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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  June 25, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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making depositing a check seem so effortless. easy to use chase technology, for whatever you're trying to master. isaac, are you ready? yeah. chase. so you can. good day, everyone. i am alex witt at msnbc world headquarters in new york. it is high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. let's get to what's happening out there. the battle over trump care, spilling into the weekend on capitol hill with a number of republicans critical of their own party's new bill. >> we should not be voting on this next week, we should have started the process, reaching out to the democrats. >> scrambling for support, the president looking for votes, trying to convince gop defectors with four days left before a potential vote. the blame game on russia, one of president trump's new tweets may contradict what he
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said in the past on election tampering. and could be the biggest story of the week, the current supreme court term ends tomorrow. speculation on the future plans of one justice is swirling. details right now on msnbc live. we begin with new reaction from two opponents of the senate health care bill. here are senators rand paul and ron johnson on what it will take for them to change their minds. >> i will get to yes if they change their approach and will they change the approach if they don't get 50. i think they ought to. why don't we whittle it down to what the whole caucus agrees on. i think there's a bill all 52 republicans agree on if they narrow the focus. they promise too much. they say they're going to fix health care, premiums will go down. there's no way the republican bill brings down premiums. >> these bills aren't going to fix the problem, they're not addressing the root cause. doing the same old washington thing, throwing more money at the problem. and we have all of the inflamed
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rhetoric. i would like to slow the process down, get the information, go through the problem solving process, actually reduce premiums that have been artificially driven up because of obamacare mandates. >> conservative senator joe manchin weighing in on what would kpcompel him to vote in favor of the bill. >> they need democrats to pass this. if this doesn't have the votes, call off this bill now. >> has the white house reached out to you in this processor senator mcconnell? >> not yet, no. some of my colleagues, susan collins and i have been speaking, bill cassie and i spoke about it. i said if you take repeal off the table, talk about repair and fixing what we have, how to make it better, i'm in with you. we will get more democrats will sit down. why does it have to be so mean spirited? why can't there be some compassion. >> president trump slamming democrats all the while expressing confidence the bill will pass. >> we look forward to continuing
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to work with senator heller. i had wonderful conversations with him, had conversations with the governor of nevada. >> can you promise that at the end of the day what the president will sign will bring premiums down for a majority of americans? >> the plan in its entirety will absolutely bring premiums down, increase competition, increase choices for individuals, allow folks to be able to purchase the coverage they want, not that the government forces them to buy. >> and once again, president trump there slamming the democrats all the while expressing confidence that the bill will pass. >> i think it's doing just fine and it's going to be a good bill and we have to remember, obamacare is dead as a door nail, it's over, it's a failure. but it would be so great if the democrats and republicans could get together, wrap their arms around it, and come up with something that everybody is happy with. it's so easy. we won't get one democrat vote, not one. >> ranking member adam schiff
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says the obama administration made a quote, very serious mistake, by not calling out russia earlier after finding out it meddled in the u.s. election. >> i think they were concerned about being perceived as interfering in the election, trying to tip the scales for hillary clinton. i think they were also concerned about not wanting to play into the narrative that donald trump was telling that the election was going to be rigged, even though donald trump was talking about a completely different kind of rigging than foreign intervention, but both of those factors did not outweigh in my view, and i argued this at the time, did not outweigh the public's need to know. >> let's go to nbc's kelly o'donnell. good sunday to you. hearing more from the white house about the health care bill. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, they are trying to make the case that this is a slowing down of some of the plans with medicaid, not a complete roll back. that's something being argued here. they're trying to say this will take a period of time for these changes to take place.
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and on the political side of this, certainly the white house and top republicans are talking about the fact that this is about trying to deliver on a promise made by the president, and republicans across the country who did say to their voters after election that they wanted to overhaul, replace, come up with a new plan instead of the obamacare law. so there's political pressure to try to act on that. but what you just heard in some of the comments gives you an idea of why this is so difficult, from the conservative end, they think this is not strong enough in some respects, they think it is still problematic in how it will deal with the issues, and on the moderate end, big concerns about things like medicaid piece where some people are now getting their insurance because of the medicaid expansion, and if that's da mat cli changed. you have members concerned with health services for women with respected to planned parenthood.
