tv Washington Journal News Headlines and Viewer Calls CSPAN March 23, 2017 7:00am-8:07am EDT
negotiations. then, democratic honest men earl blumenauer will give his perspective on the health care legislation. later, as her health news joins us. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] host: the house of representatives is scheduled to vote on the american health care act today. it comes into session at 9:00 a.m. there's lots of moving parts and uncertain outcome at this point. so for the next two hours the "washington journal" will focus on the latest health care debate and hear your voices as well. here's how you can participate. 202 is the area code. 748-8,000 for democrats, 748-8001 for republicans. 748-8002 for independents. you can't get through on the phone lines and want to make a comment. wj. social media at c-span
facebook.com/c-span. here are a couple of the front pages this morning. here's the "washington times." conservatives call for delay of repeal vote on obamacare. "the new york times" says republicans face dilemma on health bill. and here is "the washington post," g.o.p. holdouts leaves health care bill's vote in doubt. jennifer haberkorn with "politico", where do we stand with the health care bill? guest: i think your definition of uncertainty is the right way to put it. republican leaders still are planning to put the vote today. they never set a time for this bill except to -- they told members yerl this week it would be a late night. but as of right now they don't have the 215 votes that they would need. paul ight house speaker ryan met with the tuesday group,
a group of moderates, and members left that meeting and still weren't really excited about what was in this bill. one of the leaders of that group, charlie dent from pennsylvania, put out a statement late last night saying he would be a no on the bill. at the other end of the political spectrum, the house freedom caucus is still talking with house leaders and the white house. they are expected to go back to the white house today. they want to pull the bill to the right and repeal additional parts of obamacare. it looks like republican leadership will try to add that to the bill. but we're in the final hours now. it's 7:00 a.m. and it's still very unclear whether this bill would pass. if it's even going to be held. host: the g.o.p. caucus is meeting this morning at 9:00 a.m. and the house is coming in at 9:00 a.m. how will that play out? guest: i think this whole thing will be pretty chaotic. at this point it's really about
what needs to happen to get to those 215 votes. i think earlier this week president donald trump was on capitol hill trying to get those last-minute votes. trying to rally people together. i think the same thing's going to happen today. there will be a lot of metaphorical arm twisting, even if the house is coming into session at the same time. host: you mentioned 215 votes. 216 is the majority right now in the house. there are five vacancies, are those going to play into this debate? guest: yeah. it's going to be every vote counts. and it's 215 because one member is -- one democrat is out due to the death in the family. so at least that's the number that's been floating around. but i think if the vote is held, i think what we'll see is it's oing to be a very slim margin.
in the past during the bush administration there was a very famous vote on the medicare part d drug benefit that was held open for something like two hours. while republican leaders got the -- every vote they needed. there are some folks talking on capitol hill this week, is this going tonight same thing? are we going to see this vote held open for an extended period of time while republican leaders are getting every last vote that they need? of course we have no idea if that's going to happen today, but at least it's something people are talking about. host: what time are you planning on arriving on the hill? guest: i'm going to be there probably in about an hour. i'm expecting a very long day. host: jennifer haberkorn with "politico." greta is also monitoring events. guest: this is what republicans face. they can only afford to lose about 21 republicans or so. 24, around that number.
and the whip count, late less whip count shows about 29 or 30 republicans that are opposed right now. c-span's craig kaplan lays out how the day will play out here. and the house adjourning near midnight last night. they are going to come back as we learn at 9:00 a.m. off the floor these republicans are meeting to do what jennifer said, arm twisting. that will be happening in a capitol meeting at 9:00 a.m. craig also says on twitter that the vice president and the president will be meeting with those freedom caucus members, those conservative members that want to see changes, before they agree to vote for this. that's at 11:30 this morning. then also the house speaker, paul d. ryan, will go before the cameras and talk to reporters later this morning. we'll get an update from him on where the votes stand. and the minority leader in the house, nancy pelosi, she will also be holding a news conference to talk about where democrats are on this. they are expected to all oppose
the legislation. some conservatives, according to roll call, including senator rand paul, they want the party to start all over. and the spokesman for the freedom caucus members, the chair, mark meadows, allissa tweeting out last night, no decisions reached. continuing to negotiate. they are expected to do it through the night. the freedom caucus continues to have serious concerns with the current text of this legislation. this is after the rules committee met yesterday for nearly 12 hours. mike of the "washington post" saying it's official. the rules committee has invoked martial law for tomorrow. meaning they can pass the rule and bring it directly to the floor today. pete sessions, chairman of the house rules committee, last night around 11:00 p.m. eastern time talking about how today could play out. >> what is the earliest we would be meeting tomorrow? >> 4:15 in the morning. >> is that serious?
