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Senate Will Vote Tonight On Skinny Repeal; CBO, At Least 16 Million More Lose health Insurance By 2026. Aired 11-Midnight ET
Aired July 27, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:26] This is CNN breaking news.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Breaking news a debated is underway and the senate will vote at midnight on the so-called skinny repeal for Obamacare and we will be live when that happens, this CNN tonight I am Don Lemon. A last ditch effort tonight to repeal and replace Obamacare after seven years and multiple failed attempts, we're taking you live to the senate floor. (Inaudible) of Hawaii speaking now. Meanwhile at the White House a shockingly vulgar war of words at least a (inaudible) approval from the president himself. The President's new communications Director has scorched earth attack on the Chief of Staff and language so explicit, you can't even repeat it, most of it on TV. Which it may be a good thing because let's face it there are no words for any of this. It is a brutal campaign against anybody perceived to be the president's enemy, no matter whether they are inside or outside of the White House. We will discuss all of that, but let's get right to the health care debate. That vote should happen maybe an hour from now, at midnight. CNN Ryan Nobles is live for us on the Capitol Hill tonight. Also with us Senior Political Reporter Nia-Malika Henderson and political analyst David Drucker, I told you guys I would get back to you shortly. So Ryan, what is the latest? We expect a vote in an hour. Do we know if we have the votes?
RYAN NOBLES, WASHINGON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: We don't know if they have enough votes which is really remarkable Don, usually in modern congressional deliberation we know well in advance whether or not a bill has enough votes to pass. And in almost every case a house or majority leader would not even allow a vote to come to the floor unless they knew they had enough votes to pass and that is not the case, here we are, less than an hour away from theoretically from these votes being cast and we still don't know whether or not Republican could have the 50 votes necessary. We did talk before, which we've only gotten the official text for about an hour ago. That score is yet to be fully released to the public. We've been give kind of a one-page summary of some of that score and it tells us there will be some deficit reduction but we don't know anything about how it's going to effect the cost of premiums, the number of people that have health insurance and will be able to keep health insurance coverage. Republicans don't ever want to see this particular piece of legislation ever become law. They would prefer to go to a conference committee and hash it out of a bargain of repeal and replace. I need stop myself and say to you pretty remarkable, but we're talking about a bill Republicans are forcing that they really want to past tonight but they never want it to actually become law.
LEMON: It's a desperate attempt and they may get it but let's just be honest about it. David the President just tweeted, by the way. "Go Republican Senators, go! Get there after waiting for seven years. Give America great health care. Here is the thing, Republican may pass legislation but many are warning that it's a bad bill and bad policy and they hope it doesn't become law, beside it is totally confusing. Is this exactly the kind of thing that people hate about politicians?
DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well that is what people usually say they hate about politicians. They'd like to be more honest and above board about the legislation that they pass and push but making a law likes this is very messy. It was very messy when the Democrats did it. It's been even messier for the Republicans. They've had a hard time coming together and primarily, Don, over the issue of Medicaid, and how to treat the Medicaid expansion, seven/eight years ago, during the Obamacare debate, 100 percent of the it Republicans in congress opposed expanding Medicaid and most of them were in favor of reforming Medicaid. They thought the cost structure was getting way out of control and what did we see in both the House and the Senate in particular?
We saw Republicans split over what to do with the Medicaid expansion and that is what's driven the differences in this process that is made it impossible for Senate Republican to pass the bill. They hope to pass this bill they don't like to give themselves more space and breathing room and time to find a way to reach consensus and I think the issue is if the bill is as bad as senate Republicans say, then they don't have to worry about House Republicans ever throwing up their hands and deciding to pass it and it looks like from the structure of the bill, because it doesn't do enough to reduce premiums, which is the number one priority of House and Senate Republicans in this whole process except for those concerned about Medicaid, because of that, I don't think they have much to worry about in terms of this thing actually catching fire in the house.
