Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 31, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we heard president trump make the case for his supreme court pick with fewer than two weeks in office. president trump made many bold moves provoking forceful rebukes from critics, many of whom turn a desperate eye to the opposition. what is the democratic strategy? leader pelosi is one of the highest ranking democrats. from men and women in our audience, we reviewed the question to doffer a variety of subjects. please join me in welcoming the
house minority leader, nancy pelosi. please have a seat. you just heard president trump
nominate neal gorsuch and you said he is an opponent of women's rights. what do you mean? >> let me say how happy i am to be here. i thought we would talk about how to go into the future. president trump found out about the town hall meeting and thought he would upstage us. >> this did just happen. >> i know. i want to say that elections have ramifications. here is a living breathing example of it. the president and his first appointment to the court and hopefully his only appointment appointed someone who came down on the side of corporate america with class action suits and securities fraud and came down against employers and employees's rights. clean air, clean water, food safety, safety in medicine if you care about that. he is not your guy. gabby giffords group, the group
for responsible solutions relating to gun safety said he comes down on the
side of felons over gun safety. hostile to women's reproductive rights and hobby lobby case, for example. the list goes on and on and criticized progressives for cases relating to lgbt progress and taking the cases to the courts. what saddens me as a mom and a grandmother is his hostility towards children in school. children with autism. he ruled that they don't have the same rights under the idea, the children that they could reach their intellectual and social advancement. he said that doesn't apply to them. he came down against them under the ada as well and again. it's a very hostile appointment. lovely family, i'm sure. as far as your family is
concerned and all those if you breathe air, eat food, take medicine or in any other way interact with the courts, this is a very bad decision. well outside the mainstream of american legal thought. not committed to supreme court precedence. supreme court precedence. >> i want to get to the questions, but there is a big division in the democratic party about whether or not judge gorsuch should be treated the way nominees normally are or turn about his fair play given that republicans would not even hold a hearing for president obama's pick after the supreme court vacancy roughly a year ago. where do you come down? should democrats allow hearings and should they allow a vote on the senate floor? >> i come down where the democrats in the senate do. it's their prerogative to confirm a just its on the supreme court and will take it
from them in the house. our numbers are a diverse group. they have opinions and they have been over there to testify against the candidate for attorney general sessions and they will be there to express views on the subject where the senate leadership comes down. of course it's up to them where we would like them to come down is to make sure that this confirmation subjects the candidate to this strongest scrutiny when it comes to honoring the constitution of the united states. that is our litmus test. the constitution of the united states. >> so many decisions, so many issues that are important to the american people do come before the u.s. supreme court and with that in mind, i would like to bring in allison, a democrat from midway, utah. allison? >> leader pelosi. my question is along the lines of what you have been discussing. i'm a woman that made and lived through the very difficult
decision of having a late term abortion. i had to make that decision when there were medical circumstances that jeopardized my life in a situation where i was carrying a fetus that had zero chance of survival no matter what medical science could do. the thing that made it the worst above and beyond the situation itself is the state where i live made it illegal to have a late term abortion in any circumstance unless it could be demonstrated that the mother's life was in danger. the guilt and the overwhelming intrusion i felt, the violation of being -- regulated by the state. a decision that was solely my husband's and mine to make and the worst thing i have ever had to go through. it was just incredibly difficult to deal with. my question to you is, i watched president trump nominate someone who is hostile to women's rights, congress has already voted to get rid of protections
for women and their civil liberties as far as autonomy with their owns, birth control and correct sex education are getting harder to get that makes it so we will have more unwanted pregnancy and more abortions, not less. i'm wondering what you as the highest ranking woman in congress, i believe, if you have any ideas or what the democrats in particular intend to do to combat this trend with the republicans to gut the rights of women to make their own decisions in their lives. >> thank you so much for your generosity of spirit to share your very personal decision and situation with all of us. it's clear from the way you speak that you know that that was a decision between you, your husband, your doctor, and your god. it's not a decision that should be made by politicians in washington, d.c.
