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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 14, 2009 10:30am-11:00am EDT

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but that is one troubling thing. and we've all heard her view about the spear yort of identity politics or racial politics to just looking at the law on its merits. and that's very troubling, too. >> even if you wanted to filibuster. let's say after you've gone through the 4,000 decision and what knot that you decide, you know what, she can't be on the supreme court, do you think you could get the votes? >> that's the other question. when people talk about a filibuster, understand that republicans probably couldn't filibuster this nomination on our own. there aren't enough of us. so even if we wanted to -- and by the way, none of us are talking about filibuster it's all in response to questions from the media, which are fair questions. but we're not proposing this. and it would be very difficult for us to pull off anyway unless democrats joined in. >> senator john kyl on behalf of "newsmakers," thank you very much. >> we continue the conversation
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. let me begin with you. how does the fact that the republican in the minority in the nat, 40 votes, translate into what some may interpret from today's interview as senator kyle's frustration in influnesing the process? ar i think we have to look at what does bipartisanship mean when you have a congress split the way it is. the republican caucus is sort of increasingly conservative after the last few elections and kyl seemed to dismiss the idea of getting the few remaining republican moderates in the senate would create a bipartisan bill. there's sort of this unanswered question of how far into the senate republican caucus do you have to go for something to be a bipartisan resolve. do you need senator kyl's vote? do you need someone more conservative? five republicans? it's questionable how influential they can be on the policy when their views are so divergent at this point. there's this wide chasm between
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these two parties. >> what are you hearing and see sng >> i think that he makes a good point here in that when the republican minority was diminished, all that was really left were these conservatives. and so that's why you see people making a big deal about guantanamo bay, about the supreme curt nominee. because of the bent of the conference in the house and senate is very much more conservative where as the democratic ranks of centrists have expanded. you you brought up the issue of guantanamo bay and he became animated about his response, who cares? >> and that's exactly how a lot of republicans feel and even some democrats, they feel like, look, we don't have to bring these people into this country and we -- and the -- obama this is a symbol, a recruitment tool. i think that he really speaks for a lot of republicans in that way by saying we don't
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care what they think. we don't need to give them -- they don't need more reasons or they have plenty of reasons that they hate us already. >> and on the issue of the supreme court nomination, what will we continue to see from senator kyl and oshedse republicans on her nomination? >> i think that they're really looking for something to really sort of spear her with. they haven't quite found it yet, in my opinion. although they have succeeded in making one or two democrats say some things like, i've got to look at that a little bit closer. but this is really a message war. they can't filibuster her on their own. they would need democrats. so they've got to basically win the public relations war over defining her. >> i think it will be interesting to see what plays out there affects health care. the time line are set up right now to converge on the senate floor this summer when democrats are presumed we're
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going to try to take a lot of time to debate health care. if they're dealing with a real road block on a supreme court nominee and also trying to debate health care in the senate floor, it's questionable whether or not both those things might end up being pushed a little bit beyond the time linse the democrats have set already and caused some problems there. >> would you agree or disagree? >> i completely agree. alot of times you find that even if there's bipartisanship on one issue, if there's not on another, it can poyen the well. so if you're having a fight over one, it can poison the other and i think vice versa. >> thanks for being with us. i appreciate your time on c-span's "newsmakers" program. >> this is c-span's, courtesy
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of america's cable company. up next, president obama discussing health care at his town hall meeting in green bay, wisconsin. following that, house minority leader john boehner on the same issue. then a forum on new developments and challenges concerning mental health care. >> the government funding of colleges, direct aid to colleges and their students really is a late 1950's, early 1960's thing that has grown rapidly since then. >> hillsdale college has never accepted government funding and today not even government-backed student loans are permitted. >> title 4 is rufle 40050 pages long. we have a lawyer here trying to keep the government from giving us money and i asked him to send me title 4 and he said there wasn't any use, i wouldn't be able to read it. >> tonight at 8:00 on c-span's
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q and a. at a town hall meeting on thursday, president obama spoke out in favor of a so-called public option for health care legislation but he also expressed a willingness to listen to alternative propoflse from congress. this is just over an hour.
