Too Early to Declare Health Site Fixed: Holtz-Eakin

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Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, discusses the technical problems surrounding Healthcare.gov and the future of health-care policy in the U.S. He speaks with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Gone, and the white house has said the hardware and software fixes are working, but what about the political ramifications?

Joining us from washington is the president of the american action for him and a former adviser to president george h w bush.

Doug, the centers for medicare and medicaid services says the health care website is on pace to receive 800,000 visits today.

Our consumers keeping an open mind following that disastrous launch on october 1? they appear to be, but we don't really have a lot of firm data.

We have what it ministration has chosen to let us know.

We are still a long way from seeing successful logging in, buying a policy, getting the right information to the insurer, getting subsidies back where it is needed.

A lot of this site is not even functional.

40% of it needs to be created from scratch, and insurers are worried about their ability to get right information, and while consumers may be getting a second shot, that does not mean we will have success with this program yet.

The substance of 800,000 visits, what does that say about the information about this so they can make an informed decision?

There was the website that could not shoot straight.

They went to see if it works.

It was down.

There was a lot of that going on still.

I think the key is even the white house is leaking may be 100 thousand people enrolled, that looks great, four times the rate before, but it still puts them at two months behind schedule according to their estimates, and their fundamental problem is not the website.

It is can they get 7 million people into policies with about 40% of them being young and healthy and paying the bills, and that is still a high bar to achieve.

Doug, the websites run by 14 states, for the most part, they have not encountered the technical problems.

Could all of this have been avoided if the states had gone ahead and taken up the administration mantra and saying you have the option of running your own site?

I do not think so.

One of the earliest and most ardent supporters was the state of oregon, but this is more than the federal website.

It is not as if the states have uniformly succeeded.

They have different aspirations and with how much they want to get done.

It has to be more than the website.

It has to be the policy, and i think the reason we saw many of them shying away from the website, it was that they did not like the policy.

They are still concerned about people losing policies, and we are seeing that with medicare advantage.

We are still seeing that with very high rates.

People are not seeing the doctor they are used to.

And an article on the new york times, there was a perspective of an oval office meeting between president obama and his top advisers.

The story talked about one concern, and that was about saving the philosophy that an activist government can solve the, complex social problems.

How much of a hit has that philosophy taken?

It has taken a terrible hit.

The president has a couple of problems.

Number one, especially for the young who came out in record numbers and voted for him in 2008 and put him in office, they have seen the financial crisis and the recession, but they believe the government is not like that, and now, it is like that.

That is a problem for the president.

He has got a problem on the hill because many of those democrats are running away from the affordable care act in general, and the website and the handling of it.

This is the meeting he needed on september 15, someone saying, mr.

President, we have a problem.

He has a culture, and that is a problem.

We will have more with douglas after a quick break, discussing more about the website, and another looming deadline in washington.

"bottom line" continues in a moment.

? welcome back.

This is "bottom line" on bloomberg television and streaming online and on bloomberg.com.

We are talking about healthcare.gov, the troubled website, and the white house has said that it appears to him of those problems have been solved, but the republicans have seen some of the problems and say it should be repealed in its entirety.

After two presidential elections, the second of which was a referendum on the law, and after the supreme court upheld the law, is the republican strategy the right one?

I think at this point, you can talk about repeal, but you have to be realistic that that is not going to happen in the foreseeable future.

The question is what comes next, and i think one of the lessons of the 2012 elections, the 2013 elections, i mean, is that people like governing with solutions.

I think that is the lesson out of new jersey, and really being opposed to it, as we saw in virginia, is not going to cut it.

They have to have a genuine approach that addresses the problems that existed in 2000 and eight when the debate over health care began in this country.

-- existed in 2008 when the debate over health care began.

Is the president a political liability as they gear up for the midterms?

If you are a democrat running in red states, i do not think you want next to you the president of the united states.

His policy is in trouble, and it is not just the website.

It is past that, with deep troubles in execution.

This is a law that remains deeply unpopular for years after it was passed, and it was promised that once you see it, you would like it, and that is not something to roll the dice on if you are a democratic candidate in 2014. is this still part of the birthing process?

It is still part of the birthing process, and i believe they can and will fix the website.

I do not think this is a website issue.

This is just a vehicle to get people into the policies.

People see the prices of the policies, they see the doctors they are allowed to go to, and they start seeing the $3000 deductibles with those policies, and there is going to be some serious concern about the substance, not just the website.

A looming shutdown that could strike early next year.

The deadline to reach a deal is in two weeks.

What are you hearing?

It seems to me there is good reason to be optimistic.

The negotiation could get to a small deal, one which could avoid the across-the-board cuts, one that avoids the same problems next year.

This is all good news from the point of view of the economy.

Doug, before we went on the air tonight, you and i were speaking, they were having respect for it.

I think it is a wonderful thing.

They have built personal respect, but they disagree on policy.

They are respectful.

They understand this is compromise.

That is different from surrender.

It is recognizing the positions

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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