Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz had another at-times testy interview with Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum on Thursday over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
On the eve of the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act getting signed into law, MacCallum asked Wasserman Schultz about a recent Congressional Budget Office report showing the health care law will cost twice what it was originally estimated to be, from $986 billion to nearly $2 trillion over 10 years.
The CBO also estimated that "20 million Americans will lose coverage because small businesses will decide that they no longer want to cover their employees," MacCallum said. "How do you square that with the pluses [of the health care law]?"
"We're not going to have people lose insurance," Wasserman Schultz said. "Millions more small businesses will decide to cover their employees because right now small businesses can get a 35 percent tax credit by covering their employees when they don't now. By 2014 they will get up to a 50 percent tax credit on those premiums and so we anticipate that many more people will get coverage."
" -- they maybe covered but they're not being covered under the plan that they have," MacCallum cut in. "The president said they could keep their plan....I'm asking you, can you respond to respond to the CBO report that 20 million people will lose coverage?"
"And I'm responding, that's what I'm doing," Wasserman Schultz said. "Twenty million people won't lose coverage."
"You disagree with the report?" MacCallum asked.
"Well, you're not quoting the report accurately," Wasserman Schultz shot back.
"I believe I am, go ahead," MacCallum said.
"Well, OK," Wasserman Schultz said dismissively. "Let me answer the question, please. If a business decides not to cover their employees anymore, those employees under the Affordable Care Act will be able to enter the insurance exchanges -- which is private health care insurance that they will be able to get that is the same coverage, and in many cases better coverage, than they have now."
She continued, "Don't suggest the CBO is saying they'll lose coverage. They have more opportunities for coverage and employees -- small businesses in particular will have an opportunity to get a 50 percent premium tax credit which they don't have available to them now. So this is actually a boon to small businesses."
"Because they won't be covering a lot of those employees again, because they will be moving into this larger co-op format that you're talking about," MacCallum said.
"It's not a co-op," Wasserman Schultz protested. "No, no, no, no, no, Martha, it's not a co-op, the insurance exchanges are private insurance."
"An insurance exchange, an insurance exchange," MacCallum amended before moving on.
Watch Wasserman Schultz's appearance in two parts below: