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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  November 14, 2013 2:00pm-3:31pm PST

2:00 pm for videos, blogs and extras. we also have a page on facebook. i'm jake tapper. join us tomorrow at 4:00 eastern for my interview with actor and activist matt damon. i turn you over to wolf blitzer right next door in "the situation room." happening now, the president opens up. >> i'm not a perfect man and i will not be a perfect president. >> an apology and a proposed fix. can it save obama care? i'll talk to an insurance industry insider who says the president's plan could destabilize the market and make matters even worse. plus, debating the obama care debacle. congresswoman michele bachmann getting ready to square off against paul begala. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." it's a snowballing debacle that has the white house under fire and under pressure from all
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sides right now. today, president obama took center stage accepting blame for the crisis plaguing obama care and offering a fix for one of the most controversial provisions that's resulted already in millions of people having their insurance plans canceled. but it's far from certain whether the president's fix will work. some say it could make matters even worse. our senior white house correspondent brianna keilar begins our coverage this hour. brianna, tell our viewers what the president said. >> reporter: first off, president obama was extraordinarily candid as he addressed his broken health insurance promise that if you like your plan, you can keep it. a remarkable admission from president obama. >> we fumbled the rollout on this health care law. >> reporter: as he unveiled his plan to help americans who have been kicked off their health insurance policies stay on them for another year. >> this fix won't solve every problem for every person, but it's going to help a lot of
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people. >> reporter: after mounting political pressure, he took the blame head-on. >> that's on me. >> reporter: trying to deflect criticism from vulnerable democrats in congress, saying he feels deeply responsible. >> there is no doubt that our failure to roll out the aca smoothly has put a burden on democrats, whether they're running or not. because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin. >> reporter: the president admitted he overpromised and was uninformed. >> i'm accused of a lot of things, but i don't think i'm stupid enough to go around saying this is going to be like shopping on amazon or travelocity a week before the website opens if i thought that it wasn't going to work. >> reporter: he did not dismiss a suggestion that the insular nature of his white house contributed to the failure.
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>> there's going to be a lot of evaluation of how we got to this point and i assure you that i have been asking a lot of questions about that. >> reporter: he addressed his personal credibility as polls show it's at an all-time low. >> i am not a perfect man and i will not be a perfect president. my pledge to the american people is we will solve the problems that are there. we are going to get it right. and the affordable care act is going to work for the american people. >> reporter: but the political battle over the president's most important domestic policy achievement is far from over, and tonight, insurance companies, the insurance industry, is raising questions about how practically this fix can be implemented, saying that it will create instability in the market and could also result in higher premiums, more expensive premiums, for americans purchasing insurance on the exchanges. >> brianna keilar at the white house, you are absolutely right. thanks very much. washington state, by the way, is
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already rejecting the president's plan. the insurance commissioner in washington state says it's too late right now. he says his state will stay the course. almost 300,000 washington state residents will have to get new policies. a top insurance industry trade association says the president's fix could actually destabilize the insurance market. karen ignani is joining us right now, chief executive officer of the american health insurance industry, chief representative here in washington. thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. >> do you agree with what the president said today? >> well, we have some concerns about today and essentially what it boils down to is this is changing the rules in the ninth inning of the baseball game. the reason is that what the plans have already submitted their premiums with the expectation that there's a mix of older and younger people, healthy and sick, to balance the pools so that we can have affordable rates for consumers.
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what it boils down to today, we're concerned about the issue of affordability for consumers. >> so are your members going to go along with this so-called fix the president put forward today? >> the decisions are up to state insurance commissioners, as you know. they regulate health insurance marketplaces across the country in 50 states. they will make decisions. some of them have already indicated they are moving in certain directions. but they will be the decision makers here in terms of what are the rules of the game in a particular state. >> is it doable, if you say this is the ninth inning of a baseball game and they want to rewrite the rules, is it practical? is it doable? >> well, you are getting to the issue that our members are very concerned about. we have -- let me go back by comparison. i think you've covered very well over the years that states try to construct risk pools, try to reform their insurance markets, and what we saw in states where there were only older and sicker people entering the risk pools,
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the markets blew up. no one wants that. we don't want that. our top priority is to get affordable coverage to all americans. >> did you express these concerns to the white house before the president went public with his plan today? >> well, i think you know us very well. we're not shy about expressing concerns about a range of things, both with the administration and on capitol hill. we're continuing to do that. and we are now looking at the proposal and we want to talk about what the impact is, because we had the same goals consumers have. we want to give them affordable coverage. everyone wants that. >> a lot of experts are fearful this could cause what they call this death spiral of the entire affordable care act. could this entire program be derailed? >> well, the issue is what's going to happen to the risk pools. who will join, what kind of mix of older and younger, sicker and healthier will occur. that's what we are expressing concerns about today. >> what's your analysis? >> our analysis is that we're
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concerned. we think that there are strategies that can be adopted to help mitigate this and we think they need to be looked at very carefully, because we're concerned about -- we don't want to make the past prologue. we don't want to have a situation that occurred in the states that you just a moment talked about occur here. no one wants that. americans don't want that. they want affordable coverage. they want to get into the system. they want to know they can stay there and purchase affordable coverage. >> how many people have lost their health insurance plans, plans they may have liked, as a result of the affordable care act? >> well, the thing about the individual market that you should keep in mind is that there's a lot of what is called churning in this market, meaning that people will buy coverage in the individual market, buying it on their own or a family will buy it, then they will go and get a job with an employer, they will be recruited by an employer, they will have employer coverage, they will leave the market. a young individual will buy
