WORD>Audio & Video on Demand>>The Russ Cassell Show 10/30/2013 Hour 3

The Russ Cassell Show 10/30/2013 Hour 3

Oct 30, 2013|

Obamacare congressional oversight hearings - Kathleen Sebelius testimony

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is there Russ castle show our net charge to -- bad. Battery specialists -- again the breaking news is right now as we play to what we started this back in January this. This information -- was canceled show I set up and do as much as I can. To bring you live breaking news as it happens and we've done that's pretty consistently today another example of that. Right now on Capitol Hill Kathleen Sebelius. The secretary of health and human services. Is testifying before the house energy and commerce committee at the moment the so we're covering it. And -- will will take a break in just a moment to give you a chance to offer comments but right now she's being questioned by representative. -- as a -- he's a Republican up. Load the system thank you last week CGI federal income SSI testified that she amassed. Was responsible for India and testing and that they believe that months of testing would have been preferable to two weeks. Do you believe that two weeks was enough time to complete testing of the entire system clearly not. And win where you made aware of the results of the test including the one where the system. Collapse with only a few hundred users. Leading up to the October 1 date we had regular meetings with not only. A team and CM -- but administrators involved I was made aware that we were testing and as we found problems we were fixing those problems and I think there is. CGI report and mid August identifying some problems and between August and October that became the punch list procedure got to fix those problems that's why you test. Now in. The Washington Post on October 21 there was an article. The set about a month before they exchanged open to testing group of ten insurers urged agencies or officials. Not to launch the site because it was riddled with problems. Where you were in September that insurers recommended the delay in the launch of the exchange. I was not aware that they recommended delay I know everyone was concerned that there were risks and then we're likely to be problems with a brand new integrated insurance system I don't think anyone. Ever estimated the degree to which we've had problems in the system and certainly the contract and partners I did not. Ended HHS respond to the insurers recommendation to delay the luster I can't. I wasn't in the meeting I don't know what I've heard find out and I don't know they got to that question of course. I'll get back to thank you thank you mr. -- -- -- I -- Sharon matters a great thank you for taking time to be here today. I rivers and parts of eastern north Houston Harris County in our district as one of the highest uninsured rates in the country. Even worse we have on the highest rates of people who have jobs but don't perceive their insurance through their employer. It's of these trees and that I believe Houston would be a good place for you to come it's been spread the word about the tremendous benefits of the Affordable Care Act however. We -- your office and you're unable to attend because scheduling conflicts and hopefully. We have an agreement that sometime in the future you'll come to the fourth largest city it probably has set. Highest number of uninsured and metropolitan area and of course were in the state of Texas so there's a number of highest uninsured in the country. The it's important to me and our constituents. To get it right that's why I share a year and a president's his appointment to web sites are working as planned. November 30 is not soon enough. Me in my constituency and waiting for years be able to purchase health insurance and we ought to them to get the marketplace is up and running. The contractors and not serve our country. Well and should consider not be paid by the way she's your gene green a Democrat from Texas -- reserved customers. Notifying him that their plans are no longer offered. Are these Americans losing their health care coverage cozy Affordable Care Act. Or is it because these plans were changed after the enactment react. I would say it's the latter -- -- a plan was in place since the enactment of the active -- no one would have received to cancel or somebody in America had an insurance plan. Before the act. And not that the president was correct if you have what you viewed like which you have you could keep it as plans were changed and so now they have to comply with the new law. They can either choose to be grandfathered and keep the same plan which meant the same benefits and and actually them regulation allows insurance companies to. Charge medical inflation plus a trend line so they didn't have to charge the same price they -- increases they can increase co -- they could increase. Coinsurance what they couldn't do is -- benefits that the policyholder relied on they couldn't. Disadvantage the policy older but at that plans in effect absolutely it is still -- -- But some of these millions of letters are hearing about are probably because their plans changed. Absolutely and again in the individual market plans change every year insurers. But yet I even as -- this is market. That that happened so. These plans are not allowed now. Because they're completely inadequate they don't offer the minimum essential benefits. Is that correct. That is correct OK and having been a state legislator and I know as governor in Kansas I assume every state has some type of minimum mandated benefits that they