tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN August 23, 2009 1:00pm-6:00pm EDT
you come back after the storm and you will get paid. you don't have to hire and -- a lawyer. that did not happen last time. we want to make sure it happens this time. now, we have talked about some things that are commonly asked and we will let you go ahead and ask some questions. i have some stones who -- folks who work with me who will be walking around with microphones. i have a number of staffers here with me tonight, should anyone here have a social security problem, of veterans' problem, and medicare problem medicate problem something that involves you and you want to talk to a staffer,, could i get you guys to raise your hand? . . we have ms. peggy r. be in
black, bowed jackson -- bo jackson, bob carson, so does anyone have an individual problem they need some help with? raise your hand. ma'am, do you have an individual problem? peggy, can you talk to this lady? bob gerson and billy r. my two veterans experts. bob, we take his information, please? is it an individual problem? bo, will you talk to that lady
>> we cannot hear. >> george county, mississippi. i did not vote for president obama. i was not real happy with mccain. i am not happy with president bush, the way he spent money. and not happy with obama, the way he is spending money, but i did support gene taylor. the last 25 years, he has cared about mississippi, and he listens about mississippi. there are a lot congressman up there that are shutting the doors. they are not listening to us. they are calling us mobs. we are not mobs in mississippi. we are not mobs in mississippi.
but my question is, as a staff auditor, i have not seen the federal government made one attempt to clean up one messe. [applause] i have not seen them clean up the sec. in run should not have happened. people should not have lost their retirement. -- enron should not have happened. we have enough regulations to stop that, but it is not happening. there is too much going on that is not being checked. if you cannot clean up a little, how can you take away all our health care that we pay for? [applause] >> we will start in reverse
order. number one, i would hope by now that everyone in this room is aware that i am not going to vote for the health-care plan. [applause] we will take them in reverse order. >> i did not mean you. >> quite honestly, it goes back to that 11 trillion dollars of debt, the fact that the medicare trust fund will collect enough money between now and 2017 to continue to make its annual operating expenses. but come 2017, because of that retiring population, because of medical inflation, because of the prescription drug benefit that i did not vote for and other things, we will no longer
be collecting enough to pay the bills. three things we can do that just make perfect, common sense. number one, the insurance industry was given a one-year exemption from antitrust laws in 1946. they are still exempt from antitrust laws. that is crazy. that not only affects your wind and homeowners insurance, it affects your health care. mark has to compete with other shrimp packers. they have to compete as well. on the medicare prescription drug benefit that voted against, there was a provision that actually prohibited our nation from using our huge purchasing power from getting a better deal from the pharmaceutical companies. that is crazy. when home depot and lowe's by step, they get the best price because they buy so much. if one of the vice 10 cars a year, you'll get a better deal than someone who buys one car. that is just the way it works. it is crazy for nation not to
get the best price. that provision was included in the medicare prescription drug benefit by a guy who left congress to go to work for farcical manufacturers. -- for a pharmaceutical manufacturers. something we should do to give you a better deal for your tax dollars, remove the anti-trust exemption, number two, take out that language and let our nation negotiate for better prices. the third thing is generics. i am fortunate to have a chemist/for merck pharmaceutical manufacturer on my staff. -- former pharmaceutical manufacturer. he has explained to me very clearly that generics are just about the exact same thing you would buy if you by the name brand stuff, only it is a lot less money. for example, many of you have heard of cialis.
it has been around for a while, so the patent on it has expired. we checked with the drug store across from my office. right now that are selling cialis for 50 cents a tablet. but the one that they advertise on television, in every one of dad's they say tell your doctor you need this. cialis-cr is $5 a tablet. a thousand pardons -- ambien, not cialis.
just chalk that up to an old man. [laughter] ambien is 50 cents a tablet. ambien-cr is $5 a tablets. for the things we buy with your money, we have to get the best price. if someone absolutely has to have the name brand, let them pay the difference. those are three things that we as a nation can be doing right now, we ought to be doing this fall to stretch your tax dollars. the second thing is, a lot has been made of court reform. the mississippi state legislature has addressed that, and i have not heard many doctors -- i cannot think of the doctors complaining about tort reform in the past couple of years. it should be done on a state-by-
state basis. i voted for tort reform and i was a state legislator. i have voted for it in washington. what we need now is insurance reform to go on top of that. she made some great points. unfortunately, if you remember back in 1999, congress passed something that repealed something that anyone my age would remember which was called glass-steagall. in high school, that only taught me three bills, but they stuck with me. glass-steagall was one those three, because what it said was that the banks cannot take your deposits and go gamble with them on wall street. that law was passed right after the depression because banks were gambling with people's deposits on wall street. they lost that money. those people lost everything, and the banks walked away scot- free. so in the 1930's congress passed a very good law called glass-
steagall, which said banks cannot gamble with your money on wall street. it came up in 1999. they said with all the great accountants out there, with all the great electronics we have out there, we do not need that anymore. i voted against that. i thought glass-steagall made sense for 60 years and i thought it should have stayed on the books. interestingly enough, bill clinton and republican house and senate were all in on it. to his credit, the president of the biggest bank in self mississippi, he has passed on, but he called me up shortly after that and said we wanted you to vote for that. i said mr. leo, you are a conservative guy. your bank does not need to be gambling on wall street.
he thought for a second and said you are right. the bank prides itself on saying on signs out front, bailout, no thanks. waterboard going to do? -- what are we going to do? we need to pass something like glass-steagall this fall, put it back on the books, so that banks get back to their core business of banking, and investment firms do what they do, which is investments. did not mix the two. if you want to gamble, go gamble, but if you one is money to be say, it needs to be safe in the bank. the jeep you want your money to be safe. i am recognizing one at a time. i will get you, james. -- how will get to you, james.
>> i am richard comrade from laurell. i know we have had this discussion before. in the past couple of years or the past six months, we have had the stimulus bill rammed down our throats, cap and trade ramps for congress, spending bills shove down our throats. >> and i guess you know i voted against all of them. >> is all done by nancy pelosi. would you vote for her again, and do you regret voting for her in the first place? >> we willa78) r@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @
>> at my last two town meetings, i had folks come up and say, wait a second, i am from waynesville and didn't get a chance to talk. and from lauren, why don't you say something. i know, but i travel so people don't have to. >> my name is mike jordan, i didn't get here on the bus. >> no one else did to my knowledge, either mike. >> i am sorry? >> i don't know anyone that got here hot bus. >> i am a conservative like you, i am a republican. i appreciate everything you do for south mississippi, everyone in here should. >> thank you very much. >> i do not have a question, i have a point i want to make. i have nephew that lives in
new zealand, they are under national health care, he's 16 years old and had rotator cuff surgery, and took nine months to get a doctor's appointment. his family had to pay half of the cost of a $40,000 operation. if you folks want nationalized health care of that nature -- >> mister, again i am not for the obama health care plan. >> i know you are not. i appreciate that. >> no, i appreciate you, for the reasons you outlined. >> there is one more point i want to make. >> sure. >> medicare fraud is absolutely outrageous. [applause]
>> you got the handouts? >> we had a local medical fraud here in moss point. if someone would take the time look at the cheating and fraud going on, there is no telling how many trillions of dollars that could be saved. >> did you print that out, ann marie? did you remember? >> ok, sir. mike, i am sorry. mike, that is the list of all the waste and fraud hot lines. we have a copy of that by each of the doors. we are not a police station, we can't be everywhere. i can't be everywhere. really, if you a concerned citizen and you are aware of it and i am not. then i ask you as a concerned
citizen -- >> [inaudible]. >> again, apparently do you, because you just said it. well, sir, that's why we have the waste/fraud and abuse hot line for you. >> [inaudible]. >> again, if you see it happening, that's why they have them. i am certainly not omniscent, if you see something that i don't, please, as a good citizen, take the time to make that call. that's close enough. >> [inaudible]. [applause] >> yeah, i will vote for you. >> well, sir, i have been a
democrat for 28 years, since i first ran as a city council. well, i would think that i voted as an american. >> [inaudible]. >> and sir, i would remind you, that several people on the ballot last november, presidential candidate, two senators and myself, and i very grateful that i got more votes than any of those guys in this district. >> [inaudible]. >> ok. yes, sir. >> gene, i am richard, and i am neither a republican or democrat. >> i am glad to hear that. [applause] >> and i would like to re
iterate what this lady asked, every time we turn around, we are fighting to save our freedoms. the government is getting bigger, and bigger, and taking more and more. and frankly we are done with it. >> can i ask you to be specific? >> specific? ok, health care, i don't want you messing with my health care, i pay $700 a month and it's the best in the year. >> richard, you know i am not going for that. >> and i don't want to register my gun, and we have to fight for that. i don't want anymore government, none. i don't want a national i.d.. >> ok. [applause]
>> ok, who do we have from moss point? again, i had a oceann ocean springs meeting in january. ma'am, are you from moss point? who is from moss point? ok, are you from moss point, sir? yes, ma'am. >> [inaudible] $700 a month insurance? >> richard -- ma'am, could you step to the hall so i can hear you. >> again, to the person who can afford $700 a month for insurance, i appreciate that you can. however, if you are like millions of americans who have lost their jobs and no longer
have $700 a month to pay for insurance, these are people that have to be considered also. they are all real americans. [applause] >> folks, look, folks out of courtesy to your fellow citizens. if you like what they have to say, clap for them. if you don't like what they have to say, don't clap. but we are all americans and entitled to our opinions, and we don't need to boo our fellow americans' opinions. >> are you from here? >> ok, the first thing that i wanted to know is when tarp
legislation was passed the first time. >> which i voted against. >> it was at 3 o'clock in the morning. i am told that parts of that bill were put in just before it was voted.e>ñ >> i regret to say it's true, which is one of the reasons i voted against it. >> did you vote yes? >> no, i voted against it, i said three times. but i want to remind you that most of the presidential candidates did vote for it. >> what about cap and trade? >> it's a ponzi scheme, i voted no. >> do you accept t.a.p.money? >> yes, sir, i do from the local ship yard. >> from local people only? >> yes, most of them are local
including the national rifle association. >> red the 10th amendment carefully. >> ok, believe me as a former city councilman and former state senator. there probably isn't anyone in this room that better understands how much i want the cities t do their jobs and the states to do their job and we are there to back them up when they need up. but on a day-to-day basis we need them to do their jobs. ma'am, are you from here? >> [inaudible]. >> ok. who else is from moss point? ok. how about the gentleman over here with the polka-dot blue tie.
gene, i am below -- mr. clark and i am a resident and i would like to ask a question. i realize that the current health care proposal may have some problems, and you are not going to vote for it. but i think there are some alternatives that may be on the table. and i would like to know if there is and way if there is an alternative that you consider the hard-working mississippians that don't have proper coverage. and if there is a compromise reached that consider hard working mississippians and black-and-white, poor and not poor, and provide the coverage that this country should provide, would you support that type of measure?
>> now, respect for your fellow citizens. respect your fellow citizens. curly, i have outlined number one, right now 46 cents out of every health care dollar, total. you see the federal money, the state money and local money, almost half of the total health care bill now is tax money. medicare is scheduleded to quit collecting to pay its bills come 2017. what i think is more important now to keep the promises we have already made by getting some economies on things like prescription drugs. take care the insurance companies exemption and find out cuts where we can. and i have made compromises,
and the reason you are receiving benefits from it is service is because of me. and if you are retired military, the reason you have child care is because of me. again, curly i have done quite a bit to expand health care. and i know there is a price for these things. and i will remind you that when you and i were kids, and i guess we are not that different in age. those who were promised health care it was military. right, when we were kids, there were charity hospitals and then in the 60's came medicare and medicaid, not bad ideas but expensive. and then expanded health care, and to keep the promises, like kenny cook. and curly, with $11 trillion of
debt, it's not that i am cold hearted, i just don't know where the money is coming from. you asked a great question. are you from here, sir? i am sorry. why don't you walk to the aisle. and then we will get to you mitch. >> ok, i will get to that. i will get to you. i will get to you. i will get to you. yes, sir. >> gene, bill milling. as a follow-up to curly's question. i am concerned they may make some little changes in the proposed bill and representatives and senators that have made their mind up not to vote for it, currently.
may change their mind and vote for it with some little changes. and one thing i am concerned about is the public option versus the coop option. and it's my concern that under the public option private enterprise cannot compete with big government and their deep pockets. it seems lately that any time the government needs more money these days, they just start printing more out of thin air or wherever. >> can i cut to the quick, sir. i am not going to change my vote based on small changes. you can ask that scenario a thousand different ways, and i won't vote for it. >> i understand. >> i told you the three things that i am for, and hope they will do now, and start saving
money now. >> and i believe you, and across the nation, yesterday the secretary of health and human services, said that the administration was going to drop the public option and change to the coop option. i am concerned that will change some representatives. >> sir, i understand your concerns. i don't mean to cut you off. but a tweaking here and there is not going to change my mind. i told you what i am for, and that's what i will do. in fairness, the question was asked of me, what is the difference between this and wind insurance. there is a huge difference. i have said all along, that if we have a plan that allows you to buy wind insurance as an option, as a voluntary option to your flood insurance, it has to pay for itself. it will not increase the national debt. it has to be done in a way that'sactiary -- actually
balanced. the government is in the wind insurance, the only you can buy is from the state. and the state has a $6 billion exposure, and if we have a terrible storm down here, it could bankrupt the state. the difference is if you spread it in coastal america, you spread the risks and the chance of each of those getting hit is not going to happen. and the time to sell it is after a storm. that's a great question and that's the difference. >> [inaudible]. >> the health care bill as projected even with the changes that a couple of gals were able to get out of it, would cost
the nation $900 billion new tax dollars or debt. and we don't have ta -- that kind of money. mayor, would you like to introduce the city council to the folks here? come on. >> yes, we will start to my left, is mr. tommy hightower, ward clyde, and county supervisor, mr. harris. and houston cunningham, our at-large member. shirley chambers, ward four. yes, mrs. ruby hills, ward two.
and shuwardbradford. >> yes, you have a question. >> my question is that we spend billions of dollars on health care and spend billions of dollars on a war that we shouldn't have been in. [applause] >> again, i don't know if you heard it, the question is what is the difference between that and the war. and it's a very fair question and they both are expensive. the fact of the matter i voted to send us to war in afghanistan and i did vote to send us to war in iraq. [applause]
both of those wars are extremely expensive. both in terms of your tax dollars and my tax dollars, but more importantly in the terms of those guys, like carl sampson and johnny poke that was buried on saturday. several people, major greern from this community. and we are in it. and at this point we have to see it through. now the good news i believe we will be out of iraq by august. i had a meeting with general kelly, and he is convinced and will have residual units out in the countryside, where it's safer. unfortunately afghanistan is a mess for a while to come, and
it will be expensive. we need to get there and kill those who need to be killed and make peace with those we need to, and come home. it's a fair question. >> recently i read an article in florida, my name is pat mcdonald, there was an article in one of the magazines about an investigation in the medicare fraud in florida. and they looked at 1700 medical providers, medical equipment, 114 out of 1700 were fraudulent. i talked to my doctor last week before my wife had her back operated on. and we had the end the day and he spent 30 minutes with us,
he's reported two medicare on six occasions in the last six months, fraud. and no one ever from medicare ever contacted him back. >> ok, let's kwut're -- cut to the quick. you see that lady there. >> well -- if the congress and the house of representatives would make fraud charges equal to what matters of ripping off of hundreds of people and send them to jail forever, then this fraud would stop. >> again his question and observation is on fraud. and i remind you at the doors, we have the hot lines for all the waste/fraud/abuse lines. i ask you as good citizens, if you see it and it's your money, and you want to save your
money, turn them in. mitch, a former state rep, behind you. >> congressman, thank you for coming to moss point. once this law is over with, veterans like myself in the state of mississippi and across this nation, are you committed not to cut our benefits and support us 100%? like we have supported the united states? [applause] >> mitch, going back to my observations to curly. my job right now is to keep the promises that we have already made, including our promise to our veterans. and that's why i am not making new promises with money we don't have.
