Kudlow let McCaughey claim health care bill "pushes Americans into low-budget plans"

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

Larry Kudlow did not challenge -- and interrupted another guest when he challenged -- Betsy McCaughey's assertion that the Affordable Health Choices Act "pushes Americans into low-budget plans."

On the June 16 edition of CNBC's The Kudlow Report, host Larry Kudlow failed to challenge former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey's assertion that the Affordable Health Choices Act "pushes Americans into low-budget plans" and that the bill "restricts the choice that other Americans have. If you have your plan and you like it, you may not be able to keep it unless it's an HMO-style plan. That's Section 3101." Moreover, he interrupted another guest, Center for American Progress senior fellow Matt Miller, when Miller challenged McCaughey.

In fact, Section 3101 of the legislation contains a provision explicitly prohibiting compelled enrollment in health benefit gateways established in the bill to help qualified individuals purchase qualified health insurance plans. Moreover, Senate HELP Committee chairman Sen. Ted Kennedy's office has said that an "important foundation" of the bill is the principle that "[i]f you like the coverage you have now, you keep it. But if you don't have health insurance or don't like the insurance you have, our bill will give you new, more affordable options."

According to the bill, the gateway program is "voluntary" and the legislation specifically states that "[n]o individual shall be compelled to enroll in a qualified health plan or to participate in a Gateway." From the bill:

''(1) VOLUNTARY NATURE OF GATEWAY. --

''(A) CHOICE TO ENROLL OR NOT TO ENROLL. -- A qualified individual shall have the choice to enroll or not to enroll in a qualified health plan or to participate in a Gateway.

''(B) PROHIBITION ON COMPELLED ENROLLMENT. -- No individual shall be compelled to enroll in a qualified health plan or to participate in a Gateway.

During the discussion, CAP's Miller responded to McCaughey's claim that "the Democratic legislation pushes Americans into low-budget plans" by stating, "That's just not true." Kudlow then stated, "Hold on. Let her finish." When McCaughey repeated her claim, Miller said, "[N]o one is being pushed into anything. If you like the coverage you have, you don't have to make a change at all. You can't have falsehoods like that on the air." Kudlow replied: "[P]lease, don't talk over her," and he told McCaughey to "finish." McCaughey subsequently stated, "[E]ven without the public plan, the Kennedy legislation for example restricts the choice that other Americans have. If you have your plan and you like it, you may not be able to keep it unless it's an HMO-style plan. That's Section 3101." After Miller again said, "That's not true," Kudlow responded, "I've got to leave it there."

From the June 16 edition of CNBC's The Kudlow Report:

McCAUGHEY: President Obama promised that the American people would have the same choices as members of Congress. But the Democratic legislation pushes Americans into low-budget plans. Section 3101 --

MILLER: That's just not true.

McCAUGHEY: -- of the Kennedy plan --

KUDLOW: Hold on. Let her finish.

McCAUGHEY: -- specifies that it must be an HMO-style plan with a medical home, permission from a primary care doctor before you see a specialist, et cetera. What's so outrageous is that the Kennedy bill --

MILLER: This is -- no one is being pushed --

McCAUGHEY: Wait a minute.

MILLER: -- into anything. If you like the coverage you have --

McCAUGHEY: The Kennedy bill expressly exempts --

MILLER: -- you don't have to make a change at all. You can't have falsehoods like that on the air.

McCAUGHEY: -- members of Congress.

KUDLOW: I don't -- please, don't talk over her. Betsy --

McCAUGHEY: The Kennedy bill expressly --

KUDLOW: -- let me -- then finish.

McCAUGHEY: -- members of Congress. Any bill that's passed should apply to members of Congress. If it's not good enough for them, it's not good enough for the rest of us.

[...]

KUDLOW: A quick last word, Betsy. Do we have a deal --

McCAUGHEY: No, because --

KUDLOW: -- then I gotta get out.

McCAUGHEY: -- even without the public plan, the Kennedy legislation for example restricts the choice that other Americans have. If you have your plan and you like it, you may not be able to keep it unless it's an HMO-style plan. That's Section 3101.

KUDLOW: All right. I've got to leave it --

MILLER: That's not true.

KUDLOW: -- there.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
CNBC
Person
Larry Kudlow
Show/Publication
Kudlow Report
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