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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 14, 2009 10:00am-10:30am EDT

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the confidence building between u.s. and europe. host: our last caller. caller: can you hear me? host: yes, ma'am, go ahead. caller: we look at the situation in the middle east. historically, we have had nothing but violence in these parts of the world. the fact that we as a north american think we can change anything, it is laughable. we ought to go back to the history books and see the patterns there. the islam world needs to look at their phoenix. nothing is not right. how can a philosophy and a religion, countries, constantly have violence? constantly hate everybody? bombing there, bomb the u.s., bomb the u.k.?
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bomb spain? then sit back and analyze everything, this is no longer analytical. when are we as an international continent, everyone, going to look at this, especially us in the u.s.? host: we will leave it there. sir? guest: i think it was an incoherent question. i am not the determinant to say the islam is inferior to the rest of the world or muslims are incapable of living peaceably. that is an acyanine comment. stalin, 20 million. hitler, these were not muslim people. you have iranian people trying to peacefully protest for freedoms. i'm not sure where you're getting at to say these are individuals who are somehow, by virtue of the fact they're muslims are [inaudible].
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host: thank you for being on the program. guest: thank you. pleasure. host: want to tell you about what is coming up tomorrow on the "washington journal." bob kusak talking about what is going on in congress. bruce stokes will discuss his article talking about europe's lack of coordinated fiscal policy. phil mattingly of cq politics is talking about what is going on in congress. and kit harley the former administrator of transportation, he'll talk to us about secure flight, the program to check passenger names against a terrorist watch list. that is what is on the program. thank you for watching this one. we will see you tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
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>> as you know, there have been a lot of public opinion surveys, and the american people don't want the prison closed by 2-1. and by 3-1 they don't want the prisoners in their states. so the first question that the president had to figure out here is, after announcing that he was going to
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ible decision. that's really a good thing. the remaining question is what do you do with those that you're going to hold? and he's going to have to find splace in the united states i gather that will be a prison facility that will hold those people. >> is that palability at all? bringing prisoners nor detention in the united states? >> the f.b.i. director himtsfeffed to the house of representatives that there are big problems associated with bringing those prisoners to the united states. people talk about the supermax facilities. there are i think 13 or 15 of them around the country and they are something like 13,000 beds available and there are 20,000 prisoners. so they're already crowded. if i were the president, i would not have announced an arbitrary date by which it's going to be done and then try to figure out how to do it. i think i would have figured it out first and then made the announcement. >> but should gitmo be closed?
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>> in my opinion, no. and the reason is two fold. we spent over $200 million to build a state-of-the-art facility, which everybody who has visited it, all of the people who go down say it's well run, clean, much better medical and dental care for example than any of them have ever gotten before in their lives. their religious needs are attended to. and it's safe for those folks in our military that are guarding them. so the first question is why do you have to close it? and secondly, there are big problems associated with then trying to figure out what you do with the people there. you're going to have to release some. and you're going to have to imprison the rest in the united states someplace. and there are a lot of problems associated with that. so the real question is why do it? the only answer is it's a symbol. of what? the terrorists don't need guantanamo to figure out that they don't like the united states. guantanamo didn't even exist
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before 9/11 and yet you had the attack on the coal the co bar twrours, the african embassy bombings, the first embassy bombing. 9/11. terrorists have all kinds of reasons they don't like the united states. they say it's a recruiting tool. are we going to stop having voting in this country, the culture that we have? are we going to take away women's rights? these radical islammists don't like these things about us. are we going to change our way of life? >> but it has been an issue in europe, among leaders. they pointed to that. >> big deal. you know, the fact that some european leader, first they didn't like the fact that we invaded iraq and replaced saddam hussein either. but we decided it was in our best interest to do that so we did. and i don't think we have to just because somebody over in france says we think it's a bad thing that you have that prison
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in gaunltmo, my answer is ok, fine. france is willing to take one prisoner. >> senator kyl, on health care, republicans are talking about competition in order to -- and market reforms, changing the market in order to fix a lot of our health care system and talking about how democratic plans would delay care, deny care, or ration care. i'm curious if you think the private insurance system or prithe insurance companies currently do delay, deny, or ration care at all. and, if so, how you would change the private insurance system in order to make some of the reforms, get some of the results republicans are talking about. >> great question. because at the end of the day, nothing is more important to you and your family maybe except freedom than the health of your family. and if your doctor says you need a procedure or a treatment, you want to do everything you can to get that