>> no. >> it could be. that's why i want to know. so coy set my alarm clock. -- so i could set my alarm clock. i would be happy to be here at 4:15. >> i appreciate the gentleman. i tell you what i anticipate. i anticipate probably we'll be up 9:00 a.m. probably -- probably on the floor. some poor sucker will be there with me. >> that would be me. >> our committee won't reconvene until -- >> then i would suppose sometime, maybe simultaneously, there would be what we call on our side a conference. then that would be a public awareness, announcement, a vetting, whatever it might be. then when something comes out of that, whether it's agreement, we try to meet with each other a
lot. we talk to each other. we do those kinds of things. then we all get together and do a huddle and leave. then i would then find out, ok, now it's time to do this. we would notify jim and arrange an hour from then. we would be ready. >> if you do want to meet at 4:30, let me know by 3:30. >> i will. host: as you can see a lot is happening this morning on capitol hill and at the white house. as greta mentioned, the speaker will be holding a press conference at some point this morning. he also has an op-ed this morning in the "wall street journal." the american health care act, he writes, is the boldest and most conservative health care legislation to come before congress in decades. bold because it dismantles the progressive health care experiment and replaces it with a dynamic patient-centered system. conservative because it applies america's founding principles, freedom, free enterprise. and federalism to the problems
of the day. we'll read a little bit more of this as we go through the morning. but if you want to participate, 202 is the area code. 748-8000 for democrats. 748-8001 for republicans. 748-8002 for independents. let's begin by hearing from bob, an independent in westminster, maryland. bob, are you on the "washington journal." guest: good morning. caller: i'm in my 60's and my -- for the first time in over 40 years, i no longer can afford health care insurance. y rate was quoted this year at $1,500 per month with a $6,000 deductible. this is unacceptable. and the games that are being played, i think, are going to lead to more of the same. i think that the only possibility here is to repeal
this whole mess and start with a clean sheet of paper and do this thing right. you got to have competition in the market. i once owned service stations. at that time we were able to form a group, service station association, and we shopped our plan all over the country for quite a time we were buying our health care out of utah. and we could choose our deductibles, what kind of coverage we wished to have for prescriptions, diagnostics, all of those things. and it worked very, very well. what has been done now is just essentially take insurers out of the market, and there really isn't a market. they have absolutely destroyed this. host: you're not a fan necessarily of what's -- what the speaker has proposed, correct? the speak earn president? caller: absolutely not.
i think this is more political gobbledygook and i think we'll wind up with something that just can't work with the heavy hand of government once again on it. this just looks like a minor tweaking of what we already have. host: bob in westminster, maryland. susan in new york. democrat. go ahead. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. on the other hand, i believe do this current acha will what republicans -- what republicans want is always to have less government. in this case, when it comes to health care, i think that's a big mistake. i think the congressional budget office has said how many people will lose coverage if this goes through. i do agree like the previous caller that this is being rushed through. and i think this is much too important to push through a bill
that will not serve the people in this country. and what i want to urge everyone who doesn't support this bill as it stands, one way or the other, to call their congresspeople today and make your opinions known. this is the only -- this is how our government works. host: susan, in your view has the a.c.a. been successful? caller: i believe that it has been -- i would say it needs fixing. i definitely believe it needs fixing. but i believe the concept of it is somewhat successful. i do think there are lots of things that can be repaired on it. but i think that this needs to be a well thought out plan. it needs to be bipartisan. and we need to go forward in steps. i know politically people need -- want to push this through,
350 is is not a game for million people in this contry. host: andrew is calling in from rochester, new york, on the republican line. hi. caller: hi, peter. nice to talk to you again. the taxes in western new york because of the extremely expensive new york's medicaid are close to bizarre numbers. they are like three to five times the rates of the rest of the country. and representative mcgovern from massachusetts last night, i was watching c-span late, in the rules committee hearing there, he just would not give our representative from buffalo rea, a break on the thing. i could not believe how cold that man was. mr. mcgovern from massachusetts.
