tv PBS News Hour PBS October 7, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: storm clouds settled over the capitol, as lawmakers continued to hunker down in their positions with the government shutdown entering its seventh day. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is off tonight. also ahead this monday, a key al-qaeda operative captured in libya is being interrogated by the u.s. after twin raids against terrorists in north africa over the weekend. and from pakistan, a story of setbacks and even bloodshed in the push to wipe polio off the map. >> the polio campaign began to stall thanks to epic floods. >> political turmoil and religious extremists who thought the polio-- fought the polio campaign with guns
and rumors. >> woodruff: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: our lead story tonight: the furloughs ended for some federal workers today, but hundreds of thousands more
stayed home, and much of the government started a second week in shutdown mode. newshour congressional correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> the government is still shut down. services are still interrupted. >> with no end to the shutdown in sight, president obama warned house republicans today they're wrong if they think he'll change his long-standing position. >> we're to the going to negotiate under the threat of further harm to our economy and middle-class families. we are he not going to negotiate under the threat of a prolonged shutdown until republicans get 100% of what they want. >> reporter: the president spoke at fema, the disaster agency which recalled 200 furloughed employees when tropical storm karen menaced the gulf coast. with the storm over at least 100 of those workers will be furloughed again. at the same time defense secretary chuck hagel ordered nearly 350,000 of his civilian workers back on the job today to support the
military. >> irresponsible. >> reporter: meanwhile organizing for action which grew out of the president's reelection campaign thought to add to the pressure on help cans with a cable tv ad. >> now tea party republicans are threatening an economic shutdown, refusing to pay our nations bills, endangering american jobs. >> reporter: on sunday house speaker john boehner insisted the president won't get his way. and on the house floor today he called again for talks with the president. >> now the american people expect when their leaders have differences, and in a time of crisis that we'll sit down and at least have a conversation. really, mr. president, it's time to have that conversation before our economy is put further at risk. >> reporter: republicans and democrats did agree on one thing, a bill to give retroactive pay to furloughed federal employees. it awaits senate approval and the president said he'd sign it. but the greatest risk looms in just ten days when the federal government hits the
debt ceiling, running out of borrowing authority and defaulting on paying its debt. treasury secretary jack lew said sunday he cannot extend the deadline any further. >> i'm telling you that on the 17th we run out of our ability to borrow and congress is playing with fire. if they don't extend the debt limit, we have a very, very short window of time before those scenarios start to be played out. >> reporter: today jean sperling, a senior presidential economic advisor did not rule out accepting a debt ceiling extension of just 2 to 3 weeks. senate democrats said they will introduce a debt ceiling bill this week with no other provisions attached. house republicans have said they want spending cuts and other add-ons included. >> woodruff: for the latest on what is happening behind the scenes, we turn to robert costa. he is the washington editor for the "national review," and joins me from capitol hill. robert, welcome to the program. what is the latest? what are you hearing right now? >> house republican leaders huddled today at the capitol and still remain undecided
about the path forward, even if the clock ticks with the debt limit approaching. this moans republicans really aren't ready to come up with a negotiation with president obamand are not sure of the path ahead. that means the impasse continues. >> woodruff: we are hearing as kwame just reported, the white hou is sending the signal that they are prepared to accept a short term increase in the debt ceiling. that's something they were not willing to accept before. what are your republican sources saying about that? >> my sources close to the leadership, judy, tell me this is an important piece of news today. because if the white house is willing to accept a short-term debt limit extension, maybe speaker boehner can bring this to the conservatives within his conference and say we may not get all what we want right now, but let's have a short-term extension and keep the fight going. >> woodruff: you mentioned speaker boehner. so much of this is focused on him. describe some of the pressures around him right now? what is he hearing, what is he dealing with. >> speaker boehner really is a central figure right now. i think he has very much a dry wit about him. i see him every morning when he his breakfast at pete's
dinner on capitol hill. but he is struggling to hold his conference together, to have a grip over his conference. he's baling with a bloc of about 30 to 50 conservatives this have probably more influence than most people realize, they really shape the direction of negotiations within the house gop and they are telling boehner to hold firm and not negotiate. and that's really shaking what is happening within the conference. they don't want boehner to even try to cut any kind of compromise. >> woodruff: but he also has members who, the reporting is, who are not comfortable with this strategy. how much pressure are they putting on the speaker? >> a lot of the republicans who come from suburban districts, i spoke to jim gurlack, two representatives republicans from the philadelphia area said they would like republicans to end the shutdown and extend the debt limit. and they are trying to whip their conservative friends behind the scene saying this has to end. the mess has to end. but right now within the house gop it's still very much a divided scenario. >> woodruff: and what about the business community, robert? there's been a lot of reporting about folks who normally would consider themselves supportive of the
