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Live and this morning we are also very close to finding out exactly how much.
The latest version of the president's health care reform won't cost now once the CB you've heard that -- a lot the Congressional Budget Office they're crunching the numbers right now once they announced that latest price tag after that the bill will go -- -- as you heard the president say last night when he spoke with -- 72 hours the wheels -- in motion -- during that period as everybody gets the chance to look over that bill.
And look over the CBO numbers and then the vote could come as early as this weekend.
Red hair sat down with President Obama last evening and he asked the president what he thinks about the way this process has gone.
By the time the vote has taken place.
Not only I won't know what's in it you'll know what's in it because it's gonna be posted and everybody's going to be able to evaluate it on the merits but here's the thing where -- -- The reason that I think this conversation.
Ends up being a -- frustrated.
The focus entirely.
-- on Washington process and yes I have said that as an ugly process he was ugly when Republicans were charged it was ugly when Democrats were in charge.
I still -- Karl Rove is back with us now I he is of course a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to president George W.
Karl good morning good to have you back.
Thanks for him.
He you know eight -- It's just even the top of that SoundBite when you listen to what the president says.
He says don't worry because you'll all know what's in the bell as soon as it's finished and you all know what's in the Dallas -- finished I think that's it's kind of funny.
With American people when they hear of that you know then that we're all gonna find out and then we'll have a whole 72 hours to check it out.
Yeah well remember this is going to be 3000 page bill.
There's going to be stuff hidden in that bill and language that we don't fully understand and ordinary people could read it and not really understand its ramifications I would remind you for example.
That while we've understood about Gatorade that was to carve out that -- if you got a Medicare Advantage policy and you live in Florida.
You don't get cut 20% like everybody else in the country.
It took several days to find out that there was language written in there that also protected people who lived in certain parts of New Jersey and New York.
I mean we we took -- that we were fighting days and days and days after the bill passed the -- and people have the language.
We're finding out that your Mutual of Omaha -- Medigap policies were treated different than any other.
Companies Medigap policies and blue cross of Michigan was being treated in a different way than any other blue cross in the country except blue cross of Nebraska so.
You know it's hard -- took days to figure out that this funny little provision in there had to do did something to do with hospital construction was a you'll eight earmark if you will go four for Chris Dodd's.
Connecticut medical and dental school -- -- where where they're going to be they're gonna be goofy things in this I -- -- the president said we're gonna have many days to look at it.
No they're gonna rush this thing out.
Throw it up over the weekend -- and hope that everybody you know votes they you know both Ford and or if you're the American people that you're confused enough that you -- you stand by on the sidelines.
I -- take a look at another piece of a -- interviewed the president last night.
I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural thing.
Rules are in the house or the Senate what I really what I would like this what this meant what I can tell you is is that the vote let's take.
In the house.
Will be a vote.
For health care reform and if people vote yes whatever form that takes that is going to be -- vote.
For health care reform and I don't think we should pretend otherwise wouldn't -- earlier this month hey Brett let me finish.
And if they don't.
-- -- vote against it then they're gonna be voting against.
Health care reform and they're gonna be voting in favor the status quo so Washington.
Gets very concerned about these procedural issues in congress.
This is always an issue that's whether Republicans -- charter Democrats in charge.
So Carl clearly the president wants -- want to keep this simple he's saying if you vote for my bell you just kind of everything that's in there.
Then you're voting in favor of health care -- a lot of folks in this country who are in favor of health care reform.
Who are not so sure there in favor of this bell.
This shows to the things that are really sort of the less attractive side to -- very attractive political personalities President Obama.
For fall he describes to -- -- -- motives they don't have if you vote no on this very bad bill.
You're favor the status quo wouldn't reveal the Republicans have laid out many options in many alternatives to many proposals that they like to take the country in the direction and then the second thing is.
If he sort of you know he sounds like he's not part of the process if he thinks that all this this ugly process as he calls it is ugly.
That he has a responsibility say -- -- using that demon.
You know it's just.
The president has responsibility to be more engaged on this we -- he doesn't do -- well either he was a little petulant in that interview.
He's got an enormously you know sort of positive Chris -- personality but less -- -- was Brett.
He did he sounded petulant not positive.
