tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC June 25, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT
this week with george stephanopoulos starts now. >> senate republicans reveal their secret bill to repeal obamacare and brace for a fight. >> i've been talking about a plan with heart. >> the way this bill cuts health care is heartless. >> can gop leaders beat the clock and get the vote? what would it mean for you? democrats dead set against the plan. not all republicans on board. >> i didn't run on obamacare light. >> now with just two votes to spare. >> it's a very, very narrow path. >> is that path getting more narrow by the minute? can president trump find way to satisfy conservatives and moderates with very different concerns? we ask a senator from each camp. rand paul from kentucky. susan collins from maine. and the comey tapes. >> lordy, i hope there are tapes.
>> after weeks of bluffing, trump finally admits he didn't tape his prior conversations with comey. >> why the game? what was he doing? >> i don't believe it was a game. >> did trump's tape tweet trigger the special counsel and put him in the cross hairs of robert mueller? that question and more for the president's counsellor, kel kellyanne conway. another special election defeat. >> this is not the outcome any of us were hoping for. but this is the beginning of something much bigger than us. >> four losses in four tries the. what does it mean for the midterms? is it time for new leaders and a new direction? we're going to take it on with a top democrat and our powerhouse "roundtable." everything you need to kno from washington. we'll break down the politics, smoke out the spin, with the facts that matter this week. good morning. seven years in, the gop effort to repeal obamacare faces its biggest test yet this week. it's make or break for president trump and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell.
he unveiled the bill on thursday after weeks of secret talks. the congressional budget office has not weighed in yet. with its take on the bill's impact. we know it follows the basic outline of the legislation passed by the house in may. repeal of the obamacare taxes. those benefits flow largely to the wealthiest americans. paid for by massive cuts. more than $800 billion in the medicaid public insurance program. that covers 1 in 5 americans. 40% of poor adults. it does away with the obamacare requirement that people buy health insurance. allows states to op out of the essential health benefits covered by obamacare, like maternity care and treatment with addiction and mental health. that combined with a provision that allows insurance companies to charge older people more. younger, healthier americans likely to pay less. older, sicker americans likely to pay more. already, five gop senators say they can't support the legislatn. the bill fails if more than two vote no. that means a lot of horse
trading ahead. former president obama weighed in simply put, he said, if there's a chance you might get sick, get old, or start family, this bill will do you harm. and small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this. >> that was my term. mean. i want to see -- i want to see -- i speak from the heart. that's what i want to see. i want to see a bill with heart. health care is a very complicated subject from the standpoint that you move it this way, this group doesn't like it. you move it a little
bit over. you have a very narrow path. >> and with that, let's bring in the counselor to the president, kellyanne conway. kellyanne, thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you, george. >> we saw the president concede that he called the house bill
mean. he sent out a tweet saying that he wants to make the senate bill really special. so what makes the senate bill less mean than the house bill? what more does the president need to do to make it more special? >> so, the senate bill would do several things that obamacare failed to do. last year, we had 6.5 million americans play close to $3 billion in taxes to the irs just to opt out of obamacare. that's in addition to the 20 million overall who opted out. 6.5 million were forced to pay a tax penalty. those people, instead of paying taxes to the irs, could use that money to purchase health care. in addition, premiums were supposed to down. they have more than doubled. choices were supposed to expand. they've been reduced. we have 83 insurers leaving the exchanges last year. two dozen more promise to leave next year. choices have been reduced in five states and about 1200 of our nation's counties. we're left with one provider. that is not a choice. we're trying to expand choices. lower those premiums. we're trying to get rid of the taxes on medical devices,
prescription drugs. over-the-counter medications. that will affect americans immediately. >> you laid out the problems with obamacare. a lot of senators have questions about the senate bill. particularly those cuts in medicaid. more than $800 billion. i want to show the president's first speech when he announced for president. >> save medicare, medicaid, and social security without cuts. have to do it. >> the president right there said no cuts in medicaid. had several tweets on the same subject. this bill has more medicaid cuts than the house bill. why is the president going back on his promise? >> these are not cuts to medicaid. this slows the rate for the future and allows governors more flexibility with medicaid dollars. they're closest to the people in need. medicaid imperate, its founng was m to he the poor, sick, needy, disabled. children, some elderly. women, particularly pregnant women. we're trying to get medicaid back to its original moorings. >> i don't know how you can say
the more than $800 billion in savings is not cuts. you don't have to take my word for it. it's the republican senators you're facing right now who have that problem. led by senator dean heller. he said he's voting no. here's what they said. >> first, it doesn't protect nevadans on medicaid. second, the cuts to medicaid threatens critical services in nevada. services that a lot of nevadans depend on. >> i cannot support a bill that's going to make such deep cuts in medicaid that it's going to ship billions of dollars of costs to our state governments. >> so these senators are the ones saying these are medicaid cuts. is the president prepared to put more money back into medicaid? >> the president is prepared to have a conversation, a discussion, a negotiation with those senators and others. i would point out for the few who say that they're currently a no, you're talking about 45 or more who are currently yeses. that tells you something.
