House Republicans and President Donald Trump took a large step in their efforts to repeal and replace the failing ObamaCare system on Thursday. In a very tight vote, Republicans passed their health care legislation and handed the bill off to the Senate. “But lawmakers voted without the final bill ever being scored, as they say in Washington,” announced ABC Anchor David Muir at the start of World News Tonight, “Meaning they voted without knowing how many fewer Americans would be insured, some predict tens of millions.”
Muir’s assertion operates under the assumption that the Republicans were coldheartedly leaving people high and dry. Reporter Mary Bruce even cited an outdated assessment by the often wrong Congressional Budget Office to hammer the bill for supposedly dropping 24 million people from their insurance. There was little emphasis on the number of people who would choose not to buy the insurance ObamaCare forced them to buy.
Later on in the broadcast, Muir was excited to share the video of House Democrats childishly chanting the song “Hey, hey, hey, goodbye” on the House floor. “And there was chanting on the floor of the House,” he hyped. “Democrats taunting Republicans today, waving goodbye to them. Predicting that this vote will cost them with American voters come the midterms.”
ABC Correspondent Jon Karl then went over the Democratic plan to unseat many of the Republicans. “Their top targets will be 23 House Republicans who are in districts that Hillary Clinton won,” he reported. “David, more than half of them voted for this bill that will be something they'll have to answer for.”
On NBC Nightly News, White House Correspondent Kristen Welker also highlighted the Democratic taunting, but added a clip of the crowd outside the Capitol chanting “Shame!” She also interviewed failed presidential campaign aide Nicolle Wallace who warned that the GOP will own the ObamaCare that they’re breaking. “You break it, you own it,” she chided.
The coverage on CBS Evening News tried to tug on their viewers’ heartstrings by interviewing a worried mother. “Robin Parrott, a mother of four from Walker, Louisiana says she was troubled by today's vote,” claimed reporter David Begnaud. Parrott told him that “It's frightening. I'm worried about what that impact will have on my family and the medical bills that we might incur.”
But it turns out that Parrott is a very loud liberal “activist”, something that Begnaud neglected to mention. She has been a vocal opponent of the House bill and had taken part in the so-called March for Science that railed against the President. Parrott has a long history of tweets attacking Trump on everything from health care to science to abortion to immigration. She’s also supportive of “Indivisible,” progressive activist organization that CBS once hyped.
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IN addition, CBS Anchor Scott Pelley brought on Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson to knock the GOP bill. He speculated that the reason they didn’t wait for a CBO score was because “the report was likely to be nearly as bad or perhaps even worse.”
Generally, all of the Big Three Networks noted that the passage of the bill was a victory for the GOP and for Trump. But they quickly tore it down as a victory that harmed the rest of America.
World News Tonight
May 4, 2017
6:31:11 PM Eastern
DAVID MUIR: Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a Thursday night. And we begin tonight with a major victory for President Trump. His new plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, passing the House by the slimmest of margins. Surrounded by Republicans at the White House, the President saying this is the death of Obamacare. But lawmakers voted without the final bill ever being scored, as they say in Washington. Meaning they voted without knowing how many fewer Americans would be insured, some predict tens of millions. Tonight we ask: what it could mean for you, from pre-existing conditions to your premiums.
6:35:37 PM Eastern
MUIR: And there was chanting on the floor of the House. Democrats taunting Republicans today, waving goodbye to them. Predicting that this vote will cost them with American voters come the midterms. So let’s get right to ABC White House Correspondent Jon Karl. Jon, you saw the moment. Let’s play it for everyone at home here.
HOUSE DEMOCRATS: Nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.
JON KARL: You saw some of that anger in town hall meetings across the country before this vote. People concerned about what the changes would mean for their own health care. Look, this was a big legislative victory for the President today. But Democrats hope they can turn this into a big political liability in the elections next year. Their top targets will be 23 House Republicans who are in districts that Hillary Clinton won. David, more than half of them voted for this bill that will be something they'll have to answer for. Overall, ObamaCare is more popular than it's been. In fact in our poll, 37% said they wanted it repealed and replaced. Just 37%. 60% wanted it kept and fixed.
CBS Evening News
May 4, 2017
6:34:22 PM Eastern
SCOTT PELLEY: As Nancy mentioned, the Republican plan covers preexisting conditions, but not the way ObamaCare does. Here's David Begnaud.
[Cuts to video]
DAVID BEGNAUD: Robin Parrott, a mother of four from Walker, Louisiana says she was troubled by today's vote.
ROBIN PARROTT: It's frightening. I'm worried about what that impact will have on my family and the medical bills that we might incur.
BEGNAUD: Her three-year-old son Collin has a preexisting condition called hydronephrosis. It is a chronic condition that prevents his right kidney from draining properly due to a blockage.
PARROTT: Are we going to have my son's insurance cut? Are they going to cover him? Will they cover enough of it, because without what we had, we would still be in debt, and we would forever be in debt I have a feeling.
BEGNAUD: More than two million Americans covered by Obamacare have preexisting conditions. This new house bill would allow states to file for a waiver from the requirement that guarantees their coverage. To qualify, states would have to set up so-called high-risk pools, money used to help pay for expensive premiums. Back in Louisiana, officials have not signaled that they will seek a waiver, but $138 billion has been set aside in the GOP bill for all 50 states, to help fund those high-risk pools.
6:37:07 PM Eastern
PELLEY: John, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office analyzes these bills to tell Senators and Congressmen how they'll affect the American people. Last month when this came up, the Congressional Budget Office said it would cost 24 million Americans their insurance. This time the Republicans didn't wait for the CBO report.
JOHN DICKERSON: And they didn't wait because the report was likely to be nearly as bad or perhaps even worse. But regardless, the number was not going to be a good one that they were going to get in terms of that coverage because they argue the Congressional Budget Office doesn't see health care the way they do.
That they argue the reason those numbers is high is under ObamaCare people were forced to buy insurance. The Republican plan doesn't do that, but they think people will get insurance nevertheless, and the cost will go down. But they didn't want a number that would look bad as they're trying to build momentum showing Republicans coming together and use that momentum to get the Senate to overcome its obstacles to passing health care legislation.