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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
The Health Care Hangover; Attorney General Found in Contempt; Interview with Jason Altmire; Interview with John Barrasso
Aired June 28, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT Next, President Obama takes a victory lap on health care. Mitt Romney sees a Republican rally cry. But do you know who really won? We do.
And for the first time in history, the sitting attorney general charged with contempt of Congress. He called it political. So why did 17 Democrats vote for it? One of them OUTFRONT.
And this man found guilty of child rape but is going to be receiving a big sum of money from Penn State University. That doesn't add up.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Well, good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, party time. Both sides spinning the health care verdict. The president celebrating his individual mandate ruling at the Supreme Court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, I'm as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, we'll be better off because we have the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Republicans seeing a way to rally the base. Because after all, this is now a fight for the underdog. They see it as hey, the Supreme Court failed to repeal what Republicans see as a hated health care act, a big overreach of big government. But if you elect Mitt Romney, he is going to slay the health care dragon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, that was pretty loud and clear. Both sides were celebrating. Partying it up. Like guys at a bachelor party. But the problem is no one was a winner today. And soon they're going to wake up feeling pretty hung over. In fact, just like how the party ended in, well, "The Hangover."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRADLEY COOPER, ACTOR: You OK, buddy?
ED HELMS, ACTOR: No, I am in so much pain right now.
COOPER: Look at this place.
HELMS: I know. Phil, they have my credit card downstairs. I am so screwed.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS, ACTOR: How does a tiger get in the bathroom? He almost killed me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Yes, we just woke up with a tiger in America's bathroom. In all seriousness, the point is this, we're all losers. Why? Because even if you love what this health care bill does, things like covering pre-existing conditions, you have to hate what it does not do. Because it does not deal with surging health care costs in America.
As we've been saying, in our country where we spend the most on health care per person than any developed person on earth, we rank number 27 in life expectancy. So more people are covered, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling, which may be a great thing. But under the so-called Affordable Health Care Act.
Health care analyst Dan Ripp of research firm Bradley Wood says premiums will rise 7.5 percent a year. Four times more than the inflation rate. And the spending is getting worse. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health spending in 2010 grew about 3.9 percent from the year before.
But in 2014, when the president's health care law takes full effect, spending will jump 7.4 percent. That is a massive fail.
Nick Gillespie is the editor-in-chief of Reason TV and Reason.com. Ben Smith is -- Ben Smith is BuzzFeed editor-in-chief. Roland Martin is political analyst here at CNN. And Erick Erickson is also, but also the editor of Redstate.com.
OK, great to have all of you with us.
Ben, let me start with you. Obviously, quick to have victory laps going on both sides. Republicans are trying to say, oh, look, look, look, the Supreme Court gets you off, Obama, only because you're raising taxes on the middle class. Will that stick?
BEN SMITH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BUZZFEED: No, this isn't an issue Mitt Romney can fight and win. He passed a very similar law in Massachusetts. I think both he and the president are going to want to stop talking about this after the holiday weekend. I mean the winner is John Roberts who really set up the court and set up himself for this much increased stature. I think the political campaign is going to move away from this fast.
BURNETT: Erick, it may be that Roberts was the only real winner today.
ERICK ERICKSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, I think Roberts was probably the only real winner today. But look, the Republicans are going to make the Democrats own this. And forget -- let's not forget that the big issue here isn't just going to be presidential races, but down ballot races in the House and the Senate where the Democrats still have more seats at stake in the Senate, many of them in red states, many of them don't like raising taxes.
And you can bet the Republicans will make them want to vote again on the most -- on the biggest health tax increase in American history.
BURNETT: So you think this will motivate the Republican base more than a victory which would have sort of, you know, eliminated the big, hey, if I get in office, I'm going to repeal it argument?
ERICKSON: Yes. Absolutely.
ERICKSON: It has taken the Supreme Court off the table for the left. It's made it an issue for the right. Mitt Romney has raised $2 million before sunset today just on this issue.
BURNETT: Yes, that's right. And Roland, I think the latest number is $2.5 million from the Mitt Romney campaign. I just got an e-mail here. The Obama administration is saying -- say you're with me on affordable care. They're trying to raise money.
Who do you think will benefit more when it comes to fundraising off this? The winner, Barack Obama, or the seeming loser Mitt Romney?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I know we love to go right to the heart of the political issue. But, again, I will say the very people out there, the millions of people who are now covered, the folks with pre-existing conditions, the folks who are sitting there -- if you're a young person on your parents' health care.
