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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 31, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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until next time waj and i will see you online at aljazeera.com/ajamstream. ♪ good evening, everyone, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. the deadline for health care coverage. the last chance to sign up brings more glitches. obamacare, what now? our special report just ahead. under fire, allegations that general motors and now federal regulators repeatedly ignored safety issues. after a stern new warning to the world about climate change, food shortages, melting ice caps
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and rising water. plus seismic predictions perfecting an earthquake warning system. but what would it cost? ♪ >> there are now only four hours left to sign up for health insurance under the affordable care act. by midnight eastern, the white house hopes to have 7 million people registered. but the website has been struggling again today. libby casey joins us from capitol hill with more. >> it's actually healthcare.gov and it was a chaotic day for that website. it went down for scheduled maintenance around 1:00, that was expected, but it stayed down until 9:00 a.m.
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some crucial hours. they were able to get it back up and running at 9:00. and then it went down a second time, john, in the afternoon. the department of health and human services and the obama administration saying that was because there were so many people trying to jump on at the same time. people deciding to call instead of going online, they got a recorded message saying there was a very long wage because of the surge in demand. people could leave an email address or call number, and the white house said as long as you got that initial contact made, you can have an exemption. by 2:00 this afternoon, 1.6 million visits to the website, and more than 840,000 phone calls lodged just today by mid-afternoon. there was a big effort on social
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media to try to get more people involved. tweeting saying go online, get enrolled. but a lot of pushback from republicans including john boehner who cast doubt not on the website but the whole affordable care act. he said . . . >> so if people miss the deadline then they pay a fine, right? >> that's right. and they won't feel the pain until january of next year. it's a fairly modest fine for this year, it will go up, though. and then of course if you missed the deadline, what happens? you don't get another chance to enrole until november of this year. there will be a window from november to march when folks can
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restart the process all over again. it depends on whether you made the call today in order to get that process initiated. it's not just the federal website that is giving people extra time, a lot of the state exchanges are doing the same thing. >> libby thank you very much. at the bottom of the hour, much more on the federal care act. we'll talk about what the white house did right and wrong with that program. and meet a small business owner that says affordable care act is hurting the website. obamacare, what now? there are new clues pointing to what may have caused the devastating mud slide in washington state. a logging company may have cut down too many trees. sabrina has more on that.
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>> reporter: john, we spoke to the department of natural resources just a short time ago about the particular landowner who was granted a permit to cut down seven acres back in 2004. he originally applied for a permit that covered about 14 acres. he was denied that permit, then reapplied for the 7 acre permit. he was denied the 14-acre permit. because it fell within the protected area. but that's all the department of natural resources is saying about this because they have their own investigation going on. i spoke with a state forrester about landslide problems, and he said they look at factors like erosion, heavy lainfall and unstable geology of the river valley here.
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restressed that while everyone is trying to find out what happened, just focusing on the clear-cutting is not accurate. >> tell us about the search today? >> the search continued. the good news is we had fantastic weather. it has been a really stormy weekend. we had a lot of heavy rain. this is the second wettest march on record here. stormy weather lately, but very good conditions, the search continues for the other 30 missing people. they were able to open up the access road for emergency vehicles, so they are able to go in much easier now instead of having a helicopter transport them. residents cannot use that access road, so that main thoroughfare
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for them to get out of oso, or other communities for work, that road is still shut down. so a trip that might take 40 minutes is now taking upwards of 3 hours, john. >> thank you. russia may be taking steps to stabilize the situation in ukraine. vladimir putin said he is pulling back some troops from the ukrainian border in the east. officials say they have seen a drop in russian troops. tensions are escalating on the korean peninsula, exchanging hundreds of artillery fire. the south fired back, the artillery fire took place on the largest drill practice between
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south korea and the united states. john today's gm recall was to replace power steering equipment. but the topic tomorrow will be primarily on a flawed ignore switch. the house committee wants to know why it took gm three years to start recalling the cars. >> you'll see how we're expanding -- >> reporter: in marry bar -- mary berra's opening statement, she says the facts will lead them through the investigation. according to a memo released sunday by congressional invest gators, general motors knew as far back as 2001 that the car had problems.
