tv [untitled] CSPAN June 19, 2009 7:30am-8:00am EDT
former fda commissioner explains how americans programmed by too much sugar, salt and junk can control their eating habits. our website has the entire schedule and great new features including streaming video, archives that are easy to search. booktv.org. >> people don't want to think that roosevelt's conservation as a policy as much as a pass and -- passion. now as people are talking about environmentalism and green movement, roosevelt is becoming the key figure to understand. he was the only politician of his stake to made dark when into it's understood biology, and
understood mating habits of a deer and elk and antelope. >> the first of two hours with douglas brinkley on wilderness warrior. sunday night at 8 or listen at xmsatellite radio or download c- span podcast. >> we are talking about health care reform. can you get us up to speed on the status? >> the senate finance committee has been wrestling with how health-care reform, and the public plan option. they are looking at a variety of things. yesterday, there were documents that circulated, looking at a sample as -- of eight medicaid
expansion. -- of a medicaid expansion. perhaps some tax credit that will help people for their coverage. they are looking at what the cost of the bill is. they want to get it under a trillion dollars. also in the senate, the health committee has started their mark up of their bill. it is very contentious. it has republicans offering tons of amendments to the bill. chris dodd has been handling things. he is trying to get consensus on that panel, but that could go till the end of the week. in the house, republicans have come up with that the outline of a product that would look at private sector solutions. they don't want an employer mandate plan.
they might want to increase the use of health savings account, they want people to be able to purchase health insurance across state lines. today, house republicans are expected to reveal their bill. individual that mandate, medicaid expansion, a robust role for government. >> one of the cornerstones is, even if you get consensus on it, is how you pay for it. the new york times talks about comparing plans. a federal excise tax on beverages with sugar or high fructose syrup.
>> there is a discussion about the drinks, the tax on sugary drinks and a tax on alcohol. we will probably hear more about this after the break. there is also discussion in the senate on capping the exclusion for employer provided health insurance for workers. right now, they don't pay tax on the benefit. the senate has been looking at that. that runs into trouble with union groups and democrats. it is a big change in how employees get their health care. they can set the level fairly high so it won't affect a lot of people. but as a health insurance costs crise, they will have to play with it. >> is congress going to be able to keep up with the timeline
that president obama outlined? the amount you covered capitol hill. we are talking about the senate finance committee chairman said the bill comes up and mark up done before the recess. they are trying hard to get republican support on that bill. the bill could come out next week. the thought is it will slip until july 4th. at the end of the year if they get the bill done, they get it done. there have been all sorts of time lines that have come out. we had heard earlier in the year perhaps by thanksgiving, when
they passed the drug benefit in 2003, it came a week before thanksgiving. it will be a long year. host: talking about health care. our first call from mary on the democratic line from pennsylvania. caller: my concern is why to pharmaceutical companies advertise on television? i think it raises the price of the drugs. my doctor is the one who should be prescribing my medicine. this raises the cost of the drugs. what are your thoughts on that? guest: that is a key part of this debate, advertising draws up uses of drugs. there is also evidence talking about patients coming into their
offices and saying they need this drug whether they need it or not. there will be a look at -- an examination of these consumer ads to see about their accuracy and make sure people know about their claims. this is part of the debate. people talk about this all the time. consumers really need to have a conversation with their physician. host: are they talking about imposing a tax by denying deductions for advertising prescription drugs? guest: all sorts of things are in the mix. host: next call from the republican from texas. caller: i have a ph.d. in chemistry and i started my own business 30 years ago. the obama administration is
killing business in this country. they are coming after us as the enemy in terms of health care, we see of that $40 million, 11 million are illegal aliens, 9 million are already eligible for medicaid and another 11 million make $75,000 or more a year. what will we do when we have this government running our health care, which is about one sixth of our gdp. look at amtrak, the post office that runs in - deficit every year, look at states like new york, illinois, california, $12 billion every year of fraud. what will happen to all of the fraud if it goes to 300 million people we are trying to ensure.