Let me tell you something, Erin. Look, I know how this feels, OK? Two thousand covering the Democratic National Convention. My appendix ruptured. Five days in a hospital in L.A. $100,000. No health insurance. Had to file for bankruptcy. House almost foreclosed on. So I know what it feels like not to have health insurance. And so when we can get caught up in the political arena. But the reality is, we now have to deal with people who now can be protected.
And so now, how do you fortify this? How do you make it better? How do you bring down costs? This is a start. This is not the end. This is the beginning of a real discussion and a real national health care plan.
BURNETT: All right, Nick, the problem is, though, is this seems to fall in that category of it's great, more people are covered, and you want that outcome, but this was done without dealing with the costs.
NICK GILLESPIE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, REASON TV AND REASON.COM: Yes --
BURNETT: We're looking at costs rising 4 percent in 2009, 7.4 percent under this law. Costs are going to rise more under this law than they were before.
GILLESPIE: Right. And if past the -- if the past is prologue, the health care costs are going to be jacked up even more. The government, you know, whether it's state, local or federal, already spends almost 50 cents out of health -- every health care dollar and prices have been going up astronomically, far above the rate of inflation.
You bring the government even more into the matter and the prices are only going to spiral up more than the government will say, well, we got to subsidize rates more. And then that will jack it up the next time.
I think the question for Roland to ask -- and I say this, I'm not a Republican, I'm not a Democrat. My book, which is out in paperback, is the "Declaration of Independence." I am an independent. Why would it cost a hundred grand to fix your appendix? You know, it's partly because of the heavy subsidies and the government involvement already.
To go back to the Republicans, Mitt Romney is the last person you want to be arguing in a world where Obamacare has just -- has just passed constitutional muster. He has no plan to counter what was just -- you know, what he did at the state level, at the federal level. It's a -- it's a real problem.
BURNETT: Yes, Roland, what --
MARTIN: But let's -- but let's --
MARTIN: Let's not sit here and we talk about costs going up as somehow it's only because of the Affordable Care Act. One of the reasons costs --
GILLESPIE: That isn't what I said.
MARTIN: No, no, no. I'm not saying you said it. What I'm saying is one of the reasons we're seeing rising health care as well is because our nation also is becoming more obese. We also don't want to confront when it comes to wellness. And so when you begin to deal with the issue of wellness, when you begin to have folks who have regular checkups. When you begin to have folks where you're able to catch something earlier as opposed to late in the game, then you're dealing with that. And so I say you have to deal with the cost. This is simply the beginning of a process.
BURNETT: Well, then you're getting --
BURNETT: Then you're getting the issues of saying, OK, look, well, you know what, if we're going to deal with obesity, that means people who weigh more will have to pay more. And that is something that just doesn't seem to have muster in this country.
SMITH: Yes, and I think --
MARTIN: It could be --
SMITH: One of the things to learn in the first round of this thing is that -- is that any attempts for the government to impose cost controls, I mean, death panels so-called, were the outstanding instance of that. And I think the Obama administration backed off very fast. People just don't like the idea of the government saying, you know, this treatment is cheaper, and so we're only going to pay for that, if we're right or wrong.
BURNETT: Right. Erick --
MARTIN: There were never death panels. So I mean where is that coming from?
GILLESPIE: Hey, wait, wait.
MARTIN: They weren't death panels.
GILLESPIE: There weren't deaths here.
SMITH: Yes, they were not backed up, then they'll do a small step in that direction.
ERICKSON: Restrain the cost of health care. Yes. They were imposed to restrain the cost of health care.
Look, going forward, I get what Roland is saying and when I hear Democratic pollster say that people like individual pieces of health care, that's fine. But the Roberts decision means the Democrats are going to have to fight on the GOP turf on this, which is full repeal. And 60 percent of Americans in some of the worst polling on Obamacare, 60 percent of Americans still don't like the bill overall. They don't like tax increases.
And we're going to November with the Democrats being forced to fight on this Republican battlefield. The Republicans may need a plan. But right now, their best plan is just to say repeal it.
MARTIN: And if you're -- and if you're a Democrat, Erick, you should go to those -- you should go to those states with the worst health care and when it comes to the folks in worst condition, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, West Virginia. And we'll talk about health care.
MARTIN: Go to those states that are red states.
GILLESPIE: The real problem why health care costs are going up, and Roland is right, this was happening long before the Affordable Health Care Act was passed.
GILLESPIE: But that's going to pour gas on the fire. It's because of increasing government involvement. We all know when the government becomes the main provider of something, costs go up because costs will never be accounted for properly. That's the big issue. You know get the government out of health care and you'll start to see prices come down.
Romney can't sell that. And the Republicans have had plenty of time to do it. The last time they controlled the federal government what did they do? They gave us the prescription drug plan for Medicare which is the most egregious handout to relatively wealthy seniors --
BURNETT: Well, that's right.
