tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN November 29, 2016 12:00pm-12:15pm EST
to the american people. we were dumbed down by the democrat party. i love you all, but you all got to do a better job because, you see, republicans is out to hurt people, not to help. now, president obama deserves credit for a lot of things, and like i say, some of his policies never got to the surface because they wouldn't take it up in the house. i always say -- let me get off in a few seconds. they took his policies because they don't have any ideas, put a blue ribbon or a pink ribbon on them, put them up in the cabinet somewhere and we are going to use them for a later date. host: ok, kathleen, thank you. guest: well, first, let me be clear. this is my last aexperience on c-span because i am retiring from the congress. i served 28 years and i decided i was going to do something else for the rest of my life. but you're absolutely correct. there is going to be a need for people to speak up on behalf of the good things that president obama did. he did good things in the area
of health care. he did good things in the area of climate change. he did good things in a variety, in immigration areas where he protected undocumented kids. he did a whole lot of things that were very good and he should be given credit for them. host: jay is next. asheville, north carolina, independent line. caller: yes, good morning. thanks for taking my call. mr. mcdermott, i would just why in ask you simply this country we cannot have a single payer system? all this nonsense about insurance companies, somebody having to make money off someone else's misery as far as i'm concerned is nonsense. the rest of the world does this. why can't we? and i'll take your explanation off the air. thank you. guest: i wasn't going to bring up single payer by calling it
that but i put in a bill on single payer back in 1991, and i've been pushing it and i believe it is the way to do it, as you say. every industrialized country in the world has a system that covers everybody and is paid for out of a common fund of one sort or another. they're all different. our resistance to it has been that we have always thought of single payer health care as socialism or communism or the creep or something. and so we can't have that in this country. but it's the only thing that works. the canadians have a good health care system. nobody ever worries in canada about being bankrupted by an illness. in germany, you go to germany and go to work, in 25 minutes you're on the german system. they put everybody who comes in, rather they're migrant workers or immigrants or whoever, are in the german system. everybody's paying every month so everybody's covered and
that's true in every country in europe and in japan. it's simply the most efficient way and we're going to get to it in this country because winston churchill said you can always trust the americans to do the right thing but only if they tried everything else. right now you are going to try everything else. you see mr. price put everything on the table and ultimately we'll get to a single payer system. host: zack, minneapolis, minnesota, republican line. hi. caller: hi, good morning. my comment is just most health issues are self-caused, you know, whether it's through diet, not exercising, or just unhealthy lifestyles, drugs, you know, unsafe sex, you can just go on down the line. and then all of a sudden, you know, we have to pay for their health care. the other thing i was going to say, a lot of times when i'm at the supermarket i see people buy with their e.b.t. card and
buy chips and pop and they are obesed and on the other hand the government is paying for their health care. i don't understand. it's an insane system. it's like the government creates the problem and they want to create the solution. guest: well, you are acorrect. there are lots we can do to make our health better by the way we live, the way we eat and whether we exercise and all that kind of stuff. there's an awful lot of medicine that is not paid for -- is not caused by people's choices. most of the money that's spent in the health care system is spent in the last six months of life. as people get to the end and they have a heart attack or stroke or whatever, we spend an awful lot of money in this country keeping people alive when in fact they would rather -- they're ready to go home to god or wherever they think they're going to go and we do not push people who involve themselves in advanced directives. everyone in this country should have advanced directives. so something happens to you, if
you're an automobile accident out on highway in this area and they take you to the hospital, they know what you want done to let them go into the afterlife. if we don't do that, what we do as a doctor, i have to keep you alive. so we spend 40% of the money in the last six months of life keeping people alive who are really ready to go. and i think that there is a lot we can do to make our lives, the quality of our lives better. but you have to have a system that covers people when you're unable to care for themselves. host: if representative price comes the secretary of the health and human services, do you have a scenario where the obamacare would be repealed but then delayed until some type of definite plan and legislative plan comes to the republicans? guest: that would be the best political way to do it because if they took it out tomorrow, they would have a catastrophic
problem. they can't come in the first of june or the first of may, take out obamacare and leave the american people with nothing. that will not work. so they will clearly end it but say we will have a new plan in by the first of october or something. they'll give themselves sort of a transition period to do it in order that people are not really angry because it's going to be a huge change when they take away obamacare. could be a huge change. i'm not so sure how much they're really going to take out. i think they want to take the name off it. host: do you think another scenario would be, would paul ryan, then the house speaker, would he take a direct hand in crafting this legislation or who else would assist him and who are the key people to watch in this process? guest: there's no question that paul ryan is central in all of this. what they put through the house of mean, the secretary
