tv President Johnson Medicare Phone Calls CSPAN August 10, 2015 11:09pm-12:17am EDT
said the more democrats that come in, you have to change the ways and means committee. you have to giggle it around so you'll be able to get that vote. mccormick said, i don't think i can do that. and about 24 hours later, a bus arrived from somerset, massachusetts, with 100 senior citizens who camped outside of mccormick's office and said, change the alignment. change the alignment. those are the small little stories that when you put them altogether, you really understand how that bill became law. by the way, it was the 89th congress and medicare was 89-97. six no, sir months, 97 bills. >> how, mark, did lyndon johnson amass this -- this encyclopedic knowledge of the congress? how it worked? he knew how the senate worked.
he knew each and every member. he knew what they needed. he knew what they didn't want anybody to know. the part that i find just wonder russ is how in a day could he do what he did and how did he come to know so much about each and every member? >> you nailed it. he had this encyclopedic knowledge of not only the legislative process, but of the people around it. hue better humphrey described lbj as a psychiatrist. he could read you. he knew it moerveated you. he knew what might motivate bob was different from what motivate linda or larry. he got that. and he used it. he exploited it. there's an expression, that people are motivated by either love or fear. and you need to know the right combination in order to get them to act. lbj got that and he used to
apply something that was legendarily known in washington as the johns ontreatment or just the treatment. there was no doubt who was applying it. johnson was the master of that and he used a combination of flattery or threatening or whatever it took to get somebody over to his side. i think the one thing that i would take exception to was the adjective you have associated here with johnson is ruthless. but i can test that. i don't think johnson was ruthless at all. i think he was too smart to be ruthless. he knew in washington at that time if you ran over somebody, if you were ruthless, you wouldn't be able to get them to your side in the future. he needed those folks in the future. so he only pushed them far enough. that was his mastery. that's what he got i think more than anybody in that. >> i think, i think that's very important. he was a master and one of the
things he nooud understood is today's enemy, today's poenl may be tomorrow's colleague and may be the person you need tomorrow. i always -- one of the great fruits of washington, i think, and irng one of the wisest things lyndon johnson ever said, he said never tell a man to go to hell unless you know how to put him there. and i've always thought the advice i would give to any young person coming into washington, always remember that. it's a good life rule. and let me just add one thing about -- you're talking about the johnson treatment. what i think a lot of people don't understand is that the johnson treatment was not just something that happened in the moment. it was something that had a background and a predicate to it
and it had something that came after it. because you can say many things blindon johnson, but if he told you something, that was the way it was. and it didn't change. and i always go back to the story that one of my great friends in life is a man named big stucky. and all of you heard of the stucky stars that were spread across the south. well, bill was elected to congress when he was a young man. on those days, there was no republican party in grnl. he was from georgia. and so when he won the democratic primary, that night one of the first calls that came into this kit from georgia who just won the democratic primary was from the white house. and it was one of president johnson's aids that had the president would like to talk to you and bill said he said, well, of course i'd love to talk to the president. he thought he was coming on the
line. and he said, no, no, the president wants to talk to you in person. and he said, we're going to send an airplane down to warner robins air force base tomorrow and the president wants to talk to you. so bill reported warner robins air force base. a government plane was there. it brought him back to andrews air force base. he got out of that plane. the helicopter was waiting there. he got out of the helicopter, was flown to the south lawn of the white house. when it landed, a presidential aid who later became u.s. attorney harold barefoot sanders greeted him on the south lawn and said, you're mr. stucky? yes, i am. come right here. led him directly into the oval office, this kid from georgia where the first person he saw was the towering lyndon johnson where he walked up and he said,
son, i'm really going to need your help. bill stucky told me he never voted against him once the entire time he was in the congress. but that's what the johnson treatment was about. >> let me just tell you another story. and the -- daddy remembered the republicans that he served with, too. and there was this congressman, republican congressman elected from houston. and his name was george bush. and so daddy called him and asked him to come to the white house. this new congressman who was a republican and he had this one-on-one with gornl bush because he remembered serving with gurnbush's father. and so he wanted to honor him
because of their fathers. and when daddy left in january of '69 and we were not as popular as we were in '65, we all went out to andrews air force base to get on that airplane to go back to texas. and who came to see us off but george h.w. bush. >> and he was the only republican. >> he was the only republican. >> who came that day. >> interesting. >> and i always thought it spoke so well of both of them. >> it did. spoke well of both of them. >> well, folks, we have to stay on the clock. one thing i've learned in television, i know how to get off on time. so thank you all very much. you've got a great day coming up here.
