National Journal’s Ron Fournier generated some news ripples with a confessional titled, “Why I’m Getting Sick of Defending Obamacare.” The hook for Fournier’s reflections was the Obama administration’s announcement that it was extending the Obamacare coverage deadline for some businesses.
He’d signaled his dissatisfaction on Fox News earlier this week on “Special Report with Bret Baier”: “As someone who has said that I want this to work, I could be charitable that a law like this, you need flexibility to implement it and…the Republicans have played politics with it. The problem is, this thing is getting as flexible as Gumby and if you keep stretching it, it is going to break.”
Last night on “Special Report,” Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers picked up on the theme. After mentioning Fournier’s riff, Powers lamented, “And I’m going to say amen, brother, because it’s exactly how I feel. People who have supported this law, who support universal health care, are constantly put in the position of having to defend this president, who has really incompetently put this together, rolled it out, and that’s why he has to do this. It’s why he has to keep doing this, because it’s not working.”
Powers has indeed been a tough critic of the Obamacare rollout. In a Jan. 24 appearance on “Special Report,” she noted that Obamacare had hit a “record low” in a Fox News poll. Early that month, she said on “Special Report” that there were “good stories” stemming from implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and “a lot of bad stories.”
One of the bad stories came from Powers herself back in November, when she spoke of her own experience in the health insurance market. “I’m having, if I want to keep the same health insurance, it’s going to cost twice as much. There’s nothing substandard about my plan. All of the things they say that are not in my plan are in my plan, all of the things they have listed. There’s no explanation for the doubling of my premiums other than the fact that it’s subsidizing other people,” said Powers on “Special Report.”
The point here: Your average Fox News viewer may not count Powers among the health-care law’s fiercest supporters, even though Powers has indeed voiced her backing for the ACA. For instance, in a late October chat with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, Powers spoke of her escalating costs in the individual insurance market: “You know, Megyn, I have been a huge supporter of Obamacare and I still support it. But I think that this is really problematic. I’m actually willing to pay more money if people are going to be insured. So if they say you pay $150 a month more, but 30 million people get insurance I’m willing to do that. However, I’m not sure if I believe any more that 30 million people are going to be insured. I will be upset if it turns out I’m paying extra money and people aren’t getting insurance.” She has backed the ACA on other occasions, such as an October appearance on The O’Reilly Factor when she shouted down Republican attempts to attack the law during the government shutdown.
So that’s where Powers stands — behind the principle, against the implementation. Her critiques of the latter will doubtless continue to be welcome on Fox News airwaves, and opportunities to express them should be plentiful, too.