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tv   Congresssional Democrats Predict Health Care Repeal Will Result in Chaos...  CSPAN  January 4, 2017 3:18pm-3:47pm EST

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private insurers from pulling out? once you repeal? reporter: how's your senate gym? mr. ryan: i don't think anybody goes there. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> while the vice president-elect was on capitol hill today, the current president was as well. president obama meeting with congressional democrats to talk about strategies to defend the affordable care act from republican attempts to repeal the law. after the president's visit, house minority leader, nancy pelosi, and senate minority leader, chuck schumer, spoke with reporters. mr. schumer: ok, good morning, everybody. we had a great meeting with the president. virtually all of our caucuses attended. he was very inspiring. telling us, we were working out
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our strategy and we have great deem of optimism -- deal of optimism that the good things that have happened in a.c.a. are going to stay. and that our republican colleagues don't quite know what to do, they're like the dog who caught the bus. they can repeal but they have nothing to put in its place and that means so many good things go away. that was basically the summary of the meeting. i want to thank my colleagues for being here. leader pelosi, and our leadership team, let me just thank senators harrison, sanders and klobuchar, warren, , for w, murray, baldwin coming. again, the president articulated the importance of preserving the affordable care act, medicare and medicaid as only he can. and it was an inspiring meeting for all of us. it was probably the last time the president will address the joint caucuses together.
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it was valuable to hear, of course, because the first big fight of this new congress will be over health care. republicans are plotting and soon will be executing a full scale assault on the three pillars that support the american health care system. the affordable care act, medicare and medicaid. the republican plan to cut health care wouldn't make america great again, it would make america sick again. and lead to chaos instead of affordable care. republicans would create chaos in the health care system because they're stuck between a rock and a hard place. they have no idea what to put in place of the affordable care act. for years they've talked about repeal, but for five years now they have had nothing to put in its place. it all starts with the a.c.a. as we all know, the a.c.a. is a delicate balance.
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president-elect trump even expressed support for the three most popular parts of the law. pre-existing conditions, allowing young people to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26, equal treatment for women. but republicans will soon learn that you can't keep the good parts of the a.c.a. and remove the rest of the law and still have it work. that's what they're struggling with and that's why they're not getting anywhere. what they would do would throw the entire insurance marketplace into chaos. it would increase costs for all americans at all income levels, it would blow a trillion-dollar hole in the deficit. and now i see the president-elect was tweeting again this morning. he said, republicans shouldn't let the schumer clowns out of his web. well, i think republicans should stop clowning around with the people's medicare,
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medicaid and health care. the republicans are stuck. for years they've promised every conservative group in america that they'll repeal the a.c.a., quote, root and branch. until today. they could make those extreme promises without suffering any consequences. because they knew democrats or president obama would ultimately block any rollbacks in a.c.a. but now republicans in congress are, again, like the dog who caught the bus, they can't keep all the things that americans like about the a.c.a. and get rid of the rest without throwing the entire health care system, not just those on a.c.a., but those with private insurance, into chaos. they're going to -- one of the things they'll hurt the most is rural hospitals, right in their heartland. the minute they enact this repeal, they're going to suffer dramatically in 11 state capitals, many in red states
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today, rural hospitals are protesting the republican action. so we're here today to warn the american people that the republican plan to cut medicare, medicaid, repeal the a.c.a., will make america sick again. instead of working to further ensure affordable care for all americans, they seek to rip health care away from millions of americans, creating chaos in our entire economy. now, as my colleagues will outline shortly, the republican plan would kick millions off coverage, whether it be medicare, medicaid or the affordable care act. it would cause premiums, of many people, to skyrocket. the 75 million who are covered by private insurance, their premiumses will go up too. it would harm hospitals in rural areas and it would put
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insurance companies back in charge. we stand here united, united, we are a united caucus, we are two united caucuses, and we're united in our opposition to these republican attempts to make america sick again. now i want to turn over the podium to leader pelosi. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, leader schumer. i associate myself with your remarks. you've covered a lot of territory there. i too want to join you in commending the president for his presentation this morning to us. it was one of confidence, it was one of values. that the affordable care act was about -- was transformative in terms of what it meant in the lives of the american people. and that health care in our country is a right, not a privilege. if for no other reason for us to pass the affordable care act, one compelling reason was cost. the cost to the individual, to families, to businesses, small
