tv Washington Journal 02232023 CSPAN February 23, 2023 6:59am-10:03am EST
controlled burned. it is the latest incident to put federal and state disaster response. it also matters to those most affected by these crises, how quickly local, state and federal officials respond. what immediate aid and solutions they offer, and in the ever put times, who shows up to help? good morning. it is washington journal from thursday, february 23, 2023. we will ask you about your trust in government disaster response. the lines to use to weigh in, 202 7488 thousand for eastern time zones, (202) 748-8001 for mountain pacific. (202) 748-8003 for texting. you can send us a message on facebook and twitter and instagram.
the government response to disasters. there is some data that was done in the wake of the east palestine spill. the train derailment there as we said, nearly three weeks ago. we will also hear from some of those site, putting the former president donald trump. the transfer tatian -- transportation secretary, and pete buttigieg who is said to be the ohio area today. we will show you some of the videos with the ohio governor and others drinking water. they are saying it is safe to drink in the east palestine water system. the washington times is making fun of that in the editorial cartoon. the toaster east palestine ohio. trusting the government and raising a glass of water. everyone is raising a glass of wattle water. trusting the government. that is this morning in the washington times, but that data i mentionedmp was donec by a
group called civic science. they are pulling on how disaster response was done. here's what the headline says. most americans have low trust in government leaders to respond to incidents like the east palestine stranger ailment. earlier in the month, they will write a freight train is carrying a number of rail chemicals in ohio. and the subsequent days, residents will be evacuated from their homes, and crews will conduct a controlled-release and burn. other chemicals as well. the evacuation order has since been lifted, but some residents are not convinced. the list of known chemicals that is being traded keeps expanding. i want to throw in a good deal of national media attention. it was a common refrain. it hasn't ceased from pain -- like other major events.
how closely america is following. there also is a pull on the east and chemical omission east palestine ohio. how much trust would you have in your state and federal leaders to respond to a similar incident. here are their findings. of the ones who were pulled, i trust them a lot -- 19% said that. i trust them a little -- 40%. i don't trust them at all -- 41%. this morning, your trust level of government during disaster. (202) 748-8000 for eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 for mountain and pacific. here's the headline in the hill. pete buttigieg travel to east palestine thursday amid criticism that the biden administration is not doing
enough. he was on cbs earlier this week. >> there are several things we're working on, even while we continue to respect the work of the independent ntsb. the national transportation safety board which is independent from my department. it is leading the safety investigation. it will take a while for the report to come through, but we don't have to wait for that report in order to take certain steps we are calling for and taking right now. but today, we are pushing a three-part drive a real safety. things we're doing is an agency. things we are asking congress to support us. as we are saying need to change of the rail industry. i will give you a couple examples bread we are continuing to drive forward on a roll that will require minimum staffing on trains and a time where the rail industry is being pushed for one person. trains can run longer. there needs to be a minimum of two, that is something we are working on in the regulatory process.
i have directed the federal rail administration to step up and focus on an inspection program for routes that have hazardous materials. we are calling congress into raise cap on fun so we can better hold rail companies accountable when they are in violation. host: the transportation secretary is expected in east palestine today. it is the first time in the past since the disaster three weeks ago. our opening question is asking you about your trust in government disaster response. (202) 748-8000 is the line to use for eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 for mountain and pacific. you can text us at (202) 748-8003. tell us your name and where you are texting from. members of congress are out this week, but they are weighing in on issues related to the spill
in ohio. the derailment in ohio. this is for make congressman in michigan saying in his response to east palestine, secretary pete buttigieg has been too little too late. needs to take this disaster seriously. actually do his job. frankly, get ahead of these issues in the future. this is congresswoman susan wild of pennsylvania. she is saying good, norfolk southern created this method -- mess and they should be ruth -- financially responsible for cleaning the set. ross in california texted us. disaster response -- biting didn't show up in ohio. trump was there yesterday. she can still has bad water. all of politicians going back to obama failed to correct that. this is from nbc. the pennsylvania governor. josh shapiro says that he is
working with the ohio governor. shapiro says his office made a criminal referral in the ohio stranger ailment. the governor said on tuesday, it is a criminal referral in response to the stranger ailment. josh shapiro, the governor shared information out of east palestine. with mike dewine of ohio. the epa administrator and other officials who reportedly asked what actions the governor might take such as penalizing norfolk southern. a quote stated that we have made a criminal referral to pennsylvania to review. we can speak to that beyond those comments. president donald trump was in ohio yesterday. this is a report yesterday from the washington times. an ohio town with the political nature of this. an early salvo of 20 24th race.
the wall street journal headline. they write that residents of the small town in the ohio and pennsylvania border are recovering from a trained or ailment that is now an environmental cleanup site. also, becoming teacher players in one of the first political skirmishes of the 2024 presidential campaign. president biden was briefed on conditions in east palestine while he was rallying europe to ukraine's aid in poland. the former president visited the disaster area on wednesday afternoon. mr. trump is running for president again. mr. biden is expected to announce a reelection bid soon. over the past few weeks, the community has shown tough and resilient hearts of america may fire station after surveying the area and getting a briefing. he accused by demonstration of indifference and betrayal. the wall street journal echoes the comments earlier that transportation secretary pete to
judge, a presidential candidate, widely seen as a future ambitious player, has received criticism for not addressing the crisis. he will visit on thursday, and saying that he could have spoken sooner by how strongly i felt about the incident. let's hear what president trump had to say yesterday and his visit in ohio. >> biden in fema said they would not send federal aid to east palestine under any circumstances. they will not send any. it is a strange statement because i've been working with fema for a long time. for years, and they were great with us with the tornadoes, the hurricanes, and things like this. it was a strange statement and come out. they were doing nothing for you. they were intending to do apsley nothing. jd and i spoke and they said they are not coming. they're not going to come. it is very strange. specifically, this doesn't meet the criteria. it's horrible.
somebody has to do something for those people. i said back, when i was coming, they changed it. it was an amazing phenomenon. the mayor and i were discussing that. it was quite amazing what happened. they said we can't let this happen. it was a big change. have you ever seen a change like that. it was a rapid change. we can't let this happen. we will be there. we open up the dam, and we got them to move, and they all came in, and now they are pouring you with help. i have a great relationship with fema. i found them to be incredible. amazing in every way. we had tremendous luck with the tornadoes and all of the hurricanes and everything else we have had. they were fantastic, and now they are fantastic here. it could have been a few -- two weeks earlier. at least a week earlier.
they decided to do it this way. it came from the top. host: the former president in east palestine, ohio, after the jarrell meant, the chemical spill there. (202) 748-8000 for eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 for mountain and pacific. we are talking about your feelings on the government's response during disaster -- federal and state response during the disasters. a local disaster which has had national implications. as is the case here in east palestine ohio. those are the phone lines. (202) 748-8000 for eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 for mountain and pacific. you can text us as well. (202) 748-8003. we are at c-span wj on twitter. a couple of comments on tax.
trust in government. wide does the trumpet ministration in 2018 relaxed the rules on transporting hazardous materials on trains. why did the department of transportation, governor of ohio, allow these hazardous trains to run through their state. it is all about the money. that is mike in orlando florida. jan in salem says we constantly hear about state power. the governor's response was limited. it was all safe. now president biden is getting blamed for limited response. let's look at trump who decreased safety standards for rail inspections and brake upgrades for trains, hauling toxic materials. richard in las vegas said this is the first disaster response i've seen where the government officials seem completely on compassion, as if they don't care about the people affected. let's go to your calls. charlotte is first in munro township, new jersey. welcome. caller: good morning.
donald trump is not the president. why is he going out there. the epa did go. if anyone needs to be responsible, it is the rail line that sent the trains out there and caused the disruption of the trains. host: david in madison heights, michigan. good morning. caller: thank you, c-span for taking my call. i can't believe you wouldn't cover our president's visit to ukraine and poland. but you cover trump disrupting ohio. it is a failed to governor. it is a failed republican. that is the problem. you guys are so right. it's pathetic. thank you very much. host: from ohio, it's patrick.
lady lake, florida. i am sorry. caller: i googled how many trains or ailments from 1990 to 2020, there were 56,000, but 1700 three omits a year. you didn't mention that. that is kind of pathetic. host: patrick? caller: all of these pro-lifers that are worried about children safety don't seem to care how many chemicals there are in the food, the water. i've called four times about wall street journal articles on pesticides causing autism. everyone and their brothers is suing round up. other chemicals in our food. you just kind of ignore that. it is pathetic. host: this is a story in politico about transportation
secretary pete buttigieg. the train jarrell meant puts a harsh spotlight on pete peter j. the small ohio village is putting pressure on him like never before, leaving him scrambling to contain a crisis. only partially under his purview well absorbing the brunt of attacks from the bind administration adversaries. publicly and privately, signs are growing that the transportation secretary's usual eagle scout patients is giving way to frustration. he has gotten into twitter spats with u.s. senators. his current brushoff of a daily caller reporter who ambushed him during a walk turned into a viral video that has drawn more than 3 million views since tuesday night. on wednesday, pete buttigieg's allies were complaining that he is taking an unfair pounding over the disaster. all because of a perceived ambition as a one time in future presidential hopeful. pete buttigieg has taken a lot of bullets for the president on
this. one democrat said on wednesday. assisting on anonymity to talk about the crisis. he is not authorized to discuss, but still, and a cbs interview, he could have spoken out sooner about how strongly i felt about this incident. that is a lesson learned from me. we are talking about the government response to disasters, particularly the train wreck, but more broadly, other disasters that require federal response. (202) 748-8000 the line for eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 for mountain and specific. we'll go to james in new jersey. good morning. caller: yeah. thank you for taking my call. now, government [indiscernible] army corps of engineering
[indiscernible] that should be done. host: what do you think should be done? caller: [indiscernible] army corps of engineering [indiscernible] go back in time [indiscernible] trustworthy. caller: [indiscernible] host: we are going to massachusetts next. bill. good morning. caller: this is all about -- if this had happened -- in new york or washington or california,
they would have been there like a day or two after it happened. this is all about the deplorable's that are no good. we want to get rid of them. it is definitely political. we've got thisreak that is the head of the transportation who makes up that it didn't even happen. number three, they burned the chemicals that were supposed to be vacuumed up so that caused a giant black cloud that destroyed -- it is in lake erie. this is going to be like maybe trillions hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage. this clown of a president is giving trillions of dollars to ukraine. people in america that were told to go back to the house and the public are going to die. all of the water has to be replaced. once again, we've got a piece of
crab in the white house. host: president biden strip overseas is the focus of this article. it started with a surprise as it to ukraine. it bolsters ties with eastern european nations. they write that president biden met with the leaders of europe's eastern flank on wednesday. it demonstrated his administration's renewed focus on the great power competition with both russia and china. the meeting with the so-called bucharest nine emphasizes a central role on the periphery of the european union and the nato bread it now plays a role in the geopolitical landscape following a war. the nato secretary also attended the meeting. mr. biden praised the country as the frontline of western defenses, saying they were aware of what is at stake in the conflict. not just for ukraine, but for the freedom of democracy around europe and around the world.