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>> who is isis? what are their origins? all those questions are important and i address them all in the book. but i think what's more important in some ways, because it's something we can do something about, is what is the u.s. policy regarding isis? why isn't it working? can we really go to war against terrorism? are we just doing the war wrong or is it wrong to say there should be a war against terrorism at all? i think those are the questions that in some ways are the most important and would be the most useful. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on q&a. >> american history tv continues to look back at the 1965 medicare bill by going inside the white house to hear telephone conversations between president johnson and his aides
as well as members of congress. this is about an hour. >> we begin on may 1e8, 1964, for the call between president johnson and his chief aide to congress, larry o'brien. andrew b. miller and wilbur collins, the assistant secretary in the department of health, jael education and welfare. as the recording of this call begins, larry o'brien is telling lbj about his talk on medicare with house ways and means committee chair wilber mills. >> mills told me that by the end of this week, he thought he would have something in shape to come down and discuss with you that he could present by way of a packet that might be of interest. i told him i had read some articles recently that were a little bit disturbing that would case nothing was happening particularly in the medicare end
and he said, well, you know better than to pay attention to those stories. and i said, well, i agree with you, wilber. i just wanted to be reassured. and he said now you know that you can't have everything you want and he said this bill, ultimately, he said it's got to have the mills stamp on it. and i said, well, you know the president's view is that whenever you want to talk to him, that door is just wide open. he's just anxious and awfully happy to see you. and he said, well, you just tell him again, as i told you late last week, that just as soon as i'm ready to sit down and be able to present something to him that i could spell out that would make some sense and would represent the package that would be of interest that i would to get ahold of you and make an immediate appointment. now, wilber collin reported to henry, i asked henry to get ahold of him this morning. he reported that there hasn't
been any particular new moves in the committee, that they're still kicking around a little bit, that mills is edging toward a -- first of all, toward the end of last week, he felt that on the contract basis under any medicare program, that he wanted to have the private insurance companies be able to bid along with blue cross. now, the labor folks got a little wind of that and b. miller came in to see me the other day and they had gone up to see mills and i'm told today that mills has decided over the weekend he thought that over and that was too selection and he's backing the position that he was in and that is blue cross be given a chance to handle the contract. but he certainly, in the medicare ballpark, he's feeling his way along very slowly and carefully and he's manipulating and maneuvering but he isn't cutting anything down that can't be unwound. i think we just have to have confidence in him to be contacting us by the end of this
week for this long awaited meeting. and, you know, collin says from everything he can discover, that there is no hanky panky. they said some of the strong medicare supporters on the committee have been a little nervous. al omen for one, an awfully decent guy on the committee talked to me last week. he said i just have a feeling that something was going to work out, but i get nervous because smils won't tell us anything. but that's the way wilber operates, as you know. i talked to him as recently as, oh, it might have been noon time today. but i would like to get him with a wrap-up on the thing and down to see on it because i noticed these stories are starting to break out, you know, in different directions and all kinds of interpretation of what is going on in there. so far, i'll have to say that the consensus is that mills is going to come out with a social security package that bypasses
medicare. you know, that's about all i've read. now, mills, of course, insists that that isn't what he intends to do and he said after all, it's all in the final analysis. what does it contain? and he said you and i know that my goal is to include a medicare program into it. >> tell him tomorrow i'd like to talk to him about it as soon as he gets where he can and i sure hope that no actionen -- he makes no commitments until -- >> he promised the no commitment end and told me by the end of the week. why don't i figure pleasantly touching base with him tomorrow because it should be by the end of this week. he's reached a point in that committee. it's a complex bill and there could be an ultimate price tag on this bill of about $3 billion, i would think overall because they get into the increase in the cash benefits
and social security and i think that would be a tag of $400 million or $500 million, something like that. now, i had told wilber cohen, i said, hell, if he's getting into something, no one fights those things as long as it doesn't mean he's using this as a handle to get out of medicare. and he said, well, he's not going to use it for that purpose, but you'd like to have his -- on that. and he said, hell, if you're going to do that, those folks ought to get that before the electric. he was talking about the packages and he said, well, hell, people could make a single election at the outset. that was be irrevocable. and we kicked that around for a week or so. we said if it's a 750 package on face value, then an election to take cash would take $5. they shouldn't get an actual amount in cash to the package because, hell, that isn't -- so
