tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 25, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
>> yes. before you a make a campaign promise, you should probably have a policy you can offer up. and i think that's been the problem, and they don't have enough ideological cohesion to agree on anything. >> the fight over obamacare starts right now. [ applause ] live from washington, i'm telling you jake tapper. >> i'm dana bash. we have breaking news from congress as the state of obamacare hangsz in the balance. >> support in the republicans' last best hope for repeal. now appears to be disintegrating. susan collins said she will vote against it. rand paul told me that he is also a firm "no." >> of course, arizona senator
john mccain, who cast the deciding vote against the last republican effort pledged to vote against this one as well. it appears the bill will almost certainly fail. >> the question now, can republicans find a way to keep their promise to repeal obamacare with the clock ticking towards the deadline on saturday, and if not, will they work with democrats to fix what many americans say remains a broken system? we've gathered four senators at the heart of the debate. we have the authorize of this latest bill, senators lindsey graham of south carolina and bill cassidy of louisiana positioned for nearly decades. bernie sanders and from minnesota amy klobuchar. >> senators you will get one minute and 15 seconds to answer questions from us or the audience. 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals, and timing lights will guide you. >> we have an audience made up of americans on all sides of this issue tonight with the congress at a cross roads once again. their questions may be more
important than ever. where should we go from here? let's again with an opening statement from senator lindsey graham. >> thank you for coming tonight. where do we go from here determines about who we want to be as a nation. i want to provide high-quality health care for every american, including my family and yours, but we got to find way to make it so without bankrupting the country. when i was 21, my mom died of hodgkin's disease. 15 months later my dad died. we're all one car wreck away from needing somebody's help. i'm here tonight because obamacare is failing. we wouldn't be having this show if it was working. in my state we had a 31% premium increase we're down to one insurer. it's not working in south carolina anding i don't think it's going to work anywhere. it's time to look for a
replacement. i think we got a damn good idea. >> senator bernie sanders? >> since president trump was elected, these gentlemen and the republican leadership have on five occasions tried to repeal the affordable care act, thrown tens and tens of americans off their health insurance they currently have and make it impossible for people with preexisting conditions to get the health care they can afford. with these guys want to do is force older workers to see a very significant increase in their premiums, which is why the aarp is riggously opposed to their legacy. they want to tell 2.5 million women in the united states of america who today choose planned parenthood to get their health care, they can't do that because they want to defund planned parenthood. here's the most important point. we like each other, we really
do. but here's the point, every major health organization in this country, whether it is the american medical association, the american hospital association, the american cancer society, the alzheimer's society, every single major medical organization in this country thinks that their proposal is a disaster. so our job now is to defeat this disastrous proposal, get back to the drawing board, see if we can work together for some short term fixes, long term in my view. this country has got to join the rest of the industrialized world, health care for all. >> senator cassidy? >> it will take longer. >> i worked in the public system of louisiana trying to bring health care to those who did not have. and i learned in those 25 years that when the patient has the power, the system lines up to serve her.
and when the bureaucrat that see power, it serves the bureaucrat. who has the power, you the patient or or the federal government. the narrative on the other side is you don't have the capability to care for yourself, that your governs are scheming to take your protections if you have a preexisting condition, and they think the federal government taking control of your life is a better way to go. the logical extension of that unfortunately is the charlie hebdo guard case in which the single payer, the decision is too important for the parent to make and the child died. it's a decision about you versus the federal government, we side with you. those who opposite us and those with single payer, they choose otherwise. thank you. >> senator klobuchar? [ applause ] >> i'm up here on this stage
because 20 years ago my daughter was born and she was really sick. she couldn't swallow and she was in intensive care. and i was kicked out of the hospital in 24 hours. that was a rule back then. i went to the legacy guaranteed 24 hours hospital stay. my daughter got better and better. we fed her with tubes. my husband is here. she graduated from college this year. and i think every mom and dad should be able to take care of their kids that way and have insurance. i believe politics is about making people's lives better, but this bill, it doesn't do that. it kicks millions of people off insurance, it raises the premiums. it basically passes the buck to the states, but doesn't give them the bucks to cover people. so that's why i think we need to
work together on the plans that are already under way to fix the affordable care act and put the politics aside and focus on people first. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> let's go to our audience. i want to bring in a republican from pennsylvania. his wife was diagnosed with multiple scler row sis. their policy doesn't cover his wife's medication. senator cassidy, the deadline for senate action on repeal is september 30th. the senate failed to pass repeal and replace, full repeal, skinny repeal and now. it appears the votes aren't there to shift the decisions to the states. the whole health care system is collapsing. premiums are skyrocketing, choices are dwindling.
