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tv   CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello  CNN  January 4, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PST

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and good morning, i'm carol costello, thank you for joining me. moments from now we're expecting to see vice president-elect mike pence and house speaker paul ryan. right now the two are in a closed-door meeting with republican lawmakers on repealing obamacare. president obama taking the extraordinary step of holding his own meeting on capitol hill,
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talking strategy with democrats on how to salvage the health care overhaul that's a big part of his legacy. let's begin with our senior political reporter, manu raju, he's in the middle of the action, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. president obama just walked into this meeting 20 minutes ago to meet with house and senate democrats in trying to urge them to stand firm against any efforts to repeal his law. this is expected to be a pep rally of sorts, a meeting of the minds. democrats here are largely united behind this approach to try to stand against any efforts to dismantle this law and presumably to block any efforts to replace the law. democratic leaders do not want to work with republicans in replacing the law. obama is walking in. we had a chance to ask him does he think his party should work with republicans on the law after the repeal takes place. he heard the question, didn't answer it, he said "happy new
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year" instead and walked into the meeting. not all democrats agree with this hard line approach. joe manchin, democrat from west virginia, announced today he was not going to attend this meeting because of his concerns about being too partisan, him from a conservative state whose election is coming up. he's urging democrats to work with republicans. there is talk amongst republicans about how to do this administratively, move regulations, other things that they could do to try to ease some of the burden in finding a quick legislative replacement to the law. those are all things that they're trying to work through in this closed-door session with mike pence and republicans on capitol hill, all coming to a head today in these dueling
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meetings. >> manu raju, thank you so much for the fine reporting. will this last ditch efforts by democrats help save president obama's legislation? i'm joined by cnn's dana bash and douglas brinkly, reid wilson is also here. dana, i would love to be hey fly on the wall in either of these meetings. how do you suppose they're going? >> you know, we'll hopefully find out from talking to our sources afterwards. luckily there are a lot of people in these private meetings. one thing we can say is that as much as publicly the republicans, and they've even shown it over the years in the house through their votes, say they want to repeal obamacare. the reality is they know it is not so easy to take a benefit away from an american citizen,
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even if it's not a perfect benefit. so the way that they go about this is going to be very tricky for them, even though they have the votes and they can do it. on the flip side, democrats who are meeting right now with the president in this extraordinary moment, where he should be taking a victory lap, not a, you know, "please help me save my primary legacy" issue, are trying to figure out a way to drive a wedge between republicans and their constituents who have obamacare, or maybe if they don't, who can be convinced that repealing, do do so without a replacement mechanism for a couple of years or even sooner, could shake the insurance markets so that everybody's premiums could go up. that's just one of the message points i'm told democrats are talking about in this meeting and will be soon saying to the public. so as much as it looks like
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they're all going into their partisan corners, and it is remarkable to see those visuals, there is not entirely a certain path for both sides on how to do what they want to do. >> and of course donald trump i suspect is watching this because, reid, he's been tweeting about it. what role will he play in what happens today? >> well, we've already seen the president-elect playing a significant role in the 115th congress tweeting about the house republican plan to roll back or dramatically weaken the house office of ethics. they dropped that plan. you see the interview he gave last year on "60 minutes" where he talked about the need to cover everyone. dana raises a good point here, this is a huge political mine field for republicans, because whatever they come up with has
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got to cover as many people as possible so they don't run this sort of gauntlet of taking a benefit away from voters who are going to show up to the polls next year, or in 2018, and then in 2020. so in the long run, you know, i kind of think that republicans might end up coming up with a replacement that looks an awful lot like obamacare. there were a number of states that accepted medicaid expansion under a different name, and one of the states that did was indiana, under governor and now vice president-elect mike pence. >> here is president obama, talking about a piece of historical legislation, right, he's now fighting to save his legacy, kind of history-making, on his last days in office. you have a president-elect unlike any other president-elect we've had before, who is sort of like overseeing this. this kind of is a bonanza day for you, isn't it? >> for president obama, this is