[23:05:23] LEMON: Interesting. There are many Democrats who are hoping that, they are saying let it pass because it's such bad legislation. They don't want people to get hurt but they're actually saying if it does pass then people will see how bad it is.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER, CNN: I mean if it passes obviously tonight I think you're going to have Democrats certainly tag these Republicans and eventually raising premiums. Especially if nothing else come cans out of this, then I imagine you're going to see a Lindsey Graham's words where he talks about how terrible this is and tell us how Republicans will own the disaster of health care. You can imagine that will be used against some Republicans going forward in 2018. But here we are. We've seen this bill. It will be almost two hours that this bill has been public by the time they start voting. So I mean the process has been chaotic and I think it really previews more chaos. This idea of somehow it will get easier like once they get in to conference, doesn't make sense because there's been so much confusion and disagreement so far in terms of what to do about Medicaid. Is it going to end, be a block grant as David talked about, those are the real disagreements and I think the Senators obviously watch the same ones, Dean Heller as well as John McCain. Who seems to be the last hold out tonight and really playing coy in terms of what he is going to do. Remember the speech he made, right? Regular order and bipartisanship and obviously not agreeing with his skinny bill, so what is he going to do tonight?
LEMON: Interesting, all right thanks to my expert. We'll be following this story throughout the next two hours here on CNN all night. So make sure you stay with us here. I want to bring in CNN Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley the author of Rightful Heritage Franklyn Roosevelt and the land of America and CNN Political Commentator, Matt Lewis. Ok, thank you all for coming on, Matt I want to ask you about what we are seeing tonight here on the Senate, are they finally going to be able to pass the Obamacare repeal and one they hope doesn't actually become law, I mean, how do they make this policy?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: that is so funny, right? They want to pass something that please House of Representatives do not pass this bill. Whatever you do, don't pass the bill that we just passed because it's horrible. It's surreal and this is how this process -- the process stinks. It basically finalized this at lunch today. There's been no committee hearings, no markups, all the stuff, the normal stuff that you would have before a bill. But the way that Mitch McConnell and the way Republicans have gotten things done has been really continuing to kick it down the road and maybe eventually they'll kick it down the road to actually signing a law.
To the first thing when the house passed the bill finally the way they got house members to pass it was they said don't worry. The senate's going to fix it. Then it gets to the senate and they had to get it to the motion to proceed and they said don't worry. It's just the motion to proceed. This just opens debate. And now they're saying don't worry. This is just going to get us to the conference committee. So it's been a series of don't worry this isn't the bill and at some point it becomes a bill.
LEMON: We got to pass the bill to know what is in it. Who said that? Pelosi and who criticized her for doing that? Same people who are doing the same thing right now. That is all so shady. So Doug, if this passes and it makes it through the additional hurdle, this would be run of the rare times in our history that a major benefit program would be rolled back.
BRINKLEY: Well it really wouldn't be rolled back, but they would be making stink about it temporarily. I mean Donald Trump has zero points on the board with his legislative agenda. I mean he is flunked out the first six months. Here it is we are heading in August and they want to show something got done, trying to ram his so-called -- but nobody really wants in. It's like reading your Kurt (inaudible) novel but they'll be able to say we're on the road to Damascus. We're slowly trying to make the couple of marches and strides forward but yes, I mean it would be the first real dent in the affordable care act if that happens tonight.
[23:10:13] LEMON: Laura, our other big story tonight is incredible dust up between Reince Priebus and Anthony Scaramucci. He said ok, the mooch showed up a week ago. This is going to be clean up very shortly, ok, because I nailed these guys. I've got digital finger prints on everything they've done through the FBI and the f'ing department of justice. What? I interjected. Well, the felony they're going to get prosecuted, probably for the felony. I know you've talked to your sources at the Department of Justice, Laura. What are they saying about this?
LAURA JARRETT, JUSTICE REPORTER, CNN: They don't want to touch this with a 10-foot pole, Don. I asked about this digital finger prints in exactly what he could be referring to here and I got a flat no comment. And you read Ryan Lizza's report and it's unclear exactly what crime could have even been committed here. He appears very upset obviously about this alleged leak having to do with a dinner with the President. Obviously that is not a leak of classified information. So it's really unclear exactly what he thinks the Justice Department's and FBI's role is here.
LEMON: Interesting, that I have to ask you about another expert of from Ryan Lizza's recap of what happened last night. He says Reince is a f'ing paranoid schizophrenic. Oh, Bill Shine is coming in, let me leak the f'ing thing and see if I can c blocked these people the way I c blocked Scaramucci for six months. This is a White House in crisis. Is this a White House in crisis? I have to ask, I mean I would say yes, but what do you think?
