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The senate is making -- final push to get health care overhaul done by the new year.
We know there isn't a government run option but what else could go when all of -- done here in a first on Fox Business interview.
Democratic senator Kent Conrad of North Carolina the chairman also of the Budget Committee welcome again senator thrilled to have you here.
Good to be with you list well no government public option which you always said there were better opportunities to come up with better ideas than that government option but.
What you think currently the senate plan that is out there and how it all squares away with what you feel as a planet could actually get -- Asked.
Whether part of what's being discussed I find intriguing that is a national plan.
Not government run.
In fact several options.
I administered by the -- OPM.
Which runs the program that all federal employees are part of but it's private insurance that would be negotiated by -- And one of them would have to be a not for profit alternative.
I think that offers.
And would be a very -- -- alternative.
And as you look across the world.
Would be a model that has been successful in many other countries.
OK a model that is successful but right now we are looking at about half the country in in a poll just done.
That that indicates that people don't want government to make these decisions for them -- what would you say to that.
-- I understand that completely.
And this model would not be a government run model.
I know it sounds like government run because OPM administers it.
Like the plan that all federal employees are part out.
We get private insurance for example what I have is blue cross blue shield standard issue.
I'm a member of congress and that's what I -- And OPM.
A ranges administers a program of private insurance not government run insurance not government owned insurance.
It is private insurers who offer.
OPM negotiates with them to get good deals to hold down prices and to prevent abuse.
But they are privately run plans and then government employees get to pick which one is best for them and their family.
That's the model that is now being move towards.
Now there's another part of -- that I must.
Much less certain of and that is.
The notion of expanding Medicare to people 55 to 64.
Because that it would appear to me would bring in a group of people would be the uninsured.
55 to 64 that would be eligible to come in the Medicare.
That would be a sicker pool and could adversely affect.
Medicare -- it could also.
Create very high premiums for that group because they're not spreading the risk.
In a pool that house a lot of different kinds of people in -- What senator that are here would -- Separate -- would argue that reverend in the senate listening to you when you bring that up -- yesterday we have senator Barrasso who of course is also an MD a doctor.
He's a Republican he says you know adding more people to the Medicare system is like -- -- they belong to a sinking ship because Medicare courses.
Already in trouble financially so so are they listening -- let me.
Let me make clear if you put more people in the Medicare.
They were younger healthier people.
That would improve the pool.
That would improve the solvency but what they're talking about.
Is only opening to people 55 to 64 who are uninsured.
We have not yet seen the CBO analysis of that but I would be concerned that the CBO analysis would show that would have an adverse effect on Medicare.
You know I'm interest -- in the evidence what CBO says sense to us I think common sense would tell you gotta ask a lot of questions about that proposal.
Well everybody's worried also about all of the spending -- and the deficit that has ballooned to you and senator Judd Gregg of course -- Republican are proposing a bipartisan task force.
To tackle the long term deficit issues -- simultaneously.
Deal with so much and what's the what's the bipartisan plan which by the way we're thrilled to hear.
When both sides of the aisle are trying to work together.
You know I'm delighted what an outpouring we've had the last 24 hours 31 of our colleagues have now joined together.
Republicans and Democrats twelve Democrats nineteen Republicans to cosponsor this approach.
That says hey wait a minute yes we understand we've had this buildup of -- short term.
The deal the economic downturn but now we got -- pivot and deal with the long term debt.
And we want to wind power.
Eighteen individuals sixteen members of congress eight Democrats eight Republicans.
To representatives of the administration to come up with a plan.
-- fourteen of the eighteen can agree on the plan that would come to congress for an up or down vote.
Yeah no amendments.
Let's have a chance for our colleagues to face up to this -- threat.
Absolutely senator we love for you and Judd Gregg to come on together and actually I mean -- what a great story you've got to keep us posted thank you some.
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