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tv   Disrupt With Karen Finney  MSNBC  February 22, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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use we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can. hello, disrupters. ukraine uprising and a new campaign with dirty tricks. >> power shift? >> something is under way. >> the ukrainian has set elections for may 25th. >> there are reports that the ukrainian president has left town. >> we want him to go right now. >> the government simply seems to have melted away. >> tensions have been mounting between the united states and russia. >> it is in russia's interest for the violence to end in ukraine. >> growing calls to end stand your ground. >> they were instructed to follow the law, they did follow
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the law. >> the law is what clouded them being able to make the decision that they needed to make. >> we need to rewrite stand your ground because that's the last thing they hear from the judge is the stand your ground. >> it's one of the few laws i've ever seen actually promote violence. >> that's the fault of all of us in a democracy who are allowing these laws to continue. >> we begin with revolution on the streets of kiev. opposition forces have seized control of the city and the presidential compound while parm voted to oust the current president, whose where abouts are unknown. the country stands as a cross roads. ukraine has been divided since
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the soviet union fell in the early 90s creating tension between thos seeking to align in europe and the rest. >> thousands of ukrainians flooded to the streets to protest the country's turn toward russia and away from the west culminating in the bloody standoff this past week. tonight an independent square where it all began, opposition leader recently freed from prison spoke to protesters for the first time since her release earlier today. joining me on the phone from kiev, nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. thanks so much for joins us. >> it's a pleasure. she just addressed the crowds here, she was looking frail and sitting in a wheelchair.
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she congratulated the protesters for having taken control of parliament and control of kiev and said that, quote, a cancer has been removed and a dictator has been toppled. the question is where does it go from here? there are still parts of this country close to the russian border that still want to maintain close ties with russia and the concern is in the coming days and weeks whether deeper divisions in this country will emerge. >> richard, to that point, so last night the question was would the deal that was struck stand. and now not 24 hours later it's a totally different ball game in kiev this morning -- or this evening i should say. the question i guess that i have is what happens to the deal that was struck last night? we're seeing the russians -- >> reporter: the deal is dead. the deal is not that the protesters would come and seize parliament and set a date for an earlier election and demand
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yanukovy yanukovych's removal from power. the deal was to have a smoother transition in which he would remain in office for the next ten months and there would be a new election and potentially a new political system. but what happened is once yanukovych made this deal and gave an inch, the protesters decided to keep on pushing and spread out beyond the square this morning and they found out that the government had melted away and they were moving into buildings all around kiev that had been abandoned by the police and they found that the government was an empty -- was a house of cards that was ready to fall as soon as they pulled one from underneath it. >> now, we've heard calls from russia encouraging the e.u. and united states to put pressure on the opposition.
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at this point it seems like the opposition is in control and yanukovych is out. >> yanukovych is out of kiev. he is not out of the country. he is in the second city, that is his i guess you could call it his main bloc of support where a lot of people in that region are russian speakers, they want to maintain close ties with moscow. so he fled to be around his base of support. >> sure. >> reporter: the question is -- and he is still calling himself the legitimate president and he still says that he is not stepping down. are we seeing the emergence of two ukraines, one led by the protesters here in kiev that wants closer relations with europe and is backed by washington and the other that is still clinging to yanukovych. the key factor in this might be the security services. the army has said that it does
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not want to get involved in politics, so the army has refused to back yanukovych. they didn't send in the tanks. the army chiefs have been changed by parliament. parliament is trying to run this country and the army is taking a back seat. the police have joined the opposition. at least here in kiev. >> let's bring in damon wilson and heather conley. thank you for being here. >> we just heard the latest from richard in terms of what's happening on the ground. let's put that in a political context. this was supposed to be -- this week was really supposed to be putin's coming out, turn to modernization with the olympics and instead he's got this
