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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 4, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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>> i went through two years of campaigning, and i'm telling you, no matter where i went, people were suffering so badly with the ravages of obamacare. and i will say this, that as far as i'm concerned, your premiums, they're going to start to come down. we're going to get this passed through the senate. i feel so confident. so the journey continues. we will get it done. we will have great, great health care for everyone in our nation. >> so jim, the president obviously really needed this. it has been said that that's how he got that win. members felt like he needed at least a win. so no doubt he got a deal done in the house. is he celebrating a little prematurely? >> don, i think they might want to call it schoolhouse rock on youtube. holding a victory party in the
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rose garden of the white house after something passes in the house, that might be a bit premature. i think the president was acknowledging that here in new york city earlier this evening. he was sitting down with the australian prime minister before their bilateral discussion, and reporters were peppering him with questions. and he said, listen, this thing is going to change somewhat in the senate, it is going to change. senator john corn insaid they're not going to vote on what was passed out of the house. they'll pass their own bill out of the senate. and so we're a long way off from an actual rose garden signing ceremony. that's the ceremony we all want to keep our eyes on, don. today was a bit of a catharsis for the republican party. because they've been chasing this for seven years. the president did come pain on it. paul ryan has had a zeal to repeal obamacare for some time. they certainly accomplished that. but it's still a long way to go. >> april, talk to me about the arm-twisting from the president to get this deal done.
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do we know if he used carrot sticks? >> he used whatever he had at his reach. this president really wanted to get this done. he needed the winning picture. you know, once they put out that $8 billion safety net for the preexisting condition, for the most vulnerable, you know, that was something that really helped him. but he is using a lot at his disposal, and the question is what deals were made. but don, going back to what jim said, and i was channeling schoolhouse rock today as well, the issue is, this is not really a victory. it's a winning picture that he wants to present. but it's a partial victory. but the issue really happens next week, when the true numbers, the cbo score comes out. we'll see if they're still doing a victory lap then. >> there are some folks who are reporting that it's still going to project -- kick 24 million people off of health care. by the way, there is pushback on that $8 billion.
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some people are saying it will only help cover 76,000 people, a small fraction of the 130 million americans with preexisting conditions. the president proved he could make a deal, but what kind of a deal did he make for the american people? especially when you consider lawmakers essentially flew blind in passing this thing. they passed it before they knew what's in it. we all remember that from seven years ago. they didn't have a cbo report, no hearings, no legislative text. >> right. so the president is on the hook now for health care, and so is the republican party. i guess in some ways the democrats can breathe a sigh of relief that this isn't on their shoulders anymore. i think what we need to remember in this, don, is that there are millions of americans out there who feel like their premiums are too high and getting higher, that they have deductibles they can't afford and they feel they lost doctors and plans and don't have access to as much quality health care choices that they used to have.
