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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 24, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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according to the schedule. we will carry that live. last night, jim lehrer interviewed president barack obama. >> we have the strongest health care reforms we have ever seen in this bill. the whole argument about a patient's bill of rights in the 1990's -- this is patient's bill of rights on steroids. it reduces the deficit. .
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c-span >> i think that would have helped. >> the message from the new york stalt young democrats. they write, they are pleased they will pass the healthcare reform so we can all have coverage. >> and a writing set to be on a slate of provisions set to kick in six months. those changes wouldn't fafkt people to who buy insurance on their own. later on, the most powerful insurance markets don't take affect until 2014. and insurance companies plan to get all healthy people into the system before. starting that, insurers would no
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longer be able to charge older people more than three times as much for insurance. democrats thinking that what we have done so will blow over, they are very wrong. >> anthony on the phone, you are opposed to the bill. >> very much so. >> tell us why. >> i'm 68 years old. i worked until i was 65, for my own benefit, really. then i retired. last year, i acquired cancer. what bothers me is i'm still receiving treatments and everything. i don't know if i'm go pg to be
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able to condition with treatment was this bill. >> anthony, does medicare cover everything for you? >> no. i have blue cross, blue shei sheild ppo. if it wasn't for that, i'd really be in the sewer. host: greg in louisiana. you support the bill. caller: i do. this bill is like a fruit
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basket. this bill will require insurance companies not to put a cap on his coverage. this healthcare bill since i've been working in this work force 36 years of age. all i've been seeing is my insurance coverage going up and up and up. doing nothing is not an option. it's proven that. insurance companies are fixing prices. we haven't passed an insurance reform in 64 years. the prices are high. this bill could be fixed upon, added on all right. thank you. the senate has started the vote. let's watch a little bit.
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>> mr. burris? >> iowa. >> mr. bird. >> mr. bird? >> iowa. mr. casy, aye. mr. chambliss, no. mr. coburn.
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mrs. collins? no. mr. conrad, aye. mr. corker? no. mr. connin, no. >> mr. crapo, no. >> mr. dodd? >> aye. >> mr. dorgan. >> aye. >> if you want to continue to hear will roll call of votes, go to c-span ii. willmington, north carole. you are opposed to this bill? caller: absolutely. i do think we need to do some
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things and how much we can sue. but to push it through like they are without a lot of debate and making sweet heart deals is just wrong. they are still pushing the vote through to the point where they push the the vote down so they can go home. host: what kind of work do you do? caller: i'm a bread vendor. host: we heard your senator there vote against the bill. next call from houston, texas. supportive of the bill. caller: yes.
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just of the fact that more people can get healthcare coverage is a great thing. not only that, we have seen conditions now that get insured. my sister is in the healthcare field and she doesn't even have insurance because it's not affordable. when they said more people are against this bill. who did they interview? they didn't talk to the mother of a child with a preexisting condition. the fact that it is even happening, i'm just elated about it. i'm excited. host: "washington post" off beat story today. the headline, senate and house must now find image yik pill. writing democrats are already outlining a strategy that can
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satisfy the more liberal house without upsetting the pain taking senate. the search for an acceptable substitute for a government-run insurance plan that those without medical coverage could pump, a provision the house designed to compete with private insurers. host: baltimore. you are opposed? caller: yes. the lady that called about 15 minutes ago. it's the most beautiful speech i've heard for years. she was opposed to the bill. she said the people should do it themselves. i wanted to mention that. i worked all sda yesterday trying to reach senators because
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of the two violations to the constitution they were raising. i read the constitution in article 1, section 8, where all state hz to be treated equally on taxes and such. it's certainly a violation what they have done to these three states. as far as the president is concerned. i think he's the biggest con artist out there. >> mr. roberts, no. >> mr. rockafellar, aye.
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mr. sanders. mr. schumer, aye. mr. sessions. mrs. sheen. >> aye. >> mr. shelled by. >> missnow, no. >> mr. inspector, aye. >> there tester? >> aye. >> mr. udal of colorado? >> aye. host: the senate has now passed their healthcare bill. this is not the end.
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there will be some type of reconsiliation with the house bill which will pass on november 7th. we will continue that process but this is another step in healthcare reform in the nation's capital. in georgia. you are in support of this bill? caller: yes. with the idea that this may be something to build upon. i don't know exactly what would be in this bill. they should have reduced everything to the lowest common sdee nominator and kept everything real simple. the only significant time i used my health insurance is when i broke my leg. i spent three days in the hospital. the hospital presented me a bill
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for $40,000. they settled for blue cross for $40,000. at the same time, my insurance went from $500 a month, when i dropped it, it was $1200. the price should be the price on healthcare and precipitation drugs, if you sell it in one part of the world for a price, that's the same price it should be charged for here. all those 100 senators sitting there, they need to have something like nascar jackets so we could tell who is sponsoring these guys to get something done. host: currently the vote, 59-38. florida. matt, you are opposed to the
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bill. caller: i'm very much opposed. i like to equate it to a student in college who is taking 14 hours of credits and has a d average and they go to their counselor and says i'm really motivated. i'd like to take four more hours. and they would say i admire your ambition but shouldn't you get up to a b before you take on more. in my opinion, they have an f in social security, a d in the post office and a d on security. host: could we ask what's your political party? caller: i'm independent. i think most of the guys in washington are crooks on both sides.
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barbara boxer spent millions to get a seat that pays $200,000. they are all lawyers and crooks in washington. that's my opinion. host: in baltimore. you are supportive of the bill. >> at this point on the senate floor, the vote passes here. host: the senate moves on to other business with a 60-39 vote for the healthcare legislation vote. we'll return to the phone with a call from baltimore.
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caller: hello. i wanted to say that i feel like everybody who opposes the bill should really have compassion for the rest of the country. i think what the democrats are trying to do is at least provide access so people can stop dying because of healthcare. if those really were to get out and really hear people's stories. there's so many stories of people that die every year from not having enough money from healthcare. i think people should be more compassion gnat. we are all in it together. 45,000 people who die every year from healthcare, that's american. it's all american. i think that should be taken care of. the second thing i wanted to say. i think everybody is down on the president right now for a lot of
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the things he's trying to do. people really need to look at the facts and stop listening to what people are saying. snat from kentucky was the only senator not to vote today. caller: i'm friend was my urologist. i go to my sem fares and help him out. he told me several ever his colleagues are going to quit all together if this becomes law baz they are fed up with
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bureaucrats. he had to do some emergency surgery in england while he was over there. he said the conditions were absolutely horrid. that's what we are headed for. don't tell me it is not going to be government run. it will be sooner than later. i'm happy with what i have. i'm telling you if this thing is not repealed, i predict there is going to be a war over this. host: the senate is now going to vote on the debt ceiling, whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. that's the last vote of the day, they they will adjourn for the year. the next call from missouri. supportive of the bill. caller: i'm for this. the only insurance i have is from the va. they saved my life and legs.
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i've never been more happy to have something. host: i could act like a republican and say i got mine, the hell with you. i do have mine. i got other generations. both my boys are public serve ands and will have a good life. the democrats have always supported the poor, the sick and the elderly. host: another call from kansas. you are opposed to the bill?
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caller: i am. i am so disappointed. i have taken my christmas tree down. this is supposed to be a nation under god and it isn't. they have ruined christmas for all of the senators and representatives that are supposed to be under god. this is god's holiday for the birth of his son. host: you took down the christmas tree because of the senate healthcare bill? caller: i did. i would like to see every light in the nation go out. >> why are you so opposed to it? caller: it's devicive between my son who is younger and myself. in many families, it's that way. either it is genocide on the seniors with this hospice.
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scotland wouldn't have anything to do with them. what are we doing paying these people to kill other people. that's what they do. host: larry in colorado. you support the passage. caller: yes, i do. for the main reason. i turn 60 tomorrow, christmas day. i'm disabled. i've been paying on part a and part b for years now. it's nothing that i need. what i need is glasses and dental. what i think has been overlooked
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is i'm hoping it will give me a lot more choices just to get some glasses. to eat, i only have six teeth left in my mouth. when i reach out to federal or state aid, it's either well, we are not taking application or you don't qualify? you can only eat so many scrambled eggs. host: thank you for calling in. if you are supportive of the bill or against the bill, call in.
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this is not the end of the healthcare reform road. there will bre some kind of reconsiliation with the house the vote marked something else.
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host: we are broadcasting across the street from the capitol. we will continue to take your calls. the majority leader, harry reid
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will speak about senate passage of the healthcare bill. that's about 8:45 a.m. we'll bring that to you live. we continue to take your calls this morning. you are opposed to this bill. why is that? >> i have blue care network. i have a prescription once a month for hundreds of dollars. i'm in the food industry. i understand there's a $23,000 limit. i'm wandering. if i do lose my coverage and have to go to the government, would i lose my prescriptions and would i still get the same coverage as far as prescription coverage? host: i can't tell you that but
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if you did lose your coverage, is that your concern? caller: that's my concern. i have major medical issues. i have pain medicine that costs $1400 a month. i'd be in trouble without it. host: in houston is christopher. you support the bill. caller: thank you c-span and the congress. for too long, there have been healthcare gaps. we all discern quality healthcare i had to get my shoulder looked at. it wasn't anything major.
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the emergency roam was full of people. real diverse. i put down my united healthcare card. i was called right away. they got a wheelchair for me. i saw a doctor immediately. all those people were looking at me. i got my x ray. by the time i came out, everything was on the computer. they told me ied a simple strain. prescribed me. host: given that story, why does that make you supportive of that bill? caller: i'm not a person that because i got mine and you got yours, hey, too bad. i'm a christian but i'm a person as a christian, i can't just look at what i have and not a
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lookout for the next person. for your children to be able to live. host: how closely have you been following this debate? caller: from the beginning to the end. the sdrats, they did a good job. punch yourself out. they did that. democrats won in the end. this bill will be passed and signed. we'll have quality healthcare in america. there's some people that say there's bad parts to the bill. let's look at the point. we have some good ideas. let's put this together.
