Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Supreme Court Ruling On Health Care Reform Law; Obama Health Care Law Upheld; Fortune Magazine Article House Speaker Reacts to Ruling; Eric Cantor Comments on Supreme Court Decision; Both Parties Claiming Victory in Health Care Decision; Deval Patrick Discusses the Supreme Court's Decision on Obama-care; Obama-care Will Affect All Americans; Regardless of Obama-care, Hospitals Still Require Fundraising; Viewer Reaction to Obama-care; Industries Impact by Obama-care Making Big Moves on Wall Street; Medical Community Reacts to Obama-care
Aired June 28, 2012 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is just a little past the top of the hour. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the sweeping health care reform law champion by President Obama. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. In a five to four decision, the court upheld the central part of the law, the so-called individual mandate. It requires almost every American to have health insurance or pay a penalty. The requirement takes effect in 2014. President Obama reacted to the ruling last hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics of all of this, about who won and who lost. That's how these things tend to be viewed here in Washington. But that discussion completely misses the point. Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law, and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: The Supreme Court's landmark decision upholding President Obama's signature affordable health care act is a stinging defeat for conservatives who had insisted the law was unconstitutional. Mitt Romney set out to put the ruling in perspective.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do. What the court did today was say that Obama care does not violate the constitution. What they did not do was say that Obama care is good law or that it's good policy. Obama care was bad policy yesterday. It's bad policy today. Obama care was bad law yesterday. It's bad law today.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CROWLEY: I want to bring in Republican Congressman Tom Price of Georgia. What we keep hearing now, Congressman, from the Republicans is that while the law is constitutional, it's still a bad idea. I assume then taking this to the campaign trail. But can you beat something which is the president's now upheld health care law with nothing which basically is what Republicans have put out there so far, at least in the form of Mitt Romney.
TOM PRICE (R), CONGRESSMAN, GEORGIA: Well, it's a good talking point, Candy, but the fact of the matter is as justice -- chief justice Roberts said today that it is not the role of the court to protect the people from their political decisions, and this is a political decision that was made.
We have positive solutions to all of the challenges that we face in the area of health care that don't require putting Washington in charge, and that is why the American people by 60 percent plus continue to believe that this law ought not to be held the law of the land, because they don't want the independent payment advisory board, they don't want people deciding in Washington whether or not seniors get care. They don't want $500 billion in tax increases. They don't want $500 billion removed from the Medicare program. That's the bad news. The good news is that they there are wonderful solutions. HR 3000 is a bill that we have authored that would get folks covered, solve the insurance challenges and save hundreds of billions all without putting Washington in charge.
CROWLEY: And Congressman, the numbers that you cite here, we always have to put in a caveat in that, and that is to say that some people say they don't like the law, because it didn't go far enough, not because they were against the individual mandate, they just didn't think it went far enough. So, it does not seem like totally sound political turf for Republicans to venture out in this election year.
PRICE: Well, we're happy to have the debate. What the court said today is that the law was constitutional, because it is a tax. That's not what the president said when he introduced the bill. But what the court said was that it's OK, because it's a tax. The debate that we're happy to have is that our friends on the other side of the aisle want to tax what you do, they want to tax even what you don't do. We don't believe that increasing taxes at this time in this nation's history is a wise idea for the economy, it destroys jobs, it harms businesses, and we don't believe that having this bill in place is a wise idea for health care.
As a physician, I can tell you that this destroys the quality of health care in this country, it decreases accessibility and increases the cost. Those aren't the things that the American people want which is why we are happy to have the political debate as we move into the fall.
CROWLEY: Congressman, setting aside what the Republicans and the Congress, on the House side as well as the Senate side, have proposed as alternatives , albeit not sort of a holistic plan, but certainly there have been ideas up there. Do you think looking at Mitt Romney as the person who is leading the party in these elections this year, do you think that he can get by without offering something of a Republican alternative? Is it enough to just say this is a bad idea, Obama care is a bad idea and we need to repeal it?
