tv [untitled] CSPAN June 9, 2009 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
how do you make sure that those who do not have insurance get insurance of the people who have insurance are not paying for those who do not? guest: it needs to be affordable, accessible, and it needs to be portable. that is the republican approach. now, as you look at the 47 million estimate, clearly is not that high. there are probably 18 million of those people who do not have health insurance that are making over $50,000 a year. 6 million or in million of them make over $75,000 a year -- 6 million or 8 million of them make over $75,000 a year, and they can afford it. there also, steve, is an estimate of 10 million people who are eligible for a safety @@@@,rzb"h >> or their income level is such
that they would be eligible for medicare or their children would be eligible for the chip program. if only about eight or 10 million without health insurance. the ones that i am most concerned about are those with multiple illnesses and what we call the high-risk pool of individuals that either are denied health insurance or they cannot afford to pay three times or four times the normal premium. those are the ones we need help. host: his district includes rome and marriot in georgia. he is the co-chair of the doctors caucus. we have a comment from twitter. guest: there is a great misconception about the benefits members of congress receive.
we are federal employees, clearly. we have an opportunity for payroll deduction to get our health insurance through our employer. that is the federal government. whether you are the speaker of the house or the majority leader in the senate, we worke just lie the fbi. spelfederal andemployees, the insurance is paid for by the federal government. , email@example.com. good morning, republican line. caller: the united states goes back to where everybody is responsible for their own health care. before medicaid, before medicare -- are there any
members of congress that will support such a plan? here is my point. when the government gets into things, there is just cost that goes out the window in terms of overspending, and that is the problem we have right now. let me make a comment that my own personal situation -- i did not want to get up this morning and get on a treadmill, but as a coach, i have seen, for hundreds and hundreds of kids, that the parents to take charge of their families and promote health, as my mother did with me with jack lalalane in the 1950's, it is an individual responsibility. if you have colleagues who can float this plan, there are americans like me out there who take personal responsibility. i have good health care coverage, but i virtually never
use it. i would like to hear your reaction. guest: harry, i am glad you are exercising. maybe you are from the harry and louise team from 1993, 1994. it is an issue of personal responsibility, and that certainly has been the republican mantra that people do need to take responsibility. exercising on a regular basis, making sure that your weight is what it should be, avoiding smoking and other activities of daily living that are detrimental to your health. but without question, there are things that can happen to folks just like yourself, who work hard at trying to stay healthy. it may be that genetically your the one that is going to end up with that high blood pressure or those clogged arteries, despite staying on a good diet and trying to take care of yourself. i mean, there is no doubt that the need for health insurance is there in this country,
particularly catastrophic coverage, because these statistics on the number of people let go into bankruptcy because of a major illness is staggeringly high. so whether you are talking about a government program, medicare for seniors, medicaid for the poor, the chip program for children and families that are nearly pour, our military health care system -- all these things are very important, as is the private ability to go in through your employer or individual marketplace. but the main thing we are talking about here on the program this morning is the fact that there are too many people -- nobody knows the exact number, i have sort of peeled back the onion and said it is only 8 million to 10 million, but that is a million to 10 million to many that the rest of us end up paying f. we want to make sure that these individuals are placed in a pool
where they can afford health insurance. host: our next call is from new jersey. teacup the morning, congressman gingrey. having delivered as many babies that you have in your practice, i am sure you are aware of the infant mortality rate. you mentioned social security and how the democrats were against privatizing. could you imagine what situation our seniors would be in if it had been privatized with our economic meltdown? you also refer to a government default plan. i do not see a private plan as
being such. you discussed people with burning $50,000 -- with earning $50,000 to $75,000, $80,000. if you are trying to get private health care on your own, if you are not fortunate enough to have your employer pay in on the program, you are excluded. you cannot get health care with a pre-existing condition. the cost of the overhead with public insurers is 30 cents to the dollar. our public system -- with private insurers is 30 cents to the dollar. our public system is 3 cents to the dollar. our system was working very well. the medicare prescription plan was witten verbatim by the pharmaceutical companies. host: we will get a response to
that. this tweet, "for bobbins are so correct, why do they need to smear the public option -- if republicans are so correct, why do they need to smear the public option?" guest: with this last point, the public option, i really think it is unnecessary. if you have a connector not unlike what was done in the state of massachusetts and the state of california, and you have the individual insurance companies, the private market, competing in that connector, then clearly you will get the best value, the best price, and hopefully the best medical care. it was actually 2003, mma, medicare modernization act, and i was a member of congress and did support that bill. a signature part of it was medicare, part d, the
