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tv   Morning Express With Robin Meade  HLN  November 6, 2009 6:00am-10:00am EST

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possibilities for adding new value for customers. what's more, we can download applications to the scanner technology that's finally, within the last six moss, in the hands of the letter carriers. . >> that will necessitate partnerships. the opportunity to expand the
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capacity of the pulte service, to continue to serve as democracy's agent is here. third, there are opportunities for the postal service to conserve the nation by carrying parcels today cost three and four trucks to travel the same route we can reduce carbon emissions by creating green postal routes. this will take some re- engineering and perhaps some recognition under cap and trade. there are new opportunities here if we seize them. in conclusion, i did not invent these ideas. they came from the community, from the mailing community, from letter carriers who have said, "why not?" they come from creative mailers who say why can't we have a smart envelope and from suppliers to know how to do. to tap this creativity, mindsets that were established when the internet was still a future vision have to be changed. to homegrown internet services,
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it is time to say, "that was then, this is now." in the future, innovation will come with collaboration and partnership where the postal service does what it does best and where the private sector, through partnerships, provides internet services and makes no relevant to the consumer of the future. if we make the modern postal services relevant by connecting them to this multi-channel internet marketplace, they will generate more mail. this is the real revenue opportunity entailed in what we're talking about here today the coming years could be an exciting time of transformation or they could be a train wreck. the difference will be whether there is clear public policy guidance that can define the difference between the cree of balance of what should be public and postal and what the private sector can do best. thank you very much, mr.
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chairman. i look forward to entering any questions. >> thank you. i yield myself five minutes for questions. >> i do appreciate your honesty and your statements that we will not solve this on the revenue side alone. that is apparent just by the numbers. in 2008, we saw mail volume go down 9.5 billion pieces. and then in the fiscal year ending october 1, 2009, we saw it dropped 26 billion. there is no way in the near term that we can turn the system around and solve that problem by selling more green cards or any other service that we might be capable of doing now. at the same time, we are little
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disappointed up here with the consolidation effort and cost saving side. it does not appear that the original target of closing the 1400 facilities is anywhere near probable. i think the post office has reduced its consolidation numbers to below 400 now. it will not merely capture the savings we thought were possible. as well, the early retirement incentives -- not great incentives but the programs themselves have not going to the type of utilization on the part of the employees. we have people who are resisting an early buyout. we still have a large work force. those workers, their 401k's are
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reduced so they do not want to reduce a situation like this. we need transformational leadership. we need a truly dynamic change at the post office the way we do business. there's a saying that says there is nothing more disruptive to the human condition than the pain of a new idea. unfortunately, that is what we are facing. i love my postal workers and i will be the first one to admit it. i do not want to see layoffs or any of that. i am trying all these other measures to protect the employees because when we grade the consumer satisfaction, the customer satisfaction among the federal agencies, the post office, because of the work of their clerks, because of the work of their mail handlers, because of the work of their letter carriers that go to every home and business in america six days a week, by far, they are
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the highest rated federal agency that we have in america today. they do the best jobs. i think it would be a mis targeting of our problems to solve those problems. we need to change their structure. i was wondering -- there have been a few things mentioned today about allowing the post office, through the postal accountability and an instant act, to branch out into these other areas. i know there is some apprehension in competing with the private sector. there are some areas, specifically the idea about the postal service taking over major responsibilities from the census. the post office already, through the mail handlers and the letter
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carriers, they go into every home and business in america already. that is basically what the census does. it tracks the population most effectively through those home visits. have you looked at any of that so it would the government taken over government work to do it more efficiently for the taxpayer? have we looked at any of that or have looked at the vote by mail? i know they are disrupted. i know bureaucracies will not be satisfied with that. i think we have very limited choices. have you looked at any of those type of initiatives that might really transform what we're doing a post office? -- doing at the post office? >> we have looked at everything
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you have said. we have looked at the fact that we have $6 billion in cost savings that can and this year. we are looking to lose $7 billion. we're looking at the fact that no has declined. we're looking at huge transformational revenue issues , $45 billion is what it would take to close the gap. we have some issues under way. we have look specifically at the initiatives you have identified. on the census, my understanding is that through the mail, 80% or 90% is when the census comes in. it is not my area of responsibility. i understand there was a report by our operations team, meeting with the census bureau, that says for going back and knocking on doors seven or eight times to get that last 5%, we may not be the best suited agency. we're willing to look at that again. vote by mail is a range of rates and we could have a series of
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initiatives. >> i have exhausted my time. >> thank you. has there been any analysis -- the one area we can point to where there is cross functionality in the government is passports. is that a revenue generator? is is it a break-even operation? >> we have not done that analysis. >> the commission has done the analysis. it not only breaks even but it provides a contribution to overhead. in fact, it would make a profit for the postal service. it is a successful revenue- generation. >> i like the idea about the national park passes and that sort of thing.
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that will not get us out of the potential all we are in. what are the big ideas that are floating out there? i want to express again the sincere reluctance to get into areas where the private sector is already competing, financial- services, telecom stuff, i can't imagine being supportive of that. we have those services in the marketplace. if we look at state and local government and federal government and our constitutional roles and responsibilities, it seems that there are a number of agencies that would benefit by the structure and magnitude of the work force above and beyond what we have got up today. >> we have the authority to provide credential and enrollment services to federal agencies briefly extended that authority to state and local agencies, i think we could do more. >> at the federal level, give me
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a better sense -- >> the enrollment process a passport is one active business we are arranged in. we could combine with tsa or social services. there are a number of ways we could do credential enrollment work. >> is there a list out there? >> can you give me more specifics about which ones you were pursuing? >> i don't have that data but i can get it for you for the record. >> did you want to add something to that? >> i am very gratified that the postal service is now beginning to look at this area. it is potentially a great resource and a great source of stability for the local post offices in the community. one of the issues that came up in a hearing we had recently was that while the post office itself may not generate a lot of
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revenue, having opposed others in a local community shopping center creates revenue and economic development activity for the rest of the community around it. it is important, i think, for the well-being of the economy overall to continue to support this. >> i am looking for real specifics here. >> these abilities to connect with local government will provide at least enough revenue to continue to justify the service if not solve the entire problem. >> if you had to come up with a list for the best three or four ideas you have seen or heard, what would be on that list? >> the biggest thing of all -- we talked about the credential and services -- the idea that government to government services are something that the postal service can do and is encouraged to do under the law, offers a platform with coming up with other creative ideas. i think the most important thing
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is that the marketplace bring the postal service the ideas but that the postal service has become an innovative place where people have the sense they can come and plug and play and try ideas and test their ideas in the marketplace to the benefit of postal customers. >> i would like to put out a call to the private sector to say we need you to come to our rescue. we need the innovation that will come and the populace across this country with the creative and innovative ideas that will be those big ideas that the postal service can participate in. at the same time, we want to make sure we don't overly step into the private sector where the private sector should be leading the charge. there are credential and services. we need to continue to explore those ideas. we think the private sector will come up with those ideas. if you have those ideas, send
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them to us, we need them. >> mr. davis is now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. i will try to be as optimistic as possible. as i listen to the witnesses, i thought of the baseball game that i was watching last night. it was especially when the score got to be 7-1. i was wondering if there was anyway that philadelphia was going to get back. they need to get a guy on first base -- in order to get a guy on first base, you bunct. you come up with a bunch of different ideas but they are rather small in terms of generating the big runs you
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really need. when i think of changing prices for shipping services, to bring down the cost, reorganized sales, become more competitive, i guess i am thinking reorganized sales to sell what? other than stamps and shipping or if you have some of the other services, is there any way you can be competitive -- as competitive as you need to be deck? eventually, you get down to this last resort business. i want to ask -- what would you consider to be last resort?
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in terms of being forced to cut services? when with the last resort,? >> the commission has a process for making these decisions. it involves hearing from the public and getting a whole range of information about costs and benefits before we would make such a decision. certainly, the postal service has brought forward to us and in a case where you're looking at the possibility of closing some post offices. they have suggested that they may bring another case about reducing service from 6:00 -- from 6 down to five day delivery. there was not a study on closing down post of losses. we don't know what the calls -- we don't -- we do not know what
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the cost savings would be. if you cut service, do you reduce demand? ike leggett is a very complicated matter. -- i think it is a very complicated matter. we want to focus on ensuring and effective and efficient postal service that provides universal service. we would have to look at those trade-offs. i may be more of an optimist then you. i'm a brooklyn dodger fan. i think that incremental support can make a difference and that there are many surprising things that develop in the postal service. netflix is one that is bringing
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in a significant amount of revenue. there may be others that develop, as well. i certainly hope so. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the efforts and the creative thinking that the postal service has put forth. i just don't want casey at the bat. i listened closely to your testimony, mr. coughlin. do you have a prognosis under which we can really pull this out and pull it off? >> that is the $68 billion question. i am not quite as big an optimist as chairman goldway about the future of postal
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traffic. i think it will continue to slide. the relatively short-term options that the postal service has armacost side are fairly evident. they have pretty much been talked about. i think they need to reduce the number of delivery dates. i think we are one of the few countries in the world that still has six-day delivery. i think they need to reduce the size of the processing network. from around 300 processing facilities to perhaps half of that size. i think they need to reduce the size of their retail network. those are some obvious move. i know they are difficult. they are not changes that will go down easily. they have some costs associated with them as well as some savings. i think the postal service itself needs to think in terms of what would a 400,000-person postal service look like and how would you operate and still deliver on the universal service obligation.
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in my judgment, that's probably where it will go. you need to continue to work on the revenue issues that have been discussed. the ranking member talked about the ideas that were generated from here. i would encourage the postal service to get out there and sell the obvious benefits of the postal service in terms of its ubiquity and its geographic reach to potential partners out there. i see a new bank branches going up constantly growing neighborhoods. new bricken mortar and i would ask myself as a banker, is there a possibility of a partnership to partner with an organization like the postal service to provide financial services. agency's services, all kinds of opportunities are out there.
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it gets complicated, partly by the way that the federal government is organized and the way they are funding the processes in terms of the agencies. that makes it complicated to get an overall view of how an agency delivers services and how might tap into the postal service. there are a lot of opportunities out there. i hope i am long. i think that is the direction it is going. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from ohio for five minutes. he builds to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. >> looking to all the hearings we have had on this subject, we are clearly in search, as we move forward, for a new, viable business model for the u.s.
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postal service. on the one hand, i think we in congress want to have it both ways. on the one hand, we recognize the iconic value of the post office in a given community. it has centrality in smaller parts of our country. we don't want that to change. we don't want you closing offices. we don't want you changing routes. we don't want to cutting back on service or the numbers of days of service. on the other hand -- by the way, we don't want to unnecessarily compete with the private sector for anything. on the other hand, why are losing money? we in congress cannot have it both ways. we will have to work with you to recognize that by statute -- i would be interested -- one thing
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we have to talk about, should the most of us be subject to the same regulations as the private sector? x3by statute, we put requiremes on the postal service that we do not put on the private sector. i think bay significance circumscribe the ability of the post of this to break out here and be a rational actor in the private arena. >> i would agree with that. we're simply trying to pose some questions that folks in your situation should be considering as we take a look at this. it is a large enterprise that touch is everyone's life: six days a week. no other institution does that six days a week. as you proceed with about this, questions get raised and it is important to put them on the table. if we don't raise them now, they will come up later. >> i think you have an obligation to look at the
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statutory limitations or expectations we put on the postal service that make it different than an entity in the private sector. >> on that point, we're looking at the postal service business model. we're factor in those kind of things into it. >> mr. reisner, how could the postal service inc. the banking idea that we just talked about without threatening community -- the community situation. >> i think there has to be a process that creates some kind of partnership in which the private sector gets to do what it does best. this is the marketplace that we live in today. one quick point that i would make -- jack potter, in his
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speech at the national press club created this remark and embrace something that we endorse which was looking out to the future 10 years and trying to imagine what kind of postal service should we have to serve the public purposes that we see 10 years from now. i cannot look out tenures and not imagine that the internet is not a part of the marketplace at that time. is inappropriate for the postal service to provide those services? probably not finding partnerships where the product -- public sector can be compensated for its retail presence and ubiquity and the private sector can provide what it provides best, it seems to me is part of that in your vision. >> -- part of that 10 year vision. >> what we know about the elasticity of the price of stamps? can we raise the price to
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whatever we need to place order we see significant falloff in volume when we raise prices? >> we have about 40 years of falling prices. >> i cannot hear you. >> in the commission, we have about 40 years of following the elasticity pricing of first- class mail. 43 much of that time, we could say it was inelastic. -- for pretty much all that time, we could say it was in the last. stamp usage followed the rate of population growth and, to some degree, the economy in that time. things have really changed in the last four or five years. there was a slow but steady decrease in first class mail. it has been greatly increased by this recession. the dilemma for all of us is to
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see whether the recession was an unusual event. there was a great drop off in mail after 9/11 but it picked up again. or is this a lasting phenomenon? all of us feel the growth of the internet makes the role of mail very different from what it may have been in the past. we're all trying to find ways to make the melt rubble -- relevant and valuable enough be that we sell as many stands by what we sell is more valuable and people are willing to pay more for it or there is some other way in which the community supports it. some of the european post offices have subsidies for their mail or subsidies for post offices. even those that have had great profits last few years are having real problems in this recession, as well. assuming that you can follow the european model with
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privatization, will get you some ongoing, permanent independent postal this is not assured, either. >> my time has expired. i think that answer underscores the fact that moving forward, we cannot just tinker at the edges. we have to come up with a business model that will work. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio for five minutes. >> thank you. i am grateful that under your leadership, this committee continues to look at what we can do to secure universal service to the people of the united states. in my neighborhood in cleveland, ohio, i have seen of the last few years, the postboxes disappear from neighborhoods. i don't take that lightly. to me, that has been an essential part of the infrastructure.
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the next part of the infrastructure postal service are the branches. we know that the postal administration has been systematically targeting branches, particularly in areas which are economically disadvantaged. think about universal service. we know they are cutting hours. they keep trying to downsize the postal service. at the same time, there has been an expansion of dealings with the private sector. the private sector takes over more and more. i think we need to look long and hard at the creeping privatisation that has been going on the postal service.