because it is expensive. and carl, i consider this man a friend, but he's just the gift of god that he lived. and he was in the hospital for years, and it was the skills of the surgeons and got him home and he can walk and talk. and when i first saw him at walter reed, i never dreamt those things would happen. but it comes with a price. and we have a price for carl and to take care of his boy, until that young man is an adult. and we will keep those promises, ok, mitch? [applause] >> i have several questions. >> ok how about one in fairness to everyone else. >> ok, illegal immigration. ok, now back in the 80's, i lived up in new jersey. and white horse pike on the way
to atlanta city, there were illegal immigrants working those gas stations, and have people, nine and 10 living in the back of the gas station. you call up the immigration and customs and you know what they say? you are violating their privacy. >> on immigration there is a bill that does a couple of things, and i may co-sponsor it. and additional 8,000 border agents to secure the borders. and secondly and equally as importantly, if you think about it, they come here to work. americans go to mexico to goof off. [noise from crowd] >> so if you take away their
ability to work, they quit coming. so how do you do that? how do you do that? if they can find out if you or i within three days can legally buy a gun. we have a system now in place, and it's called e-verify, a lot of places where you go have it in the door. that a potential employer ycan instantaneously can check if that potential employee is here illegally. number two is, if he knowingly hires any illegal aliens, you throw the book at him. you take away the incentive to hire illegal aliens. and thirdly, it starts like each of us. like many of you, i lost my house, like many of you. and like many of you, i had to rebuild my house.
and every contractor i dealt with, i said, you will have an all-american crew on my property. and some of them said, and kind of winked, they are here legally. i don't care, and i know because of my roof i paid one-third more on my roof to get an all-american crew. first it starts with each of us, and starts with e-verify. and throw the book at those who hire illegal aliens. and i am noticing what i expect in east mississippi to be illegal aliens now. >> my name is vicki turner, i
am not from moss point. i have an observation followed by a question. you are a conservative and you regularly oppose your party on voting issues. why do you remain the party of nancy pelosi and harry reid and all of these people who continue to make us feel like we have to fight for our american freedom? >> well, because it's -- [applause] >> we can both stereotype. in the past weeks there are three high-profile republicans caught with their mistress. i won't say that all republicans have mistresses. i won't stereotype, and i am in
many chambers and my friend is in the all of fame, and it doesn't make me any of those things. i am pro-life and vote for that every time. >> did you say that you are with this bill -- >> one at a time. >> did you say you were working on this bill with shurmer? >> no, chuck -- shurler. and keith shurler came in second with the heisman trophy, but that doesn't me that. >> your buddy out of new york, he's planning for this health
care plan with a vote of 50, can you fight for that for us in mississippi? >> sir, i regret that i will have to ask you to repeat your question, i could not hear you. >> all right, the question was that he's threatened to ram this health care plan through with a vote of 50 after this recess. is there any way for you for us in mississippi to fight this? >> the answer is yes, he's in the senate, i am in the house, and i am not sure this is lost. i think that other representatives are hearing similar things around their districts, and i don't think they will vote for it come september. but remember, in answer to your question, i am a representative, he's in the senate. so what happens in the senate, you need to contact our two senators, ed cochran and rodger
wilker. >> bill moore from ocean springs, i have been an ob/gyn for 10 years. >> thank you for what you do. >> i want to emphasize that health care, when you are sick patient, health care is not in your interest to be run by a big business when the bottom line is profit. when you look at administration of government run programs, medicare and medicaid, and it's 20 cents on the dollar for the profits to support big business. when you say you are conservative and support being not in front of your health care being run by bureaucrats. what you want is your health care run by a big corporate
board that could care less if you are sick? >> doc, number one, thanks for what you do. we lost a lot of doctors after the storm and many did not come back, we need you. i will not disagree, you don't hear me bad mouth medicaid, we need to do a better job. and the companies that are exempt from it, and one reason they can charge that much, and i don't believe you can do this, and you can't call up the other ob/gyn's and charge this money. but they can. it's important legal for the insurance companies to call each up and hey, let's raise
prices and charges. and we saw it in the tort reform debate, you take alabama and i will take mississippi, and that's wrong, and i hope that will come out of this. i hope that a lot of people are asking the same question you ask. and believe me the insurance corporation is a big company, and they dumped lots of money two years ago. and i hope that trent lot won't mind me saying this, but when we got together after the hurricane and comparing the war stories, and i said, you know that they are exempt from the tort laws, and he didn't know that. it's a well-kept secret. he knows how, and we need to get the word out and i think that the public will demand a change when we get the word out.
and thank you for what do you. >> hello congress taylor, i am darren, and we have met several times. >> folks, giving darren a chance. >> i would like to address the concerns dealing with the waste. hothman was -- rothman and hothman was shut down by the e.p.a. and they promised to clean up the area, all the citizens of moss point who live in a five-mile radius was able to apply for some compensation benefit plan due to the waste in the clean-up process. a lot of them went out and got attorneys, filled out paperwork, the citizens here in moss point. but i would like to know what has become of that settlement
or compensation plan that was agreed upon with the e.p. a. >> sir, the answer is i don't know, it's been so long. if you get us the information, we will try to find out for you. but you're first person that asked that question in 10 years. >> i don't think it's been that long. >> again, i think it's been a while. time goes by faster than you think, but if you get that information, we will find out for you. how about this lady over here, billy. >> speaking of medicare. >> yes, ma'am. will you say your name. >> it's beverly pool. there is a bill that was passed that allow s -- allows foreign doctors to come in and be
educated by the medical and become a doctor. and medicare pays full amount for their education and stay here in the united states. and that bill should be repealed. that would help medicare, it's taking money out of medicare for these foreign doctors to come over here and be educated. and most of them don't go home. >> ma'am, i don't know that to be true. we will look into it. >> i have the bill that was sent to me by another congressman. i don't know why i didn't bring it. >> i don't know that to be true, and we will see what we can find out. it doesn't sound right, to the best of my knowledge the only people getting their medical education paid for, are the people that serving our military. >> there are a lot of foreign doctors here that's been
educated in the united states. and i think most of them was educated with medicare dollars. >> i don't think that's true, but we will look into it. how about the lady in purple, you have been patient. billy, could you get to that lady. and we got two more questions, five more minutes. the mayor is kind enough to let me borrow this building and has spent a small fortune for the police, and we will wrap this up to get them home. yes, ma'am. >> congressman taylor, i am carla castraene and reside in hurley. and a couple of remarks i would like to make, the people in
rural areas of the county have recently lost our rights. and when we feel like we are losing them at the federal level, people are fired up. >> ok, could you be specific to what you think. >> what i feel like is that we are not having the proper input as to what is happening to our health care. and -- well, many other things and i won't go into all of them. mainly health care, and the thing i want to say, i would appreciate it if you would take a message back for us. we appreciate what you are doing for us, and you have voted in a conservative manner, and if you would take a message back to washington, that we are not idiots and in the business of name calling, and could
appreciate if washington would take more time to read the bills they are passing instead of calling us names. [applause] >> ok. no, thank you. and thank you for the way you said it. no, i very much appreciate everything you had to say and way you said it. and we will wrap it up with this gentleman that is in a cane and has a marine cap, what he asks, he deserves to ask. >> thank you for facing us, and if you want my vote, i want you to go back to washington and tell us how angry we fellow americans are.
>> i think they see it. [applause] >> ok. ok. last one, last one. ok. ok, one last marine because i promised the police would get home to their families. last question but i guaranteed this man has earned it. >> i am t.c. boon, and most call me buddy. there are a few things i would like to ask. >> keep it to one. >> ok, we will go to one, let's talk about veterans. everyone in here if you were a marine, and i aulsz -- always been a marine. but when you in the 60's and 70's joined, they told you, you would have it for life. if you were not signed up by january 3, 2003, you will not
get one penny from the v.a. unless you make less than $16,000 and own less than $3,000 worth of property. >> i think you are wrong. >> no, i am not wrong. i am involved. >> buddy, we have bob carson, and he's a career guards man. and i can tell you, in the past three years, we have had the largest expansion of veteran benefits in nation's history, and they earned it. and we will continue. folks, thank you for coming out. god bless y'all. >> we as a nation with great privilege are embarking on a great debate. i have yet to speak to many americans who think we cannot do health care better. the overriding input i have
received to date, is that if we do nothing, if we do nothing, we as a nation, elderly, young, men and women, rural and urban will suffer greatly. and we have seen that. so the great question is what do we do? and how do we build enough consensus so that what occurs we can all have some buy-in into it. people have been very objectional to this document and others for it. but it's begin me great heartache, because people on both sides have said things about this bill that are simply not true. if i had to vote today on this document, i would not vote for it. [applause]
but not -- but not for many of the reasons that you hear about in the mass media. and some of those reasons need to be dispelled. there is nothing in this bill about abortion. in fact federal monies by federal law cannot be used ]5iñ abortions, period. it's called the hyde amendment, it's federal law. and those who read of this bill and develop great emotion should understand that. there are other things to be concerned about. i got an e-mail all capital letter, oh, my goodness, page 425. mandatory euthanasia, don't laugh, it's a serious issue. how many saw that e-mail?
it's been going all over. let me do something here. it's not easy reading, it really isn't. it's not easy because it's a law. and it's written by lawyers. and it has to be very, very precise. well, the problem is the comment was let's fix that. i am not sure i want laws that are not very complicated and very carefully written. i want the experts, and i am not a lawyer, to be able to compose documents that will withstand the test of a trial by jury. whatever it is. so it's incumbent upon me to do my homework to read this. it's supposed to be difficult. not supposed to be a walk in the park, even though we are a park. let me read this one paragraph. i will get a sip of water from time to time here. i just got the good news, that
the microphone may show up. >> can we ask questions soon? >> in about five minutes, i will set a couple of parameters, and i answer every one's question. as an example of the things that are distracting us from the true things that must be debated about health care, it's said this bill contains mandatory euthanasia counseling. it says that of the end of life services and support available, and including hospice and benefits of such services must be made available upon request. that's a big difference. [applause] now we learned this and to answer the question of
why, why would that be in here? we learned that the hard way, hospital administrations and doctors said this must be in there, because we have far too many americans who will arrive at a situation where they cannot speak for themselves, in medical situations. and therefore the hospital, the doctors and families are caught into a trap and therefore upon request, those services should be available. now that's a far cry from what i read on the internet. >> and as congress continues its summer recess, we would like to hear from you, are you attending a town hall meeting in your community? share your thoughts and responses with us on e-mail, at c-span.org,/citizen video. :
i was trained as a community organizer and i am one of the 13 lead volunteers and the state. i got involved in the campaign because one man's vision restored my hope for the country. my involvement in health insurance reform is a deeply personal. right now, our system works better for the insurance companies than it does for regular people. that is why i have been organizing people to get health care insurance reform passed in 2009. i am proud to be doing this work. thousands of people in my area have signed on already, and we will keep working. person by person, block by block until we get it done.
for the dedication she has shown throughout the campaign, but more importantly, now, trying to get things done. among to acknowledge my great friend tim kane who joined us earlier by phone who is doing a great job. to all my organizing for america volunteers, thank you for your unbelievable dedication. it is good to see you. it is great to be here because
it reminds me of how we got here in the first place. we are here because you believed that after an era of selfishness and greed that we can reclaim a sense of responsibility and a sense that we have obligations to one another all across the country. we believe that instead of inequality we could restore a sense of fairness and balance to our economic life and create lasting growth and prosperity. we believe that in at time of war and turmoil, that we could stand strong against our enemies but also stand firmly for our ideals. that is the change you believed in, that is why you worked so hard knocking on doors and work so hard in the hot sun and the
wind and, sometimes having doors slammed in your faces. and your family members are saying, why are you doing this because this guy has no chance? that is something i will never forget. we all know that winning the election was just the beginning. i said it on election night and at the inauguration. maybe some people thought i was just fooling. i was serious. winning the election was just the start. victory was not the change we saw. it had to manifest itself in the real day to day lives of ordinary americans across the country. i know that folks like you have been working to make the change. you have been going neighbor by neighbor, having doors slammed in your faces.
just so you don't lose heart, as we enter into probably our toughest fight, let's recall what we have already done. not one month into this administration, we responded to the worst financial crisis since the depression by putting into place a sweeping economic plan that has already made an enormous difference in people's lives. you have millions of people who have unemployment insurance and got cobra so they can keep their health insurance. we have avoided the layoffs of teachers and firefighters. a tax cut for 95% of people. thousands of people being put back to work across the country rebuilding our roads and in hospitals. we have been able to see of
stabilization of the financial system, where a lot of economists thought we would be into a depression. we are not out of the woods, but we have taken steps to ease the housing crisis. we have made changes. we lifted the ban on stem cell research, we expanded health care insurance to 11 million more children across the country. we passed the national service bill, that will give thousands of americans opportunities to surf. i get all choked up just talking about it. we passed the fair pay act to make sure that women are treated the same way as men.
we passed legislation to protect consumers from unfair rate hikes and abusive fees from credit- card companies. some of those rules went into effect today. we passed laws to protect our children from marketing by tobacco manufacturers. we prohibited torture, we have begun to leave iraq to its people. we have taken the fight to afghanistan and pakistan. we are restoring our alliances and our standing in the world. not a bad track record. we should be proud of what we have accomplished. but we are not satisfied. we have more work to do and more promises to keep. one of those promises is
affordable health care for every american, and that is what we aim to do. we all know this has been an emotional debate, we have seen tempers flared, accusations have been hurled. sometimes it seems like one loud voice can drown out all the sensible voices out there. remember one thing. nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change. that is how we won this election. that is why it we launched the reform campaign in june.
the tv cameras are not there while we are doing all of this. when you notice that nobody is paying attention, just remember, we have been through this before. some of you were involved when we were in iowa. 30 points then. all of washington said, it is over. last year, just about this time, you will recall that the republicans had just nominated their vice-presidential candidate, the media was obsessed with it and cable was 24 hours a day and obama has lost his mojo. do you remember all that? there is something about august, going into september where everybody in washington everybody gets allwe-we'd up.
instead of being preoccupied with the polls and with opponents and with the cable cheddar, what you guys consistent sleet did is working. steady, of deliberately, sensibly, knocking on doors, talking to people. just giving people the facts, explaining the vision of how we will move forward. that is what we will have to do today. we will have to cut through a lot of the absurd claims that have been made about health insurance reform. there was a poll done, a wall street journal and nbc poll. turns out a huge proportion of the american people are convinced that somehow health reform means illegal immigrants will get health care, that it is a government takeover of health
care, that all the money will be funding abortions, death panels, we are all going to be pulling the plug on the grand mosque. -- on granma. come on. we can have a real debate, because health care is hard and there are some legitimate issues that have to be sorted through and talk about. we will have to cut through the noise and it misinformation -- and that misinformation. you have more credibility than anybody on television when it comes to your family members and friends.
