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What Does Trumpcare Mean for the People; Interview with Senator Tim Kaine; Atlanta Officers Jump Into Action After Bridge Collapse; Historic Floods Devastate Midwest; Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired May 5, 2017 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Chris, how will the GOP's health care bill impact all of us? We have experts from both sides to break it down next.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So we now see that the Republicans got what they wanted. What would this health care bill, this new Trumpcare reality mean to you?

Let's discuss with Andy Slavitt, former active administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama. He opposes the House GOP bill. And David Hoppe, the former chief of staff to Paul Ryan, currently the senior adviser to one national -- One Nation Health Coalition. One Nation Health Coalition. He think the House GOP bill is a good start.

So let's begin, Mr. Hoppe, with the hurray. Why is this is a good news for Americans?

DAVID HOPPE, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO PAUL RYAN: Well, I think the good news is that what we are trying to do -- what the Republicans are trying to do is change this from a government-dominated system to a system that's controlled by the patient and the doctor.

What the ACA did was put sort of government control on health care which we've had since World War II on steroids.

[07:35:02] Changing that over so that people have choices, access, benefits, health savings accounts and a wide array of opportunities, something that you talked about with the governor in the last segment. States will have the ability to work, to find the best program for the people in their states. That's something they want to do, and this is a first step in that. It's not a complete step but a first step.

CUOMO: All right. So let's talk about that first step, Mr. Slavitt. It sounds good. Get the government out. More about me. More about my doctor. I like it. What do people need to know?

ANDY SLAVITT, ADMIN. OF MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND ACA FOR PRES. OBAMA: Well, I think the thing that people need to know is what the House did yesterday overwhelmingly had very little to do with their own exchanges and their own lives, and really was a very significant cut. And $830 billion cut to Medicaid, which is the program that I think governors around the country and Americans around the country depend upon.

And furthermore, they took the care, the support that goes to older Americans, people in rural America, and people with pre-existing conditions and they put that in jeopardy by increasing the costs and increasing the -- decreasing the protections that Americans enjoy. And I think enjoy a lot of popularity. So it may have been an exciting day in Washington, I think for millions around the country, not so much.

CUOMO: Hey, Mr. Hoppe, can you --

HOPPE: Under the current system what you've seen is premiums rising tremendously on people. And the deductibles are rising for people. So that it got to the point where you could have insurance, you just couldn't afford to pay for it.

CUOMO: All right. Let me --


HOPPE: And that's part of the problem.

CUOMO: All right. Mr. Hoppe, let's --

HOPPE: The underlying problem that has to change.

CUOMO: Yes. Let's just stop right there for a second. And let's take a look at that. OK.

Mr. Hoppe, you said that became the problem. Exploding premiums, high deductibles. How many people are you talking about? You're talking about one slice of the individual market essentially. How many people do you think are affected by premiums that are inarguably spiking and deductibles that are too high? And of course people should remember the rate of increase of costs under the ACA is less than the rate of increasing costs before it. But what is that population? How big a population we're talking about?

HOPPE: The critical answer is who is the population. Not how big is the population. The population of people --

CUOMO: But I want the answer to vote.

HOPPE: No, it's the population of people who need the most help. Who have the health problems. The older people. These are the ones that you have to look at and those are the ones who are getting priced out of the market. And there were a lot of families being priced out of that market.

These are things everybody knew, every candidate for president, left, right, middle, had a plan to do something to adjust the ACA because it simply wasn't going to work long term.

CUOMO: No question that people said they wanted to adjust --

HOPPE: So that's what everybody is trying to do. Republicans want to go in the direction of making it a doctor-patient relationship.

CUOMO: All right.

HOPPE: Instead of the government.

CUOMO: All right. All right. But I get the point. But what I'm saying is nobody was arguing that the ACA didn't need fixes. It's just that that line of not being the most politically expeditious route for the GOP. They wanted their own thing because they have been telling everybody they would repeal and replace.

But, Mr. Slavitt, this notion -- Hoppe doesn't want to talk about the number because it's not an overwhelming number of people. It's a lot. It's too many. It's about 1.5 million to 1.8 million people who are caught up in this spiking trend and there are various reasons for it. But what do you see is the reality?

