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Bipartisan Group Of Governors Reject Repeal Bill; Young Girl Struck By Foul Ball At Yankees Game; Health Secretary Under Scrutiny For Taking Private Flights. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired September 21, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:31:15] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A bipartisan group of governors say they are against the Graham-Cassidy bill which, of course, is the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Senator Bill Cassidy is one of the sponsors and, boy, is he getting the treatment from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.
Here's is Kimmel's latest salvo after Sen. Cassidy appeared on our show yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": This morning, the senator sat for an interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN and pulled the all comedians are dummies card.
There's a new "Jimmy Kimmel Test" for you. It's called the lie detector test. You're welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Harsh words, not apparently in jest. And joining us now is Sen. Bill Cassidy. What is your response, Senator?
SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: I'm sorry he does not understand.
KIMMEL: Oh, I get it. I don't understand because I'm a talk show host, right?
Well, then help me out. Which part don't I understand?
Is it the part where you cut $243 billion from federal health care assistance? Am I not understanding the part where states would be allowed to let insurance companies price you out of coverage for having preexisting conditions?
Maybe I don't understand the part of your bill in which federal funding disappears completely after 2026. Or maybe it was the part where the plans are no longer required to pay for essential health benefits like maternity care or pediatric visits. Which part of that am I not understanding?
Or could it be, Sen. Cassidy, that the problem is that I do understand and you got caught with your GOP-ness out? Is that possible?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Oh, good morning.
Joining us now is Virginia's Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Good morning, Governor.
GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA: Hey, good morning, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: A little late-night humor in the morning --
CAMEROTA: -- never hurt anyone.
And before we get to the specifics of what's in the bill and what it means for your state and others, do you think that Jimmy Kimmel is having an effect on whether this bill was pass?
MCAULIFFE: Well, I think what he's doing is having people pay attention to this.
And what we're seeing now with this health bill, this is the worst of the worst. They've taken the worst parts -- I call it the Frankenstein of health care bills.
It really will impact our nation, it will hurt America, it will hurt Americans. It's going to hurt Virginia and it will hurt Virginians.
Under the laws that exist today, right now under the ACA in Virginia, you know, I'm entitled to $2.2 billion a year, so over the next six years I would get $13.2 billion.
Senator Cassidy was on the show saying oh, this is great for Virginia. Over the next six years, they'll get $3 billion. Well, I don't know how you count where he comes from but I can tell you in Virginia, $13.2 billion is a lot more than $3 billion.
But the worst effects would be, Alisyn, is I would lose all this money. In 2027, this goes away entirely and I have about 832,000 Virginians that would lose their health coverage.
But now, under this present law, you can -- those with preexisting conditions can get knocked out. I'm dealing with an opioid crisis, we have mental health issues, we have elderly in our long-term facilities, disabled. They would all be impacted.
This is wrong for America. They need to do -- President Trump needs to do what he promised he would do, health care for everyone. It would be cheaper and better.
CAMEROTA: Governor --
MCAULIFFE: That is not what this bill -- it doesn't do any of it. It's time for Congress to start doing things that actually help people instead of hurting people.
CAMEROTA: Governor, what is so confusing is that everything that you've just spelled out is completely different than what Sen. Cassidy said on our air yesterday. He said this would be good for you, good for Virginia, good for other states.
Let me remind people how he sold this -- listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASSIDY: I'm sorry he does not understand.
Under Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson, more people will have coverage and we protect those with preexisting conditions.
States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri -- they'll be billions of more -- billions more dollars to provide -- to provide health insurance coverage for those in those states who have been passed by, by Obamacare, and we protect those with preexisting conditions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[07:35:19] CAMEROTA: So, Governor, I mean, you can't both be right. How can he say that you, Virginia, are going to get billions more dollars, and you say you're going to lose billions of dollars?
MCAULIFFE: Alisyn, you can say whatever you want if you don't believe in the truth or the facts don't matter, and that's what Sen. Cassidy is saying.
CAMEROTA: So you're saying -- hold on. You think that Sen. Cassidy is lying.
MCAULIFFE: Absolutely dead wrong.
And why is his governor, who actually has to run these programs -- I remind you, Alisyn, that we, the governors, we run these programs in our states.
His own governor signed that letter -- that bipartisan letter. And, in fact, since we sent out an original letter with 10 governors, five and five, two more Republican governors have come out against it.
Why is it these Republican governors -- because let the facts speak for -- as they are, and don't rely on me. Look at the AMA, look at Blue Cross Blue Shield, look at the experts in the health care industry which have come out and totally vilified this bill.
