Wolf Blitzer Spars With Rep. Michele Bachmann Over 'Obamacare'
It looks like "crazy-eyes" wingnut Michele Bachmann's lies about "Obamacare" finally got to be too much for even CNN's Wolf Blitzer to take: Wolf Blitzer Aggressively Argues With Michele Bachmann About Obamacare:
Wolf Blitzer and Michele Bachmann had a lengthy, tense argument about Obamacare on Blitzer's CNN show on Friday.
Blitzer, who usually presents a reserved, dispassionate demeanor on air, got unusually feisty with Bachmann, cutting her off and deriding many of the things she said.
Now if we could get them to just quit bringing her on the air altogether, but it doesn't look like there's any chance of that happening any time soon.
Full transcript below the fold:
BLITZER: Do you really believe if this law -- and it is a law passed by the House, passed by the Senate, signed into law by the president, approved by the Supreme Court -- goes into effect that women, seniors, children are going to die?
BACHMANN: That's the greatest fear that Americans have. And the president got a big applause line when he made that statement. But it will be very unpleasant if the death panels go into effect. That's the IPAD (ph) board. If we have denial of care for women, children, senior citizens or if we have problems where people aren't given the drugs that they need, maybe they'll be denied drugs for breast cancer, you bet this can happen. That is what I'm worried about. Not just me, people all across the United States. So this is literally an issue of life and death. That's why you see this struggle.
BLITZER: So you're stand by those --
BLITZER: Don't you realize that --
BACHMANN: I don't -- I don't --
BLITZER: -- millions and millions of Americans --
BLITZER: -- millions and millions of Americans will now have health insurance earlier they didn't have, health insurance.
BACHMANN: Millions and millions of Americans are losing health insurance right now. They're being thrown off their employer-paid health insurance --
BLITZER: But they'll be eligible to go to the exchanges and buy insurance.
BACHMANN: Not necessarily. I was in a meeting this morning, Wolf, and we were told, again, that the people who will be thrown into the exchanges, the health care premiums that they'll have to pay, even when they're subsidized, will be more than what they're paying now. So I firmly believe that we could see that more people are actually going to be negatively impacted by Obamacare than helped. Just the opposite of what the president's hopes were.
BLITZER: Let's go through some of these points. You tell me if you think it's good or bad.
Is it good or bad that children can now be on their parents' health insurance policies until they reach the age of 26?
BACHMANN: These are benefits that are being done now.
BLITZER: Is that the --
BACHMANN: They're privately contracted in the private sector.
BLITZER: That's part of Obamacare.
BACHMAN: But, again, what we're talking about is --
BLITZER: Is that good or bad?
BACHMANN: When it's done between private parties, it's a good thing.
BLITZER: That's the law now.
BACHMANN: But the mandate, government --
BLITZER: But you support that?
BACHMANN: -- is forcing it to be done.
BLITZER: You support that, right?
BACHMANN: I support freedom of choice so the people can do that. If people want to have their children on their health insurance policy until they're 45 years of age, they should be able to do that. The government shouldn't say what age you cut it off. You may have a child that is completely dependent on you for physical or mental reasons. If that child is now 56 years old and the parent wants to take care of them on their health insurance plan, they should be able to pay that company whatever it is to keep them on the plan.
BLITZER: Is it -- if you have a pre-existing condition, should you be allowed to buy health insurance?
BACHMANN: Well, of course.
BLITZER: Should an insurance company be able to deny you insurance coverage?
BACHMANN: And over 30 different states already had pre-existing condition plans. There are relatively few states that didn't. "The Washington Post" said --
BLITZER: But you support that? You support it?
BACHMANN: -- that it would be a $5 billion charge to take care of people with pre-existing conditions. I would put my name on the government check to pay $5 billion every year to help people with pre- existing conditions, make sure they have health insurance. We can do that.
BLITZER: Should there be a cap how much an insurance company can provide and, at one point, if you're very, very ill, you get cut off?
BACHMANN: The laundry list you're going through --
BLITZER: This is all part of Obamacare.
BACHMANN: Right. Right. The laundry list you're going through, what -- your premise is that government must mandate it. I don't agree that government must mandate it.
BLITZER: But they have. It's the law now.
BACHMANN: And that's what I don't agree with. I don't agree with the mandate.
BLITZER: So if you don't like the law, there are ways to try to change it, but you don't have the votes, as we just saw in that segment.
BACHMANN: But what I believe is that people need the freedom to buy what they want and buy what they can contract. And various states over the years have tried to deal with things like pre-existing conditions, like having your kids on the insurance policy. That's really what works.
BLITZER: Do you like --
BACHMANN: It's the living laboratory of the state allowing differences.
BLITZER: I'm asking you tough questions because these are --
BACHMANN: I'm glad you are. Let's talk about them.
BLITZER: Let's talk about people who can afford to buy health insurance but, you know what, they'd rather spend their money going out to dinner and going on vacations. They don't buy health insurance. But they get into a bad car accident and they wind up in the emergency room. Is it fair that you and I, taxpayers and others, simply take care of them. It could be a half a million dollars in medical expenses -- that we pay for the freeloaders?
BACHMANN: On Obamacare, there will be more people that the taxpayers are taking care of after Obamacare than before.
BLITZER: Here's the question: Is it fair that --
BACHMANN: Ask your question about --
BLITZER: Is it fair that --
BACHMANN: -- the question about taxpayers picking up the tab for other people's health care. And --
BLITZER: Is it fair that people --
BACHMANN: more Americans will pay more for people --
BLITZER: Here's the question: Is it fair that people who can afford to buy health insurance could become freeloaders and taxpayers will take care of them if they get into an emergency medical situation? Is that fair?
