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And I want to bring in senator Kent Conrad the Democrat from North Dakota and a member of the gang of six just -- the Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus unveiled.
It's highly anticipated health care bill this morning.
What does the senator think of this welcomed senator Conrad thank you for coming on Fox Business.
Good to be with you.
-- like at least supported and do any Republican members of the gang of six truly support we've heard one statement from Olympia -- but what are you hearing.
You know I don't think you can anticipate anybody.
Endorses a chairman's mark on the first day until they've had a chance.
To review the details.
See the scoring by the Congressional Budget Office and have a chance to -- so.
None of that surprised me I think people will wait for there full analysis before they make a decision -- a course.
They're now lots of opportunities to -- -- change this package to improve it I think it's a very good start.
It's fully paid for it reduces cost over time according to the Congressional Budget Office.
It will on a phased basis cover up to 94% of the American people and it does not.
Give benefit to those who are here illegally.
We try to send a very clear signal that abortion will not be funded by taxpayers.
Under this proposal.
So I think it goes a long way towards addressing.
Key issues in the course it doesn't have a public option it does have.
Competition for insurance companies by way of a cooperative model.
And I I think it's a very good beginning.
Well let me ask you about compensation for doctors are so many moving parts -- this thanks so.
Can we get a little clarity on whether it cuts compensation for doctors and will doctors be sort of left hanging on the edge here.
It does not cut compensation for doctors as you know there is a in in law.
A cut that is about come.
That would be addressed the dramatic cut for doctors.
That is prevented from happening under the chairman's proposal.
And I think that's very.
Or -- would think so -- definitely however senator already we've had senator Judd Gregg a Republican from New Hampshire saying.
He doesn't like this there are people spouting off about how they don't think it's right -- all that there's nothing that anybody likes in this.
Let me ask you this question would you be ready to go with that so called nuclear option the reconciliation where.
You could go ahead with passing the health care bill which -- 51 votes and no support from Republicans.
I hope we don't come to that I really do I think we've got to remember this is the beginning of the process.
Will be lots of opportunities.
For our colleagues to a man.
To improve the strength in this package but I I give chairman baucus very high marks he did listen very carefully.
Did the six of us who were engaged in months of negotiations three Democrats three Republicans.
It's a pretty balanced package I think -- probably one reason.
You hear people on the right and the left who aren't fully happy with that but I think he's done a very good job trying to call this down the middle so.
Let me just push you on this here if you had to would you support it going to the reconciliation point where you don't have real support from the blue dog Democrats.
Or any Republicans that 51 votes.
You know -- I have argued against the reconciliation process throughout the year.
For health -- look at the end of the day it might come to come to that I think going to be very unfortunate.
I think we got to do everything we can to try to go through the regular process here to give colleagues a full chance to -- -- to debate.
You know that's the way of the United States senate.
And it's proved itself for more than 200 years so let's let the process.
Work well Jay Rockefeller doesn't like it the senator from West Virginia saying he can't vote for -- because he feels it's not good for his people what would you say to him about this and and how much.
-- a mark up what we see.
On this bill where people could add things that they want not necessarily that the best ideas all the time but what do you think about that option.
Well I think it's very important the chairman's indicated that in the mark.
If people want to add something they got to pay for.
So anybody that wants to come in and -- things.
You know they're welcome to try but they gonna have to come up with a way of paying for -- -- for so this is not gonna be.
A mark up where people just come in and try to make a Christmas tree out of the bill.
This bill is paid for -- bends the cost curve in the right way we've got to preserve those basic elements.
Otherwise it does not deserve support.
Does it bend the cost curve in the proper way after the first ten years.
Yes it does according to CBO they've just come out with that analysis.
Indicating that it does bend the cost curve in the right way by a hundred billion dollars.
I'd like to see it be even more aggressive and do more.
But at least this is the only proposal that bends the cost curve in the right way and second ten years according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Argue the hinge now senator Kent Conrad between the blue dog Democrats and then of course the Republicans to get this thing done.
Because some people say Max Baucus did what he could he's gotten it out there are some people don't really like get a lot of people in fact but that you may very well be that -- Are you ready to serve in that position.
You know in the United States senate they're a hundred hinges and up we're gonna get the door to swing all of us have to play our role.
Look I am I have a special responsibility to my colleagues with respect to the budget.
I've insisted throughout this package must be paid for and paid for -- fully and without gimmicks and it cannot.
It has to be paid for not just in the first ten years and in the second ten years it is got to reduce the costs or we have failed.
And I will continue to insist on that of.
-- senator Kent Conrad thank you so much we love to hear this kind of talk because we want to see bipartisan -- you know left.
Agreement here on this so please keep us posted we appreciate you coming on.
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