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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  October 22, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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billion in stood stamps program this year and they say only 1% is fraud. >> i may for all of mine. i want to make that clear. >> got to leave it there. that's it for "the five." thanks for watching and now bret baier. >> when it comes to what many are calling the disastrous obama care rollout, the president currently subscribes to the proverb fix the problem. not the blame. this is "special report." good evening. i'm bret baier. heads apparently will not roll over the bungled rollout of the president's health care exchanges, at least not right away. we have fox team coverage with the latest on the website catastrophe. jim angel on how tough it is to see how much it costs and ed henry on accountability or the
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lack of it. good evening, ed. >> reporter: good evening. jay carney signaled no heads would wohl though there was a shakeup involving who is overseeing the repair job amid new signs that they ignored some big red flags. after white house spokesman jay carney faced a second straight day of questions about healthcare.dpov and suggested nobody would be fired over the mishaps because president obama wants the team more focused on getting people health insurance than figuring out who is to blame. >> not interested in monday morning quarterbacking. >> >> reporter: many woman used-of-fumbling the rollout health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius would not answer questions today though there are new signs that sebelius is at least being sidelined, if not benched, by the president, as jeffrey zines, someone who has served in several posts and close to the president, is being brought into hhs to oversee the fixing of the
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website. pressure came out over a report that the administration tested the site to see if it handle tens of thousands of customers and it crashed, during a simulation when a few hundred tried to log on at the same time. which raised questions about what the president knew about the questions and why they pushed forward anyway. >> i'm sure he knew in september that there was no way that this website would work. you put .gov at the end of anything and it doesn't work. >> reporter: carney was asked if anyone was informed of the failed test and also about the cost to fix this. >> the budget is something over at hhs. >> reporter: and pressed by another reporter about hhs, carney said this. >> will we get that information?
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>> address your question to hhs. i don't have that hhs, and this is an operation being run by hhs. >> reporter: we took jay carney's advice and called over to hhs and got no response to those questions and we noticed on its website it says they are getting a high volume of press calls so directing reporters first, you guessed it, to healthcare.gov. after not finding the information there, send in an e-mail question, we did that, have not gotten a response yet. finally they tell you to fill out a form on the web and maybe we'll answer your press questions. my producer filled out that form, and we're still waiting. bret? >> you didn't try the phone number? >> no, not yet. >> wow, it's something. it is something. ed, thank you very much. one of the many problems on healthcare.gov, finding out how much things cost. chief national correspondent jim angel on why the president's people decided to go their own way and what it cost. >> reporter: website contractors wanted people to shop for insurance before slogging through the entire end of the website but they were given
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different marching orders. >> they were told to bury the prices to prevent sticker shock so some of the worst part of failing to use best practices occurred for pure political reasons in the 11th hour. >> reporter: administration didn't want to scare people away. >> they were afraid there was going to be a sticker shock with this and that with that sticker shock people would immediately leave so they wanted people to be able to go on and find out what the subsidy was going to be so that it reduced the sticker shock. >> reporter: and that created a traffic jam. in addition, the reports of sticker shock for those who were young and healthy are widespread with average increases high and those for young man higher. >> 30% to 50% higher on average and in some cases 100% higher. >> some people will see premiums increase by roughly 100%, essentially doubling their premiums. >> reporter: families are getting letters now telling them that on january 1st all health plans that do not comply with obama care requirements, including a list of ten
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essential health benefits such as newborn care, will be cancelled. >> they are being told if at the end of the year they are going to be re-priced, and in many cases the premium is doubling, sometimes even tripling, and this is coming as a real shock to lots of people. >> reporter: and everyone in those plans will have to find a new one which congressman issa says violates the president's pledge. >> breaking the promise that if you like the care you can keep, it hell no. the affordable care act in its very rules are guaranteeing millions of people will be thrown out of the health care they want. >> reporter: that and the turmoil with the website is creating havok, so much so that some analysts doubt the administration can reach its estimate of insuring the uninsured. >> you'll have 7 million people enrolled in the exchanges by march 1st. at the pace we're going it will take 50 years to get to the full enrollment projections that are five years out. >> reporter: after all the chaos, the administration is so desperate to sign up more people it will now let them shop as
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soon as they log on. whether that will help enrollment or simply highlight the sticker shock they were worried about is an open question. bret? >> okay, jim, thank you. a lot of times people forget what was said with a big issue like this, especially since this rollout stretches over several months. let's look now at a time line about what was said about the obama care website and the prospect for a delay in the law's individual mandate. >> we will be up and running in every state in the country october 1st. >> new online marketplaces, we're beginning on october 1st of this year, you can comparison shop on an array of private health insurance plans side by side. >> the computer systems have not been tested very well and probably won't be going into october 1st and they are not going to work very well. i've heard enough stories, enough anecdotes from people in the industry working with the states to know that a lot of this process is going to end up
