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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 11, 2009 8:30am-9:00am EDT

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president obama now. why all of the sudden, once the president comes out with an energy bill, did you guys finally do it now when you fought tooth and nail with every type of thing to change our energy plan? especially the last eight years. guest: that is not correct, either. if you look at the met -- american energy act, it is very similar to the bill we filed last year. you can go back to the 110 congress last year and you confined a bill similar to this one that we filed and debated before president obama was in office. what you said there was not accurate. we have been talking about having a comprehensive national energy policy for a long time, but unfortunately some here fight that. but as we are debating the tax that president obama is trying to pass, we are coming back and say, we've got an alternative and it is similar to the one we filed last year but it actually opens of the natural resources of the country so we can ensure
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energy independence and reduce our dependence on middle eastern oil. host: thank you for being here. we will be back with an economic adviser to vice president joe biden. >> every weekend, the latest nonfiction books and authors on c-span2. saturday, how you run for congress with $7,000 and your sixth grade students managing your campaign? tierney cahill gave it a shot. she is interviewed by washington d.c. delegate eleanor holmes norton. . joel rosenberg takes you "inside
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the revolution." and what is next for the economy? stephen more, and former reagan policy adviser on taxes and the end of prosperity -- stephen moore. and florida real-estate attorney on the housing crunch and where it is headed. every week and is filled with books and authors on booktv. look for our entire schedule on line. >> here is our present policy. we are ready, anxious, willing, eager to stop the bombing, just as we are eager to stop the war. >> telephone conversations from the final months of lyndon johnson's presidency, for on vietnam, un appointees and troubles over his pick for supreme court chief justice. saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span radio, in the washington-baltimore area and
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90.1 fm, online ad c-, and on xm satellite channel 132. >> how is c-span funded? >> private donations? >> taxpayers? >> i don't really know. >> public television. >> donations. >> i don't know where the money comes from. >> contributions from donors? >> how is c-span funded? 30 years ago america's cable companies predecease ban as a public service, a private business initiatives. no -- america's cable companies created c-span at a price that service. host: joining us from the white house domestic policy adviser to the vice-president, jared bernstein. mr. bernstein, why is the president traveling to green bay today? guest: declared, i am economic policy adviser. the president wants to do one of the things this president does best, which is to take his
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message to the people. and this case, it is the message of health care reform. obviously one of the most important pillars of the new economic foundation that the president has set out in his budget as part of his first term, and we are deep in the process of moving this important policies for come in ways that strike us to highly promising. host: in what ways? guest: there is a lot of talk -- talking washington and throughout the nation about our fiscal future, and the ability of our economy to be healthy down the road. if you look at health care expenditures, right now they are about 18 percent of the economy, bp. -- gdp. you're talking but adding 10 percentage points to health care, that means 10 percent of
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gdp last for all of the other things that we think are important. schools, parks, vacations, homes, you name it. that would be fine if you believe the health care system was going way it went to, but was highly efficient. none of those was the case. in fact, and every other advanced economy they spend half per-capita as we do on health care and they do it with outcomes similar to ours, is not preferable. this is the economic, the sustainability issue i would say along with energy, of our time. host: let us put the numbers on the screen. mr. bernstein, what is it about green bay that attracted the president? guest: i think that is an area in the heartland of the country where the president's message of health care reform and what we are trying to do here is
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particular jim it -- particularly germane. . if you look at what is going on with working families, most working age people get their health care through the job. a couple of things has happened over the last few years. first of all, employers have been cutting coverage partly due to recessionary pressures, but this is even going on during the economic expansion. in fact, the number of uninsured people did not fall when -- it actually shrunk. employers are shifting costs on to family spirit and the cost burden is a very tough burden for american businesses. you will hear the president talk about small businesses as well. so you have to take the discussion to the people and meet them where they are on the kinds of interactions that are happening with this system that many cases ucb inefficiencies write-down on the ground. host: in "usa today" is an
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article that lawmakers are targeting health insurance tax breaks, tax on health benefits may be an order. does the administration agree? guest: the president has always has said that he has very serious reservations about taking that path. one of the key components of obama health care reform is guaranteed jurists, base of the listing to people, if you like what you have, you can keep it. that happens to be a fundamental point of of our health care reform. because there are many folks who are insured by the system, about 60 percent of insured have their health care through the job, and if that what people want, it should not change. by taxing these benefits -- changing the system by taxing these benefits come is