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host: thank you for your call and input. as we continue to take your calls. it's healthcare reform bill, madison, it's todd. you are opposed caller: i am opposed to the healthcare bill. here is the reason. one, i wish every american could have healthcare insurance. what i think we should have tackled first was the afford ability of those who have it. here's why. i'm looking at my last pay stub here. my health insurance family plan cost me $17, 990. i paid well over $12,000 in
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taxes. i would love to help pay for other people's insurance if you could bring my cost down first. if you would have brought my cost down first, i'd be more likely to support this kind of bill. we are looking at $871 billion healthcare bill. you know we are going to end up paying for this. we are going to end up stealing from peter to pay for paul. i'm a school teacher making $50,000. i'm very fortunate to have a plan. on the other hand, when i was 18-years old, i worked toward that. i feel very bad for those who don't have insurance.
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it looks real nice there in washington as we sit here and freeze in wisconsin. host: right outside the senate floor is the area call the the ohio clock area. hairy reid will be coming out shortly. you can see reporters have already gathered together. he'll come out to speak about the bill and its pacquiao passage. we take this next call from josh in virginia. go ahead. caller: good morning to you. just a moment ago, you had a caller from the state of michigan expressing concern about the senate bill taxes on the cadillac healthcare plans. i was calling in to voice my
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support for the bill over these i think i can answer his question the end fafkt will increase the wages the
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government could have offered a cheaper plan there's some big differences. here's a little more of what they say about what's at stake for two bodies in congress. talks between the two chambers including how to handle the differences
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>> next call opposed to the bill i'm a nurse. i deal with insurance companies
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everyday. it looks like insurance companies win. all i've heard about what is going to come out of this yes, there's going to be some good things. with states getting nebraska and having their med i carolina kayed paid for this seemed to be a whole bunch of lobbyist money. host: did you call yourself a parish nurse?
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caller: i am stationed at a church. i help people with health issues and he had kate them. i do a lot of help with claims in helping them out. i can't tell you how much i am enjoying these creepy republicans. yes, it's sweet, it's a christmas present i have been waiting for for a long time. when the dust settles. this will be seen as a great
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advancement for our society. >> what specifically in the bill do you support? >> i've had five catastrophic illnesses in my family. i've seen other people visiting with those that are sick. you bond with people who are going with similar trauma. brain surgery and strokes and horrible hinges that families go through. i know one man lost everything he had, even sold his house to get this boy treatment. he ended up poor and his son
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died anyway. that needs to end. the hard working citizens who love this country. they don't discern to loose. the wall street journal warns of cuts to benefits. some of the employers with help
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to lead to cuts companies -- we are going to listen to this press conference and come back. >> this is a victory nor the american people. those fortunate enough to have health insurance will be able to keep theirs. those who don't will be able to have health insurance. the ability to live a healthy life in our great country is a
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right and not merely a privilege for the select few. this morning's vote brings us much closer to making it a reality. every step has been an enormous undertaking. i want to thank my leadership team. dur bin, hurry. they have been remarkably supportive.
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we are not going to take any questions. >> it's been nearly two years since we began the healthcare reform. we are all very proud of this moment. we stand here at the finish line. we don't stand alone. all those being discriminated against, today, we make history for them and every american who
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has fallen victim to our broken healthcare system. i want to thank senator reid for the way he's managed to navigate the waters to get us here more important, we are happy to see that they now cannot get. host: senate leaders, if you are interested in hearing. we are carrying it life on c-span 2. goes next to the phone from north carolina opposing the bill. you are on the air. caller: i oppose it because it doesn't make any common sense to me if it needs to be covered
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from day one all across the board. they seem to watch that over. there was a couple million people that protest this. it doesn't seem like any of that was heard. even some of the democratic people flip flophoused right at the end. host: thank you. next is bill who supports this bill calling from california, maryland. caller: yes, i'm a republican and ifully support what the democrats did by passing this healthcare system.
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it seems it all resolves around the stock market. it seems like the united states government -- i am retired navy. i feel sorry for the republicans because i wish one of them would have at least voted for it. it's great for the people. it may not be sgrat for wall
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street. >> the expensive pharmaceuticals. there's a broad set of issues that this bill will attempt to address. we all understand it is not going to address other things. further on, it is going to help reduce healthcare. there's nothing wrong with trying to cover things as much as they can. i think this that has come across the aisle from others. i'm proud of the democratic
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leadership. not worried about the politics of it later. we are very supportive. not host: speaking of reconsiliation of course. all of this discussion now about finding a comprimise. the first woman in new york to chair the rules committee and only micro bielgs in congress writes this. the senate healthcare bill is not worthy of the vote the house took. under the senate plan, millions will be forced into private insurance plan it will be a windfall. is it any surprise stock prices for some of those are up
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shortly. the president is due to leave for his christmas break soon. next is michael from new port ritchie, florida caller: good morning. thank you for hearing the voice of the people. i am a states men and patriot. politics and parties. they just fight. they do not get the true message across. i applaud all those in this bill. i would like everybody to know.
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i was a democrat all my life until this president put his hand on the bible and purjured himself. i am registered as none. i am a statesman for god and country for a better world and one world. this administration is a disgrace to god, our country. disrespect god and our country and disrespect our founding fathers that i have such a love for. let our people be statesmen and patriots and fight to restore this country to god, our founding fathers in loving memory in a christian her continualing. host: on this christmas eve, mary. caller: i'm a former social
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worker. i speak spanish here in the area. i'm a healthcare broker living in a gulf community of 55 and over. i support the healthcare bill because i'm a healthcare broker. i know it will increase my business. however in arizona, most employers have never provided insurance for small business employees. this will mandate it and we'll all end up moving to nebraska for the job with medicaid. >> tell us what a healthcare broker does? caller: i contract with all those big bad health scare companies, the big ones. i also represent some life insurance companies and some annuity companies, so i can sell what i want. i'm a licensed insurance broker. i'm a registered republican.
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i asked them for a healthcare czar job and got a little chuck el. maybe i can make my future now in the healthcare business because it is going to be augmented by the taxpayer dollar. host: somebody else who opposes this bill from texas. go ahead, david. caller: good morning. i'm a democrat and i oppose the bill for the amount of money this strips from medicare. specifically, the severe cuts that it does to home health this
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would keep a lot of our healthcare healthier. that could actually save money and prevent a lot of hospitalizations due to chronic illnesses they seem to have completely ignored. and there are going to be more of us. that one thing would be a bigger answer but they forgot it. host: getting a few twitter messages here.
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host: the senate health reform bill is packed with a bag full of coal for new york. a warning the senate plan would force the city to close hundreds of health clinics and threaten
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struggling hospitals and nursing homes and other facilities. wrangle says, take a chill pill. there are a whole lot of things. this is his quote, there are a whole lot of things we have to remembering sill yat. host: kevin from california, you support the senate bill. caller: good morning. i'm 17 years old. i pulled an all nighter to watch this thing pass. it's a really great thing. i'm really lucky to have a strong family and parents who support me and can pay for insurance for me. i realize even people close to me don't have in a privilege. this movement and the leadership the democrats have shown in passing the bill has greatly
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renewed my admiration for the congress. hopefully we'll get to see the people get this kind of medical insurance i have the moves away from super individual lichl host: you say you pulled an all nighter. you are 17. you interested in public policy in general? caller: public policy in general but this is a very strong point for me. i know many people close to me who don't have health insurance. i really wish that they did. they are human beings also. it's very important that everyone knows, they have a chance to live whether they have a preexisting condition or not.
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host: thank you. george, you are opposed to this bill? >> i am. the reason i'm opposed to this bill is because i've been involved as a recipient of government healthcare. i had a private policy, lost my job and was diagnosed with a chronic illness and found on my own a study by a mythor drug company for my disease, was accepted and during the test or doing the treatment, i was doing well. in the meantime, i ended up with a new jersey family care. i was eligible. during the treatment, i developed a situation where i
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needed another drug. the state of new jersey denied me. host: you are opposed because you've had experience with government healthcare? caller: correct. the drug i needed was not approved for this specific treatment. the treatment failed. my wife went to work and got private health insurance. i went back on the treatment through the healthcare company, private healthcare. not only did they pay for the treatment on a preexisting condition, when the same thing happened and i needed a second drug, which is expensive, no problem. no questions asked. supplied the drug to me where the state of new jersey didn't.
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host: thank you for that personal story. those of you who have followed this healthcare debate over the past year, you can find everything c-span has covered on our website at we have a place called our healthcare hub. you can find all the hearings and all the senator speaking. all the different interest groups spoken out about healthcare. you can find it all on our healthcare hub. vice president biden is leaving the senate. you can see his motorcade leaving. we'll take this west call from michigan in support of the bill. go ahead. you with us? i think we lost that call. we'll move on to kathy from mississippi. go ahead with your comments.
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caller: i'm sorry. this is richard from new orleans. host: i'm sorry. go ahead, richard. caller: i'm so happy to see this bill pass. the gross amount of money that's in it for this much money to be thrown out or rejected. that alone tells you why these republicans are fighting so hard for this bill. their contribution also drop so dramatically but now the american people will get a fair shake because it has been ridiculous because of the preem yims. i woke up and saw the vote. i'm thrilled to death. thank you for taking my call. host: what else do you have for us. the senate did pass that extension, here is the reporting. the senate voted to raise the
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ceiling to $12.4, a massive increase. the political problem promised to address next year. 60-39 follows the health passage last week. the bill permits the treasury department. the senate will have to vote again on january 20th. obama must sign the measure into law to prevent the market-rattling, first-ever default. the government piled up a record $1.4 trillion sdef sit in 2009 to country a melt down it in financial markets and help bring the nation out of its worst recession in seven decades. host: let's try mississippi
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again. good morning.