SLAVITT: Look, if what Mr. Hoppe was saying was indeed accurate, the House -- it's simple. The House would have waited to get a CBO score and would have been happy to demonstrate to the American public through impartial analysis that deductibles were going to go down and premiums were going to go down. The very problems that he complained about are going to get worse. Deductibles are set to go up 60 percent under the Republican plan. Premiums are set to rise 15 percent to 20 percent next year.

So there's no doubt that we need surgical solutions. And if people pull together from both parties which we haven't been able to do over the last number of years, and focus on those surgical solutions that to your point, Chris, affect about one million to two million people, there's no doubt we can solve those problems. Alaska has done it. Other states have done it. But this is a bill that does the exact opposite. This is a bit that takes the very things that people have been complaining about and campaigning on that makes them worse.

CUOMO: Mr. Hoppe.

HOPPE: Well, I think what you need to look at is how are you going to make this better over the long term. And if you look, even the CBO scoring said that the -- that the premiums were going to start to go down after you got through the transition period of getting out of the ACA. Premiums would start to go down for people. That's one of the key things. But more importantly than that, there's four different ways we get health care in this country, depending upon where you are. Most people go through one or two or three or four.

You get it through Medicaid. You get it through your employer. You get it through Medicare or you get it in the private individual market, or a small group market. In all of those, people ought to have the right to have access, benefits, choices. A health savings account. Have different options for their families so that they and their doctor can figure out what they need and the best way to provide the health care needs for that family, for those individuals.

CUOMO: All right. HOPPE: That's what we want to try and do as you move forward, is have

a system which allows people in any of those four areas where we get health care in this country to have the same access, benefits, choices, health saving accounts, opportunities to cover their family.

[07:40:07] CUOMO: All right.

HOPPE: With the doctors they choose and work together to have the best health care for those families. That's what we believe the market will bring. That's what the One Nation Health Coalition is trying to do. Find a way to get to these markets so that individuals and their doctors and their families can work together to find a solution to their problems that's not pricing them out through higher premiums or higher deductibles.

CUOMO: Right. Well, one thing I think I can get both of you gentlemen to agree on is we ain't there yet.

Mr. Hoppe and Mr. Slavitt, thank you very much for joining us -- Alisyn.

HOPPE: My pleasure.

SLAVITT: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Will Democrats work with Republicans in the Senate on the health care plan? We're going to ask Senator Tim Kaine when he joins us live next.


CAMEROTA: Those Democrats taunting Republicans after they pushed through their health care bill in the House with the nah, nah, hey, hey, bye-bye. Now that plan faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Will Democrats, though, ultimately work with Republicans on a new bill?

Joining us now is Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. He is a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Great to see you, Senator.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: Alisyn, great to be with you. Thanks.

CAMEROTA: OK. So we know that Democrats and you do not like the House version of this bill. What worries you the most?

KAINE: Well, the consequences are very, very drastic, Alisyn. As you know, they rushed through the vote before the CBO could score it.

[07:45:04] But when the CBO scored the earlier version which was quite similar, what they said is 24 million people would lose their insurance. That's the combined population of about 16 states. Premiums would go up for many. Medicaid gets slashed.

This bill eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood and even hurts funding for schools providing special education services to kids. So it's a -- the bill is going nowhere in the Senate as many of my Republican colleagues said yesterday. Look, we're just going to work on our own bill because this bill is a nonstarter.

But look, here's a point where we can agree. President Trump made some promises to the American public. He made three. He basically said premiums will go down, nobody will lose coverage and folks with pre-existing conditions will be protected. That's not the case with the House bill. But if we can work toward those three goals.


KAINE: We can find areas to make progress. And that's what my job is going to be as a member of the Health Committee.

CAMEROTA: Look, as you know, Republicans have a lot of issues and they always have with Obamacare. And what they say right now is the reason that it can't stand is because premiums have risen, deductibles have risen and therefore people who even have it effectively can't use it because they can't afford their premiums and their deductibles. They say it's in a death spiral. So they say something had to happen and had to happen now. Do you disagree with those issues that they have on Obamacare?

