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Joe Scarborough meets his match in Rep. Anthony Weiner, single-payer's newest Golden Child

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Tuesday morning on msnbc's Morning Joe Representative Anthony Weiner, a Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, sat in with the guys (and Mika) to discuss health care reform. What host Joe Scarborough was probably expecting was a fiery exchange of “capitalism” vs. “socialism” but what he found sitting across the desk instead was a calm, rational and, most likely, frustrating guest.

Scarborough, used to being the one to control the panel, continually sputtered and stumbled over his words as Rep. Weiner answered brilliantly every question, comment, or charge brought before him.

Before you watch this rare clip of Joe Scarborough, who usually brings a fair amount of fairness and insight to the partisan table, being frustrated time after time when he couldn't get the guest to admit that a public option or even, God forbid, a “single-payer” system wouldn't or couldn't work in this country.

Joe concedes early on in the interview that a government plan in the health care system isn't really a government “takeover” at all, but throughout the exchange he goes back to again and again. Because his deep-rooted conservative instinct to throw fear into the possibility of change came welling back into his head.

Best moment: Rep. Weiner asks Joe point blank, what's the value of insurance companies? Joe can't give an even remotely clear answer.

Rep. Anthony Weiner is obviously a single-payer advocate and if that type of system is your cup of tea you should definitely pay attention to this man. He can provide the kind of voice this radical concept of “Medicare-for-all” so desperately needs: a smart, rational point of view.

Just for fun: a beautiful thing to notice is the beautiful Mika's face as it changes from one of keen interest to one that practically glows as Mr. Scarborough continually takes it on the chin for the insurance industry.

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Comments

  • Scott Gibbs 5 years ago

    Of course, I always manage to see things how I want to see them and not how they really transpire.

  • Scott Gibbs 5 years ago

    Of course, I always manage to see things how I want to see them and not how they really transpire.

  • Scott Gibbs 5 years ago

    Of course, I always manage to see things how I want to see them and not how they really transpire.

  • Mike 5 years ago

    Scarborough's failure to provide an answer to Wieners main question doesn't mean there isn't one.The problem with private insurance is that right now they don't bring anything "to the table".In that regard Wiener is right.But provide some real competition and they will.They'll even find a way to make money in the process,bet on it.A government monopoly is an equally bad idea as a private monopoly,not to mention the problem of funding public universal insurance.The real answer lies in fixing two problems - Creating competition for private insurers.And covering those americans who can't afford private insurance and don't qualify for medicare or Medicaid.That's a relatively small number.Surely we can fix those problems without creating a Govt monopoly.

  • Joe 5 years ago

    And how do you create competition without a public option?

  • Debkl 5 years ago

    I think Weiner is the most level-headed, thoughtful person out there talking about health care reform. Medicare premiums would be the bulk of revenue to fund the plan. The other thing, going back to educating our doctors on how to practice medicine other than reaching for the prescription pad. Get the pharmaceutical companies out of the medical schools, except for teaching Pharmacology, and instead teach microbiology, nutrition, the proven effects of stress and no exercise on the body, environmental biology, etc, and health care costs will drop.

  • Rider 3 5 years ago

    Rep. Anthony Weiner is my hero!

  • Rider 3 5 years ago

    By the way, what the hell does Mika add to this program?

  • RocklandMike 5 years ago

    5:40 am post - You are either confused about competition or just like to obscure things. There is no need for another level of profit making in the health care system. That's what "they add no Value" means. If you think competition is what will fix health care's skyrocketing costs then look to the health care PROVIDERS to compete with each other for your business. Drug companies, hospitals, Walmart clinics, doctors and dentists would all be free to compete, and we would all benefit by your way of thinking, under a Medicare for All system. The only difference is that they would all only have to use ONE billing form which would make them all more competitively priced.

    Again, what value do the insurance corporations add that makes it worth our while to spend an additional 20% on health care to keep them in the middle?

  • Joe Q. 5 years ago

    Where is the rest of the interview?
    Anthony Weiner should move to Florida. We need a senator like him. Some one who'll fight for the people and not for the health insurance companies and big Pharma.

  • Jeff 5 years ago

    From each according to his ability.... to each according to his need. What a beautiful and eloquent idea. Too bad it hasn't proven to work at any point in human history.

  • Mike 5 years ago

    The point is that the health insurance industry is nothing more than a middleman standing between a patient and his/her doctor. Remove them, plug in a single-payer system, and we'll have government funded, yet PRIVATELY RUN health care. The result? A vastly improved health care system for all, not to mention the HUGE savings that will result, thus alleviating economic woes for individuals and corporations across the country.

    I hope Weiner continues to explain and even build on this message. A voice like his, passionate & concise, is what we have been missing!

  • Joe Pferd 5 years ago

    Weiner is greatly misinformed. Check CMS (which administers Medicare)website for budget information. Only 70% of the money goes to "operations" or actual care. Seems like the government is no more effecient than private sector. And, part of the private sector "overhead" is the federal income tax they pay on their profits. Convince me that the government can do it cheaper and I'm on board.

  • Joe Pferd 5 years ago

    Medicare premiums don't even come close to funding the program. (Check for yourself on CMS website.) This is not an "insurance program" it's a transfer of wealth. I'm not passing judgement on that per se, just on the false label. It's so easy to attack insurance companies (I own no stock nor work for any of them.), but they only earn about 2% profits. That's very low for corporations. So, Weenie is careful to say "30% in profits and overhead." Eleminating insureres will not eliminate overhead. It would just transfer to the federal government.

  • Diane 5 years ago

    Why is no one talking about tort and insurance reform. The reason doctors have a hard time serving the needs of their patients is because of malpractice insurance premiums. This is why healthcare is so expensive. Tell me, if you were on a government single payer program is there a provision in this new bill that if I have faulty medical care, can I sue the doctor? Probably not.

  • Jeff 5 years ago

    From each according to his ability.... to each according to his need. What a beautiful and eloquent idea. Too bad it hasn't proven to work at any point in human history.

  • David 5 years ago

    Mika adds visual appeal.

  • Can government do ti cheaper? 5 years ago

    Can you be convinced that government can do it cheaper? Let me see. Every other country on earth that has single payer or some form of government provided health care for all does it cheaper on a per capita basis as well as a percentage of GDP.

    Total spending on health care, per person, 2007:
    United States: $7290
    Switzerland: $4417
    France: $3601
    United Kingdom: $2992
    Average of OECD developed nations: $2964
    Italy: $2686
    Japan: $2581

    I think it can be done cheaper. There's an interesting discussion of overhead for Medicare V private insurance companies at healthcare-economist.com from July 27, 2006. I'd embed the link, but examiner.com doesn't permit it.