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problem in his back yard, which is a problem that it appears at this point the opposition forces seem to be winning. >> this has been an extraordinary week of witnessing ukraine that has transformed so rapidly. it began with putin and russia strong arming ukraine with sanctions and strong trade members to prevent them initially with an association agreement with the european union. we now have president yanukovych in a government he no longer controls and the opposition that seeks ties with europe, with the west is now in control. mr. putin i think is taking a step back. he's put forward an ombudsman for human rights, a known figure in the west. that's a softer voice. i think they're going to have to see how this plays out and they're certainly going to be
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very concerned about their military base and if some of this instability would move further south and east. >> i want to read something that yanukovych said earlier today. part of what those of us in the west trying to understand who is the opposition? yanukovych said to "we are seeing a repeat of the nazis, when in the 1930s in germany and austria the nazis are closing offices. is that an accurate description of the opposition forces? >> no, i don't think so at all. remember, this now former president yanukovych, he became president after a wave of actually having stolen an election in 2004. this is a man who has blood on
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his hands through the brutal crackdown he tried to orchestrate the past few days. the rhetoric he uses about the nazis is frankly outrages. what you're seeing play out right now is the dam broke when folks realized he walked the country up to the abyss, almost dragged his country into a civil war and enough ukrainians that had stood behind the president deflected politically and realized he was taking this country down a very dangerous path. what's played out is not just in the streets of kiev. one of the things that richard didn't mention is that this has taken place in the parliament, there is a new elected speaker of parliament, an acting president -- >> as i understand it, the enough speaker is actually aligned with tymoshenko.
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>> there are deputies that were once lawyer to -- loyal to the previous president. this isn't a coup, as i think president yanukovych would want you to believe. >> of course. heather, final question to you. in terms of what's been playing itself out here and frankly in syria is the proxy battle. this is yet another one between russia and the west as president putin is trying to con sell date power, obviously here in ukraine that was part of his -- a broader plan. we've seen him doing that in syria and other places.
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so this really feels to some degree like there's a little bit of a personnelment between putin and president obama in terms of the sort of struggle, this proxy battles we've been seeing sort of playing itself out all across the map. >> i think it was extraordinary yesterday presidents obama and putin spoke for over an hour. they have not spoken in months and they talked about syria, iran, ukraine. i think we are going to see a very tumultuous period, we already are, in u.s./russian relations. president obama cancelled a bilateral summit. he's plans to go to sochi in june for the g-8 group of eight meetings. how the united states and russia navigate the next several months, ukraine, mol dove a, georgia, both of these countries also are aligning themselves with europe. we've seen the very difficult
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political and economic environment that russia has put forward and the united states and europe must be united in how they approach mr. putin and his vision. these are going to be difficult days. >> proving yet again that in a second term, a president who wants to focus on domestic issues may indeed have to focus on foreign policy. thank you damon wilson and heather conley. >> thanks, karen. >> coming up, it's not just jordan davis and it's not just florida. what to do with stand your ground laws in more than two dozen states across the country. and later, unknowing or unscrupulous? wisconsin governor scott walker speaks out on the thousands of staffer e-mails that were released earlier this week. wife beats rock. and with two checks a year, everyone wins. [ female announcer ] switch today and get two safe driving bonus checks a year for driving safely. only from allstate. call 866-906-8500 now. [ dennis ] zach really loves his new camera. problem is...this isn't zach. it's a friend of a friend who was at zach's party and stole his camera. but zach's got it covered... with allstate renters insurance.
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one week ago today a florida jury could not agree on whether or not michael dunn's shooting
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and killing of an unfarmed african-american teen-ager constituted first degree murder. with that decision, we're once again working through complicated questions about the role of racial bias and buy vent acts and how to addresses permissive vigilante style gun culture that comes with stand your ground laws. some say the law just needs to be tweaked. even in jacksonville where jordan davis was killed, the sheriff on friday said, quote, i think there's some tweaking to the stand your ground law needed. if it's a safe retreat and it doesn't place you in any more danger, i think that's always the best response." >> but here's the thing -- michael dunn did not retreat when he had the chance to. instead he got out of his car while he was firing into the suv carrying four unarmed black teen-agers. so while i agree that the law needs to change, it seems pretty clear we need to do more than sort of tinker around the edges of these laws.
