tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC October 27, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT
good morning and welcome to "this week." health care havoc. >> we have my republican colleagues trying to scare everyone. >> will the gentleman yield? >> no, i will not yield to this monkey court. >> the new law is under fire. is the president's signature achievement in serious trouble? this morning, the debate from all sides. plus, our own expert dr. richard besser. then former vice president dick cheney, out of office, still making headlines. on new revelations of secret spying, the republican civil war and his daughter's run for senate. cheney takes it all on live. only on this "this week." perils of social media. power players embarrassed. all right here this sunday
morning. hello again. a whole lot to get to this morning. starting with that awful launch for obama care. now the white house is promising a fix just after thanksgiving, but is that realistic? what do these early problems say about the program's long-term prospects? two key senators standing by to weigh on it. but first, a reality check from our own doctor in residence, dr. richard besser. let's start with the basics. get the insurance are running into three separate hurdles. >> the website is not ready for prime time. the first, is accessing that website and creating your accounts. some people are getting incorrect quotes. and that information being passed to insurance companies isn't always correct. >> there are always problems
with technological startups. what does this say for the long-term prospects for this program? >> there are some key factors here, for this to be successful, they have to ensure that young, healthy people sign on. 85% of us have insurance in other ways. but healthy young americans, we need to get them involved because they don't use the health care system as much, and they're going to provide that financial support for everybody else who's using it. >> so, they don't think the website works, they don't sign up, insurance premiums go up for everybody. the prices are higher they may not sign up again. >> if you don't have them on board the financial structure doesn't work very well. but i think the long-term impact of obama care is going to be very good because there are so many other things that are included, coverage of people who have existing medical conditions, free preventive care. these are things that people,
once they get them, they won't want them to go away. >> you still have the immediate problem with the website. the white house promising to get it fixed by the end of november, is that realistic? >> the end of november is questionable. they have to push some of the deadlines. they brought in an a new executive to oversee this. i think that's a good sign. they have contractor that's responsible for this. the states that have embraced this, california, kentucky, there the ones where we're seeing these exchanges are working. i think that the model is sound. they just have to get it fixed. >> dr. richard besser, thank you very much. let's get more on this from the senators, joe manchin and john barrasso. like dr. besser, john, you're a medical doctor as well. are you as confident the problems with the website can be fixed? >> i want to make sure that patients can get high-quality care. the website was supposed to be the easy part of this.
so, i see that this is just the tip of the iceberg of problems. with bigger problems to come. but the democrats are at a point of high anxiety, americans have been very skeptical about this health care law. but now, george, there is a lot of anger about the wasted taxpayer dollars on this website about all of the waivers the president has given to unions, to members of congress, no one at the white house is going to have to sign up on the exchanges and now americans are saying, wait a minute, why do i have to pay a fine if i don't sign up? >> one of the democrats who supports the law but is also worried about the fact that the website isn't working, joe manchin, democrat of west virginia. senator, you're the only democrat calling for a full-year delay on the penalty for the individual mandate.
are you willing to hold off on that if the white house meets this deadline to fix the website problems? >> george, i have been working in a bipartisan manner in trying to put a coalition together, that basically says the penalty, the fine of $95 will not be into effect until 2015, at that time the fine will be $325. it will still induce people to get involved but also gives us a time to transition in, to work out things, we identified a lot of problems, a lot of glitches. when i was governor, we had glitches getting up our claims program started. we worked through it. we got a system now that's a model of the country. we know that it can be done. but we have to work together. if we all work towards fixing something, and if we just can't fix it, then you may a concerted effort to make the changes. we need the transition period.
>> so, you're for the one-year delay no matter what? . so far, not a lot of democrats have signed up. senator barrasso, lot of democrats believe that you and your colleagues are actually rooting for the program to fail. what do you say to a constituent that say, we want help signing up for obama care? >> well, folks in my office will help any citizen in any way we can. i will tell you, what i want affordable care for american citizens, and in my home state of wyoming and joe's home state of west virginia, we see that the rates are actually going to be higher, "the new york times'" front-page story the other day said exactly that, that the law has failed to provide affordable care and coverage in rural america, so that is a real problem. the president made promises that this was going to be cheaper than your cell phone bill, easier to use than amazon and you could keep your doctor. people all across the country are seeing that's just not true.
