tv Democracy Now LINKTV October 12, 2022 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
10/12/22 10/12/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. biden: the idea, i'm not about to, nor is anyone else, prepared to negotiate with russia about them staying in ukraine, keeping any part of ukraine, etc. non-amy: "the washington post" ruling the biden administration administration pushing up the
idea to negotiate to end the war even though many u.s. officials believe other side is capable of winning the war outright. we will speak to codepink medea benjamin and nicolas davies, co-authors of the book "war in ukraine: making sense of a senseless conflict." then we look at how private health insurance companies are making billions of dollars in profit by jeff rotting u.s. government and the medicare advantage program. >> i have no doubt in years to come, the medicare advantage program will be held as the biggesheist, the biggest the biggest wae of taxpayer dollars we have ever seen. it has represented huge transfer ofaxpayer dollars from middle-class families, senior citize, to corporate executives and their shareholders. amy: we will speak with the health insurance whistleblower wendell potter. and we look at a dunning leak of
documents from inside the mexican government. >> active members of e miliry working with cartels and are actually surveilling activists all over the country. amy: we will speak with a reporter luis chaparro. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. russia says it detained eight people linked to saturday's blast on a key bridge connecting russia to the crimean peninsula. russia has accusedkraine's military intelligee service of orchestrating the explosion, though kyiv hanot claid any responsibility. the blast spked deadly retaliatory attacks across ukraine, killing at least 20 people. the barrage of missiles came under the command of the
kremlin's newly appointed head of military operations in ukrain sergei surovikin. surovikin has been dubbed "general armageddon" and oversaw the mass destruction of civilian infrastructure in syria as part of russia's war efforts there. ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy appealed to members of the g7 to boost ukraine's air defenses to counter russian attacks and called for new sanctions on moscow. >> for this new wave of terror, there st be you kind ability for russia, new sanctions, new forms of political pressure, new forms of support for ukraine. amy: the white house said tuesday president biden would re-evaluate the u.s.'s relationship with saudi arabia following opec's recent announcement it would cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day, boosting the cost of gas and providing a boon to russia amid its invasion of ukraine. on monday, democratic senator
bob menendez called for a freeze on cooperation with saudi arabia. meanwhile, senator richard blumenthal and congressmember ro khanna announced a bill to block all u.s. weapons sales to saudi arabia. congressmember khanna tweeted -- "their brutal war in yemen and their fleecing of american consumers at the pump must have consequences." president biden addressed the issue on cnn last night. pres. biden: when the house and senate its back, they're going to have to -- there are going to be consequences for what they have done with russia. >> what kind of consequences? suspend all arms sales. is that something you would consider? pres. biden: i'm not going to get into what i would consider and what i have in mind. amy: meanwhile, united arab emirates president sheikh mohammed bin zayed al nahyan held talks with vladimir putin tuesday in st. petersburg, russia. israel and lebanon have reached a deal over a long-disputed
maritime border. the u.s.-brokered deal could pave the way for israel to extract and export gas to europe as the continent grapples with a worsening energy crisis amid russia's war in ukraine. the deal still must be signed by the two countries' leaders. in iran, anti-government protests are in their fourth week, sparked last month by the death of 22-year-old mahsa amini while in the custody of iran's so-called morality police. on monday, oil workers went on strike in support of the protests. meanwhile, the death of 16- year-old nika shakarami has ignited more public rage. the girl's family says she disappeared after being chased by security forces for burning her headscarf during a protest and was found 10 days later at a mortuary. this comes as human rights groups warn of the deadly crackdown on protesters. in iran's kurdistan province, one group says at least 32 people in the region have been killed, another 1500 injured,
and thousands arrested. president biden has called on the three beleaguered l.a. city councilmembers who were caught on tape making racist comments . the audio was recorded last year and recently leaked. it featured councilmembers nury martinez, gil cedillo, and kevin de león making racist remarks about indigenous and black people in los angeles. nury martinez, who referred to the black son of another city councilmember as a "little monkey" in spanish, announced yesterday she was taking a leave of absence from her post. she already resigned as city because her president. -- city council president. on tuesday, protesters gathered outside l.a. city hall to call for the councilmembers' resignation. >> [indiscernible]
amy: president biden is in los angeles today. in texas, the police officer, who shot 17-year-old erik cantu as he was eating in a mcdonald's parking lot last week, has turned himself in to face aggravated assault charges. james brennand opened fire on the teen moments after opening the driver-side door even though cantu posed no risk and was unarmed and eating with a friend. cantu remains hospitalized in critical condition. brennand's arrest comes just days after he was fired from the san antonio police department over the shooting. in more news from texas, a baytown police officer was acquitted in the 2019 fatal shooting of pamela turner.
