tv Senator Jerry Moran Town Hall CSPAN August 13, 2017 9:01pm-10:22pm EDT
announcer: now a town hall meeting with kansas senator jerry moran. discussion on how regulations affect medical care in the u.s. at 11:00 p.m., another chance to see "q&a" with paul butler talking about his book "chokehold: policing black men." a the british parliament is in recess until early next month, so prime minister's questions will not be seen tonight. coming up, republican senator jerry moran's townhall in kansas. he talks about health care, veteran services, farming challenges, and the opioid epidemic. this runs an hour and 20 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. i miss the days of more normal town hall meetings. i am not accustomed to the attention.
we welcome the press to great bend and i am delighted to be here as well. congress is out of session until later birthday and i'm using my time -- until labor day and i'm using my time as i have every other august to have conversations with all of you. 228th town hall meeting as a member of congress and it is great to be back. we tried to do one in every county on an ongoing basis. just a couple of things i want to say. this is my first visit to great bend since the death of bob parish. bob and polly were great friends and great supporters. we spent our honeymoon with bob
and polly at the republican national convention in 1984. bob was interested in his community and the history of this community. we now live in manhattan and we drove to great bend for the 90th birthday party only to arrive with three cars in the parking lot and i walked in and said, what happened, am i in the wrong place? and they said, don't you know, bob died yesterday. he missed his birthday party by one day. secondly, on a topic of interest. i'm not a veteran but i grew up with vietnam in the back of my life and saw what happened to many who served in our military as they returned home and worked hard to make it a point of making sure those who serve our country receive the care and respect they are deserving of.
of illinois and no va hospital. access to the va has been a challenge for people who live in rural kansas and our efforts in those days were to open up outpatient clinics in kansas. there's one in hutchinson and dodge city to bring routine services closer to where veterans live. if you are a 94-year-old world war ii veteran, how do you get to topeka? we use the opportunity that the scandal related to the fake waiting lists of about three or
, we rally ago congress to a cause we were passedful in an congress legislation now generally known as choice. what it says is if you are a veteran more than 40 miles from the va facility or takes more than 30 days to get the services you need, the veteran option allows you to have hometown care. you can see a hometown physician and have your prescription filled in your hometown pharmacy and be admitted to your own hospital in your own neighborhood. that, in my view, the va early on was very reluctant to support this program and i think they created lots of challenges -- the bureaucracy, the paperwork, the delays, we believe it's getting better and i don't want the va to win if they are
opposed to this. i want us to win. the undersecretary of veteran affairs testified that veterans don't like choice and don't want it. i don't know veterans in rural kansas who wouldn't take advantage in most circumstances having care at the hospital here in great bend or the hospital in allenwood given a choice. i don't want those who oppose this to win and so, if you are veteran or if you know a veteran who could utilize this, maybe they tried and don't know about it, but if they have an interest, make sure me or my staff know so we can help them work their way through. if you're involved in healthcare in any way in providing services to veterans but not paid by the va, the law requires them to pay medicare rates for those providers when they provide
services and if your provider, one of the problems we've had is how slow he is in getting the -- how slow the pay is in getting those providers paid. we will go to bat for any or pharmacy that is trying to get the bills paid. we extended the program and put $2.1 billion in the program. the bill on the president's desk and expected that he signed and -- expected that he will sign it and we want to make sure this program works. i would tell you that example that in some ways makes me smile but is very sad, my hometown of , my dad was a pumper so we followed the oil around lots of places.
a veteran called me and said, i want to use the choice program. i used to say that he said he wanted a colonoscopy. people quickly told me that no one wants one. i'm sure he said i need a colonoscopy and i called the va in wichita and said i want to do it here at home and the va said, sir, you can do that because you -- you cannot do that because you live within 40 miles and they have an outpatient clinic. my veteran said no, i told the va, i've already called the clinic and they don't do colonoscopies. the va said, sir, i'm sorry, but there's a clinic within 40 miles of where you live. it's that kind of stuff that makes no sense as we treat those who served their nation. the request is, put us to work to help you or someone you know or one of the health care providers. if this program is successful, it will also help all the rest
of us have access to healthcare because if we are spending our dollars here, we are supporting the healthcare delivery system that people who aren't better -- who are not veterans rely on. money that is spent here helps us provide healthcare opportunities for everyone. let me take this conversation any direction you would like for it to go. [inaudible] developing a new farm bill. in my home county last week, we got the remainder of grain elevators that can handle it. [inaudible]
the last few years have been devastating for farmers. i've lost all the working capital that i built over my lifetime. we've got to start thinking about this overproduction. farm programs are based on conservation. so we don't have an adequate safety net. so they need to strengthen the farmville input supply management on the table. >> we've had these conversations for as long as we've known each other. i think the answer to both questions is yes, supply management is always on the table. i'll have a few more comments about that. secondly, we need to change the
safety net from the current farmville. -- from the farm bill. the relief comes to late. too late. the disparity between one county and another exists. nothing works very well. i guess county by county is better than state, but in both instances the answer to that is yes. we talk about supply management and i also want to point out that we need to make sure, the way i look at it is there are acres that should not be farmed and we would not want farm programs that encourage that conservation or environmental practice, and also we want to make sure that acres that should be farmed are available for farming because that's how we earn a living. it's finding the right balance and threading the needle in some fashion in which
we appropriately farm land that should be farmed and we don't farm land that is being formed because of some government program. in addition, we need to recognize that trade and exports and huge issue for kansas as the conversation has drifted toward and negotiations are underway in regard to nafta, mexico is the largest purchaser of agricultural products from our state and we are marked -- working to make sure the mexican sure thet to make country knows how important they are as a customer to us in , as thend also administration looks at what to do following withdrawals from the transpacific partnership, we cannot afford to lose markets.
