Meet the Press | March 30, 2014
>>> and we are back. it's a big deadline week. the president's health care law led to last year's government shutdown. the house has voted to repeal all or part of the president's plan more than 50 times. yet, another new poll from the associated press shows support for the law at its lowest level since passage four years ago. health care is the most device ibish in politics today. what does success look like for the obama administration? here's what they said in september.
>> i think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of march, 2014 .
>> that was september of last year. days before the infamous health care website crash. this week the administration decided to hail the fact that 6 million signed up, lower expectations there thanks to the congressional budget office . i'm joined by two experts to discuss its future. jonathan cone senior editor at the flu republic and supporter and avik roy opinion editor at forbes. he's been an ardent critic. you guys do it on the policy front. let's ask this basic thing. 6 million. jonathan , you've been a supporter of this but criticized certain things. should they be spiking the football the way the administration was this week that they got 6 million?
>> i don't know but i take it as a promising sign. there were stories this week about people lining up around the block to sign up in time for the end of the month. we still have a few days to go. i don't know where the final number will end up. we're hearing more stories of people very grateful to get health insurance and people saving money, there's a lot we don't know. you have to weigh the good and bad. but i think particularly looking at where they started, how bad this was, i think this is some good news.
>> they're succeeding with a lower bar of expectations. avik, does this mean the law is unrepealable? there's, too. many people that have health care , throw 6 million in, 4 million more in medicaid, 3 million that have gotten insurance based on being 26 or under, 15 million people this law gave health care to, the law itself is now unrepealable?
>> i don't think that's the word i'd use. i do think those measures or those numbers you just brought up do indicate it will be difficult to repeal. it's called the affordable care act . and is it actually making health care an less expensive? for the people who benefit from the subsidies and those programs, they're going to benefit. but there are going to be a lot of other people who pay higher premiums under obamacare. in michigan, 66% of the study we did that shows how much costs are going up. in iowa, 72%. a lot of people who aren't benefiting from the subsidies are seeing increased premiums.
>> healthier people are paying more than they did before. they seem to be paying -- that's been fair. there's always going to be a winner and loser. jonathan , the question now is, do you look at this and if the makeup is not what they need it to be where there's not enough young healthy people in here, does that mean in september, in september of this year and going into 2015 , we'll see premiums get raised?
>> i mean, it is early still. we don't know the insurance companies don't know, this last minute rush historically young healthy people are the final ones to sign up.
>> that's what they thought in massachusetts.
>> and everything anecdotally we're seeing now suggests that's happening now. it's hard to know. we'll wait and see. the system is designed to have some shock absorbers. if the mix isn't quite right, it should put restraint where the prices go next year. it's going to be 51 different stories. every state and the district of columbia is different.
>> avik, what should be the republican -- you said the republicans dropped the ball a little bit, this he don't have a realistic alternative. what should be their next move now?
>> i've told this to members that i've spoken to. you have to hold the authors of the bill responsible for how it drives up the cost of health care . it's call the affordable care act . a lot of people are seeing increased premiums. next year it's going to be interesting. what we're hearing from insurers thus far, they're expecting double digit increases for the cost of health plans on the exchange in 2015 . we haven't heard how much it the plans are going to cost for employer sponsored for insurance. those things will affect the election for sure.
>> jonathan is any single person in 2014 going to pay the penalty?
>> i think there are people who will pay the penalty.
>> do you? there's so many caveats out of this.
>> i do think people -- we'll wait and see where the premiums come in. they're getting a lot of people in now. there's been this pattern where they always predict the worst. the website wasn't working. no one will sign up. things were okay, but things worked out well. i'm optimistic.
>> there were 50 million when this was signed. when still have 35 million people without health care .
>> the reason why so many people are uninsured in america is because health care is so expensive. if you don't bring the cost down, you won't address the broader patron in this country. that's where they may have struggles later on.
>> i agree with half. there's more to go. i do think the affordable care act , we're seeing health care costs slow down. anecdotally, there's evidence of progress.
>> you guys are two of the most thoughtful guys debating on this on opposite sides.