in congress or in the court or any other place. the issue of late term abortion is one that has been used by the far right to fight a woman's right to choose because it sounds like something that shouldn't happen. but when it's about a woman's health, it's a very personal individual decision. you very accurately portrayed what we are up against because i have been saying to my friends for over 25 years that have been in the congress, they don't support birth control. contraception. family planning. people usually don't believe that. one of the first bills that passed was a harsher hyde bill that made it very, very much more difficult for a woman to exercise her personal decisions. it's a reflection of the lack of
respect for women that we saw in the campaign on the part of the president saying things you would now allow a person in your house if they said such a thing. that lack of respect is demonstrated in the appointment he made to the court. you have again gently and beautifully and almost prayerfully spiritually shared your story with us. when you ask what can we do? i believe what president lincoln said was the best advice for everything that is challenging us right now. public sentiment is everything. the more the public knows about the choices that are made, the more families know how those decisions affect them. the more they may weigh in and hold elected officials accountable. by that i don't mean to be partisan, but of who you vote for, whatever party, hold them accountable to your beliefs.
this is for me a big issue. my daughter who is here, the youngest of five, the week she was born, my oldest of five turned 6 that week. when i talk about this issue with my colleagues, i say step up, anybody who knows anything about this. they say nancy pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. yes, i do. yes, i do. i respect what was wonderful for our family, but each family has to mick its own decision. if you are concerned about some of these issues in terms of termination of a pregnancy, you should love family planning and birth control, contraception. what is their plan? to defund planned parenthood that provides so much of that. thank you for sharing your story. i'm sorry that you had to go through that. our fight is always to be
concerned about the health of the mother and her ability to continue her family if he and her family decide that is the case and that's part of the decision i know that you had to make. thank you for sharing your story. and by the way when jake said the questions had been reviewed. not by me. >> she has no evidence of what's coming. kristin roberts is a college student from pennsylvania. >> thank you so much for being here. thank you for sharing your story with us. that's an incredible story and situation that you had to go through. i am part of the pro life generation. i believe that abortion is not the answer for unplanned pregnancy. my birth mother was faced with the decision that many women today are facing. without the means of properly raising a child, she chose the most ethical decision and chose
adoption. with her courageous and unselfish decision to make such an awesome decision, i have the ability to thrive and succeed in life. don't you think that everyone has that option or needs the ability to thrive and succeed in life? >> i certainly do and i love the word you used. you said my mother chose. my mother chose. [ applause ] we want other people to have that opportunity to choose as well. when we do, my whole thing is when people ask me the three most important issues i say our children, our children, our children. their health, the education and the economic security of their families and a clean environment in which they thrive and a world at peace in which they succeed and reach aspirations. many of our friends who are so intent on when life begins and
their view do not subscribe to that after the child is born to meet the needs of the children. i hope you will join us in our quest to say that all of the children in our country that in five children in america lives in poverty and goes to sleep hungry in the greatest country that ever existed in the history of the world. why? because we haven't made the right decisions to lift all of those children up. that's why i say to my colleagues, show me your values, show me your budget. what are you doing to lift these children up? i hope respecting your mother to make her choice, i hope you will help all of these children to be able to thrive when their mothers make their choice to have them as well. >> thank you so much for your question. >> thank you. >> it's likely the supreme court will be asked to weigh in on president trump's executive orders that came down in the last week. one aspect of the order that
came down friday evening. president trump's immigration executive order. the suspension of the refugee admissions program for 120 days. i want you to meet a yemeni refugee who is personally affected by the executive order. >> hello. my name is bushra. i am an artist and activist and refugee. recently my mom was not able to come to the u.s. because of the standard that donald trump signed recently. four weeks ago my dad passed away because we didn't have medicine because of the siege and my mom is now recently living in a destroyed house because of the air strikes and was not able to come to the united states because of the decision that donald trump did. my question is, what can -- what
is the democratic leadership could help us -- what could you help us and our people to ensure that more families are not torn apart? >>. [ applause ] >> again, thank you for your courage and sharing your story. i'm sorry about the loss of your dad and the situation that your mother is in. when i received this invitation to come here this evening, i thought i would be talking about the affordable care act and how we can address income inequality and how to protect god's creation of the planet from degradation. in the meantime we had this ban,
