Fox News’ Ed Henry took White House spokesman Josh Earnest to task over hysteria from Harvard professors in the wake of reports of rising health-care costs.
The rising health-care costs, reported initially by The New York Times, are caused in part by the Affordable Care Act, which many on the Harvard faculty heartily supported.
Henry asked Earnest specifically if the Harvard professors are being “a little hypocritical,” given their prior support for the bill.
Earnest dodged Henry’s inquiry, instead repeating administration talking points, telling Henry that Harvard professors can benefit from the ACA because it allows their children to remain on their insurance until age 26 and because no one with a pre-existing condition can be denied coverage.
HENRY: “A long story in The New York Times saying that large segments of the faculty at Harvard University, where the president went to Harvard Law School, is sort of up in arms about the fact that the professor are going to have to bear a larger share of their own health-care costs under the president’s new law. Here are some of the same professors who were advisers to the president’s first campaign in 2008, advocated the Affordable Care Act. And they basically said this is a great deal for America, but now that they have to pay more, they’re up in arms about it. Isn’t that a little bit hypocritical that some of the president’s supporters at Harvard are saying this is a great deal for America, but when I’ve gotta pay more, it’s terrible, it’s awful?”
EARNEST: “I can only imagine the question you’d be asking if The New York Times reported that the faculty at Harvard was getting a great deal.”
HENRY: “Harvard also put out a statement, by the way, saying they are doing this because the trend of health-care costs, including some driven by health-care reform itself. Yesterday when we talked about this, you said, and there are stats backing up that health-care costs are coming down in some respects. But Harvard is citing that the law itself is raising health-care costs. Isn’t that the opposite of what the White House said?”
EARNEST: “Well, I haven’t seen exactly what Harvard has said. But I do think as a general matter that the results that we’ve seen so far, they’re early, but the early results speak to the enormous benefits that the Affordable Care Act has paid to middle-class families across the country, to small business owners, to the government’s bottom line, and to the success that we’ve had in lowering health-care costs, or at least slowing the growth of health-care costs for people all across the country.”
HENRY: “Is the president disappointed that professors at his alma mater just don’t see those benefits?”
EARNEST: “Well, let’s be clear: there are some important benefits that they do see under the Affordable Care Act. That there are a number of patient protections that apply to everybody. So that everybody who’s on the Harvard faculty can get a free annual check-up from their doctor. And, again that’s thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Nobody at Harvard who has a pre-existing condition can never be discriminated against again because of that pre-existing condition, and every Harvard professor that has an old child can keep that child on their quality Harvard insurance up to age 26. And those are the kinds of patient protections that don’t just benefit those at the bottom of the income scale, they actually benefit everybody, including the esteemed academics at Harvard University.”