Only CBS Bothers to Cover Yet Another ObamaCare Delay: Critics Have a 'New Target'
Only CBS This Morning on Wednesday bothered to cover yet another delay of ObamaCare. NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America both skipped the news. On Tuesday night, all three networks ignored the topic.
CBS co-anchor Charlie Rose explained, "This morning, critics of the President's health care law have a new target for anger, another major delay." He added, "The Obama administration will allow insurers to continue offering bare-bones plans even if they don't comply with the minimum standards." Journalist Jan Crawford described the move as one that would avoid more cancellations near the 2014 midterm elections. She opined, "...The administration will allow insurers to offer the substandard plans." [MP3 audio here.]
Referencing the debacle of fall 2013, Crawford reminded viewers of "this outcry from consumers, millions of consumers, who had their policies canceled."
Although NBC didn't have time for another ObamaCare problem, Today promoted frivolous topics, such as offering four and a half minutes on "tips for flying solo."
Though GMA skipped ObamaCare, co-host Lara Spencer interviewed Beverly Hills 90210 star Jenny Garth for five minutes and 41 seconds.
On February 11, 2014, Natalie Morales described the administration issuing a delay on the ObamaCare mandate this way: "Well, another hiccup this morning on the ObamaCare front."
On February 13, NBC reporter Chuck Todd insisted the latest setback "doesn't have a lot of legs."
When the networks don't cover ObamaCare delays, it's easier to make sure they don't have "legs."
A transcript of the March 5 segment, which aired at 7:12am ET, follows:
CBS GRAPHIC: New ObamaCare Delay: Insurers Can Extend Offers of "No-Frills" Plans
CHARLIE ROSE: This morning, critics of the President's health care law have a new target for anger, another major delay. The Obama administration will allow insurers to continue offering bare-bones plans, even if they don't comply with the minimum standards. Jan Crawford is in Washington with the newest twist on the rollout. Jan, good morning.
JAN CRAWFORD: Oh, good morning, Charlie and Norah. As you remember, last fall the President allowed some of the no frills plans to stick around for another year after, really what we saw, was this outcry from consumers, millions of consumers who had their policies canceled. Well, now the White House is hoping to prevent a similar scene from happening again, just before the midterm elections. With consumers outraged over cancellations, the President announced last November that Americans could keep their plans for another year, even if they did not meet the Affordable Care Act's basic coverage requirements.
BARACK OBAMA: I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans, particularly after assurances they heard from me that if they had a plan that they liked, they could keep it. And to those Americans, I hear you loud and clear.
CRAWFORD: Now CBS News has learned the administration will allow insurers to offer the substandard plans even longer, avoiding another round of cancellations just weeks before the midterm elections. Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says the White House is trying to protect vulnerable Democrats, not the consumers.
SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH): If you look at the timing of it, it's really designed to delay until right after the 2014 elections. And we already know what happened what happened when people started receiving cancellations notices last time.
CRAWFORD: News of the extension comes just three weeks before another critical ObamaCare deadline, March 31st, the last day to sign up for coverage through an insurance exchange. Last month the Vice President warned the enrollment goals may not be met.
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Initially, we talked about why the end of this period, having 7 million people lined up. We may not get to seven, but we're going to get to five or six or six and that's a helluva start.
CRAWFORD: Now, congressional Republicans, of course, have been trying to trying to repeal ObamaCare. They've done it, like nearly 50 times, tried to. You know, the irony of that, of course, is that for all those efforts, which failed, the person that's been able to force the most changes on this health care law has really been the President himself. Charlie and Norah?
— Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.