b-a-n, ban on people coming from the country. largely muslim and prohibition on other people as well. they don't want to call it a ban even though they called it a ban and they said the press called it a ban because they reported on them calling it a ban. you see impatience in my voice bah your family is suffering because our president is reckless, reckless and his administration is incompetent. [ applause ] how and why they did this is because they are grand illusionists. any time they have a problem with something, they create another problem. they see the immigration problem looming and decide they will on an earlier schedule appoint a justice of the supreme court to change the subject. it's a decoy, decoy, decoy. i was proud to scores of my members who were at the airports all weekend and some of them are
there still now. this ban has not been rescinded. it is -- we follow the lead of our spiritual leaders when the pope talks about it is unchristian to turn away refugees. when some of our cardinals say it's unamerican to not accept strangers as the bible says. strangers into our country. in need. in need. the statue of liberty is in tears because of what they have done. this again comes back to abraham lincoln who probably has tears in his eyes as well. this is about public sentiment. some of the polling looks like oh, i think the president is doing it because he doesn't understand. he made us less safe with what he has done. 900 diplomats sent him a letter saying you are making us less safe. this isn't the right thing to
do. it is red meat for the people who he wants to continue to support him. that was increasing on the subject. i would like to personally take some responsible for the individual case. that's what our members are doing around the country. i think we should be grateful to the women for marching on the day after the inauguration. that was spontaneous. you know. that was not organized by politicians or the establishment. that was organic. women just said i'm going. i'm showing up. all over the country and all over the world. all over the world. when this started to happen, people said i'm going to the airport because they showed their power.
they knew they had power and showed their power. that was helpful in trying to get the cases made for individuals. and i it thank you for sharing your story which is the story of so many people and addresses our values as a country. >> thank you. appreciate it. [ applause ] >> not everyone shares that view. this is a lebanese-american muslim and has a different take on the refugee policy. >> congresswoman pelosi. you opposed president trump to top refugees from coming to the u.s. >> to stop? yes, i did. >> countries like syria. i am lebanese, american muslim. there are countries that harbor
radical islamic groups and teaches teenagers to hate anyone who is not muslim. how can you as some of them come as refugees and create problems here. how can you grant the safety for all americans? >> thank you. are you finished? i'm sorry. >> for all americans. if we let these refugees to come. >> okay. thanks to our comprehensive immigration reform which we had before, our country is blessed with many newcomers including yourself to reinvigorate america with your hopes, dream, aspirations, courage, determination to make the future better. that optimism is all american and every refugee and newcomer
who comes with that determination makes america more american in my view. the reason i oppose this specific thing that president trump did was the following. refugees have the most stringent vetting of all newcomers to our country. the most stringent vetting. so when he cuts off syria largely those are refugees coming. the most stringent vetting. we take an oath to support and defend the american constitution. it's our first responsibility. we are not casual about our reasons and need to protect the american people. we have to be strong and we have to be smart. we don't have to be reckless and rash. we don't have to discriminate against people because of their religion. that's why i oppose what he has done with the seven countries. he has no case in my view with the refugees.
i identify with what pope francis said about that. make mow mistake. i thank you for your question and i thank you for your courage coming to america. i have been there a number of times and seen the situation there and it's a wonderful country and i hope the way things go that people can enjoy staying home and enjoy their lives there as well as exercising the right to come to america. what the president did and the manner in which he did it has not made us more safe. that's why i oppose it. [ applause ] >> there are additional -- you oppose president trump's executive order. are there screening measures you do support separate from what president trump did? >> president obama instituted more stringent vetting when we thought there was a threat to prevent a threat from happening.
president trump now said i did the same thing president obama did. no. he did not. that was about vetting. it wasn't about banning. of course we have to vet people coming into our country. as i said, for the refugees, that's the most stringent vetting process of all. it's mostly women and children. we have to make sure that the system that is there is thoroughly adhered to. so it's not -- we are not indifferent to it. whatever is there has to be executed meticulously to protect the american people. what we have a problem now is with homegrown threats of terrorism and what the president did with this ban is something that doesn't lessen the threat. it exacerbates the threat. >> we will take a quick break. president trump said he is going to build a wall and mexico is going to pay for it.
