tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 14, 2013 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
wealthy people in new york, the big dog's. they asked me question after question. they already interviewed .veryone else they started asking me all these questions about abortion, marriage, all of these things -- >> we will leave this row graham at this point. you can see it in our -- you can see it in its entirety on our website, c-span.org. october 14, 2013. i hereby appoint the honorable george holding to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 3, 2013, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by
the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes each. but in no event shall debate continue beyond 1:50 p.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. wolf, for five minutes. mr. wolf: thank you, mr. speaker. in peaker, a loop 1248 -- luke 12:48, jesus said from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded. from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. the congress and the president have been entrusted with much, namely the responsibility to govern this contry. the american people rightly expect us, regardless of party affiliation, to come together
especially during times of crisis and find ways to get things done. they are understandably fit up with the current dysfunction, and i am, too. each side thinks it's winning, but in reality the country and the american people are losing. senate chaplain barry black says there's level of insanity involved in the current government shutdown. asked what it would take to end the current impasse, the former navy chaplain said, it's going to take humility. wise words. proverb 16:18 says, pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. there's so much pride poisoning this debate. the american people should be the winner not one party or the
other, not the administration or the congress, shortsighted political victories aimed at capturing the latest headline in a 24-hour news cycle will not stand the test of time, nor will they be viewed well through the lens of history. especially if on our watch the trust that must exist between elected officials and the electorate is frayed beyond repair. for those of us who think obamacare is a disaster, and that is a growing number of people in our country, it's future will not be decided by shutting or opening of the government. in fact, the current failings of the system, including the widespread glitches plaguing the website, are not getting the news coverage they should because the story has become the shutdown. the public debate surrounding obamacare, which will undoubted
be at the forefront heading into the midterm elections, will play second fiddle until the government is once again operational. it also bears mentioning that while important obama -- while important, obamacare must be placed in a larger context of the exploding national debt and deficit. an unsustainable spending and programs set against the backdrop of a public discourse be rifted-be rift of civility. only the bipartisan simpson-bowles recommendation will be ever solve the drivers of our deficits. we have put these tough but important reforms off far too long. to my colleagues in the congress, and to president obama who think they are winning at this particular moment, we would do well to
remember the words of napoleon bone part and speaking of the changing nature of public opinion. napoleon said, the crowd which follows me with adulation would run with the same eagerness were it marching to the guillotine. i return again to the sentiments of scripture, we have been given a great trust and it is demanded of us to come together to solve these problems. it is time to show some humility. it is time to govern. let's get the government back opened, ensure we don't defult on our debt, and then commit ourselves to curbing unsustainable entitlement spending. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. bera, for five minutes. mr. bera: thank you, mr. speaker. day number 14, mr. speaker, today is the 14th day of the
government shutdown. and we are one day closer to defaulting on our debt. mr. speaker, we have never not paid our bills as americans. as americans we always pay, on time. but we are one day closer to manufactured crisis. we've got to stop this. mr. speaker, now is the time for leadership. enough with the games. enough with the name-calling. enough with the finger pointing. we have to come together as democrats and republicans and put the country first. mr. speaker, you are the speaker of this house. this house has both democrats and republicans, and you need to lead us. it's that time. i'll make a quick suggestion. here's what you can do in three easy steps. step number one, open the government. step number two, let us pay our bills.
and step number three, let's negotiate, let's come together as democrats and republicans and negotiate a real budget that starts to address our debt. let's make sure we don't leave our children and grandchildren a mountain of debt. let's do what our grandparents always did which was leave the country better off for the next generation. that's what it takes. leadership. mr. speaker, now is the time for that leadership. you're the speaker of this house and we need you to lead us. as democrats and republicans. america is watching and we need to put the people's interests first. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. speaker, the debt limit exists for a simple reason, to assure that public debt isn't recklessly piled up without congress
periodically acknowledging it and addressing the spending patterns that are causing it. if the debt limit increase is supposed to be automatic, as the president suggests, then there's really no purpose to it. now, new dimension has now appeared in this discussion, unlike every one of his predecessors, this president has vowed that unless congress unconditionally raises the debt limit, the united states will default on its sovereign debt. but a failure to raise the debt limit would not by itself cause the nation to default, the government accountability office has consistently held that the treasury secretary has, quote, the authority to choose the order in which to pay obligations of the united states and to protect the nation's credit. such authority is inherent in the 1789 act that established the treasury department and entrusted it with, quote, the management of the revenue, and quote, the support of the public credit. the affirmative duty of the treasury department to do so is
underscored by the 14th amendment. our revenues are more than 10 times our debt payment, so paying the debt first to prevent a sovereign default is well within the financial ability of the federal government. indeed, it is a fiscal imperative. earlier this year the house passed h.r. 807, which not only explicitly requires the payment of the neabt in the case of an impasse over the debt limit, even allows the president to exceed the debt limit itself in order to protect the nation's credit. that measure languishes in the senate under the threat of a presidential veto. protecting the sovereign credit by prioritizing payments would mean delaying paying other bills, that is also untenable, unthinkable, and something much to be avoided, but it would not imperil the nation's sovereign credit. only the president can do that. the house leadership met with
the president last week and offered to extend the debt limit until november 22 with no strings attached. the president refused. senate republicans offered a six-month extension, but the senate democratic leader refused. it what the president threatens to do would be catastrophic and unprecedented. the full faith and credit of the united states is what gives markets the confidence to loan money to the federal government. even the threat of default, exactly the kind of president is now making, could have dire consequences to a nation that now owes more than its entire economy produces in a year. so where do we go from here? republicans have miscalculated on two key assumptions. first, that the democrats would negotiate the issues that divide our country. they have not. second, the democrats would seek to minimize the suffering caused by the impasse. they have not. given the ruthless and
vindictive way the shutdown has been handled, i now believe this president would willfully act to destroy the full faith and credit of the united states unless the congress acquiesces to all of his demands, at least as long as he sees political advantage in doing so. if the republicans acquiesce, the immediate crisis will quickly vanish, credit markets will calm, and public life will return to other matters. but a fundamental element of our constitution will have been destroyed. the power of the purse will have shifted from the representatives of the people to the executive. the executive bureaucracies will be freed to churn out ever more outlandish regulations with no effective congressional review or check through the purse. a peril era will have begun in which the president sets spending levels and vetoes any bill falling short of his demands. whenever a deadline approaches, one house can simply refuse to negotiate with the other until
congress is faced with the hobson's choice of a shutdown or default. the nation's spending will again dangerously accelerate the deficit will rapidly widen, and the economic prosperity of the nation will continue to slowly bleed away. this impasse may have started as a dispute over a collapsing health program, but it's now taken on the dimensions of a constitutional crisis. yesterday in washington a group of america's veterans rose up to take a stand against these unconstitutional user patience. i believe the salvation of our nation now ultimately depends on the american people joining them. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, for five minutes. mr. villa -- mr. vila: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor 12 members of the first squad, second pla tone hotel company of the 26th
marine regiment. these brave men made an important contribution to the war effort in vietnam, but their efforts could not be honored at the time without exposing ongoing intelligence operations. like so many of our nation's heroes, they have not received the recognition they deserve and i am here today to share with my colleagues in congress and our entire nation the details of an incident that helped change the way the vietnam war was fought. on may 29, 2967, at the end of operation hickory, and the beginning of operation prairie fork, the first squad under sergeant thomas gonzalez was on a reconnaissance patrol when they recovered a spent russian sa-2 surface to air missile inside the de mille tarized zone which divided north and south vietnam. while russian involvement in the netam war was widely suspected, discovery of the sa-2 was a major find and the
command and control mechanism of the missile were transported to washington, d.c., for analysis. due to the ongoing cold war and heightened political sensitivities regarding russian involvement in the war, public disclosure of the incident was withheld. while the unit was never fully recognized for their accomplishment, the intelligence they collected had a direct impact on combat. prior to discovery of the missile, u.s. aviators belying b-52 bombers to attack north vietnam struggled as enemy forces became more proficient at targeting and shooting at american aircraft. this forced americans to limit their missions to areas further south and as the vietnamese army continued to move their surface to air missile sites south into the d.m.z., b-52 aircraft were forced to fly even further south, limiting the effectiveness of their missions to provide support to troops engaged in ground combat.
