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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  February 25, 2010 10:00pm-12:00am EST

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extremely meaningful to us. i think we wanted to handle it -- handle the colonel urage men and women still in the feel with as much honor and respect as we could. >> larry: congratulations to all of you. you're all winners. >> we won so long ago. >> larry: kathryn bigelow, jeremy renner, mark boal, jim o'neal, a former -- what do we call you? >> eod techs. >> larry: eod techs. >> explosive ordinance disposal. >> or everyone's divorced. >> larry: i urge you to see this movie. good evening. i'm sanjay gupta in for anderson tonight. you can look at what happened in washington, today, as a bunch of politicians simply arguing. or you might reach into your wallet and pull out one of these. because at the end of the day
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this health insurance card is really what today was all about. getting a card like this to 31 million americans who don't have one making it more affordable for the rest who do, keeping insurance companies accountable and making sure we all don't go broke in the process. today president obama brought democrats and republicans together in another last-ditch attempt in ham erlg out differences. all day back and forth. to be honest, all of it wasn't must. see tv. tonight we're going to try triage to buy a medical term. we watched all of it so you don't have to. here's ed henry on the moments that counted. >> reporter: the stakes couldn't be higher. he's betting his presidency on getting a health reform deal. this was his last-ditch attempt to save it. >> what i'm hoping to accomplish today is for everybody to focus not just on where we differ but focus on where we agree. >> reporter: a tall order when
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you throw dozens of members of congress into a made-for-tv drama at the historic blair house. >> can i just finish, please? >> reporter: the president's 2008 rival, republican john mccain quickly tweaked him over campaign promises. >> eight times you said that negotiations on health care reform would be conducted with the c-span cameras. i'm glad more than a year later that they are here. unfortunately this product was not produced in that fashion. it was produced behind closed doors. it was produced with unsavory, i say that with respect, deal-making. >> reporter: the president defended the transparency of the talks and gave as good as he got. >> let me just make this point, john. because we're not campaigning anymore. the election's over. >> i'm reminded of that every day. >> yeah. >> reporter: even the sharp exchanges were civil. if a bit jaded.
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each party hammering familiar talking points. >> the health insurance industry is the shark that swims just below the water. and you don't see that shark until you feel the teeth of that shark. >> regulate all this? should four people in washington decide exactly how this works and what you can and cannot buy? >> reporter: after about six hours republic chance believe they made their case to the american people, that the president's plan is simply too costly. >> it means for millions of americans premiums will go up. when people pay those new taxes premiums will go up and also go up because of the government mandates. >> reporter: democrats believe the president got the better of the republicans. >> so lamar, when you mentioned earlier you said that premiums go up, that's just not the case according to the congressional budget office. >> mr. president, if you're going to contradict me i ought to have a chance to -- >> no, no, no.
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this is an example of where we have to get our facts straight. >> reporter: a cnn fact check gives the edge to the president. the cbo found his plan would lower premiums for millions of americans. and those facing hikes would get better coverage. >> i tell you, et, sort of listening there, both sides really claiming victory. we understand you have more reporting that moves the ball a little further? >> reporter: it shows out the democrats are more nervous than letting on publicly. what i'm picking up from democrats close to the white house they've started warning the president and top advisers if they don't get this health care deal done by late march when congress is going away for the easter recess they're going to move on when they come back in april and go back to jobs and the economy, other things the president's been talking about. what that tells us is the president has a narrow window. basically from the summit window that ended today he has one month until the end of march to move the ball forward.
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it shows you the clock is ticking. as much as they were trying to project confidence, behind the scenes is what i'm picking up is democrats are nervous about trying to get this through quickly in the next month. it's a tall order for sure. >> you definitely felt that sense of urgency today for sure. let's dig deeper with senior political analyst david gergen on the clinton white house staff the last time health care reform was tried. dr. bernadine healy. health editor for "u.s. news and world report." al fascinating day. david, you know, it was interesting. right off the top it seemed like the president took away this idea people have been tossing around for some time maybe the whole thing should start all over again. you talked to david axelrod about that earlier today. where does this go from here? how important was this day? >> i think it was an extremely good day for american politics. the people of the country had a chance to listen to what i thought was a robust exchange
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over the course of the day. we'll come back to the politics. i think, sanjay, where this winds up is that any idea of a grand bargain or compromise between the republicans and democrats is now gone. the republicans want the president and the democrats to start off. they're not going to do that. the democrats are asking republicans, give us some of your amendments, maybe we'll tack them on to our bill. the republicans are not going to do that. that's gone. what is now left is whether the president and the democrats are going to use this so-called process of reconciliation to try to pass a comprehensive bill. at this point they do not appear to have the votes to do that, but they'll try to do that over the coming month if they feel they can't do that, that they don't have the votes then they may revert to plan "b." a watered down version which as the "wall street journal" reported today and cnn has been confirming would involve extending health insurance to about 15 million americans instead of 30 million americans.
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even that could be a heavy lift. >> that's sort of a field goal instead of a touchdown if they're on the 99 yard line as they've been talking about. later i'm going to ask you if this should pass and can it pass. let me two to dr. healy. you heard ed henry's report. the nonpartisan office says the president's plan would lower premiums for millions of americans and those facing hikes would get better coverage. i mean, you have written about this extensively. what is wrong with that? >> i think what's wrong with it, defa define what better coverage is. maybe you're a 30-year-old person who could get coverage for a thousand dollars with a catastrophic plan and with primary care, inexpensive primary care visits and don't want the $5,000 plan. you don't want to pay that extra few thousand dollars to have that bigger plan. as a matter of fact you can't afford it and don't want to go
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on the government dole. just give me my thousand-dollar plan. that is the fundamental problem. the fact is premiums will go up and they will go up on people who don't necessarily need that expensive policy. and what this is showing is that the individual, the patient, has been left out of this whole discussion. i listen to the whole thing. where is the patient? we've heard lots of politicians. we hear lawyers, we hear everything else. where is the patient's consideration? >> we're going to talk about that a lot. should everybody has insurance, dr. healy? should they have insurance, should it be mandated? >> i think everybody should have insurance that suits them individually at their stage in life and considering their personal needs. i think for young people a catastrophic policy in which they save money for the future, they have a health savings account, that makes a lot of sense. when you're older something different is better and a more expensive policy is more important. the fact that the president almost scorned it, he called the
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catastrophic policy acme insurance, says he has a very rigid notion there is one-size-fits-all policy for every american. i think that's wrong. it made me think, boy, we have to start over. >> i know dr. jahar has something to say about this. a lot of the president's littics say spending nearly a trillion dollars is not the right way to save money, on a fundamental level would make the federal government more bloated. what's the federal government's role here? what about what dr. healy said? >> well, i mean, if you listen to the estimates from the white house their plan will cut the budget deficit by about $100 billion over 10 years. so, you know, we're talking about a system that occupies 1/6 of our economy. it is by all accounts tremendously wasteful and it's not working for more than 50 million americans. so something has to be done to correct the inequities and the waste. and the fact is, you know, i
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keep hearing that the system -- the plan is so revolutionary. the fact is it builds on what we already have. if you compare the reform measures that are being proposed and with what was done in western europe post-world war ii, i mean, these are fairly incremental measures we're talking about. >> we're going to drill down the specific details. we're going to talk about what this means to you folks. the live chat is up and running. ac360.com. send your questions and comments to me on twitter at sanjayguptacnn. up next, the way president obama might try to push a reform bill through congress. called reconciliation. do you know what it really means and why everyone is really yelling about it? stick around. later, what's with that big stack of paper? the body language. all the catchphrases that were used today. we're going to translate this into plain english. all the stagecraft tonight, all
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president obama wrapped up the meeting today with a request and a warning as well. he asked all sides to search for common ground. also warned that time is running short. before he starts to think about other measures to pass a bill. you might have heard about this. one possible strategy or at least heard democrats and republicans arguing about it. the it in question is reconciliation.