back here in the united states, the mayor of east palestine is trent conway. he spoke to reporters at a news conference with the epa administrators. some of his brief comments are here. >> we've had amazing media response to this, and they are all over our town. townspeople -- please don't take this wrong, but they are sick of seeing you in town. they want to get back. we want to get back. we are a quiet little town, and that is where we want to go. i really hope something good can come out of this. i know that sounds odd with what is transpiring in the last few weeks, but our goal is to come out better. without the help of the epa and state and local governments. at some point. >> the mayor of east palestine, trent conway on tuesday. this is a headline from vice this morning.
politicians are drinking the water. they are proving it is safe. we showed you some of that video from the media event on tuesday. we are asking this morning your trust in government disaster response. the lines are (202) 748-8000 for eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 for mountain and specific. and you can send a text to [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, to (202) 748-8003. a couple of those texts here from chesapeake virginia. big business uses us as an inconvenient truth. jerry in florida. under republican rule, they are enjoying the epa regulations. people come last. here is a result rate corporate greed reign supreme. here's one from steve. he sends a text.
i guess it depends on the disaster. we are always prepared for hurricanes. here in charleston, are -- on automatic major chemical spill is another story. i'm not sure how that response effort will go. back to your calls in san diego. thomas. good morning. caller: dustin observation. i was hoping maybe you can help me understand, when the binding mr. risch and took office, he was able to use executive orders to affect government printouts wondering if he could have used an executive order to reinstate the trump regulations that he taken out of place. he was able to go ahead and cancel the keystone pipeline through executive order. he was able to change the policies on the border through executive order. if his administration was aware of the trump administration taking out regulations on the railroad tracks, maybe he could
have used executive orders to reinstate them and the accident might've been prevented. that was my observation. host: tony in texas. caller: really love c-span. just wish i could still get in hd. but is texas. i want to tap into that a little bit. i am a republican wondering what a republican is here. how much money and deregulation did the railroad save? that was neat to -- with trump, he said, we will deregulate, but now, i think the chickens are coming home to roost a little bit. i'd like to see how much money
in deregulation specifically on the railroad was done over four years. i have to figure this out. host: i appreciate that. avon, massachusetts. welcome. guest: good morning. first of all, one of your guest said that you are left-wing or whatever it was. you are biased, in my opinion. some of the callers, i don't like -- like my fellow massachusetts citizens -- whatever. the response is that the government has done the best they can. for trump to be out there, biden nt, whatever with the brakes and all that stuff. but i just remember when hurricane sandy destroyed new york. in new jersey. like rand paul.
he didn't want to give money. then, the tornadoes in kentucky, all of a sudden, it's like, if you want the money, we don't want it with strings attached or whatever it was. so you can't make disasters political. just like the five in california. raking the floors and all of that. you have to help the people who are in need. thank you. host: next is marcus in pennsylvania. caller: how are you doing? host: fine, thank you. caller: i had to respond. i looked at donald appeared. america, and i would bleed for the republicans, you have been conned. the republican party has been trashed since donald trump came into office. it will show you a bunch of hype. you are buying into a game.
you don't know what the hell you're doing. you got into office, he opened up the bank, and he told everyone to take a bunch of money and from that point on, america took a turn for the worst. for the american public to keep taking on and listening to this man like he knows. this is a con job right here. him going to upstate pennsylvania, that is a con. he bought his own water. he came to the water. what authority does he have. his time is over. he is not going to be president again. we don't want him -- the masses to one. we can't be so naive to believe what this man has said. or what he has presented to make it look like this will move to another level. we should see this man for who he is.
you have been conned for years. we will stop falling for the game and open up your mind. don't be so naive about what is going on. we vote against with red states. your red states are poor, and that is a fact. these politicians take you for gangs. host: our focus is on disaster response. i am looking at this. this is a line for the eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8000. (202) 748-8001 four of mountain and pacific region. we are looking at regulation here on the rail industry and the environment, and the impact of that. the headline is rail safety plans likely to hit a wall of industry lobbying.
the binding ministration and some lawmakers call for new railroad safety rules that could face the same industry lobbying opposition that a been encountered in the wake of the east palestine, ohio rail transportation. pete buttigieg rolled out rail safety, inquiring about to crew members to strath -- staff each train. the secretary had a rule to deal with pneumatic breaks on certain trains, and called on congress to phase in higher tankcar standards at a faster pace. profit and expediency must never outweigh the safety of the american people. we at the u.s. department of transportation are doing everything in our power to approve rail safety, and we insist that the rail industry do the same on inviting congress to raise the bar. all four senators representing pennsylvania and ohio, including ohio republicans are also expressing support.
new safety rules to present -- prevent new disasters, including new crew side -- size requirements. the agency taking the lead on the responses the environmental protection agency. here is the director, michael regan. >> for more than two weeks, our teams across all levels of government have worked hand in hand to respond to this emergency. as we transition from the emergency response phase, what the state has led. with support from the federal government, to the cleanup space, that level of coordination will continue to be essential to all of our success. just two weeks ago, tragedy struck the small town. a small, close-knit community. thanks to the emergency responders, there was no loss of life did the way of life, a sense of comfort in living in a community like east palestine, has been shattered. what happened here is dramatic.
because this community is so resilient, we know that this community will bounce back. i recognize that no matter how much data we collect or provide, it will not be enough to completely reassure everybody. it may not be enough to restore a sense of safety and sick dirty that this community once had, but we will work together day by day for as long as it takes to make sure that this community feels at home once again. host: environmental protection agency director mike reagan and east palestine, ohio. let's go back to your calls. let's get some response on social media. steve sent this tweet, saying that the toxic train to rail meant -- derailment was from deregulation. >> jersey girl says she trusts her state because it was run by
people who believe in the efficacy of government. at the federal level, it is a mixed bag because i know the president and my senators will want to do something, but they will be hammered by the house when it comes to money. a comment from a tennessee congresswoman. newly elected. when east palestine pleaded for help after a massive toxic spill, biden left the country for a photo op and his secretary of transportation took personal time. which excuse is worse? one more from a congressman from florida. in response to the rail week safety resolution and the infrastructure committee, i am long champing rail safety. after the derailment, it is clear that rail safety much -- must be made a top priority in congress. let's hear from emmett in orange park florida. caller: good morning. can you hear me? host: i can. go ahead. caller: i want to say that
trump's visit was more toxic than the chemicals themselves. he sucks the oxygen out of the air. technically, trump was never able to complete his number one priority for the american people which is during covid 19, saving people's lives. he never got to the epicenter. that is critical for any president. any administration. he never got to the epicenter of covid-19. on top of that, if he had not worn a mask for two seconds. he could have saved millions of lives. i don't -- i still understand why people vote for this guy. host: next is david in north carolina. welcome. david in north carolina. you are on the air. david, meet your volume and go ahead with your comment.
caller: i'm sorry. biden he's over there in ukraine. wise and the vice president visiting these people up there? and another thing, i think he will never be my president. biden will never be my president. donald trump is my president. it's a shame that another president, future president, has to come up and go visit someone because he's over there in ukraine getting a check. that's all. host: mark is next in austin, texas. good morning. caller: good morning. go ahead. caller: i just want to say, this is a tragedy what happened in ohio. for trump to show up there and
pretend to be so caring about these people, to drink the water, it is just out of this world. but i would like to ask the american people to listen to what i'm trying to say about fox news because they are reporting differently from what everyone else is about what is happening in ohio. fox news needs to be held accountable for what they told lies about in an election. there needs to be a hearing held about them. host: how is what they are saying about the trail in ohio different from what other outputs are saying? how is fox news reporting differently? caller: this is all people you judge's fault trade this is joe's fall. they are spreading the blame. it was an accident that happened. but the way that they are portraying it is that the democrats are the ones that made this happen. this is what they are saying.
we are americans. we should be doing that. we should be trying to help those people in ohio. whether we are republican or democrat. that's what i am saying. back to fox news. you guys need to hold a poll up on them about having a congressional hearing. i remember back in the 90's, dolores tucker wanted to have rap music band. she had a congressional hearing about this. host: a little off our focus, but we -- appreciate the suggestion. greenville, northglenn,. darrell, your response on the disaster, and in particular this trail during human -- train derailment. caller: i am amazed at how people are surprised at either party seeming to act like they are on their side. they are speaking to politicians. they are speaking directly to the corporations.
they've been bought and paid for for years. it's amazing how we still fight amongst ourselves. whether we are democrats or republicans, it doesn't matter. we are americans. were really fighting against the corporations. they've got total control and washington, d.c.. it is amazing that we fight amongst ourselves. i just, it is so obvious to me. who cares whether it's one or the other. they are two heads of the same snake. it's amazing. that's about all i have to say. host: different from how things seem on the national scene. on the state level, between ohio and pennsylvania, a corporation, partnership is developing between ohio's governor, mike
dewine, pennsylvania's to governor, democrat josh shapiro. here's mike, the responsible -- the news conference together day. caller: it has been a real pleasure to work with governor shapiro. he and i have worked and been on the phone, texting back and forth many times. since the derailment. one of the things he and i have talked a lot about is really the need we have for congress to take a hard look at rail safety. there is something fundamentally wrong when it train like this comes into a state and the current law does not require, despite what they were appalling, does not require them to notify the state or local officials. that simply has to be changed. the fact that this train did not qualify under current law,
requiring the railroad company to make a notification is just absurd. it makes absolutely no sense. at all. the two of us as governors of states that have been directly impacted by this tragedy, we are going to make sure that our voices are continue to be heard again. we are asking congress to hold hearings, asking congress to take action, in this area. as i talked to the mayor, many times, and i talked to citizens of the community, one request that i keep hearing is this. don't leave us. the concern, very legitimate, is that when all of the tv cameras are gone, the reporters are gone, and the world turns to something else, the community is going to be left here to handle this problem on their own.
let me just say that we are making a public commitment again today. we will not leave them. we will stay here. we will continue to test. we will continue to do what needs to be done in a week and months and years as we go forward. host: people weighing invite taxed on our topic with this one says more regulation shown to improve safety in every and. ask yourself, who fights regulations in the rail industry in kansas city. thank -- panama -- in panama city, trump is the one who deregulated the rail service. so far, that wire showed up in ohio and blaming biden is a political stunt, and those patrons in ohio must be dumb to believe he was concerned about their health. elizabeth with this tweet. it is about responding instead of presenting. in the round up, we use it every
day. these companies know you can kill, and they still have enough money left over. one more text from joe in kentucky. he says that the biden administration is making laws to help security of trump aide. throwing paper towels is not what they need. let's go back to calls and hear from franklin in early in connecticut good morning. caller: can you hear me? host: yes. caller: why did they let trump go into the ohio area. all he did was get in the way of trying to recover. it was a campaign stop for him. authorities in ohio are letting the governor allow him in there. he is just getting in the way. like he always does. look how much better he can help the people of ohio. thank you for my call.
