Meet the Press   |  October 27, 2013

How flawed is the health care law and the politics of parenting

A Meet the Press roundtable discusses the healthcare website and what it means to be a parent.

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

>> governor granholm , how did they box this?

>> the president is so mad about this that he himself will go down and supervises t the writing of code if this is not fix bid the end of november. this will get fixed. the republicans have many opportunities to inflate the website with obama care because they have to justify why they shut down the government for weeks. john kasich when you interviewed him this morning said something very interesting. he said ohioans are not going to pay for the insurance in other states. we pay money for our federal taxes, we're going to get that back. you look at states like texas and texas is going to have all those texans paying for the insurance in california or in michigan? i don't think so. it's a great 2014 issue for both congress and for democrats running for governor.

>> that's not the case. texas is not expanding their medicaid rolls. they're not giving them away because they're not expanding the rolls which is care cost for them, and you know the obama care only pays the bills for a short period of time. 90% but they don't pay the whole thing. again, you're asking people to expand the role of government, and in texas , they don't want to do that. they want to have private sectose sectors --

>> so they'll give those away. the texans pay those taxes.

>> those tax dollars are not paying for obama care.

>> let's not just talk about the expansion of medicaid, though. i think it's very easy to lose me and a lot of our viewers here. keep it to the big question, which is, how did this get botched and what are the consequences of it? there is a model here, and it's only going to work if one thing happens, and that's if young and healthy people sign up.

>> there is a lesson here, and what we're seeing is the collapse and failure of big old dumb, top-down higheirarchical government in washington . it can do a lot of things but it can't deal with the complexities of an adaptive, modern society. if obama care was an anomaly, that would be one thing. but tell me one thing washington is doing a good job at. education, a disaster. social security , it's bankrupt a ponzi scheme . name something washington is doing -- can't manage its fiscal account. they said part of the problem of being president is the government is so vast, you can't know what's going on underneath it. government seems to be expanded? that's the wrong answer.

>> i think millions of seniors thinks social security and medicare are working pretty well, but it's good to know my republican colleagues don't like social security and medicare , which is a long-running one. let me just say about this. obviously there have been challenges. but, you know, i've worked in health care policy for quite a long time, and i remember the rollout of the medical care prescription drug bill, which there were a lot of problems with. and i remember senators, republican senators, saying don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. one of those senators was rick santorum at a hearing saying, you know, let's have patience with this. it's going to work out. and the medicare bill has worked out. that was a complex system. in fact, it was much, much more --

>> it was not a government rollout.

>> it was run by cns just like this is. these are private options just like this is.

>> it's not just like this is. this administration, unlike the medicare prescription drug , this administration had three years, and all of a sudden --

>> it was two and a half years when the government came up with a deal.

>> it's been three years to roll this out and it's been an unmitigated disaster. to compare the minor problems, and they were minor --

>> i think the comparisons are absolutely out there.

>> the thing to put out on the table is to say, look, if republicans -- and we just heard from governor kasich -- is opposed to health care , as if this isn't the law of the land , it's going to be a disaster. we all know if the enrollment problems are not fixed, it's going to be an enormous problem. you know that and the president knows that. but if it does get fixed, then is this the proxy for whether it works? and if there's a solution there, then what goes wrong next?

>> i think republicans understand and need to understand, if they don't, that a website can get fixed. i think as governor kasich was saying, is this emblematic of a bigger problem, and again, as we were talking about before, washington is doing things in an old way. heirarchical top down. what are things that work in our society? things that are natural and bottom up. we make choices and the democrats are in the informity. and here's the political danger, david. there is young voters out there, very independent. they think that old washington doesn't get the world they live in.

>> governor, make a final point on this.

>> final point is they gave the option to go to the states. if the republican party doesn't like the federal government , then the governor should step up like steve beshear did to get this done. this is an argument about a broken website versus a broken political party .

