All-Star Panel: ObamaCare's political fallout in 2014

Insight from 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," January 2, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Snow starting to fall out there outside the White House. It's supposed to feel like four degrees here in Washington tomorrow morning, pretty chilly.

There's a chilly reception from some GOP attorneys general, 11 of them signed a letter today accusing the administration of breaking the law by making numerous changes. And they say this, "We're deeply concerned that this administration is consistently rewriting new rules, effectively inventing statutory provisions to operationalize a flawed law. The irony, of course, is that the changes being put forgot to fix the disastrous exchanges will ultimately destroy the market and increase health insurance premiums for consumers who played by the rules."

We're back with the panel. A couple of things happening. The administration, Kirsten, is making a full court press to tell positive stories, doing local press conferences about numbers, about stories, really trying to tell the tale that it's working.

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: Well, the numbers are not as good as they wanted them to be. I think they had a target of signing up about 3 million by now. And if you combine state exchanges and the federal exchanges you get 2 million. So they're a little shy of that, not surprising because of the website dysfunction.

But there are good stories. There are people that are getting cheaper health insurance. There are people that didn't have health insurance who have it now. There are people who had preexisting conditions and were sick and weren't able to get covered. And I think those are stories that need to be told.

The problem is there's also a lot of bad stories. There are stories about people who lost their insurance and the violation of the promise you can keep your plan if you like it. So it's a balancing of both of those.  But I do think it's important to remember that there are some good things that have come out of this.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Yes, there's winners and losers. The secret core of ObamaCare was a transfer of wealth from the upper middle class and the middle middle class people who had insurance, who liked their insurance, who are now discovering sticker shock. They have huge premium, larger deductibles, and the excess what they're paying is essentially helping the ones at the lower end of the spectrum. So, in that sense it creates the winners and the losers.

But I think for the Republicans, the key now is to focus on the breaking of the trust and the promise. All they have to do in the race -- particularly ones running in Louisiana, North Carolina, and one other state. I feel like Rick Perry, can't remember the third one, to show for example, Mary Landrieu -- oh yeah, and New Hampshire -- showing the senator actually saying the words of Obama, if you have your plan, if you like your plan, you keep it.

It's not only the disruption of their lives -- they're going to lose their doctors, they're going to lose the best hospitals -- but it is the deception. And I think that is the key in the transfer of wealth. There are going to be a lot of losers here and it's going to be sort of a war -- a propaganda war, except for one thing. In the middle of the year you're going to get employers looking at the sticker shock of the premiums they're going to pay next year. And that's when you get a second wave of Americans who have insurance, who like insurance, who are going to lose it. And that could be fatal if you're a Democrat looking at reelection.

BAIER: George, at the same time the House Majority Leader, Republican Eric Cantor, raising security concerns about the website still, saying that there's a report out saying that the health care industry by far will be the most susceptible to public disclosed and widely scrutinized data breaches in 2014, saying he's going to take up security breach legislation next week, saying that this potentially is another huge problem and he's been bringing it up for months.

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Once you start getting the public anxious about both the confidence and the honesty of government you can't hermetically steal it. Immigration is already going to be a casualty in this because immigration requires with the e-verify system and all the rest gathering vast droves of information and administering them competently. People have their doubts about this.

And this is going to be -- Charles mentioned there's an ad being run against Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire that says in November if you like your senator, you can keep her. If not, you know what to do about it. That's going to be a very effective line.

But the attorneys general who've raised all the questions about the so-called enforcement discretion where the president changes dates, there's a bigger one. You gave all the figures about so many state exchanges, federal exchanges. The law is really clear. The IRS may administer subsidies to those who purchase insurance through the state exchanges, not through the federal ones. The IRS, lawless as it have now become, says, oh, heck, what's this among friends? We will now administer this through the federal exchanges. Some attorney generals are going to court and this is going to be fought.

BAIER: By the way you recovered with the number of --

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes, and I will run in 2016 as a result.

BAIER: Alright, that's it for the panel, but stay tuned to see a twist on the term "air ball."

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