host: washington, up next. peggy. good morning. caller: in 2017, regulation requiring electronically controlled breaks was dropped on the ground of the safety benefit being inconclusive. it was very expensive. it would reduce the chance of a derailment and the impact of a trail meant to one occur. the chemical companies at nor folk appealed to repeal this obama administration resolution which caused every car to break at once. it lessened back to push the front cars and cause a trail me. in 2017, the secretary of transportation rolled that back entirely. trump bragged that they were
doing away with regulations to help the free markets. instead of doing upgrades on the railroad lines to get stock buybacks and shareholders. >> tells where you are reading a story from. caller: from the washington post and from the hill. host: thank you for your call. this is an investigative reporting of the group. one of their articles about the trail meant, and a story published yesterday. a norfork southern policy lesson ordered crews to ignore the efforts. political -- politico reports that crews were instructed to ignore train sensors designed to flag potential problems. they learned of the policy after learning the rules of the company which were engulfed in controversy after one of the trains to rail this month,
releasing toxic gas over ohio. this applies specifically to the companies wayside detector help next which -- helpdesk. they disregard the alert when information is available, confirming it is safe to speed, and to continue to go faster than 30 miles an hour to the next trackside sensor which is often miles away. the company's rulebook not specified what information might be. company officials did not respond to questions about the policy. they write that the national transportation safety board is look into the company rules, including whether that specific policy played a role in the fab three where a third -- february wrote -- if you are a third-degree ailment. let's hear from north richland hills, texas hello --. hello. caller: i am talking about the transportation secretary. he needs to resign or be fired.
he has been an unmitigated disaster from day one. this administration is a disaster in and of itself, but with that said, he had a real strike occurred back in september. if you believe in time frames. biden was negotiating a deal with the railroads, but it wasn't a permanent fix. in fact it was just a temporary fix. after that, you had a train crash. in december, the oversized load cost a fee. knowing got killed, good thing. you have nor folk's railroad. after this attack, and palestine, it took place west of detroit. the thing of it is, incompetence at this level is so above the roof it it is not even funny. everyone wants to rethink trump is not president. biden is. this administration is in charge.
everything from afghanistan to now is just bad. [indiscernible] almost all sectors in the hospital, transportation of any kind, military. we are seeing it on display. this is what you get when you have a woke attitude. we are being forced to hire people who are not qualified to do jobs they don't know what that bayard doing. host: do you think that was the case here? caller: don't know what caused
the accident. they say one of the axles on the railcar is what caused the problem. his that -- do litigation or regulations as far as equipment, you won't know until we get the report but, as far as politicizing it, that doesn't solve anything. host: a text from ian in titusville. the problem with trusting the government to keep people safe is they corporations have too much legislative sway. abolish citizens united, and make lobbying a criminal act similar -- to racketeering. burlington, vermont. welcome to the show. caller: interesting to hear how everyone at the mainline press has attacked donald trump enough
that anything that comes up is like a lightning rod, and he is the problem. interesting how the mindset of the country is. i don't believe that that is the case. how quickly we forget that he started work on the vaccine faster than any other resident getting going to help the citizens of the country. host: operation warp speed. caller: i forgot the other word. warp speed. when there was a disaster, he was there. he was not perfect, but you love the people of this country. he has been attacked for his holy their party. it wasn't fair.
he did a lot of good things. there were trade acts that were implemented between canada and mexico. we had low unemployment. we had good border policy that people could live with. there were millions of people pouring in that we don't know what to do. no one is perfect. united states, america. wake up. >> a headline from usa today. the white house blames republicans over east palestine, ohio spill. the epa administrator michael reagan yesterday saying sums pacific things about what he expect of cnn -- of norfork southern in the wake of the train through ailment. -- derailment. >> as we force norfork southern to take accountability, they
will take accountability, they will reimburse us. they have caused this mess, they are the ones were going to clean up and fix this mess. >> let me ask you how this will happen? what have you done as the epa administrator to push norfork southern to do all of the things you have just mentioned. >> yesterday's announcement laid out the fact that we are transitioning from an emergency response phase which was led by the state at epa risk port to the state to a cleanup, a longer-term cleanup phase. what i announced using my legal authority, we can hold them accountable. number one, they will cleanup every single piece of debris. all of the contamination to the epa specifications and satisfaction. number two, they will pay for it. fully paid for. at any moment, if we have to step in because they refuse to
do anything, we will do the cleaning up ourselves. we can find him -- find him up to $70,000 a day, and what we coop -- recoup our costs, we can charge them three times the cost of the government. that is what the law provides. we will use the full extent of our enforcement to hold them accountable. and, we have to have a very specific work plan. must be approved by the epa. we are going to make sure that every single step is included. no stone is unturned. host: congress responding, weighing in on the response to the derailment. this is from mike host of illinois. nine days have passed since the trains are ailment. meantime, joe biden jets off to europe, and pete buttigieg just now gets around to planning a visit to the crash site. this one is from bob casey.
this morning, i was briefed by the ntsb chair on the investigation into the recent derailment in east palestine. americans deserve action. it reinforces my belief that the investigation and analysis will be critical. let's hear from kevin in maryland. caller: it is sad to see the derailment and all the chemical spills, and one more thing. again, here we go. we have a disaster, one after another after another after another. everyone is doing the blame game. big business withheld, and people are starting to do the research, looking at black rock, and all of these businesses. it blows my mind how people get on their right away, and because trump goes and visits, they are going to make it look like he is some clown going to do something , third towels and water. it is just -- people need to
wake up and see what is going on with our country. it is just so sad children children are faced with this. i even looked at the children -- millennium children, they are lost. like they say, they live in basements. they are getting involved in tivo. they are doing this and that. it is sad, and the media fills the stuff with these lies. it is just -- i don't know where people don't do their own research and art aiding people and blaming. like the guy said, both parties, it is just a double-headed snake they are being paid for this stuff. that's the way it goes. >> next is milford, connecticut. andrea. welcome. host: good morning. caller: i have been listening closely, and i agree with most of the people. don't blame trump. he is the only president that showed up.
his showing up is getting pete to come out and maybe, our president will be coming out. i am tired of our president being president to every other country except us. he always gives our tax dollars to everyone else but us. people need help. i hear fema is not helping them. trump was talking to them. he needs to talk to them. mr. biden. he needs to get fema out there to help these poor people. they are americans, and americans should come first before every other country. we are the people. everyone, democrat, republican, independent, we are the people. host: here's a story from the new york times. how it is affecting one resident in pennsylvania near the spill in east palestine ohio. hearing ace -- healing a scar
from a trained are ailment even with the trees still there. how the seasons will unfold on the land decades ago. yield of some flowers in the summer. fresh apples for the horses, and pie in the fall and a tranquil place for her son to come home to, the matter the time of year. but what officials decided to weeks ago to burn off the cargo of a derailed freight train, a few miles away, they sent a human -- huge plume of smoke to blank to her farm and many others along the border. a sense of safety had long else there was a bit offended. after chemicals released, a white turkey from lesson year ago for three dollars was what on antibiotics for respiratory problems and her chickens late aches with an unsettling purple cubed. her son is urging her to move away, offering to build a barn for her to horses, samuel and razor. at age 54, she worked as a
custodian at a university and is considering leaving the 14 acres she considers a slice of heaven. i don't want to give up, quote she said, keeping an eye on a maple sap in her yard. as she ran to the question she had for planting a garden and drinking from a nearby creek in the wake of the chemical burn, she conceded, i don't feel completely safe doing that eight that. new york times.com to read the entire feature piece. glendale arizona, go ahead, ray. caller: nice to talk to you again. i just want to point out that rachel maddow did this a while back. relaxing of safety rules and regulations in the railroads. it was pretty much predicted this kind of thing happened. you might want to take a look at that. caller: thank you for that. host: maple heights, ohio next.
romeo. caller: i was an engineer for 22 years in ohio. locomotive engineer. not as big of trains is this one that he railed, but i handled tank cars, all kinds of stuff, and let me tell you people, once that train leaves the track, there is no break in heaven that's going to stop the car. it is on the ground. do you understand? there is no break can stop it. go sideways, upside down. it is ludicrous that you people are saying this. this was an act of god accident. these things happen. it is no one's fault. it is not the company's fall. they endeavor to be as safe as they can. host: what was that experience like for you? were you involved in these derailments as a worker on one of these trains? the scribe what that would be like for you.
-- describe what it would be like for you. caller: it was terrifying. especially when a locomotive leaves the track, it is terrifying. you do not -- you are at the mercy of, you know, whatever's going to happen. of course. every car on the train had a break. individual breaks. and automatically went off. all of those cars were in breaking position. it is the forward momentum of the train that kept it moving through there. do you see? they're going to pass. no one is even a result of the investigation. everyone has an opinion on this. every idiot. joe biden, go there and help these people. talk to them. they are deplorable's that you can't stand. the ultra maggot people. help them. host: have you ever gotten injured in a derailment? caller: no.
host: i appreciate your insight. we will go to garland, texas and hear from lee todd. caller: i am in almost 78-year-old person and i never got involved in politics until biden and donald trump. i've seen donald trump on many shows fondling women, talking out of his head. he lied about his work. he knew that covid was coming here. it i've heard the conversation on tv. he knew it was coming, and he did not do a thing. he got on tv and announced it is just a little thing. it will be over in a couple of months. i think everyone who is a stop and think about it will remember that. host: a couple of final views untaxed. why did the epa take almost two
months to show up and evaluate the wood fire that is burning since right after thanksgiving. it is still burning pretty all people in that area have been breathing hazardous smoke for this long. it is been proven to contain cancerous chemicals. the governor, tommy tuberville, mikerogers mayor jolene where we you two months ago? how do you feel about the regulation now? people will face unpreventable situations because they do not support scientific facts. there is more ahead here on "washington journal". our weeklong series examining the key segments of the federal budget will continue after the break. we will take a close at the federal health programs. the discussion with brian blais. later toxicologists and chemical
safety consultant will discuss the train derailment and the roles of federal government in investigating the health impacts there. friday c-span brings you afterwards from book tv were nonfiction authors are interviewed by journalists on their latest books this week todd benson with the center for immigration studies takes of critical look at the immigration issues at the southern border how joe biden unleash the greatest order crisis in history. immigration reporter danny tainer. friday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: as lawmakers debate raising the debt limit and how to handle spending reforms we take a look here on "washington journal" at examining the official state of how we got here the key aspects of the federal budget we are looking at it all this week. this morning talking about medicare and medicaid in particular. the amount they take and the federal budget we are joined by brian blase frederick isasi and thanks for being here on the program. if you can tell us about the organizations you are with and the general viewpoint on the situation we face with medicare and medicaid and the role it plays in the federal budget. guest: we are a new research
policy organization. if are focused on evaluating how government programs are working. and reforming programs that aren't working and improving american health policies focused on lowering costs and improving quality of care. one of the issues with our health care system is the contribution of federal programs. it is acknowledged that this is a problem bipartisan leaders in february 2010 white house health care summit president obama said that the rising cost of medicare and medicaid were unsustainable and we needed to get control over the spending in both of those programs. that was 13 years ago. the situation hasn't improved in the past 10 years. there has been increased cost pressures through the medicaid program, where there was a significant expansion. these programs need significant
reform or there's going to be significant tax increases on the middle class in the future there's going to be significant spending benefit reduction through these programs. host: and frederick isasi tell us about your organization and views on medicare and attica. >>'s been around for 40 years. and we are nonprofit. we are a hybrid think tank at the organization we focus on working hard to ensure that the very best are accessible to all in this nation, every single person. we spend two or three times more than any other country on health care. for that money every family should be able to get the best health. we work in state capitals around
the country and when it comes to medicare and dedicated -- medicaid these are programs that allow families to receive health care. we have 90 million people in medicaid and 60 million in medicare. we are talking about almost half the births in this country are covered by the medicaid program our moms, our babies relying on it. people in this country with significant health challenges and disabilities, both are on both medicare and medicaid. these are very important programs. i think brian and i agree there are serious problems around the cost of health care. i think medicare and medicaid
are no different than problems we have as families trying to achieve health care. medicare and medicaid is it suffering just like our families. almost half of americans are not seeking the care they need because they can't afford to. about a third are foregoing things like they are choosing between health care and paying rent or health care and heat. there is a crisis in this country around the cost and inefficiency of health care. host: let's do a couple of things. let's open our from eyes and make sure our viewers and phone lines know that we welcome your phones and comments (202) 748-8001 is the line for republicans. host: is the line for independent and others. (202) 748-8002.
