tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News September 9, 2009 4:00am-5:00am EDT
democrats who get a lot of support from trial lawyers an introduce a new special interest group in into the opposition in all likelihood. short of that, though, it stieks me that he is going to have to try to rely on soaring rhetoric. he is good at that, but it hasn't worked so far. bret: we'll see. brit, thanks. we will have live coverage of the president's healthcare address wednesday beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. the congressional budget office says the federal deficit for the first 11 months of the fiscal year was almost $1.4 trillion. that's almost $900 billion greater than in august 2008. the c.b.o. estimates that spending increases in revenue reductions stemming from the
stimulus package have totalled more than $150 billion so far this year. stocks were up today. the dow rose 56 and change. the s&p 500 picked up nine points. the nasdaq gained 19. the president has given more speeches than days he has spent in office. that's later on the grapevine, but first, one of those speeches was given today and it was not wext if you had a
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bret: in news around the world, the defense department has turned down a request to allow michigan officials to tour guantanomo bay detention center in cuba. pete hoekstra wanted them to see the dangers of relocating to a michigan prison. defense secretary robert gates called it premature because a final decision has not been made on such a transfer. reuters is reporting that iranian officials are vet to deliver a package of proposals to six world powers wednesday including the united states. tehran says the proposals will address nuclear and, quote, other challenges. president ahmadinejad said monday that irand was ready for dialogue with western powers but insisted the
country's nuclear pam had will continue. the state department says the assets of two entities have been frozen under presidential executive order. north korea's bureau of atomic energy was targeted over suspicions of supporting missile programs. a u.s. drone fired missiles into pakistan's border region killing at least three militants. while insurgents continue to pose a threat to pakistan's stability, that country's former president says bin laden may not be involved. correspondent amy kellogg has the story. >> in an exclusive interview with fox news, former pakistani president musharraf says the last promising lead on bin laden was four or five years ago and he may not even be alive. >> i have a doubt, because right in the beginning he was a dialysis patient, a kidney patient, and therefore, i
wonder whether he is alive. >> pakistan was one of the only countries to establish an embassy in taliban-controlled afghanistan in the '90's. musharraf believes if more nations had engaged the taliban, things would not have gotten out of control. >> if we recognized the taliban, we could have managed them from inside, and maybe we could have put enough pressure on them to get to bin laden. >> musharraf has been the target of four assassination attempts since turning on the taliban. >> did you ever reget your decision to side with the united states in fighting tism terrorism and extremism? >> no, i didn't, because it was not for the united states alone. it was for pakistan. we didn't want talibanization there. we are progressive. we are not taliban. >> progressive does not mean pro american. how do pakistanis feel about americans? >> they don't like them,
frankly, but they're not to blame. >> musharraf went on to say that after helping the u.s. defeat the soviets in afghanistan, pakistan was left high and dry, with a jihadist problem on its hands. resentment still simmers. coop pation between the two countries resumed since september 11. musharraf recalls george w. bush as a straight talker and friend. i asked him how he felt about president obama's outeach to the muslim world? >> the muslim world was very upbeat about his election. having said that, he must now deliver. he has been saying a lot, but he must deliver. >> musharraf finished that thought saying muslims expect to see the united states play an impartial role to deliver justice to the muslim world. in london, amy kellogg, fox news. bret: an advisor to candidate obama says it's time his own boss stopped the talking, and democrats say criticism of the
back in 1991, but the washington examiner reports the complaints leading up to mr. obama's speech were relatively muted compared to the outrage 18 years ago. back then some democrats not only denounced bush's speech to students and asked the government accountability office to ses great several funds used for the speech. the g.a.o. eventually said the bush administration did nothing wrong, but at the time, the national education association said he could not, quote, endorse a president who spends $26,000 of taxpayers' money on a staged media event while cutting school lunch funds for our neediest youngsters. ahead of president obama's speech, the n.e.a. wrote "we applaud president obama for delivering this message to students." we don't know how much today's events cost taxpayers. if you haven't been counting the number of speeches president obama has delivered,