juan delacruz was on trial for aggravated assault. he shot turner, a 44-year-old black woman and grandmother, five times in an apartment complex while trying to arrest her in may 2019. turner's family says she was having a mental health crisis and that delacruz knew turner had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. turner and delacruz lived in the same apartment complex, where delacruz also served as a security guard. prosecutors in baltimore have dropped the charges against adnan syed, asserting he was wrongly convicted, weeks after he was released from prison and had his murder conviction overturned. syed spent 23 years in prison after being convicted of the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend hae min lee. the case gained national attention in 2014 when it was featured on the hugely popular podcast "serial." in florida, jurors begin deliberations today to determine the fate of parkland mass shooter nikolas cruz, who killed 17 people at marjory stoneman
douglas high school in 2018. cruz could face the death penalty. this is lead prosecutor michael santz delivering closing arguments to the jury tuesday. >> valentine's day to do it while school was in session. you could tell by the testimony given listening to, this plan was goal-directed, calculated, it was purposeful, and systematic massacre. amy: florida prosecutor. the justice department has asked the supreme court to reject donald trump's request to allow a special master to review classified documents seized by the fbi from his mar-a-lago estate in august. the department of justice argued trump has no plausible claims of
ownership over the materials and that a review by the special master could imperil national security. in other news from the supreme court, justices on tuesday declined to review a case that would determine whether a fetus has constitutional rights. the so-called fetal personhood case was brought by a catholic group and two pregnant women who were seeking to sue on behalf of the women's unborn fetuses. in another case tuesday, the supreme court reversed a lower court ruling which allowed for the counting of undated mail-in ballots in a pennsylvania election f county judge. the decision will not reverse the resultof the 2021 judicial election, whh was won by democrat zacry cohen, but coulprove gnificant in future challenges related to undated ballots. the labor department has proposed a new rule that could prevent companies like lyft and uber from misclassifying workers as independent contractors and denying them essential rights and benefits. the labor department said -- "misclassification is a serious issue that denies workers' rights and protections under federal labor standards, promotes wage theft, allows certain employers to gain an unfair advantage over
law-abiding businesses, and hurts the economy at-large." a massive leak of over 4 million confidential documents from the mexican government has revealed mexico's military sold hand grenades and tactical equipment to drug cartels. mexico's ministry of national defense was targeted by a group of hackers known as guacamaya. the leak is one of the biggest in mexico's history. documents also show mexican officials monitored journalists using the israeli pegasus spyware and evaded cooperation with the investigation into the disappearance of 43 students from ayotzinapa. the zapatistas are also one of the most heavily surveilled resistance groups in mexico. we'll havmore on the guacamaya leaks later in the broadcast. and actor angela lansbury has died at the age of 96. she's best known for her role in the tv series "murder she wrote" and appeared in the 1962 film "the manchurian candidate."
angela lansbury considered herself a proud socialist and came from a political family. her grandfather george lansbury was leader of the british labour party, who led the poplar rates rebellion in 1921, a protest against unequal taxation in one of the poorest areas of london. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by democracy now! co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: "the washington post" is reporting the biden administration has ruled out the idea of pushing ukraine to negotiate with russia to end the war even though many u.s. officials believe neither side is "capable of winning the war outright." this comes as the war in ukraine appears to be escalating on a number of fronts.
