Return to Transcripts main page
Health Bill Faces Uphill Battle In Senate; President's First Foreign Trip; House Approves New Sanctions On North Korea. Aired 5:30-6a ET
Aired May 5, 2017 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[05:30:20] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to get this passed through the Senate. I feel so confident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: A confident President Trump. The Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare heads to the Senate where a mountain of opposition and work awaits now. Is the House majority in jeopardy after passing this bill? It's certainly what the Democrats are hoping for. Welcome back to EARLY START, I'm Christine Romans.
DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: I'm Dave Briggs. The hashtag #iamapreexistingcondition --
BRIGGS: -- that is the number one trending topic on Twitter. That's the narrative right now on the left. Can the GOP flip that debate? We'll see. This morning, the battle to repeal and replace Obamacare begins anew in the Senate. Conservative and moderate Republicans will try to compromise to get to 51 votes, certainly no small task with only 52 Republicans in the Senate.
The open question, how much of the newly-passed House bill, including last-minute changes on preexisting conditions, will end up in the Senate version? Senators warn some parts may not fit under budget reconciliation rules that allow them to pass a bill with just 51 versus 60 votes. Despite the obstacles ahead, President Trump declaring his optimism overnight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think we'll get it through. The Republicans are very united like seldom before. I mean, you see that today. The Republicans came together all of a sudden, two days ago, and it was like magic. They're very, very united. You saw that today and you'll see it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: The bill is stacked with policy changes. It eliminates certain taxes on the rich, it has deep Medicaid cuts, and allows higher premiums on older people in age tax, the AARP calls it. With that in mind, Republican Senate leaders are already saying they'll take a different path from the House, building consensus with an unrushed deliberative process, including waiting for a score from the Congressional Budget Office -- waiting for the number of how much it will cost taxpayers and, frankly, how many people would be uninsured. We begin our coverage with CNN's Sunlen Serfaty on Capitol Hill.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave and Christine. Well, House Republicans have been promising and campaigning on repealing and replacing Obamacare for the last seven years, so this certainly is a significant legislative win for them, but to note, this is a short-term victory. There still is a lot of work to do and the battle now heads over to the Senate where they will take up this bill for consideration, and that's something that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke about and alluded to when he was celebrating this win in the Rose Garden with President Trump.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Today was a big day but it is just one step in this process, an important step. We still have a lot of work to do to get this signed into law and I know that our friends over the in Senate are eager to get to work. (Laughter) They are. We're going to see that work through. You know why we're going to see this work through? Because the issues are just too important. The stakes are just too high.
SERFATY: And as the Senate now gets started on their piece of the work on all of this many Senate Republicans already expressing concern not only of the process of how the bill got over to them -- the fact that it wasn't scored by the CBO, the fact that many of them felt it was rushed -- but also about the policy of this. Many senators describing the House bill as just a starter piece, a skeleton. So that's the big question now. How much of the House bill will the Senate actually keep? Very clear they are setting themselves up to make significant, potentially dramatic changes -- Dave and Christine.
ROMANS: All right. A very busy day for Sunlen yesterday. Thank you. Republican lawmakers say the new bill will lower costs. Critics say it could leave millions facing higher bills or the uninsured. There are always winners and losers in big legislation and this is big legislation. So let's break it down. Who does the GOP bill help? It helps younger Americans. They save under the new plan. They help to pay for older people under Obamacare that shared the risk, right? So their premiums under this bill would shrink up to $4,000 a year. The less healthy -- or the healthy, rather, pay less. States can offer cheaper plans if they waive coverage for things like maternity benefits and prescription drugs.
BRIGGS: And the rich get a tax cut. The bill's too high income taxes used to pay for Obamacare. If that's who benefits, who's the hardest hit? Well, mainly older, low-income Americans -- Trump's base, really. Many Obamacare provisions that helped lower-income Americans disappear, like subsidies. Those making $20,000 at any age would see less money under the new tax credits -- $5,900 less for a 60-year-old.