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>> is this going to help them? >> that's what i am getting to. what the republicans are trying to do is craft a plan that does that while fulfilling a campaign promise to repeal and replace the affordable care act. a failure to do so would be catastrophic for them in 2018, because the voters would ask, we gave you full control of washington and you can't do anything. so then the question, and this gets to your point is, if the republicans can actually get this to the finish line, and get it done, if it doesn't make people's lives better, if they feel like their health care is worse, or they lose doctors, and prices don't go down, and that's what the congressional republicans are guaranteeing, without being able to offer any numbers yet, if none of that happens, they're going to be in a world of hurt. so are americans whose health care won't be any better. we have a policy conundrum here. there are no projections that show us where premiums and deductibles are going to go, at the high level they are now to
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the low level they imagine they'll end up. >> j.d., the american medical association came out against this bill. they said millions would lose health insurance. it doesn't really protect preexistingtons. according to them. the aarp said it would substantially increase insurance premiums for older adults and cut medicaid for millions of low-income seniors, children and adults with disability. this is going to impact every american, including a lot of trump voters. especially if you look at that, and if what the ama says and the aarp says, if that is correct, that hits in the heart of trump country. >> yeah, that's exactly right. so, we don't have the cbo projection of the most recent bill. but we have it for the bill on which the most recent bill was modeled. and if you look at that projection, the evidence suggests that the people who will lose out most in that american health care act are a lot of the folks who voted for donald trump. working class and lower middle
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class voters, older voters, those folks may very well see their deductibles go up, and their premiums go up. this is not just a policy problem, there's obviously a significant issue of folks potentially losing access to their health care. think of the political problem, folks have always asked, what is it that's going to drive donald trump's voters away from him? losing their health care may be the answer to that question. unfortunately, i think the republicans, that obamacare did not solve all the problems, now own the problem, they're going to learn very quickly, unless they craft a better bill, that it's not just enough to critique the bill that has failed in the past. you have to actually offer a better alternative. we're going to see if the senate is able to actually put forward that alternative. >> democrats have been critical of the affordable care act of obamacare, admitting it needs fixing. but obviously they don't think it should be repealed and
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replaced spirl. jim, this gop plan replaces the affordable care act, or obamacare subsidies with refundable tax credits, mainly based on age. allowing insurers to charge sick people and older people more. less federal support for medicaid. the rich still get tax cuts. it weakens obamacare for people with preexisting conditions. is this the bill americans wanted? >> well, you remember, don, when president obama said if you like your plan, you could keep it, it didn't hold up. what president trump is proposing is, well, if you lose your health care plan, you can move to another state. for people with preexisting conditions, if they are suffering from cancer, or other chronic illnesses, and they live in a state where a governor comes in, conservative governor comes in and says, you know what, i don't like obamacare's protection for preexisting conditions, i want to get rid of this, i want a waiver, then
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people with those preexisting conditions who live in that state would have to move to another state in order to have those preexisting conditions covered. that is just going to be frightening to a lot of people out there, who suffer from these sorts of illnesses. and yes, they did put together this pool that april mentioned of $8 billion that would cover people with these sorts of illnesses-the next five years. but there are estimates that is just a fraction of what is needed for those people who are in that kind of situation. and so i think you had lawmakers up on capitol hill today, don, acknowledging that they hadn't read the bill. congressman collins in "the situation room" with wolf blitzer said they hadn't read the bill. after obamacare was coming up for a vote back in 2009, house speaker paul ryan, then congressman ryan said, how can we rush through a bill that people haven't read and it hasn't been scored. that's what they did today. and so, you know, i think what everybody has been saying before is exactly right. they are taking a leap of faith