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coverage after they're 26 and will be 27, 28, 29, they will get a job, they will leave the individual market, go into the employer market. that explains why we see such dramatic change in this market every year. about two-thirds of the market changes every year. >> what's the number of people that have lost their insurance policies because of the affordable care act? >> well, there's no way to know because you have to know on a state by state market by market basis. so there's no one number that -- >> california supposedly a million people lost their policies in california. you have seen all the numbers. >> i have, of course. the only reason that plans are sending notes to consumers about losing coverage is because of the requirements of the new legislation. the requirements of the new
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legislation require us to offer products that are more comprehensive than what people buy today so that's following the rules. i think that one of the things we're very concerned about is now that they followed the rules, they have submitted their premiums, the rules are going to be changed and we don't know the impact on the market of those changes. who will come in, will it be that balance of younger and healthier. and we have been talking about this for a number of weeks now. about concerns in this area. >> do you feel the president misled you and your organization? >> i'm not into blame game, wolf. i'm into trying to solve a problem. first diagnosing a problem, solving a problem. so we're concerned, we can see based on what happened in the state arena, we can see insurance commissioners expressing concern, so there's reason to express concern. now the question is what to do about it. that's what we're focusing on. >> you heard the president and a lot of his top aides and supporters call these plans, these individual health
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insurance plans that have been canceled, now he wants them to come back in order to keep that commitment, but he basically says these are junk plans that writ on by and large, for e the most part. when you hear the president of the united states say that about your health insurance plans, these individual health insurance plans, what's your response? >> well, my response is that people are buying in the market what they have chosen to purchase. that's number one. on 1-1-14, what people are able to purchase changes dramatically. it's different from what they have purchased today. so those are the rules. the plans have followed those rules and i think it's very important now for us to look at the implications of what changes have been made. >> this is by no means a done deal. you got a lot of work to do. karen, thanks very much. >> thanks, wolf. up next, more on the president's remarkable news conference today. did he say enough, is it too late to recover? our political experts are standing by. and she's one of obama care's sharpest critics.
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republican congresswoman michele bachmann. she's getting ready to debate right here in "the situation room" our political commentator paul begala. plus, new alleged secret service misconduct allegations involving a woman's hotel room and a bullet. ♪ ♪ ♪
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nthat's why they deserve... aer anbrake dance. get 50% off new brake pads and shoes. a blunt and very candid news conference by president obama today admitting his own frustration, fumbled the obama care launch. he also proposed a controversial fix that would allow some people to keep their existing insurance plans for one more year, but insurers are not required to do it and there is concern it could destabilize the entire program. let's get some analysis. joining us, our chief political analyst gloria borger. the new republic senior editor jonathan kohn is joining us from ann arbor, michigan and our cnn political commentator, ross douthat. gloria, you have an excellent column in which you write no one
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was really in charge so no one knew for sure how bad t alre s, what's more and perhaps more teing, no one want even to ht to the president thahis techno-savvy administration possibly had a website stuck in say 1995. >> i'm not sure if it's '90 or '95. >> they had three years to get this website ready. >> they did. what i was writing about is sort of trying to answer the question how come nobody told the president. i believe he didn't know the whole story. what i discovered in reporting this is that nobody likes to give this president bad news, period. nobody likes to give any president bad news, but this is a no drama white house. people are very silo'ed in their jobs. they stay in their lane, as they say, in this administration. so you don't want to cross over into anybody else's lane even if you hear something's going wrong, because then it looks like you're being a tattle-tale and they don't want that. they don't encourage it and as a
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result, everybody had bits and pieces of this. nobody in charge, nobody saw the full picture. >> the president acknowledged it today. i will play the clip again. listen to the president. this is one of these sound bites that will hover over this president for a long time. >> there are going to be ups and downs during the course of my presidency. i think i said early on when i was running i am not a perfect man and i will not be a perfect president. >> is that enough? >> well, no. but there's nothing that's enough. the reason that this press conference was a bit of a sort of rolling fiasco is there really isn't anything to be said at this point except that we're going to fix the website. a lot of what we've seen happen over the last week or so with these various ideas floated in congress that would allow people to theoretically keep plans that have already been canceled, they are just dancing around the central issue, which is that the entire system depends on people, people who don't have insurance
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now, people who already have insurance being able to actually access the product, and the insurance representative you had on was exactly right. it is all about the risk pool, who is in the pool, how many people and so on. there's no way, i mean, the system is designed to take people -- >> let me bring jonathan into this conversation. you have been doing some excellent reporting in the new republic. is it fixable? this fix the president came up with today, trying to recreate what he said so many times, if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan, is this really realistic? washington state, the insurance commissioner there, has already said they're not going forward with it. >> well, it's hard to fix. ross is right when he describes the way health care reform is supposed to work. it's basically trying to create a level playing field where everybody gets a decent set of benefits and everybody can buy insurance even if they have pre-existing conditions. a lot of people have bought
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insurance that doesn't live up to those standards and move them into a new market, you know, some of them are going to end up paying more than they do. now, it's not as many as sometimes is commonly assumed. you hear ten million people are in this market, eight million are getting letters. well, it's only a fraction of them who are actually going to end up paying more and you know, some of them may want to pay more because of the better benefits they are going to get. but there are people who will end up paying more. they may get less than they have now. they're not happy about it. there is tinkering you can do. i think what the president was trying to do was two things. he was number one to take an administrative step, to do what he can do on his own to help some people. i don't think it's going to reach a lot of these people but it might make some difference. the part of it -- >> hold on for one second. i want to get gloria's take. republicans, i got to tell you, are so energized right now. they think they have the president and the democrats right on the ropes right now. they want to pounce.
