tv Washington Journal Paige Winfield Cunningham Discusses Affordable Care Act... CSPAN January 7, 2017 8:39am-9:21am EST
way to enemy time as first lady than celebrating with all of you. so i want to close today by simply saying thank you. thank you for everything you do for our kids. and for our country. being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and i hope i've made you proud. >> thank you. cheers and applause] >> washington journal continues. host: my guest now is paige winfield cunningham, the senior health care correspondent at the washington examiner. she previously covered health care for politico and "the washington times." thank you so much for coming in studio to talk with us this morning. guest: thanks for having me in. host: repealing the national care act was one of the central tenets of donald trump's campaign. the republicans started work on that this week. where do we stand?
guest: everything started moving forward this week because congress got back and the senate started working on this budget resolution that kicked in high gear. this reconciliation project will take a matter of weeks and possibly a few months because they have to pass the budget bills and it has to go through committee with reconciliation instructions and report back and the house and senate have to pass the bills. we're looking at a time frame of probably getting a repeal bill actually passed maybe near the end of february. so you really saw a lot of conversations around that, that what's going to look like and what the place will look like coming together this week. you saw vice president elect mike pence visited republicans on the hill the same day president obama visited democrats and both parties really started trying to construct their messaging around this, of course trying to shift blame on the other party and make sure they're not the ones blamed if people end up losing their coverage or continue to see their premiums go up. host: you mentioned two parts of this, repeal and replace.
what does repeal look like or what are the options for what repeal might look like? guest: republicans argued a test vote in a bill president obama vetoed ultimately. so they have this blueprint that they're going to look to use. and that repeals the biggest parts of the law. not everything. leaves in place the medicare cuts and some other things. but that would get rid of the biggest parts of the law. they probably haven't decided specifically or ultimately what's going to be in this actual repeal bill but that will be the blue print. they're working on that right now. pence also said this week they'd like to have the framework of a replacement plan in a repeal bill. again, not totally sure what that would look like or whether even there's a consensus. the big political problem here is you have different factions starting to come out expressing concern about passing a repeal without a replace and the plan that ray an had laid out was to pass a repeal bill, gradually
phase out the affordable care act and at some point down the road, possibly later this year, pass a replacement plan. but you're seeing increasing concerns from some on the right that republicans really could be blamed for some of the problems resulting if they don't -- if they pass a replacement beal the same time they pass a repeal bill. the time frame -- time frame is difficult because if they'd attach a repeal or replace bill they'd have to come on an agreement in the past few weeks and seems politically difficult. host: does it seem certain a repeal would be phased out versus happening all at once? guest: i think that's the one thing we can say for sure, they won't pass a repeal bill that instantly gets rid of the law because we have million with medicaid expansion and subsidies through the market places. so they've said they'd like to phase out the law anywhere from 2-4 years, from talking with lobbyists this week it sound like there's some concerns around a three-year period but no final agreement yet. but i think we can say with
certainty that people aren't going to instantly lose their obamacare coverage. host: president obama did an interview with fox media friday where he talked about the health care legislation and here's what he had to say. president obama: now is the time when republicans i think have to go ahead and show their cards. if in fact they have a program that would genuinely work better and they want to call it whatever they want, they can call it trump care, they can call it mcconnell care or ryan care. if it actually works, i will be he first one to say great. you should have told me that back in 2009. i asked. i suspect that will not happen. and the reason it will not appen is because if you want to provide coverage to people,
then there's certain base line things that you've got to do. number one, health care is not cheap. and for people who can't afford health care or don't get it through the job, that means the government has got to pay some money. number two, all those provisions that the republicans say they want to keep and that they like, for example, making sure that people can get health insurance even if they have a pre-existing condition, well, it turns out that the only way meet that guarantee is to either make sure that everybody has some modest obligation to get health care so that they're not gaming the system, or you've got to be willing to provide huge subsidies to insurance companies so that they're taking in people who are already sick.
