tv [untitled] CSPAN June 15, 2009 7:30am-8:00am EDT
they will tax you $100 a month, it makes it impossible for you to have health care. health care for all people doesn't make sense. there are people in this country who have seen our family and friends and able to be able to afford health care, and they need some sort of medical resources to cover the need. i am looking at my daughter that has medication that she has to buy because she is a diabetic. her condition is not getting any better. the fact that she does not have finances to go to the doctor every single day.
host: bob cusack is joining us throughout the hour. you are reporting this morning the republicans step up the held specifics on this. guest: republicans have been in the beginning part of the year somewhat reluctant to go after president obama, because of these high approval ratings. those are still in the '60s. more and more republicans are going after president obama, with some kind of tough talk. about what he is doing to socialism, what is going on in russia. there are some in the party that are making the case that the congressional elections next year should not be about president obama, it should be about nancy pelosi and harry reid.
the midterms are all about the president usually. some republicans believe they should go after congressional leaders, not the president. they can be very critical of the president and his policies. host: congress needs to get done this week, the war funding bill. they have to have some funding and therefore the imf. guest: this bill was not very controversial when it got out of the gate, it passed the house overwhelmingly. the white house wanted to put in some of that imf funding, which is more controversial and the
house. republicans have said in the house that if the imf funding is put in there, they will vote against it. it will be tricky. politically vulnerable republicans will vote against the war funding bill, democrats are relishing the possibility of using that the vote in campaign ads. we talked to some republicans that could be in tough races and some said they were leaning towards no. some are planning to vote no. you have anti-war democrats that do not want to vote for any war bill. nancy pelosi has delayed action on this bill, to make sure she has the votes, not wanting to rely on republican votes.
chris dodd until now, and other interesting component to this bill is the detainee photos that the president was initially going to release and then backpedaled, there was a provision sponsored by senator gramm and lieberman, there is a court case going on. the language has been stripped out. there will be more and zero votes in the senate. it will be a very close vote. host: we talk about detainee photos. photos here in the new york time up of former detainees free from guantanamo. the story here about some of the muslims that were released from guantanamo, sent to bermuda.
four days after the surprise, the man asked in their new-found freedom in the bermudas. there are pictures here of some of the men from the guantanamo prison. it is the first time ever that had been in the ocean. the men, members of an ethnic minority from western china they are luxuriating in the freedom in bermuda. they expressed wonder in their good fortune to be released from
captivity after four years. florida, good morning. what are your thoughts on taxing employee health benefits? caller: good morning. i strongly disagree. what happened to obama saying on cut taxes? that is just a lie. i like my health-care, just leave it alone. i don't want single payer. what does that mean? that the government will take it over? who will pay for it? host: who is your provider? caller: united healthcare. we really like it.
host: what do you pay a month? caller: about $800 a month. host: she pays 800 or her employer? caller: if i get a prescription filled, i don't pay anything. if i go to the doctor, i don't pay anything. it is well worth it. it is real good. host: things for your input. this from a viewer. a payroll tax is fairer. it makes small companies pay with a part-time or temporary. i want to show you the comments of former michigan --
massachusetts gov. mitt romney on the talk shows yesterday, talking about health care reform. >> if there is a public auction, should republicans reject it? >> of course they should. republicans recognize that we have problems in health care and have had -- should have health care reform. we took that on in massachusetts. i understand the president considers this plan following the model of massachusetts. let's learn from our state. we have 98% of our people covered by insurance. we did not put in place a government plan. we have competition in health care. we don't need to have the government get in and create a health insurance company in order to have competition. let's be clear. this is not about getting competition in health incur --
health insurance. this is a trojan horse. barack obama said he is in favor of a single payer system. he said it for years. it is the wrong way to go. every single republican who knows anything about the public sector says this is the wrong thing. host: and another of your rights, the money is spent now. employers paid now, call it anything. michigan on our independent line. caller: i would like to say what mitt romney said being the wrong way to go. congress enjoys full health
coverage at taxpayer expense. and yet, congress, especially the republicans, will say that health insurance -- health care is not a right for americans. on the other hand, i you allegra to control allergies. $500 for a four-month spread supply in the u.s.. it is under $200 for a four month supply in canada. host: do you go to canada to get your supplies? caller: i do. i cannot afford to pay $500 every four months for allergy medicine.
