Krauthammer Battles NPR's Totenberg Over Whether or Not People Want ObamaCare

For over two years, liberals and conservatives have been at odds over whether the public actually wants ObamaCare.

On Friday's "Inside Washington," NPR's Nina Totenberg took the predictable liberal position that polls show folks want all the "goodies" in the bill, but Charles Krauthammer made it clear that these survey results change drastically when people are told the cost (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, there are pluses and minuses. The American people are adults. They understand that would be a cost. They also understand that if you’re going to insure pre-existing conditions, insurance companies have to get more money…

NINA TOTENBERG: No they don’t understand that.

KRAUTHAMMER: …from elsewhere, otherwise they’re going to go bankrupt. Everybody understands that if you create a new entitlement, you’re going to insure 30 million…


KRAUTHAMMER: Hold on, Nina – 30 million additional Americans, it’s going to cost you. There isn’t a free lunch.

TOTENBERG: They may understand that.

KRAUTHAMMER: All the protestations of the government is going to be savings is a farce, and ordinary folks understand that which is why you have had such absolutely strong, unwavering opposition to this right through a year and half.

TOTENBERG: Every single poll for well over a year about this has had the American people strongly by large, large majorities favoring all the goodies in this and not the mandate to pay for it.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, of course. Who would oppose a goodie? If somebody offers you ice cream asking for nothing…


KRAUTHAMMER: …everybody will say yes…

TOTENBERG: There is no free lunch. That is what we still haven’t come to accept.

KRAUTHAMMER: The Republicans have to make the case, they make the case for the costs, people if you have to weigh the benefits and the costs, the public opinion result is people oppose it generally.

COLBY KING, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I just, I like the reference to ordinary people understanding this, and…

KRAUTHAMMER: It’s intuitive.

KING: It is intuitive. Those of us who know…

KRAUTHAMMER: No, you don't have to go into details and actuarial tables. You’re going to give an entitlement to 30 million people and everybody understands it’s going to cost.

Indeed. And the idea that polls show people want the goodies in the bill is largely irrelevant unless the costs are part of the survey.

What folks like Totenberg, King, and most of their ilk have been doing for almost two years is make their case based on people wanting the benefits of the bill if you don't tell them it costs money.

This has been dishonest from the start because everybody wants something given to them for free regardless of what it is. As Krauthammer said, that's intuitive.

Unfortunately what we have found for years in watching liberal media members is their ability to intuit is abysmal when such an exercise produces results contrary to their agenda.

NPR Inside Washington PBS ObamaCare Charles Krauthammer
Noel Sheppard's picture

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