[end of video clip] host: we are talking to paige winfield of the washington examiner. how are both democrats and republicans trying to message this eventual repeal of the afearedable care act going forward? guest: i think from the moment trump was elected and it game clear they'd be able to repeal the care act, paul ryan and other leaders have been conscious of the fact that they would be blame fed people lose their coverage immediately. so that's sort of the point they've been trying to emphasize over and over, yes, we're going to get rid of the law but people won't find themselves immediately kicked off of their plans. the democrats see a huge political opportunity here, of course, because they've owned the problems with the a.c.a. the last six years and now are saying to republicans, hey, you're going to repeal it and upend things even more and now you'll own the blame for all of this. they're really trying to direct the blame in that direction. and so there's a big messaging game going on right now and both sides are kind of
determined they're going to place blame on the other party. host: let's bring in our callers. the first one comes from david from denson, texas, on the republican line. david, go ahead. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: with all the discussion about repeal, i am a little confused and a little apoplectic at the same time because there were 37, i believe, if i got the count right, executive orders, that postponed major parts of the a.c.a. the only part of the a.c.a., or the biggest part that i'm aware of that actually happened has been where individuals who weren't getting their health insurance through some company were the ones that were impacted, of some number of 16 million to 17 million, of which i'm one of them and was saved by the good graces ultimately of somebody finding the committee report from, i think it was 2010, may, where it was
clearly indicated that people weren't going to be able to keep their doctor and weren't going to be able to keep their plans. and when it got to the point of the business coverage being included, some 110 million to 120 million people were expected to be thrown off those plans and into the exchanges because the companies would take the obvious $3,000 penalty per employee rather than pay the really expensive premiums through the plan. we got our initial notice years ago when this was first starting to come out with 2013, e were going to go from $650 to $248 with a bronze plan with a $12,000 deductible. we got a repreeve on it because right about just a few weeks later there was enough publicity about can't keep your plan, can't keep your doctor and that dr. gruber, who was so condescending in the way he helped to cobble the thing
together, that finally president obama relented and said that if states wanted to allow people to keep their plan and keep their doctor, they could. texas, where i'm at, was one of the states that allowed it and we were able and still have been, though it's gone up considerably, it's far less and no >> near the $2,048, we're paying around $1,000 now. but in california where they had a million people thrown off their plans, california didn't allow them the option of keeping what they had before. so it's only been 16 million or 17 million people and you talk about the 20 million people covered by obamacare now. and i don't know what the number is but it's certainly millions of people like myself, but in states that weren't able to keep their plans. host: all right. from texas. paige, your thoughts?
guest: the caller makes a good point it's not the majority of americans directly affected by obamacare so we have about 1 million people who have gotten coverage through the marketplace and another 10 million who maybe have gotten covered through medicaid expansion. most people still have their coverage through employer plans. so when we talk about this, it's important to remember it's minority population but it's still a really important population of folks who struggled to get coverage before. so the caller also discussed the problems of keeping your plans and those are very real problems that are facing republicans. the marketplaces have really struggled with the problems of people yums going up and offered subsidies for folks but the challenge facing republicans is how you still provide assistance for those of low income who can't buy insurance on their own. there have been a lot of things suggested, the ryan plan wants to do credits based on age instead of income. the conservatives in the house came out with a plan that would provide a tax deduction though
that wouldn't help folks who don't pay taxes at all. that's really the sticky problem is you do need to provide assistance through a replacement plan or for the lower income people to get coverage. it's hard for republicans to coalesce around what that would look like and how they'd even pay for that. host: next caller is burt from rhode island, the democratic line. go ahead. caller: hello, good morning. host: good morning, burt. caller: thank to you c-span. i just want to say to the american people that the rich get health care. health care is a profit. is really a job. people making profit from medication and charging you more. people should think about this. before they leave a job and don't have health care coverage, what happens to them? the other thing about this is people who employ other people,
if you're a company and don't have to worry about the health care of people, then you can make more profit. you can pay them more, they can have vacation, like progressive countries do. it's ironic to me that a guy who has voted for trump and then he said after, i am going to lose my health care, life, liberty a the pursuit of happiness, if you don't have health care, you're lost. host: that's burt from kingston, rhode island. let's hear from one more caller. gloria from roberts, illinois. on the republican line. go ahead. caller: i wanted to ask her about the house resolution that has been presented to prevent presidio from including in their reports the cost to the government from canceling the obamacare act. host: that's gloria from roberts, illinois. paige winfield cunningham?