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senator rei caller: home health is going to be moved to hospice where they're going to come and they're going to kill. they're going to kill the older americans. once again, i am so sad for this day because we have nothing but crooks up there in d.c. and i pray that there will never be democrats do have a problem. host: that's from mississippi and next from hollywood, florida. john, on the air. caller: good morning. how you doing? sure it's cold up there. it's nice and warm in florida, but i'd just like to say, you know, people keep talking about all the hypotheticals. they make an arguments in hy(otheticals that this is going to happen as a result of that and that's going to happen as a result. nobody knows what will happen
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until this thing is implemented and mechanisms are put in place and we can see where we're at and where we're going so. all the hypotheticals are meaningless. i'd rather pay for surgical procedures than a strike in a war that's immoral than illegal. >> if you'd like to talk about the fact the senate has now passed healthcare response. the numbers are listed on the screen and there has to be reconciliation still on the house that passed it's bill on december 7th. >> hometown newspaper of big city of insurance companies has a front paper column by dan har. double dose joe and insurers and he writes, connect cult will
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play a be fining role through very different forces. joe leber man and health insurance lobby that brilliantly stuck to issues portraying itself above the political fray and from boston, also in new england, health bill will keep massachusetts overhaul in tact. senator kerry says also mean as five 100,000,000 for the state. healthcare the senate passed has protections that ensure massachusetts overhaul will remain in tact and 500,000,000 in the extra money for the state in a quick visit between votes on the measure the legislation also includes additional 2 hundred million for massachusetts hospiáals that say they have not been adequate ri reimbursed. they scored a enormous victory. none of the things will be undone bias legislation yet in
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some respects the senate plan is more extensive than the program in massachusetts assing many people with higher incomes to qualify. the senate version will provide subsidies to individuals and up to 400 percent of the poverty level and 43,000 and 88,000 for families of four. there have been concerned massachusetts u)s& be penalized because of landmark overhaul that uses significant states to reassure benefits. back to peter. host: pam new jersey philadelphia. welcome to "washington journal". what's your view? >> i appose it. there's one little piece in there that's soci - i can't bel they put it on there. everybody under this bill is required - you don't have a choice you have to have healthcare otherwise that individual will be fined. how are those of us unemployed
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currently supposed to be paying for the healthcare if we don't even have money for rent, food or anything? how do they expect us to pay for healthcare if we don't have money for any of? it i don't understand. and how can they fine us for something that we can't afford? i currently am unemployed and i don't have healthcare, and i pray each night that i stay healthy if i have the money if i had a job i'm more than willingly would get the healthcare but to say that i have something that i can't afford at this time is li)q telling me that i have to have a chicken sandwich on thanksgiving day. i can't do it. i need to have a choice whether or not i'll get it at this time. i would get it if i could afford it but i can't. for them to say i'm going to be fined x-number of dollars forever long for not having healthcare is ridiculous. that's absolutely ridiculous.
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host: north carolina, daniel your supportive of the senate bill. why is that? caller: i got a friend right now and he's got colon cancer and he can't even get treatment and another thing about it. they talking about the cutting the reason they have to is because the senate won't work together if they had more voter from republican side they wouldn't have to cut deals with the se'ate side so people just talking. they need to start thinking about the people in general and not themselves. >> montana, jeff you're a posted to the bill? >> good morning. they're denying something has to be done across the country as healthcare but the way this bill was ramped through, it's just
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completely insane. we just the american people really are upset, the poles show that and we're not going to take it anymore. it's just - it's an end in the american people. >> jeff, specifically what arq you apposed to in this bill? >> i'm opposed to this. the 2700 page bill that actually, nobody can understand even our senators can't understand it, and we juáu - okay. it's just a slap in the face to the american people. they can't understand what's in this bill. host: that bill is available at c-span's healthcare hub if you would like to rep" for it your house as is the house passed legislation. north california.
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jackie. caller: good sjjjt i'm call together say i am in support of the bill. i'm on medicare and my husband has private insurance and his private insurance said we're going to drop you if the healthcare bill passes and you have to sign up for medicare because he has multiple sclerosis. i do wish the republicans and democrats could getting to more and give more support of the pillen and i wish with it we had a public option. i am in support of it and i love to read your information on the computer. thank you. insurance now? caller: my insurance is medicare. i'm on kidney dialysis and medicare. host: thank you so much. susan? >> two interesting editorials from the home states of ben nelson who has we know the 11th hour had a compromise sending
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more money to his home state of nebraska. the newspaper, lincoln journal star this week. editorial says nonetheless that deal was the embody meant of what is wrong with washington. instead of thoughtful careful work they cobble together deals. the lincoln journal star says nelson ought to use opportunities to force washington to start over on healthcare reform. nebraska might have a sweeter deal but congress needs to be doing better the overall good of the country. the couno the majority leader it's home state senator harry reed. amazing fete. he runs a incredible course to run it towards pass sage. his hometown said reid should be commended. the easy thing would be to shelf the reform and prepare for the 2010 exl. instead he took on
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special interest and pulled together with diverse beliefs and sound the middle ground. as a result. long over due legislation that helps america is that much closer to passing. that's real leadership says the last ve gas sun. next los angeles. mark apposeed the legislation. tell us why, mark? caller: well, they didn't address one of the things that i've been concerned with. i've worked in a hospital for 15 years and one of the highest costs that a hospital has is nursing salary. rn salaries. back in the late 70's and early 80's there was industry created shortages that - by leaving hospitals and joining registries and then hiring back to the hospitals and back to the registries and back to the hospitals, they increased they're salaries to alarming amount where a lot of nurses now
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make more than the doctors and this thing is here in california we have a mandate where there's a maximum of five patients perrn. on a standard 30 bed ward you have 6rns making up to six figure salaries and then the õmain thing is for them, they don't have to do any of the work. there's usually four,lvn's and cna's that do all the work and then you have all thern's supervising them. excuse me. two and two. total of four. so there's four people doing all of the work and six people supervising them in this kind of upside down pyramid of management structure which everybody knows fails because they're so expensive. until they can corral the high cost of nurseing in hospitals this thing is not going to work. the pumping of money is still
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going on in unbillable hours. host: mark. "tspking it all work? caller: there's only one single thing they say that,rn's do that,lvn's do and that's administeriv medications. what they need to do is if they're going to have these nurses working in supervisory capacity, have just one and to supervise the ward and have the rest of the people in the lower cost labor doing all of the work way.h is happening right now may host ho thanks mark. appreciate your inside view of how to control costs with nursing. robert s next. supporting the build. ohio. good morning. why do you support it? i support the bill because i think this is like the greatest
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days or one of them in american history. so many people are now going to be able to have healthcare that was not able to have it in years past. because of costs, whatever the case may be. i work for one of the retailers and now - people that they can't afford healthcare, and now like i said. this is a great day. >> thank you. if your joining us on this christmas eve morning the united states senate was a vote of 60-39. senator from kentucky the only one not participated passed his version of health(p)e reform. until 9:00 eastern to this lls historic vote in the sense of "tá(ut of it and also the fact that it happened on christmas eve. very unusual for senate. last time 1895. south carolina. your on the air joshua. caller: thank you.
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the reason i do not spu sport it is we have to look at canada and how many people come here to have surgeries because of the back up system and this healthcare bill is like it. we all, mom l obama likes to qu áhe bible. what about daniel, i was born inside my mother's womb or quote about john the baptist when it says that the holy spirit will be within him inside the womb. which show this are human beings. um... - he is a coward. host: bob is next supporting legislation and calling us from virginia. bob, your on the air. caller: good morning. i spu supported the bill all the time and made numerous calls to pitch #or it but i'm disappointed that the public
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option is probably not going to be in it. and the medicine deal where we should have been able to buy the medical part of it from whatever, and aláz i think that women that pay taxes that are going to be paying for this ought to be able to have abortions if that's what you know, they pay taxes like everybody else and i don't feel sorry for no (202) 737-0001s this morning. they're happier than the democrats probably because they'rq pockets are bulgeing with special interest money. chamber of commerce spend billions. thanks for the call this morning. host: barbara is calling from grayson county, kentucky. why? caller: - host: your name sir? where you calling from? caller: kentucky. i'm tim. host:go ahead.
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what are your thoughts on this legislation? caller: they passed a bill that all the senators obviously knew that the people did not want this. host: why do you nu want it, tim? what don't you like about it? >> well they're making people you know?ce. how can they afford it if they õdon't have a job? they're going to make people get it and they don't have a job. host: how long has it been since you had a job. caller: i work. i got insurance. but i know a lot of people that don't work and don't have it. host: is, so your worried about other folk? caller: right the senators i agree with the women that called earlier saying she's sick about it. it is a bad day for america and they're making people get it. they knew the people didn't want rá and they shoved it down
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everybody's float and nobody knows nothing about it. host: looking at a beautiful winter morning in d.c. clear blue skies capital dome in place as senate departing for the airports to make individual senators home to celebrate the christmas holiday. they'll be back right after the new year and will be in briefly. lots more work to do healthcare and debt ceiling later faces them coming back. houston texas. kayla. you're on. good morning. caller: good morning. i don't think they would expect people who are unemployed to have to buy the bill. they probably give them essential interest or look out for them even more so, but to the caller that said about registered nurses i'm thinking the same. i'm a medication aid and i'm thinking they don't need as many,lvns because we do what
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they do and you would save money by using us. the only thing we can't do is give shots. we can give pills and whatever. of,lvn's and put the medication people in there, we make less and do a great job. host: how long you have been doing that job. twitter. as is social security and medicare the gop sides on the wrong side again. the m healthcare br&l is weak. send c-spanwj. we'll mix tweets with top of the "t$our telephone calls with the senate vote 60-39 on a their versijrju$e health legislation. next virginia. ron apposeed the bill. why? caller: yes, i appose it because people like me will be going to jail. >> why is that? caller: well i can't afford to get it or pay a penalty and i've
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tried to get medicaid and my wife and me get too much so we'll be going to jail and that's not fair. host: this bill expanded the people that qualify for medicaid and subsidies for people to buy the mandated coverage for people who are up to 400 percent of the current fed c federal poverty l. caller: i done tried to get medicaid ma'am. host: but this would expand the people eligible. cal&er: yeah, but i'm not eligible. pay. host: good luck to you. russell apposeed the legislation. ohio. caller: yes, i think it's a big band-aid, pacifier. host: is why is that? caller: i'm is disabled.
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n i can only have x-rays done and can't have treatments but i cannot have a situation treated. just my teeth. i think it's a big pacifier where all our expenseables people need to remember that. we're all expenseable. host: your reaction to the healthcare vote. glenn supports the bill. your on. caller: yes, i support it. i retired from the military in 1986 and so i have excellent healthcare insurance, but i also tried the veterans adminisáration for a while. tried that and i found that there wasn't for me, but i have excellent insurance but i also was a provider of medicaid services as an owner, operator of an adult day care center. my wife and i opened up one of those in 1992, and the
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reimbursement rate at that time was a 4 dollars an hour and we were supported by the local community. that was to weather the storm. in 1994 they raised the rate to five dollars an hour. and that went on for another ten or 12 years and it was never raised. and so basically, they reached a point where we couldn't continue at reimbursement rates like that. i did see something for the elderly that they would combine some of these services. it's like adult day care was designed mainly to care for "t'ursing home. okay and this will do that with the support of other services that are provided. >> thanks glenn. peter i think you've warmed up a bit and we're going to bounce back to you for calls.