health and human services, they can send over but if paul ryan doesn't put it on the floor and doesn't go to the ways and means chairman and goes to the energy and commerce committee, he doesn't go to those committees and say, look, you guys, i want a bill by -- that's what nancy pelosi did. nancy said to the three committees, you got to have me a bill. i want a bill. and so they worked and put one together and brought it to her. that's why mr. ryan will be central to it and he has been against -- he wants to get rid of medicare. he wants to take away medicare and give people a voucher and say here's a voucher for $6,000 or whatever, go out, find an insurance company that will insure you. well, people my age have a hard time finding anybody who wants to insure somebody my age because they know the likelihood is something's going to happen and they're going to wind up having to pay for it. so the voucher system is going to be a real, a real fight in the house. i don't think they'll get that
done. host: representative jim mcdermott joining us to talk about the affordable care act and the other things. 202-748-8000 for democrats. 202-748-8001 for republicans. do you like nancy pelosi? guest: i would support her today. her views and my views, this idea you're old, i'm getting old, right? in a month i'm going to be 80 years old. am i too old to be in congress? i don't kn. i decided i was going to do other things. but if you decide on age, then that's a very interesting thing. only young people can be in congress, right? they don't know anything. they got no experience. and what you throw out when you start talking about getting rid of people like nancy pelosi is a huge amount of experience and she reacts, she represents san francisco. she has to know what's going on in a pretty progressive city, in a state where many things
are happening. so i think she's a great leader personally. host: there's an op ed by melinda of catholic university in "usa today" talks about nancy pelosi. it's because democrats in the house of representatives haven't been this -- numbers since 1929. they were expected to take 10 r 20 seats this november but saw a net gain of -- is that a fair statement? guest: that's a fair statement. politics is like the tide. the tide goes in. the tide goes out. when 1932, the house of representatives was all republican and it was swept out and we got a democratic quong and we got everything that franklin delano roosevelt did, those kinds of tides, we had a nixon was 6 when mr. dumped out of office. the next election, a huge number of democrats came in.
now, mr. trump, a huge number of republicans at the moment, it's not the end of the world. it's not the end of the world because the problems are still there and the guys who are now in charge have to fix them or the people are going to say out with you guys, we want a new group. so i in the short run i might not like what i see but in the long run i'm optimistic. host: here is john, gold beach, oregon, independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, mr. mcdermott, representative mcdermott. hi. i contacted my representatives and back to the health care issue, workers' compensation and homeowners insurance which you mentioned earlier and automobile insurance, it seems as though they have the health care aspect to them. i'm sure they cover other damages and all, but as far as workman's compensation, you know, it helps with our competitiveness around the world and it just doesn't seem like there's credit towards the
health care part of that and it just seems like it's a triple pay for the consumer. guest: well, as i say, obamacare is not perfect. there has not been a perfect set of rules written anywhere since they wrote the 10 commandments, i think. everything else has to be amended, and this bill that we put together in 2009 really needs some changes. and workers' comp is one of those areas. they could -- the republicans, if they were really smart, would now say, you know, we're now in charge and we're going to fix this thing and make it work in the right way. rather than saying we're going to rip it all out and start over again, they can't do it. they are going to have an awful time doing it because of the pre-existing condition questions and the 26 age kids staying on until they're 26 and that kind of thing. it's going to be very hard for them to do that. it would be much simpler and
straightforward to say, there's this wrong with that and that wrong with it and let's -- we can do that. host: fromialford, maine, democrats line, sherry, go ahead. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i have two questions and two comments. two questions for jim. how come the house of representatives only work part time? and if paul ryan is the speaker of the house, why is he never in the house? what does he do all day? and for you, pedro, i think you should do a show on the electoral college and another show on how can we get term limits. and i'll take my answers off-line. guest: well, the answer to why the congress works part time, when i came we came in on monday morning -- come in monday night. i'd fly across the country from the west coast and get here at 5:00 and we would go home on
the 5:00 plane on friday night. we worked all week. the republicans have cut that down because they don't want -- you have basically have a people in charge who do not want government and do not want government to work and they -- therefore, they're not figuring out -- democrats are figuring out ways to make it better. let's pass a law to do this. the republicans say, let's pass a law and wipe it all out and let's tear out the e.p.a. and let's tear out the department of education and let's tear out -- so it doesn't take a lot to tear things down and that's really why they don't spend time, they don't want the american people to see them tearing things down. paul ryan, the speaker very seldom sits in the chair. i'll have to defend paul at this. he appoints somebody called the speaker pro tempore. that means for the time. so he has to go to meetings or he has to do things or has to have meetings on committees and he sends somebody out to sit in
the chair and do the job of speaker running the house. it's perfectly appropriate. everybody back to -- back to the first speaker of the house has done that and mr. ryan is in my book, he does the job of being speaker -- >> about 20 minutes left in this conversation with congressman mcdermott. you can find it online, c-span.org. as we take you live now to the floor of the house about to gavel back in, members expected to make one-minute speeches and gavel out again until 3:00 eastern when they'll be taking up 16 bills, including ones dealing with veterans' health care and hiring veterans and other bills naming federal buildings.