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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 30, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am EST

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federal marketplace and to lay the concerns of insurers after a rocky rollout. guest: the white house heard some of the criticism. after the botched rollout, the essentially ad rapid response rescue man to come in and take it over and he stepped aside now and the former executive from microsoft agreed to step in to take over oversight of the further implementation of it is not clear whether or how long he will stay. he pledged only to stay within next year. there is discussion about whether he may stay longer. clearly, one of the real weaknesses of the implementation of and the enrollment process was a lack of clear leadership in the obama administration. it is a fairly broad consensus
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having someone who has strong leadership and particularly private sector experience is not such a bad thing. click yes. i think generally all the senators calling for somebody to head this, were happy with last week. roanoke, virginia. good morning. >> good morning. ask, i have not done anything about the affordable health care act yet. as i go through the process, are to haveired identification? guest: yes. generally, when you go through the process, you are required to have a number of things, proof of citizenship, some proof of the website, or if you do not want to go to the
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website, you can find someone to help you in person, they will go through the things you actually need to have in order to actually apply for health insurance. why are you asking for id echo -- id? why do you have to have id in order to get insurance? why do you have to have identification for insurance that you can vote and you do not need identification? host: do you want to take a crack at that? caller most things know is that you need identification. this makes millions of dollars of insurance available to those with low or moderate incomes.
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there's obviously an interested in trying to ensure the people are who they say they are. there's no medical condition involved because there's no existing addition, but there's a lot of concern about fraud, and that this program is only available here in the u.s. legally, so they want to make sure that you are who you say you are. host: how do you think the politics change after january 1 with health care here in washington, and around the country? here's one headline -- approach at gop's this point, where have they been, and where the going -- they are going. on thethey have been repeal, or the delay, and i think those things are probably going to have to evolve if you will, because it is going to be once you get several million people -- one of the things we
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should go back to his talking people who areon signed up in the states. they're not quite as far off as saying, they are guessing it is about 800,000. there aren't about 2 million people have signed up for the plan, and somewhere over 4 million people have now gone coverage through medicaid and the children's health insurance programs. we're talking somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 million people who are going to have coverage starting generate first. if you're going to repeal the law, you're going to take insurance away from 6 million people. that is something for the republicans to think about. now they are talking about delaying the mandate. it is the next things coming down the pipe. really march 31, if you do not have insurance, you have to pay this fine. or the employer mandate that to put off a year. they're looking at things that
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have not taken effect yet. you'd expect those types of arguments. or a wholesale revision of the law, but i think we are kind of past repeal point because once having insurance and having it were, then it becomes harder to take it away. , delaying theey mandate, what effect would this have on the overall process? guest: people are gay but i how much these plans operated through obamacare actually cost. if not enough healthy people show up because there is no penalty if you do not get health insurance, does that change the , thatool, as it is called makes it more spent seven 2014 -- expensive and 2014? i do not think that the law is danger of being
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repealed before president obama relieves office, but clearly, if there's a republican president in 2017, and the law is not working, if the premiums that the people are paying are too -- ther if the law employers decide to stop weering health coverage, find a point when was as disastrous as it was, would be public perception was that this thing cannot work. at that point, the republican critique of the law gave the a lot of steam. i think we might see a change in 2017. there until now republicans have not had an alternative, i just complained about the affordable care act. now there -- they will probably put something out there that is
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and seven 2014. it will be interesting to see what the republicans have as a comprehensive alternative. host: there is a tweet -- has that been a problem? guest: yes it has. there've been a fair number of aca websites. host: they ask for money, personal information, both? guest: all of the above. places what to charge people to sign up, and that is not the way it is. tost: i just wanted to add our earlier conversation, the california republican party actually put up a fake website. failed really took it down, coming under a lot of stirred criticism. a call from mike. caller: i represent this.
