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tv   [untitled]    February 9, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm EST

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meeting on legislation concerning the televising of supreme court proceedings. that bill would allow the justices to ban cameras in certain instances. the markup session ended with the committee approving the measure by an 11-7 vote which moves the bill for ward. and we want your opinion on this question. should supreme court proceedings be televised? we have a poll up at facebook and we come your comments as well. again, give us your view on televising supreme court proceedings at that's c-span with no hyphen. programming information for you, the pentagon is announcing a new policy today regarding women and the services. we have live coverage of that at 3:30 eastern here on c-span3. until then we'll give you a democratic view of the recent white house contraception view. we'll show you as much as we can as we wait for the pentagon briefing to get under way. >> joining us here on the
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washington journal is representative diana begellt, a manager of the energy and commerce committee as well as co-chair of the house choice caucus -- >> house pro choice caucus. >> right. she is here to talk about some of the issues around planned parenthood and the rules regarding contraception with the health care law. first of all, i want to ask you about the investigation that the chairman of your subcommittee on the energy and commerce committee, cliff stearns, has instigated against planned parenthood. this is a letter he sent back in september to cecile richards of planned parenthood saying he was investigating. were you aware of this investigation and were you supportive of it at the time? >> well, as you might recall, there were some allegations that planned parenthood had actually co-mingled public money and private money. planned parenthood -- 97% of what they do is prevention and well woman visits, breast cancer
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screening, things like that. they're allowed to use public money for that. 3% of what planned parenthood does is abortions, and they can't use any public money for that, only their private money. so the chairman wanted to know whether planned parenthood was commingling their public and private money. he sent a letter to cecile richards who is the head of planned parenthood. she responded by producing many, many pages of documents showing that the audits are all correct, that planned harnt hood does not co-mingle these monies. henry waxman, the senior democrat and i sent a letter to my chairman basically saying that this investigation was unwarranted, it was uncalled for and asked him to cease and desist. since last september in the last six months, there's been no
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activity. in my opinion the investigation -- the chairman's requests were satisfied and the investigation is moot. >> is there any connection to that and what's happened recently with the komen foundation and planned parenthood? >> well, the excuse that the komen foundation apparently gave initially for taking back its funding for breast cancer screening for planned harnt hood was that there was a congressional investigation. i think they were referring to that letter that chairman stearns had sent. but my opinion is that was six months ago. i've seen no activity in my subcommittee. i don't think there really is an investigation. i think there was a request for documents which was satisfied. we've gone on down the road now. >> now, the white house with regard to the health care law and the contraception rules, the white house has -- do you
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support the white house's position on perhaps extending the waiver for religious organizations? >> you know, i think that we should have science-based policies as we implement the affordable health care act. the national institutes of health found that birth control and pregnancy prevention, family planning were a core part of women's health care services. and so in these insurance exchanges that was part of what had to be offered in an insurance policies to american women. just as there are in 28 states, the department of hhs, secretary sebelius said we will give a narrow religious exemption for, say, a church that might be opposed to providing birth control coverage if it's a church and their employees are
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all that same religion, they would not have to offer it. but if the church decides to go away from its core mission of religion and start a business, say a hospital or university or insurance business, then they would have to comply with the same laws that every other business has to comply with. that's the law right now for churches. let's say catholic charities decides to set up a soup kitchen or some charities, they have to cli with the anti-discrimination laws, they have to comply with the tax laws, they have to comply with every other law if they're doing a business that's separate and apart from their very core religious mission. >> representative degette, in the u.s.a. today this morning it's reported that that position is no consolation to catholic leaders. the white house is all talk, no action on toward compromise st. anthony pick real low, general counsel of the u.s. coen opinions. there's been a lot of talk in the last couple days about
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compromise. it sounds to us like a way to turn down the heat to placate people without doing anything in particular. we're not going to do anything until this is fixed, he said. he goes on to say, if that means removing the provision from the health care law altogether, not simply changing it for catholic employers and their insurers. >> so the catholic bishops are saying apparently because they -- a narrow group of catholic bishops think health care plans shouldn't offer birth control coverage for the millions of american women who use it, it should be removed from the entire health care law. that frankly is not a tenable position. there already was a compromise which the press has frankly overlooked in this rule because the rule gives an exception for religious institutions and their employees, like the local catholic church or any other church with a religious objection. they don't have to offer this if
