Actress Gabrielle Union Says No Need to Watch ‘Boring’ Health Care Negotiations on TV
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he wanted C-SPAN cameras to broadcast the health care negotiations, but to date no media outlets have been allowed to cover them.
Union spoke with CNSNews.com on the red carpet at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Honors ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Jan. 16.
CNSNews.com asked Union, “When President Obama was on the campaign trail, he talked about C-SPAN recording the negotiations that are going on right now with the bill, the health care bill, but so far the media hasn’t been allowed to go in and cover these negotiations. Do you think the media should be allowed to cover it? Would you look forward to seeing these negotiations on TV?”
“No, it’s boring. No. I mean, I want to know that it’s done. You know what I mean? I don’t need to sit in there and listen to my agent negotiate my contract with the studio. I want to know when it’s done. It’s a little tedious. It’s a little monotonous, very redundant,” Union responded.
“No, I don’t need to watch that,” she said. “I’d like more programming for things like Little Miss Perfect Pageants, you know, Paranormal State, that’s what quality programming is to me – not listening to people go back and forth. Hit me when you’re done. You know, that’s just me.”
Union was serving as the host of the BET Honors for the second year in a row.
During a town hall meeting in Chester, Va. on Aug., 21, 2008, presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said, “I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies – they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair.
“But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies,” said Obama. “And so, that approach, I think, is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process."
Earlier this month, C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb wrote a letter to congressional leaders requesting that they "open all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings, to electronic media coverage" as the House and Senate forge a final health care bill.
CNSNews.com also asked Union if she was satisfied with Congress’ handling of health care reform.
“I’ll be satisfied when we push it all through and, you know, all of the millions of people that desperately need coverage are covered,” she said. “I mean, I personally support, in this recession, 10 family members, all of whom are underinsured, and it’s expensive.
“Literally, you know, my nephew broke his leg, and it was financially catastrophic for my sister’s family – that shouldn’t be the case. You know, hard-working people go to work every day and are just underinsured, certainly our children,” Union continued.
“We shouldn’t – proper health care should not be an issue. So, you know, even though I’m insured, my financial umbrella has to cover a lot of people who are not, so I would be extremely happy if we could provide health care for every one who desperately needs it,” she said.
The BET Honors air Feb. 1 on the Black Entertainment Television network. At the event, BET honored Sean “P. Diddy” Combs for entrepreneurship; Whitney Houston for her contributions to entertainment; Queen Latifah for her work in media; Dr. Ruth J. Simmons for her work in education; and Keith L. Black, M.D., for his public service.
Gabrielle Union, hostess of the event, rose to fame as an actress in the film “Bring it On” alongside Kirsten Dunst and in “Bad Boys II,” starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Union is an advocate for victims of sexual assault and has testified numerous times on Capitol Hill concerning more government assistance for sexual assault services.