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Historic Floods Devastate Midwest; How the New Health Care Bill Impacts You; Gov. Terry McAuliffe on GOP Health Care Bill. Aired 6:30- 7a ET

Aired May 5, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:32:47] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We have historic flooding devastating parts of the Midwest.

CNN affiliates are reporting that levees are failing in northeastern Arkansas. We're going to have the governor on later today. We'll get a state of what's going on there.

The rising Mississippi and Missouri Rivers also raising fears of levee breaches in parts of Missouri.

CNN's Dan Simon live in hard hit Arnold, Missouri.

Very scary when the water comes over the levee, and everybody who lives there knows it takes a long time to get it and pump it back out, Dan.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, Chris. It has been a very difficult several days. This area has just gotten pummeled by rain. The nearby Merrimack River, and it's spilled into various communities. Some folks using handbags to keep their properties dry. Some 500 homes have been impacted in some fashion.

But the good news is you can see behind me the water level is beginning to recede. You can see some people actually have pumps out trying to get the water out. Also, the sky is clear this morning, and the forecast this weekend is supposed to be good. So, that is good news, but just north of St. Louis where the Mississippi River and the Missouri River converge, there is concern that that area has not crested yet, and that more flooding could result. So, folks watching that area very closely.

Alisyn, we'll send it back to you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK. Dan, thank you very much.

So, is there any relief in sight?

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has everyone's forecast.

What do you see, Chad? CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, this water takes a long time

to go down, Alisyn, and we have 27 rivers that are still in major flood stage or still going up. As Dan was saying, Cape Girardeau, you are 45 feet right now, but you are still going to 49.5, 48.5 in some spots. So, the rivers are still rising south of where that bubble of water is.

Now, the heavy rain is gone. That's good news. The heavy rain is in Louisville right now for the Kentucky Oaks Day. But that rain moves away for the weekend, and eventually moves into New York state, into Pennsylvania, into DuBois State College, Pittsburgh, you could see two to three inches of rainfall there. And although that's not 12 like they saw in Missouri, because it's so mountainous there in parts of the Northeast, you can get some flash flooding as well.

Kind of a cool, raw weekend for the Northeast because of that cloud cover and the rainfall, and even the wind.

[06:35:00] But still, we'll take it compared to what they're seeing in the Midwest, Chris.

CUOMO: True, true. We'll take rain if it means that true disaster is moving away from other people.

MYERS: You bet.

CUOMO: All right. Thanks, Chad. We'll check back with you in a little bit.

MYERS: So, if the GOP health care bill becomes law, what does it mean to you? Whether you are on Medicaid, whether you are in the individual market, whether you get it from your employer. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has done the homework for you.

What you need to know, next.


CAMEROTA: So much of the focus of the GOP health care bill has been on the political maneuvering behind it, but what does it actually mean for you?

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now.

Sanjay, before we get to what it means for the viewers, what does it mean for doctors? Do doctors like this?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it's tough, as you might imagine, to paint the entire medical community with one brush, but I think if you look at the statements released by the major medical organizations, they were not in favor of the AHCA. They looked at it, and they said the big concern here is they felt too many people were going to lose their health care insurance.

[06:40:02] That was the big concern from the major medical organizations. Now, I should point out that if you looked at the grade they gave the ACA, Obamacare, only about 5 percent, or fewer than that, gave that plan an A grade.

CAMEROTA: Meaning when it first came out or today?

GUPTA: No, even today or even over the last year.

CAMEROTA: So, they're not satisfied with Obamacare, but this is no fix to them?

GUPTA: That's exactly right. They weren't happy with the current system, but they didn't think this was the right direction to go.

CUOMO: Now, let's take it to the extreme. What we're hearing in support of this is, well, we had to do something because Obamacare is dying under its own weight. It's in a death spiral. Is that true?

GUPTA: Well, the -- what they're predicating that on is this idea that ultimately you needed to have young, healthy people sign up for the system in order to pay for the system. That was the whole thinking from the start, and they were saying a death spiral because they're saying not enough young, healthy people were signing up. They would rather face the penalty than sign up.

And that's sort of true. It's a little bit true. But it was gaining in popularity even over the last year, so the expectation was that ultimately you would have enough to sort of pay for the system.

Now, what you have is a system where there's no mandate whatsoever. People don't have to sign up. How do you sort of balance it? How are you going to pay for people if the other population is not signing up? That's the question.

CAMEROTA: What's the answer?

GUPTA: Well, I don't know. I mean, it seems like there's a lot of costs that are just being stripped away. You know, nearly $1 trillion out of Medicaid over ten years. You have, you know, this idea of increased competition, lowering costs, you know, allowing people to buy across state lines, for example. There's various things that they say will help pay for it ultimately. We'll wait and see.

CUOMO: There's a phenomenon in government where people are often against services they actually benefit from --

CAMEROTA: It's funny.