LEWIS: I think it's a country in crisis actually. It's very weird. There's a culture. Usually organizations at some point reflect the principal. Donald Trump likes the vision, pitting people against each other, letting them fight it out. Maybe for his entertainment, it is unclear. People have joked this is like bringing in Scaramucci, sort of like mid TV show series replacement. Cousin Oliver comes in, right?
The ratings are lagging two or three seasons in and Scaramucci is basically a character. He is a character that is been brought into our show that we're watching and very clearly he doesn't like Reince Priebus. I think he wants to oust him and become chief of staff. It's also vengeance. It's personal. He probably did kick him out maybe for very good reasons. So this is really weird it's playing out. There's always office politics behind the scenes but this is playing out, you know on TV.
LEMON: Surprising. It is shark week.
LEWIS: In more ways than one, Don. I live every week like its shark week, by the way.
LEMON: My question is Laura, if the Department of Justice they don't want to touch this with a 10-foot poll, what does it matter then, because is he just saying something to goat Reince Priebus into acting a certain way, because maybe all of this is for not when it comes to the Justice Department. That is a pretty big allegation and saying I will be giving this to the FBI and they are going to get, it's a felony. JARRETT: You read Ryan's story again and it's clear he is in the heat
of the moment and upset. But it's a pretty serious thing to make an allegation of a crime to the FBI is really serious. But at the same time we know that the Justice Department is preparing to step up its efforts on weak investigations. We have been hearing Sessions is preparing to do this in the coming days. And obviously the Justice Department put out a strong statement about that last night, drawing upon Sessions' statements back in April, where he said he is prepared to put people in jail over this. The context here is important. They take that seriously. But at the same time I should point out there are serious protocols in place here that dictate the kinds of communications that are supposed to happen. At least in some theory between the White House and the Justice Department, Scaramucci has to be a little careful here, because even under the White House's own protocol, he is not one of the principals that are supposed to be calling on the Justice Department to start investigations. That is supposed to happen within the counsel's office or within larger people's like lawyers. Not the communications Director.
[23:15:17] LEMON: So I'm interested Douglas, to see if there's ever been a White House like this, anything that is sort of intrigue, because you have a historian and also I want to talk to you about Jeff Sessions. We will do that after the break, but I want to remind everyone at the top of the hour, about 45 minutes or so we're expecting a vote on the skinny repeal Obamacare. We'll have the vote for you and going over the CBO score.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Live pictures. There is Mike Enzi again same center speaking before the break of Wyoming. Again, this health care vote should happen in about 40 minutes on Capitol Hill. Our very own Ryan Nobles is covering this for us.
NOBLES: We still don't know if they have the votes, Don. Let me just kind of paint a picture for you on what is going to happen now. The Republicans have their turn now to debate this particular piece of legislation. We already heard from the Democrats for about an hour. So the Republicans will have their opportunity to get their say. Then there will be two key votes that we expect sometime around midnight. The first vote will actually be proposed by Patty Murray who's leading the debate on the Democratic side, she is from Washington, that will be the vote to send this bill back to the committee and it will fail.
[23:20:00] It is the second vote, which is the vote on the substitute bill which is the skinny repeal that will be the one that will have all of our eyes on and that is when we will know definitively whether or not the Republican has the 50 votes necessary to pass the bill. After that this process won't be over because that is when the whole (inaudible) stars of the different members will be able to offer up their amendment that will essentially not go anywhere but will be used to somewhat of a P.R. Stunt and the actual final bill will be voted on sometime tomorrow morning, but the big vote is the one that happens around midnight. One other thing Don, I want to update you on, is that we do now have
the full score from the congressional budget office and it's not pretty damming for Republicans and at least 16 million more people will lose health insurance if this plan becomes law by 2026 and it also that there had the potential to be a 20 percent increase in premiums. And David Drucker talked earlier about how premium costs are one of the big things that Republicans are attempting to fix in this repeal bill. They're probably not going to put too much stock in these CBO numbers but it's a potential drawback they're trying to push forward. Once again, we still do not know if the Republicans have enough votes to pass this bill and we're probably less than 40 minutes away from that votes.
