MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan on Friday got into a very heated discussion about healthcare reform with Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) that resulted in the "Morning Meeting" host abruptly ending his interview with her and moving on to another guest.
After Schultz spouted the usual Democrat talking points about the benefits of healthcare reform legislation currently before Congress, Ratigan pointed out that forcing people to buy health insurance without actually increasing the amount of competition in the marketplace is not a sound financial idea:
It basically allows the taxpayer to take the hit to pay for the uninsured, but it does not deal with the underlying symptom as to why there are so many uninsured...[P]art of the problem in this country is that our politicians do not understand that they make laws that create total imbalances.
Despite Ratigan's left-leaning views, the points he made during this segment have been largely ignored by Obama-loving media that have been doing their darnedest to get healthcare reform legislation passed with total disregard for what any of the bills being discussed actually do (video embedded below the fold with rough transcript, h/t Allahpundit):
DYLAN RATIGAN, HOST: Are the Democrats at this point terrified to not get something? In other words, is there a pressure before you go home for recess to know that you're going to be able to go home and talk about passing some form of healthcare?
After Schultz gave an astonishingly disingenuous, stock answer filled with the usual Democrat talking points, Ratigan countered:
RATIGAN: So, here's a couple of the issues that come up I would love to get your response to, and I want to show you this, and you can explain it to me. As you know, in addition to everything you just described, this does very little to bring real competition and choice into the insurance marketplace. It does very little to reform the insurance monopolies. It does very little to create more choices for everybody in America for their healthcare. But at the same time, it mandates that everybody in America face penalties if they don't buy healthcare.
So the result of that has been the following: you know the monopoly scenario. I want you to take a look at the insurance stocks in this country on news that a bill may be passed that mandates the creation of millions of new customers but does not reform the monopoly structure. Take a look at the insurance stocks since November 17th. WellPoint up thirteen percent, that's over a course of a few weeks, United Health up ten percent, Aetna up twelve percent, Humana up six percent. Those health insurance companies are up because being an unreformed oligopoly, monopoly, and having now the benefit of a government that is assigning the expense of covering the uninsured without reforming the monopoly. It basically allows the taxpayer to take the hit to pay for the uninsured, but it does not deal with the underlying symptom as to why there are so many uninsured, which is we have an unreformed private insurance monopoly in this country that is now being guaranteed more customers by the government. Why is that a good thing for America?
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, (D-FLA.): Dylan, when this bill passes and becomes law, life in America for insurance companies is going to be, you know, very different than it is today.
RATIGAN: Apparently so. Apparently it's worth again another ten percent in their stock --
SCHULTZ: Come on, Dylan. Come on, Dylan.
RATIGAN: What do you mean -- what do you mean, "Come on, Dylan?" Are you telling me Wall Street is so stupid that they bid up the insurance stocks ten to fifteen percent because they're morons? Why are the stocks up?
SCHULTZ: I'd love an opportunity to answer your question.
RATIGAN: Go nuts.
SCHULTZ: Because we are going to shift the insurance company focused healthcare reform system to a consumer-focused system. Yes, I would have loved to see...
RATIGAN: Hold on. How is it a consumer-focused system --
RATIGAN: -- for you to mandate by law that people buy health insurance --
SCHULTZ: Dylan, you're not letting me answer.
RATIGAN: -- without giving them more choices? How is that --
SCHULTZ: Dylan, if you'll let me answer the question.
RATIGAN: That is business driven, If I can pass a law to force everybody to watch my TV show and not let them -- have the government make it so you can't change the channel? How's that, that's what we're doing with health insurance.
SCHULTZ: There's not much point in having me on if you're not going to let me respond. I would actually like to tell you if you would let me speak.
RATIGAN: I'm all ears, if you actually answer my question.
SCHULTZ: Thank you. I'd be glad too.
RATIGAN: Why are the insurance company stocks all up? That's my question.
SCHULTZ: I am not a stock analyst.
RATIGAN: I am. I am a stock analyst. Let me give you a brief education. Stock prices go up...
SCHULTZ: Dylan, let me answer your question.
RATIGAN: No, why are those stocks up? I'll tell you why those stocks are up. Because stocks go up when companies are perceived to make more money in the future.
SCHULTZ: You could be your own guest. Okay, Dylan. This is the most significant reform of the health care system in history. We are shifting the insurance companies -- the focus on insurance companies --
RATIGAN: You're not answering my question. You're not answering my question. I don't have the time for it. I don't have the time for you to come do talking points because it makes you feel good.
SCHULTZ: And you should bring a stock analyst on your show.
RATIGAN: If you want to answer my questions, I'd love to have you on. If you want to do Democrat or Republican talking points, you should go on a show where you do Democrat or Republican talking points.
SCHULTZ: Well --
RATIGAN: Thank you so much. That's it.
SCHULTZ: If you want to have someone analyze stocks, bring someone from Wall Street on your show.
RATIGAN: No, I don't want anyone to analyze stocks, but I hate to tell you the stock market reflects reality, and when health insurance companies explode higher by 10 percent on a piece of legislative news, it's because you and the politicians in this country have created legislation that is guaranteeing they make more money. And part of the problem in this country is that our politicians do not understand that they make laws that create total imbalances. This is a waste of time. Wendell Potter on the phone, senior - Debbie, thank you so much - senior fellow for healthcare reform...
Outstanding. Absolutely outstanding.
Of course, I don't agree with Ratigan's stance on healthcare reform. However, the point he made was spot on: those pushing the current legislation don't have any idea how it's going to impact the marketplace, and they don't care.
This is all about getting a victory for Obama and the Democrats moving into next year's crucial elections, and the merits of the bills before Congress are irrelevant.
In the end, if more television hosts and anchors grilled Democrat politicians the way Ratigan grilled Schultz, we'd have a far more informed electorate, and maybe far more knowledgeable political officials.
After all, we're quite used to Republicans being questioned this way by liberal "journalists." Wasn't it nice to see a Democrat get treated like this on a network not beginning with the letter "F"?
In fact, if this happened more often, it would be less easy to accuse media members of bias when they treated Republicans so mercilessly.
Bravo, Dylan! Bravo!