Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 2, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

8:00 am
04/02/19 04/02/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >>or too long, the people of ourur fellow w american citizensns, have famouthis faced a double standard when it comes to food assistance. amy: is president trump claims ravaged puerto rico has received too much disaster it, we will
8:01 am
speak with democratic congressmember nydia velazquez, the first puerto rican woman to be elected to congress. then-president trump tweweets he will reform m health care after the 2020 elections. this after saying for a week he will get rid of the affordable health care act during his first term. pres. trump: we're doing something that is going to be much less expensive than for the people. and i have been saying a post of the republicans are going to end up being the party of health care. amy: we will get response from jamie davis smith, whose daughter has severe disabilities. she says if trump ins obamacare, keeping my daughter alive will wipe me out. then we will be speaking with the president o of physicians fr natitional health program, dr. adam gaffney medicare for all. >> it would guarantee health care for everyone in america. inadequate plants that deny
8:02 am
claims, replaced with universal coverage that is not only seamless.ive, but amy: all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a white house whistleblower told lawmakers senior trump administration officials overturned at least 25 security clearance denials, despite serious disqualifying issues. according to a memo released monday, tricia newbold, who works in the white house personnel security office, told the house oversight and reform committee that the individuals had been flagged by her office for concerns including blackmail, conflicts of interests, criminal conduct, and foreign influence. the chair of the oversight committee, elijah cummings, indicated he would seek to subpoena carl kline, who served as newbold's supervisor and overruled her denials. newbold said she was subject to
8:03 am
retaliation for refusing to issue the clearances, including a 14-day suspension without pay. the white house has previously come under fire for its handling of security clearances. reports emerged earlier this year that president trump pressured his former chief of staff john kelly to grant clearances for his daughter ivanka and his son-in-law jared kushner, despite the objections of intelligence officials. ivanka trump and jared kushner are reportedly included in the group of 25 individuals newbold raised. two competing disaster relief bills have stalled in the senate as democrats and president trump continue to fight over federal relief funds for puerto rico. the senate bill supported by republicans, which fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass monday, contains just $600 million for puerto rico's food stamp program, a number democrats say is far too low as many puerto ricans are still recovering from the devastation
8:04 am
of hurricane maria. democrats also say aid should cover rebuilding and other forms of disaster relief. a second bill, a companion to a january papackage passssed in te house, also failed after republicans objected to the lack of relief f funding fofor recent flooding in the midwest. on monday, trump lashed out at puerto rico's political leaders, tweeting -- "puerto rico got far more money than t texas & flolorida combib, yet ththeir governrnment can''to anythihing right, , the place ia mess -- - nothing woworks." in september, trtrump reportedly told white house officials he thought puerto rico was misusing federal funds and d that he wand to withhold any additional recovery assistance from the island. over 1 million puerto ricans started to see cuts to their food stamp benefits starting last month, including hundreds of thousands of children and elderly people. because the island receives funding for government programs through block grants, congngressional approval is required and the amount of
8:05 am
fufunding is much smaller than r u.s. states. hawaii senator mazie hirono blasted republican tactics, tweeting -- "instead of passing an inclusive disaster supplemental, donald trump and mitch mcconnell are picking winners and losers and pitting citizens against each other by playing politics with disaster relief. this is an unconscionable, false choice. whether they live in ponce, puna, lincoln, or saipan, they are all americans. we should not discriminate as to which americans should receive disaster relief." we'll have more on this story and situation in puerto rico after headlines with new york congressmember nydia velazquez. president trump announced via a series of tweets monday night republicans are developing a really great health care plan to replace the affordable care actt bubut that it won't be introducd until after the 2020 elections. the tweets come after the justice department last week said courts should overturn the entire affordable care act, not just the individual mandate
8:06 am
provision, which is being challenged in a federal appeals court. some republicans have publicly opposed the justice department move. last week, senator susan collins sent a letter to attorney general bill barr asking him to reconsider the decision, writing, "the administration should not attempt to use the courts to bypass congress." republican state attorneys from ohio and montana filed amicus briefs with the appeals court monday, arguing striking down the aca would cause major disruptions for patients, medical providers, insurance companies, and employers. trump's push to repeal and replace the aca failed in the republican-controlled senate in 2017 and many republican lawmakers said the move hurtrt incumbents and candidates in last november's elections. leading to a democratic victory in the house. meanwhile, over 100 democrats are backing a medicare-for-all bill in the house and all democratatic 2020 0 hopefuls hae expressed support for a medicare-for-all system. we'll have more on healthcare later in the broadcast.