host: another view from michigan. good morning. caller: thank you for this opportunity. the main points i would like to make is that in america, we spend one-third more per capita for health insurance. one-third more for prescription costs. in spite of that, we, at one time in the '60s, we were equal to or above other countries. since we have got this extreme for-profit system with insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. everything is maximize profits,
we have fallen behind. our life expectancies are lower than other countries. many countries have life expectancies at 82 years of age. i would like to see the elimination of all insurance companies for care. for everybody to have single payer. we know from studying these countries that the actual quality of health care of comes is better in all those other countries. america is falling behind with
the quality of health care. what i would like to see is what the single payer would do. it would include the government negotiating prices. host: a couple of other stories. a story about college endowments in the state of georgia. endowments' fall is the headline. they have fallen 25%. other stories making news and on the front pages of leading newspapers, israel offers a two- state idea. palestianian dismisses. and one more story on that, palestinian officials are dismissing a proposal from prime minister netanyahu, calling for
a palestinian state. this happened yesterday. >> here is the substance that i now state clearly. if we received this guarantee regarding the militarized nation and israel's security needs, and if palestinians recognize israel as a state of the jewish people, we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized palestinian state exists alongside the jewish state. host: back to the issue of health care. tom daschle is controlling the cost of mel practice the insurance will have to be part of the overhaul of health care. another 15 minutes of your thoughts on taxing health care benefits as the ama gets ready to hear from the president today.
caller: a lot of people here are not looking at results. what is the result of single payer health care? eventually, there will be rationing. the solution is what the person from michigan said. the government does not need to control, allowing people to pull together -- pool together to negotiate. that would be the solution instead of all these other things. what will happen since everyone of these countries, britain, canada, people come to america when they need a serious operation. you cannot get the kind of
service that you want over there. i wish people would talk about results. what kind of health care? host: where do you get health care from? caller: i am unemployed. i am a contractor, between jobs. host: do you have a cold recovering you right now? caller: i am 30, so i am healthy. i pay for one prescription myself. host: you are not on any health plan right now. what do you do in terms of visit for a physician or an emergency? caller: if an emergency comes up, i have money saved up. i am hoping to be employed soon. week -- when we get the single
payer system, it will get rid of all the competition. host: here is the inside of a newspaper, looking at the health-care overhaul. this is a chart saying if benefits were tax, the chart looks at how the government might tax benefits, employers tax benefits are excluded. taxing this would yield each -- the millions of dollars each year. this would generate more revenue than linking it to medical inflation. a visual reference of that here on the chart showing how more billions -- how many more
billions of dollars vs the inflation in the medical field. caller: you read this thing about tom daschle. i am running for senate in new york also. this whole thing with lowering liability insurance for providers, at the same time tying it to tort reform. it is disjointed, this whole discussion on health care. it all has to be tied together. the thing the other caller has brought up about comparing universal health care, i just talked to somebody from ontario yesterday. the couple reiterated that people do have to come across
and get certain tests done. it is not a perfect system. one of the biggest loss in comparing universal health care in other countries, comparing its to a corner shop to a big restaurant chain. the better thing we can do now is massively regulate the insurance industry, not to the point of putting them out of business, but lowering premiums. they get away for not paying for wellness visits. do those things first, and backtrack like health-care providers and others tweak the system that it works come and get less people in the public system and more people who can pay into an insurance system that we have now, but one that works.