(202) 748-8003 is our text line. and of the 90 million, the 90 million probably aware of how medicare or parts of medicare is the insurance cover, the hospital and concerns -- hospital insurance coverage. the part c is partnership that private medicare advantage part of medicare and part d is the prescription drug part. i want to go back to something frederick said about you said 2010 and i had forgotten about the health care summit in 2010. i want you to respond to how the program has changed over the years since both medicare and medicaid in what they cover and the numbers of people now served. guest: let me start with medicare. it was created in 1965.
it was about five workers for every retiree release of the number of workers per retiree which is basically the way it was tax based. it is now a little under three workers and sent is going to be two workers per retiree. the payroll tax, that funds part a the hospital insurance program used to cover a much greater share of the total cost. now it only covers about one third of medicare's cost. about 15% of medicare's costs are paid seniors on the program but half of medicare spending our transfers from the general revenue. it's not paid for by the payroll taxes, or by beneficiaries it is increasingly paid for through general tax revenue. that is not sustainable. medicaid, the growth in medicaid
it has federally grown and the affordable care act contained a significant expansion of medicaid. it used to be a program for lower income children, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities. there is a significant inspection and then the pandemic there has been another expansion with the pandemic. three years ago congress passed legislation that prohibited states from removing individuals from medicaid even if they were no longer eligible for the program. it is estimated now there are probably 15-20,000,000 people on medicaid who are not eligible. you will start seeing those people move off the program. host: tell us a little bit about the pressures of the numbers increasing what does that is what pressure does that put on the industry itself? guest: it's important to say we saw a test of our public programs during the pandemic
this was important to say was the largest increase in employee sponsored coverage. about half of americans are getting sponsored coverage the largest decrease in history in this country and what's really interesting is when you look at the data the states that have extended medicaid, those estates actually did not see a reduction in -- people were protected. medicaid works really well and if it only in the states that refused to extend medicaid and to be clear let's talk about for example alabama. if you are a single mom with two kids, if you make more than $370 a month, a month, there is nothing for you. so states like that that refused to provide, this is how people
lose coverage. medicaid really showed it served people during the pandemic. when they saw their income dry up they had to go get care. host: best case scenario all 50 states want to expand medicaid, can the country afford that? guest: without a question the country can afford that. we are spending right now two or three times more than the rest of the world on health care. they live over seven years longer than we do we are not getting good value for our dollar the solution to this is not cutting people off of health care it is getting a lot more value from health care. not just for medicare and medicaid but for our families who are struggling to hook -- get health care.
host: you can respond to this. guest: i agree with frederick. it's going to take working on and improving the efficiency to our health care system. on medicaid it's important to realize it is a joint federal state program the federal government is financing 50% on average for those traditional enrollees, the enrollees brought in through the affordable care act. states right now are sitting on $7 trillion of cash and financial assets. with the federal government has done is issued debt so states, so that we can afford and then states can cover individuals like this with their own resources. there is an incentive per state to spend more because when they spend more they get more resources from washington.
they don't have good incentives to focus on value and i think there is emerging evidence that states have expanded medicaid. we didn't do anything to increase the number of doctors and nurses in the country. we have to do something to increase the supply of health care. we have this surge of individuals with demand and you don't do anything about the number of providers taking care of them. states that expanded medicaid programs, that is taking resources away from low income kids that were on medicaid. host: $7 trillion in assets. overpayments over the last couple of years? guest: states did really well with their tax revenue coming in. but a large part of what the federal fiscal response was, and this was through direct payments, it was also through increased medicaid spending which is deliver hundreds of billions of additional dollars what states did with that money was take physical action might
cut taxes, raise it in other areas which was very inflationary. so you have inflationary at the federal level with all the borrowing that was happening and at the state level with expansionary fiscal policy contributing to the policy. host: our guest brian blase served as advisor for the trump administration. >> really important to say i worked many years with the national government working on medicaid programs, working on trying to make health care more efficient and i want to say if we are talking about medicaid an order for states to receive support from our government. when our economy almost came to a grinding halt, the medicaid program only got money when they actually provided services, that's how it works. as you provide services to people during a health care
pandemic, they're going to help you and support back. that is how it was being given to states. in terms of medicaid, not other services. it's really important to say that state budgets unlike the federal government, states have to balance the budget. at the end of the day, they can't print money like the federal government. they can't raise the debt. states, fiscally, states are different depending on the state. it's really important to say that now the pandemic is ending states are going through a redetermination process. what we have seen in the past states can sort of -- a lot of people are working families that they cannot put up barriers and people who are eligible for medicaid lose coverage. we are talking potentially tens of millions of people because they can't file paperwork.
this is bipartisan. it wasn't president biden by himself it was republican in congress and democrats passed legislation were going to make sure people don't get kicked off of roles were going to make sure people stay on now we will go through a host: redetermination process. host:medicaid and medicare spending in 2021 medicare grew by 8.4% to $900.8 billion in spending that is a 21% of the total national health expenditures. 734 million in terms of specifics for medicare spending in 2021 there was $829 billion in medicare spending that is 10% of the federal budget in 2021. let's get to calls for our guests.
the executive director director of families, usa and president of the paradigm health institute talking medicare and medicaid. the issues facing congress. good morning, democrat line. caller: hi, i am -- i don't understand why there is sewed much advertisement of medicare or medicaid, i'm not sure much. it's called advantage. what is the difference, like, i am insured. i'm 94 years old but that has, i am covered. at one time when i was on a vintage many years ago a person advised me get off of advantage go into medicare itself. i need to know what is the
difference between the two? host: thank you for watching all these years. brian you want to tackle medicare advantage? guest: you sound great for 97 years young. it is a part of medicare it is about half of all seniors now enrolled in advantage. it's how they get their benefits through a private health insurance plan. you can go to united, they have a network provider and they offer a full set of medicare benefits. there are some advantages most seniors have to get supplemental payments or supplemental coverage. because there are limits on what traditional medicare will cover. so it's increasingly attractive for a lot of seniors. guest: i think we are talking
about medicare, medicare advantage the way it was designed was supposed to be allowing private businesses to create a more efficient business health care. in fact, right now they are spending a lot more money per person than traditional medicare may 105% depending on how you calculated. the good example of a system that was supposed to make things more efficient that is making things less efficient and increasing the debt and while it is true that because they get these extra payments, they offer some additional benefits like a very small eyeglass measure or small hearing benefit. those benefits are not the difference between what they are getting paid it is the profit they are getting. i personally advise my family use traditional medicare. with advantage you are putting
an insurance company between you and your doctor. with traditional you and your doctor can decide for yourselves what your care should be. i think it's wasteful and puts the insurance company between you and your doctor. host: it sounds like the advantages to the insurance company. guest: exactly. guest: it is more expensive than traditional, i will agree with that. but for the benefit package it provides a supplemental benefit that seniors value. this may be more of a perception thing but do you think people who become seniors moving into medicare have more expectation for what medicare should do, provide for them than they may have had 10 or 20 years earlier? guest: that's a good question. my parents just turned 65 a year ago. i think the first or they were on traditional medicare and then
realized the benefits of medicare advantage. the it -- they have a lot of choices of medicare advantage with the new part b prescription drug program there is a lot of options. >> medicare, if you look at the polling on medicare if you remember the program was created over 50 years ago because we had a lot of seniors not getting health care. it's really served that purpose. a lot of people don't realize it protects our grandparents and parents from going bankrupt. when it comes to part b which is another example of where the prescription part, it allows seniors to get drugs through medicare. there is a lot of problems with this benefit. your super supportive, it is a key to lifesaving for many
people. first of all, when it was passed it wasn't paid for. that was done under the republicans watch. they partially pay for something. they put a provision and the law saying the government cannot get a fair price for this drug. that has resulted in a massive amount of abuse by the prescription drugs industry. everybody knows that, people are outraged by it and we finally passed a law that said the federal government can negotiate and get a fair price for seniors on medicare. that is about attacking the deficit and improving our financial situation. host: let's get back to calls. we hear from jeff in nebraska, good morning. caller: i have two questions require. during the obama administration it was reported they took $810
billion out of medicare in order to create the new obama medical program. i don't know if that's true or not but did they pay that back? also all these 5 million illegal aliens crossing the border, who is paying for that? is that going on some type of different program that we don't know about? is the state paying for that or is that coming out of our money or medicare? host: do you want to address the obama administration paying for it? guest: the affordable care act or obamacare had to mean spending provisions. they had the expansion of medicaid which we discussed. it also had a creation of subsidies for people who bought coverage on the exchanges. that was to be paid for in two ways, one was the medicare spending reductions that the caller mentioned.
