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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  September 29, 2013 7:00am-9:01am PDT

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this morning, my question. what comes next in the government shutdown showdown? plus, a chance for justice in florida as marissa alexander gets a new trial. and the creator of the hit show "doc mcstuffins" is coming to nerdland. but first, "mhp" is on the air and i'm taking calls. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry and this is "wmhp," broadcasting live from nerdland. now, today, i am taking your calls about the affordable care act. now, late last night, house republicans took us another step closer to a government shutdown by voting for a one-year delay of the law. but that's not going to happen. the heart and soul of obama care launches this tuesday, october 1st. now, perhaps the gop just doesn't understand, after all,
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there is a lot that you need to know. so let's go to the phones. eric, who's our first caller? >> melissa, our first caller is jim from oklahoma. caller, you're on the air. >> caller: i think it's really important, and don't you agree, that people of this country have to know what this is really all about. this is socialized medicine. now, a lot of them didn't believe that. >> well, there is a reason a lot of them didn't believe that. it is not socialized medicine. health care will continue to be administered by the private sector and paid for by private insurers. actually, the real goal of obama care is to expand health insurance to some of the 48 million people, that's 16% of the country, who do not have it. so first, let's back up and talk about how insurance works. pre-obama care, if you don't have insurance through an employer, then you have to buy your own policy, and that really sucks. especially if you're sick or have anything that an insurance
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company could call a pre-exi pre-existing condition, like asthma or depression or, for example, being a woman. because insurance companies can charge you much higher rates for coverage or deny to cover you at all. so that's how it works now, but after obama care kicks in, insurance companies will have to take you no matter what. and they can't charge you more based on your medical history, your sex, and they must provide a minimum package of benefits, including preventative care. now, how can you sign up? well, starting on tuesday, obama care's insurance exchanges will open, and the exchanges, also known as marketplaces, are heavily regulated websites, where you can compare plans based on price and benefits and apply for federal subsidies. your coverage will start january 1. eric, put the next caller on the line. >> on the line we have marco from florida. marco, you're on the air. >> caller: the very people that this bill is supposed to be helping, the working class, the
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middle class, the people that are trying to get ahead are the people that it's directly hurting. >> marco, not so. remember the subsidies that i mentioned? if you make up to a certain amount of income, the federal government will pay for all or part of your premiums when you buy insurance on the exchanges. people making up to four times the poverty line, that's about $46,000 for a single individual or $94,000 for a family of four, they're eligible for those subsidies. so obama care will help those people. the people who couldn't afford insurance before. how about the next caller, eric? >> melissa, you're talking to ted from texas. caller? >> caller: are millions of americans seeing their health insurance premiums skyrocket? yes. >> no, ted. okay, this one needs some explanation. insurance premiums will likely go up for some young people in the individual market, especially those who had previously just had very minimal coverage. but premiums will also, if everything goes well, go down
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for the people who need it most. for the sick who struggle to afford coverage before, and overall, premiums are not expected to increase. now, the thing is, the exchanges need the healthy people to sign up in order to cover the sick people for an affordable premium. in essence, the healthy policy holders subsidize the sick. and that's why obama care requires you to have health insurance. the only way this works is if lots of people, especially healthy people, get insurance. and if you don't, then you have to pay a fine. who's next, eric? >> melissa, we still have ted. >> ted is still talking?! go ahead. >> caller: are millions of americans at risk of losing their health insurance because of obama care? yes. >> no, no! again, millions of people will gain health insurance under obama care. an estimated 25 million through the exchanges and up to 17 million through expanded medicaid. yes, let's not forget medicaid. if you make less than 133% of the poverty line, about 15,000
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for a single person and 31,000 for a family of four, you can now sign up for medicaid. that's a huge expansion from current state laws, most of which offer no coverage for adults who don't have children. many also have severe limits on which parents are eligible for medicaid, even if their kids are covered. in arkansas, for example, you can only get coverage if you make less than 16% of the poverty line, less than $4,000 a year in a family of four. about half the states are taking up the medicaid expansion. the other half, largely red states, say they will not expand medicaid. that will leave millions that could have been insured under aca in states like texas out. ted, that's where a quarter of the population is uninsured. but states can choose to opt into the expansion and the federal funding that comes with it at any time, once they come to their senses.
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okay, eric, we have time for just one more caller. >> melissa, we have the president on the line. >> what?! really? well, mr. president, you're on the air. >> the affordable care act is here to stay! >> oh, well, you heard it from the source, folks, this is going to happen. joining me now, jay engolf, the man who until recently was inside the obama administration and was responsible for the implementation of the president's health care law. carmen wong ulrich, host of "marketplace money" on american public media, igor wolski of thinkprogress.org, and dr. chris liliss, a primary care physician in fredericksburg, virginia, and a member of doctors for america. thank you all for being here and putting up with the silliness of my fake radio show here. so i'm attempting to debunk at least some of the myths we've heard coming from not just americans in general, but specifically from our policy
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makers. help me to debunk a few more. are there death panels that are part of the affordable care act? >> no. no, that's an easy one. >> where does that come from? >> well, that comes from this board that goes into effect if costs go past a certain threshold. now, the good news is, is that since the affordable care act has become law, we've seen costs actually come down. the trend, the overall trend is probably going to be below the threshold for the board. so the cbo, the congressional budget office is now estimating that the board is probably not even going to kick in, in the first ten years. but all it does, if costs are beyond a certain level, then a group of experts, doctors, consumer advocates, economists get together and decide, where can we cut back? what kind of changes can we make? it won't affect beneficiaries, but it will affect maybe reimbursements, how certain doctors are paid. and that's really a holistic way to control costs so they don't get out of control. >> so, carmen, in part related
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to this, is the true that small businesses hate obama care, hate the affordable care act, and in fact, will be harmed by implementation of the affordable care act? >> probably not. probably not at all. there are going to be some subsidies to help them pay for that. and you have to think about what's really deadly here. what's really deadly, even for your workforce, if you're a small business, to not have insurance. i'll tell you a tale of two sisters. both in their 50s, one diagnosed with colon cancer. one had health insurance she's alive and one did not and she did not tell anyone and she's dead. and that's my mother. if she were here, i would put get her coverage in the marketplace where her preventative care would have been free. so instead she lived two years on experimental trials. she had a huge hospital bill, but all of this could have been prevented if she just had coverage, which for her, because she earned so little, would have been less than $100 a month.
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>> the idea that it saves peoples lives -- >> it would have saved my mother's life. her sister, my aunt, is alive today because of this. and i wrote about this today. while there's a battle going on, while there's all this posturing and drinking and fighting, these are real people's lives we're talking about here and this is the important point here. they need coverage. >> and i want to follow up in part on this. one of the other great myths out there is what the affordable care act does is to put the government, the federal government, in particular, between patients and their doctors, making it harder to see your doctor, making it harder for your doctor to prescribe medications and to diagnose. is that true about what the affordable care act does? >> it's really not true at all, in my daily practice. i'm able to make decisions for my patients that i feel are right for them from a medical standpoint. i think it's incumbent on the physician community to make sure we're doing the right things for our patients. so cost-effective care, care that's coordinated with other physicians to improve outcomes is critical. but, no, i don't ever have to
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wrangle with medicare to determine what's right for my patients. >> jay, let me ask you this. is it true that the administration bungled telling people what the affordable care act is about? because part of what i find so stunning and difficult to sort of navigate, even as we're sort of making fun of what the calls are, is the extent to which the branding, the branding of obama care, the branding of big, you know, socialized medicine, sticks for so many people, so that all these years later, there just isn't enough basic information about what the affordable care act is. >> that's true. the campaign to destroy obama care has not let up. the opposition to obama care is not just opening that it will fail, not just rooting for it to fail, but are actively trying to make it fail. you know, you see some of these groups are putting ads on tv, encouraging people -- encouraging kids not to sign up for insurance.
