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tv   Washington Journal 01292022  CSPAN  January 29, 2022 7:00am-10:06am EST

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movement. later, more with amy mackinnon, and national security and intelligence reporter, host of the foreign policy playlist. all that and your calls, texts, comments and tweets. washington journal search now. -- journal starts now. host: good morning and welcome to washington journal. the covid pandemic has brought new attention to the health care system in the u.s., especially how much it costs to stay healthy in our country. one of the biggest concerns many americans have our surprise medical bills from doctors they did not choose at hospitals who don't take their insurance. these can cost thousands of dollars months after the procedures. lawmakers have been working for years to try to give americans some relief from these
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surprises. our question, have you received surprise medical bills? we will open up regional lines for this conversation. if you are in the eastern or central time zones, you will call (202) 748-8000. mountain and pacific time zones, (202) 748-8001. keep in mind it, you can text us at (202) 748-8003. we are always reading on social media, on facebook at, on twitter, and you can read -- you can follow us on instagram. talking about surprise medical bills. thousands of dollars americans are paying months after the fact after their procedures are over from doctors who don't take their insurance.
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let's start by defining exactly what surprise medical bills are. the u.s. public research interest group joined this program to talk about what they are and how pervasive they are. [video clip] >> this is the particular bill you get from an out-of-network hospital or doctor, and it is when you did not agree to necessarily or expect, so that is the situation where you might go to an in network hospital, but unbeknownst to you, an out-of-network anesthesiologist gives you uranus these are for your surgery. we expected to get anesthesia, but we expected an in network hospital. so those bills can be very expensive because our insurance company only pays part of that. we are left with that larger
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remaining amount. that is what makes the surprise and that is what is frustrating. >> what do we know about how big of a problem this has been for americans? >> it is a growing problem. it is a pervasive billing practice that's been growing in both emergency rooms and hospitals. one in five americans, insured americans who either get surgery or go to an emergency room, are likely to receive a surprise medical bill, and those can be in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. host: there's legislation that's been pushed through congress to help americans on surprise american -- surprise medical bills. a story today in the new york times that talks about what this will do. "several studies found around 20% of u.s. patients who had
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emergency care were treated by someone outside their insurance network, including emergency room doctors, radiologists or laboratories. any of those could see and -- could send them a medical bill after the fact. such bills are now legal. there is one exception. the new lot does not prevent ambulance companies from billing you directly for their services if they travel on roads. it offers protections against surprise bills from air ambulances. ground ambulances were left out because legislators determined they would need a different regulatory approach. congress established a commission to study the issue and may consider reforms. the new ban on surprise medical bills that started this year. we want to know if you face this phenomenon.
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have you gone to an emergency room or medical care center, paid the bill at the desk and then found a large bill in the mail weeks or months later? let us know. you see the numbers on screen. let's start by talking to john, calling from georgia. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i live in a small community of about 75 in southeast georgia. we have a very small hospital that does not even have emergency room doctors. they use paramedical people. and i received -- i've been at the hospital about twice in the past 18 years and, each time, i
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received an independent bill from the paramedical that attended or at least looked at you, and the hospitals decide whether you need to go to a larger hospital. so it was less than $100 so i just went ahead and paid it, but it was a surprise. if you have medicare and the medicare supplement, that you would be having expenses. host: did you have to pay anything at the moment of care at the doctor or hospital? caller: no, they submitted it a few weeks after the emergency room visit. host: and did anyone tell you during the time of your actual
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procedure how much it would cost, or did you have any idea what the bill was coming? caller: i had no idea they'd build independently -- idea they billed independently but when i did receive the bill -- all these hospitals have groups or doctors. i received a bill from the group. i called and they said the doctor was not affiliated with the hospital and that therefore there was -- her bill was independent of the hospital's, but they didn't tell you that. they didn't tell you how much it would be or even possibly how much it would be. host: do you think you should
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know when a procedure happens. caller: i don't expect -- when you go to the emergency room, i don't expect the hospital to say this bottle is $400 or that type of thing, but, you know, you go to the emergency room, the last thing you are interested in is the cost. you just want to get treated and get out. going into the hospital for more additional, in-depth treatment, but it is an excellent idea to have more transparency in everything. the more transparent it is, the less likely the people who are interested in the cost of
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medical procedures and care would be better informed and be a better informed citizen, but do i expect them to tell you right there in the emergency room? they should have signs in the emergency room saying the attending physician that will see you is not a member of this hospital and that you will be billed independently. host: we want to know what your experience has been with surprise medical bills. did you receive a bill from a medical professional months, years after the fact? let us know about your experience. let's talk to calvin, calling
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from salsberry, north carolina. good morning. are you there? caller: i'm here. host: go ahead. caller: hey. host: turn your television down for us and go ahead. caller: sorry. ok. ok. host: you are on, calvin. go ahead. caller: i went to the er in six months later, i get a bill for $1100. i called the hospital. they said it had been paid. they said it had come from a doctor in the er. host: what did your insurance say about this, calvin?
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caller: i'm on disability. i called them. they said they had a record. host: and how are you -- were you able to pay the bill? caller: no. host: what happened in your situation, calvin? caller: i just paid it. host: ok. let's talk to jonathan, calling from canton, ohio. good morning. are you there? good morning -- caller: good morning. i like watching c-span. the first started talking -- hello? host: go ahead.
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caller: just enjoying the conversation, the one man that said the hmo that she didn't sage him a -- the hmo -- he didn't say hmo. but it took me back to when my father was in the hospital for a procedure and his regular doctor couldn't take care of him and my father caught covid in his regular doctor wasn't able to see him because they had some type of -- when you cannot even have your real doctor. why can't i have my regular doctor taking care of me in the
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hospital? that's just an example. it just kind of touched me, what the first man said. host: what happened with your father? tell the story ended. caller: my father caught covid from a doctor and passed away in 2020, november, and it is a sad situation because i called his primary caregiver, his doctor, and i said, why aren't you taking care of my father? she said they have a pair of doctors taking care of patients and i cannot go in. it was weird. i want to understand the determining factor of why this change. that don't understand about the bill. it is about a life.
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and, yeah, i will pay bills, but getting bills for things i don't know about is a little extra. have a good day. host: there's been new legislation passed that is supposed to help in the issue of surprise medical bills called the no surprises act. i will show you a little bit about what that does. under the no surprises act, it requires private health plans to cover out-of-network claims. it also prohibits doctors and hospitals from billing patients more than the in network cost sharing amount. there are other protections that apply to emergency services including emergency rooms and urgent care. the protections apply to air ambulance transportation but not ground ambulance transportation.
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that's the no surprises act, which went into effect this year. the washington post has a story in the post that talks about how this bill works and how you can challenge some of these surprise bills. we want to know what you are seeing out there and whether you think this new law will help you. here's what the post says. "under the no surprises act, providers are no longer allowed to send eye popping bills to insured patients who get care from an out-of-network provider, but if they do get such a bill, it is up to the patient to get it fixed. roughly 10 million surprise bills have been typically sent out a year according to the kaiser family foundation, meaning hundreds of thousands of problems could arise even if compliance with the new law is high.
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it requires the biden administration to set up a national consumer can meet system -- consumer complaint system where consumers can submit a complaint online or call a number to get help disputing the bill. it has received over 300 calls since january 1, mostly from consumers wanting to learn more about the new ban, according to an hhs spokesperson." this is under the no surprises act, which was designed to help american consumers fight surprise medical bills. are you seeing surprise medical bills? did you get a surprise medical bill from a dentist, dr., emergency room, urgent care center? let us know what your experiences are. let's go to carlos, calling from conway, arkansas. good morning. caller: good morning. many years ago in my case, this
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is an old incident, but the new law would certainly probably have helped this, i was destitute, didn't have a job or any income at all, and i had to go to the hospital, thought i was having a heart attack, and i was admitted to the hospital. they thought i was having a heart attack, and i spoke with the administrators, with the doctor, with every wooded told -- with everyone and told them i had no means whatsoever to pay, and they assured me -- i mean, people came in and assured me -- that i would not be charged for this, and they rushed me into the hospital, through the halls of the hospital to a place, and
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i spent a night there, and it turned out i didn't have a heart attack and then it was some months later that i received bills for -- it was thousands of dollars, and those thousands of dollars, i called about that, i told people, you know, that they had promised me i would not be charged and the doctors charged me and i think the hospital also charged me, and at the end of the day, once i started working again and i had money and i started paying income taxes, they claimed my income tax returns until they were paid, and there was nothing i could do about it. host: let me ask you about this. you said it was not a heart attack. what was it?
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caller: i guess it was an extreme high blood pressure situation, i guess. i don't really know what the diagnosis was. it only lasted for a day and i was released. host: you said they promised you that you would not be billed for it. who told you that, the actual doctors, the receptionist, the nurse? who did you hear that from and did you go back later and said, hey, you said i wasn't going to be charged? caller: i didn't know these people's names, but one of them was a doctor who attended me in the emergency room and another person was a social worker, i guess, or some sort of administration person, who i asked to talk to and, you know, very explicitly, i explained that i just simply could not pay for this and i was assured that
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i wouldn't have to, you know? but i don't know who the people were who told me. host: ok. let's talk to lee, calling from newark, ohio. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: just fine. go ahead, lee. caller: and 1999, i had an operation for a brain tumor. i was diagnosed in 1997, so it drug out for two years before i could even get a doctor. me and my wife both were working at the time. i made too much money to get a medical card or whatever it was called then. my insurance at work would not cover it, said it was a pre-existing condition, and i ended up quitting my job. my wife made 6.25 dollars an hour at the time. they said she'd made too much money for us to get a medical
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card. it was just a joke all the way through. i mean, i am grateful i finally got it taken care of, but it took over two years. they were just waiting for me to die. the medical system is horrible and still -- if i had the same address, i bet i would still be getting bills today. it is just a joke all the way through. i've been to the hospital a bunch, and every time, there's more and more garbage. host: once again, patricia kellner of the u.s. public interest research group was on this program last weekend, this time, let's hear her talk about the no surprises act, which went into effect this year, which is supposed to help fight some of the surprise medical bills. here's what she had to say. [video clip] >> several states passed laws initially to show this can be
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done, we can stop the surprise medical bills from coming, and luckily, congress responded as well with a lot of encouragement from consumers and insured americans across the country. what it does is it prohibits surprise medical bills, out-of-network bills from occurring and from you receiving them, in three situations. the first is emergency treatment. no matter where you are taken for emergency treatment, you only pay your in network costs, co-pay, insurance, deductible. for emergency treatment, no more surprise medical bills. the second important area is air ambulances. if you are transported by helicopter or airplane to get treatment, that's another area where you will no longer be paying that extra charge out-of-network. the most important one that i think is frustrating for americans is when you have done everything right, you have gone
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to your in network hospital, chosen your in network provider, and somewhere along the line, a radiologist, anesthesiologist or lab work was done out-of-network and you are left holding the bag. now those bills will be banned as well. most in network services will be covered and you will get no extra bill. host: let's see what social media followers are saying. here's one tweet that says, how about people, when they start working, build up an emergency fund? this is personal finance 101. another tweet that says i had a minor surgery in 2018. i paid in full for surgery. i ended up receiving over 20 bills in the mail for various charges over 3000. here's another text that says, even if a doctor pops his head into a room and says how are you
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and leaves, you can expect a bill of at least $350. here's another text that says, i have received a surprise bill. it was not shown on the original form and not covered by medicare or medicaid. many are not covered by your insurance. here's a post from facebook that says, every bill has its rise in it -- every medical bill has a surprise in it, waiting room fee, dressing tape, $40 to hold your baby for the first time. one more text that says, insurance is the culprit. they will do anything to cut corners. i've dealt with insurance and hospitals for years. hospitals will answer they cannot keep track of out-of-network care. the truth is they know but are afraid you will be angry if they inform you. we want to know what experience you have had with surprise
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medical bills. here's a story from cnbc that talks about what you should do if you get a surprise medical bill under this new law. the story starts, if you suspect you have received a now band bill, call your insurer first. if they cannot validate the bill and say you should not have received it, call and ask what happened. if they insist they can bill you, the best move would be to try to do a call between yourself, provider and your insurer. if both your insurer and provider won't amend the bill, you should submit an official complaint. the federal government has a new process for you to report surprise medical bills. you can do so online or by phone at 1-800-985-3059.