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here in the republican party that trumpcare will somehow deliver them in 2018. but, you know, they're in for a very tough fight in the midterms. that's why you had the democrats on the house floor today singing, hey, hey, good-bye. i was talking to democratics today describing this as christmas in may. >> yeah. a lot of it for the sake of a win. we'll discuss that throughout this broadcast. thank you. i appreciate it. when we come back, can the republican health care plan get through the senate? a prominent democratic senator tells me what they thinks. ♪ yes, i'm a bill sitting here on capitol hill ♪ ♪ it's a long journey to the capital city ♪ ♪ it's a long, long wait ♪ while i'm sitting in committee ♪ ♪ but i know i'll be a law some day ♪
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the gop health care bill facing an uphill battle in the senate. but president trump, he's optimistic about the bill tonight in new york. >> it could change a little bit. maybe even get better. it's a very good bill right now. >> joining me now, senator jon tester, a montana democrat. today was a huge victory for republicans in the white house and president trump. he's confident this bill will pass the senate. listen to this. >> it's passed through the senate, i feel so confident. your deductibles, they were so ridiculous, that nobody got to use their current plan. this nonexistent plan that i heard so many wonderful things
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about over the last three or four days. i don't think you'll hear so much right now, the insurance companies are fleeing. it's been a catastrophe. and this is a great plan. i actually think it will get even better. and this is, make no mistake, this is a repeal and a replace of obamacare. make no mistake about it. >> so, senator, the president seems pretty confident it's going to get through the senate. you say it's dead on arrival. >> i don't know about dead on arrival, but they've -- i think that if we were smart in the senate, we'll take a look at this bill, and try to make health care more accessible and more affordable for the folks across this country. i know the president made promises on repealing. i've always said that if you want to repeal it and replace it with a health care bill that makes health care more affordable, and more accessible, i would support that. the problem is with this bill, i think seniors are going to end
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up with higher premiums. i think there's going to be a large number of people kicked off their policies. i think folks with preexisting conditions with diabetes or folks with cancer, or even those with high blood pressure are going to end up potentially paying much higher premiums. affordability is a big deal. the affordable care act needs some work. there are plenty of things we can do to make it more affordable for folks. about you to throw out some of the things that i think this proposal in the house is really going to impact very negatively, i think is a mistake by us. as i went around the state of montana right after the election, talked to hospitals, patients, talked to doctors about what they want to see, if the aca is repealed, they all said, you've got to improve affordability, you've got to make sure we have accessibility. that means not only insurance policies, but that also means medical facilities can't be shut down because of too much unpaid bills. so -- >> does this bill have that affordability and accessibility? >> not from what i've seen it does not.
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it's not even close. in fact, it's going to dump a lot of people off. i think it's going to raise premiums for a ton of people. and in the end, this is much bigger than political showmanship. this is much bigger. health care impacts every one of our lives, it impacts it in a big, big way. we've got to make sure we do this right. we've got to make sure we increase affordability. that's the problem with the health care for some of the folks on that plan. and we also need to make sure we don't shut down many of our medical facilities, especially those in rural and frontier america. >> this goes beyond shomanship, this administration and republicans needed a win. the criticism from democrats at least has been that they needed this for tax cuts. and that's what they're using to get tax cuts, using people's health care and possibly their lives. >> well, i think that's very unfortunate. look -- >> do you agree with that? >> i want to see tax cuts, too. but to deny health care for people so that you can give tax cuts to the billionaires and
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richest of the rich in society is not the direction we should be going. we should be working to make health care more affordable, not less. and when we dealt with the affordable care act, what, some eight years ago, don, we were looking at an old system where too many folks weren't paying their bills because they couldn't afford insurance. we should have learned a lesson from that. it can be done. we need to work to improve what's wrong with the aca, keep the good parts, get rid of the parts that don't work, and move forward. >> i've heard that from just about every democrat, that the aca is not perfect and they would hike to improve it. but they weren't sure, they didn't think the entire thing needed to be repealed and replaced. you're a democrat senator and in a state that president trump won by 21 points. you're up for reelection next year. does this opposition help or hurt you? >> i don't know, i just try to do the right thing.