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so you've got five senators on the republican side who are publicly saying they're no right now. there are four conservatives and one more moderate member, dean heller from nevada who's been getting a lot of attention. and you've got some who are saying they need more information. they want to keep talking about it. that's really a negotiating position now with just a few days until the bill really needs to be for time purposes available on the senate floor. there will be amendments, they can talk through things, try to make some changes. mitch mcconnell tried to say it's got to be done before july 4th break because in this nonelection year, they need to accomplish a lot of things over the weeks that are still remaining and they're running out of time. something they all believe needs to be changed in terms of republican point of view, and they think this is the time to do it. it is not an easy lift and it may not happen. to give you a sense of how the white house in particular is
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talking about changes to medicaid, kellyanne conway was on television today trying to say this is just slowing down the withdrawal from medicaid. it is not a cut. here's how she tried to frame that. >> these are not cuts to medicaid, george. this slows the rate for the future and allows governors more flexibility with medicaid dollars because they're closest to the people in need. medicaid's imperative, its founding was meant to help the poor, the sick, the needy. the disabled children. some elderly women, particularly pregnant women. we're trying to get medicaid back to its original morings. >> reporter: and try to have it be more cost sharing with the federal government and states, the original formulation of medicaid, and in the obamacare era they expanded what the federal contribution would be to encourage states to do this expansion, to get more people
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enrolled. the obamacare mandate was about trying to get as many people access to coverage. this is a different philosophy. that's part of what's really being debated here. very different point of view about how health insurance should be regulated and organized in the country. very different than the democratic point of view. it's going to be tough. it is going to be a week of ups and downs when it comes to this bill. we just don't know if republicans will be able to get there politically and on policy, there are changes still to be made that have to be sorted out this week. alex? >> as you said, a heavy lift. thank you so much, kelly o'donnell from the white house. bring in democratic congresswoman karen bass from california on house foreign affairs and judiciary committees. congressman, big welcome to you. glad to have you on the broadcast. want to start getting your reaction to health and human services secretary tom price said this morning. here it is. >> sure. >> it would be wonderful to have some democrats come along and recognize that there are nearly 40% of our counties across this nation that will only have one
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issuer, insurance company providing coverage. there will be counties across the country that won't have any insurance company providing coverage. you have premiums going up, deductibles going up. folks with no care. what are our friends on the other side of the aisle from a republican, democrat perspective saying to those challenges? why aren't they coming to the table to help out? >> i would love your response to that, ma'am. >> first of all when the affordable care act was passed, nobody thought that would be a panacea. i think we should repair and improve it. it has been very hard over the last few years when you had republicans whose position was repeal and replace. they essentially want to eliminate the government's obligation to support people with health care. so that makes it very difficult. the other thing that has been consistent with the republicans is that they have done everything they could to sabotage health care reform. in some states that only have
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one carrier, one of the reasons why that is is because they refuse to provide the support that's needed for more carriers to cover in a particular state. >> i'm curious about your reaction to the white house constantly telling us that obamacare is dead. do you have any concerns about what would happen if an obamacare replacement bill or fixer upper bill doesn't pass? >> well, if the republicans and white house continue to sabotage it, because there are things that the white house can do. i mean, for example, trying to block funding to advertise for people to sign up during those time periods, so people don't know that it is the time to go ahead and reup your plan, so there's things they can do, not providing subsidies to states that are needed to provide the coverage. there's a lot of things they can do to sabotage the care. but essentially if their plan were to go through, you would have millions of people who have coverage now even with their
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employers they have coverage, they would be cut out of pre-existing conditions. so the essential health benefits allowing that to be optional, you know under essential health benefits you're talking about things like emergency room visits, pediatric care, substance abuse, mental health. they would make those optional. so even people who are covered by their employer would lose benefits they now have. so i think it would be extremely harmful if the bill is to pass. >> i believe you can add maternity care to that list. >> yes. exactly. >> let's get to changing topics, the stand off between the congressional black caucus and the president. the cbc turned down a private meeting with the president a few days ago, citing issues brought to his attention in the first meeting yet to be addressed. what are they trying to accomplish? >> i was in the first meeting because impart of congressional black caucus executive committee and understand we took that meeting very seriously. i mean, we presented the