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the florida prosecutor, the same prosecutors who failed to get a conviction in the case of george zimmerman, have officially requested a new trial for michael dunn on the count of first degree murder to be held in may. one of those prosecutors sat down with the local cbs affiliate this week and with an awkward smile on his face hoped that next time the outcome of the case would be different. >> reporter: did michael dunn get away with murder? >> not yet. >> reporter: do you wish you had done anything differently? >>. >> always. there's always things you can do differently, different evidence, better performance. it's never a perfect trial. it will be better the next time. >> i don't know what he has to smile about or how do they plan to get a different outcome, given the same prosecutors continue to ignore the role that even the possibility of the role that race played in his decision to start shooting and jurors
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continue to ignore the mindset of stand your grandlaws. more tweaking, no. it means repealing them altogether, and not just in florida but in 26 states. thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> michael, i know you've been in touch with the family. what's the latest and how are they doing and how are they looking ahead? they have to move on from this painful decision. >> yeah, i was in jacksonville during the end of the trial and during deliberations with the family, with jordan davis' parents, and lucy's husband curtis and ron's life carolina. it was a very difficult time for the family. what was amazing they had 30 people from around the country who came to support them in the courthouse during the last few days. the verdict was deeply saddening
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for them. lucy is the national spokesperson for moms demand action. she's going to get out there and continue to fight stand your ground laws around the country. >> both of your organizations have been looking at ways to -- i think it's so important while we mourn this verdict, we talk about how we move forward. ahmad, what unof the things you've been working on is repealing these laws. >> absolutely. the dream defenders are ready to move forward. we know action is what's needed. wleefs been discussing these ideas and issues for years. we'll discuss a plethora of issues that create these who is tilgts and make us mad kids.
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if people go to, they can start their own town hall and we can get them involved in this movement. >> that's great. michael, you were at a conference this morning with young people talking about gun violence and sort of how to stop these horrible laws in their own communities. tell us a little bit about that. >> karen, i always enjoy being with you in new york but i am in washington, d.c. this weekend. we're hosting an unprecedented conference i've been humbled to be part of called fight for our future. it's a hundred young people and the dream defenders and generation why not and coming together for young people, 18 to 30, talking about what they can do to end gun violence in this country. one of the biggest parts of our agenda is the stand your ground laws. young people will go out with the dream defenders around this
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country and fight and fight and fight the stand your ground laws. >> there are two issues, one is the culture that's created around the stand your ground law, which creates the permissive -- just if i feel threatened, it's going to be okay to shoot people. we saw data this week in florida after stand your ground between 2005 and 2012, you saw three times more concealed weapons permits that tripled to 1.1 million. and taking a look beyond florida, 21 states that have these expanded sort of castle doctrines, which is what stand your ground is based on, an 8% rise in homicides, an additional 600 homicides per year. you're a lawyer. how is it possible there is not a correlation between these two things? >> yeah, i think there's an obvious correlation to those of
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us that are paying attention. but to many of those who are not concerned with the state of safety in the communities of florida and for people of color alike, they don't see the correlation. the facts of the matter are all of us are unsafe. with stand your ground, we are encouraging violence, encouraging aggressiveness. the duty to retreat used to ask our citizens to take a second to think. before you commit to a fatal crime, think to yourself, do we not want to solve these issues diplomatically? through people just exchanges ideas and arriving at the solutions to what plagues them as opposed to responding with violence? this gun culture is extremely real. proponents of gun violence will say murder rates are going down. but if justifiable homicide is going up, we need to repeal this law now. >> and, michael, the second piece that we've talked about is race. you cannot ignore the role that a racial bias -- despite the juror who came out this week and
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said it didn't play a role in her mind, though i suspect in part that's because part of the argument that the prosecution made is they didn't use sort of the racial biasses and we got more evidence this week of -- from some of michael dunn's thinking, there was a call he had with his fiancee, i'm not going to play it but he said "being in a room by myself kind of sucks but i guess it would be better than being in a room with them animals." again, we're talking about a very lethal combination of a gun culture and sort of this idea that this duty to retreat has retreated in people's mind and in some instances a racial component that goes to a bias or an attitude about who that young person or who that other person on the other end of that gun is. >> think about michael dunn combined with stand your grand laws just did with a hung jury in jacksonville was show a blueprint of how do you kill
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black kids and get away can it and not get convictedon a murder charge. you could say you think he had a gun or maybe he had a gun or it was a stick or a lead pipe and it never existed. and you can have a jury say he may be justified in use of deadly force because he maybe thought his life was in danger. michael dunn see as car of four young black teens playing rap music with tinted windows, he's in his mind saying they're thugs, they're carry guns, he shoots and gets out of the car and shoots again? and he says he justified? >> that's right. and i think what that means is we have got to keep the pressure on pip know you guys are working on this. i want people to understand. it's not just florida. we have 26 other states where actually these laws need to be repealed. they're tinkering around the edges to say, no, a duty to
