CNN Hypes Family's 'Fear' of SCOTUS Striking Down ObamaCare

For the second day in a row, CNN appealed to emotion and aired the story of an innocent chid that made the case for ObamaCare. On Tuesday morning they featured a heartrending account of an epileptic three year-old girl who will soon reach her lifetime benefit limits on health insurance – if the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare.

CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen made the Court's decision as personal as possible, even though the Court is simply determining the constitutionality of the bill. "These nine Supreme Court justices will forever affect the life of 3-year-old Violet McManus," she gravely began.

Cohen emphasized the family's fear of ObamaCare's mandate being struck down. "Are you worried about what the Supreme Court might do?" she asked Violet's mother Julie Waters – as if the Court will be personally stripping the child of her health insurance benefits.  

And she closed out the interview by asking the parents what they would tell the justices – who, by the way, are determining the constitutionality of a law and not politicking against families receiving health insurance benefits.

On the previous day, CNN hosted 13 year-old health care activist Marcelas Owens, who was present at the signing of the health care law. Owens became an "activist" for the bill after his mother died without health insurance, and his story was touted by the left and the liberal media in the final days preceding the passage of ObamaCare.

Anchor Alina Cho encouraged the child activist.  "I think what you're doing is extraordinary. I wish you the very best of luck, and keep us posted on what you're up to, okay?" she gushed.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on March 27 on Newsroom at 10:42 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

CAROL COSTELLO: Okay. We're going to – we're going to look away from this for just a moment because as you know, there are two sides to ObamaCare. And people feel passionately on both sides. Now we're going to tell you about one family who waits in fear for the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the so-called "ObamaCare." CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has that side of the story.

(Video Clip)

[HEADLINE: Debating Health Care at Supreme Court: Individual mandate arguments bring heard]

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN senior medical correspondent: (voice-over) These nine Supreme Court justices will forever affect the life of 3-year-old Violet McManus.

(on camera): Are you worried about what the Supreme Court might do?

JULIE WALTERS, Violet's mother: I'm really scared. Very scared. Like "I can't sleep" scared.

COHEN (voice-over): Violet's mother Julie knows if the justices overturn health care reform, Violet will lose her health insurance.

(on camera): Tell me why it's scary for you.

WALTERS: Our daughter could die and there's nothing we can do about it.

COHEN (voice-over): Violet was born healthy, then when she was 11 months old she had her first seizure.

WALTERS: Our daughter was completely blue in her crib and shaking.

COHEN: It was epilepsy. When seizures strike, Violet stops breathing as many as 30 times a day.

(on camera): So she has three drugs and she has an alarm system and she has oxygen.

WALTERS: Yes.

COHEN: I mean this all gets expensive.

(voice-over): Violet has health insurance through her dad Matt's work.

MATT MCMANUS, Violet's father: Great job.

COHEN: It's paid for her care, including several long, expensive hospitalizations. And that's why the McManus family will be watching the Supreme Court decision so closely. If the court gets rid of health care reform, their insurance company could stop paying for Violet's care in as soon as two years.

MCMANUS: Walk down the steps.

COHEN: Because she'll have met her lifetime limit on benefits.

(on camera): If you could channel your thoughts and wishes to the Supreme Court justices, what would you tell them?

MCMANUS: If I could say anything to them, I would say just imagine having your daughter because it can happen to anyone. So, you never know. Life changes.

(End Video Clip)

COHEN: More than 100 million Americans, Carol, have these lifetime limits like Violet does. So if health care reform gets reversed by the court, those limits would likely come back again.

COSTELLO: And tell us how the individual mandate plays into this family's drama.

COHEN: Sure. The individual mandate says that nearly every American has to have health insurance. That brings money into the coffers and that helps insure people like Violet. I mean her insurance company wanted to cut her off at the cap in order to save money. Well, if you have more money coming in because of the individual mandate, you don't have to cut her off.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014