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in the meantime, your provider could submit the bill to collections. you still have protections. if you receive a call from a collection agent, inform them that you are disputing the medical bill. as a result, they should not contact you for at least 30 days while confirming your claim. do not pay anything toward the bill, she warned. that will count as you accepting responsibility for it. a medical bill generally should show up on your credit report for at least 180 days. hopefully by then, the bill is fixed. that is from a cnbc story talking about what you should do if you get a surprise medical bill under the new no surprises act. we want to know what your experience has been out there with surprise medical bills. let's talk to bradley, calling from north richland hills, texas. good morning. caller: good morning.
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i have received a bill back in 2011. i had to go to the emergency room. the procedure i had, i was billed -- it was income anesthesiologist, and the anesthesiologist was totally separate from the hospital itself. the hospital was in plano, texas, the medical center. the anesthesiologist was based out of alabama. so these little entities inside these hospitals are truly separate. that has been my experience from just how separated everything is. that way, they can bill you for everything separately. and maybe your insurance will cover it, maybe it won't, but in my experience, they would not cover a $5,000 bill.
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it caught me by surprise. >> did you challenge it? did you challenge that bill in any way or did you go ahead and pay it? caller: we went ahead and paid because the insurance would not cover it. host: ok. caller: it was -- in some ways, i kind of expected it. host: let's talk to don, coming from tucson, arizona. good morning. caller: good morning. i had bills previously, but i was lucky enough to work in the insurance industry, and when you get a bill from an anesthesiologist when you go to the hospital, you can usually do an appeal and tell the insurance company that you went in-network and you had no control over the units these -- the
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anesthesiologist, would you please consider it as in network? host: have you done that yourself, dawn, and did it work? caller: it did work. i work for 20 years in the insurance industry. you write an appeal. even then -- even in an emergency room, as long as you are in network, see an emergency room doctor who is not in your network, you would just say i had no control, so please cover this. then they will usually grant you in network benefits. host: which brings us to the question, dawn, since you said you work in the insurance industry. several of our callers said they just went ahead and paid because they didn't know what to do. our insurance companies telling people you can appeal these? caller: generally -- maybe the customer service representative would -- you know, if you call in, you can make an appeal, and
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then it would usually be written in the benefits booklet, how to appeal a claim, especially for those instances, and i just knew that, because i worked in the insurance industry, i probably would not have known to do it myself, you know, when i was younger. i would not have thought to do that but because i worked in the industry and did appeals that i knew to do it. host: ok. let's talk to lewis, calling from arkansas. good morning. caller: good morning. i went to that conway hospital too. i suffer from heart problems i was born with and i'm having them now. the doctors refuse to help or believe you. they won't give you anxiety medicine. they won't give you a pain pill. right now, i could die any minute, and they don't care. there is help out there. they will sure charge you for
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it. i promise you that. my heart is suffering. these people in government, these doctors, are lowlifes. -- like you want to, i don't care. you are all crooks. you can see it. host: most go to scarlett, calling from alabama. good morning. caller: good morning. my situation is i was going for my disability and, if i had to go to the emergency room or a doctor, there's a form you can fill out. you go to the hospital or they will mail you a form, but you have to ask for it, and this was in alabama, where there is no extended insurance. i would say 15% of the people
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here didn't have insurance at the time, and i filled out the form, and i filled it out twice, and send it to the main office -- and sent it to the main office, and i also asked for the bill that tells you everything, you know, like, seeing this doctor and what medicine you got and anything like that, and it was now an extreme emergency but i could not get medical care, so i went to the emergency room. so i looked at those papers and everything was paid for through united care. host: what's -- go ahead. you cut off for a second. caller: it was all paid for by united way, through the hospital, because i filled out those forms.
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people don't go to the office and say what help is available? they have to specifically ask, because the hospital is not going to offer you, but there's a sign when you walk in the hospital that you cannot be denied help, ok? so before you leave, you can request a person to bring you that form, or when you get home and you are feeling better, they call you and cindy resources and you ask for that form -- and send you resources and you have to ask for that form. fill it out. host: let's talk to robert, calling from clearwater, florida. good morning. caller: i heard somebody call -- i had somebody call me who said they were from humana but didn't have my card. after i gave them my information, they hung up on me.
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right after, called humana and said someone had mine card -- had my card and might try to use it. i told the court i didn't know where the vehicle was. that was it. this was out-of-state similar. you have to watch out. people are cruel and mean. they use your credit card number. somehow they charge it. i'm fighting this import, small claims -- this in court, small claims. i wanted to know where it was and stuff. everybody just has to watch it. things are pretty bad. new people coming and try to get your information and -- over the border and stuff. that's what's going on. thank you.
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host: let's talk to joe, calling from north carolina. joe, good morning. caller: a few years ago, i got real sick, went into the hospital. i was on a critical list. they told my wife i was probably going to die tonight but i fooled them all. i didn't have insurance. i got out, had to have future medical care, so i got obamacare, and i went ahead and got the obamacare. it was a $500 deductible. i had to go in for an operation. we go to the hospital staff. we say, do you take this? and i asked all the doctors offices did they take this insurance and they said yes, yes, yes. i go and have an operation. several months later, i get a bill for $16,000. i paid the deductible. they went ahead and sent it to me. i talked to them.
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they also tell me, collections, you know, we are to do this. i said, take me to court, put me in front of a jury. i said you will end up eating everything and i will get you on a lawsuit. people do not have a backbone. you have to watch out. i'm on medicare now and i have supplemental insurance and i have kidney failure, heart failure and other things that my deductible on that is $200, my deductible and the medicare is i think $200. go ahead and pay that -- i go ahead and pay that. they equal the medicare. people have to watch out and read. if you are really sick and have a lot about problems, you have to get insurance that will match what your medicare or medicaid will give you. do not be fooled by these people who say you will have zero
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co-pays, that, this. you will get $144 back. host: let me ask you this. you said you told them to take you to court. did they or did they back off? caller: they backed off, because i put them on the stand, i told them, and show what kind of liars and cheats they are. host: ok. the center for medicare and medicaid services has on its website a q&a that people can go to to see what their rights are under the new no surprises act. there's a couple paragraphs i want to read to you from that. we talked about people who have insurance. what happens under the no surprises act if you don't have insurance or if you pay your own medical bills? here is what they said. "what if i don't have health insurance and choose to pay for
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care on my own without using self-insurance -- health insurance, also known as self paying? if you don't have insurance or self pay for care, in most cases, these new rules make sure you can get a good faith estimate of how much your care will cost before you receive it. what if i'm charged more than my good faith estimate? for services provided in 2022, you can dispute a medical bill if your final charges are at least $400 higher than your good faith estimate and you file within 120 days of the date on the bill. what if i do not have insurance from an employer, marketplace or individual plan? to me -- do the new protections apply to me? some health insurance coverage programs already have protections against surprise medical bills. if you have coverage through
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several agencies, you don't have to worry, because you are already protected against surprise medical bills." this is coming from the centers for medicaid and medicare services on what your rights are against surprise medical bills. we want to know what you are seeing. before we get back to our phone lines, some of our social media followers, what they are saying about surprise medical bills. here's one text that says, on all medical forms i fill out or sign and on my insurance card, all medical services must be done by preferred providers that work together -- that work with you. only received one out-of-network bill. refused to pay. here's a tweet that says "my husband wasn't a hospital that excepted my employer insurance but the surgeon did not, so i
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was hit with $40,000 out-of-network. good luck saving up." a text that says "i have received many surprise medical bills months later from when the service was provided and refused to pay everyone of them. it is surprising how the medical -- how medical professionals become willing to work with my insurance company when you simply tell them this is a bill you must submit to my insurance company or sumi and -- or sue me and win a judgment against me. this has worked for four years." another that says, "i received a surprise medical bill, not covered by medicare or medicaid. many are not covered by your insurance." and one last tweet that says "surprise medical bills, large and small, are a natural side effect of the pin ammonium caused by the pandemic -- of the pandemonium caused by the pandemic.
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medical bankruptcy numbers are part of the story." we want to know what you are seeing. let's talk to dr. doshi, calling from lexington, mississippi. caller: thank you for taking my call. this whole system is so complicated and intertwined that people who don't have time and resources are bombarded with the phone calls, letters, and after the tests are done, the bills. say, for example, i was otherwise fine, zero problems. i had some checkups done. they sent a bill, i told him to call the insurance company. out of $5,000, they sent me a bill of thousands. i called me and they called the insurance company and they made me take down some numbers. eventually, they cornered me to
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pay some money, which is whatever it is i pay. when these things are done, nobody tells upfront because nobody knows. it is to complicatedly intertwined that people cannot understand. i cannot understand. i run around a bunch of these situations. who has time to run around them? and the legal issues, who will defend them, and how far can one go with their working life, paying their bills, taking care of their families, and running around a bunch of situations, which are impossible to handle? america needs wisdom. how do you handle this? employment, work, pay your day-to-day bills, be a decent human being, and where do we end
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up as a society? host: let's go to james, calling from new jersey. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm 96 years old. i've been going to a local dentist for quite a few years, and i have an advantage plan, and they normally pay for my cleaning, so i had my teeth cleaned back in december, and i didn't receive a billet all -- a bill at all. they gave me a story about doing two caps that i needed on my teeth. you quoted me -- he quoted me $966 each, the caps. i said, well, ok, go ahead with it. so i went ahead with that procedure and, when i was
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leaving the dennis's office, they presented me with a bill. they wanted me to pay $1800. i said, well, i will give you $1000. i couldn't pay the bill. so when i got the bill, i had a credit coming to me back in july. it was $100. i had a statement from them stating that i had a credit of $100. it appeared -- it did not appear on my bill. this was of course after i gave them $1000 that i noticed that. i said, i have a credit coming and they ignored me. so i went out, and they told me it would be ready for january 12.
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well, i went to january 12, and they gave me a story that the dentist was not in, so i had to come back. all right. and i got a call from someone, a receptionist i believe, and they set -- they said that i had to pay my entire bill, which was $1800, before they would treat me. now, they already have $1000 of my money, and they refused to see me and talk to me. i told them i was waiting for a new statement showing the $100 credit, and they would not even acknowledge that. finally, one of the girls looked it up and found it in the old computer. "we were taken over by another
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company. you will have to contact them and talk to them." host: let's talk to sarah, calling from michigan. good morning. caller: good morning. a few years back, 2016, i ended up with a really bad tooth infection and i went to the emergency room for it and it was so bad that they thought i needed to be admitted into a bigger hospital, so they sent me up to marquette, which is also an in network hospital, and i went to the emergency room, and i was admitted, and that night, in the middle of the night, about 1:00 in the morning, somebody comes in -- i'm half-asleep -- they had to put a
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pic line in through my arm with antibiotics. nothing was said. i thought, ok, this is what needs to be done. and i get this charge a couple days later and i get a bill for $5,600 from the anesthesiologist for the line put in. and i did try to call and talk to the hospital and they just told me there was nothing they could do because the anesthesiologist was out-of-network. he doesn't work for the actual hospital, so, yeah. that is the story. i am still paying down the bill to this day, so -- host: did you challenge -- one of our previous callers said she worked for an insurance company and you could call and tell them you did not have a choice about it. did you try anything like that or did you just pay the bill? caller: i started paying on it already, before i even knew
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that, so it is probably something they will say i acknowledged payment, so -- host: ok. well, the department of health and human services has come out with a video earlier this month that's supposed to educate patients on their rights under the no surprises act. here's the video from hhs. [video clip] >> after seeking medical care, the last thing you need is an eye-popping surprise bill. effect you -- effective january 1, 2022, hard-working americans will no longer need to worry about surprise medical bills. there are five things to know about the no surprises act taking effect. first, we have band surprise billing -- have banned surprise billing for emergency and certain nonemergency services. this means, if you go to an emergency room, even if the
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anesthesiologist is not in your insurance network, the doctor can no longer bill you for out-of-network fees. in other words, no surprise bill. second, our rules now in effect will remove patients from the middle of out of network payment disputes that should be settled between providers and payers. we have put in place rules for providers and payers to settle out-of-network service calls in a manner that's transparent and focuses on the patient. third, the new law ensures price transparency requirements and protections for uninsured or self paying individuals. our regulations outline requirements for health care cost measurements to be provided for patients. further, an arbitration process has been established for under -- for uninsured or self paying individuals.
