This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 1, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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Hi, everybody. I'm Eric Bolling in for Bill O'Reilly.
Thanks for watching us tonight. Let's get right to our "Top Story". The Obamacare rollout taking another disastrous turn. According to documents released by the House Oversight Committee only six people signed up for the healthcare law on its first day. That's right -- six people.
A recent "Saturday Night Live" skit mocking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was spot on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Millions of Americans are visiting HealthCare.gov, which is great news. Unfortunately the site was only designed to handle six users at a time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLLING: In total, 248 people enrolled in Obamacare nationwide by the end of day two according to an internal Obama administration memo obtained by that oversight committee.
And adding to the list of White House woes is the fact that the vast majority of those who are signing up on state exchanges are signing up for Medicaid while a much smaller number are signing up for private insurance, the administration says it will release official enrollment numbers in mid- November, but, if the numbers are as bad as these reports suggest, what will the President do?
Joining me now to react from Washington, D.C., Democrat strategist Julian Epstein -- Julian, six? Six I mean you couldn't make this up. If I had said six, they would call me crazy, racist, who knows what they would call me -- six.
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well I'm the first to acknowledge that there have been a lot of problems with the rollout. The - - the administration put out a figure that as of October 26th where they had about 700,000 people sign up or express interest in signing up for the program.
I think the question that you are getting to, Eric, is the right question, will they get a sufficient number of people in to sign up, in to the marketplace or the exchanges. And I think if you look at the numbers, it's pretty, pretty persuasive that they will get --
BOLLING: How in the world do you come, they have six or maybe 248 after a couple of days. Let's just take 248 after a couple of days, at that rate they want to get the seven million enrollees by March. It would take them 800 years at that rate.
EPSTEIN: At that rate --
BOLLING: They are not going to hit their goal 700 million in March.
BOLLING: Yes let me explain -- yes let me explain to you why I think they would.
First of all again they put out the 700,000 figure as of October 25th. The initial days obviously nobody was signing up because of the problems. But if you look at -- let's consider the big picture for a second. Half of all Americans get their insurance through their employers. So this debate doesn't affect half of all Americans. Another 30 percent of Americans get their insurance through either Medicaid or the military. So we're talking about 20 percent of Americans.
EPSTEIN: 62 million?
EPSTEIN: Approximately. 15 percent of Americans don't have any health insurance. So the idea -- and that's about 45 million people. The idea that a large percentage of those are not going to sign up for a system when they can get very good comprehensive healthcare at rates as low as -- premiums as low as $100 a month.
BOLLING: But -- but you're getting off topic here. The topic is are they going to get the 700 million enrollees by March like they said they needed to get Obamacare off to the races, off and running, off and rolling smoothly. It doesn't look like it's going to be the case. They are going to have to make a decision, Julian. There going to have to either delay the individual mandate or say we're going to delay the fine if you don't have insurance -- are they not?
EPSTEIN: I think that is correct if we get into January and February and we don't look like we're hitting those numbers. But the reason that I think Eric that we are going to hit those numbers because again it's because if you consider that there are 45 million people that don't have insurance and the incentives here for them signing up are so strong, they can get comprehensive healthcare for as little as $100 a month in the premium.
So I think a huge portion of that 45 million are going to elect go into the exchanges. Then you've got another 15 million measures that are in the private markets already who are -- many of whom will have their health insurance programs policies canceled. And a large portion of that 15 million are going to have every incentive and every desire to get into the exchanges as well. You are talking about 60 million people.
BOLLING: But -- but those 15 million new people are going to have to go seek out health insurance. And we're not even talking about the young people, the 20's and 30-year-olds who are signing up or they are trying to sign up and they are finding out that, their A, their premiums are going up and B, the big one, the big one Julian, is that their deductibles are in the thousands of dollars per year and they're saying no that's why the enrollees -- my guess is that's why they are holding back these numbers because they're so embarrassing low not because only the Web site glitches but because people are just aren't enrolling in something that costs so much money.
EPSTEIN: Well I think a big part of the problem as you pointed out was the Web site fiasco which is a big part of why people didn't get into the program. But again, the central point that I'm making you're talking about a pool of 60 million people that would probably go into these exchanges or the private marketplace. And there is every incentive for almost all of these 60 million people to get into the system because the policies in the private marketplace are, one are going to be comprehensive; two, you are going to have tax incentives, tax rebates for millions -- as many as six, seven million Americans to get into this program so they can get health coverage.
BOLLING: Who pays for that, Julian? Who picks up the tab on rebates?
EPSTEIN: That was -- that was part of the ACA, that was part of the law, and that was part of -- it comes through a tax rebate.
BOLLING: Yes but no let's talk about where the money comes from. Originally when President Obama pushed this, and turned a bill into a law, the CBO said it was going to be about $900 billion. Now, they have upped that. The CBO has upped that number to $1.8 trillion. And we're not even talking about these tax -- additional incentives as a rebates which is only going to add to that number.
EPSTEIN: So there's two questions that you have one is who pays for it and it's paid for through some tax increases like the medical equipment tax and the increase on capital gains. So there is no question there are some taxes that are paying for but -- and secondly, the CBO also made it clear that the healthcare law was going to be a net reducer in terms of our federal deficit.
BOLLING: Hey Julian, I've got to tell you though, I have to tell you, President Obama, unequivocally said this will not be a tax increase. He looked the American people in the eye -- in fact he was sitting down with George Stephanopoulos and said it not a tax. And it wasn't a tax. It'll never be a tax. It's the law -- his words. It turns out, according to you, I agree with you it's a tax.
EPSTEIN: Well there are certainly there is no question. Nobody ever debated the fact that you had things you had the medical equipment tax you, had -- you had things like the capital gains rate going up for certain people. There's now question about that to pay for them. But I think the point here is that out of its pool of 60 million people we are clearly going to get far more than seven million people --
EPSTEIN: -- entering into this. I think when you look back --
BOLLING: In your opinion Julian. I'm going to have to leave it there real question for me is if they can't get a Web site up and running in three years how in the world are they going to handle billions upon billions of correspondents going through that medical portal going forward? Julian we've got to leave it there.
EPSTEIN: Ok Eric thank you.
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