tv Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson NBC September 4, 2016 9:00pm-9:31pm PDT
the affordable care act to date. his name is rich weinstein and he helped expose a startling set of videos that changed how many americans view obamacare. though publicly available, these remarkable videos have only been rarely seen, getting just a few hundred clicks. on them, a key obamacare advisor admits they intentionally misled voters whom he called stupid. today weinstein tells how he dug up the videos as a citizen journalist and warnings of more >> back in 2013, i was a victim of if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. so late in 2013, we got the email notice from the insurance company saying that our plan was no longer aca compliant. i had believed at that point that i wouldn't be lose my plan based on what the administration and everybody was saying about the affordable care act. at that point, i kind of decided to get involved and figure out what was really going on. >> so weinstein got on the
what he found was a group of obamacare advisers referred to as architects. >> i started noticing more in the news that these people called architects were out there basically trying to influence public opinion and i figured these architect people were, they were mostly academics and i thought maybe they would leave a trail of bread crumbs to figure out what was going on. >> the bread crumbs led to revealing videos in the public record but largely unknown to the average american. one star in these obamacare architect jonathan gruber, an economist at the massachusetts institute of technology. >> look, i wish mark was right, we could make it all restaurant parent. but i'd rather have this law than not. >> in a series of remarkable policy talks at conferences and academic settings is, gruber seems to brag that obamacare only passed through its lack of transparency and the stupidity of voters. together, gruber says he and other backers of obamacare hid the fact that it would be costly
>> you had a law that say healthy people are gonna pay in you made it exploit, that healthy people pay, and sick people get money, it would not have passed. basically call the stupidity of the american voter or whatever. they becausecally that was really critical to get the thing passed. >> but it's another gruber video that weinstein says made him schiffer. a video that foreshadows a little known sea tax structure mandated under obamacare. >> when i realized they were going after that, the hearings on the back of my neck stood up. why haven't i heard this before 1234. >> a very clever basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the american voter. >> when he's talking about the lack of basic economic understanding of the american people, talking about the american people being stupid, he's pretty much talking about the cadillac tax. >> weinstein wondered warnings is the cadillac tax?
featuring obamacare architect ezekiel emanuel in 2014. emanuel said the cadillac tax would go after a little known tax break millions of americans get on their work insurance. >> it is the single biggest tax break in the american tax code. it's worth $250 billion. tow compare, for those of you who want to keep track, the mortgage deduction, $70 billion. >> and it took me some time to figure it out, but i realized that they were going after that tax break and -- people are going to lose their tax break without knowing they were losing their tax break. it's incredible. >> weinstein learned that since world war ii americans health insurance benefits from work haven't been taxed as income. the obamacare cadillac tax will change that. it is slaps a 40% tax on
valued above $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family. for example, say your individual plan costs $15,200. you'll pay 40% of the amount over $10,200, that's 40% of $5000, which means an extra $2000 to the irs at the end of the year. in another video, weinstein found, emanuel describes how he had to convince president oba support the tax. >> the other side, inside the white house, that other part of the health team and especially the political team, which david axle rod headed up, hated this idea. one reason they hated it because in 2008, obama's republican opponent john mccain proposed eliminating the tax benefit in effect imposing a giant new tax and at that time, obama was against it.
plans cadillac plans. in some cases it may be that a corporate ceo is getting too good a deal. what if you're a line worker making a good american car like the cadillac? what if you're one of the steel workers who are working right here? in new ports news. and you've given up wage increases in exchange for better health care. well, senator mccain believes you should pay higher taxes too. the bottom health care plan, the harder you fought for your good benefits, the higher the taxes you'll pay union mccain's plan. >> but now, under obamacare, he'd be can imposing exactly what he criticized mccain for proposing, a massive tax hike on american workers' health insurance. emanuel would later reveal how it took some convincing to get the president to go along. >> the president campaigned against john mccain, who wanted to get rid of the tax
with over hundred million dollars world of ads saying, you know, republicans are going to tax y health benefits for the first time ever. and this was an anathema the president was going to go back at his word. >> they want to get at your tax break. they couldn't do it overtly because senator obama in 2008 spent a hundred million dollars destroying john mccain. >> emanuel goes on to say in the video that he helped convince president obama to impose the cadillac with the idea that it would reduce health care costs. but how to convince the public to accept a huge new tax? gruber says they decided to use word play. the public would be told it was a tax on insurance plans rather than consumers. >> calling a tax on insurance plans rather than tax on people, we know it is a tax on people who hold those insurance plans. >> pretty much the same thing. why does it matter?
