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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 12, 2009 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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-- it is true that these other countries, they do not have full satisfaction from everyone in the country. a lot of other countries have been moving in a more market- friendly direction. countries that already have the government-run systems. as for the v.a., my impression is that the quality varies from place to place and some people are extremely happy with it. one of the places it seems -- one of the things it seems to do extremely well is integrate care, and that i think is a function of the fact that the fiber market -- that the private market does not do the great job of that. if you switch jobs or if your employer switches insurers, your care tends to be disrupted. .
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the risk of catastrophic events -- then people become less cost- conscious and the system goes a little haywire. i don't think you need to outlaw that. i think you need a system where people can see it is less expensive to them to buy an insurance policy that allows for some out of pocket expenses up front. host: scott joins us from the independent line from birmingham, alabama. caller: i have a friend of mine who worked for years and the construction industry, made good money and had insurance, blue cross, got laid off, could not find a job so start working for
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myself. went to get insurance, $800 a month but they would not cover any existing illness and he had an existing illness from a car wreck. what do people like that do? people like that can get in to socialized medicine and have some kind of insurer to help them because it is wrong, it hundred dollars a month, and no existing alliances? -- $800 a month. what if he had cancer and lost his job? guest: that is something we were just talking about, you have the fragmented insurance system. if you had a thriving individual insurance market, you could buy a policy at 18, a relatively cheap policy and keep renewing it even as you acquired these new health conditions, that is what you are assuring against. the problem is you have a system that forces people to make frequent changes in their
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insurance policies, and once you get sick, you are not getting insurance anymore because we already know what the expenses are going to be. host: looking at the international stage, what is your opinion or impression of president obama's speech last week in cairo? there has been some concern for criticism that he was sort of too apologetic for past u.s. actions. is that your opinion? guest: i don't think the logic of that speech in a lot of places where the sort of historical accuracy of it really holds up, but that is not the way you evaluate a presidential speech, particularly one that is geared toward diplomacy. you evaluate it based on its likely effectiveness. i think that having a non- traditional u.s. president demographically speaking say we are not hostile to muslims could have a beneficial impact. some of the fundamental policies i have some serious concerns
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about, particularly with respect to israel and iran. but judged as a speech, my tentative verdict that it could be an effective speech. so, that caller that says i am always against obama should pay attention here. host: what do you think the u.s. should do regarding north korea? concerns about missile launches. there were two journalists currently being detained. guest: north korea and iran have for many years bent these extremely difficult problems where it is hard to see any solution. one thing that the strike me is the approach we have used for the past few years under obama and under bush doesn't seem to be working and maybe it is time for a little bit more of the silent treatment, maybe we should not be rewarding them with attention and promises of international legitimacy and respect when the act up. host: william now joins us on the democrats' line calling from winter haven, florida.
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caller: the first thing i wanted to say is i do not have any love for the va system. i'm 50 percent disability veteran and i live in winter haven, fla., and the closest veterans hospital is in tampa. no buses go from here to the va hospital in tampa. so if you are sick and you got to go to a hospital, you can't find one around here, you have got to go from here 30 miles away to another county and catch a bus -- the driver might be there to take you to the hospital and then he might not be there. this person 100 percent disabled, i think he was wrong because if you are 100 percent disabled you could go to any hospital and the va will pay for it. guest: of first of all, i am sorry about that situation,
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which sounds really rough. it underscores i think my point that -- again, just my impression -- have not been detailed study of it, is that people's experiences with and be a tend to vary widely in part based on where they are. host: john joins us from the republican line calling from tampa, florida. caller: good morning. i can't understand how the government can do anything. medicare and medicaid will go bankrupt in 10 years and i can imagine if somebody like pelosi and harry reid in charge of health care, i can imagine the red tape and everything else and in -- is in chaos, so why would you think health care would be any different? i heard six politicians, but from canada and four from england, say, whether you do, don't go socialized medicine. people talk about prescriptions in canada, but they have two boards -- but only% 10% to the united states. there was not anything in the
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stimulus package to help of the veterans and stuff like that -- why pigs stink, monorails from california to nevada, and we have a big problem with what obama calls mexican immigrants and really illegal aliens, you have them in a hospital, 600 here in the bill on each one is $1 million. but i n s will not come and take them away because they cater to the illegal immigrants, which obama seems to care more about them than he does about us -- he will not help the people that just laid off. guest: you know, what the caller was saying about politicians running health care, one of the basic issues in this debate is that there is just an enormous degree of confidence and i would say over confidence on the part of the people in power in washington, d.c., right now, about capacity of government.
