tv [untitled] CSPAN June 23, 2009 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
afghans must begin to trust their own government more than they either fear or trust the extremists. guest: the situation in afghanistan is very rough and that is why we have -- and i agree with the president. he instituted a policy where we send to significantly more troops. there's a question as to whether there will be even 10,000 more cent this year. we just change the command structure and the commanders. there will be increases and -- increasing casualties, ufráugaá%&mr i am happy to say that the predictions about pakistan are not true. the pakistani military are starting to have to name more effective fashion the people in some parts of pakistan and i know, afghanistan as well, have rejected the taliban and even fought against them. it is going to be a long, hard,
tough slog. things are very difficult there and we have an election in afghanistan coming up this summer and we want to make sure that there is a free and fair election. no one should think that this is going to be easy. it is going to be extremely difficult, but we cannot allow afghanistan to return to a base where radical islamic elements are able to launch attacks on the united states and our allies. host: alfred was joining us next from hillsborough, calif.. llsborough, calif.. good morning on the independent line. caller: i am honored to talk to you. and you are the main reason why men independent. -- why i am an independent. i respect you so much, being a freemason.
i cannot tell you the stuff i hear, about as top-secret as the stuff you talk about. if you would have stuck to your guns with the taxes and immigration, you would have won. from the heart, you would have won. i respect obama and i respect a lot of what he is doing, but with a bunch of liberals, it is hard. you are the main reason i am an independent. we saw you fighting for the family in florida down there. guest: thank you for those kind words. it is pretty clear that some of your frustrations are felt by
many americans. the we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people who are registering as independent voters. thank you, alfredo. host: do you tweet? guest: oh yeah, all the time. by the way, facebook and ritter had an impact in this iranian situation. -- end to torturand twitter hadn this iranian situation. it is interesting to read the twitters from the streets of tehran, particularly at its height a couple of days ago. host: you saw what happened in the 1970's. what you think ultimately will go on? guest: i think ultimately, democracy will prevail. i think the people of iran have
indicated their dissatisfaction with the status quo and the radical clerics' tight control of the country. this is a very old country and an old culture and a very sophisticated one. people are not going to stand for that forever. i think you can draw a parallel between when the prague spring was repressed and the polish workers were repressedç. and by the way, reagan stood up for them right away as a liberal democrats as well as conservative spiris. the way that iran is being a government is discredited, totally discredited in the eyes of the world. over time, you will see is to begin change in iran. now, how long it would take and under what circumstances are
impossible to predict. but those young people who sacrificed their lives and their physical well-being in the streets of tehran, their legacy will be fulfilled. it is just a matter of when. host: we have a political tweet from david ryan, who himself is a candidate for congress. he wonders if you will run for president in 2012. guest: no, i have had my chance twice and it is so tomblin to have had the nomination of my party, but it is -- is so humbling to have the had the nomination of my party, but we need to have a new generation of leaders out there. i am confident that we are going to redound. i remember when the -- to rebound. i remember when the pundits said this about the party. host: next up is tim from georgia. tim, please go ahead.