guest: i believe the caller is referring to some provision that was included in the budget resolution this week, and some people kind of framed it as a gimmick but i think it was actually sort of a technical thing that doesn't actually govern how the c.b.o. scores the bill. the big question is going to be whether republicans can come up with something in a replacement that they're able to pay for and one of the questions is when they repeal the bill, are they going to try to keep some of the taxes in place on the health insurers and medical device companies and the high cost health plans, those were things that helped of course to pay for the a.c.a. for all those subsidies and the medicaid expansion. and if republicans want to replace those subsidies with something else, they'll need a way to pay for it. there's some talk about trying to set aside those revenues into some sort of reserve fund that republicans can tap into later down the road to help to pay for a replacement. host: let's step back and say are there any estimates around
what the cost of repealing the affordable care act may be especially if it includes repealing some of those taxes you talked about? guest: just going back a couple years when the affordable care act was passed was ruled by the c.b.o. as are youing the deficit over the long term. in the reconciliation repeal bill the republicans passed last year, that was actually scored as saving money. flipping things, that's because republicans kept in place the medicare cuts and a few other taxes, so basically they got rid of all the expenders and kept some of the savers. so that gave them a positive c.b.o. score which of course is important litically so they can kind of say they're saving money as they go along. and so those kind of c.b.o. scores are going to be a big part of the discussion here in how you tweak certain things and pull certain levers and to achieve the c.b.o. score you ant. host: you mentioned the tax provisions built in the law to
pay for the subsidies, can you walk us through some of those? guest: the health insurance tax was delayed for a year. a number of these taxes were delayed for a year and that's supposed to kick in again later this year. insurers are pushing hard to get that included in a repeal bill. there's also what's known as the cadillac tax, a tax on high cost health plans and trying to incentivize employers to not offer these really cushy plans with the broader goal of bringing down health care spending. there's also a tax on medical devices the industry has been lobbying against. of course all these things were taxes that the industry agreed to initially when everybody came to the table to put together the affordable care act. because in exchange they got the promise that many more americans would get health coverage but those are things keeping their eye on closely going forward. host: there's other individual taxes that perhaps could be on the table, is that right? guest: the penalty for not being insured, that is a revenue raiser for the law
though not as much as initially anticipated because they haven't actually enforced the penalty like people thought they would. but that's one thing that also would be eliminated in the repeal bill because the bill takes out the individual mandate and the employer mandate. so those sources of revenue would be gone. host: give us a sense of the parliamentary process here. you mentioned central budget resolution vote using that profit might have different rules. how does that work? guest: this is all very confusing. the senate started working this week on the budget resolution. the house is supposed to work next week on it. once both chambers pass those, those budget resolutions contain instructions to the committees of jurisdiction. at that point the committees, there's three in the house, ways and means, energy and commerce, and i believe the work force committee and two in the senate finance and health committee. they each would take up their part, their jurisdiction and
then report back to their respective budget committees with basically instructions for this is parts of the a.c.a. we're going to repeal and how it all would work. the budget committees then take all those instructions and put them together and report back to the house and senate. the house and senate then -- the house then would pass the resolution, goes over to the senate and then ultimately would go to president-elect trump. all this is going to take time. the inauguration may slow things down. we have that coming up in a few weeks. when i've spoken to lobbyists and aides, it sounds like there's a informal design for a weekend because the republicans lead that weekend and would like the process complete by that point. host: in terms of passing the budget resolution in the senate, how many votes are required to do that? guest: that's a good point and requires a majority and the reason they're using the reconciliation process so they can bypass senate democrats. things are tricky because
republicans only have a 52-vote majority in the senate and only can afford to lose two members and then have pence be the tie breaking vote. and there have been a lot of uncertainties raised this week. we saw some republican senators raise concerns about the repeal bill not including a replacement as we mentioned before. senator rand paul actually voted against the budget resolution, senator mccain has raised some concerns. senator collins has raised some concerns about how the bill would include a planned parenthood defunding provision. so republicans can't really afford to lose too many folks in the senate or their chances of even passing the reconciliation with the simple majority would be in jeopardy. host: carol from greensboro, north carolina, is on the democratic line. go ahead. caller: hi, i'm carol. i just was calling about -- a lot of people need obamacare.
i was in an accident and what had happened was i broke my wrist and i have, like, i'm going on four surgeries now. and i really need that because if i don't have it, then what am i going to do, you know? there's kids out here that really need obamacare because what are they looking forward to when they have cancer or the kids have cancer and there's a lot of sick people that really, really need obamacare. host: all right. that is carol in north carolina. paige winfield cunningham? guest: the caller mentioned the key problem, the problem with pre-existing conditions. and what you would do for them. president-elect trump said he wants to keep the pre-existing -- the requirement that plans must cover people with pre-existing conditions in place and the congress couldn't actually repeal that anyway because that can't be part of the reconciliation bill.
