Michael Steele doesn't like nuance

The RNC chairman continues to make confused statements about healthcare reform

Published August 27, 2009 12:28PM (EDT)

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele just isn't making sense on healthcare. Monday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Steele that was filled with muddled and often flat-out erroneous claims. And while many in the media have slammed Steele's grasp of healthcare issues this week, that hasn't stopped the chairman from continuing to make incoherent statements about his position on healthcare.

In an interview aired today on NPR's "Morning Edition," it was hard to decipher what exactly Steele believes should be done about healthcare. Steele began by defending Medicare, calling it a "valuable program" for the nation's seniors. However, he then advocated for Medicare cuts and criticized Medicare for being inefficient, using it as an example of why President Obama's plan to have a government-run healthcare option would likely fail. Asked about his position on Medicare, Steele responded, "I'm not saying I like or dislike Medicare. It is what it is."

Steele then went on to say that there should be greater oversight of private insurers. When the NPR host, Steve Inskeep, pointed out that oversight of private insurers would come from the government, Steele responded, "You're doing a wonderful little dance here. And you're trying to be cute. But the reality of this is very simple. I'm not saying the government doesn't have a role to play. I've never said that. The government does have a role to play. The government has a very limited role to play." Inskeep called Steele's position on healthcare "nuanced" and Steele responded somewhat animatedly, saying, "What's nuanced? What don't you understand? ... I'm being very clear."

You can listen to the entire interview below.


By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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