republicans who are letting it be known they're uneasy with what is happening. the fact that the debt soling is in some jeopardy. are they making their voices heard on the hill? >> the problem is the wall street community that usually supports the republican party, they're talking to boehner and the leadership but it is the small dollar donor, the supporters of ted cruz and other tea party favorites are really driving the discussions on the right within the house. but the real mood on wall street is speaker boehner is known as a deal maker. he tried to get a grand bargain in 2011 during its debt ceiling talks and they think can do it again. they think that what is happening right now is political feeder and come the deadline midnight of october 16th john boehner ultimately, they hope, will be able to cut a deal. >> woodruff: so what is it its republicans in the house need in order to move. >> they need a figure leaf, a concession in the white house. after having the brinksmanship on the debt limit and shutdown they can't go to the tea party base and they they got nothing in return. they want a repeal of the medical device tax, perhaps
trade of sequestration cuts for trained cpi, the way social security is calculated, some concessions to sell to republicans around the country. >> woodruff: give us a sense of what is going on on the hill. we know many of the members may still have been out of town today. are there meetings going on constantly? is it all in the back room? give us a sense of how if feels. >> so allots of members were returning to washington today. and there was a tornado warning here in the capitol. and so members are still returning but they are voting in the house tonight at 6:30 p.m. what they are looking at is the leadership met at 1:00, later at 4:00 and 5:00. and they're trying to whip support behind the scenes for some bargain. boehner is plot og his next move. he remains undecided but sometime soon, probably later this week, and pete session of texas tells me probably within the 48 hours. house republicans have to unveil some kind of debt limit proposal. they still need to decide what that final product looks leak. >> woodruff: so how close down to the wire can they let this go? >> i think they are probably going to go to the final days. and that is because of the
political pressure from the right. if they don't, if the speaker and the leadership to the conservatives don't look like they fought to the end there will be repercussions politically within the party. so they have to keep fighting. that is what you saw speaker boehner on sunday on abc talk about the need for a conversation that at the same time saying will not yield any ground. >> just quickly, finally robert, we're hearing tonight in the senate that this plan to pay federal workers who have been furloughed back pay has hit a snag. senator john cornyn of texas, do you know anything about that? >> what is happening, i think s both parties want to make sure there is back pay for federal workers but senate democrats, especially senate majority leader harry reid don't want a deal with republicans o on back pay during this constant hostility unless republicans come up with a deal to fund the government and extent the debt limitment until that happens, until republicans inch toward the center it is unlikely to have a final deal in the senate. >> woodruff: meanwhile it all waits. >> indeed t does. i think we'll keep waiting until next week, until that 11th hour. >> robert costa, thank you very much.
>> thank you. >> in other news the stalemate in in other news, the stalemate in washington fed the unease on wall street, and sent stocks falling again. the dow jones industrial average lost 136 points to close at 14,936. the nasdaq dropped 37 points to close at 3770. >> woodruff: one federal institution did return to work today. the supreme court opened its new term by turning away hundreds of pending appeals. the first arguments of the session come tomorrow, when the court considers lifting the limits on campaign contributions by individuals. we'll have more on this after the news summary. in iraq, coordinated explosions rocked baghdad, killing at least 45 people. eight of the attacks-- mostly car bombs-- struck commercial areas in mainly shiite districts. more than 6,000 people have died in iraq this year, most of them since the surge of violence began in april. the president of afghanistan, hamid karzai, has ruled out
signing a long-term security deal with the u.s. until differences over sovereignty are resolved. the pact would provide legal grounds for some foreign troops to remain in afghanistan beyond the 2014 u.s. withdrawal date. but karzai said today negotiations have been difficult. . >> they have not expected -- -- whenever they have found i it-- that acted against we have -- >> >> woodruff: karzai said he will convene a meeting of afghan elders in one month to help him make a decision. a senior al-qaeda figure is now on a u.s. warship in the mediterranean, being questioned in the 1998 bombings of american
embassies in kenya and tanzania. he was captured by u.s. commandos on saturday in libya. a second u.s. raid failed to capture a top member of al- shabaab in somalia. more on this, later in the program. egypt was rocked by new killings today. in southern sinai, a suicide car bomber killed three policemen and wounded dozens more, and a drive-by shooting killed six soldiers outside cairo. meanwhile, funerals were held for some of the more than 50 people killed yesterday. they died in clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted president mohammed morsi. two americans and a german researcher will share this year's nobel prize for medicine. they won today for discoveries on how critical chemicals move inside cells-- work that could alzheimer's.iabetes and the americans are james rothman of yale and randy schekman of
the university of california at berkeley. schekman recounted the phone call he got this morning. . >> he said this is calling from stockholm and congratulations and when i realized that was it. and i-- hi gone through this in my mind so many times, what i would say. and of course, words escaped me at that moment. and i think all i said was oh my god, oh my god. >> woodruff: and there's more on this story, coming later. opening statements began today in cleveland, in the case of an alleged $100 million fraud scheme that claimed to help navy veterans. prosecuters say john donald cody siphoned money from his fake charity and used some of the money for political donations, but little, if any, benefited veterans. cody could face 40 years in prison. also ahead on the newshour, the supreme court kicks off a new term; fallout from the twin raids on terrorists in north