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that is before fatal accidents or cars with the part hit the road. yet the company did not issue the first recall until 10 years later. the recalls were to replace switches that can be jostled out of position, shutting off cars and stopping air bags from working. the memo says gm approved the part in 2002 even though sample testing was below the original specifications set by gm. gm says top executives new nothing about the defective switches until january 31st of this year. the house committee will want to know how that is possible. the national safety commission
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didn't open an investigation even after receiving complaints about the problem. >> barra issued an apology and made this statement . . . gm is also feeling the heat from federal prosecutors. in the backdrop of all of this, the fact that gm's federal bailout protects the auto maker from civil suit. look for gm's ceo to issue a public apology tomorrow. and the job will be to identify and resolve product safety issues, a big day for the company tomorrow. >> thank you. a new safety mandate, all
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cars, light trucks, and buses sold in the u.s. will be required to have rear-view cameras in 2015. more than three weeks after the malaysian airlines flight 370 went missing, investigators are no closer to finding out what happened to the plane. an australian ship has now joined the search, finding the black box flight recorder is key. the batteries will likely run out of power by the end of the week. a dire warning about the impact of climate change. a un panel says it poses a major risk. >> the world's top polluters places like china, the u.s., india, cause most of the
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problems, but the poor countries will suffer the most. places like bangladesh where rising sea levels affects millions. africa will see more droughts, sparking wars for shrinking supplies of water and food. that will cause poverty and diseases to grow. europe could see more killer heat waves. the united states will see more extremes. we're already seeing less snow in the west. and the snow that does fall is melting earlier. it's especially feared in the west and the south, but the north will continue to likely see massive floods. companies and governments now seem to be taking global warming seriously. and the un says there is till time to react.
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an egyptiancourt denied bail to three al jazeera journalists today. today a man asked a judge in cairo for their release insisting the charges are fault. peter greste told the judge . . . all three men are accused of spreading false news and belonging to a terrorist group. al jazeera rejects the charges and continues to call for their release. coming up next, mayhem in new mexico. this area was devastated in the san francisco earthquake. i'll talk about a new system coming up.
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>> on al jazeera america >> techknow our experts take you beyond the lab >> there's about five million points of data >> and explore the technology changing our world. only on al jazeera america >> you don't do any good! >> after a violent confrontation between protesters in albuquerque riot police, the governor is urging people to stay calm. there have been 23 fatal police shootings since 2010, including the death of a homeless man who was shot as he appeared to be preparing to surrender. the fbi and the justice
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department are investigating the shootings there. >> reporter: friday night's 5.2 magnitude earthquake took almost everyone by surprise, but technologists in pasadena gave them a brief warning. when it comes to quakes every second counts. >> here in california one of the most seismically active parts of the united states, sine advertise -- science advertises have learned that there is a huge difference between predicting and reacting. this earthquake devastated san francisco. on this very corner a fire raged out of control, and much of the arena had to be rebuilt. the earthquake caused more than 60 deaths more than 3700 injuries and over $6 billion in
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property damage. but while we might think we're acquainted with the damage that a big earthquake can do, the truth is we have barely begun to study them. >> we have been watching earthquakes seriously for about 50 years now. and in the last 50 years of recording, we captured the important parts, well, probably not. so there's probably a lot of surprises still out there for us. >> reporter: science can't foreca forecast when an earthquake will began, but in japan, seismologists will ping your phones before an earthquake begins. this simulation of the system shows an earthquake beginning down here at the bottom of the fault about five miles into the earth's crust and slowly moving
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up the fault here towards los angeles. the red devotes the heaviest shaking. this will be a magnitude 7.8 quake. and as the pwaves hit los angeles. that's when the residents will get their warning about 1:3 minutes before the bad stuff starts. >> even with a couple of seconds there is a lot you can do. a surgeon takes the knife out of chest, but there are automatic things that can also be done. >> reporter: consider how bad earthquakes can be, and how few we have really experienced. thomas points to the years 1811 and 1812 when five earthquakes shook california and southern missouri. >> so there was very rit it
