TODAY   |  October 26, 2013

Is White House ‘overpromising’ Obamacare site fix?

“They don’t have much room for more errors at this point,” said MSNBC’s Karen Finney, speaking about the federal health insurance website, which the White House has said will be fixed by the end of November. TODAY’s Lester Holt interviews Finney.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> karen finney is a former communications director for the democratic national committee who is now the host of the msnbc show "disrupt." good morning.

>> good morning.

>> they put a target date at the end of november to get this fixed. is there a danger in overpromising?

>> there is, actually, a danger in overpromising but i think they felt like they needed to give some sense of momentum and movement because, obviously, at the beginning of the week, there were so much criticism of the website. as they progress with these changes, then put out their plan i think they will try to show some progress as we move towards the end of november.

>> what we are seeing is a bureaucratic problem. i know you're a supporter of the health care law but will this shake the under pinnings and give ammunition to critics to point out something is fundamentally wrong with the law itself?

>> hopefully, not. we are talking about the website. the president and others have said that is one piece of health care reform and i do think if we take the long view and we look at something like the implementation of social security or medicare pardon d, in the long run if people with getting health care that is what people will remember. they will not remember the website had glitches. that being said, they don't have much room for any more errors at this point in time so it's got to be very smooth. the state exchanges are doing quite well. the federal system is having more trouble because it's more complicated on the back end.

>> i have this image of the president of the united states explaining problems with the website. why are heads rolling?

>> i don't know. having worked with president clinton , i am shocked. when your boss has to go out there and explain what is going on with the website that was shocking and some heads should be rolling although one of the things they are finding out is part of the problem actually has to do with the government procurement process. in terms of who was in charge of what and what options they had in terms of the technology they could use they could be limited but now it sounds like going outside of the process to get it done.

>> everyone wants to point a finger. back to the nsa story. specifically revelations of spying on world leaders , including germany's chancellor. what is the real damage here? i mean, it would take something bigger than this to ruin the relationship between the allies?

>> absolutely. it's one of those open secrets that everybody spies on everybody. i mean, the french are notoriously good at it, for example. so our problem is we got caught, thanks to edward snowden. i think there are tense conversations happening and maybe some agreement that comes out of it and some talk of let's have a global agreement about what we are going to do and not going to do. i don't think it's going to destroy the relationship long term.

>> we have to remember these leaders have their domestic audience.

>> exactly. angela merkel just got re-elected and she has to show a certain amount of outrage and who knows what the tone of that phone call was really like. there might have been a little bit of, okay, i got to be mad at you publicly but i know you do it, we know you do it.

>> interesting conversation. anything going on here? karen finney, thanks very much.

>> thanks.

>> good to have you here.