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i just try to do what's right and listen to the people on the ground to find out what their challenges are. health care is a big, big challenge. we need to make sure we do this right. if folks try to jam something through that doesn't really meet those two qualities of affordability and accessibility, then i think we made a mistake in both the house and the senate of serving the people, and letting the people have what they need. >> what are your colleagues saying about this? what do they think about this bill that just made it through the house? >> well, i think they're very concerned about it, for all the same reasons i said, affordability, accessibility. if people get tossed off their health care, if people with preexisting conditions get charged a lot more for their health care, if seniors get taxed higher for their health care, i think there's some big problems with it. >> do you think the cbo score will show that? >> i think the cbo probably will show that. but we will see. it would have been good if the house had a cbo before they
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acted on it. i think it's important to have that score. >> yeah. listen, you say that this administration is doing everything this ecan do to make obamacare fail. they are pulling out of markets. does this bill do anything to help that problem? >> i don't know that it does. i can tell you a lot of the reasons they're pulling out of markets is because the mandate isn't being enforced. they're talking about taking the subsidies away. that makes business pretty uncomfortable if there's that kind of uncertainty. they're going to hedge their bets to make sure they don't go broke. it was on a downward spiral. i think the president and others are doing everything that they can do to make that happen. and by talking the way they've been talking about it. >> i mentioned the cbo. this is lindsay graham who is a
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republican tweeted today. a bill finalized yesterday has not been scored. amendments not allowed. three hours, final debate. should be viewed with caution. ultimately do you think that -- this may come to haunt republicans? >> i think he's absolutely correct. this is a complex issue. and to push it through, to pound it through, without any opportunity for amendment, and discussion, and debate, or going through the committee process, i think is a mistake. i think the american people can see that. in the end it's coming over to the senate side now, don, and we don't want to make the same mistakes. i'll work and i know there are others on my side of the aisle that will work very, very hard to try to improve this, to make health care more accessible and more affordable. that's really the bottom line. if we're able to do that, with ecan make a bill that's pretty bad right now into a bill that can work for the american people. >> senator tester, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you, don. when we come back, is the president hitting his stride? will he be able to keep his promises on health care? my panel is here to discuss.
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the house, after a big push from
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the health care passes in the house, after a big push from president trump. but the bill faces an uphill battle in the senate. jonathan is here. also katie, and adam and alice stewart. and the former policy director for hillary clinton. so good to have all of you on. anna, i want to start with you. the president went all-out with a tv production in the rose garden. here he is making a big promise to americans. >> i think most importantly, yes, premiums will be coming down. yes, he ductibles will be coming down. but very importantly it's a great plan. ultimately that's what it's all about. >> do you think he may regret or could regret making that promise, anna? >> we don't know what the plan will ultimately end up looking like. remember, they have to go through the senate. we don't know what the finished product will look like. this is definitely a short-term victory for donald trump.
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for paul ryan. we don't know if it's going to be a long-term victory. we're going to find that out in 2018 in november when people vote. what i did feel, though, was, you know, part of me understands that he's talking to his base. he's just delivered a big promise that was such a big part of the campaign, not just for him, but so many other republicans. also, it felt so tone deaf to me and such a lack of empathy. there are a lot of people in america who are scared out of their minds about what the effect of this bill could possibly be in their own personal lives, and on the lives of the people they love. and i think we have to have a little sensitivity and compassion. this idea of spiking the football. first of all, it still has to go through the senate, so it's halftime. but while so many americans are so frightened, just to me, it didn't feel quite right. >> do you think this victory is premature, jonathan? >> i think anna put it quite right, it's unfortunate.
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i would put it more harshly. more people will die, many more people will become sick because of what the republicans are going to try to do. >> why do you say that? >> fact, 24 million people, assuming the repeal passes, and it gets through the senate and there's some compromise, millions of people will be thrown off their health care plan. many people won't be able to afford to get health care. >> the prior cbo score -- >> this one has not been scored. it's pretty much modeled on the same fact. let's look at one reality in the bill. medicaid is going to be cut by $800 billion. that affects poor people and women. and the message to the rest of the country is republicans, at least donald trump and the republicans in the house do not care about women and children and poor people. and those people are the ones who are going to suffer in particular. >> why are you shaking your head, kate? >> it felt initially you were describing obamacare. >> that's not true. the medicaid expansion actually covered women and children. >> we found out in iowa that the last statewide insurer is
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dropping out. that would leave people with zero options. one-third of u.s. counties, they have one insurance option. we know lots of doctors, when you go in to -- i let you finish, let me finish. >> $800 billion will be cut which affects poor people and women. >> jonathan, let me finish. when you go into doctors' offices and they have the big sign, we do not accept medicaid, there are millions of people who are on medicaid. they can't find a doctor who will take it. insurance coverage is one thing. care is a different thing. this is a bill that will bring care not just coverage. >> it will throw -- the cbo, the kaiser family foundation, not the people who are rhetorically talking about the free market, those people have the facts. >> who is -- >> that is what is going to happen to tens of millions of americans. >> who am i hearing sigh? is that neera?