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>> good afternoon. i had a fairly average life prior to that, being a working mom with a hubs and band and two young children. the diagnosis altered everything in my life. with so many awful side effects from the treatment, i often found myself unable to work both at home and at my job. fortunately, my husband, peter, had a full time job and carried the insurance for our family. because he worked for a small company, those, the insurance plan had a high premium with high deductibles and out of pocket expenses. although we felt fortunate to have insurance, we soon found that we were overcome with medical bills. we knew there wasn't an option for us to cancel any of my treatments and that we would just have to face the bills a's they came and hope for the best to make our minimum monthly
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payments that we set up with each clinic. i continued to receive medical treatments including chemotherapy, several surgeries, and radiation throughout 2008. i finished my last treatment in december and truly hoped that my cancer was gone and that i could try to get back to some type of normal life. unfortunately, though, in april of 2009, i started having some unusual pain that was concerning to my on colings. he ordered a scan that did show my cancer was back and had spread to several of my bones. i am now back in treatment every other week, and am hoping the medicine i am receiving will help strengthen my bones and keep the cancer from spreading any further. with the new diagnosis came the realization that i would once again incur many medical expenses. our insurance policy has started over with a new plan year, so we once again had to meet our new deductible and
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out-of-pocket expenses before the insurance company would pay for any of the new bills. once i received the diagnosis, we also figured i wouldn't be able to work any more. the best arrangement was for me to stay home. as a family, we struggled to get by with the income that we have. in addition to the regular expenses that a family incurse, we have thousands of dollars that we owe to medical clinics and hops tls. we have to sacrifice a lot as a family in order to pay the montsly bills that we have. my daughter taylor, who is 11 and son logan who is eight, have suffered along with my husband and me during this time. my husband and i are not able to provide everything that we need to for them because we are are overwhelmed with our bills. i hope that some day changes could be made to help families such as ours overcome these sorts of problems where medical bills overtake the everyday living expenses. having cancer will totally change a person's life. but having to deal with cancer
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-- but having to deal with all sorts of financial issues because of it is devastating. i am honored and privileged to introduce to you today someone who is working hard to improve health care in america. president president obama. [cheers and applause]
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>> thank you, green bay. good to see you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you so much. thank you. it is great to be back in green bay. we are hoping that both the pack rds and the bears do better this year. come on. we can bring everybody together. i want to make just a few acknowledgment.
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we've got some wonderful special guests here today. first of all, can everybody please give laura a round of [applause] i want to thank our host and superintendent greg moss. please give them a big round of applause. [applause] your outstanding governor jim doyle is here. give him a big round of applause. [applause] lieutenant governor barbara lauten is here. give barbara a big round of applause. congressman steve cagen is here. congressman. your own mayor, jim smidt.
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[applause] . and milwaukee mayor tom baret is here as well. i want to thank all the tribal leaders of wisconsin who are with us here today. [applause] and they couldn't be was but i want to acknowledge the great leadership that you're getting in the united states from your senators. let's give them a big round of applause. [applause] this is a town hall meeting. but if you don't mind, i want to make a few comments at the outset, sort of to frame the discussion. and then we'll get to the fun part and you guys can bombard me with questions. as i said, i want to thank southwest high school for hosting us. i especially want to thank -- [applause] i especially want to thank
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laura for sharing her story. it takes courage to do that and it takes even more courage to battle a disease like cancer with such great determination. and i know her family is here and they're working and fighting with her every inch of the way. moving but sadly it's not unique. every day in this country more and more americans are forced to worry about not just getting well, but whether they can afford to get well. millions more wonder if they can afford the routine care necessary to stay well. even for those who have health insurance, rising premiums are straining family budgets to the breaking point. premiums that have doubled over the last nine years. and have grown at a rate three times faster than wages. let me repeat that. health care premiums have gone
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up three times faster than wages have gone up. the desperately needed procedures and treatments are put off because the price is too high. and all it takes is a single illness to wipe out a lifetime of savings. employers aren't faring any better. the cost of health care has helped leave big corporations like g.m. and chrysler at a competitive disadvantage with their foreign counter parts. for small businesses it's even worse. one month they're forced to cut back on health care benefits, the next month they've got to drop coverage. the month after that they have no choice but to start laying off workers. for the government, the growing cost of medicare and medicaid is the biggest threat to our federal deficit. bigger than social security, bigger than all the investments that we've made so far. so if you're worried about