have for their health insurance plan. They do but it applies again surge in the past usually to the group markets where 90% of America covered Americans get their policies this market has always been a wild west of the the American apps -- those letters are from their companies. About cancellations aerial -- purchase plans only change. Or out of the exchange individuals who don't. Aren't interested in some kind of financial help can go outside the exchange inside the exchange there insured and offer them plans they have choices they've never had before. Because of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act 80% of their premium dollar will come back to them. That's correct -- that's right that's not true and I don't I know it's not you're in Texas but I don't know what any states that have that 80% requirement. Well no state added I would suggest. In that. Kind of broad base prior to the Affordable Care Act silly to me give you an example wanted to plans I found out there in case worker few years ago. A large company provided 25000 dollar maximum benefit for their employees in the year most employees didn't know about it. In until this one constituent found out that she had cancer. And the bill ended up being 300000 dollars. -- so that's some of those plans that are not being allowed to be sold now is that correct. I'm not only -- the plan have a limit on out of pocket costs for a year it will have a limit on a lifetime out of pocket costs and a we'll have it will take away the notion that. You would run out of your coverage in the middle of a treatment which a lot of plans do I know I'm out of my time but it's like buying our cards. It gave a good bit of that have a motor it's no good to have that car and that's why -- or repair act has -- a lot of gas and then gets yemen's time has expired. Don't want him mr. -- thank you very much mr. chairman. Governor secretary were delighted to have you before the committee you and I both know how important this issue is all Americans that we get it right. So I hope you can appreciate were trying to understand. What we missed along the way. And and one of the things that bothered me was the letter that was sent to from your. Agency to the GAO. Back in June 6. And all read imparted said were in the final stages of finalizing and testing the IT infrastructure will support the application enrollment process. HHS is extremely. Confident that in October 1 the marketplace will open on schedule. And millions of Americans -- access to affordable quality health insurance. I'm just. Average guy from a small town and -- when I read that. It tells me you believed everything was good to go the testing was in place and we should have full confidence everything would work correct. That's the lesson and yes yeah I actually are -- by your suggests that. Guess I'm the same points so I went into this believing in your response your agency's response to jail things are ready to -- we should have full confidence. I just on some uses the word extremely confident tells me you're extremely confident. Second piece then when we had the testimony from the witnesses last week I asked them about the end then testing. And what the industry standard would be and they said it really should have been months. Especially for a project of this magnitude and yet we heard it was only two weeks now in August. I'm GC guy. Told CM mass in their report CG I'm sorry CGI think you. That -- on August 9 that there was not enough time in the scheduled conduct adequate performance testing. Did that make its way all the way to you. And and do you think there was adequate time. They're clearly as I've said before we did not adequately do end to end testing. The products were not. Locked and loaded into the system until. The third week in September. Ito the component parts right how -- was tested eight Talladega independently -- All of those and I'm certain. All those worked all right they told us last week that there individual modules were tested and Mets specification do you concur -- analysis. I don't you know duking -- with the testing that was done -- OK so really was the end and which is why some of us thought we should delay until it could be done right to avoid this very. Collapse that now is upon us. I realize -- -- -- agreed to that the second piece -- gets back to the wish -- post which I realize Jim -- and I understand chance read this morning. But the four Pinocchio is about the president repeatedly saying if you have a plan to keep a plan. We all heard that to mean I've got a plan with a company I'll continue to have -- even if they make minor changes when in fact your own rules as written. Said no that really isn't what's going to happen if minor changes are made that means supply and change that means you don't get it. Well say that isn't true they rules did not say what you just suggested and I think the estimate given that. There would be turnover in the market was really. An outside projection it wasn't our rules it's from it was a snapshot of what happens in the market that plans changed so sure and -- -- over time. That the -- just met once they wouldn't be not because of our rules but because of insurance company's business as well -- -- set -- aren't -- market rules look like they had to comply with. Correct only if they chose not to grandfather of the policy that's this like that meant they could -- grandmother gave us he stayed in place still would be in place right Madonna made -- -- But if they made any change now they could make changes in pricing they can make changes in benefits. They couldn't dramatically disadvantage