he was like wanting to call it unconstitutional. and we just -- in western new york, we would like mr. mcgovern to realize the unbelievable pain that the taxpayers are suffering under western new york and andrew cuomo. the tax rates are insane up here. e pay $8 on 1,000. if you have a million dollar house you are paying like 80,000 a year. you pay as much as millionaires in other parts of the country. mr. mcgovern, you should understand what the representative from the buffalo area is trying to do for his people and back off. host: andrew, are you supportive paul ryan's approach on health care? caller: i am in support of paul
ryan's approach on health care he's going to craft something that the senate might be able to pass and actually get -- slow this thing down somewhat. paul ryan's host: thank you for calling in this morning. andrew was calling in from rochester, new york. while representative tom reed is a republican from new york and a member of the ways and means subcommittee on health. congressman reed, why are you supporting the ahca? guest: obviously this bill is something that's been a year in the work and now it's time to unite and move it forward. then continue the conversation about health care reform in america. this is not done today. this is the first step in change. and that takes leadership and that host: thank means we need to mo today. host: when you say it's the first step, are you talking about the three legged stool that paul ryan's been talking about? guest: absolutely. as one of the previous callers today sade, as we get to the third part of this it will take bipartisan efforts to get to the issue of health care in america driving the costs down. and i'm hopeful that this is a
first step in the process. that we can move away from the partisan rhetoric and start coming together as a country and nation working for the american people. host: congressman reed, were you supportive of the bill prior to the so-called buffalo fix? guest: that was an additional piece that got us to a yes because our property taxpayers, just like that last caller from rochester indicated, are paying way too much on their property tax. seniors are losing their homes. it's about an opportunity to relieve that burden on our citizens back in the district. making sure the seniors, older americans, were taking care -- taken care of the in the medicaid reimbursement. this bill has improved dramatically over the last month. all that accumulative effect made me come to a yes. host: the democrats yes in their one-minute speeches op the house floor had a big chart that one of the items on the chart said this is a tax increase on older americans. do you agree with that? guest: i know exactly what they
are referring to. in new york we have the one to one band ratio. the age difference that the age tax they are talking about does not apply in new york. that was another concern of mine. once we confirmed that another reason to move forward. we need to move forward as a country. we need to move forward as a united block in our conference because it's about time to come together to solve the american people's problems. host: what about the loss of insurance for several million people according to the c.b.o.? guest: as we went through this process, i anticipated that score. given that with a mandate obviously the bean counters here, the bureaucrats in washington have to conclude that everyone's going to have insurance. we know that's not the case. we know millions of americans under the affordable care act, obamacare, still go without insurance. and so what we're looking at is riving the whole picture down. if you lower insurance premiums, you have more people with the ability to purchase health insurance and access to health care. that's what we're fighting for.
at the frontline these are real people that face these decisions. host: do you have the votes? guest: i believe we do. going into today i believe we'll unite strorninge and put up the number to keep this moving forward. this is not done today. this is the first stefment this is where we start coming together as a nation, democrat, republicans. host: when you say it's not done do you an taste pates votes happening today? guest: as we get close to the vote the numbers are getting stronger and stronger and surpassing what's necessary. what i'm talking about it's not done today with health care. health care going forward needs to be a democrat-republican solution that we put together for the american people. and that's what i'm talking about in regards to this process going forward. host: representative tom reed represents. so finger lakes in new york including james town, al maya, ithaca. thank you. back to your calls. anthony in arizona. independent line.
the house is scheduled to vote on health care reform today. aller: yes, peter. it's about readiness. this morning i got up and took 15 medications that. doesn't even include my supplements. the reason i talk about readiness is i'm retired military. so i have been using military health care facility. i'm 100% disability veteran. can i dues the v.a. guess what? i still pay for medicare part d because i need options and education. and when i say readiness, it takes 18 years to get one of our service members to an age where they can either enlist or go off to medical -- not medical school but to military academy. but 18 years, think about all the health issues that can help
in 18 years. and those first 18 years will become a multiplying effect as they become 20, 30, 40. if they don't have a health system that's designed to say, when we need to go to war, we have a manufacturing base, we have a war fighting base, we have a first responder base that knows how to take care of their health. host: anthony, all that said, where do you stand on today's american health care act vote? caller: we will not be ready to fight nation if that vote passes. host: thank you, sir. hear from alice in montclair, california. democrat. you're on the "washington journal." caller: yes. obamacare have because trumpcare is no good. i hate to say that, but it's
not. it's not going to work. host: do you have a.c.a. coverage right now, alice? caller: i have insurance. i have insurance. host: how do you get your insurance? caller: how do i get it? host: yes, ma'am. is it through an employer? caller: i'm on acies tefment host: that's alice in montclair, california. greta, what do you got? >> we just heard from the congressman there, tom reed, he believed they are going to get the votes. however, rick klein of abc is tweeting out his colleague has purported this morning the list of noes is growing. let's get an idea who these noes are. rick crawford congressman tweeting out yesterday speaking with gary of the p daily press why i can't support the republican's health care bill. we needed more openness and transparency throughout the
process. this is around 5:00 yesterday. louie gohmert of texas. we promised to repeal obamacare. what is on the table, what they are bringing up tomorrow does not do that. and thomas says, sorry if i let you down, i'm changing my vote. he has a picture here of him crossing out his no vote and below that changing it to hell no. tom garrett of virginia, to be clear, we're still a firm no on health care legislation as it stands. that we he is referring to is the freedom caucus members. host: next call from john in ohio, independent line. john, what's your view? caller: thanks for taking my call. my view is logic. we're a people that are kind and we give. but you can't -- we've got welfare programs everywhere and i'm not going to bash the left. but my goodness, we can't pay for everything. we all know here who are against
obamacare that all this was was a welfare program. ok. for people who are actually not even citizens of this country. and i don't -- i love those people. i have nothing against them. but we cannot pay for everybody. now, if this bill gives freedom of choice, that's what this country is about. freedom of choice. and i think that's where -- what will lead to something intelligent. hopefully they have the platform set up for it. if not, then don't vote for it. host: a little bit more from paul ryan's op-ed this morning in the "wall street journal." repeal of obamacare must happen and urgently. not because of any ideology, but because american families are already paying the price of the law's collapse. the average premium for a mid level obamacare policy rose 25% this year. one out of three counties now only have a single insurance provider to choose from. this trend will only worsen.
