on affordable health care don’t even make a top 10 list of the most offensive things he’s ever said—a list that includes, but is in no way limited to, trivializing domestic violence; calling women “whores,” “witches,” and “rejected drag queens”; saying women who breastfeed in public are “shameless attention hogs”; equating the LGBTQ+ community with “filth”; saying he doesn’t trust Muslims; and basically telling people to get over the Holocaust.

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