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explicitly not the way the president has argued for funding health care reform. on the other hand, and i want to be clear about this, it is not has a magic -- in his budget. he raises six -- $644 billion to fund health-care reform in a deficit-neutral way. and last week the president said the letter to the hill saying there are another $200 billion to $300 billion of savings over 10 years in medicare and medicaid. we are talking about health care fund and a $900 billion range, which does not include taxing the employer exclusion. host: finally, karl rove in an op ed in "the wall street journal," "how to stop socialized health-care" he calls, it will undercut private insurers and pass the tab to taxpayers and health providers just as it does in existing government-run programs. guest: look, i think it is fair to argue that karl rove has not
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been a successful purveyor of health care reform. the kicking the can down the road that we have seen in the past administration is simply not the way we want to play this. having a public plan, as the past -- president has stated many times, is perfectly consistent with his goals of lowering cost of guaranteeing coverage and making sure that affordable, quality care is available to all americans. let us be clear about this -- come back to what i said earlier -- the public plan is one part of obama health care reform. private plans stay very much in place. if you like what you have, you can keep it. i think sometimes they hold a public plan out there as if that is the only piece of this, and in fact, it is not. it helps to achieve cost containment, helps to achieve
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affordable health care. the private states for much in place. host: chief economic adviser for vice president biden. the first caller is from new orleans. caller: good morning. there is a not unwanted perception out here that' washington does not listen to the american people and you are so far divorced from what we want, come up with plans that do nothing but destroy us. i could come up with numerous examples of this, but i would just use a few and will ask you one per in question. when the bailout first came out, the calls were 1000 to one against the bailout. yet, this government went ahead against the wishes of the american people and passed it. the health care reform, when you
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had your committee asking about it, the majority of people want single payer health care deployed in all of the other industrialized nations, and this government would not even allow a representative on the panel to talk about it. recently i witnessed mr. biden, vice-president biden, handed information that nine scientists from around the world, the study of debris from the world trade center buildings of the attack on 9/11 and found that there was now-thermite in those buildings -- host: let us stick to the economic questions for jared bernstein. anything you want to respond to? guest: well, i guess there is
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one point and there i could pull out, which is, the president is traveling today. we started our discussion about this -- to do precisely about what he wanted to do, to talk to the american people. i would argue that the message we have gotten, loud and clear during the election, is that health care reform is extremely important to the public and the idea that we would not get it done, kicked down the road and not make the hard choices now, including $900 billion of savings over 10 years that we would not take the steps in order to reform health care and then bend the cost curve down the road to get the sustainable cost and mine, that is not acceptable to this president and would argue to the public. the more he goes out to talk to people, the more i think that message will resound here in washington. host: pine village, indiana.
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ernest, republican. you are here with jerry bernstein. caller: how were you today? i guess i am a senior citizen, about 66 years old now. and i look back at my years, and we had public health to begin with, then we had medicare, and we also have a va program. if you look at public health, they have gone bust. if you look at the va, they put in a billion dollar computer system which was supposed to help of the veterans. well, since they put that in, it cost the veterans a ton of money because now they charge you for different types of health care and stuff. guest: can i jump in here? ernest, we have a factual disagreement. i think the facts show that both
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the cases you raised are quite the opposite as you have betrayed them, with respect. health care in the va has constantly been cited as one of the most efficient, effective forms of health care provision in the nation, if not, the world. this is a model program. secondly, public health care -- if you are talking about medicare, if you compare overhead and you compare efficiency and compare how much of $1 of spending in that program goes to direct health care provision to patients verses the private sector, both of those programs come out way, way on top. it is one of the motivations for health care reform. i have to tell you, the reason why we are here talking about this -- there is a much waste and not saying just the private sector, public system have a great deal of waste, too, and we're squeezing out and that is how we get $300 billion of
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savings, perhaps $500 billion if you count the extra $200 billion the president cited in a letter last week. there is great inefficiency in both sides. however, i think the va stands up well to the kind of scrutiny. host: jared bernstein, pro- business group targets of bomb agenda. the u.s. chamber of commerce said it will become as said it will spend $100 million in an effort to stem the rapidly growing influence of government or private sector activity in a major new move by the powerful business at -- obama it ministrations regulatory agenda. guest: would argue that group is missing the point. you have heard the president say many times that he did not intend to get here and pass and $800 billion stimulus package for become a major shareholder in a car company or reaction
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taken in the banking sector. there are two things to recognize. those are key economic problems. to have ignored those problems because of an ideology like the group is as out lake -- espousing would have been a tremendous mistake, resigning this economy and american families too far deeper economic pain that actually has occurred. secondly, everything i mentioned so far, whether gm shareholders, recovering package, are temporary. nobody is talking about changing the structure of the economy. these are temporary actions where we get into the system, take the needed action to correct a market failure, and get out of the system. that is something we did put -- deeply committed to.
