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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  October 29, 2013 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT

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>> this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm tony harris with a look at today ace top stories. in the wake of repeated real aggravations about national security agencies spying. the chief of the nsa and director of national intelligence testified before congress put forward tuesday which stopped the nsa widespread surveillance of phone records. >> i want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should. >> an apology from marilyn tavanner about the problems of the affordable care act website. testifying before a sharply critical house committee. it has been one year since hurricane sandy hit the
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northeast and people are still dealing with insurance claims to clean up of hurricane sandy estimated to be around $65 billion. u.n. officials confirm an outbreak of polio and syria the first in 14 years. there are ten confirmed cases, most of those tested are babies and toddlers. last week the u.s. launched a campaign to immunize 2.5 million children against polio and other diseases. those are the headlines here on al jazeera. real money with ali velshi is next. >> we've all heard if you like your plan you can keep it. not so fast. while millions who already buy their own health insurance are sick over what obamacare could do to their bottom line. just in time for the holidays one expert said the consumer
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landscape is the land mediocrity. and i'm ali velshi, this is "real money." >> this is real money. join our live conversation for the next half hour on twitter at aj real money. close to a month in and the roll out of obamacare insurance agencies is off to a very bad start. to all those who tried and using the government's website an apologizapologycharged with set. >> wto the millions of americans who shop and want to enroll for healthcare coverage i want to apologize that the website has not worked as well as it should. >> reporter: that was marilyn
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tavanner on tuesday. on wednesday health and human services director kathleen sebelius will be appearing to do the same. cgi, the main contractor developing the website may have warned the obama administration that it wouldn't be ready to go live on october 1st. either way this is what we know as of now. it needs until the end of november to fix the technical glitches on . two months after the launch. all right, so now what we have to figure out is what happens after that. it's not really about the launch that's the most important thing. what the issue is what people are going to end up paying. to compensate for the delay the penalty
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>> maybe a good thing. i don't. >> what dubonnet? >> well, what i mean is the following. look, let's start with the big picture.
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the big ping is most americans. vast majority of americans get health insurance from their employer or from the government. for those folks nothing changed on january 1. we're really drilling down to a relatively small slice of americans 6% who buy their insurance on their own. of that population half of which already have insurance that is better than the minimum set up by the law. those individuals whose insurance has canceled, they can go back and buy a policy that is the same. >> of the administration and not take the warnings that it wasn't ready, but that's not the crux of the issue. back in 2010 president obama said and then said many times over if you like your plan you can keep it. seems like there was an asterisk or something that should have been said there, but it may cost you a lot more money than you expect. there are a lot of people who didn't know that was going to
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happen. >> well look, the point is it may cost you more. it may save you. over all by your estimates people in this market will end up paying on average much less than they paid beforehand. once you factor in the tax credits they can get but that's not true for everybody. some will pay more, some will pay less. there will be a probably be a third of this market who pays more. >> again it's just--you can get why this gets under people's skin because that was never part of the sales job. it's not that it may not be real, true and necessary but people didn't hear that part. >> i mean, look, why are these people paying more? one is they had insurance that wasn't substantive. a lot of people had insurance policies where they said they'll pay the first $100 a day of your hospital stay. when it costs 3 to $5,000 a day that's not real insurance. >> seeing massive increases of
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insurance that they're buying. is there something that you think the administration knew that they didn't tell us about the fact that there are a lot of people who will pay a lot in health insurance. it may be the way it's got to go, but it's true in. >> once again we're talking about two to three percent of americans, and the other point to remember about that is part of the reason they're paying more is because right now they're in a system where they're fine while they're insured, but if they got sick, they were screwed. if you had a pre-existing condition, there was no way to get insurance. that ends. if you're in the market today and you're young and healthy, you pay more. think of this as ending discrimination. right now insurance discriminate against the sick and hold for the young and healthy. those benefiting from discrimination loses.
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when you pass a law saying that women and minorities should be paid the same as whites. whites make less money. when you pass a law saying sick and healthy need to be able to get--sick rand old, then they have to pay more money. >> what if we decide to pay the fine and not get the insurance. >> well, some people will. that's baked into the estimates that the budget office made and insurance companies. they have estimates on the basis of their prices, but it will be fewer than you think. in massachusetts, the pilate for this law. our first-year, here's the key thing. they signed up right before the mandate took place. the key date is not january one. the key date is now march 31st. as we get to that ma mandate da, i think they will.