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it is not just in health care. it is things like energy, things like economic management, the idea that the federal government would be able to make competent decisions in the car industry, for example. i think that is extremely dubious. host: some of the bank's net of taken tarp money are now paying the federal government back. you see it as a sign of success? guest: the funny thing is, the federal government has been trying to discourage banks from getting money back because they don't want to encourage people to think less highly of the companies that are not paying the top money back, but it is sort is growing. i do think it may be in part a sign of success in the sense that the financial system certainly looks much more stable than last four digits last fall, but also a sign that people don't want to enter the political thicket, they don't want the conditions that come with tarp money and they did not
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want the possible future conditions or second guessing from congress that might come with the funds. host: detroit, michigan. john joins us on independent line. you are on the air. john, good morning, can you hear us? caller: good morning. i'm a retired businessman, 40 years of international business and i lived in canada and england and i have family that lived in france and i hear all of these stories of the problems of that people have with health care in this country -- these countries, and i am sure we can find problems but the majority of people are totally happy with their health care in these countries. the thing that amazes me -- i hear all of these people calling in, knowledgeable of the problems in canada and england and so on, totally ignoring the fact that this country has more than enough problems, that is why we are discussing health care in this country. just give one example of the
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health care in this country, our viewers familiar, for example, with the fact that just a few years ago, the second-largest health-care provider in this country, talking about a hospital group had dozens of heart operations which were totally unnecessary and for which they have subsequently been paying back the government's and to the people will have the heart surgery. why don't we speak about the problems in this country that need to be fixed and not concentrate upon the few items that could be introduced from canada were england and anywhere else? guest: wrote well, i would say that there actually is an enormous amount of attention and justified attention to the problems of the american health- care system. the reason of these callers are bringing up the problems and other country is because those countries are held up as models. that we need to move towards,
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and the caller to think of also rightly saying that, we need to look at the downside to. the point he was making about unnecessary procedures actually and hurting people's health, told a legitimate point. i would note that the private sector insurance plans have been better at preventing that sort of thing than, say, medicare has because medicare has tended to actually prefer slate -- perversely reward people for unnecessary procedures and then pay for the corrective procedures the original procedures necessitated. host: you have weighed in in some of your writing about the killing of dr. tiller who performed abortions in kansas. just to take a step back, tell us your take on this and how you entered the debate? sort of the conservative debate over this? guest: that have been a couple of points that i have tried to make. one, there has been i think an
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attempt to say that if you pro- lifeers would just quit agitating about this issue, then this sort of thing would not happened, and i think it has to be said that it is true, if there were no pro-life movement, this sort of violence would not happen, just like if there were no environmental movement is less likely you have the unabomber or at least mentally unbalanced people would find some other outlet for their rage and violence. but you cannot legitimate ask people to give up their important series convictions if they are working through the democratic process, passionate advocacy on these issues have to be allowed. the other point i was making, one of the things you see the debaters points on this issue is people say, well, you pro-lifer s were serious, you would be shooting abortionists, too, approving of this. i think for a lot of reasons that is just absurd.
