Krauthammer: White House knows ObamaCare is a disaster, is 'bailing the water out of the boat every hour and every day'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 12, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Is it all smoke and mirrors? HHS touting new enrollment numbers. They say the number grew to 365,000. But what about the millions of people who lost their insurance plan? Is the Obama administration only painting the picture it wants you to see?

Charles Krauthammer joins us. Nice to he see you, Charles.


VAN SUSTEREN: They are quite pleased with this - 365,000 and change.

KRAUTHAMMER: Yeah, they are about as trustworthy as Soviet numbers on the production of steal. Look, they have dribbled out all kinds of numbers and they sound impressive. But every one is meant to sound impressive and hide the real truth. For example, they tell us about the millions who have been on the website. In fact, the one-third of a million who have supposedly enrolled, well, they haven't enrolled. They have put stuff in their shopping cart. None of them have reached the cash register. They are going to show up at their doctor's offices on the first of January and then they will discover whether or not they really are enrolled.

The traditional definition, the 100-year-old definition of enrolling for health insurance is you send a check in for your premium, your first premium, to your insurer. You are then enrolled and you are insured. Nobody has sent a check. And we have no idea how many are enrolled. And, because of what they like to call the "back-end problem," which makes it sound like some kind of obscure arcane problem, the back-end problem means the information about the so-called enrollment. The stuff that's supposed to happen at the cash register, has not reached the insurer. The insurer is oblivious unless the insurer independently, on his own, contacts the person who is getting the insurance, which is being done essentially with phones and by hand. So, we have no idea how many people are enrolled despite the numbers that you hear.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know. They say that number now. But, if that isn't all -- if that is indeed all true -- and I have no reason to dispute anything you have said -- that come January 1, 2, 3, or even 30, all of a sudden, these numbers are going to come crashing down on them. You think they have longer vision on this. I would be worried if I were going out there bragging about the numbers.

KRAUTHAMMER: That's exactly the question you would have asked. When the president of the United States declares over and over again, if you like your plan you can keep your plan, period, knowing, as they all did -- there were huge debates inside the White House -- knowing that the time would come, as it did come in September, October, November, when people who are going to lose their plans in the millions. So you ask yourself the same question, how could the president have run out, and all the others went out, and said, if you like your plan you keep your plan, when they knew there would be millions of cancellation notices going out. I don't have an answer, other than this: They know it's a disaster. They are worried about what's going to happen. All they are trying to do is to bail the water out of the boat every hour and every day, not worrying about the big holes and the leaks and the cracks in the foundation.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, ObamaCare may not be selling like hot cakes. I should say, as an aside, your book is selling like hot cakes?

KRAUTHAMMER: It is selling very well.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's selling very well. Thank you.



VAN SUSTEREN: It's selling, indeed, very well.

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm learning to be humble. It's not easy but I'm trying to.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's really selling like hot cakes. I think everybody is jealous who writes book.

Charles, nice to see you.

KRAUTHAMMER: Thank you very much.