MSNBC.com Takes Offense for Obama: Is Clinton 'Underminer-in-Chief', Website Asks

"[Former president] Clinton did President Obama no favors this week when he endorsed a growing push on Capitol Hill to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to allow people to keep their existing individual health insurance policies if they want to," MSNBC.com's Zachary Roth lamented in his November 13 story, "What's Bill Clinton up to on Obamacare?"

The teaser on the MSNBC.com main page was more hard-hitting: "The underminer-in-chief?" asked the headline emblazoned over a black-and-white photo of a half-smiling Clinton [see screen capture below page break]. Roth went on to explain that Clinton's proposed solution "would badly—perhaps fatally—undermine Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment," presuming, of course, that that's a bad thing. After mentioning how the White House is dancing around this little embarrassing incident, Roth followed up with quotes from two left-wing activists who are disenchanted with the former president's remarks (emphasis mine):


“Not sure how helpful that was,” Will Marshall, the president of the Progressive Policy Institute, who worked closely with Clinton in the ‘80s and ‘90s to move the Democratic Party toward the center, told msnbc.

“Practically speaking, it’s hard to see how to get a legislative fix through Congress,” Marshall said. “One has to think about the means not just the good ends of policy in this context. And I don’t know what [Clinton’]s theory for that is.”

As a policy matter, changing the ACA in the way Clinton wants would be disastrous for the law, Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economics professor who was a key architect of Obamacare, as well as the similar Massachusetts law championed by Mitt Romney, told msnbc. At issue are low-cost plans that insurers are now scrapping because they don’t meet the ACA’s requirements for coverage, forcing some of those who were on the plans to pay more (and to get better coverage in return). But, Gruber explained, it’s essentially impossible to reform the existing insurance market and cover the uninsured without requiring a small number of people to foot some of the cost.

“It’s Bill Clinton essentially saying that he doesn’t want healthcare reform,” Gruber said, calling the former president’s comments “outrageous.”

“There’s no way to have health care reform and be less disruptive than what we get under this law,” said Gruber, noting that Clinton’s own failed reform measure would have been far more disruptive to the existing health insurance market.

And there you have it. In the midst of its crusade to doggedly defend President Obama's signature policy accomplishment, MSNBC.com is unwittingly publishing a painful truth: left-wing advocates of "health care reform" think that a few million eggs have to be broken to create the promised heavenly omelet that is "affordable" health care for all, and we are expected to fall in line for the greater good.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters