Impression of Obama's Health Care Speech on Morning Joe

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... >> we have a picture of you texting. >> stop it. >> you cast the first stone. >> sorry. >> congressman, i hope it was an important text. >> it was. reaching out to the people. >> i'm here to try to talk about the issues that -- >> by the way, much better that you text during a presidential speech than while you're driving your car, mika. eric cantor, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> okay. let's go right now from a republican to the democratic majority leader, congressman steny hoyer. good to see you. what did you think of the president's speech last night? you were in one of those more moderate mid-atlantic states districts. how are your people going to respond to this speech? >> we'll respond positively. in the polls i have seen this morning, they did respond all over the country very positive to this speech. the president did what he needed to do first of all he made it very clear there is a very big problem. we've got to deal with that the present system is not sustainable from a financial standpoint for individuals, for families, for businesses, small, medium and large and for the government. and for the taxpayer. i think he made the case as to why we're moving on this. he made the case for the fact that a lot of these myths that have been talked about are not accurate and in fact eric cantor made the case for this bill in his closing statement just now to you in terms of the problems that confront business and individuals with respect to health care. i think it was a speech that focused the american public on why we're dealing with this issue. of course, every presidential candidate, republican and democratic, talked about doing health care reform in the last election. we had a year's debate essentially on both sides of the aisle. republicans and democrats saying we need to move forward on health reform. the president put forward a plan that can work and must work. >> congressman, tell us where we are here. we read comments that the president doesn't have votes to get health care done. having worked inside on the hill relentlessly, where do you stand right now? how close are we to getting the votes on health care? how close are you, i should say. >> i don't have a count for you. i will tell you this everybody that i talked to since we've come back over the last two days has told me they are for health care reform. every democrat that i've talked to has said they are for health care reform. clearly the details matter. but, again, cantor indicated we want to build on the present system. he's absolutely right. they discount the fact if the president said if you got it and you like it, you can keep it. that's a fact. we're building on a system. building a system that will provide for affordability, for quality health care and accessibility. that's our objective. that's what the president laid out. that's what we're going to do. i think we'll get the votes. >> norah? >> congressman, let me ask you about the president's proposal when it comes to small businesses and we all know small businesses are the engine of this economy. they are going to help this economy turn around. they'll hire people. what about the requirements about whether this bill break the back of small businesses when you require -- when you mandate that they cover the insurance of all of their employees. what are you going to require small businesses to do? most small businesses cannot pay the full cost of insuring an employee. >> norah, first of all, as you know, 95% of small businesses are exempt essentially over time. that was in one of the amendments in the energy and commerce bill because we understand that businesses of 25 or less are struggling but their employees and themselves -- >> what about a small business with 100 employees. if you're making windows or you're a restaurant and you have 100 employees, will you require a small business to pay the entire cost of an employee's health insurance or just to provide the option of health insurance? this is really significant and no one has talked about this. >> we're giving a 50% tax credit, norah, for exactly that reason to small businesses so they can afford the insurance because we understand that that will be a burden and so we'll give them a big tax break in order to help them afford that because we believe that their employees need to be covered and very frankly the small business people i talk to say they believe themselves and their employees need to be covered. it's a competitive issue for them. but they need help. that's why we're giving a tax credit in the bill. >> congressman, is there going ...