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on a host: democrats line, karen from new york city. caller: hello, i have been listening now for a year and half to obama promising to make health care affordable. the only way health-care can be made affordable is if it is related to income. affordable as very different from someone making $17,000 a year than it is to someone making $250,000 a year or more. it is my belief the only way affordability will happen is that whoever -- and it should include the insurance industry -- are mandated to charge for health insurance based on a factor of payroll and i would
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say a factor of payroll should not have to exceed 5%. guest: i think you raise a lot of great points. first of all, one of the points that underlie your question -- and it is absolutely correct -- is that for many families -- and i am even talking of people who have health insurance through their job, because they are paying for their premiums on a monthly basis, they are paying out-of-pocket costs, many of those families, health care costs have far exceeded income growth. we know premiums have grown something like three times the rate of wages over the past nine years. so the caller is on to something. as part of our plan, we do subsidize health care for low- income folks through the private plan or the public plan. we subsidize their coverage.
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but i think what is most important is that it is not just low income people, it is middle income people and even higher income people who are struggling with these unsustainable costs. now, if we accomplish the goal we set out -- and by the way, private industry has set out as well -- to take a point and have all the growth rate of health care costs over the next few decades -- let me be clear, a point and a half off the rate of growth, middle income families will find themselves about $2,600 better off. so, simply bending the cost curve helps to solve the problem of all of the raises. and the contact of reform, but we also provide subsidies for low-income families who need to buy into the plan. host: dr. jared bernstein received his phd in columbia university in social welfare, formerly the economic policy institute and also offer a "crunch: why do i feel so squeezed?"
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if you want to watch him talk about his book, you can go to cecilia, independent. caller: the morning, dr. bernstein. -- good morning. i am a health-care professional who does not have health insurance. the reason i don't is because my mother got sick and i work part time to take care of her, and fourth ran a half years i was taking care of my baby knees whose parents had abandoned her. -- . niece. i lost one job in the employer i have now does not offer health insurance. i tried to buy a my own, i can't get it because i have a genetic disorder that make me -- makes me have blood clots and a lot of different diseases.
