tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC May 4, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT
i want to get you over to capitol hill where the house of representatives is getting set to repeal and replace obamacare. republicans say they have the votes to pass their health care bill, now sealing the deal on that controversial amendment on preexisting conditions. well, that seems to be putting them over the top. this morning we have no idea how much the overhaul is going to cost or how many people will be insured and many lawmakers are still trying to read this thing. >> today is the first or the next step in what is likely to be very long process. >> we haven't done this in secret or silence. >> we're optimistic we'll pass it out of the house today. >> also president trump signing a controversial order on reli religious freedom and headed home to new york city for the first time since he's been elected president. mike vivara is on capitol hill, kelly o'donnell at the white house. i have a great panel. michael to you first. what are republicans saying this morning and when can we expect the votes? >> reporter: let me set the
scene for you first here, stephanie, up in this direction here gop members have just broken up from their conference meeting where they heard a presentation from leaders. you see them, a mob of reporters all around them and back down the hall behind me you also see them coming out of the room. obviously a lot of interest here, the republican leaders made their presentation about an hour from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. here in washington, telling the rank and file that they are going to go forward. the bill will start to be debated on the house floor very shortly. it is a very touch and go situation. we have heard confidence expressed publicly by the republican leadership, last night, kevin mccarthy the majority leader emerging from a meeting in the speaker's office telling us they had the votes, stating it very forth rightly. any independent observer, anybody who watches the house of representatives though will say that this is a very iffy proposition going forward. one of the main points of contention, this bill was only posted online last night at 8:00, and of course the
republican mantra, part of what impelled the tea party to come here in 2010 and take republican majority was read the bill. the original affordable care act obamacare, if you will, many of these members as they walk by, i asked at least two dozen of them whether they'd read the bill or not, some said yes, some said no, some expressed concern about the process. others are relying on the old congressional budget office evaluation that scored the bill not withstanding the fact that there are substantial changes here. first of all, the thing that probably put it over the top and enabled the republican leadership to go forward that $8 billion package secured by fred upton, the mod ral member from michigan, marching down to the white house today getting that $8 billion extra on top of $130 billion to put into a so-called high risk pool for those with preexisting conditions to try to make it more affordable for them. all of that not withstanding most outside experts certainly patient advocacy groups from the
american medical association to the nurses, to aarp say the bill is inadequate and will result in loss of coverage for many people so very controversial. we're going to keep a close eye on this obviously over the course of the day. watching the debate on the house floor. we expect a result by midafternoon. stephanie? >> kelly o'donnell is at the white house. this bill was on life support earlier this week, and now here we are, kelly, how involved was the president in these negotiations? when you think about president trump a month ago, he said we don't get the votes, i'm walking away. i'm moving on to tax reform. he hasn't done that. we're back and he himself has been making those personal calls getting members of congress to flip. >> and steph i'm told that this morning the president and the house speaker had another conversation in advance of this vote. we're also told by white house sources that the president is feeling good about where things are, and he has been more directly involved both he and the vice president, talking with members directly not simply
going through the structure of the house speaker and the leadership team on capitol hill, but making personal connections, listening to the concerns of members who were just not on board, trying to make changes, which we've seen over time. how much credit the president will take i think will depend on whether this is successful today and by how much, if they run into yet another buzzsaw and it doesn't, then i think you'll again hear that congress is not yet ready, which is the phrasing that the vice president has used when they talked about that first attempt in march, where they got very close. the expectation was the votes were within a dozen or so, and then they ultimately didn't go forward here. one thing to watch is the group of small number who have not yet been publicly saying where they stand on this, because sometimes what happens in a critical vote there's momentum that happens on the floor, within the voting time, if it seems like it is going toward victory, sometimes that will pull people along, if it feels like it's going to not