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>> i live in brooks county, texas. it's a little off the border, but it's close. my closest neighbor is a border patrol check point. it's one of the most active check points in the nation for human and drug smuggling controlled by the mexican drug cartel s. imagine this situation. you go to the grocery store, you come home and live on a ranch and pull up into your house and then the yard your dogs are playing with something that looks like a ball. upon further investigation it's actually a human head. a skull with brain matter in it. a woman's skull. we found her body 150 yards from our backdoor a short time later the next day. she had a broken ankle. we find hundreds of bodies in
brooks county. 56 last year and it may be over 60. a few years ago it was 129. most of these are within 15 or 20 minutes of my front door. the body count is staggering. congresswoman pelosi, we witnessed the depravity of man and children as young as 2 years of age left behind. one child 11 or 12 years old was left behind by the cartel smugglers and was so weak trying to keep up he couldn't climb over a gate and that's where he died. i have pictures. we encounter pregnant women left behind. one incident one collapsed from heat stroke and we were able to revive her and get her to the
hospital. a lot of women are left behind. a lot of women leave the groups to avoid sexual assault. we have a lot of women that we saved that have been sexually assaulted. it's incredible. on that subject, one of the most disturbing events for my wife was to find a -- within 300 yards of our front door. border patrol is at risk when they encounter the smugglers. i had border patrol men assaulted on my ranch. these guys are our heroes. they really are. my wife had encounters with gang members at the backdoor and she had encounters with gang members at the front door.
>> i don't mean to be rude, but if you can get to the question. we have other people waiting. >> my question is this. will you and your democratic colleagues support president trump in building the wall or fence, shutting down the sanctuary cities and giving more manpower to the border patrol. give us more agents. we need at least 1,000 more in the rio grand value sector and at least 1,000 more in another sector. that's my question. >> thank you, dr. vickers so much for the sensitive presentation that you made about the experience that you have there. the question is not about do we need to protect our borders. of course we do. is it effective to build a wall to the tunes of $40 billion and you know and i know that the mexican government is not going
to pay for that so where does that come from? even if it costs 10 cents, is it an answer and does it produce the result that you need to see and that we as americans need to do to protect our borders? a lot of the thinking is we need more technology and manpower and some fencing perhaps. we have some. it's not overwhelmingly effective, but with more technology and manpower, i think we have a better result than thinking that mexico is going to pay tens of billions of dollars to build a wall. they are not saying where this money comes from in terms of our budget. so it comes out of more border patrol? where does this money come from? i will go to your next question and i appreciate your sensitivity to the loss of life and the threat you have seen to security that you are experiencing and your experience is important for us to hear and
i thank you for sharing it. our city of san francisco is a sanctuary city. we see it as a place where it makes us safer. it makes us safer because people can go to school and they can get driver's licenses and be witnesses against other violence that they see in the community. where as they came forward to profess that, they would have to be taken up by us. we don't think we should make our police officers, immigration officers. we think the sanctuary city makes us safer in our experience. i heard today and i don't know if it's true, but they are thinking about california becoming a sanctuary state. we are a border state too with mexico.