throughout my time since the year 2000, i have been pushing for opening cuba as an opportunity for us to export to. it is not a huge deal, but we need every market and when we -- our embargo against cuba is unilateral. wheat from france and canada. that makes no sense. there are still folks who may disagree with my position. in kansas, we will try something once. if it does not work, we may try it a second or third time. of almost after 60 years trying to change the government in cuba with embargo, we might try -- we might try something different. i would say we have an
opportunity in a humanitarian sense and an economic sense. there are five famines around the globe today. we ought to figure out how we solve the hunger of the world and the supplies of the u.s. i have met with the usda officials and the acting and haveator of usaid written, encouraged, and called to say we need to increase the use of grain as we try to feed a hungry world. we need to work on the production and the consumption. things that has happened and kansas farmers have helped fund is new research in manhattan and that is one of the things we are working on up
commission. wheat we are doing research to build the protein so we have better to the and we are going miller's and finding out what products they want and helping universities as well. >> research is an opportunity for us to find ways to produce crops more efficiently. productive and more economically viable. i remember the first graduation speech i ever gave after being elected to the u.s. house of representatives. kids, a class of nine maybe 11. their senior trip was to the bahamas and i was very jealous.
i remember in my graduation, thinking how the world had changed. used to pay attention to tokyo, we pay attention to the price of grain and now the recognition has to be there that the posted , a lot of it has to do with demand around the globe. my point to the graduates 20 years ago, there is no way we can live our lives the way we --t to, which is just about everything that goes on in our world in kansas is affected by what goes on around the globe. is ageeak for my son who 43 and has severe mental retardation and is cared for with medicaid funds. i speak for medicaid and its survival.
>> medicaid matters greatly. to begin what i assume will be a health care debate conversation, i still believe the affordable -- we haveeds to be gotten hung up on words and republicans say repeal. other people say fix and whatever the right word is, repeal and replace or fix and improve, it still needs that attention. at the same time, how we fix it matters. here is the needle that i think i and my colleagues need to thread, which is this -- the people i talked to many times about the affordable care act will tell me about the increasing cost, how high the premiums are, the copayments and
deductibles. we will also talk about how a business did not expand because they did not want to have more than 50 employees. hospitals, there are 127 hospitals in my state. i visited each one of them. there is not a hospital in kansas that is better off today financially than it was when the affordable care act asked. thereal was to see that is more insurance so more coverage and health care providers would have the ability to stabilize the financial circumstance. that's the challenge. the positive is pre-existing condition and the question is, can we figure out how you take care of people with a theexisting mean and at
same time do something about the cost of copayments and to dr. bulls and premiums -- and deductibles and premiums. it's a real challenge. the senate plan, which i opposed, wandered even further. it wandered into medicaid. there is no real connection between the affordable care act and medicaid except for the issue of expansion so some states expanded and some state student and in the effort to satisfy the states that expanded, medicaid borrows -- medicaid dollars were reduced for states that did not expand. kansas is a pretty conservative place. our legislators have not grown
expand. and we did not if you reduce the growth and medicaid, we start with a very low base. states that spent a lot of money on medicaid and states that expanded, if you slow their growth, the effects were a lot less. the other component, we wandered into altering the medicaid program in substantial ways not just related to a state that did expand or did not. of potential consequence that is significant. there may be somebody in the me, who may say this to it's the most common back against medicaid, which is those people just need to get a job. people who are receiving medicaid benefits who don't deserve them, that the state of kansas issue and needs to be fixed. that the issue i think we still can't walk away from, it's too easy to say those people should
go to work. what about the elderly in our nursing homes? what about the individuals with individuals -- the individuals with disabilities in group homes? , in their system efforts to comply with the theirl mandate, many of dollars to help meet the needs in our schools for kids with special needs come from medicaid. i don't know how i fit -- generally, i think i know how kansans think. we cannot walk away from fixing or replacing or improving the but at thecare act same time how we do it has a .uge consequence on people there has been a lot of suggestions to me that the town hall meetings i've had which have generated a lot of participation and attendance.
