Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and MSNBC host Ed Schultz teed off on Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Friday for what they referred to as a “traveling circus” supposedly focusing on the problems with the Affordable Care Act while ignoring people who are benefitting from it.
“The Republicans have been crisis junkies now for months, if not years,” Grayson told Schultz. “They lurch from one crisis to the next to the next, whether it’s the government shutdown, or whether it’s the debt ceiling or anything else. Now they’re smear junkies, that’s all they ever do.”
On Friday, Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, convened the first of four planned “field hearings” to discuss the act. The Charlotte Observer reported that about 200 people attended the hearing in Gastonia, North Carolina, along with some protesters who chanted, “These sham hearings waste our money.”
But while Issa heard testimony from five hand-picked people who said they have been adversely affected by the law, two women who were willing to discuss its benefits told WBTV-TV that they were denied the opportunity, including Charlotte resident Dana Wilson, who explained that, as someone diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a teenager, she would be guaranteed medical insurance for the first time thanks to the law’s requirements.
“I think if it’s a true hearing than all sides should be heard,” Wilson said to WBTV. “And they don’t want to hear us.”
Both Grayson and Schultz defended the protesters, saying they had the right to be heard by Issa and the other Republican lawmakers present at the event.
“I’d like to see Issa tell this lady right here with MS that she is going to be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition,” Schultz said, pointing at a shot of Wilson. “That’s what he wants. He’s protecting the corporations. Darrell Issa should be ashamed of himself for his one-sided political pandering.”
Watch Schultz and Grayson slam Issa’s attempt at “negative PR,” as aired Friday on MSNBC, below.