On Thurday, Fox News "analyst" Juan Williams and several other liberal journalists met privately and off the record with President Obama.
On Fox News Sunday, Williams went into what apparently are the administration's internal (and perhaps becoming external) talking points about the policy trainwrecks HealthCare.gov and Obamacare in general have become. They are that the Affordable Care Act's failure to gain the support of even one House or Senate Republican is the party's "original sin," and that the program's rollout is an attempt to fix what it inherited — yet another tacit contention which essentially comes down to, "It's Bush's fault."
Williams also totally failed to answer the question put before him, which concerned the fact that employer health coverage cancellations affecting tens of millions of Americans are on tap to occur next year in reaction to Obamacare's one size fits all minimum coverage standards (bolds are mine throughout this post):
CHRIS WALLACE: Nina, let's assume -- because at some point the web site will start working -- but we still have millions of people with canceled policies. It turns out this week we're finding out that doctors are not being included in a lot of these plans, so the promise if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor is not true. From your reporting, as the next few months go on, will the experience with ObamaCare be better or worse for people?
NINA EASTON (Fortune Magazine): I think George (Will) put his finger on it with that word, kerosene. This is supposed to be a safety net program, this is supposed to make people feel more secure. What it's doing is making people feel less secure. So beyond the website problems, you have got now stories of cancellations, the stage-four cancer victim who suddenly doesn't have coverage to go to her own doctors, you've got the child, this chronically sick child who can't go to the Seattle Children's Hospital because the cost of that hospital is so high, and they're not included. You've got stories after stories coming out now, and then you've got AEI coming out this week --
WALLACE: American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
EASTON: -- saying well -- American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank -- that -- it is predicting millions, tens of millions more cancellations by small businesses coming around next fall, deciding that they got in under the line, it's complicated, but they got in under the wire this time with their policies, but now they'll have to have Obama standard policies, and there's going to be cancellations coming out there.
So there's this sense, this deep sense of insecurity that I think has infused the body politic, and it's going to affect the 2014 elections.
JUAN WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I got to go talk with the president and senior officials at the White House this week, and this topic came up. Their position is, look, ObamaCare inherits all the problems of health care generally, but no one was promising that everyone was going to be executive suite at the Mayo Clinic. The idea is that you had people who were uninsured, people who were underinsured, and what the Affordable Care Act does is it sets minimum standards for networks, to make sure people have someplace to go, and there were so many people who had no place to go, and that's what they were addressing in trying to put in place this program.
And yet I mean, the attacks, I think this is just, again, more attacks coming from Republicans who don't like the plan. Guess what? I've gotten that message. ("I"? Not "they"? — Ed.) I think the president and the White House has gotten it, they don't like it. It's what the White House now calls the original sin. They cannot work or expect Republicans to work with them to fix the plan.
Blogger extraordinaire Ann Althouse did an excellent job earlier today breaking down Williams's hogwash. First, her reax to the out of the blue "Mayo Clinic" assertion:
... But look what Williams did ... (purporting to convey the White House message). Obama made promises he knew he wasn't going to keep, and he did it to get the law passed, and people are outraged over that. The White House talking point is to state a promise that Obama didn't make, as if to shift responsibility to the imaginary people who imagined they'd get that imaginary promise met.
I told you she's good.
Now about those "minimum standards":
... So they had a problem they were aiming at, but they caused havoc throughout the system even for people who were not part of the problem. The White House message is that we should only judge their actions by the effect on what they targeted, even though there were big spillover effects.
Exactly. I would only add that the administration isn't even trying to claim "unintended consequences" any more (I believe Obama last tried that that on November 14, which only compounded his five-year series of falsehoods), because it's obvious that forcing grandfathering failures was fully intended.
As to the administration's opponents:
The attacks should be disregarded because of who is making them: Republicans. And, too, the attacks aren't just from Republicans.
... The Republicans are exiled from the Garden of Legislating. They cannot be worked with, for they have committed The Original Sin.
Republicans have had ideas for improving the health care system all along. It's the Obama administration which has uncompromisingly insisted on a state-controlled, mandate-heavy system which is ruining the portions of the system which have worked all along and is utterly failing to create a viable outlet for those it claimed it would help.
Those who characterize Fox as the "conservative" network need to explain how that can be when someone who has allowed himself to become a de facto Obama administration microphone gets equal time with an AP reporter (Julie Pace), George Will, and a reporter for Time Warner magazine.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.