GILLESPIE: -- to get free or reduced price plan. This is -- this is why Americans are moving away from the Democrats and the Republicans because you hear chatter. It's a red team. It's a blue team thing. And the American people, Erin, like you said at the beginning, the American people are the real losers because we're stuck with the bill but we're not going to get the access to care that everybody seems to be after.
ERICKSON: A Democrat or a Republican will be president.
BURNETT: Well -- that is true, but of course we want to eat what we want and drink what we want, and then we want to make sure we have care. We don't want to pay more for it. I mean, there's a big problem. By the way, there's specific reasons health care costs are surging in this country. We're going to talk about it more in just a couple of moments. But next, today's vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt. He says it was all political. The White House said it was all political. Well, then why did 17 Democrats vote for it? One of them who did next.
Plus, a number of reasons why eBay has the best car for you. Stick shift, as you know, that's important.
And the loss stemming from the JPMorgan London Whale was $3 billion. No, no, no. It wasn't $3 billion. Hey, you know what, it could be multiples of that.
BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT, an historic day on Capitol Hill. By a vote of 255-67, the House today for the first time held a sitting attorney general in contempt of Congress. This stems from the "Fast and Furious" operation, where the government sold about 2,000 guns to drug runners hoping that would lead to breaking up cartels.
Critics say the attorney general failed to hand over documents related to the operation. All but two Republicans voted in favor of contempt. And about 100 Democrats didn't even vote. They walked out in protest.
But here's the thing. Seventeen Democrats voted in favor of contempt. Congressman Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania was one of them. He is OUTFRONT tonight.
Congressman, good to see you.
REP. JASON ALTMIRE (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Hi, Erin. Glad to be here.
BURNETT: All right. So let's get straight to this. Why did you go against your party? The White House called this vote a political stunt. You went ahead and voted in favor of contempt. Why?
ALTMIRE: There were two issues. One is I couldn't get around the fact I'm a member of the House. The House has asked for documents related to the investigation. I understand that Attorney General Holder doesn't want to give them. He has reasons why he doesn't feel he's obligated to provide them. But the fact is he didn't provide them. And when there's a vote on contempt, that's something you have to consider.
We asked for the documents. They were not provided. I hope that the documents will show nothing was inappropriate or wrong regarding the operation or the attorney general's involvement in that. I have no reason to believe that in any way they're going to show anything that we wouldn't want it to show. But he was asked for the documents and he didn't provide them.
The second reason is I was here in the Congress in 2008 when we had a very similar vote during the Bush administration. And the Democratic controlled Congress had two members, high ranking officials in the Bush administration, that we held in contempt under very similar circumstances relating to an issue. And as a result, I had the vote in contempt for that.
So I just couldn't reconcile the issue being different just because the political party in power is different.
BURNETT: Well, all right, so fair point. You made the bipartisan point. But let me ask you about this conspiracy theory. NRA has a theory -- the National Rifle association about "Fast and Furious." And they say the Obama administration allowed these guns to be sold knowing they'd go into Mexico. Knowing they'd be used in violent crimes. That would cause bad headlines and allow the government to go ahead and impose more strict gun regulations here in the United States.
Do you believe that theory?
ALTMIRE: I don't. And that has nothing to do -- I've heard it. That has nothing to do with the reason why I voted the way I did. Again, I cast a similar vote in 2008. It's consistent with the vote I cast today. And as a member of the House, I believe we do have the power of the investigation and oversight over the executive branch. We asked for documents that were not provided.
And because the vote was held on the floor, I voted to hold the attorney general in contempt because he did not comply with our request.
BURNETT: OK. So the National Rifle Association. They said today's vote, they're going to look at it when giving letter grades. I know those letter grades are very important, I know you got an A on the last scorecard. And I know they've given you about $19,350 over the past four years.
I also know you're not running for election. But the NRA's support, letter grade, had to matter to you.
ALTMIRE: Well, as you said, I'm not on the ballot in the fall election. So I don't know how anyone can make the claim that that had anything to do with the vote that I cast today. You have every right to bring that up. It's an appropriate point of discussion but it wasn't part of the reason I voted the way I did.
BURNETT: You might run again one day, right?
ALTMIRE: I have no plans to run again. That had nothing to do with the vote that I cast. I cast again because I want to be consistent with the vote that I cast four years ago when President Bush was in power.
BURNETT: All right. Well, look, I mean I -- we applaud the saying, you know, I'm not going to just go with my party, I want to be bipartisan. So I want to make that clear. But I wanted to ask you sort of a personal question. Because, you know, when I was looking at your vote, I know a lot people would say, how can you be a Democrat and care so much about the NRA?