the question then is how do you get rid of the individual mandate so those two things work together, the healthy people are required to buy coverage and then the insurers have a good mix of people. premiums don't spike. there are a couple ways that republicans have proposed dealing with this problem. one is to have a contained -- perhaps a two-week period where everyone can enroll regardless of your health condition. you can enroll in health coverage and as long as you maintain that health coverage, an insurer can't kick you off of coverage. that would be one way they've proposed to ensure that people with these serious conditions like cancer, etc., can get coverage, but not actually have this individual mandate to require everyone to buy it. host: we want to let our viewers know they can call host: we want to let our viewers know you can call in with page cunningham on the affordable care act to repeal and replace
it. republicans, the line is 202-7 48-8001. 48-0002.ents 202-7 our twitter handle is @c-span wj. illinois, tom on the independent line. go ahead. caller: thank you say here in illinois, the insurance on the affordable care act has gone up. you're basically paying a mortgage payment with very little support. by the time you get done paying the amount of money for the premium monthly, plus the out of pocket deductible on some of these hsa's yare you really ahead? there are individuals that if they make too much, they do not qualify for public aid or medicaid or letter node -- let
alone i do not know if i would want to use that insurance. you combine that with the poor choices that are on the marketplace. thoses, a lot of insurance companies today have pulled out of the marketplace. and you know, not everybody wants an hmo. so, thsese costs have really gone through the roof compared to where insurance was with years ago to where they are today. i understand insurance companies do increase their rates and so forth and what have you, but even with the subsidies, you know, it is absurd to be paying health insurance with such a high deductible and a high premium out of pocket. where are people really ahead? host: paige winfield cunningham. guest: so, insurance premiums
were going up before the affordable care act was passed. the caller is from illinois. that has been a state that has struggled the most. it's marketplace has seen the biggest premium increases in the country and some of the biggest reductions in competition. all around theem country, but it depends on which state you are in. some states have done better than some other states. but this problem of cost, the administration of course makes the point as the caller said, 85% of people are eligible for subsidies to buy plans. so there is a subset of folks like this caller that aren't eligible. he is in a state that is struggling. there are people that are really upset because they are having to pay out-of-pocket. directly by the costs going up and i think that is one of the biggest concerns republicans i think about. they are thinking about a replacement. they are saying, our plan may not cover as many people, but there are arguing -- they are
arguing that they will reduce the regulations and they will find ways to bring the cost of coverage down, even though the subsidies may not be as expansive as under obamacare. that kind of the key question, that question of coverage versus cost, i think democrats have taken pride in how their plan has expanded coverage. cut the uninsured rate by half, which is huge. but they have this ongoing problem of cost with the plans. the republicans are stepping in saying that is where we can try to fix things. from asheville, north carolina, on the republican line. what do you think? caller: hi. i don't know how they are ever going to figure out a way to straighten up this insurance mess obama has caused. i do not know why they call it afford will care -- and i am on the line? i don't know why they call it the affordable obamacare insurance. it' un-affordable and obama does not care.
everybody that has it has complaints about it. my granddaughter, 27 years old, very healthy, $600 a month with a $6000 deductible. that is stupid. that was more i paid before i went on medicaid and my supplement. why didn't he just leave it alone? why does he have to make a mess of everything he does? guest: some perspective on this care before the afford will care 50 was around 16%, about million americans who did not have coverage at all. the affordable care act has cut that rate in half. now we are down to around 23, 24 million americans who still are not covered. covereds were that the expenditures would be greater. significant dent in
the uninsured rate. i think the goal is to provide coverage for people who did not have it to the employer sister more through medicaid. it was a huge problem. it was a problem uncompensated care. hospitals were have to pay out -- and democrats are admitted the affordable care act has some major flaw. is goes to what state you live in, what is your financial situation? there is a subset of people who are not eligible for the subsidies, who live in states like illinois with state premiums that are feeling the effects of this and are unhappy. was on the hill on wednesday and was asked what a repeal of the affordable care act might look like. pence: i would commend all of your attention to the president-elect speech in philadelphia where he laid thea plan, he laid out principles of harnessing the power of health savings accounts. allowing americans to purchase
health insurance across state lines. his commitment was very clear in that. he will insist upon and implement working with the congress but also using executive authority to ensure that that is an orderly transition. and we're working right now. th white house staffe is on a series of executive orders that that orderly transition to take place even as the congress appropriately debates alternatives to and replacement of obamacare. >> some of the provisions might stay in place until there is a new full plan? >> we do not want to pull the rug out from people while we are replacing this law. in 2017, we don't want people to be caught with nothing. we want to make sure there is an orderly transition so that the rug is not pulled out from under the families who are struggling under obamacare while we bring relief. host: we are talking to page winfield cunningham about the
