Be careful criticizing the Obamacare train wreck this Christmas season, boys and girls, or you may find yourself on Juan Williams naughty list.
The political analyst was in no mood for healthcare hostility on Sunday, telling a bipartisan “Fox News Sunday” panel that their focus “on the negative” should earn them “a big lump in all of [their] Christmas stockings.”
That panel — which included conservative columnists George Will and Charles Krauthammer along with Democratic columnist Kirsten Powers — universally panned Thursday’s partial “hardship” delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate for those who recently lost insurance. The rule change is just the latest in a series of last-minute revisions to the fast-crumbling healthcare law.
George Will told host Chris Wallace that at this point, the president would “be better off today if in 2012, the Chief Justice [of the Supreme Court] had voted the other way and struck down the law. It wouldn’t be such a burden to his presidency.” He said that in addition to “incompetence and dishonesty,” the White House is now pushing “naked unfairness” by allowing those who had their health insurance cancelled to skip government penalties.
Powers agreed, calling the current Obamacare prognosis “pretty bleak” and “chaotic.” She claimed that the rule changes are “confusing to a lot of people” and the law “isn’t as it was sold.” She also predicted that after January 1, “it’s just gonna get worse.”
Krauthammer joined the pile on, calling it “highly unlikely” that the Obamacare ship will have righted itself a year from now.” He predicted that the individual mandate — the portion of the law requiring people to purchase healthcare or face a penalty — will be scrapped entirely. After that, “there’s only one way out: A huge government bailout of the insurers is waiting at the end of next year, and that’s an issue that Republicans should focus on right now. It’s the only way that Obamacare will survive, and it ought to be stopped before it happens.”
None of that went over well with Williams, who attacked his fellow panelists before launching into a rambling Obamacare defense:
WILLIAMS:You know something, I think there’s going to be a big lump in all of your Christmas stockings. Because I just think, you guys are looking at the negatives so heavily. You’re so invested in cursing out Obama and Obamacare. It’s just wild to me!
KRAUTHAMMER: But that happens in a train wreck —
WILLIAMS: Hang on, let me finish my point. I think if you look at the reality of what’s happened here, you have people who say — there’s a market. We saw a million people already who signed up, despite all the problems. There’s a market there. The second thing to say is — and the president said this — the problems that exist don’t speak to the core issue. Most of us have insurance through our employers. No change for us! For the people who are in the individual market, most of them who were cancelled have already gotten new policies —
POWERS: For triple the amount!
WILLIAMS: Right. I don’t know if they’re more or less —
POWERS: Well, I can tell you they’re more!
WILLIAMS: — but they’ve gotten new polices. So what we’re talking about is about a half million people — and a half million people, some of whom were under 30, were already eligible for this “catastrophic” program, right? Ok, so what we’re talking about then is — oh, but now young people might be coming in who shouldn’t be in there. So we’re talking about maybe 250,000 people. And yet at this table this morning it’s like “Oh woe is me, Obamacare is done, and it’s the end of the world.”
Powers — a fellow Democrat who lost her insurance under Obamacare — found Williams’ temper tantrum unconvincing. “Now you have the responsible people who had insurance not having insurance? How is that helpful, and how is that part of ensuring that people have health insurance?” she asked.
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