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>> think back to where we were during the shutdown, okay? during the shutdown -- >> let's not. >> democrats were energized, the republicans were publicly humiliated during the shutdown. now, here you are, the democrats are feeling like their credibility is on the line. it's not just the president's credibility or the president's competency. it's their credibility. it's their competency. this is on the line. they have told the president privately and you heard the president today publicly, i never heard him so contrite. most people do their therapy in private. i think he did it kind of publicly here. and they are upset about it because they look like they didn't know what they were doing. >> he hasn't fired anybody, has he? >> and this is where gloria's reporting is very telling, right, that whatever else this is, set aside the sort of liberal versus conservative policy debate. this is a massive administrative failure that is threatening his entire presidency and the democratic party's central
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agenda item, and i understand that he doesn't want to fire someone in the middle of this -- what is undoubtedly an absolutely insane effort to get this website up and running and perhaps that's the right call. but in terms of the public -- >> eventually he will. >> jonathan, tomorrow in the house of representatives, fred upton, the republican congressman from michigan, has got legislation, i assume all the republicans, virtually all of them, bunch of democrats maybe even will vote in favor of it. you say this is a wrecking ball that won't reform the system. the affordable care act. it will destroy it. why? >> that's right. basically what the upton bill, what house republicans are going to vote tomorrow is they're going to say you know what, not only do we want to help people who have plans keep the plans they have, but we basically want to let insurers keep selling policies the way they used to do it so they don't have to sell to people with pre-existing conditions. and they can keep selling these policies that have these huge gaps that leave people exposed to massive bills when they go to the hospital, and basically, undermine what the law is trying to do. so you know, he doesn't admit
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that. this is not what he advertises the bill. but this is not just a bill to let people keep their insurance policies. it's also a bill to keep all the parts of the health care system that nobody likes. he wants to restore the status quo. >> and democrats will vote for it, ironically. >> we'll see how many. we'll see how many vote for it. we'll see how many vote for it. i'm not so sure they will vote for it. >> they're worried. >> i would be worried, too. >> even if it passes the house, it's not going to necessarily pass the senate. but even if it were to pass the senate, i don't think it would, the president would veto it so -- but it's a political -- >> this is part of what the president, what they're doing is trying to make sure that you don't get in the scenario where the white house does nothing and something veto-proof passes both houses which is unlikely. but it's something they're trying to forestall. >> that's why they want to do it administratively as opposed to legislation although they would support some form of legislation. >> we'll see how this works out in the next few days. see if they can get that website working optimally by the end of this month. that's a big issue.
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guys, thanks very, very much. when we come back, she's one of the president's fiercest critics of obama care. there she is, republican congresswoman michele bachmann. she is going to be here in "the situation room" and will debate one-on-one paul begala, the democratic strategist. and a bullet reportedly left behind by one of the president's senior secret service agents in a woman's room inside a hotel a block away from the white house. we have details on a new secret service investigation that is now underway. sfx: oil gushing out of pipe. sfx: birds chirping. [ male announcer ] how could switchgrass in argentina, change engineering in dubai,
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there's a new report about a bullet allegedly left behind in a woman's hotel room by a senior secret service agent on the president's detail. this comes just over a year since the agency was hit by a massive prostitution scandal. brian todd has been working the story for us and has got the dramatic details. what do we know? >> this is now the subject of an internal secret service investigation. the agency was trying to clean up its act following a prostitution scandal last year but now new allegations of
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misconduct, this time involving elite secret service agents and women. they are the agents closest to the president, ready to take a bullet to save his life. now two of them are under investigation for alleged misconduct. according to the "washington post" a senior supervisor in the elite presidential protective detail of the secret service was discovered trying to re-enter a woman's hotel room after accidentally leaving a bullet from his service weapon in that room. i asked larry johnson, a former agent in that same protective detail, about the agent taking a bullet out of his gun. >> that's very unusual. not something that is taught or trained. >> reporter: the incident happened in may at the upscale hay adams hotel across the street from the white house. the "post" reports the investigation led to a search of the agent's blackberry. one law enforcement source tells cnn that supervising agent and another one were discovered to have left sexually suggestive e-mails to a female government
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employee, but another source tells us there was nothing explicitly suggestive in those e-mails. the investigation follows the secret service scandal in the spring of last year, when agents hired prostitutes before a presidential trip to cartagena, colombia. the head of the secret service later stepped down and the agency appointed its first ever female director. there is an inspector general's report due soon on whether that's all part of the culture at the secret service. is it a macho culture and is that to blame? >> i don't think so. the physical fitness piece, the staying mentally sharp piece, it all can be described as looking as macho but it's really about staying focused and sometimes is confused for being macho. i think it's a posture that most agents need to have to do their job. >> reporter: now a senator involved in overseeing the secret service says one of the agents involved in this latest incident had investigated the
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carta cartagena case. >> one of them we came to find out was involved in that incident and interviewed secret service personnel. >> senator ron johnson says that's like the fox guarding the hen house. the secret service didn't respond to that but sent us a statement saying the agency takes allegations of improper behavior seriously and will work to investigate them. we have the names of the agents but are not identifying them. they have not responded to our calls and e-mail. the agent who left the bullet has been removed from his position. the other remains on the president's detail. >> what a story that is. thanks very much for that. turning now to an innovator, a visionary, a trail blazer. talking about ted turner. he didn't just put cnn on the map. he changed television news as we know it. in our new cnn documentary "ted turner, the maverick man" i spent some quality time with my former boss, the man who gave me my start here at cnn 23 years ago.