CUOMO: -- because they hear about the cost savings. They think it's going to reduce their tax burden, so they like it, and then they realize they were getting some form of service subsidy they didn't even know about.

Now you go into what's going to happen next, and what kind of changes might be made. What are you looking for in terms of priorities in the Senate that weren't in place in the House? GUPTA: Well the biggest one, I think, for a lot of people is this

whole preexisting condition thing. And again, just to explain that, what they've essentially done is they've turfed this decision to the states. They said the states can basically decide and apply for a waiver not to provide absolute protections for those with preexisting conditions. Before it was federal, you couldn't discriminate people with preexisting conditions. Now it's going to be the states that get these waivers.

Someone has to have let their insurance lapse for 63 days. If they do that, they become vulnerable, and they may lose their protection. I think that's the biggest concern, because in many ways those are the people that gain the most out of the Affordable Care Act, and they stand to lose the most now, 117 million people in this country have some sort of chronic disease.

This is not a small number we're talking about. This is a significant number, and for those people, it's hard to get insurance. It was hard to get insurance. It could become hard again.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, we have 30 seconds. If you had a magic wand, what was the one thing that you would have fixed before throwing the baby out with the bath water? What as a doctor did you think need to be fixed with Obamacare?

GUPTA: Yes, it's a big question for 30 seconds. But let me say this, you have a certain percentage of the population that are responsible for most of the health care costs in this country, right? It's a small percentage. Fewer than 10 percent are responsible for most of the health care costs. There are people who you might expect -- chronic diabetes, chronic heart disease, chronic disease.

I think hyper-targeting that population, making sure that they get great health care, they're getting things like home visits so they don't get sick, they don't, you know, progress, I think would have been a big fix.

CUOMO: That is a huge point because one of the arguments for the high risk pools is, you know, relatively, it's a small slice with several hundred thousand, but as Sanjay is pointing out, they wind up paying the most.

What do we do to help those people? Now we're certainly going to do less.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, thank you.

CUOMO: Sanjay, appreciate it, buddy.

GUPTA: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. So, a rivalry is heating up in the NBA playoffs. The Wizards and the Celtics. Saw that, right? Uh-oh. Here it comes. Bringing the pain. Highlights in the "Bleacher Report" next. That was the strongest elbow --


[06:48:08] CUOMO: Did you see the Celtics and the Wizards game last night? Oh, things getting chippy in game three of their series.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report" and the mystery chest bump that sent a Celtic flying ten feet.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I don't know what was better in the game, the acting or the actual basketball? The Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas saying after this one, it's pretty simple. We don't like them. They don't like us. That was pretty clear watching game three.

Check it out, second quarter, Celtics' Kelly Olynyk lays out Kelly Oubre Jr. jumps up and runs over and knocks Olynyk right off of his feet. He was ejected from the game for that.

There were eight technical fouls and three ejections total in this one. The wizards go on to get go the emotional 116-89 win to get back into the series. Game four is Sunday night.

All right. Get your giant hat and mint juleps ready. It's the Kentucky Derby. Don't have a dominant horse in this year's field, Always Dreaming and Classic Empire are the favorites right now.

But look out for the one-eyed horse named Patch. He only has his right eye. He is the sentimental favorite this year. Post time is tomorrow evening at 6:34 Eastern, and Patch actually drew the 20th post.

So, he is going to be on the very outside, Alisyn, which is very interesting because if he jumps out it a good start, he potentially wouldn't see any of the horses in the field since he only has his right eye. He would just look at the grandstand the whole way around.

CAMEROTA: That is an advantage.

CUOMO: Is it? I don't know if it's advantage or disadvantage.

CAMEROTA: There you go. All right. Andy, thank you very much.

CUOMO: All right.

CAMEROTA: Up next, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe says thousands of people in his state will be at risk if Obamacare is repealed, so we talked to him about it, next.


[06:53:38] CUOMO: All right. So, now, it is all in the hands of the Senate when it comes to your health care. Now, many there, including GOPers, are rejecting this health care out of hand, saying they're going to craft their own. Now, how does that measure currently impact states, what was just put on their plate?

Joining us by phone, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. He's also chair of the National Governors Association. They got weather issues down there, the power went out in the studio. The governor jumped on the phone. He is a good soldier.

Governor, it's very important to get your voice because so many of the proponents of this bill keep saying, "This is what the governors wanted. We're helping them by giving them more choice on Medicaid." They just keep leaving out the fact that they're taking away a lot of the money you used to be getting.

Define the situation for us from the state's perspective.

GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA (via telephone): It's absolute false. This is the bait and switch they tried to play, Chris. They said, well, we're going to give you more flexibility, we're going to put it back in your hands, but what they're doing is going to take millions of dollars away from the states. I mean, that's the key issue.