>> you don't have 45 yeses. several of those senators are not -- they're saying they're waiting to see what the congressional budget office says. they have not come out and said they're going to support the bill. >> we heard the house bill was never going to pass. we heard this guy can never get elected. we're confident that the senate
bill will get through and we'll have health care reform that takes away these draconian obamacare taxes. taxes on medical devices, prescription drugs. let me get back to medicaid. i can't just let it sit there unanswered, george. if you're currently in medicaid, if you became a medicaid recipient through the obamacare expansion, you're grandfathered in. we're talking about in the future. obamacare took medicaid, which was designed to help the poor, the needy, the elderly, sick, disabled. also children and pregnant women. it took it and went way above the poverty line and opened it up to many able-bodied americans who should probably find other -- at least see if there are other options for them. if they're able-bodied and they
want to work, they'll have employer sponsored benefits. hike you and i do. so -- >> hold on. there's no way you can say a 15-year-old on medicaid today is not going to be affected by the cuts in the future. >> i didn't say that. >> you said everybody on medicaid now is grandfathered in and won't face cuts. that is not factual. >> you keep calling them cuts. we don't see them as cuts. we're slowing the rate of growth. obamacare expanded the pool of medicaid recipients beyond its original intentions. george, you have to look at the whole health care bill, 142 pages in totem, in order to have a full conversation. when you get rid of the penalties, taxes, open up the markets, stop the insurers from leaving. you had 83 leave the markets last year. two dozen more, over 100 by next year. they think obamacare is a bad deal. as do the 20 milon who opted out. the 6.5 million that paid. a penalty rather than getting
this great thing obamacare. >> it's the republican senators calling it cuts. you can't say that $800 billion in savings are not cuts. there are other issues to focus on. the president has made a big effort on opioid addiction. he says he really wants to do something about it. including in his address to congress earlier in the year. let take a look at that.
>> we will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth. and we'll expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted. >> all of the experts say because of what is being done to medicaid in the bill that you cannot expand treatment for opioid addiction. here's the leader of the national center on addiction. he says anyone supporting the senate bill can't claim to be addressing the opioid epidemic. the medicaid cuts will have a devastating impact. the heads of insurance companies have sent a letter saying 4 out of 10 people being treated for opioid addiction in the five most affected states, like ohio, west virginia, are getting medicaid funding. this is going to take that away. >> george, the president signed
just this year into law a bill that provided $213 million in opioid funding. next year's budget including another $811 million. in addition to that, in the senate bill, there's a very important feature that we heard from democratic and republican governors that they say is important to them. it lifts the restrictions that has impeded in-in-facility treatment. recovery treatment and addiction treatment because there's been this -- per bed -- they count the number of beds and decide whether you can get medicaid funding for opioid treatment. the senate bill would do away with that. it's a huge step forward. i'm very involved with secretary price of hhs. we're traveling to talk to first responders, families, those in treatment and recovery. we're talking to faith-based employers. we're talking to health providers. the president and the vice president have leaned all the way in to opioid addiction. he set up a commission headed by new jersey governor chris christie.
that commission is bipartisan. it includes former congressman patrick kennedy. a very vocal -- >> but, kellyanne, on that -- >> it includes roy cooper of north carolina. >> that commission. let's talk about that commission. that week -- this week, the commission had a hearing. the experts that testified to that commission said these cuts in medicaid will have a devastating impact. again, even the republican senators most affected. rob portman, shelly capito. in ohio and west virginia. they say you're going to need to add far more money. this bill doesn't do that. >> i would point out that president obama through obamacare and else wise poured money into crises like this. and where are we? you can fill up every seat in yankee stadium. and that accounts for the number of people who died of drug addiction in the country wjust
last year. it's a gateway to heroin use. fentanyl. pouring money into the problem is not the only answer. we have to get serious about in-facility treatment and recovery. >> that takes money, kellyanne. >> it takes money and a four-letter word called will. it takes a focus that includes money but includes understanding the difference between just interdiction but also recovery and treatment. we have a lot more success stories now. even though no state has been spared and no demographic group has been untouched. money alone hasn't solved this problem. obamacare spent gazillions of dollars. we have people that came to the white house last thursday, more are coming tomorrow, to tell their stories. real people left out of the system. they can't buy on the exchanges. the insurers are fleeing. and some people got an insurance card. and they had the worst possible outcome. they couldn't yuds the card. use the card.