humana has announced it will not offer coverage in the obamacare marketplace for 2018. others are threatening to withdraw. as the c.e.o. ofet in a -- of aetna said last month, the individual market is in a death spiral. achieving this goal will require a three-pronged approach. use the budget reconciliation process to repeal obamacare and replace it with the foundation for a patient-centered system. that's what's going to happen today, scheduled to happen today. take administrative action through the department of health and human services to further deregulate the market. and draft additional legislation that we cannot pass-through the reconciliation process. let's hear from alec in toledo, ohio, on our republican line. hi. caller: hello. i have wanted obamacare gone for seven or eight years now. however this current bill by mr. ryan is -- does not have any
cost containment. just like obamacare doesn't have any cost containment measures. and with that, i cannot it be onboard on this. i will not be onboard until senator rand paul is onboard. and we know that he is not onboard right now. like i said, i do want obamacare gone, but i cannot vote yes for this bill if i was in congress right now. host: what would you like to see happen? besides obamacare going away. how would you like to reform health care? caller: well, first of all they say that the bill has the interstate competition, but it really doesn't if you look at the details. i'm sorry you're not going to give me 20 minutes to go over it, but true interstate competition is what they need and that's not currently in this bill right now. host: eileen is in buoy,
maryland. she's a democrat. eileen, good morning. caller: good morning. i'm a physician and i just want about the omment health care business. the politicians and the health care business. i think health care belongs to the people. we the people. and they need to get advice from people who work with the system. why should people work and teaking their income paying all this deductibles and all this money, and it goes to the companies making billions of profits a year. why don't they develop a system where all that can go back into the system and help people and get the middle man out of the business. physicians work hard. they can barely make an income while the middle man making all
the money. and also medications. why doesn't the government sell all this genetic to other companies who are charging them so much money. somebody went to buy a drug was charged $600. that's not the way it's supposed to be. host: eileen, how has the affordable care act affected your work as a physician? caller: affordable care act, i guess obamacare you talking about? host: yes, ma'am. a patient had to stop it and had to go to the clinic. and we charge $30, $50, because they had their business and could not afford it.
i wanted some change in obamacare. i didn't want for them to give the c.e.o. money. i voted for them to make amendment. they need to start looking at the c.e.o.'s making all this money. and people sacrificing their lives can barely make t host: eileen, one of the complaints about the medical system in the u.s. is that it's pretty opaque. it's not transparent. do you have a set price for an office visit? caller: i do sliding scale. i take insurance when i used to e in private practice. the bill they don't pay you. it they don't --
have insurance, we charge them $30, we charge them $50. temperature we prescribe drugs that go to $4. because we take care of people and not there to make money off people like the c.e.o.'s. some system needs to be better. cross out the middle man and that extra money they collect. and put it in some fund that helps the patient. not in the pockets of somebody else. host: thank you for your time this morning. greta, what do you got? >> do republicans have the votes or not? will they have them? if this legislation goes to the floor today to repeal and replace the affordable care act? if they don't, and it fails, the "new york daily news" reports that the president appears to have two options. side with the heartline
conservative base and push for complete repeal of all obamacare related provisions. or argue to keep the popular provision and please the more moderate wing of the party. finding a milled ground could prove hard as both factions have been vocal in their opposition when the president tilts one way or the other. republicans can only afford to lose about 20 votes in the house today. even if the plan passes there, "new york daily news" reports, it is facing staunch opposition in the senate where the g.o.p. can only lose about two votes. host: republican line, good morning, al. caller: good morning. i support the repeal of, replace of obamacare n 2015 my insurance was $9,000 a year for me and my wife. $2016, it was $15,000. and this year, it's going to be $19,000. we live in california. it's unaffordable. we make $66,000 a year between
me and my wife. how is that affordable? we have to do something. unless everybody pays for insurance, it's never going to go down. host: al, when you look at what this bill, the ahca does, how would that benefit you? caller: well, if it goes down 10% or 20% on myself and my wife, i'm happy. i can't afford $19,000 a year anymore. host: what kind of work do you do? caller: i'm retired. i'm 63 years old. i retired when i was 56. everything was going good until 2010 my insurance, when i retired, was $350 a month for me and my wife. me t's $1,558 a month for and my wife. and we got the blue shield, silver plan. we have to have insurance. host: that's al in california. bee is a democrat in upper marlboro, maryland, here in the washington suburbs, bee.
