Oct 30, 2013|
Obamacare congressional oversight hearings - Kathleen Sebelius testimony
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
This is the Russ castle show powered and charge my batteries specialists are back to our live coverage of this hearing going on on Capitol Hill. Kathleen Sebelius secretary -- HHS. Being questioned right now by a Democrat and her name is Donna Christensen. And I believe she's from Virginia five. Percent. Businesses in this country are small businesses under fifty full time employees. And and there is no. The responsibility that any of those employers have. To provide health coverage for their employees on the other hand there are. Now tax credits available for some of the smaller employees' prayers who want to offer coverage actually come into the market place. For the other businesses the businesses. Hiring fifty are more -- there is a standard. That's says an employees consider full time. If here she works thirty hours a week. And that really came from a market snapshot with help from the small business administration of where employee benefits were in the private market. Based on hours of work. What was a part time or full time employee. Well we know about the economic data is the high point of part time workers was in 2000 -- in 2009. And -- -- -- Last recession it has been. Decreasing. Each and every year there is no data to support the fact that. There is an uptick based on the impending. Affordable Care Act I am sure that there may be some individual employers making some business decisions about. Many workers they want full time and how many part time. But I can tell you there is no economic data out -- employment data that supports the notion that this is an effective along true. Then in fact it's my understanding that part time workers at the lowest percentage of workers. And in many many years right now and I'm for the first time as you know congress summoned part time workers. How will have options for affordable health at that never had that before. They've never had options in the marketplace they've never had some help purchasing. Coverage for themselves and their families they -- full time colleagues have but they have not so if they will have options and it just to be clear I. I had another really long question but the left by the that it would be fair to say that. At every point along the way you expected this web site to work based on everything that you had been told by that contract is up until that point. I expected it to work and I. Desperately want to get it working I more than anyone telling you -- -- -- -- that I am and we are committed to at fixing -- and the only thing that. I think build back the confidence of the public is fixing and we. Thank -- you know ladies and inspired -- police. Thank you mr. chairman for holding a hearing in the thank you secretary Sebelius for being with us -- last week when the contractors. That built the system worked here on -- small growth. If they had actually delivered the system they -- contract to build an all four of them answered yes I wanna ask you. I did the contractors. Deliver the system that you contract attempt to build. I don't think I can accurately answer that question what we know it's leave the system that doesn't function properly as a formula that things are as we fix things. We will know more about what is broken along the way and I'll be answered with someone and you're off. Us know what I mean somebody in your office oversaw this implementation and receive the product. And they either said this is the product would contract it and paid hundreds of millions of dollars to build or wasn't under somebody in your office have the ability to get a well. I think that we can say that the products. Tested individually. Verified individually and clearly was an -- rated -- don't work well together. And all but he you know I used to write programs for living a developed software products -- if you're developing an integrated system. It's irrelevant if one isolated component works by itself when you plug it into gathered doesn't work that's a system that doesn't work. One of the questions when I had another stat. Somebody interagency made a decision. Weeks literally weeks before the deployment to change the system instead of going from a browser ability where somebody just like on kayak or. Are just like on Amazon.com. Could go shop for products look at prices before they purchase which is how consumers are used to doing this. I know made the decision to change it -- gather all the information first before you can let them see prices was and you made that decision. -- was that must have -- It was missed Abner and a teen who looked dad did not imposing additional risk that he make the decision because they knew once people actually saw the prices and were getting reports from all of our constituents are dramatically higher prices. And what they were expecting. Did you. Make the decision because you knew that when he saw the prices they might not wanna buy the products he wanted to gather their information first so our first I. Did not make that decision. I was informed about the decision we disagree with that I remember rolling off a number of features and clearly they can see the products note there is no requirement like I over two hours trying to get into the system I never once got -- -- -- -- price I did get kicked. How many times have got some of those blank screens -- the people