tv Forbes on FOX FOX Business November 3, 2013 2:00am-2:31am EST
i'll see you all on the five. have a great weekend everybody. health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius had a bad day on capitol hill, telling president obama kept his health care promise, that obama care is working while apologizing for the fact that it doesn't. i'm lou dobbs. good evening, everybody. hhs secretary kathleen sebelius today testified before the house energy and commerce committee. on the disastrous obama carrollout. sebelius took responsibility for the website failure while making the outrageous claim that the website has actually never crashed.
>> we were anxious to get the website up and running and functional, which we clearly have failed to do to date, although i would suggest the website has never crashed, it is functional but at a very slow speed and very low reliability and has continued to function. >> and at the very moment that sebelius made that statement, the healthcare.gov system was down. and it stayed down for the duration of the hearing. sebelius did offer an apology, and she told the committee to hold her accountable for the obama care failure. while insisting that the president did not lie when he repeatedly told americans they could keep their health care insurance if they liked it. but when pressed on whether the president was ultimately responsible for the law's failures, she got visibly agitated, tersely saying, quote, whatever. yes. he is the president. fox news chief congressional
correspondent mike emanuel on capitol hill tonight with our report. >> reporter: lou, kathleen sebelius defended the rollout of the president's health care law but said ultimately she is accountable. >> i am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of healthcare.gov. so let me say directly to these americans, you deserve better. i apologize. >> reporter: chairman fred upton accused sebelius and others of false advertising prior to the healthcare.gov launch. >> over the months leading up to october 1 launch, the secretary and her colleagues at hhs repeatedly looked us in the eye and testified that everything was on track. >> reporter: after a lot of finge pointing in recent weeks, republican marsha blackburn from tennessee pressed on who was to blame and asked if it was any of the top medicare officials. >> michelle snyder is the one responsible for this debacle. >> well, excuse me, congresswoman, michelle snyder is not responsible for the
debacle. hold me accountable for the debacle. i'm responsible. >> reporter: more than four weeks after launch the website was taken offline again last night a remained out of commission all morning. >> the program has crashed and burned at least three times. and the user is still having problems. it's been down the whole time you've been testifying. the system is down at this moment. >> reporter: fixing it by the end of november is the administration's goal with some expressing the concern about the ultimate price tag on what's been an expensive launch so far. >> we have spent about $118 million on the website itself and about $56 million has been expended on other i.t. to support the web. >> reporter: security is also an issue. this september 27th memo signed by medicare administrator marilyn tavenner says the security control assessment was not completed days before the launch which, quote, constitutes a risk that must be accepted and
mitigated. mike rogers says low-level attempts at hacking have been successful and called for much more comprehensive testing. >> yes or no, has an end-to-end security test on healthcare.gov went live? yes or no? >> i will find out exactly what testing they're doing. >> reporter: some democrats suggested while the rollout has been rough, the law is helping. >> the affordable care act is working. it has been improving the health security of millions of americans for the past three years. >> reporter: one female lawmaker mocked an obama care provision that would include maternity coverage for men. >> to the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby? >> you know, ladies, time has expired. >> reporter: and another said obama care is taking away personal choice. >> some people like to drive a ford, not a ferrari, and some people like to drink out of a red solo cup, not a crystal stem. >> reporter: there is clearly a belief among republicans that at some point and after some costs, the website will be functional,
so critics are taking aim at weaknesses of the actual law. lou? >> thank you very much. mike emanuel from capitol hill. president obama today struggled to divert the media from the drama on capitol hill. he was in massachusetts touting his health care law in the state he claims obama care now is modelled on. massachusetts. the president struggled to address the wave of cancellation letters that are hitting both individuals and small businesses who buy their own insurance. this, of course, follows his repeated vows over several years that anyone who likes their insurance would be able to keep it. >> so if you're getting one of these letters, just shop around in the new marketplace. that's what it's for. >> our first guest tonight at that hearing today, she pressed sebelius on what some are calling the question of the day while making a strong point about obama care and lightening
the mood just a bit at the same time. asking whether men can have babies, joining us, congresswoman renee elmers, member of the house committee on energy and commerce is x the republican women's policy committee. congresswoman, the question you asked, as i said, aside from lightening the mood, gets to some of the problems with obama care. did you expect an answer? >> you know, i knew that this was going to be a difficult question for her to ask because i don't believe it was one that she anticipated. but my point is this. i'm trying to point out the absurdity of obama care. you know, we're talking about health care plans being canceled. i'm hearing from many of my constituents that they're canceled, that their plans are being canceled as a result of the affordable care act coming in a letter form and that they're going to have to get other coverage and oh, by the way, now their coverage is going to be 127% more or 400% more in costs. that is unacceptable. so the question i have is why are those premiums going up so