that consumer. But they could have trend lines they they had ever wide corridor. To make sure that says Sam a similar plan so if a consumer like the plan. The -- and. If it's so here's what the practical implication I've got letters from constituents all in my district to have gotten letters from their insurers who say because of obamacare. They're no longer going to be in the individual market or at least -- that plan in the individual market the result is. This person from cove Oregon set I was -- 600 a month for 3000 dollar deductible now costs me 800 month for a 5000 dollar deductible. Tom I've got others here I'll put in the record. A woman whose job she. Had forty hours now down to 29 neither has health insurance nor enough income to live on her -- because of the way this law's getting implemented I realized my times it's. Our -- is -- Walden a Republican from Oregon. Harry so will do. Right now what we did last hour I wanna take a quick break from -- testimony. You've just heard about so those seventeen minutes of -- are twelve minutes of and I'm sorry. And just give -- your reaction. What you're hearing I've got time to take about three calls. Our -- it via an advantage talk like numbers are wide open so if you -- right now you can get through just jury if you've been listening to this. This -- testimony from Kathleen Sebelius. Up on Capitol Hill you know a lot of folks are suggesting. That she's got to go. And you for the Democrats and the Republicans with their questions. And I'm kind of make -- notes here in the final hour today I'm gonna point out several things but anyway if you want to share your thoughts and comments. Right now. Then jump on the phone the Eagles advantage talk like numbers are 2329673. In Greenville. That's 232. WORG. Spartanburg. 5749673. Or 574. WORD. And if you wanna share something. Via that text then used the W award. 71307. Here are some of those Ross every time one of these Democrats speak I can smell the BS. All the way through my radio. Russ I know this is an old argument but is there not something unconstitutional. To -- a government official state. That it is the law that we have to buy any thing. Ross our government is full show and tell stories -- my daddy would always tell people I can show you better than I can tell you which is. One of the reasons I'm doing this folks. -- one of the things that the dead the one of the Democrats said was correct. This is not socialized medicine it's fascism. Which is worse Ross Bravo thank you for airing this series don't appreciate that. -- It continually amazes me that there are so many people willing to carry the water and cover for Obama. Is it that they are so far in that they have no choice. Some rust isn't this really about bankrupting our nation. And insurance destroying free markets to fully implement socialism. We are being a Lynn ski debt. -- I just can't believe there that many who believe this crap that they are regurgitate it. -- from the Democrats like the Republicans should call them liars and give them the reasons why. The airlines the -- Republicans can show. The American people. That they are being lied are fed a line of crap. Democrats will label Republicans as hysterical and the public will believe it it is politics they've got to fight fire. With fire. Ross every time -- Henry Waxman said the bill was good. I kept wondering then why does congress and members of their staff why they need subsidies. -- quickly -- Spartanburg SkyWest. Hey -- I don't like their parents just veteran floor. A boutique bigger billion dollar repair in his group they're not they're Republicans are spineless. They walk as any substantial questions to -- from some aliens it is as -- it's almost like it's. It was rehearsed it -- actually not little she questions that she can serve in just you know it's -- they're they're not press an error. Well this troubled Marsha Blackburn what was pressing your. And that other guy the Republican from Illinois at another were Republicans in Illinois but doesn't it but it he's he was pretty tough weather. Us and I'm trying to weave in and out of it but you're right most of them like that last guy from Morgan I mean -- many slave c'mon. Yeah I mean it's just like it just it is a bonus when he got these. The Republican and all the spent all week. And I do it. But nothing is going to get done not gonna get done about. There's not gonna get done about being god beat market and I think they're just because they're. There are straight Barack I'm approaching -- Yeah I did I think I'd think a lot of people are feeling just exactly what you said. Thank you west -- Spartanburg go. -- The questions he -- the so these are your students actually care. -- All you really know people -- ensure. Order to get more than you ever get -- not sure. You go to a doctor and -- -- to me why you ain't no. Free market while you're actually this whole. They know Walt junior they sure they. Don't let it strictly for patients smaller. Why wouldn't you. Know. We think every little bit mortgage. Millionaire -- able to. Break. -- -- -- -- -- -- Exactly so they won't even consider what I think is a common sense I I said before I think -- government totally out of it make you between patients and doctors but. When you're so right about that at some below yes. And one of the Republicans -- this sound you know with all the problems and all the delays. I mean with a fiasco that this is Ben would you be in favor because he said he would actually proposed. 