ROMANS: In fact, adults in their sixties would see their premiums go up 22 percent according to the AARP. That's why they're calling this an age tax. That's why the AARP, the lobby for older Americans, is solidly against this. Older Americans could pay five times as much as younger policyholders. The new bill also hurts Medicaid. Not only does it end the plan's expansion but it cuts the current amount of federal support. That's hurts low-income children, the disabled, and senior citizens.
[05:35:20] And what about those preexisting conditions? People with preexisting conditions could be charged more or lose their coverage. States don't have to guarantee that insurers cover everyone -- cover everyone, and critics say the GOP replacement of these high-risk pools doesn't have enough funding. The GOP has set aside $138 billion total to offset the cost of the bill.
BRIGGS: Just a couple of questions for CNN political analyst Josh Rogin, a columnist for "The Washington Post."
ROMANS: Hi, Josh.
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Hello.
BRIGGS: Josh, great to have you on this morning as we try to figure out not just what's in this bill but what lies ahead. And let's push this thing forward a little bit because we know Republicans say premiums will go down, options will increase. Democrats are saying this is a tax cut for the rich. But the reality in the Senate -- how much will what passed the House survive?
ROGIN: Right. Well, in a way, the House did the Senate a favor by passing this without really understanding what's in it, about having a CBO score, doing it sort of before most of the members could actually read it. It gives the Senate a really good excuse for sort of just starting from scratch. From sort of taking what they like out of the House bill and keeping it, and taking what they don't like and discarding it. They have a very good political argument to make here and that's exactly what they're going to do.
And I think very broadly what we're going to see is that while the House bill moved to the right, right, from the original version, they don't realize that it was better to get conservatives happy and then make a deal with moderates rather than the other way around. The Senate's going to have the opposite dynamic. They're going to have to have a bill that's much more amenable to moderates and then they're going to have to do things to bring the conservatives around. So what does that mean? It means that they have to scale down some of the most drastic things in the bill --
ROGIN: -- especially on the preexisting conditions, especially on the drastic tax cuts, especially on the things that will affect what, according to the CBO in the last version of the bill, 24 million people losing their health care coverage over the next 10 years. You know, if you're a House member in Republican-safe district you can fudge a lot of those things, but these senators, they have a broader constituency. They have a much more moderate, average voter and they're going to have to make this something that more people in more states can be OK with, and that's going to be the broad shift that you're going to see between the House and the Senate.
BRIGGS: And to be clear about whatever that CBO score is, Republicans say that part of the 24 million, if you will, that will be left uninsured --
BRIGGS: -- is choosing not to have coverage --
ROMANS: Declining coverage, not losing coverage.
BRIGGS: -- because there is no mandate. I just wanted to clear that up.
ROMANS: Declining coverage.
ROGIN: Yes, I think that's exactly right. I think young, healthy people --
ROGIN: -- don't want to pay a lot for expensive insurance. The problem is that they don't stay young and healthy forever --
ROGIN: -- and then someone's got to pay.
ROMANS: And the point of insurance is to protect against the unexpected. I mean, when you look at some of these policies that allow you --
BRIGGS: That's true.
ROMANS: -- to not have to pay for hospitalization -- you know, have policies that don't pay for hospitalization. You know, the reason why, before Obamacare, so many families were bankrupted by medical costs is because you get in a car accident and you have one of those plans, and suddenly you've got all these medical bills and you're out of luck anyway, right?
ROGIN: Right, and if you can't pay, who pays? The hospitals, right?
ROGIN: And if the hospitals can't pay, who pays? The states, right? So the federal government pays a lot less but everyone else could actually end up footing that bill.