that's why you being involved is so important. it is just as important that americans who do have health insurance, that they insist -- understand what it means for them. let me just make sure i try to give you some points here. the system works well for insurance company, but not for the american people. first, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor under the reform proposals that we put forward. if you like your private health insurance sprat -- planned you can keep it. nobody is talking about messing with that. if you don't have health insurance, we do intend to provide you high-quality, affordable options. that is not for poor people who
don't have health insurance. mostly it is working americans who don't have health insurance on the job, or small business owners or self insured people. we want to give you a menu of options and a little bit of help in terms of making these premiums more affordable. one of these options we want to provide is a public auction. this has been a confusion for a long time. let me just clarify. i think a public auction -- option is important. we will have a marketplace where people can select the options that works best for them. a lot of those choices will be private insurance options, just
like members of congress have. they can choose from the various plans that are part of the federal employees' health plans. if we have a public auction in there, that can help keep insurers on us, can provide a benchmark for what an affordable plan should look like, so even though we have all whole bunch of insurance regulation to make sure they are giving you a free deal, it means that not only do they have to abide by these regulations, compete was somebody who is interested in making sure the people get decent health care. having said that, i want everybody to be clear that the public option is just one option.
it will be voluntary. nobody is talking about you being in the public thought -- option. we are only talking about this being available to you as a choice, expanding consumer choice. there are awful bunch of other aspects that people have to understand. we want to make sure that for example, insurance companies cannot prevent you from getting health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. that will be the law. you should be able to keep it regardless of a pre-existing condition. there should not be a lifetime cap or a yearly cap, where you bump up against it and suddenly you have huge cost that drive you into bankruptcy. there has to be consumer protections. you should be able to keep your health insurance if you lose
your job or change jobs. we have to make sure that is against the law. it should bring down skyrocketing costs, it will save businesses and government money. we will make medicare more efficient, guaranteeing today's seniors better benefits than they have now. we will make sure that doughnut hole in the middle of the prescription plan is closed, because we want to make sure that seniors are not having to dig even deeper to increase the drug company profits. i just want everyone to understand that in addition to providing health insurance for people who do not have it, you have a stake in this debate. 14,000 people are losing their
health insurance every single day. millions of people all across the country are vulnerable to exclusions because of things like pre-existing conditions. millions of americans have experienced the fact that premiums have gone up three times faster than inflation and incomes. if we go at the pace we are now there will be families will make the decision they cannot afford health insurance because the costs are unsustainable. if you are a deficit hawk, then you should be especially concerned about passing health care reform because at the pace we are on now, medicare will run out of money in eight years. it will not be totally broke, but it will be in the red, because the costs are going up faster than the money coming in. nobody is talking about cutting
seniors benefits. when people say keep government out of our health care, make sure they know that medicare is a government program and explain that we want to strengthen the program so it will be over -- so it will be strong over the long haul. i am confident that we can get this done. i want everybody to remember, this has never been easy. when fdr proposed social security, all the newspapers and the radio shows, he was accused of being a socialist. he was going to bring socialism to america. when it jfk and then lyndon
johnson proposed medicare, people said it will destroy your relationship with your doctor. the same arguments that are being made now have been made every time we have tried to propose a significant change that made people more secure, improved their health care and quality of life. we cannot be intimidated by some of these fear tactics. we have to understand that a lot of people who make a lot of money at it and understand that people are nervous, and worried about any changes when it comes to something as important as health care because it is very personal. they are more vulnerable to misinformation. what you do is important because your neighbors and friends and committee members
trust you. they know you. if you are presenting the facts clearly and fairly, i am confident that we will win this debate. we have a lot of work to do. let's go get some. 'em. thank you. [applause] >> you can sign up to participate or host a health care event by entering your zip code and for folks who are listening on the phone please go to barackobama.com, to host an
event near. the first question? cindy? >> our first question comes from juliet in colorado. she writes, i am a volunteer. this summer our volunteers have caused 4800 members of the community. the debate is really heating up. what do you think is the most compelling argument we can make for health reform? >> thank you, cindy, if you are listening. i appreciate the great work you are doing. the first thing that you have to explain to folks, when we are
having a discussion about health care is that the status quo is unsustainable. another way of putting it, if you like what you have now, unless we make some changes, you will not have exactly what it is that you like. the reason is because health- care costs are going up so fast, free times faster than inflation, it will gobble up a higher and higher percentage of your income in terms of premiums and out of pocket costs. more employers will say, we just cannot afford to provide you celts' insurance. if we do, we will push more costs to you. you will lose more of your paycheck. in the 1990's, wages and incomes flat line.
part of the reason was because a lot of the company profits that normally would have gone to salary increases or wage increases ended up being gobbled up by welfare. if you have a private plan, you have something to worry about. if you are on a public program like medicare, you have something to worry about because we will be running out of money. the status quo is unsustainable. you have to make sure that you explain that to folks. if you don't have health insurance, we are not forcing you to go into a government plan. we just want to set up a system similar to what members of congress in joy, where you have a menu of private insurance
options. we will just give you some help so you can afford the premiums. one of the options will be a public options, because we think that could be a better deal for people. no one will force you into that option. if insurance companies charge a lot more, then a lot of people will say i might as well take advantage of the public auction. but it will be the choice of the individual. the third thing to emphasize and the most important when you are talking to people about this, because most people do have insurance. the people who do not have health insurance are already in favor. most americans have insurance. the most important thing is this will be a set of consumer protections that provide you
more safety and security. you know you will be provided for if you get sick. we will say to insurance companies, you have to do certain things like admit people even if they have pre-existing conditions. you cannot hide under the fine print a lot of the terms that allow people to drop you when they get sick or exclude you from care. a house bill that has a provision that says insurance companies if they want to participate in the exchange, they can only charge of 15% in profits and administrative costs and the rest of the care has to go into making people well. that is a cost control elements. all these forces taken together will help people know that when they pay their premium it is there when they need it and that
they can count on it. over time, because the cost saving measures put in place, will reduce the cost of health care over all over the long term. that will be equally important because that will show up in your paychecks in lower premiums. right now, americans are paying five-$6,000 more than any other advanced nation. not only do these countries have universal care, but they are paying $6,000 less. we are not getting a good deal. nobody is talking about a government takeover of health care. i think the argument will win
the day. i was just on a conservative talk show this morning or this afternoon -- and a woman called in and she says, i have to admit, i am glad you explained how this public option works because i thought your whole plan was a public auction. a lot of people don't have the right information because face it, health care is complicated. it is subject to a lot of misinformation. that is why your efforts are so important. >> our question comes from a caller over the phone from florida. go ahead. >> good afternoon, mr.
president. i am a retired health-care administrator, i was a neighborhood team leader during your campaign and i am a new community organizer. my question, sir, are we winning support from members of congress? do you think we are making a difference? >> the fact is, you are ready have one of the best members of congress. can i just say that even if you
live in a strongly democratic district, where there is a strong member of congress who is already in favor of health-care reform, a convincing people more broadly about the need for reform still makes a difference. washington is obsessed with the snap poll. they are obsessed with what is played on talk radio. you can have 20 sensible town hall meeting, but if one is screaming, you know which one will be on tv. every person's mind who is -- who's changed will make a difference. there are a lot of senior
citizens in your district. seniors are the most worried of any population group about health-care reform. they are the most nervous, and it is understandable. they need more health care than anybody else, and they already have good health care under medicare. they want to make sure we are not taking away what they already have. it is important to emphasize to seniors that we are not reducing benefits under medicare. that we think medicare is as sacred trust. part of what we want to do is strengthen medicare by closing the doughnut hole that is making prescription drugs costly for those who need prescription drugs the most, and by extending the life of the medicare trust
fund over time. right now, we are spending money on things like subsidies to profitable insurance companies. $17 billion a year is taken out of medicare to pay insurance companies who are already making a big profit without competitive bidding because they are running a portion of medicare called medicare advantage. if we had them bid for participation, if you still included them as a potential provider, that alone would save us $17 billion a year. that would extend the life of the medicare trust fund. you have to emphasize that to seniors that number one, nobody is talking about madding -- messing with your medicare benefits and reminding us seniors if you have kids or grandkids, they need to make sure that they have the same
insurance that is provided to seniors. there are people who are in their mid-'50s who do not qualify for medicare. may have lost their jobs, it is impossible for some of them to get health care because maybe they have had cancer or a heart attack or some other type of pre-existing condition that makes insurance want to shy away from them. they would rather have these -- young, healthy ones, and that way we never have to pay out. that is part of what we want to change as well. nobody is talking about taking away that security. great question. >> our next question comes from
a community organizer. she writes, there are too many questions about desk panels, rationing etc.. i want people to know the truth. po>> we know where these lies ae coming from. i don't think it is in a secret. if you just changed channels, then stop on certain ones -- [ applause] you will see who is propagating this stuff. i said during the campaign that the best offense against lies is the truth. so, all we can do is just keep
on pushing the truth. the truth is there is no plan that has ever been considered under health-care reform in congress that covers illegal immigrants. nobody has proposed that. at a huge percentage believe that is the case. anybody listening right now, let's dispel that myth. there are no plans under health reform to revoke the existing prohibition on using federal taxpayer dollars for abortions. nobody is changing -- asking about changing the provision. it is not true. let's be clear about the fact that nobody has proposed anything remotely close to a government take over of health care. none of the plans out there. the most liberal plans that have come forward and come out of
committee, all of them presume that if you have private health insurance, you can keep your of the insurance. nobody is talking about getting in between you and your doctor. what we have said is, we don't want government bureaucrats interfering in that relationship, and we don't want insurance company bureaucrats interfering in your relationship. [applause] the death panel idea -- the genesis of this -- this is an interesting example of tracing how misinformation spread. there was information in the house bill that sensibly said, a lot of people, towards the end of their lives, they have not prepared of things like living will, they don't understand what their options are in terms of
hospice. we should reimbursed people if they want that council. if they want that, that is something that medicare should reimburse for. it shouldn't be wealthy people who get good counseling about how to handle their affairs during a difficult time. that voluntary provision that permits reimbursement, which by the way, republicans had supported previously, this was considered a bipartisan concept, a republican senator, introduced at a much more aggressive bill on this issue -- issue in the prescription bill passed by the republican members of congress they added a provision for terminally ill patients. this used to be just a sensible thing that everybody accrete -- agree to, suddenly became desk
panels. it is just irresponsible. part of the reason it spreads is the way reporting is done today , if somebody puts out misinformation, obama is creating a death panels, the way the news report comes across is, today is such and such accused president obama of putting forward best panels. the white house responded that it was not true. then they go on to the next door. what they don't say is is not true. [applause] it is fine to have a debate back and forth, except when somebody
else is not even telling remotely the truth. then you should say in your reports, by the way, that is not true. but that doesn't happen often enough. that is why it is so important that you deliver this message, and you have to be able to back it up. all of you are receiving materials, it is not just us say, these are third-party validate years, when people get the facts and you show them, most people will end up being persuaded. not everybody. there are some people for partisan reasons, want to see this go down. they see a replay of 1993. then there are some people who
just don't believe in government getting involved in anything. that is a respectable position. there is a long american tradition of government saying, leave me alone. those folks are consistent, and they were critical of bush when he got involved and they are critical of me in terms of believing that government can do some good. there you can have an honest debate. but the majority of americans understand we don't want the government in all of our business, but there are certain, a sensible reforms that we can pass so that the market works the way it should, so the american people get a fair deal. those are the people we are trying to persuade. if the people have the facts, they will be on our side. next question. this gentleman right here. >> i am from north carolina, and
thank you for turning north carolina blue. [applause] i have two wonderful children and four beautiful grandchildren so i am working for them. i am working for people on like me, don't have health insurance. you have been outrageously good. let me be clear. in trying to get a bipartisan bill through congress. you have three wonderful republicans wouldn't -- willing to stand with you. america needs to have this happen, and you know that.
>> we don't know yet whether we have any republican support. we have three republicans who have been working very diligently in the senate finance committee with max baucus to see if we can craft a bar partisan bill coming out of the senate finance committee. i give them a lot of credit because they are under a lot of pressure. in the current political climate, is they are showing some -- they are showing some results. i hope they can get there. at some point in the process, there will have to be a
conclusion that either they can get a bill done or not. my commitment to the american people is to get a good product, which will include republican ideas, but i have no control over what the other side decides as their political strategy. my obligation says we will get this done one way or the other. [applause] >> good afternoon, mr. president. i am from virginia.
i live in a rural county, but when i talk to people as a community organizer, it all comes down to money. i may suggest, there are long- term benefits and quality of health care, but they come back to me and say, well what will stop people from being in their, employer based health care, and quickly moved over into the government health care? who will pay for it? >> the first issue involved is how are we paying for health- care reform in general? one thing that is important to remind people, you notice there are talking points from opponents, a trillion dollar health care bill.
it is important to remind bill when they say that, it is over 10 years. we are talking about $100 billion a year. that is significant. just to give you a sense of perspective, the amount of money we're spending in iraq and afghanistan -- what is the latest figure? 8-$9 billion a month. right? so for about the same cost per year as we have been spending over the last five-six years, we could have funded this health- care reform proposal. no. 2, about two-thirds of the cost will be paid for from money
that is already in it the health care system, the taxpayers are already paying, but it is not a good deal. it is reallocating money that is wasted right now, and using it in a way that makes people healthier. that is point number two. remember i told you about subsidies that we were providing insurance companies? that is an example. another example is the way we reimburse hospitals right now, we do not incentivize hospitals to get their patients the best treatment the first time out. if a patient is immediately readmitted, we just pay them the same rate as the first time. think about if your car needed repairs and to send it in and it got fixed, you thought, and it breaks down again.
when you went back to the shop, you probably want them to give you a discount on fixing it the second time. but we don't do that with respect to hospitals. those are the kinds of changes we can make that would pay for two-thirds of the cost of health reform. that leaves 1 1/3. we do have to pay for that. we will get even more savings with wellness and prevention. unfortunately, we cannot count that, it is not so horrible -- it is not scoreable. it is not provable how much money we would save on though -- on those banks. one-third we will pay for her, and what i propose is that we will pay for it by having people
over two hundred $50,000 at year, have their itemized deductions go to the same rate, 20%. -- people over two hundred thousand -- over $250,000 a year. under ronald reagan -- there are other ideas floated out there, both in the house and the senate. what we are really talking about is 30-$40 billion a year that we have to come up with. i am committed and you can say this to people, the president is committed to make sure that is not founded on the backs of middle-class families. we are trying to help middle-
class families. we don't want to add to their tax burden. there was another question you asked. how do i know that my employer will not dump me into the public plan? there are provisions in the lot that say if your employer is already providing you with good health insurance, then you can't just send your employee into a public auction. it is called a fire wall. there will be employers -- small business owners who will qualify for signing up for the health insurance exchange, because right now they cannot afford to provide health insurance to their employees at all. small businesses don't have any
purchasing power when it comes to insurance companies. if you only have five or 10 employees, and you say you want to get a good insurance policy, they will not give you a great deal compared to if xerox shows up with its thousands of employes. when a small business joins this plan, they will pool their purchasing power and that will help to drive down costs. >> i am from durham, north carolina. all of my volunteers say the same thing. they are behind reduced costs.