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>> let's first start with basic civics. in the u.s. senate all it takes it 41 votes to stop a bill in its tracks. so even though democrats have a big majority it's not big enough. republicans have enough votes to block health care. all those red votes are enough. there is a way around this and it's called reconciliation. big word, simple concept. it's basically a rule that says in some circumstances you can pass a bill the way most of us probably think the senate works, with a simple majority. just 51 votes. so democrats, now they're threatening to use reconciliation to pass health care and that has everyone fighting. that's because you're supposed to use reconciliation in only limited circumstances. on budget bills. you know, taxing and spending, stuff that's just too crucial to hold up. republicans say it would be an outrageous violation of the rules to use it to pass health care that just doesn't apply. democrats they say stop whining,
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get onboard or get ready for reconciliation. sanjay? >> so can they use reconciliation to pass a health care bill? i mean, is that en on the table? >> what's the bottom line? the answer is yes, they can. you know the law that helps you keep your health care after you leave a job, cobra? that was passed using reconciliation. in fact, the "r" in cobra stands for reconciliation. the children health insurance program known as schip extended health coverage to millions of kids. medicare has been amend many times using reconciliation. there is precedent for using it to pass health care. >> this is obviously a big deal. much broader potentially. back with our panel now. digging deeper with senior political editor david bergen. bernadine healy. the president seems to be in a tight spot. if he doesn't get something passed this year his base is going to be furious. if he pushes it through via
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reconciliation republicans are going to cry foul. let me ask you this. first of all, can it happen? second of all, should it happen? based on everything that you've known and seen? >> yes, i think it can happen. he's going to have to scramble to get the votes to move this bill through the senate and the house with the reconciliation process. so it can happen. the question, i think, sanjay, is it wise to move forward in that way? it's going to -- clearly the republicans are going to call foul and say it's yet another deal by the democrats but there's also this question, is it wise to pass a bill, major landmark social legislation with only one party voting for it and the other party completely opposed? we haven't seen that in this country stretching back to the new deal. is it wise to pass major social legislation when the polls show on a consistent basis that the public is basically, you know, 15 points against it? and we haven't seen that either. so today's -- i want to come
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back to the politics of today. what the democrats hope to do is use this as the president did in baltimore when he met with the house republicans, use this as an opportunity for the president to show his mastery and give momentum to health care. the president deserves credit for having this session. i thought he was gracious throughout it. he was fair minded. he made his points very well. the surprise was how forceful and robust the republicans were in responding to that. from my point of view, intellectually the republicans had one of the best days they've had in years. they showcased a group of senators and congressmen, especially younger congressmen who were very interesting and i think more than held their own with the president. i think it came out to be a draw. i don't think the president probably got the momentum he hoped in order to get over this reconciliation mountain. >> did he get it with the public, do you think, if not in the room? >> we'll have to wait and see. i may have totally misjudged this. my sense is the arguments were
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at least evenly balanced on both sides and i doubt it moved the needle in the way on public opinion in the way the white house had really hoped. it certainly didn't turn out to be a trap for republicans. they came ready to play this time. >> yeah. it was a very smart discussion. no question. i watched all of it. dr. healy, republicans, you've heard this. they want to start from scratch. basically anything short of that is unacceptable. deal breaker. is that a realistic approach? as you know, you're a doctor. a lot of people waiting for this to happen. they've been suffering without health care insurance. you talked about that. >> starting from scratch, what they're really saying, starring with a clean slate, they have a lot of building blocks, good ideas. what are the ones that belong in this bill? you and i have read this 2,700 page bill and it's filled with a lot of nonsense and a lot of things that don't focus on the two issues. we must bring down the cost. we have a cost crisis. we must bring it down.
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number two, we have to cover all americans in a very reasonable and healthy way. now, it's not clear that you need 2,700 pages to get that accomplished and there is so much noise in the bill that it is not clear that it is going to happen. and, in fact, when i heard today, i said, wait a minute. this sound like they're just starting the process, not ending it. most importantly i couldn't figure out what dollar they were going to save in that whole discussion on cost saving. they weren't saving money at all except maybe the fbi would come in and get a few crooks. >> to be fair the republican plan as it was outlined didn't seem to offer the access you've been talking about as well. 3 million potentially more americans. dr. jahar, you say the president's plan doesn't go far enough. you support it but you wish there was a public option. you heard david gergen talk about a plan "b," a skinny plans as it's being called. this had so much momentum last year, partly into the summer.
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what happened? >> i would like to see a public option. like many americans and many doctors i'd like to see the private insurance companies held accountable for some of their excessive behavior. i think that more competition in the marketplace is a good thing. i would like to see the plan go forward on several fronts where it hasn't. i would like to see malpractice reform. doctors do undoubtedly practice because of fear of lawsuits. i would like to see universal health care coverage. the republican plan doesn't expand access to health care as much as the obama plan does. and i would like to see the cost curve bent. i think the obama plan does that credibly. i don't see the republican plan doing that as effectively. >> we could talk all day about this. obviously some of the things you're talking about simply aren't going to happen as we know now, sandeep.
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dr. healy, dr. jahar, thank you so much. just if the mere invitation wasn't enough to bring lawmakers to the table, they served lunch. nutritious spread of chicken, vegetables, spinach. also salads, grilled turkey, grilled tenderloin. when asked what he had, president obama said he had chicken. how each side treated the room at blair house like a stage and why. tom foreman's going to break it down for us. plus, new video of the moments leading up to this deadly killer whale attack. remarkable, scary. all of in when "a.c. 360" continues. equipped lexus es, to a well-equipped buick lacrosse. get inside each. and see what you find. if perfection is what you pursue, this just might change your course. meet the new class of world class.
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one thing you can say for sure is today's health care summit involved a large dose of stagecraft, so to speak. on both sides. tom foreman reports. >> reporter: from the opening curtain the president made it clear what he did not want as director of the show. >> i hope that this isn't political theater, where we're just playing to the cameras and criticizing each other.
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>> reporter: but on both sides of the stage the players had other ideas. so act one started with a turf war over speaking time. republicans calling foul. >> to this point the republicans have 24 minutes, democrats 52 minutes. let's try to have as much balance as we can. >> reporter: as political stagecraft that served two purposes. it implied democrats were being unfair and put the president on the defensive. >> i don't think -- i'm just going back and forth here, mitch. >> reporter: act two: the casting. the president time and again referred to everyone in the room by first name. >> thank you, george. >> reporter: it looked friendly, but protocol demanded they still call him mr. president. giving him the upper hand even when they tried to call him out. >> could i just say, mr. president, the american people care about what we did and how we did it. >> we can have a debate about process or have a debate about how we're actually going to help the american people at this
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point. >> reporter: act three: the props. a huge copy of the health care bill dominated the table on the republican side. it was so his party could see mind voters of how big, complicated and expensive it is. >> the senate budget committee chairman said this is a ponzi scheme that would make bernie madoff proud. >> reporter: and act four: the monologues. >> certain things are facts. >> why can't we come to an agreement? >> what we all agree on. >> we want you to succeed. >> reporter: over and over, despite a fair amount of meaningful discussion, lawmakers broke into speeches implying the facts supported them, that the other side was being unreasonable and if no agreement comes it will be the opposition's fault. in the end there were no bows, only exits, and in d.c. a true odyssey of political theater. the president's normally the first to depart, was the last to
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leave. >> you guys are still here? >> reporter: tom foreman, cnn. >> that was a pretty big stack of papers. cantor looked like he was having a hard time looking over them. coming up, out of control health care costs. it's been the buzz word the entire day today. i'm going to take you into my operating room and show you how a typical hospital bill breaks down. first, latest on other important stories. thanks, sanjay. we start out with breaking news from afghanistan. two explosions have rocked kabul. the blasts erupted near the landmark hotel not far from several government buildings and u.n. offices. that trainer killed by a whale at seaworld yesterday died from multiple traumatic injuries and drowning. that's the verdict of the county medical examiner in orange county, florida, in the death of 40-year-old dawn brandcheau. this is video now shot by a spectator just minutes before the attack. you can see brandcheau feeding
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the 12,000 pound killer whale named tilikum. the body of actor andrew koenig missing since february 14th was discovered by friends today in vancouver stanley park. he co-starred on the 1980 sitcom "growing pains" and had a history of depression. this father confirmed his son committed suicide. well, sarah palin will headline the national rifle association's annual meeting this may in charlotte, north carolina. the nra's executive director described the former vice presidential candidate as quote, outdoorsman, hunter. amazing footage of an avalanche as it happened. that's a slovakian snowboarder wearing a camera on his goggles. he was on a run in the mountains when the snow began to crumble around him. check that out. just terrifying. unbelievable. lucky, for us and for him, he
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survived and also so did the camera with that footage. unbelievable. >> that is truly -- have you ever been snowboarding before? >> i'm terrified of snowboarding for exactly that reason. have you? >> i have been. that is just remarkable. terrific obviously he survived. that avalanche looked like it happened really fast and very frightening. >> scary. >> yeah. jessica, thanks. see you later on the show. up next, though, how big a role to medical mall practice play on the cost of health care? republicans say a lot. we're going to run the numbers and put their claim to the test. i'm going to take you on a tour of my own operating room item by very expensive item. you're the colon lady! diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating. that's me! can i tell you what a difference phillips' colon health has made?