PRICE: Well, I know that that's what you continue to say, but it's just not true. Now, Governor Romney has put out a very specific plan that talks about increasing patient choices, increasing market choices, making certain that states have greater flexibility to cover their indigent population which is absolutely vital, and making certain that we work to reform Medicare and Medicaid and social security which are the biggest cost drivers that increase the cost of health care in the country, not bring it down. So, there are very specific proposals that we have, and again, we are happy to have that debate.
In fact, I think that this court decision made today may actually clarify the contrast between the folks on the left side of the aisle who want to continue to increase spending at the federal level, increase taxes and now even tax what you don't do as opposed to what you do, and those on the Republican side who believe in individual freedom and liberty and patient choices and greater opportunity for folks across this land.
CROWLEY: And finally, Congressman, if I could ask you using your background, you are a doctor. I spoke to a doctor from California today who said, OK, but what really worries him is that you are putting 30 million uninsured people into a system that's broken. And part of what he said was, I know nobody really wants to talk about doctor reimbursement, but we're losing doctors, we're losing health care workers, and we really need to talk about Medicare reimbursement, essentially take a long hard look at physician reimbursement. Do you think that's necessary as well?
PRICE: Oh, without a doubt. The status quo is unacceptable in health care. That physician is spot-on. What he is saying is what we know from -- because we've been out there talking to my former physician colleagues across the country, and that is that there are many people who are leaving the practice of medicine, not because they have forgotten how the treat patients but because the system is so onerous and makes it much more difficult from a financial standpoint to even remain viable.
So, we need fundamental reform of the reimbursement system for physicians that makes it so that patients -- Medicare patients and doctors can see each other regardless of what the federal government dictates that they must do. If we allow that freedom and flexibility in the system, in fact we save, secure and strengthen Medicare which is what our budget does on the Republican side of the House.
CROWLEY: Congressman Tom Price, Republican from Georgia. Thank you for your time today.
PRICE: Thank you.
CROWLEY: I want to bring in our Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin now to sort of chew over some of these things that we've been talking about. Jeffrey, I am interested in what the court said about Medicaid and the states, because it seems to me, looking at that, that the next challenge we may see might be state court.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, it is a really complex task that is now ahead of the -- of the federal government. It's one they are happy to take on given the stakes in this case but it is still complicated. Let's just -- let me just explain what the court said. Medicaid is a system of medical care for poor people. And the way it works is the government set certain requirements for how poor people should be cared for, but the states administer the programs. And what they -- the Obama care bill did, what the ACA did, is it established more requirements for what the states have to do for poor people. They have to treat more poor people and less poor people, people who are closer to the middle- class.
And what chief justice Roberts' opinion said was you are imposing too many requirements on the states. It is true, he who -- he who pays the piper calls the tune, usually. If the federal government is giving money, they can condition -- put conditions on that. But there were so many conditions on this that chief justice Roberts said, you are essentially commandeering state functions. You are coercing the states, and you cannot do that. So the question now is, what's going to happen to those poor people? Is -- are the states going to cover them or is -- what happens to those requirements?
CROWLEY: And what about the individual mandate in terms of enforcement? So the enforcement sounds like it is now up to the IRS, so that the state doesn't really have anything to do with that, right. So that's done -- that's --
TOOBIN: That's a very much a federal issue. And in fact, the chief justice went through that very clearly, even in his opinion in court. He said, look, if you don't get health insurance, you will have to pay a penalty on the 1040, you're going to have to check a box that I don't have health insurance and you're going to have to pay some, you know, yet to be determined amount. That's a power of the power federal, it's a tax and it's constitutional.
CROWLEY: And as we heard Nancy Pelosi say that even if you want to call it a tax, she's happy with the decision. Jeffrey Toobin, thanks so much for your time.
TOOBIN: That's what the Democrats are saying all over town.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. We have the take a quick break, but when we come back, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back and he's got some viewers with some questions, and he's got the answers.
CROWLEY: We want to know how you're reacting to the -- to the Supreme Court ruling that upholds the president's health care law. That's, of course, why we brought our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta along. He is in New York. He is going to take some of your questions and comments. Sanjay, what are you hearing?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm -- you know, we're hearing lots of questions, obviously, as much as we've been talking about what this all means politically. Obviously, for patients out there and particularly people out there who have had an illness or some sort of pre-existing condition, they are paying a lot of attention to this. And I think we have a viewer in Washington, I believe at the Supreme Court, Kathy. Is Kathy with us now?