now it's my understanding that that's the road he's traveling. he's figuring that the package he has in mind is worth in the open market say 750 and that the election that they would have at the outset, which would be an ir rec kabl election would mean that they chose to take $5 in cash each month rather than the medicare benefit panel. and the labor follows and that would be fine with them and they feel there should be an election. and i guess from our point of view if a person, you know, i'm sure if we can do a hell of a good sales job on something like that, anyway, it doesn't concern me. it did concern me that you give him 750 in cash instead of the 750 package because i think a lot of people would rather have the cash in hand. but they can select between a $7.5 package and a $5 bill, and they have to make their choice irrevocab irrevocably, i'm sure the vast numbers of people would go with
the insurance program. but that's the area that he's been in. so you can see that he's been getting right into it and some real in-depth discussions. >> means recommend increase social security retirement payment. the committee met behind closed doors. after a the committee said no but unofficial reports were considerable bipartisan supports have been in favor of raising the coverage and offis he the the living costs. this means increase 6% in their retirement rates has now run.to 125 for the a man retiring 65. such a raise requires an increase in payroll taxes perhaps by one fourth of one percent. i'm telling you, if they get away and that's getting out, i'd like to know what he has in mind. >> that does fit in -- >> because they're asking me questions and i don't know what the hell he's doing. a democratic president ought to know what the hell a democrat is doing. tell him that tomorrow.
>> i will. >> another call about medicare about medicare june 22nd, 1964. you'll hear reference toes health, education, welfare secretary anthony celebreeze. as this call begins, mr. o'brien is talking about wilber mills, chairman of the house wayes and means committee. >> hi, mr. president. the wilber mills situation is deteriorated. i would say at this moment totally. i had celebreeze and collin over here there morning. mills killed a couple dollars in committee this morning, but there was no action. he talked to collin following that and feels that he jut can't put this thing together. and he's suggesting why not vote out of this social security bill in the morning? he's going to have the final markup. and with an increase in benefits that he wouldn't ask for any vote on mills and kind of put
that over the next year. and that he can either vote medicare in which we lose or perhaps he could skip that vote entirely and why didn't we try to do something over on the senate side with the social security bill when it went over there to attach medicare to it and at that point conceivably something could happen in congress and what have you. now, i asked them what they both felt, that short of the conversation, again, between you and mills, that there wasn't anything that could happen tomorrow morning except to lose this thing totally, that the best that would happen is that they not take a formal vote. that would require talking to gene keel and others to keep them away from demanding a formal vote because they've been raising hell on inaction as it is. the whole thing is at a point where i think there has to be another conversation of some
sort, frankly, i don't have the handle. i know i'm sort of dumping this in your lap without the answers to it, but i think that perhaps what we ought to do is suggest to mills, which i can do, that perhaps he could postpone tomorrow's meeting until wednesday, that we talk to the leadership further in the morning, that we can safely have mills at the leadership breakfast if you think that's worth a -- or we arrange for a conversation in the morning with mills down here that might lead could be presented to mills, hell, wilber, apparently you're out of steam because you don't have the votes and you're right, you don't have them. but what do you think about having the democratic members of the committee get together in one group and let us -- you and i put the pitch on him to come out of here with some piece of
this bill. now, we can do that or just try to avoid a vote in the committee or let him vote the social security aspect of this out and concentrate on the senate side with mills feeling that he could be of hope. it's a reverse situation. it isn't so much that he would be of hope, but he would he be in good shape with the ama if he could convince the ama that something wrong was going to come out of conference and, therefore, he would be the mediator cutting back and hopefully having them avoid the conference. the whole thing sup to a dismal situation aus of this moment. and i thought i should, number one, report it to you. i'm sorry that i don't have specific suggestions that would be meaningful at this point and the corrective end of it. but i do want you, if i would, to advice me and think of this if we could possibly do it at this point. >> i guess the best thing is just to let him go on with social security and see if we can add that on the senate.
