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FOX "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" - Transcript: HealthCare.gov Glitches

Interview

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WALLACE: Peter Doocy -- Peter, thank you.

Let's bring in two lawmakers at the center of this debate. Here in Washington, California Congressman Xavier Becerra, head of the House Democratic Caucus. And from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, vice chair of the House Commerce Committee, which is investigating the troubled rollout of ObamaCare.

Congresswoman Blackburn, HHS Secretary Kathleen is finally going to testify, before your committee this week, on Wednesday, what are the one or two top things that you want to find out from her?

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R-TENN.: Well, we want to figure out from here is number one, how much money has been spent, is being spent, and is going to be spent on this Web site and on the problems that are there. And number two, we have privacy concerns with individual's information making sure they are going to be protected. And number three, we want to look at the expectations. What they expect people are going to see on this Web site and when? When they think it's going to be fixed?

WALLACE: Congressman Becerra, even as a supporter of ObamaCare, you've got to have questions for Secretary Sebelius. What do you think she needs to explain to the committee and to the American people?

REP. XAVIER BECERRA, D-CALIF.: Chris, perhaps the most important thing is to tell us when she really believes that we're going to have the Web site up and running the way it should. The administration, the president, everyone now is saying by Thanksgiving, people should be able to go through it.

BECERRA: That's going to be important because you want to give people the time to look over their choices, so that when they do decide, they're ready to go.

WALLACE: Here's how Secretary Sebelius explained the problems with the rollout this week. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: I think that their -- in an ideal world, there would have been a lot more testing. We did not have the luxury of that with a law that said it's go-time on October 1st.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: Congresswoman Blackburn, are you satisfied with that explanation? Should Secretary Sebelius resign? Should President Obama fire her?

BLACKBURN: Well, we want her to talk with us before she is out the door. But I tell you -- the incompetence in building this Web site is staggering. When I am talking to health care officials an constituents, they're saying how can you expect the government to handle one sixth of the economy when there is this type of staggering in incompetence on a Web site rollout?

WALLACE: Congressman Becerra, accountability -- you know that if this happened in the private sector, somebody would pay with their job. There is not a chance in the world that this would happen at Apple or Google that somebody wouldn't be fired. Should there be accountability in the federal government?

BECERRA: No doubt there should be accountable. Anyone who got paid by the taxpayers, whether it's those private contractors who got taxpayer money, whether it's the health agency personnel who got money, or whether it's members of Congress who are responsible for the oversight this plan, everyone should be accountable.

But the most important thing right now is making sure we fix the website not fixate on the Web site. And certainly, I hope that no one is talking about shutting down something new now with the health care Web site, because what we want to do is see all those young people and older folks access good get health care.

A gentleman, Andrew Stryker (ph), who's been interviewed, who's from Los Angeles, my city, 34 years of age, three hours to get on that Web site. But what he also says is he saved $6,000 by getting on to this Web site and getting a new policy.

So, three hours, unacceptable. Six thousand dollars savings, that's what you want to see.

WALLACE: Well, look, as we --

BLACKBURN: Well, Chris, let me --

WALLACE: Go ahead.

BLACKBURN: Let me point out one thing. This is a continuation of hearings that we have been doing at Energy and Commerce since March of 2011. We've had a dozen or so hearings that focus on the rollout of ObamaCare. And what is troubling is that repeatedly, we have had administration officials, whether it's the secretary, Marilyn Tavenner from CMS, Gary Cohen from CCIIO who have said, don't worry, or even the contractors who said, don't worry, we're all on track.

And now to find out there was no in the end testing, saying we're not focused on the integration, and that people are being disenfranchised and money wasted, we find that portion of it unacceptable. And I think it is going to -- it does not bode well for what is going to happen to people when they get into the system.

WALLACE: All right. I want to -- Congresswoman, I want to move forward and we're going to get to exactly some of your issues because as we discussed with Governor Jindal, the Obama administration now says the Web site is going to be up and working by the end of November. But is only to give people two weeks to sign up by December 15th, if their health insurance has been canceled, and a lot of people are having their health insurance canceled, which raises the question -- does this whole thing, the enrollment, the penalties, the mandate, does it need to be delayed until they get everything worked up and to give people adequate time to get on the system and to figure out what health insurance they want, Congresswoman?

