Friday Lightning Round: 2015 ObamaCare signup delay

Panel sums up in this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 22, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Because of the problems in the implementation of the website on healthcare.gov that we've experienced that has slowed enrollment in the early stages here, we expect that the -- what was already going to be a back-loaded process is going to be more back loaded. That would then leave insurers with a lot of data to try to sort through in a very short time.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, R-WYO.: It is a cynical political ploy by the administration to hide the additional sticker shock, the increased costs of insurance that are going to come next year. So for them to delay from a couple of weeks before the election to a couple of weeks after the election to me is just a naked effort. People are going to see right through this.


SHANNON BREAM, GUEST HOST: We are back with our panel. We're going to talk about that delay to ObamaCare to the next round of signups that would have happened in October of 2014, but today we found it's going to be 11 days after the 2014 midterm elections.

Charles, coincidence?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: You reach a point where this administration is so cynical that you almost have to admire them. I mean, the brazenness of this. And again, I repeat about Jay Carney, they don't pay him enough.

BREAM: He's got a tough job.

Kirsten, what do you think about the date change? We're told that it will be so the insurers will have more information to judge. Jim Angle, who is one of our key reporters on ObamaCare all the time, says it doesn't jive because the new rates and the new information have to be submitted for 2015 by the end of May. So why would you need to delay things in the fall?

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK POST: What they're saying is that it's because ObamaCare is a -- we have a delay on the front end, right, because of the website, and so therefore you have to delay a little longer to give the insurance companies more time.

But does a month really -- I mean, they've extended it a month. If they were extending it six months, it might -- but I'm saying I don't think an extra month is actually probably going to change that much in terms of the insurance companies having time to sift over all the data, which is what they're saying, that they have to have time to set the rates and see how many young people are going to get in. So it's a little hard to get around the fact that this is a political decision.

BREAM: Jonah, are we reading too much into it?

JONAH GOLDBERG, AT LARGE EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: I think so, probably. I just amazed that Jay Carney can keep from laughing when he does that stuff. In some ways this will help Republicans, because Republicans will be able to say, we have no idea how terrible this is going to be. The reputation for ObamaCare by November of 2014 could be incredibly bad, and keeping it as just this fear hanging over the electorate could help Republicans.

BREAM: Today we also mark 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Thoughts about that day or his legacy since, Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: It reminds us how much our country has changed. People remember him saying "Ask not," but what he also said in the inaugural address is that we will pay any price, support any friend, oppose any foe to insure the success of liberty. There are not a lot of Democrats who would say that today. There aren't even a lot of Republicans who would say that today.

And he was also the man who announced the moon shot and said we do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard. You don't hear that a lot today in Washington. Everything is done because it's easy.

BREAM:  Kirsten, do you think he would be traditionally viewed as a 2013 Democrat? I mean, where do you think he would fall in the spectrum?

POWERS: It's hard to say. Half of my family's Irish Catholics. They worshipped him. And I was weaned on stories about him. I often wonder even with my grandparents or great-aunts and uncles, what would they be today, because they were these Irish Democrats. And I don't think honestly they'd fit into either party and I don't think JFK would fit into either party. I think different sides try to claim parts of him, but he's just of a different era, I think.

GOLDBERG: I think that's right. If JFK were alive today, he'd be 96. And everything else is speculation.

Look, I have no problem with mourning a president. He deserves his mourning. But the way they're treating this as if we didn't have a chance to talk about the Kennedys for the last 50 years when it is a staple of every thumb-sucking panel in Washington and Sunday talk show where they're trotting out third generation Kennedys to talk about them ever more and their legacy and dynasty and this and that.

And moreover, one of the guys -- what actually truly offends me is in major journalistic enterprises they're still talking about Kennedy being killed by the right wingers and by the city of Dallas. Cities don't kill people. A communist killed JFK. An elite liberalism even to this day when wallowing in bathos and pathos about this can't admit that. And I think they're slandering a lot of people and an entire city in the process.

BREAM: It's interesting, his family said whenever these markings of the anniversary of the death come around, they'd much rather prefer people would mark his birthday and his life than to remember him in this way.

Now, I have to tell you for the first time in the history of "Special Report," all three of you picked the same winner and the same loser.


BREAM: So everyone picked either Harry Reid or the Democrats winners because of getting the nuclear option passed.

KRAUTHAMMER: Short term.

BREAM: Short term, but long term that he'll be a loser because?

KRAUTHAMMER: They're going to run into a gang of Sicilians.


BREAM: Charles by the way says, save the nasty tweets. It's all in good humor.

KRAUTHAMMER: We love Sicilians.

BREAM: And long term we'll see how getting rid of the filibuster works for everybody on Capitol Hill. Panel, thank you very much. Good to see all of you. That's it for the panel.

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