On Christmas Eve, CBS Tees Up to Promote ObamaCare
CBS This Morning has given the White House a big Christmas gift this year in the form of a glowing story about Americans signing up for ObamaCare. In a December 24 puff piece, CBS Reporter Chip Reed offers up what amounts to no more than ObamaCare propaganda on the eve of the ObamaCare signup deadline.
The segment began with fill-in host Vinita Nair touting the Obama Administration line that, “Healthcare.gov is seeing a Christmas rush as Americans try to sign up for health insurance that starts January 1st… The demand was so high the deadline is extended through today.”
After giving her ObamaCare stamp of approval, reporter Chip Reid proceeded to highlight a segment featuring three ObamaCare supporters eager to sign up for insurance but offered not a single opponent of the law. Rather than offer up quotes from a Republican, Reid instead played a clip of White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest hyping the law.
After cheering on the law, Reid did manage to briefly mention at the end of the segment that:
The president who played his second round of golf in three days in Hawaii Monday had an aide sign him up for health insurance back in Washington, D.C. The White House concedes it's only a symbolic gesture though.
Even though Reid did include the fact that an aide to President Obama signed the president up for “symbolic” coverage under ObamaCare, it would have been nice for the CBS reporter to provide more balanced coverage of ObamaCare’s problems rather than giving the president a big Christmas gift wrapped with a propaganda bow.
See relevant transcript below.
CBS This Morning
December 24, 2013
7:12 a.m. Eastern
VINITA NAIR: Healthcare.gov is seeing a Christmas rush as Americans try to sign up for health insurance that starts January 1st. The Obama Administration says the health care website had 1 million unique visits yesterday. The demand was so high the deadline is extended through today. Chip Reid is Honolulu as the president continues his Hawaiian vacation. Chip good morning.
CHIP REID: Well, good morning Jeff and Vinita. The White House was a bit reluctant to announce this one-day extension for signing up for health insurance because they were afraid it might add to the perception that the website is still not functioning properly. But in the end, they decided it was more important to give people a little more time. In Washington, D.C., signing up for health insurance was a race to the finish for Lauren L. Mills who was told Monday was the deadline for people who want their insurance to take effect on January 1st.
UNKNOWN PERSON 1: There was a deadline, and I definitely wanted to get the health care coverage. Tried myself a couple times online and had issues of actually trying to sign on.
REID: In Austin, Texas, Brian Horst and Elizabeth Anderson also felt the pressure to get it done now.
BRIAN HORST: I tried to sign on the first day, and it didn't work, so I waited a while and I kept trying.
ELIZABETH ANDERSON: It's not like we just woke up today and found out today was the last day. We actually have been trying the whole time.
REID: But Monday turned out not to be the last day. The Obama Administration announced at the last minute that consumers could have one more day. White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
JOSH EARNEST: One of our operating principles throughout this process has been to give people as much flexibility to try to ease this transition that’s under way. In order to meet the deadline and have coverage on January 1st you have to begin that process on December 23rd. But if you started that process on December 23rd you have 24-hours to complete that process. We have total confidence in the system. I'm also confident that there will be critics who say this is just another delay.
REID: The president who played his second round of golf in three days in Hawaii Monday had an aide sign him up for health insurance back in Washington, D.C. The White House concedes it's only a symbolic gesture though. The president will pay a $400 monthly premium out of his own pocket, but as Commander in Chief, he'll still get his around-the-clock health care from the military. Now, it's important to make one thing very clear. If you want your health insurance to take effect on January 1st, today is the deadline. But if you're not in a big hurry, you still have until the end of March to sign up.