>> yeah. that may be the answer. if we can avoid an up or down vote on medicare in that committee which will take some -- we have to be careful of that that we don't get caught in a crack with this thing with the white house. you know, just come -- i don't know. anyway, that's one possibility. i don't know whether it's worthwhile. i suppose nothing would get lost in the way if i could call him and say in view of all this, wilber, i don't think your committee should meeting in the morning. these labor fellas are on to this. they called and left a message here that apparently all hell had broken loose and things fell apart in the ways and means committee and what are we going to do about it? i didn't talk to him about it because he's always hopeful that way to tell him how bad things are without any answers. but i did want to alert you to
it. i am inclined at this point to ask mills if he would consider not having the committee meet in the morning and to try and grab another 24 hours here in the hope that maybe we -- lightning strikes somewhere. i just don't know where it will trike. it will have to be a miracle at this point to write something off and try to work out something with him so he would ensure no formal vote in the committee would be taken on this and he would have no formal vote on mills and go with social security and we'll try it. i don't know whether it's worth get intoog that involvement or whether i should just go straight and say, wilber, how about skipping the vote in the morning? i don't know what 24 hours is going to bring us. >> i don't see much to be gained in 24 hours. you think, though, if you don't have 24 hours, they'll vote on medicare and the committee and you would beat and that will be against you. but ask him if he can keep them
from voting or do you want the democrats to do that? >> well, i think i can ask limb and he would say, well, sure, i'll be willing to cooperate with you, but it will be up to you to fold off the gene keels and so forth that we can start working on. but, you know, as i say, what the hell, we may have to do that, anyway, and just take the chance that people don't misinterpret it and say, well, what the hell, these fellas come to mills and they score around advising our supporters of this thing to lay off. i don't know. it's a little tricky. i want to advise you that things are in a lousy state at the moment and i don't have an answer to a thing. celebreeze and korns didn't have answer a answer, either. why don't i start talking to mills at least open up conversation and we have the rest tonight. until 10:00 in the morning before that committee is actually called.
he and many occasions in the past has not talked committee meetings before they're scheduled to start. but he has announced to the press that a sproet will be taken in the morning on this, medicare. >> well, why don't you talk to keel or your best friend on the committee and try to avoid a vote if you can. if you can't, ask wilber to give you another day so you can try to tell him what you're trying to do. did he give you any encouragement that you could add on in the senate? >> not particularly. he's just saying you must have the most added on in the senate. we can do it. we can't count on engle and, of course, they will not be vote anything more this year. so that's two votes we have to worry about. but i don't see daylight where mills is suggesting, that he would be hopeful in the conference assuming that you tack it on in the senate and you are at conference.
if mills would say, well, hell, in conference, i would play ball totally to get a good piece of this thing accepted and then run it through the house, that's one thing. but i'm afraid what he's getting at is that his role would be at the point of conference, we could convince or become convincing that this thing was in the process of, you know, full settlement in our way and mills moves in with the ama and he's the guy cutting back. he's the hero with the ama at the same time and he's a big help to us. it's a pretty tricky operation. you know, it's just -- i don't know. but, anyway, why don't i not burden you further at this point and let me get a feel of it with him and see what they might come up with at this point. >> president johnson and his chief aid to congress june 22nd,
1964. as our special program of lbj's call owes medicare continues, here is part of an august 1st, 1964 call. the florida democratic senator george smathers. he's a member of the senate finance committee which will soon start hearings on medicare. 1964 is a presidential election year. and as this portion of the call begins, senator smathers is talking about the political implications of medicare. barry gold water. >> let me just say this to you, because i may. this thing to talk about, go orders against the associates, you're for it. now, if it's held up and blocked and defeated in the senate by williams, it's a last minute effort to get out by johnson williams and dirkson and a couple of fellows, why, then you're off the hook and i'll tell you, it's a lot better issue than it is in fact. because if they find out, i campaigned on this in '62. when they find out what they're
not going to get under this social security, they're not going to get free teeth and they're not going to get free hospitalization, they have to pay $90 to start with every time. and, boy, when you tell them that, they think somebody is taking them to the cleaners. and i really think it's a hell of a lot better issue. labor has had to reveal the bill as an issue for years. it's a hell of a lot better issue than it is, in fact, on the books. and i think that we ought to just keep it that way because i don't think that you're going to come out with it, anyway. this time. and what i'm trying to suggest just discreetly is why don't we just somehow blame this whole [ expletive ] thing on the republicans for not even having social security increases passed? that way, we -- you can't blame them when you have a two to one vote. >> well, i agree.