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, shefe is 68 on medicare ingin a skilled nurse facility. she has been there for only 26 days, and because she is not showing recent progress, medicare is cutting off as of tomorrow. therefore the supplement is also discontinued. entering a cancer study at the cancer center in georgetown. what can we do? can we get any kind of insurance to cover this? host: let's hear from our guests. guest: i believe the call over's clinical trials in some cases. you might want to explore that,
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and call medicare's 800-number and ask. the supplemental will not cover that-- those things medicare will not cover. host: david, you're on the air. caller: the problem with the portal care act is that it has never had the support of the iraqi people. the would -- majority of the american people feel like they are being bullied into doing something they did not want to do, which is an unfortunate situation because the relationship between the people and the government that the founding fathers had in mind was that the sum that government should be subservient to the people, not the other way around. host: what does that all that mean then? law?the january 1 theer: the lady said
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republicans have a plan, and i am a republican. three steps you could have done. step number one, malpractice litigation reform to address the soaring malpractice insurance costs and defensive medicines that doctors not to practice. step number two, allow people to buy state insured policies across state lines. as that number three, have a website that i shores, where people can go compare the various lands and caused, if they want to pay a little but more to keep their own doctors and hospitals, that would be their choice. instead of the government dictating what doctors they can choose from the what hospitals they can choose from, what lands they can choose from. host: thank you for calling. have we heard any of these plans before? guest: reforming the medical
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malpractice is a longtime birdie to the conservative health policy folks. as is deregulating health insurance and allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines. i think there is a general medicals that the malpractice system could use some changes by the problem is that it does not do all of the things that some proponents of doing it claim. it may help reduce some of the unnecessary test that are done, and free doctors to practice in luba differently, but it does not solve the problem of tens of millions of people who do not have access to health insurance, it does not help change the incentives for practicing medicine one way or another. very briefly on selling health insurance across state lines, even health insurance regulators will say that that becomes very complicated. but if you buy a help lead in
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plan in iowa,th but you live in new york. what if you have a problem, who do the you go to? do you go to the regulator and i wasn't supposed to be responsible, or do you go to the federal government? -- is opening the door for even more federal involvement? guest: most of these plans, for better or for worse, have networks that are pretty broad. it is impossible to buy a plan in iowa if the person lives in new york. worselants, for better or about are not national. there are national, multistate plans in the affordable care act. there are supposed to be more going forward. , think there in 33 states now and they are supposed to be in
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all 50 states by next year. today headline about mental health care. it still lags, and is a cry just cannot accept insurance -- many sick i just do not accept insurance. guest: missing a lot of what is going on. people complain that i lost my plan, now i have to buy these plans that have all of these things that i do not want to go or and will never need, but the institute of medicine was the one that went in and to send what these plans will have to cover. many of the things that people think they will never need may in fact be things that perhaps you will someday need, and mental health care is one of them. many people do mental health perhaps substance abuse treatment, and it is an issue that a lot of doctors who do not take insurance. sometimes you'll have a problem
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with difficulty in getting providers, and getting the cult -- difficult getting providers into networks. lock,ocess of picking the the health care system that we have is not a big one. there is a lot to still ironfire. -- there is still a lot to iron out. getting that balance right is a challenge. with anything the government does the as this law is being and lamented, one of the things that we will have to keep an eye on is the degree to which that balance between the market doing the things that we want, and government regulating coverage of mental health. types of requirements for the government is placing on health insurance, or on doctors. that is going to be any volvo olving and evil thin
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balance. brad, independent caller, from iowa. caller: hello. that i havetime to a subcontractor individual plan. my plan was grandfathered, i'm not being forced to buy maternity coverage, and a bunch of other stuff that you do not need to i'm a 51-year-old single man gave as far as insured costs across state lines, i have blue cross blue shield policy and i iowa, and my providers are nebraska. everything works just fine. let's go over some of the numbers. when they pass this law, they undershirtlion were there isred, and now 50 million uninsured, and 6.1 million individual policies have
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been canceled with an average of 1.7 people on each plan. so that is somewhere between 10 and 11 million people that have lost their insurance. communist takeover of our health insurance company. host: one opinion there from brad, in iowa. a tweet here -- do we know that figure? guest: right now there are more people getting medicaid that are buying plans. it was always expected. remember, people keep talking about this 7 million that are expected to have private insurance but that is the projection. the first projection was always 9 million, so there was always the thought that would be door