caller: first, i have a lot of admiration for senator mccain. i supported you greatly during the campaign. but i do have to bring us back to health care. i have to agree with the lady that said for $5,000 we can get health care for a family. i know from here in georgia, a family of four, a $5,000 credit on our income taxes would be very difficult to actually put adequate, quality health care on a family of four. having done that myself where i spent over $12,000 a year for a family of four to insure them adequately. that is our biggest problem. my wife is in the health-care industry. she is a doctor. i see the problem as more the insurance issue of not being able to pull smaller companies -- we have a small business and
we cannot afford to put adequate health care -- to provide adequate health care for our employees of three. host: what is your business? caller: we have a dental office. my wife is a dentist. what i would like to see is instead of a single provider, is actually, maybe some guidelines for the insurance industry where we are able to take small businesses and go across state lines and pull those individuals, or those smaller businesses, into a larger pool to bring our health care costs down. guest: we're in agreement. to start with, the $5,000 refundable tax credit is for every family in america and there are 47 million americans who are uninsured. if you have a kind of competition that you are talking about -- i understand there are
1300 different health insurance companies in america and they would all compete across state lines, which they cannot do now. and it would bring the cost of health care down and the inflation associated with it. i would imagine, if you are still on the line, you are fairly satisfied -- about 70% of the american people are satisfied with the health insurance that they have. they're just worried about affording it. i'm convinced that if you keep the cost of health care down, providing competition, you can give every american family the opportunity to have at least some minimum health care. again, i would be glad to send you the statistics. $5,000 refundable tax credit for a family will be enough to give americans a minimum health- insurance policy, which they can then expand if they want to with their own money. but the fact is that we have got to give every american family, in my view, at least a $5,000 refundable tax credit so that at least they can go out and shop
around for a minimum that would handle off catastrophic and others. it is all part of a larger effort to address the problem of the cost of health care. again, if you are not satisfied with your health insurance, and i would imagine that youç are, then i think you ought to go to a place that has health insurance that best suits you and your family. that is part of this proposal. prevention, wellness, fitness, treatment on an outbreak -- outcome based treatment, it is all part of the proposal. but to city government-run health care system with you and your wife -- but to say that government-run healthcare system with you and your wife obligated to pay for employees, otherwise you will pay a fine of some kind, that is not my vision of health care in america. host: john sent in this tweet.
guest: very proud, of course. my dad and granddad both served their country in war and in peace and i'm grateful to have the heritage, including my young son, fourth generation of the exact same name graduating from the naval academy a couple of weeks ago. by the way, the president of the united states at that ceremony gave a very good speech. host: 1 bob dole lost the election in 1986, he turned to george mcgovern and said, when does it stop hurting and george mcgovern said, i will let you know. guest: i stopped hurting about a day after words. you get back in the arena and get to work. i am so grateful to have been -- for the soverereignty to serve d
>> on thursday, washington journal talks with common security secretary, tom ridge beginning and 9:00 a.m.. the program, of course, begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the health-care legislation committee is going through the bill line by line during the president's health care plan is making its way through several committees on capitol hill. the various committees have oversight of different sections of the legislation. today, a house health committees are reviewing it. tomorrow, the house commerce committee reviews it. you can follow committee coverage on line as well at c- span.org. president obama is holding a news conference today. it was originally going to be in
the rose garden. warm temperatures have moved in doors to the british press briefing room. you can follow it live on c- span2 and also at c-span.org at 12:30 p.m. eastern. and now, and look at the health care plan the obama administration is putting together and taking shape on capitol hill from this morning's "washington journal." this will take us up to live coverage of the house at 12:00 p.m. eastern. good morning and thanks for being with us. guest: good morning. host: the overall question seems to be, who is going to pay for this and how? guest: the president has put forward a proposal for $950 billion which will make it possible for people to have more affordable health care. right now, the rising cost of health care is absolutely crushing families and businesses and government, state government, federal government'.
there will be an initial installment. no president has already laid out six and a billion dollars in federal health care -- $600 billion in federal health-care spending as well as additional revenues that will be designed to provide an opportunity for health care for all americans that will begin to emphasize quality and care, your relationship with your doctor, as opposed to simply quantity of )sometimes even mindlessly done without any regard for what is best for the whole patient. this is a small, initial investment to improve health care for all americans, make more affordable options available for americans, make it possible for americans who could not get health care at all now to finally get health care for themselves and their families. when you see ceos scoring because at $1 trillion or above, do those numbers correlated
with your thinking and seeing in the administration? guest: there will be preliminary pieces of legislation that are emerging from various congressional committees that are working very hard to write legislation that will bring down costs and provide affordable options. there are preliminary estimates, and as i said, there will be some preliminary, up-front costs, but right now, we are spending one out of every six of our dollars on health care. in 30 years, one-third of our economic output will be tied up in the health care system. that is simply unsustainable. there is tremendous waste. there is a system of perverse incentives that do not reward quality of care in this country. we have to bring the rising cost under control. let me give you an example. and right now, if you are working and -- american up with healthcare from your office, what you realize is that your wages have stayed flat, while the rising cost of health care
has inspired your employer to give you payment in health care benefits read and money in your pocket for your family. an increasing percentage of your compensation as a vote -- as a worker is coming in health care benefits rather than wages. this is one of the reasons w#n ) this is unsustainable. host: can you explain the white house view on a single payer system and whether or not you think congress, in particular senator max baucus, will take up this issue? guest: president has said that he wants to build health reform on our existing employer-based system. this is a system that has worked very well in this country. this is the kind of reform that says to you, the person with insurance at your office, at your work, if you like what you have, you can keep it. the government is not going to take it away from you. we want to build upon the
current system. the folks who want a single payer plan, really want the same things that we are seeking in health reform. more affordable options. they want to make it possible for people who cannot get any health care to get affordable health care. we have the same goals, adjusted for ways of achieving them. host: will health care benefits be a taxable benefit for americans? guest: that is certainly under discussion in one of the committees. the president has said all along that he is skeptical of any plan that would tax the health care benefits that you get from your work because he wants to build a health reform upon the existing, employer-based system. they call it the tax exclusion, that is, not taxing health care benefits. that is an important part of that -- that employer-based system. he prefers a proposal that would repeat -- that would give a return of itemized deductions for the wealthiest americans.
