tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News December 11, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
secret? >> have you been to the bunny ranch? >> just a few times. >> don't forget to set your dvr so you never miss "the five." we have a report coming up next. an investigation demanded into her own website launch. this is special report. >> good evening. i'm bret baier. in the midst of the overhaul rollout, president obama is setting reports -- records but not the kind he wanted. his numbers are going historically low as we learn more about the blich field website. we have fox team coverage tonight at the white house with the heavy political price the president is paying.
but we begin with chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel and a tough day at the office for kathleen sebelius. >> he was asked about promises made, the price tag and if she has regrets. >> i've asked our inspector general dan levinson to investigate the development of healthcare.gov, including the overall management of the project and the performance and payment of our contractors. >> and it appears we're having technical difficulties. she was asked questions about the difficult rollout of the obama care website. she did her best to try to explain what they've done to correct it to speed up the process. she hailed new numbers and said there will be an investigation into what went wrong with the initial rollout of
healthcare.gov. a lot of republicans were not satisfied with her answers, some democrats obviously stuck up for the secretary, bret. >> mike, the hearing went back and forth. the numbers she had, $677 million were allotted but she said only $319 million spent so far. some questions, eye browsed raised about that financing. >> definitely about that and also about the numbers in terms of the people who are registered at this point. she said just shy of 365,000 people have selected a plan. the bottom line, some republicans said well if you are buying something, doesn't that involve actual money, a money transaction payment and so obviously they disagree with her assessment about whether people have selected something or made and concluded a purchase of the bottom line to make the goal of 7 million people by the end of march, the administration needs to pick up the pace
substantially in terms of getting people to register. some 50,000 or so aday on average needs to be the number in order to make that goal by the end of march. >> there are -- they are about 3 million short of where the administration expected to be by the end of the year. in the meantime, there is a new flare-up in the u.s. senate over presidential nominees. what can you tell us about. >> you recall the back and forth in the senate between harry reid and mitch mcconnell. reid changes the rules for nominations which angered the republicans, taking away a 60 vote threshold and making it a simple majority. so reid is trying to move through ten nominees and judges and other officials. they can still slow the time and that has angered reed and he has threatened they may have an all-nighter and keep them here through the weekend to get through the ten nominees. >> it could be a long weekend in
the senate. thank you. health care control is number one for the white house tonight. chief correspondent tells us there is much damage to control. >> the president returned after the long flight home from nelson mandela's memorial service and was hit with a new batch of polls suggesting his credibility has taken a toll from the botched health care rollout. >> the president was not truthful with the american people and that's why a majority of the people believe the president is not honest which is why his popularity continues to drop. >> the evidence is stark, with a new wall street journal nbc news poll showing a drop in his honesty and his disapproval hit an all-time high in the journal poll, 54%. his approval slipped to 43%. 50 merced -- 50% said the health care law is a bad idea and 34% said it is a good idea. >> we are folked right now on the president's core priorities
inal opportunity for the middle class and then the poll numbers will take care of itself. >> the aides are facing new questions, about whether consumers who have enrolled will have insurance on january 1st. and there is a is a question that -- is a question about that. >> did you tell us what is being done to get that ready by january 1st, since half of the system according to mr. cho hasn't been built yet. >> the financial system which is getting the insurance companies accelerated tax credits and for cost sharing is due to go into effect in mid january. >> with that system not
completely ready until at least mid january, white house spokesperson john earnest would only say that consumers will be in a position to get insurance if they sign up by the deadline. >> you can't guarantee it? >> no, we are confident that by december 23rd we'll have ironed out these problems. >> so they are confident that people will have insurance on january 1st but republicans noted today that if you count up the people who have gotten cancellation notices which is in the millions compared to the 1.2 million so far enrolled, it appears on the surface that more people have temporarily lost their insurance than have gained, bret. >> and the important thing is they have to pay the premium. it is not just the enrollment. they have to actually make a payment. >> that is right. and if the systems are not ready yet and they are not ready on the back end to process those payments there owe can he -- could be an issue around january 1st. >> thank you. staff members are urged to confirm their obama care
enrollments in person and not to trust what they see on the website. an e-mail sent today warns against assuming that coverage has been granted. staffers have until next monday to sign up. house speaker john boehner today blasted conservative critics of the new budget deal which is la guardia taking fire from the other side of the political aisle. didn't carl cameron on reaction to an agreement that is getting some vocal bipartisan disapproval but quiet and grudging approval from the rank and file. >> reporter: republican house budget committee paul ryan and gop leaders acknowledge the bipartisan budget blue print falls short of conservative goals but call it necessary to end years of budget gridlock and shutdown. >> we have to make a way to get this divided government to work. >> spending levels were set at a little over $63 billion a year.