africa; setbacks in the fight to end polio in pakistan; public policy's impact on poverty programs; and a nobel prize winner's moment of joy. >> woodruff: it's the first monday in october, and the federal government may be shut down, but the supreme court opened its new term on schedule. ray suarez takes a look at what lies ahead. >> suarez: there isn't one single blockbuster case on the docket as in recent supreme court terms, but the high court will consider a number of weighty issues. the nine justices will hear cases dealing with campaign finance, abortion, prayer in government, presidential power, affirmative action, and housing discrimination. our guide for the term will be, as always, marcia coyle of the "national law journal." she joins me now. before we get to the
nitty-gritty why didn't the sprom court shut down? >> well, our federal courts including the supreme court are dependent on congressional appropriations to operate. the supreme court says it can continue to operate at least through the end of this week when it will then stop and evaluate. federal courts have small source of independent money usually from fines am but it's not going to be enough to carry it through a long-term shutdown. but the court has operated in prior shutdowns and even when blizzards have shut down washington d.c. i think there's a quiet sense of pride that it continues to do its work and to do it on time. >> suarez: we mentioned at the outset that there isn't a single case as there has been in recent terms. >> right. >> suarez: but a lot of attention right out of the gate with campaign contributions, i couldn't spit it out there. they are revisiting whether money can ever be regulated
as speech when it's being given to a political campaign. tell us about the case. >> okay, ray. well, this is a very porn case. the court back in 1976 approved of the way congress had divided campaign regulation between campaign spending and campaign contributions. it said that spending was something that you really could not regulate, put limit on. it was more closely aligned with pure speech under the first amendment. and but campaign contributions, even though they involve speech that was protected, you could regulate that because there is a greater risk of corruption or the appearance of corruption, of giving large sums of money directly to a candidate or a political committee. this case is asking the justices whether the total limits on what someone can give in a two-ier election cycle violates the first amendment now.
the proponents of this case argue that the risk of corruption is no longer there because of changes in election laws over the years. and it's time to at least limit the aggregate total amount that can be given. but keep in place the base limit its, limits that someone can contribute during one election. >> suarez: so this would-- has the potential like so many of these cases to revisiting or revising what has been guiding case law, guiding precedence on which a lot of decisions have been based. >> in particular that 1976 decision. there are briefs that have been filed in the case aggressively asking the court to overturn it. and the result is going to be basically more money in campaigns if the court goes down that road. but limits on contributions, the court has upheld those for almost 40 years now. they are considered sacrosanct. we'll have to wait and see if the court is willing to take that very new step. >> suarez: let's look at
other big cases. abortion going to be revisited. >> yes, we're coming back to abortion. two cases on the docket. one involves a 35 foot buffer zone around abortion clinics in massachusetts. back in 2000 the supreme court upheld an 8 foot buffer zone around clinics in colorado. here again, those who are challenging the buffer zone are saying well, if this 35 foot buffer zone doesn't compart with what you said in the 2000 case, overrule that 2000 case. the second case would be the first time the supreme court would look at medicai medicaid-- medication abortions, drugs used to terminate a pregnancy, for example, ru-486. this involves an oklahoma law. it is in a strange position because the court asked the oklahoma supreme court to clarify the meaning of the law. it did what we call certified two questions to that court. oklahoma supreme court hasn't answered yet. so we're not sure what the
court's going to do when it does get the answers. whether it's going to go forward with it or not. that is state law requires the drugs to be used according to the fda label. but since the fda label was approved some 7 years ago, i believe it is, science has advanced and there is now an off label use. >> suarez: the supreme court has been ruling on prayer in public institutions for half a century now. but they have to do another one now. >> that's right. this issue goes back to 1983 when that supreme court met in that term upheld legislative prayers in a challenge brought to the nebraska legislature's use of prayers at opening sessions. the case before the court now involves the town of greece, new york, which opens its town board meetings with prayers by local clergies. the lower federal appellate court found that those prayers were predominantly christian in nature and that violated the establishment
clause for the first amendment. so the supreme court is going to have to look once again at how much government accommodation of prayer in the public sphere is going to allow. >> suarez: are there still some big cases waiting to find out if they have been granted cert, that is the court has agreed to hear them. >> absolutely, ray. we may see the health care law back. in fact i'm almost sure we will, before the end of this term. there are some for-profit business owners who have challenged the mandate that they provide health care insurance that includes contrasense. they contend that that mandate violates their religious beliefs. and there are two cases involving cell phone searches by police, and whether they violate the fourth amendment of the constitution. >> suarez: marcia coyle from the national law journal, thanks a lot. >> my pleasure, ray. >> woodruff: there was more fallout today from the twin u.s. military raids on terrorists in africa over the weekend.
