The next time you get ready to pull out a tiny violin for a Fox Newsie who whines about the unfair treatment Donald Trump gets from the so-called “liberal media,” you can also point to Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s disgraceful attempt to bully and humiliate Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the architect of Obamacare, while pretending to be a legitimate interviewer.
Carlson’s non-journalistic goal of disparaging Emanuel, rather than providing viewers with his knowledgable perspective couldn't have been clearer. The heck with the millions who got health insurance thanks to Obamacare and how the rate of uninsured has plummeted in the U.S. Carlson wasn’t interested in any of the data Emanuel tried to put forward, either, such as how Obamacare has lowered health insurance expenditures per employee.
In my own life, I am all too familiar with the problems and frustrations of Obamacare. But Republicans are obsessed with using it as a political football while the health and well-being of ordinary Americans is just collateral damage.
Carlson proved in this discussion that he’s all in on the politicization as well as serving as a mouthpiece for Republicans. And why shouldn’t he be? He comes from wealth and privilege, so probably knows nothing about what it’s like to be denied health insurance or to have trouble affording it, and he’s got a new anchor spot at Fox News.
Still, Carlson should have paid attention when Emanuel said this:
EMANUEL: The only provision that scores under 50% (public approval) is the mandate and people haven’t understood that if you want no pre-existing disease, condition exclusion, you have to have a mandate. Those are inextricably linked.
This is an extremely important point given that Republicans are suddenly interested in what was a huge problem before Obamacare and are now making noises about keeping the pre-existing condition ban but without the mandate – and without regard for how premiums will probably soar for sick people as a result.
But Carlson didn’t care. He had either done no research and had no idea whether Emanuel’s point was legit (it is). Or else Carlson knew Emanuel was right and deliberately hid that from viewers. Instead of responding to what Emanuel said, Carlson interrupted to change the subject with an obvious aim of discrediting him – while cloaking himself in a mantle of concern about struggling young people.
CARLSON: The poorest segment of our society is young people. In fact, this generation is the poorest generation of its age in three generations. They’re the poorest. And yet, we’re forcing them to buy into the system to subsidize the health care of the old and the sick and also the richest segment of our population. Why is that fair and why would you expect me to like it?
EMANUEL: Well, first of all, young kids are subsidized in the Obamacare plan. If they don’t make 100% of poverty, they go on Medicaid and they get almost cost-free health care and if they are on the low end of income, they are very heavily subsidized to get health insurance. They’re not spending a lot of money for peace of mind and protection. And I think that is a good deal.
Also, young people will almost certainly get old and get sick at some point so they will reap the benefits later.
But Carlson interrupted to say that young people don’t think it’s a good deal so why should they be forced into something they don’t want? That's a fair point, but Emanuel's response deserved a listen.
EMANUEL: A lot of them haven’t explored what the deal is. They’ve heard your rhetoric that it’s not a good deal and they haven’t actually seen. … I do think we can actually make the deal better. I’ve made proposals out there how to adjust it.
The fact that Carlson didn’t ask what those proposals are speaks volumes about what he was up to.
Emanuel went on to say that any business that launched a major initiative would revise it as unexpected consequences arose. “The problem here is, Congress hasn’t allowed us to make those mid-course adjustments for six years and that’s a serious problem,” he added.
Carlson interrupted at “adjustments” because, apparently, assigning any blame for Obamacare problems to Republicans was a no-no. He changed the subject again, this time to blame President Obama for, supposedly, saying Obamacare was perfect when it launched (which Emanuel disputed). As if that had any bearing on Obamacare's situation now.
At that point, the conversation devolved. Carlson threw aside any pretense of professionalism: “Nobody believes you, doctor,” Carlson sneered, then proceeded to lecture Emanuel. Carlson even had the nerve to say, “This is sad, I would expect more from someone who’s an eminent doctor, honestly.”