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>> who thought the world needed 24/7 news? >> i did. >> he changed tv news forever. >> most of my colleagues thought ted was nuts. >> sailing, media, environment, the united nations. >> a billion's a good round number. >> you changed the world. >> yeah, i know. >> they called him captain outrageous. and the mouth of the south. >> there is no cut-off between the brain and the mouth with ted. >> ted was a little unorthodox, a little unpredictable. >> he built a media empire. he won the america's cup. >> got to go as fast as we can here. >> the world series. >> he put the atlanta braves organization on the map. >> and the heart of jane fonda. >> i will never love anyone like
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i love him. >> before his world came crashing down. >> it's been a very painful experience, obviously. >> a journey like no other. >> the fact that he was taken off that focus allowed him to go to the next important phase of his life, the third act. >> you can see the full documentary, the one-hour documentary "ted turner the maverick man" this sunday night, 7:00 p.m. eastern. replayed 1:00 a.m. eastern right here on cnn. truly, truly amazing man. coming up, she's one of obama care's sharpest critics. republican congresswoman michele bachmann is here in "the situation room" to debate our own political commentator, paul begala. plus, vulgar new comments coming from the toronto mayor who admitted to smoking crack cocaine. what he now says, and the fresh batch of allegations against him. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
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another shocking turn in the media fire storm surrounding the mayor of toronto, rob ford apologizing today again for using extremely vulgar language after being hit with a new round of allegations. cnn's paula newton is joining us from toronto with the latest information. so what is the latest, paula? >> reporter: the latest is that he says new and fresh allegations against him for smoking crack cocaine, allegedly being with profstitutes, all untrue, he says. that just got the fireworks going at city hall. a shocking set of events. take a listen. >> watch my wife! >> reporter: there is good reason some are calling it crazy time. toronto mayor rob ford shoving his way out of his office, defiant and angry, trying to get his wife through a chaotic crush of journalists. >> why would you subject your
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family to this? >> reporter: the back story? ford came out swinging first thing thursday morning announcing that the fresh allegations of him using cocaine, driving drunk and being with prostitutes are all lies and he is suing his former staff members. >> that is outright lies. that is not true. you know what, it hurts my wife when they're calling a friend of mine a prostitute. she is not a prostitute. she's a friend and it makes me sick how people are saying this. >> reporter: the mayor says he was seeing red at this point and went on in the most vulgar of ways about allegations he wanted to have oral sex with a former staffer. >> olivia said [ bleep ]. i never said that in my life to her. i'm happily married. >> ladies and gentlemen, i want to apologize for my graphic remarks this morning. >> reporter: and so just hours later, flanked by his wife and
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his lawyer, he apologized. >> i have been under tremendous, tremendous stress. the stress is largely of my own making. i have apologized and i have tried to move forward. this has proven to be almost impossible. the revelations yesterday of cocaine, escorts and prostitution has pushed me over the line. and i used unforgiveable language and again, i apologize. >> reporter: over the line or over the edge? several times today, mayor ford seemed unable to cope with all his personal and political troubles. but is he stepping down? not a chance. the mayor is doubling down, announcing he and his brother doug will be hosting a tv show
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beginning next week. you know what was a real eye-opener today was seeing his wife renata at his side. she doesn't enjoy the media, is rarely at any public events and that includes any events he's done as mayor in non-controversial times. she's much more concerned about putting their children on a school bus than being here trying to defend her husband with vulgar comments. she didn't make any comments but did want to be by her husband's side. unfortunately, got up an incredible media circus here. >> i can only imagine. thanks very much. this just coming in to cnn. a bizarre incident in the skies above florida. the pilot of a small single engine plane made a distress call to air traffic controllers reporting that a man had actually fallen from the aircraft. here's part of that call. >> mayday, mayday, mayday. >> you said you had a passenger that fell out of your plane? >> that's correct, sir. he opened the back door and he
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fell out of the plane. >> wow. it's not known how the passenger fell out of the plane, which did land safely, by the way. a search team is on the scene. police are questioning the pilot. when we get more, we will let you know. just ahead, as troubles mount for obama care, republicans are offering alternatives. i'll talk about that and more with congresswoman michele bachmann. she is getting ready to debate paul begala. [ imitating car engine ] that's mine. ♪ that's mine. that's mine. ♪ come on, kyle. ♪ [ horn honks ] that's mine...kyle. [ male announcer ] revenge is best served with 272 horses. get the best offers of the season now. lease this 2014 ats for around $299 a month with premium care maintenance included. ♪
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president obama's proposing a fix to the obama care provision that's caused millions of people to have their current plans canceled, but his proposal does come with some serious risk. cnn's tom foreman is here to explain. tell our viewers what we need to know. >> wolf, obama care has always been a house of cards. i don't mean that in terms of weakness, but in the sense that each part of it relies on the next part to remain standing.
