CNN's Bash again airs clip of McCain falsely attacking Dems for health care proposalsApril 30, 2008 5:27 PM EDT ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE
On the April 29 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, congressional correspondent Dana Bash aired a clip of Sen. John McCain stating of health care proposals offered by Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "This will accomplish one thing only. We will replace the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of the current system with the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of a government monopoly." In fact, as Media Matters for America repeatedly noted when CNN uncritically aired or repeated similar attacks by McCain, neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "government monopoly" on insurance coverage; rather, both have called for individuals to choose their own insurance.
Contrary to McCain's suggestion that Obama and Clinton want the government to have a "monopoly" on insurance coverage, Obama's health care plan allows individuals to keep their private health insurance if they so choose, while he says it also "addresses the large gaps in coverage that leave 47 million Americans uninsured." A Q&A released by the Obama campaign says: "His plan will not tell you which doctors to see or what treatments to get. Under the Obama health care plan, you will be able to keep your doctor and your health insurance if you want. No government bureaucrat will second-guess decisions about your care." Likewise, a Clinton campaign summary of her health care program says: "In addition to the broad array of private options that Americans can choose from, they will be offered the choice of a public plan option similar to Medicare." The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog noted on October 24, 2007, that "the Clinton plan does not force Americans to accept 'government insurance.' It offers people a choice. If they are happy with their present health plan, they can keep it. Otherwise, they can switch to the plans offered to members of Congress, or a government-run plan similar to Medicare."
From the April 29 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
BASH: Health care: a top issue for voters and, John McCain made clear, one of his most dramatic differences with Democrats, who want to mandate insurance coverage.
McCAIN: This will accomplish one thing only. We will replace the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of the current system with the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of a government monopoly.
BASH: Instead, McCain's idea is classic Republican credo: move away from employer-based health care to let the market and consumers decide. He would offer families a $5,000 tax credit to buy insurance, individuals $2,500. The estimated cost: $3.6 trillion.
To pay for that, McCain would eliminate the tax breaks employers get for offering insurance.
McCAIN: The health plan you choose would be as good as any that an employer could choose for you. It would be yours and your family's health care plan, and yours to keep.
BASH: McCain advisers insist that would drive up competition and drive down sky-high costs.
But Democrats, like Elizabeth Edwards, who has cancer, say millions with pre-existing conditions would lose insurance.