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it is really at odds with universal service. if the postal service is a money loser, why does the private sector want to take over ta? if it loses money, why would anyone want to take it over or even turn it into a bag? nk? this service belongs to the people of the united states. every business maldives to be updated, privatization is not updating the business model. it is destroying the postal service. i have a question for chairman goldway -- your testimony echoes my concern that diversifying services, plans to move forward
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with providing non-postal services, would lead to a reduction in essential services and could subordinate the provision of the services to the pursuit of revenue. much of the united states postal service air mel has been outsourced to fedex. can you please explain or expand on the concerns regarding cuts in essential services until revenue-generation plants have been updated. are you concerned at moving away from traditional services could lead to privatization of the core services that the postal service is mandated to -- to provide? >> thank you. both of us met each other 30 some odd years ago when we were mayors. we share this focus on the local
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impact of the postal service. i don't think the commission is opposed to the postal service providing non-postal services. our litmus test is that we expect the services to be in support of the malfunction. greeting cards are fine. money orders of the postal service has provided -- are fine. their range of services that are fine. we are open to the postal service coming up with any number of experimental products, should they have been that are related to post services that we can define as such. we actively support and look forward to the postal service coming forward with those new ideas. our record is that we accept almost all of them. the problem is, if you look at
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the postal service and its network, the retail clerks that are there are paid very high wages and they -- and i think they should be. look at the bag next door and the wages that are paid to the bag next door. it is not likely a bank will want to partner with the postal service unless there is some real change in wage structure. that may result in problems. >> my time is expiring. if banks want to partner with post of says, the only reason they would want to do it is so they could take over the post offices. people have to do their postal business or banking. these things can go either way. you used to be able to go to banks and pay bills. they stopped doing that. it is easy for them to take out
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the function -- take over the phone and a mailing from the government. we had enough experience with the workings of banks to know that if we are looking to the private sector to provide solutions, we're probably looking in the wrong place. )q gentleman. i think what is happening here is that we see a competitive model out there -- when i go to the stop and shop to do shopping, there is a bank there, there is all kinds of different things. the postal service is under that similar pressure. i will wait till i have five minutes to expound on that. i deeply appreciate the gentleman's comments. i agree with the threat he has identified. i would like to welcome former representative william clay. we appreciate your in attendance.
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the gentleman from missouri, mr. clay, for five minutes. >> thank you for conducting this hearing today like all of us, i am deeply invested in this success of the postal service. i am happy that we continue to think critically about insuring its future for the usps. let me welcome my panel to these proceedings. i thank you for being here. to share your expertise. my older brother is in the front row. we welcome him also. let me start off by saying much of your recent effort has gone towards innovation and -- in a
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new markets. is there any value in expanding existing postal services to increase revenue and customer loyalty? anybody can take a shot at that. >> i think there is a balance between driving down costs and increasing revenue. the tension starts with the fact that this year we had $6 billion in cost savings. we think that is the single largest cost savings by an accomplice in this country, possibly ever. yet, we lost $7 billion. on all the initiatives we are pursuing within the law are contributing. when you have a loss of that magnitude, you cannot get back to a stable post service without
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changes in the cost structure. they are not in the law at the current time. >> has there been any effort to strengthen the services like first-class mail? >> at the current time, we are running a fall first-class incentive program. the impact of that we estimate will be $50 million or $100 million in revenue. in comparison to $7 billion loss, it is relatively modest, the impact. there are things we are doing. elasticity is increasing from consumers and commercial mailers. we are fighting a difficult uphill battle. >> how can the usps car about
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their own niche in the post a market and continued to differentiate itself from other mail services? >> as many of the panelists have said, we have an enormous number of strengths. it is our retail infrastructure, our delivery capabilities, the fact that we're number one in trust, all of the strength we have should deleverage. we need to have more freedom to expand our model as the cost this country changes. we need to build on strengths we have. >> you cite examples in international markets as evidence that usps should include other services for customers. how successful have these efforts in internationally? do they turn a profit or break even? perhaps mr. coughlin can answer. >> i listed my written
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statements some of the results they have had. some of these posts have generated as much as 75% of their total revenues from non- postal sources. the post service in germany is an example. the dutch postal service is generating 60%. they have undertaken major diversification. the germans have bought heavily into the logistics' business. they have made a multi-billion your requisitions to get into that business. although they show profits for the most part, they are having a little trouble now with the fall in mail. the interesting thing about the
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germans, they are getting 75% of the revenue from non postal services but 50% of their profits from mail. the male is still a good business for those people. to call ms. success, yes there are success stories but they are not as successful as they look like on the surface. >> one of the things i worry about is that, the old adage that like our military, we tend to fight the last war. the things we are looking at now are described as nibbling around the edges. i look out there and look at some of these other countries, sweden has a system where you click on and you can see in your mail.
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you can read some of it. you can click on whether you could have brochures are pamphlets delivered to your house. that is a great environmental benefit. it will drop and volume of mail. that is really the future. i don't want to get caught up in addressing the things we see now. i would rather anticipate, as a commercial business with, what is coming down the line. i see our domestic models like birth-class mail and zoom box which is an internet-centered system. i think we have to really, really think long term here. there was an older book out,"the
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world is flat," and it gives the example of toshiba computer company. they have a warranty on their laptop computers where, if anything happens, mail it back to japan and they would fix it and send it back to you. ups turned back all round. instead of the users sending their laptop to atlanta and off to japan to be fixed, ups put their own people to work repairing those computers. that is totally outside of the delivery business. they became computer fixers. they saved the toshiba company a ton of money and made their companies -- customers happier. is that type of innovation -- is
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that type of innovation that is transformative change that we need in the postal service. i know it is frightening. i know that bureaucracies are even more resistant to change. with the drop-off in volume, what we see coming down the line, i see the number of retirees we have in our postal system. we have to have a business model that allows us to continue to provide those benefits to retirees. we will fall off a cliff here if we don't get the business model matched up with the realities that are happening. there may be some short-term disruption here but we encourage you to take that chance to think big. this is a big problem. the response here has to be, as i say, transform it said.
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we have to look at this in a different way than just nibbling around the edges and try to bring in a few more million in revenues. again, do you have anything like that -- some big moves that would help us take a bite out of the deficit that we have? >> we fully agree with what you are saying. we are 5% of the world's population and 40% of the world's mail. we have hard copy mail. what is frustrating is we believe we have the same kind of role to play within digital communications. it is hard for us to look at sweden leading the u.s. we believe we should be out in front of the technology changes that are occurring, not for any other reason but to have the
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result be that the united states is the leader in this transformation to digital products. without this kind of transformational moves in concert with the cost savings we have talked about, we could have a thriving, growing postal service. >> the postal service has presented hybrid mill products to was in the past and we have approved them. mailing online and other things were approved by the postal rate commission at the time. it was the postal service that found that they could not implement those programs. there were not up to the task. if there is some partnership they can develop, i think the postal regulatory commission would review that. i am not sure there is any need for new legislation. we would be interested in looking at those issues.
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>> you see what wal-mart -- uc these big box stores have done -- they did not recreate their own mail facility. they brought the post office in. they brought the bank's in. they have used -- when you think about our scale, that is an advantage if we use it the right way. we could use that as leverage. we have 37,000 post offices out there. we own the footprints. what we put in there -- i am not suggesting to go out there and start eight u.s. postal bank. but can we bring in other services within the footprint of the postal facility to offer more than we are now and have that private entity pay some of
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the freight since we've already own a lot of these facilities. i am surprised to see how much we are still leasing. i am trying to be multiplied our competitive advantage where we can. >> the greeting card test we are running now is a good indicator of what you were talking about before we went out and launched that, we went to consumers and the feedback was that they would be pleased to have greeting cards offered in the postal service. they thought it was appropriate and they would expect to purchase them there. there is a whole range of other products that we could sell that we think could grow the market and our customers would want those be on passports, we think there is a series of transactions activities we could be involved in. there is a lot more we could do with the facilities we have.
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>> i appreciate that. i know change is difficult. >> some would require big changes and some would not. >> we're happy to work with you and the postal employees. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis. >> i agree we have to think big. i think part of the problem is we don't think we will like the answers we will get. it's like everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. [laughter] when i think of cost -- we generate at one location but then we spend at another one. we generate, as people come in to purchase whatever this that their purchasing but the output
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is, as we maintain or try to maintain the concept of universal service. i know it is difficult to receive a piece of first-class mail if you live out on p.o. box, like where i used to live where the carrier would go 5 miles before delivering another piece of mail. i don't know how much you generate from the post office as you sell whatever products you
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are selling. it seems to me that we have had some experiences and continue to have some experiences with bailouts. we have put resources into places. i think we have to do some serious thinking in relationship to what we had expected. i really don't want to have cancer and have somebody tell me that i have a sort. e. i don't want pneumonia. some people would have been believe i just have a call for a little cold. -- acough or a little cold. i know there are no shortcuts or easy ways home.
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i do think we will have to go for the big picture in terms of evaluating our thinking relative to what it is we want from our postal service. a guy made a speech when i was in the eighth grade and he came to our school. he wanted us to ask ourselves three questions -- one, who am i? two, what do i want? and 3, how do i propose to get it? i think we will have to ask ourselves those three questions about our postal service. i'm a staunch union supporter. i always have been. i have -- i always will i believe that people should get the maximum of what can be received in terms of quality of
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life and expectation. i also believe there has to be realistic thinking in relationship to how we manage the way to do that. if anyone would respond, i would appreciate it. if not, i thank you very much for the opportunity. >> have they signaled votes? i think they have. i would like to recognize the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. >> i thank you. mr. coughlin, i wondered, do you believe the usps has a culture of innovation? and did not, why not? >> i think it has pockets of innovation. >> i will ask everybody to speak into the microphone. i cannot hear you.
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>> i believe there are pockets of innovation within the postal service. i do believe there are some conditions that exist. i do not think it is unique to the postal service. i think it is a characteristic of government, generally, that discourages risk-taking and discourages innovation. it does not generate an environment where innovation is expected. = on the part of employees. >> or rewarded. >> that is a difficult issue as well, rewarded. i spent 32 years there. i think it is the greatest work force in the world. there are some enormously creative people there. they will need all of that creativity as they go0n) forwa. i believe that jack potter and his team have done a terrific job in terms of generating an
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environment that encourages people to come forward with new ideas. just a move of bringing in people like bob bernstock but and his colleagues as to help the long run. i would go back to the earlier comments about the future. i wish i had an answer as to what the business model ought to be. i do not right now. i think these things evolve over time. one thing i mentioned in my testimony is that what the possibilities for the postal service down the road is in this nexus between their geographic /physical presence and a communications technologies that are out there. i think that some of what this gets to, like the swedish example. yes and no is the answer to your question about innovation in the postal service.
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>> i thank you. ms. goldway, you noted that the post office fleet is one of the largest in the country and that, in some ways, given the route structure, it is tailor-made for electrification and cutting edge of green technology. could you expand on that? have we done any studies that show how many pounds of co2 and notches gases could be avoided and with the energy savings could be? >> this is an issue i ventured into just in january of this year. i have discovered that their civil rights of expertise or greater than mine. i have many studies i can forward to you about this. it appears that the postal service is ideally suited for transition to an electric vehicle feet fleet.
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the current vehicles get about 12 miles per gallon. they are at least 18 years old. unfortunately, given the financial reality of the postal service, they don't have the capital to buy new vehicles. i think it would be worthwhile to ffind funds and other subsidies in the government and have that directed to the postal service so they can invest in new vehicles, reduce their overhead, and leave the country in a national transformation. >>, the vehicles in the fleet? >> wanted 50,000 but there might be 140,000 now. -- 150,000, but there might be if 140,000 now after reductions. i believe congressman serrano is working on legislation to develop a program to phase in
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enough vehicles with testing that you know what to expect. it is billions of dollars that are needed. >> it seems to me that we can legislatively try to foster more innovative culture. we be part of the problem. secondly, with respect to what you are talking about, we were willing to put billions of dollars into "cash for clunkers." are we willing to invest in our post office to give it that cutting edge delivery service to make it competitive, to give it the capital it lacks now and to do a good thing for the environment and the industry while we're at it? >> all of us would support that effort. we would work with you to make
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sure that happens. >> thank you so much. >> i think this battle has suffered enough. -- i think this panel has suffered enough. i thank you witnesses for coming before us to offer your thoughts and suggestions. we appreciate that. you are on the ground level where you can offer a unique perspective i will hold the record open. there are several hearings going on this morning. my colleagues could not all attend so i will leave the record open for their comments. thank you for coming forward and helping the committee with its work. i bid you good day. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [no audio]
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>> in a few moments, your phone calls and today's headlines, live on "washington journal." the house continues work on a bill of a chemical plant security. members are back in session at 9:00, eastern. and we will look at the health care debate with democratic
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representative frank blog of new jersey and representative marshall blackburn, a tennessee republican. in one hour, president barack obama's campaign manager will take your calls about his book. "washington journal" is next. . host: we want to hear from you
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this morning on the health care bill that is finally coming to a vote tomorrow. the house will be in at a special saturday session beginning at 9:00 a.m. debate will happen in all day long. vote on passage will happen at about 6:00 p.m. on saturday. that is the prediction. we want to hear from you this morning. the house begins its health care debate today. this is from of the front page of ""usa today" this morning.
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which the congressional budget office has said will cost more than $1 trillion requires nearly all americans to purchase health insurance by 2013.
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and also because of the shootings at the fort hood, texas yesterday. arkansas on our democrats line. what are your thoughts on the house debate on health care?
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caller: our senator, if she cannot stand up to be counted, she will not get our vote. that's all i have to say. host: why do you want this bill to pass? what do you specifically like about this bill? caller: it would cover the people who actually need it. if you look at our -- the car company situation, the biggest problem they had was health care. it is just like we made a pledge to them that if they would give up their health care and take the national health care, we could restructure. i think it is time we restructure, not just for that area, but the whole nation. that is basically what i want to say. host: thank you.
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if you cannot get through on the phone lines, you can reach us by e-mail, or send us a tweet. wilmington, ohio, bruce on the republican line. caller: i want to thank president obama and his team. millions of us republicans support the president of the united states. 10,000 of us are laid off in wilmington, ohio because of the dhl decision. it's very painful that we do not have our health care anymore. it's devastating in a small community. we need this to be passed. we thank god the threpublicans that are carrying about people will join the democrats. we just hope that this will work out.
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host: scott, independent, detroit, michigan. caller: i was for it and now i'm kind of against it because i just saw that 20 democratic senators sent a letter to the president about including illegal aliens. that's a majority of the cost. it is going to bankrupt us all. host: baltimore, stacy, democrat. what do you think about the health care bill the the house will begin debating today? caller: i think change definitely needs to happen, but i think it is have been named in the wrong way. i am a physician could i work in the e.r. the health care dollars are spent in a way that is very inefficient. people are uninsured. they are using the e.r. as the
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primary care facility. the people who are paid for it are you and me. we need a plan, yes, in order to cover people who cannot afford private insurance. i completely agree with that. i think we've gotten away from the court issue, which is people taking personal responsibility for their own health. if people would take responsibility, get a primary care doctor, take care of yourself, and stop smoking -- i do not want to wind up paying for people who are smoking, obesity, diabetics. if you mandate health insurance, at least people will start putting a monetary value on their health care. even if you do like the seal of safeceo of safeway -- it puts a
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financial incentive. if you can prove your healthier, they will give you a refund check for money that goes back into health care fund. you tie money to health. you can't tell somebody not to smoke because it is bad for you. if you can show me, you quit smoking and you drop 10 pounds, here's a check for $300. i think that's a lot more stimulating to a lot of people. host: could you tell us a little bit about your stocks duridocto? caller: i did an internship or spend a lot of time in the er. host: are you a member of the ama? caller: i am.