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just where he doesn't want to be. he didn't envision in january, days before his farewell, he's got to rally the troops to defend the affordable care act. however, something else is going on with president obama. he's also rallying democrats to be a party that's for something. hillary clinton was against donald trump. the democrats will start this year saying we are for affordable health care for all americans. that's what the democratic party brand stands for. if you guys want to mess with it, we'll tell you stories of people you're putting out on the street by doing away or repealing the system. i agree, it's not going to get repealed in the real sense. it will be nibbled at, fixed, you'll get a neutered obamacare, but you have to have something similar staying there, otherwise you'll have 20 million people wondering where their health
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care disappeared to and blaming rep chance of. >> the kaiser foundation which has followed obamacare religiously since it was passed, they did a study on how many people wanted to keep obamacare, tweak it or expand it, that number is 66%. that makes it very difficult for republicans in congress too, dana. >> sure, exactly. and that's the point we've been making, that you can say repeal obamacare, because for republicans just on the political side of this, the term "obamacare" is just anathema, but also for people out there who are seeing their premiums go up, never mind that there are, you know, 20 million people who now have insurance who didn't before, it's difficult. my understanding is that obama, although this legislation is certainly his legacy, the message he's been trying to send to donald trump is, you know, i don't care what you call it, call it trump care, but just
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preserve the key elements like the preexisting conditions element, like making sure that people who are 26 years old can stay on their parents' health care, like making sure women don't have to pay more for their health care than men, thing. things like that. a lot of it is in the substance but a lot of it is also marketing. >> that's important, reid, because many of donald trump's own constituents in states like west virginia, kentucky, some of them really like obamacare. and some of them also believe that when donald trump says something, he doesn't really mean it in the moment, right? so they're not really sure what he wants to do, because you mentioned before, what he said in december on "60 minutes," he said he wanted to cover everybody, he wanted everybody to have health insurance and didn't mind using the government
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to do that, the government would pay for it. but this morning he's been tweet he's going to repeal obamacare outright. what is he -- >> one of the ironies of the affordable care act is a lot of those 20 million people that we're talking about who are receiving health care through the aca are constituents who elected donald trump because they're so hungry for a change. trump risks taking health care away from his own constituents unless he fashions some kind of alternative like dana was talking about that doesn't take away a benefit from the millions of people who are suddenly on it. this is the delicate tightrope that republicans walk. will the replacement plan that they now have a few years to come up with, or they plan to have a few years to come up with, will it cover all these people, and will it do the things that jim demint was talking about in the last hour,
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covering people across state lines, allowing interstate competition, whatever that plan looks like, we haven't seen it. republicans are putting themselves on the clock for a certain number of years before they phase out what exists today and replace it with whatever they plan to come up with. >> dana bash, douglas brinkley, reid wilson, thanks to all of you. 20 million people want know what happens if obamacare is entirely repealed. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn's medical correspondent, and j.b. silvers, welcome to both of you. j.b., you're an expert in the insurance industry. i talked to jim demint in the last hour. he said they would leave in place parts of obamacare for a year, and the insurance industry will not fear that because they're going to make it more competitive for them. and the insurance companies will stay on board even though the
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insurance companies know that obamacare is being chipped away. in your mind, is that reasonable? >> i think it's totally naive. insurance companies are there to bear a risk and pay claims. and if the risks go up, they're going to run away. they'll just run away, out of the private insurance market. we've decided we want to use private insurance companies. so we've got to have them in the game. >> so we've got to have them in the game. so sanjay, we often hear, and we've heard it from president-elect trump too, that he wants to open state lines, right, so you can buy insurance in missouri if you live in ohio, and he says that would create this competition that would make insurance cheaper for americans. would that work? >> it could work, conceivably, but not right away, as j.b. silver is talking about. this notion that the individual marketplace has always been a difficult place, it's never
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worked really, really well. people who have insurance through their corporations or companies don't think about this issue much but people in the individual marketplace think about this issue all the time. president-elect trump says he'll get rid of the existing affordable care act, then he does an interview where he says he'll have health insurance for everyone. this notion that by increasing competition among insurance companies, making them compete across state lines, you're using free market principles as opposed to the government to try and drive down the premiums for people in the marketplace and possibly for everyone else as well, that's what he's saying. whether it works or not, i don't know. i don't think it happens right away. >> so j.b., what do you think? could it work? >> well, you've got to attract -- to make a market work, you've got to attract both buyers and sellers. in this case you have to have insurance companies in the game.