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i worked for the campaign. i am very well aware of the promises candidate obama made for affordable health care insurance for all, and yet i hear now that a single payer plan is pretty much off the table. like you get money back on your taxes and stuff like that. people like me, i only made $2,000 last year because i was sick and my mother was so sick. i cannot work at all. even if you provide tax rebates, i could not buy into the system at all. as far as medicaid is concerned you have to be 50% on more disabled or have to have -- host: what would you like jerry
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bernstein to respond to? caller: i would like to understand how we are going to have basically a universal health care that is affordable for people like me. guest: cecilia, i think he painted a portrait of why you need health care reform. and i think your story is very compelling, and my heart goes out to you. i know you are really struggling. and the president is motivated by cases precisely like yours. one of the goals of our health care reform is guaranteed issue, meaning that health care insurers can pick and choose who they cover. obviously that is one of the problems we face, if the insurance can cherry pick healthy people, you are left with the public sector, adverse alike think -- adverse selection, the public sector having to cover those whose care is most expensive. this is something the health
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care reform plan tries to solve. we also, as i said before, that $900 billion revenue neutral that the president has set aside so health care reform can be paid for, not with magic asterisks or deficits, part of that spending helps to subsidize low-income folks like yourself who need care to provide care through -- to make sure that you have coverage. someone like you, i did not quite understand why you would not be eligible for medicaid. medicaid, of course, is essentially a single payer system, universal coverage system, but income-based. if you have not looked into that, obviously it is something you should. the last host: call comes from oklahoma, rick, republican. caller: good morning. i wanted to comment on a recent medical procedure i have here in
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oklahoma, i was at the oklahoma university medical center. i went in for a biopsy on possible prostate cancer and they did 18 little snips to check it out, and then 10 days later i was told it was negative and to keep an eye on it. two or three weeks after that the doctor calls and wants me to come back in, he said he noticed something that was kind of unusual and he wanted to do the procedure again. i said, well, what did you notice that was unusual? i was told i had negative results. he said, that is true, but i thought i saw something that may be mimics cancer. i said, let me tell you what -- i will get a second opinion. anyway, his nurse, office
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manager, called me up and did a follow-up call and he said, how was everything during, and i said hunky donkey. i told them i had a little problem -- host: i apologize. can you give to your question? guest: they need to do something like fraud, the primary thing. guest: thank you for teaching me honky bony -- never heard that before. the point he makes is fundamental and very much underlying where we are right now in health care reform. actually something we have been talking about internally. if you go to the web site,, and you read some of the blog entries by our budget director, peter orszag, you see a discussion of precisely the point that the caller was raising.
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inefficient treatment, over use of testing, mis-classifications. this is one of the ways in which we seriously waste valuable health-care resources, and the reason we do it is because the system incentivizes it. we have a system unlike any other in any advanced nation where the system actually rewards you for these kinds of extra testing. now, this isn't an attack on the medical profession because one of the things you will find is that there are parts of the country that engage in this kind of excessive, inefficient over- usage, and there are parts of the country that don't. one of the things you will hear director peter orszag here -- say is the mayo clinic. it has one of the best and most cost-efficient records on precisely this constellation of measures. so, doctors know how to provide efficient care. but the system incentivizes wasteful inefficient care, and that is key to our reform.
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host: finally, mr. bernstein, a different topic before and let you go. lead editorial this morning in "the financial times," "and escape to soon for u.s. banks." letting banks out of tar is premature. the 10 have to demonstrate they can raise funds without guarantees. the temperature tenement -- put liquidity guarantee program however remains available to them, in effect, subsidized by the government but freed from rules on compensation and hiring, they can approach staff and business from competitors still in tarp. guest: an interesting thing, a couple of weeks ago i was out here talking to the media and folks said, why won't you let these people get out of the tarp and now we are criticized from all how come you are letting its people get out? the deal is very simple. the stress tests evaluated how
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exposed these banks were to worsening economic conditions and what they needed to do to get their balance sheets in order. that had to do with raising the type of capital called common equity, the kind of buffer that gets the balance sheet back up and running. as well -- and in many cases i think this is a better sign -- raising secured debt that is not guaranteed, floating bonds that are not guaranteed, by the u.s. government. now, if lenders are willing to take those bonds, if shareholders are willing to buy that, equity, that is a sign that these banks are improving in terms of their health and improving in terms of the risk that they are perceived. that is precisely what the tarp is designed to do. it is interesting, because it dials back -- it walks back to a question i answered earlier which is about, are you -- talking but the chamber of commerce, are you trying to
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change market structures for ever? a perfect example. we got in and now we are trying to get out. we want to get out in a manner that is as quick as possible because we are not bankers. we are not auto executives. we are temporarily in there to bridge the gap through some of the greatest market failures since the great depression. in the case of the tarp, it looks to me the programs are working as designed, so getting out now makes sense, when the banks can show us that we are -- they are on the road back to health. host: jared bernstein is chief economic adviser to vice president joe biden. please come back soon. now a news update from c-span radio. >> economic numbers just in. may retail sales rise by the largest amounts to an apple europe -- four months, reflecting higher auto and gas sales. new claims for what is benefits drop more than expected to


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