HH: Joined now by Joe Scarborough of Morning Joe. Joe, welcome, it’s always a pleasure to speak with you.
JS: It’s great talking to you, Hugh.
HH: Joe, how many Americans, do you think, will not have the health insurance they presently have come January 1 of 2014? How many millions are we talking about?
JS: I really, I’m trying to figure it out right now. Somebody thought maybe ten million, eleven million. This morning, we were talking about it, and you know, you had administration officials coming on saying it wasn’t a big deal. But it’s a huge deal. I mean, the President, especially, and I talked an awful lot this morning about, I asked Mike Barnicle this morning how many people actually sift through the words of a state of the Union address, and allows the president of the United States to say something that Lisa Myers found out last night several members of his administration knew about, and the President knew about. I mean, for the President to deliberately mislead millions and millions of Americans in a state of the Union address certainly seems to me to have as much impact or more impact on the day in and day out lives of millions and millions of Americans than the sixteen words George Bush was crucified for saying in the 2003 state of the Union address.
HH: Well said. I hadn’t thought about that.
JS: It’s terrible.
HH: This is Clarence Page, your MSNBC colleague, with me yesterday talking in response to the promises the President made.
HH: He knew he was lying?
CP: Probably. Probably. But that’s one of those political lies.
HH: Are you surprised that people like Clarence Page are admitting the President just out and out lied?
JS: What else could he do? You know, I asked everybody this morning what, you know, I asked a lot of White House reporters this morning what’s the White House’s spin? I asked Chuck Todd what’s the White House’s spin, and he said they don’t have one. It is such a deliberate, it was such a flagrant lie. When you’re telling people they can keep their insurance policies if they want to. Now I had a lot of people, a lot of conservatives last night Tweeting, interrupting my Red Sox game, Tweeting, saying well, why didn’t you guys report about this a couple of years ago? Well, I think we all knew this was the case that the President, that the President and the administration was misleading the American people. But what was new in Lisa Myers’ revelation was last night, was they had like three or four people that were actually working with the President who said the President knew at the time and let him know at the time that what he was saying was not the truth.
HH: Do you think he, Joe, Joe Scarborough, do you think he knew at the time?
JS: Of course.
HH: I do, too. Now here’s the real focus.
JS: Hey, Hugh, how could he not?
HH: He couldn’t have. He knew. But here’s the focus. On January 1, I don’t know if it’s a hundred thousand, I don’t know if it’s a million or five million Americans who have insurance right now aren’t going to have. They’re going to be in the gap. And you know what they say in London. Mind the gap. And if they get sick, or they get hit by a bus or an anvil falls on their head, they’re ruined, Joe Scarborough.
JS: So…but Hugh, and I know you’ve been saying this all along. I’ve been skeptical all along that this was ever going to actually become as embedded in American society as Social Security and Medicare, because it’s too massive of a program. They shoved it through Congress, and they still don’t know. They don’t know how to run this thing. And you had today in the House Ways and Means, you talked about the gap. I don’t know if you’ve talked about it yet or not, but Kevin Brady, Ways And Means Committee, asked the Obama official today under oath what was going to happen to those people that were going to be caught in the gap without insurance. She said she didn’t know.
HH: Well, they’re going to be ruined.
JS: They’re going to be ruined. But she, they have no answer for that. They still didn’t have any answers today on how many people were enrolled. They couldn’t say whether there was going to be a gap in people’s insurance.
HH: What was does Mika or your Democratic colleagues, what do they say? There are going to be people mowed down who are going to lose everything because of this. What do your Democratic friends on MSNBC say about this?
JS: What can they say? You know, the thing is, the thing is, the worst thing in the world has happened to them. They thought that they were going to be able to, you know, supporters of the President and apologists for the President, and certainly I’m not talking about any of my dear friends on my show, but let’s just say people in the media who would want to apologize for the president of the United States, and this administration. They say well you know, it’s just a website. They’re going to fix the website. Then the L.A. Times broke the story this weekend about the cancellation letters. And suddenly, you actually have mainstream organizations talking about the cancellation letters. And the L.A. Times article also talking about how people’s insurance rates are going to double. And suddenly, you’ve got working class people and middle class people with real names and real faces that are going to be hurt.
HH: Joe, 30 seconds, here’s the problem. And tell me if I’m right or wrong. Your colleagues, and not just at NBC, but across all of big media, are insulated from this. They’re not really threatened. They don’t really care.
JS: No, because, and you know, 86% of Americans who like health care, you know, the health care that they have through their employers, don’t care right now. But you know what? They’re going to care, because some of the biggest corporate leaders in America have told me over the past three years off the record that they’re going to wait a few years, and then they’re going to cancel all the policies, because it would be much cheaper for the, and much more cost efficient, and pretty soon, all Americans are going to care.
HH: Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, thank you, I hope you can get your colleagues to pay attention to the gap. It’s coming.
End of interview.