Meet the Press   |  March 23, 2014

Obamacare America: Better or Worse?

A Meet the Press roundtable discusses how the Affordable Care Act has affected the lives of Americans.

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

>> there is another big issue here, domestically. we are now four years on to obamacare being passed. it was four years ago today president obama signed the affordable care act into law. we know this is a big political issue, rich. the issue is, are americans better off or worse off with obamacare in their life?

>> what we know now, the law is not going to collapse of its own weight which seemed a real possibility when the launch was so botched. but i think it's still pretty grim. if you believe the surveys of people who have signed up for the exchanges, most of them already had insurance which suggests what you have done is a churn where you've knocked people off their old insurance and gotten them on the exchanges. there's not jump upside to that. this thing continues to be a political.

>> mayor, are you proud of this law?

>> very proud of it. rich i wish had been with me yesterday. this is a philly centric panel. at 12th and market yesterdayed out with folks from get covered and enroll america, i walked up to people and asked them, do you have insurance? the answer was no in many, many, many cases. and these are individuals who are now getting affordable health insurance , have been to a number of these forums, $7, $18, $25 a month. five million people have now signed up. so people want health care .

>> it is shy of what they said the goal was.

>> i understand that. you've got as many people as you can. the deadline is the 31st. folks should still continue to sign up.

>> and neck total.

>> it's real. it was yesterday afternoon.

>> are you aware of the surveys by consultancies and others that have asked people on the exchanges whether -- so it's anecdotal. the surveys suggest a lot of these people already had insurance. the fact is there are now republican alternatives that will probably cover more people than obamacare at a fraction of the cost, a fraction of the disruption.

>> republicans have spent more time not trying to undermine obamacare and 50 some odd votes.

>> david, let me settle this.

>> brotherly love here.

>> you guys already have matching ties on.

>> you know, i sort of normally agree with them both a little. as rich said, it's credibility. people are getting coverage. there's no indication to me that the cost controls such as they were are going to have any bite at all. i do not think there will be an individual mandate. i don't think they're going to get enough young people to pay for the old people. we're going to get a program that will insure a lot of people which is good.

>> andrea, what are the implications of the president deciding unilaterally how and when to implement aspects of obamacare? if a republican president were being this selective about the law, that would be anout cry on the part of those who were supporters of obama ca ir.

>> that is one thing that undermines his case against the republicans in congress, stop messing around with the law. what he has said is fix the problems and they did these endless useless votes to try to eliminate the law which they knew they weren't going to win. for him to now be unilarly saying we're not going to implement this and that, it does undermine his case. he issued a statement today saying this is the fourth anniversary and coughs have come down, some of those costs would have come down in nene case because of the continuing slow recovery.

>> a political question . the conventional wisdom is if were a republican, this is a slam-dunk just to foreshadow my coming debate about college sports . this is slam-dunk for you in the midterms. what's the other side of ha? where should republicans be cautious about the argument about obamacare in the maul fall?

>> i do think it's a slam-dunk. it motivates the republican base. at the same time it has appeal to the center. anytime you have an issue like that, that's a winner. i do think there's a danger in a monomanical focus on obamacare to the exclusion of everything else. the republicans don't have to have an agenda on everything else. they should be making the case comprehensively against the president's agenda and come up with possible alternatives.

>> obamacare is here to stay. as a consecutive commentator, is that your view looking at this?

>> no.

>> i think the law has had legitimacy problems since the begin. if you get republican control of government in 2017 which is possible, this thing will be repealed.

>> mayor?

>> that will be very interesting as you know obviously we have a slight difference of opinion.

>> just a slight.

>> just a little.

>> david could work it out. don't worry.

>> but you know again, all the time again andrea mentioned the wastes effort on all of these votes when there are still people hungry in this country, people who needs jobs, workforce development training, all of these votes against the supplemental food program, et cetera , et cetera , et cetera , the party of no is needs to step up to the plate and have real ideas that deal with real people every day all across the united states and america.

>> that's all they want to talk about.

>> there are other alternatives.

>> the final point is --

>> republicans and democrats as they look for the midterms, it was a republican base such as it was that came out in a florida congressional district and not the democratic base. there is no motivating force for democrats to vote in the midterms but republicans the passionate are the.

>> i'm going to make that the last word. thank you all very much for the matching ties. you're off to the vatican, mayor.

>> i am.

>> safe travels. that will be an interesting trip. we look forward to hearing about it.