Before talking about the problems with the Obamacare roll-out, MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews warned his guests to “be positive” in talking about the law.
Those guests were former White House chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra, along with Washington Post liberal columnist and blogger Ezra Klein.
“I want you, both gentlemen, to be positive,” Matthews said in setting the parameters for the interview. “We've only got a few minutes here. Help the viewer, help the consumer at the same time.”
Matthews has frequently been a punchline for his support of President Barack Obama and Obama's policies, and blocking negativity in discussing Obamacare is only a recent example.
Last July, during the Obama reelection campaign, Matthews said on his program, “He's not only broken any law, he's never done anything wrong. He's the perfect father, the perfect husband, the perfect American and all they do is trash the guy. And it's impossible for me to believe they would have said the same thing about a Walter Mondale, a Jimmy Carter or a Bill Clinton. There's an ethnic piece to this.”
During the 2008 election, Matthews famously talked about how he felt a “thrill going up my leg,” whenever Obama spoke.
That said, Matthews did acknowledged the numerous problems that plagued the Obamacare marketplace since the rollout on Oct. 1 before asserting to his guests to put it in positive terms.
Below is the segment:
Here is the full lead in from Matthews before the interview with the two guests (via Newsbusters):
“That was of course President Obama earlier today acknowledging in no uncertain terms that the rollout of his signature policy achievement Obamacare has not lived up to expectations. As you heard him there, the president has vowed to fix the problems which are daunting.
“The New York Times reports that the issues plaguing the law's rollout, or actually enrollment website are more than just a few bugs. Here's why. The error messages and registration issues may be masking deeper systems problems. Some insurers have been receiving incorrect enrollment information. Contractors are worried that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly. And, get this, an astonishing 5 million lines of code may need to be rewritten.
“A recent report from USA Today summed it up like this, quote, 'The federal health care exchange was built using ten year old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system” according to technology experts.'
"My question tonight: What can be done to fix this situation?
Aneesh Chopra was the White House chief technology officer from 2009 through 2012. He served as a key policy adviser to the president when the Affordable Care Act systems were designed. And the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein is a smart fellow on most things economic, he’s an MSNBC policy analyst.
“I want you, both gentlemen, to be positive. We've only got a few minutes here. Help the viewer, help the consumer at the same time. Aneesh, what can be done to improve what's wrong?”