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to get voters on board, most with insurance, the white house promised lower cost and higher quality care, right here, to get that required insurance companies to cooperate and to get that, the insurance companies told everyone -- we were told that everyone who is uninsured would be forced to buy insurance, creating a lot of new customers. as long as all of these cards are standing firm, obama care in theory works. so what did the president do today? he fiddled with the cards. he jiggled them a little bit to try to deal with what's happening right now and that could affect this whole equation. let's look at the positive first. it could strengthen support among voters over here. polls show that their confidence in the president is not very good right now based on this idea that he didn't keep his word about people keeping their insurance. 52% saying he's not trustworthy. this could be affected by this and it could be made better by his move. but what if we move over here and talk about the insurance
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company. it is not clear so much how the stability is settling in here. we don't know how many companies are going to go along as some of your guests have told you, wolf, whether they can resurrect the policy they have been canceling, whether the state insurance commissioners will go along with this, will accept all of that change, and all of that could affect this card. remember that the insurance companies only said they would lower the cost and provide better care because they were going to get all these customers over here. if they are not sure, if they think through all of this in any way they fear the move today will delay that process or let the healthy ones slip away into something else instead of reinsuring under obama care, then that could get shaky, too. so in the shifting of the cards, this does not mean that this whole program right now is somehow in trouble. in the best case scenario, everything will settle down here, everything will move forward, and the move today will help solve things. but in the worst case, the worst case, more stumbles follow and
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then you reach the point where eventually, the whole thing comes tumbling right down. wolf, we are not at this point yet, but this is the reason that washington was so excited today and so exercised today over what the president did, is it a fix or is it another step down a very, very shaky road. >> we'll know eventually. all right, tom, good explanation. thank you. let's continue the conversation right now. joining us, our cnn political commentator, paul begala and republican congresswoman, michele bachmann of minnesota. guys, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. >> the president obviously is trying to fix the broken promise he made to the american people. did he go far enough? >> well, i think so. i think tom's report was just great because you do have to be really careful to keep all the moving parts together. but now he's got this administrative fix that doesn't even take a law that allows people if they have these policies, to keep them. the truth is, 85% of us, that first card that tom showed us, we have insurance, we don't have to go on a website, we're not
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getting cancellation letters but guess what, we no longer can be canceled for pre-existing conditions. we now actually are getting rebates. i have already gotten one. i can carry my college age son now who is over 21. my mama gets mammograms on medicare, my dad has the doughnut hole closing. the big winners are the people who don't have to do anything, who already have insurance. >> go ahead, congresswoman. >> remember, the big problem that the president had is he had made a promise if you like your plan, you can keep it. five million people have gotten cancellation notices. they expect that number could go up to about 15 million people who get the letters. what did the president do today? he essentially ordered insurance companies to send another letter, and the letter would say look, our plans aren't very great, go to the government, maybe you'll like their plan better. so in other words, none of these companies, not one, has to again reoffer that insurance plan, so where i think the democrats are going to be in trouble is you're still probably going to have somewhere between five and 15
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million with canceled plans and very few places to go. >> it's up to the insurance commissioners in each state to approve this fix the president put forward. washington state already 300,000 people are being told they're not going to approve it in washington state. >> the more important fix is to fix the technology washington state already 300,000 people are being told they're not going to approve it in washington state. >> the more important fix is to fix the technology on the website so those folks can go and see, wait a minute, i can get more for my money through these exchanges. a lot of these policies are not worth the paper they're written on. health insurance policies that don't cover hospitalization. >> you're talking about current plans that people have today. >> yes. it's a rip-off -- not all of them. some are good. >> to the people who purchase these plans, and have used them, apparently they like them. so maybe the government doesn't think these are great plans, you but the individual consumers out
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in the real world where people live, they think they're good plans. the president promised, maybe you don't think it's good, but people do, the president if you like it, you can keep it. maybe not. >> first after insurance companies churn in the individual market, nothing to do with obama care. >> isn't that the point? it's not static. it's a dynamic market. let that market work for ma people want. >> surely you don't want someone to sell an insurance policy that doesn't even cover hospitalization or doctors' visits? >> shouldn't that be up to the regulators to decide what -- >> we don't let the individual states decide what's a car? >> he himself said the insurance regulators in each state decide if this fix is worth while. >> that's fine. he's for a lot of flexibility. each teem he puts flexibility in, republicans attack him. >> hardly.
