During a live interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer refused to accept the fact that ObamaCare was in a state of collapse. After Ryan listed the numerous problems with the health care law, Lauer responded with liberal talking points: “I just want to say that a lot of people disagree with that terminology that ObamaCare is collapsing under its own weight.” One can forgive Lauer for not realizing just how fundamentally unstable ObamaCare has become given that network news systematically ignored the law’s growing failures throughout the 2016 campaign. A Media Research Center study released just days before the November election found that the network evening newscasts spent a mere 10 minutes 21 seconds of combined air time on ObamaCare’s problems that year.
Talking to Ryan, Lauer recalled: Last time we sat down in your office was January 12th, 2016....I said to you then, why is it that Republicans have been trashing ObamaCare for six years at that point, seven years now, and not presented a viable replacement? You said, “Matt, by the end of this year, we will have that plan for you.” That deadline came and went. Ryan interjected: “We ran on a plan last year.” Lauer dismissed him: “But you didn't give us a plan that can be voted on now.” He pressed: “So do the American people have a right to say, ‘We’ve heard the criticism for year after year, and yet, we still don't have something that can be put on the President's desk’?” During that hostile January 2016 interview, Lauer demanded Ryan respond to an attack from President Obama: “I talked to the President yesterday, and I talked to him about that veto, and he said, ‘You know what, it's very easy for the Republicans to come up with bill after bill to repeal something, but when are they going to come up with a plan that is better?’”
On Tuesday, Lauer seized on former House Speaker John Boehner discussing the issue: Your predecessor made your job a little tougher last week....He said all this talk about repeal and replace, it's not going to happen. He says it's happy talk. “What they're going to do is they're going to fix some bad parts of ObamaCare and wrap it in a conservative box.” That is not repeal and replace. Ryan clarified: “That is not what we are doing.” He then gave a point-by-point takedown of ObamaCare: Let me just say it this way, ObamaCare is collapsing. ObamaCare had – I think the Democrats got too far ahead on their ideology and they gave us a system where the government runs health care. They gave us a system where costs went up, not down. They gave us a system where choices went away. They gave us a system where people lost the health care plans that they liked that they chose, that violated all the promises that were made that were given when ObamaCare was sold to the American people. Those promises were violated. And now we have a collapsing marketplace. We really believe we’re in a rescue mission here to step in and prevent this collapse from occurring further.
It was then that Lauer protested: “I just want to say that a lot of people disagree with that terminology that ObamaCare is collapsing under its own weight.” Ryan pushed back by citing one of the nation’s largest health insurers: “Well, I’ll just quote AETNA, they said that it’s in a death spiral.” Near the end of the exchange, Lauer grilled Ryan on whether a special prosecutor should be assigned to investigate the Trump administration: “I spoke to former President Bush yesterday on the subject of possible Russian ties to the Trump – to Trump's associates during the campaign. He says the American people need answers. Is there anything you could hear that would you decide we need a special prosecutor to look into that?” Ryan explained: “We think we need to do an investigation here with our intelligence committees.” Lauer fretted: “However, an Intelligence Committee with a majority of Republicans and people want an independent investigation.”