Ted Koppel, who formerly hosted "Nightline," and Tom Brokaw, who formerly hosted the "NBC Nightly News," recently sat down with NBC's Tim Russert on "Meet the Press."
(By way of background, Russert, the senior vice president and Washington, D.C., bureau chief for NBC News, once worked for New York Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Meanwhile, across the dial, ABC promoted former Clinton aide George Stephanopolous of "This Week" to chief Washington correspondent at ABC News. But we digress.)
With Koppel and Brokaw's "retirement," one wonders whether they might be careless and reveal their liberal bias in favor of big government, high taxes and regulation. They didn't disappoint. Remember former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said, "Health care should be a right, not a privilege"? Koppel and Brokaw apparently agree.
Koppel: " . . . [W]e have been priding ourselves on having the best medical care in the world -- and you know something? You can get the best medical care in the world, he can get the best medical care in the world, I can. Most Americans can't. And there are 43 million Americans who aren't getting any medical care at all. That is a scandal."
Note Koppel made no distinction between those without medical care and those without medical insurance.
Russert should have said, "I think you mean there are 43 million Americans without medical insurance. And even the term 'American' should be taken with a grain of salt. For, out of the 43 million, this includes approximately 10 million people here illegally. Furthermore, the 43 million includes a large number of young, healthy Americans who decided to keep the money otherwise spent on premiums. And of that 43 million, Ted, approximately 20 million go without health-care insurance for four months or less. So when you get down to it, the hard-core number of Americans without health-care insurance is probably 10 to 15 million Americans, and out of a population of nearly 280 million, do we really want to call this a crisis?"
Russert might have continued, "Furthermore, Ted, by law, any hospital that accepts government funds -- including Medicare and Medicaid -- must treat indigents in its ER. And don't forget about Medicaid, under which poor people get health care through taxpayers. To say nothing of free clinics found in virtually every city, no- or low-cost vaccination programs, and programs under which drug companies give free drugs to those who cannot afford it." But Russert said nothing.
Now, on to Mr. Brokaw.