>> they say, well, what the hell? you've got the president at two to one. >> then we have to be careful to pass the social security and not increase it to the point where you block out in the future the medical care program. >> i'll get larry and -- >> and you better talk -- >> and gordon back to see you and see what we can do. >> talk with russell because russell is wild. >> he's with the doctors, isn't he? >> yeah. yeah. but he can -- russell with shift in time. but we can't just come in there and because you've asked us now suddenly to shift without destroying our own position. >> that's right. i think that's right. now you get ahold of them and call me back on that and i'll go to work on your am abuse door and your judgeship been but you handle os wall and if they have to have a canal or whatever they have to have, we'll do it. this is one vote i cannot lose and charlie had yok has told every republican that if you
vote against me, you're out of the republican party. i'll eliminate you. so he can get a solid vote. and i have about 29 of these southerners like for bennet and rogers and rogers from my own state. but some of them have taken walks for me and some of them have gone off. some of them are going to say, well, hell, i had to get him to give me this canal and see what they have to have and let's get it. call me back now, goreorge. >> i'll do it. >> president johnson and george smathers on august 1st, 1964. as we continue our program of lbj call owes medicare, which the president signed into law july 30th, 1965. on september 2nd, 1964, lbj and tennessee dpic senator albert gore sr., father of the future senator and vice president talk about the possible compromises for medicare and working with senate republicans.
including jacob javis of new york. you'll hear mentions of hew assistant secretary wilber cohen and meyer feldman, the deputy assistant counsel to the president. >> you've got to give people an excuse to do something they won't do. i was called lam last night. he wants to vote with it. but he wants us to accept, even in a modified form, this provision in the bill which he and six republicans introduced to provide an association of insurance companies to right policies for the specific purposes of this bill. now, the treasury department has some doubts about it. because it provides a tax
exemption. justice has some doubt about it because it provides exemptions from added trust. but i think for the purposes of providing old age health care through private insurance, we could afford to do it if added with supervision as to rates and benefits are if provided. now, javis came to me yesterday afternoon and said he's going to support it, anyway, whether it's accepted or not. but he said that he thought that margaret smith would vote for it. tommy did, too, if we would accept this. now, i talked to mike about it and he said that whatever clint and i decided. i talked to clint and he was not inclined to be favorable to it.
i talked to wilber cohen, as you know, who is the technician in this deal. and he says that if we want it, that he can redraft it so as to meet the objections of the treasury and justice, but when i contacted wilber last, he said someone in the white house said that you didn't want it this might be something that would be necessary under the circumstances. >> i never heard of it. this is the first i've heard of it. >> but the white house. who he's talking in the white house, i don't know. >> i don't, either. but i'll check and see who it did. i didn't want you all to think it ought to be done. i try to see that the forces that are so widely interested in like labor would agree with you and i'd be inclined to follow their advice. i think it would be a mistake. >> by all means, i --
>> i would be inclined. i think that you ought to explore it because if it's that close and you redd really need the markets to help you. they tell me that they think you've got a two-vote margin on our side. do you have any feeling about that? i don't trust these counties these days out there. >> well, i think we have a minimum of two votes. but, mr. president, they spent more money on log in than any outfit. >> that's right. and we're counting on two people being gone that may not be gone on a road lick this. >> that's right. they may be back here. >> you know who those two are? >> her better walker. >> walters is one of them now. they say that he and lester hill. lester has always been a doctor's friend. his daddy was a doctor. i watched him in the house. they always voted on anything pro doctor. >> well, he will here, too. >> they're counting on his pooem being gone sxwaerlts being gone.
>> is there any way on earth to get him to -- >> they say they could get him back if his vote had to be here. but i don't know who is handling that. in the old days, i would have had him back. because this is just -- this is the gut issue in this campaign. oh, it's -- and goldwater has drama advertised it. the only thing that makes him change. >> that's right. that's right. yes. he drama advertised it by flying across the nation here. >> now, clint will do what you want to do with respect to this amendment. i am -- you see, this came about. i got into leadership of this thing just because clint was thinking and i thought that the issue had to be pressed. well, when clint came back, i expected him to take over. but, actually, clint is not well and he requested that i continue. and possess the amendment.
somebody had to speak 3 1/2 hours there while we were getting it redrafted or else it was going to go out of court. so clint wasn't able to do that so i stepped in and did it. now, will you assign someone to look at this amendment and if i could say to clint or if you can say to clint that this is okay with you, i think it will give us maybe two votes over there. >> what you better do if you're going to do something like that is let me get mike feldman on it. then you and clint better seek mike feldman's advice on it or you might say i'm going to call mike feldman on it and ask what their opinion is because i sure don't want to get as the candidate to have them say that the president called up and modified it, moderated and threw away ow victory by compromise. and i could do that right quick unless the request came from clint because he might feel that i moderated his proposal. you follow me?