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and corporate, and to our public sector was totally unsustainable. so we had three goals. one was to lower costs, others to improve benefits and, third, to increase access. and all three of those arenas, the affordable care act has been a big success. when we talk about rolling back the affordable care act, it's also having an impact on medicare. the affordable care act prolonged the life, extended the solvency of medicare. it expanded medicaid. this is very important to america's families. a former speaker once said all politics is local. in this case, all politics is personal. so when leader schumer talks about the 75% of the people who get their benefits in the workplace, and that is so, they
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are affected by the affordable care act in that the cost -- increase in premiums is the lowest it's been in the years they've been tracking that. so it has contained costs. it has increased the benefits package in terms of no discrimination in terms of pre-existing conditions, no lifetime limits, no annual limits. stay on your parent's premium. being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition. so the package is better, the rate of growth of cost decreased. and the fact of many more people being ensured by the -- insured by the 20 million people who are now insured that did not have access before. the most privileged person in america has better health if everyone has health, everyone is in the loop. now, the republicans say repeal and replace. the only thing that it has going for it is illy the
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ration. they have no replacement plan. they have no replacement plan because they just -- they can't. they can't agree. they don't have the votes for replacement plan. so to repeal and then delay is an act of cowardice. that means we don't really know what we're doing. and it recognizes, it recognizes that the consequences to them of just straight out repeal without some replacement. so we have a values debate on our hands. it's very personal in the lives of the american people. a friend of mine just told me his grandson was diagnosed with leukemia. that child will have a pre-existing condition for the rest of his life. repeel the affordable care act, that's a problem. lifetime limits. that's a problem. if you're a senior, you know, medicaid, almost half of medicaid is about long-term health care.
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you want grandma living in the guest room? you repeal the affordable care act. if you go along with -- this is part of an initiative that is part of the ryan budget that says we're going to voucherize medicare, we're going to block grant medicaid. this has a tremendous assault on the health and health security and the financial security that goes with what the affordable care act has done for the american people. and so, make america sick again, is that what the republicans want to do? i certainly hope not. hopefully we can work together to find a path to address some of the concerns they may have. but not to undermine this pillar of economic and health security for the american people. it stands right there with social security, which they want to undermine, medicare and medicaid, which they want to undermine, the affordable care act. so, the president asked us, are
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you ready? do you have the fight in you? he didn't need to ask us that question, i don't think. with that i'm pleased to yield to the leader in the fight, patty murray. another fighter. ms. murray: myrrh thank you so much, leader pelosi. republicanses have made all kinds of empty promises about how ripping apart the health care system with no plan to replace it somehow won't hurt anyone. but i'd like to focus on just one promise that the republicans made. that if they repealed the affordable care act, private advertise -- privatized medicare and capped medicaid, families are somehow going to be magically better off. republican leaders said exactly this. in fact, three days after his election, president-elect trump even said he would deliver better health care for, quote, much less money.
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well, president-elect trump might be able to make that kind of promise from his tower, but workers and families cannot take it to the bank. studies show that if republicans in congress rush to dismantle our health care system, people across our country are going to pay more. premiums will skyrocket. prescription drug costs will increase. out-of-pocket costs will rise. and the republican plan to unravel the guaranteed benefit of medicare will leave seniors vulnerable when they can least afford it. all that will do is make america sick again. and it shouldn't have to be said that that is the wrong direction for our families and for our economy. if republicans think creating chaos and causing chaos in our health care system, heightening economic uncertainty, and
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burdening our seniors and our families with higher health care costs somehow makes our country great again, stronger again, they've got another thing coming. they should step back from the brink, stop putting politics ahead of families' health care, and agree to join together on efforts to make our health care system work better for our families instead of destroying it before it's too late. with that i'm pleased to ntroduce -- [inaudible] >> the president did a great job today reminding everybody of how now the a.c.a., medicaid, medicare and social security are all linked. they're all linked. the because of certainty. in the case of medicare, a reminder that we have extended the life of the trust fund, as nancy noted, by 10 years. there's also another important consideration here. it's about the intergenerational benefit that medicare provides.