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they're going to go off and have a separate business, for instance, a university. i know the georgetown university students will have a rally today because many of the people who go to georgetown university are not catholic. even the catholics who go to georgetown university want to be able to have the choice to buy birth control or not. we're not talking about abortion. we're talking about family planning. 98% of catholics use family planning methods. the question i have and i've been thinking this for a few days, where does the conscience clause rest? does it rest with the individual buying the insurance policy, the church or the university? or does it rest with the individual who makes their own personal decision do they want to buy birth control coverage or not? i think it's the latter. >> two other points before we get to calls. this is the "new york daily news" lead editorial this
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morning, "obama gets religion." yes, it's true many american catholics support the president's decision. in a new poll 58% said religious institutions should be required to offer birth control in their plans, a number higher than the support among the public at large. but that doesn't change the core principle, the "new york daily news" rights, a religious institution should have the latitude to live by its teachings, free of aggressive government intrusion. all the president's men and women know they've got a stint kerr on their hands. they've lost the argument on the merits. >> i agree with the new york daily news that religious institutions should be able to offer policies that reflect their philosophy and that's what the law does. if they're going to go out and have a separate business, that's not essential to their core religious mission, it seems to me it gets attenuated at that point and there is that kind of exception in the law. the other thing i will say last
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week when we had the komen breast cancer issue, my social media, my facebook site, my twitter, everything were just lighting up with outrage from women that komen would pull the funding for planned parenthood. this week with this issue it's really radio science. the women of america don't see why this is such a big deal. after all, it's birth control and virtually every american family has used birth control at some time or another. people say why shouldn't that be part of my health insurance, it's part of the health care that i'm getting. >> diana degette is our guest. she's a democrat from colorado, co-chair of the pro choice caucus in the house and a member of the energy and commerce committee. first call for her comes from baltimore. frank on our republican line. >> caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. the first thing that i want to say is i think the congresswoman
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is very wrong when it comes to the freedom of religion. nobody, no congresswoman, no president has a right to force me to support something that's against my religion. it is unconstitutional. the other thing is, when it comes to the susan komen institute donations, my donations to cancer, which is different than abortion, my donations should not go towards funding of abortions. the last thing i want to say is there are a lot of conservative women in the congress who can be invited by c-span to speak on this issue. so i think to bring up a male conservative congressman -- it's
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not a good match against a liberal woman. you should invite some other congresswoman who is conservative and who has -- >> all right, frank. thank you for that suggestion. representative degette. >> you know, when it comes to a group like komen which is a private foundation, people should be able to donate to that foundation whether they want to or not. i'm not going to tell people whether they should donate to a private foundation or not. i do think that this situation last week brought up the question of research. if people are going to donate to any private non-profit foundation, they need to find out what their money is being used for. is it being used for research? how much is being used for research and then decide whether they're going to donate their money or not. that's their own personal decision. i'm not going to tell them what to do. >> beaver falls, pennsylvania,
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tim, democrat. you're on the washington journal. >> caller: good morning. i'm almost sorry i called this lady speaks so well, i don't want to take up her time. she's just amazing. >> why? >> she's so clear on it. it's so sad in this country individual liberty is frowned upon by republicans. i don't understand that because they're always talking about liberty. institutional liberty, big corporations and wall street, big churches, they're all for that. i just -- i don't understand that. i don't get it. it doesn't make any sense to me. i'm 63 years old. i've worked in a catholic institution when i first got out of the service. let me tell you, that's a very authoritarian place where a lot of the lower paid workers have
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nothing. i mean nothing. no freedom, no ability to organize, fear to organize. it's just so sad. i just don't understand it. this is america. >> you know, there are about 3 million american women who would be affected by this rule who work for religious organizations that are not -- as i say, not the core church-type organizations, but for the catholic hospital systems or for the universities. many of those women are not catholic. some of them are catholic, but they would lose their ability to get family planning, and it seems to me, as i said, that they're the ones who should be deciding. those same employers have to comply with the anti-discrimination laws and the other laws of this country if
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they're going to have those secondary types of businesses. and i think that providing full women's health care services is a part of that. >> the speaker yesterday spoke on the house floor. i want to get your reaction to what he had to say. >> in recent days, americans of every faith and political persuasion have mobilized in objection to a rule put forward by the obama administration that constitutes an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country. this rule would require faith-based employers including catholic charities, schools, universities and hospitals to provide services they believe are immoral. those services include sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, devices and contraception. in imposing this requirement the federal government has drifted dangerously beyond its constitutional boundaries, encroaching on religious freedom