KATHIE MCCLURE, FOUNDER, VOTEHEALTHCARE.ORG: Yes, I'm here.
GUPTA: Hey, Kathy. I don't know if you had a question or a comment?
MCCLURE: Well, I'm the mother of two chronically ill children, so I came to Washington from Atlanta to hear the decision, because our family has such a huge stake in the outcome today.
GUPTA: Well, the -- you know, it's interesting because the whole notion, the issue around pre-existing conditions I think is one that a lot of people are paying attention to for the first time. And you know, ,let me just give you a little bit of background, Kathy, you probably know a lot of this but people who are tuning in. You know, when we talk about this entire bill as a whole, we're talking about the fact that people who have pre-existing conditions, who have an illness, several things are going to be different for them. For the children, these have gone into effect, for adults, these go into effect 2014. But basically, when you say you can no longer be discriminated against by your insurance companies, that means, first of all, you can't be denied coverage. There are people out there, no matter what the price they pay, cannot get health care coverage, health care insurance. That's going to change. They also cannot be dropped from the plan. So if you -- if you have health care insurance and then you get sick, in the past you could have been dropped. That can no longer happen.
Also, I can tell you, as a doctor, there's such a thing known as caps. An annual cap on how much an insurance company will pay out, and also a lifetime cap. People with chronic illnesses can hit those caps very, very quickly. Those caps will also disappear.
So you will pay -- and, again, Kathie, you may know this for your children, but the amount of money the health care premiums for your children's health care insurance will be the same as another child living in that community who is healthy. So that's what a community rating sort of simplistically means. So for a lot of people who have illnesses or have children, as you do, Kathie, with illnesses, this is a way for them to get health care insurance where maybe they couldn't have gotten it before or it would have been prohibitively expensive.
MCCLURE: Yes. So, with my children, for example, my daughter is a graphic designer, works for a very small firm. And she's one pink slip away from no health insurance. But not after today. In 2014, she will be -- we can sleep now because we know she'll be able to buy a policy. And they won't be able to charge her more. And, of course, the same is true now for our small group. We have a small group that covers my son, who has Type 1 diabetes. In our small group we pay $40,000 a year for four people. But in 2014, when, you know, community rating takes effect, we believe that our -- excuse me, our small group policy premiums will also go down. So this is more good news for people.
GUPTA: Right. And, you know, the backdrop of this, Candy, as you know, is that everyone has to have health care insurance. So for people who can afford it, they've got to buy it or they pay a penalty. But for those who cannot afford it, they either can -- if -- depending on how much money they're making, will either come under Medicaid, which is going to be expanded -- I know it's something you've been talking about, Candy -- or they can get (INAUDIBLE) subsidies, or they can try and buy their insurance through the exchanges.
Look, there's a lot here, you know. And there's 450 provisions as part of this bill. And at some point it's worth reading. I've read it a couple of times. But that's a little bit of a glimpse into how someone like Kathie, who has two children, two young people who have pre-existing conditions, Candy.
MCCLURE: Well, and, you know, --
CROWLEY: It is and -- sure, go ahead.
MCCLURE: Excuse me. One more point to be made on that, and that is that anyone who has health coverage today or on January 1, 2014, they will automatically comply with the mandate. They won't have to change their insurance or anything like that. So I think that gives people a lot -- it should give them a lot of peace of mind.
GUPTA: That's a good point. Yes.
CROWLEY: Certainly know that it does.
Thank you so much actually to the both of you. We appreciate it. Sanjay, we'll be talking to you a little later.
But there is another historic decision today. The day's only half up. A full House vote on holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over the Fast and Furious operation.
