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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript - Budget and Health Care Reform


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SCHULTZ: Well, that`s right. Budget chair Ryan proposes repealing

For the record, during 112th Congress, House Republicans voted to
repeal Obamacare, count them, 32 times. After the House, the bill,
obviously, went nowhere.

So this is such a dead issue but this is what the Republicans want to
do. Obamacare repeal bills are now being sponsored like Congresswoman
Michele Bachmann and Congressman Steve King.

Now, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, new on the scene, admitted his plan
to introduce a repeal bill will not pass the Senate.

This hasn`t stopped Congressman Ryan from engaging in this useless

There is more. Ryan`s budget would balance the budget by 2023 instead
of 2040 and cut food assistance to the poor, cut $770 billion from
Medicaid, create Medicare vouchers, and cut $716 billion from Medicare.

The same cuts Ryan proposed when he ran for vice president.

Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott`s plan to accept the Medicaid
expansion failed in the Republican`s controlled state Senate down in the
state of Florida. Now, it is a big blow to the people of Florida. But the
Medicaid expansion has generally been embraced by states across the country as Republican governors keep coming to Obamacare.

Joining me tonight is Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland who was
involved in a lunch late last week with the president and the House Budget
chair, Mr. Ryan.

Chris, good to have you with us tonight. Appreciate it very much.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

How is Ryan`s budget to be considered a serious play when he is basing
it on things that have been, and he will knows, will be rejected in the

VAN HOLLEN: Well, that question in some ways answers itself. It
cannot be a serious effort because there is no serious chance of it
passing. In fact, there is virtually no chance of that passing.

And interestingly, Ed, what he does is he repeals the part of
Obamacare that will provide tax credits, that will allow more people to
afford health care. He does keep the part of Obamacare that both he and
Romney campaigned against, which was smart Medicare savings that we
achieved by eliminating overpayments to insurance companies.

If you`ll recall, both Congressman Ryan and Mitt Romney said that that
was going to somehow hurt seniors.


VAN HOLLEN: It never was going to.

But they are keeping that. They are keeping the very savings in
Medicare that they campaigned against, but they`re cutting the tax credits
and all of the provisions that make sure that people with preexisting
conditions can`t be denied coverage.

So, in addition to it being totally unrealistic politically, it also
has terrible policy consequences.

SCHULTZ: Here is more from Congressman Ryan.


RYAN: I think there are things that we can do that don`t offend
either party`s philosophy, that doesn`t require someone to surrender their
principles to make a good downpayment on getting this debt and deficit
under control.

Will the president take our premium support program and block granting
Medicaid? My guess he won`t. We think the best way to make these programs work better.

But are there things you can do short of that gets you closer to
balancing the budget?


SCHULTZ: I mean, I love these buzz phrases -- premium support.
Give me a break. I mean, Ryan knows this nonsense isn`t going to go
anywhere. So why bother unless another technique to run out the clock and
divert people`s attentions.

Your thought.

VAN HOLLEN: Right. Well, look, translation -- premium support equals
vouchers which means that under their plan, seniors would get a fixed
payment that rises very slowly compared to rising health care costs.
And guess who has to eat the difference?

SCHULTZ: That`s right.

VAN HOLLEN: Seniors.

So they deal with the budget, balance the budget on the backs of
seniors. They balance it by dramatically gutting our investment in our
kids` education and things that are important to help the economy grow. In
the short term, their budget would put the brakes on the economy by keeping in place the total sequester, the Congressional Budget Office says we`ll have 750,000 fewer jobs just by the Indiana of this year if you keep in
this place.

So, it`s bad for jobs. It`s bad for economic growth. And it`s
certainly bad for investments in our kids keeping those commitments, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now, in your meeting with President Obama, did he try to
really work with Ryan? Here`s Ryan. Here`s what had he to say. Here`s
his take.


RYAN: So we exchanged very different frank, candid views with one
another that were very different, but at least we had this conversation.
Will he resume what is long believed to be a plan to win the 2014 elections
or will he sincerely change and try and find common ground?


SCHULTZ: Congressman, how would you characterize it?

VAN HOLLEN: Look, I think the meeting was a very good one. It was
never designed to be a negotiation where we would hammer out the
differences. It was designed to be an opportunity for an exchange of
views, a healthy exchange of views. And that it was.

But to suggest that the president hasn`t reached out in the past is
simply wrong. After all, the president reached out to the very top
Republican leader, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He thought that
the speaker could help deliver the Republican Caucus in the House. He
couldn`t. And what happened? Speaker Boehner said he doesn`t want to meet with the president one-on-one any more.


VAN HOLLEN: So the president is expanding that conversation. And
let`s be clear: the president`s goal is to meet the commitments the
president made in the campaign. He is willing to work with Republicans to
get it done.

SCHULTZ: Sure. So, in other words, this lunch was -- this is what I
believe, this is what you believe. This is where we`re at. And let`s see
what we can do.

I mean, that`s really what it comes down to.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, there was an agreement that we would all be better
off, the country would be better off --


VAN HOLLEN: -- if we could find a way to bridge these differences.
But in terms of specific road maps, the meeting was not intended to do

Hopefully, all of these conversations the president has had will help
find a path forward. But, look, obviously, more talk is no guarantee that
you get to a result. But, obviously, opening lots of lines of
communication is a good thing.

SCHULTZ: All right.

VAN HOLLEN: That`s what the president is doing.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Chris Van Hollen, good to have you with us on
THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.

VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you, Ed.


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