Let's start this week's highlights from State of the Union with John King with the behind the scenes video which comes from the streets of Sioux City, Iowa after John King & crew had driven six hours from South Dakota.
From CNN: John King's Sunday preview
On this morning's program, the first guest was Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to discuss health care reform and the preparations for this year's flu season. Here are few bullet points from the discussion:
- Is the public option going to remain on the table? Maybe not, but the focus should be coverage, choice, and competitive prices.
- The President has taken his message on health care to New Hampshire, Montana, & Colorado this week. Sebelius thinks that he's going to get some sort of reform this year.
- King read off points that were being used by people at some of the town halls and asked Sebelius to respond to them.
- The Congress can't "mandate" that an employer doesn't switch health care plans, but the legislation should "stabilize" the marketplace.
- The President has been negotiating with the drug companies. Seniors could see their drug costs cut in half as a result of these negotiations.
- A brief discussion about the expected infection rate and death toll for the swine flu. The Secretary stated that they would not be able to have people fully immunized prior to Thanksgiving.
Next on the program were two doctors and nurse who are all now members of Congress. Who better to discuss health care reform? Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), Representative Tom Price (R), and Senator John Barrasso (R) discussed health care reform with King. The biggest point of contention appeared to be whether or not the legislation should have a public option. The main discussion points: How would you encourage insurance companies to insure the currently uninsurable without it? Aren't there other ways of insuring people without the public option? How do we make sure that doctors who currently won't accept medicare because it doesn't pay enough to cover services will except those that are insured through a public option? Where did the death panel discussion come from? Whether this legislation will put medical decisions back into the hands of patients and doctors (imagine that concept!).
CNN has setup a site to provide more information on the health care debate. You can even read versions of the bills that working their way through the House and Senate. (Some light summer reading!) CNN.com/healthcare.
This week's American Dispatch was from South Dakota – the Lakota Reservation. John King spoke with Herbert Hale who lives on the Lakota Reservation.
As King ended this segment, he mentioned that the article that was posted to the CNN's website had had an impact:
KING: A beautiful place. And this quick footnote: every week, we write about our travels on cnn.com, and this week's dispatch struck a cord. Citizens for Financial Justice, a non-profit organization that helps military veterans, wanted to help Herbert Hale, and through Harr Motors in Aberdeen, South Dakota, is working to donate a car to help Herbert get around. Reason to smile this Sunday.
Next on the program was Howard Kurtz with Reliable Sources. The first panel included Jeff Zeleny, Amy Holmes, and Ruth Marcus. They discussed the health care debate as well as Secretary Clinton's outburst in response to a question about her husband.
From CNN: Protesters as pundits
The next panel included Drew Sharp and Mike Wise to discuss Michael Vicks' return to the NFL and Rick Pitino's sex scandal.
The next panel got to discuss Kate Gosselin, Octomom, and John Edwards' paternity test results. The lucky group: Lisa Bloom, David Zurawik, and Lola Ogunnaike. Lisa Bloom stayed on a single point through the discussion: tabloid stories like these keep important international stories from airing.
Then Kurtz reflected on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.
11 AM sent the program back to John King with the Sounds of Sunday and the start of the pundit hour. James Carville and Mary Matalin were in the studio to discuss health care reform. Its fun to watch the body language between these two as they talk and Matalin pointed out that Carville has certain ticks when he's losing the debate. Matalin thinks that this debate will help Republicans gain seats in Congress in the 2010 election. Carville wants the Senator to vote on the House bill and force the Republican party of no to filibuster the legislation.
King was in Sioux City Iowa this week and that's where he spoke to Thomalene Wittrock, Steve Hoberg, and Karen Wingert in the CNN Diner segment.
Back in the studio, the correspondent panel included Joe Johns, Brianna Keiler, and Dan Lothian. They talked about health care reform and the town hall meetings.
And an odd moment during the discussion where it appeared that King stumped the panel- they were speechless for a moment (how often does that happen?). What caused the silence: after playing a clip from a comment made by Senator John Barrasso, King followed it up with this question:
KING: Paying more, ending up with worse care. Have the Republicans, the conservative critics won, at least the first two weeks of August?
The noon hour brings repeats from the 9AM hour. 39 minutes later live programming returns with a preview of GPS. After the commercial break, King was back (live still) with Representative Mike Ross (D) who got to have The Last Word. King aired a clip of Ross at an Arkansas town hall meeting where he was distancing himself from the House Speaker and the President. King asked Ross about the health care legislation. (Ross is a Blue Dog Democrat).King played part of an ad that attacked Ross on the health care reform. Ross responded to the comments, but had hoped that they would also play the ad that he had run in response to it. The link to the ad was posted on CNN's website: Ross responds to RNC in radio ad.
From CNN: Conservative Democrat gets The Last Word
Here is your listing of this week's podcasts: