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Five GOP Senators Oppose Health Care Bill; Trump's Health Care Promises; Destruction in Mosul; Health Care Faces Growing Opposition. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired June 26, 2017 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:33:08] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: I would like to delay the thing. There's no way we should be voting on this next week.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: It's hard for me to see the bill passing this week.
SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: Right now, I am undecided. There are things in this bill which adversary effect my state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: More and more Senate Republicans say they want more time to review and debate their party's health care bill, but GOP leaders are pushing to vote this week. President Trump is tweeting. Just moments ago he said, "the Democrats have become nothing but obstructionists. They have no policies or ideas. All they do is delay and complain. They own Obamacare."
I want to discuss this now with CNN political commentators Rick Santorum and Paul Begala.
And, senator, to you first, because you hear the president there saying Democrats are obstructionists, but let's take a look at some of the Republicans who are a "no" on this bill, they're opposed to it at this point. There are a number of them, Dean Heller, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson. And there are a number of other Republicans who are on the fence. So do you see a vote happening this week? And if it doesn't, what happens?
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't know. I mean they'll vote it this week if they have the votes. If they don't have the votes, they'll put it off. The real deadline --
KEILAR: If they put it off, does it die?
SANTORUM: No. I mean, the real deadline is at the end of July when they go into the August break. But any good leader in the United States Senate, Democrat or Republican, you're always putting, you know, a -- sort of backstops. You're trying to push against a recess to try to get consensus.
I mean this -- this is just a process of when people feel that they have to make a deal. And what Mitch McConnell is trying to do is trying to raise the stakes, saying we've got to get it done by this date so he gets people to the table so they can get some sort of agreement. I'm not sure that's going to happen by July 4th, but it certainly should happen by the end of July.
KEILAR: Paul, what do you think? If there isn't a vote this week, that's going to look bad for Mitch McConnell.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it will, but, first, nobody knows The Hill better than Rick Santorum, so I'm defer to him about that. I'm sure he's quite right.
[08:35:10] BEGALA: But -- let me talk to our viewers. You have the power. Our viewers have the power. They can call Capitol Hill, they can call their senators. The House switchboard -- the Senate switchboard is 202-224-3121. I should have made a sign. They can weigh -- people get a vote in this, too. It's not about whether Democrats or Republicans are doing this. Take a look. If you are on Medicaid and somebody you love is on Medicaid, this is a heat-seeking missile right at Medicaid.
I saw a poll this weekend, Brianna, from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Only 38 percent of Americans know that this bill cuts Medicaid. In the same poll, Medicaid has an approval rating of 74 percent. This is why they want to do two things. They want to sneak the goods through customs with no hearings and they want to lie about it. I saw the tape you played earlier with Kellyanne Conway saying there's no Medicaid cuts. Yes, there are.
SANTORUM: Well --
KEILAR: Well, let's --
SANTORUM: Let -- yes, can I --
KEILAR: Senator, I do want -- I want you to respond to that --
BEGALA: It ends Medicaid as we know it.
KEILAR: But I also want you to look at the promise and the reality from President Trump when he was talking about Medicaid. He said, there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. And then you look at this Senate bill and it's an expansion that continues for three years but then cuts. Certainly there are cuts in the House bill. So how is -- he's not making good on a promise.
SANTORUM: Well, here's what I would say about the, quote, "cuts" to Medicaid. The bottom line is, what -- what this bill does, is it continues the Medicaid expansion. And it says, the Medicaid expansion is going to be treated like every other person in Medicaid. And for some reason -- and we know is it's to get votes to pass it -- but if you're in expanded Medicaid, the federal government pay for 100 percent -- virtually 100 percent of your cost. If you're in regular Medicaid, it pays, on average, about 50 percent.
And so what the Senate bill does say, why are we differentiating between the two? Why are we having the folks who are on traditional Medicaid, which, by the way, are the lowest income, the one who are in need of medical care probably more than the other, and we're paying money for half of their money, from the -- as opposed to the state, but the rest we're paying 100 percent. So they're saying, no, let's equalize it, let's put everybody on the same path and let the states decide how to prioritize that money as opposed to the federal government doing so.
So -- and the second thing is, it creates a block grant. That, to me, is a very important part because it creates waivers, it creates flexibility. It allows the states to design these plans to be much more efficient. So the -- the bottom line is, what we believe, those who are supporting this bill, is that this actually will result in better health care for the -- for that population than what we have today.
BEGALA: Yes, but there are score keepers here. This is not -- I'm not debating a guy as to whether water is wet, OK? The Congressional Budget Office, which is a non-partisan independent -- they say it cuts Medicaid by $834 billion in the House version. The Senate version will be slightly different because they've manipulated it. It actually cuts Medicaid more deeply, but they tried to put the time horizon outside of when the Congressional Budget Office can score it.