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we're back. let's get to another hot button issue when it comes to fixing health care. what to do about doctors who make mistakes and whether patients suing doctors drives up the case of medical care. we've heard stories like this. dramatic moments on this particular subject today. >> there's a great hospital i will not name. at this hospital a woman went in for a simple removal of a mole from her face and under general anesthesia the oxygen caught fire, burning her face. she went through repeated surgeries, scars and deformity. her life will never be the same and you are saying that this innocent woman is only entitled to $250,000 in pain and suffering? i don't think it's fair. >> you know what he's talking about is republican call for caps. what patients can collect especially kwhen it comes to punitive damages. the question is, what do the facts say? we've been digging into this a
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bit. according to an extended study by the vanderbilt law review, on average 1 million people claim something because of malpractice. 85,000 filed a lawsuit. of the 85,000 lawsuits, only a fraction got payout. there are big money high-profile cases like the $40 million to a family in massachusetts to a baby born with severe brain damage. that's far from typical. the real question is, do malpractice lawsuits have a major impact on overall health care costs? the seanswer seems to be no. payouts account for roughly 2% of all health care costs. here's where these costs do add up. the fear of being sued is pushing more and more doctors to practice defensive medicine. recent poll found nine out of ten doctors say they order tests not because a patient needed them but to avoid getting sued. even worse some physicians avoid complex operations or complex medical problems for the same reason.
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defensive medicine. it's where things really start to add up. for you, the patient. that's why we're talking about it. this constant concern about being sued can add up to $850 billion a year according to a recent gallup survey. in some cases the cost of medical malpractice insurance has gotten so high doctors are forced to stop practicing medicine all together and that's making it hard for you to find a doctor. in mississippi, for example, certain areas where women in their last trimester of pregnancy may have to temporarily live 100 miles away from home to receive proper care from a obstetrician. anthony is president of the american association of jess tus, largest trial bar in the united states. represent eed plaintiffs. albert strung, american college of obstetricians and gynecology, used to be a practicing lawyer as well. thank you for joining us.
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this is a fascinating topic. big topic, as you may note today. critics of tort reform say it takes away the patients' rights, and it doesn't create better health care. earlier today president obama said medical malpractice is not the single biggest driver of medical inflation. so can tort reform help our viewers? can it help patients? >> i think that the american public has clearly indicated it's not happy with the system as it is. a common good and committee for economic development poll last fall indicated that 83% of respondents favored some type of medical liability reform. what americans really want is a system that is going to allow doctors to disclose, air, to apologize and for them to get plo prompt and fair compensation for medicare skrinjury. they know by in large the
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american health care system and american technology is really terrific but no system is free of mistakes. we need to have able to have a system that deals with the issue of adverse medical outcomes, whether they're due to negligence or not due to negligence. the figures you mentioned in terms of the cost of defensive medicine are very significant and our polls show that more than 65% of our doctors indicate that they've changed their practice because of concerns about fear of litigation and they do practice defensive medicine. >> i have a feeling he is not going to agree with all of this. to be fair, president obama before today talked about the idea of setting up panels to create for safety standards. what about the notion lawyers are benefiting financially from malpractice suits? doctors like ob-gyns are retiring early because they can't afford the liability insurance and causing stories like the one i told you. >> the truth is taking away the rights of patients who are injured through no fault of their own will do absolutely nothing to reduce the confident of health care, to provide
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insurance to the uninsured or in order to improve the quality of health care. 98,000 patients are killed every year in the united states as a result of preventable medical errors. and the focus should be not on taking their rights away but on patient safety. improves patient safety. every week in this country we have 48 wrong-sided surgeries. every year we have 2 million hospital-acquired infections. many of which could be -- the number of which could be reduced substantially with simple hand washing programs. countless medication errors year after year which could be reduced with simple changes, electronic and bar coding of medication orders. when a patient through no fault of his or her own is overdosed or given the wrong medication they shouldn't have their rights taken away. with respect to defensive medicine i have to say the proof is in the pudding.
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in states like texas which already have the most restrictive limitations on lawsuits doctors order tests at the same rate as in states with no limitations. in fact -- >> the issue there, i mean, it would be possible, as i think you're suggesting, that sometimes doctors, people order more tests because it may be lining their pocketbooks as opposed to practicing defensive medicine. we've talked about doctors may be changing medical practice. >> it's commonly stated by the trial bar that this issue is about taking away patients' rights. the thing that's never stated is that relatively few patients who have add adverse medical outcome, whether a medical add jers outcome because of negligence and other factors get the kind of representation or any kind of an outcome favorable to them in terms of compensation. why is that? the only connection between liability, a finding of liability is the severity of
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injury. so the way the tort machine works is you have to have a stream of patients with very severe injuries coming in to make the practice profitable because it's only in those kinds of cases that there's a correlation with these very large awards. this is the jackpot justice that we're all aware of. while -- patients don't want to wait four or five or six years for the tort process to have a roll of the nice and 50/50 chance of getting a recovery. 50/50 may be a good business model for the trial attorney but it's a terrible model for the patient. there are a number of alternative systems which i'd be happy to talk about which we think would align -- would give the patient the kind of compensation needed. give it to them expeditiously and also give us a more reliable system for determining good and bad medical care. >> and sounds like what you're suggesting would take some of the lawyers out of the whole thing. i need to let anthony respond quickly to that. anthony, i don't know if you
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watched the closing remarks by president obama today. he seemed opened to the idea of tort reform. >> the one thing the president has said is he's completely against the idea of caps on damages. which is the number-one restriction we hear floating day after day by the opponents of so-called tort reform. caps on damage, their very definition, only to the most serious cases and cases deemed meritorious already where liability has been found. the harvard study in 2006 showed that 97% of cases file the were, in fact, meritorious and over 80% of them involved serious medical injuries. so, you know, the numbers that dr. strunk is putting out there about not enough patients receiving compensation is no reason to take away the rights of patients who have been catastrophically injured. >> you know, again, another big topic. i wish we could continue.
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sorry to cut you off there. obviously stay tuned. lot more on this. anthony tarricone. dr. strung. i'm going to take you to my operating room, item by high priced item. can president obama's held care plan or anyone's bring those costs down? also ahead, it's not surprising eating more vegetables can help you eat longer. there are other easy things you u can do as well. this is about personal responsibility. we have lots of tips coming up.
