tv Washington Journal Rep. David Price CSPAN June 14, 2018 11:38am-12:00pm EDT
three years ago i said we'll bring stuff to the floor that may or may not pass. that's how congress works sometimes. but we want to give members their ability to express their positions. i do hope this passes. i think it's a very good bill. i think it's a very good compromise. and this can make law. that's what we ought to be doing ultimately. thank you. reporter: how important is it that the president take a role in this? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> immigration bills next week in the house. today the house continuing work on what they have been doing all week. focusing on anti-opioid abuse legislation. two bills today, one would require electronic tracking of international mail shipments and the contents of those shipments and information passed on to u.s. customs and border protection. the other bill would setaside a portion of section 8 housing voucher program for use by recovering opioid addicts. we'll have live coverage when the house gavels in at noon eastern. until then, part of today's
"washington journal." "washingt" continues. host: democratic congressman david price, and appropriations committee member from north carolina and former professor of public policy. i want you to put on that professor hat. the justice department recently indicated it would no longer defend some key provisions of the affordable care act. what does that mean for the health and sustainability of the health-care law? .uest: i am not a lawyer i did teach political science, so maybe i should be a lawyer to give you a specific answer. my impression is from talking to a lot of people who know more about it than i do, they are on very weak grounds in the legal challenge to the affordable care act. i will not even go through the argument. they are trying to say the provisions to the act that require insurers to cover everyone, including people with pre-existing conditions, and
that requires them also to charge the same rates, what they call community rating. the justice department is trying to charge test challenge that. -- challenge that. those are keeper actions -- key protections of the law. i do not think there is any argument that is unconstitutional. i think that was settled a couple years ago. that is what they are trying to do. the larger significance is that they want to wreck this law. want to sabotage the affordable care act and they failed to do it legislatively in the straight up way. so now, they are chipping away at it. the trump administration has always created a kind of uncertainty about whether those subsidies would be paid and whether the revenue stream would be protected, whether the stop loss protections would be there. you have a repeal of the mandate, which says everybody
needs to be in. you do not just ensure people on their way to the emergency room. everybody needs to be in, and that means there is a risk pool that let's us ensure everybody. now the justice department wants to remove some of the other protections. the other part of the bigger picture is that they are going after health care beyond the affordable care act. first of all, they want not to expand medicaid as the affordable care act made possible to cover millions and millions of people. we still desperately need to do that. they want to decimate medicaid as we know it. just look at their budget. it is a war on health care, to coin a phrase. this is just the tip of the iceberg. by thehis move last week justice department comes as 20 republican led states are bringing suit to challenge the aca. if the justice department chooses not to defend the law in court, who does? caller: the justice department
-- guest: the justice department should defend the law in court, that is their job. it is the law of the land. it clearly has constitutional merit and legal arguments on its side. i suppose other interested parties would find ways to get into court. this is kind of a blindsiding move. wouldnot think they challenge the most popular and beneficial aspects of the law. host: the attorney general called this a rare step. some are pointing out that president obama's just a step -- justice department chose not to defend the marriage act. can you take us back to that? guest: the obama administration did the right thing and not defending that unconstitutional law. that is the difference. it is not just a mere policy disagreement. host: we are with congressman
david price, democrat from north carolina. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. we were talking about the inspector general report on the hillary clinton email investigation. what are you expecting? guest: out of this justice department, i don't know. i would say the inspector general historically has been protected from the politics of the justice department and other departments. we have inspector general throughout government. i would hope for a report that goes over the facts and makes very clear what i think is clear , that this has been investigated to a fault and that there is no further need for action. host: do you trust the inspector general of the justice department, michael horwitz? guest: i go in with the
assumption that like other inspector generals, he is independent and will go over the fax. -- facts. host: have you ever met him? guest: no, this is not a personal judgment. i am reflecting on my experience with inspector generals in general. we demand that they be independent, they go over the lead,- go where the facts and not be subject to the political pulling and tugging. host: the appropriations committee approved a $675 billion defense bill earlier this week. did you support that? caller: yes. -- guest: yes. host: why? guest: i thought it was a well-crafted bill, basically, that needs our nation's defense needs. a lot of the budgets of previous years have been at least
minimized to a great deal. i am talking about the off budget money for overseas operations. we are relying much less on that now. we do need some funding for the compensation for our men and women in uniform. we need some additional readiness funding. there are funds there and elsewhere in the budget that i do not agree with. i think we're on a dangerous path to be talking about --eloping a new low yield that is a question for another budget. host: questions people have for these defense bills is money in their four -- in there that was not requested. more jetsuying 16 than the pentagon and trump requested.