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president with a 130 page policy document that identified problems, also listed a series of solutions with specific pieces of legislation. and we asked for a response. we asked meetings, he said he would do that, we have had absolutely no response from the wlo white house until we received a letter from a member of his staff asking for all 49 members of congressional black caucus to go over. if six people from the executive committee went over and the white house was unresponsive, what kind of meeting would we have with 49 people that wouldn't be more than a photo op? so it didn't make sense. we asked the white house to please respond to the issues that we raised the last time we were there. >> i understand several of those issues, key ones being funding for historically black colleges, criminal justice reform, voting
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rights. it has been crickets, silence on that? >> it's actually been worse. take the issue of criminal justice reform. we presented him with specific proposals and we told him before he came into office, we were working on bipartisan, bi cam ral legislative proposals to reform the criminal justice system. under sessions, they're dialing backwards, wanting to reinstitute some reactionary drug standards, looking at the opioid crisis, treating it as a health program, looking at crack and cocaine, saying we need greater incarceration, have tougher sentences. so they have not only -- not only did not respond to us, but they moved the needle further backwards. and of course if you look at his budget, you can see how that would impact african-american and not just african-american communities but low income communities and some middle class communities around the country when you do things like
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eliminate community development block grants that cities desperately need. to us, we would like to see response. we have no interest in a photo op. we wanted to be substantive. 130 page document. we took that meeting very seriously. >> let's talk about just the reaction from i'm sure you heard about it from the white house assistant, omarosa manigault. she thought it was not helpful at all. listen to what she said. >> they're showboating and actually shorting out their constituents that they committed to represent by not coming to meet with the president. it is obvious they had no intention of ever sitting with the president. in fact, they called the invitation a social gathering which nowhere in my letter did it ever say it was social. that just goes to show you they're not serious. >> your reaction to her? >> i have to say, presenting the
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president with a 130 page document that had over 50 pieces of legislation that we asked him to get behind, and if not get behind, how about give us a response. i can't think of anything more substantive than that. do i think she has a little at stake in us coming over there. but it made no sense to go over for a photo op. we are really a serious group of people, who by the way don't just represent african americans but represent over 70 million people combined if you look at the congressional black caucus. we wanted to be very serious, we would like to have a serious response. >> i want to quickly get to the democrats' path forward. the democrats lost two more special elections last week, democratic members of congress are pushing house minority leader pelosi to step down as leader saying the losses have gone on too long, it is time for new leadership, a new message. would you support a change in leadership? >> no, i wouldn't support a
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change in leadership and i think it is very important that we not take the bait from the republicans because they're making a lot of noise saying they want to continue running against nancy pelosi. well, first of all, if there was a change in leadership right now, what's to say they wouldn't continue running against nancy pelosi and saying the next person is just like her. we are in the middle of a two year session. we're months away from the mid terms. wouldn't make sense to me to have a leadership change right now. i think we have to be very careful about that. >> california congressman karen bass. thank you so much. >> thanks for having me on. is one of president trump's big goals wiping out president obama's legacy, is it personal reaction to an article. and the president says not a single democrat will vote for his health care bill. is he right, and is that wrong of democrats? >> regardless of our feelings
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we do business where you do business. ♪ ♪ our policy never caught up with the rhetoric of repeal and replace when the truth is we know we have to maintain certain aspects of this law, other parts need to go, other parts need to be reformed. i think that's the problem. we had the bumper sticker slogan but not the policy to back it up. >> that's gop congressman charlie dent, suggesting the long time mantra repeal and replace is missing the legislative follow through. joining me, molly hooper, congressional reporter at the hill and washington bureau chief for "new york post." ladies, welcome to you both. gabby, start with you. republicans and the president
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still cling to this repeal and replace mantra. is charlie dent right that the legislation piece remains unfulfilled and is that why moderates may never get on board? >> he is certainly right there's growing tension between moderate and conservative senators over this bill. that is going to jeopardize how quickly it moves in the senate. we know senate majority leader mitch mcconnell wants to force a vote this week before they leave for july 4th recess, it seems unlikely that will happen now that we have five senators that express td opposition to this legislation and a number of moderate senators like lisa murkowski, susan collins from maine who said they would be probably opposed to this legislation if there are more conservative adjustments made to it over the course of the next week. >> molly, with the way you cover congress, what specifically do you think it is going to take republicans to reach 50 votes. are there specific changes to the current senate bill you