it increases fees on air travel and other things. if re -- it reduces the budget by $85 billion. they were quick to pan the deal. gop across the capitol cast it as more taxing and spending. >> this can raise taxes and fees and it won't address the long-term overspending problem in washington which is we need to reform entitlements. >> house speaker john boehner fired a missile at them. >> they are using our members and the american people for their own goals. this is ridiculous. listen, if you are for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement. >> speaker boehner trying to brush bank angest. democrats are equally divided by the last-minute deal, they wanted to extend unemployment
benefits, close tax loopholes and increase spending. >> the way the agreement was taking shape would absolutely not be acceptable to members of the democratic caucus. it is now in a form where members of our caucus will have to decide for themselves. >> i don't know where that will come down because as you know, our budget that mr. van hollen and conferrees were putting forth was different. >> harry reid supports the plan. mitch mcconnell who helped craft the budget control act has signaled his opposition to the compromise but may wait to see what the house pas -- passes before saying so. votes are expected by weekend. they have already given up on a farm bill by this weekend and so this will be the last big vote before they race out of town for the holidays. when they return, they will face a new year. >> they've done the head count. >> they know it will be a
squeaker, but these things have been upended a lot in the past. >> thank you. stick around as tom price joins our all-star panel in the center seat. he is the vice chairman of the budget committee and an orthopedic surgeon. do you have something to ask the panel or congressman price? let me know on facebook.com/bret baier or twitter at bret baier and use the #special report. wall street is not impressed with the budget. the dow plunged 130 points and the s&p lost 20 and the nasdaq fell 7. up next, the head of the nsa digs in his heels to represent their acts. ? and a 6-year-old boy suspended from school for sexual hara
harassme harassment. the school defends the action, saying the girl wanted the boy to knock it off. ktbu in oakland on the ntsb report about last summer's crash of an asiana flight in san francisco. the pilot told investigators he was concerned about attempting a visual approach without the instrument landing aids which were out of service because of construction. and this is a live look at atlanta from fox 5. you can't really see much but it is atlanta. the big story there tonight is the latest twist in the case of a high schooler found dead in a wrestling mat. the family wants an investigation into the funeral home when his organs were missing and stuffed with newspaper. that is a live look outside of the beltway with special report. we'll be right back.
a declaration of victory. riot police have withdrawn from two areas in the capital and there is speculation that two weeks of protests have begun to erode police support for the government. protesters are demanding a change after the ukrainian president canceled an agreement with the economic union. the fallout over the security leaks from a former nsa contractor has lawmakers considering changes in the way the country obtains and keeps secrets. chief intelligence correspondent
katherine heritiage has more. >> chief alexander gave a spirited representation of his agency and phone records said it is like holding a hornet's nest. we're getting stung. you've asked us to do this for got of the nation to get the intelligence we need.
