On Tuesday's Fox News Special report, contributor Juan Williams lamely tried to excuse away the mind-boggling incompetence of the HealthCare.gov rollout by claiming that "massive opposition (to Obamacare) from the Republicans" caused fearful system architects to "roll it out and see how it works for now."
Juan's haughty huffiness was so absurd that the Fox News panel was caught slack-jawed and barely challenged him. That's not what happened Sunday morning on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday broadcast when Williams tried to claim that millions of people losing their individual health care coverage are going to be better off with Obamacare policies (video and transscript follow the jump; bolds are mine; HT to Mediaite via Twitchy):
Relevant portion of transcript (with minor corrections):
CHRIS WALLACE: And let's put up again those statistics. Just in case you didn't see them, because they are quite remarkable about the people who are losing health insurance, not gaining it. Florida Blue terminating 300,000 policies because they don't meet the new ObamaCare standards. Kaiser Permanente in California, 160,000 cancelling. These are people who had health insurance in the individual market, who were happy with it, and they're being kicked off, because the new -- under the new ObamaCare mandates, that doesn't meet it. And to pick up on what George (Will) said, the House Speaker Boehner said, more people could actually lose health insurance in the month of October than sign up for it.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I get this sense, that people -- on the Republican side are enjoying this moment. But this is empty rhetoric. When you speak to the insurance executives in Florida, in California, they say they're canceling those policies, Chris, because ObamaCare has requirements -- Ten categories or mandates for levels of coverage. The current policies don't meet them, so they have to cancel them, but they're extending, they're extending offers to the very people who are losing them for better packages at lower costs with more benefits.
WALLACE: No, no, that's not true. It is not.
WILLIAMS: It is true. Let me just tell you something else that you said. You said oh, but, you know, January 1, these people lose their coverage. In fact, the insurance companies are saying, we will make sure that on January 1, you have coverage. This is not the apocalypse.
BRIT HUME: Juan, look, what about this -- the president promised explicitly, we heard it on this program, if you like the coverage you have now, you can keep it, period.
HUME: These hundreds of thousands of people evidently like the policies they had. Because they kept paying for it. They're now being told they can't have those policies any more. That they must -- they must have policies that involve coverage for things they may feel they don't need.
WILLIAMS: They're going to get better coverage, Brit, at potentially lower cost.
HUME: Whose idea of better coverage? Their idea or the government's?
WILLIAMS: They -- what they are offered, it may be their idea. Right now ...
HUME: It may be their idea.
WILLIAMS: Right now all that insurance companies are saying is, we don't need the requirements under ObamaCare, but we're going to offer you a better deal!
HUME: No, we're going to offer you a government mandated deal that may or may not be a better deal for the people involved. There are people who are elderly people who've been required to pay for maternity coverage.
WALLACE: We had to end this segment, I just to want to point out that we had a couple of weeks ago, a letter that a 62-year-old couple who have their own business in Oregon -- under the ObamaCare, they were losing their policy, the new policy, the cheapest policy they were being offered, the deductible was going to double to 5,000 a person. Visits to specialists, if one of them had to see a specialist, were going up from $35 a visit to $100 a visit, and their premium was going up. So, the idea that they are going to get more for less. You know what -- there is no free lunch.
Williams is delusional if he really believes that the combination of forced coverage of unneeded items, much higher deductibles, higher percentage copays when the deductibles are used up, and generally higher premiums represents a "better deal." Note that he felt compelled to back down slightly during the segment, moving from "a (definitely) better deal" to "potentially lower cost."
Juan's assertion that these cancelled policies replaced by clearly worse plans "may be their (customers') idea" is flat-out dense. If these customers wanted such plans before, they would have purchased them.
Wallace has it figured out. There's no free lunch. The average reasonably healthy person in the Obamacare individual (cough, cough) "market" is getting worse coverage at a usually higher cost because of the need to cover people with pre-existing conditions who are going to flood the exchanges and generate far higher-than-average claims.
One final thought for Juan Williams: You can take your smear "that people -- on the Republican side are enjoying this moment" straight to Hades. Conservatives and Republicans didn't make this mess, Juan, and although they correctly predicted it, they don't enjoy seeing people suffer. Where except in the most extreme leftist fever swamps would you ever get the idea that they do?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.