All-Star Panel: Lessons to be learned from ObamaCare's impact on elections

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 6, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. MARK BEGICH, D - AK: I've made my voice pretty well heard over there. I'm not sure -- they may not return my calls all the time because I'm yelling at them all the time on some of the issues. But I think they really want to hear from us because we're on ground as you know in our own communities. It's the frustration in my state, 70,000-plus people can qualify for Medicaid as well as subsidies in order to get health care. I'm frustrated for them because they're not able to get through the process.  I've delivered that frustration on a fairly regular basis to the White House. And today I was more direct.


BAIER: More direct. Today the president, the vice president, the White House chief of staff, and Jeff Zients, who is heading up the effort to rehabilitate the website, met behind closed doors with 15 Senate Democrats facing voters in 2014, and the anecdotal evidence we're getting is that it was pretty direct, or spicy, as another Democrat said.

Let's bring in our panel, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, author of the highly acclaimed book "Things that Matter," number three on Amazon, number two next week on The New York Times bestseller list. Congratulations.



BAIER: "Killing Jesus" is going to be tough.

KRAUTHAMMER: Out of respect, I think I won't do that.



BAIER: Judge, this seems like a big event, the fact that this meeting happens at the White House.

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: I think this is a big event because the president -- it's been demonstrated conclusively now that the president was lying when he said you can keep your own doctor and you can keep your own insurance policy, followed it with the word "period," which is a way of saying everything that precedes the word period is the absolute truth.

And who is hurt the most when the president lies? Vulnerable Democrats who have been associated with him on this and other programs.  Democrats who will have to face the electorate and will have to answer for why they jumped on the bandwagon of somebody who lied, why they're defending a program that's indefensible, and why their constituents are being asked to logon to a program that they can't logon to. I think the president is going to have difficulty governing because of this lie and this is the beginning of many more episodes of this nature.

I would like to hear what the language was that was described as "spicy."


BAIER: That's right, we don't often hear "spicy." Direct -- by the way, the president is in Dallas tonight speaking to an event. You can see, he's turned to the group there. He's speaking about Affordable Health Care Act, as you can see. A.B., this meeting, it seems like a kind of event that of course Republicans are going to be attacking the administration on this rollout. But when these Democrats get together and express this frustration, it seems a bigger deal.

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: That's the problem is what the judge said, is that first it was that you couldn't get onto the Web site and get your coverage. And what if you couldn't get it in time, before you might have been penalized. Now they're hearing from constituents who are insured who never thought they'd have to deal with ObamaCare, who are afraid they're going to get a cancellation notice or afraid that next year they'll find out they have an employer provided plan that maybe is going to be excluded from the narrow grandfathering that was written into the regulations. And so maybe their plan is going to be so changed it's as good as canceled. Everything is now an unknown.

And it's not just how you sign up on the website for ObamaCare. It's really frightening if you think about what's going to take place after March 31 as you look at the impact to the economy of fear, fear of what's to come with your plan, even if you weren't one of the people that is thus far affected.

BAIER: Ed Henry is reporting tonight, that they're definitely floating a one year delay -- which the president apparently didn't agree to. A six month delay, three months. Could this be the next shoe that Democrats and even this White House say, we should delay it?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I think that's going to have to happen unless there's a miraculous recovery and unless the website is working like the Apple website by the first of December, which is highly unlikely. Unless there is a way to get around the cancellation issue, which I can't see at all, there's going to have to be a delay. And the impetus will come from the Democrats in the Senate who are going to get slaughtered.

Look what happened last night in Virginia. What ObamaCare did was it single- handedly -- it's only a slight exaggeration, turned what should have been a landslide into a cliffhanger. Cuccinelli was behind by double digits after the shutdown that really hurt him in Northern Virginia. There are a lot of government workers. He was way behind. He decided to gamble it all in the last week attacking ObamaCare. And he came to the point where by 10:00 last night, he was actually ahead in the count, and then he lost narrowly.  That's all ObamaCare.

And this is not new. Four years ago in Virginia and New Jersey, Obama campaigned for the Democratic candidates for governor and they both lost. And the issue was the beginning of the Tea Party revolt. The issues were the stimulus, high taxation, high spending, and it was ObamaCare. So this is now the second time ObamaCare is striking and it's going to continue to strike. It petered away after the last time because it was all in theory, it wasn't happening, it was suspended. But it's happening now. And unless they stop the avalanche here, the Democrats are going to get buried in this.

BAIER: You see some of the results coming in on the Bing.com website. You can scroll down to some of the questions being asked. What concerns you most or frustrates you most about ObamaCare? The law itself, 75 percent. And when do you think HealthCare.gov website will be fully functional? And 32 percent, spring of 2014, 55 percent, never.

Take a listen to Max Baucus, Democrat, today questioning Kathleen Sebelius.


SEN. MAX BAUCUS, D - MT: Why just keep limping along? Why not just shut it down and put it together the way it should be put together?  Many have pointed out that you're one-off fixes tend to have unintended consequences down the road.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY It's been advised that you don't gain much from just taking the whole system down for a week, a couple of weeks. It's better to do this on an ongoing basis.


BAIER: Judge, do it on an ongoing basis. You've got privacy concerns.


BAIER: You've got all kinds of things happening here.

NAPOLITANO: You have ordinary, middle American and lower middle class folk who are legitimately trying to protect themselves in the president's signature issue and they can't get it done. Senator Menendez from my home state said today the Republicans are doing nothing by trying to destroy this for four years. Well, guess what. The public is learning that it doesn't work. And the public is putting pressure on those 14 Democrats that met with the Senate today because some of them are seriously vulnerable in 2014. And they need a fix right now.

I think you're going to see pressure from them along the lines of what Senator Baucus just suggested because Mrs. Sebelius' argument just doesn't satisfy them because it doesn't satisfy the needs of their constituents.

BAIER: A.B., this delay -- you talk to the administration, you hear Secretary Sebelius, she says that you can't have this delay, the law doesn't work that way. But there may be a plus.

STODDARD: Considering the fact that this right now is a staggering disaster, it's hard to believe that the administration after delaying for businesses is not going to do a delay for the individual mandate. But it is true that taking the website down, doing a delay -- actually the American Academy of Actuaries said today said a delay would wreak havoc on premiums, on subsidies coming from the government, more costs to government, really a real problem. But I can't imagine politically that they can survive without a delay.

BAIER: OK. By the way, "Killing Jesus" is Bill O'Reilly's book.  In case -- somebody just e-mailed in asking what's "Killing Jesus." Equal plug. OK, we'll continue the conversation on ObamaCare and the politics surrounding it. Stay tuned.

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