tv This Week in Iowa ABC February 21, 2016 9:30am-10:00am CST
depending on how far along that they make it in the process. >>sabrina: that's right. so here are some of the issues still alive that lawmakers tell us are still a priority this session. things like expanding medical cannabis, banning minors from tanning beded expanding secoco amendment rights, and adopting the federal tax code at a state level, regarding deductions, that is. now that's called coupling. still in play and not subject to funnel week, figuring out the state budget, and how much money to fund iowa schools. and here's something that's really dominated@the conversation: what to do about changes coming to iowa's medicaid coverage. one in five iowans is on medicaid and governor branstad has been spearheading a plan to change how it's managed. right now it's a 4.2 billion dollar statatrun program. >>amanda: the new plan is to have it ruruby private out-of-state companies and this is all on track to change over by march 1st. amerigroup, amerihealth, united health care. iowa is only days away from
over medicaid and the hawk-i program which insures kids. letters like this went out to families asking them to make their decision by february 17th about which company they want to use. but there's a major hiccup for people who have to make this choice. they're health care providers. whether that's a doctor, pharmacist, a clinic, pediatrician or case manager, might not be signed u u with one of these companieie cording to the department of human services, only 60% of providers in the state have signed contracts with all three of the private companies. about 70% have signed with two, and 90% have signed with just one of the companies. that's a major concern of cms, the federal group that has to give its approval for this transition. their worry that iowa's network of providers isn't robust enough. it's one of 16 items they gave the state to improve on before they felt they could give iowa permission to move ahead to managed care. iowa's medicaid director says
state needs to get this right. >>sabrina: welcome back. so this proposal to change medicaid that we've been talking about, originated from the governor's office. but state lawmakers are now trying to scramble to stop it. >>amanda: there are two bills that have come from the senate. one would immediately stop the governor's plan in its track. it would repeal the contracts with the mco's. that passed the senate, but the house has said that they likely won't even take it up. so another bill out there that would impose some tough oversight rules to safeguard medicaid patients if this does all go through. it would also syphon off any money that the state is saving by making it go right back into patient care services. this week senate democrats urged the house
>>senator jochum: i think you know i'm kinda living the nightmare as, as a parent of a child with a disability. and i can tell you that i signed my child up with a managed care organization by the december deadline, and as of today i have not received any communication. none from ime or the managed care organization that i did sign up my daughghr with to satisfy all the requirements that were put before us. this is not ready and i'm calling on the house to take this bill up and give it a fair hearing. >>amanda: that was the president of the senate, pam jochum. but it's not just democrats who are supporting this. and we have senator brad zaun who joins us now. he's a republican senator. what are your major concerns with this whole thing? >>mr. zaun: well, i think the senate president pam jochum explained it pretty well. you know, the biggest concerns that i have is that people that
dependent on these s svices. i think what's happened in regards to roll out was just done way too fast. i know that there's a lot of other states that have done this in, you know, little pieces. and i just, obviously the, the pers-, the people of iowa that are dependent on these services are who i'm most concerned about. >>sabrina: why do you think it is that the director of medicaid, mikki stier, is saying that iowa is ready if you don't feel and obviously the democrats don't feel that the state is ready? >>mr. zaun: well, i'm gettin' a lot of emails and a lot of phone calls from a lot of people that they are n n able to sign up. >>amanda: hmm. >>mr. zaun: and it would be my preference to obviously not go into a managed care system. let dhs handle it. they've done it in a very efficient way. but i recognize that the realities are there's a lot of other states that have done this. and i think that it's really important that we do it one step at a time and ultimately make sure that the service providers are signed
the service providers that they're having trouble, you knkn, negotiating contracts and heard a lot of times where service providers were handed a blank piece of paper and told to gn on a dotted line. and i run a business and there's no way i would ever sign a blank piece of paper. >>amanda: mmhmm. >>mr. zaun: and so i think it's really important that we slow this process down and, but most importantly as it was mentioned before there is a bill that's gonna be coming up in regards to oversight, a legislative oversight. it's something that i support as well. >>amanda: do you think this is more than a partisan issue? obviously you're a republican who's not in favor of it. what are you hearing from other republicans in the house and in the senate? >>mr. zaun: well, it disgusts me if it does become a partisan issue. you know, both the democrats d the republicans in their last budget, or the budget that we're in right now, the budget year we're in right now, have shown savings in there. we forget about the
i blame both parties. certainly wish that it wasn't done by executive order. i wish it was done by legislative intent. and it, and of course that's why the legislature is involved in this process. >>sabrina: so what has it been like for you to be really going against the governor and his executive order being a repupuican yourself? >>mr. zaun: well, , do what i wanna do. huckling) >>mr. un: i don't really careyou know, my, my resnse was that both the democrats and the republicans and the independents that i represent in the district. but, you know, it is harder to go against the governor, but you can do it in a respectful way. there's a lot of us that are getting these emails. and i, i do what i wanna do and i do what's best for the people that i represent. >>amanda: let's talk about the oversight bill a little bit more that you mentioned. so if this all does go through, this oversight bill would essentially say we're going to keep a very close eye on the whole process. >>mr. zaun: mmhmm. >>amanda: what do you think, or i, i guess there's also a thing with monon, too. do you see that money will be sav from divting it back into patit care under this oversight bill?