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will -- little to damage in those days, but if you move it to today, people would have a different opinion. >> reporter: it's whether we are willing to pay for the ability to predict earthquakes. a system in california would cost anywhere from 16 to $200 million to implement, and that's not taking into account the retrofitting and new construction codes that we would have to put in place. the big earthquake will happen. and the question is whether we're prepared even by a few seconds to handle it. the state legislator have passed a bill to look into a system, but put no money behind it. as one research pointed out to me, here in the united states,
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very few lawmakers have experienced an earthquake firsthand, whereas in japan and tokyo they have all experienced one. there is a un push to put the annual whale hunt in japan. >> reporter: japan's whaling program is not for scientific research and should end immediately. >> the evidence further suggests that little attention was given to the possibility of using non-lethal research methods, and funding considerations, played peril in the program's design. >> an internationally agreed
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moratorium bans whaling, and but there is an exception for scientific research. japan claims its program was just that. the international court of justice did accept that the japan's scientific objective could be legitimate. but found that the methods could not be justified, particularly the number killed. and that cast doubts on the whole scientific program. the court for the first time made it clear that the test to what is scientific doesn't depend just on one country. it depends on looking at the overall context of the treaty. i think japan, with hindsight of course made a miscalculation as to what they were entitled to. >> reporter: the big question is whether rejecting the existing
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program means it will never be able to whale again. this is a big victory for australia. the court found that the so-called scientific program was basically cover for a commercial operation was right, that japan has options. it could come up with another program that it thinks the court would accept. or it could withdrawal from the moratorium on whaling all together and start whaling again without even pretending it is for science. for now australia is celebrating, but japan's whaling program looks to be dead in the water. it was opening day for major league baseball as 26 teams took to the field today but this major league season will look like no other before. >> it has been said if you are not getting better, you are
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getting worse, and that goes for sports teams as well. >> highest temperature got to about 60 degrees -- a drive, deep right field, way back, and gone! [ cheers and applause ] >> a walk-off winner extra innings. >> reporter: now that the major league baseball season is underway, attention can finally shift to the field. they have gone through some significant changes starting with the adoption of instant replay system similar to that of the nfl. the previous replay rule only pertained to home run calls. now now it covers about 90% of all plays on the field. they have also adopted rules to try to make the game safer.
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the rule states . . . >> i don't mind if they put something into where there won't be as many collisions to where the runner is going out of the way to hit the catcher. >> reporter: they agreed on shift penalty for performance-enhancing drug violations . . . international players continue to put their footprint on the game especially when it comes to 9-figure contracts. the yankees signed the
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largest-ever contract for a japanese-born player. miguel cabrera received the most lucrative player contract in sports history. and derek jeter will play his final season after 19 years in the majors. >> derek has just been tremendous for the sport, you know, as being an ambassador of -- you know, a guy -- if your kids say, hey, i want to be liar derek, your dads and moms are going we'll take that all day long. >> reporter: his last game will be september 28th against boston. his first game this year, tomorrow. >> so they had the replay for the first time, right? >> yeah, earlier today. a couple of plays early, but the first time the call was overturned was between the
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brewers and braves. the manager for atlanta came out and challenged the call, but it only took 58 seconds, john to look at the replay in new york, relay the message back to the field in milwaukee. they got it right, because the replay clearly showed he beat him at first. there were only 377 missed calls last year, so the umpires by far get them right. >> i wonder if they like this? >> so for so good. >> all right. michael thanks very much. ahead our special report only a few hours left to sign up for healthcare coverage. many americans now have coverage because of obamacare, but millions still didn't afford it. how they struggle to get the healthcare they need. i'll talk to the tom bashel who
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has literally written the book on the health care crisis. [ male announcer ] it's here -- xfinity watchathon week, your chance to watch full seasons of tv's hottest shows for free with xfinity on demand. there's romance, face slaps, whatever that is, pirates, helicopters, pirate-copters... argh!