81 year making this totally voluntary. Let people have a year of work out all the glitches and obviously if it's so great. If you make it voluntary then people can sign up for it I mean. Which is very prayer and the civilians answered no I would not be in favor of that and that that speaks volumes. -- one -- quick when Patrick I'm Patrick. Hey how are you doing it won't be there and you know I think but. That the government is doing a really great job. In covering up the real issue here yep we got I. -- problem did not want I don't know our insurance but they're not really hit me big issue at all and that's the issue. That the middle class America and what -- -- just to give you an example last year not company offers the insurance 8190. Dollar. Per paycheck that's like some want. Oh my nature -- it did one and it worked right well in the lap we ought to come back in instead. Plan goes what it will put want to invite all the all the other issues that are allowed I insurance call -- 800 -- -- -- -- I have to stop the ball where I I didn't approach and work out our power -- pockets pop spoke up and went. And then after that it copper and 70%. While I've just -- just took the 4800 dollar pay cut. For that next year cop got two children in college -- got they don't want my children. But I don't wanna speed -- -- up and prepare future. So now how tropical on the fact that for about an anchor bottler but I would be probably pay almost you know while I'm great for insurance. Well here's the way the Democrats would -- -- that first of all it's and it doesn't have anything to do with them. It sure evil insurance company incher evil employer. That doing all this to you and they would have you believe that they had nothing to do with it when when we have. 151000. Pages plus some regulation. And Sebelius has been talking all around because the Democrat theme is. These policies are being canceled and changed. They -- to kept on the way they worry they were grandfathered in you've heard them say that a thousand times that is their mantra today but but what they leave out is. What are you supposed to do when all of a sudden you have 151000. Pages plus of regulations. And you have to comply with those plus you you have to figure out a way to let me say the dirty word to make a profit so you can keep paying people. And that keeping people employed but the government wants you to believe that day we are really the good guys in this. And you notice a believes keeps on saying as long as they have basically what we. Have told them they are staffed. Then then it no there's no problem. Clearly government is controlling this that's their goal. They want to tell everybody. How to run their business they won until individuals. Everything that we have to do it not do from. Light bulbs to flushing toilets. And this is this is the -- today all it's those evil insurance companies dropping terrible policies we've made it better for everybody what a bunch -- bulk. Patrick thank you 1026 you're listening to the cross castle show. This is the -- castle show powered and charge my batteries specialists. All right here's a Republican going after Kathleen Sebelius Mike Rogers. Who also serves on the intelligence committee about the privacy of healthcare dot gov so that these Americans -- that -- -- you've read the memo and go I have read. This is a test very athletically that's not the memo says he's temporary number one and number through the contractors will tell you this it's not have -- German pointer. Order I don't on the witness ought to be allowed to answer what was say. Speech rather. Carly -- -- it because he's -- is a motivation -- you only will be in Australia and other images here and that's -- There's eight. Think if they wish to respond briefly. Sir I would just say this document is. A document signed by administrator opener. Which discusses mitigation strategies for security that are ongoing and upgraded and a authorization. To operate on a permanent bases will not be signed until these mitigation strategies are. Satisfied it is underway right now but daily and weekly monitoring and testing is under way. Mr. Charles people using honest system today and she should he admitted again the system isn't secured nor has it been I -- not yet there's a chair and she did that's ninja -- you said that when she didn't say John Feinstein has expired mr. Doyle. Thank you mr. chairman madame secretary welcome. Those of us who fought for this law who voted for this law. Have a vested interest in this success and and the concerns. That you hear expressed on this side of the panel are real. Because we wanna see Americans get health care. I think it's somewhat. Disingenuous for my colleagues on the other side of the year the the the podium here to. Have this faux anger. In this -- concern over bill. That they absolutely want to fail and have rooted for its failure and have voted over forty sometimes to repeal this bill. Never putting an alternative plan on the floor. For the American people but just to simply say they wanna make sure this plan doesn't succeed. And I think they're real rural areas is that the plan will succeed. And the American people will learn the real benefit -- this plan not the propaganda campaign that's gone on by the Republicans. For the last three years. Madam secretary I think one of the keys to success of this plan is that we get young people to -- when this plan. I have some questions about some enrollment concerns. That I have now I understand that that you set approximately 700000. People have applied for coverage. Via the health care dot gov in the state exchanges is that is that they've completed an application right which is different from enrollment that's correct. So my question