much? and the answer is because they're forcing americans to buy parts of health care coverage that no one will ever need. why would a male age 32 and single need to have maternity coverage? why does a couple that are age 60 who have raised their children have to have coverage for pediatric? this is why the affordable care act is so expensive, and it's time that the american people understand that these are all pieces and parts of the affordable care act that they're being forced to purchase. >> now, you've said that people in your district are looking at their premiums rising by as much as 669%. why so much? >> well, that's exactly the point. you know, these are folks that yes, the cost is going up astronomically. this is a cost that they cannot possibly afford. now, at the same time, the government is coming in, kathleen sebelius, the president, whomever, and they're saying you know what? the care that you have, the coverage that you were paying for, you were responsible to
take care of your family, but you know what? we know better. we know better. your coverage wasn't adequate, and we're telling you it's not adequate. and oh, by the way, if you don't buy health care premiums at this cost, one, you're going to be breaking the law, and two, you're going to be assessed a penalty. so my question -- and i have a piece of legislation addressing this -- is that why should the american people be penalized for something? we're telling them to go to a website that isn't functional, and that's clear. and we're telling them to buy something, forcing them to buy something that they cannot afford. and if they don't, they're going to be penalized. we can't let that happen to the american people. and you know, in north carolina, it's proposed that there will be 132,000 who will lose their current coverage. >> and congresswoman, the fact is, you can't let them, you say, go ahead with this, but, in fact, it's going ahead. and the idea of deferring has not only the obama administration and the
democratic party appeaplectic, t insurance is scared because of the individual mandate because the result will be to tear up their business model as you know and tear up profits. we're looking at the prospect here, if there isn't careful reasoning and a careful understanding amongst everyone here about a direction to head toward that we're talking about one-sixth of the economy that is now vulnerable because a website, as the president put it, didn't work because obama care itself is built now on what we see as a very, very faulty assumption and presumption because of the mandate that young people are going to sign up for health care that they typically do not need. these riks are very high. where are the republicans headed now, and what is the course you all will follow? >> well, we are going to continue to get to the bottom of this. you know, you pointed out one
major issue here, and the cybersecurity issue, as you heard, that we're very concerned about that. you know, there are americans who are managing to get onto the website at this point at some time, and they are vulnerable to cybersecurity issues. if you saw sebelius, she looked like a deer in the headlights because she couldn't answer those questions. at the same time, how long are we going to continue in this failed policy? we don't have to go down this road. we can end it. this thing is dying of self-inflicted mortal wounds. and we can't allow the american people to be vulnerable. let's go with something that we know will work. you know, as i've talked to you before about -- >> and that is? >> -- the american health care reform act that we're proposing through the republican study committee. it covers all these issues. it provides affordable health care for every american. but it does it with a patient-centered approach, and it does it in the free market. >> and we should point out that congresswoman renee elmers, for
more than two decades, a registered nurse. great to have you with us. thanks, congresswoman. >> thank you, lou. up next, the nsa wiretapping program allegedly spreading from 35 world leaders to the fellow in the center, one of the world's most respected spiritual voices. the obama administration trying to block as well further investigation of benghazi. we'll tell you how next. stay with us.
new details are emerging about the national security agency's massive spying operation. according to "the washington post," the nsa secretly broke into the main communications links that connect yahoo! and google data centers around the world. and the italian media is reporting that the nsa spied as
well on the vatican, spying on both pope benedict and pope francis. the nsa has now just issued an outright denial of the italian media reports. and unless you think the united states is alone in spying efforts, the russians are trying to keep up with us. russian operatives reportedly handing out goody bag to world leaders who were attending september's g-20 summit meeting. it turns out the russians were giving the delegates souvenir usb drives, phone chargers and teddy bears they had bugged. they bugged a teddy bear. who would have imagined? the russians deny the italian media report. joining us for more on benghazi and other foreign policy challenges facing the nation, general jack keen, retired four-star army general, former army vice chief of staff, fox news military analyst. general, great to have you with us. >> good to be here.