It's not just CBO. Rick and I are brothers in faith in the Catholic Church. The Catholic bishops point out that it cuts Medicaid. Everybody with a functioning brain points out that it cuts Medicaid. The head of the Americans essential hospitals, 300 hospitals, mostly treat low income patients, this will be a death nail for rural hospitals because it cuts Medicaid.
The Republicans are trying to cut Medicaid. Donald Trump campaigned saying he would not cut Medicaid. I don't mean to shock people in the morning, but he's a liar. He lied and now he's trying to cut Medicaid.
KEILAR: I -- I do want to ask you guys -- I want to ask you guys about something --
SANTORUM: One small, little fact --
BEGALA: Rick, you pointed that out in the campaign. Every time you spoke, you pointed out that Trump (INAUDIBLE). You know he's a liar.
SANTORUM: I did (ph). One small, little fact (INAUDIBLE) on what a cut is in Washington. The actual amount of money being spent on Medicaid every year goes up. So, in Washington, it's a cut if it doesn't go up as fast as it's supposed to. And the reason --
BEGALA: OK, Washington County, Pennsylvania, it's a cut. That's where it's a cut.
SANTORUM: The reason -- the reason it doesn't go up as fast is because put in reforms and waivers for allow cost cutting to be done efficiently so we do spend less money.
KEILAR: But, senator -- senator, how do you make the case that -- that if you're reducing benefits, you're not making cuts? If you're reducing the amount of money accessible to states, they're saying they're not going to be able --
SANTORUM: Because -- yes.
KEILAR: They're not, obviously, if the federal contribution is being reduced.
SANTORUM: Great question. Great question. I'll give you an example. Something Paul Begala worked on, he's very, very proud of, I'm sure, because Bill Clinton signed this bill, which is welfare reform. We actually took welfare, welfare dollars, we put it in a block grant. Now, when it -- when it passed, a lot of the folks on the left, maybe Paul included, criticized Bill Clinton for signing this bill because it was a dramatic cut on welfare because we -- we gave money to the states. It was a block grant and we froze it. Guess what happened? Over the last 20 years, we've never raised that block grant. States love it. Why? Because they redesigned the system to make it more efficient, we spent less money and people got better care. That's what we're trying to do.
KEILAR: OK, I'm out of time. So, Paul, quick, final word to you.
BEGALA: Well, it's one thing to move from welfare to work. This is Medicaid to work. You're going to kick someone out of their nursing home. She can't go get a job. She has Alzheimer's. A little girl with asthma, she needs that Medicaid.
SANTORUM: States will prioritize.
BEGALA: It's not the same as welfare reform and Rick Santorum knows it.
SANTORUM: States will prioritize.
BEGALA: It's a cut to Medicaid. And the American people can stop it. Call your senator.
[08:40:05] KEILAR: All right, Paul Begala, Rick Santorum, thank you so much to both of you. Really appreciate it.
SANTORUM: Thank you.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Challenges at home and challenges abroad. The battle to liberate Mosul from the grip of ISIS is at a turning point. We have dramatic, new drone footage of Iraqi civilians fleeing that city. Remember, it's not just about wartime, it's about what will happen in a time of peace. A live report from Iraq, next.
CUOMO: So we have dramatic, new drone video coming out of Iraq. It shows the massive destruction in Mosul, which is, of course, an ongoing battle there, being wage by U.S.-led coalition forces against ISIS fighters defending the old city.
CNN's senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is there, live in Erbil, Iraq.
Now, Nick, what are we going to see here and what is the relevance to the ongoing struggle?
[08:45:00] NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Chris, these images you're seeing now are taken the last few days of the final chapter, really, in ridding ISIS in Iraq. The major battle now is in the old city, part of the major northern city of Mosul, which ISIS took nearly three years ago now and is down to street-to- street fighting. Dense, narrow alleyways. The problem is, ISIS are using human shields here, civilians, possibly tens of thousands of them, and you're seeing here they often emerge from gaps in the rubble, desperate for food, desperate for water.
At the same time, too, the destruction is remarkable. A U.S. official telling me there could be as little as 200 or so ISIS fighters left in this area. But the progress by Iraqi special forces, the coalition fire power backing them up has been pretty fast in the last few days. They've certainly seen ISIS blown up a key monument for themselves, the al Nuri (ph) mosque image, the devastating destruction here.
Now the question is, how fast can they bring this nasty, bloody chapter to an end? One official saying to me, it's a delicate balance between moving slowly enough to preserve human life, but also getting those civilians out before they starve.
KEILAR: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much for that.
You know, Democrats and Republicans are wanting more time on this Senate health care bill and they could soon get the numbers on it. How might the score influence a potential vote or even a compromise? We'll get "The Bottom Line," next.
CUOMO: Breaking news. The family of Philando Castile, the Minnesota man shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop last July, you remember the video, that family has settled their case with the city of St. Anthony Village. The news comes after police released that dash cam video of the deadly encounter last week. Castile's girlfriend was in there. Remember, she was live streaming on FaceBook. They had a kid in the backseat. All those dramatic moments as the officer did this, fired at him for supposedly reaching for a gun. [08:50:24] Castile family attorney Judge Glenda Hatchett, and Robert
Bennett tell CNN the nearly $3 million agreement will be paid for through an insurance trust so no taxpayer money will be used in the settlement. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted of all charges by a jury earlier this month but he was let go from the force following the verdict.