companies, they pass on higher prices. ends up being the same thing. >> they were going to be able to tax the american public but not call it a tax on the american public. >> well, they're going to tax the american public without the american public knowing it was a tax on the american public because they were going to put the tax on the insurance plan, which would be passed through the american public through premium increases. >> after some of weinstein's stunning video he was discovery were reported on the news in bring arrogant. >> exempts of these videos, i'm shown making a series of glib, thoughtless and sometimes down right insulting comments. i know where. i am embarrassed and i'm sorry. >> both gruber and emanuel declined comment for this report. president obama has said he does not agree with gruber's assessment of the american public's intellect and that the former advisor's views do not reflect the process. the white house wouldn't offer
as for weinstein, he sees the future. not because he's clairvoyant but because the obamacare architects laid it all out in those videos. he says the looming cadillac tax will cause employers to drop insurance plans. more americans will be forced to buy policies on the obamacare exchange where premiums and deductibles are quickly rising. >> and the high wage employees will not have the benefit of a subsidy, the lower wage employees will. which turns a into a progressive policy. i kind of jokingly refer to it as the super bowl of progressive politics because you're going to go from redegreessive to progressive and people aren't even going to know what hit them. everything i know about this came from people on the left. it came from jonathan gruber, it came from zeke emanuel. it came from other architects or other academics. it's their words and that's kind of the strength of what i've been able to find. my words really aren't
on video. >> call it the stupidity of the american voter or whatever but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass. >> the cadillac tax was supposed to start in 2018 but as word has sunk in, it's become so unpopular among democrats, republicans, corporations and unions that congress voted to postpone it until 2020. >> ahead on you scum, scott thuman takes us to the border of estonia r military presence in the region. it's an escalation
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>> nato, north atlantic treaty organization is the largest peace time organization in the world. formed just after world war ii, it's an alliance of the u.s. and 27 other north american and european countries united to protect against enemy attacks. the organization ising now taking steps to combat perceived russian aggression in eastern europe. by three other nato nations plan to strategically place military assets in the region as a deterrent to any threats to the alliance. moscow has called it a dangerous build-up, focused on deterring a nonexistent threat. earlier this year scott thuman traveled to estonia, one of the areas where nato troops will be stationed to observe an exercise involving u.s. troops. [gunfire]
military exercise, nor is the setting. a remote section of woods in tapa, estonia. some 75 miles from the russian border. it is where these 170 u.s. soldiers as the saying goes, are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. by straining with live rounds, putting high tech stryker vehicles through the paces, and shattering the otherwise silent with the deafening sounds of detonating ieds. captain jovan dear lip is the iron troop commander. >> i think there are conditions out there that have prompted our response. and the decision-makers within washington, within the pentagon have deemed it appropriate that hey, there's enough going on in the world right now that we need to forward move units to assure the nato alliance. >> what you ask could matter so
up? it is fear over vladimir putin's supposed aspirations tow retake what the soviets lost after the cold war. and what many believe he may be willing to grab again by force, estonia, latvia, lithuania, polland, all worry it russia will do to them what it has done in ukraine over the past two years. and since this is what some call the eastern front of the free world, the u.s. army's second cavalry and nato forces message. >> this could be much bigger. >> it could be, yes. it can be scaled up and down. we see now that the push from the pentagon is yes, there will be heavy brigades, armored brigades for nine month back-to-back rotations. i think that's a pretty firm commitment with the u.s. involvement in the baltics. >> this thawing of cold war strategies is not just for show.
europe. he supports a plan for a the constant and dramatically increased presence in what would be the biggest u.s. depolite to yearn europe since the cold war. some 250 tanks and fighting apparatus. more than 1500 wheeled vehicles like humvees. and the most important number, 4200 u.s. soldiers. one monumental show of strength. and the estonans couldn't think of a louder power. >> what we're seeing on this side of the border with u.s. forces is reportedly taking place on the russian side as well with moscow mobilizing its men and weapons systems. for troops in the baltic states trying to deter a russian invasion, the arrival of even a small number of u.s. soldiers is like the cavalry coming to the rescue. >> everybody sees that and that's good. very happy.
>>reporter: while some call true battle highly unlikely, plenty contend that's not the point. russia has roots in the ukraine and has long relied on the ball advertising, belarus and ukraine as buffer zone the against potential european foes. u.s. combat forces on border states with russia is something that could trigger a reaction from putin with russian forces pulling out of syria, some say stronger action in ukraine is >>reporter: this potential putin versus the world standoff has reinvigorated debate about nato and america's plays in it. currently foot the biggest portion of the bill while other nations fail to meet their spending quotas. president obama met with nato second general on monday in the oval office to publicly bolster support. >> nato cobbs to be the linchpin, the cornerstone of our collective defense and u.s.