what can the senate do before open enrollment to reduce the cost of premiums, not just subsidize them. people are hurting. we can be action. >> we're going to have that for senator graham. if you want to handle that one. what can the senate do to lower the cost of premiums not just for subsidizing. >> be honest with ourselves with what our democratic friends are not doing. i don't think you're going to find many people up on this stage saying that what happened with obamacare is working for you and your family. so what we want to do is paralegal the individual mandate and the employer mandate. take the rest of the obamacare taxes and block grant it back to each state in a formula that i think is fair to give people in your state control over the money so they can design a health care system good for pennsylvania that may be different than south carolina. the only thing i can tell you
for sure, if you keep doing what we're doing, it's going to fail not just in south carolina, but everywhere. so we have a replacement idea that takes the money that would have been spent by bureaucrats that you have no idea who they are, and put it in the hands of people you actually can vote for. my good friend from pennsylvania under this idea, your governor and state house member will be accountable for your health care. if you don't like what they're doing, you can say please change it or else. under this system, who do you complain here? does anybody in here know who runs obamacare in your state? do you know your governor or state senator? this is the biggest change of health care in my life that's giving a people a chance to complain to somebody who cares. >> senator sanders, would you like to respond? >> it's not giving people auto choice. it's cutting medicaid by a trillion dollars over ten years and throwing millions of people off health insurance who have no money, let us be clear, these
are wonderful gentlemen, and i know nobody up here wants to see anybody die. but you tell me what happens when somebody who has cancer, somebody who has a serious heart condition, somebody who has a life threatening disease suddenly loses the health insurance they have. and the experts and studies tell us that under their type of proposal, thousands of people every single year will die. what should we do short term? they need though take on the pharmaceutical industry and lower the cost of prescription drugs. we pif you had a public option,a choice of medicare or medicaid type plan to compete with the private insurance program. we can also lower the age of medicare eligibility to 55 years of age. that would help a heck of a lot of people. senator collins saying she's
a no vote, what are you doing at this late hour to get the 50 votes you need to pass the bill? >> well, we're talking to alaska. alaska has 750,000 people, twice the size of texas. by the way, i've learned a lot about health care in other states because i'm focusing on your problems versus right guy on somebody in washington telling me abiliout alaska. it's okay to fall short. all i can say to my good friend, bernie sanders, medicare, medicaid, interest on the debt are going to consume all the money you send in taxes by 2040. if we don't turn this around now, we're going to leave a country that's complete and utterly bankrupt. can you control the cost of medicaid and still be humane? you better because medicare and medicaid are on the path to just collapse. and i'm proud of the fact that we saved a trillion dollars.
you know who you we did it? we took the medicaid growth rates and brought them to medical inflation. we didn't cut year to year, we changed the inflation rate and saved trillion dollars that can go into securing the nation, education. we can't just be a country running two health care programs. we have to be a country taking care of a lot of problems. >> senator klobuchar? >> one, the independent governor from alaska has already come out against this proposal because he believes it's going to increase premiums. to your point exactly, is you asked about what would happen immediately. what can we do immediately, and that is the work that's being led by senator alexander, patty murray to come together and say look what they did in minnesota. my state, democratic governor came together and said let's do something called reinsurance which makes it so the most expensive persona pool who's had major catastrophic health event,
they get siphoned off and paid for by the government so that everyone's rates don't go up. this is the kind of proposal they're working on for the nation along with other ways to help with copays and allow states to design some of their own insurance without making the drastic cuts that we see in the bill that my colleagues have proposed. >> i want to bring in matt decampbell from arkansas who previously worked as the press secretary for democratic governor mike bee bee. he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last year and is currently hoping for scientific advancement that will extend his life. matt, you have a question for senator sanders? >> i do. it feels like all the ideas getting traction right now are extreme measures. you've got graham/cassidy which would strip the system to the nubs and rebuild systems in different states and you have medicare for all.