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today's summit comes on the heels of a congressional showdown over skyrocketing health insurance rates. one major insurance company, wellpoint, is raising premiums 39% for policyholders in
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california. think about that. 39% is hard to hear for a lot of people out there. that's why many health executives continue to get pay raises. to be clear there's no proof the rate hikes has anything to do with the executive compensation, but it's also clear insurance rates are rising. so are medical bills. the price tag for a single hospital admission can make your head spin. keeping them honest, i want to show you how eye-popping bills break down. this is the hospital where i work where i'm a neurosurgeon. having an operate performed in a room like this costs $3,000 an hour. that's for starters. if you look at a hospital bill you might see an i.v. bag charge. it's an i.v. like this, about $280 just for the i.v. bag. that might strike people as very high. stapler. this is a stapler often used in surgery. something like this costs $1,200. like everything else i'm going to show you, it's used once then thrown away. keep in mind, all these prices are what you, the patient, are
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getting billed for. it's all itemized. hospitals buy these supplies at cost and then like a retailer mark it up at a higher price to charge for. you'll find examples like that really all over a room like this. sutureture. something used in every operating room in the world. this costs about $200. if you look at even devices like -- this is a needle that's used for biopsy. if there's a concern someone has a tumor they would use a needle like this. this is going to cost about $800. it's important to keep in mind if you ask the manufacturers of a device like this, why so much money? they say, it took years to develop something like this. the research and development costs are significant. also they're guaranteeing a certain level of effectiveness of this needle. something maybe you didn't know. when you look at a hospital bill it's not just the cost of the supplies. there's also administrative costs built in. there's the cost of covering people who simply don't have
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insurance or can't pay. that's built into these costs as well. finally, keep in mind what is charged and what is ultimately paid are two very different numbers. in fact if you talk to some executives of hospitals they'll say, you know, for every dollar that is actually billed sometimes collections can be as low as 4% or 4 cents on the dollar. everyone is sort of saying, it's not my fault. sort of pointing fingers like this. we did ask the hospitals directly and they said they have to hike up prices so patients who have insurance can compensate for those who are uninsured all together. hospitals insist they're not making the profits you might expect having just watched that piece. 50% of our nation's hospitals are unprofitable, operating in the red. we found the makers of many of those products you just saw, they seem to be doing okay. companies like 3-m profits were up $935. medtronics, that's the maker of pacemakers, implantable
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defibrillators, reported a profit of $831 million. gives you a little bit of perspective. still ahead, five simple things you can do right now to live a onger healthier life. best selling author dan butner is going to join us next. d finih and the amenities inside. they factor in purchase price and operating costs. fuel economy and resale value. in short, they do what you do to test its quality. now get a low mileage lease on this 2010 malibu for around $199 a month for 39 months. call for details. see your local chevy dealer. (pouring rain)
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i had a great time. me too. you know, i just got out of a bad relatio... it's okay. thanks. goodnight. goodnight. (door crashes in, alarm sounds) get out! (phone rings) hello?
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you have the power to make it happen. tonight we're going to show you five things you can do to increase your chances of living a long and longer life. joining me, dan buettner, friend of mine, bestselling author of "the blue zones,: lessons for living longer from the people who have lived the longest." great stuff. >> great to see you. >> you flew in from tokyo. i'm not sure that's the best thing for longevity. >> i ate tofu so they balance each other out. >> nature's finest food. you eat it and metabolize. i want to get to these tips. you say the first thing people can do to live a longer life is eat a big breakfast. some people may hear that and say it seems counterintuitive. most people associate a hardy breakfast with one that's not good for you. people who start off with a good breakfast weigh less, make healthier food choices throughout the day compared to others who don't. why does that work? >> first of all, we see it among all five longevity hot spots
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around the world. people start with oatmeals or nuts or beans with tortilla or stir fry with tofu. the idea is to get carb hydrates, protein and fat. if you start your day with a full stomach you consume fewer callories throughout the day because you're not snacking. >> ma did you eat today? what was your breakfast? >> i started in tokyo. i had a bento box. it had salmon in it and sort of rice por ridge and all kinds of sort of root vegetables. >> vegetables, the good antioxidants and good carbs as well. >> to boil it down, i think the best breakfast, you hear this, oatmeal with nuts and raisins and a little bit of milk or soy milk. >> i'm going to live forever. that's what i had this morning. the second thing on your list, sticking on the diet theme, is eating lots of vegetables.
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less meat, more leafy greens. super foods, right? >> i actually take that from the -- the longest lived people in the world eat mostly a plant-based diet. i think the way to think about it is try to think about trying to cut as much meat out of your diet as possible. we know people eat especially process processed meats have higher levels of cancer, heart disease. cut meat to two times a week. a portion the size of a deck of cards you have it about right. beans we know are in every longevity diet. interestingly people who eat nuts four times a week, about two ounces at a time, live an extra two years. that's an easy takeaway. >> the next one you say is having sex. now, we're not talking about progeny here. we're talking about longevity. you visited communities around the world where there seems to be a link between regular sex and longevity. is that scientifically proven? >> well, no. let me -- we did a research expedition in greece and found a group of men who had been
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studied by researchers for 45 years, they're 90 years old and they have eaten the mediterranean diet the whole time and 70% of them report having regular sex. we don't know if the sex made them live long or they lived long to have sex. we do know prregular sex is associated with lower rates of depression. higher rates of sociability. we are here for one purpose. that is to procreate. it only makes sense that the more we do it the more we'll be favored by revolution. >> darwin said once you procreate your darwinian has expired. i won't let you respond to that one. >> you know where i'll go. good to see you, sanjay. >> thank you. dan buettner. next on 360, face to face. george w. bush, dick cheney meet for the first time since leaving office. hunt's flashsteams every tomato to keep that backyard garden fresh taste.
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the health care summit was big news today but wasn't the only stories. let's get caught up on today's other headlines. jessica yellin back again. >> charles rangel, the chairman of the house ways and means key says he will be admonished
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tomorrow by the house ethics committee for accepting caribbean trips from a corporation, he says the ethics committee approved the trips. george w. bush and dick cheney met today for the first time since last year's inauguration. the former president visited the home of his former vice president outside washington where cheney is recuperating from the mild heart attack he had. in the thick of toyota's recall controversy akio toyoda visited his largest manufacturing plan. he told workers on the georgetown, kentucky, assembly line the company was on a cross roads and needs to, quote, rethink everything. that singer, wayne newton, the one and only rebuffed the officers who brought moving vans to his 38 acre ranch. they were trying to collect on a debt for a breached contract. but newton's home which you can
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see is protected by a big gate was put up by collateral for a loan and that house could be at risk, sanjay, it's weak but i have to say -- >> where does all the money go? you hear the story so much. celebrities clearly made a lot of money and stories like this. >> imagine they're paying their lawyers even more than they'd have to pay the court to just get it over with. >> this dovetails into our show today. the lawyers, the doctors -- >> money, the logic. >> for tonight's "shot." do you know the shot? >> i'm not sure. >> it's not a "shot." it's a shout. a shout-out to you, jessica. >> oh my gosh. >> happy birthday. >> sanjay. >> you worked on your birthday. that is such diligence. amazing. >> that's so nice. >> to celebrate the occasion we wanted to give you a carrot cake. >> after your whole segment on what to eat that's healthy, am i allowed to eat this? it's so pretty. >> funny you should ask. as a doctor after spending the
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last hour talking about health care i have bad news for you. a slice of -- go ahead and have a slice. you're allowed to have the slice there. >> how do i have a slice? >> there's no knife? >> can i use a pen. >> you, you can. >> wait. i want to blow out the candles. i got it. >> congratulations. >> how many calories? >> 500. >> oh. >> 50 grams of fat. you know what, you deserve it and you look good. jessica, can you see me? >> i can see you. >> got to point out something. this is what i got. carrots. just carrots. >> you're eating the carrots, you're giving me the cake. >> you get the cake. i got the carrots. 30 calories here. no fat. enjoy that cake but don't eat the whole thing. >> just tonight. thank you. thank you, so sweet. >> happy birthday, jessica. a lot more ahead at the top of the hour for sure. join me saturdays and sunday at 7:30 for my own program "sanjay gupta md. "what's up with that title?
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good evening. i'm sanjay gupta in for anderson tonight. you can look at what happened in washington, today, as a bunch of politicians simply arguing. or you might reach into your wallet and pull out one of these. because at the end of the day this health insurance card is really what today was all about.
