CBS's O'Donnell Asks If Romney Has 'Credibility Problem' on ObamaCare Mandate

Norah O'Donnell kept safeguarding provisions of ObamaCare on Sunday's Face the Nation, daring Speaker John Boehner to oppose "protections for individuals" in the bill. She also asked if Mitt Romney has a "credibility problem" for opposing the law's individual mandate.

"But he [Romney] was for it before," O'Donnell insisted to Boehner. "Doesn't he have a credibility problem?"

O'Donnell continued her pro-Obama spin from the previous week by listing parts of the bill that might be hazardous for Republicans to repeal.

"Is there anything good in this law?" she pressed Boehner before rattling off a list of provisions in the bill like "free mammograms under Medicare" and coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

After Boehner admitted to being fine with certain provisions, but not how they are carried out in ObamaCare, O'Donnell then badgered him about why he wanted to repeal the whole law. "Why not, then, if you like some of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, why not work with it rather than ap – repeal the whole thing?"

O'Donnell also scoffed at the Republican plan to vote once again to repeal the law. "What's the point?" she asked.

A partial transcript of the interview, which aired on Face the Nation on June 1 at 10:32 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

NORAH O'DONNELL: The House has already voted some thirty times to repeal or defund this law. What's one more vote going to do?

Rep. JOHN BOEHNER (R-Ohio), Speaker of the House: And we're going to do it one more time.

O'DONNELL: What's the point?

BOEHNER: It's -- we want to show people we are resolved to get rid of this. This law –

O'DONNELL: You don't think after thirty times they think you're resolved?

(...)

O'DONNELL: Is there anything good in this law?

BOEHNER: Well, there's always going to be parts of it that are good. But when you look at the 2,700 that no one read and, uh, you know, remember Nancy Pelosi said well, we have to pass this before we know what's in it. Republicans are not going to go down that path.

O'DONNELL: I asked you if there's anything good in it because I want to ask you about some of the specific provisions in the bill. Since you are going to be repealing it, are you willing to roll back the provisions that would provide free mammograms under Medicare?

BOEHNER: Listen, there are a lot of provisions that can be replaced. Remember, I said, we want to take a common-sense, step-by-step approach to replacing ObamaCare.

O'DONNELL: Let's talk about what's specifically in this bill because there are a lot of protections for individuals.

BOEHNER: Of course there are.

O'DONNELL: If you are under twenty-six years old, you are out of a job, you can stay on your parent's insurance. Do you support that?

BOEHNER: I do. And the health insurance industry has made that a practice within their industry.

O'DONNELL: What about it --

BOEHNER: They came out and made that statement a couple of weeks ago.

O'DONNELL: What about additional preventative care like for children, for instance, you don't have to pay a copay on immunizations?

BOEHNER: As I -- as I said, Republicans believe in a common-sense, step-by-step approach to replacing this law. And all of those provisions, popular provisions, many of them very sound provisions can, in fact, be done in a common-sense way, but not in 2,700 that no one read.

O'DONNELL: What about preexisting conditions? What about the millions of Americans that have preexisting conditions and are discriminated against?

BOEHNER: We believe that the way it is done within ObamaCare is -- is pushing the cost of health insurance for all Americans much too high. We believe that the state high-risk pools are a much more effective way to making sure that those with preexisting conditions have access to affordable health insurance.

O'DONNELL: Access to affordable health insurance, but you're not saying you would be for a law that would prevent discrimination of those individuals?

BOEHNER: No, we just believe there's a better way to make sure that they have affordable access to quality health insurance.

(...)

O'DONNELL: Why not, then, if you like some of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, why not work with it rather than ap -- repeal the whole thing?

(...)

O'DONNELL: It's clear you oppose the individual mandate, and yet your Republican nominee Mitt Romney came up with an individual mandate and proposed a tax penalty in Massachusetts. Does he have a credibility problem?

BOEHNER: Listen, Governor Romney, just like all the rest of us Republicans in Washington, are going to work to repeal ObamaCare. And our resolve is stronger than ever with the passage or with the approval of the Supreme Court.

O'DONNELL: But he was for it before. Doesn't he have a credibility problem?

BOEHNER: Yeah, this is an issue that was in Massachusetts. That's in one state. That's why we have fifty different states. They are laboratories of democracy. Governor Romney understands that ObamaCare will bankrupt our country and ruin the best health care delivery system in the world.

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