those were in the law and they put -- persist to this day. spending is lower than it would've been because of the aca and a variety of tax increases. most of the tax increases have been repealed. many in bipartisan ways. there was a cadillac tax that was repealed. there was a health insurance tax, there was a medical device tax, there was the individual mandate penalty which you had to pay the government a fine if you didn't have the accessible insurance. the aca said part d was not paid for the aca has not been paid or because of the way that the politics worked out and the aca has significantly trump you did -- contributed to it. guest: i was involved in negotiations. it was definitely not 810 that
did not happen. there were some reductions in payment to hospitals to pay -- to help offset cost. there were improvements that were made to medicare beneficiaries. ryan is talking about after the law was passed congress started acting and changing the law again. when the law was passed the congressional set and try to figure out. under senate has to be paid for. this is paid for and it reduced the deficit. that is what happened while it was passed. if future congress has acted and change the law, that's on them. when it was enacted it was paid or, it reduced the deficit and it was a very fiscally sound approach. unlike wendy drug benefit, --
unlike the drug benefit. let's hear from bernie from rhode island. caller: i just want to make a couple of points about decayed and medicare. the first point is what are the drivers that are driving up the cost? there are three basically. one may surprise you. the first is emergency room visits. the second prescription cost but the third is nursing homes. up to 70%, over two thirds of medicaid goes to nursing home for people who can't stay home. right now there is a cottage industry of attorneys who seize assets for the upper-middle-class and the wealthy so they don't have to pay out-of-pocket for nursing home expensive -- expenses. if you look at a lot of the seniors on medicaid they are rich families they are able to
start the expense. one medicaid, when obamacare first came into play there was a regulation that patients had to get a referral from their physician before going to an emergency room. that cut costs dramatically. you weren't finding people showing up in the emergency room with a common illness. for some reason that regulation when away. now the medicaid population doesn't have primary care providers. that was built to reduce the cost. the medicaid recipient had to get a referral from their primary care. in other words, the doctor had to wake up at 2:00 in the morning and say you need to go to the emergency room or your 12 year old child has a cold i will see them in the morning. with medicare, there has been a lot of concentration, all of the talk has been on reducing costs
and it has been on the beneficiary side. what about cutting the cost, the amount paid to providers in medicare? there is such abuse, especially with specialists. they get enormous reimbursements. what you have is a bunch of physicians, why go to primary care when i go to a specialist. host: you put several things on the plate up for discussion. brian, do you want to take some of those? guest: medicaid and nursing homes. i agree with you. paragon health institute we have a paper titled long-term care i encourage you to take a look at it. medicaid, it is not that difficult for seniors to qualify for medicaid to have medicaid pay for long-term care expenses. i did some overset -- oversight
on this when i was in congress. in some parts of the country it is a significant problem. new york state, for example, i know there is a lot of assistance individuals can obtain. medicaid is supposed to be a safety net program for the vulnerable, it's not supposed to be a program for the affluent to abuse in the way it is too often being used. on the er visits, this is a point that i often make when i talk about, one of the things that paragon does is looks at the outcome of the government programs. 2009, 2010 one of the selling points is people would get coverage and get a primary care physician and they would avoid the emergency room. that is something we can test after the aca, if you look at the difference between medicaid
expansion states and nonemergency expansion states what happened? there was a paper produced a couple years ago that found a surge in er utilization because of medicaid expansion. it didn't lead to that. of people going to a primary source of carriages led to a flood of individuals going to the emergency room for inappropriate services. >> first, the question of medicaid in long-term nursing home states year after year are treating -- being more stringent and try to figure out are people trying to withhold their wealth to get into long-term care. it's very expensive. it's not nearly as simple as it's being described. many people out there have been
subject to those. host: nursing homes are regulated on the state level, correct? >> yes, that's exactly right. on medicaid and medicare the number one problem for us is families. medicare, medicaid families which is the price of our health care is out. we are being ripped off. corporate hospitals, drug companies, corporate physician groups. right now stop surprise medical bills. no one deserves to lose their health care. we have corporate positions out there -- the health care sector is trying to make billions of dollars in profits off the backs of families.
the last point i want to make is on er visits. i was involved in a lot of medicaid work and there are two things i want to point out. one is washington state where the governor got fed up and he said there are too many er visits in medicaid i'm going to stop payment for them after five visits. do you know what happened? the er doctors got activated. they started to figure out why are paid since coming and this was years before, they had an opioid crisis and people were showing up looking for opioids and dealing with addiction. they put in place social workers and data systems to help people get treatment and they saved over $20 million in one year. that is one example. another is in alaska we worked with the governor there and what they figured out was the closed a clinic in the neighborhood. which is often the case and they
had no access to care so they were showing up at the er. they opened up a clinic and they saved $50 million in one year. er utilization is a complex thing. nobody wants to go to the emergency department. they show up because there is no other choice. figure out what is happening host: host: and solve the problem. next up is darrell in new jersey. go ahead. caller: hello? host: you are on, darrell. go ahead. caller: sorry, ok. good morning, c-span. i have a question regarding medicare. it gets taken from my pension check every month, medicare and health benefits. so last year i sold a house and unbeknownst to me when i got my
statement this january it went from 170 two $547. i guess it's because the money that i made on the house that i sold was considered to be income money, i guess? so my question there is the people that make a million dollars a year, what do they pay for medicare? does the price go up according to income? host: brian? guest: so first of all a lot of people don't realize there is an important connection between medicaid and medicare. if you are very low income, medicaid actually helps support your premiums and medicare. darrell might have been in a
position where medicare was covering some of the costs. selling a house counts as income, as an example of that is the income comes up medicaid stops pete -- paying. with medicaid saying you don't qualify. in general, medicare said you have to work in order to contribute into the trust fund. then you start paying premiums. that is the same for everyone. the idea is you are paying into the system and you're receiving the benefit. host: you mentioned the trust fund the hospital insurance trust fund paid for medicare is set to not go empty but essentially run dry as of 2028 what happens when that day comes? guest: that is the part a and it
would be significant benefit cuts. it would be 10-12% of benefit cuts. is that the most immediate need that congress needs to address? you've got the hospital insurance trust fund, and the social security. that trust fund is set to expire in 20 -- 10 years as well. a couple of weeks ago there was an agreement not to do anything about social security and medicare it's not just dealing with reality. go to address the unsustainable trajectory of each program they are not going to get to a point where they can do an across-the-board benefit cut. there is so much political pressure to resist that. one of the things that paragon does is try to make the case what can we do now to start reforming these programs so we
sort of minimize the disruption, minimize the future tax increases in the future benefit cut but congress doesn't deal with it until 2028. the situation will be much more drastic then. guest: we should be dealing with this problem right now. the problem isn't that we have a program serving families. the problem is the health care specter is out of control. corporate health care drives price. they are price gouging us. it's really, if you watch prediction it's based on economic growth and how we are doing as a country. next are it will be different. the most important thing here is
the reason we have this problem is because for many decades it stayed pretty flat and our spending is going up. let's be clear, we have to address the foundation. it's very middle-of-the-road. we have at least $2 trillion in tax waste and fraud in this country particularly from very wealthy people and businesses. let's tackle that and not rip health care away from working families. host: the numbers, i think you said this earlier 90 million americans use medicaid and at million americans are on medicare. guest: approximately, yeah. host: let's go to our republican line, mary in mississippi. caller: good morning.
host: mary are you there? caller: yes, good morning. host: go ahead with your question or comment. caller: yes, i have a couple of questions. the pursed -- the first question i have a nephew that is on disability and he has a lot of mental problems and medical problems and he draws about 800-1800 dollars a month and they tell him that he is not qualified for medicaid or medicare because he draws too much. he has to pay all his medical bills and all his daca bills -- dr. bills. i was wondering if there was something we could do to get him some help because he does not have enough to live on.
guest: that is a great question. i think the answer is clear. the reason that your nephew, or sans -- sun doesn't qualify is because mississippi still refuses to extend medicaid. this is an example of a person so vulnerable has significant health issues and mental issues, right? and can't get medicaid because the state is refusing to extend medicaid. i worked really hard on this when i worked in the senate. i worked directly with republican senators negotiating with us. horrible people, we need to make sure they can get health care. most americans don't realize that before the affordable care act, this is an example of it. in alabama, a working mom of two kids, if she makes more than $370 a month there is nothing
for her. to answer mary, for mississippi, if they extend medicaid that helps normal people. host: your nephew is on disability. if he's on supplemental security income that qualifies you for medicaid. if he is on social security, disability insurance, there are two federal disability programs and that qualifies him for medicare. there are actually twice as many people now on medicaid then there are in poverty in the u.s.. medicaid is not just a program for an -- for the vulnerable. i think it is prioritizing the truly vulnerable and those who need the government systems and not expanded far be under its reach. just to go back races are too high we spend too much on health care, i agree with that. one of the things the government
should stop doing is subsidizing so much inefficiency and waste so the inflation reduction act can retain a giant expansion to help insurance companies. these subsidies allow insurers to increase premiums and pass the cost directly to the federal taxpayer. they are very inflationary. they replace private spending with government spending. these subsidies that insulate the providers from care from caring about prices and allow pricing power and the federal government should stop subsidizing such inefficiency and waste. guest: when you go to the exchange they are helping pay part of the premium and health insurance, the amount of profit they can generate is limited. they have to spend that money on
health care, not on profit and i think we both agree that the price, health insurance is doing a terrible job negotiating a good price for us. we do a lot of bipartisan work on this. the problem isn't medicare it's not medicaid, it's you and i why did that m.r.i. cost $3000? that is price gouging. host: we have about 15 more minutes with our guests. we welcome your calls and comments. it was go to our demo credit -- democrat line in the bronx. caller: i have a few questions. i live in new york and i have a relative that is a patient from new jersey.
they get medical insurance from their job and he has medicaid in new york but they keep saying because he's not a resident of new jersey he could not qualify or apply for medicaid. no i'm hearing also that there is medicaid conversion that you can swap from state to state? or do you have to live in new jersey to qualify for medicaid? and he is in a hospital getting special treatment. i want him to stay there but how do i do it? host: either of you have an idea for her? guest: this is a very classic problem. he is working now he is losing his job because he is sick and he needs to get coverage. what we do? that is the point. that happened to more people than it ever happened to before in the country.
she sang my relative, what does he do he's not a resident so he doesn't qualify. each program is run by the state. to qualify for the benefit you have to be a resident of the state read -- state. u.s. medicaid pays for the care in new jersey as long as it is within that. tossing out want to think this is an example for how unfair it is that a family, like the one we heard from in mississippi or alabama, those families can't rely on medicaid the way of family in new york and because those states are refusing to extend coverage. we need the same system for everyone so everyone has a shot at getting good health care. host: going back to congress if
you could have one thing, the one thing congress needs to do now for this session when it comes to medicare and medicaid what should that be? brian? guest: produce an option for ideas of reducing federal health programs probably in a few weeks one that immediately comes to my mind is agree with president biden so 2011 during, there were debt reduction talks. it took issue seriously. the talks went to vice president biden and republican majority leader eric cantor and the issue of medicaid provider taxes came up. just let me take 30 seconds and explain that. the federal government provides
this open ended reimbursement of state medicaid spending. one of the things states have incentive to do is create expenditures and get federal funds from big expenditure. they use provider taxes to do this. it taxes a hospital $100 and then it sends the hundred dollars right back on this hospital. that is big -- $100 changing hands. they reimburse the state $60 so the state can help the hospital and use a portion of it. it is a scam, it's a gimmick. if there has been bipartisan acknowledgment of it. when it came up in the 2011 production cost president biden said it was a scam. cbo has estimated with the budget savings would be of getting rid of this financing
gimmick and it would save the federal government more than half $1 trillion over a decade. that would reduce the deficit and states are sitting on 6.6 trillion dollars of cash and assets. if they find whatever the spending is they can spend the money on it. i put my vote for illuminating the medicaid provider tax. >> first thing i'll say is there was another account. we were all part of it in 2017. the republicans had control of everything. they try to pass the bill that took 600 billion dollars out of medicare and medicaid and kick 30 million people off of health insurance. that was there solution. that is a crazy solution. that is the one people said absolutely not. as i said earlier they go after
the $2 trillion in tax abuse that wealthy millionaires and corporations when it comes to the employer tax issue i spent a lot of time on this i was a lawyer that helped states and public entities understand this. the tax that is for public hospitals, that is how provider taxes work. they generate money because medicaid is not a state program. it is a federal program. for states like new york city that have a lot of money, have always been part of the state effort to contribute, to get medicaid support, there has been so much worked on this between 2000 and 2010. there has been tons of oversight. a lot of the stuff is sort of old stories about what was going on.
let's be clear if you take away the ability from new york city to use tax dollars that they are using through their hospital you are killing the ability ability to provide service. i think it is something i totally agree on we have got to unveil the abuse that's happening in corporate health care. we worked together, someone walks in the hospital they should know what something costs. we have to work hard on who is doing a good job, who is doing a bad job so when i walk into a hospital you know if it's going to overcharge or has terrible care. at the end of the day with this is about is stepping in and saying those prices are outrageous for medicare, medicaid, and outrageous for me and you and our families.