How could you be a Democrat and want to have a gun? It's the same thing a lot of people say, how could you be gay and be a Republican. You know, the people just don't understand how those things could go together. Does that frustrate you?
ALTMIRE: The way you articulated it, if that is a criticism that's being levied, yes, that would concern me. But I haven't heard that in response to the vote. The district that I represent is overwhelmingly in support of the Second Amendment. I believe there are more NRA members per capita in the 100 mile radius surrounding the district that I represent than anywhere else in the country.
So I'm just representing my district when I -- my district when I cast votes that the NRA would support. But again, in this case, I voted that way for consistency and because I believe that it was the right thing to do based on the vote we cast and the issue that's at hand.
BURNETT: Right, yes, no, no, I understand that. I mean I'm just wondering, you know, it was presumably near your district when the president when he was running last time around, made the comment about guns and bibles.
ALTMIRE: Well, I represent western Pennsylvania. And I believe that that was one of the regions that was part of that articulation.
BURNETT: Yes, but it must have -- I guess what I'm getting at, does it upset you people want to say negative things about people who have guns? To say that if you're a Democrat you can't be for guns. And clearly in your district, you're a Democrat and they're for guns.
ALTMIRE: Yes, again, I was elected as a Democrat three times. I have the support of the NRA two of those times. And then I'm not running for re-election. So that wasn't part of my consideration this time when I cast the vote today.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate your taking the time, sir.
And still OUTFRONT, the decisions made by the Obama administration make the surge in Afghanistan ineffective. And cost lives and dollars. Our guest was there. He tells us why he thinks so.
And the number tonight, cars, money, stick shifts. And Ferris Bueller.
BURNETT: So the clock is ticking right now. Today through Monday, eBay and AutoNation are partnering. They're going to sell 10 to 14 brand new cars every day. And the way they're doing it is they're going to cut the price of the cars by about $500 an hour. So this is really tricky because you can actually bid at any time. So, you know, it keeps falling. And if you wait too long, someone else will swoop in and beat you to the car. Interesting little method to get people interested. Because EBay has become an accepted place to buy cars. There are over 90,000 cars and trucks on eBay actually at this moment.
I remember almost 10 years ago a friend sold a car on eBay. It was such a new concept at the time that getting the money from the buyer and giving the keys was done at New York's busiest train station so that both parties felt that if the other pulled out a knife or something, tried to steal the car, somebody would intervene. I actually think that they would just look the other way and keep walking. But you get the point.
We've come a long way. And that brings me to our number tonight. $3,260,100. That's the cost of a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider. The most expensive car ever sold on eBay. Many of you would probably recognize is from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
Of course, that Ferrari is on manual and that driver didn't know how to drive it. So are 8,800 other cars for sale eBay, they got manuals. Maybe you want to check it out.
All right, OUTFRONT, the president says it's time to move over on health care. But our next guest, a powerful member of Congress, says he's going to do everything in his power to stop it. What is he going to do about our biggest concern? How to pay for it. And does this add up?
Jerry Sandusky may be collecting a big fat paycheck right now from Penn State. And getting it for the rest of his life.
BURNETT: All right, welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. We start the second half with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting from the front lines.
Finally, a break for firefighters in Colorado. Cooler temperatures and lighter winds helping in the fight against wildfires raging across the state. The U.S. Forest Service officials say it could still be mid-July before the fires are under control. More than 36,000 people have been forced to leave their homes.
The mayor of Colorado Springs says 347 homes have been destroyed. And the FBI tells OUTFRONT that its investigation into the cause of the wildfires is now under way.
Well, the United States has decided to look the other way when it comes to China and Singapore buying oil from Iran. Here's why that's ironic. First, China's the biggest buyer of Iranian oil. So if the U.S. looks the other way on China, what are we doing? U.S. sanctions set to take effect today are supposed to cut countries off from the American financial system if they are importing Iranian oil. The United States said that the pass for China is a reward for the country voluntarily dropping its imports by nearly 40 percent. Eighteen other countries thought are also exempt. The sanctions are designed to force Iran to stop its nuclear program.
And as staggering worse case scenario for JPMorgan Chase. Outside or inside sources quoted by "The New York Times" say the trading loss that Jamie Dimon took on the chin isn't the $3 billion initially reported. It could be closer to $9 billion. That sent the stock price down 2.5 percent today.
We called FBR banking analyst Paul Miller. And he actually ran the most important number. He said JPMorgan would have to lose more than $20 billion to have a major impact on the company's bottom line. That's important because $9 billion, almost halfway there. He also said there has been harm to the bank's reputation.
