The right-wing media reacted to news that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) may be considering suggesting that New York City request a waiver from the health care reform law in order to create "a better plan" for New York City's Medicaid program by claiming he was "lying about [health care reform] from the very beginning." But Weiner's comments make clear that he considers the ability to grant waivers a sign of the law's "flexibility" and was citing this to refute the "notion that the government is shoving the bill down people's throats."
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Right-Wing Media Claim Weiner's Comments Show He Was "Lying About" Health Care Reform
Powers: "It's Almost As If [Democrats] Were Lying About All This From The Very Beginning." In a March 23 post on Michelle Malkin's blog, Doug Powers wrote that "Anthony Weiner loves the health care bill. It's just that... well... it might not be right for his district." Powers continued:
I thought the health care law was the mechanism that would save state and local governments as well as businesses money. It turns out that's what the waivers are for and not the law itself. Gee, it's almost as if they were lying about all this from the very beginning. [MichelleMalkin.com, 3/23/11 emphasis in original]
Hoft: "Suddenly The Democrats Aren't So Giddy About Their Irresponsible And Costly Takeover Of The Health Care Industry." In a March 24 post on Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft wrote: "Suddenly the democrats aren't so giddy about their irresponsible and costly takeover of the health care industry....Now even Rep. Anthony Weiner, one of its staunchest supporters, says that he was looking into a waiver for New York City." Hoft further claimed: "The Obama Administration has already granted over 1,000 waivers for their crappy bill including one to the State of Maine." [Gateway Pundit, 3/24/11]
Malkin: "It's Stunning To Hear All Of These Obamacare Architects Now Running As Fast As They Can From The Law." On the March 24 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade played a clip of Weiner praising the law, then responded by claiming "now he wants out of the law. That's incredible." Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin added: "It is stunning to hear all of these Obamacare architects now running as fast as they can from the law that they support." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/24/11]
But Weiner Used Waivers To Tout Law's "Flexibil[ity]" And Refute GOP Misinformation About Health Care Law
Politico: Weiner "Used The Waivers As [A] Way To Describe How Flexible The Law Actually Is." A March 23 Politico article pointed out that in his speech for the Center for American Progress, Weiner "was trying to debunk Republican 'myths' about the health care law.... He used the waivers as way to describe how flexible the law actually is and how 'this notion that the government is shoving the bill down people's throats' is not true." [Politico, 3/23/11]
WaPo: According To Weiner, "The Administration's Liberal Granting Of Waivers" Demonstrates The Bill's "Flexibility." In a March 23 Washington Post column, Dana Milbank wrote:
The congressman offered a few examples, employing the sort of rhetoric used to wage an argument in a schoolyard. Big government takeover? "No." Transformation of the economy? "It wasn't." Socialism? "Polar opposite." Raiding Medicare? "Nonsensical." Burdens on small business. "None." The individual mandate? "Ain't a big deal." Even the administration's liberal granting of waivers didn't indicate flaws in the law, but flexibility; in fact, he said, he might seek one for New York City. [The Washington Post, 3/23/11]