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House Passes Bill to Repeal Obamacare; Trump, GOP Leaders Take Victory Lap after House Passes Trumpcare. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 4, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:05] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And that's it for us, thanks for watching. I'll hand things over to Don Lemon, CNN TONIGHT starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: President Trump makes his biggest deal yet but what will it cost you? This is CNN TONIGHT, I'm Don Lemon. The President taking a victory lap on the House vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, but in reality, Republicans are a long way from the finish line. And here's the thing, this is not about winners or losers, at least shouldn't be, this is life and death for millions of Americans and you're going to hear from them tonight in this broadcast.
But first, I want to bring in our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta, also political analyst David Drucker and April Ryan, she's author of "At Mama's Knee" and contributor J.D. Vance, the author of "Hillbilly Elegy". By the way President Trump is in New York City tonight finishing up the speech at the Intrepid. There he is there live in the Hudson River, his speech finishing up just moments ago. Again, the President and Republicans taking a victory lap for this House vote, a victory today for them but it barely squeezed by, by the way, 217, they needed 217 to get it done -- 216, they got 217, just one over.
So, the President took that victory lap, I want you guys to take a look and then we'll continue our conversation. You first Jim, but let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I went through two years of campaigning, and I'm telling you no matter where I went people are suffering so badly with the ravages of Obamacare. And I will say this that, as far as I'm concerned your premiums they're going to start to come down, we're going to get this pass through the Senate, I feel so confident. So the journey continues, we will get it done, we will have great, great health care for everyone on our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Jim, the President obviously really needed this, it has been said that that's how he got that win. Members felt like he needed at least a win. So no doubt he got a deal done in the House but is he celebrating a little prematurely?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Don, I think they might want to call schoolhouse rock on YouTube, you know, holding a victory in the Rose Garden at the White House after something passes in the House, that might be a bit premature and -- and I think the President was acknowledging that here in New York, or earlier this evening he was sitting down with the Australian Prime Minister before their bilateral discussion and reporters were peppering him with questions.
And he said, listen, this thing is going to change somewhat in the Senate, it is going to change. Senator John Cornyn from Texas, he was twitting earlier tonight that they're not going to vote on what was passed out of the House. They're going to change that bill, they're going to pass their own bill out of the Senate. And so we're a long way off from an actual Rose Garden signing ceremony. That's the ceremony that we all want to keep our eyes on Don.
This today was something of a catharsis for the Republican Party because they have been chasing this for seven years. The President did campaign on it and House Speaker Paul Ryan has sort of had an ideological zeal to repeal Obamacare for some time, the dog did catch the car today, they certainly accomplish that but it's still a long way to go.
LEMON: April, talk to me about this arm twisting from President to get this deal done. Do we know if he used "carrots and sticks"?
APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He used whatever he had at his reach. This President really wanted to get this done, he needed the winning picture, you know, once they put out that $8 billion safety net for the preexisting condition, for the most vulnerable, you know, that was -- that was something that really helped him. But he is using a lot at his disposal, and the question is what deals were made. But, Don, really, you know, going back to what Jim said and I was channeling schoolhouse rock today as well.
The issue is, this is not really a victory, it's a winning picture that he wants to present but it's a partial victory. But the issue really happens next week with the true numbers, the CBO score comes out. So we'll see if they're still doing a victory lap then.
LEMON: Right. There are some folks who were saying -- who are reporting it's still going to -- it is projected to kick 24 million people off of health care, we'll have to see once the CBO will have those official numbers. And by the way there is some pushback on the $8 billion. Some people are saying it's only going to help cover 76,000 people, a small fraction of the 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions.
David, I want to go to you, the President proved that he can make a deal, but what kind of a deal did he make for the American people, especially when you consider lawmakers essentially flew (ph) blind in passing this thing, they passed it before they knew what's in it, and we all remember that from seven years ago. They didn't have a CBO report, no hearings, no legislative text. DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. So, the President is on the hook now for the health care and so is the Republican Party. So I guess in some ways the Democrats can breathe a sigh of relief that this isn't on their shoulders anymore.
[22:05:07] I think what we need to remember in this, Don, is that there are millions of Americans out there that feel like their premiums are too high and getting higher, that they have deductibles that they can't afford, and they feel like they've lost doctors and plans and don't have access to as much quality health care choices that they used to have. And so --
LEMON: Does this plan help them?
DRUCKER: And that's what I am getting to. And so what the Republicans are trying to do is craft the plan that does that while fulfilling a campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. A failure to do so, which would catastrophic for them politically in 2018 because their voters would ask, we gave you full control of Washington and you can't do anything.
