What happened to the 'affordable' in the Affordable Care Act?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 6, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, 'ON THE RECORD' GUEST HOST: Here's a question: What happened to "affordable" in the Affordable Care Act? ACA is what they want it to be known as. Despite skyrocketing costs for patients, for doctors, for employers, the grand prize winner of the Obama videocare contest is called "Forget About the Price Tag."




MACCALLUM: Oh, boy, that was interesting. "Forget about the price tag, forget about the price tag."

"Washington Examiner" chief political correspondent, Byron York, joins us.

Byron, really? Seriously?


MACCALLUM: What do you think about that?

YORK: Well, I don't think that's headed to the top of the charts, let's say that.


But this was a video contest --


YORK: -- that the Department of Health and Human Services held to create a video that would appeal to these young invincibles, people under 30 who don't think they need health insurance. They're healthy, they're probably not going to have a major health problem and they're not interested in buying it. So, this is, apparently, to try to persuade them to do it.

The interesting thing is the "Don't worry about the price tag," which has kind of a double meaning, because, as we know, there are millions of Americans who having had their policies canceled are now facing higher premiums and much higher deductibles, a lot more money out of their pocket. Then, of course, there's the taxpayers' end of this thing, where it's going to cost at least $1 trillion over the next several years.

MACCALLUM: You know, there have been misleading things, obviously, about this program, but then to have the young girl singing, "Don't worry about the money," you know, and President Obama comes out and says, look, you can get a policy. If you're young, if you're one of these young invincibles, you can get something that's very reasonable. The problem is, you might be able to think you get it, but we don't know whether you've actually got it yet. And we're seeing that if a ton of them don't sign up, we're not going to have that low price tag, right?

YORK: Exactly. The reason they're pushing so hard for these young invincibles is that they need them in the risk pool. They need people who are young and who do not need health care, who won't be, you know, having serious illnesses, to be paying for their insurance, so it will pay for the older, sicker people in the risk pool. I mean, that's the whole point of this, and they're not getting enough. And from what we know right now, people in that age group are not terribly interested in this.

We saw this poll from Harvard, and it asked, you know, do you approve of this health program that's been passed and is going into effect, and 57 percent said they don't, and they're not particularly interested in getting involved.

MACCALLUM: I mean, that is really stunning. And you look at the rollout, you look at this music video that we just saw, you look at the president saying, you know, talk to your bartender, you know --


-- get him to sort of promote this program, I mean, get your parents on board when you go home for Thanksgiving. And that Harvard study shows that the exact opposite is happening. If there's one thing know about young people, they like a website that, you know, that works. They like it to be easy, they like to get on, have it happen quickly.

YORK: Yeah, and the Obama administration has been working really hard to try to crack the code to figure out what appeal will actually work. But it may be that there isn't anything that will work, because these are a group of people who really don't feel they need health coverage. And it's going to cost them some money. The president keeps saying, well, it will cost you less than your cell phone and your cable TV, but it's going to cost them money that they weren't spending before, if they weren't insured. So, it's a hard sell for a lot of people.

MACCALLUM: All right. Byron, thank you. Good to see you tonight.

YORK: Thank you, Martha.