By Mike Lillis - 11/10/10 10:22 PM EST
Popular radio personality Don Imus told Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) this week that he's "delusional" for defending the new health reform law in the face of so much controversy.
"The majority of the American people don't like it, and all of the people I talk to think that it's not workable," Imus told Weiner on "Imus in the Morning" Wednesday. "But it's good to see that you're passionate about it, though delusional."
Weiner, one of the most vocal supporters of the reform bill passed by the Democrats in March, conceded that Republicans were politically successful this year "making demons" out of proposals whose individual provisions were popular with voters.
A large chunk of the economic stimulus bill, for instance, was dedicated to tax cuts, Weiner noted, while the central insurance reforms contained in the healthcare bill have also polled well.
"[Republicans] did a very skillful job, though, of taking these things that people like, packaging them, and make them into bogeymen," Weiner said.
Asked about some hospitals' claims that the health law will put them out of business, Weiner said the reforms might save those facilities instead.
"Right now, so many people are coming into hospital emergency rooms without insurance that you and I are paying the bill. And hospitals are closing," he said, adding that New York has seen 17 hospitals close in the last decade — before the new law was in place.
"It's much cheaper for us to provide subsidies for people to get insurance than keep providing them with healthcare and it not being reimbursed in any way," he said.
"Hospitals, perhaps, have the most to gain if we get this right."