let's solve the price count -- gouging that is what we should be talking about. host: a couple more because i want to get to. brian in washington, independent line. caller: good morning, "washington journal". i have a question for each one of the guests. you answered what my question was in regard to the bankruptcy situation our country had a couple decades ago. most bankruptcies were due to medical bills. 97% of medical bills had medical insurance. my question to you is how do we fix that? and mr. blase you are the economy guide for trump and you were a congressman so i have to ask how many times did you vote to repeal the affordable care
act instead of making it better and why didn't you guys make it better when you had control of the white house, the congress, and the senate in the beginning of the trump occupation and, you know, if you are in the economy part for medicaid what is your plan to stop something happening like two thousand seven? you quoted the congressional budget office -- i will quote them 1997 they said our national debt would go from red to black in 2007. the bush administration handed off a guesstimated financial world. we had policemen and firemen on disability claims because retirement pensions are wiped out from the financial wall street guys. host: a couple things i think,
brain, you worked in congress. but weren't a congressman? guest: i was on the oversight committee. and i did one year at the public policy committee. let me tell you about the process of 2017. i was in the white house economic council the president, president trump made a commitment to deal with the problems caused by the affordable there were two main problems caused by the affordable care act. the individual market exchange enrollment was very low, premiums are escalating. insurers were flaying those marketplaces. you also had small businesses decided not to offer coverage. and you had this surge of wasteful spending. we now know there was an increase in spending because of the aca. american life expectancy was
lower in 2019 then 2013. congress was not repeal and replace. there were few elements of repeal in the bill. there was no way 30 million people were going to lose their health insurance. that was the major problem with the way the congressional office made an impact. one of those efforts failed, the administration did what he could to open up options for people so they could have different ways to get their health insurance. we opened up a plan that was subject to affordable care act rules. we made it easy for businesses to join together. we did the trip price transparency role. we did one other major change which was, and i agree, there was a problem which frederick mentioned this earlier. people get sick, they lose their
job, they lose their health insurance. we created another way that employers could offer coverage. instead of the employers selecting the plan for all the workers at the company, the employer provides a contribution, the contribution gets the same tax benefits of is not subject to payroll tax and the individual takes a plan and uses it to buy an aca compliant plan. that role is called the individual coverage health reimbursement arrangement. it's another way employers can offer coverage for workers where they have more choice and control over the land they bought. host: do you want to respond to the specific question of think of c's? guest: to be really clear we had more people enrolled. we have 15 million americans and it was one of the keys to making sure people had coverage. second thing is republicans who
are in charge they put forward their plan and the nonpartisan scorekeeper said 30 million people lose coverage and more than $600 million come out of medicare, medicaid. that was their plan. that's not anything anyone can support. the last thing is when you talk about alternative to the he's talking about what most people call trunk insurance. you're paying a premium, not much of a premium. when you go in there is no impatiently you can't buy prescription drugs. or it's just dr. coverage. it was a way to unleash insurance company tricks on the american public. making sure insurance actually covers what is needed. this is kind of the other point
i made. we are in a crisis in the country. health corps is unaffordable because of price gouging. if you get cancer, 40% go bankrupt within two years. that's people with insurance. the reason it's happening is because the prices we are paying our outrageous. hospitals are raising prices four times faster than inflation. the top 10 ceo's of prescription drug companies are making $200 million a year. that is happening on our watch to our families, to medicare and medicaid. we need to solve that problem. host: although this is a conversation which could go 90 minutes, we are going to wrap it up here. frederick isasi is the executive director of families usa and brian blake is the president of
paramount health. we will continue to follow your writing on it. thank you to both of you. still ahead here on the program, in about 15 minutes, will be joined by toxicologist and chemical safety consultant gerald. he will talk about the train derailment in east palestine, ohio, and the imprecations of the spill there and the role of the federal government in resolving that. up next, we are going to open our lines for open forum, a chance for you to way in on issues we are following. the lines remain the same. democrats, 748, 8000. we will be right back. ♪ >> fridays, c-span brings you afterwords from book tv, where
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find the full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at book tv.org. >> washington journal continues. host: we go to open forum for about 15 minutes or so. it is your opportunity to weigh in with news items you are following, topics we have talked about today. [indiscernible] is the line --(202) 748-8001 is the one for republicans. (202) 748-8000 is the one for democrats. for everyone else, (202) 748-8002. confused supreme court justices -- luddite law nerds could fundamentally change the nature of the internet based on a pair of cases they heard this week, but at least a few seem to realize that doing so could have
profound implications they may not fully understand. they write that after several supreme court justices announced tuesday they were confused by the arguments on display and the law they were being asked to interpret, one of them laid her cards on the table. we are a court. we really do not know about these things, justice elena kagan said. these are not in the nine greatest experts on the internet. that is putting it mildly, rights have post. the court spent much of its time tried to define the debate, often resorting to complicated metaphors to illustrate questions of the case -- everything from rice pilaf recipes to adult sections in bookstores. you can follow the oral argument on our website at c-span.org. look for oral arguments of the supreme court. let's get to your calls. daphne's first step in mulberry, florida. could morning. caller: good morning.
my question pertains to the subject matter you just got off of, about health care and medicare and medicaid care. unfortunately, any person dies, what happens to the money that goes back into the system, and how is it used? i will listen to my answer off the call. host: our guests have left, but we appreciate you asking. perhaps someone will weigh in with a response. highland beach, florida, next up. caller: my question is, if the plan, the republican said the medical plan would help, the plan the republicans are offering -- if it was better than obamacare or the affordable care act, why did john mccain, vote against it? one of your guests mentioned that life expectancy dropped during this period.
that is sort of misleading. if you look at the demographics of american age and baby boomers and our health habits, how overweight and obese most people are, it is their own responsibility because they do not take care of themselves. you just look around and you see everyone walking around with belly rolls. host: it is open forum, any topic you want to talk about. catherine, from golden valley, arizona. caller: thank god for c-span. first time caller. longtime listener. regarding the health care industry, there is a book i read that was written by a physician. her name is elizabeth rosenthal. she wrote a book totally exposing price gouging, the techniques the industry is using. she also gave suggestions on how
congress could help fix this, how you as a patient can protect yourself. it is called "an american sickness." it is also available on audible, which makes it much easier read. i highly recommend this by elizabeth rosenthal. please read it to help yourself and to maybe help reform this price gouging, the blank invoices they make you sign when you go get care, and the surprise bills. it is horrible. thank you for the time to talk. host: thanks for calling. this is a story from the arizona republic, published on yahoo! news. withheld reports on investigations of 2020 election claims. the arizona attorney general concluded months ago there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election results in maricopa
county, but the top prosecutor sat on the information and suppressed mitigating details, newly released records show. an investigative report and internal memos from 2022 indicate the attorney general was aware his investigators did not uncover any criminality or fraud in the 2020 election, weeks before he reported the election system was vulnerable and the mishandling of early ballots was broken. three ballots were made public yesterday. chris mays described this as deeply unsettling and unacceptable. from maryland, democratic caller. caller: i would like to know what you are so studiously avoiding reporting on the fox news dominion lawsuit story, which has been on the front page of every newspaper that is not owned by murdoch. you do not even read the headlines.
are you afraid of your callers? i do not understand why that has not been a topic. host: we have read about that story over the course of the trial. i'm sure we will be talking about it more once a verdict is reached, but yes, we have addressed it on the program. when that cut, illinois, it is miles on the republican line. caller: i just finished listening to mr. isasi and the other gentleman on the health care. let me tell you, health care is absolutely obscene in the overcharging, the waste, and abuse. european countries get the same outcomes for 35% less, and we are going bankrupt. there is a system that might fix this, called capitation. fixed reimbursement covers all
costs of all care, without any negotiation. hospitals and physicians are given a certain amount of money and have to provide care within that budget. they call it budgeted health care. this has got to be fixed. i am a republican. i am dismayed at the way republicans and the wall street journal are handling this as an economic issue. host: weighing in on health care via text, from morristown, new jersey -- unless you are poor, the aca is very expensive when you get no subsidies, more than paying an individual player. jackie, a republican in pennsylvania -- i think victims of all these natural disasters fueled by greenhouse gases deserve a mention.
many are struggling with housing and other issues. it is unfortunate the media moves onto other topics within a few days, but their struggle goes on for years. we will be talking in a little less than 10 minutes about the train derailments in the chemical spill in east palestine, ohio. next up is barry, who is on the independent line in long island, new york. caller: how are you doing today? as far as the health care system, we will never get control of the health care system until we get control of the health of the american people. obesity is killing us. hypertension, blood glucose problems -- these are all conditions that could be eliminated by eating healthy and living healthier lives, and we never hear anything from fauci or anybody talking about how we could get healthier. that is number one.
number two, obamacare was supposed to lead to cheaper prices and had just the opposite effect. what happened was many doctors left their practices, joined bigger practices, and more consolidation there is, the higher the pricing. those are my points. host: a couple of political stories. this one from politico. jon tester will seek reelection, bolstering democrats. senator jon tester announced wednesday he will run for reelection, a major boost to senate democrats defending their majority on a tough map in 2024. i am running so i can keep fighting for montanans and demand washington stand up for veterans at lower costs. he said montanans need a fighter who will keep washington accountable and i am running to defend our montana values. that is from politico. another story about his south carolina colleague, senator tim scott.
the headline -- senator tim scott previews a competitive presidential vision in his speech, casting himself as an embodiment of america's promise. he took another step toward a likely presidential campaign with a formal condemnation of liberal policies and a call for national renewal. working off a teleprompter with new remarks, he described the country as beset by misery and hopelessness, with citizens consuming the empty calories of anger and politicians hooking voters on the drug of victimhood and the narcotic of despair. he blamed democrats and liberals, who he accused of taking a blueprint to ruin america, calling up president biden for living in the past, and accusing him of exploiting the nation's history of racial oppression for political ends. let's go to connecticut and hear from karen on the independent line. caller: good morning.
i wanted to talk about how our parties are changing so much, and that people should be aware of this. when i was a republican, they also believed in public programs that would help the little guy and whatnot. but this extreme privatization and deregulation is just out of hand. look at the train wreck. they were supposed to update their brakes to a pneumatic electronic system so it would stop every car, like my trailer does when i pull it. and they stayed with civil war breaks -- brakes. and don't forget, corporate democrats are trying to privatize everything too. it is really only the progressives left to help us. they want us to have a single-payer insurance, which will not increase anybody's cost because we already have all of these privatized doctors and
blood draw stations, etc. it is just crazy that people do not understand how things work. they do not look at our secure pages for the house and the senate to see who voted on what. that is how you can know who is for what. listen to the candidate, what they are saying, not what somebody is saying about them, because they are using lies to get their way. it is crazy. i really think the only people who care about the american people are the progressives. caller: let's go to hex, calling from homestead, florida. democrat line. caller: can you hear me? we'll try to be quick about this. my programs are he/him/his. i name is hex. i would like to keep terry nichols -- i would like to keep tyre nichols on everyone's mind.