And so then the question, and this gets to your point is, if the Republicans can actually get this to the finish line and get it done, if it doesn't make people's lives better, if they feel like their health care is worse or they lose doctors and plans that they like all over again, if the prices don't go down, and that's what the President and Congressional Republicans are guaranteeing without offer to any -- being able to offer any numbers yet, if none of that happens they are going to be in a world of hurt (INAUDIBLE) are Americans whose health care won't be any better.
And so we have a policy conundrum here and a political risk because the Republicans don't actually know yet, there are no projections that show us where premiums and deductibles are going to go at the high they are now to a low level that they imagine they'll end up.
LEMON: I want to bring in J.D. now. J.D. the American Medical Association came out against this bill. They said millions would lose health insurance, and it doesn't really protect preexisting conditions, that's according to them, the AARP says it would substantially increase insurance premiums for older adult and cut Medicaid for millions of low-income seniors, of children and adults with disabilities. This is going to impact every American including a lot of Trump voters, especially if you look at that and if what the AMA says, and the AARP says, if that is correct, that hits in the heart of Trump country.
J.D. VANCE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, that's exactly right. So we don't have the CBO projection of this most recent bill but we do have a CBO projection for the bill on which the most recent bill was modeled. And if you look at that projection the evidence suggest that the people who will lose out most in that American Health Care Act are a lot of the folks who voted for Donald Trump, working class and lower middle class voters, older voters. Those folks, they very well see their deductibles go up, their premiums go up.
And as we've been talking about, this is not just a policy problem, there's obviously a significant issue of folks potentially loosing access to their health care. But if you think of the political problem, you know, folks have always asked, what is it that's going to drive Donald Trump voters away from them while loosing their health care may actually be the answer to that question. And unfortunately the Republicans, who I think have been very smart, and frankly correct in the fact that Obamacare hasn't solved a lot of the core problems of the American health care market, now own the problem.
They're going to learn very quickly unless they craft a better bill that it's not just enough to critique the bill that has failed in the past, you have to actually offer a better alternative, and we're going to see if the Senate is able to actually put forward the alternative.
LEMON: And Democrats have also been critical of the Affordable Care Act as well, of Obamacare, admitting that it needs fixing but obviously they don't think it should be replaced -- repealed and replaced entirely. Jim, this GOP plan replaces the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare subsidies with refundable tax credits mainly based on age, it will allow insurers to charge sick people and older people more, less Federal support for Medicaid, the rich will still get tax cuts and other breaks.
And it -- but it weakens Obamacare protections or people with preexisting conditions, is this the bill Americans wanted?
ACOSTA: Yes. Well you remember, Don, when President Obama said, if you like your plan you can keep it, he was savaged for that because it didn't hold up, what President Trump is proposing is, well if you lose your health care plan you can move to another state. For people with preexisting conditions if they are suffering from cancer or other chronic illnesses and they live in a state where a governor comes in -- a conservative governor comes in and says, you know what, I don't like Obamacare's protection for people with preexisting conditions, I want to get rid of this, I want to waver.
Then people with those preexisting conditions who live in that state would have to move to another state in order to have those preexisting conditions covered. That is just going to be frightening to a lot of people out there who suffer from these sorts of illnesses, and yes they did put together this poll that April mentioned, $8 billion that would cover people with these sorts of illnesses over the next five years but they're estimates, but that is just a fraction of what is needed for those people who are in that kind of situation.
And so, I think you have the lawmakers up on Capitol Hill today, Don, acknowledge that they hadn't read the bill. Congressman Collins was on "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer earlier and said that he hadn't read the bill.
[22:10:09] And keep in mind, after Obamacare was coming up for a vote back in 2009, House Speaker Paul Ryan, then Congressman Ryan, was interviewed, was on a different network and he said, you know, how could we go and rush through a bill that people haven't read and hasn't been scored. Well that's what they did today. And so, you know, I think what everybody has been saying before is, is exactly right. They are taking a leap of faith here in the Republican Party that Trumpcare will somehow deliver them in 2018.
But, you know, if passes prolonged on there, they're in for a very tough fight in this midterms, and that's why you had Democrats in that -- on the House floor today singing nananana hey hey goodbye. I was talking to Democrat strategist today who said that, you know, who were describing this as Christmas is in May.
LEMON: Yes, and a lot of it for the sake of a win, and we'll discuss that throughout this broadcast. Thank you, I appreciate it. When we come back, can the Republican health care plan get through the Senate? A prominent Democratic Senator tells me what he thinks.