we believe the only way to do this is to guarantee a public auction to anyone who wants it. if that is the solution you believe in, why are we pushing it harder? what other solutions out there would accomplish all three goals that you have? >> this is an example of a controversy that someone manufactured this week. let me be clear, i continue to support a public auction. i think it is important, and i think it will help to drive down costs and give consumers choices. the only thing we had said is that the public option is just one component of a broader plan. let's just use the example of making sure that insurance companies are treating their
customers right. one way that we are doing this health reform bill is directly through insurance reforms. we are saying to them, you have to take people with pre-existing conditions. you cannot have caps on lifetime expenses or yearly expenses that people bump up against and suddenly people have to pull a lot of money out of pocket that they may not have. alongside that, if there is a public option that is offering a good deal to consumers, then insurance companies have to look over their shoulders.
it gives them a benchmark from which to operate. my point is, the insurance reforms are the belt. the public option can be the suspenders. what we are trying to suggest is that all of these things are important. if the debate ends up being focused on just one aspect of it, then we are missing the boat. if all we are talking about is the public option, then the 80% of people who already have insurance say, what is in it for me? their attitude will be, this is not relevant to me. they start getting scared, thinking that the public auction means that you will force me to give up my private insurer and
take a public auction. that is what those who are opposed to reform are counting on. they are trying to cloud the fact that right now people are not getting a good deal from their insurance companies. i want to make sure we are focusing on all elements of reform. what will benefit small businesses, people who do have health insurance, so we can build the largest coalition possible to get this done. go ahead. >> i was a convention delegate. my first question is choice. the choice we make to eat the foods we eat and the lifestyle we choose to engage in and the second part, your family is
sick. what do you and the first lady do to encourage physical fitness and what can we, not the government do to encourage activity in the public-school system for young people? >> this is an interesting statistic. if we went back to the obesity rates that existed back in the 1980's, the medicare system over several years could save as much as one trillion dollars, that is how much our obesity rate has -- in health care reform we want to encourage prevention and wellness programs by saying that any health-care plan has to
provide for free check ups, prevention and wellness care. that has to be part of the package. that way, nobody has an excuse not to go and get a check out. even if we do that, and there are businesses that are already providing incentives to their employees. safeway has given financial incentives to their implants -- their employees. it has saved them a lot of money in terms of premiums. there is a financial incentives for them to get into the business of prevention and wellness. even if we have legislation, part of what we also have to do is teach our children early the importance of health.
that means that all of us have to, in our communities and places of worship and our school systems, encouraged nutrition programs, provide young people outdoor activities to give them exercise. michele and i talk about the fact that when we were kids during the summer, basically, mom said see you after breakfast you were gone. you might run in, get lunch and go back out. you wouldn't be back until dinner. that whole time, all you did was move. unfortunately, times have changed. we have safety concerns sometimes, prevent kids from doing that. sometimes kids don't have a playground. little leagues have diminished. that means that we as adults in the community may have to provide more outlets for young people to get the kind of
exercise that they need. when it comes to food, we are working with school districts and the child nutrition information will come up. let's figure out, how can we get fresh vegetables and fruits and the mix? sometimes you go into schools and you know what the menu is. french fries, hot dogs, pizza. that is what kids want to eat anyway, so it is not just the school's fault. it turns out that food is also a lot cheaper because of the distributions we have set up. we have to change how we think about getting local farmers connected to school districts because that would benefit the farmers.
right now, they don't have the distribution mechanisms set up. michele set up that garden at the white house. suddenly, there is more access to good food and is an enormous potential revenue maker for farmers in the area. those kinds of connections can be made throughout the country. >> i am from maryland. there is a large number of young
adults who are trying to figure out where they fall into the health reform plan. many of them are too old to be continued on their parents' insurance plans, yet they may be under employed and cannot afford good health care. how does your plan helped these people? >> one of the things we have proposed is to extend the number of years that young people can stay on their insurance plan to 25 or 26. that fills the gap between college, where typically they can get health care. those first few jobs they can get, i remember my first job, you are broke. if they offer you healthcare,
you opt out of it because you are trying to buy food, which you think is important for your health. being able to stay on a parent's health care plan until you have a more stable job, that can help us to pull in a lot of young people. after that, it turns out that young people are relatively cheap to ensure. -- in surnsure. they will be able to get a premium comparable if they work for a big company. . .
>> even with subsidies, they still just cannot afford health insurance. we may have to give hardship exemptions to people like that who are -- or we basically say you have the option of buying insurance at 10% of your income. but if you are in a strap situation and you cannot afford it, you are exempted.
here is my closing message -- the easiest thing to do as a politician is to do nothing. you don't offend anybody, you say all the right things, you don't rock the boat, your poll numbers go up, everybody in washington says he is a great politician. look at those polled members. you can get away with doing that for years. but that is not why i came here. that is not why you worked so hard to win this election. you came here because you knew america can be a little fairer, a little more just, a little more efficient, we can provide better health care coverage, we
can make sure we use less for oil and develop clean energy here in the united states. we can make our school system work for every child and not just some, and produce more scientists and engineers that are the key to unlocking a 21st century economy. we understand that we are human and government is a human enterprise. but we can do better than we have been doing. this debate we're having now, this healthcare debate, is a test to that proposition. there are a whole bunch of folks in this town who were just waiting for this debate to take place because the story line they want to write about is all but i you, idealistic folks, change we can believe in, yes we can, all of their hopes were dashed because this is a tough and cynical town. we are gonna be able to show them that you can't get anything
done in this town, you can't change things. everything immediately becomes partisan. government is way too complicated and congress is way too paralyzed and the special interests are way to pare out -- way too powerful to bring about meaningful, big changes that help the american people. that is the story line they are operating on. but that is the story line we have been fighting against this entire time. from the day we announced this race, we were fighting against it. they have been trying to fight -- trying to write that story again and again and again. we're not going to give up now. [applause] we are not going to give up now, we are going to get this done and show the american people the government can work for them. thank you, everybody and god bless you. [applause]
get health care because of pre- existing condition. it's a perfect example. there needs to be change in this country. [applause] the things need to be done. we can debate and talk and another hundred years can go by. finally, something is being done and [unintelligible] there will be healthcare for citizens in the community across the state of connecticut and across the united states of america. maybe it will not be perfect. but there will be healthcare, our people continue to have opportunities, we are the greatest nation on earth and we need those opportunities. god bless you and thank you. [applause]
thank you for this lesson in democracy. where in the constitution is the federal write for the government to take over health care? [applause] >> [unintelligible] under the care, under medicare, under medicaid, these are well established programs that go back to world war two. they have been challenged in court and have been routinely
dismissed by the supreme court. there are a lot of people who have questions about public education. courts have recognized a federal rule to make sure schools like woodstock academy have title one funds that came from washington d.c. so teachers can do their jobs in one of the worst budget years of the history of the state of connecticut. [applause] >> as congress continues its summer recess, we would like to hear from you. are you attending a town hall meeting? what you think about the various proposals being debated? share your experiences and thoughts with us on c-span.org. live coverage of a town hall meeting on health care with a virginia congressman and the
former chairman of the democratic national committee, doctor, and former vermont governor. that is to stay at 7:00 eastern on c-span. -- that is tuesday at 7:00 eastern on c-span. healthcare town hall coverage continues now with california republican congressman dan lungren. for one hour and 20 minutes he takes questions in citrus heights, california. thank you for being here. we often worry about whether not people are going to be here. we don't have to worry about that now. i appreciate the fact that so many of you have come out.
rather than suggesting need to worry about these kinds of things, it seems it's a great demonstration of democracy in action. thank you for being here. [applause] normally, i would stand down there closer to you, but we thought we would add some more chairs. we have an overflow crowd today. unfortunately, a lot of people could not get done. they are outside we have some speakers so that they can hear. we're going to see if we might be able to have some questions from outside as well. we will see if we can get this off in a proper way. let me introduce a number of members of my staff so that you know who they are and who they can contact. we will do our best to try to get back in touch with you.
my deputy chief of staff who works here and in washington d.c. new line he comes to me after two weeks on vacation spot with his wife who is a captain in the united states army has just returned to afghanistan. [applause] my administrative director of the office. she is right there. she oversees operations of the office and federal legislative affairs and as our reach. special assistant, a field representative who has joined the staff in the last month, the senior fellow at -- senior field representative who is here on the side. i got him from the "sacramento beat" where he was a career
person in the press. oliver is the one to contact the have issues with immigration or citizenship. our constituents services representative for irs, the part of state, it is yet not been to one of these meetings before, you say why the need to talk to us about the department of state -- the issue passports and too often we hear from people that they before they are supposed to go to europe or south america and don't realize they need a passport. we can generally work magic. it does help to give us more than 24 hours notice. we have a congressional aide, a great young man working with our office. i was privileged to meet and have discussions with his bat last week.
his dad is a pow from vietnam. he served many years in a prison cell and he's a great guy. we're happy we have him working for us. we have a few people from our washington d.c. staff. one of the mark for many years she left me for horses. she trains horses and as worked for the congressional budget office and has worked on the senate side on special investigations over there. she worked for the senior republican on the house and -- house ways and means committee, particularly for those of us dealing with government agencies, she has done an outstanding job. our communications director is also from washington d.c. the line -- washington d.c.
the manner in which we operate these town halls is to allow you to ask any question you want about any issue that you want. this has been suggested to be a health care or at least a primarily healthcare issue forum. this is the second one i have had. i had what one month ago in full summer we had a standing-room- only crowd. i have done three town halls in which the subject was healthcare. let me just say this. i think the outpouring and passionate views of the public have made a huge difference in washington d.c. after i had -- [applause] after i had my town hall meeting in fulsome one month ago, i went back. that was during the break on a fourth of july.
i told my colleagues what i have heard and seen, the passion, the interest, the knowledge people had about this issue. this is something i have not seen on a domestic issue in 20 or 30 years. it is something that is personal to people, it is something important to people, and they want us to get right. there ought to be no rush to judgment. we ought to try and figure out what the right thing is for people, and how we do not destroy a system that is, in many ways effective. why a we don't get rid of the best parts of our system and we ought to attack the specific problems that exist in the overall health care system. [applause] some were surprised and they said we can't take the time, we have to pass this in august.
three committees will work on a and we will have a 1000 page bill. you don't need to read it, just trust us. people were saying that and they actually believed it. i disagreed. president had given us and i fought against it. but that was a debate going on had it not been for the response of the average, everyday americans at town halls, in meetings on the streets, people stopping the at the airport, if that had not happened to basically all members of the house and senate, we would not have had any breathing room to allow this to happen. it is because of the public. here's what we're going to try to do. do we still have cards?
we have common cards for people to write questions on. secondly, i will try to get to the first question on the inside, the second question from the patio, and the third question from outside. we will see if we can rotate that and give people as there a chance as possible. you may have noticed we have some television cameras. c-span is televising this. it is not life, but they are filming it and will show it at some point. in order they can have questions properly heard, we ask you either to ask the question from the microphone here or we have a wireless microphone to utilize. if you do not get to the microphone, it will not be heard by the people viewing c-span. let me try to very quickly throw
out my principles or the ideas i looked at as we look at this health-care issue. at some of the made no, i am the son of a doctor. my dad was my hero growing up. i wanted to be like my dad. as a kid, i used to go on house calls with him and made the rounds at the hospitals to meet patients'. i wanted to be a doctor like my dad and went to notre dame with the idea of doing that. god sent me a very strong message my sophomore year. i was told organic chemistry. [laughter] i did not flunk, as someone suggested, but the reader and out, such that i knew i should do something else. i never lost my sense service or appreciation. when i look at healthcare, i looked at it through the eyes of someone who grew up with a father who was a primary care physician, board certified in
internal medicine and cardiology. he took care of people who could not pay and the care of some famous people. he was richard nixon's personal physician and save them from death when he had his analyst. he was an infantry physician in the normandy and landed on d-day plus six. his medical field station was close enough to the frontline that he received a purple heart after being injured in an ultra -- and artillery barrage. he was the greatest advocate for his patients of any person. i have heard him, i saw him get angry and nurses if they did not do the right job. he was the greatest supporter of nurses and other doctors if they were helping patients. i heard him on the phone many times and the conversation would go like this -- you want me to release my patient from the
hospital? she is 85 years old, she has just had a procedure, i am afraid she goes home she will not be able to take care of herself, even with assistance. if she falls and as a broken hip, she will be back in the hospital, then be subject to potential other illnesses, including pneumonia. by the way, what is your medical degree? where is it from? you are not doctor? where is a nursing degree? you just work for the insurance company. i want your name and i want to know where i can reach you because i'm putting it in my medical chart so something happens to my patient you will be held personally responsible. [applause] the only reason i mention that is there is a need for the doctor to be your advocate for the care he and you believe you should receive.
in all the discussions we have about health care reform, it seems to be extremely important we never lose sight of that. if one of my children or grandchildren get sick, i don't say i'm going to call the insurance company or the government. i say let me get a hold of my doctor. what is best for my child. the second day i would say is this. if you analyze medical care in the united states, we the greatest innovation, the greatest ecology, we of the greatest advances of any place in the world. -- we of the greatest technology, we have the greatest advances anyplace in the world. we have new techniques and i would not want to go anywhere in the united states. but we have to recognize we have some problems. first, there is a significant
problem of people who are uninsured. the president talked about 49 million people. when you break it down, and take out 10 million people who are not citizens, take out multiple millions who are young people who have sufficient salaries to be able to buy insurance that decide voluntarily not to, because they are in the healthiest years of their lives and the one to, when you take this people out who are uninsured for some time but were injured before and will be insured afterward, when you go down, for those hard-core uninsured, it is about 9.3 million people. that's not insignificant. out of a population of over 300 million, that is 3%. they are chronically and ensured and had difficulty getting care. should we turn over the entire system that generally works for
the greatest number of us in order to try to take care of 3%? or should we try to figure out how we specifically come up with a solution for that 3%. second, there is no doubt there is problems with insurance and coverage. i would like to see a number of things. i would like to see us, but portability. if you move from one job to another, you don't necessarily have to change your insurance or change your doctor. it's backwards. shouldn't you decide about your relationship with your doctor and what you're looking for? it seems to me we want to have a reasonable way of trying to bring costs under control and i use that in quotes because we're
always going to have arguments about how much. medical care costs have skyrocketed compared to other things, but we do not want to stop the high quality we have. there are those who sincerely believe the best way to change will we have now is to have, and i'm going to use these words even of the leadership does not allow us to use these words, government-run health care systems. the reason i say that is that there are those who believe if you look at the model in england or france or canada, they think they do it better job. i disagree. i don't think we need to do that. ultimately, if you have a government -- the [applause] there are others who disagree with me, but the way i have analyzed this is if you are
trying to rally to keep costs down, there are only two ways to do it. have a government run system into by rationing. i will give you examples from other countries. or you can have what i call greater transparency. all of us have more information -- for instance, if you have the surgery, you ought to know what the infection rates are at the hospital you like to go to. in austin with the morbidity rate and success rates are. that information ought to be available. you ought to know what they're charging. that is transparency. competition. i would rather see more possible programs association programs, insurance programs, cooperatives, expanded
opportunities. one of the things that might be able to help us in that direction is that your employer ought to be able to choose a plan legal in any state of the union rather than currently in california. it will be enforced in california -- but that we would have many more opportunities. [applause] it seems that would help us. some are talking about it. senator conrad is talking about cooperatives. he has a little bit of a different view. charles schumer is more for a public auction. here is what we see -- public option. the knights of columbus, the colony's club called alumni from -- the kiwanis club, alumni, the elks, you would allow them to establish
cooperatives or health associations, thereby having pools that would be large enough so you could bring costs down. you would be going beyond the poles available now, which are essentially who do you work for. this would give greater opportunity for those things. those are some things we're talking about. there are lots of questions and opinions. i would love to get them from you. please use the microphone. we're going to take one question from here, one from the patio, one from inside. go ahead. >> i just want to make clear that i have read through the bill. [applause] >> great. >> my question has several
components so i will try to be quick. first, in the stimulus bill, the digitizing and possession of medical records -- in section 1173a it gives the government real-time access to financial records. if those things are not disturbing enough for you, if you continued throughout the rest of the document, there are four sections that exempts the government from protecting privacy and security with regard to records in their possession. the first section is 1152, section 1221, section 1301. section 1866 e.
