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Chris Matthews Lands Obama Interview

1) I hope Chris “leg tingles” Matthews doesn’t embarrass himself on national TV and have some sort of seizure while interviewing the president and 2) there could be no more of a softball interview than “Hardball” Chris Matthews.

For example, here’s what Matthews tweeted out last night on HealthCare.gov fixes:

Um, not exactly.

The Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff posted her summary of the daily CMS briefing, hours before Hardball aired. She described the call as “tense” and noted how CMS keeps dodging the most important question related to the error-rate of HealthCare.gov’s backend systems:

This is where Monday’s media call started to get more tense than the dozens that have happened in the past, with reporter after reporter asking about the numbers of 834 errors and not getting a response from the administration. As The Wall Street Journal reporter reasoned, if the administration knows that 80 percent of the errors are coming from a certain bug — then simple math should figure out the total number.

Bataille did not provide an answer, beyond the metric of the Social Security bug causing the majority of the errors. “That’s the information I’ve got today,” she told The Wall Street Journal’s Louise Radnofsky, when she was the third reporter to ask about the issue.

The administration has identified the 834 transmissions as key to the health law’s success. When Jeff Zients came onboard to help fix HealthCare.gov, he identified fixing these flawed transmissions as the issue at the very top of of his punch list. The reason I’ve kept asking about it is because experts tell me repeatedly that if the health law wants to have a shot at working, then the 834 transmissions need to work, too. That makes how poorly, or how well, the 834 transmissions are going a really important metric for understanding whether the health-care law is working — and one that reporters are likely to keep pressing the administration on.

The interview is due to air on Thursday. If Matthews doesn’t ask the president about these 834 errors, then he can stop calling himself a journalist and be content to be known as the president’s cheerleader. 

 

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