pass people will peel off not wanting to be attached to something that failed. so there really is a an organic dynamic that happens on a critical bill in that final hour, so for the president they're watching it here. one question we have the president has a packed schedule on other business and aides say he'll be keeping tabs on this. we don't know if he'll be moved to say anything about it after it's over. all of that is to be determined but the president has tried to connect personally with members. the vice president one of the few people in the trump administration with real legislative and executive experience in terms of government, of course he's got an office on capitol hill but boy, has he been using it, meeting with members over the sweep of time here. he's got a lot invested in this as well. so again, the president, house speaker had a phone conversation today to get the latest on where they think the votes are, of course we've heard from hou houseleadership, they believe the votes are there. the president wants good news and we're told he's feeling good about where things are right
now. steph? >> i'll take a leap for a moment, kelly. if they get the votes and this thing passes i am quite sure the president is going to have something to say. i'm going to take a leap there. on set with me this morning, david hoffey, former chief of staff to paul ryan, julie hirschfield davis and eli stoeckels. david, we don't have a cbo score, we know this thing was just just posted last night. many lawmakers i spoke to one in the last hour hadn't read it himself. why is it paul ryan, your old boss, wants to get this thing through so, so quickly, given how important it is? >> well, a couple of things. first of all, the only really new thing from this week is the $8 billion that was added. actually last week they had the meadows-macarthur amendment. it's not as if everything is new if there. there's a new piece which is not
all that elaborate frankly. part of the reason they want to move quickly is because they are now deeply into moving forward on the fiscal year '17 and they have to start fiscal year '18. both because they have to get to those appropriations, the senate will vote today on finishing up the funding for fiscal year '17. they haven't started for fiscal year '18 and want to use the budget of fy '18 to start tax reform. they're bunching some big things up and trying to push at this end. they hoped to move earlier when it was a repeal bill. they added replace and taken them more time. they want to keep the pace up so they can move to the fy '18 appropriations bills and to fy '18 reconciliation bill if they can get to that, too. >> you're talking future. i want to take a quick walk down memory lane and schauer a little bit about what paul ryan had to say, just a couple years ago. take a look. >> i don't think we should pass bills that we haven't read that we don't know what they cost. i don't think that's being
effusive. >> that's from 2009. are you kidding me? how could democrats possibly think we could look at this thing without a cbo score? guess what we don't have? a cbo score. >> we don't have a final cbo score on this, that's correct. you do however have a cbo score on the underlying bill. >> it's not good. >> it's not good but it's also a little bit interesting in that the cbo has said 14 million people will immediately drop out, be cut off. they won't but the cbo said they will drop out because you're no longer forcing them with the carrot and stick, that is mandate and tax penalties to be on there and they don't want the insurance because they're getting under the aca is both high premiums, high deductibles and insurance that doesn't cover them very well. that's why they're going to leave. now, if they do this right, they will start turning this from a government system into a doctor/patient relationship system at which point you're then starting to open up markets and open up the opportunity for people to choose their doctor to
have access, choices, health savings accounts. those are the things they want to change the system around and move away from, the greater government control that was part of the aca, understandably that's where president obama and the democrats wanted to go, the republicans would like to take this over and send it down a path which is doctor/patient relationship centered. >> julie, assuming that's the case, why is it that many stake holders, advocacy groups who matter here, american heart association, aarp, and others, are saying this thing doesn't work for us. >> because their estimates and projections are as you heard people will lose coverage, premiums will go up, sicker people, older people, people for whom preexisting condition changes will potentially make a difference and they don't feel like the $8 billion that's been added on top of what was already in the bill for high risk pools is going to be sufficient to close that gap. the problem for the white house and for republicans is that because they don't have a score, they don't have anything they can point to, to say look at this. this tells you that this will be