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>> probably. >> why? >> because you can listen to pundits on tv who defend president trump, no matter what he says, whatever lie he tells, or you can listen to the american medical association, the aarp, doctors, nurses, everyone with a stake in the health care system came out opposed to this bill, because it will drop coverage for millions of people. doctors said people with preexisting conditions, asthma, basic health care conditions, like asthma, any kind of condition that was a preexisting condition will now be able to be discriminated against. so, you know, pundits on tv can tell you things like, oh, it was so bad before. this bill got worse in order to pass the house. it got worse by beyond dumping people off health care, 24 million people, then being particularly cruel to people with preexisting conditions.
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>> let me put up what the american medical association just said. the largest argument of doctors in the country. it said, this bill will result in millions of americans losing access to quality afford ability health insurance and those with preexisting health conditions facing the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question. are they wrong, alice stewart? >> yes, they're wrong. let me refresh everyone's memory when president obama said if you like your doctor, you can keep it. that's not true. when he promised greater access to health care and lower costs, that's not true. in addition to what kay leigh said, many counties in this country have one health care option. that's not greater access to care. and aetna just announced they're pulling out of virginia. the access to quality health care has gone down. >> can i just say -- >> i'm not finished yet. >> let her finish. i'll let you get in here. let her finish. >> in regard to the medical association's comment with regard to preexisting conditions, that was a concern. they addressed that with an
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amendment today which said they're going to add $8 billion to this for those that decide to opt out. >> $8 billion provided by that, upton's amendment, will only help over 76,000 people, cover 76,000 people, which is a small fraction of the 130 million americans with preexisting conditions. >> it will cost $100 billion. that was one of the most shameful and cynical things about this whole process, aside from not letting the cbo score it. they pretended to many people who will be desperate and out of luck, this epretended that $8 billion will solve it. it will cost at least $100 billion. >> it only covers the -- the amendment covers 4% of people with preexisting conditions. 96%. the vast majority are not going to be covered by that. it was just a cynical attempt to give coverage, and give talking points to people on tv. the reality is, i'm sorry, i'm going to trust the american medical association, doctors and
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nurses over the spin of the trump white house when it comes to people's health care. the fact is, when people talk about there's only one insurer in some of these areas of the country, that is happening today because of donald trump and what he's doing. the truth is, that millions of people have health care coverage, even if there's one insurer. >> what do you mean? >> because the insurers are worried about what the price is, and what the trump white house is doing and that's why they're exiting. they're exiting market because they don't -- >> you said you don't think this would happen? >> it's not just the mandate. it's the whole approach of them -- the trump administration telling insurers they're trying to get out of health care. >> stand by. i want kayleigh to weigh in. this is the interesting thing to me. do you remember, we have to know what's in the bill before we know what's in the bill. it was hugely criticized.
