Seems the shutdown is already frazzling folks. Though some of it might have been for show, tempers seemed to truly flare on today's Morning Joe. An on-air spat broke out, with Joe Scarborough in one corner, and Mika Brzezinski and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson in the other.
Fed up with what he described as a "paid advertisement for Obamacare" by Brzezinski and Robinson, Scarborough insisted on giving his side of the story. He predicted that Obamacare will fail, as major employers opt to pay fines instead of providing health insurance to their employeees. That in turn will cause millions of people to be dumped into federal programs. The end result, said Scarborough, will be the disappearance of private health insurance within ten years and a complete government takeover of the program. View the video after the jump.
The more suspicious among us would suggest that the destruction of the private health insurance system isn't a bug in the Obamacare program. Rather, it's a feature—in the eyes of President Obama and like-minded liberals—intentionally designed to eventually subject all Americans to government healthcare.
Sit back and watch the squabbling.
Note: the normally mild-mannered Robinson became visibly agitated by Scarborough's remarks.
EUGENE ROBINSON: But meanwhile, happy Obamacare today, right?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Exactly.
ROBINSON: The thing that's at the center of this whole dispute is up and operational and it's marching ahead and I think maybe that message needs to get through.
BRZEZINSKI: That's the backdrop. Starting today the gates open to try to get I don't know, about seven million people in the next six months signed up for health insurance who wouldn't previously be able to afford it or get it themselves. And quite frankly, Republicans are very, very nervous that it will work just fine for a lot of people.
JOE SCARBOROUGH. No. I'm going to sit back and listen to enough of this -- this one-sidedness. And that's fine. That's not what Republicans are afraid of.
BRZEZINSKI: Well the marketplace is open. Why don't we see how many people sign up --
SCARBOROUGH: What Republicans are afraid of is we're going bankrupt as a nation and we know how this ends. There are CEO's all across -- Mika, listen. If this is going to be a paid advertisement for Obamacare, that's fine. I'll just sit here and eat my oatmeal --
BRZEZINSKI: Actually, actually no. It's just part of the news today.
SCARBOROUGH: If I can finish my sentence. You don't want to know what Republicans think. You want to paint horns on them, so go ahead. I'm just going to eat my oatmeal.
BRZEZINSKI: I think I know what they think.
SCARBOROUGH: No you don't, no you don't.
BRZEZINSKI: They hate this law so much that they're willing to hold the government hostage.
SCARBOROUGH: Would you like to know what they're afraid, Mika, or are you going to just run over me and go to Willie?
BRZEZINSKI: I was going to go to Willie. But go ahead. Tell me. No, no. I'm interested.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you really want to know?
BRZEZINSKI: What are they afraid of?
SCARBOROUGH: They're afraid like I'm afraid of, you know when Obamacare becomes law -- it's not that people are going to magically get insurance. What they're afraid of is what we've heard from CEO's who run the biggest corporations and that is that after a couple of years they're going to drop all of their employees, they're going to pay a couple thousand bucks for fines, and you're going to have millions and millions and millions of people flooding in to federal health care. And that is going to happen. You talk to the top CEOs. They'll pay a couple of thousand bucks. They'll be free of the responsibility to take care of health care and we will have -- and I do predict in the next ten years there's not going to be any private health insurance. It's all going -- we're going to have a federal government that completely runs everybody's health care system.
EUGENE ROBINSON: But Joe, that's not how Obamacare works! It's not a government health care program. It works through private health insurance companies. Private for-profit health insurance companies! Those are the ones who participate in these exchanges. It's just not true!
SCARBOROUGH: Healthcare.gov. I'm just telling you. It is true, Gene. You are going to have -- and I can't believe that we're debating. It's not my intention to debate Obamacare this morning. I just sit here and I'm not going to hear people say the Republicans are only doing this because they hate poor people and want them to sit out in bushes while everyone else is inside getting health care.
MARK HALPERIN: Or that they're afraid it will work.
ROBINSON: Let's not hear that it's federal health insurance, though. It's just not.