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what's next? encouraging kids to smart smoking? >> well, yeah, there's a whole industry, actually, that did used to do that, right? >> yeah. but despite that, no, the law is here, it's going to succeed, even if the republicans succeed in shutting down the government, the irony is, obama care is still going to take off on october 1st. and people are going to be able to go to a website, wherever they live, they're going to be able to punch in the answers to four questions, age, zip code, family size, family status, and whether you smoke or not, and they're going to be able to get quotes from all the businesses doing business through the exchanges for four different levels of coverage. they'll be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons and that's going to facility price competition. it's going to drive down price. the prices that have been filed already are 16% below what the congressional budget office projected. they're far below what the insurers -- what the republicans projected, and that's a big
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disappointment to the republicans. the biggest disappointment is, the law is here and the law is going to succeed. >> and the good news is that starting on tuesday, people are going to go to healthcare.gov, look at these options, and it's going to become a deeply personal decision. they'll tune out all this rhetoric you hear, ted and jeff and marco, all your friends that called in, and it's just going to be, what works best for me? what works best for my family? what are the prices? do i qualify for subsidies? >> and is there a cap for all of this? not only can you not be denied coverage, but there's a cap for how much is going to come out of your pockets. i can't tell you how many millions of americans declare bankruptcy because of medical costs. a lot of folks use credit cards, are pressured to put the cost on their credit cards, which turns into consumer debt, so we don't even see that. but i can tell you that it's tremendous. so to cap it at $12,700 in your lifetime or to say, basically, we'll give you coverage no matter what, this is incredibly important. bankruptcies will be avoided. >> and i want to talk a little
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bit more about the cost question. you brought up the point that we have declining costs at the same time we have a public perception of increasing costs. i also want to talk a little bit about the question you raised when you said, people on tuesday are going to go to the exchanges, and i want to say, are they? are they actually -- because part of what this law requires is that people actively do it. that the exchanges don't come to you in the mail. will the people do the thing they need to do to make this a personal and not a political question. we've got more of your questions and answers when we come back on "wmhp" 37. let's do crisp on the outside. cozy on the inside. and let's not do any of this. let's go to school. let's go to save. and then, let's go to town. so then we can go do, absolutely nothing. let's do this. more saving. more doing.
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health care law. in the opening sketch, the president invited regular people to come out and describe how the aca is benefiting them. >> now that i've got free health care, i can get sick all the time! whoo! free medicine, y'all! >> well, that's not really how it works. >> i've stopped washing my hands and i'm licking hell a subway poles. thanks, president! >> oh, yeah, the amount of misinformation in the world. so let's talk a little bit about whether or not this fake person on "snl" or the people calling in, are they going to go and sign up? have we sort of sufficiently made it clear that october 1 is a day where you can go and do these apples-to-apples comparisons. what will it take for in the next 24 to 48 hours to get people to notice. >>ing with being here. the kaiser family foundation did a study and found that more than
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half americans don't know that tuesday is the day you can sign up. and almost 80% of folks who are uninsured don't even know. the biggest service you're doing here right now is actually saying, healthcare.gov, healthcare.gov, tuesday, tuesday, to get people to go there. the word is not going out. there's too much rhetoric, too much arguing, too much politics going out in the media, no offense, here it is. >> there it is. >> and you have to be able to tell people the practical thing is to go and sign up. and even if you have coverage and you're paying out-of-pocket, you were talking about, go and compare what you can save. >> our organization right now is in the middle of trying to educate the public about what's available to them. you see a disparity in different states. so in my home state of virginia, the federal government is running our exchange. and so we have not had any grant money to hire workers for the virginia government to help people sign up. in our neighboring state of maryland, maryland has hired over a thousand people to help marylanders sign up. so right now in some states that haven't really fully implemented the affordable care act, they're depending on nonprofits like
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ours, doctors for america, the virginia poverty law center, these are the organizations who are doing a big public push to try to get information to those that we help the most. >> and one of the big challenges is that often those states, where they have defaulted to the federal government, running the exchange, are states also like mine, like louisiana. where we also have the greatest need. these are poor states, southern states, red states, with very, very high populations of uninsured people, who could, in fact, be benefiting, but because of the amount of misinformation, now may not. >> and in those states, it's not going to be the local leaders that are roadblocking and putting hurdles every step soft way. it's the community organizations, the churches, the mayors. and that's how this is going to work, i think, in those areas. it's going to work through local foundations and through word of mouth. that's what, i think, the administration is counting on. and they're targeting specific populations and they think that if they can get enough of, particularly young people, because that's what you have to bring in to make the exchanges work, to make these so-called
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insurance polls balance to keep the premiums low. >> i want to ask you about this recent approval ratings around aca. there is this thing that happens when you ask about obama care or aca, you get disapproval. but when you ask about each of the individual provisions, they're, in fact, extremely popular. so this poll shows us that if you talk about providing insurance subsidies, expanding medicaid, guaranteeing insurance for the sick, you have well up over 60, 65, even 76% approval. but when you ask about the affordable care act overall, which is composed of these parts, you're well down below half in terms of approval. >> that's exactly right. from the very beginning, when you ask people about the specific provisions of obama care, such as, no annual limits, you can't cancel people, no lifetime limits, should everybody be able to get insurance regardless of health status, yeah, those are great things. everybody supports them. the only thing that some people don't like about obama care is
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obama. i mean, when you take the name -- seriously. some of the people who are the biggest opponents of obama care are exactly the people who can benefit the most from it. and i think when they see what the rates are going to be, maybe they'll change their tune. for example, for the bronze plan, which is the cheapest plan in the exchange, you can get a bronze plan, which covers 60% of expenses, not terribly comprehensive, but better than a lot of stuff out there today, for about 160 bucks. with the subsidy, if you were a 27-year-old, you make about -- right out of school, make about $25,000, you get a subsidy for about 80 bucks a month. >> you've got to be on the silver plan, by the way, to get those subsidies. just bringing that in there. >> let me ask you a question. if i am a young person, if i'm 26 years old or 27, right, because i've got to be not under my parents anymore. so i'm 27 and i figure, okay, yesterday, i could have an insurance plan that was just
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catastrophic, right? only if the very worst thing happens to me. and now, bad market, bad job market, and now i have to buy something that is going to be marginally more expensive. why is it valuable to me? why should i support and why should i say, this is actually still a good thing for me. even if it's just at the margins of more expensive. >> i don't want to make a correction, i'm sorry, melissa, if you're under 30, you can still purchase a catastrophic only plan. it's only over 30 that you have to choose one of the plans, the bronze or up to platinum level. but from a physician's standpoint, the reason to have comprehensive insurance is because you really can't plan for an illness. you really can't plan for a car accident. the word "accident," it's there for a reason. it's because we didn't plan that. so comprehensive health insurance can protect you from devastating medical bills. i had a family member recently who was hospitalized, she just can't get over the size of the hospital bill. now, thankfully, she's well covered and it really didn't impact her personal finances, but the truth is is that one episode of illness can be
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bankrupting. >> stick right there. i want to stay on this topic, but i also want to talk about, i don't know, is it good news, is it bad news? it's walmart news and it's about obama care, when we come back. woman: everyone in the nicu -- all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days. everything that you thought was important to you changes in light of having a child that needs you every moment. i wouldn't trade him for the world.