>> elite delta force commandos swarmed this car in tripoli, libya, on saturday morning. snatching an al qaeda leader known as an all anas al-libi. he is wanted in the 1998 bombings of u.s. embassies in kenya and tanzania that killed more than 220 people. now he is reportedly on board an amphibious transport dock, the u.s.s. san antonio being interrogated. 9 libyan government protested the raid as did al-libi's brother. >> of course there was an act of piracy by a for enforce to kidnap my brother. they should have submitted a document to the libyan government and put my brother on trial here. >> instead al-libi could face a federal trial in new york where he was indicted in 2000 for 9 embassy bombings and other crimes. in washington today state department spokeswoman maria harf defended the u.s.
decision to grab him in tripoli. >> we obviously aren't going to get into specifics of our communication with the libyan government but we value our relationship. we support the aspirations of the libyan people and we will continue this strategic partnership. >> reporter: meanwhile a second raid unfolded saturday in the somalian town. members of the u.s. navy's elite seal team 6 seen here training went after a senior leader of the islamist group al shabaab. the man known as ikrima is also accused in the '98 embassy bombings and in attacks on an israeli hotel. and airline in kenya in 2002. the seals ran into a hail of gunfire and had to withdraw without their man. still, secretary of state john kerry said sunday in indonesia that it sends a message. >> the united states of america will never stop in its effort to hold those
accountable who conduct acts of terror, and those members of al qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide. >> reporter: al shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack last month on a shopping mall in nairobi, kenya, where 67 people died. it is not known if ikrima was involved. but kenyan police today released photos of two men they have identified who were part of the attack. for more for more on the men targeted by u.s. special forces over the weekend and the organizations they're a part of, i'm joined by jeremy bash. he has served as former chief of staff to both the director of the c.ia and secretary of .defense during the obama .administration. and our own margaret warner, who has been working the phones all day. thank you both. jeremy to you first, why is the yoorpted states going halfway around the world to try to grab terrorists like
these two men? >> well, judy, al qaeda in east africa in the al shabaab element here is a threat to the united stitz and our allies. >> woodruff: we may have an audio problem with your microphone so we are going to try to figure that out. let's see. we're okay now, you can cope talking. >> all right, judy, the al shabaab element-- and our allies, we look at what they plan in the 1998 terrorist bombings an in nairobi. >> woodruff: my apologies, we have an audio problem. we will trito get that fix. i will turn to margaret. pick up on that. >> warner: what jeremy bash was saying is that al shabaab in somalia is believed to mostly be locally focused, regionally focused but there is one arm, one wing, one faction. and this manic rima was considered a senior operational commander. and they do have to set their sights out of somalia's
borders. and what's more, are believed to have links to al qaeda. so he was considered not a new threat to the u.s. homeland but a threat. in libya, of course, al-libi, anas al-libi who was captured there, he has an indictment against him for the, as you pointed out o the embassy bombing. >> woodruff: a long-standing. >> warner: but also i'm told by former and current u.s. officials, it was believed that in this current chaos that you are seeing, in that part of africa, he was working to establish more of an al qaeda-linked presence in libya. >> woodruff: so jeremy bash, i think we have your microphone back now, apologies about that. >> no problem. >> woodruff: is that to say the u.s. considers both of these men direct threats to u.s. interests, u.s. skort interests? >> yeah, which say so. if we're going to go halfway around the world, as you know, and actually capture or attempt to capture someone, it's because they pose a direct and imminent threat to the united states to our interests, our allies and potentially our
homeland. and really, we see, judy, the essential front in the war against al qaeda shift somewhat from the western areas of pakistan to yemen over the last couple of years and now africa is really a central front in the fight against al qaeda. >> woodruff: so we're talking about a big continent here with a lot of territory, margaret. does that mean, i mean what are the places where the u.s. sows a threat? >> warner: well, the u.s. he iss a threat, right now, if you just had a map up, a lot of these groups are operating fairly independently. it's pretty split -- splint erred, al shabaab in somalia, you have one in nigeria, you have these various group, millish yas even in libya. you have all these foreign fighters and egyptians that have returned to the sinai in egyptment but one of the common denominators is you have had all this unrest, governments are weaker than they were five years ago in terms of being able to exert security control. and the areas are even more awash in weapons because of
the libyan conflict which unleerbd, you know, all of these weapons that have been captured-- sorry that were held by qaddafi forces. so its concern on the part of the u.s. is not that from what i have been told they are ready to attack the homeland now. they don't have the capability and mostly they don't have the aim but that increasingly as they become more and more of an interconnected group, it could pose much more of a danger, and they do have their sights set on u.s. interests and facilities. >> and i think our experience tells us, judy, that over the last 15 years since the embassy bombings, if we don't go after al qaeda where they are and take out their top leadership through manhunting and other disruptive activities, then it's possible and potentially likely that they could come attack us her on the homeland. >> but the idea of trying to capture the man in libya, they were not able to get the man in somalia. >> that's right. >> woodruff: that tells you they want to interrogate these people, they want information from them. they just don't want to eliminate them. >> i think our objective is
