‘What Matters’: NBC Holds Up Biden’s Plan for ObamaCare, Makes Same Promise

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Though he wasn’t included in NBC’s “My Big Idea” series the first time around, Tuesday’s edition of the “What Matters” (only to Democratic voters) series featured former Vice President Joe Biden and his plan for the future of ObamaCare. Spoiler alert, Biden was oblivious to the Obama-like promise he made during the interview while blasting Medicare for all.

“The 2020 race is heating up tonight, just a day after Joe Biden doubled down on his criticism of Elizabeth Warren as elitist and blasted her Medicare for all plan,” anchor Lester Holt announced at the top. “Tonight, Biden speaks one-on-one with our Harry Smith and answers one Democratic voter's question about how he would keep Americans insured; in our series ‘What Matters.’

After touting how Biden was answering the question of a Democratic college student concerned about health insurance companies covering preexisting conditions, correspondent Harry Smith shared this soundbite of Biden pitching his plan to restore ObamaCare; complete with the same dubious promise Americans had heard before and were burned with:

My plan calls for taking ObamaCare and building on ObamaCare, restoring all the cuts that the President made, making sure that the 160 million people like that young lady who asked the question, if they like their private plan, they can keep it. Unlike Medicare for all, where they have to give it up.

That’s right, he repeated Obama’s erroneous “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” promise that earned the then-President Lie of the Year from PolitiFact in 2013. Smith failed to note that fact.

 

 

“Biden calls for increased subsidies so more insurance plans cap out-of-pocket expenses at a thousand dollars a year, for the government to limit prices on prescription drugs, and for a public insurance option for all who choose it,” Smith touted.

The only question Smith decided to share with viewers was him asking Biden for a layman’s terms explanation of how he foresees his plan working:

SMITH: How would the public option work? Can you just give me bare bones—how would that work?

BIDEN: The public option is, “I don't have enough money to buy into this plan. I don't have enough money to buy into the gold plan.” Well, here is a deal-- “I don't have any money at all.” Are you eligible now for Medicaid? Well, if you are, you're in. Come on, nothing, free. Move. We'll move you in.

Smith concluded with his promotional insight into the former Vice President’s plan: “Joe Biden is convinced his plan is the way to go, achievable, he says. Practical.”

An interesting point of note, the series was supposed to address “What Matters” to Democratic voters. But, so far, Smith has only cited the concerns of one group of Democratic voters he spoke with while in Pennsylvania and nowhere else. There have been five “What Matters” segments since November 5.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC Nightly News
November 12, 2019
7:11:05 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: The 2020 race is heating up tonight, just a day after Joe Biden doubled down on his criticism of Elizabeth Warren as elitist and blasted her Medicare for all plan. Tonight, Biden speaks one-on-one with our Harry Smith and answers one Democratic voter's question about how he would keep Americans insured; in our series "What Matters."

[Cuts to video]

HARRY SMITH: Just ahead of a campaign event in New Hampshire, Joe Biden --

(Smith to Biden) Just let me play this little clip.

--took a moment to hear a question from Sarah Boyd, a Democratic voter and college student in Pennsylvania.

SARAH BOYD: How you going to make sure that if someone has conditions or preexisting conditions or anything like that, that they can trust that their health insurance, whether it's publicly or privately funded will protect them and care for them?

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: My plan calls for taking ObamaCare and building on ObamaCare, restoring all the cuts that the President made, making sure that the 160 million people like that young lady who asked the question, if they like their private plan, they can keep it. Unlike Medicare for all, where they have to give it up.

SMITH: Biden calls for increased subsidies so more insurance plans cap out-of-pocket expenses at a thousand dollars a year, for the government to limit prices on prescription drugs, and for a public insurance option for all who choose it.

BIDEN: Now, it does cost. It costs about $750 billion over ten years. But it doesn't cost $33 billion or a trillion dollars, which the other plan calls for. And it can be done immediately. Nothing missed between the cup and the lip, as my mom would say.

SMITH: How would the public option work? Can you just give me bare bones—how would that work?

BIDEN: The public option is, “I don't have enough money to buy into this plan. I don't have enough money to buy into the gold plan.” Well, here is a deal-- “I don't have any money at all.” Are you eligible now for Medicaid? Well, if you are, you're in. Come on, nothing, free. Move. We'll move you in.

SMITH: Joe Biden is convinced his plan is the way to go, achievable, he says. Practical. Harry Smith, NBC News, New London, New Hampshire.

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