as a result of the recovery of the sa-2 missile, b-52 bomber crews had a better understanding of the threat and they used the intelligence collected by the first squad to alter their tactics. changing the strategy of the b-52 bomb strikes allowed the aircraft to provide better combat support to marines and other ground troops and ultimately saved countless lives. it is time for our country to recognize these heroes. today, let us honor these men. sergeant thomas gonzalez. corporal gerald d. eggers. private first class ronald w. blaine. private first class charles l. melton. private first class albino martinez. private first class anthony estucio. private first class richard p.
light. private first class michael mccombs. private first class hector rodriguez. private first class lloyd parker. avy corpsman overmyer. these young men answered our nation's call to service. we owe them a great debt of gratitude for all that they have done, and i stand here before congress in recognition of their accomplishment and their sacrifice. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from american samoa, mr. aleomavaega, for five minutes. mr. faleomavaega: mr. speaker, i submit to my colleagues and some 181 million sports fans all over america who love the game of football.
just as i did having played football four years in high school. again and again, mr. speaker, this issue will not go away and with all due respect, mr. speaker, i call upon the 32 football club owners of the national football league and nfl commissioner roger goodell to get rid of this derogatory slur redskin which currently describes the washington ootball franchise. they cannot casually pass the responsibility to mr. dan snyder, own of the washington team. the washington football franchise is about a $1.3 billion business, rated third in the nfl but the nfl is also a beneficiary and i'm sure gets a fair percentage of the proceeds from television broadcasts and concessions selling clothing and sports
souvenirs by these 32 club owners. mr. speaker, i want to thank president barack obama for weighing in on this issue just two weeks ago, and i hope nfl commissioner goodell will seriously pursue this matter. if commissioner goodell feels that if we're offending one person, we should listen. listen to the leaders of the national congress of american indians, the oldest and the largest native american organization which represents the vast majority of some 5.2 million native american indians today. and when i say majority, mr. speaker, i'm talking about 2.6 million native americans who do have an issue to pull with the nfl using this racial and derogatory slurrish name. ray want to thank mr. halbrenner, leader of the american indian nation so they
can appreciate why this word is so offensive to the native american community. again, mr. speaker, it is time for the nfl commissioner, roger goodell, and the nfl to do the right thing, change the name redskin. it is a racial slur, and a derogatory term for american indians. ith that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until 2:00 be back atse will 2:00 eastern. we are going to open up our phone lines to get your thoughts on the government shutdown. more specifically, can the senate resolve the debt ceiling and government shutdown? the young woman shutdown is now in its 14th day and the deadline for the debt ceiling is this
coming thursday. you can see the numbers on the screen. here they are. your number to call, -- we are also entertaining your tweets, also your facebook remarks at facebook.com/c-span. the house is in recess right now. members will return at two :00 for legislative work. they will take up one of those targeted many funding bills in response to the government shutdown, this one healing with short-term funding for american indian programs. at 2 p.m. eastern. the senate is also in at two. later this afternoon there will be a couple of judicial nominations, both of those at 530. see the senate live on c-span two. the associated press is reporting before we get to your phone calls.
they are reporting that president obama will meet with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders at the white house this afternoon. the leaders are scheduled to attend, harry reid, mitch mcconnell, john boehner, and nancy pelosi. vice president joe biden is also said to be there. the last meeting happened on october 2. the white house is saying that the president will reiterate his desire for congress to pass bills to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. the president will make clear that he will not pay ransom for lawmakers taking those steps. that meeting is set to happen at 3 p.m. eastern today. politico reporting that harry reid has offered mitch mcconnell a deal that would reopen the government until mid to late december while extending the u.s. debt ceiling, according to several sources familiar with those talks. we will get to more of those
details in just a moment. we will take our first call. our first call his duty, from l prado, new mexico on the independent's line. >> i think the government should get together today and decide what they want. there is a lot of poor people out there and sick people that need their checks and everything. they need to help the people instead of fighting among each other. decide what they are going to do, sit down and talk and agree with some. people are collecting social security and that is the only check they can get to pay their house payments and their rent and their gas and everything. they need to think about the senior citizens. some of those people cannot work.
today what decide they are going to do because this is stupid to be fighting like that. california, wen used to have teamwork where everybody got together, worked together, and got along with everything. i hope the democrats and republicans sit down today and think about the people in the united states and the united states is a happy place to live in they needed to help the people here. people really need help. >> next to donna in hamilton ammo -- in hamilton alabama. go ahead. i understand they're not going to put the government back in business, especially for the senior citizens that have paid federal and state taxes.
my social security statement shows that i started at 16 i started working before that. pay federal and state taxes and social security taxes. >> thank you for your call. in pennsylvania, democrat caller. >> i want to say i am so ashamed of our congress. i think we should turn off their benefits until they can get things straightened out. they have such luxuries, a health club that is working and the entire country should have the same benefits that they have. it is just mind boggling. fromxt is james
massachusetts, independent caller. >> good morning. i am just stunned. both sides are wrong. doould like to see c-span more about the effects on the poor. these cuts are going to devastate millions of elderly and disabled people. what is wrong with our government? a lot of them say this is a christian country. thank you. thomas. >> i was
a veteran of the vietnam conflict. i got disabled in the service. i don't understand the republican and democrats, they need to get together and the president needs to -- we need to get back to god. god is our provider. we need to pray. i hope he does not cut might check off because that is what i live off of. i pay my bills off my government check. do? thei going to president needs to wake up.