[00:15:11] LEMON: The GOP health care bill facing an uphill battle in the Senate but President Trump, he's optimistic about the bill tonight in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well it could change a little bit. Could -- maybe even better, it's a very good bill right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joining me now is Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat. Senator, thank you so much for joining us. Today was a huge legislative victory for House Republicans and President Trump. President Trump says he is confident this bill will pass the Senate, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This pass through the Senate, I feel so confident. Your deductibles, when it comes to deductibles they were so ridiculous that nobody got to use their current plan. This nonexistent plan that I heard so many wonderful things about over the last three or four days, after that, I mean it's -- I don't think you're going to hear so much right now, the insurance companies are fleeing. It's been a catastrophe and this is a great plan. I actually think it will get even better and this is, make no mistake, this is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare, make no mistake about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Senator, the President seems pretty confident this is going to get through the Senate, you said it's dead on arrival.
SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA: Well, I don't know about dead on arrival but, you know, they've -- I think that if we are smart in the Senate, we'll take a look at this bill and try to make health care more accessible and more affordable for the folks across this country. I know the President made promises on repealing, and I've always said that if you want to repeal it replace it with a health care bill that makes health care more affordable and more accessible. I would support that.
The problem is, with this bill is I think seniors are going to end up with higher premiums, I think there's going to be a large number of people that are kicked off their policies. I think folks with preexisting conditions like diabetes or folks with cancer, even folks with high blood pressure are going to end up potentially paying much higher premiums.
Affordability is a big deal, and I will tell you that the Affordable Care Act need some work. There's plenty of things we can do to it to make it more affordable for folks. But to throw out some of the things that I think this proposal in the House is going to really impact very negatively. I think it's a mistake by us. As I went around the state of Montana right after the election, talked to hospitals, talked to patients, talked to doctors about what they want to see, if the ACA is repealed, they all said, you've got to improve affordability, you've got make sure we have accessibility.
And that means not only insurance policies but that also means medical facilities can't be shutdown because of too much unpaid bills. So --
LEMON: Does that bill have that affordability and the sensibility?
TESTER: No, not from what I've seen it does not, it's not even close. In fact it's going to dump a lot of people off and I think it's going to enrage premiums for a ton of people. And in the end, this is much bigger than political showmanship, this is much bigger. Health care impacts every one of our lives and impacts it in a big, big way. We've got to make sure we do this right. We've got to make sure we increase affordability, that's the problem with the health care for some of the folks on that plan.
And we also need to make sure we don't shutdown many of our medical facilities especially those in rural and frontier America.
LEMON: OK, you said this goes beyond showmanship, you know, this administration and Republicans needed a win. The criticism from Democrats at least that it's been that, they needed this for tax cuts and that's what they're using to get tax cuts, using people's health care and possibly their lives.
TESTER: Well I think that's very unfortunate. Look --
LEMON: Do you agree with that?
TESTER: I want to see tax cuts too but I'm telling you, to deny health care for people so that you can give tax cuts to the billionaires and the richest of the rich in society is not the direction we should be going. We should be working to make health care more affordable not less. And when we dealt with the Affordable Care Act, what, some eight years ago, Don, we were looking at an old system where we had too many folks who weren't paying their bills because they couldn't afford insurance.
We should have learned a lesson from that and we should really work and it can be done. Work to improve what's wrong with the ACA, keep the good parts, get rid of the parts that don't work and move forward.
LEMON: I've heard that from just about every Democrat that the ACA is not perfect and they would like to improve it, but they weren't sure, they didn't think that the entire thing needed to be repealed and replaced. So I have to ask you then, you're a Democrat, a Democratic Senator in a state, President Trump won by, I believe 21 points, you're also up for reelection next year, do you think that this opposition, does this help or hurt you?
TESTER: Well I don't know, I just try to do the right thing, to be honest with you, Don. I just try to do what's right and I try to listen to the people on the ground to find out what their challenges are, and I can tell you that health care is a big, big challenge.
[22:20:03] And we need to make sure we do this right. If we -- if folks try to jam something through that doesn't really meet those two, those two qualities of affordability and accessibility, then I think we made a mistake in both the House and the Senate of serving the people and letting the people have what they need. Healthcare --
LEMON: What do you -- what are your colleagues saying about this? When you speak to fellow senators what do they think about this bill that just made it through the House?
TESTER: Well, I think they're very concerned about it for all the same reasons I said, affordability, accessibility. If people get tossed off their health care, if people with preexisting conditions get charged a lot more for their health care, if seniors get taxed higher for their healthcare, I think there's some big problems with it.
LEMON: Do you think the CBO score will show that?
TESTER: I think the CBO probably will show that but we will see. I would be good -- it would have been good if the House had a CBO score before they sent it over, but we'll get one before we act on it, and I think it's important to have that score.
