Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  September 7, 2009 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

5:00 pm
i am thinking, this woman is upstaging me. when is this thing going to be over? here is the thing, ohio. after about a minute or two, i am starting to feel kidn of fired up. [laughter] [applause] i am starting to feel like i am ready to go. i start joining in the chant. it is making me feel good. for the rest of the day, whenever we campaign, the whole day, i would ask my staff, are you fired up? are you ready to go? i am ready to go. it just goes to show you, how one voice can change a room. [applause]
5:01 pm
and if it can change a room, it can change a city. if it can change a city, it can change a state. if it can change a state, it can change a nation. if it can change a nation, it can change the world. your voice can change the world. your voice will get health care passed. your voice will make sure that the american worker is protected. you can build america. i need your help. thank you, cincinnati. are you fired up? are you ready to go? fired up, ready to go. fired up, ready to go. i love you. bye bye. [cheers and applause] ♪ . .
5:02 pm
5:03 pm
♪ ♪
5:04 pm
♪ ["stars and stripes forever"] ♪
5:05 pm
>> president obama will deliver a speech in arlington, va., on tuesday about the importance of succeeding in school. we will open the telephone lines to take your calls to get your reaction about the speech. there will be dedicated telephone lines for students and teachers. live coverage will begin at noon on c-span. this is not the first time a president has talked with students around the country. the to our featured links section to find president
5:06 pm
reagan's top two students in 1988. that is at >> up next, a look at how the progressive movement can have a greater impact on policy making decisions in congress. later, lyndon b. johnson and the politics of health care. >> the supreme court has a rare special session on wednesday hearing oral arguments on a campaign finance case. it also marks the first appearance on the bench for justice sonia sotomayor. tomorrow, her formal investiture ceremony takes place in the afternoon. here is chief justice roberts on what it is like for a new
5:07 pm
justice. >> to some extent, it is unsettling. you quickly get to view the court as composed of these members. it becomes hard to think of it as involving anyone else. i suspect it is the way that people with their families. this is the family, how could it be different? but you do get new arrivals in both of those situations. it is a tremendous sense of loss. justice white used to say that when the court gets a new member, it changes everything. it changes everybody. simple changes. we move the seats around the courtroom. the seats are in order of seniority. there may be a shift there. the same in the conference room. more fundamentally, it can cause you to take a fresh look at how things are decided. the new member is going to have a particular view about how issues should be addressed. it may be very different from what we have been falling for some time. it is an exciting part of life
5:08 pm
at the court. >> hear from other justices during supreme court week as c- span looks at the home to america's highest court starting october 4. >> the wednesday case is citizens united versus the federal election commission on restricting corporate spending in support a political candidates. you can hear the oral arguments the same day it takes place on wednesday at about 11:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3,, and c-span radio. >> as the debate over health care continues, our health care hub is a key resource. go on line to watch the latest events and share your thoughts on the issue with your own citizen video. include any video from town halls that you have gone too. there is more online.
5:09 pm
now, a look at how the progressive movement and have a greater impact on policy making decisions in congress. this discussion is part of the convention of bloggers and on- line activists. it is about one hour and 10 minutes. >> i want to thank everyone for coming today to talk about the relationship between the progressive movement and congress and how those can be tied together to move progressive policies. my name is darcy burner. i am the executive director of also on our panel today, we have joan mccarter of "daily kos." we have david waldman of "congress matters." we have chris bowers of "open
5:10 pm
left." we have jane hampshire of firedoglake. this will be a fairly casual discussion. i think the five of us will begin by talking about the experiences we've had to date working with congress in order to try to move progressive policy. it will be a fairly free-flowing discussion. we do have a microphone in the middle if you have a burning desire to ask questions. with that, i will see if it works if i walk away from the big microphones. the organization of work for it is all about connecting progresses outside of congress and inside congress to make it more possible to achieve the
5:11 pm
goals and objectives around the values that we all share. this is done and a number of ways through things like infrastructure building, building direct connections, and making sure the policy research you do reaches members of congress. the reverse is also true. we're seeing a gigantic battle plan now in health care right now. is any one part of the big health-care battle we are engaged in? we are seeing a gigantic battle in health care right now. every one of the five people appear is deeply engaged in that battle. i think we are playing some fairly interesting different roles in it. i have been trying to make sure that the research done outside of congress gets in and that the things that the progress in congress are doing are communicated to the outside world for transparency. joan, do you want to talk about the health care battle and what you have been doing? >> as an outgrowth of the real
5:12 pm
learning experience we have had "daily kos" and the blogosphere was with the foreign intelligencee battle that we lost. in trying to figure out how to mobilize all this in energy out there in in organized atmosphere, what tools we could bring to bear on the fly, how we could try to influence members of congress and influence policy, in that fight as in the health-care battle, we had some important internal allies. we have folks in both speaker pelosi's office and harry reid's officer were helpful in learning as know when things would be going there.
5:13 pm
our big problem is how we influence the legislation, how we influence the issue before it gets to the public stage, before it gets to the floor, before it gets to the point where all of the deals have already been made in committee. a think the way the health care debate has played out, we are a little bit ahead of that. we knew thawhat president obamas going to come out with was the basic guidelines. we knew from previous battles where the fault lines were going to be for progressives verses the blue dogs etc. into we needed to look out for and try to connect with inside to get information and try to influence. the health-care debate now has the third level that is making it more difficult. that is the white house.
5:14 pm
we've only got the white house before. how to figure out how to play against congress, if we can play against congress where we have to, athat is a new element we're trying to figure out as well. darcy is a great ally for us. i'm finding on the health-care debate the people inside congress are much more willing to reach out to us than they were on fisa. for one thing, we were beating them all of the time with fisa. this one, we're propping them up a little more. those are the two big legislative battles stuck in my head. i am voice approaching the health-care fight on the parallel track with fisa, trying to look back to see what i learned from that that i can
5:15 pm
play in this one. >> david, you've been tracking the day-to-day work of congress as we have been going through this. what can you tell us about what you have learned and how that might be useful in terms of our ability to interact with them? >> i do keep coming back to the same two examples. they were so widely followed in the blogs. the provide great examples of the part of the movement i try to cover with congress matters. it is because of the way things went down in that fight that i thought it was important to do with the kinds of things i've tried to do with congress matters. the most important thing i learned from the fisa fight was being able to watch with everyone else how it happens that a better bill than the one that was passed could have the support of a majority of members
5:16 pm
of the house of representatives and still not actually pass the house of representatives. one of the things i try to do with congress masters is explain congressional procedure to the extent that it can be explained. but i do that to teach people not only what can happen in the congressional process but what kind of impact that can have on what kind of an activist you are. essentially, i think progressives have had this history of running into these brick walls, procedural kirkwall's of rules. they come away with the conclusion that rules are in place to keep people like them out. to a certain extent, that can be true. to the extent that to understand
5:17 pm
the rules, you can use them to your own advantage. if you understand, you can point out when others are using them improperly. normally, they get embarrassed about that and have to take a step back and least let you have your say. not everyone in politics is a normal human being. to the extent that you're armed with an understanding of the rules, you are at least able to put up a fight. the fisa fight was this incredible procedural battle in august of 2007. the senate wanted a more bullish friendly piece of legislation. the house was willing to pass a much less bush friendly piece of legislation. the house passed the worst of the two. that left the ball in the house court. they could either stand up to all the attacks from the white
5:18 pm
house that said they would blame them for the deaths of troops. they were worried about that. they had 218 votes to pass the better piece of legislation. they also knew that if they brought it to the floor, there was a good chance the the blue dog caucus and more conservative members of the democratic caucus in the house would vote for a motion to recommit. they would essentially vote to amend this at the last minute to substitute the senate bill for the house bill. in between all of the republicans and 40 or so blue dog democrats, you would end up passing this other thing with about 230 votes instead of 218 for the better one. the senate had just left. even if they passed the better one, it would bounce back to the senate. the senate would not be there to do anything. everyone would be blamed for deaths of troops. that would be terrible. instead, they passed with a god
5:19 pm
and went on vacation. that drove people nuts -- instead, they passed what they had and went on vacation. that drove people nuts. they did not understand the process. when i was able to explain why the house passed the other one, as annoying as it was, it made sense to people. they understood why something like that happen. i think it steeled people to come back into the health-care fight knowing that they would see a lot of the same maneuvering but understanding it better and knowing that you do not wait until the thing is on the floor because that is too late. you will affirmatively move your intervention back in the process. that is the thing that i talked to chris and john about extensively at the start of the year. they've done a terrific job in implementing it. that was the idea.
5:20 pm
they really ran with it afterwards. >> you talked about the progress of block strategy rigid about the progress of the -- you talked about the progressive bloc strategy. >> the idea is largely lifted from how the blue dogs, the conservative caucus in the democratic party, has been able to gain influence over the past several years. you can actually threaten as a group of democrats to throw your support with republicans and block democratic legislation. in so doing, he could gain a huge amount of influence with the leadership, with the white house potentially. you are stepping in the way of something they want. you are demanding something of your own in return to give them what they want. for the longest time, instead of actually threatening to block
5:21 pm
things, the democratic leadership was looking to pass, the progressive caucus had been willing to allow the blue dogs to do the same threat. it continually watered-down all legislation. in the end, the accepted whatever the blue dogs accepted. there was a meaningful strategy from the progressive block that was developed jointly by outsiders and the congressional caucus. there was a successful strategy to pass or block it. it has been easier to sell it to both groups.
5:22 pm
members of the activist community and the congress have been on the same page. this differs significantly from other fights the went awry in the past. i remember in 2007 during the iraq war funding fight. i was brought in with several other bobbloggers into harry reid's office to be briefed on the democratic strategy putting restrictions on the funding. an example would be a time line. there was no input from the progressive community in developing a strategy whatsoever. i remember thinking i did not think the strategy would work. i did not have a better idea myself of the time. but it was a strategy, was handed to the outside from the
5:23 pm
inside with no real sense of outsider input on it. we all know the eventual outcome of that fight. the rock for continued -- barack for -- the iraq war continued without any real restrictions. directly even more troops in iraq and there had been beforehand. it is not just a new direction for progressives. unlike earlier fights that went awry, it was not something that the insiders handed to the outside. it was not just an idea that outsiders have that no one on the inside was listening to. it was a meaningful collaboration between grass- roots and members of the congressional progressive caucus. i think that is one of the most important developments so far in 2009. >> firedoglake has been leading the charge of the citizen whip
5:24 pm
to help the caucus state cohesive in the fight. can you talk about why that is so important? >> when the health-care fight started, we were looking at how other legislation had played out in the administration. what generally seemed to happen was that there was a progressive notion to address global warming. the lobbyists come in and write the legislation that they want. the progressives put on a big display of fighting for it. the white house comes in and says no, you're going to vote for this not so great bill and the progressives cave. that is what happened on the supplemental this time. that is also what happened on the energy bill. we looked at that pattern when the health care bill was going to come up.