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call if you're in support or not the numbers on your screen. you can send a tweet at á we're going to continue to take your calls for another 40 minutes or so on healthcare and then at 9:00 eastern the "washington journal" turns it's attention to the wounded warriors program and general gary chink is on to talk about that program as we continue our program on this christmas eve. idaho, steve you're opposed to the senate healthcare bill. why is that? caller: i just wanted to point out there was two votes this morning the vote to raise the national debt limit almost 3 trillion dollars which is just shameful. shamefulo describe
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it. just completely shameful - we're getti'g more and more - hello? host: to a total of about 3 trillion. i think 290 billion. is that correct? they'll come back to raise it again next month. caller: yes, the point is it's totally shameful that even with, their leader president barack obama was saying recently that we cannot spend the money like it's monopoly money. the senators are not listening to their own leaders telling them that we cannot keep spending money like this. we have to start acting responsible and there's no responsibility at all in the present reader ship in the capital. >> so steve, it's a cost concern for you? why you're a posted to? it caller: i think the whole - the t tempered it up with
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all kinds of spending. hundred million for this and that. thqv had to bribe their own party people and the way that they have peppered it up is a ridiculous - it's shameful. it's shameful that we're doing this. we're not addressing the problem if it's healthcare, you shouldn't have to be peppering it up with more and more excessive debt. you should address the problem and this isn't. this is just getting ridiculous agenda done for the sake of not even realizing or being anywhere near responsible. host: president barack obama will speak live in 20 minutes. host: well peter, numbers going back and #orth in the call for the record, as you said. "t!illion with the move that th senate made this morning following the house and it raised the ceiling on the
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government debt to 12 point 4 trillion dollars and the fact the president must sign this. telephone calls. next is maine supporting the legislation. caller: hi. merry chris massachusettses i support the bill for many reasons. one is i'm 14 years old. of course i live with my parents and both work full-time. altogether with both of them they make just around $30,000. the state of maine says we cannot buy our insurance out of the state. so right now for a $15,000 deductible, we're paying $400 a month. now that takes a big chunk out of the money that my parents earn and with this healthcare, it's going to low tear cost so that way, we're going to be able to afford healthcare.
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government option it will lower overall and show that we're going to stand up to the insurance companies and et in the and all the other insurance companies your profiting on death is over. thank you. host: thanks for calling in. senate bill sets up 50 different exchanges that from where people can purchase health insurance while the house bill sets up one single nation wide insurance. and this is from a comparison chart in the washington po post. a lot of different news organizations have these. most come from the same sources. congressional budget office the u.s. senate et cetera so go on-line to the "washington post" and you can see the comparison short here. here's new york on our opposed line. caller: good morning. i do appose it. the reason for that is, with the unemployment rate so high, the highest it's probably ever been,
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how do they expect and i agree with the other two individuals that coulded earlier. how do they expect with the subsidized information and programs at this moment. people have been unemployed for over 12 months like myself. how do we look at this bill and say, are we going to be able to afford even with that, this @&% healthcare when you have only one income? and only one way of paying for your rent. your car and other bills that you have. my concern is for those people. not just myself but everybody else on the unemployment side wondering how to pay and support your family at the same time the end of the week to pay for any other healthcare program and then on top of that be fined. not that the unemployment rate will been issue but people
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probably turn to crime. i see things not going down the right path and i hope that this subsidized program available will rea&ly help and not end up cutting the people's unemployment benefits still on unemployment. host: what were you doing befáq becoming unemployed? >> i was corking in the insurance industry and unfortunately for the same position i've been applying for. numerous over 100 times i can't even get a physician in the same "tju position. so everything has an effect. domino effect all the way down. host ho thanks for calling in this morning. "t#rom michigan it's terry on t support line. hi. your on the air. caller: i was calling concerning the people just opposed the bill, most people just like the guy that just
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called from virginia. he don't go down. the only thing he do is appose it. guy from montana. he could give you no reason why he apposeed the bill, only just he appose it. he a republican and i think is just ridiculous. i have a cadillac healthcare plan with my employer but i still want to see other people with healthcare insurance. i don't mind paying more from this country to provide health insurance for it's citizen's. host: pá's your line of work for cadillac healthcare plan? >> i work for an autocompany. the big nest the world. used to be. host: guess that's gm? caller: correct. host: what kind of work do you do? caller: shipping and receiving clerk. host: do they pay a lot?
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does they pay a lot of your healthcare cost? caller: all of it. host: nothing comes out of your check? caller: nothing. been that way for years. i used to pay 2 dollars. ho host for what? calle): my medicine. two dollars for the medicine just two or three years ago. now it's $15 for a prescription. used to pay 2 dollars for 90 day supply for my high blood pressure and now it's $15 for one prescription and that's just in the last two years and it's steadyly doing up and i don't think the country can ever get on track with his this high health insurance. my company is bankrupt. they pay more for health insurance than they do steel and steel is about 90% of a car. host: does gm try to encourage
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people to preventive healthcare? caller: yes, we have a wellness plan. i got my sugar, my sugar was checked friday at mi my job. >> as we've told you all morning the senate held together with all 60 voting in favor of the health legislation. here's the moment from the senate floor when senator harry reed the majority leader cast his vote on the legislation. mr. reid of ne+ada. aye. in washington. caller: good morning america.
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yes, i do appose the bill. i believe we can do better. it did not go far enough. i'm with howard dean on this. i'm an independent in the state of maryland and i had to switch over and go and stand in line switching over to the democrat switch to president barack obama and i gave - i am with howard dean on this one. they've a question though. can anybody plqpáq tell me what is the difference between what the al qaeda and bin laden group is doing with the muslin group and republican praying for "t(r)istians so people cannot g healthcare. i will do everything in my power that he cáátj back to the senate next time. host: mobile, alabama. you support the healthcare bill. why is that?
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caller: i want to thank the senate for passing this bill because unfortunately i've worked the sheriff's office and been a model employee for five years. i've had perfect attendance of that, but i work 29 hours a week and that's because they do not want to pay for insurance for their workers, some of their workers so they put some of us down to 29 hours and my husband happens to be a caterer and makes good money and we're - for myself i don't have insurance. i haven't been to the doctor in five years because i can't afford the insurance because my husba'd is a tie bettic and every time we try to get a plan it's awful. me, i'm thankful and i have four children and they do have insurance up under the program and with all kids and it helps
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parents that cannot afford insurance and its is government program but because my income is too high, to qualify for the lower income, it's too low to for me to afford to pay because my husband is a diabetic. in my previous timq i've been to the doctor and had unhealthy pap smears come back and it's been five years and i should have been back to the doctor but i can't afford it. host: all right. two miles from building is the white house, in the state dining room the podium is set up for the president to make remarks about the healthcare bill passified senate at 7:00 this morning. we'll be bringing that to you live. he's due to come out at 8:45 am. as we continue to take your so, minneapolis. erin you're a posted to the
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senate healthcare bill? caller: yes. i'm a union members bea. i'm totally in favor of national healthcare and most of the civil wealthy countries on the planet have figured this out and they're delivering far better coverage to every citizen for some cases 7 percent and what i understand what i mean 8 or 9 percent of the gross national product and what i understand congress has rationalized 15-25% of people's incomes should be spent on healthcare. basically the healthcare business has purchased congress and not collected they're will and really put the morality of healthcare available. secondly, they've not put together the economic impact of having most expensive healthcare system on the planet. they keep talking about a recovery. there's no recovery.
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we're super in debt and there's% no plan to change it right now. the high paying manufacturing jobs have left the counáry. you can't buy a television set made in america to"ay. i went to afford dealership a couple of days ago to look at a truck. i've been driving fords all my life and i can't buy one made in america today. at least not the one i want. it's made in turkey. i asked, well do they have healthcp)e - the salesperson - and i think what's going on, as much as i want to see a $ealthcare bill and i want an economy that works, i want to see healthcare for u.s. citizens not trapped up on unfunded @&h% mandates and i'm not seeing with host: you're a member of the,a fl cio. what kind of work do you do? >> audio engineers we do
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productions and rock and roll shows. a lot of your public and civic events. host: are you satisfied with your healthcare insurance the way it is now. caller: i make pretty good money. been doing this 20-30-years, our contract right now maked an 11 percent contribution over the top of the pretty good wage. national benefit fund if i was to pick the full coverage for my family, it would be 50% of my growth income. and absolutely that's absurd. host: from what you've seen from the bills, will your health insurance change that you get through your union? caller: well, you know i've been lobbying and reading through these bills and trying pay attention and you know, i need to see how it's all going to shake out. what i'm seeing is that the
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healthcare industry has guaranteed themselves about double what we ought to be paying in this country. that's what i see. when it all shakes down if the government has to subsidize to pay too much we'll all pay taxes to subsidize and pay countries more than it's worth. there's a good shake down about healthcare and we're paying five times as much frn aspirin in the uniáed states as they do in germany. we're paying more money than 36 other countrys on the planet. you have a dollar in the u.s. your getting 37th best buy. not even in the top 20. you're in the low 30's. host: thank you. let's leave it there. reid was on our q & a program a few months pack and you can go to the q & a website and watch him talking about his healthcare book. susan? >> from a state with the
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republican governor. sanford. the radio reports the governor's concerns about what the legislation will do to the south carolina budget. he said the legislation as writ len expand south carolina medicaid roll bias 543,000 people costing the state taxpayers additional 1 point 17 annually in 10-years and eating up almost 40% of the state budget in five years. sanford said it will effect one third of the states residents on medicaid. for south carolina the billion dollar burden will be brow tall forces to cut further in the areas of education, law enforcement and economic development or to raise taxes. we're waiting for the president to make his comments on the senate's passage of the healthcare legislation but the final moments in the senate are here when the final tally was announced. >> the ayes are 60.