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and you don't want it delayed. now, the first part of your question was, is that sometimes done by insurance companies today? remember a few years ago when there was legislation that there waws lot of support for called the patients' bill of rights. there was a concern that h.m.o.s were trying to constrict too much the care that they allowed their members, their inshurds to receive. doctors were getting caper sized about it. so congress started considering ways about which you make the h.m.o.s take care of people on a timely basis. well, i think the insurance companies got the message because it finally transpired that they made the changes themselves. we never passed the patients' bill of rights because the insurance companies pretty well reformed themselves. patients don't want anybody to get between them and their doctor, whether it's an insurance company or a washington bureaucrat. and so it is important for us to make sure that that doesn't happen either in the insurance
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market or with the federal government. but we know from looking at plans that countries like canada and great britain have, for example, that rationing does occur. it's overt. they don't even attempt to mask it. i think we should be very wary of any government run plan or any other features of so-called health care reform that would end up delaying or denying care. >> senator, -- go ahead. >> i just want to -- but there's some sort of sack rosanchingte doctor-patient relationship. it seems with respect to a lot of patients something of a myth. the insurer is always in the room, the payer is always in the room, whether it be the government or private insurance. that has a very strong effect on the doctor-patient relationship. what is it that republicans are -- where this idea exists that republicans are defending. >> look at the survey data. people will tell you that one of their biggest concerns is
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having taken away from them what they currently have. the vast majority of our americans -- of americans are satisfied with what they have. namely, insurance. and the concept of the doctor-patient relationship is not some myth, it is very real to tens of millions of americans. so if you look at the survey data, people are willing to say yes. in are people who are uninsured, we think there should be something done to make sure they can get insured. but don't take my insurance away from me and don't interrupt what i have with some kind of national plan that, well, one size fits all kind of a plan that would take that away from me. they don't want anybody interfering with that doctor-patient relationship or telling them if they're going to have to wait for a test or that they can't get some kind of drug or treatment that their doctor says that they need. >> but even last week in green bay, the president says if you like your health insurance, we're not going to touch it. you're saying there would be changes?
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>> the problem is the two bills that are being written don't abide by that wonderful sentiment. i agree. if you like your insurance, you ought to be able to keep it and it shouldn't be interfered with by this health care reform. but the bill that is being written in the finance committee explicitly says if you have individual insurance, if you're an employee of a small business that provides insurance to you, as soon as that contract expires with the insurance company, usually at the end of the year, sometimes it may be a two-year contract. at that point that policy no longer exists. you can't keep it. and what you're going to have to do is now find a policy that fits within this new regulatory regime that's being considered where the insurance company has to do all kinds of things even, there's talk about regulating the premiums, the doctors would be regulated under it. so the insurance that you used to have you don't have any more. now, maybe they'll change that. we're not in the room writing
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the bill. unfortunately this is tot a bipartisan exercise. in this case the democrats are writing the bill. but that was the way the bill was first described to us. >> i hear what you're saying about people really liking their health insurance plans. but we could easily be talking about medicare. people really like medicare. is that not a testament that government can do health insurance with good results? >> medicare is unsustainable. the president himself has said that. it can't work. and what we're now talking about is adding maybe 45 million more americans to a system and somehow saying this isn't going to cost any more. well, the experts say it probably will cost between $1 drl and $2 trillion more. and if it's on the medicare model, that's not sustainable. where is the money going to come from? who is going to pay for this? are we ging to go deeper into debt than we already have? these are all questions that haven't been answered. in fact, we may be taking up the bill in the senate without
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even having what's called in washington a score. meaning the congressional budget office figuring out how much it's going to cost. and before you decide you're going to buy something you want to know what it's going to cost. we should know what that score is and how woor going to pay for it. >> you mentioned medicare is unsun stayable. but i think there's also an argument to be made that the costs of prithe health insurance are unsustainable. the premiums cobt to go up. they take a bigger portion of wages. how is that any different? >> i don't think that that's true. medicare is unsustainable because the government has made a commitment to the seniors of america that we can't afford to keep over the longer period of time. the more baby boomers that retire, the more impossible it is to provide all of the benefits that have been promised with the money that we have or don't have. so then you switch over to private insurance. that isn't a promise that anybody has made to provide something to you in the future.
