NBC Editor Warns GOP on ObamaCare Repeal: ‘You Break It, You Own It’

Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray lectured Republicans on any attempt to repeal ObamaCare, warning the GOP that if they “break” the health care system, then they “own it.”

Mitchell began the exchange by pleading: “Can they really undo ObamaCare?...that’ll affect whether exchanges – whether the insurance industry is willing to participate in the exchanges and it’ll affect the economic underpinnings of the whole health care system...” Murray replied: “Absolutely....like many big pieces of big legislation, there are goodies and there’s also some pain that's involved....And so this kind of game on ‘Well, we want the good stuff and not the bad stuff,’ that's just not how big reform legislation works, Andrea.”

Moments later, he proclaimed: “...now you have 20 million Americans who now have health insurance and there's going to be a really big political battle.” Murray concluded: “And if Republicans end up repealing it, remember the whole Pottery Barn rule – you break it, you own it. Well, Republicans will end up owning everything that comes with health care, including rising premiums, which always happen.”

No acknowledgment was made of Democrats having already broken the health care system.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Here is a transcript of the January 3 exchange:

12:30 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: ObamaCare, which should have been priority number one, they always said it was going to be, instead of this ethics controversy that they inflicted upon themselves. Can they really undo ObamaCare? Even if they post-date it, repeal it and say it won't be effectively repealed, that’ll affect whether exchanges – whether the insurance industry is willing to participate in the exchanges and it’ll affect the economic underpinnings of the whole health care system, including the parts that he says he likes.

MARK MURRAY: Absolutely. You know, the architecture of ObamaCare is so important to understand and like many big pieces of big legislation, there are goodies and there’s also some pain that's involved. And the health care law that Democrats ended up passing into law in 2010 had some goodies like, you know, being able to not deny people with preexisting conditions, allowing children up to age 26 to be able to have health insurance, those were the goodies. But it enacted some pain. Americans had to have mandatory health insurance, that that was a mandate there.

And what Republicans are trying to do, even with this repeal, is “Look, we still want to have the good parts, we just don't want to have any of the bad parts.” But it's hard to say you're going to eliminate denying people with preexisting conditions at the same time saying, but you know what, we're not going to require anyone to have health insurance. That mandate was so instrumental in getting some of the goodies that are involved. And so this kind of game on “Well, we want the good stuff and not the bad stuff,” that's just not how big reform legislation works, Andrea.

MITCHELL: We'll never know what would have happened if Jeff Zients and Silvia Burwell had been in charge of the computerized enrollment from the very beginning and they hadn't had all of that horrible publicity from the get-go.

MURRAY: 2013-2014 was very, very tough, but now you have 20 million Americans who now have health insurance and there's going to be a really big political battle. And if Republicans end up repealing it, remember the whole Pottery Barn rule – you break it, you own it. Well, Republicans will end up owning everything that comes with health care, including rising premiums, which always happen.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is the Senior News Analyst for MRC