questioned that. you know, a year ago when we were having these conversatis, my question was if we're gonna show these savings usually what happens is that there are services that are cut. and that's the biggest concern that i have for the, the people that are dependent on this. >>amanda: mmhmm. >>sabrina: so the idea here is that you don't wanna cut services and so, but, i mean, how do we ensure that that doesn't happen? how, how does the oversight committee ensure this? >>mr. zaun: well, obviously y e oversight cocoittee, and i have not seen t t bill because it's not out yet. >>amanda: mmhmm. >>mr. zaun: you know, and i've heard rumors about the money going back into the medicaid system. and i would say i blame both the republicans and the democrats because they've shown in their budgets the savings. i certainly think that the money that goes in and the money that comes from washington d.c. needs to be spent where it's intended to be spent and that's on the people that depend on these services. so it's really disheartening for me to hear this and, but, you know, with that said, we do need
frontline as legislators hearing from all these constituents about what's going on. and i give, you know, i certainly give, you know, credit to mikki. she's done a lot of hard work. she's in a very bab position right now. >>amanda: mmhmm. >>mr. zaun: but ultimately in the end we wanna make sure that the people are dependent get the services that they need. >>amanda: alright. and we wanna give you a big thanks for being here. we know it was a busy funnel week for you. >>mr. zaun: yeah. >>amanda: we appreciate your time. we wanna mention, too, we did invite mikki stier, the director of iowa medicaid and she wasn't able to be a part of this interview and couldn't get anyone on her staff to participate either. so again, we do appreciate you being here very much. >>sabrina: thanks for joining the conversation. coming up next we are switching gears to an iowa senator who holds a lot of the cards when it comes to pipiing up our next suprpre court justice. but this week he
of natural cses last weekend. >>sabrina: but even before any funeral plans were made, the political grappling began. which president should get to choose his replacement? well this week iowa's republican senator chuck grassley stuck himself firmly in the let-the-people-decide camp. grassley is the chairman of the senate judiciary committee so he has a very important role to play in kicking off the confirmation process. well, just hours after it was announced that scalia had passed grassley sent out a statement saying it only makes sense that we defer to the american people. we asked him about it again in person later in the week. >>mr. grassley: i feel that thisis is such an important position and times are a lot different that we need to wait until we get a new president, be very important. i think if people feel a part of this process, feel like they have something to do with choosing, and i think i'm pretty clear, have been pretty clear. >>sabrina: and he's getting some outside support for that
crisis network has put out this tv ad to thank repeplicans who've threatened to b bck an obamampick. the ad was made for seven different lawmakers including grassley who all face reelection this year. however, he's also facing heaps of criticism like from the thousands of people who have signed this petition from progress iowa called grassley: do your job. they say he's playing political games with an important constitutional duty. >>amanda: there is another reason also to question what he's saying. >>sabrina: yeah. listen to what grassley said in 2008 when he was on the other side of the coin in the minority of the senateteit was during a meetetg about t suring the confirmation ofualified judicial nonees. >>mr. grassley: the reality is that the senate has never stopped confirming judicial nominees during the last few months of a president's term. >>sabrina: okay. so maybe grassley has changed his tune. but as you heard before, he says times have changed as well. >>amanda: despite all this the
nominate somebody. and there are a lot of names surfacing on the possible short list of picks. let's take a look. those include the current u.s. atatrney general lorettataynch, homeland security y cretary jeh johnson, california's attornrn general kamala harris, and two sitting senators, amy klobuchar from minnesota or orrin hatch from utah. other names surfacing a handful of sitting judges from districts all across the country including one name that some iowans might know, jane kelly. she's a circuit judge for the 8th circuit court of appeals, a former public defender in cedar rapids, and a harvard law school classmate of president obama. even though senator grassley has said he doesn't think anybody should be confirmed until the next president is in place, kelly is someone you'd think he may be more open to considering, right? well, grassley a aually championed herer nomination to the federal bebeh leading to her unanimous confirmation in 2013, but we asked him and he wouldn't budge. >>mr. grassley: i have good feelings aboutiss kelly, but
