CBS's Garrett: 'Desperate' Obama Admin. Hopes to 'End ObamaCare Blues'

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Major Garrett emphasized the Obama administration was "desperate" to reverse the debacle over its so-called Affordable Care Act, twice asserting the executive branch was trying to "end the ObamaCare blues". Garrett also pointed out that "the White House has lowered expectations – both politically and mathematically – about as low as humanly possible" regarding ObamaCare enrollment numbers.

However, unlike his colleague Jan Crawford, the correspondent failed to explicitly point out how millions of Americans are losing their current health care coverage due to the controversial law. Instead, Garrett played up the larger expense of the new ObamaCare-friendly plans: [audio available here; video below the jump]

MAJOR GARRETT: ...[T]he White House is going to look at that solution it hopes to offer this week for those in the individual market whose costs are higher than expected. The President apologized for that last week, and White House aides tell me the President never would have apologized if he didn't have a solution he could offer.

Anchor Charlie Rose introduced the CBS journalist's report by noting that "the White House is expected this week to release enrollment numbers for the first month of ObamaCare. Officials are hoping the announcement will quiet some of the criticism. They want to give President Obama time to bounce back."

Garrett wasted little time before using his "ObamaCare blues" label, and soon added that "the President's poll numbers are down. Senate Democrats, especially those facing reelection next year, are worried about the implications of ObamaCare."

Near the end of the segment, the CBS correspondent contended that "none of these things individually will end the ObamaCare blues, but the White House hopes it can point to progress, action, and some hard data this week – and, as several aides said to me, stop playing defense, and seeming to apologize every other day".

The full transcript of the Major Garrett report from Monday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: The White House is expected this week to release enrollment numbers for the first month of ObamaCare. Officials are hoping the announcement will quiet some of the criticism. They want to give President Obama time to bounce back.

Major Garrett is at the White House. Major, good morning.

[CBS News Graphic: "ObamaCare Reset: White House Hopes To Highlight Progress"]

MAJOR GARRETT: Well, good morning, Charlie and Norah. The White House is desperate to end ObamaCare blues. The President's poll numbers are down. Senate Democrats, especially those facing reelection next year, are worried about the implications of ObamaCare. The White House hopes to begin to turn things around this week, and will be looking at three issues. One, of course, is the website. The White House hopes to prove that this week, the website is working better for the consumers and providing better data to the insurers. Number two, the White House is going to look at that solution it hopes to offer this week for those in the individual market whose costs are higher than expected. The President apologized for that last week, and White House aides tell me the President never would have apologized if he didn't have a solution he could offer. That's supposed to come this week.

[CBS News Graphic: "Presidential Approval: 2013: Nov., 41%; Source: Gallup Poll; Margin of Error: +/- 3% Pts."]


And, as you mentioned, Charlie, enrollment data – for the first time this week, the White House will unroll those hard numbers as to how many have actually been successful in signing up for ObamaCare. Now, the White House has lowered expectations – both politically and mathematically – about as low as humanly possible. The numbers aren't going to be that great, but the White House hopes they will serve, at least, as a baseline to point to in the future – to say the website's working better; more people are signing up.

[CBS News Graphic: "ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers: -Expectations low; -Baseline for future enrollment; -Will end speculation"]

Now, none of these things individually will end the ObamaCare blues, but the White House hopes it can point to progress, action, and some hard data this week – and, as several aides said to me, stop playing defense, and seeming to apologize every other day. Charlie and Norah?

NORAH O'DONNELL: Major, thank you.

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