why don't you think we see more in the senate and the house gravitating towards the middle and looking for these type of consensus solutions instead of staying on the sides and just letting the current administration chip away and destabilize the system that a lot of us are depending on right now? >> matt, i speak for everyone here we wish you the best in your health struggles. let me just be very honest. i don't think medicare for all is an extreme idea. every other major country on earth guarantees health care to all people. it's a right. we end up spending because of the dysfunctional system we have, designed to make insurance company profits. we spent twice as much per capita as any other country on on earth. we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. i live 50 miles away from canada. i don't think that's a radical
idea. what do we do? how do we work together? here's one idea. one idea is to take on the pharmaceutical industry. you'll remember that trump talked a whole lot during hiss campaign about thousand pharmaceutical industry was ripping us off. he was right. let us work together. let us have medicare negotiate prescription drug prices. let us have reimporttation so the pharmacists can purchase lower cost medicine abroad. that is one way we can work together, help the american people, save taxpayers dollars. >> just a broader question of the extremes and the people who want to work in the middle not getting very far. >> a couple things. first, everybody on this stage thinks the current system is broken. they would like single payer, the federal government has the power, and we want to return power to the states. this gentleman is from arkansas. arkansas has done so many innovative things on health
care. instead of putting them on medicaid, they put them into blue cross blue shield. they have a wrap around that would lower the cost. amy talked about going to her state legislature. let minnesota do what minnesota is doing. we heard amy say how successful they are. by doing that it's not extreme. it's a way to bring health care to you, to you and to your state in a way which uniquely meets your needs. we are ability you getting care, you being covered, you having the power. >> senator klobuchar, as you respond, i want to ask about president trump. he's shown a willingness to work with the democratic leaders in the house and senate. would you support democrats working with president trump to cut a deal to try to fix
problems with obamacare? >> of course, we would, we just want to make sure it helps people. and the problem for me with the proposal that the republicans, the umpteenth proposal we've seen on repeal is it actually hurts my state. and people can innovative in states, but not if you're going to cut the funds and don't help these governors that want to help the state. now, one example of where president trump could work with us, i'm leading the bill for the negotiation of medicare drugs. our seniors, 41 million of them, boy, they could get a better deal than they're getting now, but they are banned toot do tha by law. we want to stop pharmaceutical companies from paying off their competitors, the generic companies from keeping drugs off the market. that would save $2.9 billion in ten years. these are bipartisan bills. yes, president trump should work with us, and more than that, he shouldn't lead the way on taking on the pharmaceutical companies to show them that they don't own
washington, d.c. >> senator graham, you worked with democrats on lots of issues. do you support the negotiate of the president to sit down with democratic leaders and finding a compromise on this? >> i'll sit down with anybody to talk about anything that matters as long as i think i have a chance to deliver. i believe climate change is real. let's not talk about it, let's fix it. the d.r.e.a.m. act cats need a place to stay and we secure our board. i'm willing to do the minimum wage, but what i'm not going to do is continue the same old crap and tell you everything is fine. let me tell you what happened since obamacare passed. anyone have stock in anthem? these are the big blues. 270% increase. humana, increase. etna, 471% increase. where's the money going? it's going to insurance companies who are not delivering for you. we had five insurance companies in association we're down to
one. amy, what i'm not going to do is take more taxpayer dollars and give it to a bunch of insurance companies. i want to take basically the same amount of money, flow it back to the states in a fair way and give south carolina a chance to come up with a better health care system for south carolina. give alaska a chance to do with a makes sense for alaska. if that's radical, god help us all of the time people in south carolina actually care about each other. preexisting conditions are going to exist in every state, but if you send the money and power back to the states, how do you expect a different outcome? the biggest winner under obamacare is insurance companies, not patients, and i intend to change that. >> whoa! i like that. >> but i'm not going to medicare for nobody. >> let's let senator sarnders
have the floor. >> there it is. what he pointed out is why do we end up spending twice as much per capita as anywhere else in the country? this system is designed to make billions of thrashdollars of pr for the insurance companies. we pay to more the incredibly complex hundreds of plans we currently have with these guys if they got their way, would be even more plans and bureaucracy going to the insurance companies. medicare, the administration of medicare wants approximately 2%. so if we are serious about moving to a cost effective universal health care, yeah, we have to take on the insurance companies. they do not play a role in playing health care. our money should be going to doctors and nurses, and hp