got. I do wanna share some stories with you from some of my constituents because I. We started -- a page on our own FaceBook and on Twitter we are collecting what's called share what's the least people -- sending -- stories and we're getting lots of stores from my constituents. Wanna read you a few problems are Randal from Vanderbilt said my health care premium went up 30%. Or it's over 350 dollars a month increase. We had Michelle from Slidell are insurance premiums are going up 400 dollars a month and are deductible has increased. And then you've got -- from Covington is that my current plan through United Healthcare is no longer being offered in point fourteen. Due to obamacare in fact I received the letter stating that the new health care law was indeed the reason for the removal of my her current health care plan. Madam secretary what would you tell Sean who liked his plan and now has lost it. And he was promised by you and the president he'd be able keep that plant what would you tell Sean now that. He's lost his plan I tell son to show up in the marketplace and out of the marketplace he really think I acceptable candidate right answer to Sean if Shonn. Again if the united chose. Not to keep -- plan in effect for Sean because of the layoff like this is the letter. The law said if you keep -- plan in place if he'd like his plan if you only or my trend lines to shine like and the plan is still there. You and I may disagree over who you work for I worked for Sean you work for -- madam secretary Shaun who lost his plan that you like in there are thousands and millions. Our -- throughout this country that lost the planet like because some bureaucrat. In Washington said we think your plans not good enough even though you'll like it even you promised you can keep it. You're now not able to keep that plan I think it does he deserve to get shot a better answer than you just got to the shop for something else even though you lost -- plan. -- is not announcements and so are. -- very ego that's Steve's got a lease. And he is from Louisiana. RA so. We've been covering this all morning long because one of the things I promised when we started this new format. And the most castle show everyday from AD until noon. I 'cause I just thought it was this important boom we started this back in January. Is whenever something like this is coming up to cover life and that's what we've been doing since it started at 9 o'clock but here's what I'm. Asking from you as you hear of this. And you hear how the Democrats are reacting and you hear how the Republicans are reacting. And then you hear the response from Kathleen Sebelius just want people in the country. That are calling for resignation. Do you think she's. Doing well. I haven't heard really any major gaffes I mean if you if you and a television and you were watching news. Or on your Smart device you're watching this. She's very stoic she's very matter of fact somebody has coached her to be very. Humble. To try to -- it create of hers that we create yourself as a very sympathetic figure you know and I felt terrible about this we're gonna get it fixed blah blah blah blah blah. But then every once in -- there's a little tinge. Of while on the same wicked witch of the west. How how what percentage. Of what you've heard this morning if you've been listening do you think have just been lies. 50%. 90%. So we're taking your calls on that or anything else should like to talk about let's take a few right now on the Ingles advantage talk climbs the numbers are. 2329673. In Greenville 5749673. In Spartanburg. W or. 71307. Juli is in Greeneville hi Julie. -- -- -- -- Hey you know and let you know it's meant to me it's kind of like up. I herbal. I don't Matt's going -- or is -- I -- on I mean you. -- market Democrats asking these -- I'd. Right no lasting about an entertaining it's funny I mean you can -- From our public can keep it like it. CNN and Kyle at at a Peter -- and it's like it -- own back and forth back where I got my. And I try to about a car. For a fact I did it here -- without -- I think I mean obvious front end. How do you know how do you at this company and how our. It department no bad situation for government contracts open -- If it is that like. Yet it never. Yet it never happens I mean no bid contracts are rarely ever happens would show you a -- you go to a Canadian company. There's a story out there. An old college class great friend of Michelle Obama. Is actually involved in this company frequent visitor to the White House I. I mean I think we know the answer to that but I I agree with you Republicans I think they're limiting everybody to four minutes. And so what is happening so far this morning a lot of people wanna make speeches. And that -- it's been very little time on really tough concise questions. And -- and the Republicans always seemed to fall in that -- now the Democrats. What they've been doing in my opinion. In talking about those evil Republicans who shut down the government and bit. They're trying to bait the Republicans a lot of saying why don't they respond to the Democrats. Well that's what the Democrats want shooters do they want -- it'd take the attention away from Kathleen Sebelius. And start responding to what they're accusing you love so this is a strategy we've seen before two edge in the end I -- I mean. Does any of this really really make a difference. Anything happened is Kathleen Sebelius resign no she's not gonna