White House ready to move on and implement health care law
Chief of Staff Jack Lew says Americans are tired of the debate
- Duration 15:36
- Date Jul 1, 2012
Chief of Staff Jack Lew says Americans are tired of the debate
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Hello again from Fox News in Washington the Supreme Court issued its historic ruling and Obama care this week.
But that didn't end the intense debate.
Joining us now from New York to discuss the ruling and how the law will be implemented.
Is White House chief of staff -- -- mr.
Lou welcome back to FOX News Sunday.
Good to be -- Chris good morning now that at the court has upheld obamacare does that president feel that the law is safe or does he believe that it must clear.
Another hurdle in the November election to take full of stuff.
You know Chris is one thing that's great about our system is when the Supreme Court rules we have a final answer the -- constitutional.
It stands we're gonna proceed as we were proceeding to implement the law.
Think the thing that the American people want is for the divisive debate on health care to stop.
We already see that with the implementation to date of the health bill.
That their benefits of people are starting to see in everyday life when their kids graduate from college before they get a job they still have health insurance people.
People are on Medicare.
Who fell -- that donut hole and had 600 dollars of bills to pay and prescription drugs are covered.
Families that have children with preexisting conditions don't have to worry about whether they'll qualify or -- lifetime limits.
I think that what we need to do is get on with the implementation now and that's what we intend to do.
Well -- you say the debate to stop you know it's not going to stop Republicans.
Including governor Romney are talking about repeal and replace he has saying that's wrong.
Look I think that anyone who wants to -- is gonna have to explain to the people that I described why they're gonna lose the benefits of that they're already getting why their kids are gonna lose coverage on their health insurance why the donut hole come back.
And as far as though that the debate goes well I understand there remains disagreement the question is.
-- with you uncertainty if you want to tell the business community and individuals that we're going forward it will calm things down and say we're gonna -- -- a chance we're gonna implement it.
That's what we do in this country once we have a lot pass the congress once we have the Supreme Court uphold.
Now -- there if they're that others might choose to have a debate.
I actually think the American people want us to focus on the economy and creating jobs and moving forward.
And we send congress plans which is they were enacted would have created a million more jobs for teachers fireman policeman.
It in in their home refinancing in building our roads it's time to move on to the agenda that the American people want us to be worried about it.
-- the fact is that a lot of Republicans believe -- governor Romney believes.
That that happened all of this regulation having all of these taxes all of these mandates in fact is hurting jobs and a lot of businessmen say you know I don't know if I can hire somebody because of the fact there's gonna cost -- more money because of their health care.
Well candidate -- the if there's going to be a debate about taxes will welcome that debate.
Under this administration we've cut taxes for middle class family spent 3600 dollars.
In this very bill this health care bill it cuts taxes for middle class families another 4000 dollars the only thing in this bill that puts a burden on individuals to pay more.
Is a penalty.
For those who can afford insurance and choose not to buy it and to be clear that's 1% of the population in Massachusetts where this was.
Tested in the in the plan the governor Romney put in place.
1% of the population.
Ended up paying the penalty.
The Congressional Budget Office looked at this and when they looked at the federal law they said that would be roughly the same -- 1% for the other 99% what it means a security.
The day and -- family get coverage it means that.
The benefits that they get will offer better coverage and it -- -- don't have to worry that if somebody gets sick they're gonna lose their health insurance but what you get on with implementation -- -- If I may yet mr.
-- during the 2008 campaign.
The president made some promises the Republican National Committee since -- you wrote ruling that.
By the Chief Justice that that mandate is attacks they have put out a video noting what.
The president said the voters when he was campaigning in 2008 let's watch.
If you -- -- -- making less then 200.
Dollars a year you will not see your taxes go up you will not see one dime's -- the Texans need warmed up -- for.
Boston didn't the president break that promise.
Well Chris I you know if you go back and you look at the laws that have been enacted since the president's taken off and we office we have cut taxes for those families.
We have reduced their tasks according to the Clinton -- this is -- raise taxes -- -- -- -- -- that's that's that's -- -- the Supreme Court set with the Supreme Court said was this was constitutional they -- didn't matter what congress called it.
Is a penalty no then -- went out there and wait a minute here's another dozen or so choose not to buy insurance a little bit -- attacks.
No actually technically what they said as the congress has many powers there's a commerce clause there's taxing powers and it was constitutional until they sent out what it doesn't matter right.
