This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," July 18, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Up next.
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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We will pass reform that lowers cost, promotes choice and provides coverage that every American can count on, and we will do it this year.
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GIGOT: President Obama's health care scramble among falling poll numbers and Democrats in disarray. Will he get the bill he wants when he wants it?
Plus, your stake in the overhaul. Can you really keep your current insurance plan? Will the middle class get stuck paying the bill? We're breaking down the policy and the politics of health care on this special edition of "The Journal Editorial Report."
Welcome to "The Journal Editorial report." I'm Paul Gigot.
From a prime-time press conference to a town hall meeting in Ohio, it was a full court press by President Barack Obama to sell his health care reform plan to a skeptical republic. A new FOX News Dynamic opinion poll shows half of all Americans, 45 percent, think the quality of their family's health care would be worse under the proposed reforms, 29 percent think it would be better. Are they right to be worried?
Former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCoy, is a patient advocate and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths.
She joins me now.
Good to have you back again.
BETSY MCCOY, FORMER NEW YORK LIEUTENTANT GOVERNOR: Thank you.
GIGOT: You wrote this week that seniors could be the biggest losers under this health care reform plan emerging in Congress, how so?
MCCOY: Seniors bear the brunt under the House bill and the companion Senate bill produced largely by Senator Kennedy's staff for several reasons. One, they will pay for with it cuts to Medicare. The $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion price tag on these bills will be paid for by tax hikes. Everybody has heard about those. By at least $500 to $550 billion in cuts to Medicare.
GIGOT: Estimated over 10 years.
MCCOY: That's right. That's about a 10 percent cut in the Medicare budget. At the same time that Medicare enrollment will be increasing 30 percent as the baby boomers reach Medicare age.
GIGOT: This is fascinating. How can they cut Medicare spending because doctors are already complaining they get reimbursed by Medicare only 20 percent or 30 percent less than the real cost of their procedures. Hospitals as well.
MCCOY: It is going to mean reductions. hip replacements, knee replacements, bypass surgery, angioplasty, the major proceed there's have enabled this generation of the elderly to avoid disability, avoid deteriorating in nursing homes, and instead lead active lives.
GIGOT: How is that going to happen? I mean, doctors are not going to stop prescribing these things. How is that — what is that mechanism...