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four, we are here to help. we have created a consumer friendly complaint help desk to guide patients through the dispute process. the helpdesk is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. eastern time seven days a week to help you with the arbitration process. just call. with the no surprises act in effect, you have the protection and assurance that lifesaving care will not unexpectedly cost your life savings. learn more by visiting cms. gov/nosurprises. produced by the u.s. department of health and human services. host: let's go back to our phone lines and talk to randy, who is calling from kentucky. randy, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you.
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yes, sir. i got the biggest and most outrageous medical bill possibly put upon anyone, and that is inflation. nursing home costs has gone skyrocketing. if you have to pay for them yourself. i guess that is why they are charging so much, you have to pay for everyone else who didn't do anything successful or work part in their lives, you have to pay for them that didn't want to work, drug addicts, all these other sins while you slaved for them. nursing home i have a friend --nursing home? i have a friend that pays their own way. $1700 a month out of pocket. you would never guess how much that is now. $17,000 a month now they have to
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pay with all the rising inflation and costs. if you will never -- it is the biggest transfer of wealth that's ever happened in the history of mankind. this inflation, this government that we have here is just absolutely so immoral. inflation is the worst tax that you can put upon anybody. host: let's go to kim, calling from lynnwood, maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. i grew up in this small community between baltimore and washington, d.c., and when i was a kid, the early 1970's and all, in the little town that i lived in, there were two main doctors that solve the kids and so forth. i remember my mother saying we were going to go to a different doctor on main street because he charged one dollars if we were sick. the other raised his fees to
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three dollars and she was mortified. it was a cash thing. you walked in. there's something that rings a bell that i have not thought about for years. my mom was a younger mom herself, friends with others who were may alone, divorced, had more kids, whatever. i remember her advocating, like, i know the doctor. he charges a dollar and i know he is kind and he could probably work something out for you if you need to get your child in or whatever. they would walk over. i realize that's a long time ago and things aren't that rosy all the time and that is not hospital. you are talking about an appointment for strep throat and things like that or what have you, but i think we need to look back upon that because medical has become nothing but a huge business. i'm in my 50's. i have noticed this is something
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that keeps coming to the forefront of my mind is that i feel almost controlled by "health care," meaning preventative appointments, and yeah, they are great and wonderful. but i'm more concerned about medical treatment that health care, which is my job, eating healthy and exercising and so forth. we are forgetting to live. i don't know. nobody has the real answer, do we? host: let's go to elizabeth, calling from alabama. good morning. are you there? caller: [indiscernible] host: turn your television down and go ahead. caller: ok. yes. i was in an accident in a store a couple years ago and there was a sign they had set up in the store and i was paying my bills
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and as i turned, that sign, it caught me and i fell in the store. i had nerve damage. they called the ambulance to take me to the hospital. they took me to the hospital. the doctors told me i didn't have any broken bones. i had a lot of nerve damage so i was on pain medication for two months. i have had medicare and childcare for all. my insurance company did not pay all the bills. they told me the bills had to be paid, so later, i got a letter from the department of the treasury of alabama telling me i owed $5,000, which i didn't have the $5,000 to pay it, and they kept sending me letters and i kept telling them that i did not know it. it should have been paid by my insurance. anyway, last letter i got, they told me they would take $180 out of my social security check.
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well, starting in january of this year, they have been taking $180 out of my social security check. i have went through a very intensive surgery in birmingham, alabama. and this past year. thank god, so far my bills have been paid. my medicine is $800 a month. i don't know how my insurance will pay that. i don't know what to do. i don't know whether to call the service people or what to do. host: let's call -- let's talk to landon, calling from west dallas, michigan. caller: good morning. yes, finally. i mean, please don't let people ramble like that. so the big whole thing about the medical is the democrats have ruined it like they ruin everything.
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they have the worst policies for everything and all they have is i began to -- is propaganda, all they have is abc, nbc, cbs, c-span, google, facebook, twitter. all they do, the democrats -- socialized medicine has been going on for 10 years now, obamacare started, and everything is slower, everything, i went to the doctor and my next appointment was three months out -- host: we are talking about surprise medical bills this morning. do you have anything on that? caller: yes, oh, yes, yes, i had some surprise medical bills. host: go ahead. caller: everything is a surprise. it is all smoke and mirrors with the democrats. it is like, oh, joe biden. the economy is the best in history. no, it it isn't. it is just so nuts that the
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democrats -- how propaganda rules the world. host: let's go to south carolina. bella, good morning. caller: yes, a question on the five answers for no surprises. if you need anesthesia not in your network, will they say, ok, you will have to -- you have a choice not to use anesthesia? it is complicated what the -- when the anesthesia is not in the network. host: is your question about the charging of what they charge for anesthesia or is it about whether you have a choice to go under anesthesia? caller: either way, you have to
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go if you need surgery. you have to use anesthesia, but if it is not in the network, what choice do you have but to pay for it anyway? i don't -- some people are calling about the anesthesia was not in their network, but if you need the anesthesia, would you have to pay separate? host: if i'm understanding this new law correctly, you should be able to challenge any anesthesia bill that is more than what you have paid in network, if i understand this correctly. caller: ok. host: once again, they have that number you should call if you have surprise medical bills. you have a number you can call from hhs. we would like to thank all of our callers for chiming in for our first segment.
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next, we will talk about the state of school choice in the u.s. we will hear from derrell bradford and university of illinois professor jon hale. later, we will be joined by foreign policy magazine national security and intelligence reporter amy mackinnon, the host of foreign policy playlist. stick with us. be right back. ♪ >> ben raines discovered the remains of a slave ship in a swamp outside of alabama. sunday night, he talks about his book which details the history and how and why it transported 110 slaves to alabama in 1860,
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more than 50 years after the transatlantic slave trade was outlawed. >>. it serves as a proxy for everyone in the united states and really in the world whose families arrived in whatever country they are in in the hull of a ship. most of those people we know nothing about because there stories were not recorded. it as a proxy for this lost history, for these millions of people who were stolen from africa and spread all over the world. that's really what is so unique about it. it is the whole story of slavery all encapsulated in one piece and we know everything about these people on what happened to. them in their lives. >> ben raines with his book "the last slave ship" sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q&a. listen on our new c-span now app. ♪
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>> on the cover flap of debbie applegate's' book, it is are in the following, "simply put, everyone went to polly's." polly adler was a diminutive dynamo whose brothels were more an oasis of illicit sex where men paid top dollars for the company of her girls. according to the author, polly's pals included franklin delano roosevelt, frank sinatra, desi arnaz, and duke ellington, among others. applegate is an amherst and yale educated historian based in new haven, connecticut. >> on this episode of book notes plus. book notes plus is available on the c-span now app or wherever you get your podcasts. ♪ >> "washington journal"
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continues. host: and we are going to talk about school choice and public education. for our next segment, we are joined by derrell bradford, who is the president of 50can and jon hale, who is an associate professor of education at the university of illinois at her banner champagne. good morning. -- urbana-champagne. i will start with you. tell us what you call school choice program. what exactly are school choice programs? derrell: yes, so you know, when you're an adult, conversations that you hear when you're a kid make it sound the best. one of the earliest i can remember is my mother and grandmother sitting at the kitchen table and baltimore try to figure out whose address we were going to use so i can go to the middle school i was not zoned for. before i get to the program, i
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want to know that i think that's the way most people experience school choice. there's 4 ways, you are lucky, you know somebody, you are connected, you are rich and you just buy the right house or you lie about where you live, which is a more prevalent mode of school choice than most people would expect. how that plays itself out into public policy, there are a universe of schools on the table, including traditional public schools. you can have interdistrict choice, which is where you cross district boundaries to go to another school that you like or desire. you can pay tuition to go to another public score that is not in the zone you are in. there are open enrollment programs where you can go to any public school anywhere in the state as long as you can get there. there are magnet school programs, some of which have the goal of integration, like in connecticut.
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some have the goal of helping students with a specialty or a specific challenge, be among students who are like that, and that's like new york. and of course, there are public charter schools, which are public schools that are not run by traditional school district. and then, there are private school choice programs, which include things called education -- where the state gives you a debit card and you can assemble your child's education as you see fit. west virginia is the place that most recently passed a law of that nature. host: what is the impact of school choice programs on public education? jon: yeah, so there is a very significant impact of school choice on public education. there's this new competition for public dollars and taxpayer money about where something is going to go -- funding is going to go. school choice introduces a degree of competition.
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public schools and teachers and administrators are competing for public dollars to pay the bills and keep these schools going, so there's a level of competition. there's also this impact and it's a way that people think about schools and school choice. derrell was mentioning school choice and what address you put to get the best school, this has been embraced by millions of parents. i have the right to choose what school i go to. i have the right to choose a different school. this has not always existed. in the past 30 years, school choice has a her the way we think about public education. we have also introduced this new aspect of competition where public schools are scrambling, there competing in a sphere of struggle for scarce resources for public schools. in some ways, school choice really sort of drains the funds of public schools that just need this money to meet the needs of all the children in their
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schools. host: how do, i mean, you started out by talking about how people sometimes change addresses, or write down a new address is to choose what public school their child goes to, but is that how school choice programs are supposed to work? how are school choice program supposed to work? derrell: it is not optimal to have to break the law to get free school. but i should site that -- just cite that, whatever i say about school choice and it descends into this conversation about what laws you want to pass. we are already -- already lived in the school choice system. the way you access it is through the housing or influence markets, right? long before there were any magnet schools, charter schools in america, the fact that we
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choose to bundle where you go to school with where you live set up a competition for access to schools that were supposed to be open to all, but that aren't. that's kind of like a thing that always feels like is listed in the background and something we should acknowledge when we have a conversation about having more school choice, whether or not we should have it at all, because some people have it already. obviously, an environment of scarcity like that is not one that is optimal. and i think our, we are in like 10 states working on a variety of these policies depending on the conditions of states. and what we really want is to make the policy conditions necessary for children to match with the education environment that's right for them, regardless of where they live and regardless of how much money their parents make, that sort of like the number one thing. the second thing is to help the system of the future emerge.
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and i really want to put a pin in this because i think it's very important. in 2019, 18% of black fourth-graders in america read at or above proficient on the national census of educational progress, which is called the nation's report card as shorthand. you can like or not like that, but it is one that has kept track of achievement gaps and other performance data for a very long time in the country. it is sort of like a widely accepted measure thing. i am not eager to return millions of kids of any stripe, right, because believe it or not, white kids are not doing that well either, to the schools that we had pre-pandemic, you know, where it was pretty much a roll of the dice to figure out if you would be able to be a participant in our democracy. for me and for lots of folks,
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the policy levers that help you create new learning environments, right, they are an essential piece of helping us actually emerge stronger and with schools that fit the needs of more children. host: many parents in the past would have told you that they thought school choice was either, i send my child to public school or i have to choose to pay for private school. is that how school choice should work, or is that how school choice is working now? jon: no, school choice now, there's a variety of options, like mr. bradford pointed out. there's vouchers, education savings accounts, magnet schools, public charter schools, there's a lot of choices available that did not exist 30 years ago. school choice has very much broadened itself. there's this new way of thinking that people think they are entitled to a right to choose to whatever school they want to go
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to and to use public resources to do that. choice operates very different now, and even after the pandemic, people are making new demands of the public school system. choice is much more complicated, it is much more nuanced than it ever was. historically, as you've mentioned, it was you are going to go to a private school or go to your local private school. now, there's so many more choices available. with that comes a new burden on every parent and family in these united states, because the choices we have to make are hindered id capital required -- hindered by the capital required. you have to determine what the application process for each of the schools are, what it requires, which was the purpose of this past week, to provide information to parents who are interested in choice. it requires so much more. it truly is a burden to try to figure out what school. you are not even guaranteed a
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seat at some of the schools. school choice now is much more complicated, there's so many more choices than ever existed in the u.s. with that comes a tremendous cost to make those right choices. we are not even guaranteed access to the best schools that are available to children and families today. so, much more nuanced, much more complicated, and there's really lots that parents have to consider, and that burden is unprecedented in the united states. jon: can i build on that row quick? host: go ahead. derrell: professor hale makes some interesting points here. i do want to say that i too i think the definition of school choice is incredibly more nuanced now than it was two years, five years ago and i actually think that's a good thing. like, the school choice paradigm, traditionally, has been like, look, the government buys you ac in a school, you
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might not like that seat -- buys you a seat in that school, you might not like that seat. we would like you to be able to buy a different seat with that money. that's a strong paradigm. the first school i went to was the school i was zoned for. i want to a gifted and talented magnet on the side of baltimore, got bust that -- bussed there, went to the nicest public middle school in baltimore but it was the worst one for me. i finished my schooling at an independent k-12 state school on the scholarship, which is like the best thing that ever happened to me, basically save my life. that's the whole paradigm. over, particularly the pandemic kind of kicked it off. now, you have parents who want a more tailored, i mean, that word does not seem accurate but i will use it, experience for their kids. well, you know, i want my kid in school like four days a week now
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because i think i want to spend a day with them. i may homeschool -- i am a homeschooler but my kid wants sports and physics. i'd like to start, like you know, a pod for myself and my two kids and the five kids who live across the street and we would like to hire a teacher, and all of these other behaviors come to the forefront. we are trying to build finance mechanisms that support that nuance. and that is a good thing, because like the seat paradigm i s important but the future should have more option audi than what we have no. host: let me take a second to remind viewers that they can take part in this conversation. we will open up special lines, which means that our first line is going to be for parents. we know parents are in the middle of these decisions about school choice.