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one of the most enduring talking points against the affordable care act is that it is, to paraphrase senator ted cruz, the job killingest job killer that ever killed a job. he really, seriously -- okay. opponents of the job say that they'll push workers to part-time or stop hiring workers all together in order to avoid a provision of the aca that requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide affordable, comprehensive health insurance, or face significant fines. and it's true that some companies have dumped benefits, like home depot, which ended health insurance for 20,000 part-time employees and sent them, instead, to the obama care
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exchanges. but then there's a place like walmart. yes, that walmart, which just announced this week that it will move 35,000 workers from part-time to full-time, guaranteeing them health insurance and hiring 35,000 new part-time workers. >> good for walmart. >> yeah. i know, when has that sentence ever been spoken on a nerdland -- >> yes! >> but better for the affordable care act. the great thing about the affordable care act is it gives people a choice. if, by some chance, you are laid off or your employer terminates your health insurance, which is not going to happen, but it were to happen, you still have an opportunity to buy insurance through the exchanges. that's never happened before. >> i must say, some employers are -- home depot is an example here and some others, are taking this as an opportunity to decrease and/or eliminate health insurance. i don't want to act as though that's not happening. i do think, however, it's happening as a result of a kind of greed around profits.
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but explain to me why that's not a catastrophic problem. >> well, you know, we hear a lot from republicans that businesses hate uncertainty. that's really what we need -- >> which is why they create lots more uncertainty, every 15 minutes. >> they're shutting down the government, about the to default on our debt. there's a lot of economic uncertainty. businesses make those decisions. but there's been a long-term trend of businesses trying to shift costs to workers. it happened before the affordable care act, it's going to happen after. and, you know, you look at the provision, the employer responsibility provision. that was delayed. yet you still have businesses making these kinds of excuses. it's fine to make adjustments, and the good news is, they'll have the affordable care act -- >> but it's been more than ten years where companies have stopped bringing on full-time and have cut benefits like crazy. everything from retirement accounts to life insurance -- this is not tied to this at all. this is just the way companies are operating. and now we have a free lance economy. we have more and more folks who
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are part-time and who are freelance and they're going to need some kind of coverage. >> and now they can get it. >> and keep in mind, also, small business, small business, that is businesses of 50 or fewer employees, they have no obligation whatsoever to buy insurance for their employees. if they want and they've got 25 or fewer employees, they can get a tax credit. so there's only a carrot. there's no stick. so small businesses just in a terrific position under obama care. a >> and the cost shifting we've seen in the last couple of decades, whether it's rising deductib deductibles, it has a real impact on patients. some of my patients will say, i just can't afford that right now. maybe it's a screening colonosco colonoscopy, where we could possibly prevent a colon cancer. if we could prevent that with a procedure to help detect it and treat early -- >> and the preventative care is free. that's the thing. with this, preventative care is free. when you say catastrophic costs, the cost of preventative care is
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minuscule compared to what happens when you don't go for preventative care and you have to treat a catastrophic illness. this is a way to basically say, you don't have to pay a dime! you can come and we can check, a mammography, whatever it is, we can make sure you don't get it, it costs us maybe $10,000 rather than costing you $100,000. >> the oil change example. you can keep changing or oil and make sure it running along or just ignore oil changes until you have a car that doesn't run, which is really expensive. >> you have the 11th hour push from ted cruz, trying to really disparage the law. and the thing is, they're afraid it's actually going to work. if they thought it would actually collapse under its own weight, they would wash their hands off and say, let it happen. but they're afraid it's going to work. >> and not just the
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administration has a political stake in this, but the insurance industry has a tremendous economic stake in this. they want it the to work. they'll be out there trying to enroll people. >> and this is the part i find most confusing. you know, typically, when there is an extreme leap of financial interest associated with a policy, i don't get too worked up, because i figure, it's going to work. kind of when the nba goes on strike, i'm like, whatever, that's going to be fine. because there's too much money involved. i guess i'm a little shocked, actually, that the tea party right has overwhelmed the fundamental profit motivation of insurance companies on this topic. >> we all were. and the administration, i can't tell you how many times we told ourselves, the fever is going to break. the fever is going to break once the supreme court rules it constitutional, which it did. well, the fever department break. then we said, the fever's going to break once the election's over, the 2012 election's over and the republicans don't take over. well, that didn't happen. but the fever didn't break.
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the fever hasn't broken. the fever's gotten hotter. >> they just fevering it up down there on the house floor last night. up next, we'll talk about the states trying to tank obama care, this point of trying to make it fail. you shouldn't get all of your news about the affordable care act from cable tv. there are people who are supposed to be able to help you with this, when we come back. i wanted to ask you a couple questions.card. i've got nothing to hide. my bill's due today and i haven't paid yet. you can pay up 'til midnight online or by phone the day it's due. got a witness to verify that?
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trying to scare young people out of signing up for insurance. and as we explained at the top of the show, the exchanges need young, healthy people to sign up in order for them to work. there are the republican-controlled states, enacting rules to prevent the laws' navigators from doing their jobs, which is to help people to sign up for private insurance or medicaid. and then there are the states that have refused to expand medicaid, even though, don't miss this, the federal government will pay for nearly all of the expansion costs. and that won't just hurt the poor, who would get on medicaid for the first time, but also hurt those buying insurance in the exchanges. states that refuse to expand medicaid will drive up the cost of private insurance on the exchanges and a recent rand corporation study found that if texas, louisiana, sorry, and florida keep refusing to expand medicaid, it will cost rates in the individual insurance market in those three states to rise by 8 to 10%. a self-fulfilling prophesy. what about the navigators,
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particularly? because i feel like we have to do some navigation on tv, because they're actually sabotaging navigators. >> yeah, the affordable care act sets up these -- establishes these entities called navigators, the purpose of which is to help people enroll in insurance, explain to people the difference among insurance plans. about 12 states have passed laws that do two things. number one, they put a whole lot of roadblocks in front of navigators and make it very difficult for navigators to get licensed in the states. they make it expensive and burdensome. and even if they do get licensed, they restrict what navigators can do. the federal law says they must help people enroll and explain the differences. and some of these state laws say-and-a-hasay navigators can't do that. so there's a conflict between the state laws and federal laws and under the constitution, the federal law takes priority. >> and for me, as i'm reading about the navigators and reading about what the red states are doing in terms of the navigators, i think, oh, look, they perfected these strategies
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with those trap laws for abortion providers, right? keeping it officially legal, but setting all of these roadblocks. and similarly when they were doing voter suppression efforts and they're like, okay, yes, you can vote, but only from 12:00 to 12:01 on the second friday of the sixth month of the year, right? so spectacularlimilarly, it's l ways of saying, oh, yeah, we have navigators, but making them completely ineffective. >> i don't want to get carried away with this, but it's not that different than some of the stuff that went on during the civil rights era. among insurance nerds, there's a famous video of the georgia insurance commissioner getting up and saying, well, the federal government says we've got to have these navigators, but we're going to be as obstructionist as we can, we're going to make them get licensed, we're not going to let them be navigators. >> instead of standing in the schoolhouse door, they're standing in the door of the hospital. >> and such short-term thinking here. how stupid do they think their constituents are? they're going to look over to the state next door a year or two from now and go, how many
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they're paying half of what we're paying for coverage? because they're not on the coverage. the more people that have the coverage, the more the prices go down. the more the state supports it, the more the prices go down. they're going to eventually look and they're going to say, how did we end up here again? oh, yeah, that guy. >> in those states, they're not going to call it obama care. there's that story that in kentucky at a fair, you had someone trying to sign up for the kentucky exchanges and someone comes up, big opponent of obama care, looks at the plan and says, oh, you know, no denials for pre-existing conditions, guaranteed issue, great, great, i hope this is obama care, but it was, precisely obama care. >> it is obama care! >> i want to exact a little optimism. because what you're seeing right now is that some states are putting up barriers to the navigators help people, but you're seeing moneyed interests step in and fill the gaps. a lot of the retail pharmacies are providing that service right
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at the point of care. a lot of health insurance companies are going to be doing huge marketing blitzes to try to get people to sign up. i think there's too much inertia to overcome. i think you're going to see no matter what barriers are erected for the navigators, we're going to see a lot of people get good information. >> a lot of you have suggested different levels of optimism, but both are kind of structural and they're about this idea that there are interests and these interests will push -- but this for me comes back to, i'm n convinced that my neighbors in louisiana are going to look to texas and mississippi and say, man, they really have that obama care thing worked out, why don't we? i think some of this inertia is, as long as we call it obama care and as long as people believe that it is somehow associated with this president, it almost doesn't matter if it was a -- you know, here is a free check for $1 million for you and your family, not from obama, nope, i'm not taking it. >> i think that's right. obama care is a big law, but it's come to symbolize more than that. i think obama care is a symbol of a lot of people, what a lot
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of people just don't like the destructi direction the country is going in and obama care is obama. they don't like obama and they're never going to like obama, but the law is going to be a success. >> there's a six-month window for enrollment. they have a lot of time. they'll work out the glitches in the beginning hopefully and have smooth sailing on ahead. it's just not going to be on day one. given all the misinformation, to swim through all of that, to learn from your neighbor, it's going to take, in this period and the next and the next, and in ten years, and obama won't be in office. >> it'll be something else by that point. and corporations to the rescue. if this becomes a big cost issue and the health insurance industry really wants people to sign up, they awill, hopefully, be advocates for it. >> the insurers want it, the hospitals want it. it will for the first time, anybody will be able to get insurance, regardless of pre-existing condition, regardless of what happens to them at work. that's a great thing. that's a revolutionary thing.