BLACKBURN: Yes, absolutely. We should have a delay. I wrote HR-2809 which is a one year delay of all things ObamaCare and there should be a suspension of the law to allow people to review this process and I'm pleased that so many Democrats are joining me now and saying, yes, indeed. There should be a suspension because there are too many problems not only with the enrollment but with the mandates, the taxes, the fees, and the penalties.

WALLACE: All right. Let's get into this, because a lot of people may not understand. There is not only an individual, there's not only an employer mandate, there is a coverage mandate that according to ObamaCare, each insurance policy sold has to meet certain standards for the number of benefits. And that's creating a problem. Let's put it in the screen.

Congressman Becerra, in your state of California, Kaiser Permanente canceling the policies of 160,000 people. That's half of its individual business. Florida Blue is terminating 300,000 policies, 80 percent of its individual business.

Is it fair to say to someone, look, this Web site isn't going to be up and fully running until the end of November, but you're going to have to decide on a policy by December 15th -- basically two weeks -- or else you will be uninsured because your old insurance policy was canceled?

I mean, why not do what the Senate Democrats are doing and just delay it?

BECERRA: Well, Chris, the good news is that Americans have six months to go ahead and enroll. If you enroll by --

WALLACE: But if your policy is canceled, then you're out of luck on January 1st.

BECERRA: And there we have to talk to those private health insurance companies who are dismissing people who have insurance. That's the beauty of this new health security law is that no longer will we see that because people now will have access to a choice --

WALLACE: By law, they have to take them out if by January 1st, their policy doesn't meet the ObamaCare standard.

BECERRA: Those policies which were policies that didn't give real good coverage may have to end. But if you applied by December 15, you're set. If you don't apply by December 15th, what you're typically going to find is that by January 31st or February 1st, or new policy will kick in.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: You're uncovered.

Let me just ask you --

BECERRA: But remember, you've got 700,000 Americans who today have already applied.

WALLACE: They've applied. They haven't enrolled.

BECERRA: They've applied. They finished all their paperwork. So, now, they're just waiting to hear, and on January 1st, they will be able to start their coverage. And that means over 100,000 in California.

WALLACE: I want to bring up Obama's promise, his biggest promise as he was selling ObamaCare. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you've got health insurance, you like your doctor, you like your plan -- you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Congressman Becerra, as I just pointed out in your state of California, 160,000 people are being kicked off by Kaiser Permanente because their plan doesn't meet the ObamaCare standard. The president is breaking that promise.

BECERRA: So, Andrew Striker (ph) from Los Angeles, California, 34-year-old male, is getting off of his current policy because it's not -- he's paying about $600. And what he found he got on the Web site was that he was going to save about $6,000 in the year. About 60 percent of the Americans who go on to the Web site --

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: Chris --

BECERRA: If I could just finish the point, Chris, of -- about 60 percent of Americans who go on to Web site will find that they will qualify for a plan that costs about $100 or less per month. That's far better than they have right now.

BLACKBURN: Chris, let me get into that.

(CROSSTALK)

BECERRA: They need to give it sometime so we can see it work.

BLACKBURN: I've got to tell you -- let -- here is a couple of things. What we're finding from the state exchanges where there is data is most of what you're seeing is the expansion of Medicaid. Already, we have Medicaid, a program with a $43 trillion unfunded liability.

So, set that part aside. And that's what they like to tell.

What you're talking about specifically with policies being terminated, we hear these stories every single day from something business owners and individuals, that individual market places being so adversely impacted. These individuals, you're exactly right, come January 1, they have no access to health insurance.

What we are seeking to do is to make sure that they -- if they do have something, that they are able to keep it. What the president said is turning out to be a falsehood --

WALLACE: All right.

BLACKBURN: -- because they are not able to keep that and they are desperate to figure out what they're going to do for coverage, and by the way, it is costing them more than they are currently paying because they have a policy that meets their needs.

WALLACE: Congressman --

BLACKBURN: And now, they're saying you can no longer have it. WALLACE: We're going to have to end this conversation, but guess what? It's going to continue and I also, Congressman, I owe you to come back to talk about immigration reform, which I promise we will do. And we will be watching this week to hear what Secretary Sebelius has to say to the congressional committee.

Thank you both for coming in.

BECERRA: Thank you.

BLACKBURN: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, our Sunday panel joins us to weigh in on the ObamaCare rollout. Is fixing the Web site the end of the problem or just the start?


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