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And hello again from Fox News and Washington.
-- talk when congressman Joseph Wilson and a few minutes about his outburst during the president's speech and whether he will apologize on the house floor or face some form of discipline from the democratic leadership.
But first was mr.
Obama's speech a game changer in the debate over health care reforms and let's get right to it.
Senator Orrin hatch of Utah you have a history of working with the Democrats on health care reform did the president's speech improve his chances for getting his plan through this year.
I think it probably -- it was a not my opinion long on rhetoric and very buried and short on substance but nevertheless it was a very good political -- to better Wesson.
The -- in 2000 neighborhoods in 2009 but.
It was a good -- that I really believe that the hard work has to be done.
Hopefully we can we know we're together and get it done but I really don't see -- with -- -- with their friends -- Well let me bring in senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
Did the president with his speech improve were hurt his chances of getting Health Care Reform through this year.
I thought it was a disaster -- I was combative.
He he's obviously on the defensive he's laughing every -- -- with a demagogue he's accusing us of bickering we're trying to have major policy discussions.
He outlined a 900 billion dollar proposal that really doesn't make sense and how you would pay for itself.
I don't think it advanced the ball substantively and politically it made it very hard I think -- -- -- now.
Well perhaps the president doesn't want the -- and senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri let me ask you about that did the president.
Resolve the differences between liberals and moderate Democrats in congress.
Well I think -- speech he was trying to speak to America.
And make sure that Americans realize the kind misinformation that has been out there.
As we try to come up with a plan that works for most Americans in terms -- holding onto insurance and stabilizing insurance there's give and take.
But the -- I think cleared the air about what is true and not true.
About what we're trying to get done here and why it's so important for America.
I thought it was a strong speech and I think the polling indicated that after that there are a lot of swing voters out there that said hey.
He's willing to compromise and be pragmatic.
Senator -- -- Kent Conrad of North Dakota are Democrats in the senate now unified.
Behind the president's plan.
You know I think Democrats are pretty much unified in the senate.
Around a plan that brings down costs because that's the central goal here and I thought the president.
Made a very powerful case that the course we're on now is utterly unsustainable.
Anybody that says we just stay in the current course is not paying attention.
And we have got -- circumstance in which cost has to be brought down that's the number one issue I heard all across my state.
During the break second he said he's prepared to hear a better idea.
So somebody's got a better idea bring it to and third he said what.
I -- am ready.
To move toward the middle he talked about a plan that is very close to the bipartisan plan that's being developed in the finance committee are let's.
Write this down there obviously a bunch of issues here the big issue I think it's fair to say going.
Into the speech was whether the president was going to insist on the public option government run insurance to compete.
With private insurers here's what he -- The public option is only a means to that and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate don't.
Senator -- some people read the president -- paving the way in this speech for dropping the public option as one of the people one of the leaders and the senate among Democrats is looking for another option.
Besides government run insurance.
Is not the way you read -- -- the president.
Do you think he's giving up on the public option.
I don't think he's giving up I think he made a very strong case for his support for the public option analysts and option.
But I think he also said -- I'm -- other ideas infecting spoken of favorably about the cooperative approach.
Which would provide -- non profit competitor.
But would not be government run would be run by its membership is all co ops are so.
I thought he left the door open to a compromise.
Really across the board in order to achieve the result of bringing down costs expanding coverage and improving quality.
As senator McCaskill as a practical matter.
Isn't the public option -- I don't know a lot and I think the public option in some ways has become a distraction.
The need -- this matter is that we're losing 141000.
Americans from health insurance every day.
The meat -- the matter is that most middle class families are worried that they won't be able to afford health insurance next year.
And the bottom line is weak in the deficit hawk.
Cannot look you in the -- and honestly say we can do -- thing about the deficit if we don't bring down health care costs.
So I think what the president tried to do is shift the emphasis of the debate.
To the vast majority of the provisions that are gonna accomplish some of those things.
Reduce the deficit bring down costs make health insurance available and affordable and secure for most Americans.
That's really the meat of the matter not a distraction of whether it's a co op -- a public option.
That's a small part of this and I think he did a good job kind of re prioritizing our debate -- regard.
Well senator brown in let me ask Jill because when they start talking Democrats do about it as a distraction.
And it certainly increases my feeling that we're not gonna end up with a public option Republicans have been fighting not.
Why not take yes for an answer and work with Democrats to find a compromise.
I think the public option is dead it's probably been -- a long time -- the public.
Is very afraid 85% of people private health insurance like what they've got and they understand -- the public option is part of any reform measure.
