Obamacare Architect: Law's 'Not Popular' But Only Because of 'Bad PR'

October 21, 2016

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, widely known as an architect of Obamacare, acknowledged Friday the law is "not popular" but blamed it on "bad PR" rather than any flaws the law may have.

During a combative interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo about high costs and insurance companies exiting the Obamacare exchanges, Emanuel said one could never be "too vigilant" about lowering health care costs.

Bartiromo read out angry tweets from viewers in response to his interview. One said the public option was always the end goal of the law's creators.

"What do you say to that?" Bartiromo asked. "How come fewer and fewer doctors are even accepting Obamacare?"

In addition, major insurance companies like Aetna and UnitedHealth have pulled out of the Obamacare exchanges, leaving just one insurer to sell health care plans on the exchanges for one-third of the country.

"When you go into a new market, every business expects to lose some money at the start," Emanuel said.

Emanuel, as he has before, attacked Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) for leading the charge to eliminate the law's "risk corridors," which Rubio has called a taxpayer-funded bailout program of the president's "disastrously flawed law."

Baritomo called it "very creative" to blame the GOP for the law's problems.

"We're speaking to businesses all the time," she said. "They're blaming the Affordable Care Act on the fact that they can't hire employees. They can't afford it. They're going bankrupt."

"It also is easy to blame Obamacare for business decisions they want to make," Emanuel said. "That is a very easy thing to do, because Obamacare, as you know, is not popular, despite the fact that it's done so much good for the country. It's been bad PR, but not bad on the substance, and it's easy for insurance companies to blame someone else than for their own business decision."