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STATE OF THE UNION
Interview With Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price; Could Republicans Lose Congress Over Health Care Reform?; Interview With Ohio Governor John Kasich; GOP Representative, "Nobody Dies" Without Access to Health Care; Hillary Clinton Back in the Political Spotlight; The White House To-Do List. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired May 7, 2017 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Trumpcare. The House hands the president his first major victory in Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ayes are 217. The nays are 213. The bill is passed.
TAPPER: To start repealing and replacing Obamacare.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a great plan. actually I think it will get even better.
TAPPER: But are Senate Republicans on board?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senate will write its own bill. That is clear.
TAPPER: Will the House bill be dead on arrival?
Health and Human Secretary Dr. Tom Price joins us live.
And Democrats' next move. The minority party issues a warning to their colleagues across the aisle on health care.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark on this one.
TAPPER: And even taunts Republicans on the House floor.
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESS MEN AND WOMEN (singing): Hey, hey, hey, goodbye.
TAPPER: Could this cost Republicans control of Congress?
Plus, Hillary Clinton taking stock and pointing fingers.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter and Russian WikiLeaks.
TAPPER: And plotting her next move.
CLINTON: I'm now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance.
TAPPER: Could she be setting up a ground game for another run?
The best political minds will be here on what happens next.
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where state of our union is in a state of flux.
We're watching as potentially big changes take place both as home and abroad. Voting is under way in France, after a turbulent campaign there, where far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is hoping to ride a populist wave into the French presidency. She is challenging center- left candidate Emmanuel Macron, whose campaign saw the results of a last minute e-mail hacking published on Friday.
The winner will lead a nation that has a serious jobs crisis and try to chart a new path on trade and globalization. I believe the French have a term for it. I believe they call it deja vu.
Here in the U.S., Republicans and Democrats are both looking forward to the next front in the battle over health care legislation, the U.S. Senate. As House Republicans celebrated the health care bill big passed on Thursday, Democrats immediately got to work to try to target vulnerable members who voted for it.
Ads around the country are set to air tomorrow mostly in congressional districts won by Hillary Clinton with a Republican representative in the House, including this six-figure TV and digital campaign from the liberal group Save My Care.
Here is a slice of the ad targeted against Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SAVE MY CARE AD)
NARRATOR: Congresswoman McSally just voted for a disastrous health care bill opposed by the American Medical Association, AARP and the American Cancer Society. McSally voted to raise your costs and cut coverage for millions, to let insurance companies deny affordable coverage for cancer treatment and maternity care, and charge five times more for people over 50.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: The legislation does face an uncertain future in the Senate, where Republicans' two-vote margin makes any controversial provision in the legislation a potential bill-killer.
The president just tweeted about this, this morning, writing -- quote -- "Republican senators will not let the American people down. Obamacare premiums and deductibles are way up. It was a lie, and it is dead" -- unquote.
Let's talk more about this with Dr. Tom Price, who is the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Thanks for joining us, Doctor. Appreciate it.
TOM PRICE, U.S. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Well, thanks, Jake. Good to be with you this morning.
TAPPER: So, during the campaign, President Trump presented himself as a different kind of Republican. He said he would protect Medicaid. That is the health care program for the poor and also for people with disabilities.
He said he would do that without making any cuts to Medicaid. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm not going to cut Social Security, like every other Republican. And I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.
Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: "Save Medicaid without cuts."
But according to the Congressional Budget Office, the health care bill that just passed the House would cut $880 billion over 10 years from Medicaid.
Now, I know that the Trump administration is excited that Medicaid will go back to the states, where they have more control and can experiment and be more efficient, but, without question, 880 billion fewer dollars is a cut. How is this not a broken promise?
PRICE: Well, look at the Medicaid program that we have right now, Jake.
And that's a program where one-third of the physicians that ought to be seeing Medicaid patients aren't. And that's because there a fundamental flaw within the program itself.
So, what we're trying to do is to -- and we ask you and the American people to imagine a Medicaid system that actually works better for patients. Medicaid is a system that deals with the disabled, the elderly, healthy moms and kids. And yet the federal government, up to this point, has said to the states, you have got to treat every single one of those individuals exactly the same.
[09:05:05] That doesn't make sense to anybody. So, what we're fashioning is a
system that would allow the states to tailor their Medicaid program to those specific individuals, thereby saving money, yes, but also making it so that they have a higher level of care, higher quality of care than they currently do. That sounds like it makes a lot of sense.