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falling away from an actual online easy user friendly experience to people filling out paper forms, and when they do that, you're going to get mistakes. >> there is no doubt that in implementing the affordable care act, a program of this significance, there are going to be some glitches, no doubt about it. that's true, by the way, of a car company rolling out a new car. it's true of apple rolling out the new ipad. >> the website, as i say, healthcare.gov is up and running making the process pretty easy and will drive information to folks. >> we still continue to believe that the individual mandate being delayed is in the best interest of the american people. >> obama care is open for business, while much of the federal government is not. this is "special report." >> just visit healthcare.gov and there you can compare insurance plans side by side the same way you would shop for a plane ticket on kayak or tv on amazon. go on the website, healthcare.gov and check it out for yourself.
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>> important, your account couldn't be created at this time. the system is unavailable. >> so i tried again. now it's telling me that my account could not be created at this time. the user name already exists. >> there are going to be some glitches in the sign-up process along the way that we will fix. we found out that there have been times this morning where the site has been running more slowly than it normally will. the reason is because more than 1 million people visited healthcare.gov before 7:00 in the morning. >> after a third unsuccessful attempt to create an account, i entered the live chat. >> he's telling me that i need to return in off-peek hours. he says somewhere between 11:00 p.m. and midnight. >> well, we have a few problems today. why? because in new york alone during the first few hours they had 2.5 million people wanting to sign up. so the biggest challenge we have today around america, the biggest challenge we have today
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around america is keeping our websites up because of the volume. this doesn't show the -- this doesn't show the hunger the americans have to sign up for health care, i don't know what else does. >> healthcare.gov has a phone number as well. >> doocy. >> but that operator told me it's against their policy to create accounts over the phone so i just needed to keep trying. >> would you say that's a legitimate criticism though that an individual doesn't get to delay it but a business does. is that not legitimate? >> because nothing that helps an individual get health insurance has been delayed at all. they can get the tax credit this year. they have plans to choose from, and the amazing thing -- >> so you're doing it because you haven't been able to get the subsidies ready for the businesses? >> again, they are in the market already. >> let me ask you this. am i a stupid man? >> i don't think so. >> in the government shutdown debt ceiling increase showdown republicans put on the disable delaying the individual mandate
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for one year and including lawmakers, administration officials and their staffs in obama care without subsidies, something that was flatly rejected by democrats. >> the only thing they want to deal with is obama care. >> i'll be paying about $550 a month more. everything in the plan, the new bronze plan is going to be exactly the same as my old plan or inferior. my out-of-pocket is greater. my deductible doubled from $2,000 and $4,000 and really the only thing that is -- is offered in the new plan that would be considered a benefit is that it comes with maternity and newborn care. well, in my case, my wife is 58 years old and our youngest child is soon to be 18. >> it took me a number of frustrating attempts before i could apply and select my plan. i was able to find a policy i am thrilled with, saving $150 a month. >> and i think it's fair to say
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that nobody is more frustrated by that than i am, precisely because the product is good. we've got people working overtime, 24/7, to boost capacity and address the problems. experts from some of america's top private sector tech companies who, by the way, have seen things like this happen before, they want it to work. >> they pushed too much into such a little period of time, they were finding all kinds of problems. the reports are now coming out that were circulating long before the launch of healthcare.gov that there was incredible concern. very deep concern about whether the technology was functioning, whether it was passing the test, but the pressure coming back from the politicians was make it work, make it work, make it work. in other words, we're not listening to this. you guys fix it. >> if the website is not fixed, will people still have to pay the fine? >> we're three weeks into this, and that's not one. as written, the law makes clear people who do not have access to affordable care due to a state not expanding medicare and other
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factors will not be penalized. again, that's how the law is written. >> the president said it's a website where you can compare and contrast the same way you shop for a ticket on kayak. who misled him? >> the president is frustrated and made that clear in his remarks today, and we're focused on making improvements, and there's no question, again, that the website that was launched on october 1st has not performed adequately. so i don't -- i'm not familiar with the testing that was done. i would refer you to hhs for that. >> we will discuss obama care, who knew what when with the panel and we'll take the twitter questions and think of a good one and tweet me @bretbaier. the u.s. and allies may need counseling tonight. fox 26 in houston is covering a texas couple badly wounded in the boston marathon bombing
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putting their lives back together. fox 13 in tampa, with the coast guard fishing out $23 million worth of cocaine, tossed overboard by drug dealers under pursuit. and this is a live look at miami from wsvn, the big story there tonight, sanctions are finally announced against the university of miami football program after what one scribe called 26 months in ncaa purgatory. that's tonight's live look outside the beltway from "special report." we'll be right back.