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>> i want to ask you one quick question. i keep thinking, all we've got to do is take a deep breath, get people to the website. what if i can't get to the website. what if it's october 1, i really like president obama, i don't dislike him, i would like to sign up for some of that obama care, but i don't have is a computer. >> you can call the hot line, you can probably go to your community center, depending on the state you're in, of course, and find something there, find assistance, how to get to health care. so there are options. the online is probably the easiest way, the quickest way. you find out, quick application, find out right away all your options and if you're qualified for subsidies, but there are options like phones and everything else for people who don't have that. >> and even one step better, the national public libraries have decided they're going to be a part of this as well. librarians across the country will be helping show people the healthcare.gov -- >> if they're open, though, doctor. >> which if you shut down the government -- >> not so much. >> there you go. >> and that complicates things
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for republicans. if the government shuts down and there's glitches in the beginning, the government shut down, how can you expect a very smooth rollout of obama care? most of obama care funding is mandatory spending. it's not subject to this discretionary funding. but if you have to imagine if the government is shut down and all these nonessential government workers, close to a million, are at home, it's probable to believe that some of the glitches are because the republicans shut down the government. >> you know what else alike? the idea if everybody is home, maybe they'll go on their local website and sign up for obama care. shut that government down, suckers! here we go. jay, igor, and dr. chris lewis, thanks. up next, the ghost of government shutdowns past. what have we learned since the last time. you work. and you want to get an mba. but going back to school is hard... because you work. now, capella university offers a revolutionary new way to get your degree.
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republicans in the house pushed forward a new version of their continuing resolution bill, to keep the government open. this one would delay president obama health care law by a year. now we'll get to the guilts of what happened last night and what happens next in just a moment. but suffice it to say that the house bill is doa. we are now headed to somewhere this country has not been in 17 years. in 1995, a dispute over domestic spending cuts between president bill clinton and speaker of the house, newt gingrich, led to a two-part government shutdown that lasted for five days in november and then nearly three weeks starting in december of 1995. this morning, from our vault, a reminder of what this whole thing looked like the last time around. >> good evening. neither the president nor the speaker nor senator dole will give, so tonight much of the government remains shut down. both sides are claiming this is a battle over principle, but in this case principle is the foster child of election year
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politics as the stakes in 1996 makes this standoff all the more complicated. for a time, there were faint signs a deal was in the works, but tonight, nothing doing. two reports now on the maneuvers and the impacts. we begin with nbc's brian williams at the white house. >> reporter: the president appears this afternoon as the federal government was reduced to a slow crawl. >> today, as of noon, almost half of the federal government employees are idle. the government is partially shutting down because congress has failed to pass the straightforward legislation necessary to keep the government running. >> as the president finished, republican leaders on the hill appeared with their own view of things. >> it's very hard to know how to deal with him and how to deal with this administration and every time we reach out to try to help, we just encounter a new attack and a new mass of misinformation. >> when we come back, ted cruz, you're not the only one who can
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last night, just after the clock struck 12:00, house republicans voted to push us one step closer to a government shutdown. this time, all but two of the house gop members voted for a new bill, that would only keep the government open if the senate and president obama agreed to a one-year delay in the implementation of obama care, something senator harry reid and president obama have already made clear is a nonstarter. so now, tick, tick, tick. with every passing minute, we are getting closer to 12:01 a.m. tuesday and the first u.s. government shutdown since the mid-1990s. how on earth did we get here? who's up for a little storytime? i have a story to tell about how congress is running the country for the not done it well. once upon a time, not long ago, a change came fast where it used to be slow.
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the people chose a new leader, in their capitol town and he was unlike the others. for his color was brown. he came and prevailed where those others had failed, to rerestore the people to health in times when they ailed. but, alas, the leaders' triumph was but a short while, because the people grew weary with the democrats' style. more jobs, more money, the people did cry. though the blame was on w., they didn't care why. the people were hungry for something new in 2010, so when republicans came knocking, the people let them in. saying, come into our house and make things all right. we see nothing but darkness, please show us the light. so the people's wish was granted, but little did they know, republicans would come into the house with the tea party in tow. out with the lady leader, replaced with a man, with pane chant for crying and a fondness for tans. we will work for the people, he said with a tear. we will correct the course. this is nothing to fear.
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alas, he would not be able the to practice what he preached. for he would lose his ability to keep his minions on a leash. those tea party members, they were here to stay, shouting, who cares what you want?! we will have our own way! the black man in the white house, we want him to go. so when he says yes, we will always say no! we will hijack junior government, we will shut it all down. nothing will get accomplished in your capitol town. those minions ran why would, when they were let loose. they took hold of the wheel, dragging the party's caboose. but the people had grown weary of the political games. they wanted something new, not more of the same. kick 'em out of theous and then change all the locks. give my party back control, said their president barack. only by then, it was already too late. the people let the gop in again. now they must suffer their fate.
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so back to the brink, they dragged the country once more, but it was only the beginning of what was in store. because the people had lost control of the government for and by them, and now the inmates in the crazy house were running the asylum. though obama's plan won the favor of the highest court in the land, the gop hated obama care, for they did not care for obama, the man. and so we the people must helplessly watch our government near shutdown with each tick of the clock. paying our nation's bills had always happened on time, but this, said the minions, is where we draw the line. if it means punishing the people, then suffer, they will, for we must remain in power upon this capitol hill. as for the leader of the gop, well, he never really led. boehner lost all his power to some dude named ted. who talked and talked and talked through the night, and laughed
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and smiled while the gop, they did fight. except they agreed when the fighting was done, they would not budge an inch, not one single one. the preposterous plan, the senate could not abide, so the people were dragged along on their congress' wild ride. though their leaders had closed the government once many years before, 17 years later, the people knew not what was in store. so this is where i pause my story, dear nerdland friends, for there is still a day to stop this madness, it's not quite the end. maybe congress will surprise us, maybe they will act faster than they have in the past, to avert this disaster. which of them might save us? i know not who is able. perhaps we'll find the answer when i turn to my table. so stick around, nerdland, so much at stake. and we're going to talk about it all, right after this break. i'm kind of seeing a...
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. you only have 37 hours left. last night, 229 house republicans joined by two democrats voted for a bill that puts the united states within spitting distance of a government shutdown. for the first time in 17 years. and the drama of the steadily approaching deadline reached a fever pitch last night on the house floor. >> republicans should not shut the government down -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> what on earth are we doing here? >> it's time for us to stop it dead in its track. >> the senate won't take it up, the president won't sign it, house republicans are shutting down the government! >> every member in this chamber has someone in their district who has lost their insurance policy. >> you have one wing of your party, a rump group. i call that mockocracy, not democracy. >> we did not elect a dictator.