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>> health insurance for millions of americans, many who did not have coverage before. after years of angry debate -- >> is this a joke? >> dire predictions -- >> your current plan can no longer be offered -- >> technical troubles -- >> the real out was really bad -- >> it's not affordable -- >> the deadline to enroll has arrived. tonight what some say is working and what is not and the likely legacy of this historic law, in our special report, obamacare what now in [ applause ] >> welcome back, everyone, i'm john siegenthaler. tonight we examine what the affordable care act means for the future of health care in america. midnight eastern time is the deadline for most americans to sane up for health care or face
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financial penalty. >> reporter: this is the state of health insurance in the united states. on the last official day to sign up for new insurance for pay a fine long lines around the country, the problem-plagued website crashed twice. the administration says this is proof that the legislation was needed now the pourest will get government help to pay insurance, many in the middle class will pay more. for the program to be fiscally sound large numbers of young, healthy people need to sign up. that has been the soul focus of the admin sdrags getting celebrity endorsements. putting the president on programs watched by the young like this comedy show. >> i have to know, what is it like to be the last black president? >> seriously? what is it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a
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president. >> 33% signing up are that key demographic. experts say it needs to be closer to 40%. >> given that the democrats are politically vulnerable on this issue, i expect the administration will help out insurers if they end up with fewer young people than expected. >> reporter: to avoid that, the administration has been carefully crafting each event like this one with jill biden, the vice president's wife. the media was not allowed to talk to anyone they didn't preselect or coach. >> i hadn't looked too deep into the health coverage. >> i haven't thought about. but that is something i will look into and i have to do my math. >> reporter: this is about math for the country, program, and the people who are a part of it. it is still not clear if the
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math actually adds up. if it was, there is one other important number. 30 million. that is the number of people in america who will still not have health insurance even if the law is eventually labeled a success. patty cull han al jazeera, washington. >> for millions buying insurance is still out of reach. they don't qualify for medicaid but they are too poor for federal subsidies. >> john millions are caught in what is called the coverage gap. they don't make enough money to get the help of federal subsi subsidies, and yet they live in states that haven't signed up for the program that help with medicaid. for many that go to a clinic because it is their last hope. once a month diane brown has
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come here hoping to get care. >> this is it for anyone who doesn't have medical insurance and can't afford it, this clinic is the only way. and unfortunately it is the only one here in our area. >> reporter: the clinic serves 1700 people but has to turn away hundreds more. so it holds a monthly lottery. >> hopefully today i'm praying that i will get the lottery and be accepted. >> brown is too young for medicare and doesn't qualify for medicaid, virginia has the fourth toughest eligibility requirements in the country. >> every place i call about obamacare, it's 2, 3, $400 a month. if you only get $900 a month, you can't afford that. so this clinic is my only chance. >> if she made more money she
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could qualify for subsidies. the supreme court let the states decide whether or not to grow the program. virginia's democratic governor wants to expand medicaid, but the republican-controlled state house is fighting it, siting long-term costs. so the arlington free clinic is i havesier than ever. >> most people have families, jobs, many have one, two, three jobs, what they lack is health insurance. >> jody directs clinical administration, this resident is waiting to see if he will be chosen. >> i got here early this morning so i can get some health care assistance. i'm trying to take care of my health today, and, you know, hopefully i'll be the winner. >> reporter: some are lucky. >> n-20. >> yeah! we have a winner! >> very excited.
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the last ticket. i finally got in. >> others are not. >> it didn't work out today. but i'm glad for those who got in. >> diane brown says she will be back next month because it's her only option. >> i'm positive, looking forward and motivated. i'm just going to keep coming, because one day i'm going to get that number. >> the affordable care act may be here, but these people are more concerned with the next lottery. the federal government offered to cover 100% of that, and then drop to 90% next year. but the state said no. virginia is one of those states that is wrestling with this issue right now. >> libby thanks very much.