is are you expecting I know we don't have the exact numbers yet what are you expecting -- a large number or small -- number of enrollment -- the first month with what would -- the thoughts on that. Well our projections prior to launch -- always that there would be a very small number. At the beginning we watched the Massachusetts strand which started slowly and build. I think there's no question that given our flood the launch of healthcare dot -- it will be. A very small -- yeah I mean in the Massachusetts plan I think the first month it was a 123 people signed up less than than 1% of -- overall first you're enrollment. In that first month than we saw the same kind of numbers. And Medicare part. 2006. A matter secretary young Americans are the most likely age group to be uninsured. And a lot of us are concerned that because of of the problems that we've been having with the web site. That a lot of these young folks may not come back on you know they have very short attention spans I've got four kids. The all -- work on the Internet and if they can't get something in five minutes there on the something else. -- is -- Michael Doyle he's a Democrat from Pennsylvania your department. To encourage young people to go back and revisit that site and to make sure that we're getting young people looking at that site now accessing it. A step at number one as -- the site. Because we don't want people to be invited back and then have a bad experience a second time around. I think that's absolutely right the site is particularly important to tech savvy. Younger generation folks who we need to enroll I think that we have. I am. So -- the site is is step one and step number two is getting information to folks says. The -- in exists a lot of young people haven't followed this dialog for the last three and a half years ago. I I think we need to rule out a -- marketing campaign and we need to really reach out to young people. We especially the end of November when you say this site is going to be working a lot better. To make sure they're checking that site dot Tibet one of my four kids a self employed he's 33 years old he's paying about a 140 dollars a month right now for blue cross plan. -- he's eligible for a subsidy we browse that site he's going to be able to get coverage for about half what he's paying right now. And and that's good news for us and I think our white -- paying his premiums so I think we're gonna save the money and I think it's important. We had the prod him to go on that site. And and and roll and I think for a lot of young people they're not gonna do it unless it's easy so it's important we get that fixed I mean. Got to Murphy chairman of the oversight -- Thank you madame secretary welcome. You mentioned that the people those who -- the technology the website made an upper mistakes mention Verizon. When we get them before committee last week they said it wasn't their fault they were told but an HHS. There were some problems there. Sorry Verizon wasn't involved in the website I think I don't I was that clever that this is Tim Murphy he's a Republican from Pennsylvania TGI -- -- others with companies that senator. I'm just curious in this process what decisions did you make him. That affected this for better or worse in terms of the data the -- proms at the moment to end up being able to track how many people are ex general. My decisions. Specifically. To design the website I was not involved to I am. Prohibited. To choose contractors we go but -- Federal procurement and I got regular reports on exactly what was done and what about the par with regard to getting data in terms of how many people are even enrolled are trying to road -- I. I really does have a. That is constant process at this point does not work. And end bright and let them and work that's not have reliable data about the end and I'm just trying to find -- at -- if you had asked them to say look I'm. I'm in charge that I'm gonna want a regular port how many people -- several hundred people have been wrote. Have you did you ask that question we have -- prioritize. For our contractors and that's specific fix and believe me the insurance companies are eager for us to get. Reliable data to -- I'm just trying to -- data matches ours and that is not there yet. I appreciate that I'm just trying to find out if you ask you told them that was part of the plan what to do when we -- quick. I'm here for we're here from thousands of people had their policies canceled. Back to her from one insurer in Pittsburgh. They just cancel 30000 individual policies. Now they said they expect 50000 to 30000 enrolled exchange plants just you know to date and so far the number of people sign if their plan is. Ten. -- Now I'm concerned a lot of these individuals -- families aren't to be able to make by junior once so. Someone who do you know how many families -- not have been able to keep their insurance by January 1 do you any matrix can help you understand what that number's going to be. Served by law that has been a place for awhile at the state level. Insurance companies must -- of their customers and ninety day notice. About a policy right danger plan cancer this morning if you're a mechanism whereby you'll know. It's something built and his -- -- by -- appeal if your constituents signed up for an individual plan people across America. And we know how many policies will be canceled a ruby and -- in his at a 10101001000005. Million. We don't know that in the individual market and number of the plans being sold are not grandfathered and our non. Currently meeting the law. Those notices have gone out we know