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CNN "Piers Morgan Live" - Transcript: Affordable Care Act And Impact on Previously Held Plans

Interview

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Location: Unknown

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MORGAN: Well, joining me now to debate all this from the Left to the Right, Representative Frank Pallone, The Ranking Member of the Sub Committee on Health and Congressman Marsha Blackburn, the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Welcome to both of you.

So let me start with you, Congressman Pallone, what would you make about Reince Priebus said there?

REP. FRANK PALLONE (D) RANKING MEMBER, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH: I mean, it's all a bunch of nonsense, I mean the fact of the matter is that to the Affordable Care Act is working. More and more people are signing up everyday, you know, preexisting conditions as a basis for health care have been abolished, people that go and ...

MORGAN: But the website is down as I'm speaking to you. How can you not ...

PALLONE: Well, the website -- the website, obviously ...

MORGAN: ... be sensitive and complete and unmitigated fiasco.

PALLONE: Well, I think that's a bit of an overstatement. Look, the website is functioning, three -- as of last week, 3 out of 10 people actually were able to enroll and everyday, you're going to see improvements. Secretary Sebelius testified today that by the end of November, it should be 100 percent.

But remember, you don't have to go in the website. People sign up everyday by going, calling the 800 number, they can go through an insurance agent, they can go through various non profits.

Last week, you know, I was with people at our food bank that we're signing up. So, you know, the Affordable Care Act it's not the website ...

MORGAN: Right. It's is not been fiasco.

PALLONE: ... needs to be corrected.

MORGAN: If it's not been a fiasco, why is everyone from the President to Secretary Sebelius, to Joe Biden queuing up to apologize to the American people.

PALLONE: Why, I mean of course they have to fix the website. I don't think there's any question to that. But, you know, the website is only part of the way you can sign up, there are many other ways to sign up. And there's tremendous interest in this and you see more and more people enrolling everyday. Remember also people care -- are now eligible for expanded Medicaid. And the bottom line is ...

MORGAN: OK.

PALLONE: ... that, you know, people can get a better policy at a more affordable price than they were able to before.

MORGAN: OK. Congresswoman Blackburn, let me ask you about this because you are pretty heated today, I want to play a clip from you in action because it was quite impressive. Let's listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, (R) TENNEESSEE: Some people like to drive a Ford not a Ferrari. And some people like to drink out of a red solo cup not on a crystal stem. You're taking away their choices.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Now I have here a red solo cup.

BLACKBURN: Oh, great.

MORGAN: And I have a crystal stem. So there we are absolute clear evidence that some of us do. And let's talk seriously about this because it's clearly been a disastrous start to all this. But what happens as I said to Reince Priebus, if they manage to get it sorted as Secretary Sebelius claims it's going to happen by the end of November.

So, if within a few weeks this is all up and running properly and actually it's popular then aren't you guys going to look a little bit silly come April after the take-off's been terrific and it seems to be working.

BLACKBURN: Well, I have to tell you, you never look silly when you're defending the American people in their pocketbook. And, what we know is to say a voice that hundreds of millions of dollars building a website that does not work. And we are have while we've have them under oath, Piers, we've asked the contractors and the Secretary for an accounting of everything past, present, and future that they are spending on this website.

And here is a big part of the problem. Not only does the website works, so no they can't get to that. But, those people that are signing up are primarily signing up for Medicaid. Medicaid already has a $43 trillion unfunded liability against it. So, we've made the spending problems worse.

Then also you have to look at the fact that those that are signing with paper if you will, their information is going into an online repository. And, we have already had it hacked. Your own network reported on a hacker who got in and removed all this information, personal identifying information on people that had signed up.

So we've already had ...

MORGAN: Well, it was up here ...

BLACKBURN: We've already had a major ...

PALLONE: No. I mean this thing about the private ...

BLACKBURN: We've already have a major ...

MORGAN: OK. OK. Let me jump in.

BLACKBURN: So the processes is a problem ...

PALLONE: I mean it's the same ...

BLACKBURN: ... money processes ...

MORGAN: Let me jump in and ask ...

BLACKBURN: Yeah.

MORGAN: Thank you. Let me just jump in and ask Congressman Pallone which is, is this.

PALLONE: Well, what is ...

MORGAN: ... of this question. Wait, let me ask me you a question ...

PALLONE: (inaudible) Congresswoman Blackburn's alternative. Sure.

MORGAN: No, no. I'm asking you a question sir which is this.

PALLONE: Sure.