CROWLEY: The Supreme Court's health care ruling isn't the only big news out of Washington today. This hour, the House of Representatives is scheduled to begin debate on a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder. Republicans pushed for the unprecedented vote after the White House refused to turn over documents on the Fast and Furious weapons crackdown. For months, CNN and other news organizations, even the Justice Department, have referred to Fast and Furious as a botched operation. But a new, explosive investigation by "Fortune" magazine says that's not the case. We want to bring in Joe Johns on Capitol Hill.
Joe, just explain to me what these new claims are about in "Fortune."
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's pretty simple when you think about it, Candy. The assumption has been for months and months now that this gun running operation, called Operation Fast and Furious, actually intentionally allowed something like 2,000 guns to go to traffickers and that the government sort of did it knowingly and willingly.
Well, this article attacks that assumption and says it wasn't done intentionally and the guns that got away it was because of lax gun laws or prosecutorial influence, what have you. The author of this article in "Fortune" magazine appeared on CNN earlier today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHERINE EBAN, FORTUNE MAGAZINE REPORTER: There's a sense that the Justice Department immediately wanted to deal with the potential political repercussions without necessarily grappling with the substantive question of what actually happened. Now I think they would say that they have turned to the inspector general to do a thorough investigation and they are withholding judgment pending that review. But, in fact, I think anyone watching Eric Holder testifying would conclude that he believes that guns were walked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So, what do you make of that? Well, it wouldn't be the first time, of course, that conventional wisdom in Washington turned out to be wrong. But on the other hand, if you really read between the lines here, there's certainly a suggestion that a lot of people in Washington who had the ability and the information to know the truth either ignored it or just went right out there and lied. So a lot of questions raised by the article, Candy.
CROWLEY: There are. My sort of initial reaction to that is, what do the Republicans say to the new claim?
JOHNS: All right. Charles Grassley, who has been one of the spearheading point men, if you will, on this investigation on Capitol Hill, he's over on the Senate side from Iowa, he put out a statement today and, again, sort of questioning the premise of the article. Saying in part, "it asks the reader to believe that the ATF director, the attorney general, the White House and the Congress all fell victim to the fabrication and completely misinterpreted or misunderstood the thousands of pages of documents that corroborate the whistleblower allegations" in this case.
So he's questioning, too, whether the premise is correct. And you also have to say, there is a inspector general's report on Operation Fast and Furious. It's now underway. So we're probably going to get at something much closer to the truth somewhere down the road, Candy.
CROWLEY: Does any of this have any effect on what we expect to happen today, which is the contempt citation going on for a full House vote?
JOHNS: Frankly, no. It still seems that this thing is headed to the floor of the House of Representatives. The rule now being debated there even as we speak. Probably around 5:00 Eastern Time, I think, was the last projection I heard. It does appear that it's going to go to the full House. For the first time in history, an attorney general, a sitting attorney general, found in contempt of the Congress in all likelihood. We are told that there are going to be some members of Congress, likely members of the Congressional Black Caucus, perhaps some others, who walk out. But it also appears that the Republicans who are putting this on the floor have the votes to succeed with it, Candy.
CROWLEY: It does. And as I recall, Republicans walked out during the Bush era when a couple of folks were going to be cited in contempt of Congress when the Democrats were in control. So it's not new. But how big is the walk-out? Do they vote before it and then walk out or are they just not going to vote?
JOHNS: Yes, that's what it sounds like. It sounds -- I don't know whether they're not going to vote or not. But it's pretty clear that at some point they're going to walk out in protest. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader on the House side, also talked about this earlier today. You know, essentially used various words to describe it as outrageous and said she's certainly going to be there at least long enough for the vote.
I think the other thing you have to point out is, they're probably going to actually have two products that come from the floor of the House of Representatives. One is going to be a civil contempt, which essentially allow Congress to go into court to sue over this matter. The other is a criminal contempt, which probably is going nowhere because you basically refer this issue to the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, who happens to be an employee of Eric Holder.
CROWLEY: Joe Johns following another important story for us, and that is whether, for the first time in the history, the House will vote to hold an attorney general in contempt of Congress.
We're going to take a quick break. We will be right back.
CROWLEY: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Obama. The president says it's a victory, not necessarily for him, he says, but for the country. Jessica Yellin joins us live.