nobody has come up with a better way. if we let this down, we're letting the nation down. >>
alexander said the threat was overseas and not domestic. >> we use that determine to determine -- that program to determine none of the leads were coming into the country. >> we give up a lot of privacy in this country and frankly i worry about giving up too much. >> reporter: citing new leaks, including a washington post report alleging the nsa is tracking web traffic using cookies, your computers version of an id card. and they need to scale back collection now, not later. >> i'm worried as technology gets greater and greater, whether it is this administration, the next administration or the next administration after that to misuse it. >> reporter: another questioned whether the u.s. government can remain competitive if the nsa
programs are scaled back or shut altogether. >> we are would be in an arena in which other governments are very active. is that true? >> that is true. >> reporter: republicans said the president seemed disengaged on the debate as he has on other issues. >> he claims he was unaware of the health care website and now he is unaware of the moves of many leaders. >> reporter: on several occasions witnesses said they would prefer to research a question and get back to the committee rather than answer on the spot. bret. >> katherine, thank you. world leaders and souths -- thousands of south africans passed by the body of nelson mandela it. will lie in state two more days before burial on sunday. the man who provided sign language interpretation of yesterday's memorial is said to be a fake. the head of the country's deaf
federation said the man was not signing in any known language. the new york post had some fun with a photo taken of president obama, the first lady and danish prime minister hell thorning submit. tuesday we went dutch and we were supposed to go danish. she is from denmark, not the netherlands. we regret that error. pope francis is time's person of the year. the new pope beat out nsa leaker edward snowden. time said francis has changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time. it is the third time a pope has been the selection. tom price who is also a doctor, talks about his alternative to obama care from our center seat. first the man the president wants as his number two of
senators on the homeland security committee have sent a key nomination on to the senate. how alejandro borges is involved in a scandal that goes to the top of the u.s. senate. >> the office of harry reid put pressure on dhs officials to not allow visas for the sahara casino. according to e-mails obtained by the washington times. >> the applications for visas came through the normal channels and it was rejected on merits but as a result of the political
pressure, the political officials interveebed and -- intervened and they reversed a decision. >> one e-mail said this is going to be a major reid for us because the senator's staff is pushing hard and i just had a conversation on the phone. senator reed has supported and will continue to support the sls project in any way he can. one instrumental in the reversal was alejandro batheras, he is asked to be the number two man today. republicans objected vigorously on that he is under investigation. >> holding this vote in light of the investigation and the serious relevant allegations of professional misconduct and over objection the ranking members
refuse to delay a ut precedent. vote, citing that whistleblowers spoke only to committee republicans and not to democrats. >> this committee majority staff is being denied at least until today the opportunity to actually speak with these people. >> it is no wonder whistleblowers do not want to talk to him or his staff, because their allegations have been dismissed. >> the investigation is said to be completed in february. in the interim, it was been said there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing but has not ruled out lesser misconduct. nine witnesses have yet to be interview interviewed. >> dug, thank you. the staff for lamar alexander's d.c. office has been arrested on child pornography. senator alexander said he has removed the staffer from the payroll and already named a
the number of americans who will actually have coverage effective january 1? >> 365,000 through the end of november have enrolled in coverage and we are dealing with the issuers to confirm their actual -- we are giving you the number of individuals who have chosen a plan. >> but not actually paid their first premium. >> that is correct. >> so you can't guarantee the actual number of constituents that have coverage. >> not until they pay their premium. >> this memo indicates that the target enroll number for december is 3.3 million. based on hhs's release this morning, your department is more than 3 million off the target number, isn't that correct? >> through the end of november, that is correct, sir. >> some of the q&a for hhs secretary kathleen sebelius talking about the numbers of enrollment. and now hhs is putting out the number 365,000.
take a look at the break down. that is october and november of medicaid eligible, 803000 and then the november enrollment 258,000 and then you see the federal and state exchanges. the red are the states running their own exchanges. the blue are the federal-run exchanges. the highest enrolled states are the ones running the exchanges themselves. there are only 110,000 from the federal exchanges. and those are 36 states that the federal government is running. so at this rate, it is going to be tough to make 7 million by march. let's bring in our panel. a little early tonight, stephen hayes, a.b. stoddard, and charles krauthammer, the author of things that matter. a.b., what did you take from the hearing today?