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getting a card like this to 31 million americans who don't have one making it more affordable for the rest who do, keeping insurance companies accountable and making sure we all don't go broke in the process. today president obama brought democrats and republicans together in another last-ditch attempt in hammering out differences. all day back and forth. to be honest, all of it wasn't must-see tv. tonight we're going to try triage, to borrow a medical term. we watched all of it so you don't have to. here's ed henry on the moments that counted. >> reporter: the stakes couldn't be higher. he's betting his presidency on getting a health reform deal. this was his last-ditch attempt to save it. >> what i'm hoping to accomplish today is for everybody to focus not just on where we differ but focus on where we agree. >> reporter: a tall order when you throw dozens of members of congress into a made-for-tv
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drama at the historic blair house. >> can i just finish, please? >> reporter: the president's 2008 rival, republican john mccain, quickly tweaked him over campaign promises. >> eight times you said that negotiations on health care reform would be conducted with the c-span cameras. i'm glad more than a year later that they are here. unfortunately this product was not produced in that fashion. it was produced behind closed doors. it was produced with unsavory, i say that with respect, deal-making. >> reporter: the president defended the transparency of the talks and gave as good as he got. >> let me just make this point, john. because we're not campaigning anymore. the election's over. >> i'm reminded of that every day. >> yeah. >> reporter: even the sharp exchanges were civil. if a bit jaded. each party hammering familiar talking points. >> the health insurance industry
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is the shark that swims just below the water. and you don't see that shark until you feel the teeth of that shark. >> regulate all this? should four people in washington decide exactly how this works and what you can and cannot buy? >> reporter: after about six hours republicans believe they made their case to the american people, that the president's plan is simply too costly. >> it means for millions of americans premiums will go up. when people pay those new taxes premiums will go up and also go up because of the government mandates. >> reporter: democrats believe the president got the better of the republicans. >> so lamar, when you mentioned earlier you said that premiums go up, that's just not the case according to the congressional budget office. >> mr. president, if you're going to contradict me i ought to have a chance to -- >> no, no, no, no.
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this is an example of where we have to get our facts straight. >> reporter: a cnn fact check gives the edge to the president. the cbo found his plan would lower premiums for millions of americans. and those facing hikes would get better coverage. >> i tell you, ed, sort of listening there, both sides really claiming victory. we understand you have more reporting that moves the ball a little further? >> reporter: it shows how the democrats are more nervous than letting on publicly. what i'm picking up from democrats close to the white house they've started warning the president and top advisers if they don't get this health care deal done by late march when congress is going away for the easter recess they're going to move on when they come back in april and go back to jobs and the economy, other things the president's been talking about. what that tells us is the president has a narrow window. basically from the summit meeting that ended today he had one month until the end of march to really move the ball forward. it shows you the clock is ticking. as much as they were trying to project confidence, behind the
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scenes is what i'm picking up is democrats are nervous about trying to get this through quickly in the next month. it's a tall order for sure. >> you definitely felt that sense of urgency today for sure. ed henry, thanks so much. let's dig deeper with senior political analyst david gergen on the clinton white house staff the last time health care reform was tried. dr. bernadine healy. former head of the national institutes of health. health editor for "u.s. news and world report." with us dr. sandeep jauhar, intern. thank you for joining us. fascinating day. david, you know, it was interesting. right off the top it seemed like the president took away this idea people have been tossing around for some time maybe the whole thing should start all over again. you talked to david axelrod about that as well earlier tonight. david, where does this go from here? how important was this day? >> i think it was an extremely good day for american politics. the people of the country had a chance to listen to what i thought was a robust exchange over the course of the day. we'll come back to the politics. i think, sanjay, where this
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winds up is that any idea of a grand bargain or compromise between the republicans and democrats is now gone. the republicans want the president and the democrats to start off. they're not going to do that. the democrats are asking republicans, give us some of your amendments, maybe we'll tack them on to our bill. the republicans are not going to do that. that's gone. what is now left is whether the president and the democrats are going to use this so-called process of reconciliation to try to pass a comprehensive bill. at this point they do not appear to have the votes to do that, but they'll try to do that over the coming month. if they feel they can't do that, that they don't have the votes, then they may revert to plan "b." a watered down version which as the "wall street journal" reported today and cnn has been confirming would involve extending health insurance to about 15 million americans instead of 30 million americans. even that could be a heavy lift. >> that's sort of a field goal
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instead of a touchdown if they're on the 99 yard line as they've been talking about. later i'm going to ask you if this should pass and can it pass. let me two to dr. healy. you heard ed henry's report. just a little bit ago. the nonpartisan congressional budget office says the president's plan would lower premiums for millions of americans and those facing hikes would actually get better coverage. i mean, you have written about this extensively. what is wrong with that? >> i think what's wrong with it, define what better coverage is. sure you get a more comprehensive, more detailed plan, but maybe you're a 30-year-old person who could get coverage for a thousand dollars with a catastrophic plan and with primary care, inexpensive primary care visits and you don't want the $5,000 plan. you don't want to pay that extra few thousand dollars to have that bigger plan. as a matter of fact you can't afford it and don't want to go on the government dole. just give me my thousand-dollar plan. that is the fundamental problem.
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the fact is premiums will go up and they will go up on people who don't necessarily need that expensive policy. and what this is showing is that the individual, the patient, has been left out of this whole discussion. i listen to the whole thing. where is the patient? we've heard lots of politicians. we hear lawyers, we hear everything else. where is the patient's consideration? >> we're going to talk about that a lot. before i get to dr. jauhar, should be everybody have insurance, dr. healy? should they have insurance, should it be mandated? >> i think everybody should have insurance that suits them individually at their stage in life and considering their personal needs. i think for young people a catastrophic policy in which they save money for the future, they have a health savings account, that makes a lot of sense. when you're older something different is better and a more expensive policy is more important. the fact that the president almost scorned it, he called the catastrophic policy acme insurance, says he has a very
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rigid notion there is one-size-fits-all policy for every american. i think that's wrong. it made me think, boy, we have to start over. >> i know dr. jauhar has something to say about this. a lot of the president's critics say, sandeep, spending nearly a trillion dollars on health care reform is not the way to spend money, on a fundamental level would make the federal government more bloated. what's the federal government's role here? what about what dr. healy said? >> well, i mean, if you listen to the estimates from the white house their plan will cut the budget deficit by about $100 billion over 10 years. so, you know, we're talking about a system that occupies 1/6 of our economy. it is by all accounts tremendously wasteful and it's not working for more than 50 million americans. so something has to be done to correct the inequities and the waste. and the fact is, you know, i keep hearing that the system -- the plan is so revolutionary.
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the fact is it builds on what we already have. if you compare the reform measures that are being proposed and with what was done in western europe post-world war ii, i mean, these are fairly incremental measures we're talking about. >> we're going to drill down the specific details. to dr. healy's point, we're going to talk about what this means to you folks. let us know what you think. the live chat is up and running. ac360.com. send your questions and comments to me on twitter at sanjay gupta cnn. up next, david gergen just mentioned it. the way president obama might try to push a reform bill through congress. called reconciliation. do you know what it really means and why everyone is really yelling about it? stick around. later, what's with that big stack of paper? the body language. all the catchphrases that were used today. we're going to translate this into plain english. all the stagecraft tonight, all of it on "360." okay, class, our special guest is here -- ellen page.
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and now i know without enough, our bodies can steal it from our bones. only caltrate delivers 1200 mg of calcium and 800 iu of vitamin d, in just two tablets. share some tlc. tender loving caltrate, president obama wrapped up the meeting today with a request and a warning as well. he asked all sides to search for common ground. also warned that time is running short.
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before he starts to think about other measures to pass a bill. you might have heard about this. one possible strategy or at least heard democrats and republicans arguing about it. the "it" in question is rem ciguation. jessica yellin is here to explain how it all works. >> let's first start with basic civics. in the u.s. senate all it takes it 41 votes to stop a bill in its tracks. so even though democrats have a big majority it's not big enough. republicans have enough votes to block health care. all those red votes is enough. there is a way around this and it's called reconciliation. big word, simple concept. it's basically a rule that says in some circumstances you can pass a bill the way most of us probably think the senate works, with a simple majority. just 51 votes. so democrats, now they're threatening to use reconciliation to pass health care and that has everyone fighting. that's because you're supposed to use reconciliation in only limited circumstances.
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on budget bills. you know, taxing and spending, stuff that's just too crucial to hold up. republicans say it would be an outrageous violation of the rules to use it to pass health care that just doesn't apply. democrats they say stop whining, get onboard or get ready for reconciliation. sanjay? >> so can they use reconciliation to pass a health care bill? i mean, is that even on the table? >> what's the bottom line? the answer is yes, they can. it's been used on health care measures plenty of times. you know the law that helps you keep your health care after you leave a job, cobra? that was passed using reconciliation. in fact, the "r" in cobra stands for reconciliation. the children's health insurance program known as schip extended health coverage to millions of kids. also passed by reconciliation. medicare has been amend many times using reconciliation. there is precedent for using it to pass health care. sanjay? >> this is obviously a big deal. much broader potentially.