Private insurers cannot compete against the government over time.
I think one thing we can say if the deficit matters which I'm glad to hear it does and the public options unacceptable -- the house bill is dead.
We should just threw it in the garbage can because his 239 billion dollars added to the deficit over ten year period.
It has a public option so that looks like all the actions now and the senate.
I'm I'm gonna get to this question across gusts have been up but I want to bring -- senator hatch and it does the president praised you in his speech for the fact that you work.
With Ted Kennedy to pass children's health care and asked chip as it's known.
He is government health insurance so if you could accept government health insurance first -- -- Why can't -- accept some form of that for.
All the rest of America.
-- mean there's no question you know basically it was a block grant to the states where the states basically ran it that's -- work.
If we would do that and and federal health care I think we do -- better off because we have fifty state laboratories.
Developing their own plans for their own demographics -- -- instances in Massachusetts -- Massachusetts's it and you can say that about every other state.
You know we're talking about.
France six million American people 85% of them basically think their health insurance is is is better than anything they can get.
At this do we need to reform yeah.
But think about it if you -- and and they say 47 million people presents at thirty million in the states.
If you deduct the six million who basically work for companies to provide health insurance but they don't buy it.
If you -- to do that to eleven million people who.
Really qualify for chip or.
And or some Medicaid.
You deduct than nine million who earn over so if that are here can afford and -- -- the six million.
Undocumented workers is that a concern about fifteen million people so we're gonna throw out a whole system for 300000000 and six million -- Because of fifteen million people who we could subsidize.
And help without ruining the whole system and and we're gonna save money.
We're gonna save taxes we're going to and have less spending we're going to have.
Greater choices come on it would have been in the real world here.
All right but let me let me go to another issue and I think -- all of them talk about that that is cost.
That the president flat at this huge new government program.
Will pay for itself let's watch.
I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit.
Now or in the future period.
Senator Conrad your chairman of the Senate Budget Committee let's take a look.
At the numbers and let's put him up on the screen -- nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects the main house bill.
We'll -- 239 billion dollars to the deficit in the first ten years but that includes ten years of taxes and only six years of -- services.
The Lewin Group a private groups looked at the second ten years of the plan when it's.
Fully running and they said it would add a trillion dollars more of the deficits under congress.
How do you get from a trillion dollars plus -- not adding a dime to the deficit.
Because that plan has a plan out of one committee in the house and it's not gonna pass.
What only the only thing that has -- prospect of -- have passing is what is happening in the senate in the finance committee.
-- three Democrats and three Republicans have been given the responsibility come up with a proposal for our Alex.
And the proposal that we are developing is fully paid for.
Bends the cost curve in the right way.
Extends coverage to 94% of the American people not everybody.
But 94% is a big improvement over where we are now dramatically.
The insurance market because it reforms and improve the delivery system by providing big incentives to adopt the best practices that are out there.
Those systems that we know are working like -- mountain out in Utah which is outstanding.
But unless -- -- graduated about the -- -- six which is six later it's your part of it on the Senate Finance Committee.
Are you gonna reach a compromise this week that Republicans and Democrats sign on.
We hope to -- it meet again on Monday we have people working all weekend and a number of us have worked through the weekend.
We think we are very close to an agreement -- and I want to repeat the agreement that we have the Congressional Budget Office has told us is fully paid for.
Bends the cost curve in the right way and does extend coverage to 94%.
But let me bring senator hatch into this.
First of all do you believe that they got a deal that's gonna pay for itself and secondly the president says well look even if it doesn't.
We're gonna have a deficit triggers so we don't get all the savings we think we're gonna get for Medicare we will automatically.
Cut savings -- isn't that enough for.
Of course not just also forces us into a public plan even more so that the federal government can control.
Lucky you said the -- going to be any crisis in Texas how about the point 5% of of seniors who are on Medicare Advantage they're gonna -- America Medicare Advantage and thirty.
Billion dollars as part of racing revenues.
They're gonna have employer mandate at least -- form -- employer mandate that basically has been hurt low income employees they've got an individual mandate that if you.
If you learn more than two if you learn more than 300% of the federal poverty and probably going to be paying up to 3800 -- -- that is an increase in taxes I don't know what is.
Again go on on -- even with all the work that I give my fellow.
Fellow senators credit for India finance committee is hardly and -- -- talking about.
About almost a trillion dollars in spending but that's only for seven years because it doesn't trigger to -- 2013.
That's one year after that.