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people getting medicaid the second year than signing up in the health exchanges. host: this opens the doors to medicaid coverage on its own terms. what is the story going on in iowa with medicaid coverage? guest: i forget exactly how iowa is doing, but half the states are expanding. originally everyone was supposed thextend medicaid to underprivileged sector, but now it.y half are doing doing it not exactly as it was anticipated, doing it slightly differently. i forget exactly how iowa itided how to come in, but
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is not a straight expansion, they doing it with some strings attached. they are a handful of states that are negotiating with the federal government to funding. their federal we are also reading in "the new york times" that to save have the same lead contractor to hold the online mark places and had summit problems and delayed that they withhold ninth of dollars in seeknts to the company and to recoup the funds. the contractor for was the contractor in several state run mark places that have problems. thisnk hawaii may have had as well. not surprising that states would
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seek some redress. host: taylorsville, kentucky, you're on the line. network for in the, and she was a dutch my friend was just diagnosed with cancer and she works at a bowling alley. herthe boy do not notify that the employer did not notify her that she would no longer be covered. somewhere sister with two they program to find her new insurance, and it was going to cost her $300 a month with a $6,700 deductible. that is not cheap about for someone who only works at a bowling alley. and then my other question is, does this employer have the right to do that, not let -- and that close to where it is time for her to sign up for the new
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programs? employers were under an obligation to notify their employees about the options for coverage through the marketplaces. i do not know about the significant -- specific scenario that the caller is referencing. more but: we would need the specifics of that. that sounds about right for how much you have to pay, but depending on how much he earns you might be eligible for still more health. povertye under 250% of you're not only all jewel for help with your premiums, but your companies as well. host: karen, from arkansas. on the republican side -- line. caller: my main comment is that, with all of this health care
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being created, the people that are most important and all that were ignored, and those were the physicians. the physicians who have worked, some of them since middle school, to get where they are, are now being told what to do, what they cannot do, what they can charge what they cannot charge. i guess my, to the two guests is how would they feel if the government now says to them we are late going to let you make five dollars hour, six dollars an hour, or $10 an hour? if yourd you feel personal work was now disgraced, your value is decreased by a government agency? how is this going to affect the patient's because i do not think the doctors were considered in this. you can evolve insurance you want, but one sheet -- until you have a doctor to take care of you, you're not going to get healthy again. majority ofat the the doctors in the country are going to boycott obamacare, and
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then what are we going to have but a bunch of nurses when you get really sick. i would like them to respond to how this is affecting the doctors, and how they were not considered in this. guest: a lot of people like nurses,bout so of ip -- so it might be good for some patients. most of the major medical associations supported health reform, including the american medical association. there are a lot of positions that are feeling nervous if not outright angry about what the law is doing. they're made to be seen whether or not some of the regulations and requirements that the law put in place will be things that are beneficial or not for physicians. is to be said that there are a lot of positions that feel that some of the things that the laws doing to make it easier for
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physicians to care for patients in a more rational wealth, may help them manage them -- their diseases, is a positive development. we do not want them to have to take government money, have to pay for medicare patients, medicaid patients quit happened than about -- patients. about 2 million people are on that. guest: and most of the expansions here are coming in private experience -- insurance. a lot of private insurance companies are trying to compete by either narrowing their network and having fewer doctors in their but to have the there to keep the
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prices competitive. host: here is a tweet -- guest: no very that is not part of it. host: let's go to a democrat in tennessee. caller: good morning a lady, and gentlemen. a quick story, and then a question. i am retired. i had co-payso and out-of-pocket expenses on my retirement insurance. $70 atarted charging me month, and then this year they miraculously charged me $331 a
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month. i do not know this obamacare, or the greed of at&t. my question is, i've been on lou cross blue shield of illinois by and i worked -- if companies are people, how can they buy insurance across state lines? that is a question that everyone needs to know. drafted, know who gets all all of the-- questions that people have. thank you. have a happy new year. host: noam levey? guest: a lot of issues raised there. issue first ofe cost. clearly the cost of health there -- health care in this country
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continues to rise. i pay a higher co-pay, a higher premium, i wish that were not the case. cost growth is slightly slower now than it used to be a few years ago, but it is still faster than inflation. so every year we are all paying a little more for health insurance. i do not think it is does their leave the case obamacare is responsible for that by it has been going on for many years. one of the things to keep in mind about how expensive health care is come a that we all talk about, how can we do things to change that -- the government could regulate the prices, the government could set lower prices for everybody. as karen was just telling us, that is not something that a lot of doctors want either. there is this conundrum of what is the role of government convention government edict getting that we pay less money? i do not think that is the answer, and i do not think it but he knows yet. host: john, in illinois. caller: good morning.