why is there money for things not requested? guest: that particular item i think is excessive. that is not a positive feature of this bill. it is something that tempts one to vote no. it is excessive. having said that, this is a form of government where the congress is the first ranch and wit -- branch, and where it is the job to assess the administration. we have had our budgets originate with the executive branch for 100 years. we have an independent ability and responsibility to scrutinize those budgets, to raise those items, lower those items, condition those items, whatever we choose to do. have the power of the purse. host: are there any other excessive items you think? guest: yes, there are. the thing i most strongly object
to is continuing the language about closing guantanamo. host: congressman dave price with us until the top of the hour, taking your calls and questions. we start with wayne in reidsville, georgia, republican. caller: my question for the congressman a simple. when the obama administration pushed through the american health care act, what has been the final cost of it and why do they continue to push this forward when it is obvious the american people do not want it anymore? guest: i have to say, it is obvious to me, and i get confirmation every day the american people want the affordable care act, want it, need it, and are determined to keep it. i have had more town meetings in the last couple of years and i have had in a long time. there is a big demand for public discussion. invariably, people show up at my town meeting and say, we depend
on the affordable care act. we did not have health care before. my child had a pre-existing condition and we could not get health insurance, or i am not covered at work or i could not afford it. the affordable care act has brought health care to us. that is why, in brief, that is why congress was unable to repeal the affordable care act, despite a mighty effort from donald trump and the republicans to do so. people want and need this. it is legislation that needs to thei think, refined in sense of making it steady and reliable. i will tell you something about my state of north carolina. one of the problems with the affordable care act had been that the premiums were tending to go up more than one would like. blue cross blue shield which is the main carrier in the state, they say that this year their premium increase would have been
zero if there had been assurances that the trump administration was going to stabilize the affordable care act, in other words, keep the money flowing and make sure it was administered in a stable and predictable way. host: what are people saying now? guest: they are making money on these programs for the first time, and the premium increases would have been negligible. now with the instability, premiums are going up again. sabotage is not too strong of a word. i think that is what the trump administration is trying to do and politically, they will pay a price. host: gabriel from maryland on the line for republicans. caller: my question is about international financing and relations in regard to help care. times"read in "the india that the u.s. is putting pressure on india to remove some of their price caps on various
pharmaceuticals. i heard that japan keeps the prices on their mri machines low because mri's are more expensive in the u.s. the companies that build those devices, they raise the prices here so they can sell them elsewhere. i am curious, has any of this contributed to your discussions about the ada? we know that the premise of your question has a good deal of merit. in other words, the united states, with the prices we pay for drugs and medical devices, is subsidizing the rest of the world. it has been true for a long time. what you are talking about in india where there is pressure to raise the prices there, i have not heard about that case specifically. i think with respect to the
worldwide availability of drugs, it is highly desirable that these wonderful drugs that we have and that our pharmaceutical , it isave developed highly desirable that those drugs be widely available. be some profit in here somewhere for these companies, and that becomes a real challenge when you are making these drugs available in the poorest parts of the world, where they simply cannot pay full freight. yes, there are delicate questions involving pricing these drugs for the companies involved, and for u.s. aid and u.s. assistance to these countries. does the discounting of medicines have? er brings upll international relations.
here's a headline from "the washington times" -- truck tells the world you can sleep well after the north korean summit. you agree? guest: no. we should be very worried and the rest of the world is worried. donald gave russia what it wanted at the g7 and proceeded to give china what it wanted in korea. we got what in return? what in return? donald trump got headlines. dictator,is murderous and the u.n. has said this is the worst regime in the world, just gross violations of human rights and brutality. we give this guy, he has been seeking a meeting like this for decades, he and his predecessors. we give this to him. we say, apparently without tipping off the south koreans were our own military, donald trump says we will cut back our presence on the korean peninsula.
