Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - January 24, 2010
After the game-changing Massachusetts special election and Supreme Court decision, much of the focus on this week's Sunday political talk shows was on strategic decisions for the coming year. Regarding the future of health care reform, Senators Cornyn, McCain, and McConnell attempted to convince viewers that the Republican Party has wanted to work with the Democratic majority on health care reform - when, in fact, the GOP has actively and openly fought the process every step of the way.
Fox News Sunday
CLAIM: Sen. John Cornyn falsely claimed that Republicans want to work with the White House on health care reform.
CORNYN: ...It's about starting over, and if that's what the White House wants to do I know there are a lot of Republicans that would like to work with them to try to do things that will actually bring down the cost of health care and will make it more affordable.
FACT: Republican members of Congress have made it clear that they have no intention of working with the Democratic majority to achieve meaningful health care reform.
- Sen. Chuck Grassley: "I don't think it's going to be possible to work it out with the administration."
- Sen. Jim DeMint: "If we're able to stop Obama on [health care reform], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
Face the Nation
CLAIM: Despite months of opposition, Sen. John McCain asserted his party's desire to be involved in health care reform negotiations.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: We'd be willing to sit down and start over, from the beginning, with genuine negotiations. There are things we can agree on...
BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: Do you think you could get other Republicans to sit down at a table with Democrats and say, look let's just go over what we can agree on here and then go out and pass that and let that be a starter?
MCCAIN: As long as we start from the beginning. But we categorically reject much of what the Democrats have passed on a party line vote, continuously.
FACT: From the beginning, Democrats repeatedly reached across the aisle to include Republicans in health care reform negotiations only to have their hands slapped away by rank and file Republicans.
- Sen. Chuck Grassley: "The only way to get a bipartisan agreement is to defeat a Democratic proposal."
- Sen. John Thune said he "cannot foresee any Republican votes in the Senate for any healthcare bill."
- Sen. Jon Kyl: "I don't think a single Republican in the Senate would support either of those bills."
Meet the Press
CLAIM: Sen. Mitch McConnell repeated the false claim that Americans do not want Democratic health care reform.
DAVID GREGORY, HOST: Let me just be clear: There is not one Republican that would vote for any Democratic health care reform initiative that's out there now?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: This comprehensive bill? Of course not. The American people are overwhelmingly opposed to it.
FACT: The American people either SUPPORT the current, comprehensive health care reform legislation or want it to be even stronger.
- Poll: Americans Support Current Bill, Want It Strengthened. CBS News released a telling poll on January 11, 2010. Regarding extending coverage to the uninsured, the poll showed that 57% of Americans support the current plan or want it stronger - only 32% believe it goes too far. On controlling health care costs, 60% support the plan or want it to go even further - only 24% think it goes too far. And concerning new regulations on health insurance companies, 61% support the plan or want it stronger - only 27% believe it goes too far.