CNN host Dana Bash offered no fact check on Sunday as Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint (R) falsely claimed that fewer doctors accepted Medicare than private insurance.
During a Sunday interview, DeMint explained that Heritage Action had launched a nine-city tour to rally Americans in support of repealing Obamacare because it was an “unfair and un-American law.”
“Federal health care is not going to provide good health care to Americans,” DeMint insisted. “You can’t find a federal program that’s working effectively.”
“Jim, I disagree with that,” former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) replied. “I think Medicare works pretty darn well and people like it. And that’s a federal program that works very well for people.”
“It’s tens of trillions of dollars in debt because it’s been mismanaged, it’s going to leave huge debts onto our children, and more and more doctors won’t even see a Medicare-insured patient,” DeMint replied. “So, it is not going to work for the future.”
The former South Carolina senator continued: “And as we put more people on Medicare and Medicaid, and that’s what Obamacare is going to do, is to push more people into Medicaid-style plans, fewer and fewer doctors are going to see these folks. So, we need to make sure we get health insurance that doctors will actually take.”
“I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that I disagree with that,” Dean said before he was interrupted by Bash.
“I’m so shocked,” she snarked, promising to allow Dean to respond following a commercial break.
But after the show resumed, Bash changed the subject to the 2016 presidential race.
“Before we get to that, let me get a little equal time on health care,” Dean demanded. “You know, I was not a supporter of Obamacare when it passed. I am now. I think this ought to be implemented. You know, in our little medical office in Burlington, Vermont, we’ve discovered that premiums are going to be cut in half for the five people who work for my wife and her partners. So, this is going to make a big difference.”
In fact, a Department of Health and Human Services report released last week found that the number of doctors accepting Medicare was higher than the number of doctors accepting private insurance.
“These findings allay concern that the number of physicians ‘opting out’ of Medicare has increased in recent years,” the report said.
Watch this video from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Aug. 25, 2013.