on saturday, a massive explosion damaged a key bridge connecting russia to crimea. which moscow annexed in 2014. russian president vladimir putin accused ukraine of committing what he called a trorist act. since then, russiamissiles have struck over a dozen ukrainian cities, including kyiv and levine, killing at least 20 people. on tuesday night, president biden was interviewed by jake tapper on cnn. >> would you be willing to meet with him at the g20? pres. biden: i have no intention of meeting with him. if he came into the g20 is that i want to talk about the release of brittney griner, i would meet with them. it would depend. i can't imagine -- look, we have taken the position, i just did a g7 meeting this morning. the idea nothing about ukraine with ukraine. so i'm not about, nor is anyone else, prepared to negotiate with
russia about them staying in ukraine, keeping in a part of ukraine, etc. amy: despite biden's comments, there are growing calls for the u.s. to push for negotiations. on sunday, general mike mullen, the former chair of the joint chiefs of staff, appeared on abc "this week." >> it also speaks to the need, i think, to get to the table. i'm a little concerned about the language at the top, if you will. president biden's land which. that at the top of the nguage scale, if you will. i think we need to back off that a little bit and do everything we possibly can to try to get to the table to resolve this. amy: we are joined now by two guests, medea benjamin, the co-founder of the peace group codepink, and nicolas davies. they are the co-authors of the forthcoming book "war in ukraine: making sense of a senseless conflict." medea, let's begin with you in
washington, d.c. you look at this past week, the massive raining down of missiles and drone strikes by the russian military across ukraine, all the way into western ukraine, places like lviv and the capital kyiv and you see that president putin is threatening to use a nuclear bomb. is negotiation possible? what would that look like? and what needs to happen to accomplish that? >> negotiations are not only possible, they are essential. there have been some negotiations on key issues so far, such as the zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, such as getting the grain out of ukraine, such as the prisoner swap. but there have been no negotiations on the big issues. antony blinken, secretary of state, has not met with lavrov.
we just heard, that clip how biden does not want to talk to putin. the only way this war is going to end his by netiations. we have seen that u.s. torpedo negotiations starting from the proposals the russians put forward right before the invasion, which was summarily dismissed by the u.s.. then we saw when the turkish government was mediating talks at the end of march, early april, how it was the u.k. president boris johnson, as well as secretary of defense austin, who torpedoed those negotiations. so i don't think it is realistic to think that there is going to be a clear victory by the ukrainians that are going to be able to give back every inch of territory like they are now saying coming clean crimea and all of donbas. there has to be compromise is on both sides. we the american public have to
push the wte house and are leaders in congress to call for a proactive negotiation now. juan: could you be a little more specific about the talks that occurred, sponsored by turkey and also israel as i understand in terms of what was the potential way forward to a cease-re that was torpedoed? because no -- most americans are not aware that early in the war there was the possibility of being able to stop the fighting. >> we go into great detail in our book "war in ukraine: making sense of a senseless conflict." about exactly what happened and how the proposal that included neutrality for ukraine, removal of russian troops, how the donbass region was really going to go back to the minsk accords that were never fulfilled. and there was a very positive
response from ukrainians to the russian proposals. and then we saw boris johnson coming to meet with zelenskyy and sing the "collective west" was not about to make an agreement with the russians and was there to support ukraine in this fight. then we saw the same kind of message coming from the secretary austin who says the goal was to weaken russia. so the goalposts changed and the entire agreement was blown up. and we now see zelenskyy, from once a saying he was accepting neutrality for ukraine, is now calling for fast tracking nato application for ukraine and we see the russians that have also hardened their views by having these referendum and trying to annex these four provinces. so if that agreement had actually moved forward, i think we would have seen an end to
this war. it is going to be harder now, but it is still the only way forward. juan: and the ft president biden still discounting the possibility of talks with russia, those of us old enough to remember the vietnam war understand the united states, while fighting in the vietnam war, spent five years at the negotiating table in paris between 1968-1973 in peace talks with the nional liberation front of vietnam, the government. so it is not unheard of you can have peace talks while a war is still going on. >> we don't want to see these peace talks going on for five years. we want to see peace talks that come to an agreement very soon because this war is affecting the entire world. we are seeing a rise in hunger, a rise in the use of dirty energy, a rise in hardening of
