Meet the Press   |  January 05, 2014

Health Care, Economy Lead 2014 Debate

A Meet the Press roundtable forecasts 2014's upcoming political issues.

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

>> the year of action is what president obama said it would be, so how does he take the president sit back?

>> it starts with making sure obamacare works. i asked someone what their january would look like, and they ticked off a whole bunch of issues. they sort of left out health care completely, and i said, so what does health care look like? well, they said, as long as everything continues to get a little bit better, a little bit better, they think they can somehow ease things. ultimately, no matter what, they would like to be talking about anything other than health care . they prefer nsa reforms which is unpopular.

>> they like this fight because they want credit for a good year, right?

>> they do. the economy has gotten so much better over the course of the presidency, and the administration hasn't really been able to capitalize on that. we're under 7% unemployment right now, we need to extend unemployment benefits . that's why the president is engaged in minimum wage , increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, making sure we make investments in transportation infrastructure and the kinds of things that will continue to grow the economy. frankly, chuck, i do think health care is getting better. you can call it what you want , but every single day it gets better for millions of americans, and that's only a good news story for the administration.

>> how does he take it back?

>> i think he has reached a moment that every other president has reached, where he has lost control to shape his own destiny from a public policy agenda. so, congresswoman, as we look at this health care debacle as it's unfolded in the last couple months, we'll find out whether it's a website problem or a structural problem with the program. i believe it's a structural problem with the program, and this is an issue that touches every american, and so i think this will be the dominant political issue, health care , heading into 2014 elections. and i think the president and his team may not want to talk about it, but they have no choice but to deal with it, and it's going to supercede all these other debates because it's so much more personal to people.

>> chuck is right, david. what you're saying is right. they have to get health care right. they've got to work on it. but at the same time, the argument for doing something about the economy, the argument for addressing inequality is such a compelling argument. i think back to the piece in the "new york times" this week. steve rattner had this rescue piece about what to remember about 2014 . it was the year in charts. look what happened with wall street this year. up 30%. what happened to average american wages this year? up 1%. productivity, way up over the last decade. but american wages barely up.

>> this may be an issue that washington actually do something about it. on health care they seemed to have stepped back. they have to wait for the results. it will still be a fight but maybe the economy can be