Exclusive - Charles Krauthammer Extended Interview Pt. 3

  • Aired:  10/23/13
  •  | Views: 127,114

In this exclusive, unedited interview, "Things That Matter" author Charles Krauthammer questions the wisdom of remaking the entire American health care system. (11:20)

>> YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT ANARGUMENT OVER TACTICS AS IF IT'S

THE ESSENCE OF THIS.

THIS IS A MATTER OF TACTICS TOSHUTGOWN THE GOVERNMENT.

WHERE DO YOU APPLY THE PRESSURE?

THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE OF WHETHEROR NOT OBAMACARE, THIS BRAND

NEW ENTITLEMENT IS THE ISSUE.

IT'S NOT HOW YOU GET THERE, HOWYOU REPEAL IT.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO ADD ATRILLION DOLLAR ENTITLEMENT ONTO

AN ECONOMY WITH 17 TRILLIONDOLLARS OF DEBT,

YOU'RE HEADED OVER A CLIFF.

THAT SEEMS TO BE REASONABLE -- IDISAGREE WITH THE RADICALS, IF

YOU LIKE, WITHIN THE PARTY ONWHAT TACTIC YOU USE WHEN YOU

HAVE ONLY A MINORITY IN THEGOVERNMENT STRUCTURE.

BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THEREISN'T A CONSENSUS ON THE MAJOR

OBJECTIVES.

>> WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE AND WHYARE TAXES OFF THE TABLE?

WHY IS THE IDEA THAT IF THE TAXBITE ON INCOME IS THE LOWEST

IT'S BEEN SINCE 1961.

TO HEAR THEM TALK, YOU KNOW, WEARE AT LEVELS WE HAVEN'T SEEN

SINCE THE 50'S OR 60'S.

IT'S NOT TRUE.

>> IT'S SIMPLY NOT RIGHT.

THE CBO ISSUED A REPORT LASTWEEK.

AS YOU KNOW IT'S NOT A PARTISAN.

>> Jon: I BUY IT.

>> THAT SAID THAT UNDER CURRENTLAW WE HAD THE TAX HIKE ON

JANUARY 1.

UNDER CURRENT LAW THE TAXRECEIPTS FROM THE FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT WILL BE 18.5% OFG.D.P. WHICH IS HISTORICALLY

ABOVE THE LEVEL FROM WORLD WARII UNTIL TODAY.

>> Jon: IT'S NOT A PERCENTAGEOF INCOME.

IT'S A DIFFERENT NUMBER.

>> IT'S A PERCENTAGE OF G.D.P.

>> Jon: BUT IT'S NOT APERCENTAGE OF INCOME.

>> EXPENDITURES IS WAY OVER THELIMIT.

YOU THINK WE OUGHT TO RETURN TOTHE TAXATION RATES OF WHAT

REAGAN WAS YOUNG.

>> Jon: I DON'T BELIEVE IT. BUTI BELIEVE THERE IS A WAY TO GO

BACK TO SOME CLINTONIAN RATESTO BRING CAPITAL GAINS MORE

IN LINE WITH INCOME TAX.

THE RATE TODAY IS THECLINTONIAN RATE.

>> Jon: WHICH JUST STARTED ANDIT WAS A HUGE FIGHT.

I'M OF THE BELIEF THAT THEGOVERNMENT IS DYSFUNCTIONAL IN

PROCESS BECAUSE OF THIS.

AND SO THERE'S NO QUESTIONTHERE'S BLOAT AND INCOMPETENCE

IN THE WAY WE DO THINGS.

MY GREATEST FRUSTRATION WITHTHIS GOVERNMENT IS THAT THEY RAN

ON THE IDEA THAT THE FOUNDATIONOF GOVERNMENT, THE BUREAUCRACY

WAS CORRUPTED AND NEEDED TO BECHANGED.

AND YET HAS GONE WITHIN A SYSTEMTHAT I THINK NEEDED TO BE

EXPLOITED.

JUST THIS WEB SITE.

NOW THEY ARE SAYING WE'RE GOINGTO FLY AND GET THE BEST AND

BRIGHTEST FROM SILICON VALLEY TOTROUBLESHOOT IT AND YOU THINK TO

YOURSELF MAYBE YOU COULD HAVEDONE THAT THREE YEARS AGO.