8:07 am
in britain, lawmakers failed to agree on any of four proposals for brexit monday, leaving the country with still no plan in place 10 days away from its scheduled departure from the eu. the measures included a second referendum and a proposed common customs union with europe, which lost by a mere three votes. this is leader of the opposition labour party speaking after monday's votes. >> i suggest that possibly the house should have a chance to consider again the options that we have before us today in a debate on wednesday so that the where the prime and us or has failed in presenting a creredible, ecoconc relationship with europe for the future to rivet as crushing out with no deal. amy: that was labor leader jeremy corbyn. prime minister theresa may is expected to discuss the next steps today during a cabinet meeting, which could include
8:08 am
attempting to get a longer brexit extension from the eu, or possibly even another vote on her plan. the plan may negotiated with european leaders has already been rejected three times. in algeria, representatives for embattled president abdelaziz bouteflika announced he will resign by april 28, the official end to his fourth term. the announcement, made via state television, follows weeks of popular protests calling for him to step down. last month, he withdrew his candidacy for a fifth term but postponed the upcoming elections, sparking fears he would seek to remain in power through 2019 or beyond. student groups are calling for more protests to demand an overhaul of the political system in algeria and an end to the ruling class which has been in power for decades. in the west bank, israeli forces shot and killed a 23-year-old palestinian man and wounded at least three others during an overnight raid, according toto health officicials. the shooooting occccurred near t qalandiya refugee campmp, outsie east jerusalem. witnesses say israeli soldiers
8:09 am
fired live shots and released tear gas and stun grenades after crowds gathered at the site of the raids. on monday, the u.n. called on brunei to stop new laws, set to go into effect wednesday, that would bring back the death penalty for homosexuality and adultery, among other so-called offenses. the law would also allow corporal punishments like flogging and amputation. brunei has effectively had a moratoririum on the deatath peny 1957, but recently announced plans to implement elements of sharia law in the muslim-majority nation. this is a spokesperson for the u.n. office for human rights. >> the death penalty always, without a doubt, disproportionately affects people who are already vulnerable in every part of the world where it is still retain. women, m minorities, people who come from port background are particularly vulnerable to the application of the death penalty and no judiciary in the world is free from mistakes.
8:10 am
including actor george clooney and musician and lgbt rights advocate elton john have called for a boycott of hotels owned by the sultan of brunei, which include the beverly hills hotel and hotel bel-air. back in the united states, the supreme court ruled 5-4 against a death row prisoner in missouri who argued that he should be executed with lethal gas rather than lethal injection because of a medical condition that would lead to excruciating pain and could result in him suffocating to death. the constitution forbids "cruel and unusual" punishment but conservative justice neil gorsuch, representing the majority opinion, argued that it doesn't say all pain must be avoided. gorsuch said a painless death was "a luxury not guaranteed to many people, including most victims of capital crimes." in his dissent, justice stephen breyer likened the decision to sentencing the prisoner to torture, saying it would be no less painful than burning at the stake. economic and policy experts are warning that trump's threatened
8:11 am
border closure between the u.s. and mexico could result in a hit of billions of dollars of losses to the economy by disrupting trade and the daily flow of goods and people between the two nations. members of trump's own administration have expressed concerns witith the possible closure. cnn reports one official warned the consequences could be catastrophic. it's unclear whether trump will follow through with his threat, which he announced friday as a conseqequence o of mexico failio stop several central american caravans from arriving at the u.s. border. lester trump also issued similar threats, once even saying he would close the border permanently. meanwhile, the associated press reports president trump may soon name an immigration czar to coordinate policy across federal agencies. trump is reportedly considering former kansas secretary of state kris kobach for the position. kobach is a key architect of the gop's voter suppression efforts nationwide, is fiercely anti-immigrant, and received donations from white
8:12 am
nationalists during his unsuccessful run for governor of kansas last year. in public health is, the ongoing ououtbreak of measles s across e u.s. has r reached the seconond highest t level since 202000 - e year h health officicials declad the disease eliminated. 387 confirmed cases have beenn reported across 15 states in the firsrst three montnths of the y, acaccording to c centers for die control, and thahat is more t tn the total number of cases reported in all of 2018. healal experts say the contagious illness is spreading in otherer parts of the world as well, including europe and asia. rockland county in new york, which has seen an outbreak, primarily among the orthodox jewish community, recently banned unvaccinated children from all p public spaces. some states are considering measures to increase vaccination reququiremtsts, includining barg belief-basased or other non-medical exemptions that allow parents to opt out of inoculating their children. a second woman has come forward accusing former vice president joe biden of inappropriate touching. amy lappos says biden approached her during a democratic
8:13 am
fundraiser in connecticut t in and proceeded to pull her head 2009 toward his face and rub noses with her. lappos told the hartford courant newspaper monday -- "it wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head. he put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. when he was pulling me in, i thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth." last week, former nevada assembly member lucy flores said biden n had inappropriatelely touched d heduduring her runun r lieutenant governonor in 2014. flores said biden smelled her hair and planted a kiss on the back of her head. biden, who is widely expected to launch a presidential campaign in the coming weeks, said in a statement that he did not believe he had ever acted inappropriatately with women duriring his dadades in publblic life. the federal aviation administration said monday boeing 737 max airplanes will remain grounded for several more weeks as engineers continue to work on fixes to the automated flight control software that is thought to be the cause of two recent crashes that killed nearly 350 people.
