Fox News “Medical A-Team” member Dr. Marc Siegel (who worries that too many people will have health insurance under ObamaCare) didn’t even try to sound impartial in his lovefest presented as an interview with Dick Cheney on the Hannity show Monday night (12/16/13). Siegel also used the opportunity to bash ObamaCare and make the ludicrously unsubstantiated allegation that Cheney would not be alive today had ObamaCare been in existence 10 or 20 years ago.
In his FoxNews.com profile, Siegel is presented as a neutral medical expert. But, as we all know, “unbiased” in the eye of a Fox News beholder usually means Republican.
Thus, the interview began with this valentine from Siegel to Cheney:
SIEGEL: You have always been known as the steadying hand in a crisis. You’re the person that people want to go to when there’s a crisis. But what effect did that have on you in terms of stress? And do you think that that led to your heart disease in any way?
For the record, no, Cheney didn’t think so. “I love my work. It wasn’t stressful from the way I looked at it,” he assured us.
Siegel closed the interview by saying, “Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President, a great honor for me.”
Monday's clip was from a longer special that I believe will air during a later Hannity show. But at least in this segment, Siegel glossed over his concerns about people getting too much health care (which maybe wouldn't go over so well with a medical-services consumer like Cheney) and demonized the medical-device tax in ObamaCare.
SIEGEL: I’m concerned about the medical device tax… How do you think that that’s going to stifle innovation?
CHENEY: I’m very worried about it.
SIEGEl: If the concept of ObamaCare, which seems to me outdated, is to take this insurance umbrella and cover everyone – all this focus on preventive services, comprehensive insurance – what about innovation? That doesn’t necessarily work for everyone all the time. More personalized medicine, which is the direction we’re going in. Isn’t that jeopardized by the concept of ObamaCare?
Not surprisingly, Cheney thought so. He added his own knocks against the Obama administration while he was at it. That included accusing them of dishonesty, which is rather rich coming from “weapons of mass destruction” Cheney. Then again, he has reason to be confident nobody at Fox will call him on it. Siegel later described Cheney’s comments as “absolutely eloquent on ObamaCare.”
Later, to Hannity, Siegel said, “Vice President Cheney is an inspiration for those people (with heart disease) because he never even considered himself sick. …Everything he did, he did without even any fear at all. Just courage and that’s an inspiration for the more than 700,000 people out there who have heart disease and get very, very sick every year.”
Ironically, ObamaCare enemy Hannity wondered why more people don’t get check ups. Not that anyone said anything about making them more affordable. No, siree. The only cost anyone cared about was the cost to medical device manufacturers. In fact, Siegel presented it as some kind of new death panel:
SIEGEL: (Cheney) wouldn’t be alive today if ObamaCare was in place 10, 20 years ago because every time the spotlight was red, it turned green just as he got there. He got all these devices just in time. Innovation may be squashed with the current ObamaCare climate. And he, personally, is worried about it.
But at the very least, there's another side to this argument. The New York Times writes in a very persuasive editorial called, “The Myth of the Medical-Device Tax” that Siegel’s argument is disingenuous:
Not only can the medical-device industry easily afford the tax without compromising innovation, but the industry’s enormous profits are a result of anticompetitive practices that themselves drive up medical-device costs unnecessarily. The tax is a distraction from reforms to the industry that are urgently needed to lower health care costs.
…Excessive prices fuel enormous profits — profits that dwarf both the medical-device tax and the industry’s investments in research and development. Consider the device division of Johnson & Johnson, which in 2012 had an operating profit of $7.2 billion. By the company’s own estimate, the device tax would amount to at most $300 million, and its investment in research and development amounts to only $1.7 billion.
That information was not relayed to the viewers of “fair and balanced” Fox News. I’m not expecting to hear it any time soon from Siegel, either.
As for Hannity, he said, “In the next life, I want to be you. You’re hanging out with Bush, you’re hanging out with Cheney…
Siegel grinned broadly and said Hannity is invited.
Because it’s all one big happy Republican family!
Personally, I think that headline was exactly one word too long.
Slanthead probably wishes that in his next life, he could team up with Darth Cheney and dig up the Iraqi desert discovering all those WMD that both fervently believe Saddam buried out there!
We could only hope…..
But 4000+ US servicepersons and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians aren’t alive because he was.