>> yeah. just how do i -- >> well, i just -- what i would do is say to clint, you've got this call, he's pretty fond of keeko and say, let's find out what their opinion is. try to see if our opinion would change him. >> well, in other words, what i'm do, then, i'll just go to clint's office and say i had this call last night. what do you think we ought to do about this? what you think ought the be done about it? if you agree with me, clint, let's pick up the phone and called feldman and let's get limb to get wilber cohen and i'm sure that the president will agree to anything we would agree to. i know he has great president for you, clint, and i know he has a feeling toward me and i know he'll go along with what we suggest. and you quit telling people that i don't like you because that's not true. >> all right. >> and you stand for just about everything that i do. so you just get on it and i'll get feldman and let him look at
it and wilber cohen right away so if you all do look at it, i'll be prepared. loot your vote mighty, mighty careful. >> could you possibly call h herbert walter? >> yeah, i could. what do i want to ask him? >> well, first let me see if he's going to be here. >> they tell me he's not. >> he has never understood this issue pep he happens to be in the chair when i made my speech the other day. and it just shook him to his shoe soles because he didn't realize the issue. of course, what this -- the president told me, taking care of the very rich. what this bill will do is provide prepaid health care for the body of our self-supporting, self-respecting proud people who want to remain so, even after they're 65. well, anyway, i'll do that.
>> well, now, what is he -- he is -- >> is he committed to the doctors? >> i'm afraid he is, but he's happy to be away and if i find out he's not going to be away, a call from you might encourage him to go ahead in new york. >> okay. >> president johnson and a tennessee democratic senator albert gore sr. talking about medicare on september 2nd, 1964. later that day, lbj urges another to support the bill. later in the day, carl hayden of air a air. as the call bin begins, lbj mentions barely goldwater. >> i see goldwater says it's going to be a close vote. is that vote going to be close today? on medicare? >> i don't know -- >> i see in the morning television, he says he's flying back from air a air a to vote on it. >> yeah. >> don't you let them beat us,
carl. >> well, [ expletive ] i voted that before. >> as i remember, though one waited for us to see if we had to have you. >> yeah. >> won't you do that today? >> well, i might. >> do that now because we can't lose this one. this is one we can't lose. we have to have these old people and they're thick as thieves all over the country and the polls show that's the most population we've got. >> well, you agree to do what you did last time, wait and see, and if with don't need you, do what you have to. don't let the republicans win over me. >> i hate like that on the other hand. >> do like you did before. wait and see if if we don't have to have you, well, we don't and we hope we don't. >> all right. we'll see. >> okay. thank you. >> president lyndon johnson and senate appropriations committee chairman and arizona democrat carl hayden talking about
medicare legislation. on september 2nd, 1964. later that day, the senate comes up with a tie vote on medicare and in this call, lbj and white house counsel meyer feldman consider how to break that tie. you'll hear mentions of democratic senators edward kennedy, edward jordan and mike monroney and hue better humphrey. >> according to a count, we have a tie vote on the medicare amendment. so we have to get either jordan or monroeney to give aus a live pair with teddy kennedy. jordan is uncertain. he won't give us a commitment. the suggestion is that perhaps if you called either monroney or jordan, this would convince them to give us the live pair that we need to carry this. talk to hub either about it and tell him if he thinks they ought to call me, i don't want to do it unless i have to and he just told me he's all right.
>> all right. i'll talk to hubert. >> president johns johnson and feldman on ohio to deal with a tie vote in the senate. later that day, the senate approves a medicare amendment to social security by a vote of 49-44. on september 3rd, lbj and his chief aid to congress, larry o'brien, talk about the next steps for the measure. you'll hear mentions of house speaker john mccormick, majority leader carl albert, and republican leader charlie halleck. house ways and means committee chairman wilber mills. >> hello. >> larry? >> yes, mr. president. >> mccormick sxal better called me, but by the time i returned the call, they said that havoc and mails were with them and that they would call me later.
now, what they want to do is they say that if it goes to conference, it will never come out of conference. mccormick says. they can get a vote to instruct to accept the senate amendment. mills says he has 250 people against that. >> yeah. >> i would hope that he's wrong and i don't believe when the rule is called on medicare that many would stand up and be opposed to it for all time to come on that record. >> yeah. >> but that would be one vote. the other one would be is the moemt motion to refuse to instruct. >> yeah. >> they aren't going to instruct what to do. my offhand guess would be is we're either a vote up or down. we have to instruct the senate if we have one or just let the house defeat it.