i love this country. i fought for this country. we can't afford obamacare. i thank you god for this country. we need to get back to god. that is all i am going to say. >> think you are calling. linda cho reporting that there is a deal in the works that senate majority leader harry reid is working with mitch mcconnell to break the impasse. here are some of the details that will reopen the government to late december while extending the u.s. debt ceiling until next year. that is according to several sources familiar with the talks. the proposal would set up a framework for larger audit negotiations over the larger automatic sequestration cuts and the major deficit issues.
are open to delaying obamacare's medical device tax and a be subject to income verification. they would have to get something to republicans in return. the president will meet with bipartisan leaders for more talks, that will happen at 3 p.m. eastern. going next to linda in texas on the democrats's line. hi, i am really frustrated with harry reid and president obama. people do not want obama care. no one wants a obamacare. insuranceore than the that we already have.
my insurance will go up 55% next insuranceto have his and cannot obamacare. that everyealize and pay as to prove fee, saying that each person has insurance. they pay a fee to the government, saying that people have insurance. that is crazy. obamacare does not work. we already have proof of it on the computers. companiesughed the like my husband works for for a full year. we need to rethink this. isma needs to back off as it
and really run the country. >> we appreciate your call. is barron from north virginia on the independent line. i want to thank those of you who are listening on c-span radio. we appreciate your listening. darren, what are your thoughts? >> yes, sir. for a few years i have been seeing whenriends we are invading other countries -- honestly the only thing we have different in this and other countries is hide the shame of our government and what they're doing. republicans and democrats, whatever they may be, when they get behind closed doors they take the bees off our jackets. it is an atrocity.
to give a shout out to my favorite veteran, daniel smith. keep your head high. can 02 thenk we government. we can get together people. >> a democratic caller from philadelphia, francis, you are next. >> i would like to spend a couple of minutes with the panel. i would like to know if the people voted -- if the republicans are voted democrats -- and second of all, it is not about obamacare. it is about president obama. people don't realize he's doing a good job.
people in the white house are going against everything he is saying. let him have a chance to run the country. thank you. >> our next call is hector from woodbridge, virginia. go ahead on the democrats line. >> how are you doing? i am going to get really to the point. i am a volunteer firefighter. i am a retired military veteran with 20 years. i also work for the government. it is a big shame we are playing this chess game with people's lives. i was born in new york city, did my two were in hawaii, this is a shame that i have to sit here and watch c-span, watch a whole bunch of cap -- of chess games with the republicans and democrats.
-- by myselfmyself with other people saying politics need to stop now. don't wait until the last moment to put us back to work. it, let's get real. i ain't the only person here who is speaking the same way, watching the snooze, back and forth. is this a game you're playing with peoples lives? i am sick and tired. i am 54 years old. it is a shame i have to have my kids watch me turn on the tv at 9:00 in the morning just to see what my life is going to be. let's get real. i hope i'm not being swept under congress.o select the kentucky, before
we get to your call, former senator alan simpson had this to say on the ongoing impasse over the debt ceiling. it says the american people are fed up with what is going on in washington. monticello kentucky, your thoughts. >> thank you for taking my call. on this obamacare, it is like obama don't care. that is beside the point. let the mayor can people decide on whether or not they want to vote on obamacare. let the people decide if they want it or not. what is the long-term effect going to be once we do raise the debt limit? what about next year?
how is that when to be paid for? >> raphael from georgia, republican caller. >> thank you for having me. my first thing is about all of the policies, this is just a sham. it has always been a sham. the reason the two parties are going -- i am 27 years old and i am watching c-span. it's sad i am watching c-span and there needs to be a lot more young people watching it. this is ridiculous. we should not raise debt from the get go. we should be working on the way to cut all of these little
entitlements. there are a lot of people that are making $15,000 per year off of just entitlements, like all of these -- it is just not right. that is all i have to say. >> dave on the independent line. >> they need to sit down and talk. they need to get a situated and get it all worked out. if they go to pass the debt it is -- go past the deadline it is good to shut the complete government down. that is how they are paying their bills, paying their
medicals. what is going to happen if they lose all that? there are going to be a lot of people that died because they need that. them thata lot of need what medical they can get. some places will not take you because you have pre-existing conditions that they will not accept. the voters need to go to the governor and everything else and that is allet up in i have to say on it. >> we appreciate your call. we appreciate all of you who called in today. a quick reminder that the president will be meeting with bipartisan congressional leaders this afternoon at the white house at 3 p.m.. among those who are attending, harry reid, mitch mcconnell, ,ohn boehner, and nancy pelosi
also vice president joe biden is said to be there. if there is any news out of that meeting, which is set to take place at 3:00 this afternoon, we will have it for you here on c- span. also the house is returning this peteroon at 2 p.m. legislative work members will debate another one of those targeted many funding bills. this one will deal short-term funding. right now a discussion from this morning's washington journal on the treasury department and it's meeting and obligations should the united states default on the debt limits of this coming thursday. >> the treasury department has said that unless the federal debt limit is raised this week, the federal government will not have sufficient funds to pay all of its bills. we are joined now by steve bell of the bipartisan policy center. as we start this discussion on the debt limit, some folks might
not realize that we have already hit the debt limit. explain how that works. on theit the debt limit 18th of may. the treasury secretary, using extraordinary tosures, he's using them continue to pay the bills. what jaclyn said in his latest letter was this, "i am going to exhaust all of my extraordinary measures and have only $30 billion cash on hand on the 17th. thate have misinterpreted to mean that he will not pay any bills after that. he will have to depend on daily cash flow, which is unpredictable to predict.
he will not have enough light to pay his bills. the 17th is an important date because on that day treasury has a large auction and they were like that auction of american debt to go off. solved somet this way by the 17th, we will not have an increase in interest rates. host: default is the word that has been thrown around a lot. some confusion about whether or not we are at risk of default. guest: of course we are. this is not a matter of calculus. 17th theoint after the treasury department will not have enough money to pay its bills. that is just a simple fact. if we will say to you don't pay the bills for the billion dollars offer joe's roofing because he changed the roof on the county courthouse, that is not really the fault.
it is a default. those are contracts we have made with people. it puts treasury in a very difficult position. people say that treasury secretary jack lew can prioritize. no he can't. there is no legal authority for him to do that. say don't worry enough money comes in every month that he will be up to pay the debt, the sovereign debt, and the interest on that debt, those people are assuming he has a power that he does not have. >> this is the prioritization? explain what they are saying because they were talking about prioritization. there was no justification in law or in president that the treasury secretary can prioritize. he can pay the debt, that is the sovereign debt, the interest on that debt and that he can pick
and choose what else to pay. treasury has already indicated each of the last three years that what they will do is not that. assume you have had $100 billion you need to pay on monday and you only have $80 billion cash on hand. the treasury is most likely to wait until tuesday or wednesday when they have joomla! to enough money and they will pay all the bills that are due on monday all at one fell swoop. the reason being it is very difficult to find any justification to allow someone to pay a bill or a debt or interest on our debt and not pay social security, or not pay medicare providers for not paying veterans compensation or paying a lot things. >> we can talk about some of those choices but we also want to get in calls and comments as we follow -- as we talk to the senior director.