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the affordable care act is "t+p(plause] >> and back to your phone calls. miami, your on the air. "t(p&ler: good morning. i want to steel some lines i heard recently. one is we have ears and don't hear, eyes and don't see and then first of all i'm an 80 year old korean vet. i was amazed and what shuck me was the statement from the senator the other day if a child molester murders the kid and he doesn't have money, we'll give them a free lawyer but if a person gets sick we won't give them a free doctor. that struck me. i'm a palled all the republicans who are apposed to the wild money given to get votes. where were they all the years of their life? it costs millions to become a president and senator and billions and money just to
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become aboard committee member.% don't you think you have to pay favor? this is a system we live under. in a dream world we have more money than politics. we have to live with the reality about contributors and i feel for the bill in any form that it comes the way it was for social security. medicare and medicaid and tweak it's a time goes on. i think about a single mother with a child that works at mcdonalds. how does she handle this. i think of people affording it. making $250,000 a year. we live in a country you should have the right to have medical care. ho host thanks for your comments. the president is due in two minutes to talk about the bill as wq listen to the call from san jose, california. fle caller: i'm an independent. first of all, the way the bill is put together in the dead of
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night, virtually. they talk about making sausage and in congress but to make it would add meat as they've been doing under the table. give-awayj bothers me. selfishly, i'm on medicare advantage with an hmo who, give you an example. derives the insurance companies but mi'e, i was hospitaled for three days. no big deal. just a challenge. and the hospital billed $72,000 dollars. insurance company is my bargaining agent. they paid 11,000 dollars and i pay had had $350 or $400. similar ratios in the emergency room one afternoon. and they want to take that away "t#rom me. so that's myself fish need there. host: all right. marsha in
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before the president comes in. georgia. please go ahead. caller: thank you c-span. just want to clear things up for the listeners that are unemployed. i am unemployed and we will not have to pay for health insurance. that's what that medicare expansion will help cover us. so you don't have to worry about that. i'm unemployed and we need to pay attention. we have time to sit and understand what's happening with this bill. we're not working. and president did everything he said he was going to do in regards to healthcare. wants us to have the same insurance they have as senators and congressman and that's what he promised no. public option. my son is 22 years old, thriving, bone marrow transplant and received all of his healthcare through medicaid until he turned 19 and had to get his own and because of pre-existing he was not able to
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get it. now because of áhis bill he makes under that threshold for medicaid and can get back on that. a public run health plan just like medicare we have our parents and g)andparents living healthier longer lives. irm a veteran so i have a v.a.. the healthcare, public healthcare has been a blessing for millions of americans for decades. so i think this rj a great thing for our country. host: marsha he had to leave medicaid between 19 years old? caller: right. he aged out and didn't have health insurance and i wasn'á working so he could have got on my insurance and even if he could he had to be a full-time student from 19-23. that's changed. if people just take the opportunity and read it for themselves and not always expect
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what the people on television tell them, um... but read it for themselves and be empowered americans and that's something president barack obama brought to the table. a lot more people engaged. host: if you want to read it for yourself go to to the healthcare hub. house bill and senate bill on-line a long with all the hearings that we've held that have been held that we covered over the past year or so, you can see it all right there at healthcare hub. down at the white house in the state dining room the president is due to come out and talk about the healthcare bill that just passed senate and then he and his family are off to hawaii for their christmas vacation. david from oregon. very quickly. go ahead. caller: i just like to say in the early 60's, before the government ever got involved, someone earning minimum wage, dollar an hour or so, could walk
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into a hospital and have an operation and have ex(q&lent care for a week or so and then pay the bill in cash on their way out the door or pay it off in a few payments. no government involve meant. free market system working. the only reason for the government to be involved at all is to create voter dependency on the democrat party. everything the democrats do is based on creating voters dependency and fostering more dependency on the government. host: atlanta, george, hi. caller: good morning i have a couple of comments. first of all, what price do we put on a human life. i don't think there should be a price that keeps someone a live and secondly, the republicans are saying no, but they hp+e been in charge for a - during
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this thing. they did nothing to help bring help about. the only thing they are doing is saying, no and no. they talking about auerbach room deals, then why did they come across the aisle and join democrats to make this possible? they're just trying make points. host: white house. >> morning everybody in a historic vote that took place this morning, members of the se'ate join they're colleagues in the house of representatives to pass a landmark health insurance reform package. legislation that brings us toward the end of a nearly century long strugt to reform america's healthcare system. ever since teddy roosevelt first called reform in 1912, seven presidents. democrats and republican as like have taken up the cause of reform.% time and time again, such efforts have been bought by
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special interests lobbyist that perpetuate the status quo working for insurance benefits instead of american people. but we're now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real meaningful healt$ insurance reform that will bring additional security and stability to the american people. the reform bill that passed senate this morning like the house bill includes the toughest measures ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable. insurance companies will no longer be able to deny you coverage on pre-existing conditions and will no longer be able to drop you when you get sick. no longer will you pay unlimited amounts for the treatments you need out of pocket and you'll be able to appeal unfair decision bias insurance companies to an independent party if this legislation becomes law workers don't have to worry about losing
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coverage. families will save on premiums and businesses that would see their costs rise if we do not act, will save money now and they will save money in the future. this bill will strengthen medicare and extend the lives of the program. it will make coverage affordable for over 30 million americans that don't have it. 30 million americans and because it's paid for and curbs the waste and in efficiency in the healthcare this tell this will help reduce the deficit by as much as 1 point 3 trillion in the coming decades making it the largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade. as i have said before, this is not small reforms but big reforms if passed, this will be the most important piece of social legislation since the social security act passed the 1930's and most important reform of the healthcare system since medicare passed the 1960's.
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what makes it so importaná is not just cost savings or deficit reductions but the impact reform will have on americans that no longer have to go without a check up or prescriptions that they need because they can't afford them. on families that no longer have to worry a single illness will send them in financial ruin and businesses that don't have to hamper they're competitiveness. it's difference reform will make in the lives of the american people. i want to commend senator harry reed, extraordinary work he did. speaker pelosi for her extraordinary leadership and dedication having passed reform bills in both the house and senate we now have to take up the last and most important step in reaching agreement on a final reform bill i can sign into law. i look forward to working with members of congress and chambers over the coming weeks to do exacály that. with today's vote we're now
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incredibly close to making health insurance reform area all right. a reality. we can't have erosion of coverage and exploded deficits. we need to do and improve the lives of the people we serve for. the sake of citizens, economy and future let's make 2010 the year we finally reform healthcare in the united states of america. everybody, merry christmas, happy new year. >> have a holiday wish for the troops? >> do and i will be actually on my way right now to call a few of them and wish them merry christmas and to thank them for their extraordinary service as they're posted in iraq and afghanistan. host: that was president barack
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obama and vice president i'd energy live from the white house. president is speaking about calling the troop. we have ten or fifteen minutes in taking your calls on the healthcare bill passified senate at 7:00 eastern time and then at 9:00 the assistaná surgeon general will talk about the wounded warrior program here on christmas eve. numbers up one more time for the last segment of open phones. if you support the senate bill or appose it. call in now. if you want to send us an a treat. new york. debbie you're a posted to the bill? caller: how are you today. merry christmas everyone. yes, i am opposed because i've been on both medicaid and medicare, right now am, and i also have private insurance.
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thereráház many problems today with the medicaid system and medicare, that it needs to be addressed and the fraud and everything and i think that those things need to be addressed. i think there's a lot of savings there and we don't need more "ttjuááu jobs, and more government control, they need to fix the government problems that we have and - host: are you all done? caller: no. it's just that - they're spending way too much and i think that the way that they're controlling and pushing this down the throats of the american people, on christmas eve is just terrible. host: do you think that if you could, would you reform healthcare as a currently delivered in this country and if
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so, how? caller: well, firáu of all i would take care of a lot of the fraud and i think yes, we need healthcare reform and i think that part of the thing is, take care of all of the fraud. give everybody lower costs medications and take care of some of the overspending and - d.c. a lot of the special interest groups and stuff and just take care of the american people. host: north can lie in the. robert is in support of the bill. caller: yes. i'm in support of the bill and here are insured by blue cross, blue shield and by them being insured by them. blue cross, blue shield has made
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our costs so expensive that our out of pocket costs if we're afraid to, if we need something done, we're afraid to go to the doctor because if we go to the doctor what's going to happen is we're going to have so much copays and deductibles that, we simply can't afford it. um... our senate, the north carolina senate and house passed a bill that um... you know, ours is just exorbitant. it's just too much. we really need this health reform any way. host: robert, you're a state employee? do you see yourself getting off your current plan and maybe getting public or maybe through an exchange plan or what? caller: without yeah. what has happened is i recently went for diabetic. i became a diabetic and i'm just
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on the pills riu now but i went to get diabetic education, and when i did that, they sent me back a bill that was you know, like $306 dollars. i turned around and they said what does your healthcare pay for this? because this is something to prevent you from losing a kidney or eyes and all this other type of thing. what they did was blue cross blue shield sent me back, we'll pay half but we're not going to pay it off. we'll have to wait until you lose a kidney or liver sore something before we pay the amounts and then we'll drop you. see what i'm saying? host: glenda in missouri. your on the air. caller: hello. i'm opposed because i was reading on your web page about the pricing, and maybe i'm
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reading it wrong, but i would be responsible for paying $5800. is that a year? host: what part of the healthcare hub are you on? are you reading one of the wrll bills? caller: on premiums. host: and it was about one of the bill? caller: yeah it was about - what an individual would pay. a letter to - host: okay. i would need to know what you were talking about, but are you saying that your premiums would go up? is that where you're going? caller: oh, yeah. substantially. host: do you get insurance through your employer. how much do you pay and they pay?% caller: i think we pay $150 a month. i don't know what they pay. that's like $3800 less than what this would cost. host: are you happy with your
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insurance now? caller: no. same time i know the government also has the power to regulate insurance companies instead of pushing mandates on people. host: okay. thank you for calling in on this christmpj eve and i suggest without knowing what your reading on our web page i hate to comment on it but i would say that c-span hasn't created any original material. we've downloaded the senate bill and house bill and we've puá all the hearings that we've covered on there. so be interesting to see what you were reading. sherman e texas. vanessa you're on the air. caller: good morning. first of all, i am 57 years old and i'm a nuráq been one since 1980. my husband was a teacher and had i not been a nurse we would not
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have had healthcare. runs around $600 a month for teachers, but i think we have to start somewhere with the healthcare reform and i have to say that i don't - in being in healthcare should have researched it thoroughly and read it thoroughly but i think most people just are not - they're just scared of change and not really understanding fully all that's involved. i was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and thank god, that i caught it early and so far my insurance has covered it well, but i have friends that you knju were not so fortunate that were reduced or refused treatment for cancer and we have, m d ander son and we have to drove from north texas there to get
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chemotherapy. i just think that - probably going to be a good thing. i think president barack obama has a good heart and has our interest in mind and - um... not everybody is going to agree on everything so - i'm glad that we have to start somewhere. . . .