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spending and you're worried about deaf sits, you need to be worried about the cost of health care. we have the most expensive health care system in the world. bar none. we spend almost 50% more per person on health care than the next most expensive nation. 50% more. but here's the thing, green bay. we're not any healthier for it. we don't necessarily have better outcomes. even within our own country there are a lot of places where we spend less on health care but have higher quality than places where we spend more. and it turns out green bay is a good example. right here in green bay you get more quality out of fewer health care dollars than many other communities across this country. this is something to be proud of. [applause] that's something to be proud of. you spend less, you have higher
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quality here in green bay than in many parts of the country. but across the country, spending on health care keeps going up and up and up day after day, year after year. i know that there are millions of americans who are happy, who are content with their health care coverage. they like their plan, they value their relationship with their doctor. and no matter how we reform health care, i intend to keep this promise. if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. if you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. so don't let people scare you. if you like what you've got, we're not going to make you change. but in order to preserve what's best about our health care system, we have to fix what doesn't work. for we've reached the point where doing nothing about the cost of health care is no longer an option. the status quo is
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unsustainable. if we don't act and act soon to bring down costs, it will jeopardize everybody's health care. if we don't act every american will feel the consequence in higher premiums, which by the way means lower take-home pay because it's not as if those costs are all borne by your employer. that's money that could have gone to given you a raise. in lost jobs. and shutrd biffses. in rising numbers of uninsured and a rising debt that our children and their children will be paying off for decades. if we do nothing, within a decade we will be spending one out of every $5 we earn on health care. and in 30 years we will be spending one out of every $3 we earn on health care. that's untenable. it's unacceptable. i will not allow it as president of the united states.
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[applause] now, health care reform is not something i just cooked up when i took office. sometimes i hear people say he's taken on too much. i'm not doing this because i don't have enough to do. we need health care reform because it's central to our economic future. it's central to our long-term prosperity as a nation. in past years in decades there may have been some disagreement on this point, but not any more. today, we've already built an unprecedented coalition of people who are ready to reform our health care system. physicians and health insurers, businesses and workers, democrats and republicans. a few weeks ago, some of these groups committed to doing something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. they promised to work together
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to cut national health care spending by $2 trillion over the next decade. that will bring down costs, it will bring down premiums. that's exactly the kind of but the question now is, how do we finish the job? how do we permanently bring down costs and make quality affordable health care available to every single american? in my view, is that reform shub should be guided by a single principle. we will fix what's broken and we will build on what works. in some cases there's broad agreement on the steps we should take. so in our recovery act that we already passed, -- hey, buddy. my guy, he was waving at me. [applause] in the recovery act, we've already made investments and
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health i.t., that's information technology, electronic medical records that will reduce medical errors, save lives, save money, and still ensure privacy. we also need to invest in prevention, in wells in programs to help americans liver longer and healthier lives. [applause] but the real cost savings will come from changing the incentives of a system that automatically equates expensive care with better care. we've got to move from addressing -- we've got to address flaws that increase profits but don't actually increase the quality of care for patients. we have to ask why places like kiss jer health systems in rural pennsylvania or inor mountain health in salt lake city can offer high quality care at costs well below average but other places in
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america can't. we need to identify the best practices across the country, learn from the successes, and then duplicate those successes everywhere else. and we should change the warped incentives that reward doctors and hospitals based on how many tests and procedures they do. even if those tests and procedures aren't necessary. or result from medical mistakes. doctors didn't get into nedcal profession to be bean cournts or paper pushors. they're not interested in spending all their time acting like lawyers or business executives. they became doctors to heal people. and that's what we need to free them to be able to do. we also have to provide americans who can't afford medical insurance more affordable option ts. that's an economic imperative but also a moral imperative.
