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House Republicans Pass Health Care Reform Bill; Senate Republicans Indicate Major Changes to House Health Care Bill. Aired 8- 8:30a ET
Aired May 5, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a fraud, this bill, and we are going to fight it with all we have.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will get this passed through the Senate. I feel so confident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. Up first, the fight over health care reform starts all over again. The Senate has it now and they're saying they are going to create their own bill.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump celebrating his first legislative victory from the White House to New York. So how will lawmakers answer constituents who are angry about this GOP plan? We have it all covered for you. So let's begin with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. She is live on Capitol Hill. Suzanne?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Many House Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief. They are actually back in their home districts, taking a step forward to fulfill a significant promise to the American people, pushing forward and passing their own health care plan. But there are already problems with this. Many Senate Republicans looking at this and rejecting key provisions, some even vowing to start from scratch.
TRUMP: I think we'll get it through. Mitch McConnell knows how to do things.
MALVEAUX: The Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare now in the hands of the Senate with a controversial bill that narrowly passed in the House --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bill is passed.
MALVEAUX: -- faces an uphill battle.
TRUMP: It could change a little bit. It could get maybe even better.
MALVEAUX: Senators on both sides of the aisle aren't in any hurry, vowing to do things their way.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: Mr. President, I'm sorry to disappoint you. This bill in its current form is not getting through the Senate. No way, no way.
SEN. BILL CASSIDY, (R) LOUISIANA: The Senate will write its own bill. I don't think that the House bill necessarily predicts what is in the Senate bill.
MALVEAUX: The legislation passed in the House eliminates the tax penalty for Americans who choose not to buy insurance, replaces the generous subsidies offered under Obamacare with tax credits, and rolls back Medicaid expansion starting in 2020. It also increase the limit on what insurers can charge older enrollees and allows insurance to charge customers more if they have a pre-existing condition. Among those who would lose the most in this plan, those with pre-existing conditions, the elderly, and low income Americans, while younger Americans, the healthy, the middle and upper class, and insurance companies stand to benefit.
Democrats who voted unanimously against the bill taunting Republicans after the vote, which they say will be a political liability in 2018.
NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Some of you have said, well, they'll fix it in the Senate. But you have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will blow in the dark on this one.
MALVEAUX: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stressing that the bill should be viewed with caution because it was rushed through the House without a cost and impact estimate.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: We should have had a CBO estimate. I don't always agree with CBO. In fact, quite frequently I disagree. But we should still have an assessment from them.
MALVEAUX: Some House Republicans admitting they hadn't even read the legislation before voting yes.
REP. CHRIS COLLINS, (R-NY) COMMERCE COMMITTEE: I will fully admit, Wolf, I did not. But I can also assure you my staff did.
REP. TOM GARRETT, (R) VIRGINIA: I would be dishonest if I said I individually read it all. That's why we have a legislative staff.
MALVEAUX: Something then Congress Paul Ryan blasted Democrats for in 2009.
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I don't think we should pass bills that we haven't read. We shouldn't rush this thing through. (END VIDEOTAPE)
MALVEAUX: Senate Republicans vowing that they are going to read the legislation that they put forward. We expect that that CBO score is going to take a couple of weeks before it gets to senators hands. At that point it will take several weeks for them to go through this deliberative process, a process they say is not going to be rushed. They will consider some compromises. Then that bill goes back to the House and then the debate starts all over again. Alisyn and Chris?
CAMEROTA: Thanks, Suzanne.
CUOMO: Appreciate it. Let's discuss. We have reporter and editor at large for CNN politics, Chris Cillizza, CNN political analyst April Ryan, and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. April Ryan, as we look heading into the Senate, you covered the Obamacare battle. Is this similar to what happened back then in terms of the acrimony of it going out of the House? Did the Senate back then say we're not going to have anything like this? Is this like that process?
APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, thinking back when that happened, they rushed it through as well. But they did one thing that they did, they had a CBO score. They don't have CBO score here. You know, they wanted to get it passed because, as then Vice President Biden said, this was a big deal. So they rushed it through. And then they didn't communicate it well to the public, nor to lawmakers, but they rushed it through. And then they did the buildup of communicating what it was later.
[08:05:07] But here what we know is what the House passed. We know that it is not necessarily fair to certain groups, OK? But it benefits those who are healthy, those who are rich or wealthy, what have you, with tax credits.
But here is the issue. The issue is the CBO score here versus a CBO score there. People understood what they were trying to do and then the president even said you can't -- you won't lose your health insurance. So there's still things to be tweaked, and they thought that they had it there. Things need to be definitely tweaked here and they don't have a CBO score. The devil is in the details for both plans from back in the Obama administration to this administration.