>> yeah. i talked to box earlier today and first of all, we have the labor people in this morning and we cranked up the senior citizens and all that sort of stuff yesterday. now, putting it hard on the labor people, christ, they want to take the senate bill. they want to do all these things and then you finally say, okay, how many votes do you have? how much republicans? you people are the ones who are supposed to be able to handle republicans. do you have 40 republicans? they don't have 40 republicans. they can't even count 20 republicans. we all agree we probably have did 165 democrats. now, i got ahold of five and i said, what are you doing, hail? you're going to be one of the conferrees on this thing. you and cease chain. just what do you have in mind? christ sakes, is this a bill that winds up with goal, order and mills opposing this administration or are you going to -- i know that you don't have any troops, but mied gob you could certainly makes an
interesting conference out of it. mills, i talked to him this morning. what the hell, we have realized that we can't get the senate bill adopted in that house and if they come back with instructions they'll get licked on that, too. but the only judgment i can make at this point is that mills will certainly try every device he can to get an agreement on the conference that would include fives and as reluctant as they might be, because you hate like hell to be on the house side of a conference where he and two republicans vote against two democrats to come out with a conference report. and, jesus, he starts -- >> a businessman right now. my thought would be you talk to them as soon as they're free and then i'll talk to you as soon as i get out of these -- independent businessman. but my thought would be that if we could get mills to agree that
we would take -- in conference, that would be fine. >> yeah. >> i would try to instruct. do you have any other feeling? >> no. that's a -- at the moment, i share that view. but i do think this. that with the stories around the country today, we've got something going on this thing and god all mighty, i hate to see that leadership join with mills in some kind of a wrap-up that screws us quickly. >> well, i don't think they will until we decide. we decide what screws us. would it screws to -- i believe that the senate conference and i don't think we'll ever get it out of the votes we have. >> yeah, yeah. no, we don't have the votes in conference. >> then what would screw us and what wouldn't? if we can't do any good in conference, it's vote it up or down. isn't that it? >> yeah. we can vote it up or down, but i do think that we can spotlight the country on this thing. you know, by giving us a little time. this com congress will be in
here the week of the 15th, anyway, and my view is that this thing can get really heated up. my view of the thing is that -- well, let's -- i know you're tide up now. why don't we -- if it's already with you, why don't i get back to you and we'll talk about it further later this afternoon. >> from september 3rd, 1964, president johnon and his chief aid to congress, larry oh brian. in this special program about calls of medicare which he signed into law july 30th, 196 5. larry o'brien tells lbj about his conversation with house leaders on the next step for medicare. >> hello. >> hi, mr. president. hail boggs and carl albert called me a little while ago. and they came to the conclusion on their own that the best thing to do on this medicare bill would be to go to conference without instructions.
they wanted to get our view on it here. i told them that i was not going to disturb you with it, that you had discussioned with matter with me and you had left it up to me to do what we all thought best and, therefore, that i could say to them that their argument made some sense and sounded reasonable if they could get mills to comment in the colloquy at some point that you, of course, would seriously consider the medicare provision in conference, that they should then withdraw any attempt to have any kind of floor action on it. and they were going to contact mccormick and they felt he shared their view. they asked me about labor. i told them that i knew labor shared their view because b. miller called me this afternoon and told me exactly the same thing. in turn, i called b. miller and
told him that i thought that he -- to carry out his responsibilities should talk to the three leaders and should talk to cecil king and tell them what the view of labor was. and then the other aspect of it was that -- let's see. oh, yeah, that in talking to mills the other day, mills said, well, i can't see any point in you fellows going forward and the speaker wants to do it. but having a vote on this thing on the previous question, i said, i think the point perhaps, wilber, is that there are many republicans that would be physicians, finally, on medicare that as up to now have not taken a position in most instances. they are in contested districts. he said how many of them would there be? i said i suppose in the vicinity of 30 or so, but i imagine that's what the speaker has in mind. so the speaker this morning, talked to jim trimble, i don't know what transpired in the conversation, but the whole idea