TAPPER: Well, I know a little bit about this because my dad is a pediatrician in South Philadelphia, and he takes Medicaid dollars.
And one of the reasons why so many of his colleagues do not is because the Medicaid reimbursement level for doctors is so little, as opposed to, for instance, the reimbursement level for Medicare, which is for seniors.
Why will cutting $880 billion over 10 years from the program encourage doctors to keep taking it? It sounds to me that it will actually discourage doctors, less money, lower reimbursement rates.
PRICE: Well, remember what the $880 billion is off of. It's off what is called a baseline, which is what the federal government, what the Congressional Budget Office says we would spend if we just continued current law.
The fact of the matter is that Medicaid spending under the proposal and under the budget goes up every single year. And it goes up by a factor that is great -- that is equal to the cost of medical care.
That means that the states will have greater flexibility to provide coverage and care for their Medicaid population than they do right now. And that is incredibly important, because, as your dad sees, I'm absolutely certain, is that oftentimes the Medicaid reimbursement doesn't cover the cost of the provision of the care for those kids that he's taking care of.
Now, imagine a system that allowed greater flexibility, so that more resources could be put to the seniors and the disabled, and appropriate resources could be put to the healthy moms and kids in a Medicaid system. That is a system that, again, works better for patients than it does for government or insurance companies.
TAPPER: But the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, looked at the plan that passed the House, although there were some changes to it, and said 14 million people who are on Medicaid will no longer be able to be on Medicaid.
Governors from around the country, including these seven Republicans I'm about to put on the screen, they are on the record saying they are concerned about these cuts to Medicaid in this health care bill.
If you believe in sending this back to the states, shouldn't you and President Trump be listening to these Republican governors who are on the front lines?
PRICE: Oh, in fact, we have listened, and we have listened very intently and had wonderful meetings with Republican governors. Remember that there are no cuts to the Medicaid program. There are
increases in spending. But what we're doing is apportioning it in a way that allows the states greater flexibility to cover their Medicaid and care for their Medicaid population.
This is incredibly important. And I know that the media loves to talk about the cuts that the CBO talks about. But, again, what the Congressional Budget Office measures is spending as if nothing changes at all, as if the program is doing just fine, thank you very much.
The fact of the matter is, is that the program isn't doing just fine. And so what the president's commitment is, what our commitment is in Health and Human Services is to make certain that those individuals in the Medicaid population get not just the coverage that they need, but the care that they need. And that is what is important.
TAPPER: Are you actually saying that $880 billion in cuts, according to the CBO, however you want to talk about that not being a cut, that that is actually not going to result in millions of Americans not getting Medicaid?
PRICE: Absolutely not.
And we believe strongly that the Medicaid population that will be cared for in a better way under our program, because it will be more responsive to them. These decisions will be made closer to them.
Right now, you have got Washington, D.C., dictating to the states and dictating to patients exactly what must occur. That's not how a healthy health system works. A healthy health system works by allowing those individuals closest to the patients themselves to be making those decisions.
And from the president's perspective and our perspective, that means patients and families and doctors making medical decisions, not Washington, D.C.
TAPPER: Well, as you know, a lot of doctors don't like this plan, including the American Medical Association, which you're a member of, which endorsed you to become secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Tomorrow, a liberal health care group called Save My Care is going to launch a six-figure ad campaign against 24 Republican members of the House who voted to repeal Obamacare in this bill. The ad notes that the bill is opposed by the AMA, the AARP, American Cancer Society.
What is your message out there to someone at home on who looks at that list, who watches this ad, and wonders, if it's such a good idea, why are those three groups against it?
PRICE: Yes, I would surge them to talk to their doctor, talk to their provider.
When I talk to the doctors that I used to practice with right here in Atlanta, what they tell me is that the current system isn't working for them or for their patients. We have got 20 million folks out there across this land who have told the federal government, phooey, nonsense. I'm not going to participate in your program because it doesn't do what I need done.
So, they are paying a penalty. They're paying the IRS a fine or a penalty because the federal government is dictating to them what they don't want to do, or they are saying, give me a waiver.
Now, that is a system, again, that may work for government. It may work for insurance companies, but it's not working for patients. So the system that we want is a system that works for patients and families and doctors.
So, talk to your doctor. Ask your doctor whether or not he or she is having challenges because of what the federal government puts in their way, the kinds of rules and regulations that make it more difficult for them to care for you.
