From Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol is hoping that people will see the lines for H1N1 vaccines and come to the conclusion that the government can't run anything properly. As Juan Williams points out, that's what happens when you have Republicans who don't believe in government running things and don't want government to work as we saw in George's Bush's complete indifference to the plight of the victims were during Hurricane Katrina. Williams should have also pointed out to him that Republicans managed to make sure FEMA worked pretty well when it benefited them politically in Florida.
As Williams also noted, these are private companies working with the government that failed to deliver the vaccines in the time frame promised. Fox News and much of the rest of the media seem to have a problem deciding on whether to fear monger about whether vaccines are safe or not and people being forced to get them as Jon Stewart pointed out not long ago on The Daily Show and complaining about them not being delivered fast enough. Now we've got Kristol conflating receiving vaccinations to the government being capable of administering health insurance.
Wallace: Bill you’ve never liked the Democratic health care plan in its various iterations and you especially don’t like this version. In fact you say it combines the most unpopular Democratic and Republican proposals in the last generation.
Kristol: Right, it’s got the Medicare cuts that almost doomed the Gingrich revolution in 1995, the Pelosi Medicare cuts dwarf the Gingrich Medicare cuts of 1995 and it’s got tax hikes—the tax hikes which the Clintons and the Democratic Congress passed on a party line vote in 1993 that cost them the Congress in 1994. And Nancy Pelosi has pulled off a great feat; you called it a compromised vote. It’s like a compromise between awful and horrendous you know. She’s combined tax hikes and Medicare cuts in the same bill in a bill that does nothing to improve the average Americans’ health care or to improve the cost of the average Americans’ health insurance. It’s an amazing feat that she’s done and now she’s pushing this bill, this huge government take over of the health care system at the moment when we have an experiment, an ongoing experiment in government health care—the swine flu epidemic—an emergency the president called it.
If you like how the government’s run swine flu with lines and cues and promises that haven’t come through in terms of having the vaccines available—if you like the government’s swine flu program, you’ll love Pelosi-Care.
Wallace: Let me…before you go on I just want to ask you a follow up on that Bill. Do you believe—I mean and it’s a good debating point for your side—but do you believe that the frustration that people are feeling with the swine flu vaccine and the fact that they’re not able to get it the way they thought they were going to be able to—do you think that could actually hurt the move for health care reform?
Kristol: Yeah, they’re not getting it the way they were told they were going to be able to…
Kristol: …by the Obama administration and I think it could. It could be one of those moments where it sort of crystallizes in a vivid set of scenes on the local evening news each night a vivid set or experiences—actual pregnant moms who I know a couple who have been waiting in line for two hours and they’re told sorry we’ve run out and you can’t get shots for yourself and for your two little toddlers and you know, go take your chances. It makes vivid what government run health care will be like.
Wallace: Bill Kristol’s on the side of pregnant moms and little toddlers.
Williams: Well you can’t beat that…mothers and apple pie and baseball. But I must say that there’s a huge difference between Hurricane Katrina and government failure and what we’re seeing here in terms of the delivery of the vaccine. This is a matter of private manufacturers living up to promises, problems in terms of the delivery system.
So that’s something where you could say the Obama administration might have foreseen it and done a better job of preparing for it but I don’t think most Americans are blaming the Obama administration for this as they blamed, that they said that President Bush’s administration failed to properly understand or pay attention to what FEMA was not doing with regard to helping Americans with Katrina. But coming back to the health care debate, I don’t think it has any impact on the health care debate. I don’t think anybody is connecting the two except people who want to just be obstructionists and don’t want anything to happen and like the status quo and don’t want to help Americans get health insurance, which is Bill Kristol.
Kristol: Thank you.