hospitals, not the drug industry which is charging us the highest prices in the world. >> is the bromance over already? >> no. bernie is the smartest person in the senate because he believes in government-running health care from cradle to grave. all i would say is medicare is becoming unraveled. the trust fund is going to run out of money. if you're 62 like me and you've worked all your life and you're about to get on medicare, it's a bad idea to have all your closest friends to join you. that's medicare for nobody. >> we're going to turn to audio audience question. one of the main sticking points is over the issue of preexisting conditions. obamacare prevents insurers from charging more to people who have preexisting conditions, but there are questions about whether that would continue
under any republican replacement, including graham cass difficult i want to bring in kevin potter from ohio, he's here with his 13-year-old daughter who has battled leukemia. >> senator cass dickerson can you tell my daughter tonight about how you guarantee her she won't be subject to exorbitant premiums? bade on every analysis, your home strips that from her and millions of others who have preexisting conditions. >> i admire your encourage. so young and dealing with so much. i've treated folks like you and my hat's off. the way i'm keeping you from exorbitant premiums is getting rid of obamacare. there's a guy paying $39,000 a year for he and his wife. put it on my fair enough, people
do not believe. another couple, $38,000, that's exorbitant. we have another proposal. it's on my facebook page. if the state sets up a reinsurance pool, they can keep you in the main insurance pool but otherwise lower the premium. that was done in may that lowered premiums by as much as 20% for everybody while at the same time making sure those that had the same conditions had lower rates. but you got to to give power to the patient. by the way, that experiment in maine, the affordable care act squashed even though now that is what we speak of as the solution to the problem. we shouldn't squash state innovation. we should improve it so folks like you, amy, can have those affordable premiums. thank you. >> senator klobuchar? >> yeah. thank you, erin for your story and kevin for being such a great dad. you know, there's a difference
here. the process i've been talking about are the two senators working together, lamar alexander and patty murray and all the people involved in that, that would actually make the change that senator cassidy just mentioned on the reinsurance and do some other things, but the bill that's before us today, that bill just today a preliminary analysis found it would actually increase the rates for people with preexisting conditions. that's from the congressional budget office. just today it came out. and why is that? you can have things available to you like treatment, but if it's too expensive, is it really available to you? if you see a ferrari in a parking lot, you see it, but you can't buy it. it's doing something immediately to stabilize these prices, but then in the long term making sure we can make health care affordable. bernie has one idea, and i have
others. we can talk about them later. >> in addition to the congressional budget office, you've been talking about the jimmy kimmel test and whether preexisting conditions will be covered. we think the best reading is that states could allow insure to hers charge higher premiums to those with preexisting conditions. do you think the current standards in a protect people with prekpirsing conditions like erin should remain in place under new legislation? >> we have those new standards in our by those premiums, i'm not making those up. $39,000 for a couple for one year. let me speak of what our bill does say. our bill says that, one, you can't deny people insurance because of their health status, and, two, if a state wishes to do something different, for the state to get the approval to do something different, they shall
show that those get affordable coverage. it's certainly not $39,000 a year. affordable means able to be afforded. the subtext of what you're saying, jake, is that some governor is going to be out there saying let me scheme, let me get it so the folks in my state with preexisting conditions don't have access to coverage. again, we reject that. i trust governors. i think governors respond to the people that elected them. if they don't, they don't win next time. amy's story is a great example of a person going to the legislature. >> senator sanders? >> let me tell you what the american medical association says. it says, quote, this bill will cause patients and consumers to
lose important protections as well as undermine safeguards for those with preexisting conditions, end of quote. what will happen is, yeah, insurance companies will not be able to deny you health insurance if you have a preexisting condition, but they can charge you anything you want, which for all intents and purposes, for most people means they're not going to get that insurance. >> by the way, this is why the governor of ohio oppose this. [ applause ] >> first, let me say that 15 governors do support our bill. they actually think they can do better in their state than the obamacare law is currently doing. it's not hard to imagine that people are paying 20 to $40,000 a year for premiums. our legislation specifically says if a state wishes to do something differentiate, they shall show those with preexisting conditions have access to adequate and affordable coverage. we can decide that language