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republicans said that. this is paul ryan in 2009. >> i don't think we should pass bills that we haven't read, that we don't know what they cost. if you rush this thing through before anybody even knows what it is, that's not good democracy. that's not doing our work for our constituents. we shouldn't rush this thing through just to rush it through for some artificial deadline. let's get this thing done right. >> how is this anything but hypocrisy? >> it's not hypocrisy. the cbo has already scored 90% of the bill. >> that's a good one. >> we can laugh or have an intelligent discussion. they scored 90% of the bill. they haven't scored the additional provisions that have been added. this isn't the final vote on the bill. it will go to the senate, it will come back, and we'll have a cbo score at that point. i want to correct for the viewer inaccuracies. this allows people to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. the text of the bill bars that word by word. >> that's not -- >> a viewer cannot possibly say
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people will lose coverage when in fact it gives the secretary discretion to allow states to have higher pools, like in maine, which are high functioning, you can't possibly say you know what's going to happen. it gives discretion to the federal government to defer to states that have the programs. >> quickly, i have to get to the break, but how is it not true? why? >> because we actually -- many high-risk pools have failed miserably. have you read the bill? the standards in the bill for states to do this, there are no standards at all. any state can basically say they want to get rid of preexisting coverage. i've read the bill. >> i have, too. >> we'll be right back with this group. >> i go to the house of representatives and they vote on me. >> if they vote no, what happens? >> i go back to the is not and
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it starts all over again. >> oh, no. >> oh, yes. ♪ i'm just a bill ♪ i'm only a bill ♪ and if they vote for me on capitol hill ♪ ♪ well, then, i'm off to the white house where i'll wait in a line ♪ ♪ with a lot of other bills for the president to sign ♪ ♪ and if he signs me ♪ then i'll be a law ♪ i hope and pray that he will ♪ but today i am still just a bill ♪ at blue apron, we're building a better food system. where instead of paying for middlemen, we work directly with family farms to deliver higher quality ingredients for less than you pay at the store. get $30 off at
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just after the health care bill passed, the house broke out into song. it wasn't exactly a celebration. take a listen. ♪ hey, hey, hey good-bye ♪ >> all right. so that was house democrats warning the republican colleagues, democrat believe angry voters will punish republicans in next year's midterm elections. a stunning moment on the floor after the vote. do you think this was unseemly on the part of democrats? >> yes. listen, in the same way that i said republicans spiking the ball when there are so many
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americans frightened out of their minds was unseemly, democrats going on the floor of the house to sing a, you know, song that you usually sing in a sports stadium, when somebody is losing, it's silly, immature and disrespectful of the place. it's disrespectful of the congress. make this is passe, but i'm an institutionalist. there's going to be plenty of time to campaign on this issue. tonight, today was not that day. and i think they did themselves very little favor by looking so damn silly. >> jonathan, it's not a game. it really isn't a game. i know that you said there's history there. but really, at the very least, it was just uncalled for. >> i don't disagree with that. i wouldn't have done it. but i think that that -- >> neither would i, because i can't carry a tune. >> me either.
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you don't want to hear it. but let's not get distract by what's a small thing. >> it's not a small thing. >> it's petty. but the real thing is, we now know -- >> it's not a small thing because it shows you the environment in washington. >> fair enough. but i think the bigger point is what this repeal bill is doing, which is putting tens of millions of people at risk for their health. and that's really the fundamental thing we should debate. here's the point i want to throw in quickly. this is a huge transfer of wealth to the very wealthy. billions of dollars to the top 1%. that's what this health care bill -- >> alice, you wanted to get in? >> i hate to remind the democrats that republicans have been campaigning on repealing and replacing obamacare ever since it was enacted into law. many of the republicans currently in congress right now, and the president of the united states, campaigned on repealing and replacing obamacare. they were reelected overwhelmingly in many of their districts. and the president won on that
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issue. so the fact that democrats are trying to scare them into saying that they're going to re grect this vote is laughable. that being said, this is a long war, they won the first battle. the next battle will be in the senate. i see major changes over there. there are concerns with the medicaid cuts and planned parenthood. i think we'll see a completely different version. spiking the football at this stage of the game is very immature on the part of the democrats. >> really quickly, the reality of this entire debate is that what democrats were angry about, and what democrats were voicing was the fact that republicans are supporting a bill that has 17% approval. the affordable care act today is over 60%. people want to say they campaigned on repeal and replace? they did not campaign on this bill. this bill has been rejected by the public. >> doing it without having some petty display on the house floor. >> okay. you know what? if we're going to complain about the displays on the house floor, what's cruel is taking a bill and passing it without actually
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knowing what's in it -- >> you're doing exactly the same thing -- can i just say something? in the last segment you were talking about pundits that defending, no matter what, all the lies, no matter what. let me finish. we're not talking about the bill. you not being able to admit this was a petty display by democrats on the house of the floor. i'm able to go on tv and say the republicans looked foolish today spiking the ball and the democrats looked foolish singing on the floor of the house. it's liberating, it is therapeutic, it is okay to tell the truth on tv. >> i'm happy to tell the truth on tv. you know what i say? i say, sure, democrats are petty about singing on the house floor. you know what i would also say? let's focus on the people, not the politicians, but the people who are going to be affected by this. parents are worried tonight about their children's
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preexisting conditions. that's a tragedy. let's talk more about that. >> yeah. okay. ana, that was a technical problem. ana dropped the mic and then dropped the satellite, too. thank you, guys. i appreciate it. when we come back, i'll speak with voters who are worried about the republican health care plan, including one who says obamacare saved his life. [fbi agent] you're a brave man, mr. stevens.
