Meet the Press   |  November 03, 2013

How can young people get involved in health care programs?

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick discusses the involvement of young people in public health care programs and how to encourage that demographic to join.

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

>> here's what the " washington post " reports this morning. the a nnatomy of this debacle, and it quotes president obama as saying, it's the website that's set up. all of that is well and good, in other words, other things they're doing to get people enrolled, but if the website doesn't work, nothing else matters. and yet you're saying this morning that the website is not health care , it's just a website.

>> if the website is permanently flawed, we've got a serious problem. but we've got a rollout problem for what, three or four weeks? it took us two years to get our website right in massachusetts . and now we have virtually universal coverage, 90% of our residents have a primary care physician , we are healthier, it has not broken the budget, more businesses offer insurance to their employees than ever before, one of the highest levels in the country, and it is approved by 84% of our population. i think that what this whole situation has pro dusd duced is actually a favor for the white house and the president. i, among others, have always been saying the president needs to be out talking about the fundamental good the affordable care act does for people, and this is provoking him to do so, and that's a great thing.

>> well, i'm not sure he considers it a lesson. here's the final point. this is critical to me. how do you know, how can you ensure that young people who don't feel they need health insurance are ultimately going to sign up to get the health insurance ? and if that doesn't happen, this model doesn't work nationally.

>> that's a key issue, and it was for us in massachusetts , the so-called invincibles, those young, healthy, mostly men who are, in fact, free riders , and there are some 30 million free riders in the united states , people who get their health insurance -- excuse me, get health care but don't contribute to the system, and the rest of us pay for it in our premiums and in taxes. and the mandate requires a basic principal of insurance, basically, which is everybody gets insurance, so you spread the risk and begin to bring the cost down. that's what happened in massachusetts , and in time that's what will happen with the nation.

>> that's a big if, right? on a thasnational level, that's a big if.

>> actually, it's not a big if. we have experience in massachusetts , and it's shown to be not only wildly successful but wildly popular. if we're going to have states be models of democracy, let's not have them be stuck in the lab, let's scale them, and that's exactly what the