You reap what you sow. Most MSNBC hosts have excitedly touted ObamaCare over the past four years, despite warnings that the law would increase costs for businesses. Well, now we are beginning to see the natural consequences of what the health care law is doing to businesses, and at least one MSNBC host is upset by it.
On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt was incensed that Gator’s Dockside, a Florida restaurant chain, has started charging its customers a one percent surcharge to help cover expected ObamaCare-related costs. Witt fumed, “[I]s it even legal to just add on a surcharge like that? I mean, it’s essentially a tax.” [See video below the break.]
Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama's extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to "effectively become a government unto himself." If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley's testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.
On Tuesday evening, the networks continued their blackout of a CMS estimate that ObamaCare would raise health premiums for 11 million people -- almost two-thirds of small business plans.
The CMS report was released on Friday but the networks have been silent on it so far. The story wasn’t omitted from a busy news schedule, as the CBS Evening News carved out over two minutes to reminisce on the fiftieth anniversary of the Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston championship bout. The ABC World News ran a segment on “sleep whisperers” and insomnia.
Thanks to ObamaCare, about two-thirds of Americans who work at small businesses will see a spike in their health insurance premiums. Reaction at ABC, CBS and NBC to this devastating news for employees across the nation? A big fat yawn.
No one at the Big Three networks have reported on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) report, issued on Friday, that anticipates 65 percent of small businesses will see their health insurance premiums rise. This isn’t what the President promised on the 2012 campaign trail:
On February 10, in a rare moment of candor which was quickly edited away in subsequent revisions, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote that President Obama had unilaterally instituted delays and revisions in Obamacare's employer mandate because he was "angling to avoid political peril."
Of course he was. Postponing and revising the requirement that firms cover their employees "or face a $2000 fine per employee, after the first 30," delays the decidedly negative impact of the statist healthcare scheme until after November's elections. But in a Friday evening report, Politico's David Nather essentially tried to claim that Obama really acted against his own best interest (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Friday, Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin filed a Style section front-pager on Marlon Marshall, the “deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he is charged with helping to sell the Affordable Care Act, which remains politically polarizing and was damaged by a disastrous Web site rollout last fall.”
What sticks out most in this profile is how Planned Parenthood – which receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money each year – is an integral part of selling Obamacare door to door, and this is somehow not seen as controversial:
It’s bad enough that ObamaCare is taking its toll on private sector jobs but you would think liberal network reporters would be upset that it’s now cutting into their precious public sector positions too. But so far the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have yet to mention the news, published in one of their favorite liberal print organs The New York Times, that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is also hurting public employees.
In an article headlined “Public Sector Cuts Part-Time Shifts to Bypass Insurance Law” (that appeared online on Thursday and in the print edition on Friday), Robert Pear reported the following:
First Lady Michelle Obama insulted the young people of America during an appearance on Thursday night’s Tonight Show. Host Jimmy Fallon asked her why young people should sign up for ObamaCare if they can’t afford it, and Mrs. Obama struck a condescending note in her response. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
“[A] lot of young people think they’re invincible,” she said. “But the truth is, young people are knuckleheads. You know? They're the ones who are cooking for the first time and slice their finger open. They’re dancing on the bar stool.”
Liberals are winning wild praise for their candor in admitting problems with Obamacare. It shows you the level of honesty people have come to expect of our liberal friends. Now, liberals are applauded for not lying through their teeth about something.
What are they supposed to say? This Obamacare website is fantastic! And really, haven't you already read all the magazines in your current doctor's office anyway?
After Vice President Joe Biden admitted on Wednesday that the goal of getting 7 million people signed up for ObamaCare by March 31 would not happen, only Thursday's CBS This Morning made any mention of it, and then only giving the news a mere 29 seconds. Neither NBC nor ABC bothered to cover the acknowledgment of failure. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose reported: "This morning the Obama administration is lowering expectations for the Affordable Care Act. In Minneapolis, Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged Wednesday the goal of signing up 7 million Americans will likely fall short....Biden blames the troubled rollout of the health care website." The headline on screen read: "Short of Goal; Biden: Health Care Sign-Ups May Not Meet Target."
Question: If Obamacare officials cannot prevent accused embezzlers from infiltrating their offices, how can they protect enrollees from grifters, con artists and thieves in the federal health insurance exchange system?
Here in my home state, a director of Connect for Health Colorado — the state-sponsored Obamacare health insurance exchange — was just put on administrative leave. No, Christa Ann McClure did not go on leave over the chronic problems plaguing the cursed Connect for Health website. She's on leave because she has been indicted for filching funds from her last employer in Montana.