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host: that will be on c-span2. an hour left in the "journal" this morning. coming up, the wounded warriors program. we will be right back. >> c-span, christmas day, a look ahead to 2010 politics, including republican congressman eric cantor and nbc's david
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gregory, buzz aldrin and fellow astronauts on the legacy of apollo 11, a discussion on the role of muslims in america and the world, and later, a former cia intelligence officer on u.s. strategy against al qaeda and in afghanistan, and at 8:00 p.m. eastern, remembering the lives of william f. buckley jr. and senator ted kennedy. >> this christmas holiday, we have three days of the book tv on c-span2. friday morning at adm, books on history, politics, and public affairs, including taylor branch on his new book, "the clinton the tapes," sarah palin on her book tour, and a new biography of supreme court justice scalia. you can get a full schedule at, and follow us on mey christmas.
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host: joining us now at the c- span cable is brigadier-general gary cheek. walton to the program. -- welcome to the program did tell us about the army would warriors program. guest: we have soldiers from three basic areas, about 40% isolated from theater, 20% are soldiers who have had injuries in mobilization or demobilization, mostly reserve components soldiers, and the other 40% are soldiers, mostly active duty soldiers, who have become wounded or injured, things that just happened in every life or part of the training, etc. for the nine dozen soldiers, we have 29 units across the united -- 9000 soldiers, we have 29 units across the united states.
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the other part of the program, which looks after the most severely injured soldiers that are part of that, about 1000 of them are on active duty, and about 4700 are retired and have gone back to the community. we have a program that cares for them following active duty and for the most seriously injured looks after the active duty of the army as well. host: why was it necessary to create this wounded warrior program for medical treatment beyond what they receive at places like walter reed or after they separated from the military at a veterans affairs -- veterans facility? guest: one of the key reasons is we tend to keep about 50% of the soldiers on active duty when they go through the program. for the army, it is imperative that we try to rehabilitate them and bring them back to duty. for many of the soldiers, particularly the non-
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commissioned officers, there is a wealth of experience that we really should not just simply release them to the department of veterans affairs for the treatment. there's a lot to gain for us there. our army warrior ethos is that we never leave a fallen comrade. we wanted to all we can for the soldiers and their families, and they are professional soldiers who volunteered to serve the country. this is a career that they have chosen. they have made a commitment and we have made a commitment to help them. when the conditions are very, very complex, and are going to take a significant amount of time for them to rehabilitate, we bring them to the specialized units so that they can focus on their care, on the rehabilitation, and returned to duty, hopefully. host: in a recent article about the program, they talked with the program director, and they said that soldiers with a combined disability rating of
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50% will be eligible for the program as long as the injuries are combat-related. what does 50% mean? guest: that is taken from the rating tables of the department of defense and the department of veterans affairs when they are assessing the seriousness of a wound, kill us, or injury. probably -- wound, illness, or injury could probably in better terms, the kinds of injuries you will see -- i will give you some examples. posttraumatic stress disorder is a category where we put a soldier in the most serious army wounded warrior program, burns and education, brain injury. -- burns an amputation, brain injury. that is why we have the army wounded warrior program, to continue to advocate for the soldier, help them navigate through the many benefits and opportunities they have and assist them well into the future, for as long as it takes.
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host: is this just for soldiers that have been injured during the iraq and afghanistan conflict, either directly or indirectly? or is it something that they've suffered before these conflicts started up, that they could come in and get treatment? guest: the army would warrior program was for soldiers -- army wounded warrior program was for soldiers of this generation on active duty since 2001, the ones most seriously injured. the wounded warrior program is really an advocacy program and assistance program to connect a soldier with other non clinical services or medical care. for soldiers on active duty, they could also be enrolled in this program, but they will have all whole other series of care providers, case managers, and those who provide non-clinical services. it is a pretty complicated program that brings several pieces together. host: for the better part of the
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next hour, we will talk to the brigadier-general about the army's wounded warrior program, and if you want to get involved in the discussion -- we have a special line for veterans, wounded veterans and their family members. our first call comes from oklahoma, randy on the line for republicans. go ahead. caller: i believe that if our government is going to send our citizens to fight wars, then they should be obligated to give the soldiers or the veterans and the warriors the best of care above all. and that includes the so-called
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universal health care that the of the coming up here -- that they have got coming up here. the veterans deserve all the attention of the government should be obligated to serve them after they've served our country in the manner that it did. -- that they did. guest: i agree completely with him. obviously, if we are going to have a professional army, all-volunteer army and military, if we cannot guarantee the care and take care of these soldiers, both from the point of injury all the way into the future, and help them with a productive, wholesome, and rewarding future, that young americans are not going to volunteer to serve the country. soldiers on the battlefield, if they're not assured of their medical care, are not going to fight with the same intensity and tenacity that they do today. we have a moral obligation, and frankly, soldiers, for those who
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dedicate their lives to it -- it is something we feel we have to do. host: our next call this from teresa, a va nurse. caller: i'm a nurse at the va, taking care a lot of the soldiers coming back to some of them, when they first come back, the haft family and support, but because of their mental health and posttraumatic stress disorder, they start to lose their families and their jobs, and they come to the va, and there is no help for them in terms of housing and support. they have to wait and wait, and they cannot wait. they give up hope. i was wondering if the congress could create an emergency fund so at least warriors could be put on disability quickly until
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the funding comes through each year. host: sir? guest: well, that is a tough problem, and one of the key things that she is bringing out is that in our case, our 9000 soldiers, every one of them is an individual, with unique medical issues at a minimum. they bring with them a whole host of other potential challenges, be they family, personal, private, or otherwise. but they also bring in goals and dreams and aspirations of other things that they have always wanted to do. our program, as we have learned in eight years of war, and through that period, we of constantly improved this program. we have got what i would call very dedicated cadre and staff, excellent facilities, but we have learned that is not sufficient. it is not enough just to provide those services and provide nice facilities. what we have worked on and what
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we are going to is an inspirational model to convince our soldiers to overcome their disabilities, live with the things that they have to come out of focus on whether their abilities -- focus on what are their abilities, and focus on a viable, productive, and rewarding future. in this particular case, she described a soldier who starts to lose the support structure, and has a difficult time transitioning into civilian life. we have to reach back and assist them. we are strong and great partners with the department of veterans affairs. they have been an enormous help to us. they have an officer that works with us. we have a the representative in every one of our war years transitions unit. we partnered very strongly with them and we want to look after every soldier, whether they are on active duty or as a veteran. the role of the family, as she
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mentioned, is just so critical, and the support, love that they provide, we cannot repay. we cannot replace. and certainly, the nation should do all it can to provide more for the families. host: we want to remind our viewers and listeners that we've shifted gears in our discussion this morning. a lot of you have called in about the health care vote, and while that is an important issue, we have shifted gears and are talking about the army's wounded warrior program if you want to get involved in that conversation, please give us a call. of course, our special line for wounded veterans and their family members -- next up is cliffside, north
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carolina, on our line for democrats. good morning, daniel. caller: yes, it seems like the administration of the last eight years did an excellent job of paying lip service to giving help to returning veterans, and to me, there is nothing more important than that. i'm just curious -- mccain was against some sort of benefits that veterans were getting because he was afraid we were going to lose volunteers. can you tell us what that was that he was so dead set against when the presidential campaign was running last year? host: are you familiar with that? guest: i am not familiar with anything that senator mccain had been opposed to or against. but i guess what i would say is, for the army, we work very
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closely, obviously, with the administration, the office of the secretary of defense, and with congress. what i have found is across all of those, both administrations and with the congress, have been enormously generatio -- enormously generous, very open, very, very helpful to us. and i believe also that they worked very cooperatively with the department of veterans affairs. putting the politics of this aside, i think for both congress, the administration, the officials that serve in the office of the secretary of defense, and others, we have enormous cooperation, and army has been very well taken care of. host: for the soldier that has the 50 percent disability rating, does he have to make the direct application to the program, or is the army tracking them from the time he is injured and taken off the field and identified as a person that would be moved into this wounded
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warrior program? guest: it varies, mainly because sometimes it is very evident from the injury but the disability rating is very likely -- in the case, say, of an entity or a burn. in other cases, it is not as a parent. as soon as we recognize that the soldier is going to be a candidate for the program, we will enroll them in that. but regardless of whether they are on active duty, they are assigned to the warrior transition, those that are seriously injured, and they will receive great care, case management, at the dedicated leadership to guide them through that. host: paul in miami, welcome. caller: good morning. sir, i honor your service to our country and the service of all of your other fellow warriors, though i oppose war. i'm an anti war veteran. i want to ask you two questions. what lessons have we learned --
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[inaudible] and what are we doing to address the deficits for vietnam veterans that have been mistreated? and when are we going to get a surgeon general, sir? let's get on with it. thank you. guest: paul, i had difficulty understanding the first questions. i just got the lessons and care. host: i think that is the gist of it. guest: he asked one question we learned about warrior care since walter reed. i think we learned there is that, first of all, the army -- if you remember "forrest gump"
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when he was playing ping-pong, he was playing a patient in an army relocation center, -- army rehabilitation center. in the 1970's, we had one of those at valley forge, pennsylvania, were general frank reelected after being wounded in vietnam and decided to have this leg amputated and have another year of recovery there, where he ultimately, based on how inspired he was by the other soldiers he was with, decided to return to active duty. by the 1970's, the disability was really gone from the army. we have a program called medical pulled and pulled over, that work adequately for a peacetime army -- medical hold and holdover, that work to adequately for a peacetime army.
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but the different things that we had done became in addition to take care of the number of soldiers, both casualty -- became not sufficient to take care of the number of soldiers, but casualties and those in medical care. we created these warrior transition units and we are in our third year of being operational. what we've done is put dedicated and trained leadership, traditional leadership that soldiers are familiar with, and we provide case management to train those that can help schedule points, keep soldiers on track, as well as the physicians or assistance who can help orchestrate multiple conditions and helped negotiate for -- and i will say to collaborate with other physicians. we have said all those things up. this is a great start for the army. what we've learned now is that it is not enough.