doesn't mean something, but indeed, language does. and adequate and affordable means something. i'll go back to what i'm saying. if you're going to compare us to status quo, status quo is $39,000 a year. is that adequate and affordable? i would say not. >> senator sanders and then senator graham. >> i think this is an important discussion to have. number one, to your daughter, i promise you that in south carolina we're not going to throw you off insurance and charge your father more than he can afford to pay because it wouldn't be right. number two, somebody's got to decide this issue of adequate and affordable. seems to be three choices. insurance companies, the reason we have obamacare is because insurance companies made this very difficult on people. obamacare came along and said new york city you can't stop charging so much for people with
preexisting conditions. here's what i would say to your family. there are a bunch of people in my state might as well not have any insurance. the deductibles are so high and the premiums have gone up so much you're basically insurance name only. i want to take care of you and your daughter but do it in a way where people are pushed into where insurance doesn't mean a lot. the third option is the state governor, the state -- obamacare is collapsing folks. the reason we're here is because it didn't work. in many ways i wish i was wrong, but i'm right. the best chance of having a say about what happens to your family is talk to somebody you
can vote for. that actually has to be accountable to you, not somebody you'll never meet and never know. >> you're talking about -- go ahead. >> just a couple points. we all recognize that the affordable care act leaves a lot to be done. but lets not forget that 20 million americans today have health insurance who previously did not. these guys say the governors aren't going to do the wrong thing, before the affordable care act in south carolina, i suspect, and in 42 other states, guess what rules there were with regard to preexisting conditions? there were none. there were none. and 43 states had no rules. seven states did. so that's what the governors in
the state let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. 20% of the american people think you're idea is a good idea. what the american people want is for us to work together to build on and improve on the affordable care act, not repeal it. [ cheers and applause ] >> going to a single-payer system is not improving. it is saying it has failed and we shall do something else. that is what has been said. and i will go back. who has the power? you, the state you live in, or the federal government? amy told us several stories. when her state had the power, her state did such good things for the people in that state. but now we have premiums of $39,000 a year because somebody in washington, d.c. has the power. >> senator, i want to stay on
that subject about affordable. we have another question here from michelle harris who's a retired waitress who lives in arizona with a question for senator klobuchar. >> senator klobuchar, obamacare was a huge lie to the american people. our insurance premiums did not go down. we did not get to keep your insurance plans. we did not get to keep our doctors, and our taxes did not go down. the cost for obamacare fell onto the backs of the middle class. while the protests rang loud for those receiving free or low health insurance, were the only cries our representatives seemed to hear. it's us hard working middle class taxpayers who are paying for it. have you taken the time to listen to us who are trying so hard to convey our message? we can no longer afford to pay so much so that so many can pay so little. >> thank you so much for sharing
that. that's one of the reasons i go around and visit all 78 counties in my state every single year so that i can talk to the people in my state, and especially in the rural areas i've heard that too about the premiums and there's a reason. that is that we passed a bill as bernie explained, it did some good things, but you don't pass a big bill like that and nevada be able to improve it or change it. what senator cassidy just told you, i think that's a false choice. it's not just between one or the other. there is a middle frownground o things we can do to fix it. taking that issue on, it's nearly 20% when you count hospital pharmaceuticals of the health care cost. we need to take that on. we can't just let it sit. the ideas i brought up that are actually on the table now, texture was almost there and it was stymied because this bill took up all the oxygen this week. they're ready to go back and pass something. democrats and republicans want
to make these changes and help the state. i've heard a lot from small business people, there's more we can do there too. there's a tax credit you can take for two years, let's make it permanent. it would help our small businesses. >> first, controlling pharmaceutical cost is a bipartisan issue. it is something i have focused upon. it is something i'm passionate about. it is not as if you believe in single payer, you are the only folks who care about those issues much i'm a doc, i understand. if someone can't afford their insulin, that's a problem. lindsey brought up insurance companies. you should look at the profits for pharmaceutical companies. as those profits have climbed, so have your premiums and the taxpayer outlays.