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tom daschle joins us tonight. senator, welcome. >> thank you, john. >> what -- after these years since the law was passed, where -- where does obamacare stand now compared to when the bill was signed? >> you start with about 315 million people covered with new protections that they never had before. you can no longer drop somebody because of preexisting condition, women won't be charged more than men, seniors don't have to worry about the big disparity between prescription prices. in addition to young people who have been able to sign up on their parent's plan. that's all in addition to the medicaid and the exchange coverage that you have been talking about if your report so far? >> so would you say this law worked?
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>> absolutely. did it work perfectly well? no, not even close. did it work well enough to get us started, to really start putting together a new paradigm for healthcare in america? absolutely. >> all right. so what happens next? >> what happens next are three things. first of all we have to make sure that all of those who are signed up can get the kind of coverage and service that we need, and we have to make sure we don't break through the demographic problems that you described. we want to make sure that young people are a part of this process to keep premiums as low as possible. and third, we have prepared for a new enrollment. that's in addition to working on new price and delivery systems that were part of the bill as well. >> how bad did it hurt the president when he claimed that americans would be able to keep their healthcare coverage, keep
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their healthcare plans and then many of it lost it when the law was passed? did that have a big impact on how people viewed the new law? >> well, i think it gave opponents another opening, but, you know, when you are talking about the numbers, talking about less than 1% of the people that -- that were -- were promised and couldn't sign up for a new plan, so a very, very small number percentage wise, ultimately that has been resolv resolved. people have the opportunity to get care and in most cases far better care and a better price. >> are you concerned that republicans will try to dismantle this law. >> they have voted i think 60 times to repeal the law. by 2016 i think you'll have probably 20 million people on the exchanges and that simply will be an impossibility in the next coming years.
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>> have enough young people signed up? >> we won't know that for a while. we have at a minimum about 25%. we wanted higher. i think it will be higher than that, but we won't have those figures for the next couple of weeks. >> you have been worked on telehealth. can you explain that. >> that's provides doctors and nurses with an opportunity through electronic devices to work with people in their homes and in rural and isolated settings really to do things that we never dreamed possible just a few years ago. just another break through in a very transformtive time for health care in america. >> will it save money? >> it will dramatically. could be as much as 50 to 60%. dramatically bringing down the cost per visit and ultimately improving the quality as well. >> you also i believe have
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proposed a federal reserve like health board, do you still indoers that idea? >> absolutely. we have too much inefficiency. we need to coordinate our marketplace a lot more effectively. we have no way to do that today. >> there was a story in the paper the other day that suggested that hospitals are really going to move in on insurance companies, and right try to eliminate health insurance companies in america, and take their place in some ways. what do you think of that? >> i think you are going to see -- all of the entities in health care evolve into things that they are not today. i think insurance companies could become hospitals, and -- and -- and health delivery companies. i think health delivery companies could be insurance companies. so you are going to see an evolution and blending of these
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roles in the next several years. >> if you were the secretary of health and human services how would you have handled this differently? >> i'm not going to second-guess the secretary. i think she has done a phenomenal job. this has been a difficult time, but she has to feel very good tonight. >> i mean, you know, the system broke down again today, just a reminder of the difficulty that one website can cause an enormous health care law. >> i have used commercial sites that have broken down as well. that's not uncommon for services of any kind. obviously they had an enormous amount of volume today far more than we have ever had before. it has held up pretty well and they got back on their feet fairly quickly. so it's an indication that despite of the volume, they are able to deal with numbers that would have been impossible just
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a year ago. >> senator thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> the gold -- goal of the affordable care act is to increase the number of americans who have health insurance. in . . . the white house says 6 million americans signed up just this weekend, and about a third of those people had no previous insurance whatsoever. this law has created a lot of criticism from its inception. >> i have to wonder how i'm going to pay these bills and get medicine. >> but for some it has been a lifesaver. >> i don't know if my kids would have a mother. i don't know if my husband would have a wife. >> the personal impact of obamacare in our first person report tonight. ♪
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>> an al jazeera special report. obamacare, what now? >> after a bumpy start the website is limping towards tonight's deadline, but many state-run exchanges are still trying to get off of the ground. richelle carey is back with more. >> when this started states had a chance. for states who chose to go on their own, it has been a mixed report card. states have had different expenses with the new law. 27 states allow the federal government to run their healthcare exchanges. 16 in washington, d.c. operate their own. and seven states use a hybrid.