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we want to get to where we get our soldiers focused on their future, and through a pretty deliver it co -- pretty deliberate goal set, medical care, real politician, personal life, family -- rehabilitation, personal life, family, the ultimate goal is that we want a soldier who was fully prepared to step into civilian life and go back to the army. most importantly, it is confident that they can do that. with any change in your life, there is anxiety that goes with that. we are not necessarily going to eliminate all that, but we want to increase the level of confidence that we have a good handoff that a soldier steps from one part of life to another. the next year is going to be an exciting one as we step into the comprehensive transition plan,
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which will automate these practices, and allow us to identify and resolve issues for the soldiers as we get them ready for the next step in their life. we are changing from just providing the services to one where we really want to inspire our soldiers to be excited about their future. so many of them had so much to give. host: this next question was e-mailed to us, along those lines. guest: what a great question. what we have found, obviously, for the soldier was injured -- soldier who was injured, we certainly don't want them being idle and doing nothing with their time, because this can lead to large despondency, depression, other things.
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we want soldiers to get engaged in the work program or education program, and sometimes both. that is what is so critical about selecting a track for the soldier, one week to an initial assessment. -- when we do an initial assessment we might have an intere -- might have an infantryman that is not medically qualified to return. the soldier could be a legal clerk could we want a soldier to go through some counseling with a career counselor, select a new specialty, and then we will set up an education plan to help them work on that while they are recovering. we offer opportunities to go to college, vocational training. a whole host of things that soldiers can do but we set them up in some cases with smaller shops, or using va benefits to go to -- to set them up in some cases with scholarships, or using va benefits to go to college. a friend of mine, while he was
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recovering, got a master's degree from georgetown, and he is going to remain on active duty, recently selected for promotion to colonel. he is currently on his war college scholarship as well. we really want our soldiers to be actively working to go to school while they're in the program. host: we're talking about the army's wounded warriors program with brigadier-general gary cheek. it is the commander of the warrior transition to man. -- he is the commander of the warrior transition commanded thomas on our line for independencts. caller: good morning, general, and tv announcers. i have an interesting question, regarding what a person leaves the military, first-termer, third-termer, or the retiree --
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why can't we use the central part of the united states for a west coast, east coast base program, because the skills we have in the military, any branch could accomplish the maintenance, food service, and hospitalization, and you can have your wounded warrior at that base, which has been closed. i was very saddened when i was up in the north central part of the united states where the air force base was come and they are selling everything off to the civilians. host: thanks for your call, thomas. guest: it is interesting. i guess what i would say is that these 9000 soldiers, each one as an individual8 -- every one of them has their own goals, dreams, and desires, and the
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last thing they want is to be forced into doing something, or be pushed into a certain direction what we really want to do is offer them a lot of opportunities. this is probably what america -- where america can do more for our wounded and injured service members as they returned to civilian life. the support of america for our armed forces has never wavered. in fact, it continues to be a remarkable -- it continues to be remarkable what they offer every day for soldiers in terms of gifts, welcoming, etc. it is far warming for all of us. -- heartwarming for all of us. would warriors get invitations to a sporting events and gangs like that. -- and things things like that. those are nice and they make them feel appreciated, but they are transient things. what we need to do is embrace
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these service members and offer them a career. bring them back into the community. get them involved in sporting events and athletic activities. for the golfers, who have not played golf until you've played with a double amputee. you have not been a cyclist until you of been told by a soldier with a missing arm that " i will play you forward as we move through a course." or kayaking. get them into the community, offutt them a clear, and you'll be surprised. -- offer them a career, and you'll be surprised. host: mike, you are of veteran? caller: yes, sir. good morning, general, and good morning, sir. i was in desert storm, and
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operation iraqi freedom in 2003. lately, when i come back from iraq, i had a lot of injuries. i want to also said that the treatment program i'm involved in an alabama, it is of the program, and they have been very good -- it is a va program and they have been very good. the only problem i have is the long way. other than that, excellent job. thank you, sir, for your time. guest: that is actually good to hear. with our 9000 soldiers that we have on active duty, we do have a lot of issues. frankly, sometimes, you cannot get it right. -- you do not get it right. when we do not get it right, we want to make the corrections to
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take care of that soldier. the conditions and issues change. what is right yesterday may not be right the next day. for michael, i think it shows how far we have come in our relationship with the department of veterans affairs. it is a very positive one. is one where when we had a veteran with a problem, we contact va and work with them. or if they have an active duty soldiers, they contact us. we work very collaborative leap we have a number of va officers working with the army, and we of army officers working with the va, and liaisons' in different places. it is critical that we work together. it is good that he is doing well with his treatment and his recovery, but i think, if i could, i could probably offered those on the line, if we have a wounded soldier and family with an issue, we of got a hot line, 1-800-984-8523.
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they will when you walk with the right person who will care for you. -- live view up with the right person who will care for you. host: later in the evening, c- span will air the senate armed services committee hearing, talking about the wounded warrior program, and was chaired by senator ben nelson, democrat of nebraska, and features several wounded warriors and their spouses. if you want to find out more about the program, you can tune in this evening at 11:00 hour for the reair of the senate armed services committee hearing. back to the phones. rhode island, on the line for republicans. caller: to the general, thank you very much for your service. thank everyone who is in uniform or past uniforms.
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really appreciate it. i'm a vietnam veteran of three years. it's just ironic that the news conference that the president just had, someone in the audience yelled out, "what about the troops?" he had to be reminded. as far as i'm concerned, that sucks. thank you. guest: one of the things i would say -- let me express my gratitude to the vietnam veterans. the treatment they receive, which is much different from what we have today, is attributable to them. they stepped up and told us that we will not allow this to happen again to this generation of warriors. we are very, very appreciative of that bond we have with the warriors of that generation. i know they know that they have passed the guide to this generation, and the army has not
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filled this generation and will certainly not fill them. --not failed this generation and will certainly not fail them. host: is this unique to the army? guest: no, they all have a version of the program. we collaborate quite often and share ideas. but all of them are somewhat different all the services of a different culture and different circumstances. all of them approached this in a little bit differently. we are really, really good about sharing ideas. host: our next call comes from california, dan on the line for democrats. caller: good morning, in general. i want to commend you on a job well done on bringing these issues to the forefront, to the american people. with the challenges of today,
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the military and the medical personnel, b.c. lot more soldiers on the battle being injured -- we see a lot more soldiers on the battlefield being injured and killed. i do not see hearings by the budgetary committee about the military spending, if it is going to balance out more towards these types of programs to help with that. i would like to see what your thoughts are on that. guest: well, as i pointed out earlier, the congress has been very generous to the army. they listen to us very closely in terms of what our requirements are. in particular, when we look at budget requirements for help, it is funded separately through the office of the secretary of defense. if everything like that is programmed in. the number of casualties we have, the number of soldiers need to take in -- we program
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and budget for making sure we can take care of those requirements. we are for real taking care of by the congress. -- very well taken care of by the congress. host: the issue of posttraumatic stress disorder has come up several times this month last week in "the new york times," there was this headline, talking about a private first class who has struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder and production after tours in iraq -- posttraumatic stress disorder and drug addiction after course in iraq -- tours in iraq. it talks about the circumstances of his ptsd and whether he violated military laws. he refused to sign a waiver. he talked to a therapist afterwards. is there any thought of changing
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that policy to get these soldiers to be more forthcoming about their experiences? guest: well, i think in this particular case, what this policy is oriented on is determining if this soldier poses any immediate threat to those around him or to his family. it is not intended to be a dive into history to find culpability for something the soldier may have done. that is really not what it is about. if anything, is probably providing a little more clarity into what we are trying to accomplish here, as opposed to being part of an investigation into potential war crimes. i think all of us who have served in combat, we have to make decisions, particularly commanders and leaders, but also soldiers, especially in counterinsurgency. all of them have to make decisions, and very quickly, but there can sometimes be consequences that are unintended.
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that can trouble the soldiers and leaders for an extended amount of time. i do not think there's anything wrong necessarily with the policy. i think what the provider is doing is telling the soldiers that if there is something that you are doing or my be that might pose a risk to your family or soldiers, they an obligation to make sure that does not happen. host: our next call is from trees in california. you are a veteran? -- teresa in california. you are a veteran? caller: no, my husband is. my daughter just married a wonderful young man in the army. my question is, i wrote a proposal here in my city of riverside to have support housing built for these families that would have everything that they needed on- site, and housing would have a care givers unit, because so many family members want to care
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for their wounded vets while they are transitioning. there were also the physical therapy there, social workers, everything that they would need, a clinic. my proposal was accepted, but the time i went to the builder -- by the time i went to the builder, he did not seem to want to build what was needed, because of cost, and the land was bought, he was to build this thing, about the time it got approved by the planning commission, it had turned into housing for seniors, because they felt that would be the easiest way to get to the community to accept what was needed. i know, because my husband and i have been in the system for a long time, that most of the housing that is being built by the bva and the money coming through the states is going for
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alzheimer's units for very old veterans. i also know, going through the system, my husband became completely disabled by the age of 29. he was fast track on to social security disability, which is what is happening now, because it is so difficult when you are a board through the va. my husband, completely disabled at 29, did not win 100% with me being his advocate until december of 2006 could what happens with these families is that their credit falls down and they end up living on credit card debt, and they cannot even get, when they don't have a car, they cannot get a ride to the hospital appointments, because they have not met the threshold of being disabled get --. of being disabled yet.
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my husband and i would love to live in one of these transitional programs and be there, because we know this life, and we know that the divorce rate is high, and keeping your kids together -- i would have to quit jobs to get my kids' teeth fit or their eyes taking care of, because my children were deprived of benefits they should have had all through their lives. host: you have given us much to work with. thank you very much for your call. guest: first of all, thank you for what you're doing and thank you for your interest in your community. it is wonderful what you have undertaken to help veterans from all our wars, not just this generation's war is. i wish the best for you and your husband and i thank you for your advocacy and support for him, which is really typical of what we see in army families. really wonderful and what they do. i have a couple of lots for you. -- couple of thoughts for you.