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they will run away from excess risk and low profits. and in fact losses is what they've had. if you upset the market, and it's already been upset the last few years because they've changed the rules and gotten rid of the risk reduction methods that were built into the affordable care act, when you take that away, they will leave the private insurance market, because they can't make it. we've seen that in a number of cases, where they've withdrawn from areas where the market is really difficult. >> interesting. i'm just reading some incoming information from our reporters on capitol hill about what mr. trump is planning to do in his first days in office. i'll just tell you, sanjay, mike pence is meeting with house republicans right now, he says president-elect trump is planning to sign executive orders related to obamacare on his first day in office. it's unclear what those
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executive orders will entail. but they will demonstrate immediate action. so what could they be, sanjay? >> we don't know. obviously there have been things that went to president obama's desk in the past that he vetoed that had primarily to do with basically taking away the funding source, taking away the money for paying for the affordable care act. so in terms of repealing it, it's a longer process, not something he could do certainly on day one. he can start the process, but couldn't do it on day one. in terms of starting to chip away at the funding of it, so you're taking away the guts of it, if you will, that may be what he's talking about. but look, it's worth saying, and all viewers know this, we know this, carol, we don't know. we've heard wildly divergent things in terms of what's going to happen with the affordable care act. we've heard from the president-elect that he's going to repeal it, he said it over
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and over again. then he said he's going to have health insurance for all, when asked who would pay for it, he said the government. to many that would suggest a universal health plan of some sort that is highly government informed if not government sponsored. how this shakes out, i don't think frankly anybody knows. >> we see republicans, the house leadership, gathering. they're going to talk about what happened with mike pence in that big meeting. should we pause and lynn? -- listen? >> we have a special guest with us today, someone who has been with us many times before. i want to congratulate the trump/pence team. they had the wisdom to listen and now they have the courage to lead america. when you walk around the floor today, we've watched what has happened to jobs across this country. the regulations that have been impounded for the last eight
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years. you'll see this week we'll bring up the raines act. it says give the people a voice when it comes to regulation in america. it deals with those bills that impose regulations that cost more than $100 million in business. in the last six years there were 82 of those presented and put in place every single year in this administration. we have to get that burden off. the raines act says no new regulations will be imposed by the house and the senate where the people have a voice. we'll also be dealing with obamacare. so many of you know of what these failed policies have done for americans. if you look at those families that have employer based insurance, their premiums have increased by more than $4300. the 23 co-ops that were created
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in obamacare, 18 of them have already failed. what's most concerning to so many, more than 1,022 counties across america, that's more than one-third, have only one choice inside the exchanges. everything president obama promised about health care has failed. we are so thankful that we have a new administration coming that had the wisdom to listen and the courage to lead. >> good morning, everybody. it was an exciting day yesterday to see all the new members get sworn in, to see this new majority excited about getting the work for the american people. there's a lot that we're going to do working in tandem with our new president and new vice president. it's great to welcome our friend and former colleague mike pence back, not as an of me congress but as the soon to be vice
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president of the united states, as a great partner in working to get our country back on track. there's a lot we need to do, there's a lot we're going to do. there's somebody else that's going to be here at the capitol today, that's barack obama. i think when the president comes back here today maybe for the last time as president, it's important to remember the first time that barack obama came here as president. barack obama came here and made very specific promises to the american people about obamacare. he came here and said if you like what you have, you can keep it. how did that work out? today millions of americans lost the good health care plans that they liked and expected to keep and are not able to today because of the broken promises of his law. barack obama came here to this capitol and said that if his bill passes, health insurance costs will drop dramatically for families. and instead, what have we seen? the reverse. dramatic increases in health care costs. in my state of the louisiana,
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over 25% increases that families are paying in higher costs for health care because of those broken promises of his law. i hope he comes here to apologize for those broken promises. but i don't think that's what's going to be the case. i think i'm be here more concerned about preserving his legacy than about fulfilling those promises. the good news is, we are here to fulfill those promises to the american people. we told the american people that if you give us this great opportunity, that we're going to work hard every day not just to repeal obamacare but to replace it with reforms that actually put patients back in charge of their health care decisions, that actually focus on lowering costs and increasing access to health care, and to bringing doctors back in the practice of medicine who are getting out of the practice because they don't want unelected bureaucrats in washington telling them how to deliver the health care that they were trained to provide. it's an exciting time for the country. we're really excited about getting to work to restoring those promises that were made to the american people and to get
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our economy back on track and to make america great again. >> happy new year, everyone. i'm very excited, energized by the new year, the new opportunities that it brings. this really is a moment that we've been given by the people. it's a moment to think big. it's a moment to reimagine the federal government and to put people back at the center of it. just down the road is the washington monument. and right now it's closed to visitors. we think about families, individuals that travel from all around the country, from eastern washington it's a long trip, maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the washington monument. yet they'll be met with a closed sign because the federal government is going to take more than two years to fix an elevator. this is just one example. people are dealing with these kind of roadblocks every day at the va, at the doctor's office,
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when they're just trying to do the right things, provide for their families, get a job. this is how the government has come to operate. one person, one agency at the top deciding for everyone. it's why it's our responsibility as the people's voice and the people's representatives in their government, to protect the constitution and the balance of power. representative government. the rule of law. equal opportunity for all is protected here in the house by the people and for the people. i want to thank vice president-elect mike pence for joining us today, it is so exciting for us as we start this unified republican government. 2017, and all that it has in store for the people of this country, creating opportunities for everyone. >> happy new year, everybody. throughout this transition, we have been working hand in hand with the vice president-elect
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with one goal in mind, and that is to make sure that president-elect trump can hit the ground running when he takes office on the 20th. we're getting right down to business. we're starting today on our work to deliver relief to americans struggling under obamacare. we must remember this. this law has failed. americans are struggling. the law is failing while we speak. we need to reverse the damage that has been done. then once we repeal this law, we need to make sure that there is a stable transition to a truly patient-centered system. we want every american to have access to quality affordable health coverage. all of the things obamacare has kept from the american people. more choices. more control. more freedom. we want to put them back in their hands. we know that things are only getting worse under obamacare. this is about people paying higher premiums every year and feeling power less less to stop.