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think will bring enough senators on board? >> that's unclear. a lot of concerns republicans have is now that obamacare is the law and that medicaid has been expanded to cover something like 11 million people, how do you take that entitlement away from people in your states who are using that as their health care system right now. president trump talks about the house bill being mean. it is just unclear how republicans as a cohesive party with enough votes get to the point they can actually come up with a policy that wouldn't mean taking away someone's entitlement. caused president clinton trouble during the welfare debate in 1996 with certain programs taken away from people, and puts a lot of republicans in a pickle, especially in states like alaska and other moderate places, especially dean heller from nevada, how do you do that, how do you do that to your voters, when his republican governor, brian sandoval, very popular,
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wants coverage to maintain and stay in place. >> yeah. gabby, speaking of dean heller, the ones opposing, the five seem to come from different positions. heller on one level, lee, johnson, paul and cruz on another. is there no way to reach 50? if you try to appease conservatives, you lose moderates and vice versa. >> no, if you go back to the process we saw unfold in the house, it was similar. every time there was adjustment made or amendment put forward by a conservative senator that jeopardized votes for more moderate members, from the tuesday group versus freedom caucus. it went on and on for weeks. i think there's something similar going on in the senate and it is a bit tougher because they have less wiggle room with 51 votes that needs to get the legislation through. i do think a number of senators, especially dean heller from nevada, find themselves in tough position because dean heller is up for re-election in 2018, he is one of the most vulnerable
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republican senators. he ran on this repeal and replace message. and yet his governor, brian sandoval, opposes cuts to medicaid. and it's difficult to back this legislation. he had tough words for this bill earlier in a press conference. those are things will come back to haunt him in political ads in 2018. >> you think some republicans, heller notably, are going to get their arms twisted for this reason. >> you know, again, this remains to be seen. basically what i heard from republicans up on the hill in both chambers is they want to get this done with. that's why mitch mcconnell set a vote for this week. if the arms can't be twisted and pots can't be sweetened, so to speak, then it is not going to happen. and they need to get this done now either way. either it is passed or not passed and move on because tax reform is waiting in the wings,
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so to speak. that comes on with the new budget bill and they want to get onto more legislation. >> and i agree, they want to get this in the rearview mirror and get to tax reform. molly, when you say it won't happen, do you mean the vote won't happen before july 4 or won't happen because it will be voted down. >> the vote won't happen before july 4th. maybe, and there is a possibility mitch mcconnell could call it up and have the senate, force them to vote it down, and do that for a variety of reasons, mainly because he just needs to get this off his plate. he can't be wasting a month and a half with senators going back and forth and vacillating. there's no time for that. the legislative calendar is moving quickly and they need to get tax reform done. that's not going to be an easy sell by any means. >> very quickly, gabby, can i
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ask about reports that justice anthony kennedy may be considering retirement? we have the last day of supreme court scheduled tomorrow. announcement could come. where has this all started? >> well, the first person i can recall even mentioning that possibility was senator ted cruz who is now predicting justice kennedy would retire on a number of occasions. i think obviously the trump administration would be very happy to see another retirement from the supreme court because it would give them a chance to make sure that the bench is conservative leaning. i'm sure they're looking forward to that. but i don't know how true the reports are. i know justice kennedy has been pretty quiet about the rumors of his retirement and i look forward to seeing what happens. >> we all do. should note he is 80 years old. appointed by president reagan, he has been socially liberal in terms of being a swing vote on the court. ladies, thank you so much. good to see you. have a good rest of the weekend. how much more will you pay
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happening now. there you see two big parades in new york. the pride march under way 30 minutes or so ago. 48th annual edition of that. in minneapolis to the right of the screen, you see the pride parade under way as well. the new york city march is being televised for the first time ever. the march started a half hour or so ago from manhattan's legendary fifth avenue. having beautiful weather. high temperature in the low 80s and really low humidity which makes it nice in new york city. president trump gave his word lower premiums, lower deductibles. the numbers in the gop health plan show otherwise. is the president breaking his word? i think most importantly
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welcome back. i am alex witt at msnbc world headquarters in new york at 34 past the hour. here's what we are monitoring for you. new nbc news analysis of the senate better care reconciliation bill shows the plan goes against president trump's promise to lower deductibles. it just went live on it breaks do you know how much more americans will pay for health care under the senate plan. benjy, another great article. let's get to it. for a consumer, deductibles make or break an insurance plan. what all did you find? >> well, president trump has been very clear throughout the process. his goal is to lower deductibles. one of the things people like least about plans under obamacare is that they often have high deductibles of $3500
