Belligerent Zeke Emanuel Again Helps the Anti-Obamacare Cause in Sunday Chris Wallace Interview

Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace was not in the mood to put up with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's standard-issue leftist guff on Sunday. Last night, I noted that the pressed Emanuel until he forced a "yes" out of him to a simple question: "Didn't he (President Obama) say, 'If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.'" That move brought out Emanuel's ridiculous contention that what Obama somehow really meant was, "If you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that. This is a matter of choice." Everyone but you and a few deluded leftists know that isn't so, Zeke.

A good example of Wallace standing up to what amounted to a bullying attempt by Emanuel, followed by a couple of other howlers delivered by Zeke the Bleak, are after the jump.

Here's the classic "I'll put words in his mouth and keep talking long enough so that he doesn't get to or remember to respond" gambit (some changes made to transcript to reflect what was actually said; bolds are mine throughout this post):

WALLACE: Since the relaunch a week ago of the Web site, enrollment numbers are up sharply. That's the good news. But the administration says that the Web site is still sending erroneous messages or incomplete information to insurers — about one in 10 people who think they have signed up.

Isn't a 10 percent error rate still a serious problem?


EMANUEL: Well, as I understand it, they're working very hard on those so-called 834 forms. And, second of all, they're working with the insurers to clean up that information. And they did push that a little further down, which they have time to do because they don't need to get the information to them for another few weeks. And they're both working really hard to solve that problem. In addition, they identified one bug that seemed to be causing a large portion --


WALLACE: But it's still a problem, would you agree, a 10 percent error rate?

EMANUEL: Look, they're solving problems. In October, you said they couldn't solve the problem of signing up. They have gone a long way --


WALLACE: I never said that. You're making that up, Dr. Ezek-, Dr. Emanuel.

EMANUEL: And now, they put -- they decidedly put this second and they're addressing it.

WALLACE: OK. But, let me make the point. I never said that they couldn't fix it. I'm just simply pointing out it isn't fixed and there's still a 10 percent error rate.

It would be nice if more interviewers of leftist prevaricators stood up to leftist blowhards as Wallace did to Emanuel.

Immediately following this exchange, Zeke went to the "Blame Bush" tactic:

WALLACE: Let's get into that, because you talked about the fact that the government sends nightly 834 forms, enrollment forms, to the insurers, which tell them how many people have signed up, who they are, all the information. But it turns out that somebody -- that some people are just left off entirely. That's called an "orphan report".

Isn't it the fact, isn't it certainly a real possibility, that thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people who think they've signed up, these so-called orphans, may end up on January 1st not having coverage?

EMANUEL: Well, it's an interesting issue. When we did the Medicare Part "D" under President Bush, that was the drug benefit for seniors, there were a lot of seniors who were left out and actually did get their drug refills, and there were millions of people at that -- that had problems during that switchover.

These are large prob -- these are large switchovers. And the government has said, and I believe Medicare has said, it's very important to call the insurance company you have to make -- to verify that you have. In addition, in this case, they're sending out information with cards so people know whether they're covered or not.

I think they're working diligently, both the insurers and the government to make sure that people don't find themselves on January 1st or January 2nd without coverage.

The Medicare Part D rollout was far less than perfect, but nothing like the disaster seen with and some of the state exchanges (e.g., Covered California alone "is currently buried under more than 20,000 incomplete paper applications for health insurance through the Golden State’s online marketplace."

As a final example (I could probably cite a half-dozen more from an interview which lasted only 11 minutes), Emanuel tried to pretend that the private sector has similarly serious problems with system rollouts:

Look, that's an important thing, and everyone is trying to work together to solve the problem. We're trying to make this thing work. Is there's going to be no glitches, I don't think anyone has that unrealistic expectation.

I know when I got my iPhone, there were lots of glitches. They sent updates for that. This happens with large scale enrollments of millions of people. But I think there's a diligent effort now on everyone's part to reduce the chance of people being left off.

Please. Emanuel is comparing mechanical problems in using a high-tech device to a seriously hindered ability to access health care, something the Obama has previously said "should be" a right for every American. And Apple fixes its problems, or resolves them as best it can, because if it doesn't, it loses market share to Samsung, HTC, and others. If the government doesn't fix — which IT security experts have declared should not be accessed by anyone concerned about the privacy of their personal information — or if the states don't fix their flawed exchanges (e.g., Maryland, Vermont, California, and surely others — there's no other alternative or recourse, except (for now) to decide at considerable personal risk not to participate.

I believe Emanuel's appearances with Wallace are counterproductive for Team Obama — which is why, as offensive as his statements and contentions are, I'd love to see them continue.

Slightly paraphrasing what I wrote a month ago when Emanuel laughably claimed that insurance companies and not Obamacare provisions are responsible for the millions of accompanying individual plan terminations (Obama himself owned up to that claim's falsehood several days later):

The best strategy for conservatives and libertarians seeking to more quickly build opposition to Obamacare ... may be to widely distribute the videos of Emanuel’s offensive Fox performances and root for the doctor to continue to do weekly rounds with Wallace.

Cross-posted at

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.