8:14 am
several investigations have been launched into the development and the approval of the aircrafts. and autopsy results in the case of murdered 21-year-old student samantha josephson, show she died of multiple sharp force injuries. police believe the university of south carolina senior and aspiring lawyer was kidnapped and killed after she mistakenly got into a car she believed to be her uber after leaving a bar in the early hours of friday morning. surveillance video shows a black sedan pulling up to a parking spot on a crowded street corner, moments before josephson climbed into the vehicle. the suspect, nathaniel r rowlan, was arrested saturday. samantha's father, seymour josephson, said he would dedicate himself to improving safety of ridesharing services. a funeral for samantha is planned for wednesday. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
8:15 am
juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today by looking at the fight in congress over disaster aid for puerto rico since it was ravaged by hurricanes maria and irma in 2017. on monday, two competing disaster relief bills stalled in the senate as democrats and president trump continue to fight over federal relief funds for puerto rico. a companion build to a january package passed in the house failed after republicans objected to the lack of relief funding for recent flooding in the midwest. another senate bill, supported by republicans, fell short of the 60 votes needed. millionins just $600 for puerto rico's food stamp program, a number democrats say is far too low as many puerto ricans are still recovering from the devastation of 2017's hurricane maria.
8:16 am
democrats also say aid should cover rebuilding and other forms of disaster relief. trump responded monday night on twitter, writing -- "puerto rico has already been scheduled to receive more hurricane relief funding than any place in history. the people of puerto rico are great, but the politicians are incompetent or corrupt. puerto rico got far more money than texas & florida combined, yet their government can't do anything right, the place is a mess -- nothing works. fema & the military worked emergency miracles, but politicians like the crazed and incompetent mayor of san juan have done such a poor job of bringing the island back to health. $91 billion to puerto rico, and now the dems want to give them more, taking dollars away from our farmers and so many others. disgraceful!" amy: that was president trump's tweet. last week trump told a meeting , of republican lawmakers that puerto rico had received too much disaster aid. senator marco rubio told
8:17 am
reporters trump said the aid "is way out of proportion to what texas and florida and others have gotten." but a study by the universities of michigan and utah found that federal aid to puerto rico was slower and less generous after hurricane maria than federal aid received by texas and florida after hurricanes harvey and irma. hurricane maria was one of the deadliest storms in u.s. history. san juan mayor carmen yulin cruz tweeted monday -- "pres trump continues to embarrass himself & the office he holds. he can huff & puff all he wants but he cannot escape the death of 3000 on his watch. shame on you!" well, for more, we go to washington, d.c., to speak with congressmember nydia velazquez, democrat of new york who has served in the u.s. house of representatives since 1993. she is the first puerto rican woman elected to congress and the former chair of the congressional hispanic caucus. welcome back to democracy now!
8:18 am
you for joining us. can you respond to president trump's repeated attacks on puerto rico, demanding that aid be cut? >> good morning and thank you, amy and juan, for havaving me. the president again is trying to emasculate his response toto puerto rico. and again, lie about the money that puerto rico has been receiving. and that is true. puerto rico has only -- i believe it has been close to $40 billion that has been obligated, but only to reach up to maybe a monthh ago puerto rico was not able to get the money. i believe only close to $11 has made its way to puerto rico.