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parents, we specifically want to hear from you. parents, we are going to open a special line for you. another group that is highly invested in this conversation are educators. you are on the front line of these school choice debates. we want to hear from you. all current educators, we want to hear from you. if you don't fit into either one of those categories, if you are not a parent of a schoolchild or a current educator, you can still chime in. everyone else. keep in mind, you can text us. we are always reading on social media on twitter at c-spanwj and at let me ask a question and then you can say what you had to say earlier as well.
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when we talk about school choice, one thing that we always hear is about parents who cannot move their children for some reason, who are left with their children in the school that they were zoned for, whether that school is good or bad. what do we do about parents who cannot move their children with the school choice debate? jon: yeah, excellent question. . we empower those parents, we empower parents who do not have the financial resources to move or have the, you know, the resources that they need to get out of the school district. we empower those parents. parents who are in schools and don't necessarily want to be in these public schools should be empowered. parents have the solutions to what their children need. i was going to say about parents, parents are demanding different courses. they want advanced placement, for instance, or a particular schedule. it's great that we listen to parents, right?
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right now, at this moment in time in united states history, parents are making incredulous demands to remove race from schools, are worried about kids feeling uncomfortable when talking about the history of enslavement in this country, banning outstanding curriculum. all parents are not sort of making the same demands. there's a new parent's rights movement that is quite problematic that are trying to determine what, in this case, banning books from our schools. we needed to develop criteria by which -- because there's a lot of problematic discourse right now that's not being addressed by school choice, not being addressed by charter schools. we have to be very careful but maintaining strict commitment to what we want in these united states, what we need for this democracy at this point in time. and taking a stand about what we need to teach and pay attention to this innovative curriculum
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where people are looking at history in a different weight. school choice necessarily connects to this. all parents are not the same. at this moment in time, we really need to evaluate what parents are saying in relation to the larger public good. host: you looked like you had something you wanted to add? derrell: yeah, i guess, i don't know if you thought this was going to be thunderdome where two people showed up and one person left. i think we are in agreement on a couple of things here. one is that some of the debates around what is being taught in schools right now are, i think i will be generous and say unfortunate. i, for one, believe in the ideals of the country. i think it has been a difficult process to reach them and that that aspiration makes the fall
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better and we should teach accurate history in our schools. i do think the other kind of question of what you raised earlier, which is like, what are we going to do with parents who decide that they don't want to choose? and empower is a great word to describe it, but you know, there are more policy tools in the toolkit than simply school choice. i say this is a person who thinks that's the most powerful policy toolkit. we had campaigns in 10 states and our executive directors spend their time working on a whole suite of reforms, not just to give families the ability to choose the education that's right for their child, but also to give educators and school leaders in traditional districts and elsewhere the resources and materials in wherewithal to improve there's was as well. host: one of our social media followers has a question about whether this whole school choice debate is just trying to turn
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the k-12 system into the higher education system. so, i will redo their question. school vouchers seem very much like the college system. take your financial aid to the school of your choice. why would we want to create that funding system in the lower schools? i will go to you first, jon. jon: i don't know why people want to use vouchers in that particular way. the letters are quite problematic and historically problematic. historically, they began with largely white parents trying to get out of a public school system to avoid desegregation. i am not accusing anyone in particular of doing that but it can still be used that way. historically, vouchers have been used that way. that introduces a new problem. when we are using vouchers to privatize the school system, it becomes highly problematic. we are creating a system of higher education that is
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perpetuating a private system in that it is very hard to get into the best schools. vouchers have been proven to be problematic historically and legally. regardless, i think the problem is to start. derrell: i would urge people to read a great piece from a couple years ago on the wall street journal website called the antiracist history of school choice, which takes an interesting and opposite take on the experience in virginia. i am getting old. school integration and vouchers in milwaukee. throwing that out there. i wonder if the social media query is more about cost, you know, of higher ed, too.
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the g.i. bill and pell grants are things that we look at as widely accepted examples of public financing that follows a student to the school of their choice, regardless of where. we do think that is a strong paradigm for k-12. i think the way higher ed is paid for is different than the way k-12 is paid for. we have seen, sort of like the more money that's made available for higher ed, the less price conscious people get, and the more institutions of higher education are willing to raise the price, right, which is obviously setting off student debt crisis. i don't think everybody wants to do that. from my perspective, we are allocating public resources, you know, income tax, sales tax, lottery, property taxes in
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pursuit of an educated student populace. we want kids who are educated and free so they can come and take their place in our democracy in a rational way. and that is a sort of transcendent good to me, regardless of who executes on it. i think you can look at kids who have special needs, like private placements by public school districts are common because that's the best environment for a child. i think that's the kind of system that we would like to see. host: go ahead. jump back in. i will take a call after that. jon: something with vouchers, too, when you point out milwaukee, and a lot of people are very uncomfortable allowing public dollars to follow families to go to religious schools. trying to grapple with these constitutional issues, vouchers privatize a system many times for religious instruction.
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we have to begin to ask these questions. do we want to fund vouchers that go to private schools? virginia as an example, we cannot forget our past. virginia shut down public schools for five years in order to avoid desegregation. we have moved so far from trying to achieve goals of seagate negation -- desegregation and integrating our country once and for all. virginia shows a path of how to move oil from the path. we have to be careful about what examples we choose and why, especially with that voucher question. derrell: one thing that i think is important. host: real quick. derrell: integration is a lot about goal -- is a laudable goal. black families feel multiple ways about it. we see a movement of black families that are like, i'm good being in an environment where my kid is surrounded by kids that
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are like them, because there's a lot of pressure to integrate. but to be the integrated, i just want to throw that out there. the other thing i would just say is that public schools in america, you know, by most data and research, are more segregated now than they were before brown. states with choice and states without it. i would say that if you want to figure out ways to isolate students, assigning them to schools based on where they live has proven to be like the best way to do so. host: let's go to our phone lines and talkdon calling from durham, north carolina. don is a parent. good morning. caller: good morning. i am a parent but i wound up being a professor and then later , a specialty teacher. i dealt with, you know, the situation with so many different levels. as a parent, a young person going to brooklyn, i went to the
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gifted and talented program in brooklyn and manhattan. i grew up in the city with civil rights teachers in my community, a black male principal, a black music teacher. we still got our mouth washed out. it was a paternal type of relationship in the community. that is politics, you know, when you have leaders in the community and local leaders that are invested in what's happening. the war on drugs changed the dynamic, socioeconomics of all communities, particularly blacks and inner-city. that changes whether teachers leave to. the teachers inside the city made more, made a good amount. sometimes, teachers that work outside of new york make more. it is so multi-leveled, the issue. the black people were more
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literate after emancipation, from my research, tha europeans who came in thatn second wave of immigrants. you see the level of reading that we focused on. i forged things to get my daughter in certain places when i came back from overseas as a professor to make sure she could go to a particular school. it is survival of the fittest. integration for new york was gifted and talented. if you are gifted and talented, i went to art design, i met kids rich coming out of limos coming in, we were all dressed the same because we were artists. guns or in my neighborhood. guns started pushing so far into my neighborhood where i was a, ok, i'm glad i'm going to school in manhattan. before then, i love my school. host: we are going to respond to her. derrell: i mean, as a recovering
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manhattanite, i love it. i think she has two really important points. one is sort of the, like a movement, particularly in charter world because independent schools did this. to build schools with, you know, where a key purpose of the institution is to affirm the black experience and the contribution of african-americans in our country, right, in our history. and they are very popular. and there's a strong woman of those in brooklyn. the other thing i would just say is, again, i noted earlier that i think integration is laudable, but i difficult to get to go. the best way to do is to have people do it voluntarily. one of the strategies we sort of
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embrace is creating specialty schools, right, where we are creating gifted and talented is a kind of specialty tool. arts magnet is a sort of specialty school, a school that people would pick regardless of where they live. we think that's a powerful engine to bring people together who normally would not do so. jon: i appreciate comments about black teachers in schools in the past. that is rare today. black teachers and the lack of black and latinx teachers in public schools and charter schools in the united states. less than 10%, by many accounts and a lot of research, are black teachers in a system where the majority of students are black, latinx, and asian american students. the majority of our students are students of color. we do not have a teaching force
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representative are that. i don't think voluntary standards can bring that because we been trying that and it has not been happening. we need to intentionally recruit teachers of color, compensate and pay them fairly to retain teachers of color as well. that is one of the missing ingredient in the public school system in the united states, are teachers who are sympathetic to students of color, understand students of color where they are coming from, not because school resource officers when there's -- not call school resource officers when there's any type of issue in the classroom. we need teachers of color who come from the communities of her students. we need to be intentional. it will be great to see more school choice organizations make that a pillar of their existence to recruit, retain, and restore. what we need is a group of teachers who are committed and part of a professional classwork committed to the public school that they serve. in this country, desegregation
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has decimated our black and latinx teaching force. we need to restore that if we are going to make public schools the centers of democratic discourse. derrell: our campaign are engaged in just that policy pursuit. it is a good one and important one. host: now, one of our social media followers wants to know, is this school choice conversation solely an urban conversation and not a rural conversation. this social media followers says in small towns like the one i'm living in, we have no magnet schools and no private schools, so they don't have a choice. so, what do we do for parents who live in areas where they don't have another good magnet school, or they don't have a private school they can send their children to? are we saying we should send them to another part of their
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estate? do they have a choice to send their children somewhere else in the region? what's the choice for rural parents when it comes to school choice? i will start with you. derrell: i am happy to go first. is a great question. one of the things people don't get is that, in a lot of respects, the problems of rural and urban are very similar but require different schools -- tools. one of the things we talk a lot about for expanding school choice in neural districts is virtual course access. so, you can enroll in a college program online, right, you can do ap online, for instance, as professor hale mentioned ap earlier. course access is one way of providing more school choice in environments that are not densely populated with a lot of different types of schools close by. host: jon, is this an urban
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issue and not a rural issue? jon: that's an excellent point raised by a viewer on social media. there is a real, so school choice, we cannot look at it as a panacea. it's a highly decentralized system and we forget about rural areas. school choice is often framed in a urban context. rural districts and schools present an interesting issue. and moves us away from discussions of equality. let's just give every student, everybody gets the same amount of money. that does not work in an urban-earl divide. rural schools require more of an investment to provide access about online courses. we know online, supplemental courses, in addition to in person, can work, because it provides access to these rural areas. i think school choice needs to start to look at what equitable resource allocation means, an
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equitable teaching means and row districts. -- rural districts. unless we recalibrate that formula to provide that teaching their schools need -- that rural schools need. host: list talk to tony, a parent out of palm beach gardens,. florida good morning. caller: enjoying the conversation. i am right in the middle of this thing making some decisions for my son between his junior year and senior year. and you know, i think the professor mentioned it's a tremendous and onerous burden on parents to have to figure this thing out. m major issue and question isy. in a nice area. my kid goes to a good school, it's probably like a b-rated school, is a good athlete, good gpa. a lot of coaches are not coming
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to a lot of the public schools in the area because of the -- sender isn't there. in order to get him exposed before, you know, college opportunities, i might have to send him to a private, you know, prep school for his senior year, which is out-of-pocket dollars for me and i am already paying high property taxes. the burden to figure this thing out, the financials of it, you moved to an area, what's considered a good school. i am also concerned about the people, are there folks of color, what are they thinking about him at the experience of being a black male in america? it is nuanced. my major question is, what could be the right, you know, public and individual funding model to
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get a better outcome from having a tailor-made experience for schools? thank you. host: we will start with you. derrell: great question. i use to chair the board of an organization specialized in model school finance arrangements. i was a good board chairman everybody at the workstation was smarter than i was. so, the first thing is that, and i think that i've listened to and read professor hale's work, i think he'd agree with it, is the idea that the place where you live, and the zone around the place where you live are the things that fund your school, is fundamentally zero-sum. the mindset is, my house, my taxes, my school. there are advantages to that if
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you live in an area of high property wealth and can afford to pay those things and you like your schools, the whole thing is on a loop, right? there are disadvantages, too, because there can be a kid on the other side of one street that is funded at 1/3 of the level. one of the fundamental things is to draw bigger taxing jurisdictions, right. like the gas tax. the gas tax collected from everywhere, centrally and then distributed -- aggregated centrally and then distributed. the other thing i want to say, i touched on earlier, on that i will stop, is that really what we need is finance mechanisms that are more flexible, that allow for this sort of customization that i think we were hearing from. in the end, like, maybe what you need is your find at your local
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school, but if you don't want to enroll in an independent school because you want your kids to be in football, but you want club sports because that's where the exposure is. how do we bring museums or apprenticeships or internships into the discussion of public education? we need finance mechanisms that do that. that's what we are looking toward in the future. host: jon? jon: i agree. our funding structure is highly problematic. . we still rely on in the united states on a funding structure established in the 19th century. this was based on an agrarian society where people owned more acreage. in some ways, it made sense back then but it is also -- it also highly segregated society.