Jessica, tell me how the Obama camp is framing this, both at the White House and at the re-elect center.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you heard, first of all, the president -- you hear the helicopter behind me. The president preparing now to take off, first of all, Candy, to visit wounded veterans at Walter Reed Naval Center.
CROWLEY: Jessica, I'm -- I hate doing this to you, but John Boehner, speaker of the House, is up on Capitol Hill talking and we want to go to that. We'll be back with you.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Health care coverage has become too expensive for too many people in our country. The number one concern for families and small business people is the cost of health insurance. And the Republican health care reforms will, in fact, lower heath care costs.
Kathy pointed out, women make about 80 percent of the health care decisions for their families in our country. And Republican health care reforms will insure that families and doctors make health care decisions and not bureaucrats here in Washington.
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), MINORITY LEADER: Good afternoon.
If for nothing else, today's health care decision underscores the importance of this election. The people of America are going to have a choice to make in November, and clearly it's a choice that will bear upon the direction of this country as far as our health care is concerned. The decision today shows that we have clearly entered an age where Washington, the government, will be controlling health care unless something changes.
Most Americans still, still like the health care they have, and the president has continued to say that his law will allow folks to keep the health care they like. But what we have seen is that is just not the case. Obama-care will preclude people from having the health care they would like. We have seen this law increase costs, and we are committed to changing that.
We are committed to making sure that we can return to patient- based health care in this country, where we can keep the costs low, and we can increase access. That's why when we return on July 9th, I have scheduled a total repeal of the Obama-care bill to occur on Wednesday, July 11th. And in that way we can clear the way to again try to again focus on accomplishing a health care future that is premised on the patient-centered care, lowering costs and affording better access.
REP. MIKE MCCARTHY, (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Today's decision by the Supreme Court did nothing to end the debate on health care in America. It only enhanced. The decision --
(END LIVE FEED)
CROWLEY: You are listening to the House Republican leadership. That's Mike McCarthy, and before that Eric Cantor, the Republican leader in the House, and before that John Boehner.
I want to bring Jessica Yellin back in.
Jessica, there is an echo in here, because we have passed this way before. And both parties using the Supreme Court decision to jump off, are back in place where they were two years ago, arguing those arguments.
YELLIN: That is right. I talked to Republicans today who said this is -- still they're trying to spin it as a victory for them, because it at least it puts the issue back in front of voters who consider this is a polarizing debate. and so now they will have a chance to continue to hammer away at the issue. And now, some Republicans are insistent that they will focus on what is now quote, "a tax," which is unpopular.
I can tell you, Candy, have I talking points that the various components of the Democratic party have sent around to the surrogates, people who speak for the president, the party, on tv shows. Some of the things they are telling them to emphasize is that the Obama health care plan included the largest health care tax cut in history. They want to emphasize that there is a tax cut contained in it. They also want to emphasize that if Republicans argue that this health care law raises taxes, then Romney also raised taxes when he was a governor, because he also passed a mandate.
You will see a huge debate over the tax issue. You'll see the Democrats, the president included, because you heard it earlier, how some of the more popular provisions within the health care bill, expanding health insurance to kids under 26, preventative care for free, and things like that -- Candy?
CROWLEY: Thank you, Jessica.
I want to see if the Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick got those talking points. he is here now.
And obviously, Governor, you are a strong supporter of Barack Obama. You are in Boston.
DEVAL PATRICK, (D), GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: How are you, Candy.
CROWLEY: I'm very good. And it's good to see you, sir. Thank you for doing this.
What I want to know is, what is the argument now, as you say, the political argument? What does the president have to do and say out there, and how do you see the Republicans pushing back? Put on your analyst hat for a moment.
PATRICK: A couple of things. Well, Candy, this is a real victory for people and that has to be first and foremost and not just political reasons, and not mainly for political reasons, but because it is true. Here in Massachusetts, for the last six years, using a model just like national health care reform, the Affordable Health Care Act, we have reached 99.8 percent of children and 98 percent of the overall population with insurance. And we are healthier by any measure. the cost of health care has come down on a per capita basis and not busted the budget. More employers are offering health insurance than ever before. And the list of horrors that Governor Romney has talked about today and the congressional Republicans have talked about were not reality here in Massachusetts where we have tried that. Those are important points to make for the American public.