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>> do you think--do you think--are there other options if no one is looking at their existing plan that might become more expensive versus obamacare options on the exchanges might be through healthcare, are there other things that they should be looking at right now? should they wait and see what happens? should they try to join a freelancers group or church group or finding out whether they can glom on to someone else's insurance. >> i have no problem if folks want to look around, but the truth is i advise they wait until the end of november. if the administration is right,, and it's up and working, they'll be able to see all their choices. i suggest to people to be calm. we have plenty of time. it's not the nature of the consumers to buy something in october that they can't get in january. i think the administration was right and many went on to look,
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and it crashed the site, they are curious. >> that's not the only thing that crashed the site. therbut thank you. >> there are those who want to buy insurance on their own. >> reporter: greg and his wife anita got an unplanned surprised from their insurance company. their health premiums are doubling. they pay $609 to cover themselves and their daughter sophie. but in a letter blue cross blue shield of north carolina is ending their policy. the new one to meet the criteria is $1,000. >> greg, an architect said he expected an increase but not nearly that much. >> out of the blue. after all this waiting, to get a letter saying the premium was
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going to almost double is quite a shock. >> the message coming out of the white house. >> if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. if you like your healthcare plan you will be able to keep your healthcare plan, period. >> reporter: while the vast majority of people are covered through work and have plans that are largely uneffected roughly 15 million americans are like greg and anita and purchase health insurance on their own. in an estimated 58% of those policies are not compatible with the new health law whic, which provides comprehensive coverage which cost more. many are receiving letters cross the country that inform them that their premium has been adjusted or discontinued. >> it was a punch in the stomach. >> reporter: in nortespecially l areas where fewer insurers competing can spell higher prices for consumer. newer regulations under the law
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can drive up costs. the new law requires nearly everyone to buy health insurance or pay a fine. and then they cause your premiums to go up if you buy insurance on your own. among those standards no more lifetime limits on coverage or denials based on pre-existing conditions. the law requires a range of preventive and emergency room services. blue cross spokesman would not comment on greg's case but noted the plans are generally required to offer more coverage including things like maternity and pediatric dental care. >> if you're in the market and 40% of poverty, and your premiums are going up, your premiums are going up. if you want to stay on the same plain you're on and it's enhanced, it's going to cost you more money. >> reporter: the over all rice of premium cries for those who buy on their own is expected to be much lower, increasing
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between 10 and 15%. to the eligible you must earn less than $46 a year or $94,000 for a family of four. more than half of those enrolling qualify for subsidies. for those like greg, anita and millions of others who earn too much to get government assistance, the new health law means less money in their pockets. >> we're going to shop around and look for a different plan, and i think we can get less than $1,100, but still it's going to be more. al jazeera, north carolina. >> retail sales m minus car sals doing nicely. we'll look at the minds and wallets ever american consumers when "real money" continues.
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>> the u.s. consume is the engine of growth for the u.s. economy. spending by you and me accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, and tuesday we got two pieces of data that taken together capture how the government's budget bungling has thrown consumers off crass. first consider retail sales rose
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almost half a percent in september. before the government shutdown. boosted by gains in electronic retailers and added in--if you add autos into the mix sales fell just a little bit. forget about that and consider before the shutdown the spending picture remained pretty good. that was september before the shutdown. look at what happened to consumer confidence in october. the conference board said that it's index plunged, compared to september that is the weakest reading in six months. it came as consumer confidence was hovering, blame the government shutdown and the debt ceiling debacle. and the americans made more negative references to the federal government's impact on
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the economy than at any other time in that survey. ceo of hand and stone, which has 125 spa locations across the united states, said when he noticed the consumer was suffering from spending paralysis, he changed his business model. >> is it a franchise model. >> reporter: it's a franchise from washington state down to florida back up to new york and spread across the country. based on bringing massage and facial services to the middle market by making them more convenient and more affordable. >> when i heard spa and facials, i don't think of that as things that a lot of middle class americans do, but you actually do cater to that market? >> absolutely. this is geared towards the middle market
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>> something that makes them feel good, i think where we see them cutting back on the bigger i can pen diexpenditures are on. we tell them to save that and come in and get facials. >> a lot of your business is going to come from promotional
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stuff. do you have projections? >> we're encouraged by our free holiday traffic is up. traffic has been up. we were worried about the federal government shutdown, our biggest weekend of the year is black friday weekend where we have a buy one get one special and we have a lot of interest gearing up for that black friday weekend. >> continued best luck to you. founder and president of hand and stone spa joining us from pennsylvania. sears is looking for ways to raise cash after disappointing sales figures for the 26th quarter in a row. the struggling retailer is considering splitting up its landed end and auto center. and it's closing some of its unprofitable stores and selling
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store leases in canada. it's $13 billion government settlement may fall apart. reports that the two sides disagree on two big issues, one that jp morgan avoid any criminal prosecution, and the second the deposit and insurance corporation over washington mutual in 2009. according to the journal jp morgan has an agreement signed with the fdic where it bought the savings and loans and got protection from any future liabilities. and reports that the most profitable hedge fund is going to plead guilty. patricia is here with the details. >> it is definitely a case of oh how the mighty may fall. according to the wall street journey as part of the settlement with federal prosecutors, capital advisers
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will plead guilty to securities fraud, and pay the largest penalty ever for insider training $1.2 billion. federal prosecutors brought criminal charges against the firm in july describing it as, quote, a magnate for market cheaters, e-mails indicating the top executives including it's founders steve cohen failed to stop alleged insider training. six employees have pleaded guilty to insider training and one is serving two and a half years in prison. two other men are set to stand trial. now stephen cohen has not been charged with criminal activity, but the journal said he'll remain under investigation. ali? >> a lot of people may not know of sc capital visors or stephen cohen. it's been in the news but for a lot of people who follow business. this firm is a pretty big deal. >> absolutely. this hedge fund was the envy of wall street.