LEMON: Yes. Listen, you say that this administration is doing everything they can do to make Obamacare fail but insurers are -- I mean they are pulling out of market. Does this bill do anything to help that problem?
TESTER: I don't know that it does but I can tell you, a lot of the reason they're pulling out of market is because the mandate isn't being enforced. And they're talking taking the subsidies away. That makes business pretty uncomfortable if there's that kind of uncertainty and they're going to hedge their best to make sure that they don't go broke and that's exactly what's happening.
Look, they've said it is not a downward spiral, I think the President and others are doing everything they can do to make that self -- that happen, that happen.
TESTER: And by talking the way they've been talking about it.
LEMON: Here's what one of your colleagues who I mentioned -- the CBO, this is Lindsey Graham who is a Republican, twitted today, a bill finalized yesterday has not been scored, amendments not allowed, in three hours the final debate, should be viewed with caution. Ultimately do you think that this -- that Republicans may -- this may come to haunt them?
TESTER: Yes. I think it's absolutely correct. I mean, this was a complex issue. And to push it through, to pound it through without any opportunity for amendment and discussion and debate, or going through the committee process, I think is a mistake and I think the American people can see that. But, in the end it's coming over to the Senate side now, Don. And we don't want to make those same mistakes. We want to make sure we end up to the piece of legislation.
Our work -- and I know there's others that might say, you know, they've worked very, very hard and try to improve this, to make it more -- to make health care more accessible and more affordable. And that's really the bottom-line. If we're able to do that we can make a bill, and I think it's pretty bad right now, into a bill that can work for the American people.
LEMON: Senator Tester, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
TESTER: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: When we come back, is the President hitting his stride? Will he be able to keep his promises on health care? My panelists here to discuss.
[22:26:38] LEMON: The health care passes in the House after a big push from President Trump but the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Let's discuss now.
Democratic Strategist Jonathan Tasini is here. Also Senate Political Commentator, Kayleigh McEnany, Ana Navarro, and Alice Stewart, also Neera Tanden, the Former Policy Director for Hillary Clinton. It's so good to have all of you on.
Ana I want to start with you, the President went all out today with a big T.V. production in the Rose Garden, here he is making a big promise to Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think most importantly, yes, premiums will be coming down. Yes, deductibles will be coming down. But very importantly, it's a great plan. And ultimately, that's what it's all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Do you think that he may regret or could regret making that promise, Ana?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We don't know what the plan is going to ultimately end up looking like. Remember that it's got to go through the Senate still, we don't know what the finished product will look like, if there is a finish product to begin with. This is definitely a short-term victory for Donald Trump, for Paul Ryan. We don't know if it's going to be a long-term victory. We're going to find that out in 2018, in November when people vote.
What I did feel though was, you know, part of me understands that he's talking to his base. He's just delivered a big promise. That was such a big part of the campaign, not just for him but for so many other Republicans. But also it just felt so tone deaf to me and such a lack of empathy. There are a lot of people in America who are scared out of their minds about what the effect of this bill could possibly be in their own personal lives and on the lives of the people they love.
And I think we have to have a little sensitivity and compassion, this idea of spiking the football. First of all, at half time, because it still has to go through the Senate, but while so many Americans are so frightened, just to me didn't feel quite right.
LEMON: You think that this victory is premature, Jonathan, don't you?
JONATHAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well I do. And I think that Ana had put it quite right, that it's unfortunate. And I would put it a little more harshly if I could. More people will die and more -- many, many more people will become sick because of what the Republicans are going to try --
LEMON: How could you say that?
TASINI: It's a fact. 24 million people, assuming the repeal passes, and it gets to the Senate or some compromise, millions of people be thrown off their health care plan. Many other people will not be able to afford to get health care and therefore --
LEMON: You're judging from the prior CBO score.
TASINI: Yes. And --
LEMON: But this one hasn't been scored.
TASINI: Yes. This one has not been scored but its pretty much more model on the same fact. And let's look at one reality in the bill. Medicaid is going to be cut by $800 billion that affects poor people and women. And the message to the rest of the country is Republicans or at least Donald Trump and the Republicans in the House do not care about women and children and poor people. And those people are the ones that are suffering in particular.
LEMON: Why are you shaking your head, Kayleigh? KAYLEIGH MCENANY, AMERICAN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because, look, I felt initially like you were describing Obamacare because --
TASINI: No, that's not true.
MCENANY: -- today, they heard -- today and not today--
TASINI: The Medicaid expansion actually covered women and children.