5:25 pm
let's say weak wind up in conference several months from now and the screws are being put to the progressive caucus to vote for something they do not want. what can we be doing today to keep that from happening? knowing by that time all of the deals have been made. there is no validity in the situation anymore. it is very hard to get people to change their position. what can we do today to make sure that we do not wind up there? we had worked together on the supplemental battle. david had done the math. he set the rosetta stone for the process. we could say that we're going to hold the line and not accept less than x. then we can make sure that no
5:26 pm
health care bill gets through that does not meet that standard. well then, what should x be? there was an early victory in the health-care battle in that people knew that they supported a public plan. a public plan is one that allows the public to have an alternative to blue cross-blue shield. it meant they were not at the mercy of the insurance company in their state the probably had a monopoly. the was broad public acceptance that this was a good principle. we said 76% of the public wanted a public plan. the president campaigned on it. we had the votes in the senate. the speaker said she would not let the bill through without a public plan. kent conrad is trying to address
5:27 pm
that 769% after a coming up with a state plan. he is calling that a co-op. we want a public plan and not to become wha cooped. it would delete again in 10 years if the insurance companies had not managed costs. it was not of high bar. it was an extremely low bar. finally, we had influence in the district of the democratic members of congress whose votes matter. we are going to tell them -- we wanted to frame the debate so that they would say that they would vote against a bill that did not have a strong public plant that meets these minimum conditions. we suspected from what we were
5:28 pm
hearing and reading that there were deals being made with the insurance companies, hospitals, and all of these other stakeholders that might lead to a situation where despite the public support, it would not be there. the democratic members of congress would get their arms twisted and told they would have to do this or thfor the democrac approval ratings to remain high. we went out and started asking members of congress to make the commitment. there is an opinion piece in the washington post today where he says that he regrets during his time with bill clinton that he advised him to veto a bill that did not meet high standards. progressives have to ask ourselves if we want to vote against a bill that does not have a public plan. i am like, bingo.
5:29 pm
we want a framing debate. we have worked hard to get people to answer that question and not whether you will support a public plan. right now, they are having a hard time getting enough votes to pass a bill that does not have one. that is what they have negotiated in the finance committee. that is what has gone through the senate. that is what the white house has taken part in. we're being told that it they will fix it in conference. i have never seen a -- i do not think i have ever seen anything get better in conference. i do not fundamentally believe that they're going to bring these people in, negotiate deals, and then yanked the rug out from under them in conference. i do not think that will happen. suddenly, the members of the progressive conference have members in their district showing up at public events, calling their offices. they are the people that vote for them and give the money for
5:30 pm
their campaigns. they're telling them they expect to hold the standard. we set the bar early on. it was not the bar we wanted to set. we would have set it afire if we thought we could. -- we would have set it afire if we thought we could. knowing what could happen, we set that goal. since that time, we have managed to get 19 members of congress to say that one way or another, i will vote for bill that only has a public plan. the problem is that many of these members new that they were going to be pressured like this in the end. they do not want to make the commitment for that reason. we forced the wedge that was going to happen at the end to happen early. to have that happen early so
5:31 pm
they could hear about what would happen if that eventuality happened. they had in their heads from the start that it was going to be a hard vote to take. it also told them that to represent their districts well, they had to do it. knowing that is the situation we created, the only option the white house had to get health care bill passed was to pressure the conservative democrats. they had not done that. i think we did win the framing morwar. we have directed the flow into our territory. it is a collective victory that everyone on the panel can take great pride in. we have worked hard to reach out to members of congress and to
5:32 pm
work perfectly within the progressive network to bring this about. i do not know where it will go. i do know if we had not done it, we would be in worse shape. >> there is been a lot of discussion about this. i think all five of us would agree that what is happening in health care can be applied to other battles. the final piece of legislation that the leadership views as something they must pass -- this is important because a caucus is big enough to block legislation but not big enough to move it. progressive caucus has 83 members. 83 members easy enough to block a piece of legislation if the republicans are voting against it. leadership has to view it as a priority to move the legislation.
5:33 pm
the next relatively difficult thing is you have to figure out what your criteria are. in this case, it was a public plan. the outside to inside groups agreed fairly early on the public plan. we could do the same thing on virtually any other must pass legislation. the line has to be something that is good enough that progressives are willing to vote for the legislation if we get it but not so extreme that we cannot get 218 votes in the house around that particular line. once the line is drawn, the leadership of the progressive caucus needs to be working to get the number of members they
5:34 pm
need to block the legislation. we can help in the process by identifying legislation, helping to identify the lines, encouraging members in a positive way to participate in these collective efforts. then they go to a leadership and start negotiating. they say that they will block the must pass legislation if they do not meet the set of criteria they have. this is where the efforts of jane had been incredibly important. if they can pick off enough members about what, we lose. the key is to find a sufficient number of carrots and sticks to hold the members in equities of block. as this is playing out right now, we would already have lost the public plan had it not been for the progress that the
5:35 pm
movement and the caucus together have made in terms of advancing the strategy on this issue. we're in a great deal of danger and the next couple of weeks. the pressure at things like the town halls is that all the members are getting this pressure to back off of any health-care reform. we're starting to your messages like the message from president clinton the other night that the matter is what in the bill, you should vote for it. it is incredibly important that we encourage, cajole, hold accountable progressive members. there are 60 of them that signed the most recent letter saying that they would not support legislation that did not include a robust public option. we need to do everything we can to help them stay cohesive.
5:36 pm
what kinds of things do you think people ought to be doing as this plays out to help in the process? >> show up at town meetings. show that there is a progressive side that is as passionate about health care reform and a robust public option as there is fighting it. that and also include e-mail laning friends and relatives. that may mean reassuring your grandmother that they do not want to kill her. combating some of this at the very grass roots, a base level is critical. i talked to a representative from washington state about this yesterday. she said these of the people she is hearing from. it is hard for members of congress because they are human beings. it is hard for them not to be affected by the anger.
5:37 pm
we have to help to prop them up. we have to become the backstop to them. if this comes out with co-ops in the senate, the white house will signal more an inability to co- ops that i would like to see. they will get more pressure from the house to support the president. the blue dogs can hold tough. the can always say that my district is not safe. i have to vote for my district. this is how the resist. -- this is how they resist. someone in our seats do not have that to provide against the speaker. we have to show that this district is critical. you're going to lose us on a lot of things if you do not vote
5:38 pm
right on a robust public plan. >> firedoglake has been doing a lot of work to turn people out to the town halls. describe what you have been doing and why. >> there was an interesting quote in the politico yesterday. the executive director of a group said that nobody had any idea that of republicans would turn out in force in august at the tea parties. who did not know this? we knew this a long time ago. members of congress knew it. one member was on the floor of the house on july 23 saying we should vote for this before we leave for august. if we go back, we will be on the receiving end of fear mongering and scare tactics funded by the
5:39 pm
insurance agencies. we will have real trouble in our district. the speaker tried to push it through. the blue dogs blocked it. the next thing you know, they are all back in their districts. i've been talking to a lot of members and their staff. the members that will come back at the end of recess are not the same people that left. they have been traumatized by what happened in their district. we went and sourced early on all of the districts that we could find. everybody helped. all of our readers went out and looked on the internet. they called the offices. they build a database of meetings ever going to be held across the country. we fed them all into our system so that it was searched for them by zip code. it allows you to find out. then we would encourage people
5:40 pm
to go. it was really a crowd source project of the blogosphere. there were way ahead of any of the funded groups that were in support of the democrats. [applause] if you are someone who made telephone calls, you did a tremendous amount. you did more than anybody else did to help democratic members be able to withstand the pressure. the problem is that they still got it. they are going to come back. they are not going to be as resilience as they would have been if it passed before they left. >> in addition to the broader grassroots and media strategy of turning out at the town halls and other health care events and making your support known directly to members of congress
5:41 pm
and media, there is also an elite strategy. it is very important that if you have a blog or keep a diary, it is essential that we push back hard against strategyies like jane mentioned in the opinion piece. as soon as there is no block the progressives saying they will vote against it, there's only one direction that negotiations will take. it will never turn around. the bill will become weaker through every step of the process. it will become weaker as it is merged in the house and the rules committee. it will get even weaker when the senate bills are merged. it will get weaker on the floor of the house and the senate. it will get weaker when they
5:42 pm
both passing congress. it will get weaker at every step of the way. that is what happened with the energy and security act. at no step in the process has the bill got more progressive. it has gotten worse every step. it will continue to do so. tom harkin is during one of the committees that has oversight. he has said he will incorporate every single concession made to peterson and other blue dogs at the starting point of the bill and the senate. it will get worse through that committee. it will get worse on the floor of the senate. when the bills are merged in conference, it will get worse. there will be more giveaways to polluters. the clean air act will be added further. god knows what else will end up on top of it. that is what will happen in health care unless the progressives bloc it. there has been pushed back to make the bill's more progressive simply because of the progressive block.
5:43 pm
they were pushed into line by forced concessions. the concessions made to the blue dogs -- several of those were walked back immediately by progressives on the committee. this is the only strategy that has ever been shown to move bills to the left to become stronger. as soon as we dropped that demand, there's only one direction that any piece of legislation will take. it will become worse. it will become weaker. it will become more pro- corporate. we have to push back against that as hard as possible. [applause] >> it is not just going to be health care. this is the big first fight in which we have to draw the
5:44 pm
progress of line. if we fail, we will keep losing on progressive issues. >> i am referring to the progressive caucus as the point of the spear and the movement as the rest of the spear. we're not a lot of good without the point, but they cannot get anything done without as either. david, talk about some of the key moments coming up from the procedural perspective and what the movement needs to do to make sure we are the six fluffs will -- as successful as we can be. healthcare is a different animal than the traditional process through which a bill gets passed. there are more committees involved. it is true that every stage the
5:45 pm
bill passes through, there is the potential that it will get worse and weaker. the usually has. each one of those stages is a point at which both sides have to compromise. whenever you are doing that, even if you have a strong progress a presence there, there will be some kind of compromise. that easily turns out to be weakening it. that is what made it that much more important to move progressive activist intervention earlier in the process. there are several stages for any bill. the bill has the opportunity to be weakened. the longer you wait to intervene, the longer there will be without any push back. if you start the project early, you'll let least have an opportunity to fight back. the way health care is coming
5:46 pm
through is unusual. in has been referred to multiple committees in both houses. that is very unusual and difficult to deal with. there are not a lot of rules out there. when you're going to work outside the rules, the only thing you can do is watch the process and explain it as it goes on. there are three committees in the house that have touched the bill. there are two committees in the senate. i think everyone knows which ones they are. usually, you do not see something like that. usually, each one in the house passes a different version of the bill. they have to be merged in some way. it is almost as though they had come out of the house and senate to be put to the conference committee. who does that? where does it happen? there is no hard and fast rule for that. what typically happens is that
5:47 pm
the house leadership will get together with the leadership of the three committees. they will sit somewhere. they may not invite you to listen. they will sit and hammer this out. you have different versions. what can we do to put them together? the key part is the 218 votes. what version of the know the bill gets the most votes? they want to know the range they have to play with. to the extent that progressives are solid and cohesive and loud and heard in the process, it will become clearer earlier to the leadership what has to be in there in order for progressives to be on board. the same thing will happen separately in the senate as they look to merge the health committee and finance committee
5:48 pm
bills. i am not 100% there will be a finance committee bill. the finance committee is this close to writing themselves out of the process. because the bills have to be merged anyway in an informal conference, there is no real reason the finance committee has to report anything. they may at some point bypass them. it will be interesting to see if that really happens. we have to play it as if it were two separate house conferences going on first. if the house and senate passed bills, there is another layer of weakening. this one has an extra layer of weakening built into it that is tough to get through. the only thing you can do is watch it, know where your line in the sand is, and essentially
5:49 pm
be whipping your caucus members to stay strong. it is going to be really tough when they finally come out with rigid my anticipation is they will eventually say, what does the public option really mean anyway? they will have a logical point if they say to us that you were in it to get a public option so that people could be guaranteed coverage with pre-existing conditions and not to be dropped if they get sick, those are your two rock-bottom criteria. suppose we mandated that for existing private insurers, what would be your argument for mandating that there be a public option to do that also? there are cost savings and competition issues. i am anticipating that members will come back and say that there are 15 insurance agencies
5:50 pm
out there. that is pretty good in a way of competition. if we mandate that they cannot drop for pre-existing conditions, would that be enough? there will be members that will consider it. we will have to be a real answer for why that has to be provided by public option. they will want to know what our answer is on that. we will have to have one. >> acquit procedural question. speaker pelosi has said that no bill can pass the house without a robust public auction. she said that as a direct result of the work we have been describing. the members have said they will not vote for something without a public option. there is concern about what happens in the reconciliation process between house and senate. leadership in the senate has recently said to the press that the house is irrelevant.