I have two big concerns. Number one, they did this with no idea the impact of people financially, how it's going to affect their health, so they did this without any scoring about CBO. I have never heard something dumb like this before.

So, we don't know how many people are going to be affected. We don't know what the toll -- human cost is going to be or the financial cost. And to take a vote without knowing these answers is totally morally, and I would say fiscally irresponsible.

[06:55:03] Let's be clear: when they say they're going to take it back to the states, they are going to cut funding for us. In Virginia, we have 400,000 individuals who have gotten health care who have been part of Obamacare. These people are now going to be in jeopardy.

They're going to endanger people who have preexisting conditions. They're going to cut essential health benefits. You know, they're going to weaken our ability to keep our residents healthy and economically competitive, and that's how we create jobs.

So, I don't think this will see much of the light of the day in the Senate, but it was disheartening to watch. I just got back last night from a trade mission to Mexico. I got back last night, turned on the TV. They're having a big beer party celebrating what they did.

Well, people are going to lose their lives. People are going to lose their health coverage, and these people think it's a party? They think this is something fun?

There is nothing fun about it, and I can tell you as a governor, we worry about our citizens. We worry that they stay healthy, they can be economically competitive and can compete on a global basis, and what the Republicans have done in Congress is weaken our ability to stay financially and competitively strong on a global marketplace, and they have put people's lives in jeopardy.

CUOMO: The other side says, well, that's what the ACA did, and that's why, you know, a lot of states didn't take the Medicaid expansion. Virginia being one of them. It's in a death spiral. This ACA. Look at Aetna, planning to leave the Virginia exchanges because this current model doesn't work.

Your response?

MCAULIFFE: Well, first of all, I try very hard to get Medicaid expansion. We have forfeited in Virginia, Chris, $10.4 billion.

We get all the money back. It comes out of our pocket. We pay it. You get it back. I could have provided health care for 400,000 Virginians, created 50,000 new jobs, shored up our entire health delivery system here in Virginia.

I remind you, Chris, 31 states took it. The majority of them were Republican governors, including Vice President Michael Pence who was the Indiana governor, John Kasich from Ohio, Arizona.

A majority of the states who took it were Republican governors, and they were very supportive of it, Chris, so that's just a false argument. I wish we had taken it. It was, unfortunately, many of my legislators scared of the Tea Party, they've said to me privately, I would vote for it tomorrow, Governor, but if I do, I'll lose my Tea Party primary.

Our job as governors is to create jobs and have a booming economy and deliver great education, transportation, health care delivery system. Congress that takes actions that fall on our desk, they're not responsible for jobs day to day. They're not. We are. It is just fiscally and morally irresponsible what they have done up there.

But the idea that they're doing this victory dance and bringing in cases and cases of beer to have a party -- come down here to Virginia. Go to one of these health clinics with me. Go out to southwest Virginia where people are hurting out there. They need health care.

This is what it's about. This has done such a disservice to their citizens.

CUOMO: And what do you say about the idea that the ACA was collapsing under its own weight, it's in a death spiral, and they use your state as an example of a big carrier, Aetna, pulling out?

MCAULIFFE: The point, I would go back to, day one, we have to do -- work on ACA and make it stronger. Everybody, Chris, was in agreement, both sides of the aisle. We have a system where millions, nearly 20 million more people have health care coverage today. Work on the system and make it stronger.

And by going in and taking an ax and just cutting the system the way they have done it -- I mean, they're talking about slashing $800 billion, Chris, from Medicaid coverage, $800 billion. Who do you think will be affected by that?

So, the system, they created health care for a lot more people, but we should have made it stronger. What they're doing is now they have put people's lives in jeopardy. People will die if this becomes law of the land. And we should be helping people and making our states more

competitive. I just want to be able to compete in a global marketplace. I need a healthy work force to do it. Republicans are doing nothing, and this administration from day one from the federal hiring freeze, from the travel ban, to the immigration policies have done nothing but hurt states' ability to create jobs and compete on a global basis.

CUOMO: What do you say to governors like Asa Hutchison in Arkansas who said, you know, the Medicaid expansion money was bloated because that's what the Democrats like to do. I'm cutting it here. I have a hybrid in my state because you do need to save money. This current plan didn't work the right way. I'm asking for a cut to go to 100 percent of poverty versus 138. We don't need that bloat?

MCAULIFFE: Well, first of all, in Virginia we have a very lean Medicaid delivery system already, Chris. I mean, if you are a single woman with two children, in parts of Virginia, you have to make less than $6,200 a year. What do you want me to do? Cut it to $5,000 a year.

I mean, at some point, Chris, this is about people's lives. This is about benefitting and helping people.

A single woman making less than $6,200 with two children, I mean, come on! Get real. Stop the politics, let's do what's right. Let's build a strong economy, and let's keep our folks healthy.

We have a very lean system. And in fact, we have one of the leanest systems in all of America, if you look at our system.