caller: good morning. and thanks for taking my call. i wanted to comment on the speaker who spoke about four persons ago. there are number issues here. we do have a health care crisis that needs to be addressed. this has been going on for decades. we acknowledge that the affordable care act did not fix everything. but i as an immigrant and naturalized citizen in this contry, i'm worried about the fact that the emphasis here is not fixing what is wrong with the affordable care act and building on the platform that already exists. the emphasis seems to politicizing this by repealing obamacare and putting forth a plan that does not yet have all the pieces in place. this three-pronged approach that seems to be what's before us, why don't we -- those regulatory measures which they are talking about take, why don't we apply
those who what exists right now and fix it? why do we have to start from scratch when we already have something that seems to be working for most people. yeah, there are cost constraints that have to be maintained, and then move forward. and with regard to the gentleman who spoke about four persons ago talking about this being a welfare program. i think that welfare is being provided for immigrants and illegal immigrants at that, i really would like if someone would take a close look at the recipients of welfare. because i'm quite certain that there's rhetoric out here that seems to give the impression that welfare is being provided for immigrants into this country. i know a good number of hardworking immigrants who are contributing and productive to this nation. i myself work as a public school teach en' also work as a nurse.
i don't think that just spitting rhetoric to the fact that welfare programs are the beneficiaries -- the beneficiaries of welfare programs are people who don't even belong here is a way to go. we have a problem with health care. i get health care benefits through my employer and i am thankful for that. and do i know there are people who need to be taken care of. we need to put politics aside and come together. when i moved into this country 20 years ago, the democratic ideal of the united states was such -- seemed to be such a great thing. ut i get this courage -- discourage year after year at the kind of politics here that makes in no different from the struggling democracies of africa. thank you. host: that's bea in upper marlboro, maryland on our democrats line. katherine is in ham a independent. go ahead. -- in new hampshire, independent. go ahead. caller: good morning. i'm against the repeal and
replace bill. and i have a suggestion for health care for all and how to pay for t small and large businesses and corporations, i think, would be super happy. they would not provide health care for workers. and they would make more profits. have money to expand their businesses. they could pay their workers more and hire more workers and our g.n.p. would grow. the only business that is would not be happy would be the insurance company. and this is how it would be done. there would be a u.s. single payer health care plan. and it would be paid -- the money needed would be raised by a 4%, 4.5% national sales tax on all goods and services except food. and the money raised could only be used on health care.
and there would be no deductions on federal income tax of what people paid for total on their sales tax. this type of sales tax. and that's what i would do. host: that's katherine's propose a she is in north conway, new hampshire. v.a. texan tweets in. democrats are building them except up to this vote like they built themselves up to mrs. clinton's defeat. poor saps. here is another tweet. this is sledge who is saying that the very idea of health care gets lost from the start in this debate. medicare for eet, all is the only answer for america's health care. it's the least expensive, more efficient, and it will stop price gouging.
john is calling in from the state of washington, republican line. go ahead. caller: how you doing. that's virginia. host: that's exactly what it says. caller: good morning to everybody there. i would just -- when i look at this whole health care system and i look at ultimately it's a product and it's about cost. and whether or not we can afford it. the immigrant woman, i found her analysis very interesting. she came from africa. and she thinks that we're now more like africa. what have we gone to? we have gone to a lesser of a free market. we have gone to a government system. and the -- i think you had a congressman on from new york. and i find it interesting when we start looking about medicaid and the subsidies from the
federal government, when you look at a state budget, a state budget has to be balanced every year. the federal government does not. so it's a transfer of wealth from one generation to the other. in this manner. the federal government can create money and issue debts. so nobody's dealing with the problem. that's what the politicians like. i think this new affordable care act is along the same kin. i'm a republican. i don't like the affordable care act. i get my insurance, i'm very please blested to get it through my corporation. and the rates are reasonable. i'm also retired. i have military. i also have that option available to me. i realize people do not. but these methods are not going to decrease the cost of medical care in the united states. it needs to be a free market. and the insurance companies
nject through the ability to pay everything. it distorts the market. it's a very tough problem. i get that. we have medicaid and medicare which is paid -- medicaid through the states. help people who cannot get medical care. the way i see this new product. i'm a no for t the reason i'm a no for it because they are not fixing the fundamental flaw which has to do with free market principles. from not only insurance costs but from doctors costs. and just medical-denver cost. that's how you get it dofpblet you can't have a couple of people trying to figure out how huge ce control the complex market that's here. the way to do it -- host: would you favor getting rid of the employer-based health
care system? caller: no. i don't. here's the reason why. i don't know. this is a tough one. even for me. so i'm a beneficiary of that. naturally i like it, right. i'm also a beneficiary of a military retirement program. so i like it. but when i look at it, i go, here's how i think about it. i think insurance is more for catastrophic-type occurrence. it's not for everyday incidentalles -- incidentals. in a free market anybody can offer any amount of a plan. so i can have coverage from the least. if i go to a doctor for a cold, i pay for it out of my pocket. and maybe i have a lower premium. but if i have a catastrophic thing, i'm covered. and that's done through actuaries with large pools of healthy and unhealthy people. i get that. and mandating that is not the answer. i don't think.