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it had $50 billion in assets under management and posts outside trading profits for two decades but since it has fallen in fed crosshairs clients have pulled most of their money but stephen cohen still has a sizable fortune to manage at $9.2 billion. >> he alone has more money than many hedge funds will manage. so the agreement just means that they can't manage outside money. >> we've seen this so much, and we heard time and time again that ultimately it's not the money that matters. >> thank you very much. we'll take a quick break, and we'll be right back on "real money."
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>> it's been one year since hurricane sandy hit the east coast. the super storm was one of the most damaging and most expensive to ever hit the u.s. businesses were decimated. many still have not reopened.
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merchants in one neighborhood hosted a block party to spur revival in the area. one of the businesses that has reopened, and she joins me now. diana. thank you for being with us. congratulations on being open. how long were you closed for? >> well, first of all i want to say happy birthday and thank you for having me on your show. >> that's a good birthday gift for me. >> thank you very much. we were closed for about three months. >> tell me what happened. >> as i understand it, your place had been renovated six months before the hurricane hit? >> yes, six months before the hurricane hit we had done a total renovation were top to bottom, brand new equipment, brand new everything. the storm hit and wiped everything out. >> what kind of damage did it do? i understand that you had a lot of water in there? >> a lot of damage doesn't begin to explain it. we had a 12-foot tidal wave over
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the top of the building. there was not a thing left. to say it was damaged does not begin to cover it. >> tell me what happened, how did you rebuild this? >> we rolled our sleeves up and we just jumped in. friend, family, sheer determination, we did it 24 hours a day seven days a week, and we just made sure it happened. >> you must have had insurance money, no? >> absolutely not. we had no flood insurance. none of my business insurance got covered. no government help. the only a grant from national grid. we love them. they helped so many businesses in the area. >> everything is not up and running in staten island just yet. >> no. >> a year later there is a lot that isn't happening. give me a sense of what it's like around there. >> people don't seem to realize there are so many people who are not in their homes. so many people who have not been able to rebuild. so many businesses even if their
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doors are open, it was so hard for them to get their doors open. there were no grants, there was no fema, there was nothing to help small businesses considering most of our people, our community got hit so hard, even the businesses that did reopen, we're all still down 20% to 30%. it's been hard. it's rough around here. >> you're tough in staten island. i'll come by and grab a bagel from you one of these days. >> i hope you do. >> i hope you and all your neighbors on staten island come back strong. >> i just-- >> go ahead. >> i just wanted to say that today was wasn't about super storm sandy. it was about the community, and how resilient we are, and how proud we are and what we've accomplished together. >> you're absolutely right. it's tough for a lot of people up there. but your coming back is helpful to a lot of other people. it gives them a lot of home. thank you very much. we appreciate you joining us. diana, not just bagels.
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if you're in staten island go there and try a bagel. we are unfortunately out of show for today. that's all we've got. there has been a lot of news, but we'll be back to cover more of it. that's our show for today. on wednesday the outlook for interest rates. how does it affect your life and what decisions should you make in light of potential change in interest rates or the fed continuing to put money in the economy. i'll talking to you about that wednesday. i'm ali velshi, thanks for joining us. >> what happens when social media uncovers unheard fascinating news stories? it drives discussion across america. share your story on t.v. and online. >> the stream, next, on al jazeera america.
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hi, i am lisa fletcher, and you are in the stream. it's designed to help, but many say foster care needs an overhaul. the real lives of foster parents, foster children and the system that may be failing. could you take in a child and offer care at one of the most vulnerable points in their lives? >> well, we got interested in foster care kind of by accident way back in probably 15 years ago. there was a girl, a local girl at