host: you said you were a health-care provider. what is your position? caller: i am an oral surgeon. host: bob cusack is joining us from the hill newspaper. good morning. in the washington post, they are watching about the debate ahead on energy legislation. one of many priorities of the obama administration and of congressional leadership. what is the situation with an energy bill? guest: this is fascinating. this is a bill that has -- the house is a bit ahead of the senate on climate change. henry waxman struck a deal with some conservative democrats. that bill has now cleared. now it is a situation where other committee chairman has
some major concerns with the bill, as well as a couple other committee chairs. nancy pelosi is taking a hands- on approach to get this bill to the floor. she told committee chairs that they have until june 19th, the end of this week to move the bills through their committees. then she will bring it to the floor. it remains uncertain whether these committees will actually market up. then, it is a matter of bringing it to the house floor. the senate moves on a different track. they have their own issues with the climate change language that has been very difficult to get through the senate. harry reid is moving through the upper chamber. he later said if the house can move a bill, then he can move a bill.
this is speaker policies -- nancy pelosi is flagship bill. whether she can get this through the house. if the kids to the house, it will pick up momentum with a push from the white house. you never know. host: in more mundane issues such as spending bill, the word is the house will take up the homeland security spending bill this week. how was congress doing in getting their work done by the beginning of the end of the year? calleguest: they have made some progress. the chairman wants to move all the appropriations, one by one, through the house by the august recess. that is a tall order.
it has not been done in recent years. on the senate side, the senate wants to move every bill one by one by the beginning of the year. now with the war supplemental, they need to get that off the agenda this week. whether they will get them all done by september 30th, we will see. host: we talked about a lot this of our -- this hour. what issues haven't we talked about that you may be talking about? guest: we see a lot of the groundwork being set on climate change and health care. in the financial services committee, barney frank will be
holding hearings on making sure that the financial meltdown that happened last year into the shared does not happen again. setting up a regulatory structure that will help that. when there is a crisis, the usual response is government intervention. republicans a little bit more embracing the government's role. some republicans are saying, you have to pick and choose our regulations. mitt romney says republicans need to change their predicate -- the rhetoric on this. in the wake of the financial crisis, democrats feel like they can set up a new regulatory
structure. barney frank will do that. host: bob cusack, the manager of the hill newspaper. thank you for joining us. we will talk more about this later in the program as we wrap up the program on taxing health benefits. one viewer writes tax makes perfect sense if you want to hurt people into a government plan. caller: 1 of the remarkable inconsistencies in our tax code is that employee benefits for health plan are taxed but the self-employed does not have the benefit of tax deduction.
host: massachusetts on our republican line. caller: my relatives are from europe. to say that the united states health care system is inadequate or lacking is totally wrong. my relatives say it cannot compare to what goes on in europe. also, why don't we just give free health insurance to those that are most vulnerable, 18 and younger and retired people. everyone else can pay. what that will do is allow the benefits to be taxed on the younger people, and use that to help subsidize the older people. and all the able-bodied people that are working can pay for health insurance. i don't know of -- if a lot of
people are aware of this, if you have no insurance and you go to a hospital for an emergency and they are receiving federal funds, you will get treated, then you make payment arrangements. i have gone through that myself. host: from massachusetts on the republican line. a couple of females as well. people complain that there is a charge on the employer or taxes for medicare and medicaid. what is the difference between that charge? all countries with government controlled health care system, france, germany etc., have lower system -- lower-cost systems and better health care. another e-mail coming in. why should the insurance companies make a profit when i pay for health care? shouldn't the doctors to be the one making a profit? we will never contain costs
while we allowed the two major industries to make a profit -- profit. david i. democrats line. caller: i just retired. i get my first check wednesday. to get health insurance, i could -- -- have a hundred dollars a week for gas. i went to the emergency room, i paid over $9,000. i got a reduced, but on the $9,000, spent three hours in the hospital. we don't have that much money.
host: are you without health insurance now? caller: yes i am. i am scared. i have a house and they can take everything i have. host: from where did you retire? caller: it was a dead end job. i had to pay most of my insurance. host: what did it cost you this plan you are talking about? caller: about seven -- $700 or $800. i went on the internet and everywhere i could to go for help.