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When the president does address congress next week he might be rally his troops but he'll be thing -- On this thing the wrong folks for not marching along.
Because Bill Thomas says it is not Republicans or those -- now dollars were killing this health care thing it is special interests.
The former chairman of the house Ways and Means Committee joins me right.
Chairman good to have you had seen -- -- Had good to see you again mail Tom.
-- said and done on this what.
What killed bipartisan support what killed widespread public support.
Well one of the most difficult things is that the so called reform package is never really focused on.
What most economists and most of us who spent years looking at the problem considered what the real problem -- You -- clear back to world war two and -- instead of increasing wages.
The government decided that employers should offer fringe benefits.
Of course it exploded in the seventies and the eighties as the fringe benefits kept getting higher and higher remember.
If you negotiate if the unions negotiate for fringe benefits.
There's no cost to the workers if you get away you've got to pay taxes.
And so we reached a point where.
Kinds of offers were being made you were getting at all and fringe benefits.
That drove the cost up nobody said.
What do I get for my insurance to question what did my insurance coverage if it didn't that you wanted to go back to the bargaining table and get more insurance.
There are a couple of brave folk in the senate that in the house -- Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon senator Bob Bennett Republican Wyden a Democrat.
Offered to do away with the employer exemption and substitute -- credit.
That's probably to an extreme position but everybody thinks.
That you should at least put a cap on the fringe benefit numbers are in the bottom line needs this kind of stuff that you think is going to.
Watered down did not prevent Health Care Reform would probably watered down what will we end up getting bill.
Well if you simply capped at at 171000 dollars a year which is a pretty generous fringe benefit.
You would -- off 450.
Plus billion dollars over ten years is President Obama offered.
Capping the 28%.
Interest deduction for a high earners.
That only produces a hundred billion so you've got to go after people for money when in fact win again.
The whole health care insurance payment area there's enough money it's -- distributed and if you read this could be that you would have an Anaheim.
Do you kind of you know this is really want to let you know this process -- an idea but it doesn't look like they're gonna do what you're recommending it would make a lot of sense -- away now but but.
Now -- like yeah OK what what happens that what do you think bill.
-- -- house ways and means you lead of the ways and means they get something done one of these when they do.
While it's obvious that the whole package they have now is too much Madison had to swallow if -- a lot of Democrats.
So if they take out some -- the parts and put it with that Madison they may have several different bills.
I think you have to be very very -- any help because what.
Speaker Pelosi is that you have to have the public option to pass the house that's with no Republican votes of course.
It may not pass the senate you've begun to see some of the more moderate Democrats backing especially those who are up in a 2010.
Backing away from that position.
It's going to be interesting I'm interested to listen to Obama because remember.
In an area where we could save billions if we move into the generic biologic drugs area the president said seven years sounded pretty good.
Chairman of energy and commerce Henry Waxman.
From that hatch Waxman old generic gates said five years sounded pretty gut but the house past twelve years.
For the brand name pharmaceutical companies and the senate and the health committee did exactly the same thing that's giving away the savings that you -- otherwise make.
Was -- reform inside the health care.
Area its bottom line the president speaks before the nation notably congress.
He's supposed to take off liberals on this notion that the public option isn't drop dead do you think you will.
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