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we elected a president. >> it's like a 1930s gangster film. it's a nice government you've got there. a nice economy you've got there. pity if it should blow up if you don't pay us off by giving us what we want. >> if the republicans don't like it, they can make their case to the american people in 2014. >> your time has expired! >> i love it when congress gets like that, rwahh! listen, the bill attached a measure that would delay obama care for one year, running right smack up against the hard line drawn by president obama and senate majority leader harry reid, which leaves you with only 37 hours. just 37 hours to get your fill of the panda cam. go on and overdose on the cuteness injection that is the panda cam while you still can. because this might be the last you see of those black and white balls of fur for the foreseeable future. nerdland's favorite piece of viral video could just be one of the many casualties of congress'
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failure to avert a government shutdown by tuesday at 12:01 a.m. the cam could go dark when the national zoo is forced to close its doors to the public. doors to work would also be closed for a large number of civilian military employees as well as irs, national park service workers. now, those doors will stay open for active-duty military personnel, but they won't be getting paid for their service until congress can get a new bill passed. meanwhile, the members of congress who caused the whole fiasco will still be getting their regular paychecks. the staffers who work for them considered nonessential government employees probably won't. they're among the estimated 800,000 federal workers who could be furloughed during the shutdown and you can forget about getting new passports and visas, going to court for bankruptcy cases or getting your mortgage application approved. because if the government shuts down, all of that would be going away too, along with the pandas. here with me now, arry melber, host of msnbc's "the cycle" and
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correspondent for "the nation." carmen wong ulrich host of "marketplace money," susan del percio, an msnbc contributor,s and christina beltran at new york university and the author of "the trouble with unity." so ari, let me start with you. we're sort of teasing about the panda cam, in part because, as we've been talking about the shutdown, we keep trying to discuss how critical, how important, how relevant it is. and i'm like, let's just give up and talk about something people actually care about, like the panda cam. >> and helps set up some ads that you, mhp can run against the pandas. >> republicans hate panda! >> the panda was in the adorable care act. >> it's black and white! >> like the president! >> what?! >> okay. >> give that panda a black and white cookie.
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i think we did four panda jokes. >> we did it. now we're done. >> here's the facts. there's a lot of talk about how john boehner needs the republican caucus and he has to satisfy the tea party. that's not literally true in terms of the house vote. all he needs is 17 republicans to come along for a bipartisan funding bill. what is that funding bill? well, it's a continuing resolution, that's why they call it a cr, which means it's not actually an annual budget, it won't actually solve these problems. it's a band-aid for six weeks and we can replay this whole thing over, because that's what the republicans have been pushing. and what is the funding levels? these are the sequester level funding cuts, as many members of the house, democratic side, were saying last night in the debate. what does that tell us about the standoff? republicans won. they beat obama on funding and they beat the democrats on that, to the point that now the baseline, right, the renewal that we're talking about, the so-called new normal is these terrible sequester-level funding cuts, which john boehner said when he first made the deal,
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nobody wants these to happen. this is just a penalty, an absurd penalty that we will use to get something else done. we forget all that sometimes. >> you've made such a great point here about the idea of who's won. and susan, i want to come to you on this. we did our rhyme to make fun of senator cruz and sort of teasing about this. but i keep wondering if in fact, cruz has won here. i want to take a moment to listen to him. he was on "meet the press" this morning. let's listen and i want to have you respond. >> my position in this fight, which was that we should defund it, which is different from repeal. and even now what the house of representatives has done is a step removed from defunding it. it's delaying it. that's the essence of a compromise. for all of us who want to see it repealed, simply delaying it for american families on the same terms that's being done for big corporations, that's a compromise. >> so now senator cruz, who is the architect of this in many ways is saying, hey, i'm the guy of compromise. he's saying, this junior senator
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has this incredible platform at this point. if he's the big winner of the week? >> to some extent, because he'll probably raise a lot of money off of it. but the fact is, the losers of the week will end up -- i shouldn't say of the week, but going forward will be the republican party, in fact. if we do shut down, it will be blamed. this was an awful game played by some republicans trying to do something that was really intellectually dishonest with the american public. they will not defund obama care. the president has said it, the senate has said it. that's not going to happen. maybe if they wanted to play with it, they could have gotten the medical device tax done, because there is a lot of democratic support in that, and for the senate. but this was just something that a bunch of members, maybe up to about 80 or 90 members can go home and be rock stars in their district and basically in the long-term hurt the party tremendously. and any hope of shutting down in 2014 is lost. >> let me ask you about that part of it. it does feel to me fascinating, the idea that there's a few
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members, in a few districts that will reward this kind of behavior, that will say, you know, cruz is a great guy. i mean, he's not up for re-election in this one, but, you know, all these folks who are sort of able to go back and say, we took the stance. but in the long run, for the republican party, how does boehner sort of put his hands back around this party? so that it becomes one party again? >> well, unfortunately, i don't think it's going to be boehner who's going to be able to do it. but what he can certainly do is offer to all of those republican business folks who certainly do not support a government shutdown, to start putting their money in, much as the conservatives have behind, you know, club for growth or heritage to say, we've got your back on this. if you take a responsibility vote, we will back you up. we will fight off primaries for you too. so i think that's, honestly, that's going to be the way we get there. republicans won't be afraid of the conservative primary. >> that's a shift in the incentive structure. basically, the nra uses a stick,
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right? if you don't vote this, we will primary you. and this is a way of help saying -- >> it's a solution to what is a political problem. >> what's going to happen when this goes through and everybody's pretty happy with what's going on? who's going to get punished or who's going to get blamed? >> when you obama care goes through? >> when this goes through and everything's fine and it's primarily funded by health care. but what's going to happen? >> i somewhat disagree with the premise. i think that there are going to be plenty of snags with obama care. it is almost impossible to put this kind of program, even in one state, never mind across the country. there's going to be significant problems. we've already seen it. so as those problems happen, it's pretty much going to back up what a lot of o, even moderate republicans, who were against the affordable care act, saw. >> but we'll never get to a set of obama care snag is if the sn is government shutdown. i'm interested in bringing the business community into this. is this idea about uncertainty and this notion that uncertainty is bad. and as you pointed out, ari,
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even these continuing resolutions are six-week measures. six weeks is not -- is not an end of uncertainty. >> we've talked about this how many times, though? >> and again and again and again. and i wrote that story two years ago when the law passed. so when is this going to stop and are we going to get to a point where there isn't all this confusion? because the american public is absolutely -- >> just look at the calendar. >> stay right there. there's a lot more on this. stay right there. more when we come back, because if it's not one thing, it's another. republicans in the house have another plan to wreak havoc. this one comes with a ransom note. i love having a free checked bag
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well, the imminent government shutdown feels fraught with uncertainty about what happens next, we do at
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least have some blueprint to follow. the real fear of the unknown is still a couple of weeks away on october 17th. that's the day that treasury secretary jack lew has warned in a letter to congress that the government will run out of money if republicans make good on their threat and force another showdown over raising the debt ceiling. the united states' aaa debt rating was downgraded for the first time ever the last time that republicans took us to the brink of default, but then they were only requiring spending cuts in exchange for holding the debt ceiling hostage. now we are faced with the possibility of another first. going to the brink, and this time around, the gop's debt ceiling bill includes a wish list of far-right gimmes that are only marginally related to debt reduction. among these are approving the keystone pipeline, allowing offshore drilling, wall street deregulation, slashing money for public health, and because it wouldn't be a republican showdown without it, a one-year delay on the implementation of obama care.