8:19 am
so the $90 billion the president made reference to is an estimate that has been put together by insurance companies and the government of puerto rico about the damages that puerto rico suffered through maria and hurricane irma. again, he doesn't have the facts right. and he comes to congress -- it is alarming for the president of the united states to come to the senate and target a system to the most vulnerable american citizens in puerto rico. it is shameful. and he cannot get away with this. i blame the republican leadership. i blame rick scott, the senator from florida, , and marco rubio, for not standing up for the amerco citizens in puerto o ric. will be theat they senators representing the
8:20 am
citizens of f puerto rico. to stand upthe s spine to the president of the united states and call out his lies. juan: congresswoman, i want to ask you further about the aid. "the washihington post" reported last year florida received more money and disaster relief for its citrus industry, $2.3 billion, then puerto rico received initially to rebuild its entire electrical grid. puerto rico got about $2 billion in the initial package. and now the oranges of florida are important to the united states, but they are not critical t to life, whereas the electoral grid of puerto rico is illegal to the functioning of the entire society. i'm wondering, this disparity, even of comparing aid for instance to texas and florida when the death toll in puerto rico could only be compared to
8:21 am
hurricane katrina -- that is the only disaster of this magnitude -- and yet trump continues to equate it with what was given to texas and florida after hurricane harvey. i am wondering your concern about what is happening with the rebuilding of the electrical grid in puerto rico? >> well, when we talk about that were lostes during hurricane irma, and give them hapappened in t the aftermh of maria because of the lack of power in puerto rico. so in order to rebuild the economy, in order to make sure that people's lives are protected, we need to restore the power grid. so for the president to compare oranges to the lives of puerto he does not value
8:22 am
the lives of the people in puerto rico. for him, brown people are not deserving of our commitment of the federal government to show up and assist and provide the resources. for him to question the $600 million in food assistance is shameful. 65% of the children in puerto rico live in poverty. and by the way, puerto rico, like any other state, was able to receieive food assistance lie any other state until 1984. so this is not something that is really out of the blue. that was the reality of puerto ricoco. and that is what i intend to do page reducing legislation t that will resestore the ability off puerto rico to compete for federal nutritional assistance like any other state, for that
8:23 am
matter, to all of the territories. after all, they are american citizens. amy: i want to go to puerto rico governor ricardo rossello speaking on cnn after trump told republican lawmakers puerto rico has received too much aid since hurricane maria. this is the governor speaking to cnn's jim acosta.. >> does it feel that way sometimes? that you're dealingng with a bully? , iif the bully gets close will punch the bully in the mouth. amy: "i will punch the bully in the mouth." in response, trump told reporters "i've taken better care of puerto rico than anyone ever." president trump p has still nott acknowleledged more than 3000 people died in puerto rico aftfr ththe hurricane. is that right, congressmember velazquez, that he has not latest -- the latest figures, which could d more than 4000? >> that is more troubling is the
8:24 am
fact that he instrucucted mick mulvaney and secretary carson -- and thisis is information that s provided to "the washington post " by deputy assistant -- that the presesident w wted to makakt difficult for any single e dollr toto go to puerto rico, that instead it go shoot -- it should go to texas. this president is cruel. when he doesn't recognize that under our watch 3000 lives were lost. but that is not enough and he continues to be e a bully. and he continues to lie. it is just shameful.l. it is cruel. it is heartless. children empathy for who could die because w we, the ririchest country in the world,s incapable of doing what is right
8:25 am
for american citizens in puerto rico. juan: i would like to ask about the situation with the continued financial control over puerto rico. there is been lots of battles which in the governor of puerto rico in the legislature in the in theal control board two years or so the control board has been in existence. i am wondering coming initially reluctantly backed the creation of the control board is the only way to get puerto rico out of it the massive debt it was facing. i am wondering your analysis of how the control board has functioned? >> well, as you know, i voted reluctantly will step we did not have a legal framework. puerto rico did not have the right to file for bankruptcy. we were concerned that lacking that, puerto rico would end up in federal court, that a jududge
8:26 am
will move to seize public assets or sell public assets in order to honor the good faith that they put into, for example, the gegeo. but in that legislation also, we added language that will require for the oversight board to conduct an audit. and they waited too long to do it, and it shows $6 billion were issued illllegally. now, we sent a letter yesterday requesting that on top of that, -- adadd ofadd up to the fees and commissions at the times that you should those bonds and ththat should be alslo declared illegegal. i am notot happy abobout the fat that the oversight board has focucused more on paying credits rather than promoting economic
8:27 am