our people near the border had to express concerns. let me say this. you had one experience. many of my colleagues and i have visited the border in different locations whether at laredo at the entry or allen or brownsville. you name it, i have visited and praise the work of our border patrol and all of those places. in a place like el paso, for example, it's a community with a border running through it. it's a safer place because there is this respect for law and order and arrest there. >> since we are on the subject of sanctuary cities. we have a republican from texas who has a question of border security that prompted her to appear in a presidential campaign ad for president trump. >> thank you for having me. please excuse my voice. there are over 300 city this is this country that are sanctuary
cities like san francisco. you are not only choosing to disavow the law, but adding sanctuary to people who come there and disavow the law. in 2010, one of the illegals slaughtered my son. he tortured him and beat him. he tied him up like an animal. he set him on fire. i am not a one-story mother. this happens every day because there are no laws enforced at the border. we have to start giving american families first. this is not bad to not put americans first. we have families that fought and died for this country. how do you reconcile in your head about allowing people to disavow the law and the second part of my question is this. if you need to lineup your
babies and grandbabies, which one of them could you look in their eyes today and them that they are expendable for another foreign person to have a nicer life? which one would you like to say you are expendable for someone else to come over here and not follow the law and have a nicer life. >> again, i commend you for sharing your story. i can't even imagine the pain. i can't imagine. there is nothing that can compare to the grief that you have. i pray for you and again we all pray that none of us has to experience what you experienced. thank you for channelling your energy to prevent something like from happening. in our sanctuary cities our people are not disobeying the law. they are law-abiding citizens that it enables them to be there
without being reported to ice in case of another crime that they might bear witness to. >> my son's killer gets sanctuary in your city when he is let out of jail. >> i'm sorry, dear? >> will my son's killer get sanctuary in your city? >> of course not. was he in a sanctuary city when this happened? was he a victim of someone in a sanctuary city? >> it was a spoken policy at that time. not written. all of the big stes. >> it doesn't matter. you lost your son and that's the important thing. i do think we have to stipulate to a set of facts and the fact is that no, that's not what the point is. you do not turn law enforcement officers into immigration officers. that is really what the point is in a sanctuary city. it's not a question of giving
sanctuary to someone who has -- is guilty of a crime. they should be deported. they should be deported or sent to jail for what they do. if you can catch them in time. thank you and i'm sorry for your story and thank you for your courage. >> so many stories on so many different sides of the issue of illegal immigration. i want to you meet victor who lives in el paso who has a question about immigration. >> greetings, leader pelosi. great city. i just want to thank you and everybody else here. it's a great privilege to be here. i'm on the opposite side of the spectrum. i was brought to the u.s. illegally as a 1 yore old baby. my sister was born on u.s. soil. she was able to petition for both of my parents and they are on the path to u.s. citizenship.
if daca is removed which is the provision i'm under, i will lose my education which i am paying for myself. i will lose my occupation as a sign language interpreter because my parents are deaf. i will be sent back to mexico, a place i don't even know. i will be separated from my entire family. what can you do for dreamers such as myself and families who are disdraught from being separated? [ applause ] >> the dreamers are so spectacular and inspirational to all of us. that is why when we had the majority in the congress led by our congressional hispanic caucus passed the dreamer's act. it didn't pass the senate because you needed 60 votes and you didn't have 60 votes there. the president and the absence of congressional action issued the
executive order to protect the dreamers. when a dreamer comes forward, they out their parents. so the parents are in jeopardy. they did an executive order to protect the parents as well. in your case, your sister is a citizen could intercede for your parents, but not for you. i'm hoping that with public opinion coming back to the people that this administration will not be so harsh in lifting the dreamers' executive action of the president. i spoke to the secretary yesterday. i lost track of time. i was in kissimmee florida at the college listening to students there. many of them dreamers. went i went to speak to him about the ban, i spoke about the dreamers and that's a conversation that i hope we can
ton have. so that we won't jeopardize this beautiful advantage we have which is the dreamers in our country. it's important to note this. this is some of my impatience. some of my impatience with the president. president obama and it was enexacted because congress refused to act with dreamers and their parents and other issues related to immigration. when president reagan was president of the united states, the congress did act. the immigration act of 1986. very strong piece of legislation. and after he signed the bill, the president said congress didn't do enough. i by executive office am going to issue family fairness. family fairness as a percentage protected more people than president obama is protecting in
the executive actions he has taken to protect immigrants. president reagan and president george herbert walker bush. the two of them together a higher percentage of protection than even president obama. president clinton continued and george w. bush was one of the best presidents on immigrations. speaks so respectfully of newcomers. tried to pass a bill and couldn't convince his party. this is the first republican president, first president, but certainly first republican period we had of the past five presidents who is going in a different direction of who we are as a nation of immigrants and the value our dreamers bring to our country. i am hopeful and prayerful working with people of faith and the rest that we can convince them to protect the dreamers.