cbs's mark knoller has. today's address was the 263rd speech or set of remarks delivered by president obama since he took office only 231 days ago. that's 32 more speeches than days he served. as brit mentioned earlier, president obama has delivered 28 speeches specifically on the issue of healthcare, but if you include all remarks in which he mentioned healthcare reform, that number jumps to 121. meanwhile, former top campaign advisor for the president says he wants a little less talk and a lot more action from his old boss. former deputy campaign manager steve hildebrand tells the politico "i am one of the millions of frustrated americans who want to see washington do more than it's doing now. i'm one of the many americans who are losing patience." by far the most senior member of obama's political team to express doubts about the president, he added "the problem is obama isn't listening enough." and finally, a phoenix arizona
man facing 37 unpaid photo enforced speeding tickets says he is innocent. the arizona republic reports dave von tessmar says he won't pay up because the photo shows a driver wearing either a monkey or jir of a mask, but officers say that excuse won't cut it because they insist von tessmar is the man behind the mask. quote, we watched him four different times on put on the monkey mask and put on the squir raff-style mask on before he drove to work." while the president and his aides continue to refine their position on healthcare reform, thousands on the front lines of the debate are asking why their opinions have not been heard. jim angle reports. >> these doctors were making the rounds of senate offices today, not to treat lawmakers but to implore them to listen to physicians on healthcare reform. >> a number of us have felt that we don't really have much input into this health reform
process. >> 11,000 doctors from around the country who connected on a medical website called sermo signed the petition that was delivered to 100 senate offices today, including that of senator and dr. tom coburn. >> i agree, we have heard from the lobbying arm that is interested in money, not patients and not physicians. >> the doctors outlined issues they think are critical, reform of tort and malpractice laws, streamlined and more transparent billing, reform of the insurance industry and change in payment systems to encourage preventive medicine. the issue of tort reform is key for doctors. some such as orthopedic surgeons can pay upwards of $80,000 a year in ininsurance. obstetricians pay more than $200,000 a year. insurance is only half the cost. >> there are surveys that have shown that a third of all tests that are done aren't done necessarily in the best interest of the physician or patient the.
it is done to proal text parties from liability. >> nevertheless, tort reform isn't part of any of the proposals so far, including the massive one in the house. >> if we're putting everything on the table, as the president says, to try to improve healthcare, it would seem suspicious that in a 1,200 page bill, the word tort reform or malpractice isn't mentioned once. >> in fact, some democrats including howard dean acknowledged the party's been reluctant to cross trial lawyers because they contribute heavily to democratic candidates but some say that has to change. >> i think that the time has come for the democrats to say all right, we're going to have to take on one of our own here. they're going to have to contribute, are because it is true that unaway lawsuits have caused insurance premiums to go up. >> that would be a smart move that would bring democrats more credibility and quiet down republicans. democrats are thinking about that as a way to breathe new life into the reform debate.
jim angle, fox news. >> with the traditional flu season quickly approaching, health officials are expressing concern over the country's ability to cope with an increased h1n1 flu outbreak. while many hospitals are plapping out their plan of attack, the general public also has a role to play. america's hospitals are bracing for a resurgence of h1n1 flu, which public health officials say could affect up to 40% of the u.s. population over the next two years. >> if even a small percentage of those folks are run to the doctor or the e.r. on a given month, the system will be severely challenged. >> with the flu striking at the same time as the h1n1, it could stretch emergency rooms beyond their limits. >> we don't have much surge capacity in the united states for intensive care unit beds, for ventilators. >> hospitals have taken the same approach the airlines have. they have tried to fill every
seat. a full hospital is an economically efficient hospital. >> in rose garden remarks last week, president obama urged hospitals to take action. >> we need hospitals and healthcare providers to continue to prepare for an increased patient load and take steps to protect healthcare workers. >> hospitals are taking proactive measures such as expanding patient treatment into wings normally used for administration, and creating separate waiting rooms for patients with flu, but dr. kellerman says the general public has an important role getting vaccinated and doing simple hygiene to slow the spread of h1n1. >> if you can spread the season out, that means on any given day or week, doctors like me have less severely ill patients to take care of. >> kellerman says the vast majority of those infected with h1n1 will not require a visit to the emergency room, convincing these people to recover at home will be key to freeing up america's e.r.'s for those who need them most.