my question is why would i ever agree with a bill that invade our privacy and exempts the government from their current obligation to protect us? [applause] >> thank you for the question. let me talk about the first part. the question of computerized records. as a general idea, the computerizing of medical records is a good idea, so long as we have strong privacy protections. what i mean is this -- you go to a hospital today, you will find they are computerizing their
records and that is helpful for a couple reasons. from my dad's hand writing, i can tell you this. when i went to summer camp, my brother and i would go and my dad would write notes and his secretary would have to type them for us because we could not read his riding. there are mistakes made because people misinterpret physicians writing. many hospitals are setting up systems where by the doctors at its records by computer and records kept. second, can we do that with doctors' records and would that be a benefit? it would be in this sense -- if in fact you were traveling outside of your own region and had an accident or became ill. if you wanted to seek treatment, it would be good if there was the opportunity to review your
records that your permission and you would be able to, by whatever means you have, a password or whatever, to grant them permission to go in and do that. it would probably eliminate duplicate tests they would not have to do or what allow them to compare them with a previous test which would be a base line to show if you have had result based on what you are receiving at the time. second, when they prescribe something for you, it would minimize the potential of them prescribing something for you that is contraindicate of. maybe you have taken seven and you cannot remember or you may be unconscious. they would check your records and no about that. in those ways, it would be effective. but the devil is in the details. we just had someone who is being prosecuted for hacking into a million or more credit
histories. 140 million. i am in washington d.c. and we talk in trillions. [laughter] if that can happen, think what would happen if they got into your medical records. while the principle is good, we have to be careful how we do it. we cannot have a rush to judgment. especially with financial records. there are sections in the bill that deal with financial records that are supposed to go to the eligibility of various programs. there are any number of programs for people of different income levels. i am always wary of the government getting too much of my financial records. or you should be of your financial records. here is what i would say. i don't think we have done the
proper investigation of the privacy protections that ought to be here. even though i strongly agree with an application to healthcare and the computerization as part of the way of the future, i don't find protections are here that have to be here. and i say i have the solution to the perfect way, no i don't, but we do have to do a better job. that is one of the problems with a 1000 page bill foisted on us. you almost have to take it all or nothing. frankly, i think we could get agreement across the aisle on a number of different things not -- that are not complete overhauls of the system, but are changes that most of us would think common-sense. that is where i have -- that is what i hope we will do, rather than the other way. [applause] >> i recently returned from
canada and i national -- nationalize the american citizen. i have heard how great healthcare is at home. when of my good friends a year ago fell from a ladder and broker need. they did some minor surgery and she will go to calgary in october of this year to get the final treatment after a wait of 17 months. i'm not happy with the idea that lets follow canada. second, -- [applause] secondly, i have a friend to a few years ago retired from house of representatives. i would recommend we put all this talk about this health plan -- can you work it so all american citizens can have the same health plan the is it have on the hill? [applause]
i'm sure your father the doctor would think that's a good health plan for us all. thank you. [applause] >> in consideration of the bill before the various committees, on the republican side, we tried to deal with that question by saying that if the public auction were part of the program, all members of congress would be required to be in the public auction -- public option. interestingly enough, and the one committee it was adopted and the other was voted down. i don't know whether it will be in the final package. it does seem to me that mechanism, where people have options to make choices that we have as federal employees as to all federal employees is one american people ought to have. i would expand it beyond the four options by allowing
americans to have access to the different options available in all states so people can make their decisions rather than the deciding which ones you ought to have the option for. interestingly, in canada, and i was there recently, i have a 2001 survey asking canadian and american professionals about health care in their countries, 51% of canadian doctors rated their country's emergency room care good or excellent while 72% of u.s. doctors did. the hospital administrators, 80% of american intensive care units were rated good or excellent compared to 70% in canada. 81% in operating theatres in the u.s., that means operating rooms, earned high ratings compared to 62% in canada.
84% of american administrators thought diagnostic and imaging technology was of the grade they needed compared to 49% in canada. you may have noticed the incoming president of the canadian medical society, the top doctor in canada announced this week that he is about to take over a position that they have a serious problem in canada, it is a woman doctor and she described the canadian health-care system as in a crisis. she said canadians have to understand the system we have right now, if it keeps going is not sustainable. we all agree the system is imploding, we all agree things are more precarious than canadians realize. i am not doing that to condemn
the canadian system. what i am saying is our system operates better, particularly for americans. it has problems and we have to deal with the problems as opposed to checking it and trying something entirely new. do we have a question from outside? >> thank you for coming in hearing us. i feel like we're not being heard at all in washington and we are being completely dismissed. i have never been involved in politics before, but this is something very important. my mother is in florida and is not understand what going on, so i told her i would come here. i have to children also. i'm just a regular citizen, a soccer mom. i just came to say i have been
unemployed and it has taken me over six weeks to get a phone call from the unemployment, just to get a check. i've been just wondering how government-run health care is going to worked. its bureaucratic, and i am concerned. as a conservative, and some before this bill, what are republicans doing and what are you going to do individually to make sure this gets stopped. -- to make sure this could stop? [applause] >> i know a lot of good people who work in government at all levels, including the federal level. but i also understand the nature of lead -- of large properties. there's a larger bureaucracy than the federal government. when i say i don't want somebody coming between the and my
doctor, what i am saying is i think the choice is not to be made at the level closest to me and with people with whom i have confidence. as you make that further and further away from you, the ability for that person to be able to understand your situation and make that judgment is imperative. in terms of government, there is nothing further from the -- further from you than the federal government. the. you make is a good one. will we have a magic change to insurance companies? that's not going to be the case. but if you have competition so that if you say to your insurance carrier, this is not working, and going to someone else, you have leverage. in our citizens -- in our system, you can sue the insurance company. you cannot sue the federal government. if you just start looking at
those things, no program or system is going to be perfect. but i think we have a better chance of having a good or better system if we increase competition, have transparency and a proper regulation and there has to be regulation, i think madison said its men were saints, we would not need government. but then he suggested we needed government because we are not saints. you have to watch those who are watching you, meaning you have to be careful of government. [applause] on my side of the aisle, even though we are a distinct minority, meaning the majority party to pass a bill without a single republican vote, they can lose 40 of their members and still win, we do not set the
agenda. what we attempted to is try to present views as we see them, present alternatives as we think they ought to be presented, and tend to build a consensus, including the people talking to members of congress or pressuring members of congress to do the right thing. we have raised and number of issues over this debate, but we have been essentially frozen out for our ideas being in the bill. if it had not been for americans on their own organizing or disorganized, coming to me is -- coming to meetings and saying what you to take a different tack, we would not be where we are now. our obligation is not only to be against something, is to present alternatives. there were 31 amendments offered
on the republicans' side, in the ways and means committee. my hope is the president will now say maybe we overreached. maybe we misread the american people. maybe they don't want a total overhaul of the system. [applause] may be what we need to do is bring everyone together and try to reach a consensus as best we can answer with those things we can agree with. that is my hope of what can be done as we go forward. thank you very much. [applause] this lady right here. >> thank you for having this meeting for everyone. i will keep it short.
>> why don't you try the other one? >> i know the senate and house can pass this without any help from republicans. if they choose to use that option or use the reconstruction option, is it possible in the future to reverse the action? >> you use the term reconstruction but i think any reconciliation -- reconciliation that is a term on the set aside by which they can avoid the 60 votes they need to overcome a filibuster. the complicating factor is the are limited in what they can do. they can do some legislative on the bill and cannot do others. it would be a piecemeal bill, as easy as thought, but thank you
that observation. my concern is this -- if we get this wrong now, it sets in place a structure that would be very hard to undo. that is why i call it a profound decision. it will not just affect you and me, it will affect our children and grandchildren. it is difficult to fullback -- to pull back when she of reconstructed the entire system. that is what i am concerned about. the president has properly sited the mayo clinic is one of the outstanding systems of medical care in the country. my dad train that mail click one summer. i've visited when i was a lawyer it is an outstanding institution. they came out signing a letter with 12 other systems they
consider to be similar to theirs, although they would say they are the best, in which they said if the president's plan, as they understand it, and basically the plan that has been adopted by the three committees in house became law, it would put them out of business. i cannot tell you how they concluded that, but the very system the president will up as the best in the country, and i would say as good as any, they believe if we pass this bill, because of various aspects, it would end up with their demise. i have to pay attention to what they say because if they are one of the leaders in the world, where you think the saudi princes come to have their health care taken care of? they come to the mayo clinic. people from all over the world come there. you are looking at an a-plus, they are a plus. if they tell me they would be forced out of business, i have to say there is something wrong with that. i don't think that the president intends to do. but when somebody has been in
their operating, knowing what they're doing, says this is what will happen, we have to listen. [applause] we have a patio person. >> i am a patio person. i had to fight my way in. thank you for taking my question. in rochester, minn., which -- there is a customs office to help those saudi princes to get to the mayo clinic. >> some people from canada come down also. >> in 33 years of selling insurance to people in sacramento, i have done a great deal of work with medical care. in the last few years, i have been very successful and my clients have been grateful to be introduced to a high deductible plans that are savings account compatible. in the dialogue, and in the bill, i believe it would be illegal. one thing i have seen among
people is they used to have $25 co pays for a drug they now know costs $150. have clients making decisions about whether or not they want to make choices on how they treat their bodies in order to not have to pay $125 for drugs. sometimes there are things you cannot avoid taking, but sometimes people can make choices. what i would like to know is where is the dialogue? can there be dialogue or is there a place for the consumer to take responsibility for how their health care dollars are spent? we bought -- we by flat screen televisions for peanuts because consumers make choices. that's my question. [applause] >> it is true that health savings accounts would be illegal after the first five
years. after the first five years, and private programs have got to meet standards set by the public auction or by the federal -- the public option or the federal czar. by definition, the house savings accounts would be illegal and you could not maintain them any longer. -- help savings accounts would be illegal. the question is really, what can you to get people more involved in the process so they are making decisions and waiting decisions with that information and with what some biblical skin in the game. -- what some people call skin in the game. if you look at safeway, safeway stores, the ceo has taken it upon himself to become fully invested in the issue of health
care for his employees. they have come up with a system in which there is again in the game. there is money they make available to their employees. there is a limit. you have to pay for that of your own pocket. above that, when you clear that, there is full coverage. it does get you involved in the earliest stages. they help their employees with information about comparative costs. the example gave in an article i read was that if you have to have a colonoscopy, i don't know why they picked that, but that was the procedure. they went and surveyed practitioners and hospitals, i
believe within one hour's drive from their corporate headquarters in the east bay. there was something on the order of seven different options you could have and prices ranged from $700 to a couple thousand dollars. they made that available to their employees, not telling them you have to do this or go there. their employees could make a judgment where they took into account quality and cost. the other thing they did, and this goes to the. the patio person just made, they tried to create rewards in the healthcare plan that rewarded with a recall good behavior. that is that the programs, getting your weight to a certain level, they were allowed under
their system to give a benefit for doing that. the company's total cost for health care went down 11% and they shared the cost savings with employees, cutting their costs by 25% or more. how did they get that done? was it an edict like you have to do that? that is not one of the bills before us in the house. that is, they say it's unfair to give discounts for this thing. which you want to do is not have a mandate. i don't federal government, whether the president or the secretary of hhs telling me i cannot have a stake or can the ice-cream. but i think is reasonable for an
insurance company or my employer providing insurance to say here is what you are going to pay. if you do these things that we believe will give you a healthier lifestyle, that is the kind of system americans respond to. you are allowed to make a rational judgment, but your actions have consequences. so that we become a nanny state -- i think we of come far enough on that. there are other companies that have done the same sort of thing, and i think these are the kinds of ideas that ought to be taken into consideration as we do something on the federal level. someone from the outside now.
[applause] you are doing such a great job being polite that c-span will disappointed. but let's disappoint them. >> i am a very senior citizen. i am absolutely against what is going on in the health care thing. i don't want it. i don't want any part of it. that's a statement and not a question. my question is there are hundreds of thousands of people, we have a very small room and i have been told that is because they did not think there would be much interest in this was the biggest room you could get. i would like to know you plan to do to listen to the rest of the thousands of people outside during your vacation from the senate? >> thank you. >>some people would think you he
elevated me to the senate. here is what happened. this is the largest and you i can get in citrus heights. >> i can find a bigger one if you need help getting a bigger room. >> we're going to have to more town hall meetings. i have one in jackson on saturday and one in rancho cordova -- new line >> what are you going to do to come back -- >> what are you going to do to come back to citrus heights? >> usually we have to worry about people showing up. i am happy to do this if we can arrange it again, but we have to say that any time who came this time can't come next time. >> you have no idea how many people are outside. the parking lot full and people were still coming in from across the street.
i think somehow during your recess you need to provide a way that you can hear the rest of us. >> i will be happy to see if we can arrange that. thank you very much. [applause] >> i have a quick question about health rationing. there has been a lot of talk about the public auction and i have a very -- the public option. i am very concerned that if it becomes an obama-care rationing, how's that going to affect insurance if i have insurance i like and they premiums that are good? there is been a lot of speculation and i would like to clear up right now. >> thank you. we can argue about the specifics and details of a plan, but if
the public option being the only option, my concern is that a public auction becomes a public monopoly. in a public monopoly, it is difficult to have competition to drive down costs. you do it by rationing. in the u.k., two weeks ago they just announced their panel which decides on the effectiveness of treatment has decided on its own that they will no longer allow paint killing a steroid injections for people with low back pain. they had 60 to $90,000 -- 90,000 people who have that pain. about eight or 10 years ago i had what appeared to be low back
pain and the only way i was able to recover was, i went to a paint specialist and i got the deep stair royal pain killing injections. if i had that pain and i was in great britain and i am now told that because some panel who has never seen me as a patient has decided that for purposes of bringing costs down they will stop that, i would be going out of my mind. that's why i have a great concern about it. will we ever have a perfect system? in zero. -- know. i think you do have competition and transparency and in special cases where government needs to assist with funding with children who are handicapped and those sorts of things, i think those people would understand
that is an obligation we have. to forget the private sector is self-defeating. >> i would like to thank you for the opportunity to ask a question. i am a it recently returned peace corps volunteer. i am currently unemployed. i am unable to find a job. i am in eligible for unemployment insurance. i will have to cancel my health insurance next month because i cannot afford it. i have a pre-existing condition. over 111,000 more people voted for the president then the republican at candidate. do you promise me and everyone else the majority of the third district to not only represent the views of the very vocal
minority but to represent the views of the majority of the third district, who desperately want and need health care reform? >> thank you. i do believe we need reform. the question is what type of reform should we have? i do not support a wholesale overturning of the system that we have. there are things we must do with respect to pre-existing conditions. in some of the alternatives that were presented, there were amendments to try to do that in a way that was different than what the bill had.