he thinks this is a very id -- a good idea and has spoken to members of congress about it many times. this is the idea that the president prefers. host: steve is on the phone from robert p., and mexico -- albuquerque, new mexico. caller: you guys said so many things are would like to question, but -- i get the feeling that the administration is trying to create an insurance plan for the 50 million -- and i believe that number is to be greatly inflated -- at the cost of the to under 50 million of us that have insurance paren. i think as a result of your programs, the insurance costs will go up to employers and their employees. therefore, what we have down the
road will not be as good and will cost us more. you say this that and the other thing, he has told us an awful lot of things that he has planned since the campaign and into his presidency that are not the same as what he says. just to say that he is saying something does not mean a lot to me. guest: first,ç the goal here is to reduce your costs. i'm gathering from what you say you get your health insurance from your work. i'm releasing a report today that is going to show that for folks who get their health insurance at work, those rising costs are forcing you, the insured a more out of pocket. an average family now with health insurance, based on the report we are releasing today, is spending $4,000 out-of- pocket. your percentage of your premium is going up. your deductibles are going up. your copays are going up. the number of your services that you get through your office insurance is going down.
the cost of health care is making it harder and harder to -- for families that have health insurance to afford health care. certainly, small businesses are increasingly unable to provide health care. more than one-third of the uninsured work for small businesses. the insurance coverage that you get from small businesses is often not adequate. more than half of americans last year reported that they had to skip a doctors appointment or cut down on medications that they were taking because they could not afford it. you're absolutely right, one of the goals in the president's plan is to provide health insurance, or access to health insurance and affordable choices for people who buy a turnabout but, for example, have lost their jobs and lost their insurance. perhaps they have a pre-existing condition. maybe their child has asthma and the insurance committee will not cover them. it worked for a small business and the employer has 10 employees they cannot afford. definitely, we want to bring
everybody into the system. that will lower costs and young, healthy people will be in the system, too. the goal is to lower your costs and the cost for all americans. host: linda debose is from the white house office for a care reform. there is a tweed saying, ms. douglas, why does this radical plan have to be implemented during a recession? it will only add to inflationary pressures. guest: i would certainly quibble with the word "radical," but one of the reasons that we're doing this is because we are struggling in our countries. this is -- in our country. this is squeezing our businesses and making it difficult for them to compete globally and to compete with businesses that do not provide health insurance because they cannot afford those costs. they cannot hire more workers. one of the reasons we're having a difficult time digging out of this economic trouble that we are in right now is because
there is the way, the burden of these high health care costs on all businesses in this country. we pay twice as muc for health care as any other country in the world. we do not necessarily have better outcomes, but we are spending a lot of money on health care. that is not good for businesses and certainly not -- very hard for families. we have got to free up this money so it can be devoted to wages and to growth, and certainly, for your tax dollars so that we can spend those dollars on creating new, green jobs, building our infrastructure, improving education -- all the board is that americans care about. host jim is on the phone from redding, california. caller: in the debate on health care, the government's position is always, always going to pay for this? it seems to me, with all of the
profits that exchange hands under the name of the health- care industry -- lobbyists, lawyers, the advertising dollars -- if all of that money in the health-care industry was funneled into actual health care, you know, treating wounds and stuff, it seems to me there would be a big step toward paying for the actual health care instead of the profits of the health-care industry. guest: you have made a couple of very good points. clearly, one of the goals of health care reform is to get rid of the very high administrative costs. the insurance industry, by the way, is eager to shrink some of these costs themselves. they have made proposals to the white house, for example, taking that pile of forms that everybody has to fill out and shrinking it down to a single, uniform form. right now, there are --