resign. Does Barack Obama fire her know she's not gonna get fired. He's -- -- and for right now. Is that Austin yeah and and it just so clear or what they're a lot of this today is to take attention away. From the really devastating news that is out there this morning -- -- -- share that with him thank you Julie. Eight top Democrat. That would be the house democratic whip Steny holy pour your. Conceded to reporters just today. The Democrats knew -- people wouldn't be able to keep their insurance plans under obamacare. And he expressed. Qualified contrition. For Obama's saying over and over again the lie. Did -- if you like your plan you can do that which is come up all during this -- you feel like your plan you can keep it. -- said in response to a question from national review. Quote we knew. That there would be policies that would not qualify and therefore people. Would be required to get more extensive coverage. So another reporter ask Powell statement after statement by Obama to the contrary. Work misleading. And here's what Steny -- top Democrat house democratic whip said. I don't think the message was wrong and I think the message was accurate. It simply was not precise enough. It should have been -- -- with assuming. You have a policy that in fact those do what the bill is designed to do. Let's just speak plainly about some. What they're trying to do is pull a fast -- here today. 'cause we know what Obama says over and over and over again we now know because they're admitting it that they knew it was alive. And they want annual July. What they're trying to spend today is. You know we grandfathered in those policies as long as they don't change when the truth of the matter is Obama mandates change. If you're gonna stay in the business. Sequence for insurance companies what you're up against. Is Obama and civilians want to put them out of business. And then they wanna blame them. When they have to. Change to try to comply with -- obamacare or face the wrath. Of the federal government they're talking about a trap. I -- folks. Barack Obama. -- play this again for this goes from October 2008. To September. Of a 2011. Lines for a very well mean. -- -- You listen to the bears repeating. And you can keep your plan if you were satisfied with a if you like the plan you have you can keep it if you like your plan. And you like your doctor if you don't have to do it thank you keep your plan if you like your health care plan. You'll be able to keep your health care plan if you've got health insurance you can keep your like your health care plan you'll keep. You'll play -- you've got. And -- -- like your doctor you like your plan you can keep your doctor you can keep your plan if you have insurance that you like. Then. You will be able to keep that insurance if you like your doctor or health care plan. You can keep it if you like your health care plan you can he keep your health care -- if you like your health care plan. You can keep. Your health care plan if you like to work private health insurance plan you can keep your plan if you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan. If you like you're private health insurance plan you can keep look if you wanna keep the health insurance you got. You can keep if you like the insurance plan you have now you can keep it. Sorry I don't stop there because you get the thing what he never said laws. You can give your -- you like your plan and -- underdog you're issued and keep it he never said. Unless. They don't comply. With what I am ordering them to do. And that's a dirty little secret. NBC a bowl networks. Had this bombshell story. Four sources deeply involved in obamacare. Said that fifty to 75% of the fourteen million consumers. Who buy their insurance individually. Can expect to receive a cancellation letter or the equivalent. Over the next year why. NBC because their existing policies don't meet the standards. Mandated. Mandated. By obamacare. And one expert told NBC. Number could reach as high as 80%. And all of the experts who spoke to NBC. Said that many of those forced to buy price your new policies. Are gonna experience sticker shock. CBS. Has a report out today. CBS has learned more than two million Americans have been told they cannot renewed their current insurance policies. Here's why that's important more than triple the number of people. Said to be buying insurance. Under obamacare. Now they're there's been estimates about hundreds of thousands of people losing coverage but CBS news' Jan Crawford reported on CBS this morning. That they've reached out to insurance companies cross country to determine what the real numbers are. And this is just the tip of the iceberg Crawford said the people who were opening the letters are shocked to learn they can't keep their insurance policies. That Obama lied to them. And this when there's really perfect. A former Democrat staffer. Is now been burned by obamacare says quote I was wrong very very wrong remember her name is. This in the Chicago sun times. -- -- -- -- And they right. Carol Marron is the reporter in the Chicago sometimes. Sue -- amber has a problem it's called obamacare and the irony ever situation. It's not lost on her. In a recent email address to her former boss and other Democrat colleagues. She she she said I spent two years defending obamacare I had constituents screaming at me spit at me. Called. Names that their congressman. And she's she's said what I would always repeat what