>> well i think that the administration wants to give democrats a reason to believe that they have gotten a fix going on the website that has made it easier for people to enroll and more enrollees are around the corner, more shopping carts, more accounts set up. and the word is they are on track and this number of people are on track to be covered in january. the question, obviously, will be whether or not that people will be ensured in january. and the revelation from kathleen sebelius that they are hand-matching people to insurance companies because of some complications obviously raises a question of how many people will be insured in january. so, you know, to have millions -- a goal of 7 million by march, if you are really truly halfway there in january, great. are those people going to be healthy and young, enough balance with the sick and the old and the risky? we don't know. but at this point, even what
their definition is for on track for enrollment or for insured is still really questionable. >> to that point, hand matching, we are talking about taking forms and saying is this, this guy? does this match up for 7 million people? >> look, we've talked about hand-matching before. they used to call it manual review. we talked about it before. it was something feasible if you are talking about a trickle, if you are talking about a few hundred enrollees coming in and you have to -- you have this bad back-end data coming out and you have to make sure that the people who think they have enrolled have actually enrolled and that the data that the insurers are getting is the same data that was entered in on the front-end. hand matching is something that made sense to do if you have a few hundred or maybe a few thousand people to do it. it is totally unsustainable when you talk about several hundred thousand or 7 million. that is what i thought was the most interesting development out of the hearings today. the other was something you
referred to. the administration, she said they have about 365,000 enrollments as of the end of november. i don't call them enrollments because the people haven't enrolled for a reason that is significant. the administration had projected 1.2 million, so they are well short of the goal for the end of november. there was a very interesting article on propublica today that laid out how many people have paid their first premium. in order to be covered you have to have paid the first premium payment and many brokerage companies said between 5% and 10% of those technically enrolled have paid their actual first premium payment, which means that you are talking about a fraction of even their fraction. so it is worse than she even suggested today and she was admitting today that it was horrible. >> so you are talking about 20,000 to 40,000 people. charles? >> look at every level, every
number that you get on this is either inflated or deceptive. as we just heard from steve, the number of enrollees are not enrollees. it is people who put stuff in their shopping cart. amazon would never call it a sale until you get a sale. and they don't know how many have made the sale. because what they call the back-end, which is the cash register of the whole system, is not working. the idea that you have to hand-match people who paid a premium with the insurers isn't 20th century technology, it is 19th century technology. an insurer has to find the person, call them up, go overall of the details on the form and then adjust them, which of course is impossible to do in any substantial numbers. administration speaks about
having 3 and a third signed up, but there is no way it is conceivable they could sign up that number and even if they did it is not conceivable that they could hand match the information. i think all of this is to aswath -- assuage democrats to hang their hats on that everything is okay on recess but the beginning of january is going to be a train wreck for them. next up georgia republican tom price in the center seat on his obama care alternative. the specifics and the details and what republicans are saying about it.
obama care called empowering patients first act, hr 23 hundred and have introduced it in three congresses now. give us the 30 second elevated pitch, if you would. >> the bottom line is we can solve any health care challenges by putting patients and families and doctors in charge of health care not washington, d.c. we do that in our bill, empow empowering patients first. to make sure that every single american has the financial feasibility to purchase coverage they want and not what the government requires them to by. we do that through advanceable fundable credits. and you cannot change insurance if you lose your job. we solve pre-existing illness by making it so individuals in that small group market can pull together and get the purchasing power of millions so nobody's status makes a difference to their health coverage. we can do all of that, cover folks, solve insurance challenges and save hundreds of
billions of without putting government in charge and raising the taxes. >> so it is across state lines. >> across state lines. employers get a tax break for purchasing tax coverage, individuals ought to get the same kind of tax break. if you do that, you make it so we are focusing on the patient and not government. >> and some element of tort reform, i assume. >> absolutely. rebust reform that isn't a cap on noneconomic damages saying if the -- does the right thing, based on what the specialty society says, not anyone else, the -- ought to be able to say if i've done the right thing, i can use that as an affirmative defense. >> steve? >> congressman, you have somewhere in the ballpark of 50 co-sponsors in this current version of your legislation and my question is why only 50 co-sponsors. republicans have for a long time avoided making health care