it meant nothing because premiums has skyrocketed. in some states by over 100%. >> the president also has to hear from conservatives who have a different set of problems. led by rand paul who is coming up after you. one white house aide told politico that getting rand paul's vote is the president's personal mission. has the president spoken to senator paul since the senate bill was revealed? what can he offer to the conservatives to get their vote without driving off the moderates? >> as the president did with the house bill, he's working the phones. having personal meetings. engaging with leaders. he hopes to get to yes. by the way, george, for the record, the president and the white house are also open to getting democratic votes. the idea that every democrat is part of the resistance and obstruction and not doing a darn thing to help their constituents. who have been left out of the obamacare virtue. who have not benefited. who have paid $3 billion to the irs in taxes. who come to the white house and tell their stories. which are incredibly sad and totally avoidable. why can't we get a single democrat to come to the table? to come to the white house to
speak to the president or anyone else about trying to improve a system that has not worked for everyone? the democrats themselves, many of them, have admitted obamacare is a failure. 113 have signed on to bernie sanders' bill. they have admitted obamacare is a failure. we have a lot of questions. we have no democrats come toing the table. all four losers in the special elections, the democrats, they all ran pretty much to keep obamacare as it is. >> i'll ask senator schumer when he comes up next. they say they're prepared to work on fixes if you take repeal off the table. >> where are they? >> well, you haven't taken repeal off the table. that's their point. they think repeal is goi to be worse. i'll ask senator schumer about that. i want to move o we saw the president, for the first time this weekfinall concede he did not actually tape james comey. here's what the president's tweet said. with all the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, i have no idea whether there are tapes or recordings of my
conversations with james comey. but i did not make and do not have any such recordings. that's clear right now. the president said he did not tape james comey. i'm confused by the top part of that tape. does the president have any evidence at all that his personal conversations were somehow taped? has he asked the intelligence agencies for that evidence? >> in that tweet, the president is making clear, as he often duds on social media, he's giving over the possibility that this could have happened. the conversations he had with the heads of mexico and australia were leaked. >> but he's leaving open the possibility. he's the president of the united states. he can ask the intelligence agencies, the national security agency, thcia. has he asked them? does he have any evidence? >> the president has made very clear as director pompeo did on a different network this weekend. these leaks coming from the intelligence and security committees are impeding -- >> that's not what i asked. i asked if he has any evidence he was taped. >> he's saying -- first of all, we have evidence that there are
leaks, george. they go right to the media. we have evidence that jim comey wanted to leak a confidential conversation or three with the president. gave to it a private citizen to leak to "the new york times." >> that's different from whether or not there are tapes of those conversations. has the president asked the intelligence agencies if they have any tapes of his conversations? does he know if they have ? does he have any evidence to back up the suggestion he put out in the tweet? >> i'm not going to comment on his conversations with his intelligence communities. do you have evidence of russian collusion? james comey doesn't. adam schiff doesn't. what are we talking about here with the never-ending russia discussion? now because they couldn't find collusion. now because it's the obama administration responsible for doing absolutely nothing from august to january with the knowledge that russia was hacking into our election. they did nothing. they're responsible for this. nobody has any evidence of collusion. now we're going to -- i have a
question for the obama administration. why did you quote, choke in the name of one of your senior officials? why did you do nothing to inform can't trump. i know you thought hillary would win. how could you not reveal information? when the president found out about it in january, he said it was a disgrace. he believes russia was behind it. he think other people hacked too. i think the previous administration has questions to answer given this russian obsession by everyone. >> perhaps they do. the white house did -- the intelligence agencies in october did reveal that russia had been involved in the election. and president trump consistently has dismissed that. it finally appears for the first time this week he conceded that the russians did interfere with the election. the big question now is for president trump, what is he going to do about it? >> the other question that jeh johnson, the former dhs secretary said is that the russian hacking changed no votes. everybody has said that. everybody credible said it changed no votes. let's make that clear. what the president has already
done, when he was confronted with this information in january, he said it's a quote disgrace. he thinks russia was involved. but that others are hacking, too. in addition, he signed very early on, a cybersecurity executive order and has an entire task force, they met this week, headed up by his homeland security adviser, in taking into account what foreign governments may be doing. that goes for russia or anyone else who wants to interfere in our democracy. number two he has this commission on electoral integrity. headed up by vice president mike pence. they've been meeting. they're going to issue a report. the commission now has ten members. that is for everything from voter fraud here domestically to possible hacking by foreign governments. he takes very seriously integrity at the ballot box in all of its forms. i have no idea why the obama administration, except that they thought hillary would win and it didn't matter, why they failed to deliver on such an essential, essential duty.