anything just about her then we get it back to the individual, and this isn't about the individual. this is about the process and it's about peoples' voice in the process. very seldom do they get a chance like this to have a voice that they can have. >>sabrina: much more still on all ththe latest developmentnton the supreme court. coming g next we bring in some constitutional law experts to talk about the impact of scalia's passing and what will happen if we really have an empty seat on the bench for
(music) >>sabrina: welcome back everyone. we'rjoined now by two professo of law at drake university, miguel schor and anthony gaughan. thank you so much for being here. so you are kind of the go-tos when it comes to constitutional law at drake so talk to us a little bit about antonin scalia. what is his legacy? i mean, he kind of was a conservative icon on the supreme
of things that he was most influential in? what is his legacy? >>miguel: sure. you wanna go? well, he was not just, i mean, an icon.n. say he's a rock star rep for a lot of nservatives. and in particular he espoused a thry of interpretation called originalism which paid a lot of attentioto, um, the way the, the frame was actually thought about the constitution. and he didn't have a lot of, he only had one other person on the supreme court, justice thomas, who really espoused that. and i think his, his real long-term legacy is that arguments based on the text and based on what the frame was thought will be more important going forward than they have been in the past. and i think that's a, that's a long-term legacy that he's gonna leave us with. >>sabrina: what do you >>amanda: i'm gonna ask to you expand on that a littltlbit. when you call him a rockcktar, so what, what is the difference between an icon and a rock star level? how did he achieve that? >>miguel: well, he, um, in particular because he was heavily involved with a group called the federalist society which had, um, had, had, was involved with issues involving with the constitution. so he was
there all the time talking to, um, lawyers and experts and the constitution. so he had an influence that was far beyond the actual supreme court in talking to the american citizens about how he believed that the constitution should be interpreted. >>amanda: mmhmm. >>sabrina: alright. so l l's talk a little bit about what the future of the suprememcourt looks like now. we kind of mentioned during break that this is a game changer. >>anthony: yeah, sabrina, th's exactly right. when justice scalia was on the court the divide was 5-4 in favor of the conservatives. now that there's a vacancy on the court, president obama has the opportunity to move the court to the left by naming a liberal or a moderately liberal justice. so the stakes are enormously high in this nomination process which is why you can see so much political maneuvering both in the judiciary commmmtee and in ththsenate more broadly.y. >>saina: i mean, this could be the most influential thing that either this president orhe next president does. >>miguel: absolutely. i mean
the court, antonin scalia was put on the court in 1996, and you're talking an influence for close to 30 years, right? so that's, that's why the battle is, is so huge. and in trans-, so the court had taken on a lot of really blockbuster issues dealing with everything from affirmative action to unions, one person, one vote, and it just transforms what it's about. it's no longer gonna be a blockbustererit moved the battle away from the supreme court straight to the president and to the senate where they're gonna have to make some, some tough decisions, right? uh, there has never been an absence on the court for as long s that. if, if the senate doesn't do anything it'll be well over a year before they put someone on there. that, that just hasn't happened. >>amanda: let's talk about that a little bit because we mentioned in the last segment about how the high likelihood would be that the senate will delay on any presidential appointment, but the court won't just stop what they're doing. they will continue to hear cases, but they may reach some ties because there are 8 members now. so that would result in the judgment of the lower court thth being upheld. and thererare some important
that dealing with union fees, for example, abortion, birth control, affirmative action and immigration. so explain how you see this all shaking out within the next few months or so. >>anthony: amanda, that's exactly ght. there is one additional option available to chief justice roberts which if he wants to, he can hold cases over to the next term of the supreme court. >>amanda: ah! >>anthony: there actually is historical precedent for that. >>amanda: hmm. >>anthony: and so that means chief justice roberts is also exercising a tremendous amount of influence over how these cases will proceed over the course of the next several months. but the bottom line is if we don't have this vacancy fill by the end of the year, what it means is the u.s. courts of appeal in the different parts of the country have the final word on constitutional issues in their geographical circuits which means we really will have a very significant divide on basic constitutional issues until we end up with 9 justices on the supreme court.