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and christkrystina, the newest s to throw a birth control measure. we couldn't get them by getting a majority in the senate, couldn't get them by getting a republican president, so we're going to write a ransom note. >> we're going to demand the situation and get things we couldn't get by a normal democratic process. and i want to pony in a unicorn. but i think the other thing we keep forgetting or we were talking about at the break, was that the fiscal crisis, going from crisis to crisis is also distracting us from doing any real governing. all this giant aggressive performance of governing, and we're not able talk about immigration reform or gun control or talk about a whole series of things that are actually really critical that we can't even have that conversation about, because it's all about provoking the voters again and again. just provoking and animating their votes. >> our colleague, chris hayes, on friday night was saying, let's root for a government shutdown. he's like, if we shut it down now, we'll solve these, before
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we get there. do you buy that argument? >> i disagree with that. while a lot of them want the pony, a lot of them don't want the pony. how do you bargain with someone when i say, i'll give up everything so we can get to the deal, and they say, but part of my deal is, i don't want a deal. i want to shut it down or create chaos or go back home and show people i'm making it this much harder for president obama or washington in general, whatever the enemies are in their sad world view. so that's what we found. the president did allude to that in his remarks on friday. i thought they were significant, but understandably overshadowed by the more significant international developments. what he said was something very important. he said, i went through this with y'all once to try to cut the deficit and we did. and we've cut the deficit and reversed a trend over the last 20 years. and federal spending is down, whether he thinks that's good or not, it's down. and he said, now i'm finding that although we had that last time, 2011 debt ceiling sequester, y'all don't care about that. y'all don't care about that,
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because what you really want to do is to have chaos. that's ulterior. >> but, see, to me, this is like the old version of the joker in the batman films versus that really brilliant one that heath ledger played. old joker used to want things. but when played it, i am just here to create chaos. >> that's why alfred says to batman, some people just want to watch the world burn. >> so we want a big, emotional, dramatic performance. >> and the world will burn, by the way, if we go into default. >> the debt ceiling -- >> absolutely. so to me, this is -- we're talking about global -- we're talking about going back to recession and interest rates. and it's all above most people's heads. but the fact of the matter is, we can get pulled right back down to where we were. >> this is the fight i just had in nerdland. i said, if we went over that fiscal cliff, it was all going to be terrible. we said, if we shut down the government, it's all going to be -- so just be really straight up with me.
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really, if this happens, it's going to be -- >> not the shutdown, the debt ceiling piece. what i don't want to be is the cable host who tells you, it's going to catch fire, and then, no, no, no. >> i hate crystal balls and i hate fires, but here's what's going to happen, if interest rates go up, this will affect us on a global scale. this could possibly push us down. if interest rates go up, the cost is not just $1.4 billion in a shutdown, the cost is billions in the economy overall and globally as well. because the way the markets work, if it becomes much more expensive to borrow, then we're going to see the markets suffer, companies suffer, 401(k)s suffer and that stuff trickles down, unfortunately, because it goes into jobs, et cetera, et cetera. that actually can happen. because shutdowns will cause -- >> in plainer language, what happens is -- >> i thought it was nerdland. >> when the u.s. wants to spend money it doesn't have, it doesn't go to a bank and borrow, right? it issues these bonds or prints
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money. and what we're talking about is totally severing that and not paying those bonds back. and we don't know, both u.s. people hold those bonds, foreigners hold those bonds, foreign entities hold those bonds. china holds a lot of those bonds. we know it's bad, but we don't know how severely the markets will react. >> it's deep. >> but this is what you guys used to be so good at, those republicans. seriously, this is the thing that makes the world feel unsafe to me. i used to be able to count on republicans to serve business interests. and even if i disagreed with what those interests were, i had a sense of the predictability of them, right? and i look at it now and it feels more like democrats are serving business interests and republicans have become the populist -- or at least the tea party aspect of it and that makes me very nervous. >> it should. it makes me very nervous. the other thing that you have to take into effect, though, is while all of these things, i believe, are very real and i agree with everyone on set about how dangerous it will be if we go on default, the american
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public has been brought to this brink so many times in the last couple of years. we told sequestration will ruin the country. 66% of the american public says, doesn't affect me at all. we were told that a shutdown, oh, my god, we can't have a shutdown. we've been hearing about it for two weeks. we hear the shutdown is not nearly as bad. >> every time. >> what happens is, people start feeling very disconnected to washington. they don't care if you're a democrat or a republican, you're part of the problem, you're there, you're trying to scare me, i don't have faith in government. and when people don't have faith in government, they don't act responsibly. and that's the big deal. and that's how the ted cruzes and that's how some of the people go home to their district. so this debt ceiling is a very dangerous thing. and i don't like the fact that the republicans are playing with fire on this. it will ruin them. >> they don't value the value of the governing. when you don't value governing as a practice, you end up with this sort of obscene situation. >> and if you don't believe in any source that is telling you this is bad, because it feels like chicken little or the buy
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who cried wolf, it's also hard for us to warn over and against it. >> and the collateral damage is all over, but no one can see it. >> and it's mostly the most vulnerable who are -- we could just debate on this all day. but we can't, because there's apparently more things to do. carmen wong ulrich, susan del percio, and christina beltran, thank you for joining me. >> a new hope for justice in the marissa alexander case next, stay with us. meeting took forever. oh, my parents will be here any minute. ♪ canned soup? no way.
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one in every 100 african-american women is in prison. in 2010, black women were incarcerated at nearly three times the rate of white women. in 2011, according to the fbi, 64% of children arrested for prostitution and vice were black. more than any other racial group, and according to a recent report by the correctional association, 3/4 of imprisoned women have suffered severe, physical abuse by an intimate
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partner during adulthood and 82% suffered serious physical or sexual abuses as children. the connection between women's experiences of abuse and their incarceration is a phenomenon sociologists beth richey refers to as gender entrapment. but this morning, maybe there's a glimmer of hope, at least for some of those behind bars for alleged sex work. the highest-ranking judge in new york state, jonathan litman, took historic action last week when he announced a new initiative, to treat most alleged sex workers as victims rather than criminals. 12 states, including new york, currently have safe harbor laws who protects minors that are caught in sex trafficking, but judge litman's initiative appears to be the first in the u.s. to also protect adults. he told nbc news that it meant that there will be no further victimization of these defendants by a society that can be divorced from the realities o of this modern-day former of servitude.
