During Thursday afternoon's edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports, the MSNBC host joined NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd and USA Today reporter Susan Page in stating that the troubled implementation of the Affordable Care Act has diminished the political status of Barack Obama and resulted in negative poll results from people all across the country.
The discussion was part of a “year-in-review” segment, when Mitchell claimed that the “unhelpful” insurance industry has generated “a big piece” of the ObamaCare program's troubles because, as Page noted, some of the negative developments that are taking place “are not related” to the Affordable Care Act. Todd agreed, noting that the program is “clearly being used by the health-care industry to hide bad – to hide unpopular moves.”
The host's first question went to Todd, who -- during his tenure at the White House -- has “seen the highs and the lows, and right now, with only minimal support now, people are thinking that this Congress and this president can't turn things around.”
“How does the White House fix it?” she asked.
Just like everything else in the conversation, Todd's answer was aimed directly at the Affordable Care Act.
“Number 1, they have to make health care work, obviously, but they're past this 'danger zone,'” he stated. “We've said that in the modern era, in second terms, you have about a year -- if you're lucky, 18 months -- to legislate. Well, we're a year in. Now, what 2014 is about is about prolonging, how long can the White House prolong 'lame duck' status when it comes to at least running Washington?”
Todd continued by stating:
And that, I think, it's all in the hands of health care. What do things look like on April 1? What does the enrollment actually look like?
What about the doctors? What we don't know about this part of the story yet, with health care, is how do the doctors interact with these new health insurance patients that they have that they didn't have before?
That led Mitchell to slam insurance companies that generate “a big piece” of the program's difficulties, along with physicians because “more and more doctors are actually opting out of so many programs, some retiring early because of the bureaucracy that they're feeling impeding in their work.”
“And of course, some of these developments are not related even to the Affordable Care Act,” Page asserted.
“Well, it’s being used -- it is clearly, to me, being used by the health-care industry to hide bad -- to hide unpopular moves,” Todd stated.
Mitchell added: “The White House is being blamed for everything that was already a problem that the White House was trying to fix.”
“But that being said, that's the reality,” Page noted. “Obama is the health-care president; he now owns the health-care system. If it works, if it turns around, he's going to get the credit for an historic achievement. But if this is another troubled year, man, it's going to be, I think, impossible for him to come back from this.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, Monday's installment wasn't the first time Mitchell went to bat for ObamaCare.
On September 30, she scolded Rep. Jason Chaffetz. "Get real," demanded Mitchell, twice telling the Utah Republican that the GOP-backed bill delaying the implementation of ObamaCare was "dead on arrival."
About two weeks later, Mitchell was interviewing Rep. Sean Duffy when the Wisconsin Republican accused the people in the “mainstream” media of not doing their job in pointing out the hypocrisy of ObamaCare being delayed for certain groups but not for all Americans.
The liberal host responded that GOP calls for a one-year delay of the implementation of ObamaCare was a “non-negotiable demand.” “Do you consider it a small ask that he (Obama) get rid of the central part of his health-care plan that was upheld by a -- by the vote of a presidential election, and the United States Supreme Court?”
And on Halloween, Mitchell fretted during her weekday afternoon program that since the president had lost much of his standing in the polls, Obama couldn't “frighten everybody into line to try to peel off some Republican votes” for important legislation.
It's easy to tell when the polls favor the Democrats on a certain issue. If that's the case, Republicans are scolded for “going against the will of the people.” When that's not the case, the GOP is accused of undermining “the law of the land” even if the legislation was passed during the two years Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, a situation that no longer exists.