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this model is not working. the south carolina state constitution promises a "minimally adequate education." there are dozens of court cases across the united states that they are not adequately funding the public school system. a lot of these legislatures are entertaining and funding vouchers or other mechanisms without adequately funding the public school system in these state constitutions. no one is talking about taking away the right of parents to choose. but what's particularly concerning to me, and i know other researchers at this time period is there may be a right to choose. the public cannot facilitate that choice at the expense of traditional public schools. state constitutions protect a right to a public education.
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when we start competing for very scarce resources and funding, and we are privileging school choice at the expense of schools, that's highly problematic? that perpetuates the burden that our colleges shared with us that it's up to them to figure out these funding mechanisms? we had to start with state legislatures and see how they are funding what they are bound to provide by every state constitution in the united states? i am not an economist, perhaps i picked the wrong path in not selecting that? but i do know that research across the board is showing that state constitutions are not being respected by legislators who are not providing the funding that is outlined in these state constitutions. host: let's go back to our calling and talk to an educator. this is surely coming from california. good morning. caller: good morning. hi. i am an educator.
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i have over 30 years of public and private school. i teach right now in correctional education. i really believe that my tax dollars, after being able to afford a house in the current district i am working in, it should stay in my community and not be put out to another school or a nonpublic school. i also believe their experience that we do have -- which will mitigate the problem with students not having books. in california, we have laws to make sure that everyone does have equal access to educational programs. on the money is pulled together, students have the availability to sports teams, the a availability to special education. with a single school that's a charter school where money is pulled out of my district up into another private entity,
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children don't have access to that. there's a shortage of teachers also. where are these qualified teachers coming from? you have one teacher and five kids sitting on a computer in a lot of these charter schools now in california. a voucher would further exacerbate the problem. host: go ahead. you respond first, jon. jon: first of all, thank you so much for your service. 30 years as an educator is a tremendous amount of service. we need to start respecting and compensating teachers adequately. you are exactly right. i think the issues with state legislatures not funding public schools to the extent that's outlined in the state constitution leads to issues like this, where money is going to private schools that do not operate by the rules and transparency that public schools do. so, it is a shame in this country that money, public money
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is allowed to go to schools, some charter schools, right, where we do not have the transparency, where taxpayers and parents and families and, most importantly, teachers can follow that money, not only to see how it's being spent, but also demand access. where's the public transparency? where's the public access? as we try to find these funding mechanisms, too often have these privatization schemes shut down action but also transparency. when you start moving public money around to various private entities, that shuts down transparency, even though our taxpayer dollars are going to that school. often times, we are not allowed to see what's happening in the rules of cutting down bureaucratic red tape, etc. we really need to take into consideration as we continue to fund schools of choice today.
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host: this will be our final word, so jump in here. derrell: again, i would like to thank the educator for her service as well. thank you for having me on. i would say that we already sen public dollars to private schools right nowd. we do for hospitals and other things. this exchange of public dollars for service in the nonpublic sector is something that we know how to do. i just want to throw that out there. on the transparency piece, i think right now is the moment where every american needs to know line by line and dollar by dollar was going on in public education. we spent $190 billion on public schools to, you know, to millie rate the effects of the pandemic. i think there's a lot -- to a million rate the effects of the pet -- to ameliorate the effects of the pandemic. i am all for transparency, no matter the school type.
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i think that's an important and timely go. host: we would like to thank jon hale, associate professor of education at the university of illinois at urbana-champagne, derrell bradford and for being with us this morning and talking us through the issue of school choice in public education. this conversation could have lasted for another hour. we are out of time. thank you for your expertise this morning. jon: thank you very much for having me. derrell: thank you very much. host: coming up next, we will go to our open forum segment. you can call in and talk about the most important political topics on your mind this morning. and then, you see the numbers their on-screen. and then, coming up later in our spotlight on podcaster segment, we will be joined by amy mackinnon, who is also the host of "foreign policy playlist."
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we will be right back. ♪ >> looking for c-span essentials that will keep you warm? go to, c-span's online store. save up to 20% on our latest collection of sweatshirts, hoodies, blankets and monks. there something for every c-span fan. every purchase helps support our nonprofit operations. shop today through monday during the c-span shop's keep warm sale and ♪ ♪ book tv every sunday on c-span2 features leading authors discussing their latest nonfiction books. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, wealth management expert david bronson discusses his book "there's no free lunch, 250 economic truths," in which he argues that the u.s. free enterprise system is being threatened by
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socialists and progressives. on afterwards, political scientist barbara walter with her book how civil wars start and how to stop them, which examines the warning signs that often precede civil wars, and asks the question, could another one happen in the u.s.? she was interviewed by stephen heideman. watch book tv every sunday on c-span2, and find the full schedule on your program guide or watch on my nighttime book -- watch online anytime at booktv >>.org. >>"washington journal" continues. host: once again, this is our open forum segment where you can call in and talk about the most important political issue on your mind. we are opening up our regular lines. democrats, you can call (202) 748-8000. independents, you can call (22)1
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748-8000. we are always reading on social media on twitter, facebook, let's jump straight into our telephone calls. we will start with david, who is coming from stafford springs, connecticut on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. how you doing? host: just fine. go ahead. caller: i was touching base, watching a segment on education. host: mhm. caller: it is disturbing. i live in connecticut actually. the funding per student and what they are getting out of their education is minimal. i had a son that was artistic and i had -- autistic and i had to fight tooth and nail for this kid through high school, grammar school, through high school, just to get him the help that he
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needed. what got to me was that this kid ended up being a highest honors student. at the end of all this in his junior year, i had gone ahead with what they call ppt meeting. you have the principals, his counselors, all these people sitting there. we've got his testing coming for his sat's and so forth and he really needs extra help. i said, you guys have done a great job up until now. the head of the department says, you know what? he's not the only child in this school. that's just one snippet of what i've had to go through. you know, we are ranked in mathematics 24th, 24th in mathematics. you have kids that are graduating high school that cannot even get to a junior college because they are not up to snub. we talk about being transparent but where the money is going, everything like that, what's the big problem? i think parents should have a
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choice to take their money or they want it to go, period. host: let's go to jerry calling from illinois on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning -- caller: thanks for having this forum here. i just wanted to also address the policy, the political issue of public education. i agree with professor hale. the idea of choice can be fraught with a lot of danger, because, as he pointed out, back in the 1950's, you know, voucher programs, school choice programs work enacted -- programs were enacted to hide racial bigotry. what far too often happens currently is that you have religious bigotry and ideological bigotry masquerading under the umbrella of school
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choice. we are taking public money and often giving it to for-profit charter schools. the only thing they are learning there are, you know, how their religious beliefs are superior to others, for example, or a heavy emphasis on stem skills, the skills that become out did overnight -- outdated overnight. none of this is on seditions skills, the importance of freethinking in a democratic society. host: let's go to willie calling from dayton, ohio on the democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning. i live in ohio. the direction that our state is going is just really sad. we have republican candidates who are praising trump, the biggest criminal that ever held the office, but they are praising him.
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we have people here that don't believe in the vaccine and how to get rid of it. they don't want to get the vaccines. it is just so crazy here. i am not understanding the direction that my state is going in. but i tell you, i am going to be voting, i am going to be voting, i am going to be voting, i am going to do what i have to do to try and stop this is just crazy. host: well, on yesterday, president biden got to visit pittsburgh to tour a arean where a bridge collapsed. i want to read the story from the pittsburgh post-gazette. hours before president biden was to visit pittsburgh on friday to tout his infrastructure plan, a bridge with a troubled inspection history collapsed, injuring people and stranding seven vehicles, including a port
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authority bus on the structure that spans a ravine. three people were rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and a fourth person, one of two passengers on the bus, was taken to a hospital about two hours later, local officials said. we were fortunate, pittsburgh mayor ed gainey said, that no one was killed. later friday, after he visited the site of the collapse, governor tom wolf signed a disaster emergency proclamation for allegheny county authorizing state agencies to use all available resources and personnel to manage this emergency situation without being hampered by usually required bidding and contracting procedures. president biden did tour the collapsed bridge area before he made remarks about infrastructure in pittsburgh. here's a portion of president biden touring that site. >> mr. president, what do you think of the site? pres. biden: it's incredible. i mean, this is, first of all, these guys deserve an incredible
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amount of credit going down here. while this is going on, they tell me the gas leak was -- say what you said to me about the noise. >> it was very loud, like a jet engine. pres. biden: you see coming out of that, on the others of the concrete there, this site up by the crane, and were you worried that there had been an explosion? or that there had been a collapse? >> we were not sure whether the gas had caused this or whether the leak was a result of the bridge collapsed. we were not sure. pres. biden: how long did it take to get the company to shut off the gas? >> about a half hour. >> half hour, 45 minutes. that was discontinuing outside. >> another line right here as well. that was rushing out. pres. biden: probably too early for joggers. >> there was a few joggers actually, there was a few. one of them actually helped them get people out of the car so
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yeah. >> it's a miracle. pres. biden: it really is. it really is. it's astounding. you don't realize, i have been coming to pittsburgh a long time, and as a former pennsylvanian, but i did not realize there are literally more bridges in pittsburgh than any other city in the world. i knew there were a lot of bridges, i had no idea that. we are going to fix them all, not a joke. this is going to be a gigantic change. in those 43,000 nationwide -- and there's 43,000 nationwide and we are sending the money. and by the way, we are going to give you guys more money, too, the cops. >> thank you, sir. we appreciate it. host: let's go back to our phone lines and talk to rick calling from fredericksburg, virginia on the republican line. good morning. caller: good grief, what is going on in america?