KAINE: Well, look, I do think we need fixes. I've said that all along. And I've led a group of 15 Democrats saying we'll work with you to repair it anytime. But don't repeal the law that is providing health insurance to millions of people.

The un-insurance rate in this country, Alisyn, is at the lowest it's been for a very long time. And the worst thing you could do is pass a law that would take health insurance away from 24 million people. So if this is about improvements, repairs, reforms, advances, Dems are glad to be around the table. But if it's just about politics, if that's all it's about, no, we're not going to participate in slashing health care for millions to give tax cuts to the richest.

And I'll tell you, this is how you're going to know whether it's about politics or health care. When the House passes a bill, rushes it through before what they know what the CBO score is, it tells you it's not really about health care. It's more about politics. The good news is in the Senate, we're going to get the CBO score. And we should be having hearings to hear from doctors, hear from hospitals, hear from patients.


KAINE: About what they think. And if we are earnest about that, we can find improvements.

CAMEROTA: OK, well, speaking of politics, there is this Democrat who is running for governor in Virginia, Tom Perriello. He wasted no time in turning this GOP bill into campaign gold. And now this ad has gone viral. So let me see -- I don't know if you've seen this. And let me play it for our viewers for a second. Watch this.


TOM PERRIELLO (D), VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Republican leaders are trying to do this to Affordable Health Care.

I'm Tom Perriello. And in Congress, I voted for Obamacare. Because it was wrong that millions of Virginians weren't covered while insurance companies held all the power. Now I'm running for governor. Because it's wrong that most Virginia incomes haven't gone up in 20 years. Together, we can stop Donald Trump, raise wages and build an economy that works for everyone. And we'll make sure this never happens in Virginia.


CAMEROTA: I'm basically impressed that he did that in one take. Because you had to do that in one take as the ambulance is being crushed behind you. But, I mean, obviously this is the larger question for you, Senator, is, are Democrats going to sit back and sort of hope that Republicans are hoisted on their own pilchard here, and hope that you can make hay out of this for the midterms as Republicans did so effectively against Democrats in the midterms in 2010?

KAINE: Well, look, Alisyn, this is a huge issue. I mean, you know, Tom Perriello ran that ad. Ralph Northam, who is the candidate -- the other Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia who I support, Ralph's a pediatrician. Ralph is a doctor who is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act and improvements to it. So you're definitely going to hear that as a feature in the governor's race this year in 2017.

But the right answer for a U.S. senator is like do what's best for the folks. Again, it's an untenable situation to think that we would pass a bill that would take health insurance away from 24 million people. Raise premiums for seniors. Cut services for kids in special education. We're just not going to be a party to that. And it's not -- that's not about politics. That is about trying to have people's backs and protect people who are vulnerable and need health insurance.

So again if the Republicans are true to the promises that Donald Trump made, lower premiums, maintain coverage and protect those with pre- existing conditions, we can find a path forward. And I look forward to working with my colleagues to do that.

CAMEROTA: Senator, why have you -- I just want to ask you about some of Hillary Clinton's comments this week. She sat down with Christiane Amanpour and she sort of was doing kind of a personal postmortem of what went wrong with your campaign -- her campaign, and of course you're connected to that.

[07:50:08] And she seemed to hang much of her loss at the -- or placement of loss at the feet of Director James Comey. Do you agree with that assessment?

KAINE: Well, you know, Director Comey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and I think the testimony made something really plain. There were two rules that the FBI follows with respect to elections. They don't talk about ongoing investigations and they don't put out controversial material on the eve of election. Director Comey made the decision --


CAMEROTA: Right. But she -- Director Comey said unless there was sort of extraordinary circumstances where in the public interest had to know.

KAINE: You know, that's -- yes. That's not really -- well, I that's not -- I don't think that's what the rules are. The rules are there for a reason. Director Comey made a decision himself to break both of those rules with respect to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails and he made the decision to follow the rules and keep silent about the investigation into the Trump campaign's connections with a Russian effort to destabilize the American electoral process.

CAMEROTA: So you also agree that that was the biggest factor?

