Meet the Press | October 27, 2013
>>> you. obama care fix is on, but will it work? here are some of the latest developments. the end of november is the timeline the administration is now targeting to have the obama care website running smoothly. the latest report is that 700,000 applications have been filed but nobody will say how many have actually enrolled. secretary kathleen sebelius is to testify this week before congress as some republicans continue to call for her ouster. and even democrats now are urging change, ten senators calling for open enrollment to be extended beyond the current end date of march 2014 . we wanted to help you understand some of the impact of the president's health care plan around the country. we're going to talk to the ceo of florida's largest health insurer cancelling 300,000 of its policies just this week. we're going to talk to him in just a moment. but first i want to turn to democratic senator steve beshear , republican governor john kasich in neighboring ohio . i wanted to take this out of washington because in kentucky you set up your own health care exchange. in ohio , governor kasich, you declined to do so until the federal government comes in to do that. let me start with you. the president says there is no excuse for this terrible rollout for obama care through the website. are you as frustrated with how all of this has started? governor kasich?
>> is that to me?
>> yeah. well, look, david , the problem is obama care doesn't control costs. secondly, it's going to drive up the costs for the vast majority of ohioans. it threatens business to grow beyond 50 employees, and frankly, what i think has to concern everybody, this economy is stalled and people don't know what the future is going to bring. and when people are uncertain about the future, they sit on their wallets, and that's why we're not seeing the kind of economic growth that we need to see that's so vital to create new jobs here in the state of ohio .
>> that's the argument against obama care, but obama care is here. i'm asking specifically about the damage done by a troubled rollout that you're seeing in your state.
>> well, that's got everybody just shaking their heads. and that's like three things. the government almost shut down. now they're tapping somebody's phone and now this thing. this is creating an issue of confidence in the minds of the american people and doubt with people around the world, which is really serious. now, here's what i think, david , at the end of the day . i think people need to sit down. the obama administration needs to open itself up and figure out how we can get some sort of bipartisan movement moving forward. we sit in a room, we figure out what's good, what's bad, how do we fix it. the problem is in washington, they talk past each other and can't seem to get anything done and it doesn't seem to make any sense.
>> we start with what is the law of the land . the governor doesn't think it's going to work, but now, this is the plan and it's not working when it comes to limitation. how disappointed are you with this rollout where you think you have a good story to tell because you set up your own exchange?
>> at 12:01 a.m . when our exchange opened up to enrollment, kentucky started swarming all over our exchange, all over our toll free lines, and in about four weeks, we've had over 300,000 kentucky yaians trying to sign up for obama care --
>> mostly medicaid , though. it's not young people getting the insurance plans to really make this system work, correct?
>> of the 26,000, 21,000 are in medicaid , 5,000 are in qualified health plans, but we've got another 10,000 going onto the plans that are in the process of choosing. you know, it's a lot quicker to get somebody enrolled in medicaid once you find out they're eligible. when you go to the plans, they've got to look at all the details and pick the plans that they want. you know, this is working in kentucky . we had and have some of the worst health statistics in the country. and it's been that way for generations. the only way we're going to get ourselves out of the ditch is some transformational tool. that's what the affordable care act is going to do for us.
>> how frustrated are you at the troubled rollout at the federal level which is impacting, what, 36 states that have not set up their own exchanges?
>> number one, i'm happy about kentucky . number two, the thing is not working on a federal level yet, but it's going to. the advice i would give the news media and the critics up here is take a deep breath. you know, this is a process. everybody wants to have a date where they can declare victory or defeat or success or failure. that's not what this is going to be all about. it took us about three years to get medicare really working the way it should, and this --
>> the president is the one who said, if this is going to be successful, you've got to get young and healthy people signed up by a date certain or else the model doesn't work to keep premium prices down. is it the news media doing that, or is it the ones who drafted the law who says, this has to happen or else it can't work?
>> in kentucky , about a third of folks going on medicaid and getting qualified health care plans are under 30 years old. that's what's going to happen around this country. people are going to sign up for this. it will take a while to get it in process, but i guarantee we'll make it work because it's good for the american people .
>> governor kasich, i assume --
>> one thing i have to tell you, the rollout is the least of the problem here. the rollout looks like a disaster, but in my state most ohioans are going to pay higher cost. in fact, this is not going to control health care costs. here in ohio , we have reduced our medicaid growth from 8 or 9% to less than 3%, and we believe we have to have significant payment reform, that when people do the right thing to drive towards quality and lower prices, there ought to be a sharing of the savings among everyone. i mean, the problem with obama care is it doesn't get to the nub of the problem, which is higher health care costs that have been out of control. when you roll it out, if it rolled out perfectly, it's not going to achieve what america wants. that's the difficulty here.
>> you took on your legislature because you said we need to accept federal money for medicaid because you said it's more important when you go to heaven than whether you kept government small is what did you do for the poor? you seem to be articulating a view that's not just compassionate but reflects the belief that the more people you help that ultimately you can control costs that way. if there's more health care , better health care for more people in ohio , costs will have to come down. so how were you not in line with what the president believes about the potential strength of obama care?
>> well, first of all, david , as you can tell, i've articulated my opposition to obama care. but chief justice roberts gave every state an opportunity to try to get federal dollars to improve medicaid . now, we have many mentally ill people in this country who are being treated terribly. we have people who are drug addicted and drug addiction is in every demographic, every race, every income level. and we also have many veterans who are covered. so ohio gets a good deal. we get $14 billion of ohio money back to ohio to deal with some of the most serious problems. and, you know, i'm not going to ignore the mentally ill and i'm not going to ignore the drug addicted or veterans or very poor working people on my watch. but that doesn't mean i embrace obama care because i don't think it's right. we have our own program that reduces medical costs, we have our own private sector in a payment reform that we believe will improve quality in lower cost. that's the direction we ought to be going, not some laboratory, cooked-up -- i'm convinced the people who created obama care never worked in business and probably never spoke to a businessperson as they were putting this together.
>> what do you believe, governor beshear , is the ultimate future of this program? does somebody have to get fired before they get it right at the federal government ? and to governor's key point, although you might take on since there are a lot of remnants of health care that goes back to mitt romney who certainly was in business when he was the governor of massachusetts laying out that plan, will prices stay low enough for consumers to justify obama care?
>> yes. i believe it's going to be the case.
>> should somebody get fired for how poorly the rollout has gone so far?
>> i'm not going to give the president advice on hiring and firing, but when things go wrong, like they go wrong in our state, i take responsibility for it and i fix it. that's what secretary is sebelius and the president are doing, they're taking responsibility for a bad rollout. they're going to fix it. everybody needs to chill out because it is going to work. these plans and medicaid are directed toward prevention and wellness, and that is the future of health care , and i think everybody knows it.
>> all right, i'm going to leave it there. governor beshear , governor kasich, a lot more to discuss on this as time goes on. i appreciate both your time this morning. thank you very much.
>> thank you.
>> thank you.