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host: they endorsed the house bill. do you agree with that? caller: there are other reasons why i disagree with part of the bill. i do not believe that taxing the rich extra is not the way to do it. by getting healthy people into the system and making sure that everybody is financially contribute to the system would be a way to possibly monetarily coverage better. i do agree with most of the bill, but i do not like the way it is getting paid for. host: do you have any connection with medicare reimbursement rates? caller: do i have a connection with them? radiology is intimately connected with medicare reimbursement rates. there's something called the dra that killed a lot of private practices. the details are way too much to talk about this morning, but the
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answer is yes. host: we are covering a conference this morning that is the medicare payment advisory commission. it has 70 members. -- 17 members. it's an independent congressional agency to revise the u.s. congress on issues affecting the medicare program. the mandate is quite broad. it is also a test with analyzing access to quality of care and other issues affecting medicare. they are meeting this morning at 8:30 a.m. because of everything else going on, we will put it on our website, c-span.org.
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you will be able to listen to this discussion live. go to c-span.org. just under the red bar. i also want to note that since this debate began on health care in the congress, our health care hub at c-span.org -- we have everything archived, the "washington journal" special segments that have been aired, and interest groups, and everything. go to c-span.org. everything is archived and that we have covered over the past year. there's a lot of information did victor on our independent line. caller: good morning.
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i have a couple of quick questions. the last caller mentioned been a diabetic, which i am. and i do smoke. i was trying to stop. i do not understand her question, why she should have to pay for my health care. the question i have -- what is the bottom line? what is it going to cost me per month, whereas medicare is taking out $97 per month now? what is it going to cost me over all? host: could we ask how old you are?
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caller: 78. host: how long have you smoked? caller: about 60 years. host: 60 years? do you have any idea -- besides the $97 of you the medicare takt of your social security check, do you have any idea how much your health care cost? caller: of course, i was taking avandia as well because i had a heart attack on that, so they stopped that's. host: do you have any idea how much medicare pays for health care cost? caller: no idea. host: thank you for calling,
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victor. bertha in maryland. caller: in for the health care bill. i have insurance and also have medicare. i've had surgery, a kidney transplant, not too long ago. blue cross blue shield is through my husband's job. and of course i got the medicaid because of my age, which is 68- years old. the majority of people that i've heard from the program, they talk as if they do not want other people to get it. i do not know why they are so selfish. come on. help somebody out. host: your 68. you have medicare and blue cross. who pays first?
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caller: first, it is the primary. that is blue cross because that is my husband's job. that is the plan that i'm on. i was a nurse. i got sick while working. i have been off work for almost three years. i did two years of dialysis. host: but then medicare picks up the remaining cost? caller: correct. host: when you had a kidney transplant, do you know how much was built to blue cross? caller: i got a bill and it was over $200,000. host: and how much of that between the blue cross and medicare was paid for? caller: i do not know the breakdown. host: how much out of pocket? caller: quite a bit elder of pocket, but they paid the majority.
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-- quite a bit out of pocket, but they did the majority. and it was excellent care. i had a visit the new nurse. i have a therapist come to the home. they worked with me and they kept up with me. with this type of illness, i had blood work every week. i'm serious. they about the other person. host: one of the committees charged with developing health care legislation in the house was the energy and commerce committee. the chair of the subcommittee on health joins us from capitol hill. and rep frank pallone, a democrat of new jersey. what would you tell to your democratic colleagues who may be wavering on this bill? guest: i think any of them are fearful that a lot of the media
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and the commentary has suggested that this will not be helpful. i cannot imagine a piece of legislation that is going to be more helpful to the average person. not only for people that have health insurance now and are worried about affordability or worried that if they lose it, whether there will have it in the future, but also for the uninsured. i think you're last speaker said it all. it may very well be that right now you do have good health insurance because you have medicare or you have blue cross, for example, but a lot of people face the possibility of of losing it because they're a player cannot afford it anymore, or if they are on the individual market, is so expensive. there's a lot of discrimination because of pre-existing health conditions. all those things are going to be dealt with. people will be able to buy affordable insurance, even if it is not covered by their
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employer. there will not be any discrimination based on a health condition, or whether you are a man or woman. they cannot cut it off. we are providing a lot of protections for people who do not have them now, and making it possible for people to go out and buy insurance on the road in the individual markets. host: congressmen, there's an editorial this morning in "the washington post" by martin feldstein, who used to work for ronald reagan as an economic adviser. it talks about a key feature of the house bill would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone with pre- existing conditions. the new coverage would start immediately. he goes on to write --
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guest: that is not going to be likely because there are penalties if people do not have insurance. one of the provisions of the house bill is that its mandate coverage, like although insurance. if you decide bad because were healthy or wealthy or whatever that you do not want health insurance, then you do face a penalty. right now, if you're healthy and you have to buy insurance on the individual market, it tends to be a lot cheaper than if youu have a pre-existing condition to the person who is healthy now and goes out and buys insurance is not likely to drop it.
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that does not really make any sense to me does someone who is healthy is probably getting insurance rather cheaply now because they do not have any existing preconditions. host: what is in this bill that you would be critical of? guest: the only concern i have is that because we have tried to keep the cost down, and it is coming in at less than $900 billion right now, and because we are trying to keep the cost down -- if it were up to me, i like the subsidies to be higher. because of efforts to reduce costs and have reduced the deficit, the subsidies are not as generous as i live life.
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-- that is what i would like. host: let's take some calls for congressman frank pallone. chris on our republican line. caller: thank you very much. i am only 22. i do not normally engage in a lot of political stuff. i've been watching the live coverage on c-span for months. the intercity i saw yesterday -- the interesting thing i saw yesterday -- i really like the republicans' bill this time. i think it takes more of -- instead of looking at health
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care as a right, it's more of a privilege for every american. i would like to comment on that. host: thank you. guest: the problem is right now if people do not have insurance and they use any kind of health care facility, if they go to the emergency room when they have an injury, then everyone else who has coverage pays for that. in new jersey, the average person who has insurance pays anywhere from anywhere1,000to $3,000 per year to cover the people who do not have insurance. you could say it is a privilege, but the problem is sort of like auto insurance. let's say you do not have insurance and you go to the emergency room. why should everybody else have to pay for your coverage?
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that's the problem. insurance is a pool. those who do not produce a they are a drain on the pool. host: nancy, democrat. caller: i like to say to the caller who said they did not want to pay extra charges for people who smoked or were overraweight. plenty of our taxes are void from cigarettes to pay for children. i do not see the movie that. -- i do not see them moving that. same thing with the sugar in soda pops. the other, doubling to make is on the legal immigrants. isn't it true that they will still be getting their health
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insurance paid for through emergency rooms? should and we try to consider someon way of charging them? guest: you make a very good point. it follows up on what i said before. even if the person is an undocumented, when they do not have insurance and they go to the emergency room, everybody else pays. we do not have the political will to include the undocumented in this bill. whether you think they should be included or not, they're not going to be. most members do not want to vote to give insurance to be undocumented. this bill does not allow undocumented to access health insurance with any kind of public assistance. if the person is undocumented
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and they go to the emergency room, they will receive a bill. some do pay. i guess the reality is that many do not. what do said is true. for political reasons, is not possible to include twthe undocumented. host: we have an e-mail. guest: i do not think those things are true. first of all, with regard to medicaid, the money, the additional people covered under medicaid, unlike the current medicaid program, 100% of the cost is paid for by the federal
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government for the first few years. after that, the amount that the states pay is less than 10%. right now, it is close to 50/50. this has been carefully put together to avoid any significant additional cost to the state. what was the first part of what he mentioned? host: it gives more money to doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. guest: the fact of the matter is that right now the reimbursement rate for doctors and hospitals under medicare and medicaid is low. a lot of hospitals have been closing around the country. in new jersey, medicare pays 80% of actual cost. medicaid only pays 30% of actual cost. i have had hospitals close in my
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district because of they have too many medicare and medicaid patients, they cannot stay open. we do have to provide more money under medicare-medicate to providers like hospitals and doctors. otherwise, they are not going to take the patients. that is one of the improvements in this bill. a lot of people say what are you doing for medicare. we are increasing the reimbursement rates. hospitals and doctors continue to take medicare and will not close the door. host: charlotte, n.c., you are on with congressman frank pallone. caller: good morning. would you please clarify for me -- if each person is to have healthcare, and i am basically focusing on illegals, if one is
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the legal, will that person have access to free health care as well? is that part of obama's coverage? if so, why are we covering an illegal person who, if anyone else goes to a different country, they are not eligible to receive those benefits? if the illegals continue to make more babies and we are supposed to pay for them as well, we're in his health plan does this say eventually we will stop? guest: under current law, people who are illegal or undocumented are not eligible for any of the federal programs. they're not eligible for medicare. they're not eligible for medicaid.
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that will continue to be the case. there's no provision that allows someone who is on documented to get any kind of insurance. in fact, even if they are able to afford the oir own policy, they cannot get any kind of public assistance or subsidy to pay for it. what some of the previous speakers have pointed out is that the person can go to the emergency room, like anyone. the law does save up hospital has to take them entry to them. therefore, if they do not pay, the rest of the public does pay for that. i guess we have made a decision over the years that we do not want people getting sick and spreading disease, so we say that if they go to the emergency
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room, they do get care. there's nothing under this bill that would change the current law that says no one who is on document has access to any kind of a public insurance or federally subsidized insurance? host: could you address the length of the bill? it is nearly 2000 pages. caller: this is a very complex issue. if you are going to make major changes and cover everyone and tartufftry to make insurance affordable, it's one to be an extensive bill. the one thing we have not sat here for -- the one thing we have not said is that we are establishing a new health exchange for the federal government. if an individual can buy affordable insurance, and they will have a bunch of choices.
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they will have all kinds of private insurance choices. at the same time, they will have the public option, like medicare, that they can choose from to the federal government guarantees that there cannot be any discrimination. you could charge the same price regardless of your pre-existing health to the ship, regardless of your live better or will lead -- regardless of the whether you're a man or woman. it is guarantee that cover certain things. it cannot add it to your out-of- pocket expenses. it cannot be rescinded if your costs are too high. all these things take a lot of writing. that is why the bill is so long. caller: good morning. guest: good morning.
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caller: can we please stop calling them undocumented. they are illegals. guest: you could say what you liked. caller: my company sells into the managed industry. they're terrified of this bill. it is the government. it's just another example of the government taking over something that's a private industry. these people that are business people have put themselves on the line to provide a service. last time i checked, the majority rules. if the majority by this country are happy with the health care, why is the minority -- the number people that are not insured right now are in their 20s. the crux of the cost is people in their upper 60's and 70's.
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is there smoking or not exercising, i do not feel as a father of four young children that i should be subsidized. host: patrick, thank you. guest: i thoroughly disagree with you. i think that the insurance companies have failed us. i am a capitalist. if i tell the people were given a fair deal with their insurance policies and that everyone could get insurance at an affordable rate, i would say fine. really step in when things are failing. i disagree with you. an overwhelming amount of people tell us that they did the system is failing to the insurance companies are making a lot of money and they're not providing good products. under this bill, if you like we'll have, you can keep it. for those people who cannot get
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insurance or who feel that the insurance they have now is costing them too much, they will of a lot more choice whos. i disagree with you. i think insurance companies have failed us. host: in an effort to control costs, is very safeguard for companies dumping their insurance plans and telling their workers to go to the public exchange to get insurance? guest: it is highly unlikely because they get such a big tax advantage from the existing deduction. if they send their employees into the exchange, not only do they lose all that, but they
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have to pay a good percentage of the cost. an employer is not clear to do that, unless they're very small. the exchanges for very small employers, or for individuals. in those cases, if you have less than 10 employees, it's almost like the individual markets. it's very expensive. for those very small employers, it probably will make sense for them to go into the exchange because they can get a cheaper small group policy. we are encouraging that. we know that the small group policies are very much like individual policies. there's a lot of discriminatory practices. once you get above 10 employees , there is no financial incentive for them to go into the exchange.
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host: patrick, democrat from pittsburgh. caller: i'm glad you are tackling this issue. as a constituent of the city of pittsburgh and as a democrat, we have the ceo of a so-called non- profit institution which turns around after spending $30 million of the facade -- within four weeks turned around and says we are one to close it. the lack of oversight of the reckless spending by the so- called non-profit organizations sippar -- they need massive oversight. blue cross blue shield put up
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primary-care facilities all over pennsylvania. the cost was three or $50 million -- the cost was $350 million. this is our money. within a year and half, they turned around and they closed all of them. when i hear republicans talk about this nonsense -- they're essentially destroying our health-care system. guest: i go back to what i said before. when somebody says the status quo is great, i cannot imagine that because in the last year i have had my mother passed away and my uncle passed away. i have other family members that have had to utilize the health care system extensively.
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things are not getting better. for people who want to buy insurance, the cost is sky-high. we're not changing anything for people like what they have. the gentleman who said he likes what he has, that is fine. on the other hand, if somebody wants to try to find a more affordable policy, they can go into this house exchange. and then there will find it a lot cheaper and a lot more comprehensive coverage. and it will not have the discriminatory practices. we are just allowing a lot more options for those who do not like what exists now. host: congressmen frank pallone , thank you for spending a few minutes with us as the house
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begins its final debate on hr- 3962, the health care act. guest: thank you. host: another member of the energy and commerce committee is the republican of tennessee, rep. blackburn. you've heard his last remarks about more options. do you agree with that? guest: i have to respectfully disagree. i'm a member of the health care subcommittee. we have been disappointed with what the democrats have chosen to bring through the committee process, which was a 1000-page bill, and then the bill that the speaker filed this week, the 1990-page bill, plus the manager's amendment. we are yet to see the exit to the rule that is going to, that
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bill. there are some differences here. when you talk about our people satisfied with the status quo, which he was discussing when he made the comment that people could keep what they like. no one is saying let's keep the status quo. we all agree there are some things with the medical delivery system and the health insurance industry does need to be changed and need to be addressed. there's a philosophical difference about how we go about. they wanted to be government centered and government controls. we would like to see something that is patient centered and that is easier to use and is taxpayer friendly. the specific comment if you like for you have, you can keep it. i have to got to disagree with that. when you look at the bill, maybe
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you can keep it today, but things are going to start to change very quickly. by 2013, when you have the health choices commissioner making the dictates of what is offered on the exchange, maybe it will still be a product through your employer, if your employer chooses to offer that, but it is not going to be the same product that you have today. i take issue with that. you're not going to be able to keep the kind of health insurance. we know most americans have health insurance. most americans, over 85% of all americans that have health insurance, are very satisfied with the product that they have. they do not want that to be taken away from them. host: what about employers? they usually pay a large
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percentage of health insurance. what do you hear from employers large and small? guest: i'm glad you brought that up. i've spent a good amount of time this week talking to employers. i think that is why i have a raspy throat this morning, so many of those telephone calls. this is what i'm hearing. larger employers -- if our plan is not approved by the exchange, then we are going to have to pay the 8% payroll tax. that is something that is of great concern to them. many of the employers that we have talked to have said we are probably just going to get out of the health insurance business because this 1990-page bill is going to put in place a health choices commissioner. i think it is about 60 or 63 new directives that they will have on what kind of health care plan
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new offer and what the exchange will accept. then you have 118 new bureaucracies of the federal level. so many say that the regulation of the federal level is already telling us. you are going to tell me that there are 118 new federal bureaucracies and apartments? then there are 43 new entitlements and 3300 new mandates in this bill. specifically for our small businesses, those that are our sole proprietors -- they're looking this and saying why would we be subject to an additional tax if we're not in somebody's plan. they are looking at the percentage that you would have to put in for an employee, 72.5%
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of an employee, 65% of the employee's dependent. they say, we cannot afford this, so maybe it would be less expensive to take the 8% government tax. host: marsha blackburn is our guest. she is on the energy and commerce committee and the health subcommittee. we want to take some calls for her as well. pittsburgh, pa., ray, independent line. caller: good morning, rep. blackburn. i continue to view this word
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called affordable health care. i know you cannot answer this. rather talk to rep frank pallone. i like to know -- say in a $35,000. what is it going to cost for a premium? if i make $45,000 a year, what is it going to cost me? i want to know the exact numbers, and not the word affordable. if you republicans do not to jump on this and expose this, you are just as the disingenuous as they are. guest: we have a republican alternative that will be presented tomorrow when the democrats take their bill to the floor. i want to send you to gop.gov to take a look at that. you do deserve an answer.