5:51 pm
i have the impression that the speaker and leader took some offense at that. what leverage does the progressive bloc have in the process? >> there are two things happening. people discuss reconciliation. that is a budgetary process. it is somewhat different may come into play. i think we're talking about talkingtwo bills from the house -- i think we're talking about reconciling two bills from the house and senate. that is not the same thing as reconciliation. the leverage is the same in theory that the senate has. there are only two bodies
5:52 pm
working on this. we have fallen into this pattern where the senate says that you will do things our way or else it will not happen. rarely has the house unable to say that we will do things our way. to some extent, that is because there are only 100 senators. it is easier to keep track of them in count the votes. 435 is difficult to figure out who is doing what. even when they do the whip counts carefully, you miss people. you can do the best counting and still not know where 40 or 50 members are. 40 or 50 can sink anything. the house will have to do the same thing in the name of its own institution that we're encouraging the progressive caucus to do, to stand together and say that it is either our version or nothing. that is going to be a test of
5:53 pm
courage for everybody. the progressives will be tested first. then the house will be tested on that second. it is a lot easier to believe the senate because we've gotten used to having things work that way. we have the names and minds region we have the names in mind of the senators who will do that. -- we have the names in mind of the senators who will do that. >> i think the opinion piece was significant in that people have only been playinaying attentiono the senate up until now. they're looking of the house and realizing that they need to take that threat seriously. but there is another element in the house that we have to keep an eye on. that is the element of the single payer approach. there is some hope that the
5:54 pm
single payer vote will be the one that gives progressives and out and the one that our people at the grass roots go to as the litmus test for the member. it cannot be. we wanted to be. most of us up up. -- most of us up. want a single payer. it may not happen, unfortunately. that cannot beat the distraction for any of us on the public option. -- the compa andatat cannot be a distraction for any of us on the public option. >> we have railed against the blue dogs in frustration because we have not made the progress we wanted to make. the blue dogs have been blocking.
5:55 pm
what have we seen in the last month or so in terms of the progressive caucus versus the blue dogs as this particular battle has played out? >> i think we are starting to adapt some of their strategies. we were not going to do that, but it was working for the blue dogs. it was giving them more influence so maybe we should start imitating them. >> with respect to the blue dogs, something significant happened about two weeks ago. there was a coming together of the white house to hear what the white house wanted them to be working on that week. about two weeks ago, the deputy chief of staff came to that meeting and was extremely angry
5:56 pm
and said that they were stupid for advertising against blue dogs in their district. i think one of the misconceptions that people have is that they think the white house is opposing what the blue dogs do. in fact, the blue dogs are the instrument that is carrying all of these deals with pharma, the hospitals, and everything else into the house bill. that is how rahm emmanuel is working with this. the demands that they were making were very much in line with the bills coming out that baucus and an unnamed white house person were involved in. they did not want the group's aggressively going after the blue dogs and pulling them back.
5:57 pm
that meant they would be pressuring progressives. the blue dogs and baucus are getting backstops. we are out there on our own. we are all they have to strengthen them in the effort. >> listening to the power dynamics and the picture that chris was painting every step in the process we get screwed worse, we have to change the dynamic. one strategy might be a grass- roots donor strike. we're right at the point where they are starting to look at their numbers, how much they are raising.
5:58 pm
we know that most of the money in the ds goes to the more conservative members. as a movement, we give millions of dollars to democratic candidates for the house and senate. we are the people that pay attention to these obscure house and senate races. we are the money source. if we collectively said we're not going to give a penny to the dtrip or ds until a bill is enacted with a strong public option and assigned by the president, everybody can play this out. they have a few months to do this. get it done by christmas. if you get it done by christmas, all the money that you need for the election cycle will be there. if you do not get it done or you screw us, we will get our money directly to the people who are
5:59 pm
champions. we're not going to give to the ds or dtrip, you will be on your own. >> in washington, is a fairly normal thing for lobbyists to come into member offices, say what they want, and if the member does the right thing, magically a check shows up. there is a positive reinforcement loop that they have mastered in terms of praise, endorsement, and checks that encourages behavior that they want. some of the members get addicted to it. as a movement, we do give millions of dollars to candidates. we do not give an enormous amount of it to the party committees. we tend to give it more directly to the candidates. one of the things we have not been as good as we could be is directly tying it to positive
6:00 pm
things that they are doing. scooby snacks. if you do the right thing, you get a scooby snack. . . >> lobbyists, and sound so smart. -- they come in and sounds as mark. we need to do a better job. they may not know as much as we do, reading and writing about it
6:01 pm
every day and doing so much. we need to give them all of the reasons to support the public option. >> that is right now probably the biggest deficit that the net roots faces in terms of influencing legislation in congress. so much of it comes down to specific details, much of it to being able to handle personal relationships, but we do not have anyone on the health except for a small number of people who just aren't coming there. we have no lobbyist. that is the no. 1 deficit that we face. there are many who function as 22,000 staff members or other members of congress. they have three staff members and we had people urging members to call.
6:02 pm
not that i am disparaging people calling their members of congress, we are using what tools that we have. but that is a lot to stack up against. >> it presents a physical barrier. there is only so much that we can do with on-line tools. we're taking great steps toward making more information available, showing how the process work, and even taking you inside the markups and hearings, streaming video, that is great. people can watch. and committee staff have already done a good job and having people did that and they are making in formation available quickly that they used to just not make available, not because they were hiding in but because they did not know that anybody wanted it. the energy and commerce committee did a pretty good job of starting from scratch in putting up the text of amendments to the health care bills -- not as they were
6:03 pm
offered, and that is the physical barrier. a lot of that stuff is printed out but they will amend an amended by hand. it is not where the amendments are available 24 hours in advance and you can call members and tell them how you like them to vote. but in the room, the lobbyists are there and in some cases -- you used to see it in the republican congress. they would pass out a copy of amendments and they would smile back and hand it to the lobbyists. a lobbyist with scribbles something on it -- would scribbles something on that. and i would say, this is what we are offering. it is not that we cannot get in there but if we put people in there, and members will not have any reason to use as. but if we could use -- build a progressive infrastructure, so
6:04 pm
that people were there to be used, or there were lobbyists of our own or people were knowledgeable enough have lobbyist of iran, we could be scribbling on those pieces of paper too. maybe it does not appeal to progressives have not elected members scribbling amendments, but we can at least turning consult. -- turn and consult. we do not have that now. we have to get inside. how do we go back? i do not know but we need to. >> one of the key things missing is a colorant -- a coherent policy to use in substitute for the lobbyists. suppose, hypothetically, progressives in congress would say there is likely to be a
6:05 pm
second stimulus bill at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. if you have unlimited resources, we will pretend for a moment, how can you construct the mechanism by which the movement very broadly could help the presence figure out what that should look like in a way that is useful, given the procedural constraints of the house? >> if you would want to eventually have people who were on the hill actively working -- if you do not want to call it lobbying, and you could come up with another name for it. but that is essentially what you would be doing. there are people inside and watching and in communication with members and staff and in turn with communication with people outside. i do not know that net ritz access -- activists at home are going to be able to impact on
6:06 pm
markup as it is happening just because of the physical barrier and that space in between us. we can keep people informed more quickly but there needs to be someone inside where people can turn to entrust and save my people at home do not buy into this. you can try to amend it but you are going to lose us. that is what lobbyists do. if they are not actually writing the bill, that will say that my association is not going to be party to this. you're going to lose us and whatever money and votes we bring to the table. >> their groups would hire homeless people to sleep in the street to be able to get their place in line so that they can sit in the front row or in there at all. companies were paying $3,500 a seat. we got into some of them and it
6:07 pm
was like the floor of the chicago mercantile. there were staff people, everything that came out, that were calling what the buds and the name of the people who voted down amendments and their south fun to try to get back. it was crazy. there is some -- it was a $17 trillion business. it is enormous. all of these people tend to be affected and they are taking rigid attention. it is a full-time job to be right there and channel people through a system and lobby for higher medicare reimbursement rates. there are thousands of them. and we have not figured out a way to work ourselves into that process early enough in the process to be affected. we get better every time and we
6:08 pm
have had to hit the ground running because the legislation came through so fast in the first year of presidency, as it will. but as time goes on, we have to figure out ways to enter earlier, frame the terms of the debate, shape the debate such that at important points we are trying to drive the ultimate question they dance -- to drive the ultimate question-and asked -- that gets asked to be answered the way we wanted to be answered. >> put things back in the house that they took out and the senate. we talk about things that we would really like to see. maybe we did that on line as a series of posts and get the ideas from our readers. we give our criteria to the progress of members, this is
6:09 pm
what you should be pushing for and what we would like to see. it is just a start. >> with just a few minutes left, i have a quick question of light each member of the panel to answer. what is the best thing that we can do in health care debate in the last few months and what is the most promising thing, and what is the biggest gap that remains? >> i would say the earliest wind that we won, a significant ones -- there are areas in which the blue dogs can actually splinter. we defeated triggers. the biggest gap that i see is the one i am worried about for all of us, all of us who worked so hard to see barack obama elected, who want to see him succeed, and who want health care reform to pass. we have had a lot of pressure
6:10 pm
here in the last few days from people like bill clinton and even to a smaller extent howard been telling us that this must past. we have to be ready to say, no, to president obama is bill if it is not good enough. and we have to be able to stand firm as a net through its community -- as a net rich community -- netroots community at this is not good enough. >> i will agree that that is the big political win and a big political gap that we face. i will address procedure and reiterate that these are things that we already discussed, so i can move on quickly. the biggest wins icy and the greatest promise is the acceptance among online
6:11 pm
progressive activists of the notion that there is really something to moving our intervention earlier in the process. that is the big change here because we always used to think that calls on the days of the vote was the way to do it. and it is not. we can see that and the results that you have produced with the citizen with count whip -- the citizens whip count is tremendous. it is an infrastructure that we can use again. and what is going happen in congress and the coming months, i do not know that the second stimulus is the next thing that we will see barry we have a stack of things that have to be done in september that are going to surprise a lot of you when it is suddenly occupying our time, a transportation bill that apparently has the move, a tarp reform bill, state tax is going
6:12 pm
have to be addressed probably in september or else it all goes crazy. these are things that they are not expecting said a son whipping -- that they are not expecting citizen whipping on. but not having lobbyists is a physical problem and has been overcome in a small scale in the years to come but it will take some more. >> i will reiterate that the biggest success of the last two months has been that for once, for the first time i can never think of, there was an actual left strengthening movement in legislative process rather than the inexorable slide to weaker, more right wing legislation, and that happened after there was a compromise already in the energy and commerce committee, even at
6:13 pm
any of that compromise was pulled back whatsoever is a remarkable victory of sorts, that i cannot remember happening before. and i would like to reiterate in terms of a gap, what we lack is any sense of a responsive to congress. this is the best that we can do. when you look at the broad range of polling, public option is supported by a minimum of 62% of the country. and you are looking at single payer, supported by 50% of the country, even when it is called socialism it is supported by 51% of the country. and that is completely unattainable. that tells you just how far our political system has moved, or that it was never responsive in the first place and how far it has to move to be responsive. it is so much bigger than getting a new president or appointing the right people or
