Merry Christmas from CBS: Obamacare Gets the Happy-News Treatment
Unlike ABC and NBC, CBS is the only network that routinely pushes back against the Obama White House during its morning broadcasts. However, since Christmas is two days out and the regular journalists at CBS News are on vacation, it appears that the hard-hitting CBS This Morning has decided to run promotional segments for ObamaCare.
Appearing on the network on December 23, reporter Wyatt Andrews offered up a glowing perspective of ObamaCare navigators featuring no conservative opposition, and calling the disastrous rollout merely “complicated.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
As the segment began, Andrews hyped a Washington D.C. ObamaCare navigator, who he described as “encouraging holiday shoppers to sign up for ObamaCare” and hyped the navigator proclaiming that enrollment is “definitely picking up and I’m getting more people signed up.”
Rather than exposing the numerous delays to the ObamaCare mandate as evidence of the law’s failures, Andrews spins yet another delay as “the administration changed several rules to make signups easier.”
Instead of providing quotes or sound bites of Republicans, Andrews merely played President Obama defending the law and then a quote from ObamaCare supporter Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressing his hope that “the market can produce the products that we need to keep us healthy.”
The segment concludes with Andrews using the opportunity to reassure viewers that in his mind ObamaCare is going to be just fine:
We should also point out today is just the deadline coverage that starts in January. The final deadline for signups next year is March 31st, three months away.
See relevant transcript below.
CBS This Morning
December 23, 2013
7:09 a.m. Eastern
VINITA NAIR: Americans buying insurance under president Obama's health care law must enroll by midnight tonight if they want to be covered on January 1st. The White House says more than 1 million people have signed up so far but insurance industry officials say recent rule changes are making the law more complicated. Wyatt Andrews is in Washington with more. Wyatt, good morning.
WYATT ANDREWS: Good morning, Vinita and Jeff. Today marks the first major deadline to sign up for insurance under the new healthcare law. And in many states that meant that the websites, call centers, and employees were working overtime this past weekend.
KARIMA WILLIAMS: It tells you what actually the essential benefits that ObamaCare will cover.
ANDREWS: In Washington, D.C., employees from the District's online marketplace DC Healthlink were encouraging holiday shoppers to sign up for ObamaCare.
WILLIAMS: At first it was slow and now it’s definitely picking up and I’m getting more people signed up.
ANDREWS: Similar efforts were held across the country from Florida to California, but while the federal website was broken for most of the first two months of enrollment, the administration changed several rules to make signups easier. If your policy from last year was canceled, you may be allowed to renew it depending on the rules in your state. Some people with cancelled plans who can't afford a new one may be eligible for catastrophic insurance with lower premiums but limited benefits. For most people who do sign up tonight, you'll be covered starting January 1st but won't owe your first premium until January 10th. Republicans still believe the mandate should be delayed by one year. They've been joined by some Democrats including Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
JOE MANCHIN: This whole 2014 will be a transitional year to find out where our glitches are and our little nuances that we have to work and find out if the market can produce the products that we need to keep us healthy.
ANDREWS: The president has said no to a one-year delay arguing that signups in the now functioning website have been strong.
BARACK OBAMA: More than half a million Americans have enrolled through healthcare.gov in the first three weeks of December alone. Despite all the problems. Despite the website problems, the messaging problems, despite all that, it's working.
ANDREWS: The president's signup numbers represent 25,000 new customers every day, but that double needs to double to more than 50,000 a day for ObamaCare to meet its early projections of 7 million newly insured Americans. So Jeff and Vinita we should also point out today is just the deadline coverage that starts in January. The final deadline for signups next year is March 31st, three months away.