in atlanta, fox news. bret: the president tries to corral democratic leadership just a day before he recasts his healthcare message, again. so, are the democrats on the same page now? the fox all-stars the sixties were all about freedom. ♪ and now in my sixties, they are again. grandpa, are we there yet? i have the freedom to do what i want... and go where i want. grandpa, come on! freedom is what i like about my medicare supplement insurance. i can see the doctor i want, where i want, anywhere in the country. now your sixties can be a time of freedom again... with aarp medicare supplement insurance plans... insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. because any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare... will accept aarp medicare supplement insurance. anywhere in the u.s. the freedom to do my own thing, without worrying about which doctor i can see. medicare covers only about 80%... of your part b healthcare costs. the rest has to come out of your pocket.
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>> they said if you have a better idea, put it on the table. for the moment, however, as far as our house members are concerned, the overwhelming majority of them support a public option. >> there's not a rigidity. he is focused on the end. he is focused on results. i think that's what the american people will see tomorrow night. >> the status quo is not acceptable, but neither are any of the proposals we have seen from the white house or the democrats in congress so far. >> the president has heard the american people and we start
over. >> you hear some of the debate today as you look at the most recent gallup poll, how would you advise your congressman to vote on healthcare reform, 37% vote for and 39% vote against. over 55, same question, 35% for, vote against, 44%. that is the dynamic the president is facing as he gets ready to deliver the speech to a joint session of congress tomorrow night. let's bring in our panel, fred barnes, executive editor of the weekly standard, juan williams, analyst for national public radio and syndicated column columnist charles charles krauthammer. juan, what is your thought about where this is headed? >> i think the president is in the bottom of the ninth. he said earlier that he thinks he is in the eighth or ninth. i think he is in the ninth and he has to swing. he has to reshape the terms of the debate. when you look at the poll numbers, you saying that the people are saying this is going to be bigger government,
more government intrusion in healthcare, more expensive to pay for insurance. they don't want any of it, so he's got to say, you know what? that's not what i'm talking about. i have got a better plan, and he has got to lay out what that plan is. i don't know that he has got to go explicit on the public option versus co-op. the senate finance committee, max baucus, and mike enzi, grassley, those guys are saying they want to get something to him before tomorrow's speech. i don't think that's going to change the dynamics. what he has got to get back to is the fact that there's a huge percentage of americans who want healthcare reform, and that people, generally, think that president obama is trustworthy, but he hasn't laid out what he believes in. tomorrow we should expect something bold. bret: juan mentions the gang of six, the negotiators, democrats and republicans in the senate finance committee and there you see them there. charles, max baucus, the chairman, has come out what he calls a new plan, a new proposal to get bipartisan
cooperation. it is pretty complex. >> it is astonishingly complex. it is also very intrusive in just about every area of existing medicine. he has a lot of arbitrary provisions. ly give you a couple of examples. there is one provision that the 2010 scheduled reduction in reimbursement for doctors under medicare is no longer at 21% reduction. it is a 0.5% increase, out of nowhere. it imposes what it called fees, but these are really taxes on health insurers, drug companies, the providers of medical equipment and diagnostics, as a way for the government to help reduce the trillion dollars it would cost. it ends up reducing it by $100 billion, but all that means is if you're a diabetic, the cost will be passed on to the consumer, but hidden in what you pay. you will be paying extra for your diagnostics, for your needles, for your drugs, and
on your health insurance, so it's hiding a lot of the costs. i would only point out one thing, the numbers on those who support the plan has slightly increased. there was a ten-point gap against the healthcare reform and it is now a 2-point gap and it coincides with the two weeks that the president was on vacation and said nothing. bret: fred, even late this afternoon, nancy pelosi said republicans still don't have an option. they don't have a plan. we're going to keep on moving forward. what is the response to that? >> president obama has said the same thing repeatedly and both of them have to know better because there are all kinds of plans. i have read them. they weren't written in invisible ink. this is one written by paul ryan who is the smartest thing thinker on these issues, a plan that is based on more consumer healthcare where consumers, individuals decide and pick their own insurance and so on. that's one of them, but there are several other house plans.
