The devastating earthquake in Haiti, which may have killed tens of
thousands or more, "reminded" MSNBC's Keith Olbermann of why ObamaCare
is needed in the United States as he saw "what health care reform really means" in Haiti's "awful message of nightmarish reality."
Later, he seriously contended the Haiti disaster makes "a good frame of
reference in terms of the health care issue," as he speculated about a
quake destroying Los Angeles:
How would survivors of something like this here fare in terms of getting on their own feet economically afterwards, with the health care system we have in place right now?
After smearing Rush Limbaugh as a "deranged racist," Olbermann
teased Wednesday night's Countdown: "We are reminded of what health
care reform really means by an awful message of nightmarish reality
from a place, a place this time not so very far away." MSNBC's
on-screen heading, as he spoke, sealed the link between Haiti and the
domestic policy: "REAL REFORM NECESSARY; LATEST FROM HAITI."
Audio: MP3 clip 
Deep into the January 13 program, Olbermann proposed to New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner:
I don't want to turn this into something about domestic politics, but I think it's a good frame of reference in terms of the health care issue that we always talk about. We could easily have a natural disaster, if not quite on this scale, at least in the same broad ballpark. A slightly heavier earthquake in California could do extraordinary devastation to San Francisco or Los Angeles. I was thinking about this - and maybe it's inappropriate and tell me if I'm inappropriate in asking it - but how would survivors of something like this here fare in terms of getting on their own feet economically afterwards, with the health care system we have in place right now?
Not even the liberal Weiner bought Olbermann's premise as he conceded no one is really denied health care:
Well, I think if we were to have a circumstance like this, we'd all rally around. And it's the same way, frankly, every single day, when people go into a hospital or an emergency room, there is some question asked, let me see your insurance card, but at the end of the day, we care for them. So we really don't have a discussion in this country whether or not we're going to have health care for everyone. We really do. The only question we're having now, and it seems almost silly, it's so petty, is how we're going to distribute that health care, how we're going to pay for it, how we're going to make sure everyone has it at an affordable level...
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center