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i have been a major defender of our president on this health care issue. recently, i've been disabled for about seven years to beingaughter, prior aged 19 was on medicaid here in illinois, and then they cut you off at 19. so she is now 20 them and i went thinkingte and was that this was going to be great, the expanding medicaid that she would be able to get on. she is in college, lives at home, and we do not have a very good income here. we found out that because my wife has insurance, that she will not be able to be eligible for medicaid. but to put her on my wife's plan would cost more than $500 a month, and we didn't do that to
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begin with because we cannot afford it. so now after discussions in my allly and with my friends, lot of them on the opposite side of where i am, it is beginning to be a lot harder to defend this program when my own daughter is not going to be able to be on a program, and i cannot afford to pay for it. so i think there is a big problem with this, and i'm hoping that it can be fixed, but it is getting harder to defend our president and this ada -- aca. host: is that story typical? guest: it is not typical, and it does get confusing, particularly in the situation of young adults and what they can do. expensive, but i do believe what some employers have said for this is a big problem
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called the family growth -- glitch, where they can have their insurance, but the cost of adding family members is difficult. why multistate employers have always been allowed to offer insurance to employees in multiple states, that is what the employment security act does. of employers that have employees in many states, and they get to offer insurance across state lines. it is only few buying fully insured plans in one state. it is individuals who cannot i state -- insurance and other states. big corporations can always offer. >> it should be noted that to our earlier discussion, those health plans are regulated by the federal government. there's actually a right of the street from here, a very large up this -- very large office.
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if we're going to expand interstate health insurance, i would achieve that the office would have to get a little bigger. host: mention more about the functionalities of out the help exchanges in the states. guest: it depends on the state. storyline wasthe the did not work with the states were doing great. now -- now itlp is is a great but the states are having some serious troubles. marilyn, you have a situation where the contractor did not do so what were they tried to move to a different contractor, and ended up suing each other. you have organ which never got its website launched they they have done everything on paper so far. hawaii has had some really serious problems. i think that the states that have done the best of although they have done -- had some
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york,m too -- new connecticut, kentucky, they have done really well. in colorado which started out really well has had some stumbles. kentucky has done really well, but they had started early and did a whole lot of work. washington state has also done well, but they have had some -- and much everybody has had some issues. host: we have a couple of more calls. ictor,, a republican -- v a republican. caller: i'm just calling because i job leave that this health- care bill is going to benefit a large cross-section of the country like we have been told. i want to make a statement about dr. ben carson, but before i do you -- wesay that if
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were told that if you wanted to take -- keep your plan, you could. none of this stuff about it -- you're able to keep it because you are able to pay the increasing price, we were told this until just recently. i realize that there are a lot of people out there without insurance, and people who are underinsured, and there could have been a way that we could get this hold thing fixed so that they are not underinsured and they are not without insurance. the other issue that is about to fall that all of us have been ignoring is the fact that we're that have 30 million plus is going to continuously increase the cost of medical care is country. he ben carson, i think that
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be someone that we ought to really look to, and people like health- help us in this care thing, because people are to dealing with this thing. once we get people in office that are really looking out for us by the iraqi people, and i mean both sides of for us,tical aisle -- the american people, and i mean both sides of the political aisle, we'd better education in this country, and there's something not happening because we are allowing ourselves to be governed by a politician who really wants to control our lives. host: one less call. from southl, silvio
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bend, indiana. independent color. toward morning -- independent color. good morning. as of the end of the year, she is going to be canceled completely. -- is this example, moving forward, the new death anal? he said his -- her coverage is canceled as of tomorrow. guest: she is a skilled nursing facility and they moved to a clinical trial. host: noam levey, what to look forward to in the next couple of days but with january 1 as a big deadline? guest: people are going to start resumable the evening -- using
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health insurance. do not think it will be people beating down the doors, it is relatively few people, relatively 300 million americans that are going to be getting all the insurance. orxpect we will have some glitches, will have more people showing up they can do things that they perhaps cannot do. maybe they do not have their health insurance art or so forth that card or phone forth. we get to the end of the open roman time when people can select health insurance. we will be watching that march 31 deadline to see how many people are actually signing up for help lands. not too long after that we're going to see what of the formal that's what the affordable care act will look like in 2014. the summer we'll will see how much our health insurance plans will be charging in 2015. how many of them will be able to stay in business because they did or did not get the customers they needed. that is going to be an important
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barometer. guest: we are going to see a fair number of sign-ups in january. athink that there's probably end up demand for people to get in in december, and you're going to sign up now for that february 1 start date. i think we will see that little we will but i think also see fights about small businesses signing up that got delayed. they delayed the spanish- language website, because of things, line two and says we talked about there is a continuing fight in congress to decide whether there needs to be fixes or an overhaul. host: our guests have been julie rovner and noam levey, thank you
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>> on the next washington journal, the top news stories of decline of the middle class over the next 50 years. our guest is hedrick smith. hear it only on c-span. c-span.p on examinesyear in review immigration legislation, changes in the rules, and ns a's surveillance programs. deputy department spokesman marie harf commented on the recent bombings in russia killed more than 30 people. these attacks come weeks before start of the
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socioolympics. here's part of her remarks. >> can i ask a question about russia? >> yeah. i've had in the last few days. does this put security in doubt the olympics and are you concerned about the safety of americans travelling? points as we w did. the first one happened, after in the , we condemn strongest terms. to end sincere condolences the victims and stand against terrorism of any kind. for sochi, u.s. itizens planning to attend should remain alert for security of all times. have said perts criminal activity in sochi is comparable in sites. the olympic games are an opportunity for thieves and cause olks who want to mischief.