me, that'shave told just politics. people are just trying to relitigate the last election. almost without exception, the people who visit with me about repealing and replacing the affordable care act, it is about a personal circumstance, tears will flow as somebody begins to tell me about their son. i was in johnson county where i visited with a business and a person who worked there showed me a photograph of what looked like an 11-year-old son in his cub scout uniform, saying my son has stage four cancer and this pre-existing condition matters greatly to my family. these are not things you can take lightly. kid in the cubd scout uniform, you have to have him in mind as we make decisions about health care.
russians, north koreans, and china cannot hack, and by health-insurance -- buy health insurance from anybody in the country that's willing to provide it? it does not make a lot of sense to me that industrial hemp cannot be ground. secondly, in regard to the v.a., i'm sorry you had that experience. thank you for your service. there are way too many people who fall through the cracks. people in the area of mental health, our servicemen and women who return for
multiple deployments, we do not have the professionals to take care of them. all of us in kansas have access to community mental health services. why can't the va contract with them to provide services in barton county kansas for veterans who live here who need mental health? finally, your point about buying across state lines. i'm supportive of that. the broader point i would make is i have thought from the very beginning when the affordable care act was passed and when we we were involved in the efforts that are going on in congress today, we are missing something. they should be a debate and a discussion that occurs little bit later, not seven years later.
but why does health care cost as much as it does? >> because healthcare insurance companies spend nearly $1 trillion every election cycle to reelect people. that is how come health care is so high. >> >> well, i don't, there's no need to go down that path of disagreement, disagreeing with you or agreeing with you. i don't know what the consequences of, it's one reason, for example, i'm in front of you, is this is a way if you think that there are things that are influencing members of congress, if we all spend more time with her -- with our constituents, maybe that influence would be less. i hope i am not influenced by people that i don't represent. i hope i listen to insurance companies to learn how they can
do their job better and provide a better product at a lower price. -- it just seems to me that while we want to figure out whether medicaid pays for something or medicare or blue cross blue shield or private insurance, where was the asks how do weat draw unnecessary costs out of health care? it is things like rules and regulation, selling across state lines. i am a supporter of additional resources going to medical research to find the cure for cancer or the delayed onset of alzheimer's. the result of that kind of success, it is billions of dollars. wellness fitness diet nutrition is the biggest bang for our buck in healthcare savings.
we need to make certain that the doctor we go visit is compensate d in a way that encourages him or her to provide you with health care advice, quit smoking, lose all the things we -- all the things we should hear. >> [inaudible] the people i see in town they don't know how to handle veterans. they've never been around them. so there's that disconnect right there. >> the va doesn't have enough providers to meet people with your circumstances. ask you would mentioned -- >> you could mention -- i am a school district superintendent. [inaudible]
because federal government is not funding special education at the rate that it should be funded and we have to take money out of our general fund. here. for being >> despite all the criticism. >> i would like you to explain your vote on the skinny repeal, your vote was the last one read. i stayed up late last night and watched it. you voted yes to repeal, and how does that jibe with what western kansas, central kansas people need? and are you going to ever take a stand with our president since the falsehoods that he says? that's my opinion, that's correct. ask first of all -- >> first of of, i'm on supporter
additional funding for i.d.e.a., it is a very expensive proposition. today in kansas,, i would guess the number is 15, 16, 17%, not 40% come from us as federal taxpayers. we have a mandate that is hugely expensive mandated by the federal government. you have no choice but to comply with it. to do so, you got to go back to encourage the legislature to give you more money so you cant -- so you can take it out of the regular education classroom to the special needs kids, or come we needpatrons and say to raise the local option budget to meet this federal mandate. much of my time in education is spent trying to get rid of mandates. this is not a mandate out to get rid of.
i'm out to see that it is affordable for school districts and their taxpayers across kansas. the issue of, the vote on the skinny repeal, i voted for come -- i sponsored legislation to repeal and replace the affordable care act and i voted to do that again. and my view is this on both that, the full repeal and the so-called skinny repeal is, this issue is so important that it ought to be debated and considered by 100 senators, not by 51 or 52. [inaudible] >> and so to get there, you need to have an incentive. so the plan with the repeal that doesn't get repealed for two years, we will spent two years fixing it. my view is the same thing in regard to the skinny repeal. we would have no choice at in
-- the committee responsible for health care chaired by lamar alexander, a republican from they have announced hearings on how to stabilize the health care could, so that this all alter dramatically if trump decides to eliminate the subsidy next month. i don't know how you put that together if that is the case. no problems in speaking my mind on whether i agree or disagree with the president. we want our president to that happensi hope in this administration, we want to be supportive of things that we support. but we will do our best to put kansans ahead of the conversation. thank you.
yes sir? >> thank you for coming here. would you explain how you as a congressman and your staff, explain the health care manifest in congress, what plan you have, if they aca is the field? >> the health-care benefits that members of congress receive, there might be a few exceptions, i do not know if there are, this is the plan that i am under. and that most of my colleagues are. -- some oflleagues my colleagues may have insurance through another employer or that kind of thing, but am under the same clan -- plan, the exchange. that was one of the requirements of the passage of the affordable care act. i actually sponsor the amendment that said that whatever we come up with, we are to live with that plan.
the, andxchange is in go through the process of signing up for the exchange. here, and the issue that has been talked about, is that our employer, and the federal government, still makes an employer contribution to our health care plan. that is the distinction. we have a large import -- employer that makes a contribution to our premiums. >> how do you get rid of that? >> what is the percentage that your "employer" hayes? >> i don't know, i am not sure? >> while i think it is important stucco >> yes, i will definitely try to get to that.