the five officers are pleading not guilty, which i understand is the right, what we need to make sure there is accountability across this country when it comes to police reform. i'm not talking about police abolishment. i am talking about making sure officers are being trained and there is supervision in these groups like the scorpion unit. that is down in miami. we have them in every city. we need to make sure we are doing everything we can hold our police accountable, so we can trust our police. i am a child of an officer, a good one. when bad officers make good ones look bad, it really makes my blood boil. that is all i wanted to say. i am also wishing loving energy to the parents of tyre. host: i appreciate your comments and perspective. the call from florida.
there is more ahead on washington journal. up next, we will be joined by toxicologist and chemical safety consultant gerry poje, who will talk about the train derailment in ohio and how the government is investigating the health impacts. that is next. ♪ >> be up-to-date in the latest in publishing with book tv's podcasts about books, with current nonfiction book releases, plus bestseller lists, industry news, and trends. you can find out about books on our free mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> preorder your copy of the congressional directory with 118th congress, with bio and
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on c-span 2. exploring the people and events that tell the american story. at 6:30, a look at slavery reparations from a variety of perspectives, with andrew del banco. and the university of maryland eastern shore history professor talks about the role black women played during the reconstruction era. exploring the american story. watch american history tv saturday on c-span 2, and find the full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime. >> washington journal continues. host: our guest gerry poje is a toxicologist, a founding member of the chemical safety board, and is here with us to talk
about the effects of the train wreck and chemical spill, and concerns about exposure, and what the government should be doing about it. welcome to washington journal. guest: thanks so much. happy to be here. host: i read somewhere that 20 of the 150 cars on that train were chemical cars. we have seen all of those photos and video. what types of chemalwere in that train? guest: happily, we have released at least a portion of the manifest for the train, the 38 railcars that were most implicated in the crackup and the release. they included cars with chemicals like vinyl chloride, a rather potent carcinogen, one that has generated an enormous amount of toxicological research, as well as concerns on how best to manage it. but also lesser-known chemicals
like ethyl hexyl acrylate, heckerling glycol, butyl ether, and more may have recognized vinyl chloride then the others. and a similar suite of chemicals that can change the flow of the most toxic chemicals into the environment -- into the air, into the water, and into the soil. as a toxicologist, you worry not just about the individual toxicity, although that is of supreme concern, but also, what does this mixture mean in terms of human exposures and exposures to pets and farm animals and the fish in the streams, and any living creatures downstream from this terrible incident. host: you mentioned and our short pre-chat before we came on
air, your concern over what you called the downwinders of this spill, this accident, and the controlled burn they had after that. what are some of your concerns about those people and the aftereffects of this spill? guest: through a lot of release of information about the incident -- i am in vienna, virginia, so i am not immediately close to the community in east palestine. but it is right on the border with pennsylvania. so when the incident began around 9:00 p.m. on february 3, it was a large release, and a fire ensued. that fire burned from february 3 to february 8, so six days worth of open pit burning. and that open pit burning not only included the cars burning
themselves, but a decision to have a relief burn, because there was greater fear that there could be an explosive release of the vinyl chloride cars. that is the immediate fears for the community's exposure that generated much interest, and i daresay there were horrific photos and videos on all sorts of tv media authe clouds that emanated from that burn. that is something a toxicologist looks at and says, i wish i had samples of that cloud, and samples closest to the people and the environment as it burned. host: typically, in that sort of situation with that controlled burn, would there be environmentalists, chemical experts, biologists, as the burn happened, to sample the smoke coming off the fire? guest: the ohio epa, which had
the first responsibility to respond on behalf of the state of ohio, was aided and abetted when the governor called in the federal epa to build the sampling systems and networks. we not only want to protect the people who might be exposed, but we have to ensure that we protect those first responders so they are not putting themselves in harm's way as they seek to protect the other innocent victims in this incident. host: gerry poje is a founding member of the chemical safety board. he has his phd in biology and environmental health sciences from nyu, and as part of that was on scene at a number of investigations into explosions and fires and chemical spills like this. as an investigator, as someone
who would show up on the scene of an event like this, what are some of the first things you would look at? guest: the first thing i would be concerned about is not my job as an investigator. it is to ensure that the environmental safety response is being effectuated for benefit for the people who are closest to the disaster. secondarily, but i don't think on importantly, to say, how did this happen? why did it happen? what are the preconditions that made it much more likely to happen? and how could we understand those and issue recommendations on how to prevent it from ever occurring again? so i understand the challenges in the most immediate incident. you really have to care for the people most at risk, ensure that
they are evacuated if that is what is called for, also ensure that they are informed as to what is happening, and why. there have been to many toxic disasters where the community was an alerted to the nature of the disasters, and some of them came on roadways into harms way. we can build much better systems, and we have to do that if we want to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our fellow citizens. host: we welcome your calls and comments. the lines are (202) 748-8000 four the central time zone. and eastern. (202) 748-8001 is for mountain and pacific. for those of us in ohio or along the pennsylvania order, affected by this, that line would be (202) 748-8002. our supply chain i guess necessitates that we have to move things, these chemicals, by
rail. as you look at it, based on your experience, what do you think the rail industry can do to better ensure the safety of these cars to prevent these types of chemical, in particular, derailments in the future? guest: clearly, maintaining the system, maintaining every railcar, inspecting and ensuring it is in fully functional, operational state is essential. making sure you position your cargo appropriately. one of the few railcars that was identified in the partial manifest of what was involved in the toxic event was a real cart full of semolina. many of us know that as a delicious basic ingredient in pasta. it is material we could eat and do eat. if there were 40 of these
semolina cars between each of these railcars full of the most toxic chemicals, we would have had a much lesser release. that is a serious question. for the national transportation safety board, who were on scene almost immediately and began their investigation, they are the most responsible independent investigative body in this incident. and later today, they are going to have a preliminary report out that will be of great interest to the people listening on this call, and to me as well. host: we will get to calls and a little bit. i have a question to start out with from california. this is by text. he says, i am a retired fire captain from orange county, california, with experience in hazmat incidents.
ask your guest about exothermic chemical reactions and ask about eleve. i'm not sure what that is. but perhaps you do. guest: on the second one, unfortunately, one of the incidents we had to investigate as part of the chemical safety board was a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion. a terrible, terrible challenge. a railcar filled with such material, or a tank -- in that case, it was a tank of fuel in, of all places, iowa, during the wintertime. we depend on turkeys iowa winters are very cold. the underlayment to this fuel
tank that was heating up the barn was run over by an a.t.v. vehicle, opening up an open line of gas to the environment. propane gas. and unfortunately when the emergency response firefighters came, they were a volunteer firefighter crew. they followed a wrong order that had been published by the -- i'm trying to think, the national organization responsible for this tank safety, and they thought if they had avoided the end caps of the tank and just poured water in the center, it would be safe because, if worse came to worst, the expanding vapor, the pressure would build up so high that the two caps at the end of the tank would release. they didn't, the whole tank sploalded, sending -- exploded,
sending shrapnel left and right, up and down. and fortunately nobody was killed, but all the emergency responders could have been killed except for the odd happenstance of the way the shrapnel blew. so it's a very dangerous situation and there were fires underneath the rail cars in this particular situation that generated heightened degrees of concern for the emergency responders. i haven't talked or met with any of them. so i'm only speculating but i'm so thankful that a retired expert is calling in to offer his wisdom on what we can do better. the challenge in this case, though, is how do you begin to understand the trigger points for actually doing an open release of a vinyl chloride tank, letting it pour out, and
then igniting it as an emergency response burn? the u.s. chemical safety board had one such incident several years ago during the terrible hurricane harvey down in texas, where stored chemicals started to react, and this walz the first question -- and this was the first question. chemicals can sometimes cook while they are being in transport. cooking means that they start to react with themselves, generating heat so that if you don't deliver the cargo in time, you have a very dangerous situation. and the event in texas, down at a plant in 2017, precipitated the emergency responders needing to go and set up an explosion underneath some truck trailers packed with these highly reactive chemicals.
it is a night marish situation to know how to brokeerly the best re-- broker the best response. and we need to have the best training capacity for smaller fire department response teams, you know, to be capable of understanding this, get the right counsel at the right time on how to do that. really important questions for our country. host: looks like we're getting some calls from the region. we'll go first to our ohio line in galleon, ohio. kevin, go ahead. caller: hi, this is a question for the intoxicatologist -- toxologist. why was it that a week before the train derailment happened, the people from palestine, ohio, were saying that the government came there with biometric watches for people to wear to track their biometrics while they had -- whether they had exposure or not? and that the movie that happened, "white noise," was
awful familiar that this movie happened and about six months later the train derailment happens, don't you think? and why is it the c.d.c. took off vinyl chloride and what it does to children? why did they take it off their guidelines? guest: let me try to track some of those questions. it's so interesting that you mention the newly released movie "white noise" from a novel. it's a fictional account of a community of people visited with a toxic chemical release and all trying to escape. that's one of the underpinnings to the novel. and it is even more amazing to me that one of the residents of east palestine was actually used
as an actor, as a stunt act -- not a stunt actor, but as an extra actor, in a crowd scene for that very movie. i think it makes it all too hyperreal. i know nothing about c.d.c. setting up a biometric system. there's certainly sampling for toxic chemicals is very different than me putting on a fit bit to tell me how many paces i've walked and how much i'm alleviating my personal weight problem. so there could be reasons for different branches of federal health agencies to try to help us all. we have a terrible affliction of so many americans being overweight. that's a very different situation than the immediate response after the february 3,
nearly 9:00 p.m. rail disaster. host: let's hear from albrightsville, pennsylvania. dave, good morning. dave, pennsylvania, you're on the air. caller: yes, i'm here. hello. host: good morning. caller: hello, can you hear me? hi, buddy. i heard your last caller from ohio, made all the sense in the world. i have a lot of the same questions he does. i'm also confused on why the weather channel didn't directly follow these disgusting clouds throughout the united states and where their potential damage is going to end up. and if either one of you still think that these derailments happening everywhere, these toxic spills happening everywhere, and these insane wars happening everywhere, and -- host: on the cloud itself, the smoke from the fire, the controlled burn, to the caller's
point, how far would that smoke have traveled in is there a way to tell? guest: there is. our current world there were immediate deployments from some vantage points to put drones into the air. drones can fly into a toxic cloud without getting sick and dying. they're just merely mechanical devices. and we did get much better pictures of what happened with those burned clouds and how the black, sooty smoke traveled down stream. so there will be, as we speak, modelers who will be looking at that and trying to assess what were the cumulative impacts in the downstream community. i have great faith in our scientific community, when given the right information and the right tools, to give us a better, tighter perspective on
where did it go, how many acres were impacted by this and who were the people and the pets and farm animals in the downstream environment who likely were most affected by the toxic cloud. host: let's go to ron calling from cleveland. you're on the air. oh, sorry about that, ron. there you are. go ahead. caller: hello? host: you're on the air. go ahead. caller: i'd like to know, why didn't the mayor in palestine didn't ask donald trump how coming he de-regulated the railroad so stuff like this wouldn't happen? i'm so sick and tired of people saying donald trump is such a great man. he doesn't care about nobody but himself. he de-regulated the railroad for stuff like this to happen. and no one asked him that question. how come. host: the role of deregulation, gerald poje. your thoughts. guest: let me give a perspective. i actually am glad that
president trump went to the scene because he has kept alive our passion for understanding what happened and how could we do better. at least that's what i would like to believe all of us on this portion of "washington journal" are feeling. how do we help make it, the system get better and never have something like this occur again? we do have a history of regulation and deregulation in this country. some of it for the good and some of it for the ill. an event like this should trigger the best collaborative approaches. we have a republican governor in ohio, governor dewine. we have a democratic, newly elected democratic governor in pennsylvania, governor schapiro. both of them seem to be working together on how do we both get the best done for the people who live on both sides of the state
lines and who have been impacted. none of the people who woke up the morning of february 3 had anything in their heads except their daily life, chores and slings and arrows. they never knew by 9:00 p.m. that evening they would become people with the lived experience of a toxic disaster. and i empathize with them. they're confused. they're needing to have better answers. they should be put into the center of the follow crumb of how do we get the better answers to both ensure their own personal health but also the health of the surrounding environment that they hope to continue to live within, but hopefully also on behalf of all the other small communities who were on the same rail line, that 32-n rail train traveled from illinois, it was headed to pennsylvania.
