But let's talk about what that is, exactly. Companies are allowed to deduct the amount that they spend on prescription drugs. So if you spend $100, the company does, they're allowed to deduct it. In 2003, Congress passed a law that said we're going to provide a subsidy to those very same companies 28 cents on the dollar for every dollar that they spend, but we still allow them to deduct the entire dollar. And so what we're saying now is that you're not going to be able to both take the 28 cent subsidy from the federal government and deduct the entire amount. And so, I think it's fair. And I think if you look at the other ways that they're helping business, there's going to be a $5 billion pool for reinsurance. We're taking a number of measures that will dramatically reduce the cost of business. So on balance, business will come out way ahead, and that was one of the president's objectives.
And the final point on this is we had many conversations with the Business Roundtable, a group that represents the 200 largest companies in the country. They said, look, would you mind if you -- could you push it back another year so that the effective date is in 2013, not '12? And we did that. But keep in mind, where I come from, a billion dollars is still a lot of money, but the fact of the matter is, AT&T is -- that's the amount that is calculated that they would pay beginning in 2013 over a three-year period.
TAPPER: OK, this is a very large and bold and wide-reaching piece of legislation. And obviously, CBO, the Congressional Budget Office and others, can predict what's going to happen, but we don't really know what's going to happen. Is the president willing to go back and fine-tune or change parts of the legislation if there are side effects, if there are things that don't work out the way we want them to work out?
JARRETT: Well, look, let's try what we've put in place. As a past practice, the Congressional Budget Office tends to be very conservative, and usually the cost savings are even greater. But as with any big piece of legislation, down the line, if we want to make refinements and be flexible, of course.
JARRETT: But I think a lot of hard work has gone into this plan. It's been an arduous process. The president has listened to all voices. We have made numerous improvements to the plan as a result of that process. Now let's let it work.
TAPPER: In the wake of the health care reform legislation, there have been threats of violence and some acts of violence against members of Congress. And in this fund-raising solicitation I want to ask you about -- this is from the president's political arm, Organizing for America -- used to be Obama for America -- Mitch Stewart, the director, writes in this fund-raising solicitation, "A conservative blogger posted the home address of Congressman Tom Perriello, urging Tea Partiers to drop by. Other members have had death threats. Democratic offices have been vandalized. Please chip in $5 or more to defend health reform and those in Congress who fought to make it possible."
Obviously, those threats and the acts of violence should be condemned, they are not appropriate. But is it appropriate for Democrats to try to raise money off of those threats?