67% i think? >> i would say 30% or 40%, but i do not know. yes ma'am? it, that congress is making the health-care bill, coming up with ideas, why do you not go to the source of, the hospital workers and doctors, nurses, they are the ones who know what people need. i do not understand why congress is responsible for that? i share your view of who ought to be involved in the process. we ought to be soliciting advice, suggestions, and it is one of my complaints. we talk about going to a system in which all 100 senators can produce the it, whether it is hearings, and members of the committee can offer amendments. my view is that tinkering may not be the right word, but we have been modifying medicaid, or trying to modify it, and modify
the affordable care act. one of the things that i told you i think we're missing is get rid of the rising health care costs also, innovation, technology, renovating i have care system that does not always meet everyone's need. does not meet enough people's needs, and we're not talking to the asked, who can tell us -- here is what you ought to do, so that you can have a health care delivery system that you can find acceptable a decade from now. still stuck in conversations about medicaid, and trying to fix the affordable care act. i would say that if you talk to the doctors and nurses and health care providers, they would suggest to you that one of the reasons that [indiscernible] that, the people were often in my office, talking about health care are the kansas
medical society, the nurses association, the pharmacists, it is -- we welcome more input from the people. a has congress ever voted out committee of medical specialists to come up with the plan themselves? i hear that there are a lot of organizations of plan professionals who thought about this mind some of the think includehich could things like the kaiser foundation, who do health-care policy work and have ideas about how to improve the health care system. that in too worried many instances, what i saw in the, the goal became to we have to pass something. as opposed to have something that might actually make things better.
so, i would welcome of the input and advice from others, and i think that comes from not trying to thread the needle that i described, with 52 republicans. this is a very diverse country. >> we do not talk to each other. >> well. ! you don't i am of the view that all 100 of us, whether they agree or disagree with me, are entitled to make the case for their constituents to my just like i am entitled to make the case for mine. we ought to have a system, that is not the right word, i miss the days in which the constitution was divided by granting the legislative authority to congress, and in two many -- in too many instances we defer to the administration. what is happened over time is that democrats divert -- defer
to a democratic president and republicans defer to a republican president. in days gone by, congress was in supporting this legislative authority and they extended their rights to do so, regardless of who the president was. today, it is less likely. when you say that we do not talk to each other, i think the media, no offense to those who are here, they want the fight. so, what they report, is the fighting. there are plenty of instances, in which members of congress, communicate with each other, try to understand each other, and this is another story that at least, makes me smile. it demonstrates this. a member of the house of representatives of the first district of kansas, democrats took control of the house of representatives. a congresswoman from connecticut came to me on the house floor to say, jerry, i think she called
me congressman moran, i just became the chairperson of the agricultural appropriations subcommittee. that position in the house of representatives, is about -- responsible for usda funding, grants to hospitals, as arvation programs, and democrat liberal congresswoman, i don't think she would get offended by me calling her liberal -- she said, i need to know what is important. i understand that you know and care about farmers. would you please come and visit with me? that kind of stuff needs to happen more. so, she represents new haven, connecticut with the suburbs of new york city, that will over into connecticut. not a lot of -- that spill over into connecticut. i go to her office a few days later and we start talking about crop insurance and agricultural
research, and the farm bill. no!, that is not what i want to know. jerry, just tell me, what do farmers do? [laughter] now the story gets better. i said, why do you not come to kansas and see? and she said, let me see if i can make it happen. she and i had different ideas on how to do that. see the farmso elkhart,hway 27, go to her question was could we just meet at an airport? [laughter] we met at the river, on i-20 east, little river, at cheryl's cafe. we had cheeseburgers and coconut cream pie, and i was pleased to see that she was not a vegetarian. [laughter] a local farmer came by and picked her up, put her in his
pickup, picked up his kids at the school, and we spent the it afternoon -- the afternoon at a farm south of little river. neighboring farmers, talking about their equipment, their financial circumstances, their crops. that is exactly the kind of thing that needs to happen. and where people reach out, democrats, liberal democrats, so that we can understand. the next day, we take her to the state fair, the best part of the hery, where 4h kids showed their exhibits. it was the best connection that we've ever made. how can you not appeal to anybody who particularly cares about kids, using 4h kids to share their exhibits? it does not happen often enough, it is not that members of congress do not talk. it is that we have to get out of that mindset. much of the time that president obama was president, half of the
people that would call our office in washington, would say, tell moran not to move the budget on anything! and the other half would say why can't jerry work on -- work with his congress and get things done divide is not just members of congress, it is also our constituents. they do not want you to budge one inch, and then they cannot figure out why nothing gets decide,, we all need to we -- i used to have people call me and say, right after president obama got reelected, people would call me and say, why did you not impeach him? now, i have people calling saying, why do you not impeach president trump? wejust had elections, and need to have faith in the voters who made the decision.