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operating a marketplace has worked out well for some states and been a challenge for others. in california more than 1 million people have signed up. that's the highest in the coup try. new york is second on the list. hundreds of thousands have now signed up. but elsewhere the new law has been more headache than blessing. at the bottom of the list, hawaii. perhaps because they already had a state-run insurance program. residents in oregon still cannot buy coverage entirely online. of the 50,000 that have managed to sign up, most filled out paper glitches. a few states like oregon, maryland, and massachusetts are considering abandoning their own programs and turning to the federally run healthcare.gov. some states are now calling
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washington for advise on how to make their exchanges run better despite the troubled rollout of healthcare.gov. >> rashel thank you. >> you bet. >> there are statistics, calculations, emotions, feelings one woman in new orleans has been facing try to pay her medical bills. ben has that story. >> reporter: pouring over bills is concerning for melinda who struggles just to make ends meet. i think how am i going to pay them? what was going to get paid this month. >> reporter: diagnosed with a common and painful health treatment for women, her treatment is expensive and she doesn't have health insurance. >> i need to get insurance so i can proceed with having the
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tumors removed. >> reporter: she went to an enrollment center in new orleans, and the best quote she got was nearly $300 a month. >> for a single parent like myself with the expenses i have, it's not affordable. for the moment i'm stuck. >> reporter: but for others here, the city health department is still urging people to sign up. >> we have had a citizen tell us that their insurance may be as low as in some cases 25 to $50 per month. >> reporter: but some say after years of being denied, they can actually finally afford insurance now. under the affordable care act, this man got a policy for about a hundred dollars a month. >> i have a five year old, so i have got to get her in it, and
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with me being in the job status that i am in now, i have to have it for her. >> we would love for everyone who is eligible to take advantage of the opportunity, and realize if you don't, there will be this period of time that you won't have access. >> after march 31st there won't be access until next fall. >> it makes me wonder, because i have to wonder how i'm going to pay these bills. how i'm going to get medicine. >> reporter: until she can find a better option, she'll have to rely on an emergency room and being billed at rates she knows she weren't afford. >> steven is the president of 42 holdings, a company specializing in moving and hauling. >> while well intentioned this affordable care act proposes a serious threat to my business's ability to continue providing a
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fun, enthusiastic work atmosphere and quality jobs for people who want them and deserve them. >> steven joins us live from new york now. welcome. >> thank you. >> what impact did this have on your business? >> the biggest point of the affordable care act is not so much the act itself, it's what it has been doing to small businesses and the change from the 40 hour workweek to 30 hour workweek. >> explain. >> when you take 40 hours and you now reduce them down to 30 hours, i have the majority of my part-time workers now when you make -- force the mandate on a small business owner, someone like myself who has over 50 employees and is on a ramp-up phase, we're now stuck with over 10% of excess fees to the bottom line of our labor costs.
