All-Star Panel: Will improvements to site fix ObamaCare?

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," December 4, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be update


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Obviously the website, when it was first launched, wasn't in tip-top shape, to say the least. But we have been 24/7 going at it. And now, for the vast majority of users it's working. And there will be other things that come up during the course of the next several months because you're starting off a new program that has an impact on one-sixth of the economy. It's a big deal, to quote Joe Biden.


REP. MIKE ROGERS, R - MI: We know that this thing gets hit thousands of times a day by people trying to get in and get access – unauthorized access. They have no coordinated effort on every single day to try to monitor and track that.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: President Obama speaking at a youth summit today at the White House, speaking about health care, trying to recruit folks to sell his health care plan around the country. This as a new poll is out from Harvard polling 18 to 29-year-olds in the past couple of weeks -- do you approve or disapprove of the ACA? There you see disapprove 56 percent, approve 39 percent. How likely are you to enroll in insurance through ObamaCare or ACA exchange, likely, 20 percent, unlikely 47 percent, 50/50, 28 percent.  We're back with the panel. David, where is this now on the hill? Where are Republicans? Where are Democrats? Where is this re-launch?

DAVID DRUCKER, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: I think had when you an administration this deep into a national policy and you are in the midst of another PR offensive and improving the messaging, it means you have a durable political problem. And so for Democrats, they're optimistic and buoyed by the fact that the website is doing better. We'll know shortly over the next couple weeks, I think, whether the backend is doing as well as the frontend. And that makes them feel good.

For Republicans who never liked the law and see a lot of problems with it, they see nothing but problems coming down the pike. And because of that they don't think that this website, in fixing it, is going to make things any better, and, in fact, they feel like it's going to help them make their case against the law. And you can expect to see more oversight hearings and you can expect to see Republicans pick away at this thing as consumers and regular voters feel the impact of this.

BAIER: Juan, you know, we talk about the backend and talked about this yesterday here on the panel. Backend just isn't the data going to the insurers. It is actually, as Charles pointed out the cash register, the point of sale, where someone pays a premium. The testimony on Capitol Hill was that that is not even set up through this system. Insurers have to do that on their own. That part of it to get done by January 1st is really, that's going to be pretty tough to get everybody point of sale by January 1st if you are signed up by December 23rd.

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Yeah. And they are worried about it. And the insurance companies though, so far, are not screaming bloody murder. The insurance companies think that things are coming along. Everybody seems to take this position that this is in process if you will. So what you get is a situation where everybody is, I think, way off now this prospect of millions of people signed up by March. Everybody has given up on that pretty much. The question he is how many people who sign up are healthy, young people so that they get the right ratios and right mixes.

BAIER: And if you look at that Harvard poll, it's not that encouraging.

DRUCKER: All right, look. A lot -- those are young people. A lot of young people are already on their parents' coverage because of ObamaCare. So they don't need to sign up. Second thing to say is young people typically don't.

BAIER: They are eligible.

DRUCKER: Yes, but they don't need to sign up if they've already got insurance through the school they attend or through their parents. The big question is for people who don't have that, who aren't covered by their parents or anyone else. Those folks who normally would say I don't have insurance.  Nothing is ever going to happen to me. I'm young, I'm beautiful. You know, it doesn't matter. I'm so smart, I'm at Harvard, you know, what happens when something happens? Do they ever sign up?

BAIER: I just want to make a point that you don't have to be good-looking to get health care.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.



KRAUTHAMMER: Look, here you are actually appealing to young people.  It isn't only because the young have a feeling of being invincible. Because you are offering a product where they are going to pay twice the market rate. They don't have a job. They are living in their parents' basement and they are paying twice the market rate in order to subsidize older people who probably have a job or a pension. And that isn't a good deal, and that's why the young are going to walk away.

BAIER: Definitively?

KRAUTHAMMER: Absolutely, positively, even the ones who are good-looking.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for epic moves, plus SR Bing Pulse highlights after the break. 

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