>> secretary kathleen sebelius is going to be facing some tough questions on capitol hill this week. senator barrasso, you already called on her to resign. here was her response. >> the majority of people who are calling for me to resign are people who i don't work for or people who don't want this program to work in the first place. >> senator manchin, do you think kathleen sebelius should keep her job? >> i think she was a successful governor working with both sides of the aisle. she's very capable of bringing people together. i think it was unfortunate the comment the way it came out. that being said -- >> so, do you think she should stay in the job? >> i think she should stay and i think she will get the job done. and i think she can do that. we need to move forward. if you want to kill the program, and you start making all of
these changes, that would kill the program. make sure you can entice through incentives to get young people that are healthy to join into this. we are a consumer nation. we can make this happen but we've all got to be on the same team right now which is team america to make things happen. >> senator barrasso, are you willing to work with senator manchin on something like that, you were against the law from the beginning, are you willing to work with him and other democrats on figuring out ways to get it fixed? >> we have co-sponsored a number of pieces of legislation, we continue to work together and are good friends. what he is proposing is a good idea, it's the law, not the president waving his magic wand and saying this doesn't apply, here, we'll give these people waivers, so i encourage senator manchin. but, again, that's just the first step. people are getting hit with sticker shock. we have had more people from october 1st
getting letters of denial. losing insurance they have. than able to sign up for obama health care law. and you talked about secretary sebelius and her comments, she's already, as of "saturday night live" last night, the laughingstock of america. she's lost considerable credibility. when she says things are going good with the exchanges, i will tell you, just on friday, in washington state, 8,000 people, because the state exchange wasn't coordinated with the federal database, 8,000 people were told they were going to get higher subsidy than they were actually going to get. now, they have to say they're going to pay more out of their pocket. >> senator manchin, you get the last word, do you see any indication from anyone in the administration that they're willing to go along with some sort of a delay? >> i'm not sure. i haven't spoken in detail with them. i can tell you, if we have a partisan group like we have had before, we have
seven republicans, six democrats and an independent, george, nobody should be forced to buy a policy that costs more than what they had and is inferior to what they had. those things have to be worked out. the new markets have to be good but affordable. you have to work through this. the transition period of one year is very reasonable and very doable. the fines don't go into effect until 2015. if you delay it, you're never really going to have identify the problems and work it out. john in wyoming and me in west virginia we have a lot of people who have benefited so far. but we have more people who need to have affordable health care. it shouldn't be unaffordable. we need to work this out. john is very knowledgeable. he's a good friend of mine. we can need to work together because we're americans first. we can't make to the whole system. >> guys, thank you very much for your time this morning.
now, to the latest on the nsa spy scandal, the government plan to listen in on foreign leaders was bigger than originally thought and it comes after the german chancellor lectured president obama this week after she learned that the u.s. had been tapping her personal cell phone. terry moran has been tracking this growing controversy. good morning, terry. >> reporter: good morning, george. the hits keep on coming, after snowden's niagara of leaks out of the nsa. and the damage to u.s. interest s. the latest the german interior minister is calling for an investigation, saying, if the u.s. tapped german cell phones on german soil, it broke the law and "those responsible must be held accountable." on the mall in washington protest or thes spoke about the nsa surveillance program.
nsa whistle blower edward snowden still stuck in russia. >> he asked me to deliver this message to you. we are here to remind our government officials that they are public servants, not private investigators. >> reporter: snowden's cascade of shocking leaks have many close u.s. allies infuirated. just this weekend, the revelation in a german newspaper that the u.s. embassy in berlin was a secret listening post. it was just 1 of 80 similar nsa and cia listening posts around the world. all this, after reports that the u.s. was tapping world leaders' cell phones, including german chancellor angela merkel, she personally calling president obama, labeling it a "brave breach of trust." the white house didn't address whether merkel was spied on in the past. according to a report in a
british newspaper "the guardian," the nsa was listening in on 35 world leaders as early as 2006. friday, hillary clinton weighed in. >> trying to go up to the line of what is appropriate surveillance and security measures and not over the line, is something that we need to have a full comprehensive discussion about. >> reporter: it is true as many as have said, as long as there has been allies there has been spying on allies. but george, what has so deeply shocked america's closest partners around the world is the depth. you get the sense they have been digitally invaded by the nsa and their sense of the violation of their privacy and the invasion of their citizens' privacy is profound. george? >> and they're pushing back hard. okay, terry, thanks so much. with that, we turned to the man who held so much power when this program began, dick cheney.