6:14 pm
primary challenges for blue dogs. this enormous massive political system, a political operation in terms of lobbyists and the amount of money that flows into that, 22,000 people being paid $100,000 a year -- we mean not be able to close that in terms of a gap. but we should be doing so much better than this but we're dealing with the political system that is simply not responsive to the will of its people. >> i think that the scary thing about all of this is we have a majority of the country, 70% told one time, supporting the public plan. the president campaigned on it, the house of this -- as speaker of the house said that it would be there. but the lobbyist control our system. we do not live in a democracy
6:15 pm
anymore. this is a crisis and i think people have awakened to that. as he said, if we were talking about the spectrum of practical solutions to health care problem, we would be talking about single payer. it is the most financially efficient and fiscally responsible, the most practical in terms of treating the population. we cannot have that conversation. the public plan is a compromise already and that is considered the liberal position. that is a problem. [applause] that problem stems in the messaging, and it has existed all along in this debate. there were several blue dogs who have said, in a variety of its questions, that had someone gone in their district and run a campaign against the insurance companies, even in heavily republican district from the start, they would not have been able to have resisted taking
6:16 pm
part in this process because insurance companies are just as hated in republican districts as progressive districts. but that did not happen, and people in charge of the money were running campaigns and were told not to do that. if people ready to run as campaigns did not have their campaign to prove because the white house made a decision that it wanted to keep the insurance company -- the insurance industry at the table. now you see the result of that decision and there is no narrative that we can sustain and support and reinforce that has been there from the start that we could hook onto. we are struggling right now to message anything with these tea parties and the crazies out there dominating the media. it is hard have anything to hold onto. that is the biggest problem. we've been struggling ever since that point. but for victories, the infrastructure building that is
6:17 pm
taking place, the networking a state and local, and getting down in the districts, it may only get 50 hits a day, but if they read that blog, it is reinforcing what they say, encouraging them, forcing traffic through, and powering them, that network is getting established and you will be able to use it in the future. >> and from my perspective, the most promising thing about the past several months has been how well all of us have been working together and working together with the members of congress who are there, who are progressive and champion the same things that we are. the biggest thing missing from conversations with members of congress and their staff, they do not know we are with them. they do not understand that we are on the same side as they are. they are not seeing as a town
6:18 pm
halls, they are not hearing us on their telephones, they are not seeing as praising them by name on the front page of the local blogs. those are things that we can fix. we have to fix them if we want to win this battle. i want to thank the members. you've been fantastic. thank you all for coming. enjoy the rest of the conference. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
6:19 pm
>> the house returns tuesday from its august break. members will begin the week with a number of bills dealing with federal lands and historic sites. later in the week, and measure continuing federal programs to protect and restore the chesapeake bay. that is live at 2:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. the senate also returns tuesday. senators will begin with general speeches and later in the day that will turn to legislation to support u.s. tourism to people in other countries. that is2 live on is -- that is live on c-span2. the supreme court has a special session on wednesday hearing testimony in finance case. tamara, and her formal investiture ceremony takes place in the afternoon. here is the chief justice roberts on what it is like for a new justice. >> it is unsettling. you quickly review the court as
6:20 pm
the court, as composed of its members, and becomes part that think of it as involving anyone else. i suspected as the way the people with their families. how could it be different? but you do get new arrivals in both of those situations. it is a tremendous sense of loss. justice white also used to say when the court gets a new member, it changes everything and everybody. simple changes. we move the seats around in the courtroom, a shift of seniority. the same in the conference room. but more fundamentally, i think it can cause you to take a fresh look at how things are decided. the new member is going to have of particular view about how issues should be addressed. maybe very different from what we have been falling for some time to resell it as an exciting part of life at the court. >> hear from other justices
6:21 pm
during supreme court week as seized on -- is c-span looks at the home to america's highest court. >> the case wednesday is citizens united v. the federal elections commission on restricting local spending. you can hear oral arguments this and take it -- the same day it takes place at wednesday at about 11:30 a.m. eastern on c- span3,, and c-span radio. >> as health care dominates political debate this summer, medicare continues to be one of the main programs providing health care to seniors. next, a look at how the program was passed in the house and senate back in 1965. president lyndon johnson spent a lot of time on the phone talking to house and senate members as well as members of his inner circle about strategy and political maneuvering to get the bill through congress. in the next 1.5 hours, we will
6:22 pm
play you some of those calls with analysis by a historian. >> as congress continues to work on health care legislation, we bring you a special program about the debate on medicare from 1964 and 1965. you will hear lbj plan strategy to win approval of the measure with participants including his chief congressional aide, larry o'brien, key members of congress enclosing senator albert gore sr., father of the future vice- president, and wilbur mills. and i call with pediatrician and activist benjamin spock. david stchreive will be giving us some commentary. there will be some profanity and some of these calls.
6:23 pm
he is currently working on a book called "american promise." first, please describe the medicare provision of the social security amendments that lbj signed on july 30, 1965. >> at the tail end of this process, we're going to listen and on today, and johnson signs the medicare amendments to the social security act on july 30, 1965. this is characterized by a 3 layer cake design, and we will learn how they came to be in some of these calls here. essentially what comprised was a hospital insurance program, the core element of medicare plans over the year that have been bandied about. a second part, which was doctor's insurance for decision bills, etc., which was added on
6:24 pm
not at the 11th hour but relatively late in the process. and then what we know is medicaid today, an expansion of an act of congress in 1960 known then as kerr-mills. it has three parts to it. the most controversial and long learning part was the first part, hospital insurance. >> what similarities and differences should we be listening for in 1964 and 1965 process, and the current administration's efforts on health care legislation? >> one similarity i think we will pick up on pretty readily is how lbj in 1964 and 1965, and even kennedy before him which we will not learn too much about today, had to play off one house of the congress against another. both of them had dramatically different designs on what they wanted to do. the politics of each house was
6:25 pm
radically different, and you might say. we will see for example, the question of whether or not they should push for this new design and conference committee,. we may see something like that coming down the pike this year with the current health care reform proposals. at the very least, i think we know this that the house has one set of plans and the senate is still forming another set of plans, and that situation is very much like what lbj faced in 1964. >> the calls in this first segment take place from may 18, 1964 to august 1 of that year. please outline for us what happens to the medicare measure in this period. >> the story of 1964 is one in which johnson feels that he has a decent shot at getting medicare amendments passed in the social security act. it is not as high as priority
6:26 pm
that year as you well know. is launching the war on poverty, he has pushed for a big tax cut , a piece of legislation that he inherited from kennedy, and he is pushing for the civil rights act of 1964, s board measure that he signed in a loss that july. he had been pushing for this for least a few years and self. he and sam rayburn signed on to this kind of legislation in the late 1950's, and certainly decided to push for in 1960 in particular. so this is near and dear to lbj. what we will see that he cannot get it, and he realizes this soon enough. with the simply pull the plug on the process and start over again in 1965, or do you try to get something in 1964? that is the question we will see raised again in some of these conversations. >> thank you historian and author david dshreve
6:27 pm
this is lbj's and larry o'brien, if you will hear larry o'brien tell lbj about his conversation with wilbur mills. >> will has told me that by the end of this week, he thought it would have something in shape to come down and discuss with you, that he could present by way about caucus that might be of interest. i told him i read some articles recently that were a little bit deserving, that indicate nothing is happening on the medicare in, and he said, well, you know not to pay attention to those stores. and i did agree with him. i just wanted to be reassured. now, you know if you cannot have everything you one. this bill ultimately, he said, has not had the mills stamp on it. and i said, you know the
6:28 pm
president's view. if you ever want to talk to him, the door is wide open. he would be happy to see you. and he said, just tell him again that as soon as i am ready to sit down and be able to present something to him that i can spell out that would make some sense and represent type of thing that would be an interest, i would want to get ahold of you and make an immediate of london. i asked henri to get hold of him this morning and he reported that there has not been any particular new moves in the committee. they are still kicking around a little bit, but mills is edg ing -- toward the end of last week, under a contract basis under any medicare program, he wanted have the private insurance companies. the labor fellows got wind of that.
6:29 pm
they came in to see me and i had gone up to see mills and were told today that mills decided over the weekend he thought that covered, that was too complex. he is back to the position that he was then, that blue cross be given a chance to handle the contract. but he is certainly in the medicare ball park. he is feeling his way along very slowly and carefully and he is manipulating and maneuvering but he has not getting anything down that cannot be unwound. we have had confidence in him to be contacting us by the end of this week for this long awaited meeting. and collins says that from everything that he discovers, there is no hanky-panky. some of the strong medicare supporters in the committee have gotten a little nervous. al ullman for one, he said that he had a feeling that something is going to work out but i get
6:30 pm
nervous because wilbur 1 telecine thing. but that is the way that wilbur operates, you know. i talked to him as recently, it must of been noontime today. i would like to get him with our wrapup on a plane and down to see on it. i know that these kinds of stories are out to break out in different directions and all types of interpretations. and so far, the consensus is that mills is going to come out with the kerr-mills package that bypasses medicare. that is all but i have read. mills of course insists that that is not what he intends to do and he says that after all, it is all in the final analysis what it will contain. he says that you and i know that my goal is to include a medicare program in that. >> tell him tomorrow that i would sure like to talk to him about it as soon as he gets
6:31 pm
word. he makes no commitments until we can talk. >> he promised on and no commitment and. why don't i figured on pleasantly giving him a rain in the morning, touching base, sorry to keep right on n. by the end of this week, he has reached a point and i committee. it is a complex bill and there could be a price tag on the bill of $3 billion, i would think. they get into the increase in the cash benefits of social security, and i think that would be a tag of $500 million, something like that. i told wilbur cohen, it is getting into something like that, no one buys those things. as long as he is not using this as i cannot get out of medicare, and he said, he is not going to use it for that purpose but he would like to have december modern on that. and if you want to do that, those people ought to be getting
6:32 pm
the checks before election. and then on the medicare in, he was talking about the value of the package, and he said, a single election at the outlet -- at the outset and it would be irrevocable. we kicked out around for a weaker so. hell, if that is a 750 package on face based brat -- value, the person should get $5, they should not get an equal amount in cash to the package, because that is not. it is my understanding that that is the road he is traveling. the packets that he has in mind is worth on the open markets $7.50, and the election would have at the outset, an irrevocable election, would mean that they chose to take $5 in cash each month rather than the medicare benefit. and the labor fellows, that
6:33 pm
would be fine with them. they feel that it should be an election. and from our point of view, if a person -- i am sure we can do a helluva good sales job on something like that anyway. it did concern me that you give them $7.50 in cash rather than the package, but because others would like to have the cash in hand. bake and sell at between not $7.50 package and a $5 bill, if they make their choice irrevocably, numbers of people would go with the insurance program. but that is the area that he has been in, you can see has been getting right into it and in depth and discussions. >> and this committee is meeting behind closed doors. no votes taken, but there was considerable bipartisan to raising some security pension to offset the increase in living costs since 1959.