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and you see this jet that flew in late at night after hours and the security guards approached them with all of the male illegal immigrants that you are paying, you guys are paying three plus thousand dollars to every month, the hotels are full with illegal immigrants that you and me are paying, with our tax dollars, to put up these illegal immigrants in the hotels. i mean, hundreds of thousands of hotels are being, hundreds of thousands of hotels that you and me are paying for. what is going on? joe biden and hunter biden get $30 million from china? what is wrong with you guys? why isn't this a big deal? everybody says fox is bad. boy, if you are not listening to fox, you are not finding out what's going on. host: let's go to lorraine calling from texas on the democrat line. good morning.
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caller: hi. i went to the doctor last week to get a mammogram, which i have been going to the hospital to get a mammogram for the last five years because cancer runs in my family. i just got a surprised medical bill. i was shocked. i never paid for a mammogram in all my life. host: ok. let's go to rebecca, who is calling from new baltimore, michigan on the independent line. rebecca, good morning. caller: good morning. i want to go back to -- i paid taxes for 30 years that i don't have kids, and i believed in a well educated public because
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that's me. in school choice and -- and school choice and vouchers, it's just, it's, it doesn't support public education. and i am totally opposed to my tax dollars going to fund that. this year, it was proven in michigan that charter schools are an abysmal failure and i don't support it. thank you. host: let's talk to jules, who's calling from florida on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you this morning? i've been around a long time. my professor at the washington university of st. louis was very calm under, he ran for president in 1980 against jimmy carter and ronald reagan, and he lost. he got about 270,000 votes so he
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was a pioneer in modern ecology. if we apply his principles to our society to reeducate us to work together, not only in this country, but in the entire world, we don't have to develop armament that is happening in countries to sustain a society that is decaying worldwide. our representatives are off on the wrong track battling each other, using our resources not to apply to the united states and to living in a peaceful world -- host: let's get an update on ukraine with a story in "the washington post or co-this story goes this way. the united states does not think russian president vladimir putin has reached a decision on whether to attack ukraine again but moscow clearly has the capability to seize important territories from key have.
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-- kiev. lloyd austin said friday. the pentagon chief told reporters that russia has continued to use this information to manufacture a pretext for renewed invasion but he could do the right thing by calling off the more than 100,000 troops he has stationed near ukraine's borders and by pursuing a diplomatic solution. washington remains committed to helping ukraine defend itself through security assistance material. whatever putin decides, the united states will stand with our allies and partners. kyiv is not a nato member and one of the demands is that the former soviet state be banned from joining the western military alliance. president biden said he plans to send troops to eastern, describing the number as not too many.
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defense secretary lloyd austin actually came out and spoke more to reporters about the military situation on the russia-ukraine border. there's with secretary austin had to say. [video clip] secretary austin: for months, russia has been deploying forces to crimea along ukraine's border in belarus. it has progressed at a consistent and steady pace involving tens of thousands of russian troops. and it is being supported by increased russian naval activity in the northern atlantic and the mediterranean sea. while we don't believe that president putin has made a final decision to use these forces against ukraine, he clearly now has that capability. and there are multiple options available to him including the seizure of cities and significant territories, but also coercive acts or provocative political acts like
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the rocket mission of ricoh way territories. -- breakaway territories. host: after we conclude, we want you to stick around because at 10:00 a.m., we have the national governors association 114th annual winter meeting in washington, d.c. coverage will begin exactly around 10:00 a.m. after we finish "washington journal," with the opening news conference. expected topics include infrastructure, education, cybersecurity, and the importance of bipartisan leadership. once again, starting at 10:00 a.m. will be the national governors association opening press conference. you can watch that on c-span, online at, or watchful coverage on our new video app, c-span now. that will start at 10:00 a.m. right as we finish "washington journal." let's go back to our phone lines
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and talk to matthew calling from mesquite, nevada, on the independent line. caller: i was listening to that interview with biden when he was talking about that bridge collapsed in pittsburgh. every time the president talks, he seems to say, this is not a joke. no one is saying it as a joke. it comes to your mind that maybe think their whole spiel is a joke. so the bridges and the infrastructure, you said they are going to fix it. this whole time is been in office his transportation secretary, his recent talk has been about how the highway systems are "racist" and his most recent one that i've seen measures to improve is to install traffic cameras and where you run a red light and they take a picture of you.
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they are not doing anything about infrastructure. it's all the sociology stuff and the minute fixes like traffic cameras. they are not doing anything about the bridges and infrastructure in this country. that's all i got to say. host: edie is calling from inkster, michigan on the democrat line. edie, are you there? caller: yes, i'm here. host: go ahead. caller: yes, good morning. i'm calling because earlier i was listening about the surprise bills from the hospital. my concern is surprise bills from doctors like specialists you go to. so that's the reason why i was calling. you also get surprise bills from doctors offices that you are not expecting. thank you. host: sonia is calling from
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rushford, minnesota, on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i just find it very ironic that that bridge would collapse in pittsburgh when the president was scheduled to visit there. i just think some of this stuff is so transparent that people can see through this stuff. just to get his agenda going on spending money on bridges and stuff, let's do it. what have we been paying for for many, many years with our taxes? it's just ironic and suspicious that this stuff is going on in our country. host: are you saying you think the government intentionally collapsed the bridge just because joe biden was coming there to speak about infrastructure? caller: yes, i do. i really personally do because it was at a time when there wasn't a lot of traffic.
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i don't trust our government. they do too many things that are just not right. host: let's go to susan calling from rockville, connecticut on the democrat line. susan, good morning. caller: hi, i wanted to stick with the education because i think that's one of the most important when we have callers calling in. we see the result of not good educational system. as a parent, my choice was to educate my daughter, move with my husband's side of the family in west memphis, arkansas, where i went to a parent-teacher conference and the junior high white teacher with mostly black children had a hockey stick behind his desk, the rod of discipline, or to educate in connecticut where there was not even one cafeteria worker or
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janitor, let alone a teacher or professional of color in the school system. i didn't feel comfortable putting my daughter there. connecticut, the headline of the paper is the chef versus o'neill case which is trying to get, talking about the desegregation of the schools in connecticut. that's been going on for 30 years. the men talking about school choice, we should think about betsy devos who when she advocated for school choice was really for destructing our public school system. i guess after 30 years, and it's very sad because we see this, 30 years ago with her little school aged son and now when this is finally settled 30 years, she is gray-haired and elderly. in hartford, there will be 2000 school choice seats and what i chose to do was to homeschool my daughter.
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what i did not choose to do, which a woman from bridgeport, connecticut did, she was in a homeless shelter in norwalk, connecticut where the schools are good and and rolled her son. do you know she went to jail? they put her in jail, a black woman, because she tried to get school choice for her kid. host: michael is also calling from connecticut, stanford, on the independent line. good morning. caller: i got two things to talk about. one is the critical race theory. it seems the only people pushing critical race theory are the republicans. they are the only ones talking about it, like it is the biggest thing out there and we should be getting rid of it because that's the only thing our kids are being taught. but that's the only reason i think anybody is caring about it, because republicans are screaming about it. the other issue is this book banning stuff going on down south and these other states where i don't know if they can even read that well.
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how many copies of "50" are in these people's houses that these kids -- "50 shades of grey" that are in these people's houses that these kids have access to instead of something they can learn from. it seems like republican people want to keep people stupid and that is what your buddy trump was. host: rick is calling from council bluffs, iowa on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. good morning. i'm not surprised about the show this morning. with all of our policemen getting killed, all the illegals flying in, sneaking in at night, and this is what you are airing. come on. let's get some real news on this channel instead of surprise medical. host: let's go to terry calling from covington, georgia, on the independent line. good morning. caller: yes, sir, how are you
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doing? host: i'm fine, go ahead. caller: i will make it brief. my comment is about the ukrainian situation. as a former officer that served during the 1980's when the russians were the enemy of the world, i find it very disconcerting that we are trying to rush into a conflict with russia over something that could be handled diplomatically. i feel it's a classic case of the wag the dog kind of like the weapons of mass destruction that never were -- never were found. i just hope that people can see this and step back because of all the things we got going on in this country, the last thing we need is to get involved in a conflict with somebody. we need to straighten our stuff out in this country. one last comment and i will let you go.
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one of your previous persons mentioned something about people down south can't read. trust me, not everybody down south is ignorant. that's a condescending attitude. i'm from the south and i can read very well. i have an iq of about 170 so not all of us down here are dumb. the people of north need to remember that. host: let's go to david calling from dallas, texas, on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. i really try hard not to call in, but when i heard the guy say that fox news is where you get your news from and then i heard the lady call in about the conspiracy that the bridge was blown up because president biden was coming, i almost just blew a gasket. first of all, i'm republican. i'm an african-american. i don't follow trump.
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i don't buy that the illegals are "flooding" our country. critical race theory needs to be taught. fox news needs to be banned altogether because i watched fox news last night and heard the comments about the bridge -- i don't know the word -- just happened to blow up while biden was coming. and these conspiracy theories that are going on throughout the republican party are just disgraceful. i believe i should be able to buy a gun when i want. i believe i don't want government in my life as much as it is. i think democrats throw out money like candy. i think there's far too much division up on capitol hill today. had the republican party, went along with ayden for the better of the country and spend the money -- biden for the better of
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the country and spend the money on the roads and bridges and help women with their children everything would be fine. let's get back to basics. let's get back to taking care of america and not concerning ourselves with getting reelected. host: let's talk to belile from los angeles, california, on the democrat line. caller: how are you today? host: just fine, go ahead. caller: the problems with this country are deep and they go back to the beginning of this country. this country was founded on the extermination of the indians and the enslavement of africans. and the country does not want to repent from the sins that they have done, the crimes that they have committed, to make a better
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union. and to have this in the school where this will never happen again, to repent, to give the sentence of slave reparations. and to put it out front there, because all of this racism come of this racism, this white supremacy, is to hide the crimes that america has committed. the crimes of dropping the bombs on innocent people in vietnam, dropping the bomb in hiroshima and nagasaki on civilians when they could have done it on military targets. this country has done criminal things and when they went into iraq and afghanistan, it was an international crime. host: we like to thank all of
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our callers who joined us for our segment. coming up next, our spotlight on podcast segment, we will be joined by foreign policy magazines amy mackinnon, the host of foreign policy playlist. stick with us. we will be right back. ♪ >> sunday, february 6 on in-depth, georgetown university law professor cheryl cassian be our live guest to talk about race relations and inequality in america. her many books include the failure of integration, and white space, blackwood. join in the conversation with your phone calls, texts, and tweets. live sunday on february 6 at noon eastern on book tv on c-span two. next week on the c-span network,
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the house and senate are both in session. the senate will vote on nominations including university of pennsylvania president amy gottman to serve as u.s. to bask -- ambassador to germany and rita lewis. tuesday, two hearings for nominations for white house budget director and deputy director. 10:00 eastern on c-span, they will appear before the senate homeland security committee. live on and the c-span now app, they will testify before the senate budget committee. thursday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3, former employees of the washington football team testify about reports of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and discrimination. hearing comes the day after the team is expected to announce its new name. watch next week live on the c-span network or c-span now, our mobile video app. head over to for
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scheduling information or to stream video. live or on-demand, anytime. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with our weekly spotlight on podcast segment and we are joined this morning by amy mackinnon, the host of the foreign policy playlist podcast. good morning. can you hear us? guest: yes, i can. host: perfect. tell our viewers with the foreign policy playlist is about, when did it start, and why they should listen. guest: foreign policy playlist in short is a podcast about podcasts. we have on our podcast team obviously an incredible array of fans of the world of podcasts audio and radio and we realized
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nowadays there are so many podcasts, when i open my app i feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start and jump in. what foreign policy playlist does is we try and curate -- a podcast from somewhere around the world that covers the topics we cover as a magazine, foreign policy, national security, global affairs. some of the podcasts are from the u.s. and some are from around the globe. we either feature an interview with the host or producer of the podcast, with them telling us a little bit about their show and how it was made, and then we play a whole episode we pick from the season or from that podcast. you can get a little bit of a taster. we do the filtering for you to help you navigate the crazy world of podcasts. host: obviously, podcasts are popular everywhere now all around the world. are you finding that the podcast
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-- podcasts from foreign countries give a different perspective on what's happening even here in the united states, especially in international relations where the united states is involved? guest: oh, yeah, absolutely. there is a little bit of difficulty sometimes with the language barrier but plenty of places have english language podcasts nowadays for international audiences. we think it is important to hear those perspectives from around the world, to hear from other people and what's going on the ground in their countries where they obviously have much that her access and are much closer to what's going on, and their view on america and america's place in the world and how we fit together in the jigsaw of global affairs. host: the podcasts that you are bringing in are all english-language. are there some you bring in that might be in foreign languages? guest: they are all in english
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language so anyone watching this today can enjoy every episode that we feature. they are all in english. some of course, because of the international focus, feature interviews that are in another language but they are either dubbed or have somebody explaining in english. i everything -- people who speak english can enjoy every issue. host: how long has foreign policy playlist been in existence? guest: it's been running for well over a year now, i think a year and a half. we have featured dozens if not hundreds of podcasts. we use the feed for this show to podcast -- for our own podcasts. you will see related podcasts about sports and diplomacy and political activism. we've dropped some of our recent episodes in.