ROMANS: You know, part of this is that this is a shell, right? It's what I think a lot of the public is getting its head around is that this was -- this was passed as a shell, right, to be filled by the Senate with other -- with other provisions. And I want you to listen to something that Rep. Chris Collins told Wolf yesterday that is exactly what the -- what the criticism was of Obamacare. It was oh, it was so big you didn't even read this bill. And now, you're hearing the same criticism and toRepublicans -- listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Did you actually sit down and read the entire bill, plus all of the amendments?
REP. CHRIS COLLINS, (R) NEW YORK: I will fully admit, Wolf, I did not, but I can also assure you my staff did. We have to rely on our staff. I had many meetings within Energy and Commerce. We rely on our staff and we rely on our committees, and I'm comfortable that Iunderstand this bill in its entirety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: But we also just don't know what it's going to look like going forward, right?
ROGIN: Yes. I mean, it's sort of passive acknowledgment that no matter what the House passes, no matter what the Senate passes, the real action will be in this closed conference after the two chambers --
ROGIN: -- get together and the leadership and, you know, I'm sure a heavy dose of adult supervision from the administration, and then they'll come up with something that might not even have anything to do with what the House passed or what the Senate passed. So everyone's just trying to get to that and if they can get to that, then they'll do all this -- these back-room negotiations. And then they'll emerge with something and that something will either drastically and spectacularly fail or it will become the new law of the land. So I think everyone just wants to sort of move the process along and get to that point, and that's where the real action will be and that's totally unpredictable.
[05:40:03] BRIGGS: All right. Moving this story along, the president heads abroad soon. We learned yesterday that his first foreign trip will include Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Vatican. You've written extensively on the president wanting to try and solve the age- old mystery of Middle East peace and said the other day that well, it's not actually as difficult as past administrations might think. What approach will he take to this that several presidents past have failed?
ROGIN: Well, it's not clear that he has a new approach. If he does it's a very tightly-held secret, so tightly held that even the parties in the region don't know what it is. But the point of this trip is to just show that the president is really committed to this. He's going to go to Saudi Arabia first and he's going to have big meetings with lots of Arab countries, Muslim countries. The idea here is to get the Arabs on board before you put -- get the Israelis and the Palestinians back into a room together.
Then he's going to go to Israel where he's going to make a speech. This was breaking news first on CNN. He's going to make a speech at Mount Masada, the ancient fortification just south of Jerusalem. And then he's going to go to the Vatican where he's going to meet with the Pope, which could be a little awkward considering the Pope said he's not a Christian and he said the Pope was brainwashed by the Mexicans. But I'm sure they'll all get along now.
ROMANS: Oh, no, no, no, and that's a -- you know, if you just look at what the president with the Australian prime minister yesterday. All that stuff that happened before is all gone.
BRIGGS: Bygones, sure.
ROMANS: Let's listen --
ROMANS: Let's listen to a little bit of that sound where the President of the United States is complimenting the Australian prime minister on Australia's health care plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have a failing health care -- I shouldn't say this to a great gentleman and my friend from Australia because you have better health care than we do, but we're going to have great health care very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Correct me if I'm wrong but Australia has basically universal -- a universal health care plan, doesn't it?
ROGIN: Yes, and it's also not clear that it's better. It's just another example of President Trump learning foreign policy on the job. Remember when he first talked to the Australian leader and he didn't seem to be aware that President Obama had agreed to accept over 1,000 refugees from Australia, and then he had to walk that back?
I mean, this whole trip abroad is a huge test for the president and the test is can he get through it, you know, showing sort of a level of leadership and engagement without making gaffes just like this one, OK. So far, the record has not been stellar but this is a president who is just basically learning foreign policy as he goes and he only has one way to go, up. He's going to get better at this.
ROGIN: It's just kind of, you know, nail-biting and excruciating and sometimes disheartening to watch him.
ROMANS: Are you surprised that he delayed his meeting with the Australian prime minister so he could do a Rose -- you know --
BRIGGS: Rose Garden.
ROMANS: -- Rose Garden speech?
BRIGGS: It's celebratory.
