TPM's Josh Marshall visits The Colbert Report.
Democracy Now's headlines for June 18, 2009.
- Supporters of Mousavi Hold Mourning Rally in Tehran
- Iran Accuses US of Meddling in its Internal Affairs
- US State Dept Asks Twitter to Delay Shutdown Due to Iran Protests
- Obama Extends Some Benefits to Same-Sex Partners of Federal Workers
- Holder Refuses to Say Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program Was Illegal
- NSA Database Collects Millions of Intercepted Emails
- Obama Proposes New Regulations of Financial Industry
- EPA Declares Public Health Emergency in Libby, Montana
- U.S. Drone Strike Kills Nine in Pakistan
- Suicide Bombing Kills Somalia’s National Security Minister
- GOP Aide in Tennessee Distributes Racist Image of Obama
- GOP Operative in SC Compares First Lady To A Gorilla
Ed Schultz's Psycho Talk segment featuring the tiny gang of right wing nuts that showed up to protest David Letterman at the urging of Sarah Palin history revisionist John Ziegler and Fox "News".
This time it's Wolf Blitzer's turn to allow John Boehner to rattle off those Frank Luntz talking points without calling him out for it. These guys always seem to overlook a few simple points. One, just what everyone who has insurance is paying in premiums and just how high that cost is right now. And two, the bureaucrat between patients and their doctors exists already, and it's called the insurance company.
And third, when is one of these "news" men or women going to ask a member of Congress why they're unhappy with their current health care coverage?
BLITZER: Let's talk about some of the domestic priorities under way right now. The president wants health care reform, delivered a big speech on it yesterday. And, in that speech, he said this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, when you hear the naysayers claim that I'm trying to bring about government-run health care, know this: They're not telling the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Are you among those naysayers who are suggesting he wants to bring about government-run health care?
BOEHNER: Well, I think the president is ignoring reality.
The Congressional Budget Office came out with a score on Senator Kennedy's bill, just part of the score -- of the -- of his bill, that says that the public option would cost over $1 trillion, and would cause 23 million Americans to lose their private health care coverage, and only 16 million of which would -- would be covered under the -- the government plan.
And, so, it's not just me and others. It's -- it's very clear that the so-called public option would be subsidized by the government. It would draw people out of the private sector. It would cause companies to just give up their coverage and force people into a government-run plan.
BLITZER: I know you don't...
BOEHNER: That's not what we -- that's not what we want.
What we want is, we want to work with the president to make sure that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
BLITZER: I know you don't want a government-run health insurance plan. You want a private-run plan.
What about this proposal, this compromise, in between? Kent Conrad, the Democratic senator, suggesting co-ops, where you -- you band together hundreds of thousands of people, and you create a co-op that's not government run. It's privately run. But it -- but it would potentially do the same thing.
BOEHNER: You know, I think it's worth exploring.
I haven't seen how this would work and what the rules would be. But, clearly, it's an idea that might be able to bridge the differences. But, at the end of the day, we want to make sure that doctors and patients are making decisions about what care is in their best interest, not some government bureaucrat in between.
And, so, if there are ideas out there that will help promote a competitive health insurance system in America that provides access to all Americans to high-quality health insurance, I'm for it.
BLITZER: Congressman, thanks very much for coming in.
BOEHNER: Thanks, Wolf.
Lou Dobbs brings in the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins and Sojourners' Jim Wallis to debate health care reform as a religious issue in Dobb's Face Off segment. Apparently Perkins isn't satisfied with just doing his best to bash gays and abortion doctors. He's now decided to start toeing the Frank Luntz Republican line on health care reform as well.
DOBBS: Congressional Republicans for their part today proposed a centrist approach to healthcare reform as they call it, a less expensive alternative to the Democratic plan which would cost somewhere around a trillion dollars over the next decade. The role of religion also rising to the surface of the health care debate and that is the topic of tonight's face-off.
Joining me now Tony Perkins, he's the president of the Family Research Council. Tony good to have you with us and the Reverend Jim Wallis, president and executive director of a Christian social justice organization. It's great to have you both with us. How in the world is god and politics moving to the center of a debate on national health care reform? If I may Reverend start with you?
REV. JIM WALLIS, FOUNDER & PRES., SOUIJOURNERS: The community of faith should never be involved in the weeds, policy weeds, but there's a fundamental moral issue here, 50 million Americans don't have health care coverage. And a lot of those are low income families, middle income families. On the way over here, Lou, I got a voicemail from a friend who said he's only 38. He said my wife this morning got diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. He's terrified yet he has health insurance. Imagine if he didn't have health insurance, he and his wife. So this is an injustice.
So we have to fight, we have to achieve coverage for all those folks who don't have it. That's a moral issue. We won't get involved in all of the details of policy. But the moral issue has to be front and center here.
DOBBS: Tony Perkins?
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Well, Lou, there's no question that we have a health care problem in America. In fact, for many families it's a crisis. But we need a common sense approach that will make sure that those truly in need will be covered and that our health care stays patient-centered and not government-centered. And that's what's at question here. And I think what we're seeing in this debate is -- and I appreciate what Jim says. I agree, now I take issue with the 40 million. It's really 43 million that do not have health insurance, not health coverage. Health insurance because we actually have 80 percent at a CDC report says 80 percent of poor children have public health care now. And my home state of Louisiana, we actually are one of the few states that have kind of a two-track system. We have a public health care system that runs parallel to the private system. And I'll tell you, it is fraught with problems. And I'm fearful of what will happen if we go to a one size government health care program.
WALLIS: But we're not.
DOBBS: I'm sorry?
PERKINS: That's what's being pushed. That's what's being pushed is a government-mandated. No, it is, that's what we're talking about.
WALLIS: We haven't had health care reform for years because before the debate there's a lot of scare tactics going on. This proposal is about people having choices. Keep your own doctor, keep your health care if you want it. If you don't have a health care plan, you can choose another plan. So there's choice here. This is not a government plan, government-control plan. There's a choice here.
Nico Pitney, the National editor of The Huffington Post, has been covering the Iranian presidential election and the subsequent turmoil on his live-blog. He was a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show last night to discuss his coverage.
A great thing too, as we've seen broadcast news has been woefully inadequate (Rachel excepted). Andrew Sullivan has also been performing yeoman's service at his blog, The Daily Dish.
Jon Stewart takes CNN to task for their dismally lame Iran coverage.