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Obama Answers Health Care Questions

March 18, 2010
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Tonight on the Fox News Channel, Bret Baier interviewed the President about the Health Care legislation pending in the House and Senate.  President Obama used some evasive language in his answers.  Video. Transcript.

I’ve analyzed the transcript with the Straight-Answer v0.5 Beta software currently in development by Wild Citizen Laboratories.  I’d like to share the results.  Please note – the software is still in testing, so I cannot guarantee accuracy.

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BAIER: You have said at least four times in the past two weeks: “the United States Congress owes the American people a final up or down vote on health care.” So do you support the use of this Slaughter rule? The deem and pass rule, so that Democrats avoid a straight up or down vote on the Senate bill?

OBAMA: (Translated) Yes.

BAIER: So you support the deem and pass rule?

OBAMA: (Translated) Let me be clear – YES.

BAIER: Monday in Ohio, you called for courage in the health care debate. At the same time, House Speaker Pelosi was saying this to reporters about the deem and pass rule: “I like it, this scenario, because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.” Is that the kind of courage that you’re talking about?

OBAMA: (Translated) I’m fine with that.

BAIER: Do you know which specific deals are in or out, as of today?

OBAMA: (Translated)  Nope.  No idea.

BAIER: Mr. President, you couldn’t tell me what the special deals are that are in or not today.

OBAMA: I just told you what was in and what was not in.

BAIER: Is Connecticut in?

OBAMA: Connecticut — what are you specifically referring to?

BAIER: The $100 million for the hospital? Is Montana in for the asbestos program? Is — you know, listen, there are people — this is real money, people are worried about this stuff.

OBAMA: (Translated) I really don’t have a clue what’s in the bill.

BAIER: The CBO has said specifically that the $500 billion that you say that you’re going to save from Medicare is not being spent in Medicare. That this bill spends it elsewhere outside of Medicare. So you can’t have both.

OBAMA: Right.

BAIER: You either spend it on expenditures or you make Medicare more solvent. So which is it?

OBAMA: (Translated) I will spend it.  Just spend it.  On–you know–stuff.

BAIER: Your chief actuary for Medicare said this, that cuts in Medicare: “cannot be simultaneously used to finance other federal outlays and extend the trust fund.” That’s your guy.

OBAMA: (Translated) I’m going to spend it.

BAIER: So you don’t buy —

OBAMA: (Translated) Spend —

BAIER: — the CBO or the actuary that you can’t have it both ways?

OBAMA: (Translated) Oh yes I can.

BAIER: That you can’t spend the money twice?

OBAMA: (Translated)  Let me be clear.  I’ll spend it, then I’ll spend it again.  See?  Easy.

BAIER: And you call this deficit neutral, but you also set aside the doctor fix, more than $200 billion. People look at this and say, how can it be deficit neutral?

OBAMA: (Translated)  The answer is simple.  First– Hey!  What’s that over there?

BAIER: We’re getting the wrap-up sign here.

OBAMA: Yes.

BAIER: Can you be a transformative president if health care does not pass?

OBAMA: (Translated)  Uh, no.

BAIER: Mr. President, I’m getting wrapped up, and I don’t want to interrupt you, but to finish up, do you think this is going to pass?

OBAMA: (Translated)  It damn well better!  I’m looking at you Pelosi!

BAIER: Thank you very much for your time.

OBAMA: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you.

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