>> thank you so much. can i ask you a quick question? while we are on the subject of illegal immigration, i want to ask you about a somewhat related topic. you were in a meeting with president trump and other congressional leaders and it is widely reported so you are not telling tales, it is widely reported in this meeting the president claimed he only lost the popular vote because 3 to five million illegal votes were cast. there is no evidence for that. and part of the allegation is among those three to five million illegal votes that exist according to evidence is a lot were undocumented immigrants. what did you say when he made this wild claim? >> he didn't actually say they were illegal. the inference to be drawn was that. he said three to five million people voted illegally. i attended meetings with
presidents as a leader. i would never say what a president says in a meeting. i would say what i say in a meeting, but not what my colleague says in a meeting. that's up to them to say. the republicans went out and said president trump said he had won the popular vote by to five million votes. that made it in the public domain. chuck schumer said nancy said that's not true, mr. president. there is no evidence to support that. that's in the public domain that i said that to him. when i said that, it's not true. there is no evidence to subject that. he said i'm not even counting california. so my reaction to it was i feel sorry for you. you are the president of the united states and you are so insecure, a. this is not even true. it's like the size of your inauguration. i pray for you, mr. president. i pray for you.
more importantly i pray for the united states of america. because this is really sad. there is no evidence to support that. you know what it is, it's a predicate for the president to say there is voter fraud rampant throughout the country which is not true. we asked every attorney general to come forth with the names of anybody they think that voted illegally in our country. can we talk on a positive vain. this was last week and we didn't go through the incompetence and recklessness of the ban. we didn't go through the appointment of a person who doesn't support the preem court precedence. i thought you were going to ask me are we going to work with the president and i would say where we can engage, we have a spnt to find common ground. where we can't find it, we must
resist. if we can build infrastructure and not necessarily the wall, but in roads and bridges and water systems and high speed rail and mass transit, let's find a way to do that together. we can find ways to work balance in the campaign with a priority. >> you think you can work with him. >> i certainly hope so. he's the president of the united states. by the way i told him at the meeting so i will tell you, i said mr. president, when i had the majority, i had the gavel and george w. bush was president we worked with him even though we disagreed on the war in iraq. what could be worse than that. privatizing social security. we disagreed on those, but we passed some of the most progressive legislation to help poor children and the biggest energy bill. we wanted nuclear and renewables and we have a big bill.
the list goes on. drugs for hiv and aids. all of those kinds of things. we disagree on certain issues. we respect that he's the president of the united states and we want to work together. where we will draw the line is if he wants to repeal the affordable care act. >> i have to cut you off to pay some bills, but we will talk about that. massive marches across the country, but was the white house listening? that's ahead when we come back. audi pilotless vehicles have conquered highways, mountains, and racetracks. and now much of that same advanced technology is found in the audi a4.
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welcome back. we're at town hall meeting with house minority leader nancy pelosi. you wanted to talk about more positive things, women's march, you brought up. i want to introduce you to madison mccorm im. a graduate student from nyu. >> thank you for the opportunity. when i marched in washington i marched with women across the world and the u.s. i then watched trump's interview as a person of u.s. president on abc when he denied hearing the million people outside his front door. i found this troublesome. so many people showed up in the streets, not just in the u.s.