6:34 pm
the presence rates are set. that will mean 50% would run up to a man of retiring at 65. [unintelligible] now tell him, goddamnit, if they are getting to where this is getting out, i would like to know where he is getting in mind. they are asking me questions and i do not know what hell he is doing. a democratic president ought to know what a democratic chairman is doing. just tell and that tomorrow. >> i will. >> that was lbj and his chief congressional aide, larry o'brien. mr. shreve, you are reacting as we were listening to that call. >> a couple of things to point out. this lengthy discussion about choosing one option over another is really a moot point at the end of all of this. that really does not end up in the bill. folks do not get that option. but it does point out one other
6:35 pm
issue here. the way in which, especially in 1964, they were balancing this politically and may be economically as well on the pit at a cash benefits increase as the social security act, which everybody wanted and which was probably going to come down the pike if nothing disturbed it versus adding on of medicare benefit or may be taking medicare benefits in lieu of cash benefits. this is a critical part of what becomes the big debate in 1964, which ends up as we know in a deadlock. dollars lbj and his key -- and larry o'brien have another call on june 22, 1964. you'll be hearing reference to help, education, and welfare secretary, and wilbur cohen. we should mention it you'll be hearing mr. cohen's name pretty
6:36 pm
frequently throughout this cause. he is the 80 w. point man hew -- hew point man on these issues. they're considering the medicare legislation. >> hi, mr. president for the wilbur mills situation is deteriorated. at this moment, totally. i had celebrates call him over here early this afternoon and mills killed a couple of hours in the committee this morning but there was no action. he feels that he cannot put this thing together and he will have the final markup with an increase in benefits and would not ask for any vote on, putting that over the next year, -- for any vote on king-andersokerr-mig
6:37 pm
that over to the next year. at that point, conceivably something could happen. now i ask them what they both felt. a conversation between you and mills, there was not anything that that happen tomorrow morning except lose this thing totally, the best at what happened and that they not take a formal budget. it would require talking to others to keep them away from demanding a formal vote, because they have been raising and not with him as it is. it is at a point where i think there had to be another conversation of some sort. i do not have heimdal and i am
6:38 pm
throwing in in your lap about the answers to it, but perhaps what we ought to do is suggest to mills, which i could do, that perhaps he could bust on tomorrow morning's meeting until wednesday, and that we've talked to the leadership further in the morning and had mills at the leadership breakfast make that worth a damn, or to arrange for conversation with mills down here that might leave him -- apparently they are out of steam, because you don't have the votes and you were talking about not having them. what you think about having the democratic members of the committee get together in one group and let us, you and i, wilbur but the pitch on them to come out of here with some piece of this bill? we can do that or just try to avoid a vote in the committee or just both the social security
6:39 pm
aspect of this out and concentrate on the senate side. mills is feeling considerably that. and the reverse situation, he would be a good -- in a good situation with the ama, if he could convince them of something strong coming out of congress, he could be helping them to avoid having them have a debacle in congress. it all adds up to a pretty dismal situation as of this moment. and i thought i should number one reported to use -- reported to you. i did want you to be aware that he had advised me and what you think about this possibly doing at this point from our >> i guess the best thing is to let it go on past social security and house and see if we can pass it in the senate. >> that may be the answer. if we cannot avoid an upper down vote in committee, we have to be
6:40 pm
careful of that that we don't get caught in the crack of this thing. i did not know. but that is one possibility. i do not know whether it is worthwhile. i suppose it will not be lost in a way. i don't think your should -- your committee should meet in the morning for you audio -- your man committees and not meet in the morning. the labor fellows are on this. what are we going to do about it, that type a message. i did not talk to them because i anticipated that was what he was appointed talk about. he is always helpful that way, the legend of how bad things are without any answers. i am inclined at this point to ask mills if he would consider not having the committee meet in the morning, trying grab another
6:41 pm
24 hours here and hope that maybe lightning strike somewhere. i do not know where it would strike. it would have to be a miracle to pull something off. if we cannot find anything in 24 hours, try to work out an agreement with them so that he would ensure that no vote would be taken on this, no formal but in the committee, no formal vote on kerr-mills, and i don't know whether it is worth getting into that or go straight and say, wilbur, how about just giving the vote in the morning? i do not know what 24 hours will bring as. you just play for time. >> i don't see much to gain in 24 hours. but if you do not have 24 hours, they will vote on cannot -- medicare and the committee, it will get beat and will be against it. would you ask him if he can keep them from voting are what you have to ask democrats to do
6:42 pm
that? >> i think that i can answer -- asked him. it will be up to you talk -- to hold off the others. which we can start working on. but we may have to do that anyway and just take the chance that people don't misinterpreted and say, what the hell, they had succumbed to mills, in addition to that, based brown supporters on this. it is a little tricky and i do not -- i am not throwing it into your lap. i just wanted to advise you that things are and allows the state at the moment. i don't have any answers, and cohen did not have any answers either. maybe next that is, why don't i start talking to mills -- we have the rest of the night until 10:00 in the morning before that committee is actually called. in many cases of the past, he has not of meetings of the amendments before they are scheduled to start.
6:43 pm
but he announced in the press that a vote will be taken in the morning on this medicare. >> well, why not to talk to your best friend on the committee and try to avoid a vote, if you can. and then ask wilbur to give you another day said you can tell him what you were trying to do. if he gives you any encouragement that you can add it on in the senate? >> not particularly. you must have the votes to headed on in the senate. i'm sure that we do, but what the hell? well, we can do it. we cannot cannot on an angle and teddy kennedy will not be voting any more this year. that is two votes we have to worry about. i don't see daylight where mills is suggesting that he will be helpful in the conference, assuming that you tack it onto the senate and conference. it mills would say, al, and congress, i will get a good
6:44 pm
piece of this thing accepted, and then run it through the house, that is one thing. but he said, i'm afraid what he is getting at is that his role would be appointed conference, if we could convince or become convincing that this thing was in the process of in full settlement in our way, then mills moves and and takes out the ama, and he is the guy cutting back, the hero at the same time that he is indicating that he is being a big help to us. it is a tricky operation. anyway, why don't i not burden you further if this point? let me get a feel of it with him and just see what in god's name we might be able to come up with in the evening. i just do not know at this point. >> steve, we were talking about the two wilburs being mentioned in this call. you had more to say about that. >> wish to know a little bit more about both wilbur mills, the chairs of the way -- on a
6:45 pm
chair of the ways and means committee, been discussed at length in this conversation, and wilbur cohen, with health, education, and welfare, appointed by kennedy in 1961. one senator, i think it was paul douglas of illinois, during the testimony for:'s confirmation back in 1961, when things were getting testy, he jumped in and said, i hear that the definition of an expert on social security is anybody who has wilbur cohen's phone number -- as a way of endorsing:'s appointment. and indeed, most people believe that that was true. so cohen is that part of a lot of this legislation, putting it all together, crafting a legislative strategy, going back to how he put together the person security act in 1935. in and out of government over the years, he had just come from a professorship at the
6:46 pm
university of michigan before kennedy appointed him in 1961. he is at the head of this whole process. even more enter goal is wilbur mills. -- intergal is wilbur mills. he is the one that shepherd does the passage and crafted what i called the layer cake composition, earlier. and his chairmanship of the ways and means committee is quite peculiar in american history, although it dovetails with other chairmanship's of the ways and means committee to some extent in the past. this is a critically important committee in congress by and large. but mills ran and, ran a very tight ship, and one of the things to remember to remember about his leadership is that he usually did not support any legislation unless he knew it was going to pass. run into little opposition on the floor, all of the bills that
6:47 pm
came out with a closed rule, no amendments were allowed on the house floor. he generally rationalize this by referring to how complex the bills were and that four amendments which as much things up and the whole thing would become an one. that was too -- true to an extent. but a lot of this had to do with his own conservative approach to passing legislation. >> as our special program continues, here is part of an august 1, 1964 call with florida democratic senator george smathers. is a member of the senate finance committee which at this point will soon start hearings on medicare. 1964 is also of the presidential election year, and as this portion of the call begins, senator smathers is talking about the political implications of medicare, would mention of the republican nominee, barry goldwater. >> let me just say this to you, if i may. this talks like goldwater is
6:48 pm
against the social security thing. you are for it. it is held up and blocked in defeated at the last minute in an effort to get it out by a couple of fellows, then you are off the hook, and it is a lot better issued an end is in fact. because if they find out i campaigned on this in 1962 and find out what they are not going to get under the social security amendment, they are not born to get freed this and free hospitalization, was that have to pay $90 to start with every time. boy, when you tell the knapp, somebody will be taken to the cleaners. i take it as i hell of a lot better issue if labor had your revealed attack partly bill, al the lot better issue there. i think that we ought to keep it that way because i do not think they knew were going to come out with it anyway. this time.
6:49 pm
what i am trying to suggest discretely is, why don't we just somehow blamed this -- blame the whole damn thing on the republicans' foreign aid -- not even having social security increase is passed? dollars you can blame it when you got that kind of mode. >> i agree. >> to get the president and 2-1. >> and and we have to pass as a security and not increase it or you block out in the future the medical care program. >> i will get larry and kaelin back to see you and see what we can do very dollars you have to dr. russell, because he is bob. >> he is with the doctors, isn't it? >> yes, but russell will shift in time. we cannot come in there because -- he will not suddenly shipped without destroying their own position. >> i think that is right.
6:50 pm
now you get ahold of him and you get back to me on bennett and rogers, and now go to work on you. and that is when you get in. if they have had a canal or whatever that have, we would do it. this is one but that i cannot lose. they have told every republican that if you but he does, i will eliminate you. so he could get a solid vote. i've got about 29 of these damned southerners, and rogers from my own state, and some of them are taking walks from a and some of them are going off, and summer going to say, i had to get him, give me this canal. you see what they have got happened then let's get it. but let's get those two votes. call me back, george. >> a portion of a call between president johnson and florida democrat senator george smathers. this was on august 1, 1964.
6:51 pm
coming up, more 1964 calls in our special program on the medicare amendment to the social security build 3 first we go back to historian and author david shreve for a a chat on the calls coming up and business segment. the first three calls will take place on september 2, 1964, the day the senate will vote on the medicare measure. before the vote, what is the status of the measure and how was lbj dealing with that? >> the status of that measure at this point is that, as you may have picked up from larry o'brien's conversations with the president, wilbur mills is not inclined to support the legislation at the ways and means committee and not likely that they are going to get enough support on house floor. it appears to be dead on house side. you may have also picked up already, and o'brien suggests that mills pick this up as a possibility, and i think this is a case where o'brien ms. read
6:52 pm
mills completely, but the notion arises that maybe what we will do then is, if it is not going to pass the finance committee, but an of senators and enough congresspersons are willing to support a increasing cash benefits to social security, that is likely to pass, perhaps they can attack on an amendment to that measure, take that committee, get the conferees there, and your asking them to bypass the wishes of the ways and means committee and many of the congressmen who already expressed their opinion on the bill on house floor. as i think o'brien said in a previous call, a very risky approach. i think that might of been a term that he is. but it is a real long shot. i think johnson is skeptical that it will come to pass, that they could pull this off, but
6:53 pm
nonetheless that is what they are approaching pre september 2nd is still a historic day, because even though they are doubtful of the end game here, they do go through the motions. and the senate does attack on this amendment and is supported and it passes 49-44, so this goes on record as the first time in u.s. history that the senate votes affirmatively on a kind of national health insurance bill. the fate is probably more than uncertain. everybody knows that it is doomed at this point. but nonetheless, it probably was important in retrospect that the senate went on record as voting affirmatively on what was essentially king-anderson, the hospital insurance segment of what would become the ultimate health care legislation. >> and and as calls deal with the bill in conference committee as lbj talks to larry o'brien and with senate finance committee member and a louisiana
6:54 pm
democrat russell long, and house majority whip hale boggs, also of louisiana. what the prospects in the committee? >> not good, as i mentioned earlier. nonetheless, i feel that they think it is worth trying this out, so to speak. you heard a mention of how russell long was difficult to deal with on this, and ultimately he does become the floor leader on the senate for the legislation in 1965 that passes. he is being ornery at this point and he once had some amendments and some other things that the administration and even wilbur mills is working at tangentially now, they want to see a clean bill without a lot of amendments. we will see some mention in that fear of these conversations about how russell long, al gore, and others are messing this up
6:55 pm
by throwing amendments on to the bill. nonetheless, it comes out as a successfully passed the amendment on september 2. hale boggs, you might want to mention briefly, in a slightly different context he is a more -- clearly more dependable supporter of the administration, very close to lyndon johnson, sought like high on many issues. he was remarkable in many ways for representing a conservative district in south louisiana and being able to be a full throated and full-fledged supporter of the great society. but that was hailed box. -- hale boggs. >> thank you, miss shreve. we'll touch your letter. a conversation between lbj and al gore, sr., his son would become vice president of the united states. >> you've got to give people an excuse to some -- you get to give people an excuse now and then to do something that they wanted to.
