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tv   Presidents Weekly Radio Address  CSPAN  December 5, 2009 6:15pm-6:30pm EST

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likelihood that this legislation is going to get past, say, before the end of the year? expressing frustration about legislators not focusing on the time lines, not understanding the time lines that the previous extension gate? guest: i appreciate the caller sharing his situation. the house will clear this up in the next couple of weeks, i think, and pass legislation before. some members of the caller's party have decided they want to delay the health reform debate.
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the senate will finish its work on the broader health reform legislation and then i can deal with other matters like best. my hope is that the caller's colleagues on the republican side will allow the debate to move forward so we can get an extension. of the cobra subsidy on a timely basis. the health reform legislation would eliminate this problem on a more permanent basis. this is how it would do that. if somebody lost their jobs, they could go into a marketplace, and exchange, and in the exchange, there would be a variety of different health plans. they could select one of the health plans that are suitable to them. if they have moderate income, as somebody who has lost their job is likely to have, they would receive a tax credit subsidy to
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help pay the premium. it is no longer going to be necessary that you have to get the same plan that you had three or employer. you would be able to select what makes sense for you and you'll be able to get a subsidy. you will not have to deal with cobra in the future. that is the long-term solution. if and when health care reform passes, it will not be implemented right away. that is way extending this cobra subsidy is so important host: dallas, on our independent line, go ahead. caller: i have insurance but i have two friends that are caught in between getting medicare and not having a way to get cobra anymore. they both have lost their benefits and are having to pay out of their pockets. i am so disappointed when people
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discuss insurance programs and how much it costs for a family. these two men are both single. they are paying $1,250 per month for the plan that they need. that is with high medical deductibles. host: someone from tour adds, -- someone from twitter eds to that. guest: those people who try to get insurance on their own and the private market, they encounter a variety of problems. one of the problems is disguised -- is described as the individual market, premiums are more expensive because you do not get the benefit of the economies of scale and a group plan. -- in a group plan. in the individual market, if you
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have a health problem, you have a pre-existing condition, go and try to find an insurance company that wants to sell you coverage. they don't want to sell coverage to you. if they happen to sell coverage to you, they will charge you an arm and leg because that is the way the current marketplace works. in health reform, that will change because under health reform legislation, but the senate bill and the house bill, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage to you due to a pre-existing condition. they will not be able to charge you a discriminatory and unaffordable premium because of your health status. they will not be able to charge you a higher premium because you are a woman. they will not be able to sell you insurance that has a cap. and what you are -- in what they are willing to pay in any your lifetime. health care reform is designed to protect people so that when they experienced the kinds of
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problems that the caller mentioned and you referred to, those things will be things of the past. one's health reform is implemented. host: middletown, maryland, a republican line. caller: if the government wants to get into health care, why did they not just offer to buy out a couple of big insurance companies? with about $1 trillion, i could make the deal tomorrow. guest: the government does not want to get into health care. they don't want to take over insurance companies. they want to make sure that insurance companies are accountable and do the right thing. as i mentioned, if you want to sell coverage, and insurance companies to be a good corporate citizen. a good corporate citizen is not going to deny health coverage to somebody who needs it the most, somebody who is sick or has a disability, somebody who has a
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health condition. the government role in health insurance reform is not to take over the health insurance system. that is not in anybody's best interest. it says that insurance companies will be able to sell their coverage but they will have to swallow certain kinds of rules so that -- you'll have to follow certain kinds of roles. host: who manages cobra? who is getting 65% of premiums covered by the stimulus? guest: cobra is just the title of a program that allows somebody who has lost their job to continue to get coverage that they used to have through their previous employer. when the government provides a 65% subsidy, they pay that
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directly to the previous employer. then, the individual who has been laid off, will pay the 35%. there is no company called cobra. host: is managed by the government? guest: the government provides a tax benefit to the company who had laid off the person so that they can continue getting that coverage from the company. host: 82% fee is administrative? guest: yes, there is a 2% in administrative fees. host: next caller, go ahead. caller: i have a recommendation for the people of the united states. all of us should just cancel all their health insurance completely. when we get sick, we should take ourselves to the local emergency room and there we will get all
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of the appropriate care that all of us need. then they will figure out a good way for us to have health insurance coverage. guest: i hate to take issue with the caller but having people uninsured is not a good prescription for getting the cure you need. when people are uninsured, what happens is that the onset of a pain or health problem, they delay care. they may not be able to afford unfortunately, for many people, a problem gets worse. they wanted going to the emergency room at a point when the disease has spread. getting care in an march 0 -- the people who do work there are terrific people. they do heroic work. that is the most expensive way of providing care.
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it often comes too late. i think it is much more important for people to get preventive care and primary care so that we can stop problems from happening or before they spread. it is less expensive to do it that way. host: when people buy private insurance, does the level of health care go down or can they get the comparable coverage at less cost? guest: if he or she buys the same coverage, it will probably cost more. what insurance companies say is that they will sell you a policy that is cheaper. they mean that they will sell you a policy that is a lower premium. there is no free lunch here. when you get a lower premium, you get a much higher deductible. before you get a penny of care that is paid for by the insurance company, you have to pay the premium, you have to pay the deductible, and the long
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run, it is more expensive host: columbia, tennessee is next. if you want to find more about this and other health-care related issues, and our health care hub the place to go at c- span.org/healthcare. caller: good morning, cspan. it is nice that the cable companies provide this service to the american people. this gentleman has given us an opportunity to express our views and tell all america what is going on. i want you to know that if the government, all three branches, if they would just listen to the cry of their people here in america, the
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people have lost their jobs, they have lost their homes, they have lost their medical insurance, people they love are dying. the senators in a congress are sitting in their seats, saying to themselves that their constituents are more important. does not the people in my state. they are saying about the lobbyists and people who are paying their bonus checks, about this time of year and all this money is coming in. if you look at teddy roosevelt, he did several things to get everything back on track. the first thing he did was a blocked all these big co'as and corporate leaders. guest: one thing that he was saying that i very much agree with is that we are seeing a
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lot of delight and obstruction on the floor of the united states. senate. we could not get votes on the republican or democratic amendments because there are some that decided to make the health reform debate simply a partisan-political exercise. that is something that has to come to an end. hopefully, this legislation will pass. majority leader harry reid is doing everything he can to move this along. there is a session going on this weekend. it will go late into the night. i am hopeful that we will see legislation passed relatively quickly. host: alabama, on our democrats line, go ahead. caller: the reason we are in this mess is because we allow insurance companies and medical suppliers to fund campaigns of politicians.
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we can amend the constitution. that is why women have the right to vote. it is more than 40 million people not insured. people who pay their premiums think they are insured until they get sick. that is when they are denied coverage. it is a ponzi scheme involved in interest rate you pay your premiums and i know you have a pre-existing disease -- and they know you have a pre-existing disease. we are the only country in the world that penalizes our citizens on making them go bankrupt when the become ill. we cannot wait until 200014. we will be broke or dead. guest: the caller is right in
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saying that our system is such that even a good number of people who have health insurance of one of going into great debt. many of them file bankruptcy because they have to spend so much money out of pocket for health care. health care cost is the single largest factor that causes people to go into bankruptcy. we need relief really quickly. if health reform passes and i believe it will then that kind of indebtedness will be a thing of the past. the caller mentioned that when health reform passes, it does not mean it is immediately implemented. that is something the public has to understand. to understand. you can undertake such some key provisions would be

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