Alexander, Dean, Gingrich and Podesta Discuss Health Care on 'Fox News Sunday'

CQ Transcriptswire
Sunday, September 6, 2009; 12:55 PM

GINGRICH: ... Mrs. Clinton came to see us in 1993, and we gave her our best advice, which is don't do a comprehensive bill. I said to her at the time, "Do one bill a year for eight years, assuming you get re- elected. After eight bills get through and signed, you'll have significantly changed the system."

No one can write a single bill. If the president comes in Wednesday night and says, "Instead of a 1,300-page bill, I want a 1,200-page bill" -- and I think what Mr. Podesta said was very important. The country actually is not as interested in what the president wants as what the country wants.

The country has for two months been trying to tell the president it does not want government rationing, it does not want bigger spending, it does not want decisions centralized in Washington.

Now, the country's been clear in 1,000-person town hall meetings, in every poll I've seen -- the Gallup data is devastating on this. If the president were to come in and say, "Let's try to get five bills between now and Christmas. Let's get litigation reform," which is the most popular single thing. "Let's get reform of paying the crooks in Medicare and Medicaid," which 88 percent of the country and Zogby said they would like to have as a first source of money -- because our estimate is you've got 70 to $120 billion a year of theft.

There are a number of specific bills you could pass with huge bipartisan majorities. The country would calm down. The president would be much stronger by Christmas. And we'd get a lot done.

CHRIS WALLACE (Host): All right. Perhaps the most remarkable fact of this entire debate is that with a Democratic president, a pro-reform president, and big Democratic majorities in both houses that health care reform is in such trouble.

Let's take a look at the different ways that Mr. Obama has tried to sell health care reform over the last few months.


OBAMA: It includes a historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform, a down payment on the principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every American.



OBAMA: Over time, what we can do is bend the cost curve so that instead of having inflation go up a lot faster on health care than everything else, it matches everything else.

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