CAMEROTA: Yes, always so true. So Sanjay, before we get to the politics involved in passing this, let's talk about the policy. What do you think is most notable in this GOP plan at the doctor?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There is a list of things that are going to be out, right, that are no longer going to be part of what people can expect from their health care insurance, if they can get it, many of which you have talked about. April just outlined some of them. I think two of the big ones are this idea that there won't be a guaranteed protection for people with pre-existing conditions.
CAMEROTA: They say that it will go to the states and the states will set up high risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions. But what's the issue?
GUPTA: States can get waivers, and as part of the waivers if someone lets their insurance lapse, they are no longer going to be protected. By the way 30 million people let their insurance lapse I a given year because it is expensive sometimes. So that's part of the issue.
The high risk pools are for people who then would be charged too much on the individual market for their health care insurance, they could go to a high risk pool, which is a subsidized pool. The government is helping subsidize their care. And that's one of the things they're really leaning on. Part of the problem is these have been tried before. They're expensive. They're really expensive. You're taking the highest risk patients and putting them in one place, so expect it to be expensive. And as a rule they just were generally underfunded, and the people who were part of those pools really couldn't afford the insurance they were getting anyways. And keep in mind, these are the people who actually need health care. They are the ones utilizing the system. So it's a really tough proposition to lean this much on high risk pools, and the data from previous years shows that.
CUOMO: As soon as you introduce a condition, it is no longer a guarantee. And if states can find a way out of it, you are going to have states who will do that, Chris Cillizza, and that is the obvious concern and it negates a core promise of President Trump, which was we're going to keep pre-existing conditions. So when you look at this in terms of how it helps the GOP, because they're celebrating, what is the plus/minus for them moving forward?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, EDITOR AT LARGE, CNN POLITICS: To your first point Chris, a waiver means you can waive it, right? It's right there in the word. So to say that it guarantees coverage isn't right.
Why do they think they need to do this? I think they recognize it is a giant political risk because Obamacare is more popular than it's been almost since its inception. The Kaiser Family Foundation does a poll monthly since the beginning of bill being introduced, 48 percent approved of it, 41 percent of people disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, in their most recent poll. The negatives were much higher before because, again, this last hour the challenge of taking something from people that they have, even if they don't love it, taking from them is difficult.
So why do you do it in the face of issues about freezing Medicaid expansion, in the face of, as Dr. Gupta talked about, the face of these high risk polls being expensive? You do it because you have spent seven years telling your base if we get full control of Washington, House, Senate, White House, if you vote for us, turn out, vote for us, give that to us, we will get rid of this law you hate so much. And the Republican base does hate this law. It is indicative in their mind of everything wrong with the federal government -- overreach, trying to tell you how to live your life, trying to mandate things that you don't need or want. And that's why they did it because they felt like in a choice between not great and risky and terrible, they went with not great and risky.
CAMEROTA: OK, so, April, fast forward to the Senate. So now the battle begins anew in the Senate. They go back to the drawing board, and there are all sorts of senates from, say, Ohio, Alaska, West Virginia, who recognize that this could hurt their constituents in terms of Medicaid expansion. So how do you see this playing out in the Senate?
RYAN: Well, from what I understand from the sources that I have in the Senate, they're going to start from scratch because they said this will not pass. What the House passed, it will not pass.
[08:10:00] You have to remember, this is not Democrat or Republican. This is about people. Let's look at Kentucky, for instance. A lot of people in Appalachia did not like Obamacare, but they liked the ACA, OK. And then you bring in something like this where they may lose coverage with issues of substance abuse, maternity issues, mental health, and then a vast majority of people are people who have pre- existing conditions. This does not work for a large portion of society. It is personal. It hits people at their core.
And so the senators recognize this. And again, on this time during recess, they are going to hear from the American public. Social media is going abuzz this. I read something on one of my tweets. Someone said we are now sport for politicians, for Republicans. People are very upset. So people are making their statements loud and clear right now, and I believe the volumes will come up as we go.
But senators are hearing and listening and they see what happened yesterday and they realize what they have to do. They have to change something to help people versus taking money from them or making them unsure of their insurance, of insurance.
CUOMO: But there is a basic proposition at play here that should be addressed. Cillizza raised it and we are lucky to have Gupta to deal with it, which is this -- I don't need maternity care. The idea of al a carte services sounds so good to people when it comes to insurance. I don't need all these things. I'm going to check them off, and I don't want to pay for what she needs. What is the reality of how insurance works, Sanjay?