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families are paying deductibles so high it doesn't even feel like you have health insurance in the first place. in some parts of the country, even if you want to look for better coverage, there is one option. it is a monopoly. the health care system has been ruined, dismantled, under obamacare. the answer here is not to ignore the problem. the answer here is not to ignore the problem to keep some failed legacy. the answer here is bold action. solve problems. bring relief to americans. we will help americans crying out for relief from obamacare. and we will keep our promise to the people. as you can see, we'll be working with the new administration on every step of this law, every step of the way, even before day one. with that, i want to hand it over to somebody that we all know very well because he served here with us. we're so proud of him and we're so pleased about this new working relationship with our new vice president, vice president-elect mike pence.
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>> thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to the speaker and to the leadership for the warm welcome today at the house republican conference. i'll be meeting later today with members of the senate at their weekly luncheon. and this is a day that our message is very simple on behalf of the president-elect and on behalf of all the leadership, that we are 16 days away from the end of business as usual in washington, dc. today our message is very simple. working with the leadership here in the house and in the senate, we're going to be in the promise-keeping business. the president-elect campaigned all across this country. he gave voice to the frustrations and aspirations of the american people. he laid out an agenda to make
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america great again. my message on his behalf today before this congress and the senate is we intend to keep those promises. that begins with assembling a government. and the energetic effort through the course of this transition to build a cabinet that will be able to implement that agenda speaks for itself. it will literally begin on day one, before the end of the day, we do anticipate that the president-elect will be in the oval office, taking action to both repeal executive orders and also set into motion through executive action policies to implement promises that were made on the campaign trail. working with the congress, we're going to have that classic three-part agenda that the president-elect talked about so often on the campaign trail. jobs, jobs, jobs. the focus is going to be from day one to work with the congress, and you heard about the efforts this week, to begin
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to roll back the onerous regulations that have been stifling growth in the american economy and stifling jobs and opportunities. we're going to be working with the congress over the course of the first several months to construct the kind of tax reform for businesses and individuals that will unleash the bound-up energy in the american economy. we're going to keep our promises to end illegal immigration, build a wall. we'll have an infrastructure built. we'll invest in rebuilding our military, as our commander in chief marshals strategies with our military commanders to hunt down and destroy isis. but the first order of business is to repeal and replace obamacare. and that was our message today, and it will be our message on capitol hill. and it needs to be done. not just as a promise kept, but because in the course of this election, the american people had a choice.
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and what appeared to many as against all odds, oftentimes with overwhelming opposition, our president-elect took his case to the american people to repeal and replace obamacare, and the american people voted decisively for a better future for health care in this country. and we are determined to give them that. the reality is, i was here in march of 2010, in another capacity when obamacare was signed into law. i remember all those promises. we were told that if you like your doctor, you can keep them. not true. we were told if you like your health insurance, you can keep it. not true. we were told that the cost of health insurance was going to go down. not true. the reality is today premiums this year are increasing by an average of 25% in some states. in arizona, premiums went up this year 116%. 63% in tennessee. 53% in pennsylvania.