power to the lower courts. i mean, that's, , mean, that's bizarre to thihi about. (laughing) >>anthony: sabrina, that's exactly right. ahough it is worth noting that thsupreme court only hears about 60 to 70 cases every year whereas the lower federal courts, the intermediate courts of appeal hear tens of thousands of cases. the vast majority of cases never get to the supreme court. so in a way, this really won't affect the ordinary case. 99% of all cases won't have a different outcome >>amanda: okay. >>anthony: because the supreme court only has 8 justices. but the half a dozen or so major constitutional cases >>sabrina: right. >>anthony: are gonna face a very different outcome than we would normally have when you havava ll supreme court. >>amanda: and obviously we're in the midst of a presidential election right now, a nominating process. and all kinds of fingers being pointed and everyone thinks they know exactly what should be done as far as what the candidates think should be done as far as the next supreme court justice. so what actually does the constitution say about this, and what is precedent?
that was actually pretty straightforward that the president is still the president and it's his job, right? i mean, the constitution says that the president, uh, uh, shall nominana and with the advicecend cocoent of the senate shall appoint the members of the supreme e urt. and it doesn'tt say that he only has that job for 3 out of 4 years. and everyone, everyone knows that. and that's why in fact that there has never been an absence that long on, on the supreme court. um, and so that, that part's pretty clear. plus, the argument that you heard, you hear made from time to time that there should be a referendum on the supreme court. that, that just violates, if you were an originalist like justice scalia, you would have real problems with that because the one branch of government the framers really wanted to be insulated from referendum was precisely the supreme court. it was not to be decided by elections. it was to be decided by the presidt and by the sate. and that's why the democrats have some real leverage in this case over the, over the republicans 'cause the, the text is so clear on this. >>anthony: and we have been here before. the last time that a
confirmed during a presidential election year was 1988 >>sabrina: the sound byte we just heard. >>anthony: exactly, with justice kennedy. but that's actually not a new practice. in fact as far back as 1800, president john adams nominated john marshall to the u.s. supreme court during an election year. but what made that different was adams nominated marshal a a nth after adams lost hisiseelection bid. (chuckling) >>anthony: and marshall was sworn in. the pro-adams federalist senate rushed the confirmation through so that marshall could take his seat in the supreme court before thomas jefferson was sworn in as president in march of 1801. >>sabrina: how interesting! >>amanda: very interesting. a little history lesson here on this week in iowa. (music)
term-how can you reduce that magnesium so you get better profitability going forward? d: you know every year we're answering questions about test weight in various crops. how come one field had good test weight, the other field didn't, and i had the same variety or the same hybrid? we're going to talk about what you can control on your farm to improve test weight. b: well, speaking of control, you're going to want to get our weed of the week under control. we've got an iron talk coming up later in the show as well, but first, here's this week's farm basics. b: during our farm basics time today, we want to talk about something that farmers have to work with: that is cold