>> let me do one thing before i turn. there is still a test here for whether government can manage this. and i think liberals and conservatives do understand this, because it will affect other priorities. let me turn you to something else that really struck me this week because it's about politics but it's also about parenting. i've got young kids, i think all of us have kids of various ages around the table. it has to do with the maryland attorney general who over the summer was at a party and was looking for his son. and you see him there, this is doug ganser, the attorney general. he's got his iphone out there. he was at the party and later explained it saying he just wanted to talk to his son, but there was apparently underage drinking going on as there probably is at a lot of parties. this is what he said last week when he was asked about it.

>> perhaps i should have assumed there was drinking going on and i got that wrong. what i can tell you is that at no time while i was in the house did i see any teenager in any danger or any risk. there could be kool-aid in the red cups but there's probably beer in the red cups.

>> what should he have done? and i'm not just asking this as a journalist to a politician but as a parent.

>> to defend a democrat, the spirit of bipartisanship, if i've learned anything raising teenagers who are now in their 20s, it's that a parent has to be there. you have to be involved every day. and to his credit, he was. okay? there's going to be a beach week, kids are going to be there. you know what's going to happen, every parent does. but at least he was there and he has rules, and he was trying to enforce them.

>> what rules was he trying to enforce?

>> well, he was there and --

>> but if there's drinking going on and you're a representative of your state.

>> what he did wrong was he acted as a politician and not a parent. he's saying things in that press conference that all of us know are not true to get him in a political situation. instead, what should he have said? i was there, i was going to take care of my kids the best i could, i tried to enforce the rules --

>> look, i have teenage boys and i have teenage girls . my teenage boys and girls do not go tie party where there's drinking, they leave. if they don't leave, i'm going to go and tell the parent that i don't want any activity like that going on where my son or daughter is at. that's what you do as a parent. you stand up and fight for them and you fight for what's right for them, and the fact that he didn't do that -- there was a day when parents actually went to other parents and said, hey, stop doing things that undermine the morals of my children. but i guess we don't do that anymore.

>> we seem to lack community standards in a lot of ways. here's what i find. there is much too much reluctance to say to you, you know, i have a question about what your kids were doing. i have a question about what you were doing at your house when my kid was over there, and can we talk about that?

>> i don't have teenage kids. i have a tween, and i definitely think you have to send the right message to your kids. sanctioning a beach party is not something i would do. but i would say one of the hardest things is there are a lot of parents, when you deliver a message, whether it's bullying or underage drinking , those other parents don't want to hear it. and it is a big tension. to be able to go -- i think he should have gone to other parents. i think he should not have hosted the beach week. that's my personal view of this.

>> i don't know that he was actually hosting it himself, but the point is, too, my wife who is former federal prosecutor says you are either an upstander or bystander. there are laws on the books and he is the attorney general governor . he may say, look, i'm a parent, this is not my place. but he is the attorney general of the state.

>> there is a parental hat, and i hate this story because there but for the grace of god for any of us who have teenagers could act, but as a political hat, he was in a position to be at a place with a bunch of young people drinking who all have cell phones. politically that was not a smart move for him. as a parent, however, he does need to be present. and he made sure there were chaperones there, but the chaperones obviously weren't doing their job if all the underage kids were drinking.

>> the parents did this together. they got that for those kids.

>> here's part of my point. as a politician, you have the spotlight. as a parent, what we parents need to know , my kids are young, 11 and 8, and i'm more worried about technology than i am about drinking and drugs yet. whether it's sexuality, allegations of rape, drugs, all sorts of things can be happen at these parties. we have to have a communication about the legal difficulties and the moral difficulties of doing this. that was a time to have that conversation.

>> when your kids get to be teenagers, all our kids grow old too young and have to deal with things they're not prepared to do. and these things will happen. they're going to find themselves in this situation. step one, i think to ganser's credit, is to be there as a parent. he at least did that. did he make the right call? he should have done something. but let's give the guy some credit. at least he was participating