THE WEB SITE'S FAILURE IS TRAGICTO ME BECAUSE I FEEL TERRIBLE

THAT PEOPLE WITH PREEXISTINGCONDITIONS AND WITHOUT INSURANCE

ARE NOT GETTING IT BUT IT'S NOTA REASON TO CELEBRATE BECAUSE OF

A RETHE GOVERNMENT'S LACK OFE OFEFFICIENCY.

>> THE POINT THAT A CONSERVATIVEOUGHT TO MAKE, IT'S

IN THE BOOK.

A SINGLE BOOK.

IT'S NOT ONLY AN ECONOMICARGUMENT AGAINST ALL OF THESE

ENTITLEMENTS THE GOVERNMENTREACHES THE LIMITS OF WHAT YOU

CAN DO.

I CARE AS MUCH AS YOU DO ABOUTINSURING THE UNINSURED.

A DECENT SOCIETY OUGHT TO DOTHAT.

BUT THE QUESTION I HAVE FOR YOUAND YOUR SIDE IS THEN WHY WOULD

YOU THEN COMPLETELY REMAKE 16%OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY.

OVER 80% OF THE AMERICANS HAVEHEALTH INSURANCE AND THE VAST

MAJORITY ALREADY LIKE IT.

BUT INSTEAD WHAT OBAMA ANDCOMPANY HAVE DECIDED TO DO IS

REMAKE THE ENTIRE SYSTEM.

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLETODAY ARE RECEIVING IN THE MAIL

A NOTICE OF THE CANCELLATION OF THEIR

INSURANCE BECAUSE IT DOESN'TMEET THE STANDARDS ARBITRARILY

SET UP UNDER YOUR REGULATIONS.

WHY WOULD YOU REMAKE A 6th OFTHE ECONOMY WHEN YOU COULD OF

ADDRESS THE UNINSURED.

IT'S WHAT A CONSERVATIVE WOULDDO.

>> I THINK ONE THING YOU COULDHAVE DONE WAS EXPANDED MEDICARE

AND -->> WHY DIDN'T DO YOU THAT?

>> ONE THING YOU COULD HAVEDONE.

>> Jon: I DON'T KNOW THEANSWER TO THAT WE DIDN'T REMAKE

THAT.

>> YOU AND I WOULD BE ABLE TOAGREE ON THIS STUFF.

WHAT YOUR SIDE DID INSTEADIS REMAKE THE ENTIRE MEDICAL

SYSTEM.

>> Jon: WHAT THEY DID.

THEY THINK SINGLE PAYER WASREMAKING THE SYSTEM.

WHAT THEY TRIED TO DO IS CREATEA MARKET BASED INSURANCE IDEA,

ONE THAT WAS HATCHED BY THEHERITAGE FOUNDATION, BY THE WAY,

ONE THAT WAS A REPUBLICAN IDEATEN YEARS AGO, ONLY TO BE

DISAVOWED NOW BECAUSE OBAMAEMBRACED IT.

HE TRIED TO LATCH ON TO THATIDEA THINKING IT WAS A

COMPROMISE RATHER THAN WHATWOULD HAVE BEEN PREFERABLE TO

THE PEOPLE ON THE LEFT WHICHWOULD HAVE BEEN A CHANGEOVER TO

SINGLE PAYER. WHAT HE ISSAYING 80% OF THE COUNTRY HAS

INSURANCE LET'S CREATE AMARKETPLACE FOR 20% AND NOT

TOUCH.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO USE OBAMACAREIF YOU HAVE INSURANCE THAT MEETS

THE REQUIREMENTS AND 80% OF THEPEOPLE ALREADY DO.

>> THIS IS WHAT I LOVE ABOUTLIBERALS.

THEY HAVE EVERYTHING -->> Jon: SAY THIS IS WHAT YOU

LOVE ABOUT ME.

DON'T MAKE THIS A LARGERARGUMENT.

THIS IS ME.

THIS IS WHAT I THINK.

>> YOU ARE THE OFFICIALSPOKESMAN FOR THE LIBERALS.

>> Jon: YOU KNOW WHAT I AM?

