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Public Statements

CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Affordable Care Act

Interview

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CROWLEY (on-camera): Joining me now, members of their party leadership, Democratic congressman, James Clyburn and Republican senator, John Barrasso. Gentlemen, thank you both for coming this morning.

I want to pick up first on the Katrina references with generally go to the idea that once a president falls below that 50 percent line when it comes to honesty and trustworthiness it makes it very hard to govern, but that really litigating George Bush and Katrina, Senator Barrasso. Do you buy into that argument that the president may be in a hole he can't get out of?

BARRASSO: He maybe, Candy. I'm a lot less concerned about the president and his legacy than I am about the lives of the people in my state in Wyoming and around the country who are being hurt by the policy of this health care law. They're losing their coverage, millions. They're being hit by sticker shock.

They can't keep their doctors. And what the president is proposing is basically a false fix. It's a political band aid, but it's not a permanent cure for the people that are being hurt by his policies so it's time to start over with trying to get people the health care that they wanted from the beginning which was affordable care from their doctor that they choose.

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CROWLEY: Let me bring in Senator Barrasso. So, this clearly -- the president is off to a rough start on this. But one of the pushbacks whenever Republicans say this is wrong, that's wrong is you never wanted it in the first place. They sort of turn it back on you saying, yes, it's been rough, yes, it's been terrible, but now you're just trying to undermine it. What is your take on the Republicans next move to fix some of the things that you think are wrong with this?

BARRASSO: Well, you know, Candy, this past week, I introduced legislation, the state health care choice act so states could make decisions if they wanted to opt-out of the individual mandate or the employer mandate for the people in their states. I'm concerned about getting people health care that they need and want and can afford and we don't have those happening with these policies.

The website is just the tip of the iceberg, but for only every one person that's been able to sign up, 40 people have gotten cancellation letters and, you know, the president may call these junk policies or substandard policies, but they're policies that work for those people. I was with a rancher yesterday in Wyoming, in Laramie, others who've gotten these letters and it didn't meet the president's standards because the insurance policy didn't include maternity coverage, but this is a woman that's had a hysterectomy.

She shouldn't have to pay for that kind of coverage. Republican solutions are there. We need to level the playing field so that people who buy insurance individually at the same tax rates as those who buy it than get it through work. We need to be able to let people to shop across state lines for better deals with insurance that works for them and their family not something the government says they have to have.

In terms of pre-existing conditions, my wife is a breast cancer survivor. She's been through three operations, chemotherapy twice. I know how critical it is to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions have affordable insurance and states are able to do that.

What we're seeing is this failed website that's just the tip iceberg of lost coverage, losing your doctor, higher premiums and the fraud that is coming even on the healthcare.gov website has been remarkable and that the fraudsters are out there in force, trying to take advantage and steal identity of the American people.

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CROWLEY: And final word here, Senator Barrasso, do you see Republicans going forward unless something amazing happens between now and next year, this is going to go into force, this law. Will Republicans work with the White House to fix things or will you continue to want to change major portions of it?

BARRASSO: It's time to start over. This health care law is terribly flawed. It is broken. It has failed the American people because they're losing their insurance, they're losing their doctor. Their premiums are going up. I think there's going to be a massive taxpayer bailout needed just to deal with the impact of this health care law.

This is not what the American people wanted. The president did not need to destroy a good health care system to try to make a better one, but that's what we have now. CROWLEY: So, that sort of sounds like a no on trying to fix it. Thanks so much, Senator John Barrasso, Congressman James Clyburn, I appreciate both of your time today.

BARRASSO: Thank you, Candy.

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