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CNN "Newsroom" - Transcript

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SANCHEZ: Remember back in April, when there was a plane that was photographed going over New York City, almost right through the area where 9/11 had happened, not far from the Statue of Liberty? Well, guess what? We have got the pictures now of exactly what that looked like. There it is.

Let's go in tight on some of those. There it is, Air Force One, actually. There you see the Statue of Liberty right under it. Now, this scared, in fact, panicked, so many New Yorkers that thousands of people ran out onto the sidewalks. They thought they were possibly under attack again.

It turns out it was just a publicity shoot that had been organized by Louis Caldera, or ordered by Louis Caldera, who was at the time the White House military affairs officer. He was fired, by the way, or summarily released or resigned, lost his job, nonetheless, as a result of these pictures.

We had never seen these pictures up close, just how low the plane was following over New York, low enough obviously to panic many New Yorkers and that's what it looked like as it happened back then, and the result as you now know was a controversy for the Obama administration, a news story for a straight week and the removal of one official named Louis Caldera of White House Military Affairs.

Moving on, all this week, we have been trying to bring you some clarity to some of the points that appear to be in dispute on the health care proposals. Yesterday, we found out the coverage for end- of-life planning does not mean, does not mean the government plans to put seniors to death, which some, like Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, alluded to on the floor of the House of Representatives.

There was another dispute by the president himself, essentially saying that this wasn't going to cost us. We basically showed that it probably will cost us.

And then there is this dispute. Some who oppose abortion say the reforms being considered will lead to the biggest spike in pregnancy termination since row Roe v. Wade.

In the words of Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, quoted in several periodicals -- quote -- "The ugly truth is, so- called health care reform, if enacted, will lead to millions of additional deaths of children, additional deaths of children, and millions of mothers will be wounded."

Congressman Smith is good enough to join us now from Washington.

Anybody who reads that is struck by the words, because you're saying millions of children essentially will die. First of all, I want to make sure you are quoted correctly there. We have seen that in at least four or five different periodicals. That is your quote, right?

SMITH: Oh, Rick, without a doubt.

Here is the problem in a nutshell. The abortion mandate that is in this so-called health restructuring bill -- and just as recently as last night, there is language now in the bill -- the Capps amendment -- and she is a member of Congress, very, very pro-abortion.

SANCHEZ: Lois -- Lois Capps.

SMITH: Lois Capps from California...


SMITH: ... who makes it very clear that every area of the country, by federal government mandate, will have to have a private insurance company that has abortion coverage as part of its coverage.

Right now, throughout the country, both in terms of abortion facilities, hospitals, there are some 87 percent of the counties of America that are no longer performing abortions. There is nobody there to do abortions. We have seen hospital after hospital get out of the grisly business of dismembering or chemically poisoning unborn children to death.


SMITH: And that has led directly to more children living. The second part is the public subsidy...


SANCHEZ: Well, let's take one part at a time.

SMITH: Sure.

SANCHEZ: First of all, as I understand it -- and we did a heavy amount of research on this today -- as it stands right now, more than 80 percent of the insurers in the United States -- and it is their choice, by the way, whether they want to cover terminations or not, abortions -- they can choose not to. And you can choose to choose a provider that does or doesn't. So, it's your decision. But more than 80 percent of them cover terminations as we stand right now.

SMITH: OK. Rick...

SANCHEZ: How will that change under the new plan?

SMITH: Well, first of all, that's information that has come from the abortion industry.

And what they have done, they have included life-of-the-mother abortions, which are covered by most plans, but not abortion on demand, not abortion for socioeconomic reasons, or abortions for birth control reasons as a type of birth control.

And when even Governor Sebelius, who is now the health and human services secretary....




SANCHEZ: Hold on.


SANCHEZ: No, I have got to stop you then.


SMITH: She has said most plans do not cover -- do not cover abortions in their coverage.


SANCHEZ: I gave you a number. What's the number? I said more than 80. What's... (CROSSTALK)

SMITH: The number is far less. It is probably less than half.

But she, herself, has said, in testimony before Congress, most insurance coverage does not include abortion, except in that very limited case of life of the mother.

SANCHEZ: But if the patient or the doctor decide that it is medically necessary for them to have the termination, they could have it anyway, and then almost 100 percent of insurances is going to cover it? That's the way it is now.


SMITH: No, that's not true. It's only in very rare cases of life of the mother, perhaps in rape and incest cases, but, certainly, life of the mother, not for other reasons.

Medically necessary is an absolutely elastic term that has been employed for three-and-a-half decades to include abortions on demand. So, it is not a term that has real meaning in the abortion debate, other than to permit abortions for socioeconomic reasons.

SANCHEZ: All right. The point is, there doesn't seem to be, from what we saw, a lot of difference from what will happen in the future if any of this legislation is passed from what is happening now.


SANCHEZ: The only difference could possibly be is one is paid by private, and, in the future, some of it could possibly end up being paid publicly. But even that's in question.

SMITH: But let me just say this.

Most of the insurance companies are out of the abortion business.


SMITH: I offered the amendment back in 1983 that is still in force under the Federal Employees Health Benefit program that only allows abortions to be covered in private health insurance that all of us have an open season. I am in Blue Cross-Blue Shield.


SMITH: Other people choose another one.

It pays for abortion only in limited circumstances of rape, incest and life of the mother. That's the way so many of these private health insurance companies have chosen to operate.

(CROSSTALK) SMITH: Now, we have a situation where, in every part of the country, every area of the country, as part of an abortion mandate -- that's in the language being passed last night.


SANCHEZ: Well, that's not true.


SMITH: Well, I mean, it got passed last night...


SANCHEZ: I am looking at Lois Capps' actual amendment.

SMITH: I have read it very carefully. I have it right here.

SANCHEZ: What it seems to say -- and maybe there is a difference, sir -- she is saying abortion payments are made by private providers, not the government plan.

She wants to make sure, since everybody has a choice, they are going to be able to choose a provider that does provide it. But, if they choose to go with a provider that doesn't provide termination, then they are more than welcome to do so. And she wants to make sure everyone has that choice.

That's the way I am reading it. So, how am I reading it wrong?


SMITH: Well, you're reading -- there is some bookkeeping where premium payers pay for it and...


SANCHEZ: You are saying she is mandating people to do it?

SMITH: Oh, what she is doing is mandating -- and let's not get away from this -- that every area of the country has to have an insurance company or insurance companies that will provide plans that have abortion coverage.

SANCHEZ: Got it.

SMITH: That's not the case today. And, frankly, Rick, this will lead to more abortions.


SMITH: We know that, when there is a facilitation and especially when there's a public subsidy for abortion, the number of abortions go up by about a third.

Barack Obama has said he wants to reduce abortions. You don't do that by expanding the venues, by providing more opportunity to kill the life of an unborn child.

SANCHEZ: And his argument would be, just to put it on the record, that really the program is not changing at all. Essentially, they are moving the money around, but everything that you can do now, you will be able to do in the future.


SMITH: It doesn't hold up under scrutiny, frankly.

SANCHEZ: Well, I understand, sir. And you know what? I appreciate your passion.

SMITH: And I appreciate yours.

SANCHEZ: And I appreciate you coming on and taking -- and taking us through -- this is an interesting conversation and one, as we have said all week, that all Americans should be considering.

My thanks to you. God bless. Take care.

SMITH: Thanks, Rick.

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