they had the prerogative. the duty. they failed to act on russian hacking. >> last day of the supreme court tomorrow. a lot of speculation about justice kennedy. has he said anything to the white house about retirement plans? >> i will never reveal a conversation between the sitting justice and the president or the white house. we're paying very close attention, these last bit of decisions. i can tell you one thing. just as the president did with justice neil gorsuch, when there are vacancies, he'll look to somebody who has fidelity to the constitution who doesn't make up the law as they go along. and somebody who has a judicial temperament and a record beyond reproach, as we did with justice gorsuch. we hope the next time we can get more than a handful of democratic senators to vote for our nominees. we would like a lot more cooperation from our democratic friends. we know obstruction and
resistance is their motto. it's not working. >> kellyanne conway, thank you. >> thank you, george. now for the democratic response, we're join bid the senate democratic leader chuck
schumer. >> hi, george. >> you heard kellyanne conway say, they have to come to the table. >> on january 4th, they passed this reconciliation bill that said, we don't want democrats. we have sent ten letters saying, sit down with us. we can improve obamacare. if you stop doing this repeal, which is trump care, highly unpopular with the american people, we'll sit down with you and make it better. last week, i asked mitch mcconnell, let democrats and republicans all together, all 100 of us, let's meet in the old senate chamber and discuss it. no. they want to try it themselves. if they fail, they'll hopefully stop sabotaging obamacare and sit with us and hopefully make it better. >> are they going to pass the bill? >> i think it's 50-50. as democrats, we're doing everything we can to fight this bill. it's so devastating to the middle class. i think they have, at best, a 50-50 chance of passing this bill. to get three senators to vote no. you can probably say yes, you can say no, it's probably 50-50. but the bill is just devastating.
that's what's making it so hard for them to pass it. here's what it does. it kills the middle class and gives money to the wealthy. let's not forget one thing, george. the hard, hard right. the thousand very wealthy people have such dominance in the republican party. they have had two goals for decades. one, reduce taxes on the rich. people who make over $1 million get an average of a $57,000 tax cut. two, destroy the social safety net for the middle class of social security and medicaid. that's why there's such pressure on republicans. there is this narrow group of wealthy people with power. the american people are crying out and saying no. >> if this goes down you call the white house the next day? >> i call the white house the next day. i would be happy to, and say two things. first, stop sabotaging obamacare. this cost-sharing proposal that democrats have been for and the republicans have rejected. the insurance industry says it's
the number one way to stabilize obamacare. in fact, cbo said it was being stabilized until they started sabotaging it. two, sit down and work with us. we have ideas. you have ideas. stop. you can't repeal obamacare. that's proven if they lost. we'll work with you to make it better. >> let's talk about russia. you heard kellyanne conway say, president obama was told in august about vladimir putin's administration to meddle. did they choke on this? should have done more earlier? >> there were classified briefings. i wasn't part of them. it's hard to comment. without knowing the sinew of that. there were public reports that the republican leadership told obama not the comment because it would jaundice the elections. >> what happens now? some democrats say president obama should have acted sooner. the sanctions that he put on are relatively small. does the american people need to
do more right now? >> i saw kellyanne conway blaming the obama administration. but they're no longer in charge. here is something that could be done. we passed in a bipartisan way. didn't get that much attention. but mitch mcconnell and i and the leaders of the -- the democratic and republican leaders of the banking committees passed a bill that does three things on sanctions. one, it codifies existing sanctions. two, trump can't reduce them on his own. he needs congressional approval. and three, new sanctions toughened up. based on what john mccain and lindsey graham wanted to do. donald trump is -- seems to be opposing that. the american people are scratching their heads. knowing his relationship with putin, they're saying, why the heck is he opposing strengthening the sanctions? >> they're saying it's just on separation of powers concerns. >> oh, come on. give me a break.tough. they're strong. and they have supported iranian sanctions doing similar things, with iranian sanctions, i believe. the bottom line is, if donald
trump wants to do something about russia and russia meddling, instead of saying obama didn't do enough, support our sanctions bill. i'll tell you this. i hope paul ryan will step up to the plate. with russia meddling in our elections, that's serious, serious stuff. if he passes it and trump vetoes it, it will be overridden by democrats and republicans. >> democrats lost another special election this week. that's four in a row. led to a lot of second-guessing by democrats. including congressman tim ryan. congressman tim ryan said, our brand is worse than trump. >> okay, here's the number one lesson from georgia six. democrats need a strong, bold, sharp-edged, and common sense economic agenda. policy, platform, message. that appeal to the middle class. that resonate with the middle class. and show, and unite democrats. that's what i've been working on for months.