so, we just heard secretary clinton right there. it's important to go up to the line, not over the line, did this program go over the line? >> george, i wouldn't -- it's been five years since i was involved in classified information and i wouldn't want to discuss it, anything that i was involved in or that i have knowledge of in the past. that would be totally inappropriate for me. >> can you tell me generally if this program was valuable or not? >> i can say that the capability of the united states government on a broad basis, to collect intelligence that's important to the united states, saving lives, et cetera, it's nothing new without talking about specific details, which i'm not. or specific targets. it's something that we have been involved in a long time. i think that the unfortunate
aspect of it is, mr. snowden has in fact divulge a lot of information that's damaging to the united states. >> and once that information is revealed, are we at the point now where the program is creating more harm than benefit. >> i can't say that. again, george, i have been out of the loop, so to speak, all i know is what i read in the newspapers and hear you guys talk about on sunday. so, i'm not current on the current status on the program. i was when i was in the white house and also when i was secretary of defense, a consumer of intelligence from all around the world and it was important that we collected and -- >> bottom line, without revealing details of the classified information, >> i'm not talking about a specific program, i'm talking about our overall intelligence capabilities are important to the security of this nation and need to preserve. >> we're also facing critical negotiations right now with iran
over their nuclear program, you were deeply involved with that, and there's about to be a showdown with congress over that. congress is prepared to vote. on more sanctions, tougher sanctions for iran. wendy sherman came out this weekend and said she wants a pause in sanctions. >> we think that this is a time for pause. to see if these negotiations can gain traction. congress has its prerogative. we can't control congress. >> how would you advise congress to respond? >> i think -- i don't have a lot of confidence in the administration to be able to negotiate an agreement. i think sanctions offer some prospect of bringing the iranians around. i talked to my friends in that part of that region. they're very fearful that the whole iranian exercise is going to go the same way as the syrian exercise. >> but right now, what we're seeing today in syria is the chemical weapons are being
cataloged. the inspectors are in there finding out, putting a stop to the program. >> well, we'll see. i'm a skeptic like a lot of other people are and i know that our friends in the region are worried. if you look at the piece, there's a front-page story on "the new york times" today, a review of middle east policy and quote, continue to pivot to asia. >> one of the things they're doing is backing down from the so-called democracy agenda propagated by president bush in your administration. but you weren't it seemed a big fan of that, do you think it's right to scale it back? >> well, i think the u.s. presence in the middle east was enormously important going back before desert storm. i think that presence and that credibility and that influence has been significantly diminished. as we have withdrawn from the region. i think our friends no longer
count on us, no longer trust us and our adversaries don't fear us. that was sort of the cornerstone of the u.s. to influence. if we're not heavily involved there, if we turn our back on the region, if we have a president that believes we overreacted to the terrorism attacks on 9/11, i think the saudis, the egyptians, many in that part of the world no longer have confidence in the united states. >> did you think your administration should have taken military action against iran's nuclear program? >> i thought that it would be important if we took out the syrian reactor it would send an important signal to the iranian program. if we had taken out the syrian reactor the way the israelis did and they wanted us to do it, we would have sent a clear signal about proliferation. we would have given substance to
our diplomacy. iranians would have to look at it and say these guys are serious about it and they mean business. we would be much more effective goernting today with syrians. >> is military action against iran inevitable? >> i have trouble seeing how we're going to achieve our objective short of that. and i doubt very much that the diplomacy will be effective if there is not the prospect that if diplomacy fails that we'll resort to military force. let's turn to politics. lot of debate of what it's going to take for the republicans to win back the white house. our poll shows how deep the hole is for republicans. worst numbers in a generation. on the screen right now, americans were asked, who's doing what's best for the country? only 20% believe republicans doing what's best for the country. 52% for president obama.
the brand is at its lowest numbers ever in polling. does that worry you? i know you didn't worry about your personal poll numbers. but for the party, does that worry you? and how should they fix it? >> i think we have a long way to go to rebuild the party. i think it's very important that we bring in a new generation of leadership. i think after the presidential election last year, you know, we got whipped. a lot of us thought we were going to pull it out. that didn't happen. we need to spend time and effort to build the party. making it a full-time operation of the rnc. there's a lot of work to be done. >> part of that new generation, your daughter liz running for senate in wyoming. has rankled a lot of feathers. most of the republican senators supporting the incumbent mike enzi. he himself said this week, he felt blindsided by your whole family. he said he thought you were a friend.