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i agree with you. there is a certain disingenuous nature to doing that. the cbo looked at the democrat pledgean and made an assessment. they determine what bills are going to cost, and what kind of savings would be achieved to buy certain policy. they have come up with a figure on health-insurance premiums, and looking at a family plan under our legislation, our 218- page bill. they said you would pay $5,000 less than you would under the least expensive democrat plan. peter, i think so many people
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want that to to dibble look at things -- so many people wanting kitchen table and look at things. they're trying to figure out how their boy to make the intimate -- how they're going to make the ends meet. this gentleman is exactly right. what did we do need to be in the family budget? if you go to gop.gov, you will see the cbo score that says in 2016, when these plans are offered, the republican plan which is right around $11,000 for a family plan, and that is $5,000 per household per year
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less than what you would pay under the least expensive coverage that the democrats would be offering. that's a sizable savings. $5,000 is a sizable savings for a year. that's a lot of school books, braces, tuition, dancing lessons for children, and may be a family vacation. host: "the new york times" talks about the republican health care plan in the lead editorial this morning. it has some good provisions, such as prohibiting entinsurers guest: one of the ways to address that is going another
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route then getting to the universal access component the summit people want to see, but doing it through reinsurance. this is a model that many of our businesses are accustomed to dealing with. they have different high-risk pools for dealing with things. there's a way to do that, and address that, and bring people into those high risk pools. addressing pre-existing and chronic conditions, absolutely. people can go to gop.gov and look at the bill. host: cris in silver spring, md., you are on with rep. blackburn. caller: good morning.
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i cannot understand what i'm not lose my good insurance on the democrats proposlan. i do not understand why we cannot have a more ngo, non- profit, trade medical credits. trade tax credits to provide health care for the uninsured. who knows? the tax credit plan could probably provide great medical care for everybody with tax credits, like carbon tax credits. people can trade them back and forth. caller: we're hearing this from a lot of our constituents roy now. why do the democrats talk about punishments and penalties. they really have become the party of punishment.
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look at how they have gone through this bill. over 3000 times they are using the word "shall." it is a mandate. they have gone about this with putting all these mandates in place. why not go about it incentivizing. why not look at a way to allow individual ownership of insurance so the individuals over their policies, and they get the deductions and the tax benefits that large companies get? why not look at having tax credits for those that are innovating and bring in four words procedures, protocols, and therapies, or medical devices
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that are going to get the cost down? there are ways to get the cost down, and we should get the cost down. when we talk about health reform, there's ways to do this without burdening the taxpayer and costing us 5.5 million jobs to read by the way, that is not my number. that is the economic advisers number. 5.5 million jobs through there's ways to do this without increasing taxes on the american family. there are ways to do this without having the federal government take control of the health care system. that's exactly what we ought to be doing, incentivizing rather than punishing. host: republican leader john boehner said yesterday at the press conference rally on health-care that he sees this bill as the greatest threat to freedom in his 20 years on capitol hill. do you agree with that
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statement? caller: i do agree with that statement. you are talking about 1/6 of our economy. you are talking about putting a bureaucrat between individuals and their physicians. look at what is happening to medicare with this bill. you're going to make $500 billion in cuts to medicare. medicare is a trust fund. it is not a slush fund. it should not be used as a slush fund by the liberal elite. that is just unconscionable. the way that they are taking control, it is a government takeover of health care. the way they are putting protections -- the arisa
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provisions were some of the insurance companies would not be held accountable for actions. pages 1431 to 1433 of the bill, where it is the states would be denied their incentive payments for being innovative in medicaid, if they capped attorney fees? people are reading this and said ying you have got to be kidding me. we are hearing from so many of our positiohysicians who say, he we going to do our practice? we do not need more government interference in health care. we need less.
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people have looked at what has transpired since the first of the year. the philosophical change where there's more government control of most sectors. whether it is the investment- banking. whether it is consumer credit, whether it is auto manufacturing, student loans, health care. they're looking at what is happening with energy. they're looking at what is happening with communications. what i called the fairness doctrine for the internet. they call it a net to neutrality. it's not very neutral. people are growing deeply concerned about the shifting of philosophy in this nation. host: marsha blackburn is currently in her fourth term. she represents the seventh district of tennessee. in eight minutes left in our
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segment with her, louisiana, democrat. caller: good morning, rep. blackburn. i'm appalled that the one mentions the profit line health insurance care. the retiree ceo of united healthcare last year received $1.2 billion. that was reduced to two years later because of a discrepancy in the paperwork to $800 million. i have medicare. i hate going to the doctor. medicare pays my doctor $49 for a visit. i have to sign a paper that says i will pay for my blood work if medicare refuses to pay for it. my daughter has blue cross blue shield. she pays $900 per month. she took her twins to the doctor. the visit was $250. if she chose to pay cash, it was
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$130. can you please explain those three for me? ? cguest: these are three topics that i loved to talk about. the stock about the medicare component. -- let's talk about the medicare component. we have to realize you have prepaid your medicare. the federal government gets first right of review along your paycheck. they have been taking out your medicare money. you have prepaid that. that is why it medicare is supposed to be a trust fund. that is why we get very frustrated when we hear some of the liberal elites talk about taking your $500 billion -- this is your money that has been coming out of your paycheck. taking that trust fund money and
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going over year and using it to start another insurance -- another government-run health care program. we realize of medicare is a trust fund. the the medicare trustees tell us that in 2017, the medicare trust fund is going to be broke. we have great concerns about that. this is not being dealt with because money is coming out of your paycheck. individuals that are working, monday is still coming out of their paycheck. in 2017, that trust fund is broke. that's something that should be at the top of the list of being addressed, rather than we are going to get five under billion dollars savings out of medicare
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-- rather than we are getting a half a trillion savings out of medicare. you mentioned the cost to your daughter have been blue cross blue shield and the cost if it was filed through the insurance company, arresteor if she paid . when we passed the medicare modernization act, there was a provision that the former speaker had been pushing for. it was called the health savings account. the health a savings account was included in the medicare modernization act. when that went into place, it allowed individuals to work with their employer and have -- instead of having a traditional ppo like the blue cross plan, they could have that money go into a savings account that was there for their primary care
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health needs. at that point, a lot of people would begin to call the dentist and the doctor. if i am paying cash, tell me what it is going to cost. they found out they could reduce the cost and yelled a savings. -- and yield a saving spree on the backside of that is what we used to call major medical. .
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house, 218 needed for passage. 41 is the magic number for the republicans. do you see a chance of this not passing? guest: i do see a chance of it not passing. when you look at how closely the american people are watching this bill and how they are reading the bill, a great example, during august h.r. 3200 the big bill that was out there, that was taken off my website 5,000 times by people that were downloading it, people that came into our office, got copies of the bills to read the bill.
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that indicates that the public has interest. people are paying attention. i think it will be very difficult. the press conference we had yesterday that people from all over the country came for that took off work, came here around said do not nationalize, do not have a government takeover of my healthcare. healthcare is a deeply personal issue and i think it is going to be very difficult for some of the pod rate and blue -- moderate and blue dog democrats to vote for it when constituents are saying do not take the step. host: thank you for joining us. guest: absolutely. host: representative blackburn talked about the g.o.p. alternative bill and g.o. pfpp.. if you want to read 3962 the topic of the rules committee meeting at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon which you can watch, they will set the rule for debate on the bill.
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you can go to our website. span.org. read 3962 there and the republican alternative there. and at our healthcare hub you will be able to see everything we have covered the past nine months or so on healthcare. all the committee hearings, the interest group press conferences, washington skwrrpbl segments we have done on the issue. any other press conferences held by leadership or committee khaeurp chairmen. look for our healthcare hub. when the debate starts tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. in the hou house, every member or many members will be pespeaking is t plan i think, right now. you will be able to pull out your member and watch just your member of congress speak on the floor at that site also online at span.org. -sp
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-span.org. up next, president obama's campaign manager. >> it is 8:03 eastern. president obama signs a bill today extending unemployment benefits as well as a tax credit for first-time home buyers. later the president visits walter reed army medical center, his first visit as president. an update on the shootings at fo fort hood. robert cone speaking earlier on "the early show" said survivors have told him that the army psychiatrist suspected in the violence carried out his gunfire in a very calm and measured approach. he added that authorities have not yet been able to talk to the suspect. major nidal malik hasan was shot four times and is hospitalized. strategy for the war in afghanistan continues to be considered by the president where this morning nato reports deaths of two more american service members. this brings to three the number
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of americans killed in the afghanistan war so far this month. more on afghanistan this morning from british prime minister gordon brown. in a peaspeech he warns the afghanistan government to take action against corruption saying he would not risk more british lives there unless it reforms. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. host: now on your screen is the campaign manager for president obama in 2008 out with a new book the audacity to win. when did you first meet barack obama. guest: 2003 when he was a long shot candidate for the senate and it was an improbable win then and maybe even in some ways more so than what happened in 2008. host: tell us about the first
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meeting. guest: i met with him and our discussion was quite remedial. this is often true with candidates that held local office and trying to run for something more expansive. we had discussions about how the scheduling ought to work and how we ought to be driven around the state. so it is pretty remarkable 5 1/2 years later he was elected president. host: at what point -- were you interviewing him or was he interviewing you in 2003? guest: my firm and my partner david axelrod had signed on to help him even though he was a long shot at the time. a feld of people with -- a field of people with more money and connections. it was a great yankee to see him -- it was a great joy to see him build the elements in 2008 which were present in 2003. he had a committed group of volunteers, showed real appeal in all segments of elect united
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states. he was accused of talking to people too much leak adults and it was rewarded by the voters of illinois. host: at what point in 2003 did you decide he could win the senate seat? guest: it was similar in some ways to the presidential race and primary where we didn't have a lot of different pathways to success. there was really one pathway which was to build a campaign, campaign everywhere and hope at the end you had some momentum. that is what happened. i think that it really wasn't until the last 60 days or so that it looked like a lot of that was coming together and there was a possibility. he ended up winning by a landslides margin, by 24 points, which i don't think any of us thought was possible. host: in your book you spend about two-thirds on the primary and one-third on the general election. why is that? guest: part of it is just time.
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i think we were -- i thought it was important to set the foundation, that we were essentially a start-up company. we didn't have any assets entering the campaign. how up likely it was that we win the primary at all. iowa in many respects was a year of the effort and it was a laboratory for so many things. a belief that young voters would turn out, local organizations would be incredibly important. that we could expand the ele electorate so it is not like distinct active there is primary and general. what happened in is primary informed the general election strategy. host: you talk also about lessons you learned from the bush administration. what were those lessons? guest: probably none from the administration. i think that they did a couple of things in their campaign we thought were pretty smart. first of all, they had a small core of people who were part of the decision-making group and that was so they could make decisions and trust that their discussions would be held
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sacrosanct. the second thing, in 2004, was they expanded their electorate very effectively. if you look at ohio, john kerry hit all of the polls but lost by over 100,000 because the bush found every republican you could think of and got them to turn out. we studied that carefully, which is the expansion of the electorate which became for us a hallmark in the primary and general. we would not have won the iowa caucus without making the voters younger. wouldn't have won north carolina, indiana, virginia without change being the electorate. making it more diverse and younger. host: going back to the lesson of a tight inner circle who was the inner circle? guest: in the beginning it was myself, david axelrod and robert gibbs of it grew over time. we had a senior staff of 10 or 12 of us who would be on the
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phone with him each night. as a manager any manager can ait is to this. you are only as strong as the senior staff and i had remarkable senior staff and we were joined by millions of americans who were volunteered. it made a huge difference. host: what was the role of michelle obama? guest: whenever she campaigned it was an enormous asset. her nickname in iowa was the closer because he would convince people to support us. she was a great advocate. obviously a sounding board on important decisions. i think the speech at the democratic convention was an important moment because she could talk about her husband in a way nobody else could and filled in a lot of the values and character for the american people. host: what do you call the president? do you call him barack throughout book? do you call him senator, or president in guest: in the prologue he is no
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longer barack, he is the president. so, from the moment we won november 4 he was president-elect and as of january 20 he was the president to show respect for him and the office. host: could you see yourself calling him barack again? guest: maybe in 2017 but not until then. host: have you talked with hillary clinton since you wrote the book? guest: i have not. host: are you critical in your view of hillary clinton in the book? guest: no, i think i'm honest. i spent time in the book looking back at the primary and one thing i say is she was much better than her campaign. her campaign made mistakes but they were tough. they put us through our paces. she was so effective and resilient, she is clearly got amazing skills and knowledge. so, to capture this properly i had to capture some of the tense moments and offer some
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observations object their campaign. but i think we all grew. even as frustrated as we were with the primary our admiration for her grew and it was already high and the president reflected that. host: in new hampshire there was an event you write about involving then senator clinton. i want to show you and get a response. >> it is not easy. it is not easy. and i couldn't do it if i just didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. i have so many opportunities from this country, it is -- i just don't want to see us fall backwards. so. this is very personal for me. it is not just political, not just public. i see what is happening and we have to reverse it.
