Martin Bashir Uses Royal Birth To Slam Republicans, Push for ObamaCare

Leave it to MSNBC’s Martin Bashir to politicize even the most non-political of events. Take for example yesterday's royal birth, which British subject Martin Bashir decided was an appropriate opportunity to slam Republicans on two different occasions. On July 22 and July 23, Mr. Bashir went on the air to blame the GOP-controlled House of Representatives for the economy's sluggishness as well as to push ObamaCare, which if not implemented, demonstrates how the “difference between the two systems [British vs. American] can be a little bit depressing."

Bashir’s first example of political exploitation occurred on July 22 as a guest on MSNBC’s The Cycle, in which he turned a question about the economic problems in England into an attack on the GOP. Bashir agued that:

Part of the fascination with the royal baby has been because people have been so depressed by the economic circumstances in the United Kingdom that they have been looking for some kind of like relief. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]

Bizarrely, this allowed the MSNBC host to rail against Republicans in the House of Representatives:

This president has not really been allowed to do what he would have liked to have done, which would have of course accelerated this nation's economic progress, notwithstanding also the fact that the sequester is a self-injury to the nation's economy.

As if that weren’t enough, on July 23, Bashir doubled down on his politicizing, this time referencing the need for ObamaCare:

The Affordable Care Act, when it comes into force next year, is actually going to contain enforcements so that women who are pregnant and who have children will be properly covered with maternity care. Ant's that’s a fantastic part of the Affordable Care Act, notwithstanding the fact that Speaker Boehner and the raucous caucus like to spend every week trying to repeal it.

Bashir even suggested that if it weren’t for the fact that the baby were born into royalty, had it been born in the United States, its very health would be in jeopardy without ObamaCare:

In this country, we’ve had such a contentious fight over the Affordable Care Act and I was interested in looking at the facts about infant mortality in this country. The United States has one of the worst levels of infant mortality in the developed world. And to a large extent, that's because women don't have sufficient maternity care cover.

Bashir concluded his second day of politicizing the royal birth by disgustingly commenting that, “To see the kind of difference between the two systems can be a little bit depressing.”

Curiously, Bashir failed to note that the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth in a private medical wing and received top-notch private health care, not National Health Service coverage that is woefully horrendous for child and mother. From the June 15 edition of the London Daily Telegraph:

Units in some trusts are closing every other day as staff shortages and a lack of available beds prevent them from admitting new patients.

With wards closing for periods of up to three days at a time, data obtained by The Telegraph suggests more than 1,700 women have been turned away over the past two years.

Patients who went into labour faced the daunting decision of travelling up to 65 miles to the nearest ward with an available bed, or giving birth at home.

At Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, units closed 353 times in 24 months at two hospitals where the third and fourth series of “One Born Every Minute”, the Channel Four documentary series, was filmed.

In most cases a lack of beds or “capacity” was cited as the reason for closures, which typically lasted several hours at a time and sometimes saw wards shut for several days.

Shortages of midwives, consultants, anesthetists and other medical staff were the other major cause for turning women away as staff decided it would be unsafe to admit new patients.

Belinda Phipps, the CEO of National Childbirth Trust, urged commissioners to make sure there were enough midwives to cope with the high demands.

She said: “It is disconcerting to hear that so many hospitals are unable to cope safely with the number of women arriving at their doors. For many birthing women, being told your chosen place of birth is not available is stressful and can have worrying implications, such as travelling in labour.

Yes, Martin, the difference between a government-run system and private health care is a little bit depressing.

 

See relevant transcripts below.


MSNBC

Andrea Mitchell Reports

July 23, 2013

1:51 p.m. Eastern

MARTIN BASHIR: I should also point out, Andrea, that St. Mary’s Hospital Paddington is part of the jewel in the British crown, which is the National Health Service. And although the Lindo Wing is a private wing, as Chris Jasnsing was just explaining, it's directly connected to the rest of the hospital where they have a very large maternity wing and plenty of women have babies there my own wife was a midwife in London. All three of our children were at the hospital where she worked as a midwife, at St. George's Hospital in south London. And you were talking earlier about the crowds of people who are gathered. And the National Health Service is something that everybody is engaged in. And of course, in this country, we’ve had such a contentious fight over the Affordable Care Act and I was interested in looking at the facts about infant mortality in this country. The United States has one of the worst levels of infant mortality in the developed world. And to a large extent, that's because women don't have sufficient maternity care cover. Now, the Affordable Care Act, when it comes into force next year, is actually going to contain enforcements so that women who are pregnant and who have children will be properly covered with maternity care. Ant's that’s a fantastic part of the Affordable Care Act, notwithstanding the fact that Speaker Boehner and the raucous caucus like to spend every week trying to repeal it.

ANDREA MITCHELL: And in fact it’s prenatal care and the nutrition and all the other prenatal care that's part of that. It's a healthy reminder, no pun intended, that the National Health Service in the U.K. is celebrated for many, many reasons. And this is just one of them. Obviously, the Royals would have access to the very best of everything, but it is universally available to people in Great Britain.

BASHIR: I have to tell you, Andrea that all three of our children were born in the NHS, and we were served by the most wonderful midwives, and all three of them were healthy and everything went well. And we didn't pay an additional cent beyond our own taxation. It is a wonderful thing, a wonderful part of Britain. My wife works here in New York for a number of charities. To see the kind of difference between the two systems can be a little bit depressing because there are large numbers of people who have no medical health care whatsoever in this country.

 

MSNBC

The Cycle

July 22, 2013

3:45 p.m. Eastern

LUKE RUSSERT: Martin, I want to ask you this in terms of what this baby means. Obviously, that's the sort of central question we have here. But specifically, you know the immense economic problems going on right now in England. It's a very difficult place in terms of trying to move upward in society

MARTIN BASHIR: Well, actually, Luke, it's fascinating. Because you spend your time in congress talking to people like Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Congressman Paul Ryan. And you will know everything that they espouse about an economic theory applied in a recession has been applied in the United Kingdom. And what we've had in the United Kingdom is a near triple-dip recession. Inflation is currently 3% and rising. Unemployment is about 11 -- sorry, 8.5% percent. Zero growth for the last three quarters. And some people are suggesting that part of the fascination with the royal baby has been because people have been so depressed by the economic circumstances in the United Kingdom that they have been looking for some kind of like relief. I believe that there's some truth in that. And when you compare the United Kingdom with what the president of the United States has desperately tried to do here, it's a vastly superior set of economic circumstances. The sadness is, of course, that this president has not really been allowed to do what he would have liked to have done, which would have of course accelerated this nation's economic progress, notwithstanding also the fact that the sequester is a self-injury to the nation's economy.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.