reform a priority, even if there have been alternative plans, that the president isn't right when he says they aren't. but why don't you have 230 co-sponsors. >> well health care is complex as you see that right now with the president's health care rollout. i've practiced for 20 years and taken care of patients and in my core, in my gut i know what should be doing in the system. for someone not involved it is tough to get your arms around this issue. it is an education process. the american people are being educated to a huge degree on what not to do. we believe we have an answer for what to doo -- to do. and that is to put patients and families in charge of their health care. >> i'm surprised there isn't more republican enthusiasm about signing up to an alternative. >> there are a lot of alternatives out there. republicans may have too many options as opposed to too few. >> is that the issue, that there are too many fish in the pond
and you need to focus on one of them? >> we haven't been able to coalesce around one single program. the leadership recognizes that and they are now saying after the first of the year we'll bring forth a bill that we can unite republicans around care i i'm looking forward to that. we hope it will be the vast majority of 2300 but there are a lot of good ideas out there and i think it is important to have an alternative. you can't beat something with nothing. you have to be able to not just hold the other side to an account but to provide the contrast. there are positive ways to solve health care challenges and you don't have to put washington in charge. >> a.b.? >> do you think that response and alternative has to woman before the mid-term elections? if we see into the new year people not liking what they are forced to buy under obama care and the mandated young and healthy or not complying with the mandates and paying the fee and this turns out to be a serious political problem for democrats, at the same time you'll have this -- saying to
the republicans, you need to fix this right now. do you believe your party has to vote on something, an alternative, before the mid-term election. >> i'm not sure a vote is imperative but i do believe we need to coalesce around a unified plan. i've always believed that. i think it is important that you have a positive solution out there. we believe in principals in health care that allow for afford abltd for everybody -- affordability for everybody and more choices. that is what holds down cost and puts patients in charge. we have to embrace those principals and adopt a policy program thatten corporates those -- that incorporates their principles. >> do you believe philosophically that health care is a right, which is sort of a liberal belief? and second, does your bill actuate that, does it make it real so every american has access to health care? >> yeah, there aren't any mandates but we make it
financially feasible and attractive. under our provision, every single american would be better off financially if they were covered and americans will make the right decision. i'm a third generation physician and america has always cared for individuals to the best capability they are able to do so. we will care for individuals if given the opportunity. so don't put washington in charge. can you allow patients to be -- you can allow patients to be in charge and that is what the bill does. >> but do you believe as a matter of philosophy that the federal government has the obligation to make sure every american has health care. >> i think we have an obligation to make sure that every american has health care and the opportunity to gain health coverage that they select, not that they are forced to buy? >> and your bill will do that? >> absolutely. >> a.b.? >> i'm interested in the mandate. the democrats are finding this is not a successful program as of yet with a mandate. they are finding it difficult to compel people to buy insurance. americans are very confused by
this. you say they are learning a lot. under your pool system where you would make it attractive and financially possible for them to purchase insurance, how do you know you could get a balances pool that -- a balanced pool that would work por the insurance industry and not just sick people coming in and trying to get the tax credits and buying the insurance? >> because you have the power in numbers. remember those folks in the individual and small group market, it is about 18 million people. those are the folks that are truly threatened by losing their health coverage with a pre-existing illness or if they change or lose their job and they lose their coverage. if you allow those folks -- it is a new system and creative system, a system that respects patients. if you allow them to pull together then it doesn't take a critical mass to make it look like everybody else in the insurance department and drive up the costs. >> david twitted in, how will the 5 million off their plans
get reensuinsured by january 1sd isn't this a crisis. and i will broaden that question in that how do you unwind obama care to wind in, if your plan becomes the plan, a republican alternative. >> hugely challenging question because we've never been here. we've never been in a situation where the federal government has put into policy that is forcing people out of their current health coverage. so the honest answer is i don't know. but i know we need an alternative that doesn't have washington in charge and that is what we embrace, it puts patients and families and doctors in charge and provides individuals the feasibility to purchase that coverage. >> can you say tonight that is a priority for the republican leadership after the first of the year? >> priority for the republican leadership as stated to us, is to have the republican conference in the house to coalesce and ubefy a -- unify around a health care plan. >> congressman stand by if you would. congressman price on the budget deal. he is the conferree.