LEMON: I want to reiterate what you said. 16 million more people would lose healthcare by 2026, 20 percent increase in premiums and that is exactly Republican are trying to fix here, but you mentioned they are not sure there is drama, know how they will react to score, but I mean, John McCain, he wasn't happy with Paul Ryan's statement, even though Paul Ryan promised saying this is not going to be the legislation. This is not going to become law. We just need this to proceed to keep going.
NOBLES: Not only he was happy with what Paul Ryan said in that statement, he talked to a number of Senators and that was enough Lindsey Graham to feel comfortable that the House Republicans were going to abide by the senate's request as opposed to passing it straight out and it was a pretty compelling moment just a few minutes ago on the senate floor, and that is when Tim Kaine the Senator from Virginia, who just lost the race for Vice President less than year ago. And just a few days ago after he returned dramatically to the senate floor and he said if you're going to follow through on that plead, then you need to vote no and allow this process to go back to regular order, which is something that John McCain specifically said he wished for this process on the senate floor a couple of days ago. Is that something John McCain is thinking about right now, as he deliberates whether to vote yea or nay? It could come down to that decision by that very respective senator. He could be the make or break vote here tonight.
LEMON: Standby Ryan, I want to bring in our historian back in and I have a couple of questions for Doug Brinkley. Has this ever happened in history to pass a bill that you don't want to become legislation or law?
BRINKLEY: It happens in round about ways from time to time. But this idea of doing it in the middle of the summer after other failure and get something done at midnight so they can say a half measure was done that won't really be activated. It's a Washington D.C. that is in disarray. It's really kind of a stunt tonight. It is a bit of theater. We have the White House communications officer saying offensive language. Kids can't watch on television. Hear how the White House is communicating. It's all morphed together with the Trump and the transgender and the military issue. It's another strange swirl of Trump's Washington and people just want a recess from it because it's kind of putrid to be watching our democracy being tarnished like this in late July. LEMON: CNN Political Commentator Matt Lewis, talk to us about the
struggle and the hand wringing that Republican are going through right now. Are they dammed if they do, dam if they don't?
LEWIS: Absolutely. On one hand this is a bad bill, obviously. We saw the CBO report. It's a bad process. They've had to employ a lot of the same underhanded techniques that Democrats did to pass Obamacare and Republican criticized at the time, I think rightly so, so if you're a Republican Senator, do you do that? Do you vote for a bad bill that was sort of passes in an unseemly way or do you not? Do you go against it, therefore breaking your pledge and you promised the voters. And then you said we are going to repeal it, and then you said well we can't do it without the senate. And now we can't do it without the President and now you're going to go back and tell the voter's hey. We still couldn't do it.
[23:25:52] LEMON: So if it the skinny bill is going to put 16 million people out, they're going to lose health care and there's a 20 percent increase in premiums. Imagine what the aft bill will do. What do you do if you're a Senator, because I say you're damaged if you're do and he -- then your constituents are going to pass out.
LEWIS: I think the skinny bill will probably pass and then I think it will go to conference and that is the end of the road, if Republicans can work together to -- and I think it's a real long shot they can do this, for a variety of reasons. If they could then create a bill that would fix Obamacare, that would repeal but not bring the market in disarray. It was going to be more competition. But it wouldn't really mess things up. Then I think in good conscious you vote for it. If not, I think you don't, I suspect people John McCain are going to vote to keep the process going, they have come this far, they have wasted six or seven months already, possibly and then you vote against it if it's a bad.
LEMON: Interesting. Thank you Matt Lewis, thank you Doug Brinkley, thank you Ryan Nobles as well, I appreciate it. When we come right back, the latest on the senate upcoming vote tonight on the skinny repeal, CBO estimating 16 million more American would lose health insurance with the skinny bill. Here is Mike Enzi from Wyoming speaking now.
(BEGIN VIDEO LIVE FEED)
[23:31:07] LEMON: Live pictures now from the senate floor and Senators are now speaking and they're getting ready to vote. It should happen about top of the hour. We expect a vote on the skinny repeal bill. The debate underway now, vote expected soon. There's Mike Enzi speaking. It's a last-stitch effort to roll back Obamacare.