he is the man to ask the question two. as we wait for folks to call in, we talk about bills being due on different days. part is what you did at the bipartisan policy center is to actually look at the bills that are due coming up at the end of october and the beginning of november. let's talk about the debt that 18maturing between october and november. what are our problem days you go >> we have a social security lawent that is due by statutorily. if you can get by the 23rd, you can get into the 28th or 29th before you run into real difficulties. this always surprises people, bond markets do not like what is going on.
a full week bond market tribute -- tripled. americans had to pay on that debt for four weeks, the four- week bill. that is pretty extraordinary. even though the sounds very technical, we are paying as much as west on the two-year are on the 30 day bill. that hasn't happened in many many years. the last time we have had interest rates this high was in 2008. as i recall correctly, 2008 wasn't the best year we have had. ua back to the debt limit back in 2011. and actually estimated the cost of that that fight. cliff we the fiscal lost about $1.3 billion in additional interest rates and
that one year alone. that could have gone to something useful. we will add at least $20 billion in money that will go to increased debt. market wante bond to be able to say to their friends that that is good money. you can take that as collateral. if you ask someone who runs a ask someone who is loaning mortgage money to lenders. they will say this is a pretty serious problem. >> i had a question from janet in our last segment. she wanted to ask you how the failure to rates -- to raise the debt ceiling will affect the agency of banks and financial institutions that deposit up to
$50,000. >> that is a legal question. it is our assumption that that will stay in place, the $250,000 insurance from fdic will stay in place. that will continue. says there's going to be a run on the banks, is that something you are worried about? >> not a run on the banks necessarily. by all of these bond traders in wall street, in tokyo and in europe. there all of a sudden afraid that when they do something every day it is going to raise tens of billions of dollars and while the sounds kind of strange, here is what happens -- a guy needs $10 billion to run his business from wall street. he has a bunch of treasury securities. united states issued treasury securities. supposed be the riskless
asset. that does not take any risk with it. he goes to his buddy and says i want to borrow some money from you. i will put down as collateral this treasury debt. we say last week was people refusing to take maturing days from the united states treasury as collateral. we saw them have to take a two percent cut in asia. we saw one of the biggest mutual funds in the world say we are no longer accepting october and november maturing debt from the united states people seem to think that because the sky hasn't fallen or that the lights are still on that nothing that is going to happen. this will make what happened with lehman brothers look quite minor in comparison. >> let's get some calls and. carrie is up first on our
line for democrats. good morning. to findi was calling out why we have not addressed any issues that we have brought up at the end of the debates before the adjournment for the weekend. rules,aker changed the disallowing them to independently call for a vote. only the speaker can call for a vote now, which has forced the majority of republicans and democrats who would have a majority to call for a vote. there is only a handful of republicans now that are holding it up and the speaker of the house has effectively shackled them. host: are you following the politics e e -- politics? guest: the gentleman is
precisely correct. it wasn't specifically outlined. it was something that would get us out of this debt problem. decided, which you can do this, not to bring that bill up, thinking it was premature. there is a special place in heaven for john boehner for what he had to go through. everyone leaves he wants to have -- there are 30 or 50 republicans that are not going to go along with anything. they do it for a variety of reasons. when i was young we have to save , they have to save congress by destroying the congressional -- i destroying the process. people are so used to this that
they think this is going to go on forever and every year we are going to threaten a shutdown and every year everything is going to be fine. at some point we're going to be paying much higher interest rates for this kind of behavior. >> steve bell is a former staff director on the senate budget committee. was nominated by president reagan to be a member of the federal risk savings plan. he is now the senior director for the economic policy project at the bipartisan policy center. he is taking your questions on the debt ceiling. carl's is up next from california on our line for republicans. good morning. caller: thank you. i would like you to comment on how much the quantitative easing has affected our debt and how much revenue we lost during those eight years of tax cuts, how that affects the debt. thank you so much. guest: when you cut taxes dramatically, you'll increase the debt.
there is a theory that, "don't worry, there'll be more revenues." that has been discredited but that is a theory some people hold. the fed has quadrupled the size of its balance sheet. they are buying $85 billion every single month of american treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. a lot of people concerned about, "you have that kind of balance sheet. that is a huge." will it cause inflation? it hasn't had much impact on our debt. host: next up is annette. caller: good morning.
we are $17 trillion in debt. that is a scary number. we keep saying we want to raise the debt ceiling. is there really a ceiling? if we don't try to control spending, is this going to be the only answer every year, to fight as to how much to raise the debt ceiling? we will owe more and more. to me, it is scary. guest: there is no doubt in my mind it is scary. $17 trillion is money we have already obligated ourselves to pay.
those are the past bills. going forward, as we spend more money and we run deficits every year, that adds to the debt. if congress does not do something dramatic, we have a situation where our debt becomes unsustainable. we will have to pay so much money on servicing our debt that we'll have to do away with a lot of things. for the last 40 years, the 10- year note determines to a great extent the mortgage payments that americans make. that average has been about five percent interest rate on all the 10 year notes to be issued. because of the last four years, that is about 2.6% now.
if that were to avert to the average of the last 40 years, we would pay more money on debt interest in all of the department of defense. host: we will go back to some of the charts you have come up with. you estimate the u.s. would need roughly $17.8 trillion debt ceiling to cover the obligations through december, 2014. guest: that is more than we are at right now. host: in terms of the decrease that the bipartisan policy center thinks we need to have, where would you put it? guest: if you want to be safe and get by the craziness of the november 2014 elections, we
think 1.1, 1.2 is an estimate. we do not know what kinds of things will happen. if we had to do something in iran. if we had another recession where revenues fell short, that number would be bigger. but right now, looking at what we project, we think $1.1 trillion would get us through. host: i want to play with a bit of jack lew last week. [video clip] >> i do not know how you could possibly choose between medicare and food assistance. these are obligations we have made.
we wouldn't have the money to necessarily pay our troops were veterans in full. our systems were not designed to pay our bills. our systems were designed to pay our bills. i do not know how you can make the decision. i do not think the administrative process would permit the system to work. we write roughly 80 million checks a month. the systems are automated to pay. host: and the bipartisan policy center has tried to figure out if you choose to pay certain programs, what other programs you could not pay. talk about these charts from your latest report. guest: everyone talks about how we can prioritize.
so at some point, you are going to run out of money and you have to decide what not to pay. this is not calculus. this is simple arithmetic. you have this much money coming in and you owe more than you have coming in. jack lew and i have been friends for many years. in this case, this is a very simple thing. you could have had hank paulson say this are bob rubin, a former democratic treasury secretary, and they would say the same thing. we cannot pay all of our bills the rest of this month and you're asking us to choose between statutory payments. we are required by law to pay salaries, those kinds of things. how do you want us to break the law? host: this is from "face the nation" yesterday. [video clip] >> there are no payments due until november 15. that is what moody's says there'll not be a major impact. >> that is not what the secretary of treasury says. that is not -- you tell me.