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40% in north carolina. obamacare has worked a hardship on american families, on american businesses, and in a very simple conclusion. the american people have sent new leadership here, because obamacare has failed, and it has been rejected by the american people. but now is the time for us to keep our promises. step one will be to repeal obamacare. but as the president-elect said today, and i admonished members of the house republican congr s conference today, it's important that we remind people that the promises that were made were all broken. i expect you'll see an effort in the days ahead to talk about the facts around obamacare. and secondly, of course, is to begin that orderly transition to something better. the truth is that the commitment
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that the president-elect made was to repeal and replace obamacare. as he said this morning in a tweet, it will be important that we be careful as we do that, that we do that in a way that doesn't work a hardship on american families who gained insurance through this program, doesn't work a hardship on our economy. and as i told the house republican conference today, we're working on a strategy in concert with the leadership of the house and the senate for both a legislative and executive action agenda to ensure that an orderly and smooth transition to a market-based health care reform system is achieved. the speaker of the house used the word "stable," and we will do that. in his famous speech in philadelphia, the president-elect spoke about an orderly transition. and it will be that. but make no mistake about it, we're going to keep our promise to the american people. and we're going to repeal obamacare and replace it with solutions that lower the cost of
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health insurance without growing the size of government. there is a broad range of ideas about how we do this. and republicans have been offering those ideas again and again, literally every year since obamacare was first signed into law. we'll be working with dr. price both before and after his confirmation, when he steps into the role at hhs, working with the republican leadership in the house and the senate to bring forward those solutions and to take the case for those solutions to the american people. that being said, i couldn't be more humbled and more excited to be back in the capitol today. i was enconcernuraged by the president-elect to come here to capitol hill, the first full day of work for members of congress, because it's time to get the back to work. while others are visiting the capitol today talking about defending the failed policies of the past, we are here today speaking to republican
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majorities in the house and senate to advance policies that will make america great again and have a more prosperous future for all the people of this nation. question? >> no shouting out. it's all good, but no shouting out. [ inaudible question ] >> the president-elect and i will receive a briefing from the leadership of our intelligence agencies this coming friday. and we'll be listening in. look, i think that the president-elect has expressed his very sincere and healthy
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american skepticism about intelligence conclusions. we're going to sit down later this week. the president and i have been receiving since the election regular intelligence briefings, received a presidential daily brief with the president yesterday. and we'll be looking at the facts and the information. but i think given some of the intelligence failures of recent years, the president-elect has made it clear to the american people that he's skeptical about conclusions from the bureaucracy, and i think the american people hear him loud and clear. [ inaudible question ] >> reporter: is there a danger here, why move forward with the repeal of obamacare when you don't have an -- >> the president-elect is making an important point we're trying to emphasize here. so much damage has already been done to the country. obamacare is a story after broken promise after broken
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promise followed by a failing program, higher premiums, higher deductibles. we have to make sure as we give relief to obamacare, we don't want to pull the rug from people. this law has failed, it's getting worse, families are hurting, no one has choices. we've got to fix this by replacing it with something better. in that transition we want to make sure we don't pull the rug out from anybody during that transition. that's the point we're all trying to make. [ inaudible question ] >> we have a plan to replace it. we have plenty of ideas to replace it. as the weeks and months unfold, you'll see what we're talking about replace it, how we can get better choices with lower prices by not having government take over health care, which is what's causing these problems in the first place. [ inaudible question ]
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>> well, jake, i want to be very clear. and i would commend you and anyone looking on to look into -- no, i was commending you to do something, not commending you. [ laughter ] it's good to be back, it really is. i would commend all of your attention to the president-elect's speech in philadelphia during the waning weeks of the campaign, where he laid out a plan to repeal and replace obamacare. he laid out the principles of harnessing the power of health savings accounts, allowing americans to purchase health insurance across state lines. but his commitment was very clear in that, that we will insist upon and implement,
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working with the congress but also using executive authority to ensure that that is an orderly transition. we're working right now, the white house staff is, on a series of executive orders that will enable that orderly transition to take place even as the congress appropriately debates alternatives to and replacement of obamacare. >> reporter: it sounds like it might stay in place until -- >> jake, we've been saying we don't want to pull the rug out from people. in 2017 we don't want people to be caught with nothing. we want to be sure there's an orderly transition so the rug is not pulled out from under the families who are currently struggling under obamacare while we're bringing relief. >> reporter: on the aca repeal and replace, can you give detail on the executive actions that are planned? how does that square with the complex budgetary process that's
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also involved? >> they're hand in glove. we're working on the legislative process right now. the senate will be act first next week, the congress will follow, which gives us the resolution we need to get the legislation through while the white house works on the executive orders they've been talking about to deliver the relief we've been talking about. the problem is, remember, obamacare has failed, families are hurting, they broke the healthcare system, it's a string of broken promises. we're going to make sure we have an orderly transition to a better system so we can get back to what we all want which is lower cost health care, more choices, so that families can actually get affordable health care at a decent price with more choices, more competition, and not a costly government takeover that has really bankrupted this health care system and left families struggling. >> if i can respond to that. we're working out right now with the white house staff and in