(END VIDEO LIVE FEED)
The CBO estimating, by the way, the score coming out, 16 million Americans would lose health insurance by 26 under this bill. I want to bring in now CNN Senior Economic Analyst Stephen Moore the former senior economic advisor for the Trump campaign. Neera Tanden the former policy director for Hillary Clinton. She helped to write Obamacare as a senior advisor to the department of health and human services. Good evening to both of you, Steven the Republican doesn't - they want to repeal this, they want this skinny repeal. They don't want it to become law. You heard what I said about the CBO scores. Is that concerning to Republicans you think?
STEPHEN MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST, CNN: Well it is very misleading Don, because really what this bill essentially does, the skinny bill gets rid of the requirement that people buy in Obamacare policy. The CBO say 16 million people are going to lose their insurance that is not actually what is happening here. Its 16 million people who don't want the insurance and basically saying if is if you don't force theme buy it, they won't buy it, how does it help someone to buy something that they don't want.
NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE PROGRESSIVE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS AND A FORMER ADVISER TO HILLARY CLINTON: Actually that is inaccurate. What actually happens when you fill the individual mandate is that you write the costs rise. There are people young and healthy who get insurance only when they get sick, because they will used the insurance as a costs rise as I have, for Steven every Republican has said they want to lower premiums and CBO just reported that it will increase premiums by 20 percent and that is one of the reasons why people lose coverage, because they'll be priced out of the market. I know insurance -- I know how it's really complicate and it's a little weird to do this, have a bill out and vote on it two hours later but I do think we should have facts and CBO did have that.
MOORE: It doesn't make any sense to say people are being hurt but when you forced to buy something they don't want, by the way that they can't afford. That is the whole point of the affordable care act. People can't afford the insurance, so they are paying the penalty rather than having the insurance because it is so expensive.
TANDEN: if they are paying the penalty then people don't lose coverage, right? You were raising the costs, premiums will go up and don't listen to me about the skinny bill, listen on the words of Lindsey Graham. He called it a disaster just a few hours ago. Republican after Republican today has said this bill is a disaster, it is terrible, they don't let the premiums increases, they don't like any element on his bill and yet they are going to vote for it. That is what people hate about politics and that is what happening in this process. And people lose coverage and raise prices.
MOORE: Look you are right. But this is not the solution, the skinny bill. The solution is to give people wide range of choices to do something like the Cruz amendment, were basically people want Obamacare they can have it, but to give people an offer where they can buy insurance plan. For young people Don, they don't have to buy Obamacare -- one thing, they don't have to buy Obamacare package, and they could buy insurance that cost half as much. Why are we forcing young people to buy insurance that actually --?
LEMON: I want to ask you. So you're saying this isn't the bill they wanted to pass. What if he doesn't do it? What if he doesn't do it? We're screwed.
[23:35:00] Sorry, what gives him confidence that this bill is not going to become the law just because Paul Ryan said it is not going to become a law?
MOORE: Well I think these Senators are going to need some kind of insurance and Republican can't break their word to the Senators, I just it would be you know I mean but here is the point.
TANDEN: they have broken their word all throughout the process. I am sorry.
LEMON: This are politician saying, give you my word. Come on.
MOORE: Look, I mean this is the deal the senate has made with the house. The senate will pass some bill hopefully we will see in an hour whether they pass this, if they do, they go to a conference and start writing a new law that will be some kind of compromise. This is all basically what to get 50 votes in the United States senate.
LEMON: it wasn't enough for him.
LEMON: Yes, McCain said it wasn't - Paul Ryan statement of promises, not enough for him he said.
MOORE: if it is not enough for him then we got a big problem. I don't see how you passed us without John McCain's vote. Then you are back in square one.
LEMON: This is the vice President Mike Pence he arrive at the senate a short time ago. Greeted by protesters, we'll listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Again, he is been breaking a tie but they needed a 50/50 tie to move on earlier in the week, the Vice President cast the vote to do that. I just wanted to point that out since you said there was a big problem I don't have, John McCain and one other person doesn't vote for it. It is over.
