he's trying to fix stuff. i think that's terrible. it is really too bad, our last many never found the courage to apologize for anything. republicans love going back decades and they hate it when democrats mention that george bush ever existed, but he did exist and never apologized. not for anything. so maybe we finally have a commander in chief who's willing to acknowledge some faults that the gop can meet him halfway. is that too much to ask for? >> look, taking responsibility and admitting account and for something, that's a baseline. that should be rote. it's a pretty low bar when we're congratulating and -- where we can start there.
in the crossfire, matt cartwright and rep representative john fleming. also a medical doctor. gentlemen, i was on my honeymoon last week, and naturally watched some news, i hate to admit it. i overheard debbie wasserman schultz talking. here's what she had to say. >> i think that democratic candidates will be able to run on obama care as an advantage leading us into the 2014 elections. >> i've got to be honest the dulcet tones of debbie wasserman schultz didn't exactly set the mood, if you know what i mean, but regardless, congressman, you ran in 2010 as the more pro-obama care democrat. tell your viewers and your constituents tonight to their faces, are you going to run on obama care in 2014?
>> first, congratulations. also i have to correct you, i ran in 2012. >> i'm sorry. >> i didn't have the opportunity to vote one way or the other when it first came up, but i am a supporter. i think the broad-brush strokes are having good. such an people in pennsylvania, you know how many people we have? 2.4 million. we need to take care of these people. 1 million uninsured people. >> how many have signed up? do you know? >> i don't. obviously it's a disappointing roll-out. but you do line that he's owned the problem. he understands the principle of the buck stops here, and anybody
who thought the roll-out was going to be smooth and without hitches is not lives in the real world. >> okay, but answer the question, will you run on obama care -- >> i've going to do everything, and i'm not going to run away from the affordable care act. i think this is what we need to strengthen our hospital system. i want to tell you about a friend of mine. he actually died, was resuscitated twice, he's still with us. you know why? he had a cold and didn't have health care. it turned into viral pneumonia, and we almost lost him. here's the good news. yesterday, he lives in california, was able to go on to the california exchange. he was able to find a plan and his family for about $500.
are you prepared to tell him the status quo two months ago is what you want to go back to? >> first of all, it's unfortunate that he found himself in thatsh d. you truth is, you show up to any room at any home and by cared for whether they ever pay the bill or not. >> actually he went to the emergency room, died there twice. he got hit with a huge bill. if he had had health care, he -- >> he should have gone much earlier, of course, and maybe wouldn't haved such a big bill. i have a family member that's in one of the these states, has their own high-risk pool that has worked well. rand convert it through socialistic practices. >> so is the status two fine with you? >> no, i came to washington and
actually toe perform health care, but to use the tools of market forces. not the government takeover that we have now. >> you say it's a government takeover, but and people -- why do you say government takeover? you're not for that. >> that's single payer. what you're actually seeing is there's less choices. in many of these places, most of the exchanges only have one insurance company at all. no real competition exists. >> is that your view? >> i want to echo something that dr. fleming said, and it's true. uninsured care happens innocence country and here's the problem. it's not properly accounted for. the people who pay for uninsured care at the moment are the hospitals, the doctor and all of
the medical providers. because they keep absorbing this free care, absorbing the uninsured care, so right now if you live near carbondale, you don't have a local hospital. if you have a dissecting aortic aneurysm, instead of a five-minute right, it's a 20-minute ride. dr. fleming will tell you that could be the difference between life and death. >> i also have to say since the passage and going into law, big one of the -- and laying people off. they're being cut from medicare and can help pay for obama care, so we're going to see more closed as a result. >> let met get the big politirpl picture here. and that's great, that's one good story. one good story is not enough.