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it is true that the costs do continue to increase. one of the reasons that is so is that in america especially but in the western world in particular, new drugs, new treatments, new devices are being invented and discorder day and every week. and those prolong life, they give a greater quality of life. it is tremendous improvement in the care that we can get. and if we want that, americans have shown that they're willing to pay for it. the other thing that's in play here is the kind of insurance products that have been created. instead of your home insurance or your auto insurance where let's take your home insurance. if a hurricane blows it a way or a fire burns it down, your insurance enables you to rebuild the home. but if your gutter falls off, your insurance doesn't say
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we'll buy you a new gutter. or you want to repaint your front door, you don't go to the insurance company and have your door repainted. unfortunately with health insurance, there is what we call first dollar coverage or very small deductibles or co-payments. so that virtually everything that we're charged for when we go to the doctor gets paid by the insurance. now, if we had a bigger co-payment where you and i pay as well as the insurance company, or a bigger deductible, so instead of a visit to the doctor costing $10, maybe it's $100, we would be better shoppers. we probably wouldn't spend as much on health care and the insurance wouldn't cost nearly as much. so these are some of the questions we have to decide in this country. do we want that kind of health insurance or the more catastrophic insurance that we have for our automobiles, homes and so on. >> senator, last week one of the plans that started to gain traction in the finance committee is this proposal by senator conrad to sort of
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create a health care cooperative instead of doing what everyone is calling the public government run option. do you see that really gaining any traction broadly amongst republicans? obviously there are a handful that appear interested. but in terms of the republican conference in general? >> why is it being proposed? there are basically two reasons. for those on the left -- and this is acknowledged. i'm a conservative republican for anybody who doesn't know here. i think i'm being absolutely objective here when i say everyone acknowledges that there are a lot of people on the left who want a single payor system run by the government or a government run insurance company that substitutes for that in effect. and that's the idea behind and the president wants this, too. he wants this government run they call it an option but a government run insurance company that frankly would be as it's been described so profrl that it could compete or outcompete the private insurance companies. so that's one problem here.
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republicans are naturally very wary of anything that would be a substitute for that or a foot in the door or a first step toward that. second, why would you need it? the only argument for it is, well, in some states you don't have enough insurance companies competing so we want to have a government at naltive. the question then has to be asked, why don't you have insurance companies competing? because there are a few states that's true. either the state has imposed such heavy mandates on the insurance companies, such heavy rules and regulations that most insurance companies say sorry, we just can't make any money on that, we're going to leave the state. we can serve people in some other place, leaving only one or two insurance carriers there. or, in some states you have like north dakota for example very few people and they're all spread out so it's hard for the insurance companies to put together what they call networks, the hospitals and doctors and other providers you
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go to if you sign up for the insurance plan. and that is a real problem. but that's going to be a real problem for a public insurance company or a private insurance company. that's just the way that is. there are other ways we can deal with that. we've done through that med consider advantage to go into the rural areas. and on the -- the answer, that's up to the states. if the state makes such poor policy that it drives out the insurance companies, it shouldn't be up to you and me in another state to pay for a government run plan to go in and compete. so i think if you look at the reasons for these things, you can appreciate why republicans are very wary of having any kind of alternate yi government run whether they call it a co-op or an insurance company or whatever they want to call it. >> i want to go back. you said you're not writing the bill. do you have a seat at the table? is this administration talking to you, listening to you with the 40 votes you have in the senate? >> the answer to that is mixed. in my case no, they're not
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listening. i've proposed several things and i can't think of one of them that has been accepted. for one thing i said we need to slow this down to take time to get the scores from the cbo, how much does it cost, freb, to understand what's in the bill. we're talking about what they call a markup, where the committee actually starts voting on amendments and voting on the bill. we don't have language yet. republicans haven't agreed to anything here. so it will be a purely democratic product unless they want to delay it and let republicans come in and help to write it. >> how long? >> as long as it take takes to have a genuine bipartisan effort to write a bill. >> senator, you sit on the finance committee as well. which is one of the other major committees writing a health care bill. and i think we're expecting to see legislation sometime this week and then senator baucus, the chairman has talked about a markup the week after that. i'm wondering, in terms of
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republican having influence on this legislation, the finance committee to a lot of people, is that your last best hope? and given what's happening on senator kennedy's health committee? and also i'm curious, how are republicans going to be able to influence this legislation? are you going to work through the few remaining moderates? or is the effort going to be to try to slow the process down or stop the process until democrats have to give in and listen to your ideas? >> i know your viewers are very sophisticated in these matters, but let's back up to make sure everybody is on the same page. the two main committees working on the bill are the health, education, labor committee. ted kennedy is the chairman though he hasn't been healthy enough to oversee a lot of that. but his staff has written a bill that is very partisan. there was no republican input. and it has the government run health insurance, the rationing board, the mandate that the employers have to either pay for policies or else they are