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it's an opportunity to hear some of our live events. we did one recently, myself and the former u.s. ambassador to russia, we had a conversation about ukraine and where that might had. we took the audio from that that was a zoom event and turned it into a podcast. if you are a subscriber to our podcast which is free, you can listen to that. host: can you tell us about some of your recent guests and topics that viewers can find on foreign policy playlist? guest: recently, incredible podcast that we featured is one by the bbc which is called lazarus heights where it looks set north korean hacking and it starts by looking at the hack. the episode starts with the hack on sony pictures in 2014. if you remember, the north koreans were very unhappy about a film that was coming out about their leader kim jong-un.
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so i didn't interview -- i did an interview at the top of that with one of the hosts and a journalist who was the first set up an un-american news bureau in north korea, so that was a really interest -- an american news bureau in north korea, so that was really interesting. you can hear her talking about, and these kind of interviews, i ask her why this podcast, why did you start it, what does it cover, why now? i have a little conversation like that with our guest and then we feature an episode of our pot -- there podcast. host: let's take a break to tell our viewers they can take part in this conversation. we are going to open up our regular lines. democrats can call (202) 748-8000. republicans can call (202) 748-8001. independents, your line is (202)
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748-8002. you can always text us at (202) 748-8003. and we are always reading on social media on twitter at c-span wj and facebook at amy, in addition to being a podcast host, you are also a foreign policy magazine national security and intelligence reporter. and you speak russian and have spent time in moscow. so i can't let you be on this show and not ask you about the current news going on in europe and russia. russia's continued threats to invade ukraine is dominating the news. you speak russian and were based in moscow. tell us about your background covering that part of the world and what drew you to it. guest: i was based in moscow. i studied as a student, studied russian language at college.
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a lot of people ask what drew me to that. i think it was the history. like a lot of people, we studied the cold war and i was captivated by the stories of espionage and great diplomatic standoffs and kind of geopolitical shifts. unfortunately, a lot of those are starting to resonate again today. i studied in russia as a student when i was in university and then i went back on a fellowship. i worked in moscow for a new start up recovers -- which covers in-depth crises. i moved to live in the republic of georgia and south of russia before i made my way to the united states and foreign policy magazine. it's been interesting to see the tandem of reporting on the ground. i've reported from belarus and
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ukraine and other countries. it is interesting to have that coming into washington, without background, and seeing things from both sides. host: what have you learned about vladimir putin in your reporting? what do you think actually makes him tick and what is going on in his mind? guest: good question. i think that's the million-dollar question on everyone's lips. he has evolved over the years and we have seen a hardening of his stance and increasing sense of disillusionment with the west and in particular the united dates. that is what -- united states. that is why it has come to a head, where the russians are trying to force a change to the european security architecture which has been in place since the collapse of the berlin wall and the soviet union. the russians have always had a problem with eastward expansion
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to countries in central eastern europe like poland and the czech republic and hungary, but even worse with the 2008 promise that ukraine and georgia may eventually be extended membership to nato. that has always really been an area of deep concern for the russians. nato was based in the cold war era and set up an alliance against the coat -- against the soviet union. nato officials will tell you that is no longer in -- no longer its purpose in countering moscow, although it is garnering their attention. the russians have seen an opening, looked to the west. they see a west distracted by its own internal crises, the pandemic. russian financial wizards are incredibly high. the military has gone through a series of upgrades the past several years. the ukrainian military is stronger but still remains very
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much outgunned by the russians. i think putin has looked around and seen a moment an opportunity which he can basically force a change and try and force things in his changer -- in his favor. he wants ironclad legal guarantees that ukraine will never be admitted to nato and u.s. and european leaders say that is an absolute redline and something they will not budge on. host: what is something that americans need to know about vladimir putin that we don't? guest: that's a good question. i would say in some ways i think we focus too much on vladimir putin. he is just one man, part of the system. but i would say he's an authoritarian and functions the way a lot of authoritarian leaders do. he is not necessarily a unicorn in that regard. his concerns are similar to many
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authoritarian label -- leaders, survival, making sure the wealthy and influentials stay happy and on his side. the longer -- what we know about authoritarian leaders, the longer they stay in power, the more paranoid and destructive they become. everyone is increasingly focused on rising competition with china and that will certainly be the challenge of the future. there is this misnomer that somehow russia is a declining power, but there are no metrics to suggest russia is a declining power. they may not have the global reach that china has but as this episode has shown with ukraine, russia certainly retains the power. putin has the power to be an exceedingly disruptive regional player. host: you mentioned that many people have the misperception that russia is "a declining power." what is our main misconception
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about vladimir putin? guest: that's a good question. i think we tend to overfocus on -- sometimes there's a little bit of a caricature of putin. you often see these images in the press of the shadowy kgb guy. he's definitely that. is kgb mentality certainly plays into his mentality now. but he's also a rational player. he's opportunistic. he sees openings to change the facts on the ground when he can. we saw that in 2014 when he made a grab for crimea. he sees the opportunity of revolution in ukraine and that moment of political arrest -- unrest to seize the area. he is opportunistic and can be fast to move when he wants to. host: let's let some of our viewers take part in this conversation. steve is calling from duncan,
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oklahoma, on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. conrad joe's first day in office strengthened russia's economy by 45%. and he shut down our economy and rose the gas price simultaneously. he's been colluding with russia. his whole career -- and china. he doesn't work for the american people. he's a dictator. look at the way our borders are wide open, 2 million people that we know about. how many got away? flying them all over the united states. why isn't pelosi impeaching joe biden? because she's a comrade to russia as well. host: go ahead and respond. guest: i certainly don't buy
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that point that joe biden has been any friend and russia is certainly not any friend of china. biden is the first u.s. president that hasn't tried to pursue some sort of reset with vladimir putin. every predecessor over the past 20 years has in some way tried to forge their own relationship with the russian president and i think biden coming in, securing russia's first land grab in 2014, i think it will be essentially waste of time. this administration tries to to -- a phrase -- tries to toe --a phrase we heard is a political relationship with russia. viewing the administration is trying to park the russia issue while they focus on china which has been a central focus of this administration's national security. as russia has become increasingly disruptive during biden's first year in office,
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the administration stepped up to meet that challenge imposing sanctions. raising the alarm about russia's military buildup near the border with ukraine, and working with allies and partners in europe to reassure countries along the eastern flank to build what is expected to be a very punishing faction -- package of sanctions in the event russia attacks ukraine. host: ted is calling from beckley, west virginia, on the democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning. it's great to be on the show. i wanted to ask you a question and i'm going to give you a hypothetical. if you can tell me what's wrong with this as you see it, because i see the whole thing is like a great big game of risk. russia is sitting over there wanting to get territory. europe is trying to hang together. china is just growing and growing and growing.
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and america has been saddled with the horrible problem of donald trump colluding in private lines with russia so that he can make a lot of money and get russia's support. so they just colluded back and forth in secret with mitch mcconnell, the satan of western civilization. just cackling as all this is going on. then we found out that trump was a two timing lowlife. and we booted him out. now we've got joe biden. so how do we stop putin and trump and what's his name, mitch mcconnell, the satan on earth in western civilization, from just going back to colluding and trying to take over again? host: go ahead and respond. guest: i would say russia has
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been a challenge for national peace and stability. challenged the west long before trump considered running for the presidency. going back to cyber attacks on sony -- estonia in the late 2000 russian invasion -- sorry 2008 invasion, where they occupied almost 20% of the country to factor. -- the poisoning of the mats in the united kingdom, crimea in 2014. this predates trump. whilst there was many people certainly raised their eyebrows about trump's remarks with russia and his affinity for the president, it is hard to tell -- i see no reason to suggest that trump being president that vladimir putin wouldn't be doing this if trump hadn't been president. host: phil calling from naples,
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florida, on the independent line. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. first of all, your second caller that just got off the phone thinking that trump colluded with russia, we spent millions of dollars, taxpayer dollars that proved he did not collude with russia. secondly, i think we should open up the transcripts of biden and putin and see what they really talked about. i believe the conversations were relayed to biden looking good and saying he is taking a stand against russia. we all know that biden and his son hunter have taken millions of dollars from china and ukraine and russia. we know that's a conflict of interest.
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and he also closed our pipelines and gave putin billions of dollars by opening up his pipelines, and he's ruined our economy. host: go ahead and respond. guest: i think what you're caller is getting to by suggesting that we open the transcripts between the calls of biden and putin is that -- it reminds me of when we got the transcript of trump's call with the ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky. i was thinking about that yesterday because it's not clear what legacy that has left on the u.s.-ukrainian relationship. during the time of trump's first impeachment in the fall of 2019, he had only been in office for several months and he never helped -- held in office before. he was a comedian and entertainment executive before becoming president of ukraine so
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it was a baptism by fire for the ukrainian leadership, pulled into the impeachment of their strongest and gracious ally whilst there is still work with russia going on. we saw interesting comments yesterday, kind of calling the u.s. to dial back the rhetoric a little bit. they are worried that the call from u.s. officials that an attack from russia could be imminent, ukrainian officials are deeply worried about the impact on their economy and spreading panic with ukrainian officials saying panic is not a constructive movement. it is unclear to me what kind of legacy that distrust and experience of being dragged into a very pitched partisan battle in washington has left on the ukrainian leadership and how they view the united states at this critical moment. host: one of your recent podcasts on foreign policy playlist was called what does
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putin really want? i'm going to put that question to you -- what does putin really want? does he want the return of the ussr? does he want a russian empire? does he want a monarchy with himself on top? what does vladimir putin really want? guest: only vladimir putin knows what he really wants. certainly, he has made his calling card to be that of surprise so there is always that unknown element about putin and russia and that they have made surprise part of their modus operandi. i think you see strong consistency in the statements and you look at vladimir putin's words over the last several years and particularly this past year, over what he is hoping to get out of the situation. we've seen a hardening in the rhetoric of russian officials with regards ukraine. clearly the red lines have
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shifted with how they see ukraine and ukraine's relationship with nato. as i said before, russian officials have long railed against this idea that ukraine will someday join nato. they see that as a huge threat. russia has a long border with ukraine and ukraine has several borders with member states. i think they see an opportunity now in the international moment we are in, between the pandemic and increasing focus on china, with the west distracted by its own crises in europe, kind of tensions in the transatlantic relationship following the trump administration. putin has looked at this moment and tried to force the facts on the ground, either through diplomacy, that would certainly hold ukraine hostage with 100 -- 100,000 troops to force concessions from the west. it hasn't worked.