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the statute that governs disabilities and compensation for veterans is 60 years old, was written under the leadership of omar bradley. we are well overdue for reform of this statute. we have got from agricultural, industrial america, with the draft army and a draft military, and now we are an all-volunteer army, the information age in america, with an army that fights by unit, not by individuals. we have a lot of married soldiers could we have a lot more women, not just single, young men, as in past wars. it is high time for a new look at this ability statutes -- at disability statues for veterans that goes beyond just disabilities and awarding compensation. this generation wants something more along the lines of replication -- rehabilitation
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and future productivity, and that is what week owe them. our message to congress and the secretary of defense is that is what we need to do. the statue to change oba's the takes some time, and it is a complex -- obviously takes some time, and it is the complex and difficult issue. as a soldier is going through the disability board process, we do it collaboratively and expanding the program. it will become the standard program. we do a joint physical with the day -- with the va, and at the end of the process, va disability and army disability assessments will be completed, they will be enrolled in the va,
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and a lot of the challenges you have will be prevented by the way we are currently doing business. unfortunately, it is too late to help you and your husband. host: our guest is a graduate of the u.s. military academy at west point, and his awards included the bronze star, meritorious service medal, and army achievement medal. how does an officer with field artillery experience become the assistant surgeon general for care and transition? -- for warrior care and transition? guest: most of my experience has been in operational units and strategy policy, that type of thing. when they told me that this was the job i was moving too, my jaw hit the floor, but quickly told them that i would be honored to do that but i think there is some brilliance and a but the army has done. you cannot simply put the
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responsibility for the care of our wounded soldiers on the medical corps. it is also an army responsibility. they have a soldier like me from the operational army to help run this program, and i do it in collaboration with great doctors and nurses and medical support service officers in the medical corps. what it has enabled us to do is that when we have a soldier with an issue -- fort hood is an example -- if the soldier has an issue that percolates to an outside channel, i can contact the general at fort hood and allowed him to that issue. the senior commanders like him have taken a personal interest in taking care of the soldier and resolving issues. in essence, what we have done is bring multiple cultures within the army together to solve problems. the progress we've made in the army would not have been possible without the other
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general offices, senior commanders, everyone within those installations where we have these units. if not for them, we would not have anywhere near the program we have now. their support, their interests, their influence, and their leadership has been absolutely spectacular for us. host: the general is featured in an article in this morning's "new york times," "at fort hood, reaching out to soldiers at risk." it has making an average not only to soldiers still in the service, believed to be at risk, -- making an out reach not only to soldiers still in the service, believed to be at risk, but to conscientious objectors, whatever, from the service, and he is making and our reach to bring them back into a situation where they can resolve differences with the military. is that part of the wounded warriors program, or is that above and beyond the call?
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guest: it is not necessarily part of our program but there could be a soldier at third that had become absent without leave -- a soldier out there that had become absent without leave. what is fascinating -- the general is a terrific leader down there. what he shows is that part of the army that america doesn't see very often is that we learned many years ago that you cannot be thin skin, you cannot be defensive about issues when we have problems. we have to be open and transparent if we want to prove ourselves. that is the underlying message that general cone is sending. he wants his army at fort hood to be the best it can be for soldiers. the fact that he is willing to reach out and listen to others it signifies that. host: 4 collins, colorado, allen on the line for republicans.
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caller: good morning. i'm kind of nervous. it is the first time i've ever called but i work with an organization at fort collins that works with disabled kids. we cooperated with the cheyenne va and signed up for the horses for heroes program. i want to commend them, the army and the va, for going outside the box and doing whatever is good for the veterans. really works wonders, watching the mental and physical therapy that these veterans go through, working with horses, riding. it helps to balance them. i want to give them a high-five for doing a good job. guest: you know, alan, i am thrilled to be here for your first call. what he is doing is exactly what we want america to do, getting
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our soldiers out into the community, showing them what we ca -- what they can do. we have a lot of programs like this with other organizations. there are a lot of therapy programs like this that we're doing and other units. this one is a great idea. we have excursions' we do, we have a program called "ride to recovery," where we take a soldiers out on 600-mile trips. i did one of them, and the last time, the soldiers put me to shame. the little vignette i gave about the guy missing an arm -- i could not keep up with him. they proved themselves with abilities that maybe they thought were lost. they are rejuvenated a programs like this. the wounded warrior program does a number of things like this.
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there are great organizations out there that bring our warriors out of the hospital rooms and get them back into society and prove the things that they can do. that little bit of restoration restored the confidence, the self-esteem, and it starts to encourage them to reach for greater things, more things, and it reminds them that their life can be very, very productive. it is not about disability and compensation. it is about rewarding, productive future. alan, i thank you for your reaching out to them. that is a terrific program. host: the soldiers that come through this program that want to stay in the military, even though they are disabled -- is it something that they are genuinely trying to make the best of it? are they surprised that they can still stay in the military, even with a disability? guest: well, we have had a
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program around for a long time. one of the issues that general frank in january of 1970, he applied to continue active duty, was approved, and rose to be a four-star general, with an amputated leg. the decision to stay on active duty is a soldier's decision. they apply for it. it is not a guaranteed thing. we have got to make sure that they can continue to contribute to the service. in most cases, that is very possible. i can point to several great soldiers out there, and i was doing a disservice to the about 600 or so that have continued on active duty since these wars began, but i will give you a few examples. sgt jonathan pryce, a single entity, unbelievable soldier with -- what he is s -- single amputee, unbelievable soldier with what he has accomplished.
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and we have one who is now a platoon sergeant at our warrior transition unit. a lieutenant colonel, a soldier who is paralyzed in both of his feet from wounds in iraq. he now, as the warrior transition unit battalion -- now commands the warrior transition unit battalion at fort lewis, washington pi. and another one injured in 2005 by an ied, that he has a master's degree from west point. we have a lot of roles we can fill just within our wounded warriors program for these soldiers. but they are not limited to that. they can do whatever it is they want to do. we want to put them in positions where they can continue to make a contribution. host: let's go back to the phones. of kentucky, dave on the line for independence. -- independents.
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caller: i joined the army that i felt so sorry for those guys in world war iii, correa, because -- will war ii -- world war ii, korea, and they made a truck driver out of me, and i was over there a few months. they started building the berlin wall. then they turned around, and my mother almost died, so they sent me home by plane, and return to me by plane. the following summer, the cuba crisis come up, and that was
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more. no fooling around, no weekends off. the following summer, my mom was sick again, and my priest and my dad contacted the company, and they said, "you just want to go home." three weeks later, she died. if you think that did not tell me up, you are mistaken. -- did not tear me up, you are mistaken. oh, i hated that captain so bad. they tried to put me on a medical discharge, and i fought my way out of that, thank god, and got my honorable discharge. what i really want to bring up is the fact that after that, there was a general smacking people in the face for being cowards, but at any rate, i did not feel that way about myself. i had great medical care until the late 1990's from the va.
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then they started to bring the indian people in, and if you explain to of foreign person how the american way of life is, it is impossible. they cannot understand it to start with. then they outlaw the one medication i had for years, and i got married and had kids and was a success in big industry. and so here i sit, and i've lost my home to to all this mess -- i bought my home on the gi bill in 1970, and i paid the bill in 2002, or to us one, but this housing program -- they got ahold of my house and took that for me and i did not have much to pay on it. i live in a travel trailer in kentucky on top of a mountain. host: dave, we're going to have to leave it there. sorry about that. guest: dave, i just have to say,
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thank you for your service, and we wish you the best with your care. i am confident that the the able to the best -- the va will do the best it can to give you the care that you need and can work directly with you on your personal medical issues. host: we have this e-mail from peg conroy. guest: again, that is a great question. this is a tough area here, and one of the things for ourselves, particularly wounded and injured soldiers, the decision they make on where to live. if they choose to live in remote or rural area, that will make the care more complicated and difficult. i really appreciate the comment
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about women. there is far more women serving and the military in far more dangerous roles than past wars. the va in particular has stepped up quite a bit with women's clinics and things like that. i cannot speak for what is available in the state of maine, but there are things that are available. they have mobile clinics that the use and there is telemedicine as well. if your daughter, for example, is a reserve component soldier, there are issues that have come up since she has been released from active duty, there is a process where she can apply to come back on active duty for treatment in the case that she wants that. i encourage you to do that. she can apply with her local reserve unit if that is appropriate. there are a number of ways we can get assistance for your daughter that would require her to step forward and work with her local unit to do that.
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host: our next call is from fort worth, texas, jordan, a father of the wounded warrior participant. caller: thank you for much for taking the call. general, your program is working great. our son was originally injured at the pentagon b. he was on the scene pulling people out, and some beams fell on them, and then he spent time in afghanistan as a translator, and went back to iraq, and got stuck with injuries there. three back surgeries, mental issues. the wounded warrior program for the last year-and-a-half has been exceptional good without it, it would have been very difficult. he and his wife live outside of fort bragg it has just been great. we a trichet all the help. a lot of people -- we appreciate all the help. a lot of people needed.
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thank you very much. host: before you go, can you tell us what the program, besides what it did for your son, what it did for his family and wife? guest: it is a huge umbrella safety net. bacon called the case manager and there is no paperwork -- they can call the case manager and there is no paper work, none of the rigmarole. support groups. it is just a huge umbrella that they know -- it is kind of like travelers insurance, a big red umbrella. it is such a relief with the issues they are dealing with with a two-and-a-half-year-old baby. he is not a deployable -- nondeployable. he has a lot of titanium in his back from his last surgery. he is a super soldier.
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the wounded warriors -- the whole family unit -- they received tremendous benefits. the program works, and we are very, very appreciative of what is being done for our boy. host: jordan, thanks. sorry to cut you off, but thank you very much for your call. guest: what a great story. jordan, thank you for all your doing for your son and his family, and our thanks to your son for his service, both in the theater of war and on 9/11. i am very proud of our program. it's a great program, but not a perfect program. as i said, we want to move beyond just providing great facilities and care management and leadership. now we want in its operational model of goal setting and focusing soldiers on their future. we are doing it with an automated program that we're testing right now and we will have that out army-wide in
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february, that lays out every goal aspect of the soldier's life and helps to identify issues and allows us to see where we have problems and shortfalls and the services to provide. if i could add one other thing, we do provide a lot of great services for families, but i am not satisfied by that, either. it is too -- we make a lot of things available, but we provide no guide, and no plan. it is not tailored for the family. our next step this spring is to get a comprehensive transition plan automated and up and running. we will have a family program, sit down with the family, find out what the family goals, desires, dreams, the senetc., a. line them up with opportunities for education, assist them with understanding battered the conditions of the soldier,


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