Tucker Carlson interviewed Ezekiel Emanuel on his new primetime Fox News show Tuesday night, an interview the Obamacare architect probably wishes he skipped.
Carlson, who co-founded The Daily Caller, opened by noting “Obamacare is the biggest piece of social reorganization passed in [his] lifetime, and yet it has never, as far as I know, received majority support.”
“Shouldn’t you get buy-in from the public before reorganizing their health care?” he asked.
“The public likes many of the provisions,” Emanuel responded.
“Yeah, some,” Carlson admitted.
“Wait, did you ask me a question?” Emanuel hostilely shot back at the Fox News host. “Let me answer the question, please. A little respect. The only provision that scores under 50 percent is the mandate, and people haven’t understood that if you want no pre-existing disease, condition, exclusion, you have to have a mandate. Those are inexplicably linked. The public, of course, would like their cake and eat it too, but you cannot have both of those…”
“Before you continue to patronize the public, let me just make something clear,” cut in Carlson. “The poorest section of our population is young people. In fact, this generation is the poorest generation of its age in three generations. They’re the poorest, and yet we’re forcing them to buy into the system to subsidize the health care of the old and the sick, who are also the richest section of our population. Why is that fair and why would you expect them to like it?”
“Well, first of all, young kids are subsidized in the Obamacare plan. If they don’t make above 100 percent of poverty, they go Medicaid and they get almost cost-free health care,” Emanuel stated, which wasn’t an adequate answer for Carlson.
“But they don’t think it’s a good deal. … You’re trying to force them to do something they don’t want to do. You’re telling them it’s a good deal, but they don’t believe it’s a good deal. Why is that?” he asked Emanuel, which sent the Obamacare architect spiraling down the blame drain.
“A lot of them haven’t explored what the deal is,” Emanuel answered. “They’ve heard your rhetoric that it’s not a good deal, and they haven’t actually seen.”
“So you’re saying that I’ve convinced people that Obamacare isn’t as great as it really is?” Carlson posed with a grin on his face. “Is that what you’re saying?”
Emanuel tried to argue that it’s Congress’ fault that President Obama and Democrats have not been able to enact legislation to tweak and improve the law, but Carlson again subverted his argument.
“To add to what you said, the president began this with a speech to a joint session of Congress in 2009 in which he said Obamacare will be the end of the discussion of how to organize health care in this country. I was sitting right there, and he said that. He promised us that it would be perfect on arrival. Shouldn’t someone at least acknowledge that that wasn’t true before we move on to the next iteration of Obamacare? Are we just going to keep lying?”
“Excuse me, but that is totally untrue statement!” Emanuel, now yelling, asserted. “The president never thought it was going to be perfect on arrival.”
Upon being prompted, Carlson proceeded to rattle off Obama’s exact quote from 2009.
“I’m not the first president to take this up. I am determined to be the last,” he read from a notecard. “Nobody believes you, doctor. We all watched this happen, and I’m sorry, you would have much more credibility if you would just say, we were kinda wrong about some things. … This is sad, and I would expect more from someone who is a eminent doctor.”