sufficient. sean spicer when he was asked about this at the white house yesterday said well, i don't know how you could possibly trust a projection that all these people's premium will go up because there's no way to project what's going to happen. we didn't know enough specifics about the bill. if that's the case it's hard to make the case to the public and to members who may be on the fence how their constitch wepts will be affected by this, will they pay a political price for supporting it that no, it's going to be fine. people will be better off, they're going to pay less and have more access. >> eli, why the upton amendment just this extra $8 billion, why has that sparked so many republicans to turn to yeses? sounds like it's just a drop of water in the bucket here >> white house official will privately has described this as a fig leaf. $8 billion buys them votes. it doesn't buy more coverage for people with preexisting conditions. >> why buy votes if it doesn't save people's lives? dl they can say they are taking steps to protect people with preexisting conditions and protect the coverage for them. will it protect most people's preexisting condition coverage? probably not, based on the aarp
study and other estimates but it is enough political cover and really if you step back from this, i think what is obvious is that this is a politically, this is driven by politics. republicans promised to repeal this for six years. this is not a detail oriented president. this is a president who just wants a win. remember the first time around, he told lawmakers, don't worry about the little say stuff, but that's what he told the lawmakers. he doesn't care about the details. he wants a win. reince priebus is pushing hard to get, and i think people in the house also understand that they just need to get this off their plate and so they want to pass this to the senate. they're worried about what happens to it there. there is the sense that we promised this to our constituents, to our base for six years. we have to take action on it. i think 2018 the election is not that far away, and i think that's what he's pushing out a lot of this pressure to move quickly. >> okay. >> we have some information though on the people with preexisting illnesses because the aca had a transition program for people with preexisting
conditions and 115,000 people at the top, that was how many people signed up for it. presumably everybody who had that problem was going to sign up for it. it's not as if we don't have any idea what the number is. it's not a huge number in the millions it doesn't appear and this is from what happened in the aca under the aca at the highest level. it was less than 115,000 people who signed up for the program. that's something you can handle, with more than $100 billion. this $8 billion is on top of more than 100, i don't know if it's 120 or 130, someplace in that cat dpoegory so on top of and you are talking about we don't know exactly but previous information shows it may be a lesser number of people who need this help than some may think or try to make people think right now. >> julie, is it a political win? if they get the votes today and they push it through to the senate, is it really a win? do voters care so much about ticking the box, you did repeal and replace or did voters care
about getting affordable health care? asthma is an extra four grand, if you get pregnant it's 17 grand. what matters more to voters? these congressmen have to go home. >> that's the point here. no question it would be a win for the president this week, and they are -- >> in the news. >> a win. >> in the public, right, in the public eye, right now, today, this week, it would be a win for donald trump to get this done because he has been pushing hard, it was such a debacle when it collapsed earlier last month and you know, he's really put his credibility on the line, his keel-making skills, all of these, you know, talents that he says he has to make congress you know, timely come to the table and get these changes done, that's all on the line for him. but i do think you're asking the right question and it's the reason why you heard mike earlier say that this thing is really on the bubble, could go either way. it does sound like they have the votes but you have a lot of members saying to themselves on paper it looks great to be able
to check that repeal and replace box, but if my constituents have to pay more, if people are losing coverage even though that's happening now under obamacare, the republicans are in control of congress and they have the white house and if that's the case when they go to the polls in '18, that's going to be a problem for a lot of members >> is there such a thing as obamacare anymore? at this point, doesn't donald trump own health care? >> yes. obama is gone and i this i that's part of the reason why the popularity of the program the affordable care act has gone up, over 50% after obama left office for the first time ever so i think republicans in that meeting that paul ryan just had with members the messaging the talking point is we are saving something that is failing. we are fixing obamacare. that's what they're going to say and politically it's the right message for them to carry. but is it believable when republicans run this town, when republicans have the white house, they have congress, and they are going to own this, and i think that's scary for a lot of members because health care
