CBS Notices Senate Dem's 'Train Wreck' Label of ObamaCare; ABC, NBC Ignore

Jan Crawford touted how ObamaCare going into full effect in early 2014 is "causing all kinds of concern and anxiety, especially with...small business owners" on Friday's CBS This Morning. Crawford also pointed out Senator Max Baucus' April 17, 2013 "train wreck" label of the upcoming implementation of the health care law. This was the first time that a Big Three morning or evening newscast mentioned Baucus' blunt remark.

The correspondent zeroed in on a California bakery whose owner asserted that he "can't make any decisions, because the federal government is giving no guidance" with regard to ObamaCare.

Jan Crawford, CBS News Correspondent; Screen Cap From 3 May 2013 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgAnchor Norah O'Donnell previewed the journalist's report by underling how "President Obama's landmark health care law goes into full effect next year, but some small business owners are getting pretty nervous. Even some who backed the law are starting to ask questions." Crawford led the segment by spotlighting how "this new health care law, really, is just barreling down the tracks", and continued with her "concern and anxiety" line.

The CBS correspondent featured Hans Rockenwagner, whose bakery is "known throughout Los Angeles for its artisan breads". She outlined that the "looming provisions in the President's health care reform law have the small business owner worried about his company's future....Rockenwagner and other small business owners worry the cost to provide coverage could consume their profits. Rockenwagner says his annual cost would total around $300,000."

Later, Crawford noted how "President Obama downplayed the concerns this week" at his Tuesday news conference, and played a clip of the liberal politician acknowledging the "people who are nervous and anxious" about the health care law. But she quickly followed this with the Baucus "train wreck" sound bite, and continued with a third clip from a Democrat – Senator Harry Reid – who actually seconded Baucus.

It should be pointed out that NBC had an opportunity to report on the Montana senator's remark, due to correspondent Chuck Todd asking President Obama about it at the Tuesday news conference. But as the MRC's Kyle Drennen documented, the network chose instead to hit the chief executive from the left on the issue of the Guantanamo Bay detainee camp.

Towards the end of her report, the CBS journalist highlighted a recent poll from the left-leaning Kaiser Family Foundation that found that "42 percent of Americans don't even realize the President's health care law is on the books, and nearly six in ten of the uninsured don't understand how it will impact them."

The full transcript of Jan Crawford's report from Friday's CBS This Morning:


NORAH O'DONNELL: Some small business owners are worried about the new health care law called ObamaCare. They fear what it means for their bottom line, and that includes one businessman who once supported health care reform.

Jan Crawford is in Washington. Jan, good morning.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, good morning, Norah, Charlie. This new health care law, really, is just barreling down the tracks. It's going to be fully implemented by January 1, and that is causing all kinds of concern and anxiety, especially with those small business owners, who are – say they don't understand how this new law works or how they're going to pay for it.

[CBS News Graphic: "Health Care Act Concerns: Small Businesses Not Ready For New Law"]

CRAWFORD: Hans Rockenwagner's bakery is known throughout Los Angeles for its artisan breads, but looming provisions in the President's health care reform law have the small business owner worried about his company's future.

HANS ROCKENWAGNER, ROCKENWAGNER BAKERY OWNER: The employees are asking, how is this going to effect me? How do I need to budget myself?

CRAWFORD: Because Rockenwagner employs more than 50 people, he is required by the law to offer health insurance, or pay a fine every year of $2,000 per employee. Rockenwagner and other small business owners worry the cost to provide coverage could consume their profits. Rockenwagner says his annual cost would total around $300,000. But what's even worse – he says he can't make any decisions, because the federal government is giving no guidance.

ROCKENWAGNER: What are the rates? Who are the carriers? Who's covered? Who's not?

CRAWFORD: President Obama downplayed the concerns this week.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from press conference): Any time you're implementing something big, there's going to be people who are nervous and anxious about is it going to get done – until it's actually done.

CRAWFORD: But it's not just business owners sounding the alarm. Democratic Senator Max Baucus, who helped write the massive health care bill, recently confronted the President's top adviser in charging of implementing the law.

SEN. MAX BAUCUS, (D), MONTANA (from congressional hearing): I just see a huge train wreck coming down. And you and I have discussed this many times, and I don't see any results yet.

CRAWFORD: And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had this to say when a caller asked him about it on a radio show.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1 (from "The Rusty Humphries Show"): What do you think of Max Baucus causing it 'train wreck'?

SEN. HARRY REID, (D), NEVADA, MAJORITY LEADER: Max said unless we implement this properly, it's going to be train wreck, and I agree with him.

CRAWFORD: Reid and administration officials say they need more money to develop detailed plans to help businesses. But as the deadline approaches, the public appears equally as confused. A new poll shows that 42 percent of Americans don't even realize the President's health care law is on the books, and nearly six in ten of the uninsured don't understand how it will impact them. People want answers, just like business owner Hans Rockenwagner.

[CBS News Graphic: "Health Care Law: Unaware of law, 42%; Uninsured: Don't know impact, 58%; Source: Kaiser Family Foundation Poll, April 15-20; Margin Of Error: +/- 4% Pts."]

ROCKENWAGNER: We want to do the right thing. Give us the pertinent information, so we can educate ourselves on what we need to do.

CRAWFORD (on-camera): Now, Republicans say they predicted this all along, and the last thing the government needs to do is just throw more money at this law. They are continuing to argue it should be repealed. But, Charlie and Norah, with Democrats controlling the Senate, you know that is not going to happen.

CHARLIE ROSE: Thank you, Jan.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center