devevelopment and that t many oe measures have been austerity memeasures. so they need to do a better job. ththey still have titime to rigt the wrongs of some of the decisions they have made, and we will continue to put pressure. but my t take is they should discharge thee debt and cancel the debt at this point. juan: on another issue, you recently did an op-ed piece talking about your decision starting this year to no longer accept pack money. could you talk about that? all of the years you have been in congress, you have accepted pac momoney. your decision now to no longer accept those kinds of donations? >> well, when i won the first time, i won against the establishment and defeated i in8
8:28 am
your politician who basically was not represenenting the interest of the community of the district he represented. termsr many of the first in congress, i barely got any corporate money. they saw me as too liberal. what i am doing right now is comingng home. even when accepted corporate found bywas independent analysis to be one of the most liberal in voting against the intnterest of corporatee america and financial institutions as a member of the financial services committee. maxine waters, myself, and some others were found to be e one of the most progressive in that committee. so what i am doing now is because of so much -- because
8:29 am
there is so much disistrust from my constituents and voters across t the countryry, particuy citizens united ruling in n 201, so much money is coming in to plplay in politics in our county that a lot of voters feel that the system is rigged, that the deck is stacked against them, especially with young people. , a socialproromise contract with our young people saying if you play by the r rul, if you work hard, you can make it in america. but the fact of the matter is, they graduate and they cannot find jobs or they graduate with huge student debt and a diploma on the other hand will stop so .hat i'm doing is coming home
8:30 am
i believe that face-to-face interaction is more effective. that in order to return truststn terms of our democraticc ininstitutions, we neeeed to gok to allow for the voters to feel their voices arere heard and tht they don't have to make -- write a big check in order to gain access into our congressional office. amy: it is interesting, going backck to when you won, in a sense, back then and the early 1990's, you're overthrowing of the establishment to the shock of so many is very m much reminiscenent of what we saw ths year witith alexandria ocasio-cortez. she was a replay of what happened with you back then. but now you have been in office for more than a quarter of a
8:31 am
.entury i'm wondering in these final moments that we have, as president trump threatens to close the border and possibly a few reporting the name being floated around to be his kobachation czar" kris of kansas. if you can comment on the significance of ththe clolosuref the borderer, what this s wouldn and how -- what you're doing in congress right now to prevent that from happening? >> well, amy, it will create chaos. it will incentivize more people to leave t their countries, to y to cross the border in the next few days. but also it is not a matter of safety and security, it is also a matter of economic security. important activity between our country and mexico.
8:32 am
the hispanic caucus yesterday released some data that shows more than $1.5 billion in trade happens through the border every single day. those are big numbers. and what i am counting on is for the republican members that represent voter states to be proactively and publicly denouncing such a move. that is shortsighted. it is ill-advised. ofwill create a nightmare epic proportions. juan: in termsms of the prospecs of any kind of immigration legislation being passed by the congress to address what everyone acknowledges is a broken immigration system, but yet somehow the previous congress could not come up with legislation, what are your hopes this time around? rececently, two weeks
8:33 am
ago, congress woman clark and myself introduced hr6.. it is been endorsed and cosponsored by every democratic member. it is entitled "the american provideact" and it will a path to citizenship for both tps holders and the dreamers. as you know, close to half a million people are tps holders. they have temporary status from haiti, from honduras, central american countries because of the earthquake, natural disasts, or violence in those counies.s. we opened our system and allow emem to come into this couny.
8:34 am
many of them, the average tps holder h been in this country for years. they have rootin ourur commununy. theyontribut $4.6 billioto th gdp in wages and salary. so this is not about who we are in terms of embracing immigrants into this country and the humanitarian aspect and the values we hold dear, but it is also an economic security and the contributions they are making to our economy. -- thebill already judiciary committee held a hearing. will mark up the legislation soon. and by may, it is expected to be voted on in the house of representatives. and a cup congressmember nydia velazquez, thank you for being with us democrat for new york, , has served in the u.s. house of representatives since 1993.
8:35 am
puerto rican woman to be elected first to congress, a and is the former the chair of the congressional hispanic caucus. when we come back, president trump flips again. he says he will push for republican health care after the election, after a week saying they're going to overturn obamacare in his first term. we will speak with a mother of a daughter with severe disabilities about what the overturning of obamacare means. and then, word is medicare for all fit in with this? we will speak with one of the leaders in the country of that move. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:36 am
amy: "odio" by ile.