prescription coverage option. the democratic majority said this was not going to work unless we had a public auction, a public plan, the federal government negotiating down the prices. and when the amendment failed, there was another one that said, ok, look, let's make sure we do not pay too much and let's set the price, the monthly premium, for a prescription drug plan. let's set it at $42 a month. unfortunately, that also failed because the miracle of free- market enterprise brought in at $24 a month. now, some might argue that over the last three years it has increased somewhat -- certainly, because of inflation -- but it has not gotten to $42 yet. we do not want the government to be a player, a competitor on the field, and setting the rules at the same time. what would result from that is a
crowding out of more employers who currently provide health insurance for their employees, and that is an 80% favorability rating. why would any good politician try to cut the meat out of an 82% issue and kraut all of those people into a public auction plan -- and crowd all of those people into a public option plan when they're happy with their current coverage? host: our guest is representative phil gingrey of georgia. caller: good morning. the previous administration give us a pharmaceutical bill that ultimately we cannot negotiate with our pharmaceutical companies for lower rates. germans can, canadians can, but we cannot. also, you brought up the fact
that so many people who are ill have to go into bankruptcy. the previous administration give us a bankruptcy bill that basically was to support the credit card companies so that people coming back from iraq, people who lost their jobs, or people who were ill had to pay, still pay their credit cards off so essentially they could not get out of debt. i have patients who are essentially making choices between medicine and food. i have patients who are essentially homeless. we are doing pro bono, and at the same time we have this human cry about government involvement. government is supposed to be there for the general welfare, and my understanding is most of
the republicans simply are basically saying, "let them eat cake." host: let's be clear, are you a physician? caller: i am a psychologist, and i am dealing with patients who are suffering not only with chronic pain and other physical conditions, but also with issues related to the psychological and psychiatric-emotional impact of having elissa's etc.. -- of having illnesses, etc. i have a vietnam veteran that the -- he passed away, but the v.a. had told him that agent orange has been resolved, so essentially we are not going to deal with you. and he had to -- luckily, he was
helped by the medical organization that -- by the medical organization in farmington, conn. guest: we republicans did not seay let them eat cake, we said let them eat cake and ice cream. seriously, though, it leads to rationing. it leads to restrictive formularies. it's certainly is not what the patients whaant. you look at the medicaid program, the medicaid formulary in those states where prescription drugs are provided by the medicaid plan. there is a restrictive formulary, and that is not what we want. clearly if this program, though -- and i would be willing to accept, after a three-year trial
period in which it was not working, i would want to go back and look at other possibilities, even including having the government come in and negotiate prices. but if the free marketplace is working, why not let that merkel continue? why come in and -- why not let that merkel continue? why come in and mess it up. i think it would be wrong in this new health care reform to say that we are going to have the federal government default insurance program. what they will do eventually is cut reimbursement to our providers who are already cut to the bone on medicare, medicaid programs. at lot of the democrats, very powerful democrats in the house where i serve, what this government to fall plan to look like medicare. goodness gracious, that is the last thing that i would want to see any health-care plan look
like, medicare. we have lots of problems in that program. we do not want to duplicate them. host: let me follow-up on that point. you also said that you do not have to go any further than vermont, where howard dean served as the state executive in his push for health care. you call that in fear and said that his wife was one of the victims of what you@@@@ i believe howard dean's wife, she's a family practitioner in vermont. dr. steinberg is surname. i had a conversation with her. she dropped out of the medicaid program. because the reimbursement rates were not sufficient to keep her doors open, to provide health- insurance thoron own employees. so, you start talking about reforming the system and
covering more people, but if you are reimbursing doctors at a lower rate from what they are currently receiving, then that little plastic card that says, i have insurance, therefore, i have access and euna lee don't have access, if there are no doctors there, particularly primary-care doctors. -- you feel you have access with this card, but you don't have access if there are no doctors there. we need more doctors. if you're paying them less and less, the best and brightest will not go into medicine and certainly they will not go into specialty areas that we are in most in need of. specialties that we are most in need of. host: by the way, howard dean is out with the new book and will join us tomorrow. paul is on the phone from fort leavenworth, kansas.