to question them and get intelligence. because the intelligence can actually inform further operational activity. and it an operational cycle. you collect, you analyze, you question, and then you conduct further operations. so the hope is that these operations will lead to further operations to decimate the top leadership of al qaeda in east africa and those finding safe half then north africa. and it's really unpress dnted, judy, i would say for the yonted states mill tore-- military to operate under its own military authorities to go not not ungoverned areas, war zones, afghanistan, iraq, somalia or horn of africa but to go into an urbanning commercial area, in downtown tripoli and actually take someone off the street. that tells me number one he was a very high risk mission but high payoff and high reward. two, that we had pristine intelligence and three that we probably did have some cooperation from the lubbian authorities. >> woodruff: that was my question, margaret. was there a question of legality here? >> warner: well, that was one of the questions debated internally, the legality because there-- this is one
of the governments united states hopes succeeds but does not have the capacity, capability, and maybe not the will right now to did an operation like this. i am told that there was at least an understanding or discussion that if the libyan government failed to take a guy out who was hiding in plain sight as al-libi was, that the united states might act on its own. now that's all remains murky. they don't want to embarrass the will be yen government. the tate department had concerns about what this would mean for this libyan government ochl so there is a lot of delicate diplomacy still to come. >> woodruff: this is a government the united states they hoped would stand up and be strong but it hasn't been able to do what the u.s. is couldn'ting on. the in somalia, you have the case of a government that is very weak. >> very weak and in fact al shabaab has actually been on the run because somali forces have improved their operations against al shabaab backed by kenya and others. but in many of the areas, it is still ungoverned. i actually think the operation in libya was more risky than the operation in
somali. because-- . >> woodruff: in the hert of the city. >> that's right. and there are civilians around. and ikrima down on the coast of somalia was really surrounded just by militants and fairly open area, coon of on the beach. but in downtown tripoli in daylight with women and children around, again to me that showed that we had both pristine intelligence and possibly the cooperation of some local forces. after all, how did we get him out of the country. i don't know this for certain, i'm not in government. but i strongly suspect that we flew him out to a navy ship to fly out of the country, you need some local domestic support. >> warner: it points out why a drone strike was not an option because it was in downtown tripoli, so they wanted to get this guy one way or the other, the other, the-- lethal operation wasn't an option. >> woodruff: fascinating to be happening halfway around the world. we wake up saturday morning and hear about all this. margaret warner, jeremy bash, thank you. >> thanks, judy. >> thanks, judy.
>> woodruff: next, despite huge strides to wipe out polio around the world, the crippling virus still haunts a few places. one of them is pakistan, where there have recently been a series of attacks on those trying to administer vaccines. today, two people were killed and at least 12 injured after a bomb attack outside a government health center in the northwest province. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro has our report on the setbacks to eradicating the disease. >> reporter: this slum in karachi is one of the last places in the world where polio is still a threat. pakistan had tens of thousands of cases just a decade ago, and came close to wiping it out. neighboring india, with similar or worse conditions, like urban crowding and poor hygiene, was certified polio free in 2012. >> the fact that they've done it is what makes me think that we can do it, if you can put enough
boots on the ground and do high- quality campaigns, because if india can do it, pakistan can do it. >> reporter: but in pakistan, dr. anita zaidi says, the polio campaign began to stall, thanks to political turmoil, epic floods, and religious extremists who have fought the polio campaign with guns and rumors. and there was one more setback: the hunt for osama bin laden, in which the u.s. central intelligence agency ran a fake vaccine campaign to gather d.n.a. samples. >> which has hugely damaged public health programs, not only in pakistan, but in many, many countries, because people ask all kinds of questions. they now think that the vaccine programs might actually be spy operations. >> reporter: it's also helped
revive a rumor long fueled by extremists that the polio campaign is a plot against muslims. that lie frustrates businessman aziz memon. he's with rotary international, which has spent $1.2 billion and led the global polio effort. >> they issued a ban on polio immunization, which is today also existing. these are the same people who were rejecting it on the basis that it would make the child infertile. >> reporter: so the vaccination campaign recently enlisted prominent mainline religious leaders. >> the council of islamic ideology now has a very active program, and there is a declaration, council of ulemas that says that the polio vaccine is effective, that it's not harmful, and it is allowed by islam, and that muslim children can have it.