but across the world, around the world. my question to you is do you mind this rhetoric that trump is saying about denying hearing us even more damaging to our cause? do we need to be louder? and if he didn't hear us, who did? thank you. >> well, thank you very much, madison. let me say this. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you for marching. my daughter was there with her two boys, nine and ten years old. i marched in san francisco in the driving rain, but it did not dampen anyone's spirit, pun intended. madison, here's the thing. we don't agonize. we organize. so it's no use saying who heard what there. the point is that women and their families, men, many men marching too and children. they got their message across. whether somebody wants to admit to hearing it or not is another thing. so to the women, you marched for
progress. now run for office. now run for office. we need many more women to run for office. nothing is more wholesome to the political system or government than the increased participation in leadership of women. so i say that to you. some of what has to happen is as organic as the march. it has to happen in local communities where people rally around environmental issues and a woman's right to choose, whatever the issue is. and it is a pretty exciting thing. and as i said earlier, i think the reason thousands of people were at the airports is because millions of people marched the day after the inauguration. and quite frankly, it really gave us all a boost of morale. >> leader pelosi, i want to bring in a rabbi from new jersey. you wanted to talk about obama care. rabbi, take it away. >> i'm a religious leader. i spent most of my life working
with religious groups to help provide health care for all americans. before obama care, i saw horrors every day so tragic that they could rip the heart out of a stone. and now i see the president and republican politicians sitting on their fat health insurance provided by the taxpayers, declaring their electricalness to return tens of millions of americans to the permanent state of anxiety they used to be in when health care was not available. miss pelosi, i believe if we deny health care to those who need it, we are losing our humanity and failing as a nation. what will you and the democrats do to make sure this does not happen? will you fight for us? really fight for us? and will you hold the trump administration accountable for their health care policies? and if so, how? [ applause ]
>> thank you very much, rabbi. i rest our case. you've made such a wonderful presentation. let me say this because you spoke from a values place, and why this is important to families, to people, to individuals, to our values. we could make the case from an accounting standpoint as well. so if people are not moved by a values discussion, these are the facts. first of all, if there was no reason to pass the afford care act, if people loved their insurance and loved their insurer and loved their health care, we would still have to do it, because the cost of health care, the rising costs of health care in our country were unsustainable to individuals, to families, to small business, to corporate america was paying a big part of the bill and to the federal, state and local government. the prices were going like that through the roof. when we passed the bill, it was a fight. it was a fight. by the way, we call it the
affordable care, with the emphasis on affordable. the republicans didn't -- named it barack obama care as a derogatory term which we quickly embraced and loved, but the name is affordable care act. the three purposes were to increase coverage, to expand those who got health care, to improve benefits and to lower costs. and it has succeeded in every way. some of the costs are still going up because of the cost of prescription drugs, but they are going up at the rate slower than -- lower rate of increase than any time in the over 50 years that they had been measuring this. so the -- now it's also important to note that affordable care act and medicare and medicaid are wed. what we did in the affordable air act to prolong the life of medicare to make free
examinations available to seniors so they can get in sooner at no cost and stay healthier, lower the cost of their prescription drugs by closing what's called the donut hole for younger people, that's the prescription drug benefit, makes that even more important than addressing the 20 million people who additional important. medicaid where many middle income families have spent down their assets and their seniors in nursing homes, 50% of their care is paid for my medicaid. you want mom and dad to be living in the guest room, the attic, the basement, wherever, because they cannot afford to stay in nursing homes? then you support the republicans overturning the affordable care act. opioids, don't take it from me. the governor of ohio, john kasich, said thank you god for medicaid. that's going to help us address the opioid epidemic. you have that.
if you overturn it, you lose three to four million jobs. but this isn't just about the economics, lowering of costs and the rest. it's not just about the 20 million people. it's about the 155 million people who get their insurance through the workplace whose benefits from greatly expanded. no more preexisting medical condition. no more lifetime limits on the care your insurer provides. if you have a child, they can stay on your policy until 26 years old and no longer is being a woman a preexisting medical condition. >> thank you. >> one more thing. and insurers, the insurance companies must spend 80 % of the money that they take in on your health care, not on advertising, ceo pay, and all the rest of
that. so to overturn it is -- i mean, my colleagues, jim, a sis tant leader, third ranking leader in the house. he said this is the civil rights bill of this country. it allows people to have a healthier life and pursuit of happiness because they're no longer chained to a job because they get health benefits there. thank you rabbi for what you do. >> we couldn't stand the entire program on the -- one week from night we'll have a debate night. sanders versus cruz, the future of obama care. senator sanders and senator cruz facing off about health care in america. it will be moderated by dana bash and myself, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. we still have a lot more to talk about. i want to introduce you to william marsh and take it away. >> leader pelosi, our steel