there is that plan in the senate by senator ron wyden of oregon, who is a democrat, endorsed by any number of republicans as well. there are plenty of plans out there. that's a democratic talking point that president obama, in particular, should not pick up, and he said it repeatedly. he said it again on monday in his speech in cincinnati. he said republicans are the people they just want to have a plan. what is odd about this speech, if you remember 16 years ago, president clinton gave his speech on healthcare and he outlined -- this was at the beginning of the whole healthcare debate and he outlined what he wanted. it went on from there. now we have had the healthcare debate. we we are have had bills pass three committees in the senate. in the house there are a couple of bills in the senate and now the president is going to come in and tell us? look, what a strong president does in a case like this is sit down with the parties in congress and say here is what i want and then negotiate a bill and go from there. there is no even for this
speech unless he is going to hit the reset button and i don't think he is. this speech is dine designed not because there is a healthcare crisis, but because there is a president obama political crisis. that is what he is going to deal with tomorrow night. bret: juan, could there be a game changer in this speech? there was some talk about possibly some kind of tort reform if democrats would accept something like that. i talked about it with brit earlier in the show. what is your thought? >> that would be a game changer. there are all sorts of elements that could continue to reshaping the parameters of the debate. bret: but it would also open up opponents like, for example, trial lawyers who would have a problem with that. >> sure, but he has got to make a move that shifts the way that we're all talking and thinking. at the moment, everybody is focused on the negatives and he hasn't even said what he believes in. by the way, i think he says that republicans don't have a plan is that you don't have republicans coalescing around any issue.
>> it doesn't have to change the parameters of the debate, juan. he needs to change the paramaters of the bill. >> no, he needs to change -- he has had such a bad august. it has been a political bad season for barack obama. he needs right now to get back in the game by saying, listen, you know what, overwhelmingly americans want some form of healthcare reform, so let's go about being serious people and not playing politics. bret: charles, last say. does he go after more republicans by inserting some sort of tort reform at the risk of losing more liberals or does he kind of walk the line as he has done many times in his speechs? >> he is a guy that walks the line. if he did tort reform, i would be shocked and i think if he had done it early, he could have gotten a lot of republicans onboard. you do tort reform and you do regulate the insurance companies so everybody has guaranteed insurance, he would have had wall to wall support, but it's late in the game. i can't imagine him attacking
a major constituency at the end of this debate. it would be an extraordinary stroke, a good one, i think, but i don't expect he will be that bold. bret: we shall see. iranian president ahmadinejad says he is ready for open dialogue, but then he cuts a deal with venezuela. deal with venezuela. se'll explain all of this. getting around in your home. and you know you need a power chair. well you probably also know that with medicare and your supplemental insurance a power chair costs you little or nothing out of pocket. but a power chair can literally change your life. so how do you make the right choice. just ask these questions. one, is it round? most chairs are big and square so they can get stuck in tight spaces. a round chair can go more places and there's only one round power chair, hoveround. next question, is it reliable?