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joining the panel now, seema eyre, legal contributor for arise news. and deon haywood, executive director of women with a vision in my hometown of new orleans. seema, i want to start with you on this. how big a deal is this judge's decision? >> this is phenomenal. l melissa, i'm a part of the gender fairness committee of the new york court state system. and this is something that we have been working towards for the past five years now. and to see our dreams come to fruition in this point, where the defendant prostitutes are no longer treated as such, but treated as the victims that they really are. and by acknowledging that this is, in fact, a victimization of young women by implementing courts, and not only just implementing courts, because of this movement, there are now units in each of the district attorney's offices that specifically target sex trafficking. >> so, this is a challenge for me. on the one hand, my first sense is to cheer this and say, yes,
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this judge has absolutely gotten right how much victimization occurs for so many women, before they ever even enter into a criminal justice system, which often happens through mostly, sort of street work. on the other hand, deon, i worry about it in part, because it means there's only two roles for a women in the context of sex work, victim or criminal. >> right. >> and i whether or not if there isn't some other set of possibilities? >> there are. there are many possibilities. whenever we take the urgency from any female or any person who makes a decision for themselves, especially when you think about sex work, most people who enter, not underage, or even underage people who enter for survival reasons, not trafficked, but for adult people involved in sex work, normally, there's a reason, there are circumstances, and a lot of times it has to do with economics. >> poverty, yeah. >> so when you think about entering a system, a system that
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has been historically known to cause harm to women, especially minority women, you have to wonder, either labeling as a criminal or a victim, sometimes, you know, the two kind of come together. >> and, ari, it feels right to me to shift the onus of criminalization away from women who are engaged in sex work, who often end up with designations at the state level as sexual predators, right, that then keep them from having other kinds of jobs, and certainly was true in louisiana. but on the other hand, like, i want, there's a part of me that says, clearly, underaged children, if i'm not being trafficked, is there a way for me to say something other than, i am clearly a victim or a criminal here? >> and i think there's two strains of common law here that are problematic, one is a sexist approach to the criminal code, which we can talk all about, and the other, that i think relates to this is a puritanical streak. so we have this notion about
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what a sex crime is, and in the area of prostitution, which we know to be a very old profession, we have generally a lot of sexist notions embedded in the law. i'm not talking about culture sexism in the way people talk, i'm talking about the way people deal with this. i think this is a step forward away from that. but i don't think it extinguishes all of these other contradictions. one common example would be that sex work is legal, as soon as you start recording it in this country, right? >> right. >> so two people can have a prostitution-type scenario, but if you put it on a video camera and it's a pornography video, that's okay, and there's a lot of money made off of that, whereas a private pattern sex work, it's sill illegal, right? why does that make any sense? >> it sounds like the conversation is turning towards whether you're an entrepreneur as a sex worker. and melissa, i have to tell you, i just finished watching a few trials, sex trafficking trials, where there were women who
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testified, who were completely empowered by being a sex worker, who took time off from the job to have a child, with a pimp, and maybe they didn't have obama care yet, but they went back to work the next day. always connecting the dots on msnbc. but the point is this, there is that third category of women who say, i want to be a lawyer, i want to be a journalist, or i want to be a sex worker. >> pause for me. i think there's a lot of complicated stuff going on here. we're going to talk about this for a bit more, but also a new chance for justice, not only in this case for potential sex workers, was also for someone who we've covered who is innocent here in the sense that we know that she was victimized. the question of whether or not she is innocent in the face of law, which is the issue that ari has brought up for us here, marissa alexander, when we come back. a simple question: how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us.
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last spring, three months after the killing of trayvon martin put florida's stand your ground law at the top of every newscast, marissa alexander, a jacksonville mother of three, was denied a stand your ground defense in her trial with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. alexander has always contended it was her husband, rico grey, who was committing the assault in 2010, physically attacking her at home, nine days after she gave birth to their premature child. she maintains that she fired a bullet at a wall as a warning shot after he threatened to kill her. and for that, alexander was convicted, her 20-year sentence over florida's 10/20 mandatory life sentencing law for gun crimes bore protests. alexander will get a new trial. once again, won't be able to invoke the stand your ground law. wrote judge james daniel, we reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining
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to grant her immunity from prosecution under florida's stand your ground law. we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous. joining us now is attorney faith gae, she is representing marissa alexander. okay. what has happened here? what is the difference between the stand your ground issue on the one hand versus what this judge has done to give us a new trial? >> it's a great day and it's an extraordinary day, because she has a new trial and now she has jury instructions that don't require her to prove her innocence. the jury instructions in the first trial made her prove that rico grey, her estranged, violent husband, actually assaulted her in order to be acquitted and to mount the self-defense case she wanted to mount. now the burden is back on the state, which, of course, is the american way and the floridian way. and everything is righted. she'll have a chance for a fair trial. what she doesn't have is stand your ground immunity, which is a separate proceeding in florida, what happens before a trial.
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she won't have that, but she can mount self-defense in the trial. >> why would she need stand your ground, given the castle doctrine and the realities that simply most states have around the capacity for self-defense in the context of your own home? >> absolutely, you dona't have o have it. it is an extra step that florida provides, and albeit a controversial one, that you can have absolutely immunity, not have to stand trial in a pre-trial proceeding on the stand your ground doctrine. you dona't have to have that. >> part of the reason we've been following the marissa alexander case so closely, in addition to it being connected to the trayvon martin and george zimmerman case, it's my sense that it's often harder for african-american women, for the injustices to african-american women to provoke the same sort of community outrage, the same sense of spirit behind them that we often get for the victimization of black men and boys, because we have a long history, a trope around lynching that we can talk about, that we know to put our fingers on.
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is there something in the work that you do around sort of how do we make sure that these cases of injustice also get our attention and aour enthusiastic support and media attention and all of that? >> it's the stories. it's the stories o. people directly affected. one of the methods we've used throughout the south, and it is also historically what african-americans do. most indigenous people, the way we share our experiences is by telling stories. whether it's getting them out to the media, making people aware of it, but we have to think about how the criminal justice system views gender or women who, quote/unquote, commit violent crimes or perceived is as violent. and helping people check their own bias around black women are always seen as loud. oh, they scare me, they're so much. and i think that carries across the board when people are put before the courts to be judged. >> and one of the things, often
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for women of color, african-american women, around this particular bias is a sense that they can't be victimized. that you can't have victimized a black woman, because she's just so, you know, all of what she is. >> i disagree, melissa. and i think it's the battered women's syndrome that has now translated into rape trauma syndrome, has carried along with it women historically, and especially in this case, you have rico grey, who is pretty much of a women's terrorist -- >> admittedly, like, he says it himself. >> sure, exactly. so i don't think that marissa was not acknowledged for being a victim of domestic abuse. i think that this is not the right case to get on the bandwagon, because i don't think that the jury instructions are going to change the results. >> talk about the battered women's syndrome and this question, which i want to come to, which is, whether or not we
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are now going to get a different outcome, now that we're going to get different jury instructions as soon as we come back. we'll take a look at the prosecutor at the center of the marissa alexander case. you might remember her from the george zimmerman trial. her role this all of this is extremely important. that's next. ♪ ho ho ho [ female announcer ] at 100 calories, not all food choices add up. some are giant. some not so giant. when managing your weight, bigger is always better. ♪ ho ho ho
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all we was asking and all the community is asking for is mercy and justice. >> congresswoman, i showed her mercy when i sat down with her and i offered -- >> and 20 years is not even justice. >> that was democratic congresswoman corrine brown of florida, all up in the face of state attorney angela corey. marissa alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she turned down a three-year plea deal for firing what she claims was a warning shot at her abusive husband. we learned thursday that alexander will get a new trial
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and cory, who unsuccessfully prosecuted george zimmerman, could hardly wait to announce that she will be trying the case again. a statement released by her office read, the defendant's conviction was released on a legal technicality. the case will be back in circuit court in the fourth judicial court at the appropriate time. so miss corey seems perfectly enthusiastic to put miss alexander back in jail and put her for 20 years. >> it's hardly a legal technicality to shift the burden of proof and require a woman who's been brutalized over and over again to prove her own innocence. i respectfully disagree that it's a legal technicality. and i think it will be a whole new trial when the burden is actually on the government to show what happened in this instance. and frankly, if you widen back the stage a little bit, for the last six months, for the last year of miss alexander's life, that's what's going to be on trial here. and it's not a pretty picture for the state. >> is angela corey running for office in this moment?