I can't -- I can't let you go there it's specifically sad that it is not constitutional under the commerce clause they said it is constitutional.
Under the attacks and is that the question about raising taxes for the middle class -- -- -- let's just look at the -- the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Estimates than in 2016.
Four million Americans will -- they mandate penalty or tax 75%.
Of those people will make less than a 140000.
Dollars a year.
And the CBO says between 201212041.
Those folks will -- 47.
Billion dollars in an additional taxes.
So Chris is -- negative dynamic finish my question now I promise elected -- the middle class is taking quite out yet.
By what the supreme courts that it is a tax.
Net but I think if you look at all of the laws enacted in the last three and a half years you would see that those families have a tax cut.
That's it it all the independent analysts whether it's at Congressional Budget -- -- others.
Would validate that there has been a tax cut -- front and -- I'm I'm all I'm saying is that this is a tax increase on the middle Klaus.
Of 27 billion dollars over the next ten years and now what this is there's this is a law that says if you can afford insurance.
And you choose not to buy it.
And you choose to have your health costs be a burden to others you'll pay a penalty so that you'll pay your fair share.
That's what this law says for the 99% of the people who buying insurance or who get it because -- if that that the tax cuts that are in this act.
That they're not going to be affected you keep your insurance you don't pay any kind of penalty.
For the very few people who decide to be free riders and not have insurance but still have their costs go into the system -- the rest of us pay it.
There's a penalty.
It is it is not a burden on the middle class well and yeah.
Again the the nonpartisan CBO says four million Americans.
Will be paying that tax by 2016.
And let's look at -- chief Justice Roberts called it attacks.
It will be collected and and forest Bobby Internal Revenue Service.
What you pay as calculated as a percentage of your income.
Aunt and here's what the president's lawyer the solicitor general Donald literally told the court in defending the man that.
Not only is it fair to read this is an exercise of the -- power but.
That this court has got an obligation to construed as an exercise that taxed power if it can be a problem that -- -- This a little with the walks looks and quacks like a dock it's a -- But you know that Chris that's been a -- times as I've -- slob and -- one of the things about our judicial system.
Is -- you can make arguments to the court on multiple grounds.
That's -- -- was doing was saying there are a lot of ways to look at this it was set up and it was not called attacks but there are powers that congress has and you can justify a law and multiple -- multiple ways.
Cut the court took that route.
It is a penalty it was the finds a penalty in the law and it's something that people choose whether or not to be subject to.
Most Americans want health insurance 99%.
Of people take advantage of the fact that have affordable coverage that can protect their families.
For the 1% to choose not to have insurance they don't control whether they're going to be in an accident or be struck by illness if they end up in a hospital.
And they have to have expensive treatment.
Those class -- borne by other people who pay.
For insurance this penalty says you cannot be a free -- you cannot go without any payment and the penalty is that payment.
Very few people choose it in Massachusetts 1% of people chose to pay the penalty instead of have insurance people want health insurer.
I wanna move on to something else that I am but I just have to ask one last time I mean there are lots of taxes sir that that people either choose to -- or not depending on their -- -- cigarette tax.
I don't pay because I don't smoke.
Maybe is somebody else -- because they do this -- so -- plenty of taxes that are discretionary in terms of what your behavior as would you look great.
That in chief Justice Roberts ruling he sad that this is constitutional only as -- tax.
How I would say that with that repeating instead is that there are multiple powers of congress has to make line this law's constitutional.
That's not what he sensor but well I'm gonna move a -- The court also said that states don't have to expand.
Medicaid as Obama care.
A number of Republican governors at the -- rather a number of Republican governors say they may opt out if they do what happens to those millions of folks.
Who were -- -- fall under the mandatory expansion of Medicaid up to 133%.
Of the poverty level and doesn't that in fact.
Present if if some of those governors opt out doesn't that prevent universal coverage.
You know Chris I afterlife and me don't understand why governor would refused look at people in their state take advantage.
Medicaid coverage it's 100% paid for out of the federal budget but only so -- -- -- it and then and then it's.
Close to a 100% as its segment in in the 90% range.
I think if you look at the history of Medicaid in the 1960s.
When it was created in the 1990s when the child health program was put into place.
Over time states all choose to come -- Now it doesn't all happen at once I think the vast majority of states will come in right away that's the right thing to do that's what I think most states will do.