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people in their 40's and 50's who are trying to send children to college, they can never simultaneously help or hope to provide health care for aging parents. and that's the importance of medicaid and how it's now linked to medicare. medicaid is very quickly becoming a middle class benefit. mr. neal: because of the notion of long-term care. the idea of the growth of it's recognized at earlier stages now, and alzheimer's disease, has now provided again, the whole notion of security. a.c.a., medicare, medicaid, and the bedrock guarantee of social security. that's the argument that's coursing through the american political system and they are now linked in the public's mind . fracturing any part of that guarantee changes the whole rgument. mr. sanders: not a whole lot i
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can add to what the previous speaker just said. let me quote somebody who i suspect i will not often be quoting. may 7, 2015, donald trump tweeted, quote, i was the first and only potential g.o.p. candidate to state there will be no cuts to social security, medicare and medicaid. now, the point is, trump didn't just say this in passing, he didn't say it in the middle neist, he didn't say it in a particular interview. this was a corner stone of his campaign. he said it over and over and over again. donald trump said he will not cut social security, he will not cut medicare, he will not cut medicaid. therefore one of two things are true. either donald trump simply lied to the elderly and the working
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people of this country and just made campaign promises that he had no intention of ever keeping, that is one reality, or there is another reality. and that is, right now, before congress wastes an enormous amount of time, donald trump has got to come forward, maybe through one of his tweets, and say clearly that donald trump will veto any legislation that cuts medicare, that cuts medicaid or that cuts social security. and if he makes that clear to his republican colleagues, we can save us all a whole lot of time and start getting to work doing what this country esperately needs to have done. mr. schumer: ok. questions? h.
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great. all right. questions. you're first. reporter: my question is this. do you think that part of the issue, i'd be happy to hear from any of you, that the problem for democrats on this issue is still the marketing of obamacare? for the past seven years, people said, we didn't message this right now. you're trying to salvage this against this threat by republicans. and what makes people think that this will work now when the messaging didn't work? mr. schumer: our biggest problem was that once a.c.a. passed, people attributed every problem they had with their health care system, whether they were part of a.c.a. or not, to a.c.a. and our republican colleagues and their message machine did it. now they're going to own it. and all the problems in the health care system. and there there have been many throughout the years, no one has solved all of them, are going to be on their back. to 's why they're running do this first -- their running to do this first is a huge mistake for them and thare the
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country. it's a huge mistake for them on basis of a.c.a., because they don't know what to do once they repeal. one of my colleagues called it repeal and run. it's a huge problem as well because now they're responsible for the entire health care system. tanned will be on their backs and i believe a year from now, they will regret that they came out so fast out of the box. reporter: donald trump menged new a tweet this morning -- mentioned you in a tweet this morning. >> the fact of the matter is that republicans over the last six years tried to make this an ideological debate. left versus right. what we're saying today is, that is not what this is. we put the a.c.a. in place because we found a lot of people couldn't get health insurance, their costs were going up, their out-of-pocket expenses, their benefit package was diminished. now i think debate has to be practical. what does this mean to the average snern mr. pallone: if you repeal this, what you're going to do is go back to the days when you
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pay more out of pocket, you can't get health insurance, your benefit package shrinks and you just have some skeletal plan or catastrophic plan that doesn't cover anything. that's the difference. we are now talking about what this repeal means practically. forget this ideological debate on the left and right. i'm not interested in it anymore. that's, i think, what we're going to point out. that's what we're going to fight. we're going to fight because we believe this matters to the average person. reporter: what's your assessment of actually stopping repeal in the senate? it would just take, if all the democrats hung together, it would take three republicans to turn. do you think you can do that? mr. schumer: we've already had rand paul say he's not for repeal without some kind of replace. you have a good number of other republicans who are really worried about this. the initial vote is an easy vote for them. it just says, cut $1 billion, do it from somewhere. when they come back, i don't even know, as leader pelosi said, whether they'll be able
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to get enough votes in their own caucus for an alternative. and i think they're going to have a lot of trouble. so i would say that they're going to have far more trouble than they ever imagined and as they move through it, they're going to start losing people on their side. reporter: you have a number of red state democrats who are up for re-election in state that trump won wlomingly. are you really willing to tell them not to work with republicans on a replacement plan? mr. schumer: we are telling the republicans, if you are repealing, show us what you'll replace it with first and then we'll work -- then we'll look at what you have and see what we can do. we are not going to -- they're repealing. we're not. it's their obligation to come up with replace first. and i think we have unanimity within our democratic caucus on that position. reporter: can you give us details about what president obama said specifically to the
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group about what he'd like to do going forward and how he'll stay involved? ms. pelosi: let me first say to the question that it's a very indifferent story to take something away from someone. so our argument in terms of the affordable care act is, people have enjoyed the benefits of it. i'm sure you've seen the articles coming out of kentucky where people voted 8-1 for trump in districts and yet many of them are enjoying the -- over 60% of them are enjoying the benefits of the affordable care act and said, i didn't vote to take that away. it's one thing to say to people, this is what you can get. it's another thing to say, this is what will be taken away from you. that is a different case and that is a case that we will make. as i mentioned earlier, the president's message was one of confidence, confidence in the