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for an individual or $7,000 for a family. here's the thing. the senate bill and house bill before it contain provisions that very specifically raise deductibles, this is a goal of the bill in many ways. they have subsidies that are lower and encourage people deliberately to try to get higher deductible plans with individual deductibles of say $6,000. but they also for low income customers take away a subsidy that pays for many of the deductibles for these people. the kaiser family foundation did an analysis. for someone making $18,000 a year right now, they have about a $255 deductible because of subsidies. if the senate bill were to pass, that deductible would go up to $6,000. that's about 24 times as much. so there's just no squaring this with promise to lower deductibles. it is a core feature of the bill now. >> glad you got to that. i had that highlighted and that statistic is shocking. this bill reduces funding to
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medicaid over time. let's listen to how kellyanne conway depends this. >> obamacare took medicaid designed to help the poor, the needy, elderly, the sick, disabled, children and pregnant women, it took it and went way above the poverty line, opened it up to many able bodied americans who should probably find other -- should at least see if there are other options for them. >> okay. so cuts in the senate bill, will they not effect the poor? >> they absolutely will. there's something to what kellyanne conway is saying there. she is correct that one of obamacare's big features was that it expanded medicaid to many able bodied adults making around $16,000 a year as individuals. however, the senate bill goes further, not only does it get rid of that expansion over time, it also grows medicaid at a slower rate in the long run, which would absolutely have an
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effect on nursing home residents, more than 60% of whom are on medicaid, on people with disabilities, many of whom are on medicaid. the idea that this is simply rolling back obamacare expansion to able bodied adults isn't true. this would spend lesson medicaid than current law. >> requirement to buy insurance. some republicans saying the government should not force people to buy insurance, the senate billy limb nats that aca mandate. listen to what one of architects of obamacare, jonathan gruber, told thomas roberts yesterday. >> the problem is if you tell insurers they can't say no to people because they're sick, but you let people wait until they're sick to buy insurance, insurers will go out of business. and this is not some theoretical conjecture. five states tried this. five states tried this experiment. they tried telling insurers you can't discriminate against the sick without the mandate. in every single state, the insurance market collapsed. >> how does this effect
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premiums? >> so this is a serious problem that obamacare had one of its most unpopular provisions deal with, the individual mandate to buy insurance, which is that if people can buy insurance when they get sick, there's a good chance a lot of people deliberately go without insurance until they need it, and that means only people with expensive conditions maintain insurance at any given moment. that sends premiums flying throughout the roof. states that tried this before obamacare entered what was called a death spiral, where premiums kept going higher and higher, it is only affordable if you're very sick and really, really, really need that insurance and can afford the high premiums. bizarrely, the senate bill didn't include any way to encourage people getting into the system without penalty. the house bill did. saying if you didn't keep continuous coverage, they can charge more for pre-existing condition. it is expected they'll add some kind of penalty, perhaps barring you buying insurance a few months if you go without for
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awhile. as of now, there's nothing there. even a lot of conservative health experts are worried there could be huge premium increases for people. >> benjy sore lynn, great article. read it like the article from yesterday. bring in democratic strategist morris reed. haven't seen you in a while. where you been. we will talk about that in the commercial. democrats have been vocal in disapproval of this bill. what are they actually doing to stop it from passing? what is the strategy here? >> i don't really think they need to do much. i think the republicans are going to implode on their self. they have ten people on the fence, they can't lose two. if schumer can hold his caucus together, i think that's all they need to do. it is disappointing if you look at the bill, some of the things the president said that he has gone back on his word, we need to take politics out of the health care thing, it is very important as you know. and we need to find a way to make this work for all
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americans. >> do you agree with that, susan, do you think republicans will implode like morris said? >> well, in order for the bill to pass, we need to make -- you have to appease the conservative side of the party or the more moderate side of the party. so that's a really tough thing to juggle. out of the ten people morris talked about, five are in the conservative side, five are in the more moderate side. what the more fundamental problem is is that it is such a political hot potato. we heard from the previous segment, senator mitch mcconnell wants it off his plate. i give senator ron johnson from wisconsin a lot of credit for saying this morning we need to slow this down and find solutions. there are a lot of fundamental problems, not just with insurance but with cost of health care which this bill does absolutely nothing to address. >> susan, the problem is that the administration has made this such a political hot potato.