this is too much government. callerguest: what is the role of government? we talk about waste, fraud and abuse. part of this debate has been if you have $47 million -- 47 million people uninsured, we all pay the cost of the uninsured. small business has been weighing in and are very concerned about employer mandates. large employers do not want the employer mandate. we will have a real struggle between the business community, the policymakers on health care reform. host: next call, from chicago.
caller: it is interesting that the republicans have a problem with the government, except when they have a pregnant woman. anyway, there was a hearing of three of the largest health-care insurers. they were investigating the cancellation of all these policies, and investigation by the subcommittee on investigations showed that health insurance well point, united health group and assure it canceled the coverage of more than 20,000 people, allowing companies to avoid medical claims. policy -- others were targeted
for cancellation. they make money by denying care. caller: she is talking about recisions. look for any reason to dump that person. when you look at some of the insurance reform that are emerging now in some of these bills, i think they want to draw attention to that. i would say that democrats are saying at this point, that they don't want the government between you and your physician. they want you and your doctor to make decisions together on your care and keep your insurance if you like it. host: walter on the republic that linline.
caller: everybody is covered. health insurance is covered by everybody. no doctor has ever said to somebody when they walk in, if you don't have the money, i can't set your broken leg. that is a fallacy. as far as this idea of socialized medicine, if we are all going on socialized medicine, and ted kennedy along with the other rich congressmen and politicians are under the same system, make sure that everybody is the same. sometimes in america we have to hear the word no. if we eliminated all of these health insurers, coverage programs.
if we eliminated them and a person walk into a hospital and needed care, wouldn't the hospital have to lower care costs to meet the current demand of the consumer as far as, you couldn't charge $20 for an aspirin. you would have to lower it down. these insurance companies, if you walk in with blue cross the doctor's eyes light up like they hit the lottery. but if i wanted to buy a hamburger far -- from a store, and the person so that for $10, nobody would buy it and they would be out of business. guest: very interesting. is the emergency room the most cost-effective way to do it? it costs a lot more than if you had to go a different way. as far as health insurance
companies, one problems consumers face is blue cross may not take the coverage. i think there are other times when people are covered by health insurance plan and it will take some -- some time to find someone who will take the coverage, it is a complicated thing for people. part of this discussion is to try to simplify this whole experience for consumers on how much their insurance costs and what it covers and provides and how do we make this easier for people to understand and deliver health care more efficiently. caller: good morning. my question is this. i think there is a lot of confusion out there as to what is a for-profit insurance company, and what is a non
profit insurance company. blue cross i don't believe, they are for-profit insurance company. then at not or-- etna or signa. there is confusion when you say greedy insurance companies. i don't see blue cross being greedy. i think they deliver pretty decent care. both sides of the debate, you are getting people with insurance companies being demonized. the majority of the people in this country, are they covered and backed by for-profit insurance companies or the other way around? guest: the broader debate is getting people to talk about these very things.
how do insurance companies work? should the federal government tried to step in? who are the main players and what is the insurance industry willing to do? a trade group on health insurer said if everyone is covered, we will cover people even if they have a pre-existing medical condition. caller is talking about we all need to think more about insurance companies and this debate on health care reform. host: john, on the independent line. caller: can we get into the tort reform piece of this? in the 1970's or 1980's, and attorneys were first allowed to advertise.
once that happened, all you need to do is open up a yellow page book court tv commercial to know that they are making good money. what piece of the expense is coming from the illegal area -- legal profession? guest: some people think it is -- the problem is medical malpractice lawsuits. it is difficult to quantify how much this contributes to health care. some say it is just a fraction. when the president was at the ama earlier this week he said to the physicians, he said i need you on health care reform. i do not want to cap medical health-care awards.