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concert with legislative leadership, a two-track approach to ensuring that it is an orderly transition as the president-elect has -- you read his tweet this morning, he has admonished the congress to be careful, and i reiterated that before the republican conference g today. we're talking about people's lives. we're talking about families. we're also talking about a policy that has been a failure virtually since its inception. and we intend to, over the course of the amocoming days an weeks, to be speaking directly to the american people about that failure, but about a better future we can have in health care, a future that is built not on growing government, not on mandates, not on taxes, but also -- but rather a future that's built on giving the american people more choices in health care, allowing the power
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of the free marketplace to flow in. but the transition to that, we will work out in a way that reflects the compassion of the president-elect and the compassion of every member of congress to see to it that we do it in a way that serves the best interests of the american people. look, i think what's clear here is the american people have spoken. they want to see us repeal and replace obamacare. and today, my message to members of congress is that we are going to be in the promise-keeping business. and the first order of business is to keep our promise to repeal obamacare and replace it with the kind of health care reform that will lower the cost of insurance without growing the size of government. >> reporter: how are you going to prevent private insurers from pulling out? >> house or senate gym? [ laughter ] >> we're going to step away. you see john lewis approaching
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the microphone on the democratic side. president obama has just met with house and senate democrats. i'm sorry, that's elijah cummings, i apologize for that. let's listen in to what he's saying. >> -- and nothing to replace it with. they've had seven years to do it. they haven't done it yet. president-elect trump made it clear that we would not have people dying in the streets. and we are going to hold him to that. and i think the -- again, the question that has to be asked of the republican party is, are you making things worse for the american people or better? and do you have a replacement? they want to keep the provisions with regard to preexisting conditions. they want to keep the young
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people on their parents' policies until they're 26 years old. but at the same time they don't have a decent replacement. so that's going to be the question. the politics, the president made it clear, the politics are on our side. and that when you look at most surveys, it shows that the american people do not want it repealed. they don't mind it being improved but they do not want it repealed. the other thing he pointed out is it brings quite a bit of -- the actions of the republicans bring quite a bit of uncertainty to the health care system and a lot of rural hospitals will be in trouble. and there will be quite a bit of
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problems. so he has encouraged us to fight, which we had already made it clear we were going to do anyway. that's it. >> all right. that's congressman elijah cummings, a democrat from maryland, looking a little disspirited, i must say. manu raju is with us, is president obama in the auditorium? >> reporter: yes, he is expected to leave any moment. it was a pep rally of sorts, carol, in this meeting, he actually told democrats that they should not do anything to help republicans replace the obamacare law if it is in fact repealed, he said, quote, don't rescue, according to sources in the room. he said, don't give them a few votes in the senate to pass a worse plan than the affordable
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care act. he was really telling his members, the democrats here, to draw a pretty firm line against working on any sort of replacement. interestingly, i'm told he also said that democrats and liberal activities should employ the tactics of the tea party in 2009, when the tea party activists stormed town halls, expressed their outrage at the passage of the affordable care act, and do the same thing with the repeal of the affordable care act, and let members of congress know that they should not go that route. his argument is it will be politically painful for republicans to go this route, to do this, because he thinks this law's provisions are very popular, even if the name isn't popul popular, the provisions are, and he laid out those benefits. a really aggressive case the president made behind closed doors to his members saying we should defend this, we shouldn't work with them to replace the
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law, and that republicans should pay for this politically. so all those messages being voiced right now behind closed doors from president obama to democrats. and interestingly, i'm told he said you can call it trump care, it's no longer obamacare. a lot of talk about politics and strategy and messaging in this fired-up room. >> interesting. so is it possible, since president obama, once he leaves office, is going to stay around washington for a while, they have a house and everything, they're renting a house. is it possible that president obama will still be involved after he leaves office in protecting obamacare? >> reporter: it's possible. it's not clear exactly what role that he's going to play. he obviously commands a major audience and certainly could. a lot of past presidents tend to take a lower profile after they leave office. but this could be different. this is his signature legacy item. this is something that democrats need some big voices to push back on and perhaps they'll lean
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on him to do that. but it's unclear exactly the role that he said he would play, we'll see if he gave any more details behind closed doors. >> that was my next question, who was that big passionate voice on the democratic side that can incite passion in people like tea party leaders did? >> reporter: you know, i think it's going to take a lot of grassroots organization, that was his point, i was told, he made in the room, the party should be organized on the grassroots level to ensure that activist types go and let republican congress men or republican senators know that if they do try to repeal the law, they'll get a major backlash in their midterm election in 2018. so they want the republicans to feel pressure back home, they want this to come from the grassroots, they want this to come from the activists. of course folks in washington would organize that outrage and opposition. that was part of the key message that they were trying to voice
