Nussle on CNBC

Former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle was on the CNBC program "The Squawk Box" this morning.  Nussle was the Republican Party's 2006 gubernatorial nominee, then he served as President Bush's budget director.  Nussle served eastern Iowa in congressman for 16 years and rose to become chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Nussle was sporting closely-cropped hair and he wore a white, long-sleeved shirt and tie (the same attire as the other two male hosts of the program; there's a female host, too). Shortly after 7:30 this morning, Nussle got to quiz financial guru Warren Buffett who was a guest on the program.  Then the program's hosts quizzed Nussle.

The closing questions were about health care reform.  Nussle opined that Democrats in congress had been "hell-bent" on getting something done before the August recess, but Nussle said a major cause of the slow down was the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the health care reform bills that have been developed by congressional committees. "It is just amazing how devastating the evidence they put forward," Nussle said. 

Nussle was asked to comment on the need for Medicare reform, too. "The choices are so tough," Nussle said. Nussle suggested cutting costs was key in Medicare and throughout the health care system. "It's out of control.  Unless you can bend that growth curve somehow, there's almost no way that the government can have a bigger footprint in this and actually make it work in  the long term," Nussle said.

According to Nussle, the American public is still in a "what have you done for me lately" mindset, and that makes cost cutting difficult in all areas of government, including the health care arena. "They're not saying reduce the costs in my backyard, Nussle said. "They're saying reduce it over across the street in someone else's backyard."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.