GUPTA: I think that may be one of the most critical issues here for the consumer or the potential patients, of which we are all potential patients, right? But these essential health benefits, this idea you buy an insurance plan, it needs to have some basics, because a lot of people don't know what they need until they need it. So that's part of the problem. That's the nature of insurance.
So if you don't have certain things in the health benefits and then all of a sudden you need them, your insurance plan hasn't done you any good. For example, these skinny plans that we talked about sometimes, they may not have inpatient hospitalization covered. OK, so you're 25 years old, you're immortal in your own mind. You think I just need a skinny plan. Then you get into a car accident or you're diagnosed with some disease, that is the most common reason you are going to be going to the hospital, and all of a sudden your plan doesn't cover it. So that's part of the issue with these essentially health benefits. And I think it's a really important point. Just a quick thing about maternity health, because people scratch
their heads and say men, why do you need maternity health benefits? The problem is that otherwise only women are going to need those, and that's gender rating. That's essentially charging women more because they are women. When you make everyone buy maternity, this is how you help defray the cost so you are not penalizing somebody, in this case for possibly getting pregnant. So that's why you have that. But the whole idea again, is to have everyone have a minimum level of care at least.
CAMEROTA: Panel we have to leave it there.
RYAN: And there is another issue, mental health.
CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you, April. We do want to talk about that coming up. We just happen to have breaking news for you all right now. Thank you very much for your insight. Breaking news from West Virginia, a UPS cargo plane has crashed in a wooded area. This is at Yeager airport in Charleston. This happened just this morning. We're looking live right now at the scene coming from WCHS. Officials say people are believed to be trapped inside that plane still. It is unclear what the level of injuries are. The FAA says this aircraft struck its left wing on the runway during landing. It looks like a clear day there weather-wise. The investigation of course is underway into what happened. We'll bring your more details as soon as they become available to CNN.
CUOMO: Another breaking story, CNN's Barbara Starr just learning that a U.S. military member was killed and two were wounded in Somalia. Officials confirm the troops came under attack while on a mission advising Somali national army forces. The wounded are receiving medical attention. U.S. troops are there as part of an ongoing military program to advise and assist Somali ground forces, a reminder that advise and assist does not mean that our fighting men and women are not in harm's way. Alisyn?
CAMEROTA: House Republicans, Chris, as you know, are basking in their health care victory. But some of them, like South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford, well, he voted yes, but says that he has big reservations. So why did he vote yes? Congressman Sanford joins us live next.
[08:18:08] CAMEROTA: The GOP health care bill advances to the Senate now after narrowly passing in the House. But one Republican congressman who voted for the bill says he still has some reservations.
Congressman Mark Sanford joins us now.
Good morning, Congressman.
REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Good morning to you.
CAMEROTA: Congressman, you have some reservations. That's, of course, natural. But why did you vote yes this time when a few weeks ago you were a no vote?
SANFORD: I voted yes because ultimately this debate came down to whether or not we simply advance this debate to the Senate. And what took place over the last ten days or so, I thought ultimately I thought an advancable bill -- let me say that in English -- an advancable bill, and prior to that without those two amendments, I didn't think it was the case.
CAMEROTA: Did you read this entire bill?
SANFORD: Yes. I wouldn't say -- yes. I turned through every page, as to whether or not I got through some of the details on some of the pages, no. But, yes, I attempted to read the entire bill.
CAMEROTA: But you glossed over some of it?
SANFORD: You would too if you read through it, yes. But, again, it was relatively modest as these bills go. We're talking a couple hundred pages as opposed to a couple thousands pages.
CAMEROTA: Why not dive into it? Why can't you say you read it thoroughly?
SANFORD: I read it as thoroughly as I could. I think the amendments, which were really the previous question for me because I already voted no on the original base bill were actually, you know, a couple pages long and I absolutely in detail form read through those.
And, again, you have an entire staff, that's why you have a congressional staff to really vet these things. So I read through the bill. I had my staff read through the bill. I mean, I think we have taken a deep look at this thing and I think it's fundamentally about two things.
It is about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, which I think with the Upton Amendment it does.
[08:20:04] CAMEROTA: You do? I mean, because let me stop you there for one second because the way we understand it is that it will be up to governors. It will pass this down to states and the states can seek a waiver for the pre-existing conditions, but they would set up high risk pools, but those might be more expensive and not cover everyone?
SANFORD: Well, I don't believe that that's the case. I mean, that's why the original $15 billion was there in the original amendment dealing with high risk pools and the additional $8 billion was added to that with the Upton Amendment.