6:56 pm
one person wants to vote with us. but he wants us to accept even a modified form this provision and the bills that he has scheduled six republicans into, to provide an association of insurance companies to write policies for the specific purposes of this bill. now the treasury department has some doubts about it, because it provides a tax exemption. justice has some doubts about it because it provides exemptions from antitrust. but i think for the purposes of providing old age health care through private insurance, we could afford to do it if
6:57 pm
adequate supervision has to rates and benefits are provided. he came to me yesterday afternoon and said he is going to support it, anyway. whether we accepted not. but he said that martin smyth would vote for it, he thought, and tommy did too, if we would accept this. i talked to mike about it, and he said that whatever we had decided, i talked to clinton and he was not inclined to be favorable to it, i talked to wilbur cohen, and he said no. if we wanted, he could redrafted so as to meet the objections of the treasury and justice, but when i contacted wilbur last,
6:58 pm
at he said someone in the white house said that you did not want it. i am just telling you that this might be something that would be necessary and the circumstances. >> this is the first that i've heard of it. dollars but the white house, who he taught to in the white house, i do not know. >> i do not, either. i will say he did and i would be guided by what you think ought to be done. i will try to see that the forces like a labor would agree with wilbur cohen and i would be inclined to follow the revised if clinton would go along with the. >> by all means. >> i would be inclined to explore it, because it is that close, and you really need them to help you -- to keep forces in the market to help you. they tell me did you have margin on our side? i don't trust the counting these days.
6:59 pm
>> i think that we have a minimum of two votes, but, mr. president, they have spent more money and lobbying than any other route that. >> we are counting on two people being gone that may not be gone on a vote like this. >> that is the fat. >> do you know they are? >> herbert walker. >> they say that he and lester hill, his daddy was a doctor, and i watched him in a house. they always put in on everything protest doctor. -- fayed -- he has always voted on everything in thepro-doctor. they said it thinking get him back if his vote has to be there. but i don't know who is handling that. and the old days i would have had him backed -- in the old days i would have had him back, because this is a gut issue in this campaign.
7:00 pm
>> and had dramatized it. he's flying across the nation. if we get like on this, it is going to be bad. -- the lick we getlicked on this going to be bad. this came about, i got into leadership of this thing because clint was sick and the hospital, and i thought that the issue had to be addressed. when clint came back, i expected him to take over, but clinton is not well. he requested that i continue to present the amendment. somebody had to speak 3.5 hours thereby we were getting feedback or the elderly were going to be read out of court. clint was not able to do that and i was, so i stepped in and did it. now what you assign someone to look at this amendment, and if i can say to them that this is ok with you, i think it will maybe
7:01 pm
get two votes on that? .
7:02 pm
7:03 pm
>> bhoo this bill will do is bry prepaid health care for our self-supporting self-rging people, that want to remine so after the age offer 65. i'll do that, once he is -- is he commit d to the doctors? >> i'm afraid he is but he is happy to be away. >> well. >> and if i find out he's not
7:04 pm
going to be away, and it is okay to do yours. >> okay. bye. >> president johnson and tennessee democratic senator albert gore senior is sr. talking about the debate on medicare on september 2nd1964. later that day l.b.j. urges another senator to support medicare. in this call, the portion of the call with senate appropriations committee carl hayden of arizona. as this portion of the call begins. you'll hear l.b.j. mention barry goldwater. >> i see goldwater is plying back. is that close going to be -- vote going to be close today? on medicare? i see he's flying back from arizona. >> to vote on it. >> you don't let him beat us, carl. >> i voted this before. >> as i remember you waited for us to see if we had to have him.
7:05 pm
won't you do that today? >> i might. >> do that now, because we can't lose this one. this is one we can't lose. we got to have these old people and they think he's all over the country. and the polls show that's the most population we got. >> well. you agree to do what you did last time, wait and see. if we don't need you, do what you want to. but don't let us lose it and let the republicans win over me. >> i hate for that to happen. >> do like you did before. wait and see, if we don't have to have you, we don't. we hope we don't. >> we'll see. >> okay. thank you. >> l.b.j. and senate appropriations committee chairman and democrat carl hayden, talking about legislation under the debate in the senate on september 2nd, 1964. later that day, the shatt comes up with a tie vote on medicare
7:06 pm
and in this poll, l.b.j. and white house counsel feldman are considering how to break the tie. you'll hear from senator kennedy and mike ma roney and hubert humphrey. >> according to the count, we have a high vote on the medicare ameantment. so we need jordan or maroney to give us a pair with kennedy. and they have called jordan and he's uncertain. he won't give us a commitment. it is thought perhaps if you call ma roney or jordan, this would -- convince them to give us the live pair we need to carry this. talk to hubert about it. tell him if he thinks i ought to, call me. i don't want to do it unless i have to. he told me i'm all right. >> i just talked to mike. >> i'll talk to hubert. >> president joan sewn and white
7:07 pm
house counsel mire feldman in a call in 1964. mr. shreve, what is a live pair? >> a live pavin was a -- live pair was a gentlemen's agreement that was used to and what amounts to is when there's an absent senator for whom you know that senator's position, in this case, they were referring to senator kennedy who was a supporter of med car r care, if you could pair that senate, absent senator with a present snosh and both agree not to vote. of course the absent senator could not but the present senator could agree not to vote, pairing, essentially offsetting the vote, one against the other. within supporter against one opponent and -- what they were essentially asking the opponents to do was not to vote but to pair instead. >> and we'll chat with you a
7:08 pm
little later. and later on september 2nd, 1964 and as you've heard us discuss, the senate does approve the medicare amendment on a vote of 49 to 44. on september 3rd, l.b.j. and larry o'brien talk about the next steps for the measure. you'll hear mentions of house speaker, jog john mccornel i think and others. >> larry, abbert called me, but by the time i returned the call they said that meadows and havoc were with them. they say if it geese to conference, it will never come out of conference, mccormick
7:09 pm
says. they can vote to accept the senate amendment, but he says he's got 250 against that. i hope he's rong and -- wrong and i hope when roll is called that that many would not be opposed to it. that wob one vote. the other is motion to refuse to discuss confer rhea. they'll decide what to do. i would -- my old hand guess would be, when we vote up or down, which we have the votes, which i doubt, and instruct the senate and let the house complete it. and go to the cut of it. >> i talked to boggs earlier on this. first, we had the labor people in this morning and we cranked up the senior citizens and all that yesterday.
7:10 pm
now putting it hard on the people. christ, they want to take the senate bill and do all of these things and then you finally say, how many votes do you have, how many republicans? you folks are supposed to handle republicans. do you have 40 rns? they don't have 40 republicans. we agree we got 165 democrats. i got a hold of boggs, i said what are you doing here? there are only two votes in the conference for us, you and cain. what do you have in mind? christ sakes is this a bill that winds up with a -- a goldwater and mills opposing this administration? or are you going to, i know you don't have troops but my god, you could certainly making an interesting conference out of it. mills i talked to him yesterday and again this morning. what the hell? we're realized that, we can't get the senate bill adopted in that house and if they come back
7:11 pm
for instructions, we'll get licked on that too. the only judgment i could make at this point is mills will try every device to get an agreement in the conference. box sees king as reluctant as he could be because he hates to bing on the house side of conference where two republicans vote against two democrats to come out with a conference report. >> he's a businessman right now. i'll talk to these businessmen but my call would be that -- if we could get mills to agree that we would -- take the conference, that would be fine. if he would, i would instruct the conferees. do you have another feeling?
7:12 pm
>> no, at the moment i share that view. with the stories around the country today, we got something going on this dam thing and god almighty, i hate to see the leadership join with hills in a wrap-up that screws us quickly. >> well i don't think they will until we decided. >> all right. >> we decides what scroo screws us. it screws us at the senate conference, i don't think we'll get it out with the votes we have. >> yeah. no, we don't have the votes in conference. >> what would screw us and what wouldn't? we get to anything else then. if we can't do well in conference, we vote up or down? >> we can vote up or down. but i do think we could spotlight the country on this thing by giving us a little time. this congress will be here the week of the 15th anyway and -- and my view is that this thing could get really heated up and -- and my view, if it is all
7:13 pm
right with you, why don't i get back to you and we'll talk about it later this afternoon. >> okay. >> okay. >> sum september 3rd1964, larry o'brien in the call about medicare. on september 14th, larry o'brien tells l.b.j. about his conversation with house leaders and the next ten step for the medicare legislation. >> hello. hi, mr. president. boggs and albert called me a little while ago. and they -- they came to the conclusion, they thinked best thing to do is go in conference without instructions.
7:14 pm
i told them i would not disturb you with it but that you had discussed the matter with me and left it up to me, to do what we thought best. that their argument made sense. if i could get mills to comment at some point. but he considered the medicare provision mr. conference. that they should withdraw any attempt to have a floor action on it. they were going to call mccormick and share his view. they told me about later, i told them i knew labor shared their view. in turn i called miller and told him that i thought he had had to carry out his responsibilities to talk to the three leaders and should talk it cecil cain and tell them when the view of labor was.
7:15 pm
then the other aspect of it was -- let's see, oh, yeah, in talking to mills the other day, mills said i can't see any point in -- in you fellows going forward and the speaker wants to do it but having a vote on this thing on a previous question. i said, i think the points perhaps wilber is there are many republicans that be positioned finally on the on the medicare, that has up to now not taken the position of most instances their uncontested sdribts. he said how many? i said probably 30 or so but i imagine that's what the speaker has in mind. so the speaker this morning, talked 0 jim trimble, i don't know what transpired in the conversation but the idea was that the speaker had -- in his mind, that he put ultimately defense tramibled for a role.
7:16 pm
>> i got another phone buzzing me. >> i won't pursue this, i know you're busy. i wanted to fill you in that -- that the way it stands, the leadership came to this conclusion. they feel there's some merit in -- in putting the pressure on mills, as best he could so they could get a firm greament that there will be discussed in depth in conference and then labor is notifying the leadership that they share the view and of leadership asks me what the white house position was. i would take it on my own, because i wasn't in the position to consult with you further at this point. i didn't feel that there was any need of having a big discussion involving you directly. why didn't they just leave it they had talked to me and, i -- i am telling them on my own, whether i'm right or wrong, taking the responsibility to -- to agree with them and they can -- in their conversation with cecil king say they talked to me
7:17 pm
and i agreed with the leadership. >> okay. president johnson and his chief aide to congress, larry o'brien talking about medicare legislation on september 14th, 1964. we're joined again by historian and author david shreve. mr. shreve, what is going on committee at this point? explain what the suggestion of sending it to the committee without structions. what does that mean? >> with or without instructions, this debate has to do with whether or not the administration and the house leadership speaker mccormack, congressman from massachusetts, would be willing or -- would put pressure on mills in the conference committee. the prescription that -- that the administration had at this point was that -- mills was going to vote against accepting the senate amendment and he would likely be joined by the other two republican house conferees which would give them
7:18 pm
a majority on the house side. and cecil king and boggs and the other two democratic house conferees likely to support the amendment. so the prediction we heard earlier, many think is likely to come true. that is chairman mills joining with the republican opposition to depeat what the -- essentially the democratic position was. and would be. going with instructions simply meant that the majority party here in this case would instruct their committee conferees to vote a certain way and they weren't bound to do so but they would -- issued formal instructions and by virtue of that they would put pressure on wilbur mills, take it to the people and publicize the republican approach, et cetera. >> on september 24th, 1964, as the committee continues to resolve differences.