and secondly, with respect to those who have an inability to get insurance for various reasons there are we ought to be able to establish a program to assist that. some proposals would include the federal government working through already existing programs that the states run, to expand those programs to put money behind that. other plans would create new mechanisms. it would just be cheaper for those people who qualify -- that are unable to get health care -- we provide them a specific health care plan, or options of private plans and subsidize it. there are various ways to do this. are you asking it will i support a reform that -- those parts
that need reforming? yes. do i advocate an overhaul -- an overall system reform, no, i do not. . >> would you ask the law enforcement people if at 830 i could go a side and talk to whoever is out there? i will be happy to try to go out with everybody outside at 834 a half hour if they will allow that. [applause] first of all, i would like to thank your staff. there were thousands of people who came out tonight.
there is a much energy out there. i feel honored to be let in. following up on the last person's question. in looking at the health care reform, the needs are many, the resources are relatively few. my concern is and my question is that we have some more in the neighborhood of 12-30 million illegal aliens in the united states. but no. i think between 25 and 30 million is more accurate because even the newspapers say in a southern california there are between six and 6.5 million.
in trying to do research on the bill, i could not find anywhere where is specifically denies health care benefits to illegal aliens. nor could i find anything that specifically granted them rights. but when we have people like the john before me and others that have needs my question is, can you be critically say that we will not be funding illegal aliens health care out of medicare and medicaid currently in california and i were for the department of health services before so i know we are spending millions of dollars to provide emergency care for indigent and illegal aliens. right behind that i have seen
the preliminary bill for illegal immigration that the administration is proposing. in that, they are talking about opening the doors 24 our amnesty approval, no background checks. we in california have a problem. we have people let's start fires because of drugs. we have people who are here illegally. getting back to my original question, will this reform the way it is written fund illegal alien health care? >> that is an interesting question. that has been brought up. in the senate, they say it is not going to but they have no specific provision for it. when they were going through this bill and the -- in the energy and commerce committee, the congressman from georgia happens to be a republican, offered an amendment which specifically said that they
would have to show some evidence of citizenship in order to qualify for medicaid as it exists or under this new program. that was defeated 29-28. there was an amendment that was brought forward the next day by a democratic member of ohio that said illegal aliens are not to receive medicaid, but did not have any requirement to show any identification. my sense would be that we ought to bring an amendment on the floor if we bring anything like this, which would require proof of citizenship in order to be eligible for one of these programs. crackthank you very much for yor
time and your answer. i hope you will be as diligent when the illegal immigration reform bill comes up. from what i sought it is supposed to be impartial, it sells like it is not very good for the american people. >> that plan would be dead on arrival if it can to the house or the senate as you describe it. i don't know what the administration plans. i do know that senator schumer intends to introduce a bill is the right after we get back in september or shortly after that. i believe that will be the senate's primary bill to deal with. nancy pelosi has said -- she is the speaker of the house. she did say that she is going to wait and have the senate act first.
the action, if there is action on immigration will be on the senate side first. what you describe, if that were presented it would not go anywhere. >> why is it so difficult to find out who is here and then develop an immigration plan that is rational? >> i will be happy to deal with that issue at another town hall. >> i think this is vital to the health of our country to be able to have this kind of a forum where we can tell you what we think.
it is a lost art form in our country today. the question that i have for you is that i have been a registered republican and for 40 years. i recently after the last federal election in november of this last year, took -- redid my application as to which party affiliation i will go with. i am declaring non. the reason i did that is because i am so distraught with what is going on with both sides of the aisle. i am leading to a question. the concern about both sides of the aisle is that it appears to me that because of party politics there are an awful lot of issues that cannot be resolved because of partisanship. if we would be able to put away
the partisanship of republican or democrat and understand that our congress is there to represent the people of our country they would go a lot further in terms of solving so many problems that are on the horizon today. my question to you is as a member, will you represent everybody from your district when you go back to congress or are you going to represent the republicans which concerns me deeply? >> i tried to represent the perspective that i share with the people who i represent. i try to work with the people on the other side of the aisle. in the main author of the safe ports act.
i went out and sought to jane harman, a democrat from southern california to be mined co- sponsor. while i was running for reelection and while i supported john mccain and a post senator -- then senator obama, i worked with senator biden on a crucial piece of legislation to protect our shores from illegal drugs and the potential of terrorist materials in a long semi submersible vehicles. here i as -- here i am working to make sure he is not present but i was working with him to make sure we could pass legislation that i felt was good for this nation. i believe we passed that on the last four second to last day of the last session.
i am working with jim mcgovern democrat from massachusetts on a bill that sets the congress resolution about reducing our overall nuclear arsenal to levels that i think are necessary to protect the country, dedicating some of those funds to the nine nuclear program identifying in securing nuclear weapons from the old soviet union as well as the non- proliferation for the rest of the world and with a portion of the savings going to assisting education in the undeveloped world. i have always tried to do this. when i was in congress the first time around, the soviet union was still in existence.
the wife of andrei sakharov had been in the u.s. receiving our treatment. she was afraid of going back to the soviet union by herself. she went back to the congressman and said with your company beat back to the soviet union so the kgb doesn't do something terrible to me? bernie went to the -- want to tip o'neill and as for funding and he said only if you get a republican so it is bipartisan. so they came to me. we would meet with people who were identified as republican and democratic members.
i always strive for i can to reach agreement. but where on principle i cannot reach agreement i will fight. i worked on the patrick act because i believe in it. -- patriot act. if you truly believe that something is the wrong approach i don't think it helps the people your present for this nation to say that in the spirit of bipartisanship i will forget what i think is right and go ahead and agree with that. i hope that is the answer that i -- that you wanted. >> a question is, this bill you wants to address cost effectiveness in this bill. in listening to certain radio stations and certain members of my -- numbers of my colleagues
were interested in the money that had been set aside in the bill. i know there is more than one bill, but i am referring to the bill that is 1000 pages. there is an increase in the abortion funding. i would like that address, because it is supposed to be cost-effective. it is supposed to be about health. the word abortion is not in that bill. it is addressed under reproductive health care. what are your feelings on at, and the politicians to claim they are pro-life, what are they doing in regards to these moneys that are being appropriate for that may be appropriate? >> i think it is clear right my position on that issue is. i happen to be pro-life and have voted that way.
but even with those who disagree with me on that in the congress, there has been general agreement that we would support something which restricts federal funding for abortions a saying, you may believe in abortion or you may believe in right to choice and so forth but it doesn't mean that to obligate taxpayer dollars to be used for it in all circumstances. that has been generally accepted with democratic and republican presidents. but if you have a public auction which is still in all three versions of the bill, they have made it very clear that the public auction will include abortion coverage. at the end of five years, all private insurance programs that still exist must meet the standards established by the new bizarre --czar to provide the
same coverage at least allowed in the public auction. that would mean that federal funds would be allowed for abortions across the board, that have not been allowed before. it doesn't specifically overturn the mmm by saying that we appeal it -- repeal it, but it causes federal funds to be used for abortions and obligates every single policy that is out there to provide abortion coverage. that is so you get there. it does not talk about it but because of the way it works in a setting standards it enforces it. if you are an employer at that point in time, and a policy that you have for your employees doesn't keep those standards, you get find. --- fined.
i think that is a troublesome development. >> i have been outside for an hour. a lot of -- my question is not about the specifics. i know there is a lot of details that the drug companies, all the different entities involved. my concern is that these policies that are going to be determined, are you willing to put your own family on those policies? will nancy pelosi let her children recovered by the same policies before? this is it good enough for us,
is it good enough for our legislature? >> as i mentioned before, there was a specific amendment offered before the education and labor committee to require the president and vice president and members of congress to join the public option program, and the amendment was offered by congresswoman from north carolina, she supported the one that was offered by congressman blunt from missouri. it was defeated not on a strike vote but saying it was procedurally out of order. it was not allowed to be considered in the bill. i believe in another committee it may have been adopted. in two committees it was not adopted.
my sense is they probably would not bring it to the floor with that in. i would say what we ought to do again is increase the opportunity for competition and increase the number of options that people have and have that as the answer rather than the government having a specific, public option. it inevitably will lead to a public monopoly. eventually we will all be under it. and i don't think that is good for us. them is as good enough for americans is good enough for our legislature and make it good. >> the first among certain congress, the members of
congress were not under social security. my thought was if you think it is good enough to should be under it. there was a bill passed in 19821982, it means your point is good enough. emma is the legislature's was say yes, i like it, my family will be in it. >> a lot of them don't want to be in it. that will tell you what is wrong. >> i know there is a health czar, what is your feeling about this and the shadow government that is being created?
in addition, i want to know who is paying their salaries and what they are. >> let me bring that into two parts. one is to talk about a drug czar. the shows a 53 agencies, departments and programs that either would be created, or what have increased programs or policies in them. all of the colored boxes are new agencies and departments. i use this to provide, this is the health-care provider on this side and that is you we call the consumer. i would rather say the patient on the other side. that is the intervention of government in this process, which i find difficult. the other question you had is about the number of the czars we
had. if you look at the way the founding fathers created, one of the things they created was a cabinet officers. they are supposed to top officers and were supposed to run the department. they thought it was important enough to have the presence like to he wanted, and to require them to have the consent of the senate. we seem to be having many more this time around. is it a legitimate way for the president to say, i want to have some advisers that are very close to me and i don't need the congress approving the advisers. or it is an attempt to try to get around the constitutional
requirement by the senate and confirmation by the senate. i am not saying it is necessarily unconstitutional, but i find it to be troubling, and i find it to be a difficult proposition if in fact, any administration wants to work with the congress. we don't have the opportunity to have these people come before us for purpose of their consideration. i will admit that on the set aside for both democrat and republican nominees in different administrations, the senate has gone crazy. there is such a lag time when a president comes in before he has his cabinet, his key appointed people where we have to be
appointed by the senate. i think we ought to streamline that and the senate should get a grip. having said that, i am still bothered by administration that seems to be proliferating czars. plus i don't like that name. >> i agree there are excesses and abuses in our health care system today. i disagree with the complete destruction and over all of the system.
several things come to mind that would lend themselves to constructive legislation. health insurers denial of payments and limiting payments where necessary procedures, medications and devices, which leads to over billing by doctors and hospitals to recoup lost income from health insurers which brings about lower payments from insurers which brings about greater inflated billing and on and on, with eight ramping up of pricing until it is out of control, bringing both camps down to a realistic certain point based on real will -- real world cost would reduce the cost of medical service. tied in with that, we have the fda. the people of this nation are being poorly served by the fda, an organization that approves drugs with little testing as to
their safety and effectiveness which relies on tests being done by the manufacturers themselves is not looking out for the best interests of all of a spirit in order to protect the pharmaceuticals, they seek further control over natural remedies and substances which in many instances do a better job of healing then artificial job. this marriage of fda and drug companies encourages over inflated drug companies both allows and encourages pricings of medicines. the fda needs to be recreated as a servant of this country. >> most of the complaints i hear is that the fda does not approve drugs quickly enough. i believed that we have tried to respond to that issue by
accelerating approvals were proper. secondly, we have the problem of orphan drugs. that is, of drugs that are made for the flu, swine flu, those sorts of things where it may not be utilized if you happen to be making the wrong choice or the flu does not hit that hard. the government and some places subsidizes it. the other thing to have are certain drugs that are necessary for immunization in a large scale, if you know that a minute number of people are going to have adverse reactions. the lawsuits could be enormous and that could create a disincentive for producing it. when you talk about natural substances, but congress dealt
with that about a decade ago. under a bill that was sponsored by senator hatch from utah, one of the questions we have now is did they go too far? some people are seeing that they take supplements and supplements by and large are not enforced by the fda. there are those who question the quality level of supplements and whether or not some of the ingredients in supplements are actually harmful for people. we have not recognized that. the whole argument, what did they take, what was in it and so forth -- i am not an absolute defender of the fda, but i will tell you that i think that under all the circumstances with the contending forces that come at them, i think they generally do a pretty good job. i think there are some real
sciences there. one of the issues that usually comes up for people say what about generics? why can't we have generics earlier? it goes back to our constitution, which talks about the promotion of science and artistry. i forget the exact term, this is why we protect artists rights when they perform and we protect new patents for any number of things including drugs. the idea is that you want people to use their ability at coming up with new ideas including new drugs and that requires some risk both in terms of intellectual capital and their money. in order to have people continue to take that risk we want to make sure that there is a benefit. the way we do that is we allow a
number of years in which they have the exclusive right for what they came up with. we had a problem 20 years ago where the fda had taken so long to approve drugs that the patent was limited, so we had an extension on that. generics come along after the life of the patent is over, and then they have to prove to the fda that they can produce the very same thing. then the patent is available for everybody to copy and so long as they can prove that they can produce the very same product chemically speaking in a safe manner, they are allowed to put it on the market. there are also other things that are new kinds of pharmaceuticals that are biologic in nature rather than chemical in nature. that is something else that we can go into. i want to thank everybody.
i see it is after the be witching hour. i promised everybody i would go up side for a while. >> we have time for one more question right here in the front. i would like to make an announcement. everybody in the audience could do exit to the store to the side? >> i am a retired nurse. i would like to know private insurance carriers being
demonized by the president and by the congress in the last few weeks. if medicare says they will not cover x, y, or z, then the insurance carriers do not follow suit. this is a really big deal with the mismanagement of the system of medicare, how do you feel about the fact that we are trying to expand the role of government and we can't even manage our medicare system as it is as? we are losing money and there is fraud and abuse and you don't have enough officers to track that down. the demonizing of the insurance carrier should go back to medicare. that is a government-run program. that would be a concern for me if we were going to do public intervention. we need health care for all, but
we need to do it in a more proper way. >> thank you for that comment. it underscores what i have been trying to say. government does some things well, but cannot do a lot of other things. in this case, it really comes down to the question of -- as you say -- when medicare system will not cover something, many times that is what the insurance companies do. or at least it gives them a lead into what they decide. but what happens is on the government side, normally speaking, if they will try to save costs is by way of rationing. they don't have an alternative. i think that is a we have to keep in mind. do we want to try to keep costs down as much as we can? there is a way of doing that in our system, it is called competition. we need more information so we can be informed patients so that we as individuals are empowered to make those decisions, not big brother trying to make those for
me. thank you very much. thank you, everybody. i am going outside right now. we have a town hall in jackson on saturday at 10:30 a.m. and one a week from wednesday in rancho cordova, the city hall there. thank you very much for being here and thank you for being so courteous. >> we as a nation are embarking on a great debate. i have yet to speak to many americans who say we cannot do healthcare better.
