CNN's Cafferty Reads Mostly From Those Who Support Public Option

Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgOn Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty highlighted a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that Americans apparently support the public option and mandatory insurance, and most of the viewer responses that he read supported these left-wing positions. Cafferty didn’t explicitly voice his agreement with the poll results, but presented his own liberal proposal for health care.

Cafferty touted how “a majority of Americans supports two of the more controversial parts of health care reform: the public option and requiring everyone to buy insurance” during his 4 pm “Question of the Hour” segment: “A new Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows independents and seniors, both critical voting blocs, have warmed up to the idea of a public insurance option. Fifty-seven percent favor the public option. Fifty-six percent support making it mandatory for all Americans to buy health insurance, either through their employers, on their own, or through Medicare or Medicaid.”

Ed Morrisey of pointed out on Tuesday morning that this poll has a skewed sample. On the other hand, the CNN commentator did however subsequently note that “there’s even broader opposition to how to pay for all of this. Sixty-one percent are opposed to the proposed tax on so-called Cadillac insurance plans, and nearly 70 percent say they think any health care bill will increase the federal deficit, although almost half of those people say it would be worth it to grow the deficit in order to achieve true health care reform.”

Cafferty asked his viewers, “Should health care reform contain both a public option and be mandatory for all Americans?” Before ending his segment, the commentator made his own proposal for health care reform: “What if they did away with the antitrust exemption for the insurance companies and simply expanded Medicare and Medicaid to rest of the population that it doesn’t currently cover?” Anchor Wolf Blitzer replied, “That’s a threat, that the health insurance companies don’t even want to hear you talk like that, Jack.”

Just before the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour, the CNN commentator read some of the viewer responses, and unsurprisingly, most of them came from supporters of the public option and/or mandatory insurance. One viewer even voiced her support for Cafferty’s liberal proposal:

CAFFERTY: The question this hour: should health care reform contain a public option and be mandatory for all Americans?

Ken in Delaware says, ‘A public option will make no difference as long as we have the same Congress we have now. They’ve taken care of Wall Street, the banks, the insurance industry and the defense industry. My health care premiums are going up 20 percent next year, and they’ll continue to go up 20 percent per year. Greed has infected every aspect of our society and it can’t be stopped anymore. The Democrats have the presidency, the House and the Senate, but nothing has changed.’

Scott writes, ‘Give us the public option [and] make it mandatory. I’d rather pay reasonable taxes to be able to see a doctor than to never be able to afford insurance and live the rest of my life in fear.’

Ron says, ‘I could live with the public option, but nothing should be mandatory for all Americans when it comes to health issues. Many people are happy with what they have. I believe the mandatory issue stems for the absolute hate Congress has for the insurance companies. The government can’t even run an official post office. How are they going to run our health care?’

Elaine writes, ‘If it’s mandatory, it better be affordable, and to be affordable, there must be a public option.’

Bill says, ‘No. The clear experience with mandatory insurance is that some people will just not sign up, not at any price, nor any penalty, and nobody’s going to deny them free services when they need them.’

P.J. writes, ‘Yes, Jack, any national health care reform must include a public option and it should also be mandatory to have health insurance. Recently diagnosed with cancer and subsequently terminated from my job, I have lost the Cadillac health insurance I had and now can’t get anyone to insure me. (Can you say a preexisting condition?) I’m screwed. We need a public option.’

And Lisa in San Jose [California] writes, ‘I want the Cafferty Bill- end the anti-trust exemption for the insurance companies and expand Medicare to everyone.’

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