Fox News Sunday: Juan Williams Accuses Panel Of Using "Scare Tactics" On Health Care

[media id=8985] (h/t David) Boy oh boy, look at all of the patented Frank Luntz-crafted GOP talking points the Fox "Power Panel" (*cough, cough*) can

5 years ago by David
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(h/t David)

Boy oh boy, look at all of the patented Frank Luntz-crafted GOP talking points the Fox "Power Panel" (*cough, cough*) can regurgitate to sabotage the public option: It won't work! You're stealing from Grandma and Grandpa! We're taxing HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS to pay for it! We're putting an unfair burden on small business owners! You'll have less choices! Rationed care! Congress will decide what health care services you'll get! Doctors will make less money!

Oy.

The list goes on and on, and even the weakest tea representing the left side of the aisle--Juan Williams--thinks they're bordering on ridiculous:

WILLIAMS: Boy, these are scare tactics we’re hearing this morning.

KRISTOL: But wait a minute.

WILLIAMS: “Oh, we’re going to take away the Medicare people.”

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: “Oh, we’re going to tell you you can’t have a hip replacement.” This is -- this is wild.

But one thing you hear from the White House is if you like your doctor, if you like your insurance plan, you’re going to be able to keep it.

(CROSSTALK)

INGRAHAM: But then we heard the stimulus is going to work.

LIASSON: That doesn’t mean they’re going to pay for everything that...

WILLIAMS: No.

LIASSON: ... people want. That...

WILLIAMS: It doesn’t mean -- but it -- it certainly does not mean that we have to resort to these scare tactics.

INGRAHAM: Do you think, Juan...

WILLIAMS: The only reason that we hear these scare tactics this morning is because people say, “You know what...”

INGRAHAM: Juan, do you actually think...

WILLIAMS: “... stay with the status quo.” The American people aren’t buying this.

I'll clue you in, Juan. When you have NOTHING to justify your side--because we have the highest per capita spending and the worst outcomes off all Western nations--then all you have to fight what is right, moral and small d democratic is to scare the crap out of people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: Our goal is a healthier America. And again, Congress is moving with comprehensive health reform that provides affordability, accessibility, quality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: That was House Speaker Pelosi this week making her pitch for health care reform.

And we’re back now with Laura, Mara, Bill and Juan.

So after struggling for months to come up with a way to pay for this health care package, House Democrats have decided to raise income taxes on the wealthy again -- a $550 billion tax increase on anyone making over $280,000 a year.

Laura, how is -- how does that strike you both in terms of policy and politics?

INGRAHAM: Oh, it’s typical. It gives the Republicans an opening, like, “Every time you could just cut spending or offer market alternatives, you go instead to the old liberal standby of raising taxes.”

Raising taxes in a difficult economy -- I think a bad move. I think a lot of Democrats, even conservative Democrats, on Capitol Hill are worried about that.

Look, I think what you’re seeing with this health care debate is perfectly dovetailing from what we just discussed in the -- in the economy panel on the stimulus. If the president doesn’t have credibility on managing this economy, it’s going to be much more difficult for them to get this health care reform through. You’re seeing that happen now.

A lot of people are saying, “Look, how about the old Hippocratic oath? First, do no harm. Do no harm to our health care system.” And a lot of people are worried about that.

WALLACE: But, Mara, politically, isn’t it better to tax the rich than to tax the middle class, particularly when...

LIASSON: Yes.

WALLACE: ... you’re going back on a presidential pledge?

LIASSON: Yes. Yes. Yes. The president promised many, many times not to raise taxes by a single dime on anyone making $250,000 or less. That’s a promise that would be -- that would have political consequences to break. So would passing a health care bill that borrows the money to pay for it.

So they’re scrambling to find some way to come up with the money, and I think that this will not be the final solution. The Senate has to come up with its own, you know, pay-fors.

But this is the way the House is going to get a bill out and passed. The big question, I think, is in the Senate. I mean, the Senate Finance Committee, which has been struggling mightily to get a bipartisan bill, hasn’t been able to come up with a solution to the financing question.

They wanted to tax benefits. There was a lot of pushback from Democrats on that and from the public. Polls show that was -- that was very unpopular. Why? Because nobody has any idea what their health care costs are worth. I mean, could you tell me how much your health care package is worth? I couldn’t.

Now, the idea is that people who get these gold-plated Cadillac plans worth $17,000, $20,000 a year are getting them tax-free. We’re subsidizing those people. And almost any expert you can talk to say that’s just bad policy. But you know, when you start asking people to pay for it, that’s a problem, too.

So I think they’re still struggling with this. And the president has said also this bill has to be deficit neutral, and that’s what they’re going to have to come up with.

WALLACE: Bill, I want to go back, though, because this is -- looks like what the House of Representatives is going to pass -- that they’re going to pay a half -- they’re going to pay for basically half of the plan through savings and the other half through a surtax on the rich -- a half a trillion dollar surtax on the rich.

Just as a philosophical issue, if universal health care is a national moral commitment, why should everyone making less than a quarter of a million dollars a year get a free pass?

KRISTOL: Well, they shouldn’t. But I mean, the idea of raising taxes this amount in a recession is crazy. I mean, he -- here’s the question I think one could ask. Why is this health care plan a good idea? And whose health care is going to get improved by this proposal? Maybe the uninsured. Maybe the uninsured. That’s not so clear.

And for this, we’re going to have a half a trillion dollar tax increase and $400 billion of cuts to hospitals and doctors on the reimbursement side, which is not a trivial thing, incidentally. Doctors and hospitals aren’t living high off the hog, and the government wants to cut those.

So I think this will make health care in America -- we’re going to pay more and get worse health care. I mean, I really think the plan is now totally nuts, basically. If you want to help the uninsured purchase insurance, there are plenty of ways to do it, through tax...

