CNN's Don Lemon: Lawmakers 'holding the American people hostage' over Obamacare

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo News
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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Jornalist Don Lemon speaks on stage at the ADCOLOR Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on September 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AdColor)

CNN host Don Lemon lashed out at critics of Obamacare on Tuesday, saying some lawmakers are "holding the American people hostage" in their attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act.

In an interview on the "Tom Joyner Morning Show," Lemon lamented the "willful misinformation" being shopped about Obamacare "by both Democrats and Republicans — but really mostly by Republicans."

"Some lawmakers are throwing temper tantrums," Lemon said, "yet again holding the American people hostage instead of telling them the truth."

Lemon also blasted the threatened government shutdown over the health care law. "Our government is in peril. The American people are in peril. Livelihoods are in peril," he continued. "Because some Republicans — not all, but some — have lied themselves into a corner and threatened to shut down the government unless Obamacare is no longer funded. Talk about selfish. Talk about taking your marbles and going home."

Lemon then attempted to debunk what he called the three biggest pieces of misinformation about Obamacare: that it is a "a jobs killer," that it's going to raise insurance premiums and that it is going to affect your medical care.

"[Republicans] claim that premiums are going to go up because of that law. Premiums are going down because of the law — that's what Democrats say," Lemon said. " says you know what? It depends. May go up, it may go down. If you're uninsured and you have a preexisting condition, you'll probably pay less. If you're uninsured and you're healthy, you'll likely pay more. If you're insured through your employer, like most people now who have a job, you're not going to see much change either way."

"The claim [that] you won't be able to choose your own doctor, the claim that the government will come between you and your doctor — that is flat-out false," Lemon added. "The truth is that it helps you with your insurance company because the government — it doesn't come between you and your insurance system because the government is in the middle helping you with that. And I can go on. But the truth about the law doesn't sound nearly as interesting as a bunch of rhetoric that riles up people and pits them against each other."

It's not the first time Lemon, weekend host of "CNN Newsroom," has offered opinionated commentary. In July, he stirred up controversy when he said Fox News' host Bill O’Reilly didn't "go far enough” in his criticism of black culture in the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing, suggesting young black men should pull up their pants and remove the N-word from their vocabulary.

African-Americans, Lemon added, should "pay close attention to the hip hop and rap culture that many of you embrace, a culture that glorifies ... thug and reprehensible behavior, a culture that is making a lot of people rich — just not you. And it’s not going to.”