MORGAN: Is when the President repeatedly stood up and told the American people, if you want to keep your doctor or you plan, you can do that with no qualifications to it, none of this, it is not quite good enough and he gets changed, but just boldly telling people if you want to keep your doctor or your plan you can. That was just a lit wasn't it, a complete and utter falsity.

PALLONE: Of course it was not a lie, Piers, just to the contrary that people can keep their plans, the plans their grandfather ...

BLACKBURN: No.

PALLONE: ... that if the insurance companies want it, want it for a lousy -- if the insurance companies want to continue to offer lousy plans that don't have good coverage and cost a lot of money the taxpayer or to the insured, they can. But what's happening of course ...

MORGAN: OK. What percentage of people of who wan to keep their plan or their doctor as per the President's promise actually going to be able to do that.

PALLONE: Oh, probably over 90 percent. Remember that most people get their insurance through their employer and they continue to get that. I think that what ...

MORGAN: Well, to just to clarify, when people say could be as many as 50 or 60 percent may not be able to do that. You'll say, "No, that's nonsense." 90 percent ...

PALLONE: It's nonsense right ...

MORGAN: ... and we'll be able to keep it. Is that right?

PALLONE: Look, yeah. Can I answer the question? Look, the majority of people probably 80 or 90 percent continue to get their insurance through their employer. And obviously the employer continues to offer it and they can keep it.

What the President was talking about and what Congresswoman Blackburn is talking about is the individual market. Now, you can keep your plan in individual market too if the insurance company wants to continue to sell it. But what's happening is these insurance companies realize that a lot of their plans are lousy, almost a scam and so they can't sell them anymore because people won't buy them. Because now ObamaCare ...

MORGAN: So why did the President -- Why didn't the President just say that? Why didn't he just say rather than making his bold promise to everybody to sell out his plan? Why didn't he just be honest.

PALLONE: The problem here, Piers is that, look, we have to look at this from a practical point of view. We want people to be insured and ...

BLACKBURN: Oh please.

MORGAN: What about telling the truth?

PALLONE: ... have to do with insurance policy. And that's what we're offering here.

MORGAN: What about telling the American people the truth.

PALLONE: We're offering a good insurance policy at an affordable price. If Marsha says I want to keep some lousy plan that's a scam, well, the insurance company isn't going to sell it anymore because nobody's going to buy it and that's the bottom line.

BLACKBURN: Oh, Piers. Please let me...

PALLONE: They're cancelling these policies that are scam policies.

BLACKBURN: ... respond to that.

PALLONE: It is not the President's that's ...

MORGAN: OK. Final words...

PALLONE: ... cancelling it, it's the insurance company ...

MORGAN: OK.

PALLONE: ... because they're scam policies and they're not going to sell them anymore. People aren't going to buy them.

MORGAN: OK. Final...

BLACKBURN: Piers...

MORGAN: OK. Thank you.

BLACKBURN: Yes.

MORGAN: Final -- wait a minute, final words to our Congressman Blackburn. I wouldn't be so cheeky for you Marsha.

BLACKBURN: Thank you.

MORGAN: Your final words.

BLACKBURN: Thank you. What we know is that their numbers don't work and individuals have been able to buy insurance or employers able to offer insurance that suited the needs of families and they have been placed with their insurance and to be so insulting to people to say, "Oh, the insurance you've had is a scam." The President should never have gone out and said that and continue to say it. And if, as NBC news reported, they knew this three years ago that that was not a truthtful statement that it is bad ...

PALLONE: If you want to go buy a scam policy, you can.

BLACKBURN: ... work to say we're doing it.

PALLONE: And nobody's going to buy.

BLACKBURN: Now, Frank, you need to stop that. That is insulting and inappropriate to people.

PALLONE: If you want it -- Marsha, if you want to buy a scam policy, you can still buy it. But there isn't anybody that's going to buy that policy.

MORGAN: Congressman Pallone if you move the gun close any further, they'll literally be off the field. Let's just move on. Thank you both very much for joining me tonight.

BLACKBURN: Thank you so very much.

MORGAN: We'll continue this debate I'm sure.

BLACKBURN: I appreciate that. Yeah.

MORGAN: As the excuses get ever more ludicrous. Coming up at Arsenio Hall, the actor comedian, talk show host, is in our green room and joins me in just a few moment. But first, the man who knows how to get dirty jobs done right, Mike Rowe. And also, we have Glenn Beck that people across America are all talking about.

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