The Daily Rundown | November 15, 2012
>> been calling his outside game on wednesday. had a sit-down with a bunch of folkses from the business community . meeting with a group of ceos at the white house . joining me now is mark bertolini. he attended the meeting with the president. thanks for coming on this morning.
>> good morning, chuck.
>> let me ask you this, how much talk diagnose the ceos do and how much talking did the president do?
>> i think the president did mostly listening. he did open with a few comments about why we were together. and then the ceos shared their point of view as to how we can move forward to fix this problem.
>> and what is it exactly that the ceos blerpledged to the president in there, if he did x, y and z, they would support him up to a point? what was that line -- or was there a line that there was sort of a collective agreement in that room of what they could support from the president and what they couldn't do?
>> this was not a negotiation. this was very much a constructive, practical dialogue of a very really problem that we've got to solve as a country. and the president was seeking our input in asking us what we could do to support him and the congress in coming to a very balanced solution, including both revenues and entitlement reform. so didn't see this as all as negotiation. no lines in the sand . wasn't nearly -- or wasn't at all the tense conversation that obviously the press had worked it up to be.
>> of course. well, tell us exactly what were sort of -- what were a majority of the ideas given to the president? what were some of the ideas that you seem like, you felt like there was a consensus in that room are with what the president walked away hearing, oh, business wants this?
>> revenue needs to be on the table, definitely, so we have to increase revenues in some way, shape or form.
>> so there was support for tax increases?
>> there was support for revenue increases. how we get there is still to be determined. i think secondly, entitlement reform is very important. and that entitlement cut which is is a term, i think, laden with all sorts of emotional consequences, we need to ensure that entitlement programs are around for generations to come. and how we work these programs in the future is going to be very important. so this is not entitlement cuts next year. this is entitlement reform in the longer term. so i think a balance between those two is very much an important conversation that we had. we're supportive of that kind of result. but the most important aspect of this right now, is that in 45 days, we have a very bad outcome, unless congress and the president act.
>> let me ask you, and as a big player in the health care world, the president are winning re-election, it means that this health care law is going to get implemented. the roots and the seeds have been planted but now it's going to take root in this in the future. what role is that going to be playing in this new wave with the relationship between folks and health care ?
>> i think our role has always been that we need to be compliant with the law, but we need to find opportunities to make it better. and while the affordable care act begins to get people covered, we still have to address the $750 billion a year waste in the system that could more than pay for not only affordable care act , but half the nation's deficit, if we get it right. and so i think that's a very important part of what our role needs to be. it's not just about insurance, but how do we make the system work better.
>> all right, aetna ceo, mark bertolini. thanks for coming on.
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