On Sunday’s This Week, fill-in host Terry Moran, along with Ron Brownstein and Cynthia Tucker, took swipes at Rush Limbaugh for his contention that his good experience at a Honolulu hospital demonstrated the U.S. health system doesn’t need repair. (Friday night NB item “Rush Limbaugh Leaves Hospital ‘Feeling Strong and Rested’”)
After running a clip of Limbaugh from Friday saying “based on what happened to me here, I don't think there's one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy,” Moran couldn’t resist pointing out “the delightful irony” that “Hawaii mandates that employers provide health insurance to their employees,” a fact which in no way contradicts Limbaugh’s assessment of the treatment he received.
“What Rush was saying, Limbaugh was saying was great, except for the 47 million people who don't have health insurance and don't have access,” former Los Angeles Times reporter Ron Brownstein, now with National Journal, snidely insisted. As he spoke, Washington-based Atlanta Constitution columnist Cynthia Tucker chimed in: “And are not as wealthy as he is.”
Audio: MP3 clip
From the roundtable on the Sunday, January 3 This Week on ABC:
TERRY MORAN: Let's come back home for a moment. On December the 24th, probably the most important issue was the health care bill. Congress is coming back for a conference on that bill. There was already some political talk out in Hawaii about this. Rush Limbaugh went to the hospital and as he left he had this to say about the health care he received.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, ON FRIDAY: The treatment I received here was the best that the world has to offer. Based on what happened to me here, I don't think there's one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy.
MORAN: Now, the delightful irony about that is that Hawaii mandates that employers provide health insurance to their employees. But Cynthia, is there going to be deal done here by the State of the Union as President Obama wants?
CYNTHIA TUCKER: I believe that there will be. I believe that the Democrats desperately want a bill. I believe that they will keep their fractious 60 people in place, although there's increasing pressure on people like Ben Nelson. Ben Nelson was one of the last people to come to the table for the Democrats. He has felt the need to put up an ad defending his decision. He's getting all kind of pressure at home in Nebraska, including, ironically, he cut a last minute deal. There's a little pork barrel in the Senate bill for Nebraska. They don't have to pay the increased Medicaid costs. Interestingly, a lot of Nebraskans are saying, well we don't want that. It makes us look like we're greedy. But I think even Nelson is going to stay in place and I think they'll keep their 60 votes.
MORAN: What do you think, Ron?
RON BROWNSTEIN: What Rush was saying, Limbaugh was saying was great, except for the 47 million people who don't have health insurance-
TUCKER: And are not as wealthy as he is.
BROWNSTEIN: -and don’t have access.