is incredibly complicated. this is like nothing else, and so you can tweak around the margins but there's reports coming out that this may affect more than just preexisting condition cover aage the "wall street journal" has a story that employer plans the majority of plans in this country could also be affected. when you have a bill that again republicans criticize democrats for not reading the bill, pelosi saying we have to pass the bill to know what's in it, if they do that, they turn around and do that with this, we didn't know about that when we voted that's not a great excuse either. this is perilous for republicans, too. the biggest example we have so far in the first 105 days being a governing party is much mor complicated than it was for republicans the last several years being a minority party. >> david, what happens next? we know how difficult it's going to be to get through the senate, and just yesterday, eigaetna dr out in the state of virginia, more and more exchanges in some states only with one option. what happens to the american
people while this thing gets ping uponed around in the senate? >> this is the first step, as you say, and what's going to happen is, it will move over to the senate. they will take it up. one of the issues that hasn't been talked about much in the house is medicaid changes that are made in this bill. that's because most governors focused on the senate. that's a major issue when you get to the senate. how you fund help for those people between who just make more than enough $1 more than will get them on medicaid but not enough to afford a policy and group policy or individual policy. how do you help those people? there's advanced refundable tax credits in the house bill. others who say maybe we ought to look at -- >> hold on, advanced refundable credits. sounds like more bureaucracy. the opposite of what the trump administration said they would do. >> it's the way of getting money to people who don't pay income taxes. and so it's a terrible term. but there's another way of doing this. >> sounds like a terrible process, too. >> well in some ways it is but you get help to people, get money to people who otherwise
couldn't afford it. another way of doing that and i this i it will be looked at in the senate to provide a bloc grant program annually appropriated so it won't be a new entitlement but it will target on these people and look at both how their income, their health situation, and provide a spending program to help those people afford to buy insurance in the private market. that's one of the things they're going to be talking about and these issues will be debate the as they go on to the senate. they haven't been debated that much in the house but the senate consideration will take some time. they put this bill together and take it to the senate floor at some point over the next month, weeks, month, these are issues which will be debated as well. more of the issues that you're talking about here will be brought up there. this will further the discussion, because this is not the last step, this is the first step, in a procedure. >> all right, we're going to take a break. david hoppe, thank you. julia, eli, stick around. when we come back we'll continue on this beat. health care, health care, health care. one of the big stories we're following here in washington, just minutes from now, we expect
president trump to make good on a promise he made earlier this year, by giving religious groups more political power, the details of that executive order after the break. with help from our advisor, we made it through many market swings. sure we could travel, take it easy... but we've never been the type to just sit back... not when we've got so much more to give when you have the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. ameriprise i am totally blind. i lost my sight in afghanistan. if you're totally blind, you may also be struggling with non-24. calling 844-844-2424. or visit my24info.com.
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retribution. >> in the next hour president trump will make good on the promise he made at the national prayer breakfast earlier this year when he signs an executive order targeting regulations on political actions by churches and other similarly tax exempt organizations. msnbc chief legal correspondent and my friend ari melber is here to break it down for us. ari, explain the johnson amendment, and what exactly all this means. >> sure. good morning to you, stephanie. the johnson amendment is something that grew out of the idea that because you get a tax exempt donation status when you give to a church that's for a generally charity or good things it shouldn't go to politics. we can put up what it does, regulates the political actions of those so-called 501c3 organizations. so that's where campaign finance law runs into the church and basically tax exempt regulations. you could totally roll this back, in other words go to congress like any other law, hold a debate you've been covering health care repeal, you
could repeal the johnson amendment. they have a republican majority. that's not of course what the executive order does. it can't do that. the executive order does something more minor, but it does reflect the views of the administration, they want to protect and promote relimbious liberty, direct the irs to use discretion enforcing the johnson amendment we just talked about and offering some vague regulatory relief not defined to the religious objectives in the obamacare context. this is an executive action within the law as it exists which includes the johnson amendment we'll go lighter on churches but it does not eliminate that rule. >> i say this tongue and cheek because in the u.s. of aa. you can sue anyone. are there any challenges here? >> we live in what is sometimes called a litigious society. more easy to get in a courtroom here than many other countries. >> bums me out.