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threats against the olympic games and acts of terrorism to russia. this is an exciting, positive, sporting rnational event. but people go there do need to watch outigilance and for their own safety. so we're ready to support any way we can to help with the situation. >> is diplomatic security has taken -- we don't discuss specific security posture, but needless focussed as isre the russian government too. >> what's our ability to bring own sort of security personnel in to russia? >> in terms of diplomatic security? >> is that how it works? if we wanted to send people to people,. team, send more would it be security in russia
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doing that? or would we be able to send else.dy >> in general, the diplomatic the state r department. liaison role with the russian government is standard operating procedure. we send folks as we need them. anything in specific numbers to give you. they plan to lead in that role nd continue to as they head to the olympics. >> will there be more people? >> i don't know the details. >> go around the room. go around the room. did cooperate with the russians and cooperate -- a lot in ed to this terms of the boston -- less the russians are forthcoming in terms of cooperating with you? are veryk the russians focused on security for the olympic games, excuse me, and cooperating closely on
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that. i do. russia? >> you mentioned there had been threats made against the gangs. of the threats made against americans specifically? >> not to my knowledge. details.have all of the happy to check. of q&a e presentation continues tuesday with cathy lanier, washington, d.c. police chief. she discusses the department's growth in the last 23 years she's been on the force and stories of growing up in the washington, d.c. area. as 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> we are in the gallery of the building at the watka museum. at vanishing ice. 1775 to 2012.
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the purpose of the exhibition is rich cultural e heritage of the planet's frozen regions, the alpine the arctic and the antarctica. the is a photograph of greenland ice sheet by a german otto becker dating back from 2008 and it's side-by-side with a by camille ceman, also of east greenland. the last iceberg series of 2006. many people understand the importance for ice for the planet, its reflective qualities help regulate the climate. unaware for ple are a collective consciousness in he western culture about these regions. it's important about the context f climate change to let people
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know that these regions are fundamental to our identity. the museum ore from here this weekend as book tv and merican history tv look at the history and literary life of bellingham, washington saturday c-span 2 and sunday at 5:00 on c-span 3. >> i've been involved in politics in 40 years in one way or another. i worked on reagan's '76 and '80 ampaigns, i worked for the administration for eight years. the fact of the matter is, i've ever seen so many people quoting and waving around the declaration of independence and the constitution. years ago, you never gave it a second thought. now i bet it's at the front of your minds. and it is with tens of millions is,us the fact of the matter tens of millions of us love this country. fundamentally t transformed. so we have to get to as many other people as we can, wake educate them.