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jessica, back with you later in the show. back with our panel now. digging deeper with senior political editor david bergen. bernadine healy. dr. sanjeep jauhar. welcome back. the president seems to be in a tight spot. if he doesn't get something passed this year his base is going to be furious. ed henry just talked about that. if he pushes it through via reconciliation republicans are going to cry foul. let me ask you this. first of all, can it happen? second of all, should it happen? based on everything that you've known and seen? >> yes, i think it can happen. he's going to have to scramble to get the votes to move this bill through the senate and the house with the reconciliation process. so it can happen. the question, i think, sanjay, is it wise to move forward in that way? it's going to -- clearly the republicans are going to call foul and say it's yet another deal by the democrats but there's also this question, is it wise to pass a bill, major landmark social legislation with only one party voting for it and the other party completely opposed?
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we haven't seen that in this country stretching back to the new deal. is it wise to pass major social legislation when the polls show on a consistent basis that the public is basically, you know, 15 points against it? and we haven't seen that either. so today's -- i want to come back to the politics of today. what the democrats hope to do is use this as the president did in baltimore when he met with the house republicans, use this as an opportunity for the president to show his mastery and give momentum to health care. the president deserves credit for having this session. i thought he was gracious throughout it. he was fair minded. he made his points very well. the surprise was how forceful and robust the republicans were in responding to that. from my point of view, intellectually the republicans had one of the best days they've had in years. they showcased a group of senators and congressmen, especially younger congressmen who were very interesting and i think more than held their own with the president. i think it came out to be a draw.
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i don't think the president probably got the momentum he hoped in order to get over this reconciliation mountain. >> did he get it with the public, do you think, if not in the room? >> we'll have to wait and see. i may have totally misjudged this. my sense is the arguments were at least evenly balanced on both sides and i doubt it moved the needle in the way on public opinion in the way the white house had really hoped. it certainly didn't turn out to be a trap for republicans. they came ready to play this time. >> yeah. it was a very smart discussion. no question. i watched all of it. dr. healy, republicans, you've heard this. they want to start from scratch. basically anything short of that is unacceptable. deal breaker. is that a realistic approach? when you're the minority party? as you know, you're a doctor. a lot of people waiting for this to happen. people have been waiting. they've been suffering without health care insurance, as you know. you talked about that. >> starting from scratch, what they're really saying, starring with a clean slate, they have a
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lot of building blocks, they have a lot of ideas. what are the ones that belong in this bill? you and i have both read this 2,700-page bill and it's filled with a lot of nonsense and a lot of things that don't focus on the two issues. we must bring down the cost. we have a cost crisis. we must bring it down. number two, we have to cover all americans in a very reasonable and healthy way. now, it's not clear that you need 2,700 pages to get that accomplished and there is so much noise in the bill that it is not clear that it is going to happen. and, in fact, when i heard today, i said, wait a minute. this sounds like they're just starting the process, not ending it. most importantly i couldn't figure out what dollar they were going to save in that whole discussion on cost saving. they weren't saving money at all except maybe the fbi would come in and get a few crooks. >> to be fair the republican plan as it was outlined didn't seem to offer the access you've been talking about as well. 3 million potentially more americans. we'll talk about that in a second. dr. jauhar, you say the president's plan doesn't go far
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enough. you support it but you wish there was a public option. which isn't on the table, as you heard today. you heard david gergen talk about potentially a plan "b," a skinny plan as it's being called. this had so much momentum last year, partly into the summer. what happened? >> i would like to see a public option. like many americans and many doctors i'd like to see the private insurance companies held accountable for some of their excessive behavior. i think that more competition in the marketplace is a good thing. i would like to see the plan go forward on several fronts where it hasn't. i would like to see malpractice reform. doctors do undoubtedly practice defensive medicine because the fear of lawsuits. i would like to see universal health care coverage. this plan doesn't achieve that. the fact is the republican plan doesn't expand access to health care as much as the obama plan does. and i would like to see the cost curve bent. i think the obama plan does that
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credibly. i don't see the republican plan doing that as effectively. >> we could talk all day about this. obviously some of the things you're talking about simply aren't going to happen as we know now, sandeep. great discussion. hope to continue it. david gergen, drchl healy, dr. jauhar, thanks so much. just if the mere invitation wasn't enough to bring lawmakers to the table, they served lunch. nutritious spread of chicken, grilled salmon, selection of spinach, and seasonal veggies. also salads, grilled turkey, grilled tenderloin. when asked what he had, president obama said he had chicken. good thing he didn't have a cheeseburger. it was the health summit, after all. how each side treated the room at blair house like a stage and why. tom foreman's going to break it down for us. plus, new video of the moments leading up to this deadly killer whale attack. remarkable, scary. all of in when "ac 360" continues. (vet) i love working with animals, but my allergies put me in a fog.
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one thing you can say for sure is today's health care summit involved a large dose of showmanship, even stagecraft so to speak. on both sides. tom foreman reports. >> eefsh, please have a seat. >> reporter: from the opening curtain the president made it clear what he did not want as director of the show. >> i hope that this isn't political theater, where we're just playing to the cameras and criticizing each other. >> reporter: but on both sides of the stage the players had other ideas. so act one started with a turf war over speaking time. republicans calling foul.
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>> to this point the republicans have used 247 minutes, the democrats 52 minutes. let's try to have as much balance as we can. >> reporter: as political stagecraft that served two purposes. it implied democrats were being unfair and put the president on the defensive. >> i don't think it's quite right. i'm just going back and forth here, mitch. >> reporter: act two: the casting. the president time and again referred to everyone in the room by first name. >> thank you, george. >> reporter: it looked friendly, but protocol demanded they still call him mr. president. giving him the upper hand even when they tried to call him out. >> could i just say, mr. president, the american people care about what we did and how we did it. >> we can have a debate about process or have a debate about how we're actually going to help the american people at this point. >> reporter: act three: the props. it was no accident a huge copy of the health care bill dominated the table on the republican side.
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that's republican whip eric cantor peeking over it. it was so his party could remind voters of how big, complicated and expensive it is. >> the senate budget committee chairman said this is a ponzi scheme that would make bernie madoff proud. >> reporter: and act four: the monologues. >> certain things are facts. >> why can't we come to an agreement? >> what we all agree on. >> we want you to succeed. >> reporter: over and over, despite a fair amount of meaningful discussion, lawmakers broke into speeches implying the facts supported them, that the other side was being unreasonable and if no agreement comes it will be the opposition's fault. in the end there were no bows, only exits, and in d.c. a true oddity of political theater. the president, normally the first to depart, was the last to leave. >> you guys are still here? >> reporter: tom foreman, cnn. >> that was a pretty big stack of papers.
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cantor looked like he was having a hard time looking over them. tom foreman, thanks so much. coming up, out of control health care costs. it's been the buzz word the entire day today. i'm going to take you into my operating room and show you how a typical hospital bill breaks down. first, the latest on other important stories. jessica yellin joins us with a "360 bulletin." thanks, sanjay. we start out with breaking news from afghanistan. two explosions have rocked kabul. the blasts erupted near the landmark hotel not far from several government buildings and u.n. offices. we'll be following this story closely as it develops. that trainer killed by a whale at seaworld yesterday died from multiple traumatic injuries and drowning. that's the verdict of the county medical examiner in orange county, florida, in the death of 40-year-old dawn brandcheau. this is video now shot by a spectator just minutes before the attack. you can see brandcheau feeding the 12,000 pound killer whale named tilikum. the body of actor andrew koenig missing since february
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14th was discovered by friends today in vancouver stanley park. the 41-year-old koenig co-starred on the sitcom "growing pains" and had a history of depression. his father confirmed his son committed suicide. well, sarah palin will headline the national rifle association's annual meeting this may in charlotte, north carolina. the nra's executive director described the former vice presidential candidate as quote, an outdoorsman, hunter and steadfast supporter of our second-amendment freedom. check out this video. amazing footage of an avalanche as it happens. that's a slovakian snowboarder wearing a camera on his goggles. he was on a run in the mountains when the snow began to crumble around him. check that out. just terrifying. unbelievable. lucky, for us and for him, he survived and also so did the camera with that footage. unbelievable. >> that is truly -- have you ever been snowboarding before? >> i'm terrified of snowboarding for exactly that reason.