if we do nothing, if we do nothing, we as a nation, elderly, men and women will suffer greatly. we have seen that. the question as what do we do? how do we build and a consensus so that what occurs we can all have some thing in it. people have been very objectionable. others have been passionately for us and in favor. many people on both sides have said things about this bill that are simply not true. if i had to vote today on this document, i would not vote for it.
but not for many of the reasons that you hear about in the media. some of those reasons need to be dispelled. there is nothing in this bill -- nothing -- about abortion. in fact, federal money by federal law cannot be used for abortions. those who read this bill and of the great emotion should understand that. there are other things to be concerned about. i got an e-mail, page 425. mandatory euthanasia. don't laugh, because it is a very serious issue. how many saw that e-mail?
it has been going on all over. it is not easy reading. it is not easy because it is lot and it is written by lawyers. it has to be very, very, precise. the problem is, let's fix that. i am not sure i want laws that are not very complicated and very -- written. i want the experts to be able to compose documents that will withstand the test of a trial by jury. i must do my homework to read this. it is supposed to be difficult. let me read this one paragraph.
i will answer everybody's question who has won. as an example of things that are stopping us from the things that must be debated about health care, it has been said that this bill contains mandatory euthanasia. this is what is says. on the medicare programs, an explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end of life and supports a valuable including care and hospice and benefits of such services must be made available upon request. that is a big difference.
we have far too many americans to arrive at a situation where americans cannot feet -- speak for themselves. therefore, the hospitals, the doctors, and the family are called into a trap and upon request, those services should be available. that is a far cry from what i read on the internet. >> we would like to hear from you. are you attending a town hall meeting in your community? what do think about the various health care proposals that are being debated? share your experiences and thoughts with us on video at c- span.org/citizenvideo.
from restaurant va., tuesday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. them of the video on your screen from an hour and half ago in cape cod, mass.. the president and his family are arriving in cape cod to begin a week-long vacation. the president plans to do some week -- work on health care and his vacation. it could include according to the associated press is visit with ted kennedy, who has been an advocate of health reform. the president and the family had
president obama arriving on martha's vineyard. we are told the some of the vendors are selling t-shirts with the first family's pictures even promoting the first dog who is joining the obama's for their week-long vacation. he will plan to come back to washington next sunday. governor corzine spoke at this convention. >> good morning, everybody. my name is kevin drum, i am a blocker for mother jones magazine and i will be moderating the session. the topic of today's session is the economy in the 21st century. what i want to start off with is setting the stage about the economy in the first decade of
the conifers century and that our panelists will talk about how we get to fix this. i think we all have a pretty goa of how we their wages have been stagnating for last 30 years and has a peak during the bush administration. their wages were stagnating during an economic boom. that had never happened before. in addition, lax regulation in the financial industry cost things like banks to over leverage, capital ratios went skyrocketing and the collapse of
the housing bubble led to the collapse of wall street. that was another two trillion dollars of lost wealth. in addition, the stock market crash was a few trillion dollars more of lost wealth. it turned out that when all this happened, the global financial system turned out to be zero lot more fragile than what we thought it was. we only were able to avoid a replay of the great depression through massive intervention, both monetary intervention by the government. it looks like right now it looks like our economy may be turning around but we are not all of the widget. in the 1981 recession, which until now was the worst recession since world war ii. it took seven months until we had as many jobs, not the share
of people employed had been the largest since before the recession. that was the good old days. into it been in the 1991 recession, it took 29 months before we recovered from that. in the 2001 recession, it took 55 months -- over four years before recovery was realized. today, it looks like we may be getting out of our slump. and but we are facing our third job recovery in the last two de
our subject today is how to fix this. that is what our panelists will be talking about today. let me introduce our panel today. our first guest is the secretary-treasurer of the service employees international union, she is a chair of changes to went, a coalition of unions representing 6 million workers and she is a met -- a member of the recovery board. dean baker is an economist, the co-director of policy research, he is the guy who has -- who was on top of the housing problem before any other economist.
dean baker. and finally, jon corzine, spent his career on wall street in wall street. he was a senator from new jersey from 2001-2006. is currently the governor of new jersey, jon corzine. >> given where we are now, what are the two or three biggest risks and challenges that we face going forward in the next couple of decades?
>> let me start with the immediate future. the immediate future suggests we will have a long period of very high unemployment. the employer rate is now getting down to normal levels. we are looking at it long period of high unemployment. are we going to be back on the paddle -- pattern of bubble and burst? you had a period of healthy growth following world war ii,
where we have productivity growth and it was broadly shared. workers shared with the rate of 1.5-2% each year. then we had the spirit in the '80s where most of the gains from growth when to those of the high end of the income distribution. the biggest risk to me is whether we get back into that area where once we get the economy back on track, that instead of having the scattered postwar years we get another level of unsustainable growth where we are back in the slump again 5-10 years out. >> what might get us out of that?
>> unions are a very big part of the picture. if you look in the postwar period, unions were a big pig -- part of that. i would say their trade policy has made a big difference. i would say it was tilted towards working people. we could have opened trade, instead we have had policies that have had the effect of redistributing up words. there are lots of other things, health care for example.
we cannot sustain an economy with the health care system that we help -- have if we don't fix it. that is a start. >> what keeps you up at night? >> we know how to grow the economy. you cannot grow it on low-wage jobs with no benefits. you have to have -- grow our way out of the economy. i am so glad we can be part of an organization where we can sponsor -- we all work hand in hand to try to elect present
candidates. they can change what happens. we can make things happen. we need to figure out how to clean up the financial industry. everything has been going up to the top. we need financial regulatory reform. we need to be able to figure out where we can create jobs. we can do it by having better trade policy, a low carbon economy. we can create all kinds of jobs. we have to make sure those jobs are not low wage jobs but good jobs. we have to make sure that when workers want to have a voice in their job that they can. what keeps me up at night is
that every single day in america are the workers want to have a voice in the job. there is an employer out there threatening them and firing them. this results in poverty. in want to go back to a time where we shared prosperity across all levels. >> governor, what might keep us from recovering? >> i'm not going to repeat everything that is said. the distribution of income is completely skewed in the country and it is shrinking our middle- class. we don't have an economy that functions very well. we have seen huge disparities brought on by a lot of the things that have already been talked about. the tax policy is completely biased towards capital as opposed to labor.
the fact is that we need to have a change in our fundamental structure and how we tax them. the idea that you are paying 15% on dividends and capital gains verses marginal rates at 25 or 30%, is unacceptable. i think there is a lot of work to do there. i believe that we have to change our educational policy so that we have skills that are matched up to the world we live in today. we have backed away from math and science and are giving up the competitive edge. it means you have to change your curriculum and do the things that will make us competitive . . .
>> all of the things that come in under the collective bargaining section, antitrust policies are screwed up. there are a lot of things we need to address a few want to make sure that america's middle class succeeds. >> trade, intellectual property law, i know you have opinions on that. how did those work together? what should we be doing right? >> there is a lot wrong with
trade and intellectual property. basically, what we have had is protectionism, on one hand those at the top end, skilled professionals are largely protected and it is very difficult for a foreign professional to come to work in the united states. i raised this with economists. this is really silly. if the university wants to hire a foreign economist, they have to say that they first tried to hire a u.s. citizen or a green card holder and then they have to say they are paying the prevailing wage. wal-mart does not have to do that when they get shoes from china. it is a protectionist policy. when you raise this with economists and they look at you like what are you talking about.
it is a backward method of financing much of our research. we are spending $250 billion a year on pharmaceutical and by 2012 it is expected to be over 300 billion. it is an enormous amount of money. obviously, we have to fund the innovations. the vast majority of drugs brought on the market are copycats. they do not offer new cures. also, it is an incentive for pharmaceuticals to withhold data. if i do a study in someone calls me up for my data, i am expected to share that with them. for something i just did a few months ago, i am expected to
share the data. in medical research, it is never shared. it impedes research the way we have this. it is an archaic system that leads to very high prices for drugs. i say that we have this very backward in terms of trade policy and intellectual property. i should say something about coffee writes. we go round the world until countries that they have to adopt u.s. copyright standards for disney and that, we can push on them. but if we mention labor standards, that is an interference with domestic policy. i do not understand that. this has been very backward. [applause] >> i would just add to that that we have slept at activity with
currency challenges. we leave ourselves in a position that undermines working people in this country because we allow this to exchange rates to work against our major factoring sector. all of these issues are totally disconnected from free trade. we do not have free trade on anything other than what is accentuating the bottom line of large corporations in america. i think it is one of the areas that structurally has to be reformed if we're going to see an opening up and a resurgence of investment and activities in our manufacturing sector of the economy. >> we do not have a long-term economic plan for our country. we actually need to do that. if we think about energy, if we
want to move to a low carbon environment and then we need to have a plan about that. we have to think about the innovation and technology and job creation. around the world, some other countries are thinking about that and what that would mean. understanding that there could be new jobs, different jobs and a loss of jobs and how deep the together a plan that deals with all of those things so that there is not opposition to it? people may be losing jobs and thinking about how this is the best job possible. >> how do we do that? we lost a tremendous amount of a manufacturing base and moved to a service economy. your secretary of treasury, where we go from here.
cash america exist as a largely service oriented company or do we move onto a green economy? where do you think we're going? >> it does not have to be a low- wage economy. this is why the unions came together because we represent service workers whether they are health care workers, public workers, food and service workers, hotel workers, which came together so that they could raise their voice and have a distant -- a decent standard of living. a person working on an assembly line did not have a valuable job. their job was valued because they had a union with good wages. we can do that with the service economy. we can have good wages for
service workers also they can support of family and they can raise their kids and give them a better opportunity and we can do that the organizing and giving workers a voice on the job. we need to be able to make things and build a manufacturing base. a low carbon economy is a sustainable economy. we can create the jobs, buildings here and change our country. in terms of where the recession, not just for homes, but for public buildings, private buildings, there is a huge amount of work that needs to be done. we could be more effective if we did that here. >> as a politician, running a state, is this reality? is that happening? >> first of all, it is a reality. we are on track to produce, over the next five years, 20,000 incremental new jobs.
there is a huge effort going on to prepare and, to train people for restructuring those buildings -- to prepare, to train people for restructuring those buildings. these are the efforts that are going forward. we have installed more solar panels in new jersey than any other state. we are moving forward with offshore wind. we do not have onshore winds. what we need to do is make sure that we use all the equipment that is associated with it. when we do this, we will create
a whole new industry. it is not going to solve the problems in a total, holistic way, but it is a major step forward. we have to make sure that we are investing technologically and giving the kind of financial support that the people that want to make those investments will do it and then we need to train the workers, which we are doing a fully in new jersey, setting up separate unions that are actually focused on the green at job economy and getting people prepared to work in that area. i think we can make progress in creating jobs and using the technological field but we're working in as we go forward. >> if i could jump then, it has become fashionable to say the united states is no longer a manufacturing company. the people that are saying that, it is something to say that the
arithmetic does not hold up. if you say that we are not want to have a deficit of manufacturing -- not going to have a deficit of manufacturing goods, how are we going to pay for that? then you look at the services. one of our main service exports is the these that are charged in the ports when people offload ships. we are not want to pay for imports on those fees. -- we are not going to pay for imports on those fees. that doe. unless there is someone in the rest of the world that will give this huge amounts of money and not ask for it back, we're going to have to manufacture goods. [applause] to emphasize her point, we have
a lot of immigrant workers in meat-packing and contruction. those are sectors that i often see referred to as low-paid jobs that are unpleasant. they did not used to be low-paid jobs. meat-packing was a largely unionized sector and it was a good paying job. it is only because it has deteriorated that those are now bad jobs. whether a job is good or bad, who have to get a handle on the situation. we can make any job a good job. >> one of the big reasons for this is that union density collapsed. it is below 10%. how does that change? how do we get unions back and
what does the employee freed choice act, how does it get into that? how does that all come together and what do we need to do to bring unions back? >> if you think about history, from 1935 to 1947, after the wagner act was passed, over 30% of the workers joined the union. it led to the greatest economic growth in our country. in the late 1970's, when workers wanted to have a union, they had to go to a terrible election process. ronald reagan announced a war on unions and employers begin to harass and intimidate workers. it was painfully hard to win a union. it right now, 73% of workers will have a union tomorrow if
they did not have to risk their job doing it. over 90% of lawyers would come men -- of employers -- they drag this out forever. so, that approach has led to making it harder for workers to have a union. as union density has gotten smaller, the standards for other people have been slipping aside and it is not just about standards at the workplace, it is everything else as well. if you think about it, if you just double the private sector rate of 7% to 15%, it would mean having a true blue democrats because union voters vote for progressive candidates at a greater rate than others. [applause]
it is not just about workers that want a union, it is for our country as a whole. they can be out there supporting candidates that stand-up for working families. we think this is important. if workers want to have a union, they can have one. it says that when employers violate the law by threatening, firing an intimidating, they get stronger penalties and the third thing that it says it a majority of workers want a union, they can. right now, there are two wars in the workplace. one is keeping people from having a union and one is keeping them from getting a contract. we can do this when we pass the employees free choice act and workers can have a voice on the job and they can bargain and share in the prosperity of their family. i think that is what will happen with all our support. we will make this happen this fall when we make 60 votes in
the senate and would pass the employees free choice act and we have a chance to give employees a decent life and sharon the american dream. [applause] >> macro economically, what does this mean? >> i was saying before that in the three decades following world war two, you know you have growth. this was widely shared to up the economy. it is a big factor again. i think it is a big factor and the growth is shared more broadly. it is not just the direct effect, but it is also this indirect effect.
no one could tell you a story that that could not pass without strong support of the union movement. if you get a stronger union movement, you not only did the direct effect that would have people stand up for their rights, but we would have a more friendly political structure. >> of new jersey has the highest density of unions in the country per-capita. we have the second highest them come in the country and probably have the widest share of benefit programs. i hear my opponent in my current election telling me that is bad and that is what people are leaving new jersey. in fact, it is why people come to new jersey because we actually have a social contract to make sure that we educate our kids and try to provide health
care. without the union movement, that would not happen. without participation in the political process, those kinds of commitments would not be made, not just in my administration, but throughout the years. it is the same reason why we have quality retirement benefits in our public sector. it is why we maintain quality earnings for folks in the building trades. there is no question that the association of the union movement, with shared wealth is absolutely a reality. that is what we to have the free trade pact. the free freedom of choice act. whatever.