I just want everyone in Virginia to understand. This is horrible for Virginia. 13.2 billion dollars that is available to me today would not be available to me and 830,000-plus Virginians in 2027.
And then they say, oh, will reauthorize it. Don't worry about it. In 2027, we'll reauthorize it.
It's laughable to think that I know -- that my citizens here in Virginia are going to rely on this Congress who has not been able to do anything on tax reform, on infrastructure -- I mean, they have nothing done -- that we are going to put our faith that they're going to reauthorize? And even if they reauthorize, they're at the present spending levels, I go off a fiscal cliff here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Just let the numbers speak for themselves. Why have so many Democrat and Republican governors come out against it?
As I say, this is the Frankenstein bill. This is worse than just a straight-out repeal.
MCAULIFFE: And the numbers, yesterday, that came out from the experts, 32 million Americans will lose their health insurance come 2027.
CAMEROTA: Well, let's talk about that, Governor.
MCAULIFFE: These are their numbers -- the people who do this.
CAMEROTA: But, I mean, it hasn't been scored yet by the CBO so how can you speak with such specificity?
MCAULIFFE: So, what we've all had to do and I had to do this. We bring in our health care experts who advise us on a daily basis on our existing plans to run the numbers. I mean, that's how you have to do it.
And that's another good point, Alisyn. I agree 100 percent with John McCain and I have always been a huge advocate for Sen. McCain. This man served with our nation with distinction, he'd been a prisoner of war.
We are a big military state here in Virginia. We have more veterans per capita than any state in America.
Senator McCain is right. This should be regular order. There are -- they had one hearing with no CBO scoring.
I remind you, when the ACA was put out there were hundreds of hearings. It was on the Senate floor for 25 days.
But none of this -- what are they afraid of? When you rush this through without a CBO score -- they know why they're doing it because that CBO score is going to be devastating to this bill.
Take a breather and go back. Let's go back to where we need to be. We need to fix it. There's things we need to do. And I can promise you this, Alisyn, Americans are going to see their
premiums go up as well, so people are going to lose their coverage, they're going to defund Planned Parenthood. Those that are in my elderly long-term care facilities are going to be hurt, the disabled are going to be hurt, pregnant women will be hurt. I just don't understand it.
I go back to my point. The Congress needs to start doing what they were elected to do.
MCAULIFFE: Work in a bipartisan manner, come together, and do things that actually help us Americans. They have done nothing and you know what? People are sick and tired of this gridlock that's gone on in Washington.
We need action and it's time they put their party -- petty partisan --
MCAULIFFE: -- activities aside and really do something to help us. This is what we need in America today. They are tired of this.
CAMEROTA: Very quickly, one last question because you brought up Sen. John McCain. You know, he's on the fence today. Do you think that he's going to vote for this?
MCAULIFFE: Well, I read his statements yesterday and he is very upset, as rightfully he should be, that this was not done by regular order. Why don't we have hearings, why is there no CBO score?
He's right. This ought to be on the -- it should go through the committee where we actually add amendments, and then it goes to the floor and there's a full, lively debate and you're actually voting on something.
They're going to actually vote on something without a CBO score --
MCAULIFFE: -- that will affect literally 32 million Americans losing their health insurance.
Senator McCain is right. He was right before when he voted against it on the floor before. And I know that Sen. McCain is going to do the right thing because you know what, Sen. McCain thinks about America first and we need more people up in Congress doing the right thing.
[07:40:00] CAMEROTA: OK.
MCAULIFFE: President Trump needs to do what he promised us when he ran for president. Everybody gets coverage --
MCAULIFFE: -- it's cheaper, more reliable, and better care. That's where we need to go.
We are the greatest nation on earth but this partisan activity that goes on up there --
MCAULIFFE: -- and they're doing this all for politics -- is hurting us.
And I can tell you, it's hurting the governors. We focus on job creation every single day --
MCAULIFFE: -- providing health care for our citizens.
They want politicians to come together, do their jobs, and help people. They don't ask much of us.
They want great jobs, a great education system. They want a good education --
MCAULIFFE: -- so that their children can get a quality education.
They want to get in their car and be able to go see a ballgame that shouldn't take two hours and be stuck in gridlock.
MCAULIFFE: That's what they want from us, Alisyn, and Congress has to start doing their job.
CAMEROTA: Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, thank you very much for being on NEW DAY.