>> you get a lot of frivolous lawsuits and lawyers get a bad rap. ways folks can challenge this, people who say they're harmed by it and the way the executive order is carried out are way it's impacting people who have to make changes might have a challenge. the area where the status quo has not allowed crackdown on churches. it's been over 20 years since the chch lost ittax exempt status. there is conce and understood from folks who want to speak at their church about their values and sometimes their values involve candidates so there's some tension there but the flipside is the congress has said you do get a tax break for giving to charity, you don't get a tax break from giving to politics. if a church is doing more politics than charity, then you don't get the tax break. this is as much about tax as it is about god. >> julie i can feel the tweete s s screaming at me for grading on
a curve. to february a leaked copy in the nation published what the original executive order was going to look like and in it, there was language that said contractors could refuse to do business with certain groups based on religious beliefs. >> right. >> obviously many people thought that was highly offensive and discriminatory, given this executive order is far more narrow than that, what does it tell you? >> i do think they scaled back their plans for this quite a bit in the intervening months and there were a lot of people that were a lot of people on the right that were excited about the prospect of this being a broader executive order, that would have rolled back the protections for lgbtq people, in the federal workplace and others that would have essentially allowed adoption agencies to withhold services from gay couples because of their religious beliefs, that sort of thing. this does not go anywhere near as far and in fact doesn't actually fulfill the promise that the president made to obliterate the johnson
amendment, as ari pointed out the johnson amendment remains under this, enforcement discretion that calls for a lot of changes that a lot of groups of faith are happy to see. i still think you're going to see quite a bit of pushback from people who feel that the government should not be in the business of giving you know this kind of preference to religious groups, that they get a tax exempt status and you know, that the obamacare mandate should exist the way it does and that is going to make changes in the way that that potentially could make changes in the way that's implemented. they're calling on agencies, it would be the department of health and human services to give leeway for groups like little sisters of the poor to not do those things because they conflict with religious beliefs. that's a key change a lot of the groups are looking for, to are years. >> eli, ralph reed, a well-known leader in the conservative christian right has said this is just a first bite at the apple. is that giving us a hint that there's a lot more things sort of part of this mike pence style
agenda that are to come? >> it's giving you a sense that at least leaders of that movement, the religious right, are going to give donald trump some time. they're not going to sit here and say you promised us. there are frustrations that this order that he's about to sign isn't going a lot further but i think there's going to be some patience with the president and some optimism to say look, maybe we can push him lightly in a different direction, but this is a guy who takes counsel from everyone, who really has a team of rivals in the white house who listens to people outside the white house, who kind of it's often said goes with, just makes his decision based on whoever he spoke to last. so far we have not seen too many signs of mike pence's influence and real powers of persuasion on this president yet. we know the influence of his daughter ivanka, and her husband, jared kushne we're waiting for some evidence -- >> how do we know their influence? i just feel like we say that all the time, but ivanka trump says
she represents women and girls, women and girls and when i look at what the administration has done, in terms of rights for women and girls, it's not a positive. >> you're right. >> sounds like a great sound bite that you're getting from the white house. >> i think this is, we know from our reporting that there are people in the white house, i mean like ivanka and jared are not going anywhere. we know that they have sort of in terms of the food chain in the white house, we know they're at the top of it. have they been able to push president trump in a direction that is a more moderate direction. i don't know. i think you're right, it's fair to say that we haven't seen that on policy yet. maybe on decisions some small things here and there. i think this say sign of donald trump saying things in the campaign, making a lot of promises to a lot of groups including evangelicals and first instance i'm going to sign something for you, and he's not going all that far. this is basically lip service, i really care about you and i really care about religious rights. government protect these people, and i'm moving on.
>> it's an executive order-ish. ari melber thank you. you two please stay with me. also on president trump's schedule for today his first trip back to his hometown in the big apple, as commander in chief. he's going to be meeting with australia's prime minister, the same world leader the president had a testy phone call with shortly after taking office. he's not going to be going to trump tower but we're going to have a preview of today's face to face meeting next. ♪ ♪ ♪
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back with a look at this morning's headlines. prince philip the husband of queen elizabeth is retiring from his royal duties at buckingham palace. the palace says the queen fully supports prince philip's decision. google is in investigating a massive phishing attack that targeted roughly 1 billion gmail users worldwide. the emails prompted users to click a google docs link. once open they were asked to give permission to a fake app which attempt to spre itsf to the user's contacts. google has since shut down the fraudulent accounts. and late night show host stephen col bert is not backing down from comments he made against president trump that ignited a firestorm of
controversy. on monday tight colbert's monologue included a reference to the president performing a lewd act on russian president vladimir putin. colbert says he has no regrets from "making a few choice insults" but acknowledged he may have gone too far. later this afternoon president trump meets face to face with malcolm turnbull in new york city but this is not the first time the two gentleman have spoken. you may recall that testy phone conversation the leaders had just days after the inauguration. president trump was critical of the obama administration's deal to allow mostly muslim refugees rejected by australia to settle here in the united states. nbc's hans nichols is on the other side of the potomac and joins us from the pentagon. hans, the president was criticized for taking a trusted ally to task basically on the january phone call. people simply said why'd you do this? what are we expecting today? >> we expect a lot of pageantry today.