TANDEN: Look, john McCain said that he was concerned about premiums in Arizona. We know premiums will go up. She did not come to congress to her people (inaudible) coverage for 15 million people and premiums will rise by 20 percent in her state. Senator, after senator after senator under the Republican side has said raising premiums is what they are opposed to. They want to vote for a bill that lowers premiums. They will go on record each and every one of them. The question is are these people going to vote for the American people or the needs of Mike Pence and Donald Trump, so far each and every one of them are putting their partisan politics first. MOORE: Here is what Republican had completely lost about this. What
you describe is what's happening with Obamacare. The premiums have doubles. The reason we are having this whole debate about repealing Obamacare is because the premiums had doubled people can't afford the coverage and you got the situation where 40 - you know 33 percent of counties either have zero or one insurance company, next year that is going to be 40 percent. It's getting worse and worse it is like the titanic.
TANDEN: You know what, this actually American people that is why the affordable care act is now twice to three times as popular as these proposals, that is why you can't get it happening.
MOORE: Why did Hillary Clinton lose the election then?
LEMON: They'll be able to figure this out during conference if they have not been able to come to an agreement thus far.
TANDEN: Seven months, seven years.
MOORE: First of all, if Obamacare was so popular, you know I mean look the election in November was essentially a (inaudible).
MOORE: That is a good question, Don. I can't defend the Republicans' behavior here. They should have this fixed within the first two weeks when they came in the office. They should have voted to repeal Obamacare which is what every single Republican voted for, who ran for congress and was elected. Someday they would vote to repeal Obamacare and basically they don't get this done, they've lied to the American people and the voters.
LEMON: I need to stop you guys, I am sorry, standby, I want to get to Ryan Nobles on Capitol Hill, our reporter there, Ryan, has a new information. What can you tell us?
RYAN NOBLES, WASHINGON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yeah, so as you saw there the vice President Mike Pence has arrived here on Capitol Hill. All that tells us Don is that the voters is going to be close. The Republicans definitely have the 50 votes they need. It shows us they're concerned that there might be a situation where there could be a tie and you played the video of when he arrived and we have to stay we haven't pointed this out much tonight. There has been a very active group of protesters since about 6:00 tonight. And you can hear them. They were yelling a combination of plain all old shame, they also yelled on shame on you and they also yelled kill the bill and there is no doubt that he heard that as he was walking into the Capitol today. But tonight I should say in preparations to cast potentially what would be the tie breaking vote to pass this bill.
[23:40:23] LEMON: I want the viewer to listen to this, I will come back to you, and can we listen to what is happening outside the Capitol now.
(BEGIN VIDEO LIVE FEED) SEN AL FRANKEN, (R) MINNESOTA: And basically people with preexisting
LEMON: This is Senator Al Franken speaking to protesters outside the capitol by the way, let's listen.
FRANKEN: Four lifetime pats. Americans are watching this.
(END VIDEO LIVE FEED)
LEMON: Anyway that is Al Franken speaking to protesters outside. Ryan I cut you off and yes you are exactly right, we do have the videos as well of the Vice President we played just moments ago. Vice President arriving on Capitol Hill to shops of shame, shame, and shame and again as we said the Vice President has been breaking the tie votes.
NOBLES: I guess the point I was going to make is we have a group of Senators that don't know how they're going to vote. Or are they listening to the debate. Or watching what's playing out on television or on c-span and making up their minds still. This could be the scenario that we're dealing with and as we've said many times tonight very few of the Republican Senators believe this particular bill should become law and they have all these reservations, because effectively if they vote this bill through tonight, they lose control over it. It goes back to the house.
The house speaker has promised it will go to the conference committee where they can hash out their differences, but there are no guarantees. Yes, you're going to vote for this bill but you give up a lot of the power in this process and that is why there are some Democrats on the floor tonight that were employing upon Republican colleagues, let's go back to regular order, let's try this process from the beginning, let's try and come up with a bipartisan solution. It's been the entire summer. It has never change are the immovable position that many of this senators have on this key issues and when you talked about Medicaid, Medicaid not even address on this particular bill. That is not even addressing this bill. There's been no indication going to these conference committee is necessarily solve other problems. So if you're a Republican senator seating on office right now or the senate floor. The question now is it worth it for you to cast this vote which will be controversial regardless, is it worth it for you to cast the vote in affirmative and move this process forward or is there any thought process in the back of your mind that might be worth it to take a step back and regroup.