affordable care act. mike pence mentioned a couple of things there, health savings accounts, buying insurance across state lines, executive orders. the new administration is working on. what do we know about any part of the framework for what the replacement packets might look like? been very ryan has intent on providing a framework. in june, he rolled out his better way plan. a plan a lot of the committee chairman worked on. it's a pretty good look, at least the basis of how republicans view a replacement. it would provide subsidies for the low income, but those subsidies would be based on age instead of income under -- as under obamacare. so folks who are older would get a larger allowance oto buy private plants. concern issm, the that it may not provide the financial assistance that is actually needed, or would not guarantee that coverage is affordable for folks that are
lower income. the plan would also keep, potentially keep medicaid expansion -- and turn that authority more over to the states. and work through a block granting system which would ultimately reduce medicaid spending that allows states to kind of determined the thresholds for the coverage that is available to people. it also includes other elements that pence mentioned, allowing insurance to be sold across state lines. although it is actually unclear what that would do to premiums. some folks have argued that it could actually cause premiums to go up. it depends on how insurance is pulled and which states. argumentshere are that that would cause insurers to just flock to states with less regulation, essentially. another big idea republicans talk about is the idea of health service accounts, tax-free savings accounts. that would be a huge benefit to people that may be our mid to higher income that would have funding to put away in those
accounts to pay for their health coverage. it would not really help people lower income is much you do not already have money to put towards that. host: let's hear from when in orange county on the democratic line. go ahead with your question or your comment. caller: good morning. one of the things that callers aren't asking about our unfortunate something that could affect them the most, and i'm talking about the lifetime cap on major medical. i watched this firsthand my mother became ill and exceeded the major medical cap in the calendar year. my father who used his gi bill to build a business, had it for 40 years, six employees. cappedeir insurance was and she reached it in the calendar year, everything was gone. the hospital, the doctors, they put leiiens. literally everything was gone, including their home. so, if people, middle-class
working small business, if they do not watch what happens, with the majortime cap on medical insurance, this is the number one reason why people who have insurance wind up bankrupt. guest: the good news for this caller is that republicans aren't able to repeal that part of the law. that is not directly connected to federal spending. under thise reconciliation bill and the full reason they are using the reconciliation process is to get it through without senate democrats being able to block rulest under those everything has to affect federal spending, and all of that is up to the senate parliamentarian. the insurance regulations requiring insurers to cap how much they spend on overhead, some of the rules about pre-existing conditions and the cap on lifetime expenses, all of those things go directly to federal spending. so, thery are going to remain
law, because there is nothing that republicans can do to remove those protections. that is good news for some consumers like this caller who rely on those regulations. host: next is jackson mississippi on the democratic line. ruth, good morning. caller: good morning. they. are talking about what is going to happen the insurance i had already gone up sky high before the formal care act came in. toy didn't have no way control it then. and people could not afford insurance at that time. cost of premiums went up, deductibles went up. when obamacare try to fix it, fixed,dn't want it because the doctors refuse to take the insurance after he changed it. they then refused to fund have the program he put in place. so, nobody is going to benefit from them taking it back. they're still going to go up sky high.
i kept my insurance. he said i could keep it. i'm a retired person, and i have my insurance, but if they keep going, we are not going to have nothing. because they do not want poor people to have nothing. host: let's hear from springfield, virginia on the independent line. caller: good morning. i am a nurse. i worked in the field of obstetrics and public health for 25 years. i have an interesting perspective of seeing insurance and how insurance works. your guest that you have on referred to the cadillac tax. gives a terrible title to for a comprehensive form of cover care that visions, that covers dental, that covers all aspects, immunizations of care that is required for a person to remain healthy. i fyou have bad teeth your
heart is going to be affected. the other thing that is not being discussed is the health insurance companies, how much their ceo's are making, how much their boards are making. what is the percentage that they are getting on, from providing so-called coverage? you know, health care in a country where we talk about christian values and caring for our fellow man, it's a crime that we have companies that are profiting. there are places around the world that have a cap on how much profit a company can make, and that is the present. -- it's 3%. it is really upsetting. you talk about the springs and hat talk about the caps and w people have to pay before they even get coverage. have a problem i with who the way that the health care bill was negotiated or passed, it really did not take into account what people needed.