there will be a dinner and meeting on the decks of the "uss intrepid" an important carrier decommissioned in the naval battle over the coral sea, marking the 75th anniversary. the offending issue at turnbull and trump had gotten in a ti was the refugees, looks like vice president mike pence smoothed over that issue, said that the u.s. would honor the obama era commitment to accept these refugees. but look for both sides to stress the importance of military to military cooperation. secretary jim mattis met with turnbull in afghanistan. turnbull making a surprise visit and when he was there you get a sense of how closely these two countries work. you look at australia's commitment to afghanistan, they have a lot of troops there, i believe some 270 there now. they also have troops fighting in syria and iraq against the islamic state, and then the other side of this is the u.s. troops that again obama era deal inserted into australia. i shouldn't say troops because they were marines.
united states marines some 1250. the goal is to almost double that number, so a lot of talk on military to military cooperation. just one final note, steph, the australians have suffered quite a bitn afghanistan, 41 deaths they have' had there. the u.s. also had quite a few more than 2,000. when you look at those numbers it's an indication of just how closely these two countries work together. that's what they want the focus to be here at the pentagon. we'll see whether or not they can overshadow that or it does get overshadowed by some of the thorny politicali issues. >> we'll take a break. when we come back, we're getting you back to health care, and that is a live look at the house, which could pass an obamacare replacement bill just hours from now. question is, even if republicans do get the votes needed to pass that bill today, what are the chances in the senate? is that thing d.o.a.? ship is in. they're experts in things you haven't heard of -
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before fibromyalgia, i was a doer. i was active. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. she also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever,
tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effect ardizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. with less pain, i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica. we're moving out of conference and go to the floor. we'll have two votes series where the bill will pass somewhere around 1:30 today. >> reporter: you're confident you have the votes? >> yes. >> that of course was house majority leader kevin mccarthy, just moments ago confirming republicans have the vote to pass their health care bill. in just a few minutes, house minority leader nancy pelosi will hold her weekly briefing. last night the top democrat called the legislation one of the most damaging bills for women in the history of this country. i want to bring in a strong panel to break this down. first i want to go to rick
tyler. rick, what is your assessment of the political consequences for republicans if they take this vote? >> potentially huge. i take mccarthy at his word they'll probably pass a bill today. i'm very skeptical about the senate, given some of the senators that i don't think are going to go for this plan. i don't know that, but look, mitch mcconnell may want to get this through. the reason they have to get it through is because the reconciliation process which only requires 51 votes has a deadline but in the fall or in 2018 this could be a devastating decision by the republican party, because they have failed to communicate how this is substantially better than what they have now. >> jamal, if you are a republican in the senate, what are you thinking? great. this thing is about to go through. loads of people haven't even read it. what is it going to mean for me? >> how do i get out of this mess the house is creating for my party? the republicans are in a jam
with this. here is the problem. people in states like michigan where i'm from, governor rick snyder earlier in march was warning members about how many people had obamacare in their districts, how many children were on the medicaid expansion. if you start to gut these programs, if you turn having working ovaries into a preexisting condition, if it you turn having a child with autism into a preexisting condition, if you go after the things, there's a story in the "new york times" about how these cuts will affect children with special needs who are in schools that depend upon medicaid money, you start gutting this bill from all these benefits you're going to have real trouble in states that the president won and a lot of republican house members need to win in next november. >> rick i'm guessing if if we get all the votes today president trump is going to look at this as a very big win. is that because he's looking at the moment, not the term? >> he will look at it as a big win and this is a big campaign promise. the problem is they're pursuing