we need to make the best opportunity available under whatever circumstance, whether you agree with the outcome of the election or you don't. perhaps there are people who still wants to fight about it, this issue. taxes? >> taxes? >> absolutely. >> i talked to you a couple of years ago, i am retired and work part-time. [indiscernible] a really makes me hungry, people getting extra money that she really makes me angry. what is going to happen to our income tax? >> i did not quite here all of that. but i think the question was what is going to happen with our is my i think the answer it remains to be seen, which is not a very good answer.
i always think that if i can tell people before they start asking questions that i cannot answer any question except to predict what might happen, i would be better off. it is hard to predict, but i think on the path that we are the expectation is that the text committee in the united states than it, is going to have hearings -- senate, is going to have hearings and the committee members will be involved in debate, discussions and amendment of the tax bill. is,issue that remains despite that, at any point we then decided that we are going to try and do this, with 51 votes, which in many ways will put us right back and a position of inability to reach conclusions. and if you do it with reconciliation, those tax changes are only valid for 10 years. we need a tax code that is much more prominent than that so that people can make decisions.
people in this room, over the years, have talked to me about what are you going to do in session 179? it allows for rapid appreciation of equipment. every year, come december, congress is turning it around, to retroactively putting the tax provision that in the tax code. people arember 29, trying to decide whether to buy a combine. we have now made that permanent red and the reason that we do that, the reason the provision is there, is to encourage economic growth. to create a better economy. to encourage people to buy equipment. that, on december 28, it is a much better deal than knowing it at the end of the year and trying to figure out what to do. yes sir? >> you are very vocal, i can tell. [laughter] >> if there is one thing, in
regards to -- >> there is only one. [laughter] to sign-up and sponsor the marijuana justice act, or letsor a bill that will liberals, something as simple as getting cannabis off of the controlled substance schedule to read 22 veterans today, are going to take their lives, i am told. projected to use medications and pharmaceuticals that have side effects and kill people. i have never heard of anyone dying from cannabis. a bipartisan issue, and something that both rand paul and cory booker have in common. that is a pretty big spectrum. thing that is one you can do for me, when we are
talking about agriculture and health care, and food deserts and all of this stuff, what about cannabis? , as aansas citizen grow kansas citizen, i cannot grow, excuse me. this is something that needs to change and needs to change now. for the good of our country, the good of the health of kansas, and everybody, in my opinion. we are being fleeced out of our money, and it would love to see the medicine cabinets of all of these people and how much our taxpayer money goes to the companies that make some of these drugs. else, id and everything -- a question -- i consider those -- if you could please remove cannabis please? from the schedule?
>> i got nervous when you brought me brownies. [laughter] moran: here is as far as i have been willing to go, and have happy to have your input on this topic. the use of view that marijuana, for medical purposes go is to be decided by medical professionals. if there which the conclusion that it is something of value, then we ought to take advantage of that medical device and the research that comes from that rid and on the topic of veterans in particular, it is broader than veterans, but we have and addiction epidemic and we need alternatives to the use of opioids in the way that we control pain. i do not claim to know all of the ramifications of these kinds
of decisions. , this canlcome generate into nothing but a discussion about this topic, but if you all want to provide me any input on this, i would be glad to hear it. >> one more thing, remission does not work. it is like putting a sign in the door saying do not bring your pet. all you are doing is allowing the thugs and people on the streets to do what they would like to do. system, a tax code that says that limited government, free and fair trade, and this is the way that you can get out of this date way and let them -- get out of the state's way and let them do what they would like to do. >> thank you. next? >> thank you. happy to see you. moran: ink you. -- thank you. >> my husband was going to the
veterans administration and he had a wonderful doctor there. he had cancer, but they cannot find it, in his prostate. took 164 tissue samples out of there, they knew it was cancer but they cannot find it. to lb finally went down anderson, in houston, and they had a new machine, that you may or may not know about it. where it went, it was able to find the cancer, and he was put on seven doctors and he is on a had anroup because he unusual cell. he was in the vietnam war, at [indiscernible]
he was exposed to agent orange. >> thank you for your husband service. >> he is also now in remission. moran: great news. i appreciate your husband's service and i am glad of the outcome. one of the things that your conversation would allow me to talk about is that we have gotten very involved with the vietnam veterans of america organization, and their top legislative priority is to deal with the issue of toxic substances, agent orange and others. here is the development that i think that is so saddening. have many children and grandchildren now, of those men and women who served in vietnam and elsewhere, in afghanistan and iraq. who now are exhibiting symptoms
of terrible diseases and cancers. it is terrible that a member of our military was subjected to toxic exposure, but i know that our military men and women, accepted their jobs some risk. i cannot imagine that there is an individual husband or wife, who voluntarily put themselves in a position, knowing or thinking, that it might affect their children or grandchildren. what a terrible burden it has to be, to now think about, what my service in vietnam did, let me make sure that everyone knows that i am not talking about my service in vietnam. people have gotten in trouble for that, i never served in vietnam. [laughter] that their service in vietnam, now means nothing bad for their children or grandchildren. or children that they do not even know.