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the pro-life movement is about the sanctity of human life, about reducing the amount of violence, about restoring balad to the moral foundations and not abandoning the rule of law. host: james on the democrats' line calling from temple terrace, florida. good morning, james. caller: good morning? guest: yes? caller: i work for clinton benefits department for some of the major insurance companies and have a lot of knowledge as far as what goes on in the background, and i am also a veteran, and if we would look at the va system, they have electronic records, they also by durable medical equipment in bulk -- c o p d machine that medicare pays a rental every month and pays, like, 2004 it
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and the va buys it for $200. they also have their doctors on salary is and on their medications, brand-name medications,, they make the brand-name manufacturers and a generous for the va. guest: we have had a lot of veterans calling in -- i said earlier, but i should also announce a, i salute your service. some the points he made a really good. the first point you made, essentially the va has integrated care, long-term information tracking technology to i think is an excellent argument for reforming the private marketplace so that it can do that as well. in terms of the bulk purchases and cost savings, all of these government programs attempt to use the bargaining power of the federal government as a buyer
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of medical equipment and services to bargain prices down. the problem is, it leads to higher prices in the private market, and if you have a more government run system, how does the model work? where do you off load those extra costs if you don't have the private insurance market anymore? host: thank you so much for joining in a spirit our guest has been ramesh ponnuru. coming up next, at newsweek editor john mecham. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> several car dealers affected by the bankruptcy of chrysler and general motors testified this morning on capitol hill. also appearing, the head of chrysler and general motors and the chairman of the national automobile dealers association, live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c- span2. another house hearing looks at the nation's electricity grid
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and the national transmission policy. witnesses include the head of the federal energy red winter commission, state energy regulators and private industry and public representatives -- federal energy regulatory commission. mika watch it on c-span3 or online at >> here is our present policy. it we are ready, anxious, willing, eager to stop the bombing just as we are eager to stop the war. >> telephone conversation from the final months of lyndon johnson's presidency on vietnam, you and appointees, and troubles for his pick for supreme court chief justice. list and saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span radio, baltimore-washington. 90.1 fm, onliner at, and xm satellite. >> how c-span funded? >> no clue. >> maybe some government grants.
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>> i would say donations. >> advertising for products? >> public money, i'm sure. >> taxes? >> how is he spent funded? 30 years ago america's cable companies created c-span as a public service, a private business initiatives. no government mandate, no government money. >> "washington journal" continues. host: newsweek managing editor john nigam joins me from new york. good morning. this cover story -- victory in iraq. he writes in this that the country's fate still hangs in the balance between failure and success and american actions would make a crucial difference. can you elaborate on that for us? >> we are in arguably the third of fourth phase of the war. we have gone from shock and all
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to it insurgency and a surge and now we are trying to see what happens post-surge and can the conditions for political stability that will allow us to remove more than 70,000 or 80,000 of our troops, leaving still a significant force, whether this condition can be established. i think his point this week was that, where as the situation has looked dire in the past, there is reason to -- for hope. but we have undertaken a incredibly difficult and complex task and there is no getting around the level of complexity and difficulty that we still have to confront. our military force has been during an extraordinarily good job, and some of this is out of our hands, in the hands of the iraqis and whether the conditions for civil society can
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be not only formed -- reforms, but sustained. host: we have the editor of newsweek, jon meachem. some of the other pieces you tackle the in this latest issue our bringing attention to the war in iraq and talking about how it is not over yet. there are profiles of soldiers drawn to battle, sort of get their satisfaction from continually going to the war zone. where did you guys get the ideas of doing this variety of profiles and looking as soldiers and individual stories? guest: because, as you say, i think the iraq war has, because of the economy and because of the success of the surge, there is a tragic irony there, the better job our soldiers and
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sailors to, they then begin to fall out of public attention. and we had been planning a significant look at it iraq. stephen colbert, the political satirist, trying to step into the bob hope legacy was going to go to iraq. we asked him to play a role as a guest editor of this week. his focus and our focus wanted to be not entirely on the grant policy side but on the stories of the individual people who are fighting this, who are often deployed again and again and again, on their children. a wonderful piece in a magazine about the children at fort hood whose parents -- in denver route veterans, in a way.
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it is our sense of that the war was not getting the level of attention it deserved. about a year ago we did an issue of which i am enormously proud, called voices of the fallen in which we took e-mails and letters all from soldiers who had died in the line of duty and did an entire issue trying to show the award from the perspective of those who fight it. increasingly there are fewer and fewer people who are directly engaged in fighting our wars. we just don't have the entire civilian commitment to the war that we had it in the second world war. and we think it was important to show the level of sacrifice, the level of skill and the toll the war can take on the folks that are fighting it on our behalf. host: we have a clip from stephen colbert's show.