caller: how're you doing, congressman? i am a retired army veteran and i am pleased with my health care system. thank you for keeping that cost look for our veterans. it is good to know we have it. my point is, we were told that tarp had to be expedited, the stimulus bill had to be expedited. now we're being told that his health care reform has to be pushed through quickly to leverage the political capital of democrats. i am very concerned with the government spending that, if the bill gets passed through quickly without thorough analysis and debate, that we will have issues with runaway inflation. just like any government program -- amtrak, numerous programs with the car industry -- the government does not run companies, and i am concerned that if we have government-run health care, the quality of health care will be going down.
i believe in freedom of choice and individual decision making, but i want to go to a health- care provider that i want to choose. i urge you strongly -- i watch you on c-span and it is very informative, but did in, fight, and make sure this bill does not get passed through. i do not care about political capital and all that stuff. make sure americans are protected and do the right thing. thank you. guest: you are absolutely right. the idea of rushing this through, and the call is from the democratic majority in the president to have the bill passed in the house and senate by the august recess, by august 1. we're talking less than six weeks, maybe six or seven weeks. the president wants something he can sign in september. there is no reason for the rush other than a political reason. the president certainly enjoys robust approval ratings at this time.
and he knows to strike while the iron is hot, if you will. but to do it in a unilateral way, without republican input, without trying to join together on the things that we can agree with, is a huge mistake. now, we are talking about a system that currently and absorbs 17% of our gross domestic product. by the year 2017, it will be up to 20% of our gross domestic product, some four or $5 trillion -- some 4.5 trillion dollars. it is more than the combined gdp of could japan -- of japan, germany, and the uk. we are not talking small potatoes, paul, and you are absolutely right that we need to take our time. hopefully we will be able to do that and having measured bill, something that can work.
there are a number of ways that i think the never -- the republican party believes we need to go in that direction. those who have health care from their employer, they get a very nice tax exclusion. in many cases it includes a prescription drug benefit. but as somebody -- but if somebody is not working for a large employer, or if they are out of work, they have to go to the individual market, pay higher rates because they do not have the dilution effect, and they get no tax break. that is not fair. so they clearly -- so we clearly need to equalize that. there are so many things that we do not have time in the show to talk about because we, too -- we are not the party that -- we clearly understand that our
system should be better, could be better. it is the greatest system in the world. most people are happy with their health care, and we certainly do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. it took a quick question from david in ohio, wondering if dr. ron paul is a member of the gop doctors caucus. guest: dr. paul is inan outstanding member of the gop doctors caucus. i have respect for him,nd when dr. spall -- and when dr. paul speaks, we listen. host: also, dr. tom coburn will join us tomorrow morning on the program. last call, go ahead, frank. caller: i would like to ask mr. gingrich -- host: frank, we can hear you.
go ahead. caller: everything they asked for, they pushed it through. and when we get a democrat that takes over, we have a whole bunch of stuff up and everything else. he kept on for 80 years now, they push things through the way they want. they kept on for eight years now, they pushed things through that they want. every time some millionaire comes up there and once to push something through, they do it with flying colors. guest: thank you for your call. you are getting right down to the root of politics now, and certainly we only have two major parties in this country. every two years, every member of the house of representatives, all 435 of us, are up for reelection.
