MSNBC's Finney Denounces GOP 'Scare Tactics' on ObamaCare, Uses Scare Tactics to Promote ObamaCare

MSNBC host Karen Finney denounced Republican “scare tactics” over ObamaCare on Saturday’s Disrupt – and then employed liberal scare tactics to stress the benefits of ObamaCare. Finney further warned that the GOP wants to “[take] something away from people” in their repeal efforts, rattling off a long list of benefits that Americans would lose if ObamaCare was repealed.

Finney began the segment by fawning over President Obama’s Friday press conference, declaring that the president “heads to his vacation with a new verve.” Finney apparently chose to ignore Obama’s near record-low approval ratings.

Finney then immediately warned viewers that a defunding of ObamaCare would “take health care away from people with preexisting conditions,” “take away money from seniors,” and end $1 billion of rebates that consumers received from insurance companies last year. The MSNBC host and former DNC communications director then turned to Democratic pollster Celinda Lake for an analysis of public opinion on ObamaCare:

The public has been against that from the get-go. They have wanted to fix it. Let’s implement it. Let’s fix it. If there’s a part that’s not working, let’s make it better. The number one role that the public wants for their member of Congress right now is to help real people and small businesses to figure out if they can be helped by ObamaCare, whether they can sign up or not. This is a real shift in their focus.

Unfortunately for Lake, recent polls suggest otherwise. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from July 2013 found that only 34 percent of Americans think ObamaCare is “a good idea,” compared to 47 percent who think it’s “a bad idea.” A CBS News poll from July 2013 discovered that more Americans want to repeal ObamaCare (39 percent) than expand it or keep it as is (36 percent).

A June 2013 Gallup poll found that only 22 percent of Americans think ObamaCare will improve their family’s health care situation, while nearly double (42 percent) believe ObamaCare will make it worse. And a July 2013 Fox News poll found that 53 percent of Americans favor a repeal of ObamaCare, while only 40 percent want to keep the law in place.

Now, Finney did find a poll asserting that more Americans want to improve the law or keep it in place than repeal it. But this poll was from the liberal Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the questions the pollsters asked participants appear not to have been released to the public.

More important to the segment, though, was Finney and Lake’s consistent use of “scare tactics” to blast Republicans over ObamaCare:

LAKE: That’s real services that I saw firsthand in my own small business. And the Republicans want to take that away and offer me absolutely nothing?

FINNEY: Right.

LAKE: And they say free market, free market. The free market hasn’t worked. The insurance companies have been gouging us for decades.

FINNEY: Right, and people know it.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be an MSNBC segment without a shout-out to the GOP’s “war on women.” Lake warned that Republican efforts to defund ObamaCare represent the latest step in the “war on women,” because of the benefits the law provides to women.

Now, Finney and Lake did get one thing right: the GOP wants to repeal ObamaCare. Unfortunately, the left-wingers distorted their argument by conflating a repeal of ObamaCare with the loss of more popular provisions in the law. Even worse, Finney and Lake seemed to assume that Republicans wanted to deny people health care and certain benefits under the law.

I guess that’s all in a day’s work for Finney, though: disrupting GOP voices, distorting their message, and distracting from ObamaCare’s growing list of problems.

See the full transcript below:


MSNBC
Disrupt with Karen Finney
August 10, 2013
4:01 p.m. Eastern

KAREN FINNEY: President Obama heads to his vacation with a new verve, taking the health care fight straight to the GOP in his first formal press conference since April. The president called out the GOP’s unrelenting focus on denying health care to millions of Americans.

(...)

And he continued that theme today in Orlando. While Republicans have been railing against the Affordable Care Act, some even threatening to shut down the government, new polling this week shows that the majority of Americans do not want Congress to repeal ObamaCare. And even the majority of Republican-leaning voters are tired of incumbents who want to delay or defund ObamaCare. That defunding would take health care away from people with preexisting conditions, which for women can include treatment for domestic violence or rape. It would take away money from seniors, who have saved $6.1 billion on prescription drugs since 2010. And don’t forget about those rebates, which totaled more than $1 billion that consumers got from their insurance companies last year.