Well, there's a plane for sale as is. Do you remember this day? I do.
Polish airline Lot. That Boeing 767, you remember its landing gear broke. And as it was landing, it had to land in soap and on the runway. I mean, it was an incredible moment. The plane is not allowed to fly again. But it's for sale.
So, you say, who wants a plane that can't fly? We called and got some answers from Cat Doggins (ph), an aviation consultant. He says one engine on that 767 is worth about $7 million. The five computers on board are worth $750,000 each. That's a grand total of about $4 million. And apparently 40 percent of that fuselage is recoverable aluminum, so scrap dealers and maintenance dealers for other airlines worldwide can line up to buy it. That means, of course, part of that doomed plane could end up on your next flight.
It's been 329 days since the United States lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?
This isn't going to help. The economy grew at 1.9 percent in the first quarter. That's an annual rate. It was the final estimate. Here's what you need to know. At 2 percent or higher, you can create enough jobs to put a hole in the jobless problem in this country. Below 2 percent, you can't.
And now our third story OUTFRONT: unworkable, unpopular and unaffordable. That's how Republican Senator John Barrasso described the president's health care law. But tonight, he can no longer say it's unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court decision today flies in the face of what Senator Barrasso has been vowing to do since January of last year -- repeal and replace the health care law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R), WYOMING: Nothing should come between you and your doctor. Not a government bureaucrat. Not an insurance company bureaucrat. Nothing. Republicans will fight to repeal this job-destroying law and replace it with patient-centered reforms.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: What exactly are those reforms he's talking about? Senator Barrasso is OUTFRONT tonight.
Senator, good to see you. Appreciate it.
I know you've been talking about repeal and replacing this health care law for quite some time. Obviously, you're going to vote in favor of the -- you would, you're in the Senate, but they're going to be repealing it in the House in a couple of weeks. Let me just ask you where you stand on the provisions that Americans love.
You can't discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Young people can stay on their parent's plans until they're 26. Subsidies for lower income households. Small businesses get tax credits.
Would you keep all those things?
BARRASSO: You know, my wife is a breast cancer survivor. She's been through three operations, chemotherapy twice. I know how important it is for people with pre-existing conditions to be able to get coverage and to get care.
And there are a lot of ways we can do it in a way that is actually more cost effective than happens through this health care bill. The same thing with those under the age of 26. You're talking about fewer than 1 percent of all people in this country where -- are covered that way. So there are things we can do to lower the cost of care and help everyone.
Under this health care law, though, you look at the president, so many of his promises that have been broken. He said under the law that insurance premiums would drop $2,500 per family that first year. Instead what we've seen is premiums have gone up $2,400 a family.
This law, it was a bad law yesterday. And in spite of the Supreme Court's decision today, it's still a bad law tonight.
BURNETT: All right. So let me -- just a couple things you said there I want to clarify. First of all, you're saying that yes, you would pay for it, but you would keep things like young people can stay on their parent's insurance, coverage for pre-existing conditions, right? That would be part of a good health care bill in your view?
BARRASSO: Well, I think it is. I said that on CNN two years ago, the day of the White House summit where we were discussing -- I think someone from CNN asked me, what could we pass today that people agree on? And that was one of those things. I think there's some benefits for that.
Fundamentally, we have a health care law that gives people fewer choices and increased costs and fewer control of their own life and own health care. And I think it's still a bad law and should be repealed and replaced.
BURNETT: OK. So let's get to this issue of cost. You've raised something we've been talking about.
Premiums are going to rise. Estimates are 7.5 percent under this. That is still more than any raises Americans are getting. It's four times the rate of inflation. That's really bad.
But, you know, this president tried to fight that. He went out to the doctors and said, I want to cut what you guys are getting. I don't want so many tests. And he fought back by them, by Democrats, by Republicans. Nobody wanted to take the political heat for paying for it.
Would you tell doctors, forget it, guys, stop with all those tests?
BARRASSO: Well, as somebody who's practiced medicine for 25 years, I can tell you that doctors worry about the lawsuit abuse that exists out there, which cause them to order many expensive tests. It's called defensive medicine. It's when a doctor orders a test more to treat the doctor than the patient because they don't want to miss that one in a thousand, or one in 10,000 cases that's going to end up for them to be in the courtroom rather than in the operating room --
BURNETT: Fair point but they also order those tests, those machines --
BARRASSO: -- expensive tests.
BURNETT: OK, that's true but they also old those expensive test machines and put them in their office because they know they can get reimbursed by insurance for a lot of money by putting those tests through. That's why doctors keep going in practices and ordering those machines. That's been proved in study after study to be true.
