tv Crossfire CNN October 29, 2013 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT
won't be visited by some ill health issue two days from now. >> and everybody needs health insurance. >> absolutely. >> thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you so much for having me. >> remember, you can always follow what's going on here in the situation room. tweet me, tweet the show. crossfire starts right now. tonight on crossfire, obama care hindsight. when the president said -- >> ail be able to keep your health care plan, period. >> did he know millions of plans would be canceled? should she have known the website wasn't? on the left, stephanie cutter. on the right, newt gingrich. in the crossfire, one who supports obama care and one who opposes it. who knew and who should have
known, tonight on crossfire. welcome to crossfire. i'm newt gingrich on the right. >> and i'm stephanie cutter on the left. in the crossfire tonight, congressman keith ellison and bill crystal from the editor of the weekly standard. over the last 24 hours some people would have you believe that president obama intentionally misled you about what happened to your health care plan after the affordable health care plan passed. that's not true. if you had a plan before the law passed in 2010 the president said you could keep it, and you can, unless your insurer makes major changes. that turnover has been going on for decades. listen to one of florida's top executives talking about it. >> we're not cutting people. we're transitioning people. what we've been doing is informing folks that their plan doesn't meet the test of the essential health benefits. therefore, they have a choice of many options that we make available through the exchange.
and in fact, with subsidy, many people will be getting better plans at a lesser cost. >> he's right. this is like your car being recalled by the manufacturer because the brakes don't work. you're getting a better product. the white house may have oversold how little change there would be in the individual market, but there's no conspiracy sear. the individual market has been broken for a very long time. but today that changes. if you have a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or asthma, you can no longer be denied or forced to pay more. half of americans in the individual market will receive tax credits to help them pay for it. so this is a better deal at a better cost and you have a much greater choice than you did before. newt, have at it. >> you may be as good a salesman for an impossible position as i've ever run into. the president runs around the country, and we can put up two hours of clips. you will not lose your plan. you will not lose your dr. that's just not true.
wait a second. the fact is there are clearly people who are losing. he didn't qualify. he didn't say under the right circumstances. he said you will not. this is why you have such cynicism. >> are you caught up with the president not telling the full story? or are you more caught up with people getting a better deal in the individual market? i think that's what this comes down to whether we're going to look at the policy and what is happening with the american people as a result of the health care reform or are we going to look at political talking points? >> part of the nature of a free society is it's nice to have a president that is straight but, this is what caught up with him on syria. the next time he says something you say wait a second, maybe i don't believe that. in the crossfire tonight, let me start, along the same line, this just keeps going. last night we had valerie jarrett tweet the following --
nothing in obama care forces people out of their health plans. no change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans. now i'm gioing to you in a second, but the obama care requires the plan, and the insurance company says i'm changing your plan. and the president said it's the insurance company's fault. >> it's true. 85% of the people who have employer based health care, their situation is essentially the same only it's better because now we have insurance reform that makes this thing as stephanie said, pre-existing conditions and things work better. on the folks on the individual market, we've now said you can't have a plan that basically has all these fine-print points and doesn't pay. there has to be some basic standards. so if the plan you're offering doesn't meet those standards,
then you've got to upgrade. that's what this is all about. the fact is i this think this is an improvement in people's lives. we are scrutinizing this thing. and let's face it, newt, there's a lot of people whose scrutiny isn't on the up and up because they have never liked health insurance reform. >> it's nice of you to improve people's lives, but maybe they should have a say in it. >> november 2012, people did make a choice. >> the president went around the country saying the i'm going to take away your plan? he said the opposite. t how many of them are grandfathered in? >> nobody keeps their plan year after year. that's the nature of an individual marketplace. and they would like to get a better plan. >> i'm sorry.
>> it has an expiration date. >> that's just tough on you. >> that is the market. >> people could buy a plan. in a free country. let me ask you this. why would you support, you could have all these features you want. if my friend in washington, d.c. likes his plan, and his insurance company likes his plan. and he's a ph.d.. he doesn't need anyone else to explain what he needs, why can't he renew it? >> because we don't make public policy based on your friend. we make it for a country. and if your friend -- >> and if you make public policy for all -- >> and if your friend wants to go to a restaurant that has a bunch of health care violations because it's cheaper there, the health care inspector might say we're not going to allow that. >> this was legal. >> it didn't meet the stipulationing of the law. >> there has to be some changes. is that what the president said?
he said you can keep your plan, period. >> no, what he said, it was a campaign speech. he's not -- >> he said it a hundred times. he said it in a prepared speech to the american medical association. you can keep your plan, period. >> and that is substantially true. and anybody who -- >> oh, you don't believe that, keith. >> of course i do. 80% of the people in employer situations the only change was their plan got better. >> he didn't say that. i think this is fundamental to running a free society. he didn't say -- come on. he went around the country, over and over. i think we could fill two hours with excerpts of barack obama saying you could get -- they're lying to you. you get to keep your plan. and you get to keep your doctor. >> for the people on employer based health care that's true. you agree with that. 80% of the people. >> that's not entirely true for people with employer-based health care. >> if we have a new law we know there will be changes.