8:37 am
this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: it was just last week that president trump's justice department supported a federal court ruling to wipe out the affordable care act trump about to replace a so the republican party will be known as the party of health care. is a trump: obamacare disaster. right now it is losing in court. right now the texas court, probably ends up in the supreme court, but we're doing something that is going to be much less expensive than obamacare for the people. i'm not saying government, i'm saying for the people. and we're going up pre-existing conditions and where one have a much lower deductible. and i have been saying it. the republicans are going to end up being the party of health care. thank you very much. juan: that was president trump theking last week after justice department argued the aca should be fully overturned, citing with a texas judge who declared president barack obama signature health care law
8:38 am
unconstitutional last december. but that was last week. amy: in a series of tweets monday night, trump changed course and said he is willing to wait until after the 2020 presidential election for congress to vote on a new healthcare plan. trump wrote -- "everybody agrees that obamacare doesn't work. premiums & deductibles are far too high -- really bad health care. even the dems want to replace it, but with medicare for all, which would cause 180 million americans to lose their beloved private health insurance. the republicans are developing a really great healthcare plan with far lower premiums, cost, deductibles than obamacare." this comes after trump's first push to repeal and replace the affordable care act failed in the gop-controlled senate in 2017. many republican lalawmakers said the move hurt incumbents and candidates in last last november's elections. democratic speaker of the house nancy pelosi has a vote planned this week to condemn the administration's decision not to defend the aca in court. for more, we are joined in washington, d.c., by jamie davis
8:39 am
smith, a mother of four, civil rights attorney, and member of little lobbyists and health care voter. her recent op-ed for "the washington post" is headlined "if trump ends obamacare, keeping my daughter alive will wipe me out." thank you so much for joining us, jamie davis smithth. can you talk about your daughter and what it would mean if the aca were overturned? >> thahank you. my daughter claire is 12, which means she was born in 2006 before the aca was passed. when she was born, not perfect, ush was born with severe disabilities. a long list of medical conditions that affect nearly every part of her body from top to bottom. but she is a very sweet child. she is almost a teenager. she loves the swimming and ice cream and spending time with her family.
8:40 am
we are really terrified that just as she is about to become a teenager and embark on this whole new part of her life, we are going to be thrust back to the time before the aca would we stayed up at night worrying, what if she needs the life -- meets the lifetime cap honor benefits? the the annual cap? whatever conditions she was born with are no longer covered by insurance? what will we do then? it was terrifying which you was born before the aca took affected no there could be a time or even t though we live ia country, in a city with access to state-of-the-art medical care they cannot just help her mighte but thrive, she not be able to access that care just because health insurance would not cover it. and even if we spent every penny we had on her care, there would region time and eventually where we would be completely wiped out and could not afford to pay for her care anymore. we don''t want to go bacack to t
8:41 am
time. it was a horrible time data pre-existing condition and this country. it is truly bizarre to me that we are e even contemplating goig back to that kind of system. juan: you mentioned the cap. most families that have not been healthith catastrophic crises are not aware that there are actually lifetime caps. could you talk about what they are? >> sure. i will talk about my friend kim. her son isaac lost his healthth insurance when he was just 15 months old because he reached his s $2 million cap on care whn he was just a baby. care act, the affordable was signed into law just a few days after that, but he is 10 now and stands to lose his insurancnce again. he probably met that $2 milillin cost for his care multiple times
8:42 am
over since then. followiend elena's account -- c cofounderer of little lobbyists, her daughter spent time in the nicu. $3 millionon justt for the first few weeks of her daughter's life. so the caps did very from planned a plan before the aca. there were generally in thee range of a couplele to a few million dollars most of but if you do have a catastrophic illness or a child who is born premature e or with h disabilit, there's s a very real chance thy would reach that limit no matter how high it may seem to people who are generally healthy, people did reach that limit within months -- 15 months of their livives. we can't go back to that. the capss were not high enough o providide for a a lifetime of c. aca repealedld the
8:43 am
mean for you? what would it mean for claire? >> it means my husband and i would lose the very real peace of mind we have, realizing that although claire faces a lot of challenges and her life and we face a lot of uncertainty, none fearat right now is due to she won't have access to health insurance or the health care she needs. wondering to a time what happens if claire does reach her lifetime cap? a changeens if there's in the law and her pre-existing conditions are not covered, that she cannot get access to the medication that keeeeps her from having seizures, the asthma medication that t helps her breathe? what happens then? my husband and i contemplated selling all of our assets. we have a home and a car. middle-class lifestyle. there is a possibility of the aca were repealed, we would have to give all of that up just so my daughter could have access to
