Mark Steyn On Obamacare, The Betamax Of Store Products
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HH: Typhoon Haiyan is blasting the Philippines this evening with miles per hour winds getting close to 200. We’ll post you up throughout that. And I am joined by a typhoon, of sorts. Mark Steyn is a verbal typhoon. Hello, Mark, how are you?
MS: Good to be with you, Hugh. I thought you said tycoon for a minute.
HH: Well, that would have been good, too. Look, Mark, when the President’s lost Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, he’s in real trouble, isn’t he?
MS: Well, the question, though, before you get too excited, Hugh, I remember this in the early days of the impeachment scandal, you know, when if you recall Robert C. Byrd would express misgivings about whether the President could continue in office. And in the end, the process played it all out, and Democrats stick with their guy, and generally stick with him to the end, if the only alternative is to go along with a Republican plan.
HH: Well, I don’t think they will desert him. I just think that when you’re getting mocked by country music awards ceremony participants, that your numbers have fallen and they’re going to keep falling. And I don’t know if he can get off of that floor in public opinion. Is it possible?
MS: Well, you know, it depends whether that becomes the norm. I mean, it was a terrific moment. I forget what the first line of the, I think it’s in the second line where they sing I’m getting hemorrhoids, I’ve been on this website…
MS: I’ve been sitting here so long, I’m getting hemorrhoids or whatever. If that general, you know, if this is one of those rare moments when essentially the official Democrat view of something does not prevail in the culture, then I think that is a turning point. I mean, you know, having made the comparison with Democrats and liberals during impeachment, and in the end they stuck with their guy, in this case, it’s different. In this case, it’s different. I mean, I found it fascinating, the story of those two Democrat fundraisers for Obama in San Francisco…
MS: …who lost their health insurance. And I think that’s always been the question here. Can you afford, as much as you enjoy the frisson and the thrill, and the social solidarity of supporting Obama, can you actually afford it in your life? And that’s the question raised by those guys in San Francisco.
HH: And I think people are starting to genuinely get worried that they’re going to have to, the next thirty, fifty, seventy years of their lives, are going to be under this kind of a health care system. So the President went down to Texas today, Mark Steyn, and I want to play you three clips of his argument. He knows he’s got, he’s facing his own typhoon. Here’s cut number two:
BO: Now I’m the first to say that the first month, I’ve not been happy with. You’ve all heard about the website woes. Nothing drives me more crazy than the fact that right now, there’s great insurance to be had out there, choice and competition, where people can save money for a better product, except too many folks haven’t been able to get through the website.
HH: Mark Steyn, do you think anybody believes this? Does he believe that?
MS: No, he doesn’t believe it, and where he said it’s like a store, but that none of the cash registers work, or you can’t get a space in a parking lot, in other words that he’s got this great restaurant, and unfortunately, nobody can get a table. No, it’s what happens when you get a table in the restaurant, when you get a space in the parking lot, when you get your product to the cash register. It’s not a good product. And I think this is, I think again, this, there’s a level at which the question here for Democrats and for the broader mass of Obama supporters is how much hogwash are you prepared to swallow? Because this, he knows this, his speechwriters know this, and every Democrat senator knows this.
HH: Let me play exactly that clip about the store analogy, it’s so awful, from the President’s speech in Texas, cut number three:
BO: This is like having a really good product in a store, and the cash registers don’t work, and there aren’t enough parking spots, and nobody can get through the door, and so we are working overtime to get this fixed. And the website is already better than it was at the beginning of October. And by the end of this month, we anticipate that it is going to be working the way it is supposed to.
HH: You know, Mark Steyn, his store is actually Blockbuster.
MS: No, it’s not, it’s way before Blockbuster. It’s like getting in Blockbuster and finding there’s only some lousy 1978 Betamax of me singing Windmills Of Your Mind. It’s way beyond Blockbuster.
HH: Here’s cut number, the last one, one more take of the President today, cut number four:
BO: Remember, the insurance is already there. And if people can’t get through the website, they can get on the phone to the call center and people can take their application and walk them through this process. And people can apply in person if they’ve got committed folks who are out there helping people to sign up.