MCAULIFFE: Thanks, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Chris --
CUOMO: All right, you see what happened at Yankee Stadium? A really scary moment. A young fan -- a child struck by a foul ball.
Players on both teams came to tears. Nobody wants to see this.
Why did it happen, what happens next? Details in the "Bleacher Report."
[07:45:12] CUOMO: Boy, oh boy. Both teams, everyone in the stands at Yankee Stadium were all of singular focus and for a long moment. A young girl was struck in the face by a line drive.
Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report." The only thing at a game that you just never want to see.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, you're right. It was basically the worst thing that can happen at a ballpark.
In the fifth inning yesterday, Yankees Todd Frazier hit a line drive foul ball right behind the visiting dugout and the ball ended up striking a 2-year-old girl that was sitting with her grandfather. You can see everyone's attention immediately turning to whether the girl was OK.
The game was stopped for about four minutes while paramedics attended to the girl.
The Yankees releasing a statement saying that she was taken to an area hospital. And according to the "New York Daily News," she remained there overnight.
Now, teams are required to have protective netting to at least the start of the dugouts now. Now, about a third of teams have extended the netting farther to cover all of the seats above the dugout.
The Yankees, however, guys, are not one of those teams. However, last month, after a fan was hit, the club did say that they were going to seriously explore extending that netting for next season.
CAMEROTA: It seems like that could help and be the right answer now.
CUOMO: You know, this has -- this has been a legal thing that's gone on for a long time. On the back of the ticket there's all of this language you learn about in law school about the assumption of risk, and you cover something with a net but then somebody gets hit in the upper deck.
It's something that happens. It's just -- you never want to see it.
CAMEROTA: No. Andy, please keep us posted on her condition.
SCHOLES: All right. Will do, guys.
CAMEROTA: All right, back to what's going on, on Capitol Hill.
When he was in Congress, Tom Price railed against wasteful government spending. Now, as health secretary, what's he spending your money on? That's next.
[07:51:05] CAMEROTA: House Democrats calling for an investigation into Health Secretary Tom Price's use of private jets, alleging that he cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars by not flying commercially. Of course, when Price was in Congress he railed against wasteful government spending.
CNN's Rene Marsh has more.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TOM PRICE, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: That's not a way to spend the American hard-earned taxpayer money.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was considered a fiscal hawk of the Congressmen on Capitol Hill but now, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is under scrutiny for flying private jets for five government trips, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars more than it would have had he flown commercial.
WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS: He told Congress now that a lot of difficult choices had to be made to cut down the budget. Apparently, those difficult choices didn't include inconveniencing him by having him fly on commercial air instead of chartered flights.
MARSH: Last Wednesday, Price flew on a private jet from the D.C. area to Maine. The next day, he flew from New Hampshire back to D.C. And last Friday, Price flew the short hop from D.C. to Philadelphia and back again on a private jet.
In 2009, Price slammed members of Congress and the use of tax dollars to fly on private jets.
PRICE: This is just another example of fiscal irresponsibility run amuck in Congress right now.
MARSH: Speaking of Price's recent flights, a Health and Human Services spokeswoman said in a statement, "Secretary Price leads a $1.2 trillion agency, the largest agency in government. The travel department continues to check every possible source for travel needs, including commercial, but commercial travel is not always feasible."
The agency also says with Price's tight schedule they cannot risk flight delays or cancellations that are possible on commercial fights. The agency also cited security concerns.
SHAUB: It's very unusual for a secretary of Health and Human Services to decide he needs to take charter flights, but the secretaries of Health and Human Services of the past were much more conservative in their expenditure of public funds.
MARSH: Price is not the only cabinet secretary under scrutiny. EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is facing questions about his flights home to Oklahoma at taxpayers' expense, as is Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin who inquired about using a government plane for his honeymoon.
The inspectors general for both of those agencies say they are looking into all of it.
MARSH (on camera): But when asked who signed off on the use of a private jet, Health and Human Services told CNN the agency's legal counsel reviewed the request and signed off.
Now, this morning, Democratic members of Congress, they are preparing to call for an inspector general's investigation into Price's travel on private planes.
Back to you.
CUOMO: All right, Rene, thank you very much.
Let's discuss with the man you saw in that piece, Walter Shaub, a new CNN contributor. He's the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Welcome to the team.
What's your take on Price, Mnuchin -- you know, these different suggestions of how you're supposed to travel, what's personal, what's government-related? What are the rules?
SHAUB: Well, first of all, what is it with these three cabinet secretaries flying like there's no limit to the money?