i've been talking to democrats house and senate all across the country. i have been talking to trump voters. i was at a yankee game on saturday night. i sat next to, you know -- we sit in the grand stand wearing an i'm proud to be a deplorable voter. a truck driver. this economic message, platform, is going to resonate. it's not going to be baby steps. it's going to be bold. we're coming out with in this summer. within a month. democrats will try to pass it for a year and campaign on it in 2018. it's what we were missing in 2016 and in the past. we're going to -- we know that. when you lose an election, you don't blame others. you blame yourself. >> congressman ryan and others say it may be necessary but not sufficient. they say nancy pelosi has to go. >> you always blame the -- they always blame the leader. i think if we come up with this strong, bold economic package, it will change things around. that's what we were missing. people don't like trump. he's at 40%. they say, what the heck do the democrats stand for?
ryan has a point here. we better stand for something. it can't be baby steps. people -- democrats are going to be pleased. i'm talking to bernie sanders. i'm talking to joe manchin. this is something the democrats can be proud about. i'm excited about it. >> congressman schumer. thanks for your time
this morning. >> thank you. when we come back, two of the senators who could make or break the gop health care bill. rand paul and susan collins. and that's senator schumer. of course. we'll be right back. >> what did i say? hey dad, come meet the new guy. the new guy? what new guy? i hired some help. he really knows his wine. this is the new guy? hello, my name is watson. you know wine, huh? i know that you should check vineyard block 12. block 12? my analysis of satellite imagery shows it would benefit from decreased irrigation. i was wondering about that. easy boy. nice doggy. not bad.
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back now with two of the senators who could determine the fate of obamacare repeal. rand paul of kentucky, susan collins of maine. i want to start with senator paul. senator paul, thank you for joining us this morning. you and three other conservatives said the repeal doesn't go far enough. you say the subsidies are too generous. you heard president trump this morning, he kind of conceded that he called the house bill too mean. said he wants a senate bill with more heart. that seems to be going in the opposite direction of what you're calling for. >> the fundamental flaw of obamacare was it made insurance more expensive. but then it also told individuals, you know what? if you don't want to buy it now, you can wait and buy it after you're sick. that still remains. 10 or 12 regulations that add cost to insurance.
remain in the republican bill. we still say you can still by insurance after you're sick. if you add those two together, you still get the death spiral. the republican plan acknowledges more people in the death spiral. sicker and sicker people in the individual market and the healthy people don't buy insurance. they acknowledged this by putting over $100 billion of insurance bailout money to say we'll tamp down prices. we're going to pile taxpayer money into it. that is not a conservative notion. to add a new federal program to bail out insurance. >> that sounds like a fundamental structural flaw in the program that you're talking about. is there no way you can get to a yes vote? >> well, what we can do is if they cannot get 50 votes. if they get to impasse, i've been telling leadership for months now i'll vote for a repeal. and it doesn't have to be 100% repeal. for example, i'm for 100% repeal. that's what i want.
if you offer me 90%, i probably would vote. i might vote for 80% repeal. >> what percent is it now? >> one second. realize that the obamacare subsidies in the bill are actually greater under the republican bill than they are under the current obamacare law. that is not anywhere close to repeal. >> so you're a no right now. you're a no. >> at this point. but i could vote, if we get to impasse. if we go to a bill that is more repeal and less big government programs, yes, i'll consider partial repeal. >> so that means fewer subsidies? lower subsidies? >> it means more freedom. they have to legalize the sale of inexpensive insurance. obamacare made it illegal to buy inexpensive insurance. if i'm a 27-year-old guy, i don't want pregnancy coverage, i can't buy a policy. they priced me out of the marketplace. therefore, i don't buy it at all.
