On Sunday, Bill O’Reilly met with President Barack Obama for a ten minute interview before the start of the Super Bowl. O’Reilly initiated the conversation with questions regarding Obamacare and it’s glitchy rollout starting October 1st. The President admitted that they were not prepared for the degree of issues with healthcare.gov, but then claimed the site “got fixed within a month and a half, it was up and running and now it’s working the way it’s supposed to.”
Just hold on, Mr. President.
On the same day as this interview, the Washington Post reported that about 22,000 people have appealed to the government to fix the errors made during the enrollment process. Errors reported include being overcharged, assigned to the wrong insurance plan, and even denying coverage completely. The worst part is that nothing is being done currently to correct these errors: the computer system will not allow any of the federal workers to alter the records.
This additional problem with Obamacare is another reason O’Reilly was right to question the President on the employment status of Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. O’Reilly’s main point was that the taxpayers are funding Sebelius’ salary, and if we the people are to be paying for someone’s job, then the job better be well done. Not too much to ask, right?
The President retorted, “I promise you that we hold everybody up and down the line accountable.”
O’Reilly then moved on to the topic of Benghazi. Drilling the President, he asked whether Secretary Panetta had referred to Benghazi as a terrorist attack five separate times, none of which Obama responded to with a direct “yes” or “no” answer.
The rest of the interview follows the same pattern: O’Reilly asks specific questions, and the President dodges and deflects until the time runs out.
Quite honestly, I was not even slightly surprised at the way President Obama handled the interview, blaming his follies on the bias of Fox News and reciting monologues we have all heard several times. What this interview did do was point out that our government is no longer transparent, and no matter how many Americans call the President on his bluffs, nothing will change until the administration itself is replaced.
Democracies…attract survival-oriented leaders who understand that, given their dependence on many essentials, they can only come to and stay in power if they figure out the right basket of public goods to provide.
-Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, The Dictator’s Handbook
Elizabeth Marcello | William & Mary | @eliz_mariah