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retreat. i don't think that's enough, particularly when you think about the case of michael dunn and jordan davis. >> thank you, michael and ahmad. >> thank you. >> coming up, phony web sites to dupe people into donating to the wrong party. >> and some republicans are fighting to take away health care for citizens. ♪
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so it seems another gop governor may have some explaining to do. a trove of embarrassing e-mails, evidence that staff abused their public office for political ends and lingering questions about whether the governor at the center it have all knew it was
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going on. doesn't that sound familiar? well, scott walker may be in washington this weekend to meet with fellow governors around the country, but don't be surprised if his mind is elsewhere. the e-mails which had been sealed until now were part of an investigation into ethics violations by a number of walker's top aides who were found to have used private e-mails accounts, laptops and even a special router to do campaign business on government time. six of walker's staffers in the county office were ultimately convicted. and while the governor was never charged, the e-mails raise new questions about his involvement. among other revelations, they showed walker ordered a daily conference call to coordinate
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between campaign and his staff. >> they're digging up stuff from the pass. i'm probably one of the most scrutinized elected official in the country. after years of review, the legal process fond other individuals that in other situations where they took charges on but in our case they reviewed all this and ultimately closed the investigation as of last march. what i think it is with the dnc and others in the state and across the country, they desperately want something negative to happen to wisconsin. >> never mind that the investigation has been a bipartisan effort. so will that be enough to satisfy critics like the "milwaukee journal sentinel"? here to answer though questions, john nichols and ruth connick.
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last night you broke some news within the e-mails, not new e-mails but within the trove that was released. i'm going to read, "if you come this saturday, i can show you how to cage. that will be the priority on the weekend." . in another e-mail she said "we need cagers for this saturday, we'll have plenty to get caught up on." clearly there's been suspicions in vote caging in wisconsin for a very long time. this is pretty obviously the smoking gun. >> there are a lot of little smoking guns in these e-mails. this is one of them. i think this is something that needs to be looked into further. voter caging, to suppress the vote particularly, to suppress
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the minority vote in milwaukee has been a very, very concern with wisconsinites with the walker campaign. there is one thing after another like this. there are a lot of instances of scott walker, who is clearly at the center of this, you said in your intro really raises questions about what he said and when he knew it. he has denied knowing what his staff, who sat just feet for him were up to. the staff describe it as an inner circle, that means daily contact with him. the voter caging allegation, the racist jokes, the foot dragging and violation of open records law, not being able to release any kind of information, there's a lot here that goes way beyond what walker says when he says i wasn't specifically charged in this particular investigation. there's a new investigation that's ongoing right now. this is not over. >> john, how many more times are people going to hear the "i didn't know what my staff was
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doing, golly gee" and take that as an acceptable answer? at some point it's either you're examine te incompetent because you don't know what your staff is doing or they're lying. >> scott walker was asked, you know, how can we judge a governor, how can we judge an executive who is running for president who doesn't have a congressional record? and he said specifically, you know, look at the people that person has hired. who did they consult with? who did they listen to, who did they trust? he set the standard. and the fact of the matter is the people that he surrounded himself with were engaged in illegal political activities, taking from the taxpayers to do political work on the public time. but beyond that, and i think this is an underpinning of this
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whole discussion, we find that they were also exchanges e-mails that were racist, that were sexist, that were homophobic and anti-semitic. some of that bled into their policy making. there's a lot of harsh language about people with mental illness and disabilities. and when the aides are dealing with a crisis at a health center where a woman died, instead of even a minimal show of humanity, they were talking about how to cover it up and keep it out of the lime light until the election. at the end of that e-mail train, if you read the last e-mail in the whole section, one of his top aides says "nobody cares about crazy people." this is the kind of stuff where you see a breakdown of the public trust. >> again, obviously we don't yet know if walker is implicated in
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this, we don't know if there's a direct connection, but for him to say it matters who you change to hang out with and we're now learning more about the people who worked for him who in theory he should have trusted to carry out the public trust, we're finding out, as you said, racist, homophobic, biased and vote caging, which is dis disenfranchisement. we're going to have to leave it there. i want to thank you john nichols and ruth coniff. >> coming up, why the gop is so afraid of the affordable care act. let me talk to you about retirement. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional. would you trust me as your financial advisor? i would.