call it medicare for all or whatever but health care businesses really don't work for people. host: from springfield, virginia. guest: on the question of profit, the affordable care act contain something called a medical loss ratio that says insurance have to pay 85% of their finances in the benefits instead of overhead. to limit the overhead cost for insurers and really require them to do more with less money. to the question of coverage and what that looks like, i think that the big question is, how, how much should plans cover? what should the regulations be? should people be able to buy -- a catastrophic plan? one of the complaints is that covera requires them to preventative services.
the plans come with a lot more bells and whistles than they did previously which is great for folks who want to, you you do not have to pay extra pocket costs, co-pays. for younger people who want a it's harder to find that kind of coverage. that is a big difference between the two parties on what coverage should even look like. should you have more leeway in the tub of coverage that you select for yourself, or should the government have more say in these are the benefits that people should really have? everybody should have access to a well woman visit or to immunizations and to cancer screenings or should be able -- should people be able to buy a plan that would cover them in the case of a huge auto accident or huge injury? host: next caller is mary on the democratic line. go ahead. caller: hi. i just have a question. i would like to know with the house, the senate am of the congress, what kind of insurance to they have? do, are they under the obama,
separa do they have te policies? thank you for c-span. guest: members of congress are buying their coverage on the d.c. exchange. it is kind of aware situation, because it is kind of a hybrid between employer coverage and -- because the federal government a large -- kicks in amount for their monthly premium but the law requires them to buy it on the exchange as well. i would say members of congress and staff actually have a pretty decent feel. i know premiums are not that high. it was more of what you would see if you had employer-sponsored coverage. host: final caller for our segment on the affordable care act is barbara on the republican line. good morning. caller: oh, hi. my question is, there's a couple feedback on it.
number one, why wouldn't they cover -- the health care for medicare, since we're paying anyway? this is not medicaid. we are paying for medicare every monthly. a parts so vital, so of your health. that is number one. why no one seems to lobby to seniors the health get dental covered under their medicare. host: that is barbara from front royal, virginia. guest: i think it depends on which medicare plan you are on his far as what you have dental coverage. medicaid.is is for i will say the marketplace plans are required to covered pediatric dental care. so, people are guarantee coverage for their kids but the plans are not required to cover dental care for adults. host: paige winfield cunningham is a senior health care
correspondent. they do so much for coming in the studio today. coming up next, our spotlight on magazine segment. focuses on kalamazoo michigan's free college program for its residents. and it could become a template for cities nationwide. the author is simon montlake and will join us next. this week " newsmakers" interviews the senate committee of northmark walker carolina. he talked about a timeline for replacing the affordable care act. that interview will be airing tomorrow at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. >> i think the consensus is sometime this year to be able to have some kind of position to move forward. i've heard, two, three four years. i believe in following through with our promise to the american people on this calendar year. repeal andd the rfb replace plan the you guys laid out yesterday.
can you explain what may be the biggest difference is with that plan versus the one the speaker ryan and the leadership laid out with a better way? >> they are very, very similar. there is a primary difference, the tax deduction versus the tax credit. i believe the family under the american health care reform act would allow individual 7500 opposed, 25,000 as to tax credits. another minor difference, we are making sure we are doing everything we can for pre-existing conditions. as long as you are staying on a plan, you are not put out to pasture. those are very important things. i think -- nobody is planning on pulling the rug out from anyone. that is something that is important to us. this, also say sometimes the narrative -- even if you look at even the most centrist polling, what we're able to find up, 15% have benefited to be transferred from obamacare. but 25%, not quite double, have
had some kind of harm or more financial premium spike. so, the thought process that republicans all of a sudden have to have a replacement plan that covers the 40%, both the 25 and is unfair knowing obamacare is failing on a daily basis. we have been pushing back on some of the narrative that there is a magical plan and that is the only way we can replace obamacare. i think it is fallible argument from the very beginning. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our next guest is simon montlake, a reporter for "christian science monitor." he's joining us from boston. he's here to talk about a piece he wrote for "christian science monitor magazine" on the impact of free college in urban areas. simon montlake, thank you so much for joining us this morning. simon: good morning. host: the story that your run was about something called the kalamazoo promise. what is that? simon: the