KAINE: The fact that he -- oh, no, I didn't say that. I'm just saying Director Comey testified this week and he made it very plain that he broke the FBI rules with respect to the Clinton campaign, and he chose not to break the rules with respect to the Trump campaign, and that was a factor. There are many factors, but I think it will go down as probably the lowest moment in the history of the FBI, probably next to the decision of J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap Martin Luther King. And it was unfortunate. But, look, we're all -- you know, we're all now in our places with jobs to do and chief among those jobs is protecting the health care of all Americans.

CAMEROTA: Senator Tim Kaine, always nice to talk to you. Thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.

KAINE: Thanks, Alisyn. Appreciate it.


CUOMO: All right. These floods must be paid attention to. They are devastating the Midwest. We have a live report from hard-hit Missouri, just one of the areas literally underwater. Next.


[07:55:57] CAMEROTA: Brave officers jumped into action and helped save lives after a bridge collapses during the height of rush hour in Atlanta.

CNN's Diane Gallagher has this week's "Beyond the Call of Duty."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flames were so huge and the smoke was so black.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know what's burning. It's up on the 85 bridge.

DIANE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thousands of people just trying to get home. Suddenly a massive fire in their path stuck on a crumbling interstate bridge. A city seemingly paralyzed, except for a few first responders who answered the call that two officers spotted a fire under a bridge, they had no clue just how dangerous the situation was about to get.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Came over the radio and said, we've got a fire under 85.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got the second alarm. We immediately headed out here. There was so much black smoke. It wasn't until I really got close to see -- that I could see the flames bellowing up.

GALLAGHER: Now those flames did not stop Officer Tyler Thomas from jumping out of his patrol car which his supervisor Sergeant Ryan Heald drove to the highway to cut off traffic, Thomas ran up an embankment on to the interstate to get people out of harm's way.

(On camera): You're so focused on making sure that basically nobody crosses this line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And focus on then --

GALLAGHER: And then --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kept on hearing many explosions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very hot and a lot of fire does not do well with concrete.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know anything about bridge supports.

GALLAGHER: But Atlanta Fire Department Battalion Chief James McLemore does.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boom. Boom. Boom. You could hear it. And that's the sign. You've got to take heed to the sign.

GALLAGHER: The increased collapse zone moving everyone out from underneath that interstate bridge. Then just minutes later.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boom. We could have easily buried some people in there.

GALLAGHER: But while the damage was extreme, not one person was injured that day. And many, including the president, credit the responders' quick thinking and willingness to run into danger as the reason why.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Your skill and courage saved many lives and represented true strength.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you get the call from the president's office, you know, that's like a whole another -- that's a game changer.

GALLAGHER: Still, these guys say --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get recognition for what we do rightly appreciate it. But it's not warranted. It's not warranted.

GALLAGHER (on camera): Do you feel heroic?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just feel like it's part of my job. I've done my job.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Diane Gallagher, CNN, Atlanta, Georgia.


CUOMO: What a hero says every time.

All right. Historic floods devastating parts of the Midwest. CNN affiliates report levees are failing in northeastern Arkansas. We just had the governor on saying that there are some extreme situations there. Now there are fears of levy breaches in parts of Missouri.

CNN's Dan Simon live in hard-hit Arnold, Missouri. What's the current state there?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, Chris, it's been a very long week for this opportunity. It just got absolutely pummeled by rain and that caused the nearby Merrimack River to overflow and flooded these communities. You can see they are making some progress. They got the sandbags out, they got the pump out here, and the water level is beginning to recede. But you've got about 500 or so homes that have been impacted.

The good news is the forecast is clear today and again the water level is going down. But folks are looking north of St. Louis to where the Missouri River and the Mississippi River converge. There is concern that those rivers have not crested yet and there could be more flooding perhaps this weekend, Chris, so folks keeping a close eye on that area.

We'll send it back to Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Dan. Thank you very much for that update.

We're following a lot of news this morning, including what health care means to you. Let's get right to it.


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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the American people could sue Congress for malpractice, my Republican friends would be in deep trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am confident that we just made a vote to stop this death spiral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you have a pre-existing condition, you may have just lost your health care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But 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.