Is Medicare For Seniors?

Is Medicare For Seniors?

KING: Yes. We have a very good plan, the best in the country in many respects. It is a good plan. But it is not as good as it is going to be. We are adding $1.3 trillion in ten years to the Medicare trust fund. That is good.

But I want to tell you something else that we are doing. If you have a disability in this country and you can't keep a job, you don't get the money to take care of your family, there is a safety net out there. That is called Medicaid. Now, for the first time, we are going to make a serious investment in that safety net. You are not going to have to wait five years for a doctor's appointment. You are not going to have to wait five years for treatment.

We are going to start to incorporate the best of the private health care system and the best of the public health care system so that we have accessibility and affordability, so that you can get the care you need when you need it.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Let me ask you about another issue.

You have talked about it a lot. Senator McCain has also talked about it. And it is one of the challenges in the race. And it is the issue of immigration. And it is specifically the question of illegal immigration.

President Bush has said that he would sign a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to eventually become citizens if it also includes a guest worker program. Would you support that?

OBAMA: Well, I actually think that we can solve this problem without having to go through a whole host of draconian measures, deporting people, creating a police state and bypassing the civil process.

I have spoken a lot about this. I think that the president, for example, does not have the power to simply ignore the laws that are in place and have immigrants deported. I do think that we have to crack down on those employers that are taking advantage of the situation, hiring folks who cannot complain about worker conditions, who aren't getting the minimum wage sometimes, or aren't getting overtime sometimes.

I think that we have to crack down on those employers. And I think we can get a bipartisan consensus on criminalizing and deporting those who are here illegally.

But I think that the solution has to be comprehensive. It can't be just enforcement. We have to have employer verification, we have to have tougher border security, we have to crack down on the smuggling networks that bring people into the country, and we will have to deal with the 12 to 14 million people who are here.

Now, the key is to not have this be a situation in which we are simply shuffling people from the country to the back of the line without any kind of assurances that they are going to be treated humanely, that they are going to be able to pay a fine, that they are going to have to register, that they are going to have to get their workplace situation straightened out.

So I think that we can deal with this in a sensible way, but it is going to require a willingness on all sides to make it happen.

KING: Our next guest has been mentioned here a couple of times. He is a Republican from New Hampshire, where, of course, the primary is in January, and not just any primary. It is the first in the nation.

He was a supporter of Senator McCain's. He was a supporter of Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee, who, of course, is not in the race. He is now a supporter of yours, as you saw.

He is a businessman, a former Marine, a father of three. And he is with us tonight. We are going to be back with him in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We are back at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.

As you can see, we have a full crowd here.

Our special guest this evening is a Republican from New Hampshire. He is a businessman and a former Marine.

He has endorsed Senator Obama.

You have known Senator Obama for a long time in Washington.

Do you remember when you first met him?

ANDY BOSTROM, N.H. RESIDENT: I first met him when he was a guest on "The Chris Matthews Show" in 2003 after he had given the speech at the State of the Union address.

KING: You have also known Senator McCain for a long time.

BOSTROM: Yes.

KING: You worked with him on campaign finance reform.

Did you vote for him in the Republican primary in 2000?

BOSTROM: Absolutely.

KING: You have known him longer than you have known the senator from Illinois.

Are you asking yourself some questions about Senator Obama?

KING: You have got to be honest. I mean, it is the first time you have ever voted for a Democrat.

KING: You worked with McCain.

KING: Does that make you kind of wonder, this is a good guy, a good guy, but maybe not a president?

BOSTROM: Well, the first time I met Barack was on "The Chris Matthews Show," and it was the best interview I have ever seen him give.

And then I watched the speech that he gave at the Democratic Convention. And I was totally, totally sold. And I said, that is the kind of president I want.

I have to admit that I have been a Republican, but I have never felt that I fit in

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