7:19 pm
l.b.j. gets a call from one of the conferees, senator russel long. he's a senator of the finance committee which earlier worked on medicare. in this kale, you'll here machines of the chairman, harry bird and committee democratic member, albert or clinton anderson. >> i had a minute but i had folks here. i wanted to find out. they told me y'all broke up this afternoon. did you make progress? >> mr. president, i don't like the way things are going. it is -- >> i was riding on cloud nine and get this out of my hair and get it behind us. but then now today as i've been talking to you, i got 47
7:20 pm
[unintelligible] but finally, that thing with anderson and george and chief i can't believe my and we have been sitting there. to hinge on in the event it had it'd this. now, now, wilbur, wilbur said at this point, he wasn't willing to take anything. he side said you got to devoid it of social security. then he brought up this thing. and i wished you talked to anderson, because anderson is very upset right now. and he said -- well, i guess if worse comes to worse, i thought maybe a call. i didn't want -- it is a hell of
7:21 pm
a spt. harry burn wants to beat this thing. and -- that you know, i love thify. i'm tied to him and -- and i try to -- to be true to him and that sort of thing, at the same time, i see where they are taking anything it doesn't go for. and i'm hanging on for it as responsible senate conferee. but -- he was just on the floor. but -- i think we in trouble, and i think clinton can explain to you, bill and i can -- wilbur hadn't shown his hand yet. but i think what we're in for, he's getting ready to say, after talking to us for a couple of days, this stuff won't work and can't be done. and that is the case, and i suggest we go ahead and settle for the rest of this medicare business and talk about it next year. i can vote against it two or
7:22 pm
three times. i'll have to vote to recede. now, now, making a vote on it. and knot wilbur. so he said, no, i'm not going to do that. i suggest we go back with this agreement and as per the instructions. he said, no, i'm not going to do that. i think that -- how can i make an issue of the house? >> here's my thoughts. the house has to act first on the conference report. he takes that conference report pack. i think i would sign it and gore
7:23 pm
should refuse to sign. i think when it goes back to the house. so the question comes in the house and approving it. and somebody said, going to get up and said, boggs got to do it in good conscience. or we think in good conscience -- we should have taken at least some part of what the senate had. you see? we think that this should have been some kind of medicare program. and -- we want more conference. we want to go back and confer. i'm against that conference. you recall getting back to the conference when i lost my amendment. and -- i would say that, but the one time i did get back in conference, they were writing on that thingee -- and then we beat the conference. i would say that that the --
7:24 pm
that you could get a vote on it, and that from the -- when they bring it back to the house and bring that thing up. you could say wait a minute, we should have attended some part of medicare and i think we ought to go on record on this. and the only way, i can see to do it is vote on the conference report. >> you talk to clint, and don't tell them i called you and get jealous. >> president johnson and the louisiana senator, russell long, a member of the conference committee on the soorble security bill. on 1e78924th, 1964. later that day, l.b.j. gets an update about the actions from house majority whip boggs and you'll hear from wilbur mills. >> yes, i wanted to ask you what happened in social security. wilbur going to give it to us again? >> well, i'm afraid so.
7:25 pm
what happened was we -- we were in a half breath of having the thing agreed to and clint, god bless him, and not knowing mills and what a devious guy is he is, put a check on whether this was germane or subject to a point of order. i said, christ, that's all he needs to get off the look. and sure enough, he comes back and -- at 2:30 this afternoon and he said i need to talk to him. it play be something to the point. in the meantime, i talked with mccormack and i know we got to rule whether subject to a point of order nort. it ended up, i told him, i said, well, we just got to fight the thing out. the idea of you taking this course is -- what you think is reprehensible to get a rule is i think reprehensible for you. the way you act -- and we ended up, the way we ended was they
7:26 pm
hung -- they weren't going to draft nothing but he gives us baloney about not going to the rules committee and waiting on it. he said this is a way to get out. that's all. i think if we don't take some cause of medicare and we order the whole thing, i don't think they'll have any part of it. >> okay. majority whip hale boggs. later that day, l.b.j. gets more bad news about the medicare provisions of the social security bill. as he talks with conferee and senator, george smathers. >> hi. i find -- three basis. there and i talked to them. i talked to russell and hale. and somebody else. >> yeah. >> russell wasn't there today. >> he -- >> like me -- he was lobbying on
7:27 pm
this other job. and i was busy raising $75,000 for florida. which we raised on that. we got that fellow we talked about, just a little bit, comes from virginia. he's coming in. and anyway, you got the pick, it looks -- did you talk to clint? >> i'm going to though but i got the general here. and so long as i finish, i'll call him. >> i'll talk to you. you can talk to himself yourself. anyway, if you're going to do it. i talked with ferry and -- i talked to wilbur coin and everybody, they're under the impression it looks worse than it had been. it should just wind itself out. and not deal with anything. they think that would be the best. now wilbur thinks it is not
7:28 pm
necessary. byrd he's against any of that. they would like us to pass the bill on the drowned you foreclose passage of medicare because it use up the valuable points, they said. i think what is best for you, is this issue is better than a fact. they'll recess and finally die saturday night. okay. thank you. >> come september 24th, 1964, president johnson and florida democrat senator, george smathers. in our special program of some of l.b.j.'s calls as congress continues the debate on health
7:29 pm
care. we'll continue with the tapes in just a few minutes. first we speak again with historian and author dave shreve. mr. shreve, the first call in this segment will be between l.b.j. and tennessee center, albert gore sr. on october 2nd, 1964. what happens to medicare on this date? >> this is the day in which we see the vote. votes, i should say. the house conferees voting separately from the sthat. as we heard, the prediction that many forks that came to pass that mills voted against the accepting the senate amendment and with the two republicans voted it down and then the senate conferees instead of voting to support, to accept the amendment, voted simply in the to -- to essentially deadlock in committee and not accept any
7:30 pm
bill. what anderson we suggested i think we picked up and hale boggs that perhaps we would be party, the nation would be better off just letting all slide. here's one side of wilber mills some what on the side, he's opposed for a number of reasons, not only to accepting the legislation. one of the critical factors, one concerned that if -- if a medicare bill coupled with advances in cash benefits and social security reaches a certain point, and they have to payroll taxs to support that to a certain point, it might forechose the possibility of doing much in the future, either expanding the medicare legislation getting something
7:31 pm
better. or expanding social security benefits, which was mills' baby in some ways. one of the key factors for mills was actuarial sales, as they put it. we'll see at the end that mills exercises some interesting judgments and power in determining the -- the taxation rates in and the final bill. it is an interesting product he devices. >> we hear a call about support for the medicare provision from dr. benjamin spock. who is he and is his opinion important? wrooweem hear from dr. spock a few days after the historic election that year. in part, what we'll hear is his reaction to -- to johnson's landslide victory, but also it is not mentioned, that the democratic party picture up 38 seats in the house -- on the house side and two on the senate side. rah earlier predictions on the
7:32 pm
senate side were somewhat more pessimistic. so -- by any means, they were pleased with the outcome. spock was a big supporter of president johnson at this point. ironically, he would -- become a -- an opponent of the veettham war. very outspoken in later years and in fact ramsey clark would prosecute him and convict him of encouraging people to evade the draft in 1968. a sentence for which he never served time. he was the famous pediatrician, author of a common sense book on baby and childcare. i think the -- the publication numbers are 35 to 45 million copies. so everybody, most everybody in the country knew who trfment spock was poll al, though, the telephone operator calls him dr. spark in in conversation. i don't know if we'll hear that part of it or not. but he's a big supporter of the
7:33 pm
president, but also, perhaps more importantly, in the wake of the election moving -- looking toward 195e, he and a number of other doctors put together a committee to pass -- push for the passage of medicare. and included on this committee are michael dubake from houston, texas. and esal to know from nourk. -- esal ton from new york and others in the medical world. we'll also hear spock talk on an issue and answers program. he'll mention how a.m.a. president edward andes backs out once spock agrees to appear. the opposition has a hard time fielding anybody for the show. a point and counterpoint. >> the final call on our medicare program takes place
7:34 pm
march 23rd, 195e as l.b.j. talks to the house leaders and the health education and welfare. what happens to medicare on that day? >> this is the day in which the ways and means committee votes affirmatively to pass medicare. of course this takes us forward a bit, into 1965. the electoral changes did make a big difference, that impressed wilber mills, his commit my r-ity changed considerably in terms of its constitution and the number of medicare supporters. the adage in 1964 and 1962 when kennedy was purke for medicare, was we're looking for the 13th vote on the ways and means committee, to get a 13-12 vote in favor. they ended up with 17 votes on this day in favor of medicare. wilbur mills saw that immediately. he's making speechs in late 1964 after the election to chambers of commerce and various groups back in arkansas, in which he
7:35 pm
goes on record saying, i'm going to push for medicare and wilbur mills pushes for medicare, medicare happens. so we'll -- his influence was just that strong. >> historian and author, david shreve. we'll wrap up with you after these next few calls. now l.b.j. and senator albert gore sr., member of the committee and conferee, on october 2nd, 1964. >> i made a at the same time. i wanted to tell you about it. and i said this in my opinion, assures, self-care bill makes care and a good one that -- that it will permit you to take a mandate, which i'm sure you will do. >> had no agreement.
7:36 pm
>> no agreement, one change this morning, senator byrd who yesterday asked and changed his vote to recede. but george and -- george was there. russell didn't show up. but -- george moved his proxy and so four of us voted to insist upon the senate position. that's -- e that's one we have adjourned. subject to conversation by byrd and wilbur if it should return after the election. the sentiment to adjourn here is quite high on both sides. i think you could take this issue to the people that we'll get a good health man next year. we're trying to drive through
7:37 pm
the social security benefits and leave health care standing bare and alone and now we'll put it together. >> now you don't g we ought to try to recess or you don't think we ought to try to call them back after the election. >> we have already passed it in the senate. we play not pass it in the senate anymore. if we lose moss and mcgehee and we lose new york or three or four of these places, we might not just have the votes. and new york wouldn't make any difference, but, some of the other places would. and moss, would. and mcgehee would. and -- some of those. we got it passed. i'm calling congress back in november. we don't have to cross that until the 15th. and -- and after the election, everybody is thrureks but you give something to it and we'll talk later. or i'll abide by your decision on that. >> do it either time. >> the judgment, we'll have to
7:38 pm
see as the election comes out, i guess, see if we think we'll have trouble passing the senate again. we might get it back. >> and from october 2nd, 1964, tennessee democratic senator albert gore sr. telling johnson that the conference committee is deadlocked and offering differences between the house and senate versions of the medicare for visions and the social security bill. on november 6th, three days after l.b.j. defeats barry goldwater in the election, the president has a call with medicare supporter and well known pediatrician and activist dr. benjamin spock. >> i'm -- we taped a half of a half hour of a bit for medicare, which abc is putting on on sunday afternoon. so watch it going on to the next step. >> gurm what program it is on? croo it is something -- >> issues and answers. >> for sunday afternoon.
7:39 pm
it would be interesting -- if you're interested, they need to have experts at the a.m.a. and take the other half of the program. when he found i was going to do the other half, he or the a.m.a. was fluent. they didn't want the country to think the medical profession was split on this issue. then a.b.c. got senator cowher of texas. he called them. this was to be taped yesterday afternoon and then tower called yesterday morning and said texas was a shambles and he couldn't come up to do it. so they finally got congressman curtis and he was doing it sometime today. he's doing the taping today. >> that's very interesting. i feel grateful for you doing it. i want to thank you for your wonderful help in the campaign. i'll try to be worthy of your confidence. >> i got great confidence.