LEMON: And we shall see. Thank you Ryan, we'll get a back to you Ryan. I want to bring in now Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrats. Senator good to see you again, hope you're doing well, thank you for coming on. You guys are about to vote on this on the senate, do you think the Republican have the votes to pass this version of Obamacare repeal this so called skinny repeal?
SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, (D) ILLINOIS: I think they do have the votes for it and it's appalling that they do. When you have somebody like Lindsey Graham who said that this bill was a disaster, fraud and terrible policy, his words and then he is going to vote for it.
LEMON: You think this is their putting Party over country?
DUCKWORTH: They're definitely putting party over country on this one. If you think this is fraud and a terrible bill, and this is a disaster, why would you vote for it?
LEMON: I wasn't to get your reaction, because we just got the new CBO score on this repeal. The skinny bill repeal, 60 million more uninsured by 2026, premiums going up by 20 percent.
[23:40:00] DUCKWORTH: That 20 percent increase is on top of any increases that are going to be happening anyway. It reduces coverage for Americans and increases the cost. That is not what they promised to do. They promise that we would fix any problems that are in the Healthcare system right now and what they have done is made it worse.
LEMON: What do you think of the GOP health care strategy essentially saying -- I asked the two guests on before you what would make you think they could figure it out in conference?
DUCKWORTH: This is -- understand, Don that they could go into conference for five minutes and then the house can actually pull up this bill and vote on it and would become law. It is a cover to hide the true intent from the American people. There's nothing that says we have to hash anything out if they go to conference they could adjourn the same day and vote on this bill.
LEMON: As our reporter just said once they vote on the bill, they lose control of it.
DUCKWORTH: They absolutely, yes, we lose control of it. There's nothing to say Paul Ryan won't call this bill up for a vote.
LEMON: That was my question to the other guests as well. Why should GOP Senators trust that Paul Ryan won't allow this to become law?
DUCKWORTH: I don't trust Paul. And that they are looking for something else to vote onto make this happen and juts because he promised -- and he didn't promise to go into conference on this. He left himself an out. There's nothing to say that they won't know for a day or even just an hour or so and say oops sorry we can't hash --.
LEMON: How did he leave himself?
DUCKWORTH: In his statement and his spokesperson actually said he is not committing to going to conference and so what we're looking at now is voting on a bill that you have pointed out this CBO and it says put 16 million Americans on the streets without health insurance, increases health care cost by well over 20 percent and then what? Are we just going let Americans die, you know day after day after day I have been watching Americans come in here to say please, I'm fighting for my life, I am fighting for my child's life please don't do this, please kill this bill and I'm going to do I can to do it but I think they're votes in.
LEMON: What options, you are saying we have no options. Do you have any options tonight?
DUCKWORTH: Well the options we have are to try to delay as much as possible to make it clear what they are doing. To let the American public know what they are doing and then we're going to go home and fight this on the streets, on Main Street, in our town halls, all over this country to make the Republicans explain to the American people why they chose to abandoned American health care.
LEMON: Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois thank you so much, so good to see you, my old home state. I appreciate it. I want to bring in Patrick Healy, CNN Political Analyst and New York times Editor, thank you sir. Let's talk about what is in the skinny bill. It would repeal the individual and employer mandate and the tax on medical device makers, but keep the Medicaid expansion and subsidies. What do you think the impact of this if it does become law, because I am part of it at some point when it becomes law?
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's going to hit states with Republican governors now who are saying that is a good bill. The Republican governors of Ohio, Nevada and several other states, it's going to Senator Duckworth said it's almost certainly going to increase premiums by double digits. And it's going to be narrowing choice when you have a President who ran for election who said actually we want to strengthen the market, we want to expand choice, we want to lower premiums. There's nothing in this bill so far that says there are any guarantees those things are going to come to pass. Instead what you have an extraordinary moment. We have Republican Senators who are saying we're going to have to put our trust and to not push this bill to become law. What we've seen, President Trump, if this passes tonight, is going to start applying so much pressure. Right wing radio is going to apply so much pressure. Members of the house, so much pressure on ball Ryan, to get through conference what they -- the bill they ultimately want, or do a vote on this skinny repeal and send it right to the White House. The idea that somehow this can be held in advance and everything will be worked out many process, we haven't begun to see the pressure tactics that become to bare, to let's send something to the President's desk.