Then, after putting up a slide Emanuel had prepared showing employers’ health care costs on a downward trajectory, Carlson ignored the data to jeer condescendingly, “It doesn’t mask your demagoguery, doctor, and you just blamed the Republicans who had not one thing to do with this legislation, as you know, and you discredit yourself by doing that.”
So no, Tucker, you are the one who discredited yourself as a legitimate interviewer. And this post should serve as a reminder to anyone who may forget.
Watch the BS Carlson tried to pass off as news analysis below, from the November 15, 2016 Tucker Carlson Tonight show.
“What does Lloyd care if we put ourselves back in the scenario of the insurance companies gouging everyone and costs continuing to skyrocket with no way of addressing them?”
Hmmmmmmmmmmm Kevin, could it be that it’s possible Lloyd Bonifide (or a few of his closest relatives) MIGHT OWN A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF STOCK in a major insurance company (Aetna, Cigna, United Health, Humana, Anthem, etc.)? Keep this in mind: if Lloyd replies, “That’s none of your damn business!” or something equivalent, THAT IS AN IMPLICIT ADMISSION THAT HE (or his closest relatives) DOES!
So when 20+ million people lose their health coverage on January 20, and the GOP tries to blame the problems on Democrats somehow not helping the GOP find a replacement that nobody in the GOP can agree about, we can look back to Lloyd’s helpful comments from today. The problem isn’t that the Right Wing can’t get the help they need to properly get people coverage. It’s that the Right Wing simply doesn’t care if those people have coverage or not.
And again, this issue was never about health insurance in any case. If it was, the Right would have worked with the Democrats when the law was being crafted, and it would have worked with the Dems when they wanted to adjust it during Obama’s two terms. That was never their intention. Their intention was to obstruct it in every way they could, and then to kill it as soon as they could. The part that the GOP actually cared about was that it was a policy achievement by a Democrat, and particularly an achievement by a Democrat President who they all hate. So killing that achievement is meaningful. What does Lloyd care if millions of people suffer so he can smirk at Obama? What does Lloyd care if we put ourselves back in the scenario of the insurance companies gouging everyone and costs continuing to skyrocket with no way of addressing them?
When the Right Wing and Fox News start in with the crocodile tears in January and February as people realize what Trump and his supporters have done to them, we can present them the opinion of Lloyd. So I’m thankful to him for doing this service for us.
In the end, denying people health insurance and preventive care services leads to greater health issues requiring more expensive emergency services and elaborate procedures which get cost shifted from the uninsured to the insured anyhow.
You are not entitled to anybody else’s money. Pay your own health care bills.
The entire context is hidden from us by Tucker but it doesn’t take a genius to realize Obama is referring to many attempts in the past like Clintoncare to pass universal health insurance coverage and he was determined to get it passed. It’s impossible to interpret this into Obama meaning ACA will never need a revision for the next 1,000 years.
Regarding it’s popularity, I was just reading a detailed poll on Obamacare: http://obamacarefacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/poll-obamacare-facts-open-enrollment-2015.pdf
The sampling is questionable. For example, a majority sampled claim they don’t quality for subsidies which is heavily skewed from reality.
Forgetting all of that, the pros versus the cons is only a couple of points different in my estimation. But more interesting is the poll includes the written responses. So many of them are obviously purely dialogical and not based upon any understanding or experience with ACA. Rants against Socialized medicine including one saying they’d die first. Another saying Dr. Ben Carson should run healthcare not Obama. The screeds the government can’t get anything right. And so on.
Which gets to Ezekiel Emanuel’s point: Fox News propaganda and a disengaged msm which didn’t counter their 100% negative Obamacare ‘hard news’ and editorializing has worked up right-wingers into a lather.
Tucker’s close-minded pig-headedness not to work to fix is typical of the Republican mindset. So we have Fox News and their buddies in the Republican Party eager to repeal something even without having a clue as to what, if anything, will replace it.
I can pretty much assure people here any replacement will be pretty much the same overpriced (because of no pooled risk or group discounting), generally crappy insurance that existed before ACA.