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>> so what were you forced to choose between? did you cut back on part-time employees? >> well, john that's exactly what i did. i actually started adding more work to my full-time employees and taking away a good portion and not even hiring the part-time employees who were still putting in that solid 27 to 32 hours in fear of what may happen in a year or two, we must plan ahead. >> right. so you were concerned about hiring anymore full-time people. you want to continue with the part-time folks because you don't know what is going to happen in the future. >> it is the opposite for me. i'm looking towards more full-time by less employees. i'm part of the job creator's network, and here i am reducing the amount of jobs, and all i want to be is a job creator. >> so -- are there things about
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the act that you like or not? >> well, number one it is obvious that our national healthcare system is broken. there are people in great need of well to do healthcare coverage. the issue is is that the majority of people are employed by small business owners. these type of mandates affect the small business owner who is providing 72% of the jobs out there, and when you have a report that comes out that says 64% of franchise owners, and 53% of non-franchise-owning businesses say that they are in -- feel uncomfortable and feel their business will be hurt by the affordable care act. >> so was your business hurt -- did you lose money as result? >> you lose money when you
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increase cost. we must make a profit. the only way we grow is by churning an aggressive profit. when we lose that profit it hurts. i am not a large corporation, and when you place someone like myself into the realm of a large business -- that just can't be done -- >> how much did you lose? >> over 32%. >> as a direct result of the affordable care act. >> going forward our prediction is we will lose 32% if we are forced to have all of our employees covered under a health care policy. >> stephen it's great to have you on the program. thank you for sharing your story. >> thank you, john. erin was diagnosed with lupus in 2010 an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks healthy tissues.
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in tonight's first person report she says obamacare has saved her and her family. >> the affordable care act for my family has been -- it's hard to put into words, because it has been a lifesaver. when i became ill the bills started coming in, and they didn't stop. they just kept coming even with good insurance the bills kept coming, and it took away -- it was so frightening -- it takes away that peace of mind where you think you have insurance and everything is going to be okay because you have insurance, but as it turns out, you can still paying a tremendous amount of money out of pocket, so peace of mind for us, really was with the affordable care act when we switched over it absolutely changed everything. it was such better coverage that it took us from probably having
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to pay about $20,000 out of pocket to saving $20,000. we did everything an american family is supposed to do. we had savings put away. we had family and support to help us. we had good insurance -- my husband and i were both working full-time, doing everything you are supposed to do, and still with all of that, we were -- it was a deluge of bills and medical debt to the point where we thought we were going to lose our home. we had no idea how we were going to live paycheck to paycheck and pay all of these medical bills and it was scary, there was a point where some of these medications were so cost prohibitive that the doctor was recommending other medications as substitutes so i would afford it. my body needed the big guns -- the really good
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medication, and without it, i -- i don't know if my kids would have a mother. i don't know if my husband would have a wife. >> some of the healthcare stories we heard today. and on this final day of enrollment, our picture of the day is from los angeles, a woman and her 3-year-old daughter at one of the enrollment events held across the country. they were signing up for health insurance under the affordable care act. richelle will have the headlines in just a moment.
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>> al jazzera america presents... on al jazeera america welcome to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey here are tonight's top stories. the headline to sign up for health insurance for the affordable care act is just hours away. the white house says more than 6
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million people have already enrolled. 1.2 million visits the website this weekend, and high traffic volume skauzed the site to crash at least three times today. the ceo of gm faces a constructional hearing tomorrow. she'll answer questions about faulty parts linked to at least a dozen deaths. gm recalled another 1.5 million vehicles today because of an electric power steering problem. angela merkel and vladimir putin spoke on the phone today in what could be a sign the russian president is trying to stabilize the crisis in ukraine. he said he is pulling back some troops. three more people have been confirmed dead in the mud slide in washington. the total now at 24. authorities are looking into whether illegal logging may have
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raised the risk of mud slides in that area. those are the headlines. i'm richelle carey. "america tonight" with joie chen is up next, and you can always get the latest news on our website. that is aljazeera.com. >> >> on "america tonight", a major develop in the search for ralisha. investigators believe the man accused of kidnapping the 8-year-old is dead. where is she? >> in the thick of it - the strength of neighbours - hurting but hunting for the missions. >> you are mindful of how logs are stacked. someone could be underneath it, it's intense. >> and also a "america tonight" special series "your s

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