so we are working on bipartisan legislation. >> i also want to tell you that my brother in law gave a lot of dollars to [indiscernible] moran: what a great brother you have. yes sir? >> you were talking about a split in your phone call, about how it gets divided both ways, either this or that. as a member of congress, you have 100 people to deal with, what percentage of those people that you work with, can you sit down at a table and have an intelligent conversation with, over a cup of coffee? >> do i get to decide intelligent? >> whether they are republican or democrat, i do not care to read how many people can you actually sit down and exchange ideas civilly? >> i think the answer to that question, i probably have not sat down with all 100 of my
colleagues, but i've had conversations with them and sometimes that results in sometimes a more serious am a longer conversation. isanswer to your question that i do not think i'm exaggerating here, is that all 100. there is an interest on the part of many. we come from different places, with different philosophies and views, and incidentally, my answer to the question, when people tell me do not budget one inch, versus those who say why do you not work together? -- budget one inch, versus those who say do not work together? there are ethical and moral issues, and in the vast majority of things, there are things that we have to find, ground on. i consider myself a member of the minority. republicans or democrats are in the majority, i am a member of a minority, and that minority is this is like kansas. the majority is places like the coast. and if i do not find a way to
work with people from the coast, do not have much of a chance of a publishing any of the things i would like to accomplish on behalf of the people of my state. so, i think the answer to your question is that there is a general desire. i think we get messed up when republican leaders or democratic leaders -- here is an example of something that does not make sense -- when i was a member of the senate, we had a bottle of pop or a cup of coffee with republicans or democrats, during the senate russian. there isashington, and a democrat lounge and a republican lounge. we are is additionally divided. republicans get together for lunch, as republicans three days a week, tuesday to thursday. democrats get together with democrat senators, tuesday to thursday. we ought to be doing the things that bring us together. it is much more difficult, when you know someone -- you know this in your own lives.
if you know the person, and where they come from, and how they are thinking, does not end up in a fight, it ends up in trying to find a solution. congress need to work harder to know each other and know where they're coming from. somebody mentioned bernie sanders. bernie sanders was chairman of the veterans committee, which am a member of. he and i had a members -- a number of conversations. that does not have to be republican and democrat, it ought not to be. .o, the opportunity exists i will come back to robert. yes ma'am? , was a marine injuredteran, who was in action in vietnam. he is currently receiving veterans disability compensation
for combat wounds. he has hearing loss, and also for heart disease. resulting from exposure to agent orange. he also suffers from high blood pressure and can vary heart disease -- and secondary to the heart disease doctors have diagnosed him with fibromyalgia. >> i have that. >> [indiscernible] deniedtion is, he was disability for the high blood pressure, secondary heart hisase and denied disability for fibromyalgia, -- diseases are not from agent orange exposure.
they said that for any veteran to get paid for a disease that was a result of agent orange exposure, congress has to pass a law saying that this disease is added to the list of diseases resulting from agent orange exposure. high question is this, blood pressure and secondary heart disease, which is an agent whyge presumptive disease, doesn't he, why isn't high blood pressure secondary to heart fibromyalgia for veterans, a lot of them have fibromyalgia, due to chemical exposure, they can get disability. [indiscernible]
but he cannot -- why is fibromyalgia, which could be caused by chemical toxins, which agent orange is, why is fibromyalgia not a presumptive disease for vietnam veterans exposed to agent orange, and would you introduce legislation to make those diseases presumptive diseases? moran: thank you for your husband's service, and i am sorry that the v.a. and maybe congress has failed him in his circumstances. it wouldy to look at be long -- it would be wrong for me to say that i would introduce legislation but am happy, willing and interested to be a help to you and your husband. we would be glad to do that in two ways we do what we call casework, in which we battled
the v.a. and other federal agencies to try to get a better outcome than what someone received from the federal government. if you want us to, i would love to go to bat for your hunt and so -- for your husband so that we can alter the decision. you told me what my staff told me so i cannot disagree with them. i did not know that it was a congressional determination, i thought it was done, based upon medical science and the v.a. has -- what is the word? a schedule. in which that decision is made, based upon medicines lines. but i would also -- upon science. i would say to you, the broadest amount of presumption in favor of the veterans, is compared to in favor of the v.a., most of these circumstances are things the no one had, but for exposure to something during their time of service.
so, this guy back here, tyler, from ashland, works in your office in wichita and does veterans work to read i will make sure that you two connect, and it will be the my information as well. >> senator, i am here on behalf of the boys and girls who live in our community. i ask you to give your support to the dream act, of 2017. bill 1615, a bipartisan bill sponsored by senator lindsey graham, and senator richard president trump has in the past given support to this program. the reason that this bill is so important now, is because the current program, also known as the dream act, which began in 2012, is under attack and may end.