MCENANY: -- today we find out in Iowa that the last statewide insurer is threatening dropping out, so that would leave people with zero options. We know, one-third of U.S. counties, they have one insurance option. We know a lot of doctors --
TASINI: No, no --
MCENANY: -- lots of doctors, when you're going to your doctors -- let me finish.
TASINI: No, you're changing the conversation.
MCENANY: I let you finish.
TASINI: No. I was talking to Medicaid.
MCENANY: Lots of doctors --
TASINI: The Medicaid expansion, $800 billion to be cut which --
MCENANY: Let me finish, Jonathan. Let me finish.
TASINI: -- which affects poor people and women.
MCENANY: Jonathan, let me finish. When you're going to doctor's offices and you look on the wall and there's that big sign, sorry, we do not accept Medicaid.
[22:30:03] There are millions of Americans who are on Medicaid they can't find a doctor who will take it. Insurance coverage is one thing, care is a different thing. And this is the bill that will bring care, not just covered.
TASINI: No, it's not going to bring care to people, it's going to throw -- the CBO, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the actual fact, not the wing nuts and the people who are rhetorically talking about ideology about the free market. Those people have the fact and that is what is going to happen, who has (ph) tens of millions Americans.
LEMON: Who am I hearing sigh, is that Neera?
NEERA TANDEN, FORMER POLICY DIRECTOR FOR HILLARY CLINTON: Probably.
LEMON: Yes. Why are you sighing, Neera?
TANDEN: Because, you know, you can listen to pundits on T.V. who defend President Trump no matter what he says, whatever lie he tells or you can listen to the American Medical Association, the AARP, doctors and nurses. Everyone with the stake and the stakes in this -- with the stake in the health care system came out opposed to this bill because it will drop coverage for millions of people. Doctors said that people with preexisting conditions, asthma, basic health care conditions like asthma, any kind of condition that was preexisting condition before can now -- will now be able to be discriminated against.
So, you know, pundits on T.V. can tell you things, like, oh, it was so bad before. This bill got worst in order to pass the House. It got worst by beyond dumping people off health care, 24 million people, then being particularly cruel to people with preexisting conditions --
LEMON: Neera, let me put up with the --
TANDEN: -- and that is the tragedy.
LEMON: -- American Medical Association said because you're -- you just mentioned it, the largest organization of doctors in the country. It said what -- this bill will result and millions of Americans losing access to quality affordable health insurance and those with preexisting health conditions face a possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question. Are they wrong, Alice Stewart?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, they are wrong and let me refresh everyone's memory when President Obama said, if you like your doctor you can keep it, that's not true. When he promised more greater access to health care and lower cost that's not true. In addition to what Kayleigh said, many counties in this country have one health care option, that's not greater access to care. And in addition to that, Aetna has just announced they're pulling out of Virginia. So, the access to quality health care has gone down. And if you notice --
TANDEN: Can I just say --
STEWART: I'm not finished yet.
LEMON: Let her finish and I'll let you -- I'll let you get in, Neera. Let her finish.
STEWART: And in regard to the Medical Association's comment with regard to preexisting conditions, that was a concern and they addressed that with an amendment today which said they're going to add $8 billion to this to help states for those --
(OFF-MIC) STEWART: -- the size -- so they have addressed --
LEMON: So Alice, that $8 billion provided by that -- which is Upton's Amendment, Congressman Upton's Amendment will only help over 76,000 people, cover 76,000 people which is a small fraction of the 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions.
TASINI: It's actually the cost of $100 billion. That was one of the most shameful and cynical things about this whole process aside from not letting the CBO score, it was -- they pretended to many people's -- Neera pointed out, who are going to be desperate and out of luck, they pretended like that 8 billion was going to solve and it's going to cost at least a $100 billion.
LEMON: Neera, what would you want to say?
TANDEN: It only covers -- the Upton Amendment covers 4% of people with preexisting conditions. 86%, the vast majority are not going to be covered by that.
TASINI: That's correct.
TANDEN: It was just a cynical attempt to give cover and frankly to give talking points to people on T.V.
STEWART: But --
TANDEN: The reality is, I'm sorry, I'm going to trust the American Medical Association, doctors and nurses over the spin of the Trump White House when it comes to people's health care. And the fact is, they want people talk abut there's only one insurer in some of these areas as a country, that is happening today because of Donald Trump and what he's doing. And the truth is, that millions of people have health care coverage, even if there's one insure.
LEMON: What do you mean because of Donald Trump and what he's doing, you mean certainty?
TANDEN: Because the insurers are worried about what the price HHS and the Trump, White House are doing and that's why they're exiting.
TASINI: That's exactly why --
TANDEN: They're saying that very clearly. They're exiting markets because they don't believe --
LEMON: So, they enforce the mandate, you said you don't think this would happen?