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new trouble tonight for the much discussed peace talks on syria. rebels are refusing to attend unless president bashar al assad is forced from power.
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and one of america's staunchest allies in the region says it's had enough with the u.s. chief washington correspondent james rosen fills us in on relations with saudi arabia. >> reporter: senior aides to president obama downplayed reports of a serious rupture with saudi arabia, the richest and most powerful of washington's arab allies in the middle east. on a visit to london secretary of state john kerry said he emerged from a two and a half-hour launch with saudi foreign minister sadd al faisal on monday convinced that the u.s. and riyadh are, quote, on the same page. >> we know that the saudis were obviously, you know, disappointed that the strike didn't take place and have questions about some of the other things that may be happening in the region. it's our obligation to work closely with them, as i am doing >> reporter: strike the saudis expected, of course, was the one that president obama approved against the syrian regime in response to the chemical weapons attack of august 21st and then aborted. but middle east diplomats tell
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fox news that riyadh is also livid over the president's hastily arranged telephone california to president hassan rouhani and washington's recent decision to curtail military aid to egypt. other arab governments like jordan and the united arab emirates are also voicing displeasure. >> what the saudis are concerned about is the fact that the united states is not consulting with its allies in the region before it goes to iran or before it takes those important decisions about syria. being correct in the alliance with each other. >> reporter: citing private comments by saudi arabia's intelligence chief, the "wall street journal" reported that riyadh is scaling back its cooperation with the u.s. in the arming and training of rebel fighters in syria where the saudis believe the u.s. has failed to come through on promises of robust support. reuters reported that the saudis' new posture would affect not only the military approach in syria but also bilateral commerce with the united states. the state department denied hearing of such sentiments. >> not to my knowledge has that message been sent to the state
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department by the saudis. that's not what i'm hearing out of our folks there. >> reporter: even in ordinary times any disruption to the u.s.-saudi alliance would pose enormous problems for the obama administration, but word of this rupture comes at a time when secretary of state kerry find himself confronted with complaints from nearly 40 other countries over revelations that the national security agency has been spying on their internal communications. bret? >> james rosen at the state department, james, thank you. one of those countries, the national security council is confirming that the u.s. is looking into nsa spying on mexico. that country's top diplomat says president obama gave his word to mexico's president there would be an investigation. the nsa says the president told the u.n. general assembly the u.s. will review the way it gatherses intelligence and that includes matters dealing with mexico. air force officials confirm officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear missiles have deliberately left open a blast door designed to prevent
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terrorist attacks. the air force says missile security was never compromised. this is the latest in a strent string of security problems for air force nuclear weapons operations. still ahead, why the sequester may be the republicans' ace in the hole. first, charles krauthammer on the fractured u.s. relations with saudi arabia and the current situation in the middle east. life could be hectic. as a working mom of two young boys angie's list saves me a lot of time. after reading all the reviews i know i'm making the right choice. online or on the phone, we help you hire right the first time. with honest reviews on over 720 local services. keeping up with these two is more than a full time job, and i don't have time for unreliable companies. angie's list definitely saves me time and money. for over 18 years we've helped people take care of the things that matter most. join today. then i read an article about a study that looked at the long term health benefits of taking multivitamins. they used centrum silver for the study...
