Meet the Press   |  December 22, 2013

Schumer, Coburn debate new Obamacare regulation

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Tom Coburn visit Meet the Press to defend the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the effects of its latest exemption.

Share This:

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

>> i want to bring in two voices in this fight. senator schumer from new york, senator coburn from oklahoma. welco welcome. here was the heading on the wall street journal . obama repeels obamacare. under pressure from senate democrats , the president partly suspends the original mandate. oeb's make it up as he goes improvisation will continue because it's failing. true or false?

>> false. i think what most americans want us to do is not repeal obamacare but fix it. the president is working to fix it, we are working in the senate to fix it, we urge our republican colleagues to join us in fixing it. the bottom line is there are a lot of good things in obamacare that people like, and the more people see that, the more positive it's going to be. and i would just say one other thing with all the focus on obamacare, david. the number one issue in the 2014 election is not going to be obamacare or the deficit. it is going to be who can get the middle class going again? who can expand middle class incomes, who can create jobs? that is far and away the issue that most americans care about.

>> fair enough. that's going to be the argument. but senator coburn, you know your colleagues, especially those who are running for tough seats in the south, they're going to make obamacare an issue and they're going to focus on the thought that government seems to make changes to pacify critics. is that the wrong thing to do?

>> i think they ought to talk about health care and what we're for rather than continuing to talk about what we're against. look, obamacare right now causes people to spend more money, have less choice, have a higher deductible and have less freedom. the rollout and the ideas behind the fact that the federal government could manage appropriately, one-sixth of the economy is proving itself erroneous. what i would say is we need to change health care , but what they've done, you can't fix this mess. the insurance industry , the indemnification industry, regardless of what you think about the insurance companies , it is on its ear now. and the fact that they granted people a hard exemption, everybody who signed up that had a high deductible policy should go and cancel today and ask for what is being granted to those people who have it.

>> i want to focus on that, senator shchumer, because that's the issue. i'm looking at a mandated delay for those who lose insurance, you have the small business exchange site delayed a year, a mandate was delayed until 2014 . does the original mandate survive? that is the one thing that makes health care go, because you make younger, healthier people buy insurance to pay for older, sicker people.

>> i think it does, and let's not forget all the good things that are happening. if you have a child with cancer, you couldn't get insurance because of preexisting condition. what agony. now it is there. ask and if you repeal the original mandate altogether, that would no longer exist. as i said, as we move on here to 2014 , i'm finding here in new york, our exchange is working, we have competition on it, the website is good. people are saying, wow, i am getting better care at a lower cost. i think that's going to preface what's happening in the country. there have been a lot of glitches, a lot of problems, but they're getting fixed. and six months from now, many more people will see the positives rather than the negatives.