When I cared for patients, I knew that the federal government oftentimes was making it much more difficult for me to do for my patients what I knew to be best. And that is the system that we want to get away from. We want to get it in the direction of a system that works for patients.
TAPPER: As you know, a lot of working-class voters went in there in November and pulled the lever for President Trump, having heard him say that he was going to keep their Medicaid, save their Medicaid, without any cuts.
CBO says this is an $880 billion cut. And I asked you at the top, and I'm wondering if you just could directly answer this, because one of the frustrations people with how Obamacare was sold to the public is that politicians weren't straight, they didn't acknowledge that there were winners and losers.
There were winners and losers with Obamacare. There are winners and losers with Trumpcare as well -- $880 billion, that's a cut for Medicaid. How is that not a broken promise?
PRICE: Well, look again, Jake. The winners under Obamacare were the federal government and insurance companies.
The winners under the program that we provide and that we believe is the most appropriate will be patients and families and doctors. The reduction in spending that the Congressional Budget Office cites is again off the current law baseline.
That means, if we did nothing at all, if we just continued this broken program for the next 10 years, how much money would the federal government spend?
I would suggest to you that the American people are sick and tired of business as usual in Washington, and they are sick and tired of their tax dollars going to programs that actually don't work. We want a Medicaid system that works for those patients. We want a
Medicaid system that doesn't just provide them a card and says they have coverage, but doesn't provide them the kind of care that they need. That is the distinction that I would ask them to draw.
TAPPER: President Trump in the Rose Garden ceremony for the House passing the bill said that premiums are going to go down, deductibles are going to go down.
Do you stand by that?
And it will so because you increase competition, you increase choices into the system, you allow young people who are now saying to the program, look, I don't need all that, you allow them to have the opportunity to purchase the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their families, not that the government forces them to buy.
That is a huge, huge benefit to, again, the individual patients. It may not help the government. It may not help insurance companies, but it's a huge benefit to patients.
And if you are an individual patient out there that you have got preexisting conditions, the president and the Department of Health and Human Services are absolutely committed to making certain that you are able to have coverage that you want and allows you to have coverage that will care for you in a way that makes it so that you can select the doctor that you want to care for you and the place where you want to be treated.
TAPPER: All right, we have a lot more to talk about, but I'm running out of time.
So, Dr. Tom Price, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.
PRICE: Thanks, Jake. Take care.
TAPPER: Coming up, woefully inadequate, disappointing, that's what Republican Governor John Kasich is saying about this health care bill. With friends like these, can the GOP health care bill survive?
We will talk to him live next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
Immediately after House Republicans passed the repealing and replacement of Obamacare, with just one vote to spare, most GOP members of the House boarded buses at the Capitol to head to the White House for something of a victory lap in the Rose Garden with President Trump, where the president declared: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This has really brought the Republican Party together. As much as we have come up with a really incredible health care plan, this has brought the Republican Party together.
We're going to get this finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Not so fast.
Twenty Republicans in the House voted against the bill. And multiple Republican senators want to write their own version. And at least seven Republican governors have questioned this version of health care reform.
Can this be fixed in the Senate to bring the party together?
Joining me now is Republican Governor John Kasich of Ohio. He's the author of the new book "Two Paths: America Divided or United," which will be on the bestseller list, his fourth on that list.
Governor Kasich, thanks so much for joining me.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Thank you. Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: So, Governor, you have called the House Republican health care bill -- quote -- "woefully inadequate and very disappointing."
What, in your view, is wrong with the bill?
KASICH: Well, first of all, Jake, in the area of Medicaid, they are going to eliminate Medicaid expansion.
And I cover in Ohio 700,000 people now, a third of whom have mental illness, drug addiction, and a quarter of whom have chronic disease. In 2020, that program is frozen and people cycle off that program.
Now, I don't have a problem with trying to move the Medicaid expansion, which gives an enhanced match from the federal government, to a more traditional match. But you can't do that overnight.
So what happens to those people? Well, they are going to go over on the exchange. Now, here is the problem with the exchange. They give you about with $3,000 or $4,000, a tax credit of $3,000 or $4,000 to buy health insurance.
Now, who -- what do you think you can buy for $3,000 or $4,000? Do you know what the deductible would be in that? And in addition, in addition to that, for people who have these challenges, whether it's drug addiction, mental illness or chronic disease, they have got to see the doctor on a regular basis.