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our good friend syndicated columnist and fox news contributor charles krauthammer joins us tonight from new york. charles, we just saw james rosen's piece about the deteriorating relationship between the u.s. and saudi arabia over really syria, iran and egypt. how serious do you think this is?
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>> i think it's real serious. the saudis have to be rethinking their relationship with the united states. the saudis, you'll remember, and all the gulf arabs are rich and very weak. iran is very strong militarily, on the threshold of going nuclear and very aggressive. the one friend, the one ally, the one protector of the gulf arabs and the united states and what do they see, obama tries to mobilize the arabs to join them in the strike on syria, syria being the principal iranian surrogate in the arab world and obama pulls back and cozies up to putin and to assad. and then even worse, they see this relationship with the united states in iran open up, the first direct negotiations. clearly what they see is the u.s. heading for kind of a detente and accommodation which will give to the regime in iran a legitimacy, permanence and stability and that for the
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saudis, seeing the iranians as their mortal enemy has to make them wonder what kind of friend is the united states and can they survive the american friendsh friendship. >> what comes to saudi arabia, it's little known, saudi arabia policy issues line up with israel's policy issues when it comes to iran and syria in particular. >> right. >> charles is in new york promoting his new book, "things that matter," and there you take a look at it. it's on the shelves now. this weekend we will profile charles going behind the scenes with, as you know, arguably the most influential conservative columnist of our day friday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. don't want to miss it. it's quite a behind-the-scenes look. charles, why did you write this book? >> gambling debts. i put my money on the cubs, obama care and "the ed show." i wrote the book for the same
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reason i left medicine to become a journalist which is i've had things to say. some of them i think are done fairly well. a lot of it is not, but i let the other stuff out. it's a collection of my writings over the last 30 years, but it has a new introduction, not a bye graphicical in many ways in which i try to explain why my career evolved along the way and why i evolved, if i like ideologically the way i did, because like ronald reagan, if i can be sacreligious in invoking him, i started out as a liberal. >> one of the fun things about this hour special is trying to pull things out of you. i mean, your thoughts about this hour before you even see it? >> oh, yeah. i'll be hiding under my bed. i don't think i'll come out for a week or two until the smoke has cleared. as you know, i told you, and i've actually said this in public, that i believe in denial. denial of all sorts. it's the best defense mechanism
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in the world, and i'm afraid that after 40 years of it i'm going to blow it all for me in one hour, bret. >> don't worry, charles. it will be good. thank you very much. we'll see you tomorrow night. >> pleasure, okay. >> which religion should get a school holiday? and a vocal critic of the tea party links it to the kkk. the grapevine is next.
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because an empty pan is a blank canvas. [ woman #2 ] to share a moment. [ woman #3 ] to travel the world without leaving home. [ male announcer ] whatever the reason. whatever the dish. make it delicious with swanson. and now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine.