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have you? >> i have been. of course, never been through anything like that. that is just remarkable. terrific obviously he survived. that avalanche looked like it happened really fast and very frightening. >> scary. scary. >> yeah. jessica, thanks. see you later on the show. up next, though, how big a role to medical mistakes, lawyers and malpractice insurance, how big of a role does all of it play in the cost of health care? republicans say a lot. we're going to run the numbers and put their claim to the test. i'm going to take you on a tour of my own operating room item by very expensive item. a regular moment can become romantic. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis. with two clinically proven dosing options, you can choose the moment that's right for you and your partner. 36-hour cialis and cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. >> tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. >> don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain,
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we're back. let's get to another hot button issue when it comes to fixing health care. what to do about doctors who make mistakes and whether patients suing doctors drives up the confident cost of medical care. we've heard stories like this. dramatic moments on this particular subject today. >> there's a great hospital i will not name. at this hospital a woman went in for a simple removal of a mole
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from her face and under general anesthesia the oxygen caught fire, burning her face. she went through repeated surgeries, scars and deformity. her life will never be the same and you are saying that this innocent woman is only entitled to $250,000 in pain and suffering? i don't think it's fair. >> you know, what he's talking about is republican call for caps. what patients can collect especially when it comes to punitive damages. big payouts to punish mistakes and deter future mistakes. the question is, what do the facts say? we've been digging into this a bit. according to an extended study by the vanderbilt law review, on average 1 million people claim some sort of injury because of medical malpractice any given year. of those 1 million people around 85,000 filed a lawsuit. of the 85,000 lawsuits, only a fraction got any type of payout. there are big money high-profile cases like the $40 million to a family in massachusetts to a baby born with severe brain damage. that's far from typical. the real question is, do
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malpractice lawsuits have a major impact on overall health care costs? the answer seems to be no. according to the congressional budget office. malpractice lawsuits, payouts account for roughly 2% of all health care costs. here's where these costs do add up. the fear of being sued is pushing more and more doctors to practice defensive medicine. recent poll found nine out of ten doctors say they order tests not because a patient needed them but to avoid getting sued. even worse some physicians avoid complex operations or complex medical problems for the same reason. defensive medicine. it's where things really start to add up. for you, the patient. that's why we're talking about it. this constant concern about being sued can add up to $850 billion a year according to a recent gallup survey. finally there's this -- in some cases the cost of medical malpractice insurance has gotten so high doctors are forced to stop practicing medicine all together and that's making it hard for you to find a doctor. in mississippi, for example, certain areas where women in
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their last trimester of pregnancy may have to temporarily live 100 miles away from home just so they can receive proper care from an obstetrician because there wasn't an obstetrician closer to home. anthony tarricone, president of the american association of gestus. largest trial bar in the united states. represented plaintiffs. albert strung, american college of obstetricians and gynecology, used to be a practicing lawyer as well. dr. strunk, dr. tarricone, thanking you for joining us. this is a fascinating topic. big topic, as you may note today. critics of tort reform say it takes away the patients' rights, and it doesn't create better health care. earlier today president obama said medical malpractice is not the single biggest driver of medical inflation. so can tort reform help our viewers? can it help patients? >> i think that the american public has clearly indicated
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it's not happy with the system as it is. a common good and committee for economic development poll last fall indicated that 83% of respondents favored some type of medical liability reform. what americans really want is a system that is going to allow doctors to disclose, air, to apologize and for them to get prompt and fair compensation for medical injury. they know by in large the american health care system and american technology is really terrific but no system is free of mistakes. we need to be able to have a system that deals with the issue of adverse medical outcomes, whether they're due to negligence or not due to negligence. the figures you mentioned in terms of the cost of defensive medicine are very significant and our polls show that more than 65% of our doctors indicate that they've changed their practice because of concerns about fear of litigation and
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they do practice defensive medicine. >> i have a feeler mr. tarricone is not going to agree with all of this. to be fair, president obama before today talked about the idea of setting up panels to create for safety standards. what about the notion lawyers are benefiting financially from malpractice suits? doctors like ob-gyns are retiring early because they can't afford the liability insurance and causing stories like the one i told you. >> the truth is taking away the rights of patients who are injured through no fault of their own will do absolutely nothing to reduce the cost of health care, to provide insurance to the uninsured or in order to improve the quality of health care. 98,000 patients are killed every year in the united states as a result of preventable medical errors. and the focus should be not on taking their rights away but on patient safety. improving patient safety. every week in this country we have 48 wrong-sided surgeries. every year we have 2 million
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hospital-acquired infections. many of which could be -- the number of which could be reduced substantially with simple hand washing programs. countless medication errors year after year which could be reduced with simple changes, electronic and bar coding of medication orders. when a patient through no fault of his or her own is overdosed or given the wrong medication they shouldn't have their rights taken away. with respect to defensive medicine i have to say the proof is in the pudding. in states like texas which already have the most restrictive limitations on lawsuits doctors order tests at the same rate as in states with no limitations. in fact -- >> the issue there, i mean, it would be possible, as i think you're suggesting, that sometimes doctors, people order more tests because it may be lining their pocketbooks as opposed to practicing defensive medicine. let me give dr. strunk a chance
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to respond here. we've talked about doctors may be changing medical practice. what about what mr. tarricone is saying? >> it's commonly stated by the trial bar that this issue is about taking away patients' rights. the thing that's never stated is that relatively few patients who have add adverse medical outcome, whether a medical adverse outcome because of negligence or because of other factors actually get the kind of representation or any kind of an outcome that is favorable to them in terms of compensation. why is that? the only connection between liability, a finding of liability is the severity of injury. so the way the tort machine works is you have to have a stream of patients with very severe injuries coming in to make the practice profitable because it's only in those kinds of cases that there's a correlation with these very large awards. this is the jackpot justice that we're all aware of. while -- patients don't want to wait four or five or six years for the tort process to have a
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roll of the dice and 50/50 chance of getting a recovery. 50/50 may be a good business model for the trial attorney but it's a terrible model for the patient. there are a number of alternative systems which i'd be happy to talk about which we think would align -- would give the patient the kind of compensation needed. give it to them expeditiously and also give us a more reliable system for determining good and bad medical care. >> and sounds like what you're suggesting would take some of the lawyers out of the whole thing. i need to let anthony respond quickly to that. anthony, i don't know if you watched the closing remarks by president obama today. he seemed opened to the idea of tort reform. at least hr open than i've heard him speak in some time. >> the one thing the president has said is he's completely against the idea of caps on damages. which is the number-one restriction we hear floating day after day by the proponents of so-called tort reform. caps on damage, their very definition, only to the most serious cases and cases deemed
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meritorious already where liability has been found. the harvard study in 2006 showed that 97% of cases filed were, in fact, meritorious and over 80% of them involved serious medical injuries. so, you know, the numbers that dr. strunk is putting out there about not enough patients receiving compensation is no reason to take away the rights of patients who have been catastrophically injured. >> you know, again, another big topic. i wish we could continue. dr. strunk, sorry to cut you off there. obviously stay tuned. lot more on this. anthony tarricone. dr. strunk. thanks so much. i'm going to take you to my operating room, item by high priced item. i'll explain it to you. can president obama's held care plan or anyone's bring those costs down? we're going to keep them honest. also ahead, it's not surprising eating more vegetables can help you live longer. there are other easy things you can do as well. this is about personal responsibility. we have lots of tips coming up.
