>>> to privatize medicare. of course. the conservatives are after health care reform now, but as you can see, medicare is up next. reform has already been repealed by house republicans and is moving closer to a vote in the senate. but senate democrats are fighting back. hold i holding hearings on how health’ reform is helping people from bankruptcy and quite possibly saving their lives. mere’s what one witness said about reform.
>> i could never drop off of an insurance plan, because if i did, it would have been almost impossible for me to get back on a plan. paying for my own health care would pretty much bankrupt me. the passage of the affordable health care act made walmost all of that go away. i can stay on my parents insurance till i’m 26, hopefully i won’t have to, but to have that security, i don’t think words can describe how important that is.
>> senator, tell us how the senators in the senate are looking to fight back against the republican repeal of health care.
>> first of all, thanks for bringing this up. we’re going to fight back by making the republicans defend themselves. how are they going to defend themselves by taking away emily’s health care coverage. the fact now she can stay on her parents’ policy. they have to explain how that’s going to help the american people. have them explain how it’s going to benefit people when they take away the coverage for pre-existing conditions where you can still get coverage even though you still have a pre-existing position of a child. the law is on the people’s side. now they want to take it away? i say put them on the defensive.
>> will there be a vote in the senate on reform?
>> well, mitch mcconnell says he’s going to bring it up one way or another. i assume at some he’s going to have a vote on it. but i want to see the debate. i want to take them on on this one.
>> esays you’re afraid of a vote. i’m not afraid of a vote.
>> i would welcome a vote on whether republicans want to take away the protection that people have right now that an insurance company can’t cancel their policy if they get sick. they want to take that away? let them vote on it.
>> it doesn’t look like the polls are on their side. they might be careful about what they wish for. now i do want to move on to medicare, though. the house saying they’re looking to privatize medicare. is that realistic and is that another fight you welcome?
>> you bet i do. they want to privatize social security. you might as well throw that one in there, too. they’ve been doing that since the 1930s, tryinging to repeal medicare or privatize it since we passed it in the ’60s. you bet. finally the american people are going to wake up and find out just what they voted for last fall. the old lincoln quote, you can fool some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. i think people are going to find out they got fooled in the last election. they thought they voted iffer people who were going to straighten the government out and be on their side. they’re going to find out they voted people into office that are going on the side of wall street, the hedge funds, the private investigators and they want to take away the coverage they have.
>> president obama has been noncommittal on social security. it looks like he might at some point agree to raise the retirement age. would you fight that?
>> you bet i would. it’s different for us that wear a tie and go to work every day. we’re 70. but how about the fireman or the woman who stands on her feet all day in a department store and you’re asking her to work until she’s 70 years old? it’s time to get real about what this means to really average working americans. no, we are not going to raise the retirement age.
>> all right, i like that kind of talk. one more for you. i know you were pushing for filibuster reform. it looked like it didn’t happen this time, what happened?
>> well, people got bought off with a lot of vague proms with we’re going to behave ourselves and be nicer around here.
>> that’s a good one. .
>> good luck on that one. look, senator jim demint said his goal for this congress is total gridlock. senator mim mcconnell said his goal is to make sure obama was a one-term president. i mean, let’s face it. the senate has become dysfunctional. what i insist on and what i think we ought to get to cenk, it’s all right for the minority to slow things down, but right now, they can veto everything. you can’t do anything unless you get 40 votes. guess what? the minority rules the senate. that stands democracy on its head. we’re going around the world preaching democracy? the minority gets to have a veto. explain that to veto.
>> if you’re going to filibuster, at least filibuster. you have to go out there and actually do it. the current system doesn’t make any sense at all.
>> okay, if you’re going to filibuster, stand out there and filibuster, they voted that down, too.
>> real quick, didn’t democrats have enough votes an at the beginning of the session to do it? why couldn’t the democrats hold it together?
>> well, why couldn’t the democrats hold it together? because we didn’t have the white house on our side. we couldn’t get the people together to understand that we won’t be able to get our programs enacted unless we have a change in these rules. you know what it is, cenk more than anything else. people are afraid of a majority vote. i’m not afraid of that. and if the people who elect these crazy tea party people in there and they vote to do these whacky things, i say give them rope. and the american people will find out and then we’ll have a real election next time around.
>> you weren’t kidding, you came to fight. i love it. thank you so much for joining us. we really appreciate it.
>> thanks, cenk.