7:40 pm
>> president johnson and medicare supporter, dr. benjamin spock. november 6th, 1964. on march 23rd, 1965, the house ways and means committee approves a new measure. we hear about it mr. a call from l.b.j. with john mccormack and carl albert. and wilber mills and eled health education and welfare secretary wilbur cohen. >> i think it is a yeat bill. you got not only everything that you wanted but we got a hot more than -- on this thing. it is a rail comprehensive bill. >> how much it cost in the budget? >> i think it -- it would be around, i would say, $450 million more than what you estimated. for the net cost of this
7:41 pm
supplementary program. >> what do they do under that? howe is that handled. explain that to me over and above the king anderson, the supplement you stole from burns? >> jen my speaking, it is physician service. >> and now my doctor i go out and he pumps my stomach out, that's a physician. >> that's right. >> any medical service that is are m.d. services. >> any m.d. >> does he charge what he wants to? >> ect charge what he wants to, because this is been put into -- into separate fund and -- what the secretary has to do is make an agreement with somebody like blue jilled, let's say, and it would be their responsibility under the way chairman has provided the bill that they would regulate that these are in the control of the dock foreign
7:42 pm
he wants to insure the government needs regulation directly. the bill provides the doctor could only charge the reasonable charges but this blue shield would have to do all of the policing so that the government wouldn't pay -- >> that's good. what does it do for you the patient on doctors. it says, that he can -- he can have doctors' bills pay up to what extent or any limit? >> individual payment has to pay the phys $50. and then he's got to pay 20%. >> everything after that. >> everything after that. so if you went to the doctor, you would pay the first $50 and the rest, $950, you would pay 20%. >> that keeps the hypocondreeks out. >> yeah, and for most of the people, it would provide overwhelming portion of their
7:43 pm
physician's costs. >> and it -- nearly everybody could endure that much or their folks could get them a that much to bay their part, even if they didn't have any money. what does it get you on hospital and nurse's home? >> you get the first 60 days of your hospital care, with a $40 deductible. and >> that's good. >> then in addition it has the 300 benefits that were in your bill, namely the lone health services -- the outpatient, diagnostic, we finished that way up. the way the brothers would. and then all we wanted to change was more of the home health services that has to be to get out of the hospital. >> what do insurance companies? they raising hell? >> i think they're going to go over to the senate and raise
7:44 pm
hell on the -- on the thing because quite frank my, there's no longer any room for the private insurance companies to settle insurance policies for people over 65, that could take the confirmation of hospital care and the physician services. >> yeah. >> okay, that's wonderful. remember this, 9 of 10 things i get in trouble on is because they lay around. tell us, and wilbur to please get a rule the moment they can. >> we want to bring it up next week. >> you tole them not to let if lay around. do that if they want to but they might not. then they get the doctors organized and everybody else. they darn near killed my education bill. it stinks like a dead cat on the door. you better either bury that cat or get it life. >> the speaker is saying he's way ahead of you, going to get this next week and get it going. >> congratulations.
7:45 pm
i'm going to talk to carl. >> thank you. >> how is little john? >> i think they told you the whole story, he's all right. >> get them -- carl, get them to -- to make y'all, y'all talk to john, y'all talk to smith and make him not make this stuff lay around so they can generate opposition to us. >> all right. >> mr. president, just one word of this. doctors and insurance companies organized against this bill. and we have written the insurance people. i must admit, completely out of people over 65. and the a.m.a. is going in all directions. i have had distant comments coming to me at the last minute, telling me they would accept a payroll tax if we use it to finance our program with the stated minister. you couldn't have that. they have come a long way.
7:46 pm
the insurance people are going to oppose it. they were going to oppose h.r. 1 or anything we did. but they got no order to oppose what we got in this bill. and they wouldn't oppose any way without what we done. the only thing i'm concerned about and i'm frank about it, is there's about $450 million in the bill, out of the general funds of the treasury, for which you have not budgeted your situation. >> but i, i'll take care of that. i'll to that. you see what i've done. wilbur, see, this will not hold not rest of the year, but the first eight months, my constant cabinet pressure, i would hold and threaten and ultimatum and being meaner than you or harry byrd, i'm under this year, the first eight months, a billion 800 million under what you appropriated and what i said i would stand.
7:47 pm
the deficit is a million dollars under the deficit last year. i reduced the deficit $1 billion. they want to ask me, do you want to put in 4 or 500 million. i said what do you do about it? i said we had a judge in texas, they called him al county. he said on -- when i talked to him one time, he said, what is the constitution between friends? i said, it is when it is for health and sickness. because there's a ready demand and i know it.
7:48 pm
i too was concerned about the impact of the tax -- >> that we are worried about that. >> and minimize the concern you had initially that revised our rates, and more in keeping with their views. and i think they're completely satisfied. >> what they wanted me to do, most of the spenders, said that i would not putting enough money in the economy and i would have to put 3 or 4 billion and accelerate public works. now they come along and say, well, you taken more out here now. you're not pumping anything back. you going to get in trouble. i said, y'all see mills yourself and get an agreement. i'm going on anything you've gone on. >> we agreed and changed the bill. >> well, i'll get out a statement and congratulate the committee and congratulate you and -- for god sakes, don't let dead cats stand on your porch. you say they stunk and stunk. when you get it out of the
7:49 pm
committee, you call it up before they can get their letters written. >> that's the way i practice. >> i sure do. . i know where you learned it. >> thank you, sir. >> all right. >> well, it is mighty good. don't you let that dead cat hang around and let him give you a rule. the dead cat got out of the committee and stinking every day. let's get it passed and we'll have a damm damn good record. that sounds like a better bill than what we sent you. doesn't it? >> yeah. >> i told them $450 million, my philosophy and yours, we never argued about $450 million for people over 65. >> okay, my friend. >> all right. >> march 23rd, 1965. wilbur mills and majority leader carl albert and the secretary of
7:50 pm
as we conclude our program about medicare, we get a few final this is from historian david shreve. please summarize what happened to the medicare legislation after march 23rd, 1965, the date of this last call we heard. >> without getting tangled up in too many tails, because there were a number of changes, the bill did emerge pretty much as it had emerged at this point out of the ways and means committee. however, it is worth noting that when they went to conference and the senate asked for changes and they ended up going to a conference committee as well, they had to reconcile about 500 changes between the two houses. so -- there were, a number of changes, . i cal of those is the 60 day that is they cited for hospital coverage, was expanded to 90. that was one fairly prominent change and they kept toying around with the tax rate and how they were going to do that.
7:51 pm
it is worth pointing out that some of this discussion you hear, there was one pine where mills refered to a discussion he had with -- gardner ackley, the chairman of the economic advisors and the director of the bureau of the budget, a former member of the council under kennedy, both academic economists. they were urging mills and others, and anybody that would determine the fate of this bill to consider the impact of both the sendinging on the economy but also the tarksation that would be implemented to pay for it. and what they did -- in effect, was to actually her the tax rates on payroll tax side by increasing the cap, the salary cap to which the tax would be subjected. so this was in keeping certainly with the -- with the progressive tax policy of the administration and -- its economic advisors, mills was happy to go along with that because again he's concerned about actuarial
7:52 pm
soundless and this sounds better than what he imagined he would get at the beginning of the process. he was afraid that the ultimate tax rate would be over 10%, com binning the new health insurance payroll tax and the old social security. it ended up being almost a .-- 1 motor 5 below that. the original payroll tax was .35% for the employee and employer. .7% all together. the copayment, the doctor's bills part was $3 and the subsidy from the government was $3. it was a 50/50 basis at the outset, that changed oaf the years. it is now more 75/25 approach with the government picking up a larger share. but it is important maybe to wrap up a bit by mentioning johnson's comments on the $450 million cost and how he, saw the country paying for that.
7:53 pm
essentially, you would have to read between the lines there but what he was saying was prosperity was going to pay for it. that revenuing had been growing to such an extent that they would accrue, more than amply enough to pay for this program and other things. indeed that does come to pass. excuse me. and johnson leaves office in 1969, the federal government budget is in sur muss. for that very reason, it wasn't because he, cut back. he talked about how he was meaner than harry byrd or wilbur himself. but that was showmanship. it wasn't about that, it was about the way that prosperity led to increased revenues. he knew good and well, they could pick up the tab, the $4 amillion tab. and it play be worth pointing out given the current debate that over the next ten years, while the government's share of health care payment for health care, the nation's health care increased dramatically, because of medicare, and medicaid.
7:54 pm
was represented by health care spending actually dropped over the next decade. and i think that is -- that's testimony to johnson's outlook here and it is proof that what he saw, likely to happen really did happen. >> and finally, mr. shreve, what similarities do you see between the johnson administration's efforts on medicare and the current administration's goals for health care legislation? >> well, maybe we alked to talk about that dead cat. one thing you should know and it is probably obvious from some discussions, this is legislation that had been bandied about and considered for many years the current administration of course is moving as rapidly as they can. too rapidly perhaps for some folks. and when you put it in that context, it does look like -- like this current struggle is perhaps more difficult than the
7:55 pm
one johnson faced. in 1964 and 1965. the other thing that -- perhaps worth mentioning is that -- we don't have mills anymore or people like him chairing significant house committees. the power of the committee chairman has been diminished, mostly because of postwater gate reforms. and i mentioned earl here, how mills ways and means committee always reported bills without a rule. no amendments allowed on the floor. that changed in 1973. and wasn't really effected until 1975. i think ford's tax cut bill that year was the irs time in which amendments were actually drafted on to, a ways and means bill. but now it is messier. you have got more moving parts and players and subcommittee chairman with influence. and i reckon that the conference committee debates, if we get to that point on -- on current proposed legislation, would be
7:56 pm
even uglier and messier and more volatile than the one we saw described here. >> david shreve, historian editor and assistant et tore of six volumes in the presidential recordings series and currently working on a bill called american promise. kennedy, johnson and nixon and the forging of the modern economy. thank you for your insight and information. >> it is a pleasure to be here, thank you for inviting me. >> we note the tapes are provided by the l.b.j. library and museum in austin, texas. had program will be veil on our website. you can go to our and click on l.b.j. white house tapes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captions performed by the national captioning institute]
7:57 pm
>> president obama will deliver a speech from wakefield high school in arlington, virginia, about the importance of succeeding in school. after that we take viewer calls to get your reaction to the speech. including dedicated phone lines for students and teachers. and live coverage begins at noon eastern on c-span. this is not the first time a president has talked with students around the country. go to the featured link section at to find president reagan's talk to students in 19 u and president george hsh 1991 speech to -- george h.w. bush's speech to students. >> as the debate over health care conditions, the health care hub is a key resource. go online and follow the lynx. watch the latest events,
7:58 pm
including town hall meetings and share your thoughts on the issue with your own citizen video. including video from any town halls you've gone to. there's more, at care. the supreme court has a rare special session wednesday, hearing oral argument on a campaign finance case. it also marks the first appearance on the bench for justin sonya so the maier. and -- justice sonia sotomayor. and here is chief justice roberts for what it is like on a new justice. >> it is unsettling. you quickly get to view the court as the court as composed of these members and it becomes hard to think of it as involving anyone else. it is the way people look at their families. this was the family. how can it be different? you get new arrivals in both of those situations. it is a -- a tremendous sense of loss. just -- justice white says when
7:59 pm
the court gets a new member, it changes everything. it changes everybody. changes -- simple changes, we move the seats around in the courtroom, their seats are by order of seniority so there would be a shift there. same in the conference room. more fundamentally, i think it can cause you to take a fresh look at how -- things are decided, the new member is going to have -- to a particular view about -- about how issues should be addressed and maybe -- it play be different from what we've boon following for some time. it is an exciting part of life at the court. >> hear from other justices during supreme court week, as c-span looks to the highest court. starting october 4th. >> the case wednesday is citizen's united versus the federal election commission. on restricting corporate spending in support of the local candidates. and you could hear oral arguments, the same day it takes place, wednesday at about


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on