strengthening of nato and the real possibility of nuclear war. so we can't afford as a globe to allow this to keep going on for years. that is why it is so important the progressive people in this country recognize there is not one democrat who voted against the $40 billion package to ukraine or the more recent $13 billion package that this issue is actually being questioned by the right, the extreme right and it is country. it is also being questioned by donald trump who says if he had been president, this war would not have happened. he probably would have talked to putin, which is right. we have to build in opposition movement from the left to say we want the democrats in congress
to join within the republicans that will join in this to put pressure on biden. right now the head of the progressive caucus pramila jayapal is having a hard time even getting her progressive caucus to sign on to a very moderate letter saying we should pair the military assistance to ukraine with a diplomatic push. so it is our job now to really create the momentum for diplomacy. amy: in april, the u.k. prime minister boris johnson met with ukrainian president zelenskyy in april, where it was reported he pressured zelenskyy to cut off peace negotiations with russia. this is then prime minister johnson being interviewed by bloomberg news back in may. >> such proponent of a deal with putin, how can you deal with -- in the middle of -- what is the negotiation? that is what putin is doing.
he will try to freeze the conflict, call for a cease-fire while he remains in possession of substantial parts -- >> [indiscernible] >> i'm at that point to all my friends and colleagues in the g7, nato. by the way, everybody gets that. once you go to the logic, you could see it is very difficult. amy: i wanted to bring nicolas davies into the conversation, co-author of "war in ukraine: making sense of a senseless conflict." the significance of what boris johnson said and also the attempts of some in the u.s. congress to push for negotiation, very different from what the former prime minister was saying in britain, i congress member pramila jayapal who drafted a congressional sign-on letter calling for biden to take steps to end the ukraine war through several steps,
including a negotiated cease-fire and new security agreements with ukraine. so far only commerce member nydia velasquez has signed on as a cosponsor. so if you can talk about the pressure? >> will, the effect of what we are seeing is effectively a sort of ratcheting up tensions. if the u.s. and the u.k. are willing to torpedo negotiations when there happening but then they're not willing -- they're willing to go and tell zelenskyy and ukraine what to do when it is a matter of killing negotiations, but now biden says he is not willing to tell them to restart negotiations. so it is pretty clear what that means, which is endless war.
the truth is, every war ends at the negotiating table. at the u.n. general assembly a couple of ago, world leaders, one after the other, stepped up toemind nato and russia and ukraine of that. and what the u.n. charter calls for is for the peaceful resolution of conflict through diplomacy and negotiation. the u.n. charter does not say that when a country commits aggression, they should therefore be subjected to an endless war thakills millions of people. so actually 66 countries spoke up at the u.n. general assembly to restart these negotiations, cease-fire negotiations, as soon
as possible. and if included, for instance, the foreign minister of india -- and that included, for instance, the foreign minister of india set in pressure to take sides here but we have been clear from the very beginning that we are on the side of peace. and this is what the world is calling for. those 66 countries include india and china, billions of people. those 66 countries represent a majority of the world's population. there mostly from the global south. their people are already suffering from the shortages of food coming from spain and russia. they are facing the prospect of famine. and on top of that, we are now facing a serious danger of nuclear war. i nuclear weapons expert at harvard university told npr the other day that he estimates to
percent to 20% chance the use of nuclear weapons. in ukraine or over ukraine. and that was before the incident on the bridge and retaliatory bombing by russia. so if both sides just keep escalating, what will the estimate of the chance of nuclear war be in a few months time or years time? an joe biden himself, at a fundraiser at james murdoch's house, just chatting with his financial backers in front of the press, said he does not believe that either side can use a tactical nuclear weapon without it then escalating to
armageddon. so here we are. we have gone from early april when president zelenskyy went on tv and told his people that the goal is peace and the restoration of normal life as soon as possible in our native state. we have gone from zelenskyy negotiating for peace, a 15 point peace plan that really looked very very promising, to now the real prospect of the use of nuclear weapons with the danger rising all the time. this is just not good enough. this is not responsible leadership from biden or johnson and now truss in the u.k.