WALLACE: Such as?

KRISTOL: ... deductions, subsidies -- direct subsidies to people...

LIASSON: Well, they’re trying to pay for the subsidies.

KRISTOL: No, that’s not...

LIASSON: They have to find money to pay for the subsidies.

KRISTOL: No, but they’re...

INGRAHAM: No, it’s much bigger than that.

KRISTOL: It’s much bigger than that. It’s much -- there are plenty of Republican plans. Bush had a plan. There were plans in the past to help people pay for the subsidies.

The idea that you’re going to put a -- I don’t think it will pass, incidentally. This House of Representatives will not have enough Democratic votes to pass a $540 billion tax increase.

WILLIAMS: Here’s the reason why it will pass. It’s not that the uninsured are the prime target here. It’s the cost that the average American family, when they have medical problems, when they go to the doctor -- say, “This costs too much.” When they have to pay for the prescription drugs, “This costs too much.”

People are concerned about cost. So in -- it’s true that the uninsured are a concern, but it’s a secondary concern for most American families and most American voters.

KRISTOL: So to help most American families pay for it, you’re going to put a huge tax increase on...

WILLIAMS: No, what they want...

KRISTOL: ... small businesses?

WILLIAMS: ... what they want is they want this health care system to be reformed in some way that will allow them to properly predict costs, much as business is in line.

You’ll notice the insurance companies, the hospitals, the doctors -- they’re not attacking the Obama administration here. They’re trying to negotiate. They’re trying to work this out. They’re not simply saying no. They just want something that works, because if you look at the polls -- and since we’re talking politics, let’s look at the polls -- it’s overwhelming. The American people prefer Barack Obama to the Congress or Republicans when dealing with health care.

WALLACE: Laura?

INGRAHAM: Woah, woah, woah, woah. The polls are all over the place on this. One thing people -- if people want, quote, “reform” as a generic matter -- but people also don’t want to have fewer choices in health care. They don’t want their current employer-funded health care to go away. A lot of people are concerned that that will have to go away if there is this public option.

One thing that we know about this -- one thing we know is that Medicare -- and Bill touched on this. Part of this -- half of this -- these cuts are going to come from Medicare cuts. That goes directly to the elderly. That goes directly to people who’ve paid into this system their entire lives.

They’ve worked very hard and now we’re going to tell, you know, grandma and grandpa, “Well, sorry, the choices that -- the choices that you’re going to have as far as treatments are going to be curtailed,” and they will be, “because Medicare cuts, which are already cut back, are going to cut back further.”

WALLACE: Let me -- let me bring...

INGRAHAM: That hurts the elderly.

WALLACE: Let me bring Mara into this.

You hear growing concern from congressional moderate Democrats. The Senate talks about not meeting the time-lining of getting a bill before the August recess. Is the overall Obama health care plan -- is it gaining or losing momentum?

LIASSON: I think you’d have to say this week was a difficult week when it lost some momentum.

I think the White House has done an incredible job of making health care in general, in the abstract, seem inevitable, that it was going to pass this year. And it’s also true that we’ve never been closer. In other words, the Clintons did not get to this point where actual bills were about to be voted out of committee.

So they have gone farther than any other administration has in the past, but I think it’s hitting a lot of big obstacles, and the president is going to have to step in. Up until now, he’s laid down his principles, let everybody in Congress kind of work out the details, but hard choices, difficult choices that are painful, are going to have to be made, and he’s going to have to make them.

KRISTOL: I think it’s not going to -- nothing’s going to pass. I mean, it’s -- the whole plan depends on believing that a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington, based on their studies of comparative effectiveness, are going to sit there and tell you, “That 75-year-old person who wants a hip replacement, sorry.” “Mr. Physician, you think this thing...”

INGRAHAM: Rationed care.

KRISTOL: “... you think you need -- you think you need another MRI to treat your patients, sorry.”

That’s what the plan is. That’s what the plan -- the heart of the plan is rationing. The Congress is not going to pass it.

WILLIAMS: Boy, these are scare tactics we’re hearing this morning.

KRISTOL: But wait a minute.

WILLIAMS: “Oh, we’re going to take away the Medicare people.”

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: “Oh, we’re going to tell you you can’t have a hip replacement.” This is -- this is wild.

But one thing you hear from the White House is if you like your doctor, if you like your insurance plan, you’re going to be able to keep it.

(CROSSTALK)

INGRAHAM: But then we heard the stimulus is going to work.

LIASSON: That doesn’t mean they’re going to pay for everything that...

WILLIAMS: No.

LIASSON: ... people want. That...

WILLIAMS: It doesn’t mean -- but it -- it certainly does not mean that we have to resort to these scare tactics.

INGRAHAM: Do you think, Juan...

WILLIAMS: The only reason that we hear these scare tactics this morning is because people say, “You know what...”

INGRAHAM: Juan, do you actually think...

WILLIAMS: “... stay with the status quo.” The American people aren’t buying this.

INGRAHAM: Juan, do you actually think services are not going to be more rationed than they are today?

WILLIAMS: I would imagine that some...

INGRAHAM: Do you actually think there are going to be more choices in health care after this?

WILLIAMS: Not more choices, but I think there has to be some choices, because...

INGRAHAM: Made by whom?

WILLIAMS: ... the American people understand that if you’re running G.M., for example, that it runs you into...

INGRAHAM: We are running G.M.

WILLIAMS: ... bankruptcy when you can’t afford to pay the health care costs of your workers.

INGRAHAM: Who’s going to be making the choices?

WALLACE: Well, thank you, panel. I’m glad to see that we solved another problem here on a Sunday morning.

About Nicole Belle

Nicole Belle's picture
Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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