the president in the past few months seems to have thrown the country, entire industries, small businesses, millions of american families into total chaos, not just because of glitchy website, but because of this onnerous huge, cumbersome program that is having a hard time working. are you worried, congressman cartwright that democrats will pay a political price for this failure so far? >> well, i'm kind of new at politics, s.e. i couldn't really hold myself out as a political expert in the united states. but i tell you this. i've noticed governor mike levin in utah, the secretary of hhs during the roll joy of medicare part d. that was as rocky as you can imagine. he was on television recently, much to his credit, to talk about what horrible headaches there were rolling out medicare
part d. you know, what plan should i take? there were four different options. it was seniors trying to explain it to them. it was a med, but that was eight years ago. now it's a wonderful thing and we all know that. >> i'm glad there's optimism. i'm not sure based on why. >> what he's saying recently, he's watching this rocky roll-out, and what secretary leavitt is saying, he's saying we should all take a deep breath and just let this thing play out, because in the end history will smile -- >> we are taking a deep breath, but i want to put some poll numbers up, because it seems like regardless of how well this goes or better it gets, in the meantime s. now it's not good for president obama.
representatives matt cartwright and john fleming. president obama just wrapped up a meeting with heads of insurance companies, and you know what? i sort of feel bad for them. the president changed all the rules of the game, then changed them again yesterday. so why is he meeting with them now? apparently it wasn't to apologize again. >> we're going to brainstorm on how do we make sure that everybody understands their options? we're going to be soliciting ideas from them. this is a collaborative process and we want to make sure to get this done. >> brainstorming now? soliciting ideas now? clabting now? why didn't he do this ages ago before he changed and rechanged the rules? congressman cartwright, explain this. >> i think that's an overstatement to say he was not involving the insurance companies. insurance companies are an integral part of the if affordable care act, as my
colleague has just said, a lot of people want to say it's socialized medicine. it's not true at all. the market forces are at play here. we have private for-profit insurance companies deeply involved in the affordable care act. one of the options was the -- none of those things happened. we're talking about for-profit insurance companies in on the take with the affordable care act. >> i'm sure. i mean, how do you respond to this? i find it just shocking. i feel like in some ways it's alarmist, and in my view really irresponsible. some socialistic takeover by the government, when in fact what we have is regulation of corporations. i mean, we have regulation of corporations, with the companies to put in seat belts. what's wrong with that? >> oh, this is not free market at all. what we have is the president
calling the insurance companies in on the carpet to dictate to them what they should do to reverse course all of a sudden, and it probably will cost millions if not billions of dollars, and what about the chronny capitalism. we had a november had bid deal for the website that failed that cost over $600 million. again, this is government at its worst, trying to control the economy. >> think we have a disagreement between the parties. let me ask you a couple questions. >> sure. >> do you think if also some has assist ma, do you think that person should not be able to buy insurance? >> i think that, again, insurance under the former model, where it's a choice, to which kind of insurance you purchase, if you choose to purchase an insurance that covers for asthma and certainly if you're subject to that, fine, but you shouldn't be upset if you want to have some kind of a treatment. let's sea cosmetic surgery that
isn't covered by your insurance. i'm asking you a very different question. if somebody has asthma, should they be disallowed -- i have slightly high blood pressure, a preexisting condition. do you say it's already for insurance companies to say we're not going to do anything? that's your free market. >> let me answer it this way. i think that we should reform or market so that that option is available, so they can get coverage. >> doesn't obama care do that? it does, but it does so many other things that actually drives up of cost and takes away the efficiency. over 30 states now have high-risk pools. i have a family member who's in one of them, and it works very well. 4 he has a preexisting illness and it works beautifully, but when you take it over by the federal government, one sixth of the largest economy in the world, and look at the results we're getting, terrible. >> hold on a second. do you think the results are terrible when half -- when women
in america are no longer being discriminated against? can you explain some of the terrible outcomes you'll by running on at the end of the year -- >> if you want to talk about high-risk pools and funds and states was part of the affordable care act in the first place. in pennsylvania bev the pennsylvania fair care fund, and i need to tell you, people with preexisting conditions are already benefiting. a personal story. my sister-in-law's aunt was diagnosed with a very dangeroussh a lethal form of cancer. we tried to sign her up with about 60 different insurance companies. nobody would touch her. then be found out about the p.a. fair care plan and that they would subs died, they saved her life. they did. >> and these programs have been around for years. we should encourage them. that's part of our plan, to actually supplement state
high-risk pools, because they're far more efficient than the government high-risk pool. >> i want to go back to the political consequences of this, because i think all of these issues will be sorted out over time, hopefully. those poll numbers i put up about obama's program. to me i'm far less concerned about the legacy, and i'm sure, consequenceman you're less concerned than preserving your values and principles. i think ultimately that faith in government is in jeopardy here. let's do what john judas said to liberals in "the new republic." he said -- if obama care doesn't work as promised, the fail your will have reinforced for a generation the argument against any government initiatives. does it worry you that this roll-out, other an obama care is clunky, will really make people
question the role of government? >> s.e., i don't lay awake at nights worries about political philosophy and theory. i'm here in washington, as john is, to help people. i'd i make no bones about it. there are a lot of kinks in the law. >> to help people, i assume you want democrats elected. to get democrats elected, people have to have faith that they'll be honest and confident and government will solve their problems. those are the promise that's democrats make. so this doesn't worry you at all watching government in action? >> i think you've got your finger right on it. if the president's numbers are low, it is a credibility problem. right from if you like your policy, you can keep it. now he is working to make that promise come true and you have to give him credit for that. >> what if that guts the signature part of this legislation. what if it fundamentally changes it? >> i don't think it will.