A CONTRARIAN ASS THAT'S ALL IAM.

>> YOU ARE BEING OVERLY MODESTAND TO SOME EXTENT PROPERLY

MODEST.

>> Jon: THANK YOU.

>> IF TED CRUZ IS THE LEADER OFCONSERVATISIM, YOU ARE THE

LEADER OF LIBERALS.

YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THEORY OFWHAT OBAMA WANTED TO DO.

WHE WANTED TO GET A COMPROMISEBETWEEN

A CANADIAN SYSTEM ON THE ONEHAND AND THE SYSTEM WE HAVE

TODAY BUT INSTEAD WHAT HE DIDWAS CREATED A HUGE REFORM OF

EVERYTHING.

I USED TO BE A DOCTOR.

I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO WORKINSIDE.

I KNOW HOW COMPLICATED IS THEECOSYSTEM OF MEDICINE.

TRILLIONS OF DECISIONS EVERYDAY.

EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT OF THAT ISUNDER NEW REGULATIONS.

AS ONE SIDE EFFECT OF THISREFORM WHICH YOU SAY IS ONLY

AIMED AT THE UNINSURED.

IT'S NOT. IF IT IS ONLY AIMED ATTHE UNINSURED, WHY IS

IT THAT RESTAURANTS AREREDUCING THE HOURS OF WORKERS TO

GET UNDER THE 30 HOUR LIMITWHICH IS ARBITRARY CREATED BY

OBAMACARE WHICH IS HURTINGPEOPLE WHO ARE LOSING THEIR

JOBS, LOSING INCOME AND LOSINGHEALTH INSURANCE.

THERE WAS NO REASON TO INVADETHE WHOLE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

AND TO REMAKE IT IN THE NAMEOF GOODNESS AND JUSTICE.

>> Jon: I THINK IT'S EASY INHINDSIGHT TO SAY HE COULD HAVE

JUST DONE THIS OR THAT BUTON THE OTHER SIDE WHATHAVE THEY PRESENTED?

THEY SAY THE FREE MARKET WILLTAKE CARE OF ALL HAVE A LITTLE

TORT REFORM WHICH IS 1% OFMEDICAL SYSTEM, LET PEOPLE SHOP

ACROSS STATE LINES FOR A RACE TOTHE BOTTOM AND STATES LIKE NEW

YORK WILL BE STUCK WITH GIANTPOOLS OF PEOPLE WITH PREEXISTING

CONDITIONS.

THEY ASKED TED CRUZ ON THEFLOOR OF THE SENATE THEN, WHAT

DO YOU DO WITH PEOPLE WITHPREEXISTING CONDITIONS?

YOU MEAN PRESIDENT TED CRUZ?

>> HE'S ALREADY PRESIDENT.

>> Jon: IF YOU HAD A PRIMARYTOMORROW FOR THE REPUBLICAN

CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT, IREALLY BELIEVE TED CRUZ WOULD BE

THE RUN AWAY WINNER SO TOPAINT HIM AS THOUGH HE IS

ALAN GRAYSON AND OFF ON THESIDE LIKE A CRAZY PERSON.

>> I RESPECT HIM.

I RESPECT THE PASSION WITH WHICHHE BELIEVES AND WHAT HE

BELIEVES.

I DISAGREE OVER HIS TACTICS BUTI THINK IT'S EASY TO PORTRAY HIM

AS A SPOKESMAN FOR A MOVEMENTTHAT PREDATES HIM.

YOU SAY IN RETROSPECT I'MATTACKING OBAMACARE.

EVERYTHING I SAID TO YOU ABOUTALL THIS WAS AT THE TIME.

>> Jon: I UNDERSTAND THAT.

THE ALTERNATIVE WAS NOT -- WHYDIDN'T THEY JUST INCREASE

MEDICARE AND MEDICAID?

ALL THE REPUBLICANS SAID IS THEFREE MARKET.

WE BELIEVE IN FREE PEOPLES ANDFREE MARKETS.

WELL THESE SYSTEMS WERE CREATEDBECAUSE FREE PEOPLES AND FREE

MARKETS SOMETIMES IN SYSTEMSLIKE HEALTH CARE CREATE

EXTERNALITIES THAT DON'T HELPPEOPLE AND SOMETHING HAS TO

BE DONE.