so the terrible event on february 3 could have occurred in other places, in other communities. and we all bear not only an awareness of that risk, but a responsibility to get better systems of safety established. host: to that point, east palestine and other towns and city, do you think the federal and -- the federal government and the industry can do a better job of informing the public of the type of chemicals that move through, number one, and the response, the reaction, the plan for what if an incident as horrible as this one was -- happens in other places? guest: that's a great question. in fact, governor dewine in one of his recent press commentaries asked for a better right to know about the flow of hazardous materials through communities. be it on rails or otherwise.
but the state of ohio was the start of such a movement in the 1980's. the city of cincinnati recognizing the dangers to their own firefighters put in a right to know for firefighters to know what kind of toxic chemicals were located in buildings that they would be called to respond to. that start of a right to know eventually became a national law, the emergency planning community right to know act, that expanded that knowledge for fixed facilities handling hazardous chemicals. fixed facilities, not rail cargo in transport. and i think this is a great time for the mixed senators, republicans and democrats and congress people, to ask the question, what is the status of needs to know for all the
communities, particularly the emergency response teams in those communities, to have a better grasp of the toxic chemicals flowing through them? what's the responsibility for the corporation to do that work as well? host: a call from republic, pennsylvania, next. andy, good morning. caller: good morning. long time listener, first-time caller. good morning to you both. i was just curious why when president trump came to and was speaking to the crowd, why didn't anybody have -- wear masks? if there's toxic fumes and everything in the air, nobody had masks on. i love "washington journal" and that was just a simple question. host: i don't know, andy. we were voing video earlier, the president near the crash scene. gerald poje, go ahead.
guest: let me give a little perspective on that. there has been an extensive amount of air and water sampling in the area. and the e.p.a. has actually even gone in to individual homes to test the inside environments of those homes in the down-wind flow of that large toxic cloud. they have showed that it is not a danger, breathing the air. i don't know where president trump exactly was situated. i would imagine nobody should be entering into the most immediate site of the burn pit without some enhanced respiratory and thermal protection. you don't want to put your bare skin into soil that has such chemicals layden in it. nor do you want to breathe that right on top of where the spillage occurred.
i don't believe that it would have been incumbent upon anybody to let a former president be in such a dangerous situation. and the people who attended to his appearance in east palestine likely also would have been protected without the need for advanced respiratory protection. host: a picture here in "politico" of a couple workers, investigators on the site. in hazmat gear. the headline, c.d.c. expects to launch probe into derailment aftermath. another government agency looking at the issue. they are supposedly going to -- are now sending epidemiologists and environmental health scientists. in particular what are they looking for? guest: thanks so much. i think the challenge for us all to understand is there's not just one big federal
bureaucracy. because of the way congress oversees the federal government, we have portions that are broken down into different domains. so the primary on-scene responder on behalf of the federal government is the u.s. environmental protection agency. its administrator was on-scene very recently talking about the next steps. in fact, it's only been two days since the e.p.a. has moved from the first phase of action, emergency response, to the second phase which is environmental remediation. the e.p.a. is filled with a number of different technical expertise for monitoring air, monitoring water, for understanding the flow of materials that are toxic onsite and the ways -- best ways to
clean them up. but our health agency, the department of health, holds the branch with extraordinary skillfulness and competencies and this is the centers for disease control and prevention. they are the public health professionals who have skills, including the field of epidemiology, expert medical people trained to understand what's the pattern of disease or symptoms in populations. it's not like going to your own doctor and say, doc, i'm coffing and i got a -- coffing and i got a -- coughing and i got a fever, what should i do? these are people who go to hundreds of people who may have been in the immediate and down-wind environment and start to ascertain how many of them have such symptoms and do we need to do anything more explicitly to benefit them?
are there medical interventions that could aid them and their children? are there subpopulations living in this area who already have a weak respiratory system? asthma is a problem throughout the country. those people are likely to be at greater risk from another stressor to their breathing. and, you know, i'm 72 years old. so i'm going towards the elder category. elders as well oftentimes have a bigger loss of physical capacity including their breathing systems. and they might be a special type of person, demographic, that the c.d.c. would want to ascertain, who are safe now and are healthy, or if they have been exposed, what do we do best to monitor their health on into the future and intervene if
necessary? host: let's go to alexander, virginia. and hear from eric. go ahead. caller: thank you. and thanks for having dr. poge on. i have a question about root -- poje on. i have a question about root causes and whether we could have avoided this and a lot of other toxic chemical problems if we were to move towards chemistry and reduce our use of fossil fuel-based chemicals and whether that might be a longer-term solution to this kind of problem? le. guest: terrific question. thank you so much. wality the chemical safety board -- we at the chemical safety board while i was there were very focused on this very issue. how do you understand the real root causes of the problem? so our friends at ntsb have rightly focused on a bearing in one car that got so overheated it may have started the
incident. but as an investigator you say, well, ok, berrings can get hot in a million different ways. why did it happen this way? how much stress was put on this particular rail car and why did that stress happen this night, this way? how inspected was that car to show that it had weakened berrings that likely would fail if it were put onto this long train? but beyond that, the question becomes, as i alluded to a little bit earlier, how can we put all of this toxic chemicals until a cluster so that when we have the derailment, the derailment involves so many dangerous chemicals? now, making more polly vinyl chloride -- polyvinyl chloride pipe may be an imperative at the moment in the building industry,
but it doesn't always have to be that. we should be opening ourselves up to questions about how could we reduce the consumption of these precursors to plastics that also have long-term disposal consequences. if we don't do that right we're going to have problems back into the environment. but green chemistry is such a large question and such a hopeful future for our society. if we could do things better, boy, that would be terrific. the worst world disasterrer with toxic chemicals was the disaster in india where in december of 1984, 20,000 people were killed in one night by a silent whoosh of gas emanating from that plant. more than 300,000 were seriously injured. do you know, a year after that
event, several chemical companies in the united states switched to just in time delivery and never had the very toxic and dangerous intermediate chemical present in american facilities. that's the kind of innovative thinking that i think americans are uniquely situated to bring to the fore and hopefully this incident will help that question be asked more often. host: our next caller is tommy in roanoke rapids, north carolina. caller: thank you, sir. and a question for dr. gerald. i'm an old chemical salesman from eastern north carolina. and i've sold a lot of the, i guess, ingredients back in the early 1980's. and i wanted him, my question was for gerald to expand a little bit on the eth lean glie
kol and the either. it's my understanding that that would affect waterways. i know one of those is heavier than water and it tends to go down. and i'm just curious of what he has to say on those two or whether it's one, the ethelyn glycol or the ether. guest: thank you for that question and i'm glad you're still thinking on behalf of all of us, using your expertise to say, what about these particular challenging chemicals? unfortunately where we are in east palestine is an uncontrolled experiment. the experiment is, you know, 20 rail cars of toxic, hazardous chemicals, being derailed and broached in terms of a big fire
from many of them. we don't know the flow of each of the ones that you mentioned into the air. but we also don't know the flow of them into the waterways. we have 3500 fish killed in the down stream environment. so none of us should believe this isn't a toxic event that kills. but the big mystery for many of us is what do we know about the seepage into the soil? and how do we interrupt that flow so that we just don't have a toxic cloud spreading deeper and deeper underground and poisoning more and more of the drinking water sources that are still very important in this community? the sampling network you can view on the e.p.a. website for the east palestine events lists the well waters that have been tested and the chemicals that have been found or not found in
them. it's a long-term study that is demanded right now to know that we intervene in the flow of those chemicals further out. even after some of us begin to forget about this event. unfortunately as a chemical safety board member, the signal of public concern and worry diminishes over time and we don't do ourselves well as a nation to forget. we really need to stay at the case right now and be in it for the long haul. host: you probably saw some of the video or photos of governor dewine, of the e.p.a. administrator and others drinking the water there in east palestine. are moments for the camera like that helpful at a time like this
or more of a publicity stunt? guest: there is publicity surrounding that. it is true, though, i think every one of those persons believed that they were safely consuming the water from the community. however, and here's my big however, we have had a monumental breach of trust in that community and many other communities like it who say, my gosh, i see the rail cars coming through my town as well. we have to rebuild that trust. if we don't, we're in a worse position later on. so seeing the governor of ohio working with the governor of pennsylvania to me is a sign of hope. seeing the federal e.p.a. working with the ohio e.p.a. is a sign of hope. seeing the c.d.c. coming in to
do health analyses is a sign of hope. but as i said earlier, the community of east palestine and the down-winders in pennsylvania are people with new lived experience. we have to elevate them and put them at the table for every one of these conversations about environmental cleanliness and healthiness because they're the ones most worried. and if we could build their trust, we'd do so much more for the rest of us in the country. host: we go to one more call for you. joel is in eagle, idaho. welcome. caller: hi, doc. i got a couple of questions. what's a half life of vinyl chloride and its components? and on another different vein,
is pennsylvania fish and game going to start monitoring the vinyl chloride which shows up in deer herds and all the animals that they hunt over there? host: thanks, joel. guest: joel, thanks so much. and thanks for your open-heartedness about the natural wildlife in the area. sometimes we forget about them. fortunately the agency for toxic substances and disease registry put out very recently, last month, an enormous update to the toxiclogical profile of vinyl chloride. it summarizes every possible study of human and animal toxicology, as well as a tremendous additional amount of information about its physical chemistry and flow into the environment. so i would urge all interested to look up on your search engine
for vinyl chloride. you'll get so much that you'll want to go to get your local toxicologist to help you interrupt it. but that's a good problem to have. how do i better understand the science of this toxic chemical? and you'll learn about not just its ability to cause cancer, but also its impact only the liver system, which is quite significant on i cannednies, on the -- on kidney, on the nervous system, because chemicals aren't necessarily a single agent of harm to a single part of our body. we have to be worried about all of our systems and the impacts that these chemicals can have. i think we are learning so much more and we do have many more resources available to us, day
one, if an event occurs, you can find a treasure trove of information about the chemical's hazards, putting it together and asking important questions about why is the system of safety operating this way? and how could we improve it is the best starting point for us to make a difference. host: gerald poje is a toxicologist. you can follow him on twitter. he's also a founding member of the chemical safety board. thanks so much for being with us this morning on "washington journal." guest: thanks, bill. host: that will do it for this morning's program. we're back tomorrow morning at 7:00 eastern and we hope you are as well. until then, enjoy the rest of your day. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2023]