Ezekiel Emanuel is one the architects of the Affordable Care Act, the health care legislation which, contrary to what President Obama claims, has failed to live up to its name. On Monday, we learned that Americans under an Obamacare plan will see their premiums rise by an average of 25 percent. CNN's Jake Tapper pressed Emanuel for answers on Tuesday. First, he read him a quote from the president back when he was trying to sell ACA to the American people, claiming their premiums would go down.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (CLIP): “If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period. You’re going to be able to buy insurance through a pool so that you can get the same good rates as a group that, if you're an employee at a big company you can get right now which means your premiums will go down.”
TAPPER: “Your premiums will go down. There are a lot of Americans that are going to say that didn't come true, that was false.”
Emanuel responded by telling Tapper Obama's remarks could easily be explained, but they needed to be accompanied by a graph.
EMANUEL: “This is a complicated thing. Actually, Jake, I would love to come back and show a graph where that can fully explain the president's comment. In fact, if you look at health insurance premiums from the Bush era and you graph the line as if it continued, the fact is that premiums have gone substantially down compared to where they would have been under President Bush if those lines have continued. And people have saved. That doesn’t mean that premiums have gone down in real dollars but they've gone down compared to what they would have been."
Why do we need a graph to figure out the president's signature legislation? Its complicated nature should have raised red flags for Congress. In fact, it did. The near 3,000-page bill worried Republicans, but convinced former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that we simply needed to pass it to "find out what's in it."
Emanuel continued to "defend" the legislation he helped to draft by "totally" agreeing with Tapper that at least 1 million Americans will be "severely or uncomfortably" impacted by it.
As for Tapper, he invited Emanuel to come back on the show with graph in hand.
"Zeke, bring your chart next time and I’ll let you show it."