to answer your question about the -- about my corporation or my company's care, that is paid in a sense through -- it's another form of pay. so i'm still paying it through their program. and if i want -- if i get a good health care program through that mpany, that is a form of payment. so it is a complex issue. but i think the only real way to bring down costs across the board for premiums and for care itself, from a doctor, is through competition. host: john, we'll have to leave it there. appreciate your time this morning. greta. >> the president is hoping to apply some public pressure this morning. tweeting out already, we're -- you were given many lies with obamacare. go with our plan, he says. call your rep and let them know you're behind the american
health care act. listen to what he had to say. this video he put in his tweet. >> americans were told that obamacare would bring down prices and increase options. you were told that you could keep your plan and keep your doctor. you were given many, many false stories. the fact is you were given many lies. go with our plan. it's going to be terrific. you're going to be very, very happy. call your local representative. call your senator. let them know that you're behind our plan. >> if you want to know who is it opposed to this legislation right now for the house republicans, you can go to cnn, the hill, "politico," they'll have whip counts, including "the new york times" which lays it out. those that are supporting, leaning yes. undecided or unclear. the concern are leaning no.
then you have the 29 or so that are absolutely leaning no. and you can go to that list if you want to call them. all the democrats are going to be opposing this as well. what are the sticking points? kay with vox.com puts it out in this tweet. she says house republicans are reportedly considering a deal to make the following optional for health insurance. these are the essential benefits that were part of the affordable care act. conservative republicans like those in the freedom caucus argue that if you get rid of those, you lower premiums. they want to see these essential benefits gone. the concern from house republicans and from senators is that that is not related to the budget. and in order for this to pass-through the senate, through the reconciliation process, which requires only 51 votes, all the language has to be related to the budget. that could be -- could mean that democrats could call point of
order. so this is one of the sticking points that we're dealing with this morning. host: from "the washington post" this morning. echos of 2009 and health care debate. david rights that there were more public debates -- and committee meetings about the a.c.a. than about the ahca. in 2009 the house energy and commerce committee held three days of hearings. this year the committee held one marathon markup that went overnight. the text of the earlier bill's various versions was online for days before each vote. as the senate closed in on a vote, then senator tomko burn -- tom doe burn of oklahoma moved successfully for the bill to be read in its entirety on the floor. and nancy pelosi's accidentally immortal pledge that voters would find out what's in the a.c.a. only after it passed was made in march, 2010, weeks after the final version of the bill was made public.
peter is in west balm peach, florida. a democrat. hi. caller: good morning. i'm very interested in this discussion about health care. i live in a community here where we have over 100 families from canada here. in my community i have talked to the canadians and they all say they are very pleased with their health plan. i hear rumors, canadian this, they don't have this. they are all very well pleased with their health. now, if canada can have a plan for all their people that live there and they are all satisfied with it, how come this country, which has so much money and had so much attitude towards health care, and we cannot correct it? now they are pressing a new bill -- it's more political than health care. they could work on that obamacare. they could correct the problems. you can't have just sick people sign up for health care.
so what they did, they made it monetary that even healthy people have to sign up. no insurance company could stay in business if they only cover sick people. their business would not last very long. and no insurance company even wants to do that. so what we have to do is try to correct so the people that are healthy join the health plan, too. if canada could do it, british could do it, france could do it, germany could do it what's wrong with the united states? we cannot correct a health plan for all our people? with the wealth we have in this country, it's a disgrace. host: peter in west palm beach, florida. representative earl blumenauer, a democrat of oregon, is joining us now from capitol hill. representative blumenauer, if you heard that last caller, though he was supportive of the a.c.a., he said there could be some tweaks to it. do you agree guest: we can always improve the
underlying legislation. that's something we have been attempting to do for the last seven years. being able to move forward. build on our experience. unfortunately my friends on the republican side of the aisle have been doing is try and cut away at it. to try to make it worse. try to chipway essential provisions and spread con-- chip away essential provisions and spread confusion. all their efforts trying to undermine it it has been successful. that we have held medical costs, inflation in check, and we have the lowest uninsured rate in american history. and we can move forward as opposed to trying to penalize the american public by giving them less beneficial insurance and making them pay more for it. host: what are a change or two you would propose to the a.c.a.? rather than the ryan bill? caller: the challenge that we've
got now is to be able to protect medicaid expansion, be able to build on the foundation. i'm perfectly willing for us to be able to make some modest adjustments dealing with reducing the price of deductibles. and co-pays. they are throwing around money now trying to buy votes making additions. if we were able to move in the direction to be able to sit down and deal with those fundamental problems, the biggest challenge we have now is that we have denied medicaid expansion to people in 19 states. their hospitals have been failing. they have had problems with people who are too poor to be able to afford insurance through the subsidization program. that's outrageous. that people in those 19 states have been denied that. we should be working to make sure that they have access to
the largest insurance program in the country, medicaid. that to me is the area we should be focusing on. host: paul ryan writes this morning in the "wall street journal" that the average premium for a mid level obamacare policy rose 25% this year. and that one out of three counties now only have a single insurance provider. guest: the problem, -- the problem paul is talking about here is going to be worse under the proposal they have. they are going to have higher co-pays. higher deductibles. the only way that premiums are going to go down after 10 years is because they are going to force older americans between 50 and 64 years of age, off insurance. it will be too expensive for them. that's why it will go down in 10 years is because we have forced older americans off the market. that's outrageous.
