Fox News contributor Brit Hume can’t tell the difference between health insurance and car insurance. Or maybe he just wants Fox News viewers to confuse the two so he can pull the wool over their eyes because he'd rather destroy Obamacare than have sick Americans get health insurance.
Media Matters caught Hume’s stunningly cruel assessment for those who might not be as lucky as he is and maybe lose a job or lose a spouse’s coverage or grow out of coverage under a parent’s plan while having an illness:
HUME: The triumph of Obamacare is this coverage for pre-existing conditions, which basically defeats the whole idea of insurance. Which is, for example, in the automobile insurance market, if you could wait until you had a wreck and then buy insurance and have the repairs covered, that’s comparable to what we’re doing here.
The idea of insurance is that you purchase it to guard against risks and things that may occur in the future. It’s not that you purchase the coverage after you are already sick. Once that idea is gone, Obamacare essential remains.
Hume gave a nauseatingly derisive chuckle as he compared a sick person looking for health insurance to someone looking for an illegitimate way to get a car repaired.
But putting aside Hume’s sick contempt for people trying to afford health care, his analogy is ridiculous. People don’t get health insurance to cover past treatments. And people get car insurance after they’ve had accidents and for cars that are not perfect. But most importantly, being able to pay for medical treatment is nothing like paying for a car repair.
In other words, health insurance is nothing like car insurance. Most people have medical bills every year and most people have pre-existing conditions of one kind or another. The cost of medical treatment is astronomical, often far more than the cost of even the most deluxe car.
What Hume is really saying is: If you get sick and can’t afford care, it’s probably your own fault so why should he care?
Seems to me that the higher-than-expected costs of claims during the early years can be attributed at least in part to the existence of a large backlog of people who’d not been able to afford health care. Obamacare allowed them finally to get help for ailments that had become chronic. Now that that backlog (in terms of numbers and severity) has been taken care of, the insurance companies should be willing to lower premium costs … assuming that they can count on a lot more security than they’ve had so far. All this confusion in Washington is probably making them very nervous, indeed.
Don’t know who said it on CNN but he’d been presented as a GOPer and he said that an increasing number of GOP representatives and senators are looking seriously at single-payer solutions as an alternative to this tinkering approach. That would, indeed, be ironic. Unlikely, however, since most GOPers seem to use their knees rather than their brains.
All of these fools would have a massive meltdown if their health care benefits were removed. Most of them would not stick around working at this demonic network, including that hack, Hume.
Will this be a lesson to McCain and others on the importance needed in situations like this who may not have this luxury? Probably not.
I had a Fox-viewing co-worker with a sick teen who told me he would just wait til the kid had a relapse or needed his next ultrasound to buy insurance. When I told him there was an enrollment period he looked absolutely stricken.
But there were far nastier moments in Chris Wallace’s panel conclave today than Hume’s petty viciousness toward sick people. The saddest part of this is that the only truly non-Right voice I could see there was Dr. Emanuel (I wouldn’t count Julie Pace, who’s been repeatedly called out for accepting Right Wing canards as legitimate facts).
The panel included Michael Needham from the Far, Far Right Wing group Heritage Action – the very same group that inflicted the list of horrors Mike Pence is using in isolation for consideration for any Supreme Court vacancy that should arise. The very same group that concocted the current GOP ACA “replacement” plan. (It’s due to the Heritage Action fingerprints all over it that I’ve dubbed it the “Heritage Action Health Act” or HAHA for short…) Needham wasted no time in any subject trying to slip vicious lies into the discussion, hoping that he could get away with as many as possible, given that Dr. Emanuel would not likely know about them. (My favorite moment of this was when Needham threw in the debunked lie about Ted Kennedy supposedly trying to curry favor with Russians before the 1984 election – Emanuel looked completely confused at that reference and wasn’t able to immediately call Needham on the lie, so it just lay there unrefuted. For the record, Ted Kennedy did NOT do this, and the document the Right Wing wants to rely on for it has been completely discredited – Rush Limbaugh still tries to bring this one up from time to time, but it’s easily batted away by anyone who knows anything about it – and Emanuel was sadly not ready for that non-sequitor.)
Needham and Hume also openly lied about what is actually happening in the Senate with the efforts to get rid of the ACA. Hume tried to ply the line that actually the latest version of the bill (with Ted Cruz’ transparent attempt to skyrocket the premiums for patients with pre-existing conditions) is somehow getting “very close” to passing, which is the line that the Pence White House’s spokesman is frantically trying to push in his weekly address. Hume is ignoring the fact that with 2 GOP senators having already announced their opposition, there’s pressure about which of the other GOP holdouts will be the third one to say no, and thus be held responsible for the bill dying on the vine. It’s not about passing the bill – it’s about passing the buck. My money is on Dean Heller saying no first and then the dam breaking and another 5 or 6 GOP senators jumping ship. And that’s where Needham’s other lie kicks in. Needham tried to say that only 15 or 16 GOP senators would agree to sign on for a total repeal of the ACA. But he’s parsing it – he means for a bill that would have to get 60 votes, not something that could be rammed through reconciliation. (And the 60 vote threshold will be junked by McConnell as soon as he tires of needing to play these games – the only question is whether McConnell holds out for fear of falling victim to it himself after the 2018 midterms…)
After the Senate realizes it cannot pass the current bill and really cannot come up with a “replacement” that anyone can agree upon, we’ll be given the Repeal Only option, which is what most Hard Right congresspeople were pushing from the beginning. I particularly enjoyed the Rand Paul segment, where he announced his concept of a “replacement” actually consisting of just repealing the ACA and telling the consumers to exercise free choice in finding insurance. Paul’s idea continues to be to separate the “repeal” and “replace” sections so that the former can immediately pass and the latter can be bogged down in committee debates and tabled to infinity, just like Hillary Clinton’s health care idea from the mid-90s. As we’ve discussed, Paul has already built in the notion of saying that the “replace” section would just be a bunch of spending that would never fly with real conservatives, so that it should be left to RINOs and Dems “who always want to vote for big spending items anyway”. Meaning that Rand Paul would want to get rid of the ACA and then blame the Dems for not voting for an inadequate replacement that furthers the punishment.
I note that Dr. Emanuel tried to point out the fallacy in Brit Hume’s arguments, but in the absence of him having any time to point out the rest of the argument, it came across as whining rather than as a factual rebuttal. Which was, of course, Wallace’s real point.