this passing the bill precisely the way the democrats were criticized for passing obamacare, that is we'll have to pass the bill before we actually know what's in it. we're going to pass it through a reconciliation process and not going to get the american people on board with the idea. but let me just say that preexisting conditions, look, the bill doesn't guarantee preexisting conditions in that the governors in the states may reverse them. we shouldn't talk everybody with preexisting conditions won't be covered. what the federal government is doing is punting it to the state and the state through their political process decide not to cover them, they won't be covered. in many cases they will be covered. keep it in balance. >> it turns a republican governor in michigan or ohio into the bad guy who has to then enforce the rule, created by members of congress in washington, d.c., without even having a congressional budget office score to know how much money it costs. how do they vote for a bill they don't know how much money it costs? >> that's where the system was
before, essentially state insurance commissions decided what minimal essential coverage is. only in obamacare the federal government got involved dictating what insurance policies should look like. it doesn't substantially change where we'd been in the past. >> republicans are supposed to be the responsible party and not whafg responsibly at all. >> jamal, i'd like to say everybody would like to say they're the responsible party. jamal simmons, rick tyler thank you so much. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. i want to take a turn. we received word of president trump's first foreign trip it's taking place later thismonth. kristen welker joins me now that. kristen, what do you ow? >> reporter: steph, a lot of headlines to tell you. we just learned moments ago according to a senior administration official the president for his first foreign trip will travel to israel, the vatican, and saudi arabia, and then he will go to the nato summit in brussels, and the g7 summit in sicily. this will be his first foreign trip. it's going to take place at the
end of may. significant for a number of different reasons, but let's just start with israel. of course, this announcement coming on the heels of president trump meeting with the president of the palestinian authority, mahmoud abbas, yesterday, and saying that he wants to help set the course for peace talks to restart. he also said he doesn't believe the process will be as complicated as some have made it out to be, despite the fact that of course the past seven presidents before him have tried but failed to get a piece deal brokered between the israelis and palestinians. so this is certainly significant. add to that his stop in the vatican as well as saudi arabia, clearly wants to reach out to allies in that region. also important to point out, steph, this piece is omideast p the president's campaign promises. jared kushner is trying to work on that. he's spent a lot of weeks here at the white house trying to set
this process in motion. so a number of headlines about the president's first foreign trip come out of the white house at this hour. steph? >> all right, kristen, thank you. kristen welker joining us from the white house. one of the senate's top democrats siding with president trump on one contentious issue. we're going to tell you what that is on the other side of the break. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan.
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. you're watching msnbc. taking aim -- no surprise -- at susan rice. on twitter, he write, susan rice, the former national security adviser to president obama, is refusing to testify before senate subcommittee next week on allegations of unmasking trump transition officials. not good! i'm impressed that was 140subco into russia's intervention in the election, and rice was mentioned in transcripts about targets. an attorney for rice said she declined the invitation from lindsey graham because it wasn't bipartisan in nature, citing that ranking democrat itehouse objected. i want to bring in former george
w. bush speechwriter and special assistant, senior editor at the atlantic, and julie hershfield davis at the "wall street journal." susan rice has been a lightning rod for republicans. you can go back to benghazi. what do you make of the latest and the president's reactions? >> president trump is a gambler. he is willing to take a lot of risks. what the story here is, there was, allegedly, a foreign espionage penetration of the american political campaign. maybe that campaign coordinated with the foreign intelligence agency, maybe it didn't, but they were certainly trying to help them. americans charged with the national security of the united states were trying to understand is and maybe counteract this penetration. the president's view is that the story -- the outrage is not the spying but the spy catching. susan rice was in a position where she was working with the spy catchers. he is upping the ante. when susan rice does eventually
testify in front of a proper investigation, i think whatever she reveals, even if there are some things that were not completely proper that she did and didn't jot every i and t, the underlying story is a dagger pointed at the heart of the people who coordinated with the russians. >> you would expect republicans would be critical of susan rice's decision, but i'll share what democrat feinstein said yesterday. >> i think she ought to consider it. she has gone public. it seems to me that i guess it's a -- i've never heard that it has to be a bipartisan letter. this is sort of a new criteria but she is certainly within her rights of saying, i'm now retired. i'm not going to do it. but because she went forward and did press, i would hope she would consider doing it. >> all right. before we take comment, i want to take you straight to nancy pelosi.