>> does the union movement -- how does the union movement need to change? compared to wagner act unions of the 30's, are they going to be different of this century? >> i actually think the labor movement is changing already. for too long, we did not change. the world was global in the economy was global and we were not. we were looking thanks. a lot has changed. we believe that we had to organize and grow and we needed to support each other. we have to do it globally as well. we needed to figure out how to partner with unions around the country and around the globe to put pressure on them so we could win. i think that with teamsters, it was a perfect example partnering with the u.k. and to be able to
collaborate across the ocean so we could win organizing rights for workers here. as a result, employees have rights like the never have had before. i think that the labor movement as a whole needs to think about how to support each other. if you think about what the teamsters are doing in the ports of our country, how to have cleaned trucks and be better for the environment. it is a huge step forward. the work that the laborers are doing to recruit people so they can get the training to do the jobs is another good partnership
we were able to develop. there were hundreds of thousands of warehouse workers across this country who are taking the stuff of the ships and moving it. we need to organize them and we will never be able to do it if we do not deal with employers and the other country -- in the other countries. this is really a global environment. if we do not partner globally, we will not be able to deal with the issues here at home. >> unions are stronger in europe than they are in the west. europe is more progressive and they have less income inequality. what is the economic research? is it related? >> i would say that it is out to lunch.
unions are associated with more equality. if you have a higher unionization rate, you have much more equality than the united states. it is a world of difference. in terms of the current recovery come i am little hesitant. i was a little disappointed that most european companies did not have as much stimulus as the u.s.. one of the stories and the reasons why you get by with less stimulus, an unemployed worker and germany and france and denmark was not in poverty. if you're unemployed in the u.s., you are worried about how you will pay the mortgage and if you have health care. it is a desperate to chelation.
obviously, the unemployment benefits help. still, being unemployed in the u.s., you are in desperate straits. what that means is that if you were in germany with 9.4% unemployment as opposed to the u.s., germany could probably have that for a time and it is not a disaster. that is the unfortunate side. i know a lot of people in europe that is pushing for stimulus. >> i think that they should push for more stimulus, but because they had good benefits, a loss of a job is less in some countries. they were saying that in places where they had strong protections, they did not have layoffs.
where they had global banks where they could lay people off is where they did not have protections. at times, we can stabilize the company if workers have a voice. the reason that they have stronger unions is because they have laws that protect the ability of employees to have a voice on the job. there is such a thing as a social contract. you are responsible to your workers. we seem to think that workers are disposable in this country. you can chew them up, spit them out and not care about them. what we need to do is organize workers so they can bargain and good value back on work. what you do on the job is more to determine if you can live the american dream. you either win or lose by what kind of job you have. we can recreate the american dream by giving the workers a chance to share in prosperity.
we can make bad jobs that are paying jobs. >> how this health-care fit into all of this? one of the things -- they are spending in europe and it happens automatically and it is more than we have in the u.s.. one of those things is health care. if they go into recession, everybody still house health care. that is not the case here. how does health-care reform fit into the economy going forward and our ability to compete with the rest of the world. >> it gives people much more security in their jobs. in terms of any quality job, it would be more secure so that even if you lose, you still have health care. it is one of these things, even
if you got the minimalist to change to reform health care is a huge thing. people in their 40's and '50's may have a health problem and they're scared to death that if they lose their job, there will never be able to get insurance. so, that makes a huge difference. in terms of the economy, when we talk about health care, we pay more than twice as much as the average. it is the same thing as if the government -- it through it in the garbage. it does not matter if the government takes it away and hires bureaucrats to shuffle paper or whether the insurance
industry or hospital does it, it is an enormous strides on the economy. if we could get our health care system under control, it opens up an enormous amount of resources for having a more vital economy and improving living standards. >> i will give living proof to that. we are about 20% of our budget that is health-related. if we were where we were in a european country, think what we could do on a two or three of billion dollar pay down of our unfunded pension liabilities. make sure that we could pay for post-retirement medical benefits, the fact is that the states across this country are choking on their inability to be able to stay up with these growing health-care costs,
whether it is for retirees or for providing the help to people. the craziest day and place in the world to provide health care at a point of crisis as opposed to well as in all the other things that come with an organized system. we needed public option. personally, i think we need the most aggressive public option to redirect those dollars into things that will help our overall economy. i go back to education. we could do so much more if we did not have to deal with these issues in the senate don't -- in the system that is choking what is going on in states in the
lives of people. >> you have to negotiate, how difficult is it to the labor union movement if health care is out of the picture? >> right now, year after year, workers go to the bargaining table because the reality is that people who have health care, some of the premium is going to help someone who does not have health care. the share of what they can win at the bargaining table is overwhelming for health care. if we could figure out a way of controlling health-care costs and bring down the cost, we would be able to bargain for better wages and other kinds of benefits. it would be incredibly important. a lot of the workers that we first organized want to be organized because they want health care and the others are fighting to hold on to health care. >> i will be taking questions from the audience in a few
minutes. if you have questions on your mind, we will have guys with microphones going around. before i do that, all won a cycle -- i want to cycle back. governor, you have a perspective. >> i only talk about being in the marine corps, now. >> following your discharge from the marine corps, you spent some time on wall street. you have also been on the other side as a politician. two questions, was wall street responsible for what happened over the past decade, and what needs to be done to rein in wall street? >> first of all, when there is nobody watching the hen house, people who are charged with
generating rates of return on capital will go to extremes. that is exactly what happened over a very long period of time. they've stepped away from the regulatory supervisory responsibilities and people who were regulators did not believe in regulation. they did not believe in watching what was going on. as opposed to tightening up or expanding supervision, they listened all the rules nonstop for about 45 years. if there were innovations in the area, it was excluded from the regulations, derivatives being the most visible example. that's been allowed a buildup in leverage that people who said that the risk reward is taking
the risk because she will get rewarded and if you fail, somebody else will back us up. the loss would not be to the individual or the institution, because a lot of people that did that got a job someplace else so they avoided the problem and in institutions never had to go through the cleansing process. i put most of the problem from a standpoint of not a properly structured regulatory set of institutions, but more importantly, the people that were in charge of it will did not believe in regulation so there were no checks and balances and the risk reward equation that way at a balance
and senior management at a lot of those places did not but the disciplines on the institutions themselves and that as a potion for what is happening and what you described in your opening remarks. what we need are people in charge of the institutions and make them responsible to protect the public. it if you use this as your philosophical format, you get a different outcome. those people need to be divorced from the industry that they regulate. the second paying is we need different elements that take advances into account. we are now 20 years into the development of derivatives and
there is no effective regulation of those. that is impossible to understand. when i was a ceo at goldman sachs, i was scared because i saw other people utilizing these things that would impact us, long-term capital being the most visible example. it could have destroyed our firm because we had to deal with people that were leveraged to the hilt and it was not even known. the second plane is that there is no consumer protection on how these instruments were used in this initiative that is being talked about in washington to have some kind of consumer oversight of how financial institutions interface with the consumer market, which is about two-thirds of our economy, is absolutely essential if we do not do it, we will not have learned one damn thing in this
unwinding scene. >> i want to pick on the whole financial industry because it was not just wall street. clearly, lack of regulation was a problem. but it was all about greed. [applause] they were willing to take incredible risks that would risk people's jobs, our communities and our economy. i do think that we need deregulation but we also need to think about how we restructure the industry. it is too big to fail, it is just too big. we need to figure out how to separate out of save banking to make sure that these are what people are going to be. i think we need to figure out will structure and will reduce
of hedge funds. our union came into the whole economic financial industry world remembered years ago because we saw two things. we saw what was happening when private equity and hedge funds were leveraging and buying up companies, saddling the company is with huge debt. workers lost benefit and lost pay and lost care. we saw that impact, but we also saw what was happening to our members as consumers. there were trying to figure out how to do with finance and the were being sold bad products and products they could not afford and did not need. all the sudden, they found themselves losing everything. how do you deal with a private equity and had funds that is bad for our economy? how do you fix the banking system at the same time? we have to have transparency, a clean banking system and we have
to look at how we want to deal with compensation. we need to figure out how to take risk out of this program. even when the companies go base -- go bankrupt, they still get it. you have front line workers that are getting paid low wages and they have a compensation system that is paid on bonuses. they only get paid if they push back products on us. -- a bad products on us -- they only get paid if they push back products on us -- a bad products honest -- bad products on us.
wall street and the banks have all come out and they can own our country and get away with it. we're going to have to go to the mat in september and october and clean it up. >> i think that the problem with regulation is that it is not past tense. there were a lot of good things there. goldman sachs is now a bank holding company. it changed its status. it is supposed to be governed by the fed is supposed to be much more tightly regulated. they have said that they have to
change -- they have not changed the way they behave at all. their trading turned out for them and they may very good profits last quarter. good for them, but had they lost, that was our money. they were betting with our money. the got a $28 billion loan guarantee. this is exactly what placidyl was created -- what glass stiegel was created to prevent. now they are handing out billions of dollars in bonuses. it is like robbing a bank in front of a police officer. it is incredible. i think that we had some really problem -- i think that we had some really big problems. we need mortgages and all these things, but if you go back 30 years ago, people got mortgages
and the financial sector narrowly defined investment banking and commodities relative to the size of the economy. it was a quarter the size ben bennett is the day -- a quarter the size back then than it is today. can businesses get better access to capital? i would be hard pressed to make that case. the best way i know how to do it -- none >> i come up this at a slightly different way but not at the same in result. there's too much concentration. we should be using antitrust policy to make sure that you have more secure units and
everyone that actually has. furthermore, there should be a change in the tax structure. capital should be treated the same as labor. i think you'll see a lot different -- this is how -- i think we have undermined the flow of resources to society because we have differentiated under this claim that people are not going to work at a marginal rate. it is a ridiculous argument. it is not consistent with history. it is a major flaw.
>> i will open it up to the floor for questions. >> this question is for governor corzine. her [unintelligible] bucs as you probably know, that is say awkward question for me -- that is an awkward question for me. the real problem with that tenure was not the financial crisis itself, it was a failure to do anything. the fact is, these kind of problems are only talking about
deregulating the system. there is actually a study about how we were born to make our financial system more competitive. it would have more deregulation been enforcing their rules as they are. the decision to let women brothers go was a mistaken created a hellacious firestorm, but the real issue was the inconsistency. i think the real problem was what happened before the crisis struck. >> should ben bernanke be
reappointed? >> i have been laboring over this. he is most responsible for the crisis, and i am not happy about regulating the investment. i think he acted outrageously. he did not tell congress at the time. all those reasons are observed for him to get reappointed. hoopoes he said this a coupf years ago. part of the problem with the economic inequality in this country -- >> i am not voting,
yet. this is probably for governor corzine. you said that much of this is about benefits. why are you not going to the nonprofit insurance sector through the power of your checkbook? >> i am not sure exactly where we would go to the non-profit sector. i would tell you that we have a state benefits program which is state managed the we have to outsource it unless we were going to build. the fact is, when you get to outsourcing the underlying guts
of your insurance program, you still end up paying the fees. i am a big believer in a publicly non-profit focused health-care system public auction. -- public option. the same thing goes for the va. if we could afford to build that right away in new jersey, i would do that. we just have a hard time getting there immediately. >> my name is michael j. wilson. how do we make sure that it is not a jobless recovery? >> i think it is one of the things that we talked about before.
i think that the opportunities that we have, investing in green technology, i think to encourage job development will do that. we will probably need a second stimulus package or a separate recovery package. the first one actually kept this from happening. we did not have as much job loss as we would have had otherwise. one of the ways that we can put the jobs in quickly, we also have to invest in our safety net. if you look to what has happened across the state's, lower
revenues have dealt with this. they have been cutting off some of the basic services that people need to survive. home care, child care, all the kinds of care that people need. this can actually put people back to work faster and create those kinds of jobs. >> i know that that scares people, but that is realistic. that is the downturn we're talking about. talking with them, the numbers that we agree on, we have this enormous gap in demand. you can spend an awful lot of money. we desperately need a second stimulus. we extended unemployment
benefits. we do not have welfare anymore, we have a work based system that is good in a lot of ways, but if people cannot get work, that is a bad story. at the end of the day, that will be part of the long run picture. >> on a second recovery package, we will not have made jobless recovery, we will have the resuscitation of growth and unemployment that is shocking. the states and local governments will not have the ability to deal with their budget shortfalls without massive layoffs. we need to get planning on it right now. any state that does a realistic
check, they will have a shockingly large shortfall in the coming year. that will mean job losses an enormous shrinkage in the public sector. >> that is absolutely true. 2010 and 11 will be worse. it is going to have a ripple effect. there will be able to do with all of their crisis. >> the administration has not done a good job of pushing the stimulus. the economy would be in much worse shape today. this is widely shared.
you do not want to brag about the economy, that is what we're talking about. >> my question is for an hour. how can we -- how can unions utilize the wisdom and direct experiences of union workers who are now 70, 80, 90 year-old, a lot of them sitting in nursing homes. how can utilize their system -- of their experience to affect unions, now? >> we have retirees all over our country that need to be involved in our unions. i was just out and say health care event on campus we're one of the members of my own local was retired and he was going door-to-door to talk about why health care reform was really important.
as we retire, we need to stay up with that -- as they retire, we need to stay up with them. we need to plug them into the community. they need to communicate with people in different ways. we can do it by phone and by ways we have never been able to do before. >> yes? >> we are talking about the financial bubble, but i think we face an environmental struggle. when it comes down to it, i don't print mother nature doesn't bailout package.
-- does a bailout package. >> we have not made near as much progress and that -- there is not a lot on the horizon. given me threat that we're facing from global warming, we will have to do an awful lot more. that is a foot in the door. one of the things that i would say is that i wish environmentalist would think about the issue more broadly. we have very comparable living standards. what is the big factor? >> over the last few decades, they have taken productivity growth. everyone has paid time off and
paid sick days. that is usually not on the environmentalist list. that would be a really good way to go. that is not the whole story. that is one to be a lot of things. we will have to do a lot more than what is on the agenda. >> does it make sense to make new regulation agencies like the cba? as far as i can tell, they were already supposed to be doing that. >> i do not think it is an either or situation. it did not have the authorization to supervise the
market. it was a mirror to be regulated. the idea that we have investor protection, but we do not have consumer protection agencies in this country is bizarre. it is two-thirds of our economy and people are exposed to all kinds of products and all kinds of pricing mechanisms and there is no one bringing checks and balances. consumer protection agency is absolutely essential. we do not do this in a responsible manner.
those that understand present value, it leaves them the ability to rip-off people that do not understand the general concepts that are involved in finance. i go back to what i said in my previous comments. if you put people in charge of agencies that do not believe in regulation, you're going to get the results that are obvious. regulation is not going to drip down in that process and that is exactly what we have had for the last 30 years. >> i also think that we have to look at the government structure of the reserve and figure out if there is a way to take it out of the control of the banks. i think there is a whole democracy issue that we have to look at. >> i would strongly agree. you would effectively have the banks appointing their own regulators. i wouldn't argue that we need a
consumer protection agency. it was something that the fed was supposed to do. they obviously did not do it. the fed has given about two trillion dollars in loans and we have no idea what they did. i don't think they did anything improper, but the idea that you have an agency in the government issuing two trillion in loans and no one has a clue as to where that money went, i think that is a real problem. >> with that, i am afraid our time is up. i want to thank all of you for coming. at enjoy the rest of the day and i want to thank our panel. thank you.
>> this is c-span, public affairs program courtesy of america's cable companies. up next, programs relating to health care. we will begin with "newsmakers." and then a health care town hall meeting hosted by representative patrick mcinerney -- patrick mcinerney. his years as press secretary and when walter cronkite was considered for the role of vice president. >> video on your screen about
the obama's arriving at cape cod massachusetts. the president is led by his daughter you may recall that the clintons vacationed a couple of times during the clinton presidency there. we are also being told by various news sources about the possibility that president will visit senator kennedy. the talk is that he will meet with the senator to discuss health care. and again, the obama at cape cod, on the way to martha's vineyard. also, the associated press is selling -- is reporting that there are t-shirts being sold and there are cardboard cutouts of the pde