that leads to the death spiral of obamacare. all of that remains under this. i'm not voting for something that looks like obamacare and still doesn't fix the fundamental flaw of obamacare. >> your colleague mike lee says he's a no. he says it's hard to see how he could get to yes. the only thing he can see right now is giving every state the ability to opt out of obamacare. would that fix it for you? >> it helps. because what that means is you have the freedom the buy inexpensive insurance. you have to realize the obamacare mandates, regulations, add costs to insurance. price young, healthy people out of the market. you get the death spiral that is obamacare. so if you get rid of the regulations, you may allow inexpensive insurance to be sold once again. you may allow freedom of choice. shouldn't the individual in a free country be able to decide what they want for insurance? the government shouldn't be able to tell you what you have to buy for insurance. >> you have four conservatives that say they're a no vote. several moderates are opposed to
the medicaid cuts, including susan collins. she doesn't like the denial of funding to planned parenthood. that the subsidies are not generous enough. if it moves in their direction, does it lose you? >> well, the way you can do this is instead of moving in one direction or the other, why don't we take 25 ideas and keep narrowing it until we get 100% consensus. on all 25 or 1,000 ideas to fix health care, there's no consensus. probably in any political party. but what if we keep whittling it back to things we have consensus for. everyone in our caucus is for expanding health savings accounts. why don't we at least do that? everybody in our caucus thinks the obamacare taxes are a punishment on companies. on opportunities. on jobs. everybody thinks we ought to repeal at least some regulations. why not come back in six months and say, you know what? let's work with democrats and let's do the replace. the new government programs y'all want, let's work with democrats on that. let's go ahead and repeal the
things democrats will never do. democrats will never repeal a tax and they'll never repeal a regulation. those are two things that are messing up the marketplace. >> doesn't sound to me like you're going to get to yes this week. >> i will get to yes if they change their approach. will they if they don't get 50? i think they ought to. why not whittle it down to what the whole caucus agrees on? i think there's a bill that all 52 republicans agree on if they narrow the focus. they say they're going to fix health care. i've been in medicine 20 years. i'm 54 years old. premiums have never gone down. they're not going to go down after the republican bill. it's a false, overpromising to say, oh, yeah, insurance premiums will go down. but we're keeping 10 of the 12 mandates that caused the prices to go up. it's a foolish notion to promise something you can't provide. >> senator paul, thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. >> want to move to senator susan collins of maine. she's joining us from
washington. you just heard senator paul. you heard kellyanne conway, you heard senator schumer. is there a way for senator mcconnell and president trump to come up with a bill that you and senator paul with support? >> it's certainly going to be very difficult. for my part, i'm very concerned about the cost for insurance for older people with serious chronic illnesses. and the impact of the medicaid cuts on our state governments. the most vulnerable people in our society and health care providers such as our rural hospitals and nursing home. most of whom are very dependent on the medicaid program. so threading that needle is going to be extremely difficult. >> you heard kellyanne conway say those are not medicaid cuts. what is your response to that? >> i respectfully disagree with her analysis.