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it is impossible to slow it down at this point. i think if we would have gone to a more thoughtful approach, more bipartisan approach to address, obamacare is not perfect, but no legislation is. when you get people around the table and work together to solve a solution instead of making it a political exercise, this is the result. american people are going to suffer because our leaders are not showing leadership on a fundamentally important issue. >> morris, i agree with the point you're saying. i think if the republicans put this legislation through, it will only be changed down the road. health care is a fundamental issue to americans. we can't just have a piece of legislation that can change every year during reconciliation period. i agree. there should be bipartisanship, maybe if this bill does go down, there will be a way of bringing more people together. this is a problematic bill. there's no doubt about it. chances of passing congress are even less. >> until that could happen,
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susan, repeal and replace, that's the verbiage. that's what republicans ran on in the last election cycle. are they trapped in that? do they have to repeal and replace? couldn't it be a fix? >> first of all, can't be repeal and replace no matter how many times they say it, that would require 60 votes. they're tinkering around with the legislation here, a little here, a little bit there. the only thing that can hurt them morris to have rates go up in 2018, 2020. and right now, that's what we're going to see with the legislation that's presented right now. or deductibles will go up so much. this is not the right answer, this piece of legislation. and i understand the political need to get it through and the desire to get it through, but republicans are going to have to stand behind increased rates when it comes down to 2018 and 2020. >> do you think it is going to pass, susan?
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>> 50/50. >> morris? >> this is doa. not even going to come up. this is going to be an embarrassment. this is dead. it will be an albatross around republicans going forward, they have become such a political organization like some of the folks on the hill, only worried about politics and not worried about showing fundamental leadership. >> how bad is this for the president, susan, if it doesn't pass as morris predicts and you say yourself, 50/50. >> it is a problem for the president but this president is so different than any other president that we've seen, how he handles defeat. even how he handles success. he called the bill that came out of the house extremely successful and wonderful and then two weeks later he is calling it mean. he'll just twist in the wind, keep onto his 38%, and he'll just move forward. >> how about those that are on the ballot come next november, morris. is this going to help republicans in 2018, help
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democrats in 2018? who is going to benefit from all this. >> here is who is not going to benefit, anyone that rallied around the president and make this their signature issue. that's why you see people like representative heller being a lot more i would say thoughtful with his approach. this is not a slam dunk for the democrats by any measure. as you get closer to mid term, and this president continues to fumble and stumble on things like this, republicans will start to move away from him. that's the beginning i believe of opportunity to separate and perhaps start to focus on defeating him on a long-term basis in re-election. this is not a slam dunk for the democrats. don't need to spike the football and get excited. need to figure a way to use this, learn, show leadership. show the american people why we should be in charge. >> democrats need to show they have an economic message. the republicans, the biggest problem with the health care bill, there's no campaign for it. no one is out there saying this is a great plan, let's move
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forward. no groups out there, no campaign that will sway the american public as far as other validaters. >> and funny thing, the president has been campaigning ever since he has come into office. he needs to start to be a legislator. start to lead. >> i agree with you, morris. >> then we'll stop there. how is that. agreement between the two of you. morris, susan, thank you. >> thank you, guys. coming up,er in brockovich, why she's tackling man-made earthquakes in oklahoma. and the real live impact of the health care bill. hear from a woman who confronted her senator in public and tells her how obamacare saved her daughter's life.
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where medicines once produced for all, are now designed to fit you. today 140,000 biopharmaceutical researchers go bodly to discover treatments and cures unimaginable ten years ago... ...and are on the verge of more tomorrow. at least 8 earthquakes last week. you might be surprised where they happened. my next guest has a theory why. legendary erin brockovich joins us with that next. think again. this is the new new york. we are building new airports all across the state.