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u.s. and european nato officials are quite dug in on the idea that russia can't dictate the sovereignty of another country, can't dictate what security alliances ukraine may or may not join. they've made it very clear that is nonnegotiable, so the question now is diplomacy doesn't seem to be going anywhere, is russia willing to use military force to force a change on the ground and the ukrainians in a position where it can never join nato? host: one of our social media followers wants to know where europe stands and they ask -- if germany and other countries do not care about the russia-ukraine conflict, why should we? how does russian oil play into this? guest: we care deeply about russia's threat towards ukraine. this is on their doorstep and european leaders principally france and germany played a pretty integral role in the peace agreements, the minsk
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peace agreements in 2015 which brought the crisis in ukraine to an end. there is two parts of this. the russians want to negotiate with the united states. they see the united states and the cold war framing of things as the top dog. it's easier to negotiate with one country rather than 30. the russians look at europe and see it is a little bit disunited and chaotic and they are not interested in negotiated. -- negotiating. europe is a big continent and all of the countries involved have their own differing relationships with russia and to different degrees. we are seeing the french, emmanuel macron, the president had a call with putin yesterday. they are trying to find the way in leading a diplomatic solution. germany has a new and largely
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untested german government so everyone is looking closely to how they will handle the situation. there are certainly strong transatlantic unity which is that no country can dictate another country what it can and cannot do. no country should be invading another country. there is strong unity on those principles. in europe where i think there are lingering questions on what to do exactly, the nuts and bolts. the line by line response in the event that russia does attack ukraine, there's still some conversations going on about what that would look. there is certainly strong transatlantic unity and europe which is deeply invested in ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. host: where does russian oil play into this? guest: very good question. that comes into play in particular with regards to germany. germany is -- the nord stream 2
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pipeline which will run from russia to germany, will double germany's receipt of russian natural gas, has been completed and is awaiting certification. that has been a political lightning rod in washington and a source of real transatlantic tension. the german government and foreign minister indicated in the event russia attacks ukraine, they are canceling the nord stream 2 pipeline would be an aunt -- would be an option. republicans in washington calling on biden to sanction the pipeline before russia invades ukraine. they don't see the point in sanctioning the russian pipeline after the fact. there's a broader question of russian energy. europe is deeply dependent on russian energy. we are in the midst of a very cold winter on the biden administration is working with the europeans and other suppliers from the gulf states to look to find ways to shore up
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european energy in the event that russia attacks ukraine and somehow reduces energy flow to europe. host: let's get back to our phone lines. before we do, for all of our podcast fans, we want to remind you that you can check out all of c-span's podcasts, which are now available on our website. you can go to our website at c-span. com -- to see them. you can find them on our mobile app, c-span now, or wherever you get your podcast. go enjoy some of the great c-span podcasts that you can find available right now. let's get back to our phone lines and talk to bill calling from ohio on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning and thank you. i have a couple questions for the hostess.
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one is, what's the cost of a subscription to your podcast? the second is, how do you reconcile your opinion of joseph biden's evenhanded approach to china with the reported $30 million payoff to his son hunter? thank you. guest: on the first question, our podcast is free. i'm glad to tell you, so whatever podcast you use, just search for the playlist and you can find our content and also listen online on our website, foreign with regards to joe biden's position on china, biden has been very tough on china. in some ways has continued the policies of the trump administration.
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they recognize china will be the focus of a generational challenge that i think my children and our grandchildren will be looking to. in the policies of the trump administration, a central plank to biden's approach to china is trying to rally allies and partners in the indo pacific with alliances, with the united kingdom and australia, india, working with japan and south korea, trying to build. i think that's one of the defining features of the biden foreign policy and national security strategy, working with partners and allies to address what they see is the increasing threat to the future. host: dave is calling from northport, new york on the independent line. good morning. caller: how are you doing, good morning.
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i just was two years ago watched a documentary by oliver stone. he is a left-wing person in antiwar. but he made the documentary called "ukraine empire." he talked about the u.s. involvement in the revolution that happened, the first revolution in ukraine, against the elected president. one of the factors involved with an ngo and just like usa in vietnam, it tends to be a front for the cia. it appears we were involved from the very beginning in the revolution in ukraine. this is going by the documentary. then after the revolution, you had victoria nuland, the undersecretary secretary of state under hillary clinton had her voice recorded, conversation
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recorded discussing who they would put in power in the government of ukraine. you can find that on youtube, victoria nuland, who happens to be married to robert kagan, a neoconservative, one of the original neoconservatives who helped write the mission statement of the neoconservatives, the project for a new american century. we've been very involved in the ukraine for a long time. the point i'm trying to make is now if china had come to mexico and was involved in the overthrow of an elected president, and put in place a person that was favorable to china and they wanted to put weapons and it may be to put defense missiles on the american border, i think we would look at that as an act of war. isn't putin just being a little
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concerned about appeasing the west in our push against him? in the context of world war ii, we lost i think half a million people. what are we doing over there? host: go ahead and respond. guest: there is absolutely zero evidence that the u.s. was involved in the 2014 -- it really did begin as a spontaneous reaction amongst the ukrainian public of the decision of the president at the time not to sign this agreement with the european union which would have moved ukraine closer to the european union. many ukrainians favor of closer integration with the west. democracy, greater transparency, anticorruption, these are problems ukraine has grappled with for decades. many ukrainians saw this
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agreement and it was a fundamental question of where they saw the country going and where they saw ukraine's future. people poured out into the streets for many months in the cold winter, eventually led to the toppling of the government which he himself fled to russia. it became known as the revolution of dignity because that's what ukrainians saw being on the line, the dignity of the country and the question of its future of sovereignty and the strength of its democracy. the point about the national endowment for democracy, ned, as it is known as the -- is known to support democracy. it is certainly not involved in the overthrow of government. that is a conspiracy theory which has actually been pushed by leaders like vladimir putin
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and others in the region. they seized on this line and this narrative and used it as a reason to attack journalists, ngos, civil society actors, opposition politicians in their countries. russia has passed very draconian so-called foreign agent law's which state -- paint anybody critical of the russian government, any independent player or actor, as a foreign agent, somehow funded by the west. these can be quite, in that part of the world, quite dangerous and disruptive allegations for civil society, for journalists, and opposition politicians that are pushing things like anticorruption, greater transparency and democracy measures as well. host: anthony is calling from detroit, michigan, on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning.
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i just heard the guest say there is no evidence of the united states involvement in 2014, yet the previous caller just mentioned ms. nuland who was under the secretary of state and how she had a leaked phone call with a ukrainian ambassador saying we've got to get this person in. we need someone high-profile to come and shepherd this through, or whatever they said. it's all in a transcript. the previous caller was absolutely right. she was also handing out cookies to protesters in the square. we had john mccain, back when he was alive, giving speeches that those "protests. " the united states has had an over evolved -- involved and in the american people would prefer to have our basic needs met at home than sending weaponry to a country that is not going to be
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invaded. the head of the german navy had to resign because he spilled the beans and said they are not invading. host: your response? guest: one thing i get asked a lot is what is the u.s. is skin in this game? why does the u.s. care about what's going on in ukraine? ukraine is in many ways in europe, the frontline of an ongoing struggle for democracy, for human rights, and for the rights of its citizens to live freely, to pursue their lives, their businesses, their families, without harassment or interference from the government, which is something they've been working on for many years now. greater democracy and transparency reforms. as a part of this is the question of, does ukraine have the right to choose its own --
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or do the people have the right to have their voice heard in the elections and have that overridden by security degrees from their powerful neighbor? this idea of trying to break free from another country to pursue your own fundamental rights and liberties of individuals, i think there's a lot in the ukrainian story of their own struggle for democracy and sovereignty which many americans can relate to. host: james is calling from tucson, arizona, on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. putin has a branch of -- but everybody knows it is about drug money and power. he is planting the seed for next spring and to make sure that the drugs are more important than
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people. food is more important than money. shelter is more important than money. clothing is more important. we need food, water, shelter, to live. and in russia, they are not amassing -- two ukraine. -- to ukraine. they want things together, not apart. host: go ahead and respond. guest: i think what russia has masked on the border with ukraine is over 100,000 troops, this stash of military hardware, there missile units on the borders of ukraine. reporters reported they started
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moving in blood units, for drug -- blood transfusions in the event of treatment. that's the kind of logistics fail we've been looking for is a potential indicator that some kind of action may be imminent. russia is preparing itself for an assault. we heard that yesterday from general mark milley and secretary of defense lloyd austin. he is pretty concerned that russia is preparing itself to potentially attack ukraine. u.s. officials still don't quite know whether vladimir putin has made up his mind. there are still some diplomatic talks on going albeit none have yielded breakthroughs. there are some talks that met this week and breakthroughs.
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there are some talks that met this week and agreed to meet in two more weeks. the french counterpart emmanuel macron, the u.s. delivered its response to russia's plans for security guarantees on wednesday. there are some talks going on, not very high expectations because this intractable disagreement about ukraine's nato membership, russia digging its heels in. i'm looking ahead to february, two the third and fourth week of february. the next couple of weeks will tell us where the situation is headed. the last thing i would add is on february 4, vladimir putin is set to meet with xi jinping in beijing. that will be interesting to see whether that has any bearing on prudence calculus. if -- putin's calculus. the u.s. has a punishing package of sanctions to go looking at russian state banks and sovereign debt, technology exports that could really hurt the country but also in particular its industrial base and capacity for new technology. that will leave them dependent on china both for financial
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support and also for the technology. china actually has a role to play which has been underexplored. we know that the chinese were really not happy with the putin invasion of ukraine in 2014 and the annexation of crimea but the chinese leadership sees it as disruptive and not the way of going about doing business. xi may actually, it will be interesting to see what influence that has on vladimir putin. host: with all of our conversation around russia and ukraine, i don't think i've heard much conversation lately about what's going on inside russia itself, what domestic situation in the country. how are they dealing with covid? what is their economy like? can you shed light on that? guest: for the past year, really beginning with the poison of russian opposition leader alexander navalny, we've seen a
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very punishing -- on journalism, civil society throughout russia. russia has been an authoritarian state and they still are but there was some spall -- small space for independent media and opposition, that slight space for civil society. that has been squeezed. there are still brave russian journalists working but it has been astonishing the pace at which outlets have been attacked by the state through use of essentially warfare to shut them down. journalists have been detained and harassed. some are deciding to leave the country. this has come at an incredible time of chill in russia. that is part of prudence calculation -- putin's calculation. russia and ukraine have a lot in common.
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a lot of ukrainians speak russian. a lot of russians have ukrainians in their families and vice versa. putin increasingly doesn't have to worry about how the public will see this because he has squeezed out any space for public dissent. host: we haven't heard much about covid and russia since there sputnik vaccine. how is russia dealing with covid-19? guest: russia has had an incredibly hard time with the pandemic. i know so many people in moscow that have gotten covid and the vaccine was generally regarded as being relatively successful but i think has had a tougher time against more recent variants. hundreds of thousands of people in russia have been affected by this but it is hard to get numbers because it is in the interest of the state to not give accurate reporting on how many people have gotten covid and how many people have died as
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well. it certainly had devastating older russians as well. they have tried to simultaneously ignore it. simultaneously they have done nonworking days, national holidays over a week, putting people out of work for a week to stem. i think there were disrupting the economy. host: let's talk to jerry on the independent line.
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caller: i don't that russia is bad i do know more than the u.s. is been seen as a good actor. coming out of world war ii, it has been a concept of ideology. in a 20 coup that happened involved -- 2014 coup that have involved element of the ukrainian government or the western part of ukraine that go back to ties with germany when they came through to invade russia.
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what about them outlawing the russian language, the bombing private citizens by the ukrainian government, about nato military exercises in the russian borders. guest: they have had a very difficult time writing the nato of the intense challenge from russian disinformation while trying to forge ahead ensuring up democracy. it is not a balance they have necessarily gotten right every time, but sometimes it has been two steps forward, one step back. overall the progress ukraine has made over the past eight years has been incredible.
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it is not a perfect democracy by any stretch of the imagination, but a country where people can have their voices heard. there have been concerns about the language in the past and maybe overreach, but i can tell you i don't speak ukrainian but the language is in use across the country. host: we would like to thank the host of foreign policy, amy mckinnon, a national intelligence reporter for being with us and bringing us her expertise on the russia-ukraine tensions. thank you so much for your time. guest: thank you for having me. it has been a pleasure.
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we are going to take into the national governors association annual winter meeting and conference. have a great saturday, everyone. >> with the drone delivery services that are coming soon and cyber security, we must have training in science. that begins in the k-12 education system. as a nation efficient option, we are either going to fall behind in innovation and development or we are simply in the third option i endorse is to say, we are going to lead in the united states of america for the digital age and we can do that and that is the


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