CROWLEY: Sure. And the states are very different from the federal government, because it is a much -- you know, there are many demographics that change a one-size-fits-all law, which is what Governor Romney or former Governor Romney is arguing now. You are hearing him say that the initial reaction is that just because it's constitutional, it is not meaning it is great law, and he's saying, on day one, he will repeal it, which is a slight exaggeration, because he can't repeal it alone. what is your reaction to hearing him now, having putt in place the Romney-care in Massachusetts that you now praise? And what is your reaction to hearing him talking about undoing Obama-care?
PATRICK: It is extraordinary to me that Governor Romney essentially tried to separate himself from something that has done so much good for so many people here at home. And it doesn't sound like to me that a leader is speaking when I hear it. Frankly, I get the sense that if national health care reform were polling differently, Governor Romney's expressions of support or opposition would be very different. The fact is that --
CROWLEY: Well, he is not polling all that well. What do you make of that? If it has -- and it does have wonderful things in it that people tend to like, and it does not poll that well?
PATRICK: I know. It is a phenomenal that I have noticed here at home, and our own health care reform polls very, very strong, and somewhere 60 percent to 70 percent favorable. and national health care reform here in Massachusetts polls about 50-50 and they are the same thing.
So I think that this is a great opportunity for the president and his team and all responsible leaders to talk about all of the good components in the bill, and the fact that 30 million people who had no insurance will have it. And the fact that medication and procedures will go down. And health care for small businesses will be more affordable.
PATRICK: And young people can stay on their parents' health care.
CROWLEY: All those things - all those things were true before --
(CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: I'm sorry. All of those things were true before the Supreme Court decision, and all of those things that you are mentioning, as Democrats look at it, positive things. The president is -- but the Democrats have not been out campaigning on it, so they must also --
CROWLEY: -- believe it is not all that popular?
PATRICK: Well, I am agreeing with you. I think that frankly, everybody has been a little squishy in how they have stepped up and talked about this, mostly because folks were concerned whether the law will endure a constitutional challenge, and it has. That part is over. And what the court did -- and it is a victory for the constitutional system -- is say, look, this is not about whether you like it this way of dealing with a national challenge, but the question is whether the Congress had the power to try to solve the problem this way. And the court has said that the Congress had that power. Now, let's get on with the implementation, and more to the point, bring the benefits to everyday families and everyday individuals.
CROWLEY: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, thank you for your time today.
PATRICK: Thank you, Candy. Thanks for having me.
CROWLEY: We have to take a quick break. But on the other side, Fredricka Whitfield has been out and about in Georgia, getting some reaction on the ground.
CROWLEY: The Supreme Court decision to uphold Obama-care will impact all Americans in how they get medicine and receive health care.
Grady Hospital in Atlanta is one of the busiest hospitals in the United States, and we talked to the CEO of that hospital earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HAUPERT, CEO AND PRESIDENT, GRADY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Many of our patients, approximately one-third of our patients have no payment source right now. Two of our local counties, Holton and DeKalb County in Atlanta, support us in off-setting the cost of care. But it does not cover the cost and it does not cover the cost for all of the insured patients. So now that the folks have a payment source. we will have payment for providing the services to the patient.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: I want to bring in Fredricka Whitfield. She is still outside of Grady Hospital.
Fredricka, we heard from the CEO, but what other reaction are you getting as you talk to people?
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, while the president was talking about the 30 million Americans who will, by 2014, have access to affordable health care. I talked to a number of parents outside of Grady Memorial Hospital, which is the state's largest safety net hospital, which means it provides care to uninsured and underinsured patients. And I talked to the patients and mixed reviews about the Supreme Court ruling.
JAMES HENDERSON, GEORGIA RESIDENT: I don't think that the law should dictate whether you should have insurance or should not have insurance.
WHITFIELD: But you wish you had insurance.
HENDERSON: I do wish I had insurance right now.
WHITFIELD: And what is standing in the way of that is?