>> there is something else going on here. and let me talk to you about their. you'u you're going to get this plan? >> no. >> really? >> no. i got to go through the exchange. wait a minute, my employer, this is an employer subsidy. this is what we had before. as a matter of fact, you know, the reality is that members of congress have to go through the exchange. i'm going through the exchange. >> with 75% subsidy that nobody else gets. >> what was the deal before? right? i used to have federal -- >> you get to keep your plan. unlike everybody else in america. you get to keep the same arrangement. >> we can discuss what members of congress are getting, but that's not really the point here. the point is you've been against the health care law from the start. you've been against the health
care law from the start. there's something else going on here. in the '90s it was the same situation. you wrote a memo saying republicans should not compromise with democrats because it would make the democrats the class of the middle class forever. they're not making substantive points. we're not even giving this law a chance. we're month into it being implemented. as of january 1 we'll know. february 1 we'll know. march 1 we'll know. >> i totally agree. >> don't you agree that people are making political points here? >> here's the larger question. bill, bill, bill, don't you agree. >> my only point is -- >> bill, don't you agree that what we had before we passed the affordable care act was an unacceptable situation for millions of americans? don't you agree we needed reform? >> yes, and we didn't need to reform it in such a way that people who liked their plan had to have it taken away from them. many republicans and many
democrats proposed ways to reform health care. >> and by the way, the health care plan we have is modeled on a republican plan. the fact is that the massachusetts law, this comes up out of republican -- >> heritage foundation. >> so now you guys don't like the porridge that you cooked. >> it's not accurate to say let's wait for a while. >> you got to give it a chance. >> people in florida, 300,000 have been told they will, quote, be transitioned. >> to a better plan. it happens every single year. it happens every single year. you guys are defending a broken market. >> oh, by the way, what do we have, 8% inflation? now we're about 5.6. and we're bending the health care cost down. you can't expect to change the law and have everything perfect. >> hold on. stick with us. after all the administration's
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welcome back. in the crossfire tonight, congressman keith ellison and weekly standard editor bill crystal. i have some important questions for health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius, and we're in luck. because she's in capitol hill tomorrow to testify about the obama care rollout fiasco. the first thing i'm going to ask is are you going to enjoy life
back in kansas? >> are you serious? >> i'm just doing that for you. who thought the website would work on october 1? who's responsible, her department or the white house? somebody's got to take responsibility. i'd also ask for accurate information about how many people are signing up. after all, it's her obligation to report to the congress and to the country. and congressman ellison, i want to ask you. cnn late today got a report today that they had apparently warned cms, at least, that the system wasn't going to work sometime around september 1. they gave the warning and said there's a really high probability this is going to crack and not function. would the country have been better off to have postponed it for a month, to have found some way to have an orderly process of rollout? >> no, i think once we had an october deadline, you know, we needed to move that forward. we do have people who have signed up, got accounts. in the state of minnesota we
have 19,000 people who have got accounts, a good number who h e havhave signed up. you put that deadline out there and you drive toward it. there are reasonable questions to be made about management. but i don't think you move the date because that also brings forth a whole bunch of other problems. at the end of the day, people need to, we need to get health care bill up and running. you start moving it and moving it. the next thing you know, we don't have it. >> should secretary sebelius be held accountable? >> everything should be held accountable. but throwing blame around is a different thing. let's just face it. tomorrow's hearing, some of it will be legitimate points of view, questions being asked. but there's going to be a lot of political theater. there are going to be a lot of people who didn't want it, shut down the government over it and some of their criticism, i just
don't take their criticism seriously. >> they're right. they said we need to delay the mandate for a year. it's unfair to force people into these exchanges. and now they've imd katd -- you say it's terrible that people have opposed this all along. it's turning out worse. we'll see if it's going great three years from now if it hasn't been delayed, which i hope it is. i'll come on this show and say i was wrong. this government social engineering from the top has worked out great. >> what about medicare part d, though? that wasn't flawless. there were problems with that rollout too. sometimes things don't work as planned. >> and democrats got behind republicans to help fix that law. listen to what a representative said today at the hearing. >> we lost the policy fight. and what did we do? we went back to our districts. and we told our seniors,
although we voted no, we personally believe, and we'll work with the bush administration to make it work. that's what we did. and how many of you stood up to do that? none! zero! zero! >> medicare part d forced no one to buy nothing they didn't want. people could choose to avail themselves of it or not. that is traditional american -- >> the point of that is that democrats governed. democrats governed. they took responsibility and helped republicans implement that law. republicans are doing the exact opposite. they're obstructing. >> this terrible law which infringes on liberty and is going to make our health care worse. >> the affordable care act works. is that a problem for
conservative ideologues like you in this country? does that hurt you? >> yeah, if communism works -- >> give it a chance. give it communism works, would have been wrong? >> we're only a month in. >> i'm sorry. people's health is at stake here. republican house members were elected to do their job. protect their constituents. >> yes, peel's health is at stake here. i have a woman if my office named any. abby has a serious illness that would have put her into an early grave. that's no exaggeration. because we no longer have these exclusions for preexisting conditions, this young woman can get health care and contribute to the community. it is a matter of life and death. it is serious. so you're right. we are going to have to fight over this thing.