there's a direrelation between you're paying and the profit they're getting. if that's the, an we have a bad problem. read a book called "bitter pill." he talks about how obamacare was crafted. everybody was at the table, pharma, ama, big insurance, hospitals, but not you and me. and that's why our premiums rise and that's why our taxes go up. and that's why they do so well. if we give the power back to you, back to the state, that totally changes. and washington, which is hard-wired for them to do well, now has to come you to and get your approval for these things. i'm about you having that power. >> i'm glad -- [ applause ]
>> i'm glad to hear that senator cassidy is concerned about the high cost of prescription drugs because you're quite right. last year, the five major pharmaceutical industries made $50 billion in profit. you got ceos in the pharmaceutical industry who make millions and millions and millions of dollars in compensation and one out of five americans cannot afford the medicine they need. are you going to join me in saying that medicare should negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry, which is what every other major country on earth does? are you going to join me in saying pharmacists should get the same medicines the same? >> i heard bernie say in a va committee hearing if we can't afford a medicine, the government should just take over the property.
it should become the pharmaceutical. lindsey graham is right. bernie's the most honest person in the senate. he's a socialist skpebland he bs it. and he believes the pharmaceutical industry is not important. but where does the cure for alzheimer's come from? the pharmaceutical knows that their profit will be commandeered. it's a cheap fix to commandeer, and the price is ptremendous. there won't be because there's a short-term grab. >> do you think negotiating drug prices through medicare, which purchases huge amounts of money is a bad thing? you think it is wrong for
pharmacists to be able to buy same exact brands from canada? what we want to do is lower the outrageously high prices in this country. i've given you two approaches that can work, reimporttation, medicare negotiating. >> reimporttation does not work. canada has 10% of the population of the united states. you can take the entirety of canada, shake it like a piggy bank, and all the drugs would come out and it still won't be enough for us all. there is ways to address this. >> senator klobuchar? >> i can see canada from my porch, and i can tell you this, that the drug prices in canada are half what they are in our country. and that's why bernie's been involved in this, lindsey's friend senator kemccain.
that's what we like to work on. i worked in the private sector, i know socialists, and what i want to see is more competition. that's what this is about, by ethiopia having competition with generic companies and stopping them from paying each other off, or having competition with drugs from other countries because that is the only way we're going to bring these prices down right now. 4 out of 10 of the top ten selling drugs in america have gone up over 100% in the last few years. insulin up three times. mill locks sin is used for opioid overdoses this epidemic that's sweeping over our country and they have the gall to increase interest "those prices
>> if i'm at home watching, i say why can't they get this done? >> the one thing i want you to know, we started talking about obamacare and why it was failing, and we spent our time on pharmaceutical companies. what does that tell you? it tells you they're not really explaining why obamacare is failing. they don't have any ideas to fix it. it's all about something else. so let's talk about our idea to fix it. our idea is to take basically the same amount of money we would spend on obamacare, give it to bureaucrat you'll never meet. you can't build football stadiums with it or build roads and bridges, you have to spend it on health care. this worked in welfare reform in 74 senators said let's take it back to the states and see if they can do a better job. since 1996 we haven't had a penny increase because they did
a better job. i'm very confident if you get the skmun power closure to the patient you'll have a better outcome because today what nobody wants to talk about on this side is how to fix it. let's talk about pharmaceuticals. the idea of medicare may be negotiating a better price, bernie, that might be a good idea. the idea of reimporting drugs from foreign countries, let me think about that. john mccain says it's a good idea. the one thing i do know that obamacare is going to fail and bernie's solution is more government, not less. i don't see how in the world that medicare is going to survive for the next generation unless we reform it now. i'll willing to pay more in medicare premiums and not take a subsidies because when i retire i have a military and congressional retirement. >> senator, thank you.
>> please. here's the deal. it's about obamacare failing. and chuck schumer said tonight to republicans, don't even come into the room null take repeal of the table. that's a good notion. if you believe in obamacare. there's no amount of money in the world that will save it, that means you're just doubling down on a system that you've invested in. you've told us you can keep your doctor if you like it, or coverage if you like it. it's not working and i'm not going spend more money fixing a system that can't be saved. we need to find a better way. [ applause ] >> senator sanders, would you like to respond? senator sanders, would you like to respond? >> y'all don't have any commercials? >> first of all, when you ask
the american people about whether or not they like obamacare compared to your plan, overwhelmingly the american people like the affordable care act. >> how many people in the graham/cassidy are -- >> one second. second of all, it's easy to beat up on big, bad federal government. guys, do you know what the most popular health insurance program in america is? it's not the private insurance industry. it is -- >> medicare. >> medicare, yeah. [ cheers and applause ] >> which is falling apart. >> senator cassidy and i are both on the veterans committee. go out and talk to veterans. and what the polls show is that veterans are very, very positive toward the va. does it have problems? god knows it does. but it's the second most popular health care plan in the country. so the point is that it's easy to say obamacare is not perfect.