Yet they -- -- you don't have that the funding for on this Karl and Brett tried to pin him down on a number of different things -- -- which you just mentioned.
The Florida deal the Connecticut deal -- brought up specifically.
You know and the president suggested at one point he said you know -- any any sort of help.
That we might give back to the states for the cuts that they might experience in Medicare.
If we do that we're gonna do that across the board well that's exit question if this is built on 500 billion dollars in cuts to Medicare.
And you're gonna give -- and every single state so that doesn't hurt them so badly.
How do you pay for it.
Well here you bring your right Brett never got a straight answer it's not just Louisiana which he said -- yeah we're gonna have the special treatment for Louisiana we're gonna special treatment for Hawaii.
Guilty any natural -- that about Connecticut what do you.
What about Massachusetts and Vermont I mean they got special deals and second -- you're right in this is the big issue.
This thing is predicated on Bernie Madoff style financing.
They double count Social Security revenues they double count.
A new entitlement revenues for long term care they take the doc fix 371 billion dollars and put it to the side.
The CBO said after all of those shenanigans it's about a hundred billion dollars in the black it's really 460 billion dollars in the red.
It what did we hear from the president in his interview with -- there that it would save the day it would reduce the deficit by eight trillion dollars -- -- -- -- who's he kidding.
You do all the kind of shady because they're gonna do -- that either the CBO says that after you do all the shenanigans and hide 460 billion dollars in red -- There's only a hundred dollar a hundred billion dollars a black ink and yet the president sat there with a straight face and said -- this bill's gonna save us a trillion dollars it's just not.
Karl I think he's so much Karl -- got their courage -- consequences Carly got some breaking news that I know going to be a big interest GAO.
On this front says state -- -- and we thank you for joining us this morning policies and.
You -- -- Martha fonts there's alert now that cost of the bill has now been made public Fox News confirming the cost of the democrats' health care plan on the table.
Rays that's 940.
Billion dollars over ten years.
That's not quite a trillion -- as you know -- over the past several days many estimates have -- and over that number.
And Democrats were keen on getting it below one trillion dollars.
It also talks about reducing the deficit over a period of ten years.
And compares that to reducing the deficit over a period of twenty years.
The reason this is importance because the cost has been delayed by two days as they crunch the numbers on the hill behind us here in Washington.
But now we understand.
Democrats in the house and senate.
Especially on the house several get together later today around noon eastern time.
And after that meeting we believe that they will forward this bill that's now been given -- price stack.
And once that is done the clock will start running and -- about three days away for the potential from a vote.
On the floor of the house one Williams news analyst for NPR Fox News contributor.
With us here in Washington early morning to you want is this enough to put it over the top what do you think about the fiscal conservatives on the Democrat side.
This is really important this is you know are we talk about deal breakers as the deal maker for a lot of Democrats who had been concerned about the deficit because if you look at the poll numbers if you look at the response from.
In terms of the electorate their principal concern has been this thing's gonna bankrupt this is gonna bankrupt future generations it's potentially going to be.
Something that causes taxes to be raised.
And you can't have -- entitlement without properly funding it and therefore this is all -- but here comes the CBO this morning.
To reassure those independents and by extension those Democrats have been on the fence because they are deficit -- the -- And this is I'm just reading it here from this news report.
It says it will cost 940 billion dollars bill over the next ten years.
But will trim the federal deficit by a 130 billion in the first ten years one point two trillion.
In the fashion that's forty years you live in Washington a long time right you believe that.
You know I don't know how to believe -- because I don't understand some of these numbers are for example Martha just having a discussion.
With Carl about.
The president's response the idea that there is going to be.
Savings in this package that would extend the life of Medicare and as you know their argument has been that he's double -- some of these things because he wants to apply to other programs.
The president yesterday -- in fact they're going to be cuts in terms of what Medicare gives the insurance companies and it will expand the like from Medicare by seven but that the big fix for Medicare.
Would have to come down the line what wanna get back to Karl Rove in a moment here but but when you look at these numbers and you analyze with the trying to put together.
But that the cuts in Medicare.
Washington's never cut Medicare correct who's a think -- do it now well.