BARRASSO: You know, it's an interesting concept about just how much money is wasted in health care that's not really being used to help the patient get better. But the physicians I have worked with over the years, it is driven by the concern about getting sued. Defensive medicine is a huge part of the cost of care.
And some physicians do put the machines to order these tests in their own offices for the convenience of the patient but it is driven by the defensive medicine that's been practiced. And the president has essentially ignored this, refused to admit how much this contributes to the cost of care.
The American people need health care reform and the reason they need it is because of the cost of care. That's what this whole thing was supposed to be about from the beginning -- making sure the patients get the care they need from the doctor they choose. Not that the government chooses or some insurance company chooses at lower cost.
And this health care law has failed on all of those accounts. BURNETT: OK. But let's look at the biggest cost -- things that account for costs in America. You've got hospitals. You've got these tests that come from doctors. You've got prescription drugs. Obviously, a big part of that came from the prescription drug plan under George W. Bush.
So are you going to go to those hospitals, to those drug companies, and tell them, we're just not going to do this anymore? I mean, you know, you have to admit, the president did try. It was Democrats and Republicans, both who were afraid to go ahead and fight the costs.
BARRASSO: Well, I think that the president basically misled the American people. He said the negotiations would be covered on C-Span. Things would be all open.
These were all closed door negotiations. It was one party making all of the decisions. They were -- the bipartisan ideas were not accepted. The patient refused to listen to Republican ideas aimed at lowering the cost of care, bringing more competition into this, allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, giving individual incentives for people who take efforts to actually lower their cost of care by losing weight, by taking more control and prevention in their own lives.
The president ignored item after item and came out with a one- size fits all, which has really driven up the cost of care faster, report show us, than if the law had never been passed in the first place.
BURNETT: Senator, thank you. Appreciate your time.
And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT: He's been convicted of 45 child molestations charges. But former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will likely keep collecting his $59,000 a year pension behind bars.
State pension rules include a list of crimes that would disqualify a person from getting his or her pension. These are crimes relating to breach of duty, perjury, threat and bribery. Felony child molestation is not on that list.
Paul Callan is OUTFRONT tonight. Obviously, this has a lot of people outraged. Pedophiles, murderers, can collect their pension.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it's really crazy. But the list of offenses doesn't include child abuse for which you forfeit a pension. It's really shocking. I've got a theory though that we can take this money away from him.
CALLAN: Which I'll talk about later.
BURNETT: Tell me now. CALLAN: There's one section that says if you intimidate a witness or a victim, that's an offense that can be utilized. I say he intimidated these victims in what he did to them. There's a second one that has to do with fabricating and tampering with physical evidence.
Now, the big problem is a lot of the offense occurred after he resigned as -- in the football program at Penn State. So, remember this takes place from '94 to 2009, the indictment. And he resigns in 1999. So, all we have to do is get one offense before 1999 and --
BURNETT: You think it would --
CALLAN: And he clearly, he intimidated these victims because he threatened them if they would report it. Some of the kids testified to that.
BURNETT: So, it doesn't say threat of what. Even though we're talking about forgery and bribery.
Let's just lay out the amount of money here that Jerry Sandusky for those of you out there he's going to get. He got $148,271 when he retired, Paul, in 1999. He's been getting $4,908 per month for life, 50 percent would go to his surviving beneficiary after death. First of all, that is an incredible pension by any stretch of the imagination.
The only way to change this law would be to change the constitution for the state of Pennsylvania, right?
CALLAN: And even that might not be enough because there's a doctrine called the ex-post facto doctrine of the U.S. Constitution that says you can't pass a law that retroactively changes the rules of the game.
BURNETT: So, you could change it, but it wouldn't apply?
CALLAN: Well, usually applies going forward but not going back. Now, you know, sometimes if you're careful about the way you do the law, the court will let it slide but that law's a hard one to get around. So, I don't think they're going to get away with changing the law and getting him.
BURNETT: So, you assume that you're right and they find a way though within the existing law to take it away.
BURNETT: The pension board takes it away. A lot of people will say that's not enough, he should have to give back everything he's got another way. I've totaled up under the statue the maximum amount of fines the judge can hand down in the criminal case. I'm coming up with $600,000 worth of fines that the judge could hand down, in that range.
So, if the judge maxes out the fines, $600,000. We'll get at least ten years of his pension money, hopefully, back into public coffers. But you got to wonder, too, you know, the victims really deserve this money. And ironically pension money is protected from lawsuits.
BURNETT: The victims can sue Penn State.
CALLAN: Well, they can, yes.
BURNETT: OK, thanks very much to Paul Callan. Appreciate it.