i strongly suggest that we have to make sure that we are able to build on what we've got. not o artificially reduce premiums -- not to artificially reduce premiums by denying care for people who need it most. host: does it feel like 2009 again? guest: absolutely not. 2009 i was in the middle. we had hundreds of meetings. we had the text available well in advance. people knew what was going on. we were not in the process of this last minute let's make a deal. nobody knows what the bill is going to look like. and they want to vote on it this afternoon. the only reason it's going to be voted on is because this is the symbolic date, seven years after the passage of the affordable care act. to repeal the most significant reform in american health care history in the last 50 years with nobody knowing what's going on, without ever having a real
hearing on it, and presumably there is a c.b.o. score on what they are changing, of course they are changing it by the minute to try and buy votes, so it's a little hard to know what we're doing. it has no relationship, in my judgment, to what we did back when we initially approved the affordable care act. none whatsoever. host: earl blumenauer, democrat of oregon. member of the ways and means committee. a lot's going on on capitol hill this morning. the house is coming in at 9:00. the g.o.p. caucus meeting at 9:00. the president is hosting congressmen down at the white house. competing press conferences. that's why we're spending this morning on the "washington journal" talking about the scheduled -- house vote on the g.o.p. health care reform plan. 202 is the area code if you like to participate. 748-8000 for democrats. 202-748-8001 for republicans. and 202-748 shall 8002 for
independents. back to creta. -- back to greta. >> we have breaking stories this morning not related to health care. this on the 2016 elections and russia. the associated press with this exclusive story this morning. that the u.s. is probing the anking of paul manaforth's extrum campaign chief. the u.s. treasury department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving president donald trump's former campaign manager as part of a federal crppings probe into his work in eastern europe. it was turned over earlier this year to u.s. agentses working the financial crimes enforcement network by investigators in cyprus at the u.s. agency's request. a person familiar with the case speaking on the condition of anonymity. then you have a cnn exclusive story this morning as well.
u.s. officials say info suggests trump associates may have coordinated with the russians. the f.b.i. has information that indicates associates of president donald trump communicated with suspected russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to hillary clinton's campaign. this is partly what f.b.i. director comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement monday before congress that the f.b.i. is investigating the trump campaign's ties to russia. the f.b.i. is now reviewing that information which includes human intelligence, travel, business, and phone records of in person meetings. the information is raising the suspicions of f.b.i. counter intelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place. though officials caution that the information was not conclusive and the investigation is ongoing. this this morning after on capitol hill yesterday the house intelligence chairman, according to the hill newspaper, sparked
storm with his briefing to reporters and later to the president saying that he had learned from a source that the u.s. intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of trump's transition team and widely disseminated the information internally. the chairman, devin nunes, did not share this information with the other democrats on the committee, which is tradition for the house intelligence committee. that caused the ranking member adam schiff of california to hold a news conference saying he has grave concerns about any investigation that could be done by the house intelligence committee led by devin nunes. again is calling for a special committee, a bipartisan committee, to look into this. he says that the intelligence chairman's actions have now put a dark cloud over anything they would do on a bipartisan -- in a bipartisan nature. host: back to your calls on the health care debate.
matthew in satellite beach, florida. independent line. go ahead. caller: good morning, thanks for talking my call. i wanted to highlight on c-span last night the house rules committee was doing an all nighter. i thought there was a remarkable display of the dysfunction in washington where you had the democratic leadership, pelosi, hoyer, and clyburn, there acting as witnesses. d this prolonged exchange, representatives could talk to each other past media sound bites. spent most of the team defending the a.c.a. while the republicans were there defending the ahca you realize that while the house is not as co-dependent as senate on the oppositional party, that there's for the a.c.a. to be in place and then to still be debating both how the law was passed several years ago and debating what the law does now and what the new law would propose. you realize these parties have
not been talking to each other. they had to reflect on that during that session. it was just remarkable. i encourage other c-span viewers to pull it up. and continue to play it throughout date at some point. host: matthew, that said, where do you stand on the replacement bill that is going to be offered on the floor today? guest: i do not support the bill. i'm not necessarily for our current legislation either. act. think a disruptive i think the a.c.a. was trying to correct a long-standing problem of people being uninsured and not having access to health insurance. i'm a physician and deal with patients who come in with catastrophic problems. and primary health problems. it's more complicated. i appreciate a free market approach to most problems. however, there's no customer service line when you are diagnosed with cancer.
you have to sort of deal with it as it comes at you. or heart attack or heroin overdose. then there are certain risks and unlike other insurance markets, it's one thing to have smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher in your home. when it's a person, it's a different kind of -- it is a different market. there are lives on the line. they only talk about catastrophic insurance. that's like saying you're not going to fix a bridge until it collapses. when there's clearly signs way in advance that you could invest in to prevent that collapse. just like the human body, the primary care and preventive care, like other countries invest in primarily, you can make smart investments with public dollars to overall bring down health disparities in your community. it shouldn't be seen as socialism or government takeover. but a public investment just like you would invest in roads. just like you invest in military. that we all benefit from healthier citizens.
