Are Medicare Premiums Based On Income?
STORER: No, it's not.
MATTHEWS: So you're saying no to that. No, you're not going to do that.
STORER: Chris, I think it's very important that we look at all the aspects of health care in America. We've got 46 million people uninsured. We've got 2/3 of the people already insured losing their insurance because the rates have been jacked up by 140 percent in the last 10 years. I don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican, the health care system in this country is broke.
And we're either going to have to fix it or we're not going to be able to have a competitive economy in America. And I want to make sure that we're going to fix it, that we're going to actually be able to provide the best quality health care for all Americans.
MATTHEWS: Senator, how do you deal with the issue of the uninsured?
You say it's broke.
How do you fix it?
STORER: I think the first thing we have to do is make sure that we do not allow insurance companies to go out and just deny people health care. I think we've got to help people get insurance.
And I think we've got to make sure that we're also helping small businesses provide health care for their employees. We've got a lot of people who could go out and get health care, but they can't afford it, because of the high rate of insurance.
And so we've got to make sure that we can fix that system. We've got to make it work for everybody. I'm a business person. I've got a small business. And if I can't provide health care to my employees, then I'm going to be in trouble.
MATTHEWS: You said you're a business person. You're a politician, of course.
STORER: I'm a business person.
MATTHEWS: You're a politician. I'm a journalist. You have the greatest power of any profession, to decide what the government is going to do, what the government is going to invest in, what the government is going to spend its money on. You're not just a consumer like a doctor or a patient. You're the guy that decides what the government is going to do, how the government is going to spend its money. You have that power.
STORER: I think that's a great point. And I think that's what's wrong with Congress right now. We're not making the tough decisions, because it's --
MATTHEWS: How are you going to do that?
How are you going to do that?
You're in the middle of a tough election campaign now.
How are you going to make the tough decisions?
Are you going to do it with the AARP (search), are they going to get the feeling that they have to do what you want them to do?
STORER: Chris, I've run a business for 25 years. I know what I'm talking about. And I'm going to make sure that people know that we're going to do the right thing. We're going to take care of the American people.
And we're going to make sure that we take care of our economy. And we're going to make sure that we take care of the people that I represent.
MATTHEWS: Well, that's what I'm asking you about.
STORER: And that's what I'm going to do.
MATTHEWS: What is the right thing?
STORER: I think the right thing is to make sure that we move forward and fix this system.
STORER: And that we stop allowing 2/3 of the people who have insurance to lose it.
STORER: And that we have a competitive health care system.
MATTHEWS: Do you favor, like in Medicare, the government offering a Medicare-type --
STORER: If people want that.
MATTHEWS: If they want it.
STORER: If they want it.
MATTHEWS: Let's ask the American people. Let's ask them. Go out on the campaign trail. Go to the people. Are you for or against government-sponsored health care?
STORER: I'm for what the people want.
MATTHEWS: Yes, but what do you think?
MATTHEWS: Well, how do you ask them?
How do you ask them if they want it?
STORER: I think if they want it, they're going to vote for it. And if they don't want it, they're not going to vote for it.
MATTHEWS: How do you ask them?
How do you ask them?
STORER: I think it's going to be a very important issue for people to think about this November.
MATTHEWS: How do you ask them?
Tell me the exact question.
STORER: We'll poll them.
MATTHEWS: How will you poll them about it?
STORER: I think the AARP is going to poll them.
MATTHEWS: But you're not going to ask them?
STORER: I'm going to ask them.
MATTHEWS: No, you're not. You're going to let them be asked.
STORER: We're going to ask them.