I'm -- governors we'll have to make their decisions this whole law has built around states having a lot of flexibility to implement the whole health fly in different ways that are.
Work in their own state we've actually propose legislation to give more flexibility to the states.
-- this -- a law that will cover millions and millions of people who don't now have health insurance.
And I hope that the states come around -- those few states that that -- that are slowed it to accept this coverage and add it.
And -- and and what would you say to a governor who's considering now that they have the option.
Besides I'm not gonna got on -- -- -- I think it's gonna costly down the line.
I think those governors have to answer the people in their state you know if you if you look at the people who are gonna be eligible these are working people who are low wages who don't have health care.
They're they're exactly the kind people must -- issue want to help.
Let's start to have some would say we've -- and.
What about let's turn to the politics of this governor -- says.
That he -- and Obama care on day one of his presidency he -- it raises taxes.
I thought -- hundred billion dollars is does it cuts Medicare by 500 billion dollars and that adds trillions of dollars to the deficit.
Are you happy to see Obama care be at out -- referendum in this election.
You know I I think the -- of facts are different than that the Congressional Budget Office made clear that this health care a lot -- not spends money it puts important mechanisms in place to help get control of health care spending more broadly.
When he was governor of Massachusetts governor Romney put a -- plan in place that has many of the features that.
This Affordable Care Act makes available on a national basis masters is actually one of the states that will be eligible were almost immediately because of that.
I don't think the American people want to have this debate again I don't think they wanna be pulled back it is two decades of debate to get to where we are.
We now have a law the law -- constitutional.
We should implement that the president said on many occasions that he wants to work across party lines if there are things it can be done to improve the law.
That's the conversation we should should be having and we need to move on -- deal with the economy and jobs we need to put our efforts and creating opportunity for Americans to be employed.
All right I want we're running out of time I have a couple of quick questions on other riches the Justice Department told a house on Friday.
That it will not prosecute attorney general holder on the house's.
Out of holder for criminal contempt of the president approved that decision.
Well executives privilege has to be invoked by the president and than the Justice Department relied an opinion from the Reagan administration.
Which is that you don't prosecute once executive privilege is invoked so the Justice Department made that decision as has every administration relying on the -- opinion.
Does the president think that's right for the Justice Department.
To ignore the the houses sighting of holder for content.
I think that and we've made clear that we I think that the the actions of the house were political that they were not based in fact he go back to what's.
At issue here the facts of fast and furious.
It was a bad.
Procedure to run guns to Mexico -- -- the Bush Administration in the regional office the attorney general didn't know that.
When he learned about it he stopped it because it's wrong.
He's given all the information to congress understand what's happened up until that point.
There's now a fishing expedition for documents that get well beyond finding those facts that well in every area.
May I finish I'm gonna move on but I mean we -- we do have to point out the fact is that.
It in February of 20112.
Months after the Border Patrol agent Brian Terry died.
It was the Justice Department that -- a letter to congress denying that this operation existed that did create some of the confusion.
-- and and and crest just it's to finish that story the attorney general made clear he did not know about it before that that letter would not have gone if watching if the attorney general in Washington knew about it.
Something bad was going on.
The Justice Department recognize that the attorney general stopped it in the policy to -- is it.
-- eleven months through the Justice Department to attract a -- if I may just ask you one last question sir in the investigation and national security links that pentagon.
All of the top relevant officials to preserve all of their documents the Director of National Intelligence as relevant agents.
Must take a lie detector test as chief of staff.
Have you ordered either of those stops with your -- Well Chris that I I can't speak to the details of how.
Investigations are being responded to because as you know that those.
But I can tell you that there you know calling it illegal operation and it's out there that the justice and that the Pentagon.
Is ordering documents be preserved in the DNI is having -- it's -- that's not as they have -- W that they'll be full cooperation.
And and you know within.
The the fact of the matter is that in the president feels very strongly that we need to find out where these leaks happen.
He relies on classified information every day to make life and death decisions there's nobody who's more concerned about where this goes on.
In the present does he feel so strongly that he will agree to questioning himself.
Because I'm not gonna speak to the details of how the investigation will be handled or we're gonna have to leave it there mr.
Lou I -- thank you so much for joining us as always.
It's good to talk would you -- Pleasure to be when you Chris.