>> to have some real limits on what insurance company can do. >> you do not have to infringe on other people's health care to help abby. >> how do you draw the line between demagoguery and legitimate oversight? the hearing today truck me as a very serious set of questions. >> a good question. >> tomorrow i suspect that they will have a similar problem. there is a public visible mess. somebody is responsible. she is the secretary of health and high school services. isn't that in fact precisely the kind of oversight congress should have? >> you can't take politics out of politics. this will be some theater. that's the way we do. at least let her answer the questions. at least respect her. at least give her the time to give a koeg enlt response. follow up if you need to. but sometime we get these hearings, people yelling, they're cutting off the witness
and it just go downhill. i hope we don't do that tomorrow. >> i think it is a big enough issue. it is life and death for every american. when you start affecting the whole health system, it is an enormous challenge. >> it wasn't working before. 50 million people -- >> a lot of mernds were happy with their health care. there were ways to help people without change have the whole system. this was a dream of liberal social engineering for decades that we're now watching going into practice. like most liberal social engineering dreams, it won't be a dream. it will be a nice player. >> like social security? >> or how about the internet highway system? >> totally unlike that. it forced people not to save money on their own. >> what is social engineering? what is bad about covering people with preexisting conditions? not we will pay double what men
pay? insuring young adults can get on their parents' coverage. that's good policy. that reduces costs for all of us. not just that individual. >> maybe in a fantasy world it reduces costs for all of us. >> if you want to make particular changes. there are state, legislations passed. why do people who are happy with their medical care, employers who are happy with their kurmt situation, to have change? because people in washington decided we know better for you than what's good for you. >> i think many employers are business community were telling that you the current system was not. that we were paying extraordinarily more than other countries were for our health care because the system was broken. we can debate the status quo. but i think that people were looking for reform and they were looking for critical change to their health care to give them power. >> i agree. they will get the reform they need once obama care crashes and
burns and once conservatives can pass actual reform that help citizens and patients and consumers. big farm he, whom you at the white house worked extremely effectively with. it was fantastic. you had much better relations with big business than any republican administration. >> that was a nice little dig. >> i met with business people in my district. you know what? they're past all this stuff about trying to wreck the affordable care act. they're trying to figure out how does it work? how can they get the tax credit. that's what they're focused on. we have to stop this thing where they keep trying to wreck the affordable care act. and i want to invite republicans to come on board. >> stay hear. next we cease fire. maybe we can talk about that. how we actually govern. is there anything that you two can agree on? we want you at home to weigh in on today's fireback question. will obama care improve your health coverage? we'll have the results after the break. my customers can shop around-- see who does good work and compare costs.
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we're back with representative keith ellison and bill kristol. let's call a cease fire. >> age before beauty. >> stephanie carter was still in the white house, there website meltdown would not have ham. >> that's great. >> was that appropriate? >> i would like to see a -- >> i'll not sure everybody agrees with that. >> i would like to see a fair, respectful if tough hearing for kathleen sebelius tomorrow. >> i agree with that. >> let me thank you both for being here.
go to facebook or twitter to weigh in on our fire back question. will obama care improve your health care coverage. right now 29% of you say yes. 71% say no. >> the debate continues online at cnn doc/crossfire as well as facebook and twitter. from the left. i'm stephanie cutter. >> from the right, i'll newt gingrich. join us tomorrow for another edition of "crossfire." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront." spying on manager's best friends. today spies finally went on offense. >> some of this reminds me a lot of the classic movie, casa blanca. my god, there's gambling going on here. >> plus a grisly discovery at two water treatment plantss. >> they discovered a human
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