8:44 am
medicaid, which would actually cost the government a lot more than the aca does. another possibility we contemplated, which some families have done, is getting divorced so that i could have custody of claire as a single, unemployed mother and she could get access to health care that way. another option, which is unthinkable to us, would be that claire could be sent to live in an institution because she could if she did medicaid not live with us. but we believe very strongly that families belong together. we believe that families who love each other should not have to get divorced just to get access to health care. we believe all families deserve the stability of having a home and a decent income to put food on the table and that we should not have to give that up just to have access to health care just to keep our daughter alive. but that is the kind of situation we are facing is the aca is repealed. juan: jamie dadavis smith, you d
8:45 am
your group have argued that the obamacare or the aca actually saves money. could you talk about that? there have been studies showing although the aca d does have cost and is expensive, the $2.3 trillion in the system overall. and if the aca's s wiped out coe all of those games stand to be wiped out. we also now have access to long-term supports and services that help us keep our children at home. claire has a a nurse at home tht keeps her healthy and out of the hospital. proposals, that would all be gone even though studies show that it is much less expensive to provide these kinds of supportrts that keep children at home rather than providing them in a hospital -- which, again, tears families apart and is completely unthinkable to
8:46 am
families like mine. amy: your thoughts on the trump flip over the last 24 hours, saying he won't push to replace butacare during his term right after when the republicans take back the house? what does this mean for your family as you follow policy, the life of your daughter at stake, from presidential tweet to tweet? >> well, we need certainty. we cannot provide for claire's care on a day by day or tweet by tweet basis. she is a very complex -- she has complex medical needs that require coordination between specialists and a lot of support. it i is very difficult foror families like mine to try to in ways theyfuture keep our children healthy and thriving if we don't know what is coming next. in the immediate future, it is
8:47 am
very important to us that we keep the protections of the a aa that we haveve now in place. and looking forward, i believe strongly that health care is a human right, that everybody deserves access to high-quality, affordable health care. and we need to take the time too think about what that kind of plan would look like, whether it is universal coverage plan or something else. but we need certainty and we can't subject our children to of presidential tweets. amy: jamie davis smith, thank you for being with us mother of , four, civil rights attorney, and member of little lobbyists and health care voter. we will link to your peace in "the washington post" headlined "if trump ends obamacare, keeping my daughter alive will wipe me out." we will talk about medicare for all in 30 seconds. ♪ [music break]
8:48 am
amy: "in the back of my mind" by that dog. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we continue our coconversation on health care as we look at the growing case for medicare for all. last month, more than 100 democratic lawmakers co-sponsored a house bill that dramatically revamp it by creating a medicare for all system funded by the federal government. the national economic and social rights initiative calls the legislation "by far the strongest healthcare proposal being considered by congress."
8:49 am
the legislation comes at a time when as many as 30 million americans have no health insurance and tens of millions more are either underinsured or struggling to pay their health insurance premiums. amy: the bill would expand medicare to include dental, vision, long-term care while making the federally run health care program available to all americans. it would eliminate health insurance premiums, co-payments and deductibles, while changing how healthcare providers are paid. was 2020 presidential hopefuls have declared support for medicare for all, despite the growing support, political reports a top aide to house speaker nancy pelosi work to undercut medicare for all following the election. in november, during the meeting, was reportedly said a group of is amedicare for all distraction michigan scrutinized, encouraging researchers to oppose the legislation. nancy pelosi is deny the
8:50 am
reports. for more, wewe're joined by dr. adam gaffney president of , physicians for a national health program. he is an instructor in medicine at harvard medical school. author of "to heal humankind." welcome to democracy now! we see president trump turning around, saying he is not pushing to end of obamacare right now come to us right after the election when he says republicans will take over the house. what does that mean for the whole debate around medicare for all when in congress they are scrambling to keep the affordable care act? look, i think it is very important to protect the gains that are already made, namely the affordable care act, which did cover 20 million people. as we heard from the last guest, provideded some security for may families across the country. we have to it knowledge the status quo is not sustainable.