>> reporter: muhammad hanif tayyab helped author the document, which is being distributed to mosques across pakistan. >> they will go and explain to the people, look, in the rest of the muslim world, in iran, in saudi arabia, this crippling curse has been eradicated. why is it that we cannot eradicate it from our country? >> reporter: the declaration-- or fatwa-- by top leaders has enabled local imams like bilal ahmed to tell his congregants-- most of them not literate-- that the vaccine is not haram, or anti-islamic. >> people come to me and they ask if it's haram. and i say, you already take a lot of other english medicines and none of them are haram, so why would this one be haram? >> reporter: such reassurances haven't made life any safer for vaccinators. at least 22 have been gunned down in the past year or so. >> polio workers, they love to target them, not just because of
polio, but because touching a polio worker makes news. they know that. >> reporter: you mean they're after the publicity? >> yes. yes, sir, they're after the publicity. >> reporter: who exactly is after the publicity? >> these taliban groups. so you know this becomes international news, also. >> reporter: in karachi, workers we spoke to-- paid about $5 a day-- said they were undeterred. >> the security situation is tough all over the country, but this is something we have to do for the children. >> this disease cripples children not just for a day, but for their entire lives. and it affects the whole family. >> we have to do it for the sake of the children. as woim health workers it is our job to help kid, polio
genes are being aing tad but this is something we have to do -- >> >> reporter: they fan out across city neighborhoods, sometimes accompanied by armed policemen, which has not stopped some attacks. difficult as it is for vaccinators in the cities, it's becoming virtually impossible in vast swaths of the north and northwest of pakistan, wide swaths of which are under the influence of extremist militants. they've declared the polio campaign off limits. so for now the campaign has targeted buses to and from the no-go regions. dr. zaidi says this will, at best, contain polio, not wipe it out. to do that, she says, pakistan's military will need to take on the militants to allow vaccinators safe access. >> if you look at the number one problem of pakistan right now is that it is terrorism. i mean, polio is just a byproduct of this issue right now. the central issue is finding, fighting terrorism, and if you address the security situation, the polio problem will automatically be addressed.
>> reporter: but there's one more complication. we saw it in the slum: a seeming public indifference even as they urged parents to bring children out to get the vaccine drops, even as people in this community introduced us to polio victims who live here, it's clear many residents had other priorities. vaccinators say they got a bit of resistance to the polio campaign, but mostly they got complaints. it's about to rain and their shelters are flimsy. there's no clean drinking water, no sanitation, no schools. for millions of pakistanis who live in conditions like these, polio is hardly the most pressing concern. some health professionals and political leaders also feel pakistan has more pressing problems. after all, education, clean water, and sanitation would remove conditions that spread the polio virus. but those are long-term solutions. polio campaigners say getting simple drops to all children
could wipe out the scourge much sooner and remove the stigma pakistan endures internationally as one of the few exporters of the virus. but that would require resources and action, and no one is certain pakistan's government will make polio a top priority anytime soon. >> woodruff: a version of fred's story aired on the pbs program "religion and ethics newsweekly." his reporting is a partnership with the under-told stories project at saint mary's university in minnesota. next, we look at questions surrounding the strength of the social safety net in the united states. the federal government shutdown is jeopardizing some programs immediately, and it comes at a time when there are bigger questions about whom the government should help. jeffrey brown has our look.
>> they were singing last week, but today as federal funded head start programs in at least nine states began to laps, there was no school for the children at the little river preschool in cherokee county, georgia. >> they're only going to be three one time in their life, or four one time in their life. and so if they miss out on learning during those really important moments of those years, it will impact the rest of their life. and so this is a critical time for the interruption. >> even as the shutdown effects take hold, longer term fights over safety net programs continue. prominently including food stamps. last month the house voted to cut the program by 40 billion dollars over ten years. the bill passed along party lines after heated debate. >> and most people don't choose to be on food stamps. most people want a job.
