ABC Trumpets Beneficiaries of ‘Popular’ ObamaCare Provisions for Whom ‘Repeal Would Be a Disaster’

“The health care law may not be popular, but many of the provisions now in effect are,” ABC’s Jonathan Karl asserted in his Thursday night look at the House vote to repeal ObamaCare as he highlighted one beneficiary of it without a balancing opponent or list of detrimental provisions: “To Kris Cambra, whose four-year-old son has a heart condition, the law is a life changer, and repeal would be a disaster.”

Karl touted: “Already, seniors are getting more money to pay for their prescription drugs. Children can stay on their parents' insurance until age 26. And children with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage.”

On the NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proposed the vote matched the public perception of Republicans as more inflexible than President Obama: “And just today, kind of as we speak, the Republicans in the House pretty much straight up and down party line vote to repeal ObamaCare, knowing it's dead on arrival in the Senate where the Democrats run things.”

Karl began more even-handedly, seeing “for Republicans, a promise kept, although repeal stands virtually no chance of passing in the Senate. Democrats called it a political stunt” and noted how “the debate was for the most part civil. That is until one Democratic Congressman accused Republicans of behaving like Nazis.”

From the Wednesday, January 19 NBC Nightly News, during a rundown of an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:

CHUCK TODD: 55 percent believe the President is going to strike the right balance in dealing with Republicans. But 55 percent believe the Republicans are going to be too inflexible in dealing with the President. As our pollsters put it this morning, Brian, going into the State of the Union, the public is giving the President the benefit of the doubt. They're telling Republicans you've got a burden of proof.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: And just today, kind of as we speak, the Republicans in the House pretty much straight up and down party line vote to repeal ObamaCare, knowing it's dead on arrival in the Senate where the Democrats run things.

TODD: That's right. And we asked the public what they think of that. And guess what, as divided as they are in Congress, are as divided as the American public is. 46 percent oppose repealing it, 45 percent favor repealing it and it is ideological. Basically, Democrats are against it, Republicans are for it. It really does split right down the middle.

WILLIAMS: Darn news media have me saying ObamaCare. I get letters every time I do that.

TODD: You will get letters for that. I know what that feels like.

WILLIAMS: It's the Obama health care plan.

TODD: Go on Twitter, you'll see it too.

WILLIAMS: I will. Media are like that. Chuck Todd, our political director, thanks as always with the new polling numbers tonight.

ABC World News, transcript provided by the MRC’s Brad Wilmouth:

DIANE SAWYER: And moving on to health care, ten months after President Obama signed the landmark health care reform bill, the House of Representatives voted late today to repeal the historic law. While the vote is seen as symbolic, the Republicans who now control the House were keeping a promise and sending a message, and Jon Karl is on Capitol Hill.



JON KARL: And with that, the House voted to repeal the health care law by a bigger and slightly more bipartisan margin then it passed last year.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): This new law is a fiscal house of cards, and it is a health care house of cards.

KARL: For Republicans, a promise kept, although repeal stands virtually no chance of passing in the Senate. Democrats called it a political stunt.

REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY (D-NY): Republicans are not offering a single solution to this problem. They can't even tell you what their secret plan is. It's part of the Harry Houdini health care strategy. Now you have health care, now you don't.

KARL: The debate was for the most part civil. That is until one Democratic Congressman accused Republicans of behaving like Nazis.

REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN) CLIP #1: They say it's a government takeover of health care.

COHEN CLIP #2: A big lie. You can say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie and eventually people believe it.

COHEN CLIP #3: The Germans said enough about the Jews, and the people believed it, and you had the Holocaust.

KARL: The health care law may not be popular, but many of the provisions now in effect are. Already, seniors are getting more money to pay for their prescription drugs. Children can stay on their parents' insurance until age 26. And children with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage. To Kris Cambra, whose four-year-old son has a heart condition, the law is a life changer, and repeal would be a disaster.

KRIS CAMBRA, MOTHER: If we were to lose our health insurance, we could not have coverage for his surgeries that he needs, his ongoing therapies. We would be faced with paying for a lot of that out of pocket or maybe not even being able to afford it at all.

KARL: House Republicans know full well that the Senate is not going to repeal the health care bill, so their next step is to try to cut off funding for the law. But, Diane, even as they try to do that, they're talking about replacing the popular provisions in the law, such as guaranteeing coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center