Alex Witt   |  October 26, 2013

Office Politics Part I: Krystal Ball talks ACA

In Part I of Office Politics Alex Witt talks with MSNBC colleague and co-host of "The Cycle", Krystal Ball about the problems with the ACA’s website.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in this week's office politics , crystal ball . crystal has been very critical of the botched health care rollout because with crystal it's personal.

>> i'm really quite furious. look, going back to when i ran for congress, i ran on obama care, right? i went in the red district of virginia, went to tea party meetings and said this is going to be great. wait until you can see it. you can log to the exchange and buy health care . even you, as skeptical as you are, as much as you hate this thing, you're going to love it. i feel angry about that. i feel angry about the fact that republicans have made this argument that it's going to be a catastrophe and government can't work. and now we're providing them with all sorts of ammunition. but more than that, i'm concerned, as you are saying, this is going to have a real measurable impact on the actual law. because the longer that this goes. and right now we have no end in site for the website being properly operational, the longer this goes, the fewer people you are going to have. and even for things like, you know, texas is a very large state with a lot of uninsured people. we want them to go forward with the medicaid expansion. we have been trying to pressure them to do that. when they see how poorly this has gone, are they going to feel pressure with medicaid? absolutely not. i think it's incredibly damaging. i think we can get past it. i think the law will still ultimately be a success. but it's a huge problem.

>> but have you heard any reasonable explanation or just a bunch of excuses?

>> it's a lot of excuses. one thing you may not know about me is several lives ago i actually worked for the main contractor , cgi federal. that is the main contractor in charge of this website. i'll tell you how this works. i'm sure they worked with the department of health and human services before. they knew the backend database already. they knew the people involved. so they had an edge in terms of the contracting process. that's the way a lot of federal contracts are awarded. it's the company that knows the most how to work that process.

>> the insider?

>> absolutely. it's not just isolated to this project. it's a system wide problem. ultimately, whether it's the contractor's fault or a subcontractor's fault, ultimately, the government is in charge of making this thing successful. and this website is a critical part of the signature achievement. and my mind is blown that it has gone this poorly.

>> do you hold the president account bible in any way?

>> i do. yes, i do. and i hold kathleen sebelius accountable too.

>> do you want her to leave her post?

>> i don't know if i want to go that far, but it's a reasonable question to ask, though. this is the first entryway for millions of americans to buy health insurance . it is mission critical . i thought this president, as well-run as his campaign has been, as tech savvy as he is, would have this thing nailed, that it would be double, triple, quadruple checked. and it wasn't that. it was barely tested before it rolled out. it crashed immediately. the information past the insurers is not even correct.

>> how long does the president have to fix it?

>> the date people keep talking about is december 15th . it's the end o when you can sisign up for health care and have it at the end of january another critical point is march. you have to have it by the end of november or it's a major more.

>> more at 12:00 noon. we discuss gop attacks on the president. and what happens when one of the other hostst tries hone in on our conversation. guess who that might be? .

>>> a study of one chicken-based food that may convince you to find something else to