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Mark Cuban: Amend U.S. Constitution to Make Healthcare a Right

WASHINGTON – Billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban criticized the Congressional Budget Office’s use of a 10-year score to determine the effects of the Republicans' American Health Care Act and said the U.S. Constitution should be amended to make healthcare a right.

Cuban compared the CBO’s use of a decade timeframe to the ABC television show Shark Tank, where he stars as one of the investors that hears pitches from business owners. He said one- to four-year timeframes are better but “marginally predictable.”

“You’re not going to be able to predict anything,” Cuban said during a discussion hosted by the new media company Axios on Wednesday. “What happens in one year? What happens in two years? What happens in three or four years? Those are the only numbers that are marginally predictable. The idea that we’re trying to create what I call headline porn – 24 million lose insurance; $337 billion in savings over 10 years – if someone came on Shark Tank and said ‘here’s what we’re going to do in 10 years’ you would be out of there in 30 seconds, yet that’s the number we’re using to try to make a point in the media. It’s ridiculous.”

Cuban explained that he personally supports modifying the U.S. Constitution to make healthcare a right for all Americans and creating a single-payer healthcare system for chronic illnesses.

“I think healthcare should be a right. If there’s a legitimate way to modify the Constitution, I literally think there should be an amendment to the Constitution for healthcare for chronic illnesses and serious injury. We all play the genetic lottery,” he said.

PJM asked Cuban why he thinks a single-payer healthcare system for catastrophic coverage would work in the United States.

“I think by creating a single-payer system just for chronic illnesses and for life-threatening illnesses – not everything, right? And we do some of that with Medicaid and Medicare already, but just get it out on the table. Then, I think, from a cost perspective all of a sudden all of the corporations that provide healthcare, their costs go down dramatically so that’s one big benefit,” he said during an interview at the event.

“Everybody who has that uncertainty of not knowing if something goes really wrong in their family – what they are going to do – that goes away so, I think that makes people a lot more productive and a lot more self-sufficient. And in terms of having to pay for it, well, you know, I think by just dealing with the issues and obviously there’s always that risk – the libertarian in me says, ‘OK, it could always be mis-run by doing that’ but I think you reduce the bureaucracy so this wouldn’t be single-payer insurance,” he added.