johnson claims when he went to kyiv on april 9 he was speaking for the "collective west," but a month later, emmanuel macron of france, germany, and mario draghi of italy, all called for new negotiations. they seem to have whipped them back into line now, but really, the world is desperate for peace in ukraine right now. juan: nicolas davies, if that is the case, why do you see so little in the way of peace movements in the populations of the advanced western countries at this stage? >> well, actually, there are quite large and regular peace demonstrations in berlin and other places around europe.
baker demonstrations in the u.k. than in the u.s. -- bigger demonstrations in the u.k. than in the u.s. i need more credit to my cowriter here medea because she has been working so hard along with the members of peace actions, veterans for peace, and other peace organizations in the united states. but the public -- the public really needs to understand the situation. you know, this is why we are calling -- it is a short book of about 200 pages to give people a clearer understanding of how we got into this crisis. the role of our own government in helping to set the stage for
this. over the years leading up to it. through nato expansion, through the events of 2014 in ukraine and the installation of a government there that according to a gallup poll in april 2014 barely 50% of ukrainians even considered it a legitimate government, and that provoked the secession of crimea and a civil war in donbas that killed 14,000 people but the time a peace accord was signed a year later. we have a lot more about all of this in our book and we really hope people will get a copy and read it and join -- juan: if i can, i want to bring
in midi again. speaking of peace, medea, the nobel peace prize recently gave the nobel prize to a group of civil society groups in belarus, russia, ukraine. in ukraine, it was the center for civil liberties. you wrote a piece in common dreams this week talking about the criticism of that prize by a leading pacifist in ukraine who criticized the center for civil liberties for embracing the agendas of international donors like the state department and the national endowment for democracy. could you elaborate on that? and the lack of attention in the west to civil liberties violations inside of ukraine? >> well, yes, we were quoting a leading war resistor pacifist
inside ukraine that said your organization that won the nobel peace prize was following the agenda of the west, was not calling for peace talks but was actually calling for more weapons. would not allow for the discussion of violations of human rights on the side of ukraine and would not support those who were being beaten up or otherwise abused for not wanting to fight. so our peace was to say, a nobel prize should really be going to those organizations in russia, ukraine, belarus, that are supporting the war resisters. of course we know there are many thousands of them inside russia who are trying to flee the country and are having a hard time finding asylum, especially coming to the united states.
before we go, i wanted to correct something that amy said about pramila jayapal's letter. it has 26 members of congress that have signed it now, and we are still pushing to get more signing it. i just wanted people to be clear that there still is a moment now to be calling your members of congress and to be pushing them to call for diplomacy. amy: that is very significant, 26 members. do you feel like there is a push in congress now, that there is a kind of changing of the tide? i did not realize that many had signed on. and also, finally, are you concerned about this last week putin pointing, known as the butcher of syria, as general armageddon, in this massive bombing by missiles and drone strikes across ukraine and the killings of scores of people?