TANDEN: It's not just the mandate, it's the whole approach of them -- the Trump administration telling insurers they are trying to get out of health care.
LEMON: OK. Standby because --
TANDEN: The insurers have said. LEMON: OK. I want Kayleigh to weight in but this is -- this is the thing that's interesting to me, do you remember, we have to know what's in the bill before --
LEMON: -- to pass it, before we know what's in the bill.
LEMON: There was hugely criticized, right? That Republican say that, this is Paul Ryan in 2009.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN 1ST DISTRICT: I don't think we should pass bills that we haven't read that we don't know what they cost. And if you rush this thing through before anybody even knows what it is, that's not good democracy, that's not doing our work for our constituents. We shouldn't rush this thing through just to rush it through over some artificial deadline. Let's get this thing done right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:35:02] LEMON: Kayleigh how is this anything about hypocrisy?
MCENANY: It's not hypocrisy because the CBO has already scored 90 percent of the bill.
TASINI: That's a good one.
MCENANY: We can laugh or we can have intelligence discussions here.
TASINI: That was funny.
MCENANY: So, the CBO has already scored 90 percent of the bill. They haven't scored the additional provisions that have been added. This also was in the final vote on the bill. It's going to go to the Senate, it will come back, it will go into conference. We will have a CBO scored at that point. But I just want to correct for the viewer some inaccuracies that were said, Neera says that this allows people to discriminate against individuals with preexisting conditions, in fact the text of the bill bars that word by word.
TANDEN: That's not true Kayleigh.
MCENANY: Neera cannot possibly say that people will lose coverage when in fact it gives the Secretary discretion to allow states of high risk polls like a Maine, which are high functioning. You can possibly say you know what's going to happen, it gives discretion to the Federal government to differ to states that have working programs.
LEMON: You guys -- Neera, but quickly -- I have to get to the break, but how is it not true. You said it's not true. Why, Neera?
TANDEN: Because we -- actually many high-risk polls have failed miserably. The --
TANDEN: -- high risk polls have failed miserably and the -- did you read the bill, the standards in this bill for states to do this are -- they're very -- they're new standards at all. Any State can basically say they want to get rid of preexisting conditions covered and they can.
LEMON: OK, more to come.
TANDEN: I've read the bill Kayleigh unlike most members --
MCENANY: I've read it too.
LEMON: More to come. We'll be right back with this group.
[22:40:42] LEMON: Just after the health care bill passed, the House broke into song but it wasn't exactly a celebration. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. So, that was House Democrats warning their Republican colleagues. Democrats believe angry voters will punish Republicans in next year's midterm elections. Back with my panel. Ana, it was stunning moment on floor after the vote. Do you think that this was unseemly on the part of Democrats?
NAVARRO: Yes. And listen, and at -- in the same way that I said, Republicans spiking the ball when there are so many Americans who are frighten out of their minds was unseemly. Democrats going on the floor of the House to sing a song, you know, song that you usually, you know, sing in a sport stadium when somebody is loosing is silly, it's immature and just respectful of the place. It's disrespectful of the Congress.
Maybe this is passe, but I'm an institutionalist, I hate to see these kind of displays there. There's going to be plenty of time to campaign on this issue. Tonight, today was not that day. And I think they did themselves very little favor by looking so damn silly.
LEMON: Yes. Jonathan, it's not a game. It really isn't a game. And I mean -- I know that you said that there's history there, but I mean really at the very least it was just uncal for if not unseen.
TASINI: Yes, I don't disagree with that.
TASINI: I wouldn't have done it.
LEMON: Yes. OK.
TASINI: But, I think that that's --
NAVARRO: Neither would I because I can't carry a tune.
TASINI: Yes. And by the way, me either. I wouldn't -- you don't want to hear. But let's now get distracted by what I think is a small thing. There's --
LEMON: Well it's not a small thing, come on.
TASINI: It's a small thing, it's petty, but the real thing is we now know --
LEMON: It's not a small thing because it shows you the environment in Washington.
TASINI: OK, fair enough. But I think the bigger point is what this repeal bill is doing which is putting tens of millions of people at risk for their health. And naturally the fundamental thing that we should debate, and here's the point that I wanted to just thrown in quickly, this is a huge transfer of wealth to the very wealthy. Billions of dollars to the top 1%, that's what health care --
LEMON: Alice, do you want to get in?
STEWART: Yes. I hate to remind the Democrats that Republicans have been campaigning on repealing and replacing Obamacare ever since it was enacted into law. And many of the Republicans currently in Congress right now, and the President of the United States campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare. And many -- they were reelected overwhelmingly in many of their districts and the President won on that issue.