>> this is, as i say, sordid politics, but it masks a real issue. and that is the ability of congress to participate in the governance of the country. what's your reaction to the administration position that a criminal investigation by the fbi about what is obviously an attack on the country which generally falls within the purview of intelligence agencies and the military would be the reason to block efforts to understand better what transpired? >> yeah, it makes no sense, lou. and i'm sure you have the same instincts. we should be able to conduct a congressional investigation, the representatives of the people, to find out what happened when a consulate was burned to the ground, an babassador was killd and the cia was driven out of the country. that is serious business. they do not have to have an open hearing. they can do a closed-door hearing to get at with the witnesses they want to call, and certainly the government should not be attempting to control
those witnesses and still protect the criminal justice system. and by the way, lou, that criminal justice -- that investigation on the criminal justice side got off on the wrong foot because the next day, while we may not have been able to get troops there that night, we should have been able to get troops there the next day, secured our consulate, put our flag back up and brought the fbi in so they can begin an immediate investigation and stay there with forces for as long as necessary. that thing, they waited 3 1/2 weeks before they ever got in there. and we're the united states. why would we ever put up with nonsense like that? >> and is it an unfair inference that we would not have put up with such nonsense had the president, the administration, not wanted that delay? >> yeah. i think right from the beginning, they knew they had a problem on their hands. and they just tried to push away from it, as opposed to just getting all over it and getting to the bottom of it and finding out what went wrong themselves.
i mean, you don't have to conduct major -- i'm not suggesting you don't do an investigation, but you can get the yourself pretty quickly by picking up the phone saying what happened? who knew what when? and get on with this thing and particularly dealing with who's accountable. to this day, we know who ran that operation, and the cia should be authorized along with special operation forces to go get them, and it's tragic they have not. >> general, the nsa, i mean, the drumbeat just continues. it's more perhaps a broadside against the agency. the idea that this organization has to respond to the suggestion it was spying on two popes, denying the allegations in italian media that it had broken into links, data center links, between yahoo! and the google data centers. it just goes on and on and on. one assumes this is why edward
snowden -- this is his plan. but there doesn't seem to be a great deal of defense for the nsa from people that you know full well, if we were to have a terrorist attack, the first question they would be asking is why was your spying efforts, your surveillance efforts, not ubiquitous, universal and intense. what do you think? >> well, you're absolutely right. first, alexander -- general alexander, i know him very well, was with him last night at an award dinner here, we gave him an award, and he's just a first-rate general officer, but more important than that, a first-rate intelligence officer and spy. he's absolutely hands down the best we've ever had in this job. he's been in it for eight years. and he's leaving of his own volition to get a new set of eyes, it's time. it truly is unfair. these allegations, a lot of these things make no sense. and certainly they are left to deny and suprt the nsa themselves.
they and clapper, the director of national intelligence, that is who is defending this major function that protects the united states and believe me, we would not have had no serious attack on the united states in all of these years, these 12 years since 9/11, without this agency doing just incredible work, lou, in protecting us. and yet they stand there having to take all these fuselage of assaults on them by themselves with the director trying to protect them. and it's just not right. the administration should put their arms around this, tell them to go back to work and we'll take care of this. but that's not happening. >> general, thanks for being with us. general jack keane. >> always good talking to you, lou. up next, he was endorsed by tea party favorite senator rand pull, but will it be enough to overcome the political money machine? virginia's attorney general and gubernatorial candidate ken cuccinelli joins me here next. we're coming right back.
