Disgraced Governor-Turned CNN Host Spitzer Credits Liberals for Health Insurance Across State Lines Initiative

September 21st, 2010 2:21 PM

A governor forced to resign for patronizing call girls will probably have a hard time landing a job making pronouncements on politics, right? But there, on CNN, is former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. 

Spitzer will co-host a show with pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker called "Parker Spitzer," which is set to debut on Oct. 4. But in the meantime, Spitzer has been making regular appearances on CNN programming to offer the liberal perspective on issues. On CNN's Sept. 20 "Anderson Cooper 360," that's what he did, carrying water for the Democratic Party - even though his argument was factually leaky.

In the wake of the GOP's nomination of Christine O'Donnell as the Delaware candidate for U.S. Senate, Spitzer took on conservative talker and blogger Dana Loesch over what issues the Tea Party movement was really interested in taking a stand on - fiscal or social. Loesch argued that the movement isn't just about opposing this Congress' policy endeavors, but is also offering solutions, as was the case with ObamaCare.

The Tea Party supporters may differ on some issues, leading to some vague positions, but, "I think that means for the amounts of issues, perhaps, when you get into social issues," Loesch said. "But, for things like health care, the movement has been incredibly clear. Some of the things that they have put out are - let's be able to buy insurance across state lines. Let's - have health insurance companies compete. We've taken on everything from health care, to education, to foreign policy, and not just general."

And according to Loesch, the Democrats have offered a series of platitudes on these policy issues, which she claims they could have offered some more specifics.

"I mean, we have isolated specific issues within the realm of each of these topics and we have gone at it," Loesch continued. "When you talk about people being general, where we have seen people be general is from the Congress currently in Washington, D.C. We've seen broad generalizations on a number of different policies. We would actually like to see congressional Democrats be a little bit more - just be a little bit more precise with things."

Spitzer was in agreement over a policy point, but he wanted to credit the Democratic Party, which controls both chambers of Congress and the White House with an idea that it hasn't been noted for championing, and that it was unable to implement.
"Well, you know, because I'm always looking for points of agreement, I agree with you about the ability to purchase across state lines, competition across state lines," Spitzer said. "Those have been perspectives taken primarily by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and opposed by the Republican Party. So, if you want to ask, why..."

However, it was the Republican Party that fought for the ability for consumers to purchase insurance across state lines. This had long been a policy point offered by the GOP, even at the height of the ObamaCare debate, as shown in a Feb. 25 post on the GOP House Conference blog. Spitzer's erroneous assertion led to this back-and-forth with Loesch:

LOESCH: That came out in the Patients' Choice Act.
SPITZER: ... why that - why that has not been permitted...
SPITZER: What do you mean? You can't say no. Facts are facts. The reality is ...
LOESCH: Patients' Choice Act - the fact is the Republicans came out with a Patients' Choice Act. I have to correct you on that point.
SPITZER: Talking over somebody isn't going to change the facts. The reality is...
LOESCH: Well, I had to point out the facts.
SPITZER: ... the opposition to interstate competition has come from the Republican Party. And that remains to be the case.

A 2009 study showed that health insurance premiums would be reduced by 61 percent for Massachusetts residents if they were allowed to purchase insurance in North Carolina,  which, as the GOP conference blog pointed out, is something that could have easily been put into the Democrat's health care reform legislation. And as Loesch explained, it was House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., who was at the forefront of this push - not the "liberal wing of the Democratic Party," as Spitzer claimed.

"No. That is - that's - that's an error. That's a factual error - Patients' Choice Act. It came out. Eric Cantor, a number of congressional Republicans came out," Loesch said. "And that was one of the main talking points, the patients' bill of rights."