Presidential election of 2012 kind of interest thing isn't it trying to I didn't want -- -- all I can say is.
I just do not believe.
That they're gonna have a Republican support on this type of reproach and I can tell you right now people all over the country no one -- all right.
-- YouTube method Medicare it brings us to the president's claim that he couldn't squeeze hundreds of billions of dollars out of Medicare.
Without in any way endangering or cutting services to seniors let's watch.
The only thing this plan would eliminate.
-- the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies.
Senator McCaskill do you really believe -- that's possible that you can take hundreds of billions of dollars out of Medicare.
Without cutting services to seniors.
-- how many ads you've -- for scooters on cable TV that I see a lot of them those are -- paid for by the American people and a lot of them are going to.
Folks who don't need scooters.
It's one example of many examples where we are paying for services or things -- set of outcomes.
And I think it's very important that we start focusing on the patient and what's good for the patient.
Rather then five or ten.
So docs and hospitals are trying to pay for those machines.
There's lots of things we can do without cutting any of the service and frankly Medicare Advantage with all due respect -- We just transferred -- taxpayer money to insurance companies it hasn't brought down the cost of Medicare it hasn't been edit.
But senator -- -- our government let me let me ask and because this is a question I got a lot -- emails.
If there is already hundreds of billions of dollars of waste and fraud in Medicare.
Why would we want to trust government -- even bigger role in health care.
Well part of the problem is is that we've had.
The private sector come in and get congress to do things a great example of Medicare.
For gosh sakes where -- all the fiscal conservative.
You know five or six years ago when the Republican congress Republican plant -- to protect.
-- -- Australian dollar program without any way of paying for it that's a good example of where we have transferred money from taxpayers.
To private insurance companies and has not produced the kind of result the American people deserves a senator Graham need to pay for this.
-- -- let me bring in senator Graham because that democratic congressman Jim Cooper one of the so called blue dogs who actually teaches health care policies says.
That between private and public health care we waste about 700 billion dollars a year so it should be easy to find these kinds of things.
-- no one's found them before and the Allen laying -- of finding now is to do something -- no one's been willing to do and ask it in here and change the system.
You're not gonna find 300 billion dollars in Medicare Medicaid savings.
This trigger idea that it at a certain point in time -- Stop spending and go back and cut cut things has never worked anywhere else so the trigger is -- phony baloney idea.
They said the same thing in Tennessee about ten care we're gonna make the system efficient and that's how we're gonna pay for -- and care.
Listen to what the governor of Tennessee had to say about that I've voted against Medicare part.
For the very reason that we don't pay for things around here the Wyden Bennett bill seven Republicans and seven Democrats.
Is revenue neutral I'd like to talk to the president about it but here's the one thing we've learned from this show today.
The house bill is dead because deficit politics apparently matter in the public option is unacceptable.
So that's a good start if we -- the house bill.
Less than -- Kent Conrad and others and see if we can do something raise more.
But is not reasonable to assume that we're gonna cut Medicare and Medicaid -- The paper other people's insurance and get 300 billion dollar savings have a trigger that -- washed and -- one -- those make sense to me.
Well -- less -- this -- senator.
-- We have negotiated.
With Medicare providers.
Hospitals nursing homes home health hundreds of billions of dollars of savings.
Why are they willing to come forward and negotiate those savings because they know with more people covered.
They're gonna have more business they're gonna have fewer circumstances in which they don't get compensated they don't get paid.
So we have gotten hundreds of billions of dollars of savings for Medicare providers because they know they're gonna get more business.
All right well we we are almost -- -- something can add something.
What about the doctor -- -- we're gonna let it go in effect is supposed to go in effect every year and we never let it go in effect.
That's exactly what's -- -- happen with these other -- I.
I we have really blessed and a couple of times and -- praise senator Graham I just want to ask senator -- I just wanna -- senator Graham.
One final question we're about to get that Joseph Wilson on the -- should he apologize.
Two on the house floor your his fellow south Carolinians and he apologized on the house floor.
And end this controversy.
Well I think Joseph needs to make it clear that what he did was wrong he has apologized to the president that's enough to me it's -- that the president accepted it.
I'd like to see this matter and Joe's a good man he made a mistake.
Don't give up on finding healthcare but what he said was an appropriate this needs to come -- and for the good of -- South Carolina in the country.
I'll leave it up to his good counsel as to what to do next but he has apologize the president and I appreciate that very much.
Senators we're gonna have to thank you all thank you all so much for coming in today and joining us and we'll see how the fight over Health Care Reform shakes out over the next few weeks.
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