Meet the Press   |  December 01, 2013

Real test for Obamacare website still lies ahead

Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Mike Rogers visit Meet the Press to discuss the progress on repairs to the Affordable Care Act website.

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

>>> weekend for the future of president obama 's landmark health care legislation, two months to the day since the troubled launch of health, they put out a report this morning saying they're making dramatic progress and the team is meeting with private sector velocity and effectiveness. that's how the website apparently is working. it also says the site's capacity has been expanded to handle 50,000 users at once along with improved response times and decreased error rates. but the obama administration has downplayed expectations in the past week saying the man could actually outweigh capacity, and today's report indicates there is still more work to be done. the real test lies ahead when millions of uninsured americans could try to enroll by an initial december 23rd deadline. we have mike rogers of michigan. he also sits on the on us and commerce committee over the jurisdiction of health and human services . welcome to both of you and welcome to "meet the press "snoochlt.

>> just your reaction to this report. dramatic progress, private sector -like velocity. the promise was for the website to be fully functioning by now. are you satisfied?

>> overstated. have they made some progress and they brought in some folks to try to bring the functionality up. it still doesn't function right. their own cio said he believed that if they had the ability to get up to 80% functionality, that would be a good day for them. so, a, the functionality is right. here's a part of this discussion that nobody talks about. the security of this site and the private information does not meet even the minimal standards of the private sector , and that concerns me. i don't care if you're for it or against it, republican or democrat, we should not tolerate the sheer level of incompetence securing this site. but the hub accesses would expose the people's information which is bad.

>> congressman van hollen, the claims being what they are today still indicate a truth. the washington editorial points it out this morning that while progress has been made, the site is still not today where it was supposed to be two months ago. and yet the promise is to be fully functioning. are you satisfied?

>> well, david, the administration has hit the big benchmarks they set out, right? 50,000 people at one time, 80,000 people in one day. this is going to take some time before it's up and kicking in full gear. i think what we have to look at is those states where you have well functioning web sites like california, like new york, like kentucky. all of them are signing people up. all of them have a good mix of people --

>> but your own state site not furn functioning very well.

>> maryland is a mess. there is no doubt about it. the question is are we going to work together to fix those problems, and there will be additional problems, or are we going to do what the republicans want to do, continue to sabotage the entire effort, even though they don't have an alternative. yes, we should continue to fix it every day. the underlying concept is good.

>> congressman rogers indicates this is also where the president is going to go. he's going to go on the offensive. he's going to argue that republicans are trying to sabotage this instead of getting it right, that they have no ideas of their own. is that what's going to help improvements here to people?

>> this is unprecedented con physician indication of people's health care . here's what i think they're missing. they're trying to make this a political fight. when you have someone who just lost their insurance, and there are millions of people who got cancellation notices, and the next go-round on the business side is 80 to 100 people will get cancellation notices. here's why i think they're missing the boat on trying to make this a political fight between democrats and republicans. a guy grabbed me the other day whose wife is expecting a baby end of december. they got a cancellation notice. if she has the baby in january, he is absolutely apoplectic about how to pay for it. if she has the baby in december, there is no compassion in that. this is happening hundreds of thousands of times all across the country. they're getting ready to close high-risk pools that have cancer survivors , people who are trying to fight cancer are getting thrown out of their high-risk pools at the end of this year. as a cancer survivor , you want your whole focus to be on beating the disease. they're making a horrible mistake by trying to meet this when real people are are getting hurt.

>> there are people who will get insurance who never had insurance, and you have a small piece of the market who may lose plans. many of those may get better