HH: It’s like the insurance is already there, you just can’t have it. It’s like a Harry Potter novel.
MS: I don’t even know what he’s saying, because it doesn’t matter whether you go on the website or whether you dial 1-800-YOU’RE-CANCELLED, or whether you send it in by fax, or whether you use the ever-loving U.S. mail, or whether you go by stagecoach and Western Union, or whether you’ve got a pigeon carrier, the so-called Obamacare navigator, to use the term, still has to enter it into the same dysfunctional database. And as Kathleen Sebelius says, the Obamacare navigator might well actually be a convicted felon that you’re giving your Social Security number and all your other data to.
HH: Yeah, we were talking about that yesterday, Mark Steyn. The navigator might not only be a felon, he might be a child predator. So he’s not allowed to be within 300 yards of a kid, but he can sell them insurance.
HH: Here’s what she said yesterday.
JC: Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check, even though they will receive personal, sensitive personal information from the individuals they help sign up for the Affordable Care Act?
KS: That is true. States could add an additional background checks and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement.
JC: So a convicted felon could be a navigator, and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual, unbeknownst to them?
KS: That is possible.
HH: It’s stunning, Mark Steyn, absolutely stunning.
MS: No, and they’re navigators in the sense that the bad guys crew in Pirates of the Caribbean are navigators. I mean, that’s basically it.
HH: Captain Jack Sparrow.
MS: And whether, and basically, under this Obamacare system, you’re heading for Davy Jones’ Locker anyway, so it makes no difference.
HH: You know what’s really sad is there is a wonderful Christian organization called the Navigators. It’s based in Colorado Springs. They must hate this. They spent a hundred years branding themselves as being a wonderful Evangelical outreach, and now people are going to give all of their staff a wide berth. Let’s get serious, though. Edith Sundby, stage four cancer patient, wrote the op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, attacked by the left wing media all over the place as being not telling the truth. This is the reality, Mark Steyn, is that people are getting thrown off the insurance that has worked for them, they’re not going to be able to afford that which is their replacement because of the soaring deductibles, and I don’t think the mainstream media is yet willing to actually dive into the details of how bad it is.
MS: No, I mean, four million people have been cancelled so far. That’s the population of Norway that’s so far been, so in other words, Obamacare has destroyed the health care arrangements of a medium-sized European Union member in Continental Europe. This is, these are real lives. And the point here is that it was always intended to be the great disrupter, because the only way that Obamacare is affordable is if people who have got health insurance plans that meet their needs are forced to over-insure themselves at much greater expense to cover people who are chronically sick. So in other words, if you have a plan that suits your needs, if you’re a 55 year old woman, and you figure, you know, you’re not planning on getting pregnant again, Obamacare says you’ve got to have maternity provisions in there. I mean, this is not an accident. It was intended to be the way the scheme would operate.
HH: You know, I’m going to be on with Larry Kudlow a little bit later, and Larry, I know, is going to ask me about the invincibles, the young people, and whether or not they’re going to go along with this. I think the invincibles will think they are invisible, Mark Steyn, and they’re just going to say no mas. They’re not going to do it. What do you think?
MS: Yeah, and I think again, it gets back to what I was saying earlier about no-cost liberalism. The fact is, you know, you go to a Rock Against Republicans gala, and you say hey, let’s cover all the sick people in this country, and let’s cover all the uninsured people in this country, and everyone gives you a big cheer. And then when they say hey, thanks, man, that’s, so we can put you down for $1,200 a month, can we, they don’t, they have no idea that there is a cost to liberalism. There’s a price tag to liberalism.
HH: They got the bill on the way out the door, not on the way in, and they’re saying no go. Hey, 20 seconds, is Chris Christie going to be the nominee in 2016?
MS: Oh, no, lots can happen between now and then. But I did like the Time Magazine headline, The Elephant In The Room. I thought that was kind of cute.
HH: Mark Steyn, always a pleasure. www.steynonline.com, America, for everything that Mark writes, every single word.
End of interview.