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your testimony will save lives. mr. stevens? this is your new name. this is your new house. and a perfectly inconspicuous suv. you must become invisible. [hero] i'll take my chances.
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albreakthrough withyou back. non-drowsy allegra® for fast 5-in-1 multi-symptom relief. breakthrough allergies with allegra®. the health care bill that passed in the house today is far from a sure thing in the senate. but many americans who benef benefitted from obamacare are scared about what comes next. here to discuss, is john brogan who works with lifeline recovery services. jeff, who says obamacare saved her life. and jesse, who defended obamacare at a town hall. i'm going to start with you, john. as someone who works recovering addicts, and you've asked the health and human services secretary, how he would fix the opioid epidemic, he assured you this would be a high priority.
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do you think it's a high priority? does this bill worry you? >> from what i've seen so far today, the pre-existing condition of drug and alcohol treatment, recent treatment, is going to raise the price on a lot of individuals that don't have insurance as it is. so, you're going to run into a lot of roadblocks. >> that's concerning to you? >> very concerning. >> what do you say to the folks who voted for it? >> it's kind of a catch 22. you look at where it came from, obamacare, the premiums were raising, as it was. and people suffering from substance abuse disorder don't have a lot of money coming into this. $15,000 is a lot of money to someone suffering. in order to pay that deductible, in order to pay that out of network premium, it's too much money. >> $15,000 is a lot of money to most people, regardless of what you're suffering from. jeff, you and i talked about
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this throughout this process. obamacare saved your life. you had cancer. you questioned paul ryan about it at our town hall. what do you make of the new bill? >> well, last time my wife had din we're a client. and i went along and the lady at the table next to us, her name is mary. seemed kind of frantic, and i went over and talked to her, and she had a son with a heart defect, born with a heart defect. and she was just worried sick about her son having to go without health insurance or health care. and, you know, we all have someone we love that has a pre-existing condition whether it's diabetes, high blood pressure. some people have substance abuse problems. what we're worried about is a rise in the death toll.
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i cannot remember any other country that took health care away from its citizens willingly. >> you think this is taking health care away from its citizens? >> oh, sure. if you listen to what the american medical association says, listen to what aarp says, every organization that is familiar with the subject gives the same warning. >> john, what do you think? do you think this is taking health care away from people? >> just by the letter of the law, what it says, if it's going to raise the premium for people to get insurance that don't have it already, of course. people with substance abuse disorder are in and out of treatment as it is right now. that was one of the requisites that it said. >> i'm going to read a little bit about your story so that our viewers know. you're in the marine corps.