>> he said a lot of things a week ago. the white house is trying to scare the markets. that is unfortunate. october 17 is a date that will not have a major impact less the white house can create concern about that. host: steve bell. guest: there are a variety of follies and myths. he is right. nothing much will happen on the 17th because he will have $30 billion cash on hand and he will be able to use that cash on hand for two or three or eight days to pay the bills. i do not think anybody is trying to scare markets. we have the largest bond trading house in the world. what you are seeing in the bond market is unprecedented. what you are seeing in the bond market is unprecedented.
perhaps the congressman is right, trading bonds on wall street and commodity futures. but there is a chance he is wrong, which is what most of my friends trading bills and bonds will be saying. i am not going to take this piece of paper you gave me. these are the largest mutual funds in the world. you want to believe what you hear or do you want to hear what you see, which is the behavior of professionals who say wait a minute, this is serious. i cannot remember the last time and i am only 70 -- the last time the united states sovereign debt was rejected as collateral by a counterparty.
you say, wait, i will only give you $980 million chris i am worried you may not be able to pay this back 100%. >> up next from pittsburgh, pennsylvania, here to talk with steve bell. cindy, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. this may sound simplistic and i do not mean to insult any of our senators or congressmen. a good source of revenue might be for them to forfeit a month's salary. when you have a business, very often this is owners have to go without their salaries in order to meet the bills of the business. that is just one source.
there are americans who believe in this country and have believed that we are getting benefits for those who need them. i do not understand why we do not set up a fund where those people who want to see this country get out of debt could not donate from their hearts whenever they feel they can afford perhaps to honor our veterans, perhaps to honor some errant congressmen who is seriously working. i do not understand why the congressional party members have not allow this to go so long and have taken vacations and have
not worked on the problem and have let it run to the last minute. host: steve bell? guest: members of congress are still receiving their full paychecks. would it make a difference in the behavior if they were not? in some cases, yes. as a symbolic matter, it is terrible we have all of these furloughed people and people that are contractors not getting paid. it is a bad symbolism. we did that in world war i and world war ii. we had victory bonds, where people could buy these bonds and get paid after the war was over. we have done that type of thing. we have very few of those
opportunities now. host: some people have argued the president has the power to raise the debt limit on his own. here is a question about the 14th amendment. guest: this is a very fascinating question. some people have said the 14th amendment can be used in order to pay the debt of the united states even if the debt ceiling is not raised. there are others like laurence tribe who say you cannot do that because that would lead to lawlessness. i wonder what he thinks the present situation is going to lead to.
if the president of the united states said tomorrow morning we're going to default on some of our debt, we are not going to pay these, what do you think i should do? you cannot go down in history as the first president who defaulted on american sovereign debt. we do not know what the supreme court might rule. my recommendation is order me as treasury secretary to pay the bills as they come in on time and in full, and those people who feel they have been aggrieved can take this to the supreme court. host: what has the white house said about the option? guest: that line of reasoning has been rejected. i think i know why. they do not want that situation to recur. they are not wanting the president --
host: sounds like you think the option might be on the table. guest: i do not know what secretary lew will recommend. for me it is a binary choice. are you going to pay the debt? or are you not going to pay the debt and do what every central banker said, possibly destroy the global economy? this is not a game we are playing here. this is a global system with trillions and trillions of dollars at stake. some of his says do not pay the debt should look at their savings because there will be substantial reductions in the
amount of money they have in their savings. it is a real problem that affects real problem. host: taking your questions and comments. tom is up next from georgia. tom, good morning. caller: good morning. i was calling in because the debt since 2009, the debt has skyrocketed, more than all of the presidents combined. if we go over the fiscal cliff unintentionally, then we cannot service our debt. the way they are doing it now, going to the default on our debt ceiling is the way of correcting it before we get to the actual cliff. host: you are saying you be in favor of reaching the debt ceiling? caller: it is better to do it
months. i am sympathetic to that line of reasoning. if you do not pay your debt, you will find quickly you are accumulating much more than you have anticipated. if we go back to the average interest payments on the 10-year note, if we do that in the next couple of years, we will not have any money left for national defense. a will consume all of national defense. this is a very -- we have a short term problem and a long- term problem. we have always said that we have to phase in a fundamental change in taxes and in spending. you cannot do it abruptly but you can do it over the next 10 years and avoid a real debt problem if we start doing it now. yes, the gentleman is right, we have a serious problem. let's not make it worse. let's phase in changes to these entitlements. host: if you want to follow along, it is available online at bipartisanpolicy.org.
we have a few minutes left with steve bell to talk about his report. tom is from georgia. bill is up next from georgia on our line for an dependents. bill, good morning. caller: good morning. i was under -- i thought after the clinton administration we had a budget surplus and after the bush tax cuts, we were $8 trillion. the iraq war was off the books. was i wrong? guest: you're absolutely right. we made an agreement between the congress with clinton that led to four years of balanced budgets. two unpleasant things happened. one was the dot-com bubble burst on wall street and that caused a lot of problems.
more important was 9/11, 2001. almost everything changed on that day. we started spending more money on defense. we had to spend a fair amount to keep people from being too fearful. and part of that was tax cuts. some of it was spending on defense. we did have balance wages under clinton. it was a bipartisan deal -- we did have balanced budgets under clinton. i really wonder why given that pattern of behavior we are not able to do the same thing now.
we are held enthralled by a very progressive wing of the republican party and a conservative group of republican: never vote for anything democrats want. those 15% goal way and the rest of us will make a decision here. what is happening now is the tail is wagging the dog. the far left and the far right are really complicating and impeding agreement. host: do you think it is still 15% and 15%? guest: i know about gerrymandering. i talked to some of these people and their staffs pretty candidly.
there was a majority in the house republican caucus that if you could put the right deal would join sufficient democrats to pass some kind of layout now. it is more clear in the senate. to do that you might have to take on some of the ideological folks. ted cruz would be mad. steve king would be mad. at some point, the speaker and the majority leader in the senate are going to have to put together a deal that tells the extremists on both sides, sorry, this is serious business, we do not have time for your ideological nonsense. host: how confident are you that will happen? guest: the 17th is not a drop dead date. on the 17th, the treasury will have $30 billion cash on hand. that is real money to pay bills. say a bill comes in on friday. our estimate of the drop dead date is probably somewhere between the 23rd and the 31st of this month.