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it cleans, fights stains and brightens your clothes. so all that other stuff people use in the wash doesn't really hold its weight, does it? so try tide pods. why? the proof is in the pop. here's a story that hasn't gotten as much attention as it should and a number of disrupters have been asking about. look at this web site. it looks like you've arrived at the campaign sight for john
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lewis. that's what it looks like. it even has "john lewis for congress" and the web url is "" let's say you're a supporter and you want to donate money to his campaign. right there in bold it says "donate now." you click that button and it's done. but here's the catch. you didn't donate to john lewis's campaign. if you scroll down and you take a look at the small fine print that requires people like me to wear glasses, under that big blue dough -- donate button, you probably missed this, contributions to the national republican congressional committee are not deductible. that's right. it's the latest dirty trick
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rolled out by the nrcc. the fake lewis web site is just one of at least 18 that we know of created by the nrcc to dupe would-be contributors and there might be one very big reason. democratic counterparts have outraised them by nearly ds -- $6 million to date. but do they really need to resort to these sort of dirty tricks? it would seem to make sense if your candidates are so great, focus on them, focus on what they stand for, rather than coming up with yet another way to dupe democratic supporters. joining me now is the reporter who first broke the news offer the legality of these web sites. shane, thanks for joining me. >> thanks for having me on. >> this idea of url parking, that's been around, i'll mad it, since when i was in the democratic party, both sides do it but this seems to take it to
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a whole new level, given that it really is a completely fake web site. it doesn't in any way, shape or form let you know unless you read that teeny, tiny, tiny print what you're actually getting into. >> the whole idea here for the nrcc was to create a web site they could try to present negative information about democratic candidates in a way they thought people would actually read it. people are sick of this sort of ominous music and dark clouds so they thought why don't we make it look like their web site. >> we'll make it happy. >> make it happy. they're often the same photos that candidates feature on their own web sites. when you read the details of what they say about the candidates from nancy pelosi to more obscure people like john lewis, it's pretty harsh and negative. >> certainly the expectation is you get to this web site as a supporter and you see the smiling pictures and you see
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donate and you say, okay, that's part of how it draws people in it strikes me. i want to read a statement that we got from the nrcc "it's no surprise that democrats are nervous that the truth is finally getting out about their disastrous records. but despite their whining, we plan on continuing to showcase their support for obamacare and other policies straight through election day." it strikes me yet again this is another way rather than talking about for republicans what they offer, what their candidates stand for, what their policies would be, it's about how do we -- this to me is just as bad as sort of voter i.d. and all these other sort of tricks that they keep coming up with to disenfranchise voters and dupe voters. >> it's the 21st century version of coming up with negative campaign tactics to get that information into voters' hands and in their ears. a classic way was push polling
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where they'd dial up voters and say would you be more or less likely to vote for this candidate if they had illegitimate children, they'd plant that seed whether it's true or not. >> there's an fec rule that says they cannot use a candidate in the title of a special project name or other communication if the title clearly and unambiguously shows opposition to it. we've seen the nrcc say we'll give the money back and make it clearer what the sites really are, they're really coming up to the line here. >> there's two courts here. there's the court regarding the law and there's also the law of
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public opinion. there's been reports of at least two people who were duped and gave money to the republican party accidentally. so they've made some changes. there are some push publicly to make some changes. but whether or not the fec is split evenly, that's a bigger question. >> thanks so much. >> thanks for having me. >> coming up, those who want to take away health care. ffs is so. puffs plus are dermatologist tested to be gentle and they lock in moisture better. so you can always put your best face forward. a face in need deserves puffs indeed. ♪
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so believe it or not, as contentious as the affordable care act has been, there is a place where wares and democrats came to believe, compromised and helped get more people into better health care in one of the poorest states in the country. now the same old anti-obamacare politics is now considering one of our best innovations in health care reform and 100,000
