MSNBC’s newest weekend host is also a former communications director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Sometimes, though, it’s hard to tell if Karen Finney ever left the DNC.
Finney spent several minutes touting the benefits of ObamaCare on Sunday’s Disrupt, excitedly holding up a rebate she received from her health insurance provider, gushing: “I got a check.” As President Obama explained in a Thursday speech at the White House, individuals can receive a rebate check from their insurance provider if the insurer spends less than 80 percent of their customers’s premiums on health care. [See video after the jump.]
Finney teased her latest endorsement of ObamaCare by hyping the “very real benefits Americans are already seeing from the Affordable Care Act,” adding that she includes herself among the beneficiaries. And like the president in last week’s speech, Finney invited a few ObamaCare proponents on her show to join in fawning over the controversial law. She failed, of course, to disrupt her pro-ObamaCare narrative by sparring with any conservatives over the law.
Former DNC chairman Howard Dean and former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) were both eager to play up the law’s benefits, despite recent setbacks in the implementation of ObamaCare. Of course, Dean was Finney’s boss for several years at the DNC – a relationship Finney did disclose to her viewers.
But it should come as no surprise that, in Finney’s left-wing world, ObamaCare is a huge success. The former DNCer seemed eager to present her rebate check to the small pool of viewers tuning in to her program:
Well, and I want to point out that it is not an urban legend. This is my check. I literally got this on Thursday. So I feel like the more people have these tangible benefits – and the president said I was going to get a check, and guess what? I got a check.
Finney’s check wasn’t enough of an ObamaCare promotion for Dean, though. The former governor and presidential candidate dismissed any qualms about the law and blasted Republicans for their opposition:
I can’t believe the Republicans are actually running year after year after year on obstructing the business of the government. They hate women, they hate Latinos and the immigrants, they hate gay people. What do they have to do? What are they trying to do? Get their vote down to 35 percent?
Now, this kind of language isn’t surprising from a firebrand like Dean. But Finney didn’t reject her former boss’s claim, or even push back against it – in fact, she laughed. And the host offered approval for Dean’s next claim:
Think how stupid they’re going to look [Republicans] when 15 million more people have health care.
Of course, conservatives have argued that the law will lead to skyrocketing health care premiums and rising deficits. But Dean can only see the “stupid” on one side of the aisle.
Finney boasts on her program’s Twitter page that she wants to “shake up the conversation.” I have to ask Ms. Finney: does acting as the president’s megaphone pass as shaking things up at the Lean Forward network?
See the full transcript below:
Disrupt with Karen Finney
July 21, 2013
4:15 p.m. Eastern
KAREN FINNEY: That was the president talking about the very real benefits Americans are already seeing from the Affordable Care Act – Americans including myself. And the GOP was at it again, with the House voting against the Affordable Care Act for the 38th and 39th times – because the first 37 really got us somewhere. Here is the president’s take on all that, just from this Thursday.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Sometimes, I – I just try to figure out why. Maybe they think it’s good politics. But part of our job here is not to always think about politics. Part of our job here is to sometimes think about getting work done on behalf of the American people.
FINNEY: That sounds good, doesn’t it? But for the GOP, this is politics. They want to deny the president a win, even at expense of millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance and those who can barely afford health insurance. Senator Ted Cruz [R-Texas] even told a group in Iowa that conservatives should defund the government if ObamaCare isn’t defunded. So yeah, that’s how we’re going to fight the War on Terror and make sure seniors get Social Security. Good luck with that there, Senator Cruz. Joining me now to talk about this, two men who know a thing or two about politics – and I think a thing or two about health care. Former governor and DNC chairman, my former boss, Howard Dean. And former senator from North Dakota and co-author of the new thriller “Gridlock,” Byron Dorgan. Thanks to both of you for joining me.
FORMER SEN. BYRON DORGAN: Thank you.
FINNEY: Governor [Dean], I’m going to start with you. Because, clearly, the president was trying to be on offense. You know, the strategy all along had been when we got to this point that there would be enough people in the system, enough people would be seeing the benefits and enjoying the benefits of the Affordable Care Act that it would be hard to talk about repealing it, right? The more they learn, the more they like. And the more people are actually using the program, the better.
FORMER GOV. HOWARD DEAN: I think that’s true, and I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. The tipping point hasn’t occurred yet. Technically, the tipping point occurs on October 1st. But it’s going to be a little longer than that. My guess is that the state exchanges are going to go reasonably well. The federal exchange, which is going to cover the 33 states that the Republicans refuse to cooperate in, Republican governors refuse to cooperate in, probably is going to be tougher. Because it is so big. But I just, you know, these guys never – the Republicans never seem to be able to get out of their own way. To make this the big issue –
FINNEY [laughing]: Right.
DEAN: In 2014, by June – well ahead of the election – a lot of people are going to have insurance that don’t have it.
FINNEY [holding up check]: Well, and I want to point out that it is not an urban legend. This is my check. I literally got this on Thursday. So I feel like the more people have these tangible benefits – and the president said I was going to get a check, and guess what? I got a check.
DEAN: Yeah, but the check isn’t going to be the big deal, though. The big deal is going to be when people actually get coverage, who don’t have it now or can’t afford it now. And that’s going to happen.
FINNEY: But it is good to see government keep its promises.
FINNEY: So Governor, you know, there’s the speaker [John Boehner]. But, this week, 22 Democrats joined Republicans in a symbolic vote to delay the employer mandate. I say symbolic because the president really has already done that, essentially. So, I guess the question – that’s why I guess that’s 40 [Democratic] votes now [for the employer mandate delay]. Does that suggest – I mean, as Senator Dorgan was saying, you remember these fights. This was controversial.
FINNEY: Does this mean that some Democrats are going to get weak-kneed when it comes to 2014?
DEAN: A fair number of Democrats are already weak-kneed, because of the position we’re in. No, I mean, this doesn’t mean anything. What it means is, they knew this bill wasn’t going to go anywhere and they sold it as a free-bee on what they thought was going to be a hard race. I can’t believe the Republicans are actually running year after year after year on obstructing the business of the government. They hate women, they hate Latinos and the immigrants, they hate gay people. What do they have to do? What are they trying to do? Get their vote down to 35 percent?
FINNEY [laughing]: Well, actually what the speaker was saying is that it’s not that they are obstructing and that they are not doing their job, it’s that we have too much regulation and too many laws on the books.
DEAN [laughing]: Think how stupid they’re going to look –
DEAN: When 15 million more people have health care.