Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Updated on July 27, 2004: revised at 7:30 pm. Hardballing and softballing with Barack Obama; an Obama doubleheader- tonight. [See partial transcript, below]

Senate Candidate Barack Obama on Healthcare policy: Does Obama favor Universal Healthcare, Single Payer or what? Time Frames and Timing are everything in politics? The War, Jobs, Education, the Wall and much, much more. 100 major TV shows with Barack Obama and this is the only one playing Hardball with Barack.
Watch Barack Obama tonight on “Public Affairs,” at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable in 24 Chicago North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs (Ch. 19/Ch. 35) and then watch him deliver the Democratic Convention Keynote Speech at 8:42 pm on Cable networks, WTTW or perhaps the local network affiliates [You may have to go back and forth between Obama on Public Affairs and Obama's Keynote speech, or better yet, watch Obama on "Public Affairs," and then watch Obama's Keynote later on C-Span]. The “Public Affairs,” show with Barack Obama going toe to toe with show host Jeff Berkowitz will air in other suburbs on Wednesday/Friday and through-out the City of Chicago this coming Monday night, Aug. 2, on Ch. 21 at 8:30 pm. [See, below, for “Public Affairs,” airing schedule and details].
Jeff Berkowitz: We can’t do this whole program on [education and school choice].

Barack Obama: All right, go ahead.

Berkowitz: Let’s go over to healthcare.

Obama: You sure, now? You don’t want to talk about-

Berkowitz: I’d love to, but we can’t [stay on School Choice/School Vouchers]. Healthcare. You want to cover every child. You want to allow people who are near retirement to buy into Medicare. You want to insure coverage for those who are losing jobs through no fault of their own.

Obama: Right.

Berkowitz: You want to lower the cost of subscription drugs. Nobody questions all of those goals and objectives.

Obama: Right.

Berkowitz: But, it is the way we get there. Okay. You have said recently that you do not favor moving toward a single payer Hillary Clinton style health care system, right? You said that-

Obama: On the record.

Berkowitz: But, on November 25, 2002, on “Public Affairs,” [this program], you said and this is Barack Obama [speaking], “I think you do have to go to a universal health care plan.”

Obama: Universal health care, universal health care--

Berkowitz: Let me finish [the quote from the Nov. 25, 2002 show-- Berkowitz said] “Does that mean a single payer?” Barack Obama [responded on Nov. 25, 2002]: I think that we are probably going to have to move towards a single payer plan of some sort and I think a major debate is going to be how do you structure that but still retain some of the important components of competitiveness and market based incentives that are in the existing system.” I read the full quote. I am not going to bias that.

Obama: Right.

Berkowitz: You stand by that statement?

Obama: Well, you know, the problem we have is what kinds of time frames are we talking about? Right? Do I think that over time we are essentially going to have a system in which you have got a market system but people are getting basic health care of some sort and a market system superimposed on that for discretionary things—cosmetic surgery or elective surgery or what have you—

Berkowitz: You said market system twice; did you mean to say that?

Obama: Yes, I did.

Berkowitz: So, the basics of the market system?

Obama: No, no.

Berkowitz: I think you meant to say government system, or something, for that basic care—

Obama: There is going to be some sort of coverage that we want to provide everybody.

Berkowitz: Minimum coverage.

Obama: Minimum coverage. And, I think that some people are going to be getting that through their jobs, and we have employer systems now that are working just fine. And, I think there are going to be other people that don’t have that. I mean, essentially-

Berkowitz: But, that is not a Single Payer [system]. So, you are backing off from Single Payer.

Obama: I have never-

Berkowitz: You said what you said. Look, there is the [video] tape.

Obama: Look, Jeff, I have been consistent in saying that what I am in favor of is universal health care. Right? And, I think we have to move in a direction of universal health care because if we don’t-- the question I have for people who argue against me is-- Who is it that you think shouldn’t be covered. Who is it that that you think doesn’t, shouldn’t—

Berkowitz: Well, I don’t think anyone doesn’t-

Obama: Well, that is my point.

Berkowitz: But, I think the difference between you and the Republicans—I will be fair and balanced here. I think they [Republicans] want universal coverage, too. The difference between them and you, whoever your Republican opponent is, I would guess- is that they want to see the market more involved, they want to see people have choice-

Obama: The market is entirely, the market is thoroughly-

Berkowitz: They want to see people provided funds, give them vouchers to spend on health care, but let the market, let them choose. You are more willing to allow the government to do more things.

Obama: Jeff.

Berkowitz: I mean that is an honest difference I am saying, right?

Obama: Jeff

Berkowitz: I am not saying it pejoratively.

Obama: No, No. Show me the plan. I—they have been in power now for the last four years. They have had control—

Berkowitz: Well, you know it takes [60 votes in the Senate]--

Obama: Jeff, stop interrupting me. Hold on for a second.

Berkowitz: Yes, Okay.

Obama: I am asking and I have asked people repeatedly. What exactly is your plan and what is your proposal and how would you pay for it? And, Jack Ryan [Illinois Republican Senate Primary winner who said, on June 25, 2004 he would withdraw as the party nominee, but he has yet to file his official withdrawal papers] or any other Republican when they talk about-- we believe in, yeah, we want everybody covered through the market. Well, what does that mean? How much would these vouchers cost? Where would we get the money? What is it that we are replacing? Are we replacing employer based health care plans? Are we replacing the tax deductions that are given to employers? None of those questions are ever answered [Ed. Note: Actually, Jack Ryan, for one, has spoken of moving or extending the health insurance tax deduction from companies to individuals so health insurance would be more portable, thus allowing individuals not to lose insurance coverage when they lose or change jobs].

Berkowitz: I think they [the questions] are [answered]. But, we are going to go on. They would say that we take the money that we are spending now. We use that to give people more choice. We—

Obama: So, what are we doing? Are they-

Berkowitz: That is the voucher plan. My--

Obama: Are they proposing to strip- to strip away Medicare and Medicaid?

Berkowitz: Using the education model, I am not proposing any more spending [or less], I am just saying take what we are spending now and give people a choice, give them control. I don’t want to go on because we have to get over to the War, to Iraq--

Obama: Okay

Berkowitz: You opposed the War early on, in the fall of 2002.

Obama: Absolutely.
Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate Barack Obama, interviewed and recorded on July 18, 2004, and as will be cablecast on “Public Affairs,” this week in 34 Chicago metropolitan suburbs [See below for airing schedule] and through-out the City of Chicago on Monday night, August 2, 2004 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21
This week’s [Week of July 26] suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate Barack Obama debating and discussing with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz job programs, taxes, free trade, healthcare policy, the Iraq War, Israel and the Wall, same sex marriage, abortion, education and school vouchers/school choice.

The suburban edition of "Public Affairs," is regularly broadcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.

The show with Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate Barack Obama will also air through-out the City of Chicago, at its usual time slot in the City, this coming Monday night, August 2 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV]

Additional partial transcripts of the show will be placed on this Public Affairs blog during the next week.

Jeff Berkowitz, show host and legal recruiter, can be reached at JBCG@aol.com