Now for a dose of MSNBC-style conservatism from Nicolle Wallace, a frequent network contributor and former White House communications director under George W. Bush. On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, Wallace trashed Tea Party members and other conservative Republicans as children while praising House Speaker John Boehner and his moderate ilk as the “grown-ups” of the party. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
During a discussion about Republicans gearing up for the midterm elections, Wallace praised Boehner for caving in on the debt ceiling earlier this month:
In the last couple of weeks ObamaCare has been dealt two serious setbacks: yet another delay in the employer mandate, and a devastating CBO report that claimed it will cost the equivalent of two million jobs. However, the reaction of Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network reporters to these latest ObamaCare failures has been to blow them off as just a little “hiccup.”
When the White House announced another delay in the enforcement of the employer mandate to buy health insurance, the networks couldn’t even cover the story for a full day. The first reports arrived on the February 10 evening news, with the final stories filed on the February 11 morning shows. In total the Big Three networks spent just 4 minutes and 26 seconds on the delay. ABC spent the least amount of time on the mandate extension (41 seconds) followed by NBC (53 seconds) with CBS (2 minutes, 53 seconds) devoting the most time to the topic. (videos after the jump)
CNN gave a prime exhibition of lazy journalism on Friday's The Situation Room when it touted Obama's "victory lap" because of "new ObamaCare enrollment numbers" without fact-checking to see if his optimism is warranted.
"President Obama is taking something of a victory lap I guess you could say," reported host Brianna Keilar. "At a meeting with House Democrats he praised his party for sticking it out on the debt ceiling fight and touted his administration's new ObamaCare enrollment numbers." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
You know this is the story the liberal media is dying to tell: Obamacare--The Triumphant Comeback! So like the dove returning to the Ark, there was the BBC's Katty Kay, guest-hosting today for Mika Brzezinski on Morning Joe, first to proclaim the good news.
Based on the latest enrollment numbers, Kay enthused "amazing how quickly we are starting to see the Obamacare story change its tone." Really? Tell us, Katty: of the people who have enrolled in Obamacare, how many have actually paid their premiums? And what percentage were healthy young people, needed to avoid an actuarial disaster? Take your time; we'll wait. View the video after the jump.
Following President Obama's joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC to dismiss a question Obama received about the latest ObamaCare mandate delay: "Republicans are trying to paint a picture of, 'There they go again. He's changing the law'....I have a feeling this one is gonna fade a little bit. Health care not itself, but I don't think this employer mandate attack by the right has a lot of legs today." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd's commentary was prompted by Andrea Mitchell Reports fill-in host Peter Alexander noting that Obama "had to deal with some of his domestic politics" during the diplomatic event. Todd dutifully parroted the President's spin on the issue: "...they believe that their decision on the employer mandate is much adieu about nothing. They believe this is a small thing. And you heard the President present it in the same terms as 'Hey, we've made exceptions for people on the individual mandate, this is all part of the implementation process.' He's trying to paint a picture of nothing to see here." Apparently Todd is ready to hang that picture above his mantle.
From the Not a Parody Department: Politico tweeted out on Wednesday night: “The #Obamacare rollout is changing before our very eyes.”
Under the headline "Obamacare finally clears the tower," reporter David Nather promised “The Obamacare rollout is changing in front of our eyes — turning from a running joke into one big shoulder shrug. And that’s good news for the White House, because at this point, even basic competence is good news.” The spin got even lamer:
Between Monday's network evening newscasts and Tuesday's morning shows, NBC, ABC and CBS failed to provide a single full report on President Obama unilaterally issuing another ObamaCare mandate delay for businesses. In addition, only a single sentence on Tuesday's CBS This Morning described the controversial move as the President "rewriting the law."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, Natalie Morales offered a 29-second news brief in which she downplayed the development: "Well, another hiccup this morning on the ObamaCare front." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Later in the show, co-host Matt Lauer and weatherman Al Roker found time to air a 2-minute segment they did on unusual outfits at the Sochi Olympic games.
As I noted Monday night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, displayed rare candor when he opened his 8:28 p.m. report on the latest unilateral changes to Obamacare by describing their motivation as "Angling to avoid political peril." I wrote last night that "I’ll be surprised if it (the "political" characterization) survives revisions later this evening." Well, it didn't.