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>> yes, sir. >> you're a recovering addict yourself? >> yes, sir. >> i just want to make sure i get it right. i was amazed to see the lengths that you go through to help addicts using obamacare. you've seen sent them to different states, right? >> yes, sir. >> you say the epidemic has reached such a crisis level in a town in new jersey, that town ran out of body bags last week. >> there's one -- that was actually in ohio. that was a phone call that we received where they had to bring in a trailer to store the bodies in because the death tolls were raising so much. >> so the concern for opioids, for heroin and opioids for you, obviously it's a major concern if you have a town running out of body bags. >> mm-hmm. >> if this bill, let's say it goes to the senate. it hasn't gone to the senate yet. it's not the law yet. what do you think could make it more effective to help addicts? >> we need more programs like in our state we have governor
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christie. these guys are putting together programs that are helping individuals that are suffering from overdoses, turning themselves in to the police station, that are getting into programs on scholarships that have nothing. so there needs to be more funding, and there's going to have to be some sort of access point for these individuals to get some sort of long-term treatment. >> would you like to see the politics taken out of this? >> it has to be. >> do you care if it's called trumpcare, obamacare? do you care what it's called. >> 55,000 people died last year. that's more than gun-related dea deaths. to tonight in the town that we're in. that's just unheard of. these are young kids that are dying. >> doesn't know if there's a d or an r in your background as a democrat or a republican, right? jesse, we had that little bit of difficulty with your skyping.
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i understand that you're back now. you spoke out at a town hall earlier this year with representative diana black and explained obamacare as the healthy pulling up the sick. you say what happened today is a horror story. why do you say that? >> well, because what it does is this bill just punishes people who are poor or who are sick or who are vulnerable. people -- elderly people on medicaid who are in nursing homes rnhom homes aren't going to be able to be in their nursing homes anymore if their funds are slashed. it just feels like a punishment for being sick or being poor. >> yeah. the video of you from the town hall in february that i mentioned went viral. people are still reaching out to you. what did they tell you today? >> well, i had actually a lot of mothers. i talked to a lot of women today, mothers who are afraid for their children, women who
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have experienced domestic violence or rape, and they're all of a sudden considered to have a pre-existing condition because they were raped. a woman whose son has the medication that's $14,000. a pregnant lady who is going to have two premature babies, and they're going to have to be in the nicu for two to three months, and she's worried about caps on her spending. just a lot of people with cancer, a lot of worried people with cancer. >> jessi, thank you. we hope that you're okay, and your health improves. jeff, the same. we appreciate your time and we hope that your health is improving as well. and, john, same to you. thank you so much. thank you for your service. >> thank you, sir. >> continue to help the addicts to get the stigma off of that but also to help them recover and get health care. when we come back, president trump claiming victory after the
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house passes a gop health care plan. but is his victory lap coming too soon? start your day with the number one choice of dentists. philips sonicare removes significantly more plaque versus oral-b 7000. experience this amazing feel of clean. innovation and you. philips sonicare. save now when you buy philips sonicare.
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philips sonicare. pg&e learned a tragic lesson we can never forget. this gas pipeline ruptured in san bruno. the explosion and fire killed eight people. pg&e was convicted of six felony charges including five violations of the u.s. pipeline safety act and obstructing an ntsb investigation. pg&e was fined, placed under an outside monitor,
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given five years of probation, and required to perform 10,000 hours of community service. we are deeply sorry. we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough, actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation. you finally get the first big win in your presidency and you take your victory tour to your hometown. guess how new yorkers are reacting. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon.
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the president beaming tonight over his health care victory in the house. but with an uphill climb in the senate, the celebration is a little premature. and in his hometown, let's say new yorkers are not exactly welcoming him with open arms tonight. i want to get straight to my guest, bill press, the host of the bill press show, david swerdlick. good evening to all of you. thank you for coming on. in pure, you know, trump fashion, the president had -- he did two events today. president trump taking his victory lap in the rose garden to celebrate his bill passing the house, and the president at a black tie event just a short time ago at the "uss intrepid" here in new york. is the president getting ahead of himself because this still has to go through the senate, and the outlook there is very different, bill. >> i think he is getting ahead of himself. i thought they spiked the football too soon. i don't blame them for doing it in the sense he wanted to crow a little bit that he