the medical malpractice issue is not really there in the democratic health bill. they don't think it is a major issue to deal with. host: on our independent line, from california. caller: i hear them talk a lot about health care companies. i am with bernie sanders, a single payer health care system. when it is said and done, that is about a three trillion dollar debacle. we are screaming and yelling now about a 1.6 trillion dollars
health care coverage to cover everyone. i find that so hypocritical is not funny. i think that republicans, they want compromise to get this bill passed. we have compromised by taking the single payer off the table. host: here is an e-mail, the federal government is restricted to impose health care on citizens. let's go to our next caller on the republican line from maryland. caller: i have a question for your guest. force all the medical insurance
companies to provide the same policy to all people regardless of medical condition, age, location for the same price. then also force all of the doctors to charge people that walk in off the street without insurance the same amount of money that insurance companies get for the same procedure. that would open up competition. guest: interesting idea. i think that insurance companies, while they may agree to not charge you more for pre- existing medical condition, they will still reach for age and some other factors that will be in the mix. if you have a proposal, i am not sure what you are doing with it, send it to your member of congress. get your idea out there. caller: i would just like to say
that republicans -- they are getting health insurance from the government. it would be nice if they would let us have good health insurance. they don't demonize their health insurance. host: one of the things obama said on the campaign trail, he said he wanted citizens to have the same kind of coverage that congress had. is that still realistic? guest: this will provide a large menu of health care options. that theme has come up over and over again. members of congress realize that
if their constituents don't have those choices, they will be concerned where members of congress get one type of health care and others don't. caller: i did not quite understand that last comment. concerned about a two-tiered system where constituents are getting the same type of coverage. that is the way it is now. i was doing some reading on 1973 hmo act that made them possible in this country. i read a transcript from the nixon tapes where ehrlichman tells richard nixon that garret edgar kaiser is running things with health care, all the
incentives are toward less medical care. but less care they get them, the more money they make. when we talk about health care and socialized medicine, i think people need to understand that this is the sort of thinking that went into the formation of these for profit medical entities. i am concerned that when i hear a republican congressman and senators talk about the cost of madison, they don't consider the cost that is imposed by the profit motive. guest: we are a program of kaiser foundation, which is totally different from kaiser permanente.
i want people to know that we have nothing to do with kaiser health insurance. also, the earlier comment was that members of congress are saying what you said, that they are getting options their constituents are not, and they want to try to level the playing field. host: republican line from new hampshire is next. caller: i am concerned about businesses that are starting to cancel their employees' insurance before they nationalize health care comes in and order to protect themselves, so they cannot be charged or held accountable. guest: that is something that you should alert your members of congress to. if there is an employer mandate
in health insurance, if there is, there may be requirements regardless. host: in the pet line from illinois. caller: i don't agree that the government should compete with the private insurers. i do think the insurers themselves that to compete with each other, it will take a lot of employee -- public education. one of the things thencqa, if people could pay attention to organizations like that. i agreed that they should do away with the pre-existing condition clause, because that
would allow more people to get coverage. if we have to help subsidize people who cannot afford it, a payroll tax, even though it would fluctuate, that might be one way to pay for it. when you talk about recisions' with no pre-existing condition clause, it would not be possible. guest: the public plan debate is the cornerstone of the debate. should there be a government- sponsored plan? the have talked about a co op idea, more regional? i think this is a huge discussion point. do you need a government plan? would it be an unfair competitor? that gets into payment rates and all sorts of thing.
s. host: what about taxing employer guest: health-care: you get health care employment -- benefits from your employer. they don't have to pay taxes on it. the idea is that cost the federal treasury billions of dollars a year. they looked at the level of those benefits and decided to tax it at a certain level. or tax people at a certain income level. that could bring a lot of money to help finance reform. it is a very attractive pot of money, but fraught with political risk. in policy there is quite a bit of support for it.
some of these high-cost benefits if they encourage over use of health care, democrats and republicans like this idea, but union groups have said that for their members, they say that would hurt their members. there will be political struggles. host: didn't barack obama campaign against this proposal? guest: john mccain 1 a to give you a tax credit. the president disagreed with that. he understands for congress is on the table. that give and take between the white house, congress, they have to find a way to pay for this.
it may stay on the table. host: our last caller from massachusetts on the democratic line. caller: i have been listening to this argument for quite some time. they always bring up europe and socialized system in europe. i lived there for 26 years. i am still living and breathing. they did not managed to kill me. i understand that there are dead bodies on the american canadian bodies, trying to get here instead of the poison they feed them in canada. that is not the way is. guest: i am simply here to help to explain t