Friday, November 15, 2013
On The O'Reilly Factor...
Segment Summaries
All content taken from The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel. Each weeknight by 6 PM EST a preview of that evening's show will be posted and then updated with additional information the following weekday by noon EST.
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
"It's Complicated"
"As Congress debated today whether to proceed legislatively to help the millions of Americans who have had their insurance policies canceled, I was thinking about one of the points the President kept making at his press conference Thursday, when he said, 'This is very complicated.' Yes, it is complicated, sir, but are you just realizing that now? Imagine if the President was as committed to governing and administering these programs as he has been to campaigning! He might have known that they didn't have the right team or technology in place to carry out this grandiose mission of health care reform. The President has apparently learned another important fact during the past four-and-a-half years, that government bureaucracies don't work very well. What a revelation! That was one of the main reasons Republicans were against Obamacare - most of them understood that once the Washington bureaucracy started to implement the law there would be terrible unintended consequences like policy cancellations, premium hikes, and doctor shortages. Of course, when Republicans made these arguments they were called 'obstructionists' and 'Tea Party fanatics.' A serious president would have taken the time to objectively examine Republican concerns about such a massive undertaking. A serious president would have done the due diligence and asked the right questions. A serious president would not see this current mess as a political problem to be managed, he'd see it as a national crisis."

On the subject of Obamacare, Laura examined Friday's contentious House proceedings, which resulted in a vote to allow insurance companies to resume selling policies that had been in effect prior to the new law. Democratic strategist Ellen Qualls explained why many in her party are in a political bind. "Democrats in the House want political cover," she admitted. "They voted for Obamacare, they campaigned on it, they won reelection on it, and today's vote was a tortured scream. The Republican bill that was voted on does not have a good faith effort behind it, but some Democrats voted for it because they're scared." Qualls also held out hope for the long-term prospects of Obamacare. "Once the website is fixed, people will be able to get into the marketplace and comparison shop, and they will probably get better plans for less money." But Laura concluded, "The American people want this repealed, they don't want the Affordable Health Care act."
Impact Segment
Legal or Not Legal?
Laura turned to President Obama's proposed health care "fix," which allows insurance companies to continue selling plans he had previously labeled "substandard." Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg argued that the President's decree is not within the law. "I think this is transparently illegal and unconstitutional," he declared, "but no court will intervene to stop this. In some ways it's very much like Nixon, who said it's legal if the President does it. But the President doesn't have the right to rewrite the laws. He has basically thrown a grenade into his own law." Democratic strategist Bernard Whitman defended the President and his proposal. "I would be delighted to see House Republicans sue to prevent the President from keeping his promise to allow those people who like their plans to keep them. The Supreme Court has been very clear that agencies have broad discretion to insure that the goals of a particular law are fulfilled. I think the President is well within his rights. This is the right thing to do politically, and it's the right thing to do for the American people." Questions of legality aside, Laura theorized that President Obama's edict may create even more chaos: "Insurance industry analysts say this could potentially upend the entire insurance industry. The federal government could spend more and premiums next year could be more."
Unresolved Problems Segment
Credibility Problem
President Obama's approval rating has plunged in recent weeks, and many Americans now doubt his integrity. Laura asked former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich how the President can rebound. "We should all want the President to succeed," Kucinich began, "and the question is whether Democrats and Republicans can find a way to work together to benefit the American people. But nobody can defend the President's statements during the campaign." Kucinich, long a proponent of a single-payer government-run system, criticized Obamacare for its reliance on insurance companies. "The federal government is going to give over $1 trillion in subsidies to the insurance companies over a ten-year period. Health insurance is a for-profit industry and the leading companies are making record profits. We have to get back to the basics of having affordable and accessible health care and we should have a not-for-profit health care system."
Personal Story Segment
Unlikely Shout-out
During a visit to Ohio this week, President Obama praised that state's Republican Governor John Kasich, who accepted additional Medicaid funds as part of the Affordable Care Act. Kasich entered the No Spin Zone and explained why he cooperated with that aspect of Obamacare. "I had a chance to bring money back to Ohio," he stated. "I'm the CEO of this state and I have the chance to bring $14 billion out of Washington to people in my state who need help. That includes treating the mentally ill and helping them get employment, and the same with the drug addicted. That being said, I was never a supporter of Obamacare and we refused to run a state exchange. The government was designing a program to take over our whole health care system from the back rooms of Capitol Hill. I don't support that, but there's a big distinction between that and Medicaid, which enables us to bring our money back to fix our problems." Nevertheless, Laura questioned whether Kasich was wise to accept the federal largesse: "You're so great on budgetary matters, but this is the federal government spending money it really doesn't have. It's estimated that Medicaid spending will triple in the next ten years. Everyone wants compassion for the poor, but we have a real budget problem."
Factor Follow Up Segment
President Obama and Race
When asked about criticism of President Obama, Oprah Winfrey theorized that at least part of it is based in racism. Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock vehemently disagreed. "This is a preposterous and absurd concept," he asserted, "and it's too bad Oprah Winfrey is peddling this sort of stuff. This is not about his color, it's about his competence. He doesn't seem to know anything about 'Fast and Furious,' Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the NSA spying on world leaders. And then two days before Healthcare.gov launched, he was out playing his 147th round of golf. The idea that Obama is suffering disrespect just because he's black overlooks about 225 years of American history and how people respond to presidents with whom they disagree."
Back of the Book Segment
Making His Case
Accused Miami Dolphins "bully" Richie Incognito has filed a grievance against the team for suspending him. Meanwhile, Incognito's teammate and alleged "victim" Jonathan Martin met with the National Football League Friday afternoon. Laura dissected the bizarre case with radio talk show host Mike Gallagher. "These are not only grown men supposedly 'bullying' each other," Gallagher said, "but they're 300-pound monsters who nearly take each other's heads off every Sunday. This was a joke from day one, and if anyone has a grievance it's Richie Incognito. This is a guy who was smeared by a whiny media that was desperate for another 'bullying' story. This was a rush to judgment and Richie Incognito deserves to get his reputation back. Nobody's justifying bullying, but this was completely overboard. Everybody on the team, black and white, has come to Incognito's defense."