This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," October 7, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, we are getting a little bit more details through this CBO report that is out. It is hard to read on a consistent basis, but the upshot, at least if you are pushing health care reform and pushing the kind of reform that the Senate Health Care -- the Finance Committee would like, seems to be favorable.
That is that the CBO is saying that this would reduce the federal budget deficits by about $81 billion over the 2010 through 2019 period. This estimate does include about $518 billion over 10 years of the proposed expansions in insurance coverage and the added costs. Remember, if you have premium coverage, they are going to tax that at up to 40 percent.
Well, they are adding those costs, but looking at how those credits say. And that`s where they come with this $81 billion savings. Furthermore, when they add a lot of this up over the course of 10 years, the CBO estimates would say $404 billion over 10 years, and other provisions that they say that the Joint Committee on Taxation has would actually increase federal revenues during that period to get you to these savings.
I know I`m sounding like I`m giving you a lot of gobbledygook here. My knee-jerk read on this is that the CBO is saying that this will do its job, that this will be in the net deficit-neutral, and, in fact, save some money in the longer-term.
Now, the devil is in the details, and I apologize. My staff and I, we`re going through these details, and that is where a lot of the problems could be.
Max Baucus is going to be reviewing this, too, the Senate Finance Committee chief. This is his baby, by the way. He needs a good report card on it in order to get moving on this. They were going to have a big vote on this just within the committee tomorrow. That has been delayed until at least next week. Hard to say why. Could be that they just need more time more time to examine the very numbers I`m examining and trying to relay to you now.
But they have put that off for another week or so.
Now, Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota joins us, the Democrat there.
Senator, thank you very much.
And I apologize for...
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, D-MN: Oh, it`s great to be on again.
CAVUTO: ... for rambling through those numbers here.
CAVUTO: If I`m reading these at first blush correctly, Senator, the CBO seems to be saying, Max Baucus, we think you`re OK with this.
What do you say?
KLOBUCHAR: Well, the Senate bill, the Senate has been focused from the beginning on cost reductions. Certainly, being from Minnesota, which is a low-cost, high-quality health care state, with the Mayo Clinic, that has been my focus from the beginning. How can we get that high-quality care, but still bring some of these costs down?
And so it is good news that it scores an $80 billion savings over 10 years. That`s for sure.
CAVUTO: This, of course, comes on the heels of this Taxation Committee report that says, lo and behold, there are $29 billion in added taxes on, you know, device-makers, some health care providers, some of them very big, I think Guidant in your state, that you would be affected by this, and among others.
You and your colleague Joe (sic) Franken have expressed some alarm at that. If -- if they were still included, Senator, would you vote for this package?
KLOBUCHAR: We have to see a reduction in that medical device tax or an elimination of it.
Let me explain the market here. The new estimates have come out showing that the tax on medical device is $38 billion over 10 years. You contrast that to pharmaceuticals, which is coming in at around $22 billion, yet, pharmaceuticals, their slice of the market is twice that of medical devices.
And you add to that, Neil, medical devices tend to be used by older people. Well, older people tend to already have insurance. That is Medicare. And, so, pharmaceuticals actually stand to ride the wave of the new customers that will come in as a result of this bill.
CAVUTO: So, you think they are being unfairly hit.
KLOBUCHAR: They are.
CAVUTO: ... that is still in there, though, Senator, and -- and all of these revenue raises or whatever in there, would you say no?
KLOBUCHAR: Well, I would say no at this point, but let me tell you this.
I`m very hopeful that we are going to be able to bring that down, so that there is an even playing field for medical device. I really am. It`s not just me and Al Franken.
KLOBUCHAR: It`s also people like Evan Bayh and Dick Lugar, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Maria Cantwell. There`s a lot of focus across the board -- John Kerry -- that this fee, that this tax is too high.
So, I don`t think that that, in the end, is something that should stop us from bringing health care to America, because I believe we`re going to be able to work that out. We have to. Medical device is one industry that is actually producing jobs in Minnesota. It`s starting to -- and all over our country.
CAVUTO: All right.
KLOBUCHAR: It is starting to export their products to other countries.
KLOBUCHAR: It is high-quality jobs, high-end jobs. We want to keep them in America.
CAVUTO: Senator, always a pleasure. Sorry we`re pressed for time. Very good having you.
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