most people want to go out and be productive. so that they can earn a living. >> and if others, and there may be some, that choose to abuse the system. that's not out of the realm of possibility, frankly it's wrong for hardworking middle class americans to pay for that. >> republican desire for whatever reason incomprehensible to many of us to deprive even the neediest americans with a basic necessity, food, this bill would shamefully and literally take food out of the mouths of nearly $4 million children, seniors and disabled. >> also still under scrutiny, of course, the affordable care act. signed into law three years ago and intended in large part to help the nation's poor and uninsured. but last week when people tried to sign on to health exchange web sites, some found they didn't qualify for subsidies to buy coverage. many were supposed to be covered by an expansion of
medicaid. but a supreme court ruling alawed states to opt out of that expansion and citing costs and other objections, more than 20 did. as a result, the congressional budget office estimates that 3 million fewer people will be eligible for coverage under obamacare. a recent analysis of census data by "the new york times" found southern states were hit hardest. 68 percent of eligible african-americans are excluded as are two-thirds of all single mothers. paul sweeney is a virginia res didn't stranded without coverage. he's an adult without children and unemployed. under the new law he would have qualified for medicaid but his state opted out. >> medicaid and medicare was put into a system to help people just like me. and like i said, i'm not qualified, you don't know what i want to say abouts it, you know. it's just-- that's not right. >> his doctor said sweeney is just one of many of his
patients facing a tough path. >> the vast ma majority of my patients are uninsured, many unemployed, the others work low-wage job was health insurance and they're certainly not able to afford their own health care since. so and they're not covered, they're not covered by medicaid. >> several republican governors have expressed interest in expanding their medicaid programs. but their legislatures remain opposed. for some perspect-- perspective we're joined by jacob hacker hacker is a professor of political science at yale university, and director of the school's institute for social and policy studies. he worked on the blueprint for the healthcare law. and stephen parente, a health economist at the university of minnesota. he was part of a team that filed an amicus brief against the law when it was being argued before the supreme court. >> woodruff: finally tonight, jacob hacker let me start with you and let's start with the affordable care act. how big a problem and surprise is this, the number of people not covered? >> it's a big problem and it is a big surprise as well.
because when the affordable care act was passed, the medicaid expansion was seen as a crucial way of reaching uninsured americans. medicaid is less costly than private health insurance through employment and it's been growing its costs have been growing more slowly than many people realize. it's grown in enrollment but its costs have risen at about the rate of the growth of the economy. so medicaid was seen as a big part of the expansion. but when the supreme court ruled medicaid expansion was optional, a large number of state, 26 in all right now are saying that they're to the going to move forward. and this matters because those are precisely the states where many of the uninsured and poor americans are concentrated. and so it's the low levels of he ledge ability for medicaid in these states that is the problem. because these people who are below 133% of the poverty line are not eligible for subsidy force private health insurance that are available
under the the affordable care ago so they're left without a cost-effective option for health insurance. >> brown: let me ask stephen parente, as you said, you opposed the law originally. are you are surprised as well by how this turned out and what consequences do you see? >> well, the consequences are that people will have less coverage. i'm not that surprised am mi a little surprised at the number of states that have come out. when we looked at this before we estimated in an article that got pub will beed in the last year only six or seven states might opt out. and so its he a larger impact than expected. >> brown: as the law isic canning in now, will pressures mount one way or another on hospitals, on states? what ununanswered questions do you have in. >> the question is what states will give in to this. because there's a lot of money on the table. a hospital gave a deal back to have the affordable care act go forward. and the amount of money on the table, is about $180 billion that otherwise could not, may not be going to some of these states. the state legislatures and
governors are going to face a lot of pressure from hospitals. because they're going to be squeezed as this program exfanned-- expands and not have necessarily the revenues to cope with that expansion. >> brown: jacob hacker what questions do you have? particularly vis-a-vis the low income people? >> well, i think we don't know yet what's going to happen in some of these states. there are governors who are pushing 20 go forward. and as steve was saying hostiles are going to really feel the pinch. remember this isn't just the uninsured. who are not getting coverage. but it's also hospitals that treat people who are uninsured who are not able to get revenue for that care. i think there's another question, a more fundamental question which is how are we going to feel about the fact that in half the nation you have very generous medicaid coverage levels. are you going to see expansion a lot. but in many of these states you have to have income that is below 25% of the poverty line to have coverage. and that means that there is really, they're leaving the most vulnerable americans
working 60% of the working uninsured, according to the "new york times", out of coverage. and i think that that is-- that really raises some fundamental questions about how we design our policies and about how we feel about the safety net and about poverty in our society, especially poverty among workers. >> let me ask you, because it does raise the larger safety net questions, both in health care and more broadly. do we-- where are we now, when you add up these kinds of things. are we a divided nation where some states provide certain kinds of programs, others don't? what do you see? >> well, we were. >> where we were? >> where we were even before the supreme court law, really probably before 2008. differing states have differing preferences on what they choose to expand. and so what the supreme court did was more let's leave it to the state's decision to go forward. >> brown: is that a good thing? >> i think from my perspective as a conservative is because if