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we know when people don't have insurance they end up getting treatment at the e.r. the average family pays an extra thousand dollars to pay for people who are going to the emergency room. you're subdiesing, but you're subsidizing the most expensive care. you would be better off to subsidize making sure they're getting regular chkups. we're already paying for it, it's just hidden in your premiums. so we're working on the health insurance exchange which would allow you to one stop shop for a health care plan. compare benefits and prices, choose the plan that's best for you. if you're happy with your plan, you keep it. none of these plans, though, would be able to deny coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions. [cheers and applause]
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every plan should include an faudable basics package. and if you can't afford one of these plans, we should provide you some assistance to make sure that you can. [applause] so i also strongly believe that one of the options in the exchange should bh a public insurance option. [applause] and the reason is not because we want a government takeover of health care. i've already said, if you've got a private plan that works for you, that's great. but we want some competition. if the private insurance companies have to compete with a public option, it will keep them honest. and it will keep -- help keep their prices down. [cheers and applause] now, covering more americans is of jussly going to require --
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obviously ging to require some money up front. we'll save money when they stop going to the emergency room. but it's going to cost money up front. helping families lower their costs. there's going to be a cost. and it comes at a time when we don't have a lot of extra money to spend. let's be honest. when i came in, we had a $1.3 trillion deficit. and with if economic recession that we're going through, tax reave news are down, i was talking to governor doyle, tax revenues are down, more people are seeking help from the state. so we've got a lot of pressure on our budget. so that's why i've already promised that reform cannot add to our deficit over the next teb years. -- ten years. and to make that happen, we've already identified hundreds of billions of dollars worth of save ngs our budget. savings that will come from steps like reducing medicare overpayments to insurance companies. rooting out waste and fraud and abuse in both medicare and
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medicaid. and i will be outlining hundreds of billions of dollars more in savings in the days to come. and i will be honest, even with these savings reform will require some additional upfront resources. and that's why i propose that we scale back how much the highest income americans can deduct on their taxes back, take us back to the rate that existed under the reaganyears. and we could use some of that money to help finance health care reform. [applause] now, in all these reforms our goal is simple. the highest quality health care, at the lowest possible cost. let me repeat what i said before. we want to fix what's broken and build on what works. if congress moves forward on health care legislation in the coming weeks there are going to be different ideas and disagreements about how to achieve this goal. and i welcome all ideas. we've got to have a good
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debate. what i will not accept is endless delay. or denial that reform needs to happen. [applause] because when it comes to health care, this country can't continue on its current path. i know that there's some who will say it's too expensive. i know some people say it's too complicated. but i can assure you that costs of doing nothing is going to be a lot higher in the years to come. our deficits will be higher, our premiums will keep going up. our wages will be lower, our our businesses will suffer. so to those who criticize our efforts, i ask them, what is the alternative? what else do we say to all the families who spend more on health care than on housing or on food? businesses that are choosing
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between closing their doors and letting their workers go? what do we say to americans like laura, a woman who has worked all her life, whose husband has worked, whose family has done everything right, a brave and proud woman whose child's school recently took up a penny drive to help pay her medical bills. what do we tell them? [applause] here's what i'm going to tell them. that after decades of inaction, we have finally decided to fix what's broken about health care in america. we have finally decided it's time to give every american quality health care at an affordable cost. we've decided to do the reforms that will bring health care down now. [cheers and applause] we've decided to bring costs down now and in the future. and we've decided to change the system. that our doctors and health
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care providers are free to do what they trained and studied and worked so hard to do, to make people well again. that's what we can do in this country. right now at this moment. so i don't want to accept no for an answer. we need to get this done. but i'm going to need your help. that's why i want your this and any other issues. thank you very much, green bay. god bless you. thank you. [cheers and applause] ok. here's what we're going to do. i've got about 15, 20 minutes. everybody sit down. and here's how we're going to work it. there are no pre-arranged


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