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in this meeting just now, carol. >> it's really interesting, because i was just listening to the republicans, and vice president-elect mike pence talk about obamacare, and paul ryan, calling it an abject failure that's destroyed the country. again, we're going to hear, you know, the extremes on both sides, where obamacare is kind of great on the democratic side, and on the republican side it's been ann abject falilure, and t truth is somewhere in the middle. >> reporter: the president laid out the successes of the last eight years, and the successes of obamacare, saying he has letters from members, from voters, from constituents, saying thank you for all the things in the law that have helped them. definitely both sides of the argument are being laid out here today, and right in front of our eyes. it shows how difficult it will be for the two sides to come together on this very divisive issue, carol. >> do you think, manu, senator elizabeth warren and perhaps
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bernie sanders might lead the effort to save obamacare? >> reporter: i think they'll play a big role in trying to fight the efforts to repeal the law. i think they will also be part of that effort to mobilize folks on the grassroots level. there are very few progressives like them who can actually instill passion among particularly younger voters. i think you'll see their voices, they play prominent roles in the senate health committee which will have some say over the health and human services secretary nominee, tom price, his nomination, you'll hear their voices in that regard. president obama said it's not a foregone conclusion that this law will be repealed, we can fight this to the end and we should not work with them on a replace, do not rescue them, that was his argument, if republicans break this law, they own it, according to the democrats. >> i want, manu, for you to stay
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in the background. can we bring phil mattingly in, his audio at least? >> reporter: i got you, carol. >> we're talking about president obama encouraging the democrats not to be involved in a replacement proposal. but you're talking about the gop having a replacement in like six months? >> reporter: that's at least according to one of donald trump's closest allies in the house, chris collins telling reporters his view of the meeting that mike pence was having behind closed doors, that six months was around the timeline for a replace plan. when you listen to had a manu is hearing inside the room and kind of comparing it to what i've heard from sources inside the republican meeting is trying to watch the two sides position themselves. mike pence making very clear, carol, throughout the course of this meeting that republicans have to make sure that the american people who voted for president-elect donald trump or
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at least gave him enough ele electoral votes to win, what president obama is asking democrats to do is take tea party tactics and make it trump care. mike pence is clearly aware that that is going to be a strategy there and he's trying to make republicans kind of attack that issue, try and make sure democrats stay on defense on that but also on an action item, carol, i'm told from somebody in the room mike pence said on his first day in office, president-elect, then-president donald trump will be signing executive orders to help move forward the plan of repeal. obviously you can't repeal anything via executive order. but what you're seeing from the trump administration or soon to be trump administration, carol, at least according to mike pence in this closed door meeting, they're willing to take action immediately, underscoring what they've said publicly, this is the first item on their agenda, as difficult as it is almost certainly going to be, they want to move on it now. >> phil, cutting through this,
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president-elect trump will issue some sort of executive order which essentially pays lip service to all of those voters that he promised to repeal obamacare, because you're right, he can't just repeal obamacare through executive order. on the other hand, congressional republicans, from what i heard, they want to repeal obamacare but they want it to take maybe a year so everybody can get ready including the people who are currently enrolled in obamacare, and also the insurance companies. so how is that immediate action, exactly? >> reporter: they want to start the process, they want to say they're starting to keep promises. executive orders as they're signed, and president obama did the same thing in 2009, not all of them have large scam implications, some of them are largely procedural or largely for show. i do think what you're seeing here, and why republicans feel the impetus or onus to move on this quickly, house republicans voted 87, 88 times to repeal the law, and nothing actually came of it. why they want to move now, something can actually come of
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it as long as they agree on the process. but carol, you have a key point, there's going to need to be a transition. what mike pence said behind closed doors and what speaker ryan said today, they need to ensure stability is maintained. what will be the timeline? what will be the transition process? how do you keep the market from flying into chaos if you repeal first and then replace? that's one of the big questions they'll have to answer over the coming weeks and months. >> in light of that i want to bring in dr. sanjay gupta, a working doctor, you work in a hospital. as medical professionals are watching all of this unfold, how are they feeling right now? >> i think that, you know, it's hard to paint all medical professionals with one brush, but if you look at the major medical organizations that represent hundreds of thousands of doctors, they reflect i think what you showed in your polling, that, you know, two thirds of americans don't want to see this repealed, although maybe some tweaks, some more minor changes, but keeping the most popular
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provisions of the affordable care act is sort of reflective of what doctors are thinking about this as well. but what phil is describing, any time you disrupt the system, it's like changing the parts on a fast-moving train, what happens when you do that is people go without for a period of time. what you didn't hear in the meeting with vice president-elect pence and speaker ryan was about the 20 million people who now have health insurance as a result of obamacare, and what exactly is going to happen to them. the one constant that you seem to hear, and it's a profound one in some ways, they want to move from more of a government-based or inspired system to a market-based system that is stable. that was the word that vice president-elect pence used, a stable market system, and that there will be a smooth, stable transition between those two. it's a profound point, i think. will a free market system work?