everybody knows that. but the truth is that what people in this country see is a health insurance system designed to make insurance companies and drug companies huge profits. they want a cost-effective system that deals with the needs of our people and not just the keyes of large corporations. and that is why i personally believe that if medicare is working well for seniors right now, we can make it work for everyone man, woman, and child in this country through a medicare for all program. >> we have commercial breaks. we're going to have a lot more on debate night in america. we want to tell you that president trump just tweeted about the health care debate. we'll tell you what he says when we come back. [ applause ]
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u.s. senate this week. as we've been here debating president trump has just weighed in moments ago. he tweeted this attack on republican senator john mccain accusing him on flip flopping after years of promising to repeal obamacare, he tweeted extensive video clip and wrote, a few of the many clips of john mccain talking about repealing and replacing o-care. my oh, my has he changed. compete turns from years of talks. senator graham, that's your best friend he's talking about. is it helpful for president trump to be attacking senator mccain at a time like this. >> he's one of my dearest friends. john mccain can do whatever damn well he wants to. he has that right. john said he wants to repeal and replace obamacare. he's voted in 2015 to repeal obamacare through the same process. he also says that we want to have a bipartisan solution.
the difference between john and myself is i really don't see much space here. if he thought i did, i would tell you otherwise, but let me tell you about senator mccain. he's p not for bernie care. i know you like the vote he took, but he doesn't want socialized medicine and i know you do and i think you believe it's best for america. i believe it's the i understand of health care. i believe it's the end of innovation. the federal government is good at defending the nation. so senator mccain has talked about a better process. john, if you're listening, if we fall short, we'll try to have a better process. nobody rpgts you more than i do. so to any american who has got a problem with john mccain's vote, all i can tell you is that john mccain was willing to die for this country and he can vote any way he wants to and it doesn't matter to me
[applause] >> so just look at john mccain's speech that he gave on the floor after he got that diagnosis of brain cancer. and i love john mccain. and lindsey is his best friend in the senate. there's no better friend for jonathan lindsey. but when he gave that speech, he talked about how the senate has to work across the aisle, that people have to come together and have hearings and figure out major bills. that's why when you hear these there are only two choices here, that's not true. there is another choice [applause] >> that choice is right in front of us where we have had those debates. we brought in republican and democratic governors and this is something that will be one of the fixes that we can make to the affordable care act. so anyone who is with me on this, make your voices heard because this is the time and this is the moment, and that's what john mccain is talking about. [applause] >> senator sanders, you obviously --
>> it is beyond my imagination. i cannot understand how somebody like a donald trump could attack an american hero, one of the most decent people in the ns senate. look, john's views are different than mine, but everybody knows that he's a man of incredible integrity and a man of incredible courage. i just don't understand why you have this president seems to think he can attack people right and left. second point on a different issue, and that is that lindsey, we're not talking about socialized medicine. >> yeah, we are. >> no, we're not. >> yeah, we are. >> we are talking about maintaining -- i am talking about maintaining the same system except you have one payor. that is the federal government. you go to private doctors, you go to private hospitals. so let's call it what it is. it's a canadian system. it is not a british system and i know you know the differencement all right? and last point, the point that senator mccain made, what he said is in so many words, how
could anybody support a process where you're dealing with one-sixth of the american economy, you have one hearing today. we still don't have a full cbo report. you change the bill three times in the last day. no sane person thinks that this is a process to deal with one of the major issues facing the country. that is what mccain was talking about, and he's absolutely right [applause] >> senator cassidy? >> let's work backwards. it's not one-sixth of the economy that graham/cassidy is attempting to change. it is the individual market, which is 4% and medicaid. we don't touch employers sponsored insurance or medicare, try care. we don't touch any of that. unlike the single payor system that they are proposing which touches it all. if you have employer sponsored insurance, you lose it. if you have medicare, there's suddenly 200 million more people in that pool, a pool that is already going bankrupt.