So, the fact that Democrats were trying to scare them and theme saying that they're going to regret this vote I think is laughable. But, that being said --
TANDEN: It's not laughable.
STEWART: -- this was a long -- this is a long war, they won the first battle, the next battle will be in the Senate, I see major changes over there. There's concerns with the Medicaid cuts and planned parenthood. So we'll see a completely different version. So, I think them as innocent spiking the football this stage at the game is very premature on the part of Democrats.
LEMON: Neera quick because I want to move on to something else. What would you want to say?
TANDEN: Yes. I would just say really quickly on this, that the reality of this entire debate is that what Democrats were angry about and what Democrats were voicing was the fact that Republicans are supporting a bill that 17% approval. The Affordable Care Act today is over 60 percent. So if people want to say they campaigned on repeal and replace, they did not campaign on this bill.
LEMON: But Neera, there is a way to do that. You're on CNN TONIGHT doing it without having some petty display on the House floor. I mean there are ways to do that.
TANDEN: Yes. OK. You know what, if we're going to really complain about displays on the House floor, what's truly not petty, but cruel is taking a bill and passing it without actually knowing what's in it, that actually undermines health care over millions of people, undermining millions of people.
NAVARRO: Neera, you are doing exactly the same thing -- can I just say something to Neera though. Just a little, in the last segment you were talking about pundits would go and defend everything no matter what all the lies, all that Donald Trump says --
TANDEN: I actually know what's in the bill.
NAVARRO: Let me finish. OK. Right.
TANDEN: I know what's in the bill.
NAVARRO: Right. But we're not talking about the bill. You are not being to able to admit that this was a petty display by Democrats on the House of the Floor, I may be able to go on T.V and say, "The Republicans look foolish today spiking the ball and that Democrats look foolish singing on the Floor of the House."
TANDEN: I am trying to say --
NAVARRO: So, you know, at that point it's OK, it is actually -- it's liberating Neera, it is therapeutic. It is OK to tell the truth on T.V.
[22:45:02] LEMON: OK.
TANDEN: I'm happy to tell the truth on T.V. You know what I'd say, I'd say, "Sure. Democrats are petty." What about singing on the House Floor. And, you know, what I would also say, what I would also say is, let's focus on the people not the politicians, but the people who are going to be affected by this. Parents are worried tonight about their children's preexisting conditions. That's a tragedy. Let's talk more about that.
LEMON: Yes. OK. Ana, that was a technical problem. Ana dropped the mic and then dropped the satellite too. Thank you guys. I appreciate it. When we come back, I'm going to speak with voters who are worried about Republicans and Republican health care plan, including one who says Obamacare saved his life. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The Healthcare Bill that passed in the House today is far from a sure thing in the Senate, but many Americans who benefited from Obamacare are downright scared about what comes next.
Here to discuss, John Brogan who works with recovering addicts with LifeLine Recovery Support Services. Jeff Jeans, a cancer survivor who says Obamacare saved his life. And Jessi Bohon who made national news which she defended Obamacare at a Tennessee town hall. Jessi joins us via Skype.
Good evening to all of you. I'm so glad that you're on. John, I'm going to start with you because -- as someone who works with recovering addicts, and you've asked the Health And Human Services Secretary Tom Price earlier this year, how he would fix the opioid epidemic.
[00:50:10] He assured you. He said that this would be a high priority. Does this -- do you think it's a high priority, does this bill worry you?
JOHN BROGAN, CHIEF RECOVERY SPECIALIST, LIFELINE RECOVERY SUPPORT SERVICES: So, from what I've seen so far today, the preexisting condition of drug and alcohol treatment, recent treatment, it's going to raise the price on a lot of individuals that already don't have treatment -- or don't have insurance as it is. So, you're going to run into a lot of roadblocks.
LEMON: So that's concerning to you --
BROGAN: Very concerning.
LEMON: -- to many people. So then what do you say to the folks who voted?
BROGAN: It's kind of Catch-22, if you look where it came from, Obamacare, the premiums were raising as it was and people suffering from substance abuse disorder don't have a lot of money, you know, coming into this. So, $15,000 is a lot of money to someone suffering. So in order to pay that deductible or to pay that network premium, it's just too much money.
LEMON: $15,000 is a lot of money to most people --
BROGAN: Right, right.
LEMON: -- regardless of what you're suffering from, correct?
BROGAN: Right, correct.