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that's what we want, is complete flexibility. >> given the alternative there are americans with no health insurance, if they get sick, their kids get sick, they go to the emergency room. that's very expensive. it's an awful way to deal in this industrialized country with so many people who don't have health insurance. >> it is. >> what is the republican proposal to fix it? >> how many minutes do we have? >> one proposal. >> one proposal is let every american have the freedom to buy any policy they want anywhere in the united states. today we have a monopoly. it's like a wall is built in my state of minnesota and your state, and you can't buy a policy outside of your state. that's madness. let people buy a policy anywhere they want, have the freedom to do it. >> so 40 million people would get health insurance -- >> you asked me for one part of that. also how about associated health plans? how about letting people set aside as much money they want
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tax-free, and buy the policy of your choice that works if you're a single man, if you're a single mom, or if you're a senior citizen with health problems. >> unless you have a single preexisting condition. what do you do about the millions of americans who got cancellations letters for the last 5, 10, 15, 20 years, because they committed a sin with a child with if asth ma. i have to take a quick break. >> i've got a great answer. come back, you won't want to miss it. when we come back, she's got an answer to that question. we'll be right back. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at but with less energy, moodiness, and a low sex drive,y first. i saw my doctor. a blood test showed it was low testosterone, not age. we talked about axiron. the only underarm low t treatment that can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men.
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final days for our lowest price ever on c4 queen mattress sets-just $1299. plus special financing until 2015. only at one of our 425 sleep number stores nationwide. sleep number. comfort individualized we're back with paul begala and michele bachmann. under the affordable care act, now they can get insurance. >> that's right. we have compassion for people
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with preexisting conditionses. we can agree on this. here's your answer. if we have a $5 billion high-risk pool, we can solve that problem, and what we do is the money goes out to the various states, and they have high-risk pools. something like 36 states already had it, but the funding levels about $5 billion. i'm a very strong fiscal conservative. i would personally sign the check out of the treasury every year. that would solve the problem. essentially what it does is it helps people with preexisting conditions subsidize their policies so they're affordable. that's the crux of the problem. that's solvable. we didn't have to destroy a health care system for 330 million americans. all we had to do is. >> would you have an individual mandate then, so they would be required to buy that insurance as responsible citizens. >> so there's no freeloaders? >> absolutely not.
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>> young people that don't spend money, but if they get sick, we have to take care of them. >> you're talking about two separate things. preexisting conditions is where people have significant health issues, they have a tough time buying insurance policies. republicans and democrats want to solve that problem. that's a $5 billion fix. >> what about the freeloaders? >> the freeloaders, that's up to individual people. quite honestly, that's a bit of a red herring and definitely solvable. >> if insurance companies are required to take you with preexisting conditions but you're not required to buy it, here's what's going to happen. >> no, that's your individual mandate. they aren't required. >> yes, under your plan, here's what will happen. people will call the company from the ambulance, mr. begala, it looks like -- >> that's what they do today. >> no there's no more freeloaders. those of us playing by the rules don't have to -- >> that's what is forced unobama
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care -- >> i'm not going to waste an hour on that thing. see, i lost my health insurance under obama care. so now i'm forced to go into the d.c. health exchange. i'm waiting until they fix this thing. >> will you be without insurance? >> at some point we're going to have to figure it out. i have a husband with significant health issues. we have to figure it out. >> now you guys can't be discriminated against. we were just fine before. with the $a billion risk pool that we request agree on, we don't need to destroy the health care somebody. we could dewith the people.
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december 15th to make sure uinsured. >> not december 15th. >> i'm waiting until the thing gets fixed. the president promised. >> thanks so much for coming in. paul begala, good -- a good discussion. appreciate it very much. happening now, the president reveals -- the president reveals a new fix for obama care and takes the blame over for the fiasco over and over again. >> that's on me. i mean, we fumbled the roll-out on this health care law. plus children begging for for a as more aid trickles into the typhoon disaster area. we'll have a live report on the relief and recovery efforts under way right now. we're also going to show you never before seen photos of president john f. kennedy only moments before his
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assassination. we're also going to hear from the superstar tom hanks. he's behind a new cnn documentary about jfk. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the president spent a good part of an hour talking about the fumbled. and he acknowledged upsetting many americans and causing serious problems for his own democratic party. even before he left the pod union critics started to extend the plan. our chief congressional correspondents, let's go to our senior white house correspondent brianna keilar for the latest. brianna? >> reporter: wolf, these were remarkable admissions as he unraid the plan for americans to remain on their policies for another year.
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he took blame. he add illustrate mitted that he over-promised and admitted he was underinformed. >> that's on me. i mean, we fumbled the roll-out on this health care law. i'm accused of a lot of things, but i don't think i'm stupid enough to go around saying this is like shopping on amazon or travelocity a week before the website opens if i thought it wasn't going to work. i'm not a perfect man and i will not be a perfect president. my pledge to the american people is we're going to solve the problems that are there, we're going to get it right and the affordable care act is going to work for the american people. >> reporter: and a caveat, wolf, president obama saying his proposed fix will not solve every problem for every person. it's up to the states, wolf, and we're already seeing some reject it. for instance washington state, the insurance commissioner there saying they're not going to go
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along with this. you have almost 300,000 people there who have seen canceled policies. in california the insurance commissioners sell they will encourage insurers to take the fix, but they can't force them to do it. >> a lot of vulnerable senate democrats, thief taken the president and his top aides to task recently, as you know, brianna. the president had a message for them, didn't they? >> reporter: they've been very upset with the without, with president obama. today this was a signal from him that he understands their concerns, was trying to deflect some of the criticism from them for standing by his program. he said he felt deeply responsible, and it just highlights, wolf, probably the toughest criticism that president obama has received has come from within his own party. >> brianna keilars, thanks very much for that report. some reaction from congress about the fix, even some democrats, as i said, are not
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satisfied dana? >> reporter: for the most par democrats are relieved. they don't want to sit on the sidelines. >> we're going to get this -- >> the president was barely done explaining his obama care fix when his chief of staff arrived on capitol hill to sell it to worried democrats, especially those on the ballot next year. >> this isn't about elections, but about people having affordable health care. >> a big reason the president is now asking insurance companies to reinstate consumers ease health plans is to calm congressional democrats worried about voter backlash. how do you describe the atmosphere? >> strongly focused, cruxive, but clearly dissatisfied with the current state of the program. >> reporter: republicans were eager to highlight the president's falling poll numbers, especially on the issue of trust. >> a promise after promise from
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this administration has turned out to be not true. when it comes to this health care law, the white house doesn't have much credibility. >> reporter: and some does thats in the toughest reelection battles worry about that, too, especially since the president's plan only asked the insurance companies to restore policy, and doesn't require it, like legislation would. >> we want to make it clear to the american people and the 4,000 alaskans that they can keep the plan. >> reporter: still, at the behest of the white house, democratic leaders are holding off to legislative acts to give the president's plan a chance. six democratic senators have now signed on to mary landrieu's legislation which would require insurance companies to keep offering existing plans permane permanently, not just a year, as the president wants. >> is he going far enough? are you going to continue to push for a legislative fix? >> president's guidance was welcomed and well received. we still may have to fashion some legislation.
