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The Health Care Obtuseness of a Fox-GOP Apparatchik

Chris McKay/Getty

Everything you need to know about the health care crisis in this country in two outtakes.

Yesterday on Fox’s “The Five” (transcript via Nexis):

BOB BECKEL: But there were a lot of people who yesterday got a chance for the first time in their lives to get health insurance, and I think it's a wonderful thing. …

FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY DANA PERINO: For the first time in their life? Honestly, Bob.

BECKEL: No, really.

PERINO: If you didn't have health insurance, there was a way for you to get help through Medicaid or Medicare, if you're older. There's lots of different programs that if you had no way to get help. I understand the anxiety of not having health insurance if you are employed and your employer doesn't provide for it and you don't qualify for Medicaid. But to say that there are millions of people who never had a chance at health care --

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE: It's just not true, Bob.

PERINO: But also, anybody can walk in any hospital and they can be treated and receive medical attention.

Today in The New York Times:

A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance. …

Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help. ...

Those excluded will be stranded without insurance, stuck between people with slightly higher incomes who will qualify for federal subsidies on the new health exchanges that went live this week, and those who are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid in its current form. …

“How can somebody in poverty not be eligible for subsidies?” an unemployed health care worker in Virginia asked through tears. The woman ... thought she had run into a computer problem when she went online Tuesday and learned she would not qualify.

Noam Scheiber is a senior editor at The New Republic. Follow @noamscheiber