ofm talking about hundreds boys and girls who live in our community and a 10 hours old. -- attend our schools. parentse with their mostly from mexico, and they came as infants, some as young as two months old. whatever we may think of the parents's decision to come to this country, these children had no say in the matter. saying that the sins of the parents should not be visited on the children. >> where did you get that code, robert? [laughter] >> i think it is typical. [laughter] moran: you've got me. how can i disagree with the bible? >> these children are as american as the students that they sit next to and together with their classmates a stand and pledge allegiance to the flag in the united case. many of them have distinguished themselves academically, some have played in the soccer program at the high school. they all share the dream of
enjoying the same rights that their classmates and joy, the right to pursue higher education. the right to hold employment and the right to live free of the fear of removal. program has helped scores of children in our community, to come out of the shadows and live normal and productive lives. it has given them hope that the american dream is within their reach. our community has benefited tremendously as well. senator moran, please support the dream act, of 2017 so that the hopes of these children will not be extinguished. is another example of knowing my constituents so well that i know what questions will be coming before i called up on them. robert, i have indicated in the past that am supporting the program. the humanityt aspect of this, what you
described as it is important. it is no fault of their own, circumstances beyond their control. i think i have this correct, but the dream act is broader than daca and i will take a look at the additional provisions of the dream act. but, daca has made sense to me. >> thank you. alright, we have about 10 minutes, so i am trying to figure out who to ignore and who not to ignore. >> ok, thank you. [laughter] opioidched on the epidemic already, and i do have a few numbers on the chart program that we have here. >> can you tell us who you are and what you do? at the bare-bones, 225 thousand dollars a year, primarily coming for the program directors salary --
>> the least amount of money that who can operate on? >> the least they can do is that. [indiscernible] currently we have enough funding we do not19, but if get enough funding for the program, it will die. itan: the consequences of dying art? >> not everybody will have opioids who are not necessarily getting them for medicinal purposes. moran: is a program working well, as it is? >> there is always improvement that could be done, but [indiscernible] hoping to introduce legislation in the state level, to help surmount the cost of it. -- we areking on
trying not to pass the cost on to the providers. realistically, we may have to. costswould also increase for pharmacies, doctors, and all of these other things. is, youthe thing touched on changing how people view the opioids, and that is one aspect of it. subject,ve a separate that deals with new compliances to federal regulations with regards to sterile compounding and hazards compounding and the comply withto federal regulations is astronomical. hasave a hospital, that over over $120,000 and $65,000 just in an entirety of -- issues, [indiscernible]
$6,000 for infections, it takes 200 or 300 hours a year to maintain, to comply with federal regulations. it is hard for them to become compliant with these regulations, they are having to end 50 thousand --lars just to reduce manipulations on these drugs -- >> you clearly have my attention. what i would encourage or ask we have health care staffers in washington dc, and the health care staffer in kansas. the one in washington dc is very knowledgeable, and it was for that stuff out with him. what you're telling me is that there is a federal program that funds this effort, or partially funds, and that program is what
you are telling me is important. of thosebsence dollars, we would lose even more in our battle against opioids? >> yes. you, i chair the community pharmacy committee in caucus, and we are trying to keep the firm is his around main street around a lot longer. if you think our hospitals and other health-care care providers are struggling, our pharmacists have a significant challenge. and a lot of it has to do with s, whichg we called pbm is how they manage the drug program to rid who gets money for prescriptions, all of the federal regulations. >> we have people who are battling cancer, and whatnot, and for every dose of a chemotherapy agent that is administered, under these new regulations your adding an additional cost of 15 to $25 per dose.
when you need 400 doses per month, when you add that up it is a lot more money being passed on to the hospital, and passed on to the patient. when you talk about this continuing, the rise in costs, it all feeds into it. >> yes sir? if i could just talk about taxes for a moment, senator, on the national level, so far, all we are hearing from the administration is cut taxes cut ! but that hases not really worked very well for our country? >> i had this conversation with my colleagues, and i do think that there are some taxes which if reduced, cause economic growth. but that does not mean that every tax should be reduced. the magnitude of reduction reduced in increased revenue. i am still a member of congress who believes that debt matters, and we need to have the right balance in revenues and
spending. we do not have it come as in washington dc, and one advantage that topeka am a kansas has, is that they do have to balance their looks at the end of the year. how they do that, result in a lot of discussion, but we don't. so, i have express my support for changes in the tax code, that are not increasing the deficit. know exactly what that means, but the congressional budget office scores tax changes, and what they mean to either reduce or -- reduce revenue or increase revenue. i would like to see what they have to say, and certainly the experience in kansas is fresh in my mind. yes sir? i would like to find someone who has something nice to say! [laughter] >> was supposed to call on me? [indiscernible]
>> thank you senator for coming tonight. moran: i am not staying! [laughter] >> you might stay longer than he wanted to. [laughter] i would like to talk about kansas, folks are really fixed on having the ability to do much about it. i will talk a little bit about production farms, and swaying production. what is happening today, outside, is an extremely large swine farm that is coming in and asking for the opportunity to operate, with no accepted -- acceptance by the community at all. the folks there feel totally helpless about taking the next step, to even talk about what this production is. they come in, they have actually brought in excavators and movers, i am not familiar with
the mining operation, but they have just strip to the arts to make -- the earth, and no input from the county, and they continue to build. in an area within rush county, has no ability to top, or even have a discussion about what the true purpose of the farm is. i am here representative several of the folks from the area, that are very frustrated. feel totally helpless, and even local government has no ability to print -- or control in the way of life, in this community for generations of farmers, has absolutely been ripped apartp it -- it is just a very sad thing to see in communities such as this. around when these issues were prevalent, in the late 80's and early 90's, particularly in southwest kansas.