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have we seen the free market system work with regard to health care in the past? or does it run into the system that people were trying to address, a system that costs way more than other developed countries around the world and delivered less in terms of quality? >> let me ask you about that. free markets, isn't that what we had before, anybody could buy insurance through a private insurance company, it was your choice which to choose, and, you know, i remember costs being sort of out of control during that time. how are they going to solve that problem? >> no question. and it's important to keep in mind, i guess most people probably know this, we're still talking about a private-based system here, private insurance system here. this isn't government-sponsored health care, it's a private insurance system under the affordable care act. what i think you're hearing a little bit, and it will take months to really understand what this plan, the new plan is going to be, but the idea that it's going to be a more deregulated insurance industry that will be allowed to compete across state
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lines, that because of that deregulation, they anticipate insurance companies, instead of fleeing, will stay in, because look, insurance companies may say, look, we're not getting the money from people mandated to buy into the system, we're not getting subsidies from the government, why are we still in this business, is what insurance companies may say. and that's after costs go way up. that's after premiums go way up, carol, to your point. so we have sort of seen this before. will the sort of deregulation that has been suggested help solve those problems? we just don't know. >> so phil, a question for you, is anybody in the trump team talking with the insurance industry? >> reporter: pretty much all players. this is also an interesting element. not just talking to industry participants which on the policy side in trump tower is happening, i'm told. but also what we saw behind the scenes today. who walked in with mike pence? reince priebus, incoming chief
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of staff, kellyanne conway, senior adviser, but also the legislative affairs team for the next administration, the trump administration, all of which are very close with vice president-elect mike pence and also speaker ryan behind closed doors announcing today that mike pence will get office space on capitol hill. while they'll be talking with industry participants, the involvement of vice president-elect mike pence is going to be a fascinating thing to watch, because much of the legislative affairs team is tied to mike pence. mike pence getting his own office space on the hill. in terms of how things are going to operate here in the very complicated, complex process, mike pence is going to be somebody you need to watch very closely, carol. >> when all is said and done, phil, how will congress work? will they get things done? because the senate is controlled by republicans and the house. and you have a republican in the white house. will it work like a top now? or because of all of this
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turmoil that's going on right now, will we get the same old/same old? >> reporter: if anybody had a sure answer to that, they could make a lot of money on k street. the wild card is you don't necessarily now how the president-elect is going to operate, why he's going to come down ideologically. he's not a traditional conservative republican. while they hold a four-seat majority in the u.s. senate and have 247 republicans in the u.s. house, these majorities have actually slimmed down since the 2016 election. so while maybe you can remove a repeal process through the u.s. senate with just 51 senators, you can't move a replace process through without 60 because of the way the rules go. so you need democratic support. this idea that all of the president-elect trump's top agenda items, and mitch mcconnell's agenda items, are going to fly through because republicans have the majority in congress, you haven't been paying attention to how it works
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over the years. >> thanks to all of my colleagues who participated in the newsroom today, i do appreciate it. thank you for joining me today. i'm carol costello. we'll be right back after a break. value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. tawell, the only place youn, need go...oll? london's got the best of everything. cornwall's got the best of everything. sport sport nightlife nightlife (both) fashion
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone, i'm kate bolduan. >> i'm john berman. breaking news from capitol hill. high stakes showdowns. democrats versus republicans, president-elect trump versus vice president-elect, obamacare versus who really knows what yet? you see two live pictures, a couple of sets of microphones. we're looking at one lectern where we'll hear from democratic leaders of the senate and house. the other picture below it is where we'll see president obama leaving his meet with capitol hill democrats. >> can you throw that other picture up really quick? that will give us an


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