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florida democratic congressman alan grayson has associated the tea party ku klux klan. grayson's latest fund-raising e-mail features a burning cross spelling out the words tea party and blow it, the caption, now you know what the "t" stands for. the e-mail features grayso, at the tea party is no more popular than the kline. as "the weekly standard" notes, harsh rhetoric isn't new for grayson. he once referred to a woman as a k street whore and said republicans want americans to new york city, both mayoral candidates support a measure to add two muslim holidays to the public school calendar. there are also proposals to add holidays recognizing other religious and cultural traditions, including the chinese new year and a feast for a hindu holiday. critics include outgoing mayor michael bloomberg who feels a city as diverse as new york
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cannot have a holiday for every religion. public schools already observe 13 holidays. students must attend school for around 180 days, meaning any holidays taken must be made up during the school year. finally, he may be the worst groom ever. a british bridegroom forgot to book the venue for his wedding in april, but he did not fess up to his fiancee. instead he called in a bomb threat on his wedding day which spooked the staff as it came just days after the boston bombing. for that he has been sentenced to a year in jail. now, for the twist. the man's defense attorney told the judge that the couple is still together. this is a fox news alert. the irs is admitting that it is violating an executive order requiring it to reduce bogus tax credit payments. the treasury inspector general for tax administration says it warned the tax agency two years
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ago about earned income tax credits, but it has not complied. the report says up to $13.6 billion, billion with a "b" was improperly paid out last year. the irs says it's working with the white house office of management and budget it cut down on the bad payments. speaking of money. sequestration is dev it in italy a nasty word here in washington. almost everyone has a complaint about the mandatory spending cuts, but tonight why sequestration might end up being a good thing for congressional republicans. >> reporter: in the heated debt ceiling battle of 2011 the president's team designed a sequester as a hail mary option, its sledgehammer-like cuts across all discretionary spending, including defense, would be a pill so bitter, the thinking went, the republicans would cave in the talks, but neither side budged. sequester took hold and it was the president who ended up swallowing a bitter pill. >> these cuts are not smart. they are not fair. they will hurt our economy. they will add hundreds of
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thousands of americans to the unemployment roles. >> reporter: sequestration has been the law of the land now for seven months, the only mechanism that's blocked congress' access to the all you can eat bar of government spending. >> sequestration is better than sliced bread. it's the only thing that has prevented the government from growing larger over the last two years. >> reporter: touting a lower deficit the administration continues to protest continued sequestration. treasury secretary jack lew saying it's holding back the economy. republicans disagree. >> if you polled the american people in terms of the sequester less than one in four felt any impact at all from the skywest sneer ironically, the administration's plan of sequester, achieved what the gop could not new englandless rounds of talks and endless pieces of legislation. >> what was shown is that washington actually can cut spending, and because of this law that's just what we've done. for the first time since the korean war government spending has declined for two years. >> reporter: but sequestration remains a sledgehammer, not a
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scalpel. >> there are more than 200 science technology, engineering and math programs across the government, 13 agencies, 3.1 billion a yore and sequestration cuts all of those 209 programs for science and math education equally, making no distinction between good programs and bad programs. >> sequester is automatic for nine more years it can only be changed if both houses vote to, so in the present budget negotiations it's a powerful gop bargaining tool to nudge congress to tackle a bigger portion of the debt, entitlement spending. >> the economy added 114,000 job and the unemployment rate dipped from 7.3%% to 7.2%. the report was delayed half a month because of the government shutdown. the stocks today were in the green, the dow gained 75 and the s&p 10 and the nasdaq up 9.5. is anyone going to be held
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accountable for the obama care rollout mess? we'll talk it over when with the fox all stars whstars when we c.
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because the computer systems have not been tested very well and probably won't be going into october 1st, you'll have a lot of people thinking they signed
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up for health insurance, and they get assigned to the wrong plan or the plan they thought they were signing up for isn't the plan that they actually, you know, checked the box for because of the snafu. i've heard enough stories, enough anecdotes from people in the industry working with the states to know that a lot of this process will end up falling away from an actual online easy user friendly experience to people filling out paper forms. and when they do that, you're going to get mistakes. >> i think one of the real tragedies here is that taxpayers are going to end up footing the bill for a lot of the mistakes. >> well, that was james capretta, expert in health care, steny hoyer in an article reported by in "the daily standard" and when hoyer was pressed about whether that's the source of all the problems we've been seeing, he said i don't really know but we can get them more money.