little bit about what you speak, because i still take that rush county news. but what does not make sense to that countyyou say officials, i assume that you are telling me that there is no zoning in rush county? >> they do have zoning, but the state agriculture supersedes county. >> well, i did not know that. that is the part that surprises me. >> that is what has been provided to us, that i do not know if it is -- >> the second part of that is the committee, how could they not need a permit from the state department? >> if it is anything like here, the artwork does not require -- does not require any permit. that might be the answer to that. four and a cultural facility with a large number of animals, the state have to
permit that, right? >> the state would have to permit it, but more importantly the county needs to approve the permits, and none of it have been approved for any construction. appreciate the clarification, i cannot state that yet, because we do not have an aerial view of the compound that is being built. so, because we do not have that we are hoping to have that some time later on tonight. so that we can have an idea of what is going on. it is very disturbing to the folks in that area, to see a mega-production system come in and request 35 million gallons of water to run the facility. this is huge, and it is a small world -- smaller rural area, and they have no ability to even have a conversation about it. >> and i would like to add that it is 1.5 miles away from the
smoky hill river, which brings water, and kgat has no problem with that, so -- -- >> i do not know much about this topic, -- >> but we need help. [indiscernible] moran: sometimes it does not matter whether it is a state or local issue, but we do need help. that guy does agricultural work for you, and he is here to tell me that i am running out of time. two of you, we will have to figure out how to have a longer conversation about this. >> absolutely. >> i would like to thank you for coming, jerry, i think all of us would probably agree that we have great representation in washington, oh, thank you so much. [laughter] [applause] >> tomorrow, with some time to
find out exactly what time it is. if you would like to advise your family and friends to follow us on c-span, it will be on c-span tomorrow. >> i do need to bring this to a conclusion, but c-span is here, i have never had c-span, cover might meetings -- my town hall meetings before, so his msnbc and need. you are not competing with my co,n hall meeting in al population 348, the wall street washingtonn, publication called politico. [laughter] i keep telling them that i am not that interesting, and i certainly do not want to be that interesting, but, we welcome those who come from elsewhere to see kansas and we are delighted -- i sometimes worry, i do not think it happened at all, but i was worried in the other area, alpo, you have people in the
media who do not want to talk at all and people who wants to talk all the time to read i hope that no one felt intimidated and i appreciate the hospitality of the credit bank for hosting this today, and the conversations that we had come i appreciate them. we will continue this conversation. i think the reason these folks are here is that there was virtually no republican member of congress who is having town hall meetings. told,metimes, i have been but i do not know what you do this stuff? what you subject yourself? i do not feel subjected to, i appreciate the conversation and i recognize it, even in disagreement, that i have something to learn from the conversations. the argument is often made, these people will never vote for you, what you do that? i hope that is not the case, i do not think that is the case, but even if it is true, you are all my constituents. orther you are my voters
not, you are all my constituents and i have a responsibility to you. it is like the folks in rush county, they just do not feel it they have anybody paying attention or listening to them, and again, i cannot solve every problem that comes my way, that at the end of my term in congress, or in public service, if we made a difference, if the conversation that we had about , -- one of ther goals of mine is to make certain that there is a greater relationship between people involved in government and the people that they work for. and we have to get to the point in which people recognize that we may not always agree, but we are all entitled to have a voice in what goes on. so, it is much more difficult, and i am much more -- it is much more enjoyable for all of us, to be with people who agree with us. but that is not the way the world is. worse, ist, what is to have someone who comes to disagree, then to have someone
who doesn't come a lot -- at all because they believe they cannot make a difference. we can never lose in this country, the belief that our actions matter. we have to work together to mature these countries what we wanted to be. my view, is that as citizens of this country, me as as a senator, no different, our goal is to pass on the liberties that our constitution guarantees us, to the next generation, and to make sure the american dream is alive and well, for americans. and that is what we are about about. real i am honored that you spend time with me this afternoon. thank you very much. [applause] moran: fortunately i am by the door. [laughter]
radio, at 6:00 p.m. specific. we are joined -- pacific. we are joined by dr. matthew hahn, the author of a new book "distracted," about the regulations governing health care and health care reform. you are a family physician in a little town in maryland. what made you want to attack this big issue? caller: ein