[23:50:43] LEMON: Stephen Moore is still with me here, I want as Patrick mentioned that the President tweeted tonight, go, Republican Senators, go. Give America great health care. They're passing something that they don't want to become law, they know it's a bad bill, if they are confused about it and even the people reporting on it are confused about it, can you imagine what the people at home are thinking and what they will think once these people go back to their hometowns and have to face constituents?
MOORE: If you're asking me to defend this process, I can't do it. It's an ugly process. And it's become an ugly moment. What the real issue here is can we continue to live with Obamacare and the rising costs and insurance companies dropping out of the market. What Republicans need to do is they have to stress three things. They have to stress cost reduction, bringing premiums down, more competition. Forcing the insurance companies to compete with each other, and choice, giving every American a choice of the plan they want to buy. Those are things that are denied under Obamacare. If Republicans can pivot this debate back to those three principals, I think they can get the moral high ground back. They've lost that. No question about it.
LEMON: Is that possible, Patrick? He can't defend the process.
HEALY: The idea that you're going to, again, continue the process of reordering one-sixth of the economy based on a bill that was unveiled a couple hours ago and that is being moved through in the dead of night. And the Vice President just showing up, it is hard to defend. You look to Republican governors that they say, yes, we are members of this Party. We're loyal to this Party. But still, this bill is not hitting on numbers of priorities they have that are affecting people who live for real in their states, for real who depend on this kind of health insurance.
LEMON: I want to ask you, quickly, if you can give me. I have to get to the break. They're going to vote soon. You know how people whisper. They don't want to say it on camera. I heard Democrats say, maybe this should pass and people will see how bad it is and the Republicans will really own this. And Republicans are saying the same thing. Maybe we should let Obamacare -- what do you think of that?
HEALY: These whispers happen all the time. The Democrats need a strategy for the midterms in 2018. They want to win back house seats. They need a strategy for 2020. They don't have a clear standard- bearer going into 2020. Owning the unhinging of a major policy entitlement that a lot of people depend on is a huge deal. At the end of the day, both Democrats and Republicans have said in some of the states, this has helped poor people get health insurance that didn't have it before. It's going a little too far in the cynicism game to say that they're willing to throw those people off, just to pick off 15 house seats, 17 house seats.
LEMON: Patrick, Stephen, thank you very much. Again we're waiting the vote on the skinny repeal, the Republican skinny repeal that is their plan. Mike Enzi is still speaking at Wyoming. He doesn't want to yield his time, I'm told. The vote is supposed to happen at the top of the hour. We don't know if it will. But it's supposed to. You heard Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, the Democrat of Illinois, saying she believes they have the votes. Our Ryan Nobles saying, I'm not sure at this point. The vice President just made his way to Capitol Hill through throngs of protesters, people yelling shame, shame, and shame. We'll see what happens. Don't go anywhere. We're back right after this break.
[23:58:25] LEMON: We're back. We're getting close to a vote in the senate on the skinny repeal to roll back Obamacare after seven years of trying. The vote could come at any minute now. I want to go to CNN Ryan Nobles live for us on Capitol Hill. Ryan what do you know? How close are we, what is going on?
NOBLES: We're at the point when it can happen at any minute. I want to give you an idea of what's happening here on the senate floor for the last hour. You see Mike Enzi there. He is leading the debate for Republicans. When it came up to talk about the bill, they gave speeches on why the bill should be voted down. When it was the Republicans' turn, Enzi has been the only speaker. He is been in charge of the conversation the entire time. There have been a number of times when Democrats asked if they could ask Enzi a question, which is, you know part of the procedure on the senate floor. They're able to do that. Because Enzi has the floor, he can say he is not interested. And he has done that a number of times tonight. He has not been too passionate in his speech here on the senate floor basically just laying out what he believes the benefits of this bill and moving the process forward. Eventually, he'll wrap things up. That is when we get to the voting. As I said before, we'll have two different votes here. Don't get too focused on the first vote. That will be a vote that the Democrats will offer up to send the bill back to a committee.