So, how do we think that the mentally ill have the ability to pay the deductible on an insurance policy that they have that they can buy for $3,000? Say they are 40 years old and buy an insurance policy between $3,000 and $4,000. It's inadequate.
And so you have...
TAPPER: Well, let me ask you, sir.
KASICH: You're going to have people who are going to...
TAPPER: Go ahead. I'm sorry.
KASICH: Go ahead.
TAPPER: No, you go ahead, sir.
KASICH: I was going to say, you are going to have a lot of people -- where are they going to go? That's a real problem.
And that doesn't mean the system doesn't need to be reformed. It can be. But this was -- this was not great. And it is going to go to the Senate. And I hope and pray they are going to write a much bigger bill.
Look, I'm out as governor in 18 months, OK? I'm sure there's some people out there that will applaud that. So, this really didn't affect my operation directly, except for maybe these cuts, which I'm not sure what they are.
But I'm worried about the future, and I'm worried about these people who are really vulnerable.
TAPPER: Well, let me ask you some questions that I asked Dr. Price. You just with heard him a few minutes ago.
One, Donald Trump promised that there would be no cuts to Medicaid. This plan obviously would reduce Medicaid payments to states by $880 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Is that a cut?
KASICH: But that doesn't even count -- but, Jake, that doesn't even count Medicaid expansion.
KASICH: You see, come 2020, that is eliminated.
And people who are on it can stay on it, but most people cycle off, because they get work, their income goes up. And once they are off, they are off. They can't go back on.
And I'm not opposed, again, to changing that. But you can't do it just overnight. It has to be done over a period of time.
TAPPER: Well, first of all, is it a cut, and is this a broken promise of President Trump?
KASICH: Well, I'm not going to start -- I'm not here to really get into know what -- you do the analysis of what the president said and what we have done.
But, look, the problem is -- and you pointed it out -- the reason why a lot of doctors do not take Medicaid is because the reimbursement is low. And so the whole problem with what we're debating today is not just insurance coverage, because that is what we're talking about.
What we're not talking about are the things that need to be done to lower the cost of medicine. And let me also tell you, I told President Trump in the Oval Office that governors need to have more authority to have more leverage over these pharmaceutical companies, because the Democrats gave me a law that says I have to cover everything, every drug, whether I can afford it or not.
And the fact is, I have no leverage. So, I said, let me exclude these high-priced drugs. Give me leverage, and I will be in a position to drive that cost down. That is not in this bill.
TAPPER: The answer from Dr. Price is that this bill gives new flexibility to states, it gives new flexibility to governors.
It also obviously could have a big impact on people with preexisting conditions, in that states will be able to obtain waivers, and then insurance companies will be able to charge people with preexisting conditions higher premiums.
KASICH: OK. Let me just tell you.
KASICH: This business of these low-risk pools, they are not funded.
TAPPER: Eight billion -- the $8 billion they're adding is not enough, you're saying?
KASICH: Eight billion dollars is not enough to fund -- it's ridiculous. And the fact is, states are not going to opt for that.
See, I think the fundamental issue here are the resources. I don't want to give you exactly the numbers, but it's about half the resources in this bill that were in Obamacare.
Now, I can tell that we can do with less resources, but you can't do it overnight. And you can't -- and you cannot give people a $3,000 or $4,000 health insurance policy. You know where they're going to be? They are going to be living in the emergency rooms again.
So they went -- they were trying to fulfill a campaign promise. And I still say they should have worked with the Democrats. Now, if the Democrats didn't want to work with them, because some of them did not, then they should have called them out. But you tell me what happens to people. Think about our listeners.
What can you buy for $3,000 or $4,000 a year? Not much. And if you have to consistently visit the doctor, how are you going pay for that?
The deductibles will be so high. And, again, in Medicaid, you are going to knock all these people off after 2020, which is just a few years away, these people who now are getting covered across the country.
TAPPER: So, let me just -- just to be clear here, you are not going to seek any waivers for the state of Ohio when it comes to the requirements for insurance companies with people with preexisting conditions, when it comes to essential health benefits? You are fine with the rules as they are?
KASICH: I would say that I would like some flexibility. I know there is a push to try to have some kind of a work requirement for able- bodied Medicaid recipients. And I will work with my legislature to be -- to respect the kind of things that they want.
But there would be no reason to move to a high-risk pool, because a high-risk pool is not funded. So, I would just stay in the traditional program on the exchange.
The problem -- look, this is all going to be changed, Jake. You cannot -- you can't do this way. You can't starve these programs. And that's what is happening.