BACHMANN: Well, the fairness that is lacking in Obamacare is clear because President Obama has changed Obamacare over 19 times now. He has an uneven playing field. So that if you are a political favorite of the president's, you've just gotten an exemption. Big business got a huge exemption. Not the American people.
BLITZER: But you're not answering the question. Are you happy that there are people out there, who have money but they decide they don't want to buy health insurance --
BACHMANN: I think people --
BLITZER: -- but that we'll take care of them no matter what? Is that fair?
BACHMANN: What you're talking about is a very, very tiny percentage of the American people.
BLITZER: We're talking -- but it's the real world out there.
BACHMANN: The real world is now every single American, Wolf, is every single American --
BLITZER: Have you been to the emergency room? Do you see what's going on in these --
BACHMANN: My oldest son is a physician.
BLITZER: You know who shows up. These are people who don't have health insurance and we take care of them.
BACHMANN: Quite often, it's the illegal aliens.
BACHMANN: Illegal aliens showing up.
So we the American taxpayer are picking up the tab for people who aren't American citizens. I'm just telling you --
BLITZER: That's another subject.
BLITZER: What about if you're an American citizen and you could afford to buy health insurance and you don't?
BACHMANN: The bottom line of your question --
BLITZER: And you just want to take advantage of the situation.
BACHMANN: The bottom line of your question, Wolf, is it fair that the American people are picking up the tab for other people's health care? We have over 300 million Americans. The estimate was 46 million Americans didn't have health care, but that also included illegal aliens. We know now the estimate, from the government, is that about 30 million people are going to be cut off their employer's health insurance because of Obamacare.
BLITZER: I don't know where you're getting that.
BACHMANN: This is a very bad, bad conclusion.
BLITZER: I don't know where you're getting 30 million people.
BACHMANN: From the government.
BLITZER: That's not true.
BACHMANN: From the federal government.
BLITZER: You have to show me those numbers.
The point is though that people --
BACHMANN: We'll compare notes after this is all said and done.
BLITZER: People -- if this new program works, the new law, if it works -- it goes into effect January 1st -- if the employer kicks somebody off their health insurance, people will still be able to buy health insurance even if they have pre-existing conditions, even if they don't have a job, even if they have whatever, and if they can't afford it, they'll be subsidized.
BACHMANN: They're subsidized, but as I learn this morning over at the capitol, by government officials, they told us those people who lose their employer care, who go into the health exchange, will spend more on premiums subsidized than they did before when they were on their employer's health insurance.
BLITZER: Let's wrap this -- let's wrap it up.
BACHMANN: So they're worse off.
BLITZER: Are you ready to see the government shutdown in order to defund Obamacare?
BACHMANN: The government doesn't go into shutdown. The accurate term is --
BLITZER: Midnight, Monday night.
BACHMANN: -- it goes into slowdown --
BLITZER: Well, there's huge chunks --
BACHMANN: -- because the government continues to function.
BLITZER: Huge chunks of the government will not be funded.
BACHMANN: -- 17 times since the '90s --
BLITZER: Are you ready to do that?
BACHMANN: -- it's gone into this slowdown.
I hope Harry Reid doesn't do that because, in the House, we've already fully funded every part of government -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid -- everything but Obamacare.
BLITZER: You're going to have to consider -- Here's the simple question. This language that the Senate has just voted on to pass a continuing resolution, nothing to do with defunding Obamacare, it allows the government to go forward. Will you vote in favor of it?
BACHMANN: I won't vote for it. And I don't think a lot of Republicans will because we want -- we want to delay --
BLITZER: Were you around in '95 and '96 when there was a government shutdown?
BACHMANN: We want to delay the very bad -- well, remember, there were two government shutdowns in the month before Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1984. And he won by a landslide. The American people fear Obamacare. It's more unpopular now than ever before. They want us to fight to defund it and delay it. And that's what we're going to do --
BLITZER: But there are ways to fight without shutting down the government or raising questions --
BACHMANN: We don't want to shut it down.
BLITZER: -- about America's credit worthy.
BACHMANN: I don't know why Harry Reid or President Obama wants to shut it down.
BLITZER: They don't want to shut it --
BACHMANN: That's not what we want to do. Well, we didn't. We're the first ones to fund government. We fully funded it, but for Obamacare. And that's what the American people want us to do, tight for them. That's what we're doing.
BLITZER: So --
BACHMANN: We believe in fairness.
BLITZER: But you --
BACHMANN: Obamacare is anything but fair.
BLITZER: Is Karl Rove a smart political Republican analyst?
BACHMANN: I believe that what the American people want --
BLITZER: Here's the question: Is Karl Rove a smart --
BACHMANN: I'm not here to talk about Karl Rove.
BLITZER: Because he says --
BACHMANN: What I'm talking about is the American people saying they need -- they need --
BLITZER: He says this is a real political blunder to link these issues.
BACHMANN: They need wonderful health care. They need us to for fairness. And right now, President Obama has picked winners and losers among the American people. And James Hoffa, of the Teamsters, says the unions are losers under Obamacare. We're fighting for the James Hoffa and the Teamsters union to be treated equally with big business. We believe in labor. We're fighting for them.
BLITZER: All right. I never thought I'd see the day that you're supporting James Hoffa --
BLITZER: And Teamsters and the AFL-CIO.
BACHMANN: You see it now.
BLITZER: Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, good to have you back.
BACHMANN: Hey --
BLITZER: You're going to be around a little bit more --
BACHMANN: Much more.
BLITZER: We'll have you back.
BACHMANN: Thank you. God bless you. Thank you.