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>> from our point of view, iran's nuclear issue is over. we continue our work within the framework of global regulations and in close interaction with the international atomic energy agency. we won't negotiate over obvious rights of the iranian nation. bret: iranian president ahmadinejad now says he's ready to talk. this comes a couple of days
after he signed a deal with venezuelaian president hugo chavez, venezuela will provide iran 20,000 barrels of gasoline per day starting in october, apparently, according to chavez, venezuela is getting paid $800 million a year for this gas deal. we're back with our panel. what does this all mean and what does this mean with our situation with iran and our administration here in the u.s.? charles? >> well, i think this marks the complete collapse of obama's iran policy. let's remember the premise was you be niebs nice to our adversaries, extend a hand and go around the world on an apology tour. the administration said behind the scenes you can't see the results now, but in time the fruits will be there. well, let's look at the harvest. you get obama saying he wants to meet unconditionally with the iranians. he holds his tongue when demonstrators are being shot in the street as a way to keep open channels with the regime,
even though it sullies america's reputation of supporting democrats, especially oppressed democrats around the world. he apologizes in the cairo speech for what eisenhower had done almost 50 years ago, which, incidentally had been a condition the iranians had put on resuming negotiations with us. he does all of that, and what is his reward? president of iran announces oh, yes, i will speak with obama, but it has to be in front of the world media, and it will be a debate, and incidentally, the nuclear issue is closed. it is not an issue. so what does obama get for that sweet handshake at the summit? chavez arrives in iran, makes an alliance and promises to supply gasoline. why is that important? because the one area where irand is really weak is in refined petroleum. it has got a lot of crude, but that's where we would be applying our sanctions if they don't stop their nuclear
program, so what chavez is doing is undermining in advance the only remaining economic sanction. all of this for what the obama administration calls "smart power." it's dumb diplomacy. bret: juan, this comes ahead of the u.n. security council meeting this fall and these talks about what to do next. the gasoline embargo had been talked about. there is a bill even on chill suggesting that the u.s. -- there is a bill on chill suggesting that the u.s. do that with allies, but now what? >> it is not just the security council which is divided, because they're always divided and unsure how to deal with someone like an outlaw and that is what iran has become, but there is this late september deadline that president obama set for ahmadinejad, and the iranian cler clerics to decide how to deal with the nuclear issue and the national atomic energy commission. what we have heard is that
they are not cooperating with the head of the iaea. he wants to know more about their military activities. we have a showdown approaching in september. the key thing here is not to speak to charles' point, what we expected from iran, and remember, iran is in the middle of tremendous political unrest after their disputed elections, but the real consequence is the way the rest of the world might support us if we have to deal with an iran that isabilitying in such a way as to instigate trouble in the rest of the middle east that we can, in fact, get the other people that now ahmadinejad says he's willing to talk with larger parties, that we can get them on the same page and say the u.s. has offered to try to be cooperative with these folks. this is part of the legacy of what happened in irak, that the rest of the world has not seen our softer, more smart diplomacy side and i think it was a necessary step by the administration. >> you remember what leo
derosha said? >> nice guys finish last. >> indeed, and barack obama has finished last. smart power hasn't worked in iran, not with sen ven, hadn't worked with cuba, not with russia. it hadn't worked, period. when you deal with your adversaries, you have to be tougher than that. the problems were not caused by lack afrikaan cilia tore -- of a conciliatory problem by previous administrations. the problem is these are bad players and you have to deal with them that way. there is a guy who whites for congressional quarterly and i wish i could think of his name who has identified something in the obama administration called the tinkerbell effect. i'm not kidding about this, from peter pan. that is when you think things will happen, good things will happen just because you wish they would happen, and it is the tinkerbell effect that applies when you are going to shut down gitmo and you think, well, somehow, you know, we'll find a place for these 90 guys or so that can't be released
bret: finally, the obama administration has not had an easy time with confirmation of its nominees or, for that matter, at least one of its czars. but now there is this. >> president obama is being criticized by those who sees his pick for surgeon general is wasted. the president ignores the controversy and instead is focusing on getting congressional approval for his new drug czar. new drug czar.