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eight earthquakes in just seven days. yeah, that's the new normal in oklahoma. you think we'd be talking about california, right? in oklahoma, 2008, they experienced just two ii iquakes magnitude 2.3 or higher. in the anyone years insurance is, that number's exploded. many say the state's booming oil business is to blame for it. consumer advocate and environmental activist erin brockovich. i'm curious how you got into this issue. >> any time there's something that's happening environmentally and with water, people will oftentimes compa s come to me as the process that happened here. because earthquakes aren't normal in oklahoma. so people as they began immediately started reaching out to me. >> okay, people don't necessarily think of earthquakes and water so put this all together. is it fracing, is that what it is that leads to earthquakes? and how solid, if so, is the evidence linking it to this huge spike in oklahoma? >> what happens when we frac is
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you generate and use a great deal of water. billions of barrels of water as a matter of fact. and what they do is the fracing process isn't causing the earthquakes. it's the deep water, the waste water that is deeply injected into the subsurface that's putting pressure on these nearby faults that's causing them to move. and state and federal officials have agreed and science as well as the usgs, that it is the pressure from the injection of this waste water that is, in fact, causing these earthquakes in oklahoma. >> okay, so this news is out there, and we're saying that it's fact from scientists. so oklahoma's oil industry has made some adjustments. for many xa peexample, they havn or reduced the output of seven.
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so what more needs to be done? >> well, they have done that. a and, you know, they can continue to reduce that even further. so the damage has been done though. the horse is out of the barn, if you will. because scientists saying even if they continue to do that, in the future, this risk of a 5.0, 6.0 or greater will continue for those in oklahoma. >> and how long into the future does the risk continue? i mean, is it a couple of years? is it a decade? is it longer? >> oh, it could be a decade or longer or decades. you know, in 2014, where it was about 12 billion barrels of waste water was deeply injected and is putting pressures on these faults, and so it could be decades before the risk is reduced. so it's certainly a problem and,
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you know, we've been out there. i was just out there a couple of weeks ago. and i'm from l.a. i haven't felt an earthquake in a while. all a sudden, we're all going, uh, earthquake? so it's very concerning to the people who live there. they feel very fearful. and they want information and facts. look, we want the oil and gas industry to be a good neighbor and do what they need to do, right, environmentally. this has happened. it's a problem. and they could reduce it even further, but in the future the chance of a 6.0 earthquake or greater is still going to exist. >> okay, we're seeing magnitudes on our last graphic, if my director wants to put that back up for us, in the 2s, the 3s, but you reported that one year where there were on the richter scale in the 5 magnitude. how about something like a 7? is that even possible? >> we will definitely tell you that the science is talking
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about and state and local officials and federal officials that in the future there's still a risk of a magnitude 6 and greater. in 2016, they had three, they had a 5.0 in cushing that destroyed buildings in historic downtown. the biggest was in pawnee and that was a 5.8. all three of those occurring in 2016. now, we haven't seen as big a magnitude, but they continue to have little ones. like i said, when we're there, they had a couple around 3.8. but the future is showing, because of that pressure and that injection that they've done, we're not going to get away from the fact that there could, in fact, be a 6.0 or greater magnitude. >> can i ask you talk about the current epa chief, scott pruitt? now he's with the trump administration. what's his record with regard to these quakes? >> well, he's certainly aware of them and hasn't disagreed that because of the fracing and the
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injection of their waste water that the industry has created this situation. the oklahomans, you know, they have different opinions. when i'm out there, we're just trying to focus with them about these earthquake, damage that's been done to their homes, how they're supposed to get them fixed. so it would be varying, but he's not going to disagree with the circumstances regarding the earthquakes and what's happening in oklahoma. >> all right, erin brockovich, awful glad to have you come and shine a light on this very important topic, appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. inside robert mueller, the man investigating the president is the cover story in this week's "time" magazine. the author of that piece explains how special counsel mueller and the president actually share many similarities. yet some cards limit where you earn bonus cash back to a few places. and then, change those places every few months. enough with that! with quicksilver from capital one you've always earned unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere.
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