(...)

FINNEY: So, [Democratic pollster and strategist] Celinda [Lake], you know the president also pointed out that the GOP has sort of dropped that repeal and replace language with just straight-out repeal. I’m wondering if you think that’s part of why we’re seeing a bit of a shift in the numbers.

CELINDA LAKE: Yeah. I think it is. And you know, the public has been against that from the get-go. They have wanted to fix it. Let’s implement it. Let’s fix it. If there’s a part that’s not working, let’s make it better. The number one role that the public wants for their member of Congress right now is to help real people and small businesses to figure out if they can be helped by ObamaCare, whether they can sign up or not. This is a real shift in their focus. And it’s not just repeal it, it’s destroy it. The extreme circumstances here – I mean, on the one hand, they’re talking about running ads to discourage people from signing up. That is immoral in my opinion. Then, on the other hand, that you would shut down the government, destroy the credit rating, ruin the economy of the greatest and biggest country in the world for a political fight. I think that President Obama, honestly, has been focused on implementing. I think he thought these two extremes were just inconceivable. And now, it is their holy grail and that’s all they’re talking about.

FINNEY: But you know what Celinda, it also strikes me that what the president did, is it’s – we’re not just talking about denying people. There is a shift. We’re really talking about taking something away from people. And the polling that I’ve seen suggests that’s where people say “wait a second, that’s not what we want.”

LAKE: That’s absolutely right. My own small business, we got a rebate last year. We got a notice to send to all of our female and male employees that birth control is now preventive coverage and it should be covered without a co-pay. That’s real services that I saw firsthand in my own small business. And the Republicans want to take that away and offer me absolutely nothing?

FINNEY: Right.

LAKE: And they say free market, free market. The free market hasn’t worked. The insurance companies have been gouging us for decades.

FINNEY: Right, and people know it.

(...)

FINNEY [responding to President Obama’s remarks]: I love that. “Don’t let ‘em hoodwink ya.” Again, we see him sort of calling out the, sort of, scare tactics.

(...)

FINNEY: But you know, Celinda, I think the thing that we should be reminding people is that the GOP handbook for this recess said to “engage constituents of all backgrounds on the negative effects of ObamaCare and the House Republican plan to dismantle it.” So you know, when I see people in – I mean, let’s be honest. Most members of Congress, when they do these events, they’re talking to people. They pretty much know who’s in that audience and what they’re going to say, right?

LAKE: That’s right. And sometimes other people can infiltrate it. But, I mean, the polling indicates where the public is at. The public wants to move from this, from a political fight to a consumer issue. And that is particularly true for women voters. Eighty percent of the health care decision-makers in this country are women. They’re the ones who tell the men in their lives what to do when it come to health care, and the men even admit it. And 80 percent of the health care voters are women. So women want to move and say “what does this do for our family? Let’s be practical. I want information I can use. I don’t want another fight.” And women who believe in a role for government for sure don’t want to shut down government. So, you want to talk about a war on women? This is a war on women.

FINNEY [laughing]: Right.

LAKE: And I think they’re going to lose massively at the voting booth if they keep this up.

FINNEY: You know Danielle, this is an important point that Celinda makes. Women are making the economic decisions in their household. I would imagine that it will be women who will, if they have children in college or in their early 20s, make them sign up. I know if I were, that would be my mother’s role in my life. But again, you know, what strikes me is – again, women are the most savvy, I think, in this, in terms of what we stand to lose. We’ve already gained preventive services, with more to come. The Affordable Care Act ends the gender ratings, which generally means we would be paying more. It provides maternity services, coverage to all those who don’t currently have it but need it. Not to mention preexisting conditions – which people don’t realize, thing like breast cancer or domestic violence counseling – I once said, you know, having a uterus should not be a preexisting condition. Is that really a message that the GOP thinks is going to win with women?