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and some people think elections are a game, they think it is like who is up or who is down. it is about our country, our kids' futures, and it really about all of us together. host: david plouffe, that was a turning point in your campaign. guest: well, i can assure you losing in the new hampshire primary was not part of our playbook for now win the nomination. everybody thought we were going to win. we had polls showing it opening up but hillary in new hampshire started the race at 45%, 47% but those people still liked her. some of them moved to us, some undecided. so, people were not sure they should rub are stamp her nomination at that point. that was a very powerful motel. they had a good organization in new hampshire. it is one of the most remarkable things about the campaign and book is that we were able to recover from that loss because
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we thought just about everything had to go right to allow us to win the primary and scrambling back from that which the president deserves the credit for, he kept the organization focused and our grassroots volunteers sent a clear message they were not ready for it to be over. host: in the general election was there ever a doubt that you would win? guest: well, sure. particularly the primary we learned never to look beyond the moment. and so, we -- our approach in the general elections, we were going to build a campaign in each battle ground state to do everything humanly possible to win. we thought, and 47% of the country voted for john mccain but we thought we had a hussein obligation to win. that we cannot continue the policies that george bush, basically mccain was going to continue. so, we built a powerful campaign. and there were moment when we could see it was going well, particularly when early votes
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started happening because that is reality. we could see who was voting and we liked that. but there wasn't a lot of discussion about it looks like we could win this or when we win. we just kept our head down. host: it was a common theme -- we will go to calls in two questions, i promise -- common theme in the campaign that barack obama and the press were cozy or the press favored barack obama. was that your opinion? guest: not at all. i think it is kind of mythology. in writing the book i went back to revisit it, you know, the entire campaign and what happens is you tend to get better press coverage when you are doing well. when you are not doing well you have tougher coverage of the if you look at september, october, parts of motive of 2007 with, our coverage was very rough. it basically said obama is way behind hillary, he had his moment, we don't see the
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pathway. rough. after we lost new hampshire, during the reverend wright period. there were times during the general election particularly after palin was picked people thought we were thrown off and mccain had changed the race. so, i don't have a lot of tolerance for that. i think that when we were doing well an connecting well and in a strong position we tended to have positive coverage and when we didn't, we didn't. host: at the same time you talk about in a sense using adam of "new york times" and then storr clinton had that moment in new hampshire you write that several national reporters e-mailed me after her outburst with the same message she just cost herself the new hampshire primary. guest: that was it the debate actually. host: that is right, i apologize. so there is a back and forth between a campaign and reporters, correct? guest: sure.
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host: so there is some coziness? guest: you are always trying to make your case. styles with success -- sometimes with success, styles not. the point about adam and "new york times" we didn't think the delegate race was being covered accurately in all quarters and the race was about delegates, not about anything else really in the primary. we thought to capture where the race stood you had to understand the delegate race. that was not our spin, it was reality. because the race was being covered like a dead heat and it had been for time but we had opened up an appreciable delegate lead and we thought that needed to be covered properly. and eventually people who looked at it said you are right. host: final question then calls, i promise. a program such as this, the "washington journal," several times we invited candidate obama to be on this program and take calls from the national audie e audience. as a campaign manager why would
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you say no? guest: we said yes to a lot of -- obviously, we did a lot of interviews. he did a lot of interacti actiot call shows or town halls. one thinking that comes through in the book the hardest decision we have to make on any day is time and we had a strategy and we had to marry our time allocation to it. host: so we won't answer that directly but that is fine. wilton, connecticut, on with david plouffe. caller: good morning. david, i got see you the other night at fairfield university and because of all the questions i didn't get to ask mine. my question is this. are you and the president and his cabinet mentally and physically ready to do it again in 2012? and can you talk about the mental and physical drain that was placed on you and the president during the campaign season? guest: sure, i think the president has made clear that he's not focused on 2012 at all.
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i think that is the right decision because we have big problems and opportunities and if you are thinking about the election as a prism through which to revenue that you are not going to do what is best for the country. we just finished the last campaign so there will be a time for that. all i can say is a lot will change in the bean iinterveningr three years. the the campaign is draining. when we went through it nothing seemed as tough. what he is trying to do is by a huge degree more differ. but it is draining because elections have deadlines. whether they are individual primaries, a fund-raising deadlines, you have to maximize your time. this race was intensely covered so all of us for two years laid everything we had on the field and that included our volunteers many of whom had a job or two jobs and find 15, 20, 25 hours a
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week to spend on the campaign. it was so important. but i believe so strongly in what the president is trying to do, the campaign we ran that got so many involved, it was tiring but well worth it. host: you talk about several times in the book the mood of the candidate, that it really does affect a performance. guest: we were blessed. i have worked in politics a long time for some great people, maybe some not so great. i guess this is true of leaders of any organization. they can have moodiness. we didn't really have that with then barack obama. he was very normal so you didn't have to wake up each day worrying how he may react to things. a campaign is a collection of resumininge beingbeings. day in and day out that calmness, that integrity allowed us to be a good campaign.
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host: two incident where he was not terribly pleased with you. guest: sure. something that got a good amount of coverage was an opposition research memo released talking about some of more clinton's comments and ties to the country of india and he was not just upset about that, he thought his campaign had let him down. that was not the kind of campaign he wanted to run. will was another where we released a video he thought we had not talk through. host: a documentary keating. guest: he thought we had not communicated properly with him about that. one of the important roles he played was to make sure the tone -- he was responsible for his own comments day to day but our advertising and what our surrender gets were saying. he very much wanted to avoid the
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snarkiness and tried to have an elevated debate. we ran a tough campaign and made some tough arguments on substance, but i think most voters saw what we were doing was in bounds. i thought it proved you could win elections without going down the lowest of roads. host: framing ham, massachuse s massachusetts. >> thanks for taking my call. i wanted to ask you, do you think that you can pull off a win in 2012 without acorn if they happen to drop out of the situation with all of their indictments and problems? guest: i spent a lot of time in framing p ha framingham. they were not part of the campaign. i think there were some in the media and political community suggesting somehow that they had some significant role.
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none at all. we went out there as our campaign and registered millions of voters. our volunteers talked to neighbors and colleagues. so they had no relevance in the campaign other than they became a momentary distraction. what is great about our campaign we had millions of americans who were knocking on doors, sending e-mails, making calls. they are the ones that registered voters and did the curb gro-- turnout. host: dearborn, phfmichigan. caller: this is my first time calling and my brother always called but you guys i watch the show all the time, pretty much all day long back and forth on c-span 2 and 3. i want to thank that gentleman there to your right for helping get a very smart man into the presidency compared to what we had before. what does he think about -- it
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seems like robert gibbs, he is a little soft on some of these reporters there. he lets things go on, he hums and haws about stuff. he could be a little tougher. look at the situation the team has come into, i mean the hole that was dug, it is just bad. but the last thing i have to say is that i think that the simplest way to end this war is for barack obama to look at the way sherman took over and won the south and he destroyed the cotton so that the south couldn't get guns. host: david plouffe? guest: it is probably the only time i have heard robert gibbs being accused of being soft on the president. one of the great things i see is
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people like him and david axelrod and so many dock great work for the president and the country. i'm not involved in any of the afghanistan decision making but i have a lot of confidence that his decision making will be thorough. i spent a lot of time writing it book. i'm doing speaking and spending time with my family. host: are you back to consulting? guest: i'm doing a little bit of consulting, yes. but i'm trying to have a more balanced life. campaigns tend to get out of balance so i'm trying to have some control. host: you have a second al qaeda? guest: two days after the election. her birthday is tomorrow. host: why did you choose not to serve in the administration? guest: it was really a family matter. my family, you know, we had a young child, now we have two. a big sacrifice for my wife. and it was two years where you have to give absolute commitment. and particularly because we had another child we needed to have
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balance and hopefully it worked. you are never perfect but hopefully we're getting coast. host: scott, republican line, thomasville, georgia. caller: good morning, mr. plouffe and c-span. first of all i would like to say that i haven't heard anybody say this. i feel like that was one of the best run campaigns in history. i can't remember a national campaign that went off, i wouldn't say totally flawless but there were not ale hi -- no many hiccups. i have a comment on economics and i don't mean to run off on a tangent but yesterday i was listening to progressive radio and i like to think i'm progressive although i'm conservati conservative, i like to listen to thoughts that challenge my own views. and one thing that seems to be
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the mantra and ideology of the progressives along with the administration is on the economic side you have to create jobs. let's get some jobs and that will make the economy better. and that sounds good and that obviously is true. but in my world and i'm a business person, every business person i have ever known, when they tried to create jobs they don't think i'm going to get up today and create jobs. what they look at is how can i make profit. how can i make money for my family, for my future and heirs. guest: through the president's leadership and other factors the economy is beginning to climb back. we grew for the first time many quarters last quarter. aware beginning to see -- we are beginning to see other indicators improve.
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but the jobs have not yet followed and that is what keeps the president up every day. these jobs are for the most part going to be created by the private srbgt. so what you need -- private sector. so you have to create the conditions to make sure capital is flowing, 73% increase in small pwebusiness lending. create growth so people have confidence in the future so they create jobs and they will have markets. healthcare is tied into this long term because as so many small and large business owners know, healthcare costs are crippling them and if we are going to succeed as a country we are spending about twice as much on healthcare as most competitors we can't continue that. we have to bring the costs under control so that employees get wage increases and employers have the ability to expand their businesses and succeed in a very competitive marketplace. host: when did change we can believe in catch on? guest: it was a slogan we unveiled in the fall of 2007.
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i write in the book, it was not that we were certain it would work but continuing made people think. host: you were often hesitant about it. guest: yes because it is unusual. it made people think. this guy is offering change but we can believe it. what does that mean. for a lot it meant he is not from kind of the washington gestalt so he may tidal basin bring containing. he has lived a life of change. he is day in and day woupbt of the things that appealed about the president, he didn't sound like a lot of politicians. he would talk about things with complexity. he styles would even -- he sometimes would argue both sides and that is how people think. that is how they talk. so, i think they appreciated that. and there was an integrity to that message. so, it was an important part of the primary. host: a lot of swearing in this book. guest: well, less than there was in reality. i tried to capture the intensity
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of the campaign. i think your previous call was generous saying we ran close to a flawless campaign. i think we got a lot of big things right but it was hard and we made mistakes. i thought given this is a book that belongs to history because whether you supported the president or not this is a moment in election history. it is important to capture in accurately. host: i noticed you didn't pay for an index in this book. guest: it was not a payment issue. i feel so strongly that this was a team effort. every person played an important role and the index would suggest here is how many times someone was suggested. i did that purposely. host: hamherst, new york. end line. caller: my name is greg laughlin and i want to know if your campaign heard me during the primaries? i was the fellow demanding that
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barack obama, then senator obama, discuss with the nation the issue of slave reparations and i want to know how the first black serious candidate for president -- and i'm not talking about jesse jackson -- i want to know how the tpeufirst black pe for president gets away with the campaign and a year into the presidency not discussing what he is going to do about slave reparations. host: what is your view on it, greg? caller: absolutely. how can this not be -- host: we got the point. guest: i think he like a lot of candidates was asked about this in the election and didn't believe in that we should go the route of financial reparations. he is focused on building opportunity for everybody and that is challenging in the economy we have. that is why we simply can't do the short term things to stabilize the current system. we do not reform the education system, make it based more on
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performance to produce better educated students, if we don't do the healthcare and energy things to allow to us succeed, we won't have the opportunity for enough americans. host: cleveland, tennessee, frank, democrat. caller: hello and good morning. this is a pleasure talking with you because i have so much to ask but i will keep it simple. what did you think when sarah palin debated with joe biden and obama debated with senator mccain. that is one of the funniest things. to watch him go from the camera and stumbling around and with sarah palin came up to joe biden and asked heuim may i call you joe. she said she was not going to talk the way she consistently talked, she was going to go out for the country. this had to be the tppbiest election and -- funnest election and say what you have to say.
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guest: well, i write about the debate in some length because it important. debates in american politics sometimes don't have the import that they had decades ago. but in presidential races they are still enormously important. and it is hard to find a time in recent memory where one ticket won all four debates. that is not just my opinion. that is what came out of the debates. joe biden had a trick debate under -- terrific debate. that was a hard debate and he did a beautiful job and won that. then president obama won all three. so they were enormously important. the first debate was interesting because will was doubt whether it would happen because the mccain campaign suggested they may not attend it because of the economic issues that were being debated in washington. that became a really important moment because i think that we seemed steady because we said we will do the debate. we don't think there is any more
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important time. then will was a foreign policy debate and most believed that john mccain should prevail and the fact that barack obama won it was an important moment. host: what weaknesses did you perceive in president obama as a candidate candidate? guest: well, it won't surprise that you very few. i think -- i write about this -- this is not unusual. for a first fema presidential candidate i think that to get used to the pace and intensity and never seeing your family and day in and day-out drudgery. i think he had a hrelittle difficulty dealing with that. but he really at some point clicked in and he was connecting with people in a really great way and was converting a lot of people on the ground to support us. it was a pleasure to work with him because's good human being and very smart and he knew where he was running. that is very important. it sounds maybe silly, but not all candidates out there can
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tell you why they are returning for office. it is not about winning. you have to know whetphoknow wh doing it and you knew why he was running. and i think he had a healthy sense that maybe it won't be accepted but this is who i am and why i want to run and that is what i will put out there. host: when is the first meeting you had about the 2008 election? guest: the day after the 2006 election. most of us thought that he probably wanted to go through a period of talking about this, but because he had not planned, had not done any of the things that likely opponents had done, going to iowa, new hampshire, having a lot of meetings an building a skelton campaign organization. and because of family issues he might not run but it was clear he was more serious so we went about a 60-day period of planning what a campaign may look like but more importantly for him going that you a personal decision-making phase. host: next call st. peter'sberg,
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flori florida. caller: do you still work for president obama, part of his staff? if you are i would suggest you tell him that he should ignore the republicans in the healthcare debate and to move along because they are not going to give him any help. they didn't give the democrats any help eight years so why worry about them? and the next thing is i think he should offer an incentive program to companies to hire people that are laid off like had he did during the vietnam war. i think a would start getting the unemployed off the streets. guest: no, i'm not working in the administration right now. i'm just an informal advisor helping with the grass roots effort. on healthcare, this is a very important moment. one reason the president ran. he believed that we had failed the country in washington. we had been dealing with healthcare reform for 100 years and not got it done. you have the issue of everyone in the country ought to have
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access to affordable healthcare. but economically our families, our businesses, government, we cannot continue at this rate in terms of spending. so, if we want to be a strong economy in the years an decades to come -- and decades to come and stop insurance company abuses, we have to get healthcare. we had one republican nor participate in the process, other than that most republicans in washington, will are plenty outside of washington who are helping. but our party will have to do it for the most part and i think we will have to do it. it is a moment where leadership is required and that is what the president is offering and it is imperative for the future of our country that we pass a meaningful health insurance reform. host: a double question from a tweet. left of center 44 is his name. guest: i do not have a twitter page. we have a facebook page for the
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book. host: how hardware was it for barack to have someone else write speeches for him? guest: well, just about every meaningful speech in the campaign -- meaning the race speech, his connection nomination, acceptance speech -- he wrote. all more most of. that is one reason he is a great communicator is the material is h his. even the day-to-day speeches he would spend time revising and guiding. he was the best writer on the campaign and we had some good ones. he is probably one of the best writers in america. so, he spent a lot of time on that. he felt a lot of obligation to communicate properly what he was thinking and feeling as issues and tonally it would be in an area code he was comfortable. host: philadelphia, john, democrat. hello. caller: good morning. me and my wife were big supporters of obama during the
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campaign and election. we sent him money a couple of times, persevered and got one of his lawn signs. and i wrote a couple of letters to the editor in support of him. after he was elected, i proclaimed that this guy is either going to go up on mount rushmore or be known as the biggest snake oil salesman that ever sat in the white house. ever since he got elected i think probably the most disappointed person on the plan planet. the first thing did he is adopt a lot of bush policies in the war. refused to investigate the bush gang and what they did during their eight careers. he fights -- eight years. he fights against freedom of information requests. when he had a chance to appoint economic people he went to geithner and summers rather than others. i guess paul volcker, i don't know where he is, he is probably
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in cheney's cage somewhere. i don't know his obsession with bipartisanship and people that continually chop his hand off. i think -- host: john, we have a long list the there to address. guest: i want to thank you for your help in the campaign. i would say that obviously bringing about change and dealing with all of these tough issues both the longer-term things he wants to do and ran on and short-term challenges that are presented is very hard. there will be ups and downs. if you look at what has happened the last year, the tough decisions he has made to stabilize the economy are beginning to pay off. 95% of working families got a tax cut. we have expanded healthcare for kids on stem cell research. our relationship with the rest of the world has been strengthed in meaningful ways which will give us the possibility to cooperatively address a lot of shared challenges. he has made the executive branch
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and white house more transparent. recovery.gov you can track money being spent. he is still trying to get done healthcare, energy, reform of wall street, things that will strengthen the economy. i know that every day he wakes up and thinks about what he can do to help the middle class people of this country, small business owners in a very tough economy. but, that is his core of how he approaches the job and i think he is doing a terrific job under tough circumstances. host: when is the last time y youed to the president? did wh frblgts a couple of weeks ago. he has a unique metabolism for the job and we are dealing with a lot of challenges and opportunities. his ability to lead his administration and the country calmly but resolutely into the future is something we will look back on and it will serve the country well. host: where was the photo and why this one? guest: that was, if i recall,
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before the second presidential debate at belmont university in tennessee. host: why this one? guest: we thought it captured an intimate moment in the campaign and, by the way, that is not too long, maybe a half hour before he took the stage in the presidential debates that are enormously impactful but it spoke to his calmness and why he was calm was that he knew what he wanted to say. you knew why he was running for president, felt confident that he had a good case to make. so even in a moment like la before a high stakes moment he was the picture of serenity. host: did he or david axelrod vet this book before it was published? guest: well, i wrote in the acknowledgment that both david and anita dunn read lieu the man new script and had terrific advice. host: palm desert, california, rosy, republican. caller: i'm concerned. he can't stand to have anybody say anything against him or disagree like fox news and
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c-span thank god are the only two stations where they have two sides. sound like nazi germany. can't stand to have anybody disagree. i think he has been elevated with his wife way beyond what he is. and look at picking on sarah palin. they are so petty. it is a different lifestyle and liberals can't get it through their head. guest: i'm not really going to acknowledge that. i think that it is an unfortunate sentiment and kind of a silly comment. host: were you able to bring critiques to the president during the campaign? guest: absolutely. he thrives on that. he wants to hear different points of view. and then he is going to process information and make a decision. but he's very healthy in that regard. he is a very self-aware person. he is always in the campaign a very aware person of how he can improve. host: as a campaign manager, what two lessons can somebody who may want to run a campaign
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get from this book? what advice would you give them in frblgs well -- guest: well, the campaign is secondary to the candidate. the candidate is the most important and we had a remark believe o-- we had a remarkable one. one, you have to have a strategy and connected to that a message. and i think one thing we did well is stuck with ours. even though we were not arrogantly assuming it dell would work but you have to commit your time, money, effort. how you make decisions through the prism of the strategy. i think we did that well. the second thing i would say people can be very powerful and they, in the world we live it is not just funding campaigns and doing organizational work. they become ways to get the message out. there is nothing more impactful than a neighbor talking to neighbor, whether a new brand of cereal or politics. you learn to trust each we are. we encouraged that. so i think most campaigns could profit from not kind of on the
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side, you know, but at the core of the campaign try to build a grassroots campaign. it is gis -- it is good to conn to the policy. host: glen burnie, maryland. caller: first i want to say i love c-span and appreciate everything that you do. t two questions. i want to say, mr. plouffe, i think you are the greatest campaign manager to ever step on the face of the earth. i believe he does a fantastic job. they mobilized people. the techniques helped give this man in the office an advantage. two questions. if mitt romney or sarah palin said 2012 i want you to run my campaign i pay you top dollar above what barack obama will pay you, will you do it?
