New York Democrat Anthony Weiner was perhaps a little too honest this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) returned to the ObamaCare battle on MS-NBC’s Morning Joe today, preaching the public-plan gospel just as he did yesterday on CNBC. However, this time, Joe Scarborough goaded Weiner into a little more honesty than he’s offered on the effort to “reform” health care. Declaring that “health care is not a commodity,” Weiner says his aim is to eliminate all private insurance — which is why he will not yield on the public-plan option:
Here’s the video:
The key statements come at various points in the interview, which has been transcribed by Jazz Shaw at The Moderate Voice:
S: Because over the past six months, government growth, they believe, is happening at too rapid of a rate and they’re skeptical. I don’t think there’s been an explanation of how the government plan is not equal to a government takeover of health care, which we all know it’s not a government takeover, but that’s how it sounds to people.
W: Right. But I have heard people say repeatedly that if the government plan is too muscular, then they won’t be able to compete. Well, if they can’t compete, then they’re not going to get customers. They’re not going to get patients coming to them. And isn’t that what we want? To give people that choice? Look, the problem that we have here is that we’re trying to jury rig the system so that insurance companies still continue to make healthy profits. Why? What is an insurance company? They don’t do a single check-up. They don’t do a single exam, they don’t perform an operation. Medicare has a 4% overhead rate… The real question is why do we have a private plan?
S: Wait, wait. Now you’re sounding like you want the government to take over. You say why do we have insurance companies in the health care business, it’s because we are a country that is… we believe in free enterprise, if I’m not mistaken.
W: Well, tell that to people who get Medicare.
S: But you are making the conservatives’ point. You are making the point of the people at the town hall meetings who say this is Barack Obama’s opportunity to get rid of private health care and turn it completely over to the government. I’m sitting here stunned, saying Oh My God, you’re making the point of the health care protesters.W: If Barack Obama doesn’t want to do it, I want to do it.
S: You’re sitting here advocating for a complete takeover, a government takeover of health care.
W: Only if you think Medicare is a government takeover. Do you?
S: So, Anthony, I figured it out over the break. You actually do want the federal government to take over all of health care.
W: Only in the sense that the federal government took over health care for senior citizens 44 years ago.
S: You want to expand that for all Americans.
W: Correct. I want Medicare for all Americans.
Except for “some financial problems,” people like Medicare? That’s akin to asking, “Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” Medicare has $36,000,000,000,000 (that’s trillion with a T) in unfunded liabilities in the next 25 years. That’s not “some financial problems,” as Weiner puts it in today’s worst understatement, and ObamaCare promises to make the problem worse — by expanding the program and its coverage.
But the topper of that statement comes from saying that consumers of Medicare love the system. At best, it’s tolerable, made so only by Medicare Advantage, which allows its consumers to buy supplemental insurance for broader coverage, better choice of providers, and a wider range of services. Guess what Obama, Weiner, and the rest of the liberals in Congress want to cut to pay for their “reform”? Medicare Advantage, a program demonized by Obama at every opportunity.
And I say that as the spouse of a Medicare consumer. If Weiner’s been within a hundred miles of a Medicare EOB, I’d eat my hat.
I’m guessing Ed Morrisey won’t be eating any hats any time soon.
I do have to hand it to Congressman Weiner, though, bare power-grabbing honesty such as his is rare in a politician. It’s good to see evil for what it is every now and then.