>> LOOK.

>> THE RYAN PLAN WHICH WOULDHAVE REFORMED MEDICARE IS BASED

ON THE ASSUMPTION WHENGOVERNMENT ATTEMPTS TO DO

EVERYTHING IT SCREWS UP.

YOU KNOW.

THAT YOU WERE HERE IN SEBELIUSEARLIER IN THE WEEK.

THEY SCREWED UP A WEB SITE FORGOD SAKE.

YOU CAN'T MAKE A WEB SITE.

I'LL GET YOU A 12-YEAR-OLD WHOWILL DO A WEB SITE.

THEY SAID $600 MILLION TO DO THEWEB SITE.

I'LL GIVE THE 12-YEAR-OLD $100AND HE WILL DO IT IN THREE

HOURS.

THIS IS ABSURD.

THE ARGUMENT ON THE SIDE OF THERYANS IS YOU GIVE IT ALL OVER TO

GOVERNMENT AND IT'S SCREWED UP.

>> IT'S NOT GIVEN TO GOVERNMENT.

THEY JUST CREATED A NEW STANDARDOF INSURANCE AND OPENED IT UP TO

INDIVIDUAL. WHY DID INSURANCECOMPANIES SUPPORT THIS IF IT'S

GIVING IT TO GOVERNMENT?

THEY STAND TO MAKE AN ENORMOUSAMOUNT OF MONEY.

>> THE INSURERS HAVE LOST ALLTHEIR INDEPENDENCE.

THEY ARE ESSENTIALLY WITH THEPOWER OF WHAT THE UTILITY

COMPANIES ARE.

THE GOVERNMENT WRITES THE RULESAND THEY IMPLEMENT AND GET A

CUT.

THAT'S IT.

THIS ISN'T A CONSPIRACY OFINSURERS.

THIS IS AN ATTEMPT BY PEOPLE WHOTHINK IF YOU GET ENOUGH EXPERTS

IN THE ROOM, THE BEST AND THEBRIGHTEST AND YOU SAY YOU OUGHT

TO GET THEM AT THE BEGINNING ANDNOT THREE WEEKS IN, THREE YEARS

IN, YOU COULD WRITE REGULATIONSFOR A SYSTEM COMPLICATED LIKE

HEALTH CARE AND IT WILL WORK.

WE'RE SEEING IT DOESN'T WORK ANDTHE IMPLEMENTATION WILL BE

WORSE.

EVEN YOU GET PAST THIS.

>> Jon: EVEN YOU SAID MEDICAREIS A GREAT PROGRAM IT'S MORE

ONEROUS THAN THIS IS.

>> YOU CANNOT CONTINUE WITH THEDEMOGRAPHICS AND EXPENSE.

YOU HAVE TO REINTRODUCE INTO ITTHE COMPETITION THAT IS IN THE

RYAN PLAN AND IS NOT IN ANY OFTHE

OBAMA PLANS. BUT WHAT I'MSAYING IS YOU STATED SOCIAL

SECURITY, MEDICARE.

ON THE OTHER HAND YOU SAY HOWCAN THEY THINK THAT GOVERNMENT

HAS AN ANSWER TO THESESOCIAL ILLS.

YOU JUST QUOTED TWO OF THEM THATARE THE BEDROCK OF OUR SOCIETY.

>> THEY ARE DISCREET ISSUES.

>> Jon: MEDICARE IS THE SAME.

>> THEY ARE NOT REMAKING1/6 OF THE ECONOMY.

>> Jon: WHAT PERCENT IS OKAY?

>> 100% IS WRONG. AND THAT'S?

WHAT YOU'RE DOING WITH HEALTHCARE.

>> Jon: I CAN'T BELIEVE WEDISAGREE ON THIS ULTIMATELY.

YOU HAVE TO GET MY BOOK BECAUSEIT HAS ALL --

[LAUGHTER]I HAVE TO WRITE A BOOK NOW.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING BYAND HAVING A CONVERSATION.

I TRULY ENJOYED IT.

THINGS THAT MATTER.

IT'S ON THE BOOKSHELVES NOW.

BUY IT.

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