>>reporter: in estonia, the new generation on the front lines with russia wasn't even born the last time the soviet union and nato faced off in the orange version of the cold war. seconds lieutenant matthew chapman is a soldier in a strange land. >> as a 23-year-old from new jersey, i never thought in a million years that i'd be here. >>reporter: richt stotz is sergeant the third platoon and like any sge ages, marches according to orders. >> being in the american army, you got to be ready for anything. so, doesn't really surprise me that we have changed our mind-set and trying to get back into it? >>reporter: the cold war suddenly heating up. i'm scott thuman for "full measure." >> thanks, scott. ahead on "full measure," we're calling out the government for wasting your money.
$25,000 national endowment for the arts grant for an art project entitled "something rotten." >> it's garbage art is what they were, happened to be paying money for. and these are various depictions of garbage in a certain locations in certain views of it. remarkable. >> the national endowntown for the hue manatee for two hour film on walt disney. >> in my generation and later generations, we grew up on walt disney. so, why you would have to spend $600,000 to further educate the american people, we all love walt disney. >>reporter: the national institutes of health awarded $51,000 to study junk zebra singe birds. >> the is zebra finch birds.
they've changed the tone when they're under the influence. well, my tone, well, anyway. [ laughter ] >> it makes you laugh and it makes you cry. >> sometimes it's about choices. the national guards is a hundred million dollars in debt and yet spent $14,000 on bubble balls. >> it was some hair brained idea somebody had and one of the other aspects of the nat that is professional sports teams charging the taxpayers for honoring the veterans, honoring the men and women who serve. you would think that geo, this is a great thing that the new york jets are honoring our veterans and our our men and women who are serving. and absolutely they're being paid for it. >> $3.5 million on wine tasting. what's that about?
rather than to have the government do that? and so, this was one of their, part of their program to. >> promote wine. >> yeah, to promote wine. >> $262 million in mismanaged fema grants. the federal emergency management agency. >> well, after hurricane katrina, as you know, billions of dollars have been spent. and all americans who are in favor of that, reconstruction of new orleans surrounding it. unfortunately, a lot of that money was wasted. we know that. and that's just one of the small numbers that i think we're going to find over time. >> and $413 million to be wasted on due applicant tuesday state department train the facilities. >> they decided they needed another training center when the fact is that no one else believe they needed it, including the inspector general, who said look, this is totals unnecessary.
things that somebody had the idea, let's have another one. even though it wasn't necessary. you know, we laugh about the birds getting drunk. but when you see something like that, there's no humor there. it's anger. and we should, and the problem is, we don't hold people accountable. >> as chairman of the senate armed service also committee, senator mccain helped amend the 2016 national defense budget tow limit the pentagon's use of millions of tax dollars for prss until it reviews current contracts to see if it's worth it. ahead on "full measure," everyone's talking about getting tough on the border. we have surprising information on why the border patrol hasn't been able to film more than a thousand open positions because
>> department of homeland security plans to spend $13.5 billion on customs and border protection this year. that inc officers to put the nation's biggest law enforcement force above 45,000. but hiring might be easier said than done. >> you might be surprised to learn that border patrol is currently short a full 1200 agents. "full measure" has learned the primary reason is applicanting are failing lie detector tests in unusually high numbers. we recently asked border patrol commissioner gill kerlikowski about that.
money was there, we had hired a number of people, but they hired them without polygraphs. >> and they've instituted polygraphs. >> right. and then it is frankly -- and this was also our customs and border protection officers. it's come back to haunt us. congress changed that. there's a requirement that everybody go through a polygraph examination. >> polygraphs became a new requirements in 2010 to fight corruption and infiltration by drug applicants passion a background check, then sit eight to ten hours for a lie detector test. kerlikowski confirmed an innard interest number are flunking. >> it's a high percentage. >> like what? >> probably 55, 60. >> up to 60% are failing their polygraphs. some border patrol recruiters and agents have raised questions about the fairness of the tells. kerlikowski says it is difficult but fair. next week, we begin our second
but it is another anniversary, 15th anniversary of the terrorist attack on america on september 11, 2001. in the 15 years since radical islamist terrorist takes flew four airlines into the trade center, what has the war on terror cost america? the department of homeland security alone, the budget increased from $19 billion in 2002 to a budget of 50 billion in 2017. are we any safer? next week, we investigate the that's all for this week. thanks for watching. i'm sharyl attkisson. until next time, we'll be searching for more stories that