>> the fact of the matter is, washington is not going to elect the next senator from wyoming. the people of wyoming will elect their senator. mike has a record, if you go back and review his finances, he gets 84% of his company funding from washington-based pacs. he doesn't get much money from wyoming. liz outraised him in the last quarter. over a million dollars in the first quarter. i think it's a great campaign. she's going full speed. she's going to win and washington isn't going to decide who's the next senator from wyoming. wyoming is. >> she's far behind right now? >> just started. you also have said that your daughter and others represent this new generation, that's going to energize the base, is that the problem? presidents you worked out were pretty good at
reaching beyond the base persuading republicans to vote for them. >> we need to do it all. you can't say, well, we're going to write off that group or write off that segment. we've got to have first-class candidates. i think we're making progress. they're trying to move up the convention date, shorten the primary time. >> do you see anybody out there who can bring back some democrats to the republican party? >> i think so. i'm not going to endorse anybody. we have a long way to go to the next presidential election. but we have been there before. it's not the first time we have had to go down this road and i, basically, i think, it's healthy for the party to be brought up short, say, okay, now's the time to go to work and we got to look at your basic strategy and personnel. it's time to get a new
generation involved. >> you're looking healthy. we'll talk about your new heart and the book called "heart." up next, our powerhouse roundtable. is caused by people looking fore traffic parking.y that's remarkable that so much energy is, is wasted. streetline has looked at the problem of parking, which has not been looked at for the last 30, 40 years, we wanted to rethink that whole industry, so we go and put out these sensors in each parking spot and then there's a mesh network that takes this information sends it over the internet so you can go find exactly where those open parking spots are. the collaboration with citi was important for providing us the necessary financing; allow this small start-up to go provide a service to municipalities. citi has been an incredible source of advice, how to engage with municipalities,
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>> how many can i put you down for? a lot? please say a lot. i need this. >> how much trouble for the president. we'll talk about that on the roundtable. joined by bill kristol. democratic strategist donna brazile. s.e. cupp from "crossfire." and howard dean. you were laughing when i used the words obama care chaos. you think everybody should calm down? >> it's not chaos. it's a rollout of a big website. i haven't seen a rollout of a big website in anything, even in the private sector that hasn't had troubles. i think they'll fix it. >> what do you say to those other democrats like joe manchin, yeah, you'll be able to fix it, but it would be smart to have a delay? >> that's too early for that. right now, they think they can
fix it by the end of november. unless they thought it was true. they have some really smart people and they private sector company that are supposed to be fixing it. >> bill kristol? >> let's hope they fix it for the sake of the country. they can fix the website but not obama care. the big story this week and last week, people in the individual insurance market, about 15 million, getting notices from their insurance companies they won't be able to renew their policies next year. it doesn't comply with the mandates in obama care. their policies they purchased, individually rated, got rated for whatever their health condittion was. over 10 million people are losing policies. joe manchin said something very interesting, no one should be forced to buy a policy that's inferior or costs more than what
they have had already. defenders will say, that helps subsidize other people. >> that's part of the defense. the other thing that the white house is going to say, donna brazile, some of the people will have to pay more, but they're going to be paying more for a better policy. >> absolutely. look, i think this rollout was a huge bundle. it was a mistake, no question about it. going back to the architect of the medicare program said success in any social program is inspiration and 99% implementation. i think it's going to work better over the next 30 days. people are not only enrolling online, there are in-person enrolls. and there are people are being recruited to help sign up people, so i think it will work.
all of these negative folks who are saying bad things, wait five months. >> perhaps on the other hand we're not learning who's exactly signing up right now. that's a number that the white house isn't going to give out. s.e. cupp, one of the big problems and dr. besser talked about this as well, one of the differences from medicare, this time around, you need young people to sign up. >> exactly. exactly right. there are two problems. one is the technological problems. millennials have never bought health insurance in the past. buy something that they don't think they need. in some cases, can't afford. that mechanical issue remains to be seen, the website rollout has affected that. but, culturally, it also reads, i have talked to a lot of
millennials. an inability to speak their language. donna you might call an 800-number and sit on the phone. millennials aren't used to that. they don't meet in-person with insurance brokers or travel agents or anyone. they need a website that works, that gets them, that is easy, that is young-person approved and they're not going to be patient as the president and the administration tweaks all of that. >> i will have to disagree with s.e. it's not true that if young people don't sign up the program doesn't work. that's false. the reason -- >> the white house said they have to have a third of the people that have to be young people. >> that's not true, actually, the reason that is framed as being true is, everybody assumes you can't do a community rating. without an individual mandate. and that's not true. the remember i dknow that is because i did it 20 years ago in vermont.