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a really incredible moment to have the senior democrat in the house of representatives saying we don't know if that's the problem but we'll throw more money at it in hopes that it goes away. >> nina, a lot of questions being asked. hhs secretary kathleen snowmobile us up on capitol hill next week. there will be a lot of tough questions. today ed hen are you pressed the press secretary about who knew what when about these tests. >> was anyone in the white house informed at that time, days before the launch, that this key test had failed? >> ed, first of all, let me make clear that we are expecting that -- by the end of the six-month enrollment people that millions of americans will have enrolled to get affordable health insurance. we never said and never would have said or never expected we would get millions of people in the first days or weeks. i'm not familiar with the testing that was done. >> seems like a big deal that days before the launch this test is done with hundreds of people and the system crashes. my question was was anyone at the white house informed of it? was the president informed of
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that? >> again, i don't know about any special figure tests, and i would send you to hhs. >> and we were sent to hhs numerous times. what are your thoughts, nina? >> once again, it wasn't a question of overwhelming demand. just like it wasn't a question of not enough money. i mean, what you heard from capretta earlier is we now know was being said inside the agency. the chief technology overs back in march who worried about a third world type rollout. well, it turned out to be a bureaucracy horror kind of rollout where testing deadlines were missed, specifications weren't issued in time. even as late as september, late in september, they were trying to figure out whether you had to register and have your password in order to go shopping. decisions were being made late, and it strikes me that this administration, which is supposed to be so cool and tech savvy with the ties to silicon valley wouldn't have at least known that something as big and complex you should roll out
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slowly, but i think they were hell bent on not emboldening republicans who wanted to delay it. they didn't want to give in. >> we asked for tweets earlier, and tweet the panel happens every tuesday. chad writes why were the best and brightest only called in after this dismal launch? where were they over the last three years? juan? >> well, i don't know the answer. would you would hope that they would have been brought in earlier. you would hope that it work. it hasn't worked and now it's problematic and they have brought in jeff zinst. is that bad for sebelius, that someone else has to come in and manage something that she was supposed to manage? >> hhs was supposed it assign that to someone who was supposed to get it work. what we did hear in the sound bite is people were told, and i think nina is exactly right, that people in the white house and in hhs felt there is such
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massive opposition from the republicans that they did not want to say, you know, we need to slow down a little bit because we don't have the technology in order so they were willing to say let's roll it out, see how it works for now so over the first 20 days it has not worked well, but i would just caution in the midst of all of this piling on that, gee, you know, it's been three weeks. i think 20 days it's out. supposed to be a six-month rollout. president obama says i believe 20 million people have visited the site, half a million people have already signed. >> they filled out applications. >> applied. >> we don't know how many enrolled. >> the transparency is really pretty tough. >> right. we're only three weeks into what is -- >> okay. it takes one minute to answer a question, how many are enrolled? >> they don't want to say, i suspect, because they don't quite have it under grip because of the technological problems. i would add you can still call on the phone to get this done, and one final point -- >> that's not right. >> two-thirds of americans say, you know, republicans, slow
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down. stop the piling on. let this thing happen, for better or worse. >> from a non-partisan perspective, a ceo who notes system very well says things are so broken that you have to get in there and start fixing things before you know the extent to what's wrong. that's how -- this is something that's going to be fixed. >> that's real one of the big questions. the question is do they know what's wrong, and they are just not saying, or do they not even know, and i think the evidence suggests that they don't even know at this point what's wrong and kathleen sebelius doesn't at this point or really at any time have to have been a superior technological manager, as i think you called her. we needed basic competence, and not only was there not basic competence but i think what you said is interesting and compelling. they did this because they didn't want republicans to have a talking point. they did this for purely political reasons which is inexcusable. by your interpretation, they said, let's take our chances because we don't want to give
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reap can't talking point. if that's true, if that's close to true, that is outrageous on another level. >> well, hang on a second. you mean to say in the midst of all the political polarization around this issue, obama care, that you are going to slam the obama administration for making a decision to try to go ahead so as not to feed the critics? >> yes, that's absolutely what i'm going to say. that's outrageous. i think it won't -- if they have tests that suggest it's going to fail and fail miserably, they are going to go ahead and do it. >> last thing, this individual mandate delay, essentially it's being talked about by jay carney in that it's written in the law, if you can't get access to the health insurance we're not going to penalize you. from everything that i read that's essentially delaying the mandate. >> yeah. i think there's definitely they haven't closed the door to delaying the mandate even formally. i think that's -- that discussion is definitely up and
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open, and, you know, it raises a fairness question if you only have this amount of time to get in there. the point is nobody knows how long it's going to be, and it's not just technical glitches. there's glitches like sending 2,400 social security numbers to the wrong -- to an insurance agent in minnesota. i mean, there are all sorts of things that are wrong with the system that have to be worked out. >> meanwhile, rand paul has a >> meanwhile, rand paul has a