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>> when the how democrats tomorrow will offer a legislative fix, but only because the house republicans are going to have a bill on the floor. the democrats say effectively it dismantles obama care, and the political pressure on the white house really drove the timing of this, the political pressure of this vote tomorrow in the house. that really is why there was an intense an heated discussion yesterday between house democrats and the white house, which were reported on, but i'm told today's meeting was quite different. >> that's why they wanted to hear from the president on this fix today, dana. thank you. still ahead, the date john f. kennedy was killed. we have photos that have never been seen until now. the actor and producer tom hanks shares his memory of the assassination 50 years ago. frantic searches in the typhoon ruins. we're following a mother's long and difficult journey to find her 8-year-old son. life with crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
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more relief is getting into the philippines right now, but hundreds of thousands are still going hungry. some children and adults are reduced to literally begging in the streets nearly a week after the monster typhoon hit. our senior international correspondent ivan watson report. >> reporter: after a grueling journey by boat, adel has finally reached her hometown. she has only one thing on her mind. >> i bring water for my son. >> reporter: she wants to see her 8-year-old boy, who she hasn't been able to talk to since the storm cut on ties to
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this remote fishes town nearly a week ago. now knowing about your son, how has it felt? >> of course i can't sleep, i can't eat, i can't read. i don't know what to do. i'm eager to know what's happening. >> reporter: adel can't believe how the typhoon devastated her ton. the storm crippled the local government. >> reporter: any phones? >> no communication whatsoever outside. >> reporter: but local officials are improvising. they've set up a service to fly handwritten messages to the outside world. >> reporter: incredible there's a note for cesar montaces, and it's one sentence, like a telegram. pedro valdez and her man i don't are okay and alive. from johnny. >> reporter: the typhoon brought do you the roof and facade of this church the spanish built here more than 400 years ago.
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24 catholic priest calls it a blessing inside, because no one was inside when the roof came tumbling down. >> the irony of it is people's faith gets stronger every time, with ka lambities like this. >> certainly filipinos here have not lost their sense of humor. [ laughter ] >> reporter: they joke with a stranger, even though their homes are damaged and their stomachs are empty. you guys are still laughing. you can still laugh. >> laughter is the best medicine. >> reporter: yeah? across town, adel seguan has almost completed her exhausting journey. after a week of frightening uncertainty, the mother and her 8-year-old son are finally reunited.
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how do you feel? >> happy that my son is okay. they are both alive and okay. all right. ivan watson, obviously we've got some technical. >> reporter: i'm having trouble hearing you. >> go ahead. >> reporter: that's right. so, wolf, while we were on the ground, help is on the way to this isolated community. we sauce a naval officer from the u.s. air krafl carrier that's just arrived in the region. he said there will be an effort to really bring the logistical might, the sheer lift power of that enormous vessel and all its aircraft to this very isolated region. as you can see, people are still desperate to get message to the outside world to explain, you know, they've been hit hard, very, very hard. they have a long road ahead, but
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they haven't suffered nearly the cataclysmic death toll of another city we have heard about, tacloban. they've had about 87 dead, about 22 wounded. perhaps because it hasn't been so deadly for the people on the ground there, they've been able to maintain much more of a sense of law and order. the local officials, the town officials, through their crisis command center that was destroyed. they're improvising, just trying to get to work as well as they can in an analog way. they clearly need more help from the outside world. ark, by the way, is still there. just ahead we're going to hear from tom hanks. he's sharing his memory of jfk's assassination 50 years ago. and also never before seen photos taken moments before president kennedy's death.