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today's summit comes on the heels of a congressional showdown over skyrocketing health insurance rates. you've probably heard some of these stories. one major insurance company, wellpoint, is raising premiums 39% for policyholders in california. think about that. 39% is hard to hear for a lot of
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people out there. that's why many health executives continue to get pay raises. to be clear there's no proof the rate hikes has anything to do with the executive compensation, but it's also clear insurance rates are rising. so are medical bills. the price tag for a single hospital admission can make your head spin. keeping them honest, i want to show you how eye-popping bills break down. this is the hospital where i work where i'm a neurosurgeon. having an operate performed in a room like this costs $3,000 an hour. that's for starters. come on in. give you a couple of quick examples -- if you look at a hospital bill you might see an i.v. bag charge. it's an i.v. like this, about $280 just for the i.v. bag. that might strike people as very high. stapler. this is a stapler often used in surgery. something like this costs $1,200. like everything else i'm going to show you, it's used once then thrown away. keep in mind, all these prices are what you, the patient, are getting billed for. it's all itemized.
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hospitals buy these supplies at cost and then like a retailer mark it up at a higher price to charge for. you'll find examples like that really all over a room like this. suture. something used in every operating room in the world. this type of suture over here costs about $200. if you look at even devices like -- this is a needle that's used for biopsy. if there's a concern someone has a tumor they would use a needle like this. this is going to cost about $800. it's important to keep in mind if you ask the manufacturers of a device like this, why so much money? they say, it took years to develop something like this. the research and development costs are significant. also they're guaranteeing a certain level of effectiveness of this needle. that costs money as well. something maybe you didn't know. when you look at a hospital bill it's not just the cost of the supplies. there's also administrative costs built in. there's the cost of covering people who simply don't have insurance or can't pay. that's built into these costs as well. finally, keep in mind what is
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charged and what is ultimately paid are two very different numbers. in fact if you talk to some executives of hospitals they'll say, you know, for every dollar that is actually billed sometimes collections can be as low as 4% or 4 cents on the dollar. that right there is sort of the problem with health care. everyone is sort of saying, it's not my fault. sort of pointing fingers like this. we did ask the hospitals directly and they said they have to hike up prices so patients who have insurance can pay extra to help compensate for payers who pay less or are uninsured all together. hospitals insist they're not making the profits you might expect having just watched that piece. we decided to check this all out. 50% of our nation's hospitals are unprofitable, operating in the red. we found the makers of many of those products you just saw, they seem to be doing okay. last quarter companies like 3-m which makes everything from adhesives to tet scopes, profits up $935. medtronics, that's the maker of pacemakers, implantable
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defibrillators, reported a profit of $831 million. gives you a little bit of perspective. still ahead, five simple things you can do right now to live a longer healthier life. bestselling author dan buettner is going to join us. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the cadillac cts sport sedan. one of car & driver's 10 best for the third year in a row. ♪ and now, cadillac announces the new luxury collection lease. i'm from fayetteville, north carolina, ...and i smoked for 29 years. the one thing about smoking - is it dominates your life, and it dominated mine. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. it was very interesting that you could smoke on the first week. (announcer) chantix is a non-nicotine pill. in studies, 44% of chantix users were quit
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during weeks 9 to 12 of treatment, compared to 18% on sugar pill. it is proven to reduce the urge to smoke. i did have an unopen pack of cigarettes in my purse and i said, "what the heck, i don't need these..." ...i said, you know, "bye, i don't need you anymore, you're not my crutch, i don't need a crutch." (announcer) talk to your doctor about chantix and a support plan that's right for you. some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice agitation, hostility, depression or changes in behavior, thinking or mood that are not typical for you, or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. talk to your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which can get worse while taking chantix. some people can have allergic or serious skin reactions to chantix, some of which can be life threatening. if you notice swelling of face, mouth, throat or a rash stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away. tell your doctor which medicines you are taking as they may work differently when you quit smoking.
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chantix dosing may be different if you have kidney problems. the most common side effect is nausea. patients also reported trouble sleeping and vivid, unusual or strange dreams. until you know how chantix may affect you, use caution when driving or operating machinery. chantix should not be taken with other quit smoking products. with the chantix and with the support system, it worked. it worked for me. (announcer) talk to your doctor to find out if prescription chantix is right for you.
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we're talking a lot tonight about health care and the high coast of it. we want to talk about personal responsibility. the hope for living a longer and healthier life. you have the power to make it happen right now. tonight we'll show you five things to do to increase krur chances of living a long and longer life. joining me is dan but ner, who is a best selling offer of the blue zones, lessons for living longer from the people who have lived the longest. great stuff. dan, great to see you. you look well. you just flew from from tokyo. thank you for joining us. >> but i ate tofu, so they balance each other out. >> you eat it and immediately metabolize it. good for you.
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>> i want to get to these tips. most associate a hearty breakfast with one that's good for you, but studies show people that start off with a big meal make food choices throughout the day compared to those that don't. what's going on there. why does that work? >> first of all, we see it among all five longevity hotspots around the world. they start with oatmeal with nuts or beans with tortilla or stir fry with tofu. the idea is to get complex carbohydrates and proteins and fat. if you start with a full stomach, research shows you consume fewer calories throughout the day because urnt snacking as compared to people who start their day with a breakfast bar. >> what did you eat today? what was your breakfast? >> i started in tokyo, so i had a bento box, and it had salmon and rice poor ridge and root
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vegetables. >> you got vegetables and good antioxidants and good carbs as well. i think the best breakfasts, oatmeal with nuts and raisins and a little bit of milk or soy milk. you cannot go wrong. >> i'm going to live forever. that's what i had this morning. perfect. the second thing on your list is eating lots of vegetables. more beans and nuts you say. super foods, right? >> right. the longest living people in the world mostly have a plant-based diet, and the way to think about it is to think about trying to cut as much meat out of your die he yet as possible. we know that people eat especially processed meets have higher levels of cancer and heart disease. so if you can cut meat to two times a week, a portion about the size of a deck of a cards, you can have it about right. beans, we know, are in every longevity indict yets and people who eat nuts four times a week about, two ounces a time live an
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extra two years. that's an easy take away. >> the next one you say is having sex. we're not talking about longevity here. you visited communities around the world where there's a link he between regular sex and longevity. is that scientifically proven? >> well, no. let me -- we did a research expedition in greece, and we found a group of men who had been studied by researchers for 45 years that are 90 years old and eaten the mediterranean diet the whole time. 70% of them report having regular sex. now, we don't know if the sex made them live long or they lived long to have sex, but we know that regular sex is associated with lower rates of depression, higher rates of socialability, higher rates of intimate see. we're here for one purpose, and that's to pro create. it makes sense the more we do it the more favored by evolution.
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>> darwin said once you pro-create your darwinian warrant has expired. we'll pick that up another time. get some sleep, all right? >> you know where i'll good. >> good to see you, sanjay. >> you, too. face to face, george w. bush and dick cheney meet for the first time since leaving office. we have all the details coming up. [ female announcer ] breathe right asks... [ woman ] could i ask you to strip on the street? yeah. strip? ok. absolutely! where's the music? ♪ i have a lot of stuffiness at night. allergies. i was just diagnosed with a deviated septum. here's how it works... [ female announcer ] nasal congestion limits air flow but breathe right's patented reflex action gently lifts open nasal passages to help you get more air. oh, yeah. yeah, you're right. i'm getting more air. oh, wow! that's pretty nice. [ woman ] if your nose could talk right now, what do you think it would say? i think it's saying, "i'm open for business!" [ female announcer ] for 2 free samples, go to breatheright.com and strip for free.
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the health care summit was big news today. let's get caught up on headlines. jessica yellen. >> charles wrangell is the chairman of the house ways and means committee, and he says he will be admonished tomorrow by the house ethics committee by accepting caribbean trips from a corporation. that's a violation of house rules. they say the ethics committee approved the trips.
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george w. bush and dick cheney met today for the first time since last year's inaugurati inauguration. he visited the home of the former vice president outside washington where cheney is recuperating from the mild heart attack he had. in the thick of toyota's recall controversy the chief executive visited his company's largest north american manufacturing plants. toyota told workers on the georgetown, kentucky assembly line the company chs at a cross roads and needs to, quote, rethink everything about our operations. get this one? the man known as mr. las vegas won a standoff with nevada deputies at least for now. that singer wayne newton, he rebuffed the officers who brought moving vans to his 38-acre ranch. they were trying to collect on a debt for a breached contract, but newton home which is protected by a big gate was put up by collateral for a loan and that house could be at risk. sanjay, it's weak, but i have to say, no one is says

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