ROGIN: Listen, I've been covering foreign policy a long time. That's all presidents -- you know, all politics are domestic. And look, I remember when President Obama, you know, skipped a trip to Indonesia for his own health care bill for like a procedural thing that ended up not meaning anything. He did that twice, right? So foreign policy always gets the short trip. That's not new in this administration. You know, he'll get to it eventually and I think these leaders kind of understand that at this point.
ROMANS: Josh Rogin --
BRIGGS: Great to have you, my friend.
ROMANS: Happy Friday.
BRIGGS: Enjoy the weekend.
ROMANS: All right. A big jobs report due out this morning. What to expect, what it means for your money and your paycheck. Hint -- we're expecting wages to go up. That should be good, right?
BRIGGS: That's some good news.
[05:47:42] ROMANS: All right. Jobs day in America. America's job market poised for a rebound. The April jobs report comes out this morning. What can it tell us about President Trump's economy, especially given his promise of creating 25 million new jobs? First, what do economists expect? They expect an unemployment rate at 4.5 percent, solid wage growth -- that would be nice -- and 190,000 new jobs. A bump after the slowdown of only 98,000 in March.
That could be good news for the president. He boasted about previous strong jobs reports but he did not take credit for weak GDP data over the same time period. He blamed that on President Obama. So can he take credit for today's number? Well, corporate America loves his pro-business policies. He inherited a strong economy of job gains and falling unemployment but the question here -- the true test will be if his plans for tax cuts and deregulation pass, and they ultimately stimulate growth and create jobs.
If the president wants to reach that 25 million goal, he's a little behind. He needs to create about 208,000 jobs per month and the numbers just aren't there exactly yet. We're going to find out the exact number when I break live at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
BRIGGS: The White House vote to repeal Obamacare fodder for late- night shows. Comedian Stephen Colbert, who came under a lot of fire earlier this week after that crude joke about President Trump, he took aim at the vote, using a "Star Wars" theme since it was happening all on May the 4th, "Star Wars Day."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": I think the Republicans may have fourthed you off your health insurance because the House voted to repeal and replace Obamacare just a few hours ago. (Booing) For more, let's go to our congressional-- no, I know the feeling. Let's go to our congressional reporter, Ben. Ben, what was that moment like?
ALEC GUINNESS (OBI-WAN "BEN" KENOBI), "STAR WARS": As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
COLBERT: Thanks, Ben. Now -- he's a good kid. Of course, the big question is whether the new plan will cover preexisting conditions and the answer is a definite "nih." Opting out -- a very popular provision with many of the states who already fly the traditional opt- out flag. And the term -- yes, I agree and I'm from there. And, the new bill could cut taxes for the wealthy up to $883 billion. Now listen, if hearing that raises your blood pressure, calm down. You can't afford the medication anyway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[05:50:10] BRIGGS: All right. Just to get wonky now because --
ROMANS: Oh, please.
BRIGGS: -- some of those tax cuts, they don't even go away until 2023. And let's be honest, the reality of this country, we might be on an entirely different health care system by 2023.
ROMANS: Well, we --
BRIGGS: We might be repealing Trumpcare and moving on to the next thing.
ROMANS: Oh, my gosh, which is not child's play, you know. This is something that really matters. All right, 50 minutes past the hour. More trouble for Uber. The company is facing criminal charges. We'll tell you why on CNN Money Stream, next.
BRIGGS: Members of the House Intelligence Committee expressing frustration after a classified briefing with FBI Director James Comey. Sources tell CNN the long-awaited, closed-door session revealed few details about the Bureau's investigation of Russia and its ties to the Trump campaign. They say the answers provided by Comey during this two-hour briefing were the same he made in public one day earlier, with Democrats focusing on Russia's meddling in the election and Republicans pressing for more details on the source of classified leaks -- classified information to the media.