host: matthew, what percentage of your time as a physician is spent dealing with insurance companies or billing or those types of issues rather than patient care? guest: interesting question. i'm an anaesthesiologist. my time is billed. i don't actually have to directly negotiate. the hospital does that on my behalf or if i worked in a surgical center. they would carry out those negotiations. in some ways i am -- my benefit to my hospital is the efficientcy with which i can provide care. but -- it's -- there are some physicians that don't necessarily directly have to deal with that. although there's an overseeing manager who will sort of manage an operating room to dictate sort of how many cases can get through in a day and all this stuff. supporting staff that they have to pay to manage that operating room.
it's more complex and it's unfortunately portrayed. spoken down into labels of socialism, communism. all this other things. it's not that. these are your neighbors. your family members that you are talking about. and you are treating them like they are on on the dole. these are people with real health problems and it could be you. it could be your family member. and you don't know. host: do you have a set price for a certain operation? guest: so operating room billing is sort of an odd thing. usually package prices in which an operation will be billed for. it's at the hospital's discretion to try and save as much money as you can from that operation. obviously the longer an operation takes, the more money the hospital will lose. they negotiate on how much reimbursement they'll get for a certain kind of operation.
it's a collaborative effort between the surgeon and anaesthesiologist who get through that operation as safely and quickly as possible to try to recoup as much money at the back end. and then certain operations have to be done in certain environments because reimbursements rates change. more complicated than you'll see n a segment on the news clip but i mean it's complicated. .it is complicated. it should be treated with the respect it deserves and not rush to meet some sort of campaign promise where clearly the person who is just finding out about this is the president of the united states. people have been getting along with this for decades. it is unfortunate that it is a shock to him but households living with this their whole lives and it is unfortunate.
host: john is calling in from glendale, arizona on the republican line. say that ianted to believe that our military people should all receive the finest medical care available. thing that the people in washington need to do all federal government employees and all the politicians in washington, they need to set it up so that if they ever replace obamacare may also need to replace their own medical carrier, their retirement health care with whatever they come up with. because they are not dealing with the same thing that the rest of the american people are dealing with. and i think that what they need to do is rather than doing a blanket replacement, they need to get together and just look at what is working, what is not things that are
not working little by little. make improvements. that is how i feel about that right now. host: that is john in glendale, arizona. from the washington times this morning, many conservatives want to eliminate obamacare's insurance regulations and requirements, known as essential benefits which include things like prescription drugs and maternity care. leaders worry that doing so avoid a filibuster in the stomach -- in the senate. democrats say the effort would almost certainly violate senate rules and water down health-care coverage across the nation. and that it amounts to desperation. >> for our viewers who want to track these changes, the deals that are being made between republicans and the white house and the leadership, bloomberg is doing so. , thatut out this tweet
you can track the key changes to the health care bill and assess their impact. this one compares the difference in medicaid enrollment under the gop health care plan, compared to current laws. you can see how it changes over the next 10 years or so. there is also this from the hill. tomheadline, congressman massey telling cnn the president could be a one term president if this health care bill passes today. and why today? why have republicans scheduled this for today? 2017,s because march 23, marks, to the day, seven years ago when president obama signed into law the affordable care act. democrats along with former vice president joe biden were up on capitol hill rally in support for that law and seeking more support for opposition to what republicans want to do. here is how the vice president
friends their bill. >> let me cut to the chase. there is nothing fundamentally changed in the republican party in the last 12 to 15 years. except they have a president now who is a little more colorful. >> [laughter] >> that is a polite word. >> that is polite but it is about time we were polite. deal. the when you cut to the chase, we are talking about eliminating benefits$1 trillion in that go to people to be able to meet the commitment we make that health care is a right and we are transferring all of that to the wealthy. that is what this is all about. it is not a transfer tax, basically. eliminating the affordable care act means illuminating an awful lot of things that people badly
need, in return for what? for peoplerease so thatver $250,000, drug companies and insurance companies and medical device is anies can benefit transfer about $1 trillion. those folks out there, everybody in this country, that is what it is. that is classic republican politics. this is a tax bill for them. sureis all about making that hard-working people -- and by the way, middle-class people who otherwise seem to be doing alright in their income accept the cost of their health care -- and saying, ok. what we are going to do is we are going to transfer back close to $1 trillion to people who don't need it. they don't need the last thing.
this is going to mean an additional 57,000 dollars a year in tax breaks for people making $1 million a year. if you lined up all the millionaires in america and say do you think this is fair? i think they would say no. i honestly got believe they would say no. >> and that was former vice president biden at a rally at capitol hill yesterday. mary agnes carey is with the kaiser health news. she is joining us now on washington journal. how radical or different is the plan being voted on today than the aca? >> one of the biggest changes would be how they fund the medicaid program. now it is an entitlement, a matched federal state program. they get a 57% match from the federal government. it would now change the republicans health ca