8:51 am
as you said, 29 million people are uninsured. 40 formally peoplple have health insurance but it does not actually coverage their cost, does not give them the financial security they need. 35% of nonelderly adults go without needed care over the course of a year because they cannot afford it. one in five do not fill prescriptions because they cannot afford itit. there's no question we have made gains in need to push back against those who would degrade them in the nameme of tax cuts r the rich. but at the samame time, we havao acknowledge ththis is not good enough.. exist, g as these holes conserervatives wiwill attack te status quo. we can do both at the same time. juan: how do you respond to those critics who say medicare for all implemented, many of the best doctors would desert that system and would not make their services a available through it? and reasonablery
8:52 am
claim. post up ifable claim you look at countries, like canada, the have a single-payer system, essentially all doctors and hospitals are in the network. if anything, a medicare for all system will increase people's access to physicians and doctors. that keepsce now or people separate, silo, cause didisruptions and carere every e your boss changes insurance or you change jobs -- a medicare for all system, there would be one big network with all doctors and all hospitals included, essentially. a valid claim.not amy: president trump said he is having his doctors and health executives in the senate right legislation to replace affordable care act like rand paul who is a doctor as well as rick scott, the now senator from
8:53 am
florida the largest medicaid fraud -- medicare fraud in u.s. history. he was formerly the ceo of columbia hca when the hospital company was fined $1.7 billion for medicare fraud. if you could respond to that, but also explain what exactly medicare for all would look like when it comes to getting rid of the health insurance companies, for example. >> t to respond to the first question, i think we should be extremely skeptical that whatever they generate is s goig to be any better than the really --ious these of legislation piece of legislation that was proposed during the effort back in 2017. as we know, those deals would cut spending on n public heah care programs like medicaid,
8:54 am
would have cut funding for subsidies that make health insurance more affordable for some people. i am skeptical whatever they generate is going to be an iota more friendly than the last bit of vicious proposed legislation. amy: can you respond -- rick scott, now the senate. this is what he had to say. >> i do know medicare for all which senator sanders is a l lin on comome is g going to ruin our health care system. sayet me clarify, did you that you expect the white house to come forward with a proposal first? i know in the end, the white house is going to have to have their plan. i know it is going to be difficult with nancy pelosi. but what i'm going to focus on is how do you drive down cost? the democrats constantly focus on access. the problem is, the cost is too high in this country. amy: he was speaking on "face the nation." dr. gaffney, if you could
8:55 am
comment t on what he is saying? >> we know that c countries that actually have universal access also have higher costs. these two things go hand-in-hand. the united states has teterrible access and also has overall costs that are double those of her income nations. the notion the trade-off is false. that is made clear as soon as you look across national borders. we can, inin fact, we need to achieve universal coverage for that will also allow us to control costs moving forward. juan: how would those costs be controlled moving forward? >> so universal health care system like single-payer gives you unique ways of controlling costs. for instance, in the housee bill that was go forward by lead spsponsor pramamila jayapal
8:56 am
recently, that bill would basisically create a universal oneth care syststem in whichch plan covered everyone. what we know about those sorts of plans as they are far more effificient in terms o of the administration overhrhead. traditional medicare, traditional medicare program has a 2% overhead meaning two cents of e every dollar goes to overhd , , $.88 goes health care. for private healthth insurance companiess including profits, te overhead is over 10%. that is an enormous amount of money when you're talking about the leadads of dollalars in health-care spending. that is one way much of public health care system is far more efficient than a privatized, fragmented system like we have now. juan: to follow-up on that, in terms of how this would be paid for. clearly, there would be some kind of i would assume a payroll tax and we're looking at right now most americans, it is hard to tell what most people pay because you are dealing with
8:57 am
premiums and a dr. bowles and co-pays -- everyone has employer plans and contributions. what would it look like in the paycheck of -- of average americans of medicare for all were instituted? have you been able to cost out what it would mean of a general cost of the avaverage woworker? for one moment, and i will address that directly, that we are already pupublicly financing about twowo thirds of our public health care. about two thirds of our health care dollars are taxpayer financed. but you are right, the other ,hird is premiums, deductibles and d so on. so we would need to replace much of that. privivate spending with publicic dollars, with taxes. was an economic analysis recently from the university of amherst that looks at a mix of taxes that could replace those payments. overall, for the average working
8:58 am
american, things would get bebetter. i think k it is also impmportano keep in mind how harmful these s are 40ocket cost people. people would hide a doctor. avoid doctors and d hospitalals, even thehe emergency room. it is an issue of dollars and cents but also an issue of people's lives being on n the line. amy: how do you plan to organize for medicare for all? by organization, physicians for national health program, focuses on t the medicical professional, although we also work to educate the public. we do focus on the medical profession. there are many other groups involved in the fight. the largesest nursing union in e country and many other organizations. this is a big fight w will stop lelet's be honest.
8:59 am
we are going up against powerful interest, namely the insurance thestry and to some extent, pharmaceutical industry. amy: we have to leave it there but will continue the discussion. dr. adam gaffney, president of physicians for a national health
9:00 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on