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and if things don't go well with the economy do you think he will say i didn't get the economy going the right way i'm not going to run for president for a second term? guest: well, i don't think he is focused on 2012 or politics at all. he is focused on trying to in a short term stabilize the economy and make the right decisions in foreign policy sphere including a decision on afghanistan and do the long-term things. no, i would never work for the people you mentioned. i'm a committed democrat and committed supporter of president obama. so i think all of us involved in the campaign in 2008 at the appropriate time will be willing to get back involved and try to make sure we continue the progress. host: what is the first campaign job you ever had and with whom? guest: it was a united states senate campaign primary in
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delaware for sam beard. and i was canvass and field organizer so i knocked on doors and tried to recruit volunteers. host: why did you want to do that? guest: i was not involved in politics. i was always interested. i was a political science major. i had spent my time working doing things lick cleaning chimneys, selling knives door to door and making moneys in the summer and i thought if i could try something that had application to something i might be interested in i will try. i answered an ad in the school newspaper and interviewed with a guy named johansson and i set off on the career and i loved it because i believed in the democratic party. i saw that you can have a big impact on the future of the country by getting involved in politics. host: david plouffe campaign manager for barack obama in 2008 and he has written this book "the audacity to win, the inside story and lessons of barack
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obama's historic victory." thank you. 15 minutes left in "washington journal" before the house colonels into session. -- comes into session. next well play you audio that you can find on the internet. after we play it we will plain what it is. >> 111th congress first session. h.r. 3962. to provide affordable quality healthcare for all americans and reduce the growth in healthcare spending and for other purposes. in the house of representatives mr. dingell, for himself, mr. rangel, mr. waxman, mr. george miller of california, mr. star, mr. pal home and mrmr. mrmr. mr. andrews introduced the following bill which was referred october 29, 2009. a bill to provide affordable quality healthcare for all americans and reduce the growth in healthcare spending and for other purposes.
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tkpwhr cathol host: kathleen, what were we listening to? >> h.r. 3962 the bill as introduced by the house of representatives. host: how is it that we are able to hear this on the internet? tell us about it. caller: we have a large amount of volunteer voice actors and have recorded the legislation to the healthcare reform. we started with h.r. 3200, reported the chairman's mark. we attempted to get through all the recent changes on h. of the 3200 and keeping up with h.r. 3962 which is coming to a vote i believe tomorrow. host: if people want to here this the website is here the bill.org. caller: that's correct. host: where did you get the idea? caller: it was the brain killed
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of diane havens on my facebook page discussing healthcare reform and she had mentioned, hey, why not use our skills as voice actors to read the bill to people. so, it is a product of social media believe it or not. and we both just ran with it. so, it was a wonderful idea and anyone who knows the voice acting community is a very tightknit group of very friendly and open people, very much for the common good. and we just had a great group trying to get the actual text in audio for everyone to hear. host: who is paying for this in caller: well, we are funding it all on our own. there is no one paying for t. we are not having any outside funding coming in to heart
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hearthebill.org. it funded by ourselves and most of the efforts put out are worth money, all of the voice and everything else like that is worth money. however, no one is taking any money in. it is a free service, completely donated time and money. host: how many are going to h r hearthebill.org? >> we are at over 750,000 visitors to date. this week we had 47,000 in the last seven days. host: have you charted how long they stay with it because it is a lot of reading and listening? caller: it is and i try to do my best to chart how many pages are read or listened to. i'm not entirely sure if they are targeting certain areas because we will see spikes of certain audio being listened to
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and some just not listened to as muc much. so i think the people looking for the audio may be looking for particular portions or they may start at the beginning and just, you know, maybe give up halfway through. so, you know. host: and this is straightforward reading, no commentary? caller: no commentary. and we do not discuss our politics out of respect for each other and for the purpose of herethebill.org. we are there to offer information. none of us are politicians. we are not out to be news pastors or anything. we don't want to take the personal out of personal opinion. the whole purpose is to allow people, individuals, listeners, the ability to be armed with a little bit more, another option for getting this information across so they can make an informed decision and contact
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their legislators about what their concerns are individually. i mean, you can put a bunch of people in the pile perhaps all offense 120 of us and have a bunch of different reasons and places where we have differences of opinion, but that is the process. those people need to discuss that with their legislators. host: kathleen keesling. if you want to hear audio versions of the healthcare bills under discussion and debate on capitol hill. back to the calls, we have about seven minutes before the house comes in to session. they have a lot of outstanding business today. 2:00 p.m. this kwrafrb the rules committee -- this afternoon the rules committee will talk about setting the debate limits for h.r. 3962 which is the healthcare bill that will be debated beginning tomorrow k9:0. right now they are saying the
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final vote on that could occur around 6:00 p.m., guesses are. but that tomorrow night. all while the house is in session, all live on c-span tomorrow. a few more minutes on healthcare. ronald in detroit, democrat. caller: how are you doing this morning? i'm a precinct delegate in detroit and when i talk to my constituents about the healthcare bill i use a scenario that plains it well -- explains it and that is that i don't smoke baugh lot of people do and if they go to the store and buy cigarettes it is $5 or $6 a pack and there is a brand that they raise and sell to the military that called smoker's choice and only costs $1.75. i use that as a public option cigarette. for those who have to smoke but don't have $5, they use the public option, smoker's choice
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cigarette. that is interesting because once i explain it that way they seem to get it. host: thank you for that call. knoxville, tennessee. janet. independent line. caller: hello. i have one question in particular. how much money is barack obama sending overseas to fund abortions? and if we have such a health care crisis in america why are we doing that? and another thing that man who said that lady was silly, he just broke your point. that is all i have to say. host: the "washington post" and most papers lead with the fort hood shootings. this is the "washington post." i want to point out that the "washington post" also has an artic article, an interview with the aunt of the accused shooter, major nidal malik hasan, because he was from this area and worked at walter reed self years as -- several years as a psychiatrist. so they have an interview with
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his aunt in case you are interested in seeing that. a couple more articles. this is from the "post." fannie mae seeks more federal aid. it said thursday that it lost $19 billion in the third quarter and had submitted a request to the treasury department for $15 billion more in aid to stay afloat. also i want to point out a long-time friend of c-span passed away. john massac a reporter with u.s. news and world report a long time. had been on this program several times. in the last year was on the program. he passed away. here is his obituary from the "washington post." so, just want to let you know about a friend of c-span, longtime friend who passed away. baltimore, maryland, mary lou.
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house is debating the healthcare bill. what do you think? caller: i think i'm against it and i wanted to say that the democrat that was on a little earlier was it poland, was that his name? host: david plouffe the campaign manager -- oh frank, pal home. >> he said people with preexisting conditions could get the insurance. that is so up fair. we pay $14,000 a year for our insurance not including our medicare payments and why should my dollars have to pay for people that have a preexisting condition? i don't want to see anybody die. i want to see people covered. but if they come into this according to the obama-pelosi bill, if they didn't have insurance and have catastrophic problems they are covered with
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the money that you, i and everybody else is pouring into it for 40-some years. host: gas tone why, north carolina. -- gastonia, north carolina. you have to keep the volume down. we will come back. clarksville, arkansas, marcia, independent. caller: i have a question about how do you plan on regulating the doctors office fees and hospital fees? sometimes they pad the bill a little bit and pass the bill back to the people. host: thank you for that. artie, are you ready in please go ahead. caller: i'm in favor of the healthcare bill, but nero was fiddling while rome burned. the only thing that will help america is these free tray agreements have -- free trade agreement have to go. and i would address everyone that calls to c-span to talk
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about nothing but the free trade agreements. they are killing america. we can handle healthcare without them. host: this is in "wall street journal" this morning. the exxon group wins iraq oil contract. the iraqi oil ministry has awarded an exxonmobil consortium the right to develop one of the largest oil fields marking the first time an american led group has been allowed since the u.s. led invasion began. that is the "wall street journal." financial times this morning, google looks to calm privacy fears with new user dashboard. it sought to alleviate the concerns of privacy campaigners yesterday by unveiling new tools to allow users to see what information the internet company is keeping on them. users who have signed up for the consumer services such as g-mail, blogger, youtube will be able to see a dashboard listing
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the personal details stored about them. users will be able to edit and delete the information. that is in the financial times this morning. westland, michigan, republican line. hi, robert. caller: good morning. i'm a first-time caller. host: i apologize, the house is coming into session. r political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father coughlin. chaplain coughlin: the holy scriptures tell us, the lord is my strong hold, my fortress and my champion, my god, my rock, where i find safety. and yet, lord, even our celebrated strong hold, the home of the brave, our heroic military and their families, fort hood can be penetrated with violence. be with those fallen, the wounded and their families as the nation mourns with them and prays with them and for them.
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renew the fortress of faith and be their champion over all the forces of evil. those recognized as outside ourselves and the insidious hidden in our midst. lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom of the power and glory forever and ever. amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house her approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from colorado, congressman perlmutter. mr. perlmutter: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the speaker: the chair will entertain up to five one-minutes on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? mr. kucinich: good morning, madam speaker. i ask permission to address the house for one minute h. the speaker: without objection. mr. kucinich: why is it that we have finite money for health care but unlimited money for war? trillions for war, trillions for wall street, tens of billions for insurance companies. banks and other corporations are sitting on piles of cash and taxpayers' money while firing workers, cutting bay and denying small businesses money to survive. people are losing their jobs, their health, their retirement security. yet, there's unlimited money for war and wall street but very little -- unlimited money to blow up things in iraq and afghanistan, relatively little money to build things in the u.s. the administration will soon bring to congress a request for
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an additional $50 billion for war. i can tell you that a democratic version of the wars in iraq and afghanistan is no more acceptable than a republican version of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. trillions for war, for wall street, billions for insurance companies. when we were promised change, we weren't thinking it meant we give a dollar and get back two cents. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: madam speaker, the bugal sound taps, the flags of texas and the united states are at half staff this crisp morning. in the hill country of central texas at the largest military base, a place called fort hood, soldiers and families mourn. they mourn for 13 of their own who have been murdered. they weep for 30 others who fill hospitals because of bullet wounds. the soldiers were going about the business of making ready to
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deploy and defend this country overseas against tyranny and terrorism only to face a terrorist here at home. a radicalized soldier named hassan rejected his orders to go abroad and took out his anger on those who he knew. we come on veterans day next week when we honor our veterans but let us today here in congress on this solemn occasion give thought, prayer and thanks to the men and women of the military who have volunteered to defend the rest of us against those forces of evil. we mourn with their families. these are of our military are a rare breed. a unique breed. the american breed. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin rise? mr. kagen: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kagen: madam speaker, i rise to speak out in reforming our health care system, to guarantee that every citizen has access to the care that they need when and where they
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need it and a price they can afford to pay. people like jenny who's a single mother of two yazz matic children who i -- asthmatic whirn. they couldn't afford the price of the prescription drugs they needed to keep their children healthy. people like mary with rheumatoid arthritis, so severe that she's an expensive date to the insurance companies and for which no other insurance company would take her because of her pre-existing condition. people like stacy who had cancer of her thyroid and had surgecally cured and yet because of her pre-existing condition be denied access to the care that she needs. and people like a 6-day-old child named hope who at 6 days of age through no fault of her own had to have heart surgery to correct a heart deformity. we are going to change this health care system and guarantee that no one will suffer discrimination any longer in this country. the speaker pro tempore: for
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what purpose does the gentleman from utah rise? mr. chaffetz: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. chaffetz: thank you, madam speaker. all across this country, there are families that are waking up and are concerned about their future, they're concerned about their jobs, they're concerned about where the direction of this country are going. we read a new statistic that showed that only 2,500 of the supposed 640,000 jobs that were created or saved by the stimulus were manufacturing jobs. only 2,500. manufacturing's good. we need that in this country. at the same time we hear this morning that the unemployment now has risen to 10.2%. at a time when our nation is suffering, it's not the time, it's not the place to implement the proposed nancy pelosi health care bill. we need health care reform but this is the wrong bill at the wrong time. it raises taxes on businesses,
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it raises taxes on individuals, it raises taxes on medical manufacturers. i urge my colleagues to strike this down and kill that bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from maryland rise? ms. edwards: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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m inute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, here's what you're hearing from opponents to health care reform. nothing scares members of congress more than freedom-loving americans, we should surround our capitol building until they should give us this freedom. this bill is legislative malpractice. these are all catchy phrases. they're catchy phrases that are purposely designed to hide the fact that the republicans had no viable alternative plan. critics have panned the plan that they have offered. headlines in "the new york times" screamed budget monitor says g.o.p. -- congressional budget office thrashes the republican health care plan. the verdict is in, the republican's plan is inadequate, it's not a cheaply alternative. it maintains the status quo for insurance companies.