well, it is the typical end of the year deal i have seen in the three years up here. increase spending with promise of spending cuts sometime in the future. at the end of the day increases the deficit, raises taxes and fees an ennot address the long-term overspending problem in washington which is to reform endowments. >> republican from kansas in the same caucus. we're back with the panel. georgia republican price, you support the budget deal. >> i do. >> why? >> we want to stick to principle. no tax increases, spending less in the ten-year budget window than current law and making certain that we set in place the
numbers available so the appropriations committee cans do the job for 18 month which is they haven't done in 6 years. when we pass the continuing resolution, what we're doing is putting in place speaker pelo pelosi's policies and president obama's policies as opposed to having the imprint of a republican house on those policies. if we're able to get this appropriations process moving that's a huge, huge benefit. >> charles? >> are you going to get a majority of republicans and meet the hastert rule? are you going to get enough republicans and democrats to get it to pass the pass. >> i think to both. this was just unveiled last evening and working as washington does so often works right up to the bitter end until we come to a conclusion. so people are still working through it. it's an education process for the conference, as well, and for members on the other side but i think we'll have a majority of republicans and pass it in both the house and the senate. >> ab? >> congressman, obviously, there's a big divide in the
conference. this is another chapter in the story of the republican divide. what has changed since the government shutdown? we heard all the conservative voices in and out of the congress 24 hours slapping down congressman ryan's efforts as a sellout and obviously this was a huge event, this turning point with the government shutdown and people regrets it. when's changed in the minds of the membership? >> let me address the sellout first because just suspect true. in the past, people have seen disgregs numbers, the smaller portion of the appropriations process be dealt with. and then the next year or two years later those are reversed. when's different here is that this is a change in mandatory spending and takes a act of congress, another law to go back to where we are right now. so this is different than what we have tunnel in the past. and so i think it's important for people to appreciate that. what happened with the shutdown? i think that it took people's
eye off the ball. the fact is that the president and obama care's been a disaster for the country. and what we want to certain we do is keep our eye on the things most important to the american people, economy and jobs and to do what we can to roll back obama care. >> but as governing, small, positive steps, if governing is taking a quarter of a loaf for half sr half, is that a problem for people in your conference even if they said they regret it? >> incrementalism the left used for decades to put policies in place. this is a small step in the right direction. >> speaker boehner today pushed back hard on the conservative groups saying this is a horrible deal and said it's ridiculous. i'm sure that he may have said something a little bit stronger behind the scenes. >> well, i think what's saddens me --
>> did he? >> no. i'm going to address that. what saddens me most is the groups came out vast majority of them before the agreement was even announced, the specifics were even announced so they had their pens ready to go and at the bottom is donate now insignia on their -- on the thing they sent out. look. i don't want to question anybody's motive but the fact of the matter is this is a different kind of agreement. it's not a grand agreement. it's not the grand bargain but a mild step in the right direction. >> steve? >> what do you say to people sitting out in the country saying, you know, congress finally actually had some spending restraint and republicans are choosing to abandon that spending restraint? >> we are not abandoning that spending restraint and getting more savings. mandatory savings. this is not -- >> you are moving beyond the sequester. this is off for reinstating, restoring some of the spending for 18 months and there are a
lot of reasons we are doing that. most important of which is national defense. the individuals in the national security community are telling us that at the current levels, in the current processes, they believe that we are hollowing out, their words, not mine, hollowing out the national security. that's not a responsible thing to do. the spokes on the left won't allow us to get to appropriate levels in the national security arena without increasing dollar for dollar on the nondefense discretionary -- >> how much is going to defense? >> equal amounts. one dollar for defense and one for nondefense discretionary. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> we appreciate it. that's it for the panel. stay tuned for knowing your environment on the tv set and highlights.
he said we can save hundreds of millions of dollars without putting washington in charge of health care. 19,000 votes per minute, the highest intensity of segment two, only obligation of government to give options. men agree with him significantly less than women on his support of the budget deal. total votes tonight, 239,000. finally tonight, in local tv news, always a push for light chatter, banter between the anchors. one of the things, though, to be careful about, always know your surroundings and what's inside everything on the set. >> way below zero. so not a lot to come pain about. >> lighter side, dave, i appreciate -- dave gave may mug -- oh. see? >> i'm always very careful with this. yeah. thanks for inviting us into your
home tonight. greta goes on the record right now. "special report" online with congressman price for a couple of minutes starts in just seconds. this is a fox news alert. the department of homeland security worker promoted a race war is finally off the government payroll. five months after exposed that he was rn inflammatory racist website, dhs confirming he is not employed by the u.s. government. dhs would not say if he was fired or resigned. also tonight, kathleen sl l sebelius is not dodging us. you're going to see what the secretary told us on the record in a minute. but first, today, the secretary calling for an inspector general investigation into the rollout disaster. why now? and is the timing of it