Thomas Roberts   |  October 24, 2013

Obamacare: Finger pointing abounds

The contractors behind Obamacare's flawed website are in the hot seat on Capitol Hill. Rep. Charlie Rangel and Corey Hebert discuss.

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

>> all of this as the white house makes a move to delay the deadline by sign up for six weeks. some red- state democrats question whether that's even long enough.

>> this should be a transition year. for one year, there should be no fines. there are a lot of problems and they've identified and everybody's recognized them. let's fix it. kathleen sebelius continues to play defense with the chorus of calls for her to resign growing. today 32 republicans signed a letter calling for her departure and her exit would be much ado about nothing.

>> some people are calling for her to be fired. to me that's kind of like firing captain smith on the titanic after it it hit the iceberg. it's not going to do much right now.

>> president obama is trying to move on legislatively move on. he renewed calls as we watched there on other parts are of his arc jenneda on immigration reform in the last ten minutes and saying he has nothing to lose because he doesn't have to worry about getting reelected again. there are serious questions by oversights to be asked about obama care's website and the 2.0 website patches and fixes to streamline what americans say they want. they want affordable health carry, can house republicans drop the drama and ask fact-buysed questions or sk act happier like p -- let's dive in on this. a lot is going in washington and as we know, there are serious questions to ask about what took place with the website. contractors on the hot seat and next week we have kathleen sebelius . there is no way to track the deluge they received from americans that were interested and then we get an essentially don't blame us response. colleagues are yours are calling for consequences. representative nolan saying president obama needs to man up. nelson says it's inexcusable, someone ought to be fired and someone ought to lose their job on this and this is what you had to say on our air that this is like a pimple on an elephant's back side and you were quoted as saying it's screwed up. who deserves the blame here?

>> blame? we have tense of thousand we have tenses of thousands people applying for health care and that didn't work. it didn't work with social security the first time it was rolled out. it didn't work with medicare the first time it was rolled out. presidents bush, section d for prescription drugs. you know, i just can't believe that republicans all have this obsession to destroy a plan that would provide health care . so this is a glitch. i'm not belittling. i wish we didn't have it, but my god, we've got until the end of march to straighten out these things and i never thought when i went to congress over 40 years ago that my biggest problem with health care was taking care of the overwhelming number of people who are either under or uninsured.

>> or that the advent of the internet is what's standing in the way of everybody. let's talk about this because this is a huge lift, a heavy lift to the social contract to the country trying to get affordable, accessible health care and with the government's help and helping people to the private insurers. we have to get the young people 's attention and get them in the boat to help them float the cost of what it will be for americans in this country.

>> one of the major problems we have is that most americans already have health insurance or medicare or medicaid and so it's these working hard people that are treeing desperately hard to understand how can i get it and now we're saying this we should fire everybody because we've had glitches. i would hope that we could take the other attitude and say my god, this is overwhelming. this is what we thought would happen and it it did happen. i wish we were better prepared for it.

>> what's the boehner way to say about wishes and nishg ols because his politico points out this morning that the hearings will run by the same house republicans who don't want the law in the first place and have a disastrous government shutdown to prove it.

>> the americans united for change said you can call it as hypocrisy, but that would be an insult to hypocrites. do you think the republicans are stepping in a witch hunt because it doesn't seem that the authenticity is there to fix the problems as much as it is to pan obama care.

>> you know, zee to find out who with the heck is the republican party because i think it was proven when we saved the nation from a fiscal catastrophe. when we re-opened government there were good -- not good, there were republicans that joined up with democrats and so it meant the majority of the members of the house of representatives was the afford. there's no question in my mind that the majority of the members of the house of representatives want health care , want immigration reform , but there are one group of republicans that call themselves the tea party that when you say obama even if it means bringing down the country they're against it. without their support boehner cannot be their speaker. when he becomes a patriot instead of a republican america wins.

>> representative charlie rangel , good to have you.

>> this conversation will continue and our big question for you at home today as unity among the democrats seems to be crumbling in the wake of the botched obama care roll out, weigh in with your comments on twitter and facebook. do you think people should take responsibility for it and that someone needs to be a scapegoat in this instance.

>> some are calling it a delay and others a six-week slide and they're calling it a clarification to the penalty deadline. a wrinkle in the law had suggested that most people would have to sign up by mid-february to avoid penalty for the year and yesterday the administration said people won't incur that penalty as long they sign up by march 31st . it has been the last day of the official open-enroll want period. health sciences professor at lsu and ceo of blackhealth sir, great to have you here and i want to talk to you about the hearing going on capitol hill and you have the house, energy, and commerce committee in search of the health care .gov website. i want to play a shawl portion of it. take a listen.

>> was it ever an option to delay going live on october 1st ? did any of you come forth to the administration and say this thing may not be read owe october 1st . we want a delay until we can get it right? any hands up? i mean, either you didn't know about these problems or you knew about them and chose not to disclose them.

>> we expressed all of those concerns and risks to cms throughout the project.

>> do you believe it's going to be necessary to scrap the entire health care .gov system and start from scratch?

>> i do not, sir.

>> so the contractors, doctor, are blaming the centers for medicaid and medicare service on this. in your estimation and what you know of the industry, where do you think the blame belongs?

>> this kong rshl hearing actually looks like a bad three stooges or abbott and costello . who's on first? they're just pointing at everybody. the point is that it wasn't ready october 1st for the rollout, with but issue though, the bigger issue is that this website is only trying to just enroll people. it does not give insurance. it does not provide health care so there's really no excuse for this company cgi not to have done this appropriately so everything has to fall directly on their shoulders because everyone there is basically a subcontractor of cgi. the question of privacy, doctor, which led to a relatively heated exchange and i want to play that portion. take a look.

>> yes.

>> i am trying to tell you that the problem here --

>> disrespecting american citizens --

>> it is a legitimate concern of this committee.

>> hipaa doesn't apply. there's no health information in the process. you were asked about your address, your date of birth and you are not asked health information so why are we going down this path? because you are trying to scare people so they don't apply and so therefore the legislation gets delayed.

>> is that what they're doing, intimidation, doctor, or scare tactic about a potential privacy issue basically of creating a problem that doesn't really exist?

>> that is a pure, republican smoke screen, once again, intimidation factors from wanting people to get involved. 51% of americans still don't know what the affordable care act is. so republicans , once again, when they have the bully pulpit they will constantly try to discredit everything and that is not right. this is a policy issue not a computer issue.

>> we'll still talk about it. dr. cory aber, thanks for joining us, sir. appreciate it.

>> thank you.

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