i am not someone who waits for the last minute. you will see interest rates go up. i help people do not think the 17th is the end of the western world. host: a comment from carly b. in minneapolis. host: and a question from steve j. in illinois. guest: that is a very serious question. 100 years ago, a bunch of brits
sat around and they were concerned that there was a decline in the great british empire. we used to make fun of them. the only problem is they were right. between 1940 and 1975, the british pound was no longer the reserve currency in the world. as china grows and is more and more things are done in non- dollar transactions, there is some all stability that we could lose that reserve currency status. it would take 10 or 12 years. we no longer would be able to
just issue as much money as we want to without a negative impact on our interest rates and on our economy. we are playing with what someone once called and exorbitant privilege. i do not think many people on the hill understand that and i think most americans take it for granted. it would be interesting to see if the reserve currency became the chinese or the brazilian currency. we would have to live like the rest of the world. we would have punishment and reward for our fiscal hater. host: we will be speaking about
the affordable care act. a question for you on twitter from robert. guest: i have no idea. the congressional budget office at one point said it did not. there are many things i do not know and one thing i do not know is the affordable care act. host: marie is up next from new york. good morning. caller: i want the guest to talk about the red states that depend on the government. they continue to be ineffective and they continue eroding republicans. i am concerned about my pension and my 401(k). a lot of people do not have 401(k) and pensions. they do not care. this never happened before. host: i will let steve bell jump in. guest: there is no doubt she is
right if we do not solve this. people's 401(k)'s are going to get stronger. -- smaller. the stock market is not the best judge of things. the bond market is so much more important in this question. you saw what happened after lehman's bankruptcy. you saw what happened to the world financial system and to the economy. we have not recovered yet. this is a much bigger deal than lehman. this is the united states government not paying its debt. what would you like me to do? would you like me to pay social security? we are not going to have that opportunity when markets say, you have to pay us 5% interest
if we take a 10-year note. that will bring it home to everyone. the value of bonds one chopped precipitously. host: todd from ohio, good morning. caller: how are you doing? host: good. go ahead. caller: how long do you think you would be the boss before you got fired? guest: not very long. i did a comparison on the federal government. what if you had a company on the new york stock exchange and you had these characteristics -- its growth was slowing genetically, it's pension was growing dramatically, it was not producing and selling as much of
its product, and they were increasing their indebtedness quicker than they were increasing their revenues? you would not want that stock and pretty soon that company would be bankrupt. you would say there was only one reason we are not bankrupt, because we can print as much money as we want and because we have the reserve currency in the world. we have the ability to not pay the full price. argentina paid the full price.
russia defaulted on its debt and paid the full price. because we can print as much as we want, we get away with behavior that in almost any other country would lead to default. host: steve bell from the bipartisan policy center, you can check out his work at bipartisanpolicy.org. always appreciate you coming on. guest: thank you very much, john. >> the u.s. house is in recess right now. memorable -- members will return in about 40 minutes for sure speeches. they will be picking up those targeted many funding bills around shutdown, this one dealing with short term for american indian programs. live coverage when members return here on c-span beginning at 2 p.m., about 40 minutes from now. the senate is also in at 2:00 this afternoon, lawmakers will continue working to break the impasse of the government shut down. see the senate live on c-span
two. the white house is reporting that the president will meet this afternoon with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders at the white house. harry reid is scheduled to attend along with john boehner and nancy pelosi. this over atl of the government shutdown. we will have the news for you after that meeting over on the c-span networks. to the are reacting thoughtful and realistic packages to deal with the shutdown and the debt ceiling. "boehner carelessly close to setting a new record, longer the new gingrich's 21 day shutdown." this also from the congressman --
>> we will also take your tweets cspan. # >> we want to know how the government shutdown is affecting you. >> make your short video message and upload it from your mobile device. see what others are touting about. >> we are at the lee henry hoover house here on stanford university campus. it relatesficant as to lou hoover, she had such a strong grasp of design and how she wanted the house to look. we are lucky to have a lot of the original drawings, documents, related to the design and construction of how she wanted the house to look.
this pueblo architecture is also from her travels. it is a great legacy. because she designed the house, it was inspired by her ideas. >> tonight on c-span and c-span three, as well as c-span radio and www.c-span.org. >> the house returns for sure speeches with live coverage on c-span and they come back in. onht now, the discussion what the health care exchanges are offering. today we continue our look at the implementation of the affordable care act with the health news.r
we are joined by julie appleby with a discussion on the health care exchanges. it has been overshadowed by the shutdown and the debt ceiling. 14 days into those exchanges come how would you grade they're running so far? guest: not looking real good at the moment. they were downplaying expectations. there was talks about some bombs and glitches. these have gone beyond glitches. there have been problems. once they get on, they enter information and the screen disappears.
there is a lot of difficulty. most appears with the federal exchange for about 36 states. some of the states doing their own exchanges are having fewer problems. host: those federal exchanges are the ones on this map, courtesy of kaiser health news. the grayish colors are the states running federal exchanges. are the state exchanges running better than the federal exchanges? guest: we are getting reports from kentucky and washington and they are able to sign people up. washington state says they signed up about 10,000 people so far. kentucky, 9000. california has signed up about 16,000. it is not entirely clear why the states are doing better. in some of these state
exchanges, you do not have to create an account initially. you can go online and shop around. you have to create an account before you can see how much the premiums are on the federal exchanges. that seems to be one of the first hurdles with the federal exchanges. host: we want to hear your thoughts and experiences with these exchanges. 202-585-3880 if you had a good experience. 202-585-3881 if you had a bad experience. if you intend to check out these exchanges, 202-585-3882. we want to hear your thoughts and comments so far. julie appleby is a senior correspondent with kaiser health news. we hear glitches and then headlines like this. "inexcusable mess" 14 days in. has it gotten any better? guest: these could be the tip of the iceberg.
some folks are concerned there other problems when other people enroll. those kinds of issues appear to be discussed a lot. hhs has increased server capacity and has reduced the amount of time that people wait. they are saying a lot of this is related to fight them. they had 14.6 million unique visitors and they are trying to boost their capacity for volume. hhs created a section where you can see some estimates of premiums without having to create an account. you cannot give specifics but
you can see some general ideas about how much the premiums may cost in your area. host: is it the technical side of the website or is it in the design, that it is too complex? what is the bigger problem? guest: i think the people are saying it is a little bit of both. the page looks really nice. that is one of the concerns. the optics and the political
discussion, is it ready to go? republicans are saying, why is this rollout so soon when it wasn't ready? talk about delaying the law. if they do not get this resolved in a couple of weeks, this could start to hamper enrollment. it is key to get people to enroll. they have until mid-december to start up in january. there's still some time. the key is to fix this and fix this quickly. host: the sign-up started october 1. coverage begins january 1, 2014. consumers have to enroll by march 31. explain the penalty. guest: the penalty is $95 or one percent of income, whichever is greater, if you do not have coverage. there is a penalty. there are some exceptions.