this is why we need the congressional budget office assessment of the impact of the senate bill on costs and coverage including its analysis of medicaid. and that will be coming out tomorrow. but based on what i've seen, given the inflation rate that would be applied in the outer years to the medicaid program, the senate bill is going to have more impact on the medicaid program than even the house bill. >> so that means if that's true, if that is confirmed by the congressional budget office, you're a no? >> i want to wait to see the cbo analysis. but i have very serious concerns about the bill. >> you have concerns about planned parenthood. this bill would deny funding of planned parenthood for a year. i know you're planning to introduce an amendment with
senator mccaskill that would restore the funding. if that amendment fails, will you oppose final passage? >> it makes no sense to eliminate federal funding for planned parenthood. this are already longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds on abortion. that's not what this debate is about. planned parenthood is an important provider of health care services, including family planning and cancer screenings for millions of americans, particularly women. they should be allowed to choose the health provider that they want. that's one of the issues i care deeply about. there are many others as well. i'm optimistic we'll prevail on that issue. >> you think you'll prevail on the amendment. but if you don't, you have other concerns with the bill as well. is planned parenthood funding a bottom line for you? if this bill denies funding, are you against it? >> it's one of many factors and a very important one that i will consider in casting my vote. i'm also very concerned about the medicaid cuts. what it means to our most
vulnerable citizens. i'm very concerned about the costs of insurance premiums and deductibles. particularly for that very vulnerable group. between the age of 50 and 64. they are particularly at risk based on my initial analysis. i'm going to look at the whole bill before making a decision. >> are there a critical mass? we know that senator paul and three other conservatives want more repeal from their perspective. how many more senators do you believe share your views on medicaid? >> there are several of us under the leadership of senator rob portman who have been meeting to look at the medicaid provisions. there are about seven to eight people in that group. i can't speak for them. suffice it to say, they're certainly concerned. that's why the cbo analysis quantifying the cuts, the impact
is going to be so important. you can't take over $800 billion out of the medicaid program and not expect that it's going to have an impact on a rural nursing home that relies on medicaid for 70% of the costs of its patients. so -- this is an access issue as well as one having to do with cost. >> does the bill pass this week? >> it's hard for me to see the bill passing this week. but, that's up to the majority leader. we could well be in on -- all night a couple of nights. working through what will be an open amendment process. i think that -- that at least is good. the process could have been a lot better. i would have liked to have seen the democrats step up to the table. and negotiate with us now. not wait until the bill is
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in my lifetime, i will make sure. "roundtable" is here. our chief political analyst, matthew dowd. the washington bureau chief of the associated press, julie pace. congratulations. that's a new job. >> thank you very much. >> lanhee chen. and neera tanden. a senior policy adviser for hillary clinton. matt, let's begin with you. president trump conceded he thought the house bill was mean. you saw the big differences between the conservatives, rand paul, and the moderates like susan collins. is there any way mitch mcconnell can put this together? >> well, as you say, there's huge divides. i gave up predictions after november elections in the midst of chaos, dysfunction, and disruption. where we are today in our politics. i think this conversation is
really important. this is real world. it affects 300 million-plus americans. it doesn't matter if you're on medicaid. it affects 300 million. it's personal. i served on a board of a catholic charity hospital. i had a sister die of opiate addiction. and twin daughters who went through a neonatal unit. one for nine months. one passed away in the middle of it. i think this all boils down. we can debate all the words. it boils down to a choice. a fundamental choice. the choice is, do you take $1 trillion and help the poor, vulnerable, working class in their health care? or do you take the $1 trillion and return it to the wealthy of the country? that's the basic choice there. >> what is the answer? >> i think that there are a cup of issues here. the republicans want to deal with medicaid is that they don't think it is sustainable in the long run. if you want to help, the answer is not to take a program that
will grow faster than the economy and do nothing. >> isn't there a problem of pairing that with tax cuts? take your argument on its face. why match it with $1 trillion in tax cuts? >> the tax cuts are important to generating economic growth. it's a consideration if you look back over. >> if you wanted to generate economic growth, you wouldn't do it for just the wealthiest? >> but, if you look back over the last seven years, obamacare has been a drag on the american economy. one of the reasons you do this is precisely to get the economy going. the different point is, what the senate bill does that the house bill didn't do is provide a more generous level of support. all the way to the lower the end of income scale. absolutely it does. >> i would say first, on the medicaid program, this is a 50-year-old program. the fact that they're doing the most radical transformations of the program. they're going to cut $800 billion. of the medicaid program. i appreciate that republicans have wanted to do that for a long time. that will have real consequences for the most vulnerable.
i think that is one of the reasons why donald trump said he would never cut the medicaid program and is going back on that promise. most importantly, republicans have promised to lower premiums. donald trump promised to lower premiums. lower health care costs. and make sure everyone is covered. and this bill, i think is truly a monstrous bill. i use that term with a heavy heart. a monstrous bill. because it will actually raise premiums for everyone. cut millions of people off health insurance. and too that, all to basically ve a massive tax cut to the wealthy. that's why i just need to say, the aarp, doctors groups, have all come out against this. nurses. stakehoerlsd in the health care system say this is a bill that will not just hurt -- it will hurt everyone. lifetime caps. people with employer-sponsored coverage going to lose it. >> the longer it stays out there, the less chance it probably has of passing. where is president trump in all this right now? you saw him in the interview this morning, concede the word "mean" for the house bill.