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affordable care act and what it means and does for people, confidence in its implementation. confidence in the humility that we have to listen to other ideas, if they have in there to replace something that works, that gets results, we shouldn't be opposed to that. ut springing from not reducing benefits for people, not reducing the number of people who have access to care, this is about increasing access and proving benefit -- access, improving benefits and lowering costs and that's the sort -- sort of how our conversation went. reporter: it's important to stress the fact that smoke and mirrors are not going to do it for the republicans. >> because this lass real consequences. today in 11 different states, rural hospitals are speaking out against the repeal of health care that is in this
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proposal. tomorrow in michigan, cancer doctors that work with children are going to be speaking out at the state capital about what this means, when we put capps on cancer treatment for children, when we say they are a pre-existing condition or the essential benefit package that we developed to make sure basic services were covered is turned away. stabestabe so this is very real. we're -- tabstab -- nude ms. stabenow: we're going to be working with people, whether it's hospitals in rural or urban areas, doctors, families, children, nurses, everybody who knows that this is real, it's 1/6 of the economy. and they're pulling the strings that's going to unravel the whole system. ms. pelosi: -- say something about virginia. mr. scott: thank you. when they say repeal and replace, the only thing that's
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guaranteed is the repeal part. if there were a bona fide replacement, as was said, we would have seen what it looked like. the affordable care act curious a lot of problems. it didn't cure all of the problems, but there's a difference between not curing the problem and causing the problem. one of the things that the replacement has got to do, the reason they're going to have trouble is, when they come up with replait placements, they're going -- replacements, they're going to have to show how it's going to improve things they've been complaining about. if you're going to have a pre-existing condition insured not at the standard rate, you have solve some mechanism to ensure that everybody is covered. universal coverage. if you can wait until you get sick before you buy insurance, then people will wait until they get sick until they buy insurance and new york state showed exactly what happened when that happens. because they had guaranteed issue without mandatory insurance, when the affordable
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care act came in, what did the cost go down? 50%? >> yes, great success. mr. scott: that's what you get. when the replacement comes, we knew what it would look like. it's hard to criticize an inindividualable plan. we will know how it will address the things they're talking about. we didn't cause the problems they're complaining about. and they have a responsibility when they come up with a replacement, they'll have to show how they're going to solve all of these things they've been complaining about. we don't think they can do it. reporter: there are 20 million people who have health care now who didn't before. this law was passed. if republicans repeal it and they lose their coverage, what are you going to say to them? are you going to say, no, we're not going to help republicans replace this? mr. schumer: no, we're going it say, let's see the republican plan. the republicans, if we put forward a plan first, they'd reject it. the kinds of things we want to do are quite different. we want to cover these 20 million. we did already. the problem is, as was said by
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frank pallone, they're an ideological caucus. they want to repeal it and then try to hang it on us. not going to happen. it's their responsibility. plain and simple. let me tell you, you talk to people in the reddest of states, they're the states that are most affected, not only by the rural hospitals, but you take joe mansion was on morning joe this morning talking about how west virginia benefits from many of the good provisions in the a.c.a. and his view is the view of all of us. let them show us what their proposal is. otherwise stick with what we have. ms. pelosi: one more things in terms of that. there's an integrity, a one-ness about this. it was about, as i said, lowering costs, improving benefits and increasing access. but it was a market-oriented solution. so when they throw this apple of discord or this disarray
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into the system, it's going to have market consequences that they're not thinking of. they don't really care that much about the 20 million who are additionally insured. although they should. because they don't like subsidies. but the fact is that 75% of the american people get their benefits in the workplace, have lower premiums and more benefits than they boo have -- they would have without the affordable care act and the republicans do care about that. we'll see where they go. thank you. mr. schumer: thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> meanwhile, the house is still in recess. we're expecting them to come back into session sometime around 4:15 eastern. they'll vote on legislation to
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allow the congress to overturn a block of federal regulations from president obama's last year in office. currently congress can overturn those regulations, but each regulation must be voted on individually. as we said, expecting that vote on the bill, the series of votes at about 4:15. we'll have live coverage here on c-span. while the house has been focusing on that bill overturning regulations, the senate has started the process of repealing the affordable care act in a 51-48 vote the senate approved a procedural motion to start debate on a budget retslusion -- resolution that would allow congress to repeal the health care law with only a simple majority in the senate. meaning democrats could not block the measure with a filibuster. before the senate took up the measure today, president obama met with democrats on capitol hill to discuss ways they can try to prevent republicans from repealing the health care law. just after that


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