At the AP's national site, the 8:28 p.m. link now goes to Alonso-Zaldivar's 3:27 a.m. rendition (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes). Just in time for review by morning news show producers and editors, the new story scrubs away any hint of political thinking on the part of the administration itself, instead depositing it with Democrats trying to hold the Senate in this November's elections. A national site search on "angling" confirms the old story's non-presence. There is a politics-related quote in the revised piece — but of course, only from a Republican.
As we have seen, the television networks have avoided the controversy of President Obama unilaterally delaying another Obamacare provision in the law yet again. Even more absurd is when a newspaper writer whose main task is to cover healthcare also neglects to mention that same elephant in the room. Such was the case with Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post who breezily reported on the details of the latest delay in the employer mandate but does not address the obvious presidential overreach of ignoring the provisions of the statute.
It was left to the readers of the Kliff article to go where Sarah dare not tread. It was another case in which the comments section was way more informative than the article itself. Here is Kliff defining "rewriting" as "relaxing":
On Monday evening’s news casts, none of the networks recognized the controversy of President Obama possibly acting outside the Constitution to delay ObamaCare’s employer mandate.
The President granted a one-year delay for businesses with 50 to 99 employees to provide them with health insurance. It was the second time he had delayed the mandate and thus changed a law passed by Congress, but the networks had only highlighted the controversy the first time.
The opening of Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar's 8:28 p.m. report on President Obama's latest round of extra-legal, extra-constitutional manuevers relating to the Affordable Care Act — scratch that, it really isn't the Affordable Care Act as written any more; it really is "Obamacare," defined as "whatever Obama and his administration have done to the ACA as originally written" — is a keeper. That's why the report is also here for future reference.
Alonso-Zaldivar's first sentence tells you everything you need to know about the administration's management of Obamacare's implementation. As such, I'll be surprised if it survives revisions later this evening. It isn't about making sure Americans get quality health insurance. It isn't about first-rate care, or efficiency, or any other objective relating to a benefit the American people might see, touch, or feel. See the AP story's headline and first sentence after the jump:
On “This Week” on Sunday, substitute host Jonathan Karl told Obama adviser David Plouffe that his “far more nuanced” truth might not beat the Republicans’ negative ads when it came to the new Congressional Budget Office report on Obamacare: “The ad saying 2 million fewer jobs is a lot easier than this far more nuanced argument about job lock.”
Plouffe tried the lame spin that the American people “don’t want another political fight about health care.” Has he seen a poll on approval for Obamacare? Then conservative pundit S.E. Cupp of TheBlaze really tore into Plouffe:
In an interview with Vice President Biden that aired on Friday's New Day, CNN's Kate Bolduan brought up Corvettes but completely ignored ObamaCare and the IRS scandal.
Bolduan asked about Biden's new jobs task force, immigration reform (which only 6 percent of the public sees as their top priority), Corvettes, and Biden's presidential aspirations. Her toughest question was about Senate Democrats seeking re-election who don't want President Obama campaigning in their state.
Fraudsters on the inside, hackers on the outside. Here we are, stuck in the middle with the security nightmare called Obamacare. Can it get any worse? Yes, it can.
After the spectacular website crashes during last fall's federal health insurance exchange rollout, enrollees will soon wish the entire system had stayed down and dead. "404 Error" messages and convicted felon Obamacare navigators may be the least of our health care tech problems now. The latest? U.S. intelligence agencies notified the Department of Health and Human Services last week that the Healthcare.gov infrastructure could be infected with malicious code.
Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters made reference Tuesday to an Associated Press story headline ("Modest drop in full-time work seen from health law") indicating that the outfit I prefer to call the Administration's Press is furiously spinning in reaction to Tuesday's report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting that Obamacare will reduce full-time-equivalent employment from what it would have been without the law by 2.5 million over the next 10 years.
The underlying content of the story Ken referenced is weak, as is Calvin Woodward's longer "fact check" ("ANTI-OBAMACARE CHORUS IS OFF KEY") currently carrying an early Thursday time stamp. Woodward's piece is especially troubling in how it seems to treat work as a curse instead of a necessary component of societal progress. But let's first look at the full "modest drop" dispatch.
No matter how bleak things get for ObamaCare, no matter how bad the law looks to the public, you can rest assured that someone at MSNBC will always be ready and willing to make excuses for the law, even speaking of necessary "sacrifices" to be made as a "nation" for the greater good of "universal health care."
On Thursday’s Morning Joe, Mark Halperin of Time magazine assumed the role of ObamaCare spinmeister. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]