And OUTFRONT next, did infighting within the Obama administration cost the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan?
Our next guest, reporter for "The Washington Post" was has that story.
And why would one man allegedly steal $18 million? To make his wife the next Madonna.
BURNETT: We're back with tonight's "Outer Circle, we reach out to our sources around the world.
And tonight, we go to Singapore, because that's where a pastor was charged with stealing $18 million of his flock's donations. Pastor Kong Hee is accused of using the money to jump start his wife's singing career. "Elle" magazine in Asia dubbed her Asia's answer to Madonna.
Liz Neisloss is in Singapore, outside the church.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ NEISLOSS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You could call this the case of the pastor and the pop star. The founder of this massively popular church is accused of siphoning millions in church funds into an elaborate investment scheme and putting $18 million of that into his wife's singing career.
His wife is an internationally known pop star Sun Ho. She hasn't been charged in this case.
One of her best known videos is this one for a song called "China Wine." The pastor and his wife have said her pop music is a way of attracting more people to the church's message.
Now, despite the allegations, the church donation Web site remains open. The church asked the public not to prejudge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. And next to Egypt, where a British student revealed on her blog that she had been sexually assaulted by a mob in Tahrir Square this week. Natasha Smith recounted how an ambulance sent to help her had been chased away by her attackers. She said hospitals refused to treat her.
Our Dan Simon is in Cairo and I asked him what prompted Smith to go public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, Natasha Smith is now back in the U.K. and has spoken exclusively to CNN about her horrific ordeal. She's an incredibly brave young woman who's decided to go public, to highlight the fact that this is happening all the time to Egyptian women. A lot of times it doesn't get reported to the police.
We've spoken to women's rights campaigners here who say because of the lack of security since the revolution, men on the streets, these packs of men who are in Tahrir Square and elsewhere feel emboldened and feel they can get away with doing almost anything they like -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's awful. Dan Rivers in Cairo.
Now, let's check in with John King in for Anderson Cooper, with a look at what's on "A.C. 360."
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Erin. I'm live tonight in front of the Supreme Court. And tonight on "360", with both parties and both candidates looking to score political points with their constituents, we're keeping them honest, not on the Supreme Court decision on health care itself, but on the rhetoric that followed.
A big panel tonight, Jeff Toobin, Sanjay Gupta, Ari Fleischer, Paul Begala, David Gergen, and Gloria Borger.
Also ahead, a live report from the front lines of the firestorm. It's already ripped through almost 350 homes in Colorado Springs. The Waldo Canyon blaze is only 10 percent contained and firefighters could be working until mid-July to control it. And we'll tell you why the FBI is now involved.
Those stories and more on that House vote to hold the Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Plus tonight's "Ridiculist" at the top of the hour -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Looking forward to seeing you in just a few moments, John.
And now -- our fifth story OUTFRONT. Did infighting in the Obama administration cost American lives in Afghanistan?
Taxpayers have spent more than $542 billion on the Afghanistan war. More than 2,000 American soldiers have died and the president has been boasting about bringing American troops home by 2014.
But did fighting in his White House cause the country to pay a steeper price in money and lives than we should have?
Rajiv Chandrasekaran went into Afghanistan with the troops during the surge. His new book is called "Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan."
And he is OUTFRONT tonight.
Rajiv, you spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq and all of these war zones. And this is a charge that has a lot of people pretty upset, saying that infighting in the Obama administration high levels in Washington caused real problems. What happened?
RAJIV CHANDRASEKARAN, AUTHOR: Well, so you had two camps in Washington. You had the White House team. You had a State Department team.
And at the State Department, you had their point man for Afghanistan. The veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke who died a year and a half ago, he was in charge of trying to manage the overall diplomatic strategy, but really try to push towards getting to negotiations with the Taliban, a very difficult challenge. But this was a guy who had ended fighting in the Balkans, would serve to try to end the Vietnam war, and a real diplomatic heavyweight.
But there were senior officials in Obama's White House who just didn't like him. It was very personal, acrimonious fight. And what happened was their infighting essentially stalled American policy in trying to come up with a plan to get to negotiations.
So, it wasn't like the Taliban were sitting at the other end of the table. But there were -- you know, this is what they were seeking to do. What I detail in this book is the real nasty infighting that got very personal, excluding Holbrooke from meetings, forbidding him from using government planes, trying to slip talking points to the president of the United States after excluding Holbrooke from an Oval Office meeting with President Karzai, really sort of at times childish stuff.
BURNETT: Childish and petty stuff that came with a steep price.
CHANDRASEKARAN: Yes, we had 100,000 troops on the ground, fighting, dying to try to protect the Afghan people, trying to beat back the Taliban, and trying to get to peace talks -- however difficult and elusive they were was a key part of what President Obama wanted. This was something that the president wanted.