that there are about twelve million people in the individual market. A number of them have grandfathered plans a number of them have plans which means the essential health benefits so I can. -- immediately put a face on that. Person named Paul wrote to me and says I'm suppose that one of the families of the second supposed to help put -- in fact operating more. When make it harder from a family to live will have less money for food and other essential items have a wife and four children to take care of another person wrote. I received all right had a 313. Plan which would include the premiums and out of pocket total I'd go to his 5300. For -- fourteen the same program liabilities 9000. Single mom writes I want to convey -- more of the millions of people was -- their health insurance canceled because it does not meet. The standards of obamacare I'd like my insurance I especially like the price -- nine being forced to sign up. For something that it would be way more expensive as a single mom was self employed I'm worried about how I'm going to pay my bills I hope you have a mechanism to track who these people are. The she's not eligible for the subsidies. But the cost are really going to be drug -- down. Closer again I would suggest that there is no requirement that any of those consumers sign up. For a plan suggested by -- company at a higher price they have now options of a -- out that Al underwriting without pre existing conditions. With some guarantees around. You searching around I can't understand they can afford it never had before she can't find when she's of -- -- time is expired -- All right. We'll check -- quick break and back with your phone calls after this 1045. Sorry 1050 back to the hearing that coming up let's go to the phones right now surely is in buffalo South Carolina. I surely haven't met mr. -- New -- I'm okay. I'm listening to Hannity like night and they talking about that date and it obamacare step on the only for insurance companies. What's gonna happen I think others are going to have to go out against me and I haven't heard from -- at -- the only bulwark. Insurance as well but -- I don't know there at insurance. -- string because it's happening all across the country now insurance companies are are -- in the math and they're looking at the problems with the web site. And they're just deciding to drop out of the exchanges. Now the question becomes. If all of them were to drop out of the exchanges. Then what happens then and many people believe. That is the ultimate goal. Of Obama. So once this. As as Morgan Brittany writes about a town hall dot com today. Is all of this the real goal all along in other words if it's so chaotic. If it's such a disaster. Then somewhere down the road Obama comes and says oh yeah we're sorry we tried to do it this way but the only way that we can really accomplish what everybody seems to want. Is the insurance companies are dropping out -- to step and the government will step then. And will have what what Obama and others have said they clearly want a single Payer system. Handled totally by the government now my brain surely tells me. If the government is made such a fiasco out of this who in the world would trust them to to take take over healthcare. Extra class aren't based the continent there's not going to be in with each sport that the government the corner page and we -- that the unions. Not pretend they don't stamp out because they probably losing customers. Need to -- you you can have come back not expecting that -- That the best I can answer that it's it seems to me right now we're only talking about people who go out there and by. Insurance as an individual we're not talking about the people. Like we have feared worker. In group plans for a so so so the insurance companies will look at this and what they're already doing all across the country. Many of them are announcing hey we just not going to be in the individual market anymore it it just doesn't work for us. Try to do a lot of what they'll do -- or other people then will demand that the government step in and fill that void. And it is a demand. Not just from individuals but the course we have the government demand you know hanging over your head is that acts saying that you and we don't care what you want. You're gonna have to have some kind of health insurance so I think this is just stage won a bowl this I don't I don't want. Finally -- topic I'm not a Republican I'm not a Democrat either consider. In the neutral I'm open Iraq they like -- -- didn't -- that. Who had expected a credit to get -- they're -- with the current -- that they and it's. They don't the Republicans contended that Republican -- out. Kept in that stated that instead it's a credit which they didn't cut bait. They make a speech they do but billion when he comes down to the -- wind and then back out quite hit. -- -- Well a lot of people don't think it is any -- no it doesn't think it makes a difference one way or the other. And that's just the frustration that is just gaining intensity all across the country caused quite frankly. Just me chairing this hearing you wouldn't believe the complaints I have all this is boring talk about something else because people are so. Chip it in -- they're tuning out of politics and the things that are going on under country I understand that there's a part of me that that's it that's that way I don't really give people the chance. Here rent. And then analyze it in your own mind and only you can decide. You know what you're gonna voter not a what you gonna do about insurance or anything else in your -- thank you surely 1054 now.