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it has no serious reforms to eliminate the perverse incentives in our present payment system. so the republicans are left with catchy phrases. the american people see through it. that's why they're still supporting this bill. the american people know that the time to enact quality health care is now. tomorrow is the day. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: i ask permission to address the house for one minute, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. yesterday was an exciting day for those of us who believed the american people know best. thousands of people came to capitol hill to tell speaker pelosi that they do not want her tax increased government takeover of health care. they said this bill is a bill the american people cannot afford. republicans in the house agree with them. hardworking americans do not want to pay for abortions and illegal aliens and should not have to pay for them. unemployment is now 10.2%, and this bill will make it worse. like other ill conceived bills
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such as the wrongly named stimulus bill that the democrats have crammed down the throats of the american people, the so-called health care reform bill will do more harm than good. speaker pelosi, listen to the voices of the american people. my colleagues on the other side, listen to the voices of the american people. do not vote for more taxes, more government control and an erosion of our freedoms. remember, the first three words of the constitution are "we the people." i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house, madam speaker, and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. green: madam speaker, a lot of us think we represent the american people. the second biggest issue if you don't have a job is that you don't have health care. we have a lot of problems in our country. unemployment and health care. and hopefully congress will take that. we made a step earlier in the year with the stimulus.
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it didn't do what we wanted. we need to do something. we need to deal with health care. let me take the last part of our time to say that our country lost 12 brave soldiers yesterday in fort hood, texas. they were prepared to be deployed to defend our country. and i think that's what this house ought to be thinking about today, those families and those soldiers in fort hood, texas. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> madam speaker, to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. wilson: including in the 2,000-page pelosi takeover bill is massive medicare cuts that will affect seniors across the country. according the congressional budget office, these cuts are $162 billion causing many seniors to lose their current coverage or limit their choices. but that's not all. the pelosi takeover increases seniors' prescription drug premiums by 20% over the next
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decade. these negative policies will hurt seniors. that's why i'm pleased that senior organizations like 60-plus association and the senior citizens league stands tall for seniors against the pelosi takeover. squeezing medicare and medicaid half a trillion dollars is an attack on senior citizens. a better bill is h.r. 3400 for affordability and accessibility. our bill will save jobs while the pelosi takeover will kill jobs with record 10.2% unemployment. in conclusion, god bless our troops, we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. our prayers and sympathy are with the families of fort hood, texas. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> madam speaker, i rise to move that the house suspend the rules and agree to h.res. 893. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 893, resolution congratulating the 2009 major league baseball world series champions, the new york yankees. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. towns, and the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. . mr. towns: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. towns: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. towns: madam speaker, i rise today as a proud new yorker. to call upon this resolution honoring the new york yankees on the occasion of their victory in
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the 2009 world series. with this win, the yankees once again have broken their own record as the most successful major league baseball franchise and of course the most successful professional sports franchise in our nation's history. the achievement of the yankees are made even more remarkable by the high caliber of the teams they face throughout the season and the playoffs. the defending champions, the philadelphia phillies, had an outstanding season and performed well during the world series. but wednesday night the yankees once again returned the world series trophy to new york city, the 27th time they have done this. we are proud of our yankees and
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i would go on and on for hours discussing the yankees. i recall just last weekend i spent time with friends of mine talking about the yankees of yesteryear and today. and of course we talked about the long line of outstanding players and the great success that they have had. we talked about babe ruth, mickey mantle, and now we can talk about matsui as well. we have important business to consider in this house today and tomorrow, but it is fitting that we take a small amount of time now to congratulate the new york yankees on their world series victory. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. chaffetz: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. chaffetz: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of house resolution 893, congratulating
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the 2009 major league baseball world series champions, the new york yankees. for the 27th time in the history of the world series the yankees have once again proven to be the champions by defeating the philadelphia phillies to win the world series. again they have distinguished themselves as the dominant team in baseball. on a cold november evening the game kept fans riveted to their seats until nearly midnight in the sixth game of the series with the phillies until mariano a vir res. threw his final pitch to end the name. the yankees also affectionately known as the bronx bombers achieved another exciting victory for the storied franchise. after finishing the season with baseball's best record, they showed their professionalism by winning it all. they finished the regular season by defeating the minnesota twins and the angels to capture the american league championship. moving to the world series the they beat the phillies by winning four out of the six games even though the phillies
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gave it their all. the yankees 27th world series wins puts them in unequal place in history. they have now won 17 more world series than their closest competitor. i also want to congratulate the rest of the yankees organization all of whom deserve credit for providing a terrific season for so many devoted fans. i'd also like to congratulate the philadelphia phillies, their fans, their players, for putting togetherp an exciting season. and particular note i have the honor of standing here and helping to honor harry calas who affected so many people throughout his career. we were sad to see his passing earlier this year, but he touched the lives in a very positive way for countless americans and we will miss him. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: thank you very much, madam speaker. let me thank the gentleman from utah for his kind words. i'm happy to hear him say
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something great about new york and of course our yankees in particular. i'd like to yield seven minutes to the gentleman from new york who actually represents the area of the -- where the yankees play and of course that's mr. serrano from the bronx, new york. seven minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. serrano: i thank the gentleman. i thank the ranking member for his kindness. i hope, madam speaker, that the rules can be slightly bent to allow this wonderful hat to sit by me as i speak. but we do bring other charts and everything to the house floor. i have to tell you, i'm one of those yankee fans who doesn't take anything for granted so i was nervous during these games in the playoffs. the speaker pro tempore: reminded not to put the hat on his head. that would be a violation of the house rules. the gentleman is recognized. mr. serrano: i have proudly worn that hat on my head for many years and i promise not to wear it during this debate of course as respect for the house which
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i'm proud to be a member of. having said that, i'm not one of those yankee fans if there are any who thinks we are going to win all the time. i'm very nervous. i was nervous with the minnesota twins. i was nervous with the angels. i was very nervous with the talented yankees. but that does not compared to the nervousness yesterday when i introduced the resolution and wonder if we could get it on the house floor before we left this weekend and health care. thanks to the chairman and ranking member and the leadership here it is. i rise to pay tribute to the yankees on their 27th world series championship. as the chairman has said, they are the most successful franchise in sports history. congratulations specially should go to the phillies, the philadelphia phillies. a fine team, world champions prior to this year who repeated their championship in the national league and gave the yankees a very tough time. they are a successful team and i suspect they'll be back next year when i'm sure they'll play the yankees again in the world series.
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i am very proud to be the congressman who represents the yankees stadium area. in fact, i can tell when the yankees are doing well by just opening my window and hearing the sound of the crowd. whenever you hear the crowd i live that close to the stadium, you know the yankees have scored a run or gotten a big hit. the yankees have been a tradition in the neighborhood and have been a tradition in sports history. what's interesting about it is as you know this year they opened up a new stadium and they won the world series in that stadium. my understanding also is that they won the first world series they played in the old stadium in 1923. the house that ruth built. they moved but they still keep their winning tradition. they are indeed the bronx bombers. and they have become a sign of perfection. of of teamwork, and much has been said throughout the years about how the yankees played and how they got along or at times
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didn't get along, and everyone says that this team came together and played as a true organization and a true institution. they have been in the world series an astonishing, amazing 40 times. and they have won 27 of those 40 times. baseball -- professional baseball is a few years over 100 years old and 40% of the time one team was in that appearance. in 2009 they won 103 games. then they went on to defeat the twins and defeat the angels and then finally the very talented phillies. they put it all together. and they put it all together as they continue to build on that tradition. we hear about rules, we hear about di maggio, and bera -- berra, and the other team for the 1950's. and reggie jackson.
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and now we have jeter and we have posada and we have pettitte and mariano. and the yankees in many ways also do great things beyond new york. the m.v.p., hideki matsui, my understanding was practically shut down the great country of japan as they watched the game on tv. little did they know that their son would become the m.v.p. by having a fabulous last game with three hits and six r.b.i.'s it was indeed a wonderful world series. i understand from my relatives in puerto rico that everybody was glued to the tv set to see the yankees. not only to see the yankees, but then to see how jorge posada would do. and the dominican republic, in the dominican neighbors in new york people were out in the street watching just to see where robinson and cabrera would
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do it. it goes beyond baseball. it is a tradition and it's extended globally. it is only fitting that the most successful team in baseball would be part of this expansion of baseball throughout the world. so my congratulations go to the weeks. we will be here today doing the work we have to do. at 11:00 a.m. in mr. towns' great city and mine, the yankees will have a ticker tape parade along the canyon of heroes. after that they'll go to city hall at 1:00 where every other elected official except members of congress will be there taking pictures of the yankees. that is one of the reasons why we are here today. to do our part and -- in celebrating this great team. to do our part in celebrating their home in the bronx, new york. to do our part in saying that, yes, we have problems in this country. yes, we have serious debate. yes, we have difficulties. but we can take some time to celebrate something that is beautiful, something we can come
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together on. even boston red sox fans i'm sure are celebrating the yankee victory. well, i try to always tell the truth but every so often i bend it a little bit. ladies and gentlemen, and to the leadership, thank you so much for putting this resolution on the floor. thank you for this opportunity to honor our beloved yankees. congratulations to the yankee management, the steinbrenner family, to my friend randy, to joe girardi, and all the yankees that made this the winning season it has been. congratulations. viva loss yankees. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. chaffetz: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. chaffetz: baseball's such a great sport. it's often referred to as our national pastime because it's a great way to escape the realities of all the pressures that happen in life. it's done that for so many people and will continue for decades and centuries to come,
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i'm sure. but the reality once the game's over and we go back home and people start to realize what's truly happening in their lives, there's a lot of concern out there. you have people all across this country right in the pit of their stomach, they are worried. they are wore road about their future, their kids, their parents. so we look at statistics that come out and we just gaze and wonder, my goodness what can we do to help? unfortunately i believe we are moving in the wrong direction in this country. earlier this week we saw some new statistics that came out. supposedly there were 640,000 jobs either created or saved through the stimulus. now, i have serious reservations about the accuracy of those numbers, they have been often overstated. i know they are overstated in our state of utah. but let's go ahead and assume that's true. part of this report showed that only 2,500, only 2,500 of
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640,000 jobs were manufacturing jobs. with the stimulus bill and economic policies instituted by this congress and this administration have grown government, they haven't grown jobs. we have missed the mark. the very best hope for our future is to focus on small businesses. it's going to be businesses and the american entrepreneur that are going to grow this country. it is not going to be government. there is another statistic that was released today where unemployment rate unfortunately has gone to 10.2%. in many states it's been in double digits for a long time. the stimulus did not work. it's not doing what it's supposed to do. because it was fundamentally flawed from the beginning. it was fundamentally flawed at the start. it did not give relief, it did not focus on the small business man and woman. it did not focus on main street. it was a bailout to government. it was a bailout to the states.
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and it's fundamentally wrong. and so at this time where we are having such concern about our country we are now considering a health care bill i doubt most any person in the body has actually fully read let alone comprehend it from start to finish. it's 1,990 pages. it is so complex, it is a total takeover of health care. it demonstrates that there's going to be a tax increase on medical device manufacturers, a wheelchair tax. whether you are buying a wheelchair or crutches, whatever it might be they are now going to have a tax increase. weren't we promised, weren't we promised that there wouldn't be one dime, not one dime of tax increase for anybody who is earning less than $250,000. this is a tax that's going to be implemented on every single american, every american. this tax increase is on small business men and women. yet we know that 70% of the jobs that will be created in this country will come from small
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business. so at the very time we need that economic engine to drive us forward to pro--propel us forward as a country, this administration and the bill we are considering would implement a tax increase at the wrong time. madam speaker, i'd like to yield myself -- i'd like to reserve the balance of my time at this point. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: madam speaker, can i find out how much time is left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york has 12 minutes remaining. the gentleman from utah has 15 minutes remaining. mr. towns: i'd like to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from utah. . mr. chaffetz: i'd like to yield to the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gohmert: it's an honor to
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even for a texan to pay tribute to the team from new york, but even as a kid growing up, you know, 6 years old out on the playground i was one of many who wanted to be mikell mantle as we started -- micky mantle as he we started to play. and the first bat that i was given for christmas had bobby richards' on it. who can forget his incredible grand slam. the new york yankees has always been a franchise that prided itself on excellence. sure, they had bad years along the way but nobody touches their record when it comes to world series. and it probably goes without saying but my friend from new york does look good in a new york yankee hat even though he's not allowed to wear it on the floor. but as i thought about the
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yankee teams, you go back to thinking about an incredible player like lou gehrig and he considered himself the luckiest man in the world. and those great teams. the excellence on the field of play, and you think about having a closer in the bullpen that when you get ahead you bring in rivera and he's going to close out and you're going to win. and he knows it. and, you know, some of reggie jackson's cockiness sometimes bothered me, but you just knew. they come late in the season no matter whether he's got a slump or not. the guy was such an incredible baseball player because you knew and he knew. as i thought over the years the incredible excellence of the new york yankees, and this does take a real effort on my part
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to pay tribute, but to that kind of excellence in new york, but they have been good so many times. not just good but great. but then it took me to thinking about all the cities in america, including right here in washington, d.c., that have not been so fortunate. you know, where wins come so difficult. it's such a struggle and you lose week after week and you think, you know what we need, maybe we need a public option for baseball teams. why is it fair that one city gets to have the corner on the market of all the excellence in baseball? you know, shouldn't we spread that around the country? you know, not everybody has the money that new york city has to spend on baseball. so wouldn't it be better to have more choice? let's give the fwoft a few
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baseball teams -- government a few baseball teams and that way people can support the government baseball team when their town really can't afford to have one or they can choose to support the independent baseball teams like those in new york but we probably need to put a cap in new york so everybody spends exactly the same amount of money, nobody can spend more because there's a bigger tv market in new york which gives them more revenue, which allows them to pay for more baseball players. even with a cap they're able to spend more money, and it just creates an unfairness. maybe we should avoid having one team be so excellent by spreading it around and letting people to choose a government option baseball team. that's what was occurring to me. and i had a conversation this morning with a democrat for whom i have tremendous respect, tremendous respect.