and 1/3 of the senate, every two years. so literally, that you have this political bloodbath every two years for control. certainly, the democrats are strongly in control at this time, and we as the loyal minority, work hard to get back that control. when we are in control, the democrats -- and it is their job to do this, to try to block things that they truly are opposed to, that they think is bad policy, and in some instances, to block things for political reasons. the republican party does the same thing. that is the way our system works. i do not like it anymore than you do. i would like more bipartisanship and cooperation. we have great members on both sides of the aisle. many want -- maybe one of those days in our lifetime we can get beyond that and have a third or fourth party in this country to do that. but i feel your frustration, too.
i'm just on the opposite side of the aisle and you are. host: will there be a bill on the president's desk this fall? guest: steve, i think there probably will be a bill on the president's desk this fall. i truly believe there is enough firepower behind that, enough determination. the president is highly popular. those ratings have stayed up there, and i think that there will be a bill. but i hope that senator grassley and senator baucus and the finance committee can work in a bipartisan way. i know they are trying to do that. i hope that our democratic colleagues on the house side like mr. waxman, mr. rangel, speaker pelosi, and leader hoyer, will listen to our leader, john boehner. the republican task force has worked diligently over the last three months trying to come up
with alternatives so that we can work together for the good of thank you for joining us. >> @ noon, the u.s. house devils in four legislative business. on the agenda, a bill that provides federal rebates for purchases of fuel-efficient vehicles. we spoke yesterday with the capital and reporter for the view of today's debate. >> joining us on the telephone is just aoshj. cash for clunkers, how would it work? >> it would offer americans up to $4.5000 to trade in a gas guzzler for new vehicle. there is a discrepancy on the threshold.
the house proposal, which came out of the energy and commerce committee, was issued, the threshold for older vehicles would be 15 miles a gallon. to qualify for the credit, i think it is " 0.5 mile an hour for cars. one or two miles a gallon for trucks, depending on the size. >> the house is set to consider a bill on tuesday. will it to get two-thirds support required for passage under the special procedures being used to consider it? >> it appears headed that way. it has bipartisan support that's pretty wide. the only concern is there is some discussion that house leadership may attempt to insert it into a report for the war supplemental. there could be opposition to that. by the liberal wing of democrats. >> in the senate, michigan
democratic senator debbie stampa now reports she is working to get this cash for clunkers legislation into the tobacco legislation. why would she do that? >> she's trying to get this moving as are most michigan democrats. there was a little hurdle last week. there was objection raised in the appropriations committee, mostly to get the money to fund this. beckham authorize about $4 billion. that might come out of a stimulus dollars. there is talk that she is going to work around that or issue a stand-alone bill later this week. the big issue is there is a handful of senators backing a separate proposal which would basically strengthen fuel economy requirements improvement. such as the clash for clunkers bill.
this group led by dianne feinstein, they see it as another handout. they say the increases don't even make up for carbon emissions coming from production-quality vehicles. >> howl acted as president obama been in pushing congress to pass legislation? >> he has publicly, to support it several times. he has urged lawmakers to act. he has not necessarily weighed in publicly on which proposal, either the one backed by the commission led by industry or the one led by environmentalists. but the house version came out of a compromise in the energy and commerce committee. it was announced the same day after they met the white house with president obama. he has played a big part of that compromise. >> what will you watched more closely now as this legislation winds its way through the
process this week and beyond? >> my eyes will be on what people they do it with. if it becomes part of the war supplemental, we are looking at how it will move. if it is a stand-alone provision, it will be clear sailing with a small exception of the group of feinstein and collins. they've matched with others several times and the planning to continue. the house version will ultimately move. >> thank you for being with us. >> thank you so much. >> the cash for clunkers bill, the last of 17 bills on the schedule today when the house gavels in momentarily for legislative business that we expect this afternoon.