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the truth is, i'm not trying to pat myself on the back, that's the purpose of this book. that's the purpose of liberty and tyranny. i consider it part of the as ose of the radio program do a number of our brothers and sisters in broadcasting which is attack all the time the utopian status. >> sunday, best-selling author, lawyer, reagan official, and radio personality, mark levine calls and our questions in depth live for three hours. book tv's in depth first sunday month on c-span 2. west front of the u.s. capitol where just about a year presidentry 20, 2013, obama was sworn in for his second term. address, he ural talked about changing immigration law. he talked about it a great deal trail in 2012. over the next hour here on review, we ar in
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bring you more comments from president obama, the house and immigratione on the issue and get under way with the conversation of alan gomez. issue for ing on the "usa today." this year e earlier about the senate gang of eight. fair to say the senate took the leave this year. absolutely. right after the presidential election that the senate came tackle and decided to this issue. saw a lot of you republican senators get together coalitionf formed the people dropped out, people came in. the gang ed up being of eight. >> seems to have a lot of energy later on. kind of ran through it. went throughe that congress, they were somehow able
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to get the regular committee earings, have a regular vote, and pass the immigration bill on the senate floor. that's something we haven't seen of.much but after they pass that, that's where things stalled. lot ey seemed to have a going in their favor. you mentioned the president and his desire to see a great deal immigration change. you wrote one of the "usa today" rticles that the congressional budget office said the senate bill could cut illegal immigration in half. help their ike that case. does it move forward any. e'll talk about the house in a bit. did it have resonance over there. >> last time around, in 2006 and 2007, the heritage study that found the immigration reform found that a bit of money. care education and all of the other thingings. t came out with a similar
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study. at the same time, the congressional budget office came it with a study that said would reduce immigration but would be a financial boone to the country. in.taxes they pay the amount they will be attributing to social security nd medicare, once the republican saw that, that's say the things they can this is an economic problem for us. that's why you have a few more onboard. the politics of this. mitt romney, 27% of the hispanic vote. senators number of that must be up for re-election in 2014. who are some of those -- are some of the senators for whom it's key to get some immigration change done. >> senator orrin hatch out of he's one of the -- one of the ones he feels trying to get second.ast he came over and said you were so.e to do but he's one of those that utah is a very hispanic population is increasing dramatically over
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there. southwestern d senators, arizona and california nd nevada and places like that where the hispanic populations are growing the where they are affecting the statewide votes. folks like hatch and others coming from that region has become very important. going to show the c-span viewers. including the judiciary committee, the be testimony to the path to citizenship. >> first to peter -- you were eported here legally for the reasons you stayed. assume that can't happen, you don't assume. most people do. those who are not happy about illegal immigration. have those ter to who are here illegally able to work legally because they'll be b be paidey will them a higher wage and wage rates for will go
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in my neighborhood in brooklyn nd i think this is true throughout america as i ride my bicycle in brooklyn early in the morning. corners people who are waiting, day laborers who are waiting to be picked up. you, construction workers who are picking them up saying i'll pay you $2 for and give you an hour off for lunch. here's $20 for the dead. the folks living in shadows and desperately need money, some of which they want take it.ome so my question to you is simple. 11 e cannot deport the million people, isn't it better system in our bill that people can work, legally work here osed to illegally to pull down wage rates anymore. >> i don't think i testified of deporting 11 million people. 11 million, 12 million, or 40 million, i don't think we know how many are here.
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i'm not in favor of deporting them. i'm an immigrant son. i support immigration. i'm fully in favor of immigration. i'm here to tell you today that if you regularize and legalize across the board veryone who works are going to be subject to the same standards and ly eoc and everywhere else. he construction workers you're talking about are still going to exist. we're going have a sizable that are individuals going to take advantage of people regardless. advantage rd to take if they're legalized. it's logical. >> on the margins. this world. i do this kind of work. i see it on a regular basis. in a think we're living fantasy land if we think by a stroke of the pen, because we paper, all of on a sudden you are not going to take advantage. people take t, advantage. you admit it will get better. marginally, some of us think a
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lot more than that. >> great question, senator franken. aspectsay the important go to the heart of the program. are hat is we really creating in many ways a -- two three n some ways almost brand new programs here. you have the blue card program nd you have the year-round contract part of the guest worker program. and then the at-will part of the guest worker program. we know that this is, you know, going to be administratively difficult. be, you know, will umps and bruises along the way on the implementation. on the timeliness and seasonality, there's going maximum amount of time ere before the everify system is kicking in and is operational. make sure that the three apparatuses are working. they're in an adequate amount to
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provide the workers we need. time.ves remember senator franken, you know these are small businesses farms re on the american and ranches almost by any standard. more than anything else, we want o make sure that the small producers know the program, know what it takes to get the legal here.orce before we get to enforcing this thing out on every single farm and ranch in america today. think that's only fair. >> and especially for the small operations. need to make sure that -- hat the everify program has an accuracy -- a higher accuracy rate than it has now. worried that as we introduce millions of immigrants in to the system, the error tend to get higher when you do that. when you run a dairy and/or other small
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businesses for that matter, you have a huge h.r. department like you might have so it other businesses and think this is just very that we -- that we -- e understand how this all fits together and that we're having do with the eyes wide open. me, it's absolutely essential that we all do -- we it at one time because everything is so interrelated. i'm pleased with what this is going to do. and all airy industry milk by reform -- by immigrant labor and called for this to be fixed for years.
