On the December 8 Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace pressed ObamaCare architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel repeatedly about how the President’s ObamaCare promises are not turning out to be true.
In 2009, Obama told the American Medical Association : “We will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.” But in 2013, Dr. Emanuel insisted there wasn’t a period, but an asterisk: you can keep your doctor if you pay higher premiums for it.
WALLACE: President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Doesn't that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan? Isn't it a fact, sir, that a number, most, in fact, of the Obamacare health plans that are being offered on the exchanges exclude a number of doctors and hospitals to lower costs?
EMANUEL: The president never said you were going to have unlimited choice of any doctor in the country you want to go to. So let me just –
WALLACE: Wait, no. He asked a question. "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." Did he not say that, sir?
EMANUEL: He didn't say you could have unlimited choice.
WALLACE: It's a simple yes or no question. Didn't he say, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"?
EMANUEL: Yes. But look, if you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that. This is a matter of choice. We know in all sorts of places, you pay more for certain -- for a wider range of choices or wider range of benefits. The issue isn't the selective networks. People keep saying, oh, the problem is you're going to have a selective network.
WALLACE: Well, if you lose your doctor or you lose your hospital --
EMANUEL: Let me just say something. People are going to have a choice as to whether they want to pay a certain amount for a selective network or pay more for a broader network.
WALLACE: Which means your premiums would probably go up.
EMANUEL: They get that choice. That's a choice --
WALLACE: Which means your premium may go up over what you were paying so that, in other words --
EMANUEL: No one guaranteed you that your premium wouldn't increase. Premiums have been going up.
WALLACE: The president guaranteed me I could keep my doctor.
EMANUEL: Under president -- and if you want to, you can pay for it.
WALLACE: Just pay through the nose.
EMANUEL: Under President Bush, premiums went up 80 percent after inflation. We have actually seen a leveling off of health care costs and premiums in the last few years because of changes that have been made.
WALLACE: Finally --
EMANUEL: As a matter of fact, choice is something we all understand and we all understand that for more choice, more benefits, you have to pay more.
This kind of interview might explain why Chris Wallace wasn't picked to moderate presidential debates in 2012.
— Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center. Follow Tim Graham on Twitter.