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test test test test
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>> we know that the saudis were obviously, you know, disappointed that the strike didn't take place and have questions about some of the other things that may be happening in the region. it's our obligation to work closely with them as i am doing. >> well, the saudis are concerned about is the fact that the united states is not consulting with its allies in the region before it goes to iran or before it
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takes those important decisions about syria. being correct in the alliance with each other. >> diplomats tell fox news that the saudis are very upset, actually lived with the situation about syria. u.s. policy with syria, iran, and egypt. we're back with the panel. what about all of this, juan? >> well, this is a situation where it's -- the saudis who i think are very comfortable saying i will hold your coat while you go have this fight. have been reluctant to come forward, meaning the abe league didn't come out and support the idea of missile strikes when the united states was trying to get support, gather support in the region. but they their concern is with the syrians to the extent that the syrians are supported by the iranians. and that the iranians who are, you know, involved in ethnic warfare, you know, one grouch muslims against another feel like they are getting the upper hand. the saudis think that that's to their detriment. and therefore they want the united states to not only be more aggressive in terms of
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getting assad out in syria, but going after the muslim brotherhood in egypt. and they want them to make a stronger stand that will allow them the saudis, to play a background role. the united states, however, has not done that and now the news about the united states pulling some support from the the egyptians, again, has irritated the saudis. >> but it's kind of a unique moment for the saudis to do this break. >> yes. >> at least publicly. >> as juan says, they prefer to be behind the scenes. and i think it's -- it's the effect of a leadership void in the region as the u.s. has stepped back. particularly on syria. we have taken a backseat. and keep in mind what's going on with saudi arabia right now and syria. assad has now said the iranian backed regime of assad has said he is not going to step down. he has no intention of stepping down. so we see where that is going. we have the administration engaging with iran, which is fine, but there is concern
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out of the saudis that this means we're going to have a grand bargain that enables them to maintain their nuclear weapons capability. also just more broadly speaking and this blame nowhere which is that we are lessening our oil dependence on saudi arabia. we are not going to be a big customer for oil. we already reduced dependence by 20% from opec oil and probably 2017 we will have gone past saudi arabia and russia as the largest oil producer in the world. that's going to change dynamics big time. >> dynamics. >> all of those issues matter, but i think this is about iran, more than anything else. and this is something the saudis have been warning about for years a potential change in regional strength and the cast of the greater middle east if iran is allowed to get a nuclear weapon. i remember traveling back when i was traveling with bush administration officials when i was covering trips to saudi arabia back then.
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the on the front burner the things that would be talked about in the press availabilities and things would be issues that were maybe of minor concern or some concern but they would be the public issues. and then behind the scenes, of course, it was all about iran all the time. i think what you are seeing now is an attempt by the saudis to say this is our last chance. this is the moment. and i think the important, another important point to make is this just isn't the saudis who feel this way. there are countries throughout the region that have sort of had it with the administration, what they perceive to be this disengagement. >> just read this quote from the "wall street journal," prince vandar with saudi arabia says this was a message for the u.s., not the u.n. prince bandar was quoted by diplomats as specifying saudi arabia's decision to walk away from the u.n. security council membership. that is it for the panel. stay tuned for more diagnosis of obama care's web site woes.
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bret bret finally tonight, with all the systemic problems plaguing the rollout of obama care healthcare exchanges and that web site, the late night comedy shows wasted no time mocking the president's sales pitch in the rose garden yesterday. >> instead of paying $1,600 per month, we have a plan that will only cost us $692 a month. and that's a good deal. the product is good. i want people to be able to get that great product. the product is working and it it's really good. [ laughter ] >> when did the president of the united states turn into gill from the simpsons? she is a beaut. how much i put you down for a lot? please say a lot. i need. this. >> also a fox show. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. don't forget friday 10:00 p.m., that special about charles krauthammer.
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it is worth watching. something you want to see. a life that matters. that's it for "special report," fair, balanced and unafraid. greta goes "on the record" right now. you're not going to believe it. the irs just did it to you again. plus president obama promised it would be as easy as online shopping. >> nobody is madder than me about the fact that the web site isn't working as well as it should. just visit healthcare.gov and there you can compare insurance plans side by side the same way you would shop for a plane ticket on kayak or tv on amazon. >> the site was very easy to use and the customer service representatives were patient and helpful. >> once i was on the site it was pretty easy for me to compare plans. >> the web site that's supposed to make it easy to apply for and easy to purchase insurance is not working the way it should for. >> everybody the web site has not performed up to the president's expectations or anyone's ex

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