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senator feinstein and senator the efforts to do that, in your mind, mr. what in addition to dairy, what are -- by the way, chairman said something about you say to cows to milk you g seasonally. they don't like it. hey don't know what you're saying. >> they do in vermont, maybe not in minnesota. yeah, well, okay, i know -- i a deadhead.irman is on where he got it. where he got -- sorry, sir. >> has the senator finished his questions? i have no idea where i was. yes, i wanted to -- i wanted aside from hat -- dairy, what are the one or two of this ful aspects
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agreement? >> well, again, senator, we have a problem in american agriculture today. it is reflected in the fact that our workforce is undocumented. for anything else we have, recognize that the problem exists today. the status quo is intolerable. thing ary cull chufrl sector, the notion that you are going to give us the have a to actually legalized workforce that we know that, l and can verify farmers and ranchers are the most law abiding people on this planet. want to have access to those workers. they want them to be legal. else, i than anything think fundamentally this bill ability to be legal. and, you know, that's huge. quo, again, tatus is what are the alternatives? know, those to
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suggest that. the current system is broken. we've got to change it. >> thank you, thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank the chairman, thank the witnesses. and i just want to thank all of senator feinstein for working so hard to get an agreement here. kept informed those of us working on the broader agreement of the progress that was made and the hurdles that to overcome. and it's not an easy task. we all know. for o congratulations working together on this and getting this done. launched oned when we the broader bill last week, i working n a farm alongside migrant labor. and i know the motivations that had. it difficult here to w they were make a better life for themselves and their families. and for the life of me, i've to place all of those who have come here across
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the border undocumented in some it's just never rung true to me that way. solution here. farm work is tough work. i made it off of the farm with digits, just my lost the end of one in an alfalfa field, but i can tell here largely in politics because i got tired of milking cows. its's a tough job. you can't tell them. you can't tell them. you know, we're not going to milk you today. it doesn't work. i tried, it doesn't work. tried -- i appreciate what you've done here. nd mr. connor, i appreciate working with you at the usda and appreciate the work you have done. n your experience, paid it for ears now. why is it difficult, why is it important to have the broader bill.
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why is it easier to have the least package or at possible. i know that you've been working on this. why hasn't it been possible to on its own? >> well, senator, you are bsolutely correct in that agriculture has -- this has not a realization that has come about in the last few months. we have known we have a problem for a very, very long time. worked know, we have with senator finestein on solving just agricultural's very, very long time as well. and i would just say that -- ory suggests that that that that didn't work. that, you know, that the problem in and of itself probably was not going to successful legislation. so, you know, being a part of this comprehensive effort, our negotiations have been very, very limited to just the agricultural piece. appreciate the fact that it's part of the broader package. there seems to be some momentum get something done this year
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talking andave been proposing solutions and in some cases producing legislation for very, very long time. because this is been a problem for a long time. we believe 2013 reflects, you know, what i have described to any as the best chance in a generation to stop talking about it and finally fix it. >> what -- can you just go on with that? if we fail to reach an agreement here, then there's no agreement just with the subset of agriculture. what would the consequence be? of our hat -- how much industry do we stand to lose if we can't reach agreement here. >> the consequences are substantial, senator. put in the e i opening statement. the status quo means large, percentage of the american workforce doing nothing means a large percentage of the american are going to continue
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to be undocumented workers in this country, people who are not legally. and this is untenable to the thatcan producer out there somehow we can't get him or her a legal workforce. so that's first. secondly, you know, we do have labor shortages in this country. it is resulting in crops going unharvested and agricultural production and i cited the california study of tens of thousands of acres moving to another country. that pattern will continue if we do not fix the problem. >> some would argue that if we do not have a foreign labor force, that simply means more jobs for americans. how does the lack of a program like this affects u.s. jobs or american worker jobs? >> several have raised this point. i know time is running out. this has been studied and looked at exhaustively. senator feinstein has been