And, look, I am a conservative Republican. My Medicaid program is increasing at 3 percent. My per capita rate is flat. We have managed our program. But we have the tools. We had to say that, if people want to stay in their own home, rather than being put in a nursing home, they could do it.
We had to fight the nursing home industry on that. I'm begging for some power against the pharmaceutical industries. That is one of the big -- that is the biggest driving cost in my Medicaid today. And I told the president that.
And I told Gary Cohn that. And I told him, we need to have some leverage. There is none in here. So, I hope, as the Senate looks at this -- and I have talked to some senators.
I -- I'm also talking, by the way, my staff is talking to some Democrat governors, along with Republican governors, like the great Rick Snyder, to see if we can get this in the right place, because the system does need to be reformed.
This just doesn't get this done.
TAPPER: On Friday, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report downgraded Republican reelection prospects in 20 House districts over this vote.
Let me read you what they wrote -- quote -- "House Republicans' willingness to spend political capital on a proposal that garnered the support of just 17 percent of the public in a March Quinnipiac poll is consistent with past scenarios that have generated a midterm wave" -- unquote.
So, I want to talk about the politics of this. We've been talking about the policy.
Two of the last three presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, lost control of Congress over the issue of health care reform, in no small part.
As a Republican, are you worried that your party might lose control of Congress over this issue?
KASICH: You know, it's not something I have calculated.
What I'm concerned about, frankly, Jake, is, I'm concerned about how this is going to affect people who find themselves in a very difficult position. And I think, but for the grace of God go I. If I were in a position where I thought I was going to be able to not provide health insurance coverage to my family or to my friends, that is what I'm concerned about.
I don't know how all the politics will spin out. You calculate that. You get your panel to talk about it.
Bringing politics into this discussion is not something I have any interest in, because I'm more concerned about how the policy affects real people. That's what I care about.
Too much thinking about politics in Washington. Why don't we just get to it? Let's reform the system. Let's get into the issue of why health care costs keep rising, so we can help your dad to have a more successful practice.
TAPPER: Ohio Governor John Kasich, thank you so much for your time, sir. We always appreciate you stopping by.
KASICH: Jake, always good to see you. Thanks.
TAPPER: Good to see you, sir.
Coming up: A Republican congressman warns this could be President Trump's mission accomplished moment. Is he right?
That is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're mandating people on Medicaid to accept dying. You are making a mandate that that will kill people. REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: No one wants anybody to die you know that. That line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: "Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care." Congressman Raul Labrador, Republican of Idaho at the town hall yesterday.
With me now to discuss health care and more former South Carolina Democratic state representative Bakari Sellers, Republican Congressman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Former Obama White House Communications Director Jen Psaki, and former Ted Cruz communications director Amanda Carpenter.
Congressman, let me start with you. "Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care," true?
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: We all know that individuals have and need access to health care and that is one of the reasons we're trying to get in this process and clean up what has happened through the Affordable Care Act and the marketplace and the narrowed networks and lack of access. Because the stories that come into our office every single day will just rip your heart out. People that can't get access to the care.
They have got a card, an insurance card, but the product is too expensive to use. Lack of access to physicians who will take it. And that is why it is essential that we work to fix this issue.
My hope is that our colleagues across the aisle are going to come work with us to get it fixed and they should.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, I agree with your part about the heart wrenching stories that we're hearing and the fact that the Affordable Care Act needs be reformed. But I think it's almost perverted to say that somehow taking away insurance from 20 million to 24 million from stopping the expansion of Medicaid --
BLACKBURN: That's actually not a right number.
SELLERS: Well, what is the number? What is the number?
BLACKBURN: There are only 9 million people and, Bakari, this is the issue. There are only...
SELLERS: How many people are going to lose insurance because of this bill?
BLACKBURN: ... 9 million people in the exchange.
SELLERS: You don't know that. If you don't know the number and the Medicaid expansion -- BLACKBURN: You didn't know what the number was with Obamacare.
SELLERS: We do know the number with Obamacare.
BLACKBURN: No, you do not.
SELLERS: The problem -- the problem, congressman, that the American public recognizes is that you as a sitting member of Congress voted on a bill and you don't know how many millions of Americans are not going to have insurance because of it. But even more importantly, one of the things that I would want to...
SELLERS: ... Democrats --
BLACKBURN: And the lie of the decade was the Obama lie. And it's not working and it has to be fixed.