people have to have insurance. host: we are talking with julie appleby from kaiser health news. kaiser health news is a nonprofit news service an independent from the kaiser family foundation. not affiliated with kaiser permanente. they cover hospitals, doctors, insurance, and all parts of the health care industry. we want to hear our viewers' experiences with these exchanges. if you had a good experience, 202-585-3880. bad experience, 202-585-3881. if you're intending to get on, 202-585-3882. phone lines are open. what advice would you give to folks who were in the last category?
guest: these marketplaces are generally for people that are uninsured or who buy their own insurance. there are 40 million who are uninsured. for many people, they get their insurance through their jobs. it might be worth it to wait a little while longer and see if they can work out the bugs and then try to logon. there are other resources available. there is little will wait on the call center. you can try to enroll by phone. you can go to an insurance broker. some of the websites have the information. you are pretty much only going
to see the plan that that ensure offers. host: a comment from ron on twitter. host: a question from american hero joe. guest: you can do that. host: and avoid these exchanges altogether? guest: if you think your income is between 100% of the federal poverty level and 400%, you will qualify for a subsidy that would offset that a little bit. if you want a subsidy, you do need to go through the marketplace. host: deborah is up next. caller: i am hearing a lot of hysteria.
poor people do not have internet or computers. all these computer glitches for the person without internet access, it doesn't have any relevance. my family, most of the people are uninsured. we knew this was coming for years, october 1. i gather the information from my nieces and nephews. texas is not being a part of it. they are giving out the phone numbers for the hotline. we got some churches together and had phone banks. it was seamless. you call and they give the information. most of my family were the 100%
.to 400% poverty, so they will get the subsidy. we signed up over 100 people in the first two hours. host: are you one of those navigators? guest: i am a disabled cancer patient who else might community. host: explain what a navigator is. guest: they help people sign up for insurance. maybe they are at a health center or some other place that helps people sign up. maybe they go online and have access to computers. navigators are in the states
where the federal government is running the government. non-navigator assistance is in the other states. there was more money given to states running their own exchanges. there is more money available. so states like texas will have fewer navigators. grants were given to community health centers. that is another option. there are some places where you can find this information. if you do have access to a computer, healthcare.gov, you can find some local folks to help you sign-up. host: align set up for those without a good experience with these health care exchanges. good morning. caller: how are you? i am excited about the acla. i was helping my sister sign-up and possibly becoming insured. the first couple of times, we tried all day and could not get
on. we set up an account and were able to browse trends. now i cannot log on at all. we finally got to the plans. the deductibles were so high. it seemed every plan was a catastrophic plan. this would've been completely unaffordable for my sister. virginia is not taking the medicaid money. i will hang up and listen to your response. guest: we talked about the various costs. the premium is one piece of it. there could be subsidies to offset the premium. some of the plans could have $2000, $3000 deductibles. the bronze and silver plant
generally have higher deductibles and cost-sharing co- pays then do the gold and platinum plans. the gold and platinum plans probably have higher remains. i did a story about a woman who qualified because she has a family of three. she will be paying about $200 a month. she was worried about these deductibles and the out-of- pocket costs. that is something that people have to watch for. the law does cap out-of-pocket costs to a maximum of $6,300 a year for an individual and $12,700 for a family. now that is a lot. it is less than many plans -- about 1/3 of plans had out-of-
pocket caps that exceeded that amount. it would be a struggle for some people. host: we have a good community of folks that follow us every day on twitter at http://twitter.com/cspanwj. we have this question -- host: talk about the spending. guest: i saw that figure the other day. one of the contractors -- there is a $400 million project that was talked about in "the new
york times." host: we have this on twitter. host: is that true? guest: that is not correct. host: we will keep answering your questions and comments with julie appleby. monique is up next. good morning to you. caller: good morning. i just want to say i am comfortable with the plan that i have now. the affordable care act has done just for me. i have saved almost $1000 in a year. i had to pay for all of my birth control. a year before i did not have to pay a dime. i went to do a surgery last
year, which i would have had to pay $500. this year i do not have to pay a dime for that surgery. the affordable care act is doing a good job. the american people just have to be patient. i understand the website has glitches. everything that rolls out is not going to be smooth at the beginning. i think it will do a wonderful job in the end. people tried to get onto the federal website. they might need to have to go to their local state site as opposed to go through at the federal level. guest: the health care law has made some changes that are already in effect. some preventive care -- she says she has been taking advantage of that this year. this is another thing to think about.
folks talk about not wanting or needing insurance. they plan to pay for things themselves. you get a date build and you have to pay for this treatment and you have a problem. folks should consider that. when you have insurance, they negotiate the rates with the hospital. you will most likely be stuck with a higher bill. host: that was the question from bill from pennsylvania. guest: we have a law that requires all emergency rooms to take care of people until they are stabilized. you we get stabilize but you're not guaranteed any kind of follow-up treatment and that you must pay the bill. this is one reason they are offering the catastrophic plans. these plans are generally for people under 30. they cover a couple of office visits to a doctor a year. it is just in case you get hit by a bus.
this covers your hospital. host: robert on twitter talks about his experience. host: talk about the different costs of premiums. guest: premium costs vary a lot. it depends where you live, your age, the plan you choose. maybe he has a large deductible. he will not be able to find a plan like that on the market. that may be a gold or platinum plan. he might want to look at a silver or bronze plan.
premiums do vary. one of the lowest places is pittsburgh. one of the highest places is in philadelphia. host: what were the reasons? guest: it could be competition among insurers. it could be competition among hospitals. maybe a hospital has a monopoly and they can charge what they want. cost of living varies. there are all these factors that go into it. the other factor is age. they cannot charge older people anymore than three times what
they charge younger people. in many states in the past there was no limit. now it is limited to three to one. this could perhaps ring down the cost for some older people but it could raise it for gender people. so age is a factor. host: there is an opinion about obamacare. another question from e-mail from mike t. on how this works. we have heard about signing up. guest: you need to sign up and the insurer decides how long you have to pay that first bill. it might be five or 10 days. you must pay that bill or your insurance does not kick in.
host: how long have you been with kaiser health news? guest: about four years. host: she is taking your calls for the next 20 minutes or so. jerry is up next from atlanta, georgia. good morning. caller: how are you doing this morning? i believe it would work real well if ms. sebelius would step down. i had a good time. i gave up and went fishing. ntsb takes care of train wrecks, don't they? host: that is jerry from atlanta. we have a line for those who had a bad experience.
patrick is waiting on that line from brady, nebraska. good morning. caller: good morning. i have tried every day since they went online and i have not been able to get through. the site has crashed or been unavailable. i was able to get my basic information in. the site always tells me error or gives me a blank page. i tried the phone number to find an assistant. it basically tell me if i was not english-speaking i could drive 120 mile round trip to a hospital i kate is to illegals in our area. i try the online chat and he said no one was available. and so here i still sit. guest: that sounds very frustrating. have you tried that 800 number? that is the health care marketplace number.