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fined. and so on. very left wing policies from my perspective. in the finance committee, there has been more discussion. we've had a lot of meetings where we're talked about this. but the bill is not being written with republican input. republicans have not ever -- any republican input? >> republicans on the committee have never sat down and said, ok, here's what we believe about x, y, and z. we've had general conversations back and forth and democrats i think know full well what our views are. they may or may not take into account those bills. but we're not being asked to write the bill with them. the bill that the president -- that the chairman comes up with and says this is my mark, now let's amend it, will not be a bipartisan product. >> senator, just last week i was talking with some finance democrats and they insist that it will be a baucus-grassley
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mark meeting. the chairman and ranking member. and i'm wondering, though, are they just sort of grasping at straws here trying to grab gratsly here, maybe senator snow who sits on the finance panel and maybe a couple others? it doesn't think of me you're going to make tup bipartisan product. >> that's what they're doing. senator grassley has been given no authority to negotiate anything by all of us republicans on that committee. and he has said that while his staff has talked to senator baucus' staff, baucus is the chairman of the committee, that he is not negotiating with max baucus. if we have only three days left to produce a bill and we will not have had a republican meeting to decide, ok, what's the republican position on this, then that's what why i say, it may have -- it may reflect the fact that i know our democratic friends know
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what a lot of us are thinking. and that may partially be reflected but it isn't as if we've sat down with them to write the bill. >> we've been through this before obviously with 1993, 1994 with bill clinton. but would you agree with regardless of what happens, it has to happen this year before we move into the mid-term election year? >> no. nothing has to happen this year. >> realistically can it happen? >> it's interesting, the president has said we have to do it now or else it won't happen. why is he saying that? i think he's saying that because he knows that the longer these left-wing ideas are hanging out there, the less the american public likes them. when they realize their care is going to be rationed under his proposal, they're going to reject that. they're going to say no. when they realize they're going to have to pay a lot more, i think they're going to be very wary of that when they realize they can't keep what they currently have, they're not going to like that. so the president is correct
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from a purely political standpoint, if we don't hurry up and do this it might not pass. why? because the american people may say we're not for that. everybody wants reform. everybody realizes we have people who don't have insurance, we need to get them covered. and there are costs going up in insurance that need to be dealt with in different ways. but that doesn't necessarily argue for this big government run system that the president has in mind. so he may be right from a purely political standpoint he doesn't do it really quickly, the american people are going to say no to what he's proposing. but that doesn't mean that something good couldn't pass at the end of this year or next year. >> now, you're talking about slowing the process down to the point where there could be more influence and more discussion. but are you worried that if you don't come to the table now that democrats will at some point use the reconciliation process and push this through? >> again, i know you have sophisticated viewers. but what does that mean? there is one exception to the rule that really important
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legislation takes 60 votes. and it's the process that you just articulated. it's in the budget and the democrats do have the ability if they wasn't to to use that particular method for getting a bill passed which would only require 51 votes. we've never had major legislation done under that procedure but they theoretically could do it. and that's a gun that they've held to republicans' head. they've said if you don't agree with what we've put on the table, we'll do it ourselves and pass it with 51 votes. there are 59 of us here and there may be 60 when the minnesota race is finally decided and we'll pass this and you're not going to have anything to say about it. i don't like to be threatened that way, frankly. and i'm going to stand up for what i think is right for my constituents in arizona rather than what i think politically has to happen. >> senator, going back to what drew asked a moment ago about the possibilities of bipartisanship on the finance committee, even if you have a
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couple of republicans who join on to whatever mark comes out of that panel, do you feel like that could sustain itself through the entire process, the merging with the health bill, the meveraging with the house bill? it seems -- as we was saying, is this the last best chance for bipartisanship? but my question is even if it's the last chance, does it matter? >> exactly. again, you've got house of representatives which will come up with a very liberal bill. you've got the health committee which is coming up with a very liberal bill. you've got the finance committee which will be more moderate in the legislation. it proposes. but as the chairman of the committee let slip the other day, well, this bill is going to be written in conference. conference means that after the house hass passed a bill and the senate has passed a bill, conferees will get together and decide what the bill is and it will come take it or leave it
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to the house and senate. my guess is that the answer to your question is that it will be a very liberal bill. and the american people are going to have the ultimate say here. and they're either going to say we don't like that, the president was right you either do it really fast before we know what's in it or if we know what's in it we don't like it. in which case it's not going to end up becoming law. or, at that point they'd better realize they'd better get some republican bipartisan input. >> senator, i wanted to see if i could -- this is the time we change topics. >> we have about three minutes. >> i wanted to ask you. -- >> i won't fill buster. >> that's what i was going to ask you about. >> is there anything in the judge's record at this point, the nominee for the supreme court, that you think would merit a filibuster object part of republicans? >> i don't know yet is the honest answer.
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we are in the process of going through all of the speeches she's given, the law review articles she's written, the decisions, and there's a big body of work to go through there. there are some troubling things that have come to public light. i was reading last night -- there's a lot of reading involved here and i was reading some very troubling things last night about her views toward international law. in effect saying that you can interpret the united states constitution by looking to see what public opinion is in europe. well, public opinion in europe has nothing whatsoever to do with what our constitution means. and if that's really her point of view, that's very troubling. i mean, i would -- i could not vote for a judge who believed that. she has said it on several occasions. i'm going ask her, what do you mean by that? so i don't know is the


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