George Will: Obamacare Glitches Pose "Mortal Threat" Of Adverse Selection


CHRIS WALLACE: George, is this just a contractor problem?

GEORGE WILL: No. It goes all the way to the top because it threatens the health care law itself and I'll tell you why. First, this has produced some unintentional amusing moments. There was a headline I think we have that was in the New York Times this morning that contained a wonderful word.

WALLACE: "Republicans, Sensing Weakness in Health Law Rollout, Switch Tactics."

WILL: Sensing weakness. That's like saying the people of San Francisco sensed there had been an earthquake in 1906. And this is calamitous. Usually when we have a Washington debacle we recycle some form of the old Watergate question. What did the president know and when did he know it? The question here is what didn't they know and why didn't they know it? And the answer is almost everything because, in fact, they were not prepared for a massive social experiment. They don't understand the complexity of what they're doing.

The reason all this poses a mortal threat to the law itself is the problem of adverse selection, that is suppose too many signing up are sick. Now, young people, and they're counting on 2.7 million healthy young people to sign up to have a good risk pool. Young people, who are technological savvy, are going to go to the site and say this is disgusting, turn away and get a latte. Who's going to persist in this enterprise?

WALLACE: Sick people.

WILL: The sick people.

WALLACE: People who need it.

WILL: Exactly right. So this does pose an absolutely mortal threat of adverse selection.

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