Harris Faulkner was supposedly wearing her “objective anchor” hat this afternoon but she was clearly peeved after news broke that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) would not support the Graham-Cassidy bill version of Trumpcare.
McCain’s “no” vote means the bill will not likely pass by the September 30, 2017 deadline (but don’t count it out yet).
Faulkner made her displeasure very clear from the start. She prefaced the first comment from liberal guest Emily Tisch Sussman, of the Center for American Progress, by announcing that a Graham-Cassidy loss was “not necessarily a win for Democrats” because “the American people” “don’t win” if Obamacare problems are not fixed.
Tisch Sussman pointed out that there had been a bipartisan effort to fix Obamacare that was ditched by Republicans in order to pass Graham-Cassidy. “It’s more about getting a win than actually have good coverage,” she added.
Notably absent from Faulkner’s remarks was any explanation of how Graham-Cassidy would fix any Obamacare problems. However, she did suggest that maybe McCain and others could be persuaded to vote for the bill if the process of passage could be expanded within the confines of the September 30 deadline.
Conservative guest Bre Payton, of The Federalist, didn’t think so.
So Faulkner used McCain’s statement to gratuitously attack Democrats. He said he objects to passing the legislation “on a party line basis, the way Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress."
Faulkner called that "a fair point." Her voice rose as she said accusingly to Tisch Sussman, “It was your House Speaker, your party’s House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who said, ‘Well, we’ll pass it and see what’s in it.' In the end, it wasn’t transparent. In the end, not enough voices got in there. So what do you say?”
I wish Tisch Sussman had called out Faulkner for changing the subject when Demcorats have nothing to do with Graham-Cassidy’s problems. But Tisch Sussman did correctly point out that there were numerous hearings before Obamacare passed and that Pelosi’s “pass the bill to see what’s in it” comment does not reflect the context and meaning of what she said.
A truly unbiased anchor would have appreciated Tisch Sussman debunking the Pelosi myth. But Faulkner was completely disinterested.
Tisch Sussman rightly noted that what Pelosi really meant was that Americans had heard so much negative rhetoric that they’d appreciate the bill once it was actually passed. “Which is why the majority of the American public has vastly changed its opinion about the law.”
But Faulkner gave a peevish, “Hmm.” She said in a lecturing tone that “not any persons in Alaska” would say that their premiums are more affordable.
Fact check: while premiums have gone up, most Alaskans pay far less under Obamacare. From The Washington Post:
In Alaska, 93 percent of marketplace enrollees receive tax credits, according to the Alaska Division of Insurance. So even though the average premium cost increased 203 percent from 2013 to 2017, most people on the exchanges are paying far less than they did in 2013 — that is, if they were able to buy insurance in 2013. (They might not have been able to obtain or afford health insurance because of a preexisting condition, but the ACA eliminated that restriction.)
Tisch pointed out that Alaska’s (Republican) Senator Lisa Murkowski was greeted by “crowds who were clapping for her” at the airport after she voted against the last Trumpcare bill. (Actually, that was Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins, who also opposed Trumpcare. Alaskans held a rally to thank Murkowski.)
Faulkner couldn’t argue there so she changed the subject. She claimed that the reason people prefer Obamacare over Graham-Cassidy is because they don’t understand the bill. As she put it, “Anybody would choose the demons that they know over the ones that they cannot predict.”
After lamenting Republicans’ inability to pass legislation despite holding Congress and the White House, Faulkner took her swipe at McCain. “You wonder, though, Bre, would McCain agree to, necessarily anything?”
Payton called that “a great question.” She also argued that if Democrats really want to help low-income individuals, they’d want to “cut Medicaid and stop it” because it’s “semi-exploitative” of doctors and fewer doctors accept it as a result. She also groused that because Medicaid was expanded under Obamacare, emergency room waits have grown.
Faulkner heaved a big sigh and whispered, “Yeah!”
Watch what passes for “objective” news anchoring on Fox above, from the September 22, 2017 America’s News HQ.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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