HENDERSON: The affordability of jobs -- not being able to pay for the insurance without a job right now is basically the problem I have.
JEFFREY BLACKMAN, GEORGIA RESIDENT: I don't think it should be a penalty, but I feel like it should offer a mandate health care to the people who can't afford health care, because we have people who come into the hospital everyday that don't have insurance, but then turn around and they have to pay this high cost when they come out of the hospital.
ALEXIS CHARLES, GEORGIA RESIDENT: I don't feel like it is constitutional. we should all have the right to make that determination ourselves. And for those who cannot afford health care, they have a family, and they are unemployed, what happens to them? What are the consequences if they are unable to provide that source for their family?
WHITFIELD: And you notice, Candy, regardless of the ruling, two of the three patients I talked to who are uninsured still have questions about the effectiveness of the individual mandate and the believability of whether affordable health care will be indeed made available in their state.
Now, this hospital has incurred and continues to incur millions of dollars in expenses as a result of the 40 percent of the patients who are uninsured or underinsured, so that is why fundraising is still going to be vital to keep it up and running.
Lisa Borders is the president of the Grady Health Foundation.
And, Lisa, how might this act reduce the operating cost of the hospital in two years when it is an individual mandate being enforced, when it means that everyone must have health insurance, some sort of affordable insurance in order to come to a hospital such as yours?
LISA BORDERS, PRESIDENT, GRADY HEALTH FOUNDATION: Certainly. Fredricka, the only way that that works in the state of Georgia is if the state expands the Medicare coverage, if it finances health care the way that the law provides. So if this state steps up, increases the amount that it pays and how it pays, it will work. Otherwise, we are in the same situation that we are in today.
WHITFIELD: Who do you see as the winners in this equation? This Supreme Court ruling? Is it the patients who are the winners, because affordable health care as spelled out will be made available, or the institutions such as yours that continue to incur rising health care costs?
BORDERS: Well, the primary beneficiary is always the patient. Because those that do not have health care, run the risk of coming to us in crisis. Rather than annual exam, they have a heart attack or stroke. And so we see them when it is $2 million versus $200. So if we can prevent that, then the patient wins.
WHITFIELD: Thank you, Lisa Borders. Appreciate that.
BORDERS: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Candy, back to you.
CROWLEY: Thank you, Fredricka Whitfield, so much.
Guess what, we have Dr. Sanjay Gupta in our little version of the waiting room, an affiliate in the New York studio. And he is going to take your questions next.
CROWLEY: We want to know how you are reacting to the Supreme Court ruling upholding the health care law.
Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is taking your questions through Twitter and e-mail. He's everywhere.
We want to get right to you.
This first one is from Delie in Ohio, who writes, "I'm a 56-year- old diabetic who was recently laid off from work. My COBRA payment is $550 a month, which is more than half of her unemployment. I am worried if I can't find a new job soon, I'm going to have to drop the COBRA, because I need to pay her other bills. Will I be able to get another plan even though I have a pre-existing diabetes"?
A little first person, third person. But the general question being, can you now get on a play somewhere even with pre-existing diabetes?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she will be able to but not away. some of the plans will kick in in 2014. In the interim, she may qualify depending upon her overall health condition for something that is a high-risk pool. It is people who are unable to get health care insurance, who, in 2014, they will no longer be discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions. But between now and then, she may be able to join one of the high-risk pools under the Affordable Health Care Act.
Let me give you a few other numbers. She said something interesting here. Her health care premium, what she's paying is half of what she is taking in, a significant chunk. Everyone is going to have to have health care insurance, Candy, but for people who can't afford it, there are two mechanisms that are going to sort of kick in. One is a frank tax credit, that's for people between 100 to 400 percent poverty. But for someone like this particular viewer, if she is making less than $14,000 a year -- which is what it sounds like, because she says that $500 is half of her income per month, so less than $14,000 -- she could qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is being expanded under the Affordable Health Care Act as well, so that is her best bet. But again, some of it kicks in about a year and a half from now. In the interim, she will qualify for a high-risk pool.
CROWLEY: The Medicaid does not kick in for another year and half, the Medicaid expansion, correct?