we have all -- almost every child under 18 has had health insurance for almost 20 years. we had a tough community rating. you couldn't charge 20% more than your base rate and you couldn't discriminate against anybody for pre-existing conditions. we have had this for 20 years. >> relatively small community, can it work nationwide? >> yes, it can nationwide. the problem is to scale. it would have been better to have four exchanges than one. they didn't know 34 states were going to refuse to participate in the exchanges. we can fault the obama administration, certainly there are faults to be had here. i should add that republicans bear some responsibility for this, they defunded part of obama care. the 44 votes that took to kill it, everything that the obama administration has to do is going upstream against republicans trying to kill this program and there is some responsibility they bear as well. >> president obama said over and
over in selling this program in 2009 and 2010, if you like your current plan you can keep it, that's false. about 15 million people are being told, the current plan which they do like, they're being told they can't keep it. they're being forced into these exchanges, that don't work. and it will cost more. that's the big political story more than the website. president obama said if you like it you can keep it. and that's not true. >> and tens of millions of people last year got refunds from their health care plans, many people got grandfathered into their old plan, 3 million more adults are now getting coverage as a result of obama care and 8 million women are getting preventive care. so, obama care is already working. when i made that 800, and yes, i like apps, my old boss was in charge, he
would get service people and it would be done like this. and back in day, bill, when you and i were getting health insurance, we didn't have twitter. nowadays people want things instantly and that's the problem. george, i was able to get in touch with a d.c. person. i live in d.c. but i also called back from louisiana and they said you got to wait online for this health care marketplace. that's part of the problem is obama care relies on cooperation and partnership with the states. that's one of reasons this website has been so bungled. >> whether it's going to be successful in the long term, we already see senator ted cruz not backing off one bit. not many friends in washington but embraced in iowa. >> i'm convinced we're facing a new pair dime in politics, the rise of the grassroots. it has official washington
absolutely terrified. >> hillary clinton may be staying away from the early primary states. here's how she answered the question about afghanistan. >> they actually have women candidates, it's not likely they would win but that didn't happen here either, so you can't blame afghanistan for that. >> just a tiny limit drop there. bill, let's talk about ted cruz first, not backing down at all. one of the predictions he was making in iowa this weekend si that come 2014 all of the ads are going to be about obama care and that's what's going to preserve the republican majority -- help them get a majority in the senate. and preserve the republican majority in the house. >> i think he's likely to be right. i didn't agree with his tactics over the last couple of months. i still think there was still some price to be paid for the shutdown. i have always said the failure of obama care will dwarf the minor derailment of the shutdown and ted cruz is going to look better and better. he's the guy who understood one
thing that others didn't, obama care is the center of gravity in politics. it is intrusive in a way of most normal liberal big-government programs aren't. most of these programs you expand benefits for people. pell grants, food stamps or whatever. you give benefits to everyone, social security. this is a kind of an unusual program, you're forcing people into these exchanges. my friend in washington who said you can't keep your insurance is not being left alone. >> your insurance plans conforms with obama care -- >> about 15% of health insurance plans do. it was a free market. >> we kicked those people out of our state when we did this and it was a good decision we did. they were taking 50% of every premium dollar and keeping it for themselves. what you're doing is driving the fly by night insurance companies out of the market.
>> so, wait, when blue shield drops and these huge companies drop 300,000 people in florida, those are fly by night insurance companies? >> it's anthem in florida. second of all, even good companies have crappy policies. >> but the government -- that's going to be great. >> the government has a right to make sure when you buy something that it is what it's supposed to be. >> that's what you're doing. >> i think that's okay. in the long run, what's been happening in the past, those policies that get sold, don't cover what you think they cover. and furthermore, and this used to happen when i was practicing, an insurance company could pull your insurance that can't happen under obama care. the reason we're going to pick up seats in the house and we're not going to lose the senate. >> ohio became the 26th state to expand medicaid for its
uninsured individuals. now north carolina is considering it. >> what percentage of ohio accepts medicaid? >> well, i'm not a doctor. >> most of people signing up are signing up for medicaid. which is a failing program. >> you have a growing list of democrats who are worried about obama care and we're not going to run on obama care success. >> and you were laughing when howard dean said this was going to help democrats next year. >> this will overwhelm the shutdown. right now, you look at the generic ballot of 2014, republicans are about eight, nine points behind. >> i think what you're seeing, back to ted cruz, i think what you're seeing in the republican party, are two interpretations of what happened in 2012, ted cruz and folks like mike lee and rand paul are saying we lost 2012 because we weren't conservative enough. ted cruz saying i got elected and mitt romney didn't.