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i remembered thinking that this doesn't happen in the real world. a president doesn't get shot in front of everybody the way john f. kennedy. at 7 years old, barely even a socially conscious being, but the overpowering sandness of every adult i same across was rattli rattling. >> that's tom hanks, 50 years old next week, he's the coproducer of a new documentary on jfk's death and its impact on the nation. it airs tonight 9:00 p.m. eastern, only here on cnn. the new edition of "time" also focuses on kennedy and his legacy, including never before seen photos only moments before
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his assassination. we're also joined by "time" magazine's managing editor right now, nancy gibb, also with us larry sabado, a political analyst and scholar, author of "the kennedy half century." >> thanks to both of you coming in. you can't completely rule out this notion of a conspiracy, can you? >> not totally. i have to be honest, wolf, when i started this project side of inclined more towards conspiracy, and the more i researched it, the more i realized it was lee harvey oswalt who was in the -- however, we can never know for sure whether he was encouraged
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by anybody else or a co-conspirator in daly plaza. why? because he was killed 48 hours after the assassination as one of the previousors in dallas who is still lives told me, if he had had one more week, given the methods they employed in 1963 in dallas, he would have had the full story. >> nancy, share with our viewers some of these never before seen photos that you guys have uncovered tell us about them. they were taken by a dallas jeweler named warner king. he took them home with him, never showed them to anyone other than his immediate family. his daughter found them among his possessions after he died, shared them with us, thinking that the interest in this event
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is so enduring. i think what's so powerful about them is there's something about the intimacy of these pictures. they really capture the energy and the emotion and the electricity of that moment, not just the president and his wife, but in the crowd, you see how close people were able to get to that motorcade. in a way it reminds you of just how vulnerable the president was in those days. >> talk a bit, larry, about the legacy of john f. kennedy. he's had an enormous impact on so much. >> we've put together a video accompanies the half century of many kennedy motorcades abroad and at home. and what nancy has said is absolutely true. i make an argument in the book that his assassination was inevitable, because the thin blue line of protection was
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never thinner. he wanted to mix and mingle with the people. that made him very vulnerable. there were only 12 secret service agents in a 12-mine motorcade in dallas that day, passing 200,000 people that crowded into the roads and hundreds of open windows in buildings. this was almost inevitable. as far as the legacy, wolf, i was really amazed at the extent to which john f. kennedy has influenced all nine of his successors. they have all used his words and deeds repeatedly to help him accomplish their own agenda. the reason i think is revealed in our poll, a large poll of americans plus focus groups that shows john f. kennedy is the most popular post-world war ii president bar none. he's the only president with a large majority of support from democrats, republicans, and independents. all the other ones are partisan. >> larry sabato, thanks for writing this book. >> nancy, great cover story 50
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years after the assassination of john f. kennedy. let's get more memories right now. like so many americans, cnn's jeanne moos took the president's death very personally. >> reporter: pick your most iconic moment of the aftermath of jfk's assassination. was it john john's salute to his father's casket? was it jackie kennedy refusing to take off the blood-stained pink suit, a favorite focus of kennedy moves. >> we can get someone to bring you a change of clothes from the plane. >> no, i want them to see what they have done to jack. >> reporter: but my most persistent memory was something else. it was a time of transition. i went from long hair to short hair, said good-bye to my pigtails. these pigtails. my mom actually saved them. in my baby book was this notation, took kennedy death
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seriously. what cause the eye of this 9-year-old girl was a horse, of course. 9 a riderless horse with empty boots reversed as if the rider were looking badge over his past. the horse's name was blackjack. the 19-year-old was army private first class andy carlson. >> my skinny arm was trying to control all of that horse. >> blackjack had a reputation as a hot horse. he got this job because he would you say too wild to ride. after leading him about 14 miles, two days in a row following behind the casket. >> i was about beat near to death, worn out. >> i was so taken with blackjack that after the funeral, i wrote a poem about the riderless horse -- don't worry. it disappeared over the years, so you won't be subjected to the poetic ramblings of a kid. >> at one point he was pawing the pavement. he struck the toe of my right
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shoe. i wanted to fall down and roll around on the ground and cry, but couldn't do that. >> reporter: the riderless horse made an impression on mrs. kennedy. she waited asked for the saddle, bridle, boots and saber. blackjack was buried with military honors. he's been immortalized by a statue, he's even on facebook. famous for champing at the bit. in the middle of this solemnity there is one fool horse having the time of his life. >> it seems like jfk would have liked that. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. thanks very much, jeanie. thank you for share that with all of our viewers. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." "crossfire" starts right now. tonight on "crossfire" -- the president delivers a stunning mea culpa at the
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without. >> that's on me. that's why i'm trying to fix it. >> will he soothe the nerves of democrats? >> obama care isn't working, and it's time to start over. on the left van jones, on the right knute gingrich. in the controversy controversy, raul gre hall have a, who supports the oaffordable care act. will delaying it help or hurt? tonight on "crossfire." welcome to "crossfire." i'm van jones on the left. >> i'm newt gingrich on the right. in the crossfire tonight, two members of congress on opposite sides of the debate. the news conference was laughable. "saturday night live" will not be able to do it justice. he understand i understand
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insurance companies will have to break the law, but wink wink, go ahead, stop cancelling people's policies, you can trust me not to prosecute you. we're living through the largest unraveling of a presidency in modern american history. what he said today is so deemedly disturbing, we're going to let you see it. watch this. at 52 years of age, the president finally is learning what almost every american adult already knows. >> what we're also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy, and another mistake that we made i think was underestimating the difficulties of people purchases insurance online and shopping for a lot of options with a lot of costs and a lot of different benefits and plans. >> now, van, let me just ask you for a second -- if a guy tells you he didn't realize it was complicated to buy insurance, do


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