she's having her weekly briefing, speaking on health care. >> republicans are maliciously, again, attempting to destroy health care and coverage for the american people. this is really almost, i would say, a welcomed debate. i would hope that they realize that this is really bad for the country, but i do say that it is good in one respect. it is going to provide a great civics lesson for america. let's face it, as important as we think we are in congress, most people don't know who their congressperson is in many places. now they'll find out. they will find out that their congressperson voted to take away their health care. they will find out that their congressperson forced families to pay higher premiums and deductibles, krien inn creaincr pocket costs. they'll find out their
congressperson said it is okay to take health carrawe a away f 24 million people, and this could be you. they could find out they gutted protections for pre-existing conditions. not only that, it guts essential health benefits such asth as maternity care, prenatal, prescription drug and emergency coverage. the list goes on and on. they will find out that they're between 50 and 64, that their congressperson voted to make them pay a premium five times higher than others pay for health coverage, no matter how healthy they are. and they will fd out in addition to that crushg age tax, it steals from medicare. you know, most americans will say, don't mess with my medicare. they're messing with the medicare. so that's what they are doing today. all of this for what purpose? all of this to give a $600 billion transfer of money from
working families to the richest corporations and people in our country. that's why they're timing it this way. time to get that money to give a tax cut. it's really stunning. that's why i'm so pleased that so many organizations have made their voices heard on this. i just want to spend half a moment, really, on the -- this bill. the first bill, 56 % of americas didn't approve so they didn't pass it. what'd they do? went further to the left. while they eventually got a cbo report on their first bill, a cbo report comes out on this, it is going to be even worse because the bill goes in the wrong direction. in terms of the fraudulent representation that they're making, that this is about
preexisting conditions, they e are -- it's not even -- it's so untrue. let me just quote some people. now republicans, again, are fraudulently claiming the upcoming amendment covers americans with preexisting conditions. it does not. a health care expert at the conservative center, conservative center, said the amendment it had focuses on high risk pools but the $8 million amount is spread over five years. it's 1/5 of a pittance. the president doesn't know what he is talking about. a health care expert at the kaiser family foundation said it would cover the cost for only 1% of those in the individual market. 1%. they're big on 1%. there's money for the 1% or
health care for the 1%. where we'd like that to be 100%. under trump care, americans with pre-existing conditions would be pushed off their insurance, segregated into high risk pools and face soaring costs, worst coverage and restricted care. it's serious and very frightening. this disastrous bill has been condemned by almost everyone. they have no support. let me just read you a list of some. i think you have -- whether you have it there or electronically, but among the list, american medical association, american cancer society, american diabetes association, the american heart association, the american lung association, american society of clinical oncology, cystic fibrosis foundation, aids united, the children association, march of dimes, aarp, the list goes on and on and on.
trump care was never about strengthening health care of the american people. it was all about a tax break for the wealthiest people in our country. as i said, the cbo score for the original trump care bill was devastating enough. forcing a vote without an updated cbo score shows that the republicans are terrified. they're terrified of the facts of what the cbo report would say. they're afraid of the truth of what it means to the american people and people are understanding what this means to them. and they're afraid the american people will realize that they're destroying health care just because they want a tax break to the high end. the biggest transfer of wealth. one of the biggest transfers of wealth in our history, robin hood in reverse, from the middle class and those who aspire to it to the wealthiest. republicans are in a lose-lose situation. they'll lose if they don't bring it up and win. d sh and they really lose if they pass
it. then you can clearly say, this is not an intention, this is a decision that they have made and acted upon, voted upon. it is not in -- they're diluting themselves into thinking they can hide from constituents when they take their votes. we welcome them to this civics class. since the election, there's been heightened interest in what goes on in public policy and how it affects people in their personal lives. we look forward to having that d debate. any questions? yes, ma'am? >> you wrote in your colleague letter last night, encouraging members of the democratic party to be on the floor for the vote. >> yes. >> are you encouraging any sort of disruptions of some sort? >> no. any disruption would only give them more time to try to get their votes, which they may or manot have. but no. yes, ma'am. >> hi. a lot of members that i've spoken are, republican members
this week, have said these are people who are kind of on the fence. they're trusting the senate to promise to fix [ inaudible ]. is there any chance it'll be improved in the senate? >> they had this vote tattooed on them. this is a scar they will carry. so it isn't -- it's their vote. it's not the senate vote. it's their vote they are taking. so that is really a poor choice, cowardly choice, i might add. why would they vote for it if they don't think it is worthy of support, because the senate will change it? from what i hear the republican senators saying, they don't have any interest in passing this bill as is. by the way, whatever happens down the road, the members of the house, republican caucus, will be forever identified with the worst aspects of the bill they