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in a manner that affects millions of americans and harms some of our nation's most vital institutions. >> diana degette. your response? >> unfortunately, i don't think that the speaker must have read what the proposed rule is. many of the things that he said are in there are simply not in there. for example, the speaker said that catholic hospitals would be required to cover abortion-inducing drugs. that's just simply incorrect. we're not talking about a requirement for abortion services, although i think that's part of the continuum of women's care. but what this proposed rule says is we should have family planning, birth control, pregnancy prevention as part of the core of women's health services. of course, if you have a strong
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program of family planning, then you avoid unnecessary abortions, and that's everybody's goal. you know, 98% of catholic women have used some form of birth control as have most women in society. and to say that that's not an essential part of women's health, we -- a group of us had some obstetricians and gynecologists come in and talk to us about how family planning and birth control is really central to women's health because it helps avoid so many other physical problems as well as help a woman plan her family. so i think people need to stop grandstanding around this issue and they really need to start talking about what it is that this rule does. >> and darrell tweets in, allowing religious dogma to take precedence over the law opens the door to all kinds of discrimination. in e-mail from joan in randolph,
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vermont, i just heard the democrat's responding to the contraception debate. barbara boxer made a misstatement in my opinion. she said women should have free access to birth control. the current ruling doesn't do this since women are only being offered insurance coverage with no out-of-pocket expenses. however these same women are pay ag premium for their insurance coverage, so they are, in effect, paying to have this benefit. >> i don't really think ha is accurate as the health care bill is going to be implemented because another part of the affordable care act says that you can't discriminate against people for gender. currently insurance companies actually charge many women more money for their insurance policies because they might have a baby. in addition, we actually had some insurance companies tell us that, if you require birth control and family planning to
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be covered, insurance premiums actually will go down because you're not having unwanted pregnancies that result in a lot of medical expenses. >> next call for representative degette comes from inwood, west virginia. kristen on our republican line. good morning. >> caller: good morning, how are you? >> good. >> caller: i have two comments to make. number one, i'm kind of surprised that we're getting away from the constitutional issue of freedom of religion. religious institution, whether it's a business or a church itself is separate from the government and the government shouldn't or doesn't, as far as i understand, have that sort of control, number one. number two, what about all the vouchers or should i say exceptions that have been given to the other union -- big unions that religion can't go under? why is this such a big issue for
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the democrats to hound after a religion and make a religious institution sound like it's denying care? you're mandating free birth control. how is that legal? >> well, kristen, actually, 28 states right now mandate that insurance policies that are sold in those states cover birth control. and the reason is because, just like with anything, if a religion -- if it's the church itself, then there are many more tenets of the religion that can be exercised within that church itself. that's why the administration i think very sensibly excluded that -- excluded those folks from having to cover birth control because the people who work at the churches tend to be the same religion, tend to have the same beliefs and have that
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conscience that they want to exercise. but what the courts have said is if those religions are then going to institute separate type of businesses, catholic charities is a good example or hospitals or universities, then they do have to comply with the same laws as other people. this has been litigated in court. what the courts have said is if they're going to have broader businesses that are not central to the religion's teachings, then they've got to be able to let the people who work for those businesses exercise their own consciences. that's what i said earlier, is where does the conscience really attach? does it attach to the institution buying the insurance policy? or does it attach to the individual who has to decide for him or herself do they want to buy birth control coverage. >> representative degette, got her law degree at new york university, undergraduate colorado college. she's in her eighth term
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representing denver. bell ton, missouri, robert, independent line. you're on the air. >> caller: i'd like to ask the congresswoman do the insurance companies reduce the premiums for the catholic church or any other institution that does not want birth control or any of those kinds of things? do they get a lower premium? and if they do, i was going to say, if that is, in fact, the question, maybe we could get a lower premium for men who don't want any pregnancy coverage. >> well, actually what happened was the institute of medicine said that family planning and birth control is an es tenl part of women's health care services. it's part of really what women
