Ed Schultz on Tuesday abruptly ended an interview with a Republican strategist when she accused him of lying to his audience about the significance of Monday's ruling striking down the Constitutionality of ObamaCare's mandate to buy health insurance.
When the host of MSNBC's "The Ed Show" said, "It’s not a big key element of the health care bill," sparks began to fly (video follows with transcript and commentary):
KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, look, why don’t you just look at the facts of the case and let’s have a discussion about, you know, whether or not the federal government.
JACK RICE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Let’s talk about the facts of the case.
HANRETTY: .can determine whether or not they can force people across the United States to purchase something that they don’t want to purchase.
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: I can understand.
RICE: It’s a fascinating thing to me. It’s a very same arguments, Ed, that I heard about Social Security and Medicare. It’s the same sort of.
HANRETTY: You don’t purchase Social Security.
RICE: It’s exactly the same. And by the way, this very same judge said, you know what, we’re going to be arguing this case until 2014 anyway. Trust me, he’s going to make enough money on this either way. So will he benefit from this? Without question. I don’t doubt that. Frankly, if I have a judge who I think is bias, he should remove himself under these circumstances. It’s what I would expect when I walk into court today and when I walk into court tomorrow.
HANRETTY: What’s the Obama administration going to do? Is the Obama administration going to say, look, let’s send this -- we can appeal this, they can appeal this, you’re right, for the next two years or they can settle it once and for all and send it to the Supreme Court.
SCHULTZ: Well, they’ll probably send it to the Supreme Court. It’s not a big key element of the health care bill, in my opinion, because the insurance companies.
HANRETTY: It’s actually a huge part of the health care bill.
SCHULTZ: No, it’s not.
HANRETTY: No, it is, Ed. And you know what, you’re lying to your viewers.
SCHULTZ: Well, I’m not lying. Wait a minute, now, don’t call me a liar here on my own show here.
HANRETTY: No. You are absolutely -- you’re absolutely giving the wrong impression to your viewers.
SCHULTZ: Karen, I’m not going to take that, all right? You’re going into the gutter.
HANRETTY: If you don’t have a mandate.
SCHULTZ: Karen, you telling me you know more about health care than I do? See ya!
HANRETTY: Yes. I probably do. Sure.
SCHULTZ: No, you don’t, you don’t know. Let me straighten that out. Good night, Karen. Jack, thanks for being here.
HANRETTY: All right. I don’t know more than the guy on the radio. You’re right. I forgot, you’re the health care expert because you’re on the radio.
SCHULTZ: I want to be very clear about this. The president has never gone around saying that you got to have a mandate. This was a controversial issue. The fact of the matter is, one of the things that the Democrats definitely want is to get as many people covered as they possibly can. Now, if this provision is struck down, it will change the CBO forecast because maybe not as many people will be in it. But to say that it is key, no, it has nothing to do with pre-existing condition, it has nothing to do with an insurance company saying that we’re going to drop you because you got sick. Those are the two big things. It has nothing to do with young kids going on their parents’ policy until the age of 26. Those are the three big things in the health care bill.
The individual mandate isn't important to ObamaCare? That's certainly not how the Hill saw it on Monday:
The individual mandate was a central part of the healthcare reform law. It requires all people to buy insurance by 2014 or face a penalty. [...]
"Anyone familiar with 'ObamaCare' knows that Congress would not have approved any of its major provisions absent the individual mandate," said Michael Cannon of the libertarian Cato Institute. "The compulsion contained in the individual mandate was the main reason that most Democrats voted in favor of the law." [...]
However, major parts of the law — including the prohibition against rejecting people with pre-existing conditions and the requirement that everyone be offered the same rates regardless of their medical condition — "cannot be severed" from the mandate, the administration acknowledged.
Judge Hudson appeared to agree, saying that it would be "virtually impossible within the present record to determine whether Congress would have passed this bill" without the mandate. "Moreover," he added, "without the benefit of extensive exert testimony and significant supplementation of the record, this Court cannot determine what, if any, portion of the bill would not be able to survive independently."
Schultz himself must have felt the individual mandate was key to the legislation, for in March when the first lawsuits were filed specifically against this requirement, he devoted a good deal of time bringing on guests to determine the merits of the complaints.
This from March 23:
SCHULTZ: And 14 states officially filed suit against the federal government, claiming the insurance mandate is unconstitutional. With us tonight, Salon.com editor Joan Walsh and Republican strategist John Feehery.
John, I'll start with you first. Let's talk about the lawsuits. Do they have merit, in your opinion? Or is this just political theater and postures before the midterm?
So Schultz was worried about these suits when they were filed, but now that one has gone against the Obama administration, he doesn't think the individual mandate is important.
Seems like Hanretty was right about Schultz's veracity, doesn't it?