KEILAR: Back to our top story, growing opposition to the Senate GOP health care bill. The Congressional Budget Office is set to release its score, and this could happen as soon as today. What's the impact going to be?
Let's get "The Bottom Line" now with CNN political director David Chalian.
And, David, it's worth noting that for Republicans who are in opposition to this bill, there are consequences. We're seeing this coming from a super PAC when it comes to Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada. This is one of the ads -- the ad that they're running against him. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Senator Heller has made his opposition clear, that it's unacceptable to us and the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare. Heller is now standing with Pelosi. Unacceptable. If you're opposed to this bill, we are opposed to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: What is the message there to Republicans, David?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: With friends like these, right, who needs the opposition party if you own party is going to take you on that way? I mean the message here is to try to sort of scare Republicans into not getting weak-kneed and to stay with Trump and to stay with the Republican majority on this.
Here's the problem, Brianna, the Republicans are caught in a bind here because they've made a fundamental promise over the last eight years now to their voters that they are going to repeal Obamacare. It is -- as you know, you've been around the country, you've heard it time and again. The problem is what they're replacing it with is not popular. It is actually woefully unpopular in the polls right now. That is the bind that a lot of republicans find themselves in right now.
CUOMO: Well, there's this call to debate health care and make it more front and center. So, of course, the president is motivating that dialogue with the American people by tweeting about something completely different. The two new Trump tweets are these. "The reason that President Obama did nothing about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected Clinton would win and didn't want to 'rock the boat.' He didn't choke. He colluded or obstructed and it did the Dems and crooked Hillary no good." Your take?
CHALIAN: President Trump has made clear from the very beginning of the talk about Russia involvement in the election that he thinks this is purely a Democratic ploy because they -- the Democrats are not able to deal with the fact that they lost the election. So now he has a foil here after all the reporting from "The Washington Post" last week. He can get back to having a foil in Barack Obama saying, you know, he choked, which is using the words of a senior administration official in that piece, and that he didn't do enough. The problem here, of course, Chris, as you and I talked about earlier, is that it is very hard for one person to contain the idea that both this is a hoax and fake news. Oh, and Barack Obama failed at fixing what is apparently now in Donald Trump's mind a real problem.
KEILAR: Did -- when you look at that first tweet, though, where he's saying that President Obama and others -- and Democrats thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win and that's part of the reason they didn't intervene. I' mean I've heard that from some Democrats who say looking back on it now, you know, they were so convinced she would win, they didn't want to then also look like they were giving her help she didn't need.
CUOMO: And Trump was saying that it might be rigged. And if they said that it was interference, maybe it would confirm that.
CHALIAN: That's precisely the point that Jeh Johnson, the former Homeland Security secretary brought up last week. He said to the panel, he said, one candidate was saying the election was rigged, and so there was obvious concern about feeding into that narrative.
But, Brianna, you're absolutely right, I hear from Democrats all the time. Had they not thought that Hillary Clinton was definitely going to win the way so many of them did, I don't know that their response would have been identical.
CUOMO: Well, the shocking part, though, for the president is the idea that he's just learning about this now, that the Obama administration knew and did nothing, that defies belief. Not only was that in the papers then, but he's been getting briefings for months. He knows what the Obama administration knew. But it's playing to advantage, even though they're supposed to be talking about health care.
David Chalian, thank you very much.
CHALIAN: Thanks, guys.
CUOMO: "The Good Stuff" for you on a Monday is necessary and it is next. Is that OK with you?
[08:55:02] KEILAR: I'm ready.
CUOMO: Time for "The Good Stuff." (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE). Imagine finding yourself, OK, you've got your wedding venue closing its doors right before you walk down the aisle. What do you do? This happened to Mary Lou and Richard Bustios (ph). But when their venue was shut down for fire code violations, guess what happened, people in the community got wind of it and they helped out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the moment I saw, I was like, I want to help. My heart went out and like, I've got to help this bride.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Who's that? A good person, that's who. Madu Seth (ph) owns an event center. They had an open date for the wedding. Even better, Madu footing the bill for everything.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I already picture myself on the dance floor. It's like, thank you. Like, what's a better word than thank you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: But getting paid with that beautiful reaction, right? That good feeling of knowing that you helped someone out.
CUOMO: And getting some love from us here, recognizing "The Good Stuff." But, boy, Madu, you did the right thing, you made that couple's memories forever.
KEILAR: Sure did.
All right, time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, you guys. Happy Monday.
KEILAR: Good morning.
HARLOW: Have a good day.
We have a lot to get to.
[09:00:07] Good Monday morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow. John Berman has the day off.