TAPPER: Bakari --
BLACKBURN: If we don't, we know that there are a third of the counties in this country that right now only have one insurance provider. We know that there are people who were facing not having access to any health insurance.
TAPPER: Let Bakari make his point.
SELLERS: Yes. This doesn't help that. In fact you're going to have people with pre-existing conditions whose care is going to sky rocket. But if you want Democrats to help to get to the point that you were making earlier and many others and John Kasich was making, one thing Democrats wanted to do was take it further because there are about 19 states -- 18 states which are not expanding Medicaid which have chosen not do that. And those people are still going without care and we were hoping that there was going to be something enticing to those states through cuts or whatever to bring those people in. And that didn't happen.
TAPPER: Amanda -- let Amanda (INAUDIBLE).
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Here is the biggest problem for Republicans, Democrats, before Obamacare, post-Obamacare, every member of Congress is now an insurance adjustor, a doctor, having to process people's health problems. It's like you're calling a member of Congress and saying hey, look at this thing on my foot, what are you going to do about it. They have to take this out of the congressional realm and put patients in contact with their doctors.
Listen, I was on Obamacare. And now I'm on a Medi-Share. And now I'm actually talking to the doctor about the price of care. We're going to keep going around about pre-existing conditions. We're going to keep going around about all the different benefits until we find a way to get patients involve in the process and we actually start lowering the cost of care.
Insurance means nothing unless you lower the cost of care.
TAPPER: Jen, one thing I wanted to ask you as a member of the Obama White House is it seems to me, and I said this to Dr. Price, that there was a reluctance to acknowledge that there were going to be winners and losers with Obamacare, for political reasons to sell the plan, and we're seeing the same thing play out with Trumpcare. There's a reluctance to acknowledge that there will be winners and losers.
Of course there will be winners and losers. And of course there are going to be some winners. People -- premiums will go down for people who buy plans that cover fewer things, et cetera. But there are also going to be losers and there does seem a reluctance to acknowledge that.
JEN PSAKI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Sure. Look, I think when we look back and we think about how we sold Obamacare in the beginning, there are a lot of lessons learned. One was to sell individual pieces of it, to talk about people who would have to maybe put a little more skin in the game, young people, people who are healthy. But the problem is that the losers in this version of the health care bill are people who need extra help. They are people who are -- have disabilities. They are people ranging from -- people who have kids with asthma to people who have had a child.
A lot of us at this table, we're fortunate, we can afford health care. But what this is really about is the people who rely on, depend on the guarantee that pre -- the coverage of pre-existing conditions would help them with that Medicaid -- the Medicaid expansion is helping people with. And that is basically a different view of what health care should be in --
BLACKBURN: Yes --
TAPPER: And let's talk about what is going to happen in the Senate -- I'm going to come right to you.
TAPPER: Because listen to Amanda's former boss Senator Ted Cruz talking about this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: For seven years the Republican have been promising, if only you elect us, we'll repeal Obamacare.
I think the consequences of failure would be catastrophic. (END AUDIO CLIP)
TAPPER: Do you -- do you agree with that, congressman, the idea that if the Republicans in the Senate don't pass something and if the two bodies don't come together to pass something, that's going to be horrible for Republican in 2018?
BLACKBURN: Oh, I do agree -- I do agree with that because people are burdened by the high cost of insurance. They want this issue resolved. They have expectations that Congress is going to resolve this issue. They want a patient-centered health care system and they expect us to deliver on this and working through those expectations is important.
Now, I will say this back to Bakari and Jen's point, please remember in 2010 when President Obama had the Blair House health care summit, invited Republicans to come, we went and we took our ideas. He didn't want those ideas except for pre-existing coverage and children up to age 26. But we accepted that invitation and I think it is imperative for Democrats to accept the invitation to work with us as we look for how we are going to change and reform a health care insurance and delivery system.
SELLERS: I think -- I think that if you look at things such as cost transparency like you were talking about, the lower costs, reining costs of pharmaceutical drug, if you start looking at those things which are creative but sound in health care practice, you will get Democrats to buy (ph).
BLACKBURN: That would be great. I look forward to it.
SELLERS: But what you won't get Democrats to buy into is steadily increasing the number of pre-existing conditions that wouldn't be covered, knowing that you're going to put forth a plan...
BLACKBURN: But that is not being done.
SELLERS: ... you don't find it.
BLACKBURN: And that is not being done.
