A deeper look at President Obama’s “apology” to Americans who are losing their health insurance
By Dave Andrusko
NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd interviews President Obama
NBC News’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd is hardly one of us nor is he a reporter looking for opportunities to hammer President Obama. In fact, most of the time, Todd excels at making up excuses for Mr. Obama, no matter how far-fetched.
But the fiasco which is the rollout of ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges—the near impossibility of getting on the website and the truth that millions of people are going to lose the insurance they want—has even Todd in a cranky mood.
Nowhere was that better illustrated than when he appeared on a MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program panel and tried to get an honest response from Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House advisor for Health Policy. Emanuel told such a series of breathtaking, bald-faced lies that Joe Scarborough, the host, said more than once, “This is so beneath you” (to which Emanuel responded, “No, it isn’t”). After Todd offered a devastating rebuttal and Emanuel robotically stuck to the same talking point, Todd rolled his eyes and smiled in utter frustration.
Part of that may explain why President Obama sat down with Todd for an “exclusive” interview. The conventional line was (to quote the headline in the Washington Post) “President Obama apologizes to Americans who are losing their health insurance.”
And it IS true that the President expressed regret: “I am sorry that [people who’ve lost their health insurance] are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” That presumably is a reference to his oft-spoken, now-thoroughly discredited promise that (as he told the AMA in June 2009), “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
What can be said?
For starters, early in the interview, Todd deferentially asked –with an excuse built into the question– “Feel like you owe these folks an apology for misleading them, even if you didn’t intentional do it?” That is giving the President a HUGE benefit of the doubt.
Also Obama keeps insisting “it’s a small percentage of folks who may be disadvantaged.” (A) It’s not small, it’s in the millions; (B) The same problem will crop up as ObamaCare sinks into the economy in the years to come, this time affecting many times more millions of Americans.
Here are some other responses to Mr. Obama’s “apology.” The first is from Ron Fournier of the National Journal who wrote…