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like, i don't mean, as she actually signed up on a ballot, but i've got to say, i am stunned by what feels like a certain kind of enthusiasm for prosecuting this case. she did not shoot her husband. i know -- and we talk about this for a second. was there's no one at the end of that incident who was shot. she had a newborn child. this feels like -- and ari, maybe you can help me here. because i think that people understand the sense of fairness and justice on the one hand and then law on the other. and that are disconnect in this moment feels very extreme. >> yeah, i think, laook, this case got a lot of attention as people around the country got a sense of what stand your ground can do to the self-defense doctrine and how it is applied and like how so many other laws and elements in the legal system, we see it applies with racial disparity. i think the biggest issue is actually mandatory minimums. that's why we see such a huge amount of jail time on the table, which we know prosecutors use to, i would say, bully and
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push defendants. and i think mandatory minimums, we know, from the studies that we've seen, while technically automatic, are actually applied far more often in the case of african-american defendants than defendants who are white. we know that. that's a different question than what's going on on the inside of this case, which you're going to try, and which like all cases turns on facts and law. but when you broad aunt the systemic level, this is an area where these things are used more aggressively against certain types of defendants. >> i hear you. but it does feel to me like part of what happened in the zimmerman case, there were a set of jurors who fundamentally understood that mr. zimmerman could feel afraid at night in the rain facing the person, the physical body, that was trayvon martin. >> right. >> and that part of what the disconnect here is, is that it is as though this woman, a brand-new mother who has been in circumstances of domestic violence and assault by this man, shouldn't have been feeling terrified and afraid. >> because, melissa, you have to
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look at that moment in time. at that moment in time, during the confrontation between rico and marissa, at that moment in time, she left, okay? she left that location. she had to travel trut master bathroom, to the limp, through the kitchen, into the garage. she said the garage could not be opened. she said she could not go out the front door or the back door. so at that moment in time, she then collected the gun, went back into the house -- >> but why does she have a responsibility to get out of this circumstance when mr. zimmerman -- seriously, as a matter of law. >> i'm talking about what it says, the self-defense statute says that imminent fear of bodily harm, at that moment in time. so by lapsing and going into the other room and taking a break in the sequence, that to me, under the law, is not self-defense. >> and yet, and yet, seema, before we get to marissa alexander and talking about the question of the victimization of sexually trafficked girls, isn't
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this precisely the kind of argument where people would say, well, you weren't locked up, there wasn't a gun to your head, why don't you just escape? >> i grooagree. >> it feels very connected in the sense of how these long-term aspects of victimization of women, then in the moment of the court, you're suddenly not meant to take into account any of those -- >> right, right. >> -- contexts. >> what you're getting at, and it's terrific, because it's what we were saying about this whole domestic abuse syndrome, this psychological experience of the battered woman, why does she go back over and over again. and through time in the court system and in psychological, that's translated into rape trauma syndrome. the experience of the rape victim. why doesn't she report right away? why does she go back and continuously get victimized? again, go further into this idea of sex trafficking, and why now, we allow experts the to testify about the brainwashing of the
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prostitute, and why she's a victim. >> but when you say prostitute, when you talk about a sex worker, there are many levels of sex workers and why women are engaged in sex work. i also think you have to look at, when you -- like, who's the victim? and you're talking about rape. rape is one extreme over here, and there are many women, across this -- globally, globally who are involved in sex work, and it is about their survival and it is about feeding my kids. it's about paying my rent and it's the decision that they make. they don't feel raped, they don't feel compromised, but what they do feel is victimized, sometimes by the very systems that are in place that are supposed to protect them. >> we do have to stop. i don't want to stop. this is like -- i'm having a -- this is like the feminist graduate course i want to teach all day. but that said, we will be keeping our eyes very, very closely on the case. obviously, the question of whether or not justice can now be done is key to all of this. and we'll also keep watching these questions around sort of
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what happens for young women and for adult women who are in the context of sex work. and you know, we'll always have ari at the table to have these conversations. thanks to everybody. ari melber, whose series about inequities in the criminal justice system, "presumed guilty," can be seen on msnbc.com. please go check that out o. seema iiyer, dionne haywood, an faith gay, thank you to all of you. the woman behind doc m mcstuffins is coming to nerdland.
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that means she knows what's wrong with you. >> boppy, you've got a bad case of the prickle thorns. >> what? >> let's put that diagnosis right here in the big book of boo-boos. >> that was a scene from the smash hit "doc mcstuffins," the
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disney animated show about a girl who has a clinic for stuffed toys. it was the number one cable tv show in 2012 for kids ages 2 to 5. if you have a little one at home, odds are very, very good you are already familiar with doc, stuffy, chili, and lambie. we love to talk about her on our show. we love to talk about doc, but doc mcstuffins is all things wonderful and nerdy. season two began earlier this month. i'm pleased to welcome the show's creator and executive producer. i have all kinds of nerd land questions. why is doc mcstuffins black? >> it really was a very early discussion with disney. i think it was the very first discussion when they bought the show. there was no artwork. they said, look, we've been
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looking for a property that has someone of a different race. i said, that sounds great. i think my lesson to everyone else is it's such a simple decision to make. we don't think about it anymore after that. you create a great character. we made this decision. now we see how that impact has just sort of trickled out into the world to make sure that we have representations of all different kinds of kids so that kids can look at themselves and see themselves on tv, which is so important. >> why is doc mcstuffins' head so big? >> that is a very good question that has come back to haunt us.. although, she looks good in her walk around. she kind of looks normal. she's a very smart girl. she needs a place to put all those brains. >> she is a doctor. so is her mom. her dad is a stay at home dad. why? >> we knew we wanted to have a doctor in her life.
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it was easy to make the dad the doctor. i said, no, i'd rather that be the mom. what happened was even for myself, we started writing the show and there has to be a parent at home because the age of the kids. i kept writing that the mom was at home. at some point i was like, did she go to medical school in, like, tijuana? no doctor would be home this much. it was this moment that i had to really check myself and say, okay p if she's a doctor and she's a successful doctor, dad needs to be at home. some day we'll learn he has a catering business, but i also think it's great that he's at home and cooking and taking care of the kids. >> i do too. i wonder if there's ever going to be -- you know, we do a lot of black hair segments. i wonder if there will be a moment when dad has to contend can doc's hair. >> actually, that's more of an animation issue. we're trying to get the hair in there. the an may to bes might kill me haen now you. i'm going to blame you when i
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say let's animate each strand of hair. >> there are some real doc mcstuffins in the world. we didn't mean to make her black. once we did, it's had an enormous ripple effect. what has been their response? >> people have asked me, did you want to have this impact? the level of hubris, if i were to think my cartoon was going to start a movement, would be like rolling down the purple carpet. i couldn't imagine that. but they bring such meaning to this show. you know, these women are reacting as adults, really. they want to say it's for their kids, but when you talk to them, they're reacting as adults saying that's the character i never saw of myself. we see how one decision and one character can make a huge difference. there was one doctor who said to me -- and the show had only been on the air for about six months. she was a doctor watching the show with her son. her son turned to her at one point and said, mommy, can boys
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be doctors too? of course, my answer would be like, maybe some day, son. >> when they give up their catering business and doing the hair at home. >> that's like a seismic shift that happened in six months. it took one character to put us in a place -- and all of these doctors i just did an event with recently. they say, you know, for the first time in our professional lives, i walk into a room as a doctor and people don't assume i'm a nurse. that's amazing. >> we're over time, but i have to ask one quick yes or no question. does doc mcstuffins support the implementation of the affordable care act? >> she has no comment at this time. >> kris, thanks so much. that's our show for today. thanks at home for watching. see you next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. right now a preview of "weekends with alex witt." >> here we go again. the clock is ticking toward a government shutdown after an early morning vote on capitol hill. we'll tell you what happened, who did it, and what is next. meanwhile, back at the statue of liberty, it would be one of the last days to visit that
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attraction. and a whole slew of other places that could be shut down as well. in today's office politics, a time capsule of sorts with author and journalist allison stewart. we talk about her start at mtv as well as her stop here at msnbc. and what happens when a pop cultural phenomenon comes to an end? i'll talk to a writer who may know a lot about "breaking bad's" last episode. don't go anywhere. i'll be right back. vietnam in 1972. [ all ] fort benning, georgia in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve military members, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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you make him rookie of the year. we took care of your cold symptoms. you take him on an adventure. tylenol® has been the number 1 doctor recommended brand of pain reliever for over 20 years. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol®. on the brink. after an early morning vote in the house, a government shutdown now looms with a midnight deadline monday. >> house republicans are shutting down the government! >> we are simply offering a compromise of a year's delay. >> sound and fury, the expected shutdown comes after a loud debate on the house floor. and there's even more tangling in d.c. today. it may be the most important meeting for president obama this week. nothing to do with the government shutdown.

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