[05:55:23] ROMANS: The Senate now set to take up additional sanctions against North Korea after the House overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions on Pyongyang. The sanctions targeted the shipping industry and people who employ slave labor. The vote also requires the Trump administration report to Congress within 90 days on whether to relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Tensions have been on the rise in recent weeks over North Korea's advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
BRIGGS: The Pentagon announcing it is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan in an effort to break what it calls the stalemate with the Taliban there. U.S. military officials say the troops would assist in the NATO-led mission to train and advise the Afghan army and sending them is only part of the broader set of recommendations for U.S. involvement in the future. The Pentagon plans to present options to the president within a week.
ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Stock futures flat, global markets mostly lower after a pretty flat close on Wall Street. Investors tuning into that jobs report, and more earnings for big companies. The Dow fell as much as 100 points yesterday before closing down just six.
It was dragged down by energy stocks. Energy stocks down two percent.So why are energy stocks down? Well, oil prices fell more than three percent overnight. Right now, crude -- it's about $45 a barrel, the lowest since OPEC agreed to slash production in November. The historic agreement initially gave prices a boost, however, high output and sluggish demand for gas has renewed fears of a supply glut.
More trouble for Uber. The ridesharing company is under criminal investigation for using software to avoid regulators. Reuters first reporting that the Department of Justice is looking into a program called 'Greyball.' Uber reportedly used the software to hide cars in areas the company was not yet allowed to drive. In a statement to "CNN MONEY," Uber denied the charges, adding that the program was mainly used to hide drivers from users who violate their terms of service.
A new bill in one of the country's largest labor markets is taking aim at the gender pay gap. Employers in New York City will no longer be able to ask applicants about their salary history. Women earned just shy of 80 cents for every dollar men made in 2015, looking at census figures, and experts say asking an interviewee about her salary history just perpetuates that problem. More than 20 states are considering similar legislation. The law would go into effect in October. It's a really fascinating little lever, I guess. There's so many reasons for the pay gap. I mean, a lot of reasons.
ROMANS: You can't really crystalize it into one thing.
BRIGGS: You can't put your finger on one thing, yes.
ROMANS: It's a lot of different things. It would be interesting to see if that -- if that helps.
BRIGGS: All right. So, "NEW DAY" -- they're going to try to get to the bottom of this health care bill and what it means.
ROMANS: Good luck.
BRIGGS: Sanjay Gupta will join them to try to break down what the policy means. And an interesting thing we haven't talked about is governors.
BRIGGS: Will they apply for that waiver? Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson will talk about that waiver. Will they apply for it, will they get it, and what it means for the states?
ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Thanks for being with us this morning.
BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Enjoy "NEW DAY" and enjoy the weekend. We'll see you on Monday, everybody.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We will have great, great health care for everyone in our nation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
REP. JIM MCGOVERN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: If the American people could sue Congress for malpractice my Republican friends would be in deep trouble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm confident that we just made a vote to stop this death spiral.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you have a preexisting condition you may have just lost your health care.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a fraud, this bill, and we're going to fight it with all we have.
TRUMP: We're going to get this passed through the Senate. I feel so confident.
HOUSE DEMOCRATS (Singing): Hey, hey, goodbye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota. CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right. We want to welcome our viewers in
the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, May 5th, 6:00 here in New York. And up first, the battle to repeal and replace Obamacare now shifting to the Senate. Believe it or not, this House battle was the easy part. This is an uphill fight in the Senate, to say the least. Some Senate Republicans reject this House bill outright, saying they're going to write their own version.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: But that is not stopping President Trump from celebrating his first legislative win. So how are lawmakers going to answer constituents who may be angry about their vote? We have it all covered for you so let's begin with Suzanne Malveaux. She is live on Capitol Hill. What's the latest, Suzanne?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Well, House Republicans really taking the first key step towards fulfilling a promise to the American people by passing their health care plan, at least in the House, but this really is far from over. It is really the first step to turning this legislation into law.
TRUMP: I think we'll get it through. Mitch McConnell knows how to do things.