Obama said if you like your coverage well you can keep. Well. She said that they were angry. And then the congressman. That she was working for a Democrat was not reelected and she set I lost my job. I was upset that because of the health care issue. I didn't have a job anymore. But still defended obamacare because I thought it would make health care available to everyone what I assumed. If we it would be affordable it would be at an affordable price I have now learned I was wrong very wrong. Click camera sixty president Obama's oft repeated words now ringing in her ears if you like your health plan you can keep it well. When -- camera lost her congressional job should -- individual policy on the open market if something you've heard civilians talk about. Three years ago it was 225 dollars a month 12500. Dollar deductible. Every year it went up a little. As of September 1. 291. Dollars with a 3500 dollar deductible while this. -- -- camera former Democrat. Congressional aid few weeks ago she got a letter. Blue cross she said stated my current coverage would expire on December 31 and here are the options. I can't have a plan was similar benefits but now it's 647. Dollars and twelve cents. I can have a plan with similar but higher pricing. For 322. Dollars and 32 cents but he comes with a 6500. Dollar deductible. So she's got -- first she went dog blue cross also tells me that if I don't pick one of the options. They able just assumed that I want the one for 647. Dollars and twelve cents a month. She says someone please tell me why my premium in January. Will be 356. Dollars more then it's gonna be in December. Her former boss is now current congressman Bill Foster. So what is -- Our congressman Foster -- Hammer's former boss who has since been returned to congress said. A very large number of people are very grateful for obamacare. -- camera suggest renaming the Affordable Care Act just call it she said dryly. The available. Care act. Democrats. Were lied to including this congressional staff how does it feel. You Democrats you Obama supporters are quick break 1126. You were listening to the rust castle show this is the Russ castle show. Howard and charge my batteries specialists. Right continuing live coverage of the the grilling -- if you will. Kathleen Sebelius the Department of Health and Human Services secretary. Really neat the most powerful figure in the country when it comes to the implementation. Of Obama care. And she still hasn't adequately answered hey listen you knew this thing wouldn't go to word to web site. But you chose to go with it anyway she keeps sidestepping. Those kind of questions. So a little bit more a vote of her testimony as it's happening right now. And then we'll finish -- the program this half hour with your calls and comments -- just be patient if you're on the line right now. This is a hearing of the energy and commerce committee. And Sebelius speaking right now. And we were hoping that we can have all members ask some questions but we also know it was four minutes we're gonna have a little trouble so I'm really ask unanimous consent that we. Cried to limit our -- our questions and answers to no more than two minutes and I've talked to -- the mr. Waxman. And is that okay. Because otherwise wounds. -- lot of folks who mobile ask a question at all. Three of us and mr. chairman I would have to admit to if -- questions against submitted we would be happy to provide timely okay how's that. The main thing is OK I did that so would that now will try to minutes. And mr. Lance. I guess I've run the lottery on the two minutes. It. -- that insect that is really tired of it. -- second set mr. chairman. On the web sites at madame secretary at the contractors testified last week that they needed more than. Two weeks for end to end testing why in your opinion. Who was or not more than two weeks. Again. We had products that they insurance policies themselves by companies. Were. Loaded into the system has so we hit we can test up until then but it wasn't until September or mid September that that was done -- and the contractors said. We would've loved more testing time but we think we're ready to go ahead. -- I I believe that will ultimately be a dispute between CMS and HHS and the contractors and if there's anything we can do regarding that because. Obviously that didn't work and I had thought given that says the signature issue the president that the web site would be ready. Number two in my judgment the president's statements were over statements. The four Pinocchio is is an indication of that. There's a report in the in New Jersey newspapers this morning at 800000. People in New Jersey. Who purchase their policies in the individual or small employer markets will be affected. By this. Mr. Walton and a previous question. Mention the fact that down. In an individual market you would be able to keep their policy grandfathered. Yet regulations -- issued by HHS. Say that grandfathered status would not it would be a continued. For so much as a five dollar change in eight cope -- eight. Is that accurate and do you believe that that is a significant. Change. So we gave I think in the grandfather regulations. Am a guide for were how. Pricing could change medical inflation and I think it was in most cases it. Plus 15%. And there were some individual consumer -- -- -- facing issues that were more rigid and that. But I would say that at in terms of having companies being able to