>> of course we are concerned about it. our whole effort in this writing this book and we produced a 20 minute video is to show people the terrible devastation for the ukrainian people that this war is causing. in terms of congress, we think the 26 members is actually quite pathetic. it should be all members of congress. why is it a difficult thing to call for negotiations? this letter is not even saying cut off the military aid. so we think this is something all members of congress should be supporting. the fact they are not is quite astounding and really reflects that we don't have a movement in this country that is strong enough right now to change the tide. that is why we are on a speaking tour, inviting people to invite -- calling on people to invite is to their house parties. this is a turning point in history.
we have talked about the potential of nuclear war. we're the ones that are going to have to stop it by getting our elected representatives to reflect our desire for peace talks immediately to end this conflict before we start seeing the nuclear war. amy: medea benjamin, we want to thank you and nicolas davies, co-author of the book "war in ukraine: making sense of a senseless conflict." coming up, we look at how private health insurance companies are making billions and profit defrauding u.s. government and the medicare advantage program. then we will look at a massive leak of documents and new mexico. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. a major investigation by "the new york times" has found many of the nations' largest health insurance companies have made billions of dollars in profits by exploiting the government's medicare advantage program. eight of the 10 largest medicare advantage providers have overbilled the government. six of the 10 have been accused of fraud by the government or company whistleblowers. this comes as the number of people enrolled in the privatized system continue to grow. projections show that by next year, more than half of all medicare beneficiari will be enrolled in a private plan. under the system, health insurers get more government funding for sicker patients, which has given the companies an incentive to make patients appear more ilthan theactual are. unitedhealth, humana, kaiser, and other health insurance companies have been sued for fraud for over diagnosing patients to bump up profits. the cost to taxpayers is staggering.
overbilling by health insurance costs the government between $12 and $25 billion in 2020 . "the new york times" reports doctors at kaiser were offered bottles of champagne and bonuses if they added additional illnesses to the medical records of their patients so the company could make more money. joining us now is wendell potter. he is former executive for the health insurance companies cigna and humana. potter is now the president of the center for health & democracy and the president of business leaders for health care transformation. he is author of the book "deadly spin: an insurance company insider speaks out on how corporate pr is killing health care and deceiving americans." welcome back to democracy now! joining us from philadelphia. if you can start off by explaining how medicare advantage works. many people might say that. that was a government program for people 65 and older.
>> it is important to note it is neither medicare nor is it an advantage. i think it will be recognized in years to come as the biggest fraud, the biggest transfer of wealth from taxpayers, middle income, low income americans -- from them to corporate executives and shareholders. it is a plan that has been in the works -- has been around for about 20 years. it was born to the george w. bush administration, republican-controlled congress when they were determined to start privatizing medicare program. as you noted, now 20 years later, it is to the point that almost half and in some cities it well more than half, already enrolled in this program. it is a private program. it is operated by private insurance companies. most of them are for-profit. in fact, this year over 80% of
the enrollment in these plans for people enrolling in for-profit plans. they are lured into these plans with deceptive advertising. the plans feature thgs that are common in private plans but not in traditional medicare such as prior authorization. doctors have to get permission in many cases from the insurance company before they can treat their patients. adequate networks, particularly as people get older and sicker. and high out of pocket costs if people knowingly or inadvertently go out of network. it should be called disadvantage. juan: to me it is amazing the health care system in this country right now, when you go to a general practitioner, they basically are constantly referring you to specialists who always then want to do more
tests and it the testing process, along with the specialists come of that drive of these costs. as you say on television, almost every single night there are ads trying to lure sing -- senior citizens into these medicare advantage programs, these privatization of care. why isn't the government exercising or regulation or control over this process, especially the one the times reported piling on imagined or badly documented illnesses? >> it is not because congress has never seen this kind of information before. many governmental organizations like the oig, advises congress on medicare issues and payment issues, and the department of justice which has intervened in
a number of the whistleblower lawsuits against these companies -- that is been something that is been going on for a long time. there also have been other important journalists who have taken this on. so they have known this but they have turned a blind eye because of the massive amount of our money that these big corporations are spending to lobby congress, to throw money into their campaigns for reelection, and the propaganda campaigns and very, very misleading advertising as you just mentioned. open enrollment will begin in a few weeks for medicare-eligible beneficiaries and you will see a barrage, a constant barrage of ads from these companies that do not tell the truth, that leave
out important details like something i mentioned earlier. so that is how they pull it off. regulatory capture, this engine for medicare and medicaid services that has been really asleep at the wheel, congress actually has given cms more authority to crack down on this fraudulent program but they have just turned a blind eye. that is a classic example of regulatory capture. amy: what is regulatory capture? >> what that means is the company, the corporations that administrative offices like cms and health and human services, they have such influence ove these agencies that they don't act on behalf of americans. they act on behalf of corporations to protect the profit.