i think it could cause some fluctuation in rates. i do know that upton bill, if it went all the way through, it passed out of the house today. >> with 39 democrats for it. >> but i don't think it will go through senate. the problem with the upton bill is it is not just keeping the promise if you like your policy, you can keep it. if you like that other guy's policy that you had but you didn't have, you can go get that. that's a completely different promise. >> one of the thing i don't get is, you know, you say this is a socialistic takeover, a government takeover. the problem is that's just not true. it really is in fact the case, i'm from the left coast. from california. >> why is it failing so badly? the government tries to control the economy. look at the soviet union. >> now we're talking about the sew yet union?
>> now, look, people on the left really want a single payer system. so even the left doesn't want obama care. they want single payer and we want a market driven patient centraled system. >> start over. right now, here's what we have. we have the plan that nixon wanted. we have the plan that night gingrich wanted, the heritage wanted until obama wanted it and now it is socialism. >> i don't agree with you on that. >> i supported part d. i was not hire but as a physician i did. >> i want to you stay here. next we'll cease fire and see if there is anything you can agree on. i want you folks at home to weigh in on the fire back question, should the president fire someone over obama care's failures? tweet yes or no using the #crossfire. i have a 401k retirement plan.
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it's a free country. >> when the website finally gets working, you'll be able to get on there and compare apples to apples a bunch of different insurance companies offering gold, silver or bronze plans and you can compare them against each other so they have to compete with each other for your business. you'll love that. >> well, yes. as you know, i'm pro competition, pro free enterprise. certainly we can agree on the ultimate outcome of health care reform. that is to get more care, better care, better quality care to more people. my concern is that a highly regulated market that's controlled by government actually gets you the reverse results. less competition, higher prices and lower quality. >> let me ask you a question. we've been talking about this all night. sometime you are saying a total free market with no regulations or it is socialism. that's not wlur saying, is it? >> no. >> the government has a true
role in regulating and making sure there's an even playing field and consumers. no question about it. i think we need to do more in the competitive field. doctors don't do their own charges, their own pricing. dictated to them. we need to open that up and i think we'll get much better results like we see with lacic and cosmetic surgery. >> i think if we could dial back on the socialistic government takeover, we could get that. >> that's what i want you to do. look. i'm a southerner. there are people who actually are afraid that somehow obama bots will take over america. >> maybe you remember the tin care that collapsed. that's exactly what happened to them. >> we have to have you back on the show. i think i want them back. i'm not sure. >> to go facebook or twitter to weigh in on our fireback question. should the president fire
someone over obama care failures? right now, 66% of you say yes. 34% say no. >> the debate will continue online at cnn.com/crossfire. proudly from the left, i am van jones. >> more proudly from the right, i am s.e. cupp. join us monday for another edition of "crossfire." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next. no man is an island. but don't tell that to barack obama. >> the truth of the matter is i'm accountable to the people who single me here. >> democrats and even the new york times turn on the president. plus, murder charges. >> this monster that killed my daughter -- >> the man who allegedly pull the trigger did not know the woman who appeared bloody and drunk at his door in the middle of the night. >> i can't imagine in my wildest dreams what that man feared from her. to shoot her in