what about process? you know, i worked for a republican. i worked for how many years in a public hospital for the uninsured. probably most of my patients were democrats. on the other hand, they never asked me if i was a republican. i never asked them if they were democrat. they are a child of god, a fellow american and it was my hippocratic oath to try and serve them, and i did. and they just gave me so much in return. so when we took it -- what i began to look athis, i didn't say blue state red state, with susan collins i tagged a bill. and you know, i talked to ten different democrats, and know how many decided to help me? zero. even though we let them keep status quo, there wasn't enough concern in my state about people for $30,000 for premiums. i'm all par bipartisanship. i wish we had it. at some point you have to work
for those families who can't afford their premiums even if the other side will not help. >> p i want to -- one of the specific hoishz that have been a flash point and that is on planned parenthood. there is a republican senator from alaska, lisa murkowski who has not said how she will vote on your bill. she said it is unfair to ban planned parenthood. every republican proposal so far including yours has done just that. so we want to bring in lori hawk indianapolis, who lives in wisconsin, who objects to your proposal on planned parenthood. >> senator cassidy, when i was in my mid 20s planned parenthood discovered that i had large cysts and benign tumors in and on my ovaries. i'm grateful for plant parnd hood because without their care it's quite probable that my husband and i would not have
been able to become parents. why would you advocate for a bill that would block women like me from the essential care that helped me to become a mother, provides affordable cancer screenings for thousands and thousands of people and especially for those who live in the many parts of this country that are not served by kmoont health centers? >> a couple things. un, first, most planned parenthood settings are in urban areas. urban areas that have lots of ob/gyn's. i suspect you did not get your child delivered by the doctor who saw you at planned parenthood. you went someplace else and you had another obc. now, it turns out the folks who don't have access to those cancer screenings live in rural areas. they live in areas where there are not enough physicians. so the ideas that we want someone to have to drive a lower income person drive three hours to a planned parenthood facility there to get her screening or
would we rather take that money and put it back in the rural area to allow her to get her health care there. now, i favor bringing health care to the person as opposed to making the person come to the health care. and if you saw a plant parenthood in a city, there's lots of obs there. it's such a question of how you allocate those dollars. folks say we're trying to deny folks contraception. i favor making birth control bills over the counter. that's the ultimate you've got the power. so does the american college of ob/gyn. we're all about lowering costs. we think that's a better way to go. >> thanks, lori for sharing your story. you're not alone. one in five women get their health care from planned parenthood. and i am strongly opposed to this bill's provisions to did he fund planned parenthood, number one. number two, the bill changes what are called essential benefits, and that was one of
the positive changes that was made with obamacare. and what that said is maternity care has to be offered and contra sepgsz have to be offered. contra september tifs have to be offered. this changes that. and 50 million women aren't going to be very happy about that, right. so that is one of the major reasons we're opposing this. i still remember that debate about making maternity care and essential benefit. one of the republican senators said to senator stab now, i don't know why you'd include that. i would never auto us it and without missing a beat she should i bet your mother did. and guess what? it got included and it's still included. and that's something -- one more thing i'd add. i'd love these guys, but maybe if we added a few more women senators i could -- [applause] >> senator graham, you wanted to respond? >> yes. well, i've got lindsey's a
bipartisan name. >> gender neutral name. >> that's right. gender neutral. so all i can say about this debate, about planned parenthood, a lot of americans were pretty upset when they saw the videos of selling body parts of aborted children. now, your dollars do not go to pay for abortion at planned parenthood facilities. we took the money for one year and gave it to other health care providers, and at the end of the year that's over. the money that goes to the states has hooid protections. you can't use federal dollars under this proposal to pay abortion except in kals of rape, incest or medical necessity. those hyde protections follow the money here and they've been in the law for a very long time. this is not about abortion. it's not about pharmaceuticals.
it's about obamacare failing and what do we do about it? lamar alexander and petition talked for weeks and nobody gave a damn on the other side until we came along. all of a sudden everybody is interested in bipartisan solutions to fix a system that's failing because i think we struck a nerve. i think what we did, bill, is we told people we're going to make a trade off. we'll keep the money in place as a republican will keep the taxes in place, but we're going to make sure somebody else gets that money other than the people under obamacare because they're not doing a good job with it. it's that simple. as to a governor, what they do to your family, what they do to -- i'm 62. i probably don't need to buy maternity coverage but i want to make sure it's there for people who need it. and i bet you this, that every state in which you live your political leaders will offer that to you. if they