in other words, we give this preemptively and what do we get in return? host: would you prefer the president not meet kim jong-un? guest:un guest: no, that is not the point. i certainly favor diplomacy. i am a strong defender of the nuclear agreement the president just trashed, the iran nuclear agreement, a masterpiece of diplomacy. of course we favor diplomacy. talking is better than fighting. we want this flag day, to get your thoughts of that image of the united states flags next to the north korean flags, as that handshake took place. guest: i am glad to see them talking. i am glad to see them talking, and i certainly understand that we always want to have understanding toward the people of other countries, even countries that are in an antagonistic relationship with us. flags, i think we
prematurely granted the dictator access to this kind of legitimacy. what really bothers me is what donald trump said, and the absolutely empty-handed nature of this deal. it is not one -- 1/20th of the iran agreement that trump just for up. -- for up. -- tore up. host: mike is in north carolina. caller: have an issue with the statement that the current administration is proceeding with an assault on health care. determinedis better as assault on socialized health care. i consider socialized health care to be an assault on health care. i'm a physician, dealt with this 30 years, and see nothing
positive with regard to socialized health care. guest: do you regard helping folks out with nursing care --enses, is that health care socialized health care? caller: that i think is appropriate. it is the skewing of the free-market principle that bothers me. guest: does medicaid skew the free market? what about the children's health insurance program that has had broad bipartisan support, that makes sure no children go without coverage? is that socialized health care? caller: it is socialized health care and does skew the so -- skew the system. guest: you don't want those children covered? caller: i am not saying that. guest: what is your option? caller: this is a complicated question. what options are more competition. -- my options are more competition. host: what kind of doctor are you? caller: i am an internist.
guest: or the community health centers socialized health care? caller: the community health centers socialized health care? i see no problem with funding at some level people who cannot afford anything. what i think you end up doing when you are socializing the entire spectrum, you are greatly skewing the whole system so that you now have a single-payer. when you have a single-payer, you have higher prices and lower services. guest: i do not think we have a single-payer by any means. let me respond to this socialism canard that gets thrown out. socialized medicine is what they have in britain, and it seems to work rather well. they have a governmental provision of health care and governmental insurance of people. canada has a hybrid system. have governmental insurance but private provisions. we have neither.
we have mostly private insurance and private provision of health care, and that includes the affordable care act. it was a republican designed plan from years ago to correct the marketplace, to improve the functioning of the marketplace rather than replace it with some kind of government plan. subsidies forme the lowest income people to access the system. it requires, as we are learning, some responsible city administration in order to work. it certainly is not socialized health care. we do have some government programs, but as the caller indicated, when you start talking about the specifics people tend to back off. i did not mean medicaid or medicare or the community health systems or the veterans administration. those are governmental programs
that provide by a large good health care, and the republicans are trying especially to go after medicaid. they not only do not want to expand it to hundreds of thousands of people, as the caller knows in north carolina, who otherwise have no coverage, but they want to decimate medicaid as we know it. there is a rude awakening coming, because people have no idea. i will just tell a quick anecdote. yearsed my elderly aunt , a care nursing home facility. it was a very nice facility and i was very pleased we were able to place her there. in the course of checking her in, i asked the administrator, how many people in this facility are on medicaid? what do you think he said? 95%. these are not poor people at all. these are people who have spent down all their assets. they are poor now, because
nursing home care is so expensive. minutes leftive with congressman david price, north carolina. john in michigan, on the line for independents. caller: you were talking about how great the affordable care act is. prior to the affordable care act , i was told i could keep my insurance. at the time, i had a plan with zero deductible, a 10% co-pay until i got to $1000, and everything was covered but my doctors office visits. that finished. currently, i have a plan that is $500 a month with a $6,500 deductible before they cover anything. basically, what i have now is what they tell me i don't qualify for. i have a catastrophic plan.