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WWL: Chris Murphy on Health Care
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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Senators headed into the holiday recess, still jockeying for position on the public option and health care reform.


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49:02 minutes (23.54 MB)
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Senators headed into the holiday recess, still jockeying for position on the public option and health care reform.

The initial 60-39 vote opens the way for work on a bill after Thanksgiving – on a plan that may, or may not, include the option of a government health care plan, which states can opt out of.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing hard to get the option included – Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman is still set against it.

Meanwhile, House members voted two weeks ago to approve a package that they say would cover most residents. It’s nearly one-trillion-dollar price tag has worried some, and made it likely that a less expensive plan comes through the Senate.

Today, where we live, we’ll check in on health care reform with 5th District Congressman Chris Murphy. He’ll take your phone calls on that issue, the economy and Afghanistan

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Listener Email from Joe

As discussed, Medicare (and Medicaid) under reimburses providers for many services which creates a subsidy situation for private payers. Can the congressman please speak to whether the Public option will be permitted to pay Medicare rates to providers and if so won't this only increase the private payer subsidy.



Listener Email from Mark

Your guest, not sure of his name, seems to be woefully ignorant of the workings of "European" health care systems, which he seems to think are all "government run". He should consider reading the book The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid to educate himself on alternatives. Most European countries depend on private health insurance companies, albeit heavily regulated, and citizens in these countries have a far greater range of coverage options than we do.

Listener Email from Catherine

I must tell you how fortunate I feel to have Chris Murphy as my Congressman. I have followed this debate and spent most of the day watching the vote in the House -- most of the Democratic argument was well-thought out and well presented, and the Republicans said the same thing over and over.....using the "fear factor" -- government takeover, the cost, etc., etc. -- never a constructive idea. I consider it the i.e.d. of policy making. It's easy to throw a "fear bomb" in there to disrupt the process.

Who knows if this will work? Certainly not I, and I have great insurance, but I also have a conscience. When I'm paying $5.00 for a prescription and the person in line ahead of me can't even pick his or hers up because he/she can't afford it, there's something wrong.

It all comes down to trust.....I trust Congressman Murphy --- I feel he's really educated himself and acted in our best interest.

Listener Email from Richard

With all due deference for a public servant working hard for the state, I express my disappointment Congress Chris Murphy''s responses your program November 23.

Chris, for example, made assertions that he did not know to be true. They are in fact false. The Senate (Reid) version of the health care bill does not save money beyond the first ten years. CBO does not score beyond the first decade, but those who have projected its numbers out find its second decade costs to be about $2.5 trillion and revenues barely over $2 trillion. The first decade saves money because revenue, like taxes on insurance programs many millions of Americans have, begin almost immediately and real spending does not start until 3- 5 years out..

Likewise, anyone that understands basic economic principles unchallenged since Adam Smith will tell you that government cannot be a "fair" competitor to market place insitutions. Of course the government plan will win in the marketplace: we're having our grandchildren pay for part of the bill.