maybe they can help you sign up by phone. maybe give it another week or so and see if things settle down and try it again. some folks are saying you could try to find an insurance broker in your town to copy through the process. host: what is the white house saying about when they should have these glitches or what "usa today" calls an inexcusable mess when will the obama administration say this be fixed by? guest: they are not saying. this could go on for a while, according to some experts in "the new york times." they do have some time before people have to sign up. it could dissuade some people, people like jerry who get frustrated. host: blake from suffolk, virginia. good morning. caller: good morning.
my question is the affordable care act and military veteran. i am a military veteran. i have not been able to get in touch with anybody specifically at the v.a. just need to know whether i am already covered under the affordable care act. i have not bothered to go to the website yet because of the issues i have been hearing. i just need to hear a specific answer. thank you. guest: if blake has coverage by tri-care or another coverage, you are covered and you do not need to worry about it, just like people who have job-based insurance. they are considered covered and will meet the requirements. people on medicare are also covered. when it comes time to fill out your tax forms, you full out the box that says i had insurance. so, blake, i think you are covered.
host: we have been talking about the affordable care act. some of the issues we are talking about is those health care exchanges that opened on october 1. we want to hear your experience. we have a line setup for those with good experiences, 202-585- 3880. those with a bad experience, 202-585-3881. those who have not tried yet, 202-585-3882. and for all others, 202-585- 3883.
kathy, good morning. tennessee did not participate, so i had to do -- go through healthcare.gov, and at first i could not, but then afterwards i was able to pick a i had no problems whatsoever, so it is easing up. find whent did you you look at plans? a lot of choices the echo just a few? specifically looking for the silver plan. i have not had insurance in six years. i have a pre-existing condition and i had 27 choices on the silver plan. i also looked at the bronze, where there were 12 or 15 choices, i ended up chula -- choosing a silver plan.
the premiums started, for me, at 61, below $400 and went up from there. kathy called in from one of the states that has a federally facilitated marketplace. we want to go to ronald on the line for those who have not had good experiences. ronald, good morning. caller: the first reason i was calling is my sister lives in florida and has had a lot of problem's getting online. i know that they spent tons of money to prevent young people from participating in the plan. wish they would disclose that
these ads are being paid for by the health care industry or individuals who are trying to dissuade people from being involved and it has nothing to theith the program itself other thing i'm really aggravated about is you have billionaires who never have to worry about insurance dumping millions of dollars into these states to spread misinformation about the program. any program that the federal government has ever initiated has never gotten off to a smooth start. eventually we work out the kinks. if they allow the program to go through the initial phases, they could have one of two outcomes. either the plan doesn't work and republicans say, see, we told you so. or the program will work, and i think it will, and that scares
them the most -- host: you are calling in on the line for folks who have not had a good experience. have you personally try to get on? caller: no, i don't have to because i have insurance. i do now because i'm a retired new york state employee. host: i will let julie appleby jump in. guest: what he is talking about is an act campaign that is trying to dissuade young people from signing up, saying that young people could save money by not signing up. pay the fine and don't worry about insurance. opponents of this campaign say that is was shortsighted, and what happens to the finances over time if they get seriously ill? some of the ad campaigns have been financed by the koch brothers and there is a series of campaigns encouraging people not to sign up. young people are really key to this health law. they need people to go to these market places and senate because the younger and healthier people, their premiums are going to offset the costs of the older and sicker people.
insurers can no longer reject people who have health conditions, or charge the more. they have to take everybody now. that is why they want everybody to sign up. that is the debate going on now. they are hoping to get about 7 million people to enroll this year. of those, they're hoping to million to 3 million of them will be young people. that is their goal. host: in terms of numbers of sign-ups on the federal exchanges, we have not heard much about how many folks have signed up yet, correct? guest: they say they will release the number sometime in november. some folks really want this information. host: is there anything to read
into that? guest: i don't know why they are not releasing it but they are being asked to those numbers. the association of health care journalists sent a letter last week asking that they report them daily or weekly. some of the states are reporting them weekly. hhs has said it is not relevant necessarily how many people sign up in the first or second week. the bigger goal is over time. so they are not releasing the numbers. they say they will tell us sometime in november. host: continued concern from folks on twitter. guest: there has been a lot of discussion online that is not correct about the irs getting your medical records. that is not included when you sign up. one of the things the law does is they say they cannot reject people with medical conditions, so you are not filling up 10 pages of medical information to apply for this insurance, unlike the past. you have to provide income information, identity information. that will be verified through
this system. you have to show that you are an american citizen, because undocumented immigrants are not allowed to get coverage through the exchanges. that kind of information is going to be kept. we're told that the hub is not storing information, that it is a pass-through. but the medical information is not part of that. host: frank is from west grove, pennsylvania, on the line for folks who have not tried to get onto these exchange websites. you are on with julie appleby. caller: good morning. i would like to make a comment about this whole program from a little different angle. to make a disclosure, i'm a retired irs employee, and i've several years of experience working with software and contractors for the government. listening to many of the comments that are coming through, some of these failures, these problems with signing up for the program, i think ms. appleby and all your other
guests who have come on here have should make a statement. when they talk about these programs, they talk about it in terms of its a government program and they are causing the problem. that is not true. the software in many of these programs are being administered, or at least the software -- it is being done by independent contractors. these problems come up. i think ms. appleby and others should fully disclose who is behind these problems. comments have been made about the amount of money, $90 million, $600 million, whatever it is being paid for the software. they talk about it, they should
ask or say who is causing the problem, because i don't think it is the government or the government and police who are behind us -- host: do you feel like the government should be responsible in making sure he gets a working return on its investment when it does do these contracts? caller: well, at the same time they are paying these contractors -- i hear $600 million with the software -- yes, if it is not working they are to fix it. i had experience about this before which i am not going to get into. but the point is that when you make these comments, make sure it is the right people. host: julie appleby? guest: i think we are starting to see a lot of the blame game going on. "the new york times" today talked to the vendors and a lot of the vendors are pointing fingers at everybody else -- it is not us, it is them. house gop folks have already called for information from hhs and they want to know where the problems are and how much testing was done ahead of time. the vendors may respond to some of that. the other thing "the new york times" is saying today is that the centers for medicare and medicaid services integrated this whole thing. they were in charge of integrating the work of these different vendors.
there is some government role in this as well. everybody at some point is going to be called to discuss this and to account for what happened. host: we talk a lot about the folks who are signing up and their experience with these websites. here is a front-page story from saturday's "washington post.". >> relieve the last few minutes of this discussion to go live to the u.s. house. members are returning for short speeches and legislative work. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. the chaplain: let us pray. we give you thanks for giving us another day. prior to the great compromise, benjamin franklin addressed the constitutional convention. we indeed seem