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need to have to have good health care. they said since it's an essential part, it has to be covered under insurance policies. so as i just mentioned, some of the actuaries actually say not offering birth control would make the cost of insurance policies go up because there would be many more unplanned pregnancies. that would cost a lot more in terms of maternal care and delivery and so on. so from a cost perspective, it's probably actually going to reduce the insurance cost if you offer family planning to everybody. >> in your view, was the komen foundation decision on planned parent hood, the initial decision, was that a politically motivated decision? >> you know, i've looked at it. i think it had to be a politically motivated decision because the komen foundation had
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for many years given planned parent hood money for breast cancer screening. as many of your viewers know, i'm sure, planned parenthood is maybe the largest provider of preventative health care for women in the country. and suddenly, six months after this letter from chairman stearns, then the komen foundation announced it wasn't giving money to planned parenthood allegedly because of this investigation. at the same time -- i've been very active in promoting embryonic stem cell research over the years, some years ago the komen foundation posted on its website an article saying embryonic stem cell research is one of the most promising research avenues for curing breast cancer. last fall, right about the same time, they announced they weren't going to give money for the breast cancer screening, they also put a statement saying
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they weren't going to pay for embryonic stem cell research. that has since been taken down. now komen is denying it. i think it was all part of a political agenda at komen at that time. i'm hoping komen is beyond that now. sounds like they've done some personnel changes and that they're realizing that women want to have science-based research and they want to have breast screening at planned parenthood. >> have you been a supporter of komen in the past? >> all of us have. we all support breast cancer research. >> according to planned parenthood, this is how they divide money and services, contraception, 35% goes there. std testing and treatment, 34%, cancer screening and prevention is 17%. other women's health services, 10%. abortion services 3% and other services 1%.
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according to some facts and figures about planned parenthood, it's received federal funding since 1970. and by law federal money cannot be used for abortions. planned parenthood received about $363 million in government grants and contracts in '08 and '09. >> you know, planned parenthood in some areas of the country, it's the only entity providing well woman visits and annual exams for women. i was talking to a lady from montana which is a state in the west like colorado, and she said there's no other clinic within 300 miles of where she lives where she can go get a pap smear and a mammogram and a well woman visit. that's most of what planned parenthood does for women all around the country. >> next call for representative degette comes from dallas. jackie is a republican. >> caller: yes, good morning. >> hi. >> caller: my question is that
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everybody is making such a big deal about the catholic church. you have the baptists, you have the pentecostals, and any time that a religious organization transfer into maybe what you would call a private enterprise like the hospitals and things, why shouldn't they be required to provide services? my next thing is why is some of the companies like the federal government and so forth, do you know that women -- there are -- birth control is not covered. but men's viagra and all that kind of stuff is covered. so when are you going to make the private and the federal like the federal agencies? most women don't get birth control. you have to come out of your pocket. >> we'll leave it there, jackie. representative degette? >> a lot of people have said to me the past few days that this
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debate would be very different if men were the ones facing a potential unwanted pregnancy. on a serious note, i met yesterday with a baptist minister who said exactly what jackie had just said. this baptist minister said, don't forget there's a lot of other religions and we all have tenets, too. but our congregations want to be able to buy health insurance that covers all of their health care needs. >> next call, brentwood, new york, jason on our democrats line. please go ahead. >> caller: yes, sir. i'm here just trying to comment on this prand parenthood. this whole situation about -- this whole situation what they're trying to blame the president to say the president is taking over religion, i think it's a republican gimmick. >> well, i think that certainty it fires up the republican base
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in an election year. but i think what people need to think about are the millions of american women who were going to be affected by this policy. in this day and age -- we're now in the 21st century. for us to be debating whether someone can buy health care coverage that covers birth control and prevention is a lewd rouse proposition. most americans now support birth control, including the 98% of catholics that have used birth control. >> representative degette, we have this tweet from t.j.s. scott, junior. this is not about birth control. it's about religious freedom. mark shields, a liberal, agrees this rule crosses the first amendment. >> i think it's important to balance religion and health care policy. but the courts have held again and again, and i think it's
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right, when a religion is setting up a business that's not central to its core purpose which is the worship of god, then they have to comply with the laws that every other business has to comply with, too. it's not an absolute under the constitution of the u.s. >> is birth control mandated to be part of the health insurance that an employer offers or that an exchange offers? >> what happened was under the affordable health care act, we said that the institute of medicine will determine what the essential benefits of any insurance package should be. what's the essential health care that any american should be getting if they're getting a high standard of health care? for every american it would be annual checkups and it would be different kinds of screenings, the kinds of things people do t


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