it seems like you, if you listen to his words, what he also said in iowa the other night, that he wants more bill with more heart. he wants to go in the direction of the moderates. wants to increase the subsidies. that will cost him on the conservative side. >> absolutely. all the signals are right. the words the president was speaking on the campaign trail. hen he did talk about health care he talked about it in a pretty broad way. making sure that no one would lose coverage. making sure that everyone who wanted access would have it. he's in a bit of a bind right now. when he talks about it in that way, it's not what conservatives want to hear. they hear someone who talks like they're wanting to spend more money. pumping more government funding into a health care bill. when you heard rand paul, that certainly seems like the opposite of what he was saying. but republicans are also motivated by politics right now. they feel like their members in the senate have to have a vote. they know if this drags out longer, they'll be in recess, going home, hearing from
constituents. if we get into 2018, we're bumping up against the midterms. >> this debate is so demonstrative of the dysfunction in washington. there's this huge ideological divide. neither side is coming to the table to solve a problem. accessibility and affordability of health care. all the solutions we talk about are not going to solve either one. obamacare didn't solve fundamentally accessibility. it affected some of it. i think at some point, it's time for us to step back a little bit, look around the world, because we don't have a monopoly on all the solutions. we didn't make all the inventions in the history of the world. as a matter of fact, anti-biotics and x-ray machines were invented by other countries. we should look at how other countries in the world solved this program to effect wellness for most of the country. >> one of the things on that point, driving some republicans is if they don't vote yes on this, people are going to look around and say the real answer is some kind of single payer health care. >> and you're starting to see that at the state level, if you
look at california and some of the states are moving in that direction. soy think the republicans have a challenge. one of the things that is laid bare here -- republicans have deep disagreements on health care. this is something they were able to paper over for the last seven years and say, we're all against obamacare. here's the reality, we disagree on the structure and level of medicaid funding. how deep we should have these subsidies go. should the subsidies go to the poorest americans or be more moderated? there ardisagreements. those are really being fought out now. >> can they just answer this for me the president talked about repealing obamacare. why are they basically taking on the entire medicaid program? he never campaigned on this. this is a giant bait and switch. just to be clear about the impact of what they're doing. a 60-year-old person in maine will have a $9200 increase in their premiums. >> we know the answer to that question. it's where the money is. medicaid is where the money is.
>> but only to fuel a tax cut for the wealthy. why do they have to do that? just deal with obamacare if you want to. it's become a cruel attempt to go after a health care system for the most vulnerable. in both the house and senate bill, they brought in the medicaid program to basically get -- like basically cut millions of people. you'll see that in the cbo score tomorrow. millions of people will lose coverage from the medicaid cuts and the senate bill is crueller on the medicaid expansion. people who have medicaid today from the expansion will lose it from the senate bill. you know that as well as i do, lanhee. >> about 80% of the coverage gains -- i -- here's the thing. the traditional populations in medicaid. those most vulnerable. the disabled. the aged. the sick. younger americans. those people are still going to be in the medicaid program. >> but the cuts over the ten years. >> no -- every step -- >> no, there will be cuts -- >> every step of the current debate leads us closer and closer to single payer. every single step of this debate.
leads us closer. there's an ideological reason. republicans ought to just stand up and say, we don't want government involved in health care at all. >> they didn't say that. >> i want to disagree in this. we could have a debate about how to fix the aca. >> democrats haven't offered it. >> i'm happy to provide it. >> that's unlikely to happen. there is some thought in washington that maybe mitch mcconnell wants this bill to go down. wants to get it off his back and move on to full tax cuts. >> i was struck. i was on the hill on thursday. i was struck by how prevalent that line of thinking is among republicans right now. mitch mcconnell is very crafty. he's been doing this negotiation over this bill and the strategy largely in private. there is a school of thought that republicans need in the senate need to be able to have a vote on health care largely because they've been talking about it for seven years. but that they would rather just move on. that puts them in a tricky position. it gets to the point we're talking about. if you can't get a republican replace package passed, we're in
a situation where we say the current health care system has major flaws. could these two party ts come together and resolve snit there doesn't seem to be political will on either side right now. >> we only have ten seconds left. chuck schumer said it's 50-50. i know you're not going predict. anyone else want to predict? >> it's going to pass, george. >> i will say if it passes, i don't want it to pass. but i do think it will help ensure that a lot of democrats -- a lot of democrats will -- >> we'll be right back. of democrats will -- >> we'll be right back.
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