next guest, joined by senator rand paul. joining us is the republican candidate, virginia attorney general and republican gubernatorial candidate ken cuccinelli. great to have you with us. i mean, there's a lot of firepower there in virginia. this ought to be kind of a simple deal. you against terry mcauliffe, what's going on? >> well, a lot's going on here with eight days to go, lou. so today we traveled the state with senator rand paul from lynchburg to virginia beach to fairfax county. so we covered the three corners of the state, more or less. and reached hundreds of people with rallies and really turned them back out onto the streets, literally, to contact other voters and to really fire up our volunteers so we can be reaching people one on one. these are low turnout races in these odd years. and it's critically important that people be talking to voters one at a time in person to turn them out. >> now, are you connecting with working men and women in that
state? and the reason i ask you this, i see republican after republican talking about cutting taxes, talking about growing the economy, but neachg t of he lks, tiddl ass the workg m awoma i's le e rublian pty s fogott theiddlclas exis. >> wel i ctain agr wi yo lo in trmsf making that contact with working families. and the biggest challenge families face in virginia is economic opportunity. it's jobs. there are enormous s.w.a.t.s wa because people have been unemployed so long. there's a big difference between me and terry mcauliffe. i can explain my plan to grow jobs and cut taxes, and he's proposing more government spending. $1,700 more in taxes per family versus my$700 tax cut. but a lot of them zero in now this month on obama care. and there's a stark difference between me and terry mcauliffe there also. and once again, his approach is
bigger government, and mine is smaller government. i was the first to fight obama fight it. you were the first one to sue on obama care. >> right. >> at the same time, is that an issue for virginia voters? i mean, you know, we look at these numbers, and we're talking about, you know, roughly 10% of the folks going to the polls are federal workers are their families. i mean, you've got huge -- >> yes, but lou, they're seeing this fail. they're seeing it fail before their very eyes on every network. it isn't just on fox. it's on cnn. it's on the three abc, nbc, cbs, they're all running this failure. and this is proving that those of us on my side of the argument have been right, and it is a state issue because the single biggest budget decision the next governor of virginia will make is whether or not to expand medicaid under obama care. and may opponent is all for it.
terry mcoff liaulifcauliffe, bi government guy. people to vote on november 5th is an opportunity. >> i is great -- that's a great statement, the commonwealth of virginia has made it possible. "the washington post" comes out with a story, mcauliffe preying on the terminally ill. mcauliffe says he was a passive investor who was deceived. you know, and you took money from a company, the governor of virginia returned that money, you didn't. a lot of controversy about that. how is all that going to shake out? >> well, you know, he invested in terminally ill people dying. and then lied about it immediately, within hours. he did it again the next day. "the washington post" wrote about it on sunday. and this is something that keeps comi up, and with the same habit he's taken to every challenge, every question people have had for him, he just ducks. he lies and ducks. >> and are you ducking when i ask you why you didn't return that money, to controversyial
donors? >> no, we did, lou. and i also released eight years of my tax returns. my opponent refuses to do that, even though he called on mitt romney to do it last year. we've been very open with the voters of virginia, have called on my opponent to do the same, and he has absolutely refused. and he's obviously hiding how he makes his millions. if he had released his tax returns, we'd have known about the investments in terminally ill people dying much earlier. >> i don't mean to laugh at this. it's so absurd. i'm sorry. >> it is absurd. i agree with you, lou. >> you've got rand paul, a powerful, powerful political personality who appeals across a wide range of political views. but he is libertarian, and you've got a libertarian candidate there running who's running a spoiler. how are you going to be able to overcome that? >> well, first of all, i am the strongest pro-liberty elected official statewide in virginia in my entire lifetime, whether it's fighting the federal
government over health care or the epa or whether it is fighting on behalf of one person. i've been to court personally to get wrongfully convicted felons exonerated. i'm arguing another one of those cases next month. so whether it's on behalf of one single person or whether it's fighting the biggest threat to liberty in america, our own federal government, i've been there. so that's a message that we're driving hard. and it appeals way beyond just republicans, libertarians. there are a lot of ind peepende and democrats that appreciate someone that will stand up and fight for them. >> attorney general ken cuccinelli. >> lou, good to be with you. >> how many days? >> eight days. >> seven days or eight days. >> well, i count election day. we've got to work all the way through the tape. >> wear them out. go get 'em. >> thanks, lou. president obama has become more than a lame duck. he's in trouble whether in foreign policy or domestic. congressman trey gowdy joins us next.