SELLERS: And, congressman -- and, congressman, we have two CBO scores -- two. We don't have one from the final bill that you all just voted on. What those scores tell us? They've got between 20 to 24 million people are going to lose their insurance.
BLACKBURN: And they have been -- CBO has been so wrong on their numbers and you know that. You know that.
TAPPER: Amanda, let me ask you because we heard Governor Kasich talking about how he wanted leverage when it comes -- when it came to renegotiating prices (ph) and there is nothing in here that would put the pharmaceutical industry -- isn't this -- in a position that they don't like. Isn't that an opportunity for President Trump who badmouthed big pharma during the campaign?
CARPENTER: Yes. And there's absolutely opportunity for Republicans in the Senate to work on these issues. I think they will get a ton of traction.
And so, you know, Mitch McConnell says he wants to start over. I don't necessarily view that as a bad thing. I see that's an opportunity to infuse some of these better ideas that the House didn't get around to doing as a part of that debate.
I don't understand the messaging from the White House on this saying pushing this to a point of brinks man ship over and over. I think Republicans would be much better off if they said, listen, this is going to be a hard process, health care is important. And it may take five votes. It may take 500 votes but we are going to get this done.
TAPPER: All right. Everyone, stay right there. We're going to take a quick break.
Coming up, Hillary Clinton getting a little bit political declaring herself a member of the resistance. New details on what she's planning, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the election had been on October 27th, I'd be your president.
It wasn't a perfect campaign. There is no such thing. But I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Hillary Clinton announcing this week that she is starting her own political organization called "Onward Together" to help identify groups that could benefit from outside funding. What does it all mean?
The panel is back with me. Jen Psaki, former communications director for the Obama White House, what do you make of Hillary Clinton's statement? What do you make of her commitment to continue to be involved in the process calling herself a member of the resistance?
PSAKI: Well, good for her for trying to channel her loss into something positive.
I do think if you look at her comments of what she said about, you know, would have been guaranteed she would have won on October 27th, we don't really know that.
Was sexism a factor? Yes. Was Comey a factor? Was Russia a factor? Absolutely.
But I've watched a lot of focus groups. I've watched -- looked at a lot of polling over the years and the perception of her was baked into the cake for about 10 years. I would encourage any Democrat running this year, whether they are a challenging or they are vulnerable incumbent to look at the focus groups that Priorities USA did. They did it in Wisconsin and Michigan.
And they looked at -- they talked to Trump -- Obama/Trump voters. And what came out of them, those focus groups, was something very alarming for Democrats which is the perception that we are fighting for the rich people. We are fighting for the one percent. And if we don't change what we're doing, if we don't listen more, we're going to keep losing. And I think that was also a factor in the race.
TAPPER: I wonder, when you see Hillary Clinton going out there and talking about how it's Comey's fault and how it's Vladimir Putin's fault and she's a member of the resistance, as a Republican, are you happy? Does it make you excited like she'd going to stick around and keep blaming other people?
BLACKBURN: I think as a woman who is in elective office it is disappointing to me.
Hillary Clinton has the opportunity to role model graciousness, but she is choosing to live and stew in bitterness and to blame somebody else. And throughout my career, I've seen over and over again eventually you say this didn't work or I didn't win or I am sorry and you move on. You accept things, you own it, you move. And she is missing a great opportunity by not doing that.
Listen to her, it's always somebody else's fault. Listen to her another day for the election she would have won.
TAPPER: So obviously what happened in 2016 is certainly a set of circumstances that is worth discussing and such. But it has been pointed out that when Mitt Romney lost, a Republican commentator pointed out people said he was ahead in the polls people forget a few points leading into the week before Election Day and then came super storm Sandy and Governor Christie expressing nice things about President Obama during that race. And when Mitt Romney was asked is that -- was Chris Christie's hug of Obama the reason you lost, be he said, I lost because of me and my campaign. It's no one else's fault.
SELLERS: I think those are vastly different circumstances.
TAPPER: Of course they are but it's still -- but he still probably -- but who knows what he was thinking behind closed doors.
SELLERS: The fact is -- the fact is you had a foreign agent interfering -- meddling in our election, 17 different intelligence agencies have said it is something we've never seen before.
WikiLeaks weaponized the media and every show that I've been on went on and used those e-mails and reinforced narratives of Hillary Clinton. But to sit here and act like -- that Hillary Clinton didn't take responsibility...
BLACKBURN: But that didn't change one vote in one ballot box.
