Last night, the Hannity show hosted Austan Goolsbee, a former economic adviser to President Obama, for a debate designed to smear President Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius along with the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). But Hannity littered his attacks with distortions. Goolsbee did a great job calling Hannity out on them – and he upped the ante by calling out Hannity on those fake Obamacare victims the Hannity show featured not long ago. Rather than own up to his chicanery, Hannity tried to cover it up with more dissembling.
In his badgering voice, Hannity challenged Goolsbee, “The president said if you like your plan you can keep it.”
Goolsbee replied that plans that don't meet the standards of the ACA are being replaced with better ones. “If they give you a better plan for less money, why are you complaining about that?” he shot back.
Hannity obviously didn’t have an answer for that. So he said, “Well, you’re saying less money but I’m putting up on the screen, they did an analysis at Heritage and at Forbes and all these other - 45 out of 50 states are seeing premium increases. …The average male is 99% increase in premium, average female 62%.”
“No… That’s not correct,” Goolsbee replied.
Goolsbee is right. PolitiFact just rated Hannity’s claim – from a similar one he made on his radio show - “mostly false.” PolitiFact found:
(Hannity’s statement) spoke to the experience of a small minority of Americans, and it did not factor in the subsidies that will cushion some people from increased premiums.
Hannity overreached in his remarks on radio.
That said, new rules for insurance plans will tend to push some rates up—because the plans must provide better coverage. But by how much depends on a host of factors that several leading health policy experts say is too difficult to estimate.
I will say that Goolsbee may have been somewhat mistaken when he suggested that the Grassley amendment to the Affordable Care Act was responsible for all the people not now able to keep their current insurance. As far as I know, that amendment applied to the health insurance of federal workers.
Still, that’s a far cry from the distortions that Hannity has been pushing. Especially the phony Obamacare victims he tried to foist on his unsuspecting viewers not long ago.
In fact, Hannity boasted, “I’m giving you facts and figures” at one point during the discussion. A few moments later, as part of his rebuttal, Goolsbee zinged him:
Sean, you already got in trouble. …You had people on the show who said they were dropping coverage because Obamacare was gonna increase their costs…
Rather than man up - to borrow one of Hannity's own favorite phrases - and take personal responsibility for his six guests who were disingenuously presented as Obamacare victims (when, in fact, they may well have benefitted from the ACA), Hannity immediately interrupted to change the subject. He began shouting, “And the president had 13 people touting Obamacare! And three were signed up!”
In the first place, President Obama did not say otherwise or try to pass the supporters off as something they were not. Secondly, all 13 Obamacare supporters had benefited or expected to benefit in some way from the Affordable Care Act. For example, according to the Daily Caller (and the print pool report News Hounds received from the White House):
Jessica Ugalde, ACA Beneficiary
Due to the immediate benefits of the ACA, Jessica Ugalde was able to stay on her mother’s health insurance after school and receive treatment for a serious illness. Ugalde’s mother was relieved her daughter could receive coverage and Jessica is very grateful to the ACA for this benefit.
In other words, Ms. Ugalde didn’t need to “sign up” to benefit. Same thing with “Walt Rowen, Small Business Owner,” whose premium increases under an existing plan have slowed.
Walt Rowen is the owner of the Susquehanna Glass Company, a small business in Columbia, Pennsylvania started by Rowen’s grandfather in 1910. The company, which has grown to 35 full-time employees, has benefitted from the ACA’s Medical Loss Ratio provision which requires at least 80 percent of small groups’ premium dollars be spent on patient care instead of administrative costs. A few years ago Rowen was quoted a 130 percent increase to his premiums — this year his premiums increased by only 7 percent.
But thirdly, was Hannity really arguing that because President Obama (supposedly) distorted his prototypes, that made it OK for Hannity to have done so? If so, the shoe is on the other foot: Hannity trotted out his phony Obamacare victims on October 11 whereas President Obama’s remarks were made ten days later, on October 21.
To top it off nicely, Goolsbee called Hannity on his failure to follow through on his dinner bet loss.
If Hannity wants any standing to critique the Affordable Care Act, he needs to come clean on his flimflam instead of trying to cover it up with equally dishonest sleights of hand. But I'm not holding my breath.
You can’t tell me Hannity tries to do this for one hour of the day. It was WTMJ in WI that just asserted a “news/talk” exemption when public complaints were filed showing a shocking imbalance allowed to Scott Walker’s campaign without any airtime for opposing views.
But the man knows his audience. He knows there is a certain segment that will believe anything he says and will support any action he proposes at any time.
As long as that is the case, you will have deceptions such as the one pointed out by Goolsbee. And, as long as there are people willing to pay to be seen with him (i.e. advertisers), he will stay on the air.
Want to seriously hurt him? Go after his advertisers. Tell them you simply refuse to buy their product as long as they advertise with him. If enough people do that — and the advertiser feels the loss of revenue — Fox will make the change. It’s Economics 101.
I don;’t necessarily advocate this myself. I think he is now a bit player on the scene. But if you think he is important and needs to be stopped, that is a surefire way to make it happen.
To understand his behavior is to look at his past.
Hannocchio has serious personal and conflicting issues that continues to plagued him.
He’s a troubled man who had a troubled childhood. He was the hell child of the family. He was trouble in the classroom.
Hannocchio’s school, St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary in Uniondale, was plagued with abusive priests.
Monsignor Allan Placa, who worked as a dean at his school, was allegedly abusive to his male students. One student, named Richard, allegedly accused Placa of molesting him. Placa was eventually suspended from his duties.
At this school, the male students had to wear ties and to adhere to strict rules of the school. We have no doubt that the students knew what was going on but stayed silent out of fear.
One guy had friends who attended Hannocchio’s school and he said, and we quote, “I had a feeling something wasn’t right with them.”
The Express believes something really bad happened to Hannocchio at that school. This would explain his behavior.