one of the administration is at cms some years ago went straight from that job into the insurance industry as head of american's health insurance program. they also have staffed -- members of congress have staffed front groups for the industry. former pennsylvania congresswoman, democrat, was the first to head that up. that is how it happened. there is a revolving door between private industry and government and massive amounts of money that fund all of this lobbying and propaganda. juan: wendell potter, you had your own mother disenrolled from the mecare advantage plan over a decade ago. why did that happen? what was the impact on her health as a result? >> this is something that every senior should know. these companies go after people
when they are younger and healthier with kind of a siren call that you can enroll in these plans for no money, you connect to get money put back into social security account as we hear from people like joe namath and william shatner. but the truth is, as you get older and sicker, then you become aware of just the disadvantages of this program. i mother broke her hip and needed to have rehab and skilled nursing services for a while. when we looked at what was available to her in the provider network, it was incredibly inadequate. i worked with my mom to get her out of the medicare advantage plan. it was one that was operated by united health care and they market in conjunction with aarp -- which is an outrage, in my view. but there is a problem because when you do that and you were
older and you wait years after becoming eligible for medicare, it is harder and more expensive to get a supplement policy to help cover your out-of-pocket. so we did that knowing that. we had to pay a lot of money but at least she was able to get the care she needed at a quality facility where she got to rehab -- the rehab and skilled nursing that she needed was she would not have got has she stayed in the medicare advantage program. i'm confident my mom lived additional years because what we were able to do. amy: wendell potter, finally, what should congress do to prevent this kind of fraud? we are moving into the midterm elections. there's almost no discussion of medicare for all and at the corporate media. i don't know if it is because every five or six minutes they break for commercial for some drug company for some new illness that has been defined, but what has to happen right now? >> there are some important
bills that have been introduced or will be introduced before too long, congressman katie porter from california has introduced an important bill that would force the government and force these plans to be more forthcoming, more transparent to provide information and data that they are withholding from the government. he should not even be called medicare advantage. it is not medicare nor is it in advantage, so i think there should be legislation that should bar these companies from even using the name "medicare." there are some good members of congress -- congressman porter, pramila jayapal, jan schakowsky. they are all aware of this. unfortunately, they are among the minority, even among democrats. look at the things that advocates are beginning to do will wake them up and force them to get on the stick and do something. congresswoman scheible has been
the lead sponsor of a medicare for all bill. she gets it. others get it, too. this is going to be an important step along the way. there is going to be a big, effort by industry to say we should have medicare advantage for all which would be the greatest travesty i think this country could ever experience. amy: wendell potter, thank you for being with us. we will into that "new york times goes with expose. wendell potter is a former executive for the health insurance companies cigna and humana. now the president of the center for health & democracy and the president of business leaders for health care transformation. next up, a massive leak of over 4 million confidential documents from the mexican government have revealed mexico's military sold hand grenades and tactical equipment to drug cartels and heavily surveilled the zapatistas. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: "antes de ti" by mon laforte. not known for their music reviews, the mexican army called the musician "a danger due to her songs" and targeted her for surveillance, as revealed in the guacamaya leaks. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. as we look at those leaks, a massive leak of over 4 million confidential documents from the mexican government has revealed mexico's military sold hand grenades and tactical equipment to drug cartels. mexico's ministry of national defense was targeted by a group of hackers known as guacamaya. the league is one of the biggest and mexico's history most of documents show mexican officials monitored journalists using the israeli pegasus spyware and evaded cooperation with the investigation into the disappearance of the 43 students from ayotzinapa.