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guest: troops, not everyone can do what you do, like all on the line in 140 degree heat in full battle rattle. that is why you are the lead to 1 percent of americans who still have jobs. [laughter] host: " the new york times" wrote this week that normally celebrities go to combat zones with the u.s. appeared in this case, he took the uso on a trip with ", central pequot -- ", central power could be think he was successful in bringing the message of the war back to us? host: it seems to be. the best possible that to bring attention to a politically engaged, culturally and age group of americans. most viewers of c-span think about these things a lot. it is not to say that your base, so to speak, has forgotten
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about the war by any means, but a lot of other people have appeared and colbert is a figure in a culture that and bring a perspective that not everyone can do. frankly, having stephen colbert do this project, both for the magazine and his program, i am certain has drawn in a lot more people than if newsweek had done a standard straight forward remember iraq cover, or if a news program, any of the wonderful broadcast that our colleagues do, have gone over and done. it is just someone who commands the kind of attention, cultural attention, that not many people do. host: let us go to the first caller, lee said on the democrats' line calling from marlborough, mass. -- lisa. caller: thank you. my son enlisted in the military.
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he is going into the army and he was in basic training july 7, and he is very proud to serve his country. something he has won a to do since he was very little beard always loved the military. i don't think that people realize the sacrifice that these people make. maybe some part of them realize what they are doing, but as his mother, i worry 24/7 and i will worry and pray every second day that everything goes well for him and every other woman and man over there fighting for this country, for the basic freedoms that the constitution provides. that we have been trying to spread for the world. it is all about in a democracy. for i appreciate you coming on and, you know, giving a -- to our troops and backing them up and making people realize that you are right, when everything
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is going well people seem to put it in the sidelines and it is when things get bad that people are upset. supporters choose no matter what is going on. host: do you have it, or feedback for that caller? guest: a word of thanks to you and to your son who are doing more for the country than many, many people. i'm of the grandson of a four- year veteran of the pacific war and a member of the third army and a son of a man who fought in vietnam, actually at the front in the fourth infantry division. their service is something of which i am enormously proud and blessedly, they came through it , sure will join you in praying
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that your son does, too. host: robert on independent line, calling from houston, texas. -- roberta. caller: i would like to comment on the constitution and the provisions for going to war. this is the highest law in the land. one thing the media fails to cover is the back of the war clinic iraq was unconstitutional from the get go. there is no authority for the congress to vote to give all the authority in to the president to go the war. which is what they did. we have a wealth in our founding fathers, wisdom that we will never, ever come to on our own and we need to go back to the or original founders, their documents, their vision. war with no country and trade with all countries.
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benjamin franklin was the british ambassador for america. we would not have america without him. this foreign policy with war with no one and trade with everyone. guest: well, clearly the constitution, the great central tension for americans from 1789 forward has been the question of the literal interpretation of the words on the paper or the idea that it is a living constitution, that it changes as circumstances change, but hopefully is anchored by the kinds of principles that the caller is talking about. that is the nature of the country. we are always going to be living in tension between both sides of issues, different conflicting interests, my
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newsweek colleague wrote a wonderful book called the 13 american argument in which he makes the case that we are a country built for argument. joseph ellis in a wonderful book talks about how we were built to argue and not to resolve. we have been the most successful experiments of war in human affairs in finding ways to deal with differences not only of opinion but a principle, to make a distinction that thomas jefferson made in his first inaugural. so, i think what is incumbent on all of us is to try to argue about these things with civility and a measure of grace and hope that we can translate come as you say, translate the wisdom of the founders into our own day. host: our guest is editor of open "newsweek" and also sold a reflex on history often.
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he is the author of books including "american lion, " "american gospel," and "franklin and winston." "american lion" recently won the 2010 pulitzer prize for biography. since we mentioned your historical writings, looking back at past presidents, does it help influence you've as you look at, for example, president obama and his work. does it help you put it in political perspectives as events unfold? guest: it does -- trying to underhand -- understand history, is at once a liberating and pressing if you do what i do for a living. it is liberating because you realize that we have faced enormous seemingly intractable crises before and we have overcome them and have gone from strength to strength. the pressing in that you realize there is nothing new under the sun. we have dealt with almost every kind of


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