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people could have their coverage taken away. in arkansas last year, republican and democratic lawmakers came together to create an alternative to the aca's medicare expansion, called the private option. arkansas is using those federal medicaid expansion dollars to buy private plans for low-income people. 100,000 people have coverage and another 150,000 have an opportunity for care. in the year it's been in place, it's been hailed as a unique bipartisan health care plan. but the arkansas house of representatives voted to end the private option, even after the state senate passed the measure. you're probably asking why. well, pure politics. arkansas republicans are trying to use the reauthorization of the public option to extract n ransom that would make it harder to sign people up for health
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care. it's not just arkansas. as we've previously reported, 19 other states have already refused to enact medicare expansion under obamacare and six more are stalling as they debate the issue. nearly 6 million americans who need health care the most are left to suffer. >> thank you to my guests for joining me. representative love, let's talk about what happened this week. you had this compromise that seemed to be such a great idea and now the republicans are playing politics. >> definitely they're playing politics, karen. here's the thing, i'm not dismayed by the fact the private option has gone down four times. we definitely have the votes. people just need to stop playing politics. here's the thing, they're
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playing politics with the c economy of arkansas. if we don't pass a plan, we'll have an $86 million hole in our budget. people need to get serious not only about the economy of arkansas but also about the 100,000 people that have already received insurance that they wouldn't have had otherwise. >> and if i'm not mistaken, representative, some of what i would call ransom that they're trying to extract would actually make it harder or take money away from helping to educate people about the program itself. >> yes. and, karen, here's the thing is that those amendments were added to the private option and we still failed to pass the bill. we added several amendments sponsored by state representative nate bell that would definitely we wouldn't be able to advertise the private
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option, it would strip the transportation out of the private option but more concerningly, that the threshold for pay for co-pays would be decreased. so, therefore, we -- even though we did compromise and adopt these amendments, we weren't happy with them. but that's the beauty of the private option, it is a compromise. >> you know, it strikes me, ann, this is something of a microcosm of what we're seeing across the country, where we have a number of states that are refusing these medicare dollar, predominantly for political reasons i will say, since i'm the political person here, and also we're seeing all kinds of different measures to make it harder for the navigateors to get to the people they're trying to help sign up. talk to me about some of the challenges you've been -- i know there's been some good success happening, but i also know that there have been some -- and some
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real barriers erected. >> you're right. >> i'm sorry, i wanted to let ann get a chance to weigh in. >> there have been some real challenges. it's there's been some real successes. because of the acc, 4 million of the most vulnerable folks are eligible for medication. but we are seeing that. leaders from 19 states have made they're not expanding medicaid. and up to 6 million people are missing out. we've seen leaders in some states try to make it harder for those that are trying to help people enroll in coverage through the marketplace or through medicaid to do so. i think what's most important is that a lot of this is causing confusion for consumers. there are millions of people out there who are eligible for coverage and that's why we with our get covered america campaign to get the word out and help people understand what is eligible for them.
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>> are you able to do this in states where you have republican governors who have been, shall we say, less than eager to be helpful? >> we are. and the reason for that is because of the partners that we have on the ground. even if, you know, the government or the leadership in this state is resistant, there are faith leaders, there are community health centers and local nonprofits serving these communities and we're able to come together as a coalition, meet people where they are and give them the facts and fools they need to enroll in coverage. >> representative love, do the republicans in your states really want to be on record for having taken away health care from 100,000 people? >> karen, i do not believe anyone wants to be on the record of taking away this health care coverage from the people of arkansas. we have to look at the impact of
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