collect a profit margin that was certainly built into the -- -- That's too little I changed Chris Thornton humans economies. Expect the Chicago. Thank you mister chair and welcome I'm honorable secretary. Thank you for feeling our questions and for. Responding. When you were extended the courtesy to offer a response. As a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act. I'm frustrated and I think it's fair to say that the American people are frustrated as well and I heard you hear it many times this morning say you're frustrated. I think by and large people want this clock work. When I talk to folks back home of the capital region of New York that I represented. Even people who oppose the law initially. Are rooting for the failure of the Affordable Care Act instead they want congress to come together to fix these problems. So that we can move on to real issues that matter like creating jobs in growing the economy. My home State of New York which also experienced web site problems at the outset has now completed enrollment determinations on over 150000. New Yorkers. With more than 31000 having already signed up for quality low cost health insurance. Given that many states have had success in overcoming these initial website issues. As HHS looked at with these state web sites are doing as it searches for solutions to fix healthcare I. Absolutely and we shared a lot of information going in. I I think that the hub there. Feature that we have in our website that all states are using including the State of New York is is fully functional and that's good news for new York and California and others who are running their own. Stay website but we are learning from them -- And shared information with them and we we are eager for all the help and assistance moving forward. Thank you similar in many states may be a logical choice are rejecting Medicaid expansion contained in the ACA that would. Help some of their poorest citizens get access to the healthcare situation. This is despite the fact that Medicaid expansion is almost entirely financed by federal dollars. Can you comment -- on HHS is -- the future to encourage more states to run their own marketplaces and expand Medicaid so that -- to function as designed well. Absolutely am most recently last week the state of Ohio. Did I am moving into that Medicaid market and we now have. Thirty governors. Think 27 states have fully completed the process another three are in the process Republicans and Democrats. Who some of -- sued us about the constitutionality. Of the act two are now. Deciding that and for the citizens of their state. They want to be part of the expanded Medicaid and we will continue to have those conversations it's not just about the marketplace it's also about -- Take -- -- -- party is germane to us right here in South Carolina as some of the you know wouldn't that maybe some of the you don't. South Carolina. The governor here Nikki Haley. Decided to not comply. Went with that request. That. You know we run our own version of health care dot go. Federal government is running down in South Carolina and also this governor has fought against the expansion. Of Medicaid now Democrats in this state. And a a -- Ryan knows in this state are already making the case. That's South Carolina should just cave and you don't expand. Medicaid you know really this thing is not obamacare it's Obama caved. What I read Maryland the other day the folks who signed a 96% of them are being directed to sign up for Medicaid. So this is really important South Carolina one of the few states. That is refusing to to go along. At wits with Kathleen Sebelius and Barack Obama. And you'll notice there -- shall praise states like new York and smothers. It's saying these states have figured it out well. It's just -- errors on the conservative point. That states can do a better job at just about everything a much better job -- the federal government the federal government in this whole thing is incompetent. And in quite frankly the last thing in the world anybody should be talking about in our current financial climate is expanding Medicaid. Britain where is that money gonna come front. So I thought that was a pretty good way to end our live coverage today because. Obviously that was a leading question from a Democrat to put pressure. On states like South Carolina. To just give then you guys sent a bureau web site you can run it in and by the way you expand Medicaid. She buried so we'll finish the program today would your thoughts and comments -- advantage talk line numbers. Greenville 2329673. Spartanburg 5749673. -- WORD -- like number 71307. Got some of those coming up to all of that when we come back after after this short break. Right 1147. Let's talk to Tom in Gaffney high top. Hey did some. Keeps one -- know what happened -- health care. Howard could pick me for about 22 years and retired. And not. Kept very tired I've got pat. I didn't even give a minute later I told you yesterday and come out I didn't have health care anymore. Why were you calling. But cult I had received a package to sign up next year. All it was in other words it was time for open enrollment you had yelled back and so your columns and is where my packet. And what what exactly did they tell you Tom. They told me that. There were no longer covering now retirees step. I would like good -- website give information from a and knit community believe. Health care dollar goes. Web site we are so. Why