MSNBC's Wolffe Derides 'Cheap' Insurance, 'What Is It Really Worth?'

On Wednesday's The Last Word on MSNBC, MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe joined host Lawrence O'Donnell in exonerating President Obama from blame for the recent wave of health insurance policy cancellations, with Wolffe going so far as to dismiss inexpensive insurance policies which presumably are focused on covering expensive, catastrophic health care as being "bad policies" not worthy of existence in spite of the fact that consumers were choosing to purchase them. Wolffe:

I mean, it's an astonishing idea that somehow these bad policies, and I covered the insurance industry for many years, insurance [companies] sell cheap policies because they never pay out on them. The prices are low because they never spend any money on them. It's pretty simple.

If you spend a lot of money on insurance, generally you should get something back. Not always, but generally. That's insurance. So when you get a cheap policy, and you get no benefits for it, what is it really worth?

Host O'Donnell removed blame from Obama as he posed:

And, Richard, it turns out that what the President was saying in his campaign for the presidency and in his campaign to pass the bill turns out to be true in the bill, that you can keep your plan, the plan that you had at the time he was saying this before the law was enacted. All of those plans, even substandard ones, were allowed to continue under this law. If they're not continuing, it's the insurance company that's deciding they're not continuing.

Wolffe began his response by mocking conservatives:

Right. Because he's not a socialist, Marxist, Muslim revolutionary, he's not actually telling the private sector you must keep these plans in place. You know, it is extraordinary watching people twist this around for political gain. But this is a bit like someone saying, "I'm going to sell you a $500 car, and then that pesky government says this car has to be road-worthy."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, October 30, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: And, Richard, it turns out that what the President was saying in his campaign for the presidency and in his campaign to pass the bill turns out to be true in the bill, that you can keep your plan, the plan that you had at the time he was saying this before the law was enacted. All of those plans, even substandard ones, were allowed to continue under this law. If they're not continuing, it's the insurance company that's deciding they're not continuing.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC.COM: Right. Because he's not a socialist, Marxist, Muslim revolutionary, he's not actually telling the private sector you must keep these plans in place. You know, it is extraordinary watching people twist this around for political gain. But this is a bit like someone saying, "I'm going to sell you a $500 car, and then that pesky government says this car has to be road-worthy."

I mean, it's an astonishing idea that somehow these bad policies, and I covered the insurance industry for many years, insurance [companies] sell cheap policies because they never pay out on them. The prices are low because they never spend any money on them. It's pretty simple. If you spend a lot of money on insurance, generally you should get something back. Not always, but generally. That's insurance. So when you get a cheap policy, and you get no benefits for it, what is it really worth?

--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brad Wilmouth in Twitter.