And, in fact, both sides in this fight wanted the same goal. They were just caught up in a personality clash.
BURNETT: And you're also saying we wasted a year in Afghanistan during which time we spent money, American troops lost their lives because of the surge strategy itself. CHANDRASEKARAN: Yes. You would think when the president authorizes more troops, we'd be sending those troops to the places that are the most critical parts of Afghanistan, that are the most important to beat back the Taliban to protect the country. Instead, the majority of the first wave of forces authorized by President Obama in 2009 were sent to a relatively sparsely populated part of the country because of tribal infighting at the Pentagon, not in Afghanistan, because the U.S. Marine Corps wanted to have its own patch of the sand box, a place where it could fly its own helicopters.
BURNETT: You got to be kidding me.
CHANDRASEKARAN: I'm serious. This dates back to World War II when the Marines felt they didn't enough --
BURNETT: They'd rather go some place where they weren't even needed --
CHANDRASEKARAN: Yes, yes.
BURNETT: Other Americans die another place because they wanted their own territory.
CHANDRASEKARAN: What it meant, Erin, was that Kandahar, the country's second largest city, sort of the spiritual homeland for the Taliban, we were a year late in trying to do meaningful security operations there because we were off in the desert, in places that have far fewer people and were far less important to Afghanistan's overall security.
BURNETT: So, infighting between the State Department and the White House, infighting in the Pentagon cost American lives. At the same time, 30,000 troops went over in that surge, civilians went in to do all sorts of reconstruction projects. Another thing you said did not work.
CHANDRASEKARAN: That's right, Erin. So there was this civilian surge that was supposed to unfold in tandem with the military surge. Lots of those people unfortunately wound up staying in Kabul, in the capital, in the vast embassy compound. There were lots of parties, lots of meeting, to go to.
BURNETT: That's another thing you report on. There was a lot of partying and a lot of people having fun.
CHANDRASEKARAN: A lot of people having fun, but they were also doing a lot of work, but a lot of bureaucratic work. But they weren't getting out into the field. Into the places where the troops were that were the most important places where they need to be.
And in many cases, we didn't get the right people out there, after years of operations in Iraq and earlier in Afghanistan. You know, the diplomatic core was exhausted. So, they turned to retirees, they turned to volunteers, instead of scouring the country for the people with really the best skills to do this. So, you wind up with people down at the field level who often weren't really good fits, who didn't have the necessary know how to do what was necessary to take the sacrifices made by the troops and turn it into something more sustainable, trying to bring Afghan government down there, trying to create an environment that the Afghans would be able to then take charge of everything that was being done for them by the additional troops.
BURNETT: All right, well, thanks very much, Rajiv. Some pretty incredible reporting. It takes a lot of courage to say some of those things that he said.
Check out his book and also the book he wrote after spending time in Iraq during the war. It's also fantastic.
Well, it's said music brings people together. But apparently only if they can get the right visas. This is a pretty amazing story. It's next.
BURNETT: India and Pakistan have nukes pointed at each other. So, anytime they work together, it's exciting. And they actually are. There's a movie called "Cocktail." Not the Tom Cruise one. But it's a new "Cocktail." It's a romantic comedy produced by an Indian company. It's going to be released on July 13th.
It's got a lot popular Indian models and actors in it. Of course, as usual, those Bollywood actors are improbably perfect and beautiful. Here they are.
But just to illustrate the excitement for this movie and the power of Bollywood, the official trailer already has more than 3 million views on YouTube. One of the most amazing things about the film is actually its soundtrack. It has Indian and Pakistani musicians on it who despite those nukes pointing at each other have really made some beautiful music together.
The album has received high praise from critics in both countries. And four of the soundtrack's songs are currently in the top 10 at Indian site smashhits.com. Just to remind you, there's more than 1 billion people here. So being in the top ten there is -- you know what, a lot more people listening to you than here.
In fact, the soundtrack is so popular that the film's producers planned a lavish music celebration in Mumbai that was to feature all of the singers, Indian and Pakistani together. I say "was" because it was announced today that India denied the Pakistani singer's request for travel visas.
As a result, the concert of fellowship was scrapped. The Indian high commission has no comment on the visa refusals.
Now, if these two countries can't even agree on something this easy, this obvious that people in both countries like, how can they resolve the ongoing nuke crisis? Maybe it shouldn't shock you that some say that India or Pakistan, using their nuclear weapons, is still the world's single biggest nuclear threat, more than Iran, more than North Korea.
Thanks as always for watching. We appreciate it. See you tomorrow.
"ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.