something like 25 cents to 35 cents of every dollar spent goes to administrative costs. your doctor is spending an inordinate amount of time on the telephone making sure he can find the right code to describe the diagnosis he is giving use of you can get reimbursement. there is a tremendous procuracy that has to be tackled here. your ups -- bureaucracy that has to be tackled year. you're absolutely right, those things will definitely be part of a streamlining the way that health reform payments are process. you mentioned prevention. this is a crucial part of health reform. preventing people from getting sick in the first place. 75% of the money that we spend it on health care in this country spent on, and diseases, many of which could have been prevented, such as diabetes and heart disease, just with a regular checkups and healthier living. you're absolutely right, these are the kinds of steps that will begin to lower costs for all
americans. host: thomas on the line from connecticut. caller: there is a current economic paradigm giving people a% of what a product offers for 20 percent -- 80% of what a product offers for 20% of the costs. of the 50 million, there are about 10 million who are making over $72,000 per year, so, for the 40 million people that need it, we could offer a program that gives them 80% of what they need for 20% of the cost. we do that by allowing people to have programs where they cannot -- where the doctors are not allowed to use elaborate, off- the-wall medical modalities or treatments.
you can do this also by allowing people like myself -- my banking is controlled by the state of north carolina. why can't we open uppe the stats like connecticut to a lawsuit by a medical programs from any state? host: there are a lot of ideas out there that are certainly being considered by the congress as the various committees are writing -- right in healthcare reform legislation. -- committees are rising health care reform legislation. the important thing is to realize that there is definitely some ways to the system. there definitely has to be an effort to bring everybody into the system. they're definitely have to be after it's taken toward providing more prevention -- efforts taken toward providing more prevention for chronic illnesses. all of these things are being considered right now. i do not know if the specific
scenario that you laid out willises are going to be considered. but there is no question that the system has to be more equitable. it has to bring down costard it has to ensure that people who are not getting access -- bring down costs. it has to ensure that people are not getting access to the system received that. host: here is a tweed from joe. guest: there are many proposals out there. we certainly are looking at the hospital industry and the hospital industry is looking at itself to see how it can be more efficient to, for example, cut down villa america -- readmission rates. something like 100,000 americans are injured every year in medical errors that did not have to take place. hospitals are well aware that they want to bring down the rate of readmission some that are often caused by things that happen in the hospital, such as infections, that could be prevented.
hospitals are taking steps themselves and will be a very important part of health reform to make sure that the care that you get at the hospital is good care, quality care, and makes sense. you know, treat all patients. not aspirin by bede, but treatable patient. from procedures beginning and hospital, to aftercare. there are many reform ideas. one of the ideas for doctors making decisions is to give doctors the tools to make the right decision about the right kind of treatment that the earlier caller was talking about, you know, why does a doctor doing the don teague of treatment that may not be the best treatment -- why does a doctor do a modality of treatment that may not be best for the treatment? we want to do what is the best quality of care for the patient. host: in our final minute, can you walk us through what you think the time line will be for
this legislation? guest: the president has asked ofe congress, to pass its bill, that is, the house bill and the senate bill by august recess, that is when congress goes on its august break. that would be at the end of july or the very beginning of august. they will come back in sepmber and they will work to put the components of the two pieces of legislation from the separate house is to get there. he has asked congress to put a bill on his desk in october. this cannot wait. this is an urgent problem. it is essential that we act now for families, businesses, for the economy, for the governments of states and the federal government. it is essential this happen >> july 4 weekend on both tv,
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