LEMON: Jeff, you and I talked several times throughout this process. Obamacare saved your life, you had cancer. I think you were against in the beginning, you questioned Paul Ryan about it in our town hall, what do you make of this new bill? JEFF JEANS, CANCER SURVIVOR: Well, last night my wife had dinner with a client and I went along and the lady at the table next to us, her name is Mary (ph), seemed kind of frantic and concerned, and they were talking about the new health care bill. And I went over and talked to her and she had a son with a heart defect, born with a heart defect. And she was just worried sick about her son having to go without health insurance or health care.
And, you know, we all have someone we love that has a preexisting condition whether it's diabetes, high blood pressure, some people have substance abuse problems, you know, what we're worried about is that rise in the death toll (ph), I cannot remember any other country that took health care away from its citizens willingly.
LEMON: You think this is taking health care away from its citizens?
JEANS: Oh sure. If you listen to what the American Medical Association says, listen to what AARB says, every organization that is familiar with the subject gives the same warning.
LEMON: John, what do you think, do you think this is taking health care away from people?
BROGAN: Just by the letter of the law what it says, if it's going to raise the premium for people to get insurance that don't have it already, of course, people with substance abuse disorder, in and out treatment as it is right now, and that was one of the requisites that it said.
LEMON: Yes. I want to read a little bit about your story so that our viewer knows, you're (INAUDIBLE) --
BROGAN: Yes sir.
LEMON: You're a recovering addict yourself.
BROGAN: Yes sir.
LEMON: Correct? I just want to make sure I get it right. I was amazed to see the lengths that you go through the help addicts, using Obamacare, you've even sent them through different states, right?
BROGAN: Yes sir.
LEMON: You said that the epidemic has reached such a crisis level -- in a town in New Jersey, that town run out of body bags last week.
BROGAN: There's one -- that was actually in Ohio, that was a phone call that we received where they had to bring in a trailer to put -- store the bodies in because the death tolls were raising so much.
LEMON: So the concern for opioids, for heroine and opioids for you obviously it's a major concern if you have a town running out of body bags. So then if this bill, let's just say if it goes to the Senate, it hasn't gone to the Senate yet, it's not the law yet. What do you think that could help to make it more effective to help addicts? BROGAN: We need more programs. Like in our state we have Governor Christie, Prosecutor Coronado, Germachini (ph), these guys are putting together programs that are helping individuals that are suffering from overdoses, turning themselves in the police station that are getting into programs, on scholarships that have nothing. So there needs to be more funding and there's going to have to be some sort of access point of these individuals to get some sort of long-term treatment.
LEMON: Would you like to see the politics taken out of this, do you care -- call it Trumpcare, Obamacare, Affordable Care, American Health Care, do you really care what it's called?
BROGAN: 55,000 people died last year. That's more than guns -- gun- related deaths or automobile accidents, 55,000 people, 16,000 in New Jersey in 2015, two tonight in Toms River, in the town that we're in.
[22:55:01] That's just unheard of. These are young kids that are dying.
LEMON: There's no -- if there's a D or an R in your background or before your name as a Democrat or Republican and whatever it just -- Jessi we had a little bit of difficulty with your Skype and I understand that you're back now. You spoke out at a town hall earlier this year with Representative Diane Black and explained Obamacare as the healthy pulling up the sick. You say what happened today is a horror story, why do you say that?
JESSI BOHON, TEACHER: What it does it -- this bill just punishes people who are poor or who are sick or who are vulnerable. People -- elderly people on Medicaid who are in nursing homes aren't going to be able to be in their nursing homes anymore if their plans are slashed. It just feels like a punishment for being sick or being poor.
LEMON: Yes. You -- the video of you from the town hall in February that I mentioned went viral. People are still reaching out to you, what did they tell you today?
BOHON: Well I had actually a lot of muggers, I talked to a lot of women today, mothers who are afraid for their children, women who have experienced domestic violence or rape and they're all of sudden consider to have a preexisting condition because they were raped. A woman whose son has a medication that's $14,000, a pregnant lady who's going to have two premature babies and they're going to have to be in ICU for two to three months and she's worried about caps on her spending, just a lot of the people with cancer, all the time, a lot of worried people with cancer.
LEMON: Yes, Jessi thank you, we hope that you're OK and your health improves. Jeff the same, we appreciate your time, and I hope that your health is improving as well.
JEANS: Thank you.
LEMON: And John, same to you. Thank you so much and thank you for your service.
BROGAN: Thank you sir.
LEMON: Continue to help the addicts and -- to get the stigma off of that, but also to help them recover and to get health care.
BROGAN: Thank you sir.
LEMON: We appreciate your joining us.
LEMON: When we come back, President Trump claiming victory after the House passes the GOP health care plan. But, is this victory lap coming too soon?