GUPTA: The expansion of Medicaid, yes, to 133 percent of poverty level.
One from Twitter, Sanjay. This is from noma2300. "I am one of the people getting a 39 percent rate increase -- ACA put a stop to this abuse."
Is it true that the law will now prevent insurance companies from hiking up prices for people who are sick? Is that in place yet?
GUPTA: I think the best a way to characterize it is that this person, this particular viewer, whatever their health conditions may be, will be treated no differently than anybody else sort of in their community, whether they're healthy or not. Rate increases, premium increases may still happen. We've seen them over the last year, even, while this law was in effect. And come 2014, you may still see premium increases for all sorts of different reasons. But I think the point is, a 39 percent increase, obviously, is much higher than the average increase. So someone, regardless of their pre-existing health conditions, regardless of any illness that they may have, their increases should be no different than other people in their community.
CROWLEY: Sanjay Gupta, thanks for sticking with us today. Appreciate it.
GUPTA: You got it.
CROWLEY: How is the stock market reacting to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act? We're going live to the New York Stock Exchange.
CROWLEY: A quick review course now on the Affordable Care Act, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court. First, it requires people to have health insurance. It will not let insurance companies deny pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies can't charge sick people higher premiums. And they can't drop people who become sick. Insurance companies cannot set lifetime limits on insurance and no co- pays on preventative care. It includes subsidies for millions of people to help them buy insurance and state-level plan comparison exchanges. Employers with more than 50 employees have to provide insurance. Young adults up to 26 can stay on their parents' plan. The prescription drug doughnut hole will be filled. And there are tax credits for individuals and small businesses.
The country has been waiting all week for the Supreme Court decision on health care. Wall Street is no different. Industries directly impacted by the health care law are making some huge moves today.
Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange.
Alison, who's up?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right. So hospital shares, Candy, they are climbing across the board. And the reason why you're seeing that because what's going to happen is once this really goes into effect, the hospital groups are really going to have more customers, more people are going to be forced to buy insurance, who wouldn't have otherwise bought insurance. So that will bring extra money, coming in for these hospitals. And the people who visit these hospitals will actually be able to pay their bills, their hospital bills, when they get care. So today we are watching shares of, let's say, Community Health Systems and HHCA, they're up. And health care providers are also up. The reason why, about 1,500 people are more likely to be shifted into Medicaid. Also, states are going to be getting tax credits for the incoming Medicaid recipients. So we are watching shares of AmeriGroup and Molina. they're up 6.5 percent. Experts said many big health care companies wanted to see the law upheld, because they'd worked so hard to actually adapt to it -- Candy?
CROWLEY: Alison, who are the losers today?
KOSIK: We're definitely seeing insurance companies losing ground, that's despite an influx of new members who are going to be paying premiums, meaning more money for the insurance companies. But the reason why investors aren't buying into insurance companies today is because it's the insurance companies that are also going to be forced to ensure those riskier patients. So what it amounts to is that costs are going to go up. So we're watching shares of WellPoint, losing 7 percent. United Health, Cigna and Aetna, they're all down as well.
Now, many of these companies are also heavily exposed to Medicaid. Health care reform actually cut their Medicare reimbursements. And what it also did was institute a situation where these insurers have spend more of their premium money on actual medical claims -- Candy?
CROWLEY: Alison Kosik on Wall Street for us. Thank you very much.
CROWLEY: Coming up, more reaction to the Supreme Court's big decision today on your health care.
CROWLEY: We're getting reaction from the medical community to the landmark decision by the Supreme Court, upholding President Obama's health care law. The American Medical Association, the AMA, had this to say: "We are pleased that this decision means millions of Americans can look forward to the coverage they need to get healthy and stay healthy." And the American Cancer Society had this to say: "The ruling is a victory for people with cancer and their families nationwide, who, for decades, have been denied health coverage, charged far more than they can afford for life-saving care, and forced to spend their life savings on necessary treatment, simply because they have a pre-existing condition." Big thumbs up, at least from that part of the medical community.
That's it for us. CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Brooke Baldwin.