The basic rule is you're supposed to take the most cost-effective form of travel. This has been both the informal and formal policy of the federal government for over a quarter of a century, at least.
The justifications they're offering for this flight are just bizarre. The idea that he's too busy and it would be inconvenient, well, that's expressly addressed in one of the policy issuances as not a good reason.
And he's -- we only know about these trips because a reporter, Dan Diamond, did some real old-fashioned gumshoe work and figured out that this is happening.
[07:55:03] But, HHS isn't telling us how many flights there are. We know of the five in a period of three days that they caught him through careful reporting, but HHS won't tell us how many more there are. And these flights can cost $25,000 apiece.
CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. I mean, and just to reiterate, these five in those three days that you're talking about were to Maine and New Hampshire, not, you know, hurricane-ravaged regions.
SHAUB: Yes, right.
CAMEROTA: And it was to meet with a CEO to have a Q&A session. That sounds flexible --
CAMEROTA: -- timewise.
And, I mean, in terms of context, what did other H -- I mean, you know, if you look at Kathleen Sebelius, if you look at, you know, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, did they take private jets a lot?
SHAUB: So, there's reporting that Sebelius actually canceled some plans when she found out how much it would cost to take a private jet. And -- I'm sorry, that was Burwell. Sebelius is said to have taken private jets only when she was going to remote regions of Alaska.
Now, compare that to current secretary going to Philadelphia. He had to drive an hour out of D.C. to get to Dulles Airport to catch that private jet. It's only a three-hour drive to Philadelphia from D.C. He could have just jumped in a cab and saved us a lot of money.
CUOMO: So what is the rationale on their side? They say they got sign-off from legal counsel.
SHAUB: Right. So their primary rationale is his schedule is so complicated there were no flights within any reasonable range.
Well, when I first heard about this story at about 4:00 one afternoon this week, I went online and found a dozen flights for the next morning, just out of National Airport alone, which is far closer to D.C. than Dulles, that still were not completely booked up and they were leaving about one every hour to get to Philadelphia. So I really find that a very flimsy and implausible excuse.
CAMEROTA: I mean, look, one of the biggest headslappers of all of this is that this is Tom Price.
CAMEROTA: He's the guy who was the watchdog --
CAMEROTA: -- of government spending. So, I mean, when you get into the White House those rules just fly out the window?
SHAUB: Well, I think Sec. Price gave us a gift because he labeled this kind of behavior for us so we don't have to do it. According to Sec. Price, this is fiscal irresponsibility run amuck. He used to be opposed to it, now I guess he's for it when he can get his hands on a private jet.
CUOMO: Let me ask you something while I have you, Walter.
The administration is saying they're not going to turn over the visitor logs to Mar-a-Lago and this is the latest in a series of denial of disclosures by this White House.
Do you believe that it is unusual, this lack of disclosure, and what do you think it leads to?
SHAUB: Well, I think it is unusual and it's consistent with an entire pattern across the board. There's this sensibility that the American people have no right to know what their government officials are doing -- doing with their money, doing with the power you've given them.
I think we've already seen what it leads to. People behave very differently when they think they're operating in darkness. I'm sure that Sec. Price didn't know that there were reporters
tracking his movements, and God knows what's going on down at Mar-a- Lago.
But our friends in the organization called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington are suing to get those records out of -- you know, from Mar-a-Lago's visitor logs and their sense was that the representations that the administration's attorneys had made to the judge were that they were going to turn over more on this.
SHAUB: And they got a list of about 22 visitors for one visit when the Japanese leader was here.
CAMEROTA: OK. So about Sec. Price's penchant for private jets and in keeping with the Trump administration's, you know, I think love of nicknames --
CAMEROTA: -- you have a suggestion for what Tom Price should be known as.
SHAUB: Well, I suggested that maybe he's secretary pricey because he just has some really pricey tastes for us.
CAMEROTA: There you go.
Walter Shaub, great to have you on the team.
SHAUB: Sure. Thanks a lot.
CAMEROTA: Thanks so much for being --
CAMEROTA: -- with us.
CUOMO: All right, this is one story. We are following a lot of news.
We have the latest on Hurricane Maria and these ongoing searches right now after that Mexican earthquake.
We also have the president's National Security Adviser. H.R. McMaster is going to be on the show.
So what do you say, let's get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there was no there there, he'd say so. It appears there is there there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paul Manafort facing threats and could get indicted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got a picture of a campaign that's got more interactions with Russians than they do probably with ordinary Americans.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Cassidy and Graham are offering just a big government variation of Obamacare.