that state wants to go forward it can, and it does it in its due legislative processment if your goal is to get as many people covered as cheaply as possible, medicaid expansion is the best policy option to use. but at the same time, if you are a patient in one of those systems you might not get the access to the care you expect. because the reimbursement rates for that vehicle is so low that even though you can count off the numbers and say we checked the box, we have technically people covered, people aren't going to be getting care. >> brown: jacob hacker i take it you don't think that is a good thing. >> no, i don't think it's a good thing. and i don't think it's the case that medicaid is not providing good coverage for people, i mean if you look at the numbers, not only is it a cost-effective program, but we know from the increasing amount of research that has been done on medicaid that it provides a substantial amount of financial protection. i don't think it's a good thing for two reasons. one is that over the last decade we have seen a massive erosion of private health insurance and that's particularly true among people who work in lower
wage jobs. if we want to have an economy that is providing people with basic economic security, it's going to have to come through this fairly cost-effective program that we as a society have supported. it's got very strong public support so i think that this is a real problem. and one that we need to address. >> brown: when you broaden out from medicaid to food stamps, to head start, to the other kind of programs, has there been so much focus on the middle class of late that we are not paying attention to these programs or folks like you and governors, paying enough attention, where are we? >> i think these things become politicized and too polarized. i think there definitely needs to be a strong safety net. i agree that too much focus has been put on the middle class, that having a contract with the middle class rather than haig the safety net be strengthened, rather than having medicaid and the food stamp programs be strengthened to avoid
fraud in those program, they have to be better managed in those programs. medicaid does work fairly effectively. but at the same time it's working effectively because managed-care plans have been running well over half of the medicaid program for the last decade. that's what republican governors would like to do. is to say give us bloc grants to continue that progress, to move these programs forward and then we'll see a better outcome for the medicaid population. >> jacob hacker, how do you see, and again medicaid, food stampsing all of these safety net type programs playing into what we're seeing in washington now, the kind of politics we're seeing? >> well, it's obviously a very polarized debasically i think we should keep in mind that the reason that we've seen an increase in the share of americans who are on medicaid is because of the erosion of workplace health insurance. and the reason we've seen so many more americans on food stamps is because we just want through the greatest financial crisis since the great depression. the people who receive these benefits, thai thrd-- two-thirds are the elderly, disabled
and children. they are very vulnerable. and food stamps also is a crucial lifeline in our economy. because those benefits go back into our economy and allow people to purchase. so we have a lot of evidence that programs that are particularly targeted at helping vulnerable children are really important for improving their productivity, and their health outcomes over the life course. and medicaid is a crucial part of that food stamps are a crucial part of that. and given the economic crisis we've been through, it's not surprising that more americans are relying on these programs. and i think we should be saying right now, you know, what is-- as a nation, if we believe it's a priority to get out of this economic crisis and to improve our economy over the long term, we need to be investing in improving the life chance of young americans who are facing this terrible economic situation. >> brown: let me give stephen parente a last word on that. >> it's not that we don't
want to help the young and the elderly. we just want the money to be well managed and focused in a pretty good way. if the recession is over as the president has said and we're moving forward, then the growth of this program should be going down, not up. that's principally the concern the conservatives have. >> brown: stephen parente and jay kokh-- jacob hacker, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: finally tonight, that moment when you win the nobel prize. james rothman of yale university had such a moment early today. he and two other professors randy schekman of berkeley and thomas sudhof of standford won for their work on how cells transport essential molecules. rothman spoke at a press conference this afternoon. >> to have matured and started my career as a researcher at a time when your idea was the only limit,
any risks could be taken, no matter how difficult. and i was fortunate to have taken a few of those risks. and today's nobel prize recognized you know, i guess the success that came out of that. it's still a little hard to believe this sell all happening, i have to admit. i was asleep, okay. now in past years i have not been asleep on such occasions. but the calls didn't arrive. as a result, i gave up. i went to sleep very nicely. and a friendly swedish voice began the conversation and professor hansan, the secretary of the nobel committee was kind enough to inform me, and i tried to keep myself on the ground, that i was a recipient of this year's nobel prize. so that call was-- was an other out of body experience. i could see that it was happening, yes, yes, you
have received the nobel prize and all that. i haven't quite digested it yet to be honest. >> woodruff: the nobel committee said the work done by rothman and the other two scientists proved critical in understanding what goes wrong when things are disrupted. those disruptions contribute to neurological diseases and immune disorders. or as the committee put it, quote, molecules have to be delivered to other places at exactly the right moment. timing and location are everything. again, the other major developments of the day. the shutdown of much of the federal government entered a second week, with no sign of movement to break the political stalemate. wall street dipped again, over worries about the standoff in washington. the dow industrials lost another 136 points. and the supreme court's new term began. the court hears arguments tomorrow on the first major case of the term, lifting limits on individual campaign contributions. online, finding ways to delay the aging process, which would not only make people feel and
look better, but could also save the u.s. trillions in the long run. read about a new study from health affairs, on the rundown. and see how a solar-powered home designed and built by college students will benefit a wounded warrior. we have a video on our homepage. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, we'll look at arguments in a major campaign finance case before the supreme court. i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. on behalf of all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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this is nightly business report with tyler mathisen and sus susiegharig. our dividend stock videoer guides and generates during the period of low investments. stocks sink, economic growth. and getting hurt by the crisis, how much worse will it get as the government stays closed for an extended period of time? and error message as many are logging on to the health care website, how serious it is, how it can be