You know what we tried it President Bush tried to reform social security and just the idea of privatizing and putting some cuts in place proved to be Kryptonite.
You know to the body politic they can't handle it and similarly you have to wonder.
Right now the biggest opposition to president Obama's bill comes from seniors.
Why because seniors are ready who are worried about cuts in Medicare spending seniors vote to -- his boat they give money they pay attention.
One hang on one moment like that I must bring Karl Rove back and Karl we're glad you're still around blank here respond to that you -- moments ago when you were talking a bell.
That this argument has gone past substance.
That now it is about the presidency.
And the success of the Obama presidency that's where he's appealing to people -- -- but.
If the CBO comes in and is trouble some.
That could cause some problems for this is it's a troublesome number.
Not a good number because it's under a trillion dollars is roughly the same total -- top line number that we had on the Senate bill before.
But the key is going to be in the -- -- are they double counting the Social Security.
Payroll taxes that they see occurring as a result of people losing their coverage and their employers giving them additional -- in lieu of health care coverage.
Are they double counting the so called class premium this is the new entitlement program for long term care.
It which in the previous version eroded at such a way that the CBO had to score.
That the premium payments would go to the cost of current health care.
Where's the doc fix -- all this everyone pretty much agrees that the cost of the doc fix.
For Medicare for the next decade will be roughly 371.
In the previous version what they simply said is we're gonna I'm gonna include that in this bill we're gonna -- and pretend like that that that this huge pile red stuff.
It's not it's not a problem force and then one other kind of tricks to they have been here in order to keep the total amount of this money at.
At 940 and more importantly to keep these so called deficit reduction over at.
It was -- -- -- -- and I believe in the previous version of this but if you count for example 52 billion dollars is.
Payroll taxes for Social Security -- paid for current health care expenditures.
And 72 billion dollars worth of premiums for long term care -- paid for health care expenses -- 456 billion dollars of Medicare cuts.
As both being cuts and paid for Medicare expenses.
Then you can K if you could paper up a lot but if you -- if you're forced it to be straight about it you've got a big bunch of red -- there that you gotta you gotta count for.
Yeah I dead even just the very first thing -- -- -- assumption that employers are going to give money back to their employees that they no longer have to spend on their health care premiums.
Is a huge assumption.
To make it -- in in any business.
Yet expected to be it's even more than that the assumption is is that they will be too experienced do provide health care coverage for their employees.
So they will dump that coverage pay a fine and then turn around and give their employees the exact same amount of money that they would otherwise have to spend on health care.
In order to -- give a bigger paychecks.
And because of that today they will pay additional income taxes in additional pay my taxes the income taxes will pay for the health care and the payroll taxes going into Social Security trust fund will also pay for health care expenses which.
You can't spend it on social security and health care.
You can't spend it twice.
Thank you -- there.
Good to have you -- -- another of the new book courage and consequence are gonna be out here a lot -- -- -- -- by in the coming days as he hash all this.
These numbers are mind boggling -- quickly one final word from one -- -- it appears right now in the calendar puts us here.
For final vote on Sunday -- yeah.
Obviously Sunday afternoon -- yeah exactly which they were trying -- -- because the president is trying to get out of town but now it looks like Sunday in a word.
Now we have the number do you think this passes -- I thought I think all along.
I think that because the president's making the case that this is about his presidency.
His presidency hangs in the balance on this repeatedly get this done he doesn't get immigration and he didn't get energy Derek Anderson quickly he made -- appeal just to about a week ago as soon as democratic lawmakers -- it but he's making phone calls as we are here let me just quickly answers something -- the Carlson.
Karl said you know what with regard to the payroll taxes.
You know what employers have said all along they want to hire more and they can't hire more and I think that's why the president talks about the health care reform is potentially boost the economy.
Karl talks about something like that doc fix the way the Democrats and the White House approach it says the topic -- -- separate item.
And it's not that you're gonna fix Medicare not to gonna -- the doctors reimbursement with this bill.
So that's how I think he'd be open looks at these numbers and comes up with this positive result that's gonna be a boost to those that fence sitting down there and grab a dictionary and -- calculated gonna -- -- the next three days.
-- The details are intense.
One thank you you're walking them through this -- -- got things.
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