then you have the paul ryan plan, i'm pretty darn conservative, i'm conservative enough. the problem was messaging. we didn't have a powerful message. we weren't artful in our articulation of our policies. so, you have folks like paul ryan trying to talk about how we can cut the deficit. there's that tension. and all we're talking about is how republicans disagree with one another. >> look the problem with the republican party is there are two republican parties. dick cheney said his daughter is going to run, she's running against a republican. the problem with the republican party it is exploding -- >> two parties are better than one party. >> i want to bring that to howard dean, how about on the democratic side, if hillary clinton decides to run, will she face a serious challenge on the left? >> i'm not going to be that person. i'm going to support hillary. >> you ruined my day.
>> i think they're likely to nominate somebody on the other side, ted cruz, who's going to scare the living daylights out of people. this guy brought not just the american economy, the worldwide economy to a brink of a collapse, that's not going to be a person people are going to vote for for president of the united states. hillary clinton is a perfect foil, she's done it all, she's ready to be president from day one. she's got the foreign affairs experience, perfect foil for a candidate. >> i'm so depressed, howard dean is not running, red sox lose due to umpires. it's a rough weekend. >> thank you all very much. up next, much more with former vice president dick cheney on his new life with a new heart. and within a few minutes, he wrote back and said this is exactly what i have been waiting for.
>> joshua debois and the president's devotional in our "sunday spotlight." devotional in our "sunday spotlight." transit fares! as in the 37 billion transit fares we help collect each year. no? oh, right. you're thinking of the 1.6 million daily customer care interactions xerox handles. or the 900 million health insurance claims we process. so, it's no surprise to you that companies depend on today's xerox for services that simplify how work gets done. which is...pretty much what we've always stood for. with xerox, you're ready for real business. help the gulf when we made recover and learn the gulf, bp from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely.
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so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can. what happens if you don't change the batteries on that? >> well, it starts to beep. it's -- when the power runs out, you get to the point where you have to change the batteries and this is what the batteries look like, and they're good for ten hours. it starts to beep when, you know, and when i do this, of course -- >> i think you should put it back in, yeah. that would not be a good thing. >> that was dick cheney two years ago with our jon karl
showing off that pump that kept him alive until he got a new heart in 2012, and he's written all about this remarkable appearance in a new book called "heart." written with his cardiologist, dr. reiner. we're back now with the former vice president. you were having fun with jon karl there. >> a little bit. >> one of the most moving parts of the book is when you write about those days before you got the pump and your days were literally numbered, counting the days, maybe counting the hours until your heart would give out, and you write you were at peace with that, yet now, you're back to something back everyone else has, all the time. can you describe how it felt going from having your days literally numbered to open-ended again? >> as my doctor said, a transplant is a spiritual experience, not just for the patient but the surgical team. i wake up every morning literally with a smile on my
face, grateful for another day i thought i would never see. you don't sweat the small stuff and everything else is small stuff. >> it really does work? >> it really does work. >> what did this all teach you about the american health care system? >> well, the system we have the best in the world by far, lot of debate about it, and so forth, but the fact is, from the time i had my first heart attack in 1978, most of the things that saved my life hadn't been invented yet. over the past few years, we have been able to reduce deaths from heart disease. what i worry about very much the current debate over obama care, that obama care itself may damage that innovation machine that we have created out there, there is hope, the message in the book is about hope.
