Talking Numbers Behind Health Care Reform on MSNBC

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... bottom line, 56% support the president's plan. more people than not want a public option. we need to get this done, folks. we know congress is ready to take a break. we'll call it half tame thyme. then you come back on the field and you've got to get ready to get this thing one. news today -- blue dog democrats and house leadership got a little bit closer to an agreement. joining me now for all of that is steny hoyer. thanks for being with us tonight. >> are you losing the pr war on health care in this country? >> i think the american public has been watching a part of the debate both in the senate and the house and they see a lot of different opinions. but i think they understand and that poll reflects it that a, they want a health care reform bill. 94% of them you say are concerned that we won't get the job done. i want to assure them we're going to get the job done. and as you said, a little earlier, we made significant progress last night. the energy and commerce committee is back at the table marking up their bill. they're the third committee, the final committee to mark up the bill in the house. then we expect to take the month of august dork a lot of hard work, look at this, have the american public look at this. give us their input. we expect to come back here after halftime and score a touchdown for the american and give them health care they can count on. >> this is going to be a brutal halftime. the grassroots in this country are going to have to get together and get after it and let the congress know what they think. now, under president obama's plan, this was one of the questions. my health care plan would be same or better? 50% are scoring it that way. 39% of the american people think it would be worse. what's your response to that? that's a high negative number, isn't it? >> it is a high negative number. the right answer is it's going to be the same or better. and if you don't have it now you're going to have an option. if you lose your job and lose your insurance, you're going to have an option. you're going to have a guaranteed health care insurance option available to you. at a cost you can afford. it's important to all the people who have inshuns. by the way, we're playing a lot of our premium dollar that aren't in the system. for everybody to be in the system and pay up just like automobile insurance. we think that's a step forward for the american people. president obama's health care plan is, 4 % say it's a bad idea, 36% sate's a good idea. that 22% not sure and no opinion. aren't these the folks you have to win over to make this thing work? and how are you going to do that? sounds like you're going to have to go on a major pr campaign. the insurance industry is ruthless, winning at all costs, fighting back on any kind of reform. what about that high number of 22% of the people not sure where you stand. >> ed, under the current system, insurance profits have gone up 426%. salaries of executives, as a result, of course they're going to defend the status quo, but the american public in that 56% and 94% number know that the status quo is not good for them. they're worried about losing their job, losing their insurance, costs going up. the insurance company, when they get sick, not letting them sign up for another year for insurance. their child or wife has a pre-existing condition and can't get insurance. they want us to do it and we're going to do it. >> how much of a loss is it that there's not going to be a vote in the house before the recess? >> i don't think that's a loss. we're going to get it out of committee. we'll have all three committees and people can take a breath, look at what we've done, look at where we are. the senate is not going to move its bill. i think it's a step forward to get it out of committee this week. we're going to get this thing done. >> you've got to get this thing done. steny, thanks for all your hard work. for more, let's bring in our panel tonight. ...