the leak also shows the zapatistas are one of the most heavily surveilled resistance groups in mexico. for more we go to el paso, texas, to reporter luis chaparro , whose new piece for vice is headlined "leaked emails show mexico's military sold grenades to the cartels." luis, welcome to democracy now! lay out what you found. if you could start again. we did not have your microphone up. we don't hear you. make sure you are off mute. we don't hear you. can you -- sorry, we don't hear you. i think i hear you now. great. >> thank you for having me, first of all. these documents reveal something
we suspect it was happening, which was the purchase patient of the military with drug cartels that we did not really know -- which is a patient of th military with drug cartels but we did not really know the participation. the data leaking really showed they were not only selling grenades to drug cartels, but also providing them with tactical equipment and maybe like the most dangerous part of these links between mexican military and cartels was the surveillance they were having on journalists and information were passing along, but also on mexican government officials. there was a conversation leaked where mexican military member flags a call he oversaw where these cartels were asking
the military to track down a target inside one of the mexican political parties to have a heat on him. juan: what has been responsive present lópez obrador to these revelations, especially given the fact his administration has come to rely increasingly on the mexican military? >> downplaying the whole making of documents. he has been saying is nothing new inside the 4 million emails that came to light about two weeks ago. he said the most important thing in any case of the documents was details about his health, that apparently he is having heart issues. honestly, to my opinion, that is the least of the problems revealed inside these documents.
juan: what were some of the most surprising things to you from the revelations? >> i think two things. first of all, the obvious revelation that the mexican military is vulnerable to a group of hackers that literally used the back door to take the whole server of emails d gather information every few days that they had access to. first of all, that is very revealing. we are talking about probably the most important institution in mexico, ministry of defense. second of all, the extent of surveillance the mexican military is having on journalists, on activists, on different dissident groups. like feminist groups and the
70's to group. --zapatista group. amy: mexico is the worst place on earth for journalists death. the use of pegasus spyware. can you talk about that? also what yoyou learned about te mexican governments lack of cooperation into the murder of the 43 students at ayotzinapa. >> that is revealing from the data leaks. the participation of how they're trying to hide the involvement in the killing of these 43 students of ayotzinapa. that is something we all knew from journalist investigations that also led to the other issue of the mexican military was really surveilling the mexican
press when it came to investigating the killings of 43 students at ayotzinapa. as you and your public know, mexico is really going down and it is one of the worst places for journalists. that is not only because of the threat by cartels but also the involvement of the mexican government working with the cartels, but also surveilling journalists themselves from the official government. juan: in a related story, mexico has filed another lawsuit against five u.s.-based firearm dealers, all of them in arizona, they claim are responsible for fueling the flow of illegal weapons and a surge in murders in mexico. could you talk about that lawsuit and the one that preceded it? >> definitely.
this is an attempt by the mexican government to sue first u.s. government and private companies allegedly selling guns to drug cartels. the first attempt was thrown down by the u.s. federal judge. the mexican government is now going after just a few companies, particularly in arizona, where most of the guns used by mexican drug cartels are coming from. to my understding, these have very little opportunity to actually -- the first one. first of all, the u.s. gun manufacturers have huge legal resources to fight against.
second of all, because i think the target or the goal to sue is actually to just pay attention to what the u.s. manufacturers are doing, not only the responsibility of the u.s. government in all the violence happening in mexico currently, but to bring light to the responsibility on private companies on this issue. document showed 80% of the guns traced back to the u.s. are coming from shops in arizona, which is a major corridor for most of the top cartels in mexico. amy: we have to leave it there but we are going to continue our conversation in a post-show.