it's not just about me, we use my case to tell the story, but there are 80 million americans out there that have some sort of heart disease and what they learn from the book is, there are treatments for a great deal of that. in my case, you can go all the way through it and you're lucky to get a transplant, all of that disease goes away and you get a fresh start. >> some suggesting well, yeah, it worked for you because you were able to pay for it. and viewers wanted to know about the transplant. one viewer said, it's my understanding that heart transplants are rarely done on patients 70 years of age or older, can you explain how it came to be you're one of the lucky ones? >> age isn't the only criteria. your immune system isn't as powerful as you get older. it really depends on the overall state of your health. if you have another serious health problem, you're not going to be a candidate. but i had to meet all of the same standards that everybody
else did, i made a point of making that my team, there isn't any way you can gain the system. it's virtually fool-proof. i didn't jump the line or get any special treatment. the average wait is 10 months. i waited 20 months for my heart. >> you dedicate your book to your donor. do you think you'll be in contact with the donor's family? >> there's a procedure to go to a third party and both parties, if they want to have contact it's possible to set it up. they don't really encourage it at least early on. early on, i was excited. i was pumped, excited i got this gift of life from the donor's life. from part of the thing to convey here in my mind is, our medical system that encourages innovation is miraculous. it's because of entrepreneurship and innovation.
it's not only hope for people who have heart disease and all of the other diseases out there that we're working on in terms of cancer, type i diabetes and that innovation machine that is in fact our modern health care system is a national treasure and needs to be protected. >> mr. vice president, thank you very much. >> thank you, george. >> we'll be right back. very much. >> thank you, george. >> we'll be right back.
and our own jim avila part of the fusion launch. we speaks with president obama at the white house. we'll have that tomorrow on fusion. now, we want to welcome jorge ramos, he'll be taking on new duties at fusion as well. you'll have three or four jobs, jorge. you believe that this is critical this fusion launch. >> only three. if you can do it, george, i can do it.
>> tell us about fusion. what you're trying to do here. >> i think the future is about fusion and fusion is about the future. who controls the future? it's about the future of news. it's a great partnership between abc news and univision. it's content based on news, entertainment, sports, comedy. as you know for a young audience, we're trying to reach a very young audience, for them, that traditional news format is no locker valid. news could be from a tweet to video. also, we want to reach people, it doesn't matter the age who are tired of the traditional media. so, in order to reach that, we also have to reach latinos and right now, there are 55 million latinos. so the future is about exactly that, how to reach that part of the audience and that's exactly what we want to do with fusion. >> well, we're looking forward
to work with you. we want you to come back and talk about it more. jorge, thank you. time now for sunday spotlight shining on joshua debois who had the job every morning to find the right scripture to help ground the president. he told our cokie roberts. >> i want to say a quick word about a close friend of mine and yours, joshua debois. >> reporter: when he was just 26 years old, pentecostal minister joshua debois took on the job of white house outreach to the religious community. >> every morning he sends via e-mail, a daily meditation. it's meant the world to me. >> i was wondering, who was thinking about his spirit and his soul? i thought, why not reach out to him. >> within a few minutes, he reached out and he said, this is exactly what i was looking for. >> reporter: he's sharing those daily doses of inspirations in a new book,
"the president's devotional." only once in the book, you picked one for a specific day and that was the day the president was to deliver the state of union message. can you read us that one? >> so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth. it shall not return to me empty but it shall accomplish that which i purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which i sent it. >> were you worried that he wouldn't be understood? >> there's so much noise in our culture today and there are so many different sources of distractions and folks who intentionally or unintentionally decide to muddle the true meaning of what we say. >> i notice a lot of the readings are love your enemy, feed your enemy, hold peace, do you think these are necessary for a president? >> i think they're necessary for all of us, really from a
practical perspective, it's so much better to learn to love our enemies. >> i think this should be needle pointed on cushions. >> even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace, when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. >> there you go. but the president can't hold his peace when he's needed to speak when the nation mourned after an unthinkable tragedy. >> i can only hope that it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief. >> reporter: you described going to newtown as probably the most searing experience. >> the president wanted me to go with him to meet with the families. there were a number of parents who had pulled out the school pictures that they had just taken and pointed to them and just collapsed. the president just had to hold them. i was proud of him, one of those moments i was concerned for his spirit, because it has to take a lot out of his person.
>> reporter: making that daily boost of spiritual encouragement all the more meaningful. do you think it made him different? >> i hope that he was able to tackle challenges that he faced with a greater measure of peace knowing that god loves him, knowing that mo matter what happening on any given day there's an internal god wrapped around him and love cannot be shaken. >> reporter: for "this week," cokie roberts, abc news, washington. >> thanks to cokie for that. now we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice, this week, the pentagon released the name of one marine killed in afghanistan. and that's all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" with david muir tonight. i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america." "