SELLERS: They didn't hack -- they didn't hack --
TAPPER: Right -- Right. There was no hacking of election machines, of course.
SELLERS: No one is saying that. But, yes, I mean, Hillary Clinton sit there and said, I take responsibility. I don't know what else you want her do.
CARPENTER: As former secretary of state, she should know when she stands on the stage like that and says Russia is responsible for my losing the election, that only makes Russia all that more powerful I powerful.
It wasn't just an attack on Hillary. Let's remember they also tried to hack into Marco Rubio's campaign and of course WikiLeaks was spreading information, Russia TV was spreading information that was anti-Hillary.
But I have a problem with the secretary of state making Russia -- making it appear as if they controlled our election. That is a bad move. That looks bad on America. This is something that should concern both Republicans and Democrats. I believe it does. But when you politicize it that way that doesn't help anyone.
PSAKI: Well, that's true and that relates to what we should be doing moving forward. I mean, you look at the French election and what is happening there, it has happened in Italy with the referendum, we have an election in Germany. And the fact that there are many Republicans who are opposing moving forward with the investigations who are holding back information should be perplexing to people because Putin is not a registered Republican.
PSAKI: He wants to create confusion in the United States. So moving forward, that is absolutely right. Now, we do know from the intelligence agencies in the assessment that they were trying to help elect Donald Trump. So factually there is no question it was a factor. We probably will never know --
CARPENTER: That doesn't mean --
(CROSSTALK) BLACKBURN: What we need to do is this. We need to go back and look at what happened with the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One and those ties.
SELLERS: That hasn't been investigated before. That hasn't been investigated before.
BLACKBURN: We know that the Russians are bad actors and they don't wish us well. So let's agree on that and agree yes it should be investigated.
TAPPER: Final word, Bakari.
SELLERS: That makes no sense. But let me --
BLACKBURN: Of course it makes sense. Common sense.
SELLERS: Let's me also -- let me just say this. For people to be surprised that Hillary Clinton is a part of the resistance -- I want to go to that -- this is somebody who's a civil rights activist for a very long period of time, with registering Hispanic voters, getting young African-Americans out of adult prisons. Her being a part of a civil rights movement or a struggle is nothing new.
And so this whole now that she's back on the scene, God bless her and let her do what she pleases.
TAPPER: Got to go. Thank you so much one and all. A great panel. Appreciate it.
After the break, what's next on the Trump agenda? It's all written out on the most powerful whiteboard in America. The details are in this week's "State of the Cartoonion" coming up next.
TAPPER: Welcome back.
President Trump made a lot of campaign promises. And now we know who in the White House is trying to keep track of all of them. But what else might be on the person's to-do list? That's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."
TAPPER (voice-over): He made a list and he's checking it twice. But we're not talking about jolly old Saint Nick. It's President Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon who made the list. STEVE BANNON, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: What we need to do is slap the Republican Party. And if we have to we'll take it over.
TAPPER: This week we got a glimpse at Mr. Bannon's office in the West Wing thanks to a tweeted photo from a rabbi visiting the White House.
BANNON: I have a little thing called the war room.
TAPPER: The white board in the background of the photo caught our attention. Written in black marker a to-do list, President Trump's many campaign promises. The former head of the alt-right news website Breitbart is considered the mastermind of some of President Trump's most controversial ideas including suspending immigration from terror- prone regions, check. Although didn't the judge block that? Suspending the Syrian refugee program. Check. Repealing and replacing Obamacare. Half a check thanks to the house vote this week.
TRUMP: We're going to get this passed through the Senate. I feel so confident.
TAPPER: And there's one big promise that has not been checked off yet. Building the border wall, and eventually, Bannon wrote, making Mexico pay for it. President Trump is not worried.
TRUMP: We'll build a wall, folks. Don't even worry about it.
TAPPER: We wonder what's on the other side of Mr. Bannon's white board.
Get on the national Security Council. Check. Although, he was then fired from the National Security Council. Come up with good spin for being fired from the National Security Council.
BANNON: Yes, you know, I can run a little hot on occasions.
TAPPER: Get Paul Ryan fired. Get Reince Priebus fired. Get Jared Kushner fired.
TRUMP: Steve is a guy who works for me. He's a good guy, but I make my own decisions. I don't have people making decisions.
TAPPER: Uh-oh, don't get fired yourself. We'll stay tuned to see what or who gets checked off the list next week.
TAPPER: Thanks for watching.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" is next.