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we come at problems from a different direction, and he was sincerely saying that he believed that, you know what, we don't know enough as patients when a doctor tells us we need treatment or an mfment r.i., we don't know enough to say, no, we shouldn't. we have to rely on the doctor and the doctor is out to make a profit. and, you know, times get tough. maybe they order more m.r.i.'s, and who are we to know? we need that help from the government to make our decisions. and as i thought about it, can you imagine a baseball team that the government runs? i mean, if the nats played nothing but -- played everyone but government baseball teams
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they would have been in the championships. my friend is a good man but he just believes in his heart that people need that help from the government to make their decisions on the most personal areas of their life. i don't believe that. i believe that if you give people -- let people spend their own money, encourage tax incentives to have health savings accounts, their own money to be spent on health care. and don't let the insurance companies make those decisions. i don't like them making decisions for me. i'm changing insurance company at the end of this year. we don't want the government making those calls either. let's allow the individuals to excel and to fail or sked on their own and for -- succeed on their own and for those that can't afford to have a health savings account let's give it to them and let's provide the
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insurance catastrophic above that's in my health care bill and encourage everyone else to go that trex and not allow the fwoft to make those decisions for us. i saw socialized medicine in 1973 where the government makes those decisions for people. they don't get that choice. they would have loved to have had the choice, and if you got your own health savings account and the insurance company can't tell you what to do, the government can't tell you what to do and you're not sure that the doctors telling you to get an m.r.i. is the thing to do, then you go get a second opinion. of course that's where the joke comes in. someone like me goes to the doctor and says, i think you're ugly. i want a second opinion. you are not a very good athlete either. anyway, we should be able to get second opinions not because the fwoft says that we should, -- government says that we should, not because the
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insurance companies say we shouldn't but because of our own choice. i believe in the ability and the propriety of the individual. that's what the founders believed in. and the truth of the matter, if i take my tongue out of my cheek, the truth of the matter is new york yankees excel as individuals and as a team. they are given that ability to excel. thank god new york yankees are not a government option because they showed us what incredible baseball really can be when people are allowed to reach their full potential. that's what i'd like to see all around, including in health care. not a government takeover, not a government telling us what to do and thank god not a government telling baseball teams whether to pull a squeeze play, whether they can or can't intentionally walk somebody. let the baseball teams make
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their own decisions and then you have excellence like we saw this year in the new york yankees. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. chaffetz: we reserve. mr. towns: before i yield to the gentleman from new york, i'd like to say for a moment there i thought the gentleman from texas was helping us close the doughnut hole. then i wasn't sure as to where he was going. first, he praised the yankees and then at the same time he indicated that there was some problems. but the point is at the end he indicated that he was very supportive of the yankees. we want to thank you for that. now i yield five minutes to the gentleman from new york. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i thank the gentleman from texas came out in favor of the public option. so i'm really happy about that. madam speaker, i rise this morning, of course, to congratulate the new york yankees on its 27th winning of
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the world series. i'm about as bronx as you could get. i was born in the bronx and i represented parts of the bronx for the past 21 years. i still live in the bronx and i always tease mr. serrano because we change district lines every 10 years. we get redistricted. and if we still had the 1992 to 2002 lines, yankee stadium would be in my district instead of mr. serrano's. but i was there at the world series. i was there for game six, and i can tell everyone that the celebration after the yankees won both in yankee stadium and outside of yankee stadium on river avenue and 161st street was like new year's eve. i've never seen anything like it in my life. as we speak today the yankees are in new york having a parade up broadway. i know we all wish we could be here but we all have pressing
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business here in washington and so we are in washington. but if i could i would be in new york for the parade which is just a fantastic experience which several years ago i had the experience of riding in the parade. i'm very proud of the yankees and what they've done. you know, the bronx for many years has been maligned and congressman serrano and i both live in the bronx. we know what wonderful borough it is, what wonderful county it is and what wonderful people live in the bronx, neighborhoods and people sometimes the media reports on some of the negative things. and every time i go to a community meeting or see civic association fighting for its community i always say, why isn't the media here because this is the real bronx? and i am very, very proud of the bronx and very, very proud
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of the symbol of the bronx as the new york yankees. they are not called the bronx bombers for nothing. they are called the bronx bombers because they are bombers and they're from the bronx. i'm proud to be a bronxite. i'm proud to live in the bronx, and i'm proud of the new york yankees. and i know it is violating rules to put a hat on but i am going to do it just for two seconds because i think it's really important that i put this on. this hat has worn more than any other hat. we see people in far corners of the world, they are wearing a yankee hat. in asia, in africa, in europe, in the middle east, wherever we go, we see people wearing yankee hats. so it's really a symbol of unity, it's a symbol of a time when we need unity not only in this country but around the world. and i'm just so proud of the new york yankees, the bronx bombers and i'm proud to be from the bronx. and with that i yield back to mr. towns. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from utah. mr. chaffetz: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. chaffetz: madam speaker, again, we congratulate the new york yankees, but we also recognize that the administration, the people that work there, the guy that sells the popcorn, the fans that go there are also going to have to deal with the realities of what's happening and could potentially happen with the health care bill we are dealing with. what these fans and players and particularly the wives are going to have to deal with in potentially passing the 1,990-page bill, there are some 118 -- 118 new boards, bureaucracies, commissions and programs that we believe are actually -- they're created within that bill. let me just read the list. i mean, i am going to go through this as fast as i possibly can and bear with me. the retiree reserve trust fund, grant program to state health access programs, program of
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administrative simplification as found on page 76. health benefits advisory committee. the health choices administration. the qualified health benefits plan ombudsman. health insurance exchange. a program for technical assistance to employees buying insurance exchange coverage found on page 118. risk pooling to be established by health commissioner. the state-based health insurance exchanges as found on page 197. grant program for health insurance cooperate tiffs. public health insurance option found on page 211. ombudsman for public health insurance option. accounts for receipts and dispersement for public health option. a demonstration program providing reimbursement for culturally and linguistically appropriate services found on page 617. a demonstration program for shared decisionmaking using patient decision aids as articulated on page 648.
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accountable care organization pilot program under medicare. independent patient centered medical home pilot program under medicare. number 22, community-based medical home pilot program under medicare. independents at home demonstration program. center for comparative effectiveness research as found on page 734. the comparative effectiveness research commission. the patient ombudsman for comparative effectiveness research. quality insurance and quality improvement program for skilled nursinging facilities. number 28, the quality assurance and quality improvement program for nursing facilities. a special focused facilities for skilled nursing facilities. special focus facility for nursing facilities. the national independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities as found on page 859. a demonstration program for approved teaching health centers with respect to medicare g.m.e. pilot program for -- to
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development anti-fraud compliant systems for medicare providers. . this is no possible way this body understands the complexity of what all these programs do. that's the point. let alone the american people. we need time to digest this. somehow the president wants to take more than 60 days to study a program because it's deep significance of what we will do or not do in afghanistan. yet we have hours to digest what's going to affect 16-plus percent of our economy in all these different programs. number 34, the special inspector general for the health insurance exchange. the medical home pilot program under medicare is found on page 1,058. accountable care organization pilot program under medicaid. the nursing facility supplemental payment program. a demonstration program for medicaid coverage to stabilize emergency medical conditions in institutions for mental illness. comparative effective research trust fund. ible officer program within c.m.s. to, quote, provide for
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improved coordination between medicaid and medicare in the case of dual eligibilities, end quote, as found on page 1,191. the center for medicaid -- medicare and medicaid innovation. again this is number 41 on the list. number 42, public health investment fund. number 43, scholarships for service and health professionals needs areas. program for training medical residents and community-based settings. grant program for training in dentistry programs. dentistry programs. public health work force core. the public health work force scholarship program is found on page 1,254. number 48 on the list. public health work force loan forgiveness program, number 49 grant program for innovations and interdisciplinary care. number 50, advisory committee on health work force evaluation and assessment. madam speaker, at this time i'm going to reserve the balance of my time and i would also ask an
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inquiry how much time we have remaining. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has one minute remaining. mr. chaffetz: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: does the gentleman have other speakers? how much time do we have on our side, madam speaker? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york has 8 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. towns: i'd like to use as much time as i might consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. towns: i just want to make certain my friend from utah understands what we are talking about here this morning. i think he's confused. i think he thinks this is 3962. but this is a resolution congratulating the 2009 major league baseball world series champions, the new york yankees. i want to make certain that he understands that's what this discussion is about because for a moment there i thought he was talking about 3962.
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i understand that debate is going to be tomorrow. i don't know whether he's generally a day early in matters of this naturer or what, but the point is i just want to make it clear to let him know that's what we are talking about, the new york yankees who won the world series and this resolution deals with that. so i just want to sort of remind him just in case he forgotten what we are talking about. he's a very good friend of mine. incidentally we have done traveling together and all that, but i'm telling you this morning i'm convinced that he is confused. that this is about baseball, yankees winning the world series, and he keeps thinking it's about health care. i just want to make certain that he knows that because i listened to his comments very carefully and i can't see anything that connects with baseball in the conversation that he's put forward. i thought maybe one time he was talking about somebody striking out, but then i listened carefully, no. maybe he's talking about hitting
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a home run. then i listened carefully, he was not talking about home runs. then i realized that he was just confused about the issue this morning. so let me just say to you, madam speaker, the story of the new york yankees and the story of baseball is the story of america. with hard work, talent, the support of a community, and a little bit of luck they have been able to find success. and when i think about the bronx and what this team has done not only for the bronx but for the city of new york and for the nation, in terms of how people have rallied around and the economic development that's come out of it and the fact that people have been able to be provided with a lot of things they would not have been able to be provided with as a result of their success and as a result of them being placed in the bronx. i want you to know i see this as truly a team effort in terms of the community being involved. of course in terms of the city of new york being involved. and of course the nation being involved because of the fact
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that as my colleague from new york, congressman, engel pointed out that you see people all around the world wearing hats that says new york. new york yankees, because they are proud and they know in terms of what the team has meant to not only to the city but to the nation. so on this note, madam speaker, i would like to yield the balance of my time and of course to say that my colleague, this is h.res. 893, congratulating major league baseball. and not 3962. i just want to make certain. i yield a minute to my colleague. mr. ingalls: i want to thank my friend -- mr. engel: i want to thank my friend mr. towns for pointing out this is a resolution supporting and congratulating the new york yankees. i grew up less than a mile from yankee stadium. i have seen the bronx during good times and bad times. and these are good times now.
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so i want to congratulation the steinbrenner family. i want to congratulate randy la convenient -- la vine and ron and all the others who are connected with the new york yankees. i'm glad the gentleman from new york, mr. towns, pointed out that this is a resolution about the yankees. frankly i think that people should have the respect to talk about the yankees when we are debating a resolution about the yankees not to talk about other bills or other things that the congress is doing. i would hope that our friends on both sides of the aisle would respect that and would congratulate us and congratulate the new york yankees. with that i yield back the balance of my time. mr. towns: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah. mr. chaffetz: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. chaffetz: i'd like to concur with actually my friend from new york. he's a distinguished member of this body. i agree that there's confusion in this room. while the democrats want to talk baseball, we want to talk about health care. and the only, only thing that i am concerned about is, yes, we are going to go ahead and recognize the new york yankees, i urge the adoption of this, and spoke to that. but while the new york yankees are winning the world series, the american families are striking out. and that's the point. that's the point. we can pause for a moment and recognize the new york yankees. we can pause and we should for an extended time of what happened at fort hood. we also have to remember the focus on the debate in this body ought to be about the serious issues of this day. and there are deep concerns about the 1,990-page health care bill that is going to come before this body because there are those of us who don't fully believe we understand all the implications, unintended
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consequences, and direct consequences of what is found in that bill. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: madam speaker, i yield a minute to the gentleman from bronx, mr. serrano. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. serrano: i thank the gentleman. i understand what the other side is trying to do. i don't think the american people have a problem with the fact that we pause momentarily in our very serious work to celebrate something positive that is happening in our country. just the way we pause with something terrible happens, a tragedy, we pause to take time out. i make no excuses about the fact that this resolution i brought to the floor and that i sponsored this resolution, but i really think it's a shame that we would take this moment to use it to attack on a partisan issue other issues. the new york yankees won the world series. americans love sport. americans celebrate success.
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i'm positive that there's not a single american in this country except for some in this house who would think what we are doing today is wrong. this weekend we will deal with the biggest issue of our times. for this moment, for these 20 minutes of this whole week, we take to celebrate the american pastime, baseball, and it's global implications in bringing so many people together. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: madam speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah's time has expired. the gentleman is recognized. the gentleman has three minutes remaining. mr. towns: thank you very much, madam speaker. let me say that -- to the gentleman from utah, one of the great athletes of our time holds records in terms of kicks, field goals, extra points, all of that. a person who should be deeply indebted to sports and athletics because i'm certain that he said sometime during his life that i
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would not be what i am or i could not be what i am if it had not been for sports. i'm sure he's made speeches and has said that along the way. and everything i am and everything i hope to be i owe it to football. i'm certain he said it. but then to come this morning and to ignore the accomplishments of a team that won the world series and we are pausing for 20 minutes to say congratulations, i don't think that to me, that's out of line. but i do think that when you twist it and you talk about something else that's not related to the resolution, i think that's unfair. and i think that i would use the word that might be a little strong for him, i would say that's inappropriate on this occasion to any way to recognize that i know that he's been very involved in athletics. of course, madam speaker, i would like to take this time to recognize the yankees again and to say to them and to mr.
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steinbrenner and of course randy levine and all of them who had the opportunity to put together this magnificent team that has made all of us proud and of course we again salute the new york yankees, the world champions, who happen to come -- a team that's based in the bronx. of course, thank you, madam speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 893. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, two -- 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano: i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays. mr. serrano: yes, i do. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior
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announcement, further proceedings on this motion will proceedings on this motion will be postponed. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york rise? ms. velazquez: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3737 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3737, a bill to amend the small business act to improve the microloan program, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlelady from new york, ms. velazquez, and the gentleman from missouri, mr. graves, each
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will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from new york. ms. velazquez: thank you, madam speaker. i just would like for the record to reflect the fact that i am a mets fan and i do not associate myself with the previous comments. during economic downturns like the one our nation faces today, many americans who cannot find work elsewhere take initiative to launch their own ventures. time and time again these start-up businesses have helped strengthen the economy, creating new jobs, and led our nation to recovery. and in the short term these new businesses gave hardworking americans a way to support their families when times are tough. the small business administration's microloan program helps entrepreneurs secure the start-up capital they need to get new ventures off the ground. microloans have always been a great tool for job creation.

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