do you think all this happen top. Well are -- just assume it's the color that's fiasco that we've gone wrong and -- Washington with Fiat. The thanks. -- and people on Fox News called it. Didn't appear instead of obamacare. Yeah really it's Obama -- Yet what what companies are facing and it's not just companies. When you look at states and when you look at what they've promised people. And that not just in the healthcare -- even intentions. There's no win the world they're gonna make that work so one of the things that the will was apparent in Obama caved. From day one. Is what they wanted to do they wanted to give these entities like your company. A way to -- you do onto the taxpayers. And I know a lot of people are experiencing. Exactly what you -- going through right now. Yeah in the post on my whole life is disabled with arthritis. And there's no other option for me either. Not. Depending -- their pending under a bit you know what we your -- whatever your personal situation is you you may wind up on Medicaid. Well my teacher to not let either way he knew it it's the government program and I didn't wanna get on that. Those are social programs we forget that during the Cold War right and and we don't need to. Well I determine -- country over to a socialist nation. But in the meantime you've got to take care -- -- and you got to take care you. Yeah I understand net I'm in good health myself but it and another neither of you were old enough yet for Medicare. I see actually aren't. She's called viper that Medicare would also but I won't she'd been disabled right right I -- -- -- -- suspect. Up fifty but it. The opinions -- -- because she had this for so long. -- are called up Medicare. Still yet. -- -- Around 500 dollars a month you're not. This really Social Security -- they take 200 -- debt to pay per per Medicare so. You know that's there's no money. Coming into. -- so need what are what are you gonna do. I don't know I. I really don't matter -- I had not had no -- I even if I can get onto its side which you can't do. To see what's available. I don't want -- rich or let them all my information. Or even yeah that was that was brought up during the hearing today and experts have said this is just perfect for spammers for hackers who would steal your private information. What -- what time your viewers is a very compelling story I think there are a lot of people who were gonna wind up in this boat sadly. And just just call back from time to time in and let us know why you're doing out there well how real college -- I'd thank you -- Gordon in Spartanburg -- I don't -- -- -- went back in the campaign. He got to the site with bit from -- Mitt Romney picked Obama Carol YouTube or what helped her act well. But Obama -- what opera you know I look at mount an attack that night a few weeks the better. I noticed something different sites that are up on the caretaker Romano this dirt that's up for -- health care act at your health care. This certain operating. In eight -- -- the -- -- knowingly was hit right to get a barrel. Well he's embraced it he's in Boston today defending -- it no peace in Massachusetts. Today could you mention Mitt Romney. A while Sebelius is up on Capitol Hill know it is obamacare. It is is. Well. As to say that that's right it is his legacy on the line here. And I was wondering you know they promise some numbers by the end of November mid November what do we get to the end of November in this thing is still. A disaster what are what are these -- is going to be then what I guess what the wait and see. Thank you Gordon some of the text messages. -- this type of questioning on Capitol Hill by a large group of people half of which are clearly covering for this crime on the American people is a joke. Nothing will come of this as the root problems cannot and will not be allowed to be expanded on. The security problem needs to be displayed for everybody. To see. The morning rush. I want to slap the hell of that ladies when it. I wanna slap the hell out of that -- civilians. She doesn't answer the questions. And is an arrogant well I can't say that word on the radio. -- Republicans and Democrats -- like a bunch of bad actors screen testing for their first big job. No one seems to be asking the questions that are really the substantial. Ross. This attitude I have seen so far. Have you used a brave and major portion of their time. Praising obamacare and civilians. -- there's nothing wrong with the Obama health care web site because it is designed to fail and it will and all of us are fools. -- I think Sebelius has been lying since 9 o'clock Ross lies 95% of what I've heard our allies. -- I think civilians was telling the truth though when she stated her name. Other than that it's all -- -- she's doing well. But every time so when -- -- -- back. Democrats -- and interrupt out of turn and try to save her while eating up the time each committee member has no Republican has done that to the Democrats. So some of the comments there it's 1154 now you're listening to the -- castle show. Sorry folks that wraps up our allotted time today hey Rush Limbaugh coming up next don't forget right before one then we'll have the next total. Word in the wind Christmas cash on WORD contest. Once you get that word go to our web site news radio WORG. Dot com slash cash. Use the word to enter or win you could you could put a thousand dollars that's coming up right before one so stay tuned to see you tomorrow.