And again let me go back to what I was saying, which is fundamentally it is about trying to protect people with pre-existing conditions, while concurrently trying to address the fact there has been a rapid increase in premiums for many people. Insurance is not been insurance, if you have an $8,000 deductible, but you only have $1,000 in your savings account, you don't have insurance.
And what we've seen in many states like South Carolina is the choices have narrowed down to one provider and premiums went up by 30 percent. So, there are a lot of small business out there and a lot of people out there struggling in the individual health care marketplace who in essence haven't had insurance.
SANFORD: And what this bill is attempting to do was to manage both of those populations and to help both folks.
CAMEROTA: Congressman, you have been honest about how President Trump basically threatened you. He threatened to run an opponent against you if you didn't vote for this. Did that sway your vote?
SANFORD: Absolutely not, because after he threatened me, I voted no. There are only three people that voted no in the last bill, and I was one of them. When it came before the budget committee, I said this bill is not ready for prime time. It didn't have the two amendments I was just eluding so and I voted no and whipped no on the final vote saying, no, I wasn't going to vote. I was part of the group that ultimately stopped the bill back in March.
So, that didn't drive the train. I think that ideas ought to drive the train and our districts and the viewpoints of those districts ought to drive the train. That's what I've tried to include in my calculation of this particular vote.
CAMEROTA: And after you voted no, after the president had basically sent a threat to you courtesy of Mick Mulvaney, then what did the president say to you?
CAMEROTA: And what did that original threat sound like?
SANFORD: It sounded like the thing that doesn't make any member of Congress's day, you know. If you don't do this, I'm going to do this. When that comes from the president of the United States, that doesn't make one's day. But that's all past history.
I mean, I think now, we're looking at a bill that I think advances to the Senate and we're going to have a whole new debate in the Senate. And that's why I think it is so important if you are on the winning side of this debate, if this happens to be what you agreed on, you need to take a breath and avoid spiking the ball and realize there are four more bites of the apple on this thing.
And if you are on the opposite side of the equation, you need to take a breath and say, wait a minute, you know, nothing has changed. The Senate has already said we're going to put the breaks on this thing. We're going to change in material form at minimum and we might do nothing at maximum, we'll see what they do and if they do something, it's going to come back to the House for yet another debate. CAMEROTA: Yes, but, Congressman, see, this is interesting because
that is a nuance I'm not sure all of your constituents will understand or at least appreciate. What you're saying is this is just the start of a conversation. And I know that this one was going to be the final product.
CAMEROTA: So, you know, it is no skin off my nose to vote on this one. But do you fear Democrats making hay of the votes that Republicans made in campaign ads and using this against you, even though it's not the final product, using it against you in the midterms?
SANFORD: Certainly. I mean, that's got to be done. Believe me, anything that can be used against you will be used against you in the world of politics. And so, I think that, you know, this is going to be a harmful vote for some of my colleagues in the House. It could be a harmful vote for me. We'll see how it plays out. I think that in large part going to play out based on what happens next.
And, so, you know, if it was to make it through the Senate back to the House, passed in conference and to make it to the White House and we saw a decrease in people's health insurance premiums in the individual marketplace, I think this could be a plus. If nothing happens and it was just a vote that didn't go anywhere, I think it could be used against you in the political sense.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Mark Sanford, thank you very much as we talk to you here on NEW DAY.
SANFORD: My pleasure.
CUOMO: All right. So, ten years after the mysterious disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann gripped the world, there are still few answers. Coming up, a preview of a CNN special report that revisits the case, next.
[08:28:46] CUOMO: Time now for the five things to know for your NEW DAY.
Up first, health care now in the hands of the Senate, and it's going to be an uphill battle. Some Senate Republicans already rejecting the Trumpcare bill coming their way, saying they are going to write their own version.
CAMEROTA: We do have breaking news from West Virginia. A cargo plane crashing at Yeager Airport in Charleston. The airlines says the plane's wing struck the runway during landing. Officials say people are trapped inside that plane, no word on their condition.
CUOMO: CNN has learned a U.S. military member was killed. Two others wounded in Somalia. Officials confirmed the troops came under attack while on a mission advising Somali national army forces.
CAMEROTA: Historic floods devastating parts of the Midwest. CNN affiliates are reporting levees failing in northeastern Arkansas. The rising Mississippi and Missouri Rivers also raising fears of levee breaches in parts of Missouri.
CUOMO: France is going to elect a new president this weekend. The run off between Macron and Le Pen is going to take place on Sunday. Le Pen wants to quit the Euro currency and close France's borders. Former President Obama endorsed Macron this week.
CAMEROTA: All right. Those are the five things to know. Now, here are some extra headlines.