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House Votes on Obamacare Replacement; High-Risk Pool Funding; White House Downplays CBO Score; No CBO Score Before Vote; Interview with Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired May 4, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Big consequential term about how important this is, how many people who are serving here either ran on repealing Obamacare or even came here because they promised to repeal Obamacare and that we have to, from the Republican perspective, keep our promise.
The White House chief of staff is here. Obviously, an old Wisconsin friend of Paul Ryan. He walked by me. He's over in the cloak room, along with the White House legislative affairs team.
And the other bit of color I want to share with you is that there are going to be buses coming here in the event of what they expect will be a winning vote to take Republicans over to the White House to have an event with the president at the white house to talk about what they will see as a critically, critically consequential political and, yes, policy vote, a promise that they say that they are going to have kept.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: In terms of the politics of this, Dana, obviously the 22, 23 Republicans who are from congressional districts that Hillary Clinton won, they, no doubt, will be nervous to a degree about the effect of this.
TAPPER: But Republicans, Republican consultants, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, President Trump, et cetera, they're very focused on the Republican base voters and they believe that if the base doesn't get the repeal of Obamacare and the base doesn't get the wall on the border, then that's going to kill the Republicans in 2018.
BASH: Yes. You are 100 percent right. I've been talking to some Republican consultants who are looking at internal numbers in a lot of those districts saying the same thing, that the idea of facing the buzz saw of Democratic opposition, which they are going to face in a big, big way when they go home, particularly to those - those Republicans going home to more bluer, even purple districts from people saying, are you kidding me, how could you take away my health care, because that's what they're going to hear from the very strong Democratic message machine. That is by far better politically than the notion of leaving here and, once again, going home for recess and ultimately maybe even by the next time they go and face voters, not keeping that fundamental rudimentary promise to repeal Obamacare. That that, at the end of the day, is the most important thing, which is why you heard Paul Ryan emphasize that and you're hearing the Republicans in the hallways practice their talking points before they step out into their cars and onto their trains and planes to go home and face their constituents.
TAPPER: All right, Dana Bash on Capitol Hill for us.
We'll be right - we'll come back to you in a second.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: In this revised version, Jake, House Republicans want to replace the protection Obamacare provides for people with pre-existing conditions with federally funded high-risk pools. Let's discuss how this would work and the potential impact on the new health care bill. I want to bring in MJ Lee, CNN national politics reporter.
MJ, the latest change, what, an additional $8 billion over five years for these so-called high-risk pools. Explain how that works.
MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Wolf, if this House bill does get passed, and does make it through the House with the votes that are necessary, this is going to be especially important because, as you said, this was a last minute deal, a last minute amendment that was added to the bill to try to calm the nerves of a lot of Republican lawmakers who were worried about the protections for people with pre- existing conditions.
So here's how this is - this would work. The bill, as it stands, the original bill, would allow the states to get waivers from certain requirements in Obamacare, covering certain essential health benefits, and also the requirement in Obamacare that insurance companies cannot charge people more because of certain medical histories, having certain pre-existing conditions.
Now, a lot of members sort of balked at that and said, look, we're hearing from our constituents and they say that these protections would be eroded, and that is why they decided to add this last minute amendment that would add an additional $8 billion to these so-called high-risk pools.
Now, it's really important to add, we've been talking to health care experts, policy experts, and they say that the $8 billion is essentially a drop in the bucket. And so when you talk to Democrats and critics of repealing Obamacare, they would say this was less of a policy move and more of a political move to try to give Republican lawmakers essentially an excuse to say, look, we heard the concerns and we made changes to the bill.
BLITZER: MJ, the previous Congressional Budget Office report, what, six weeks ago found that the original bill would lead to, what, 24 million more Americans uninsured after a decade. Is there any indication at all how these amendments, these latest two amendments, will shape that number?
LEE: All right, well the short answer to that is, no, we do not have a new CBO report. The only CBO score that we've gotten was weeks ago when the original bill came out. And this is going to be a huge liability and we've seen that already for Republican lawmakers. They are having to answer the questions, both from Democrats and critics, as well as constituents, why did you decide to take this vote before a CBO report came out? Now Republicans that I've been speaking to all day, they are inclined to say that, well, the amendments that were added at the last minute, they are not so big and so significant that we expect the CBO numbers, you know, at least the baseline numbers to stay the same. But, again, this is a political fight and a huge political milestone for the Republican Party and the fact that they are about to now take this vote without there being a finalized CBO score, that is a huge liability for them.
[14:05:35] BLITZER: All right, MJ, we're going to get back to you. MJ Lee reporting.
We've got some news also that we're looking at from the White House right now, downplaying a potential Congressional Budget Office score. I want to go to - back to our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta.
What's the latest you're hearing over there?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. White House Spokeswoman Sara Huckabee Sanders, was just briefing reporters in the Briefing Room and this question of pre-existing conditions came up and this Congressional Budget Office score. There are now expectations that a CBO score of this latest incarnation of the Republican health care bill may come out next week or over the next couple of weeks and that is obviously not how these things are done here in Washington. Typically you have the CBO score before there's a vote on a big piece of major legislation such as this. And what Sara Huckabee Sanders told reporters is that essentially - and I think this is going to be the message going forward for this White House, is that it's, quote, "impossible," end quote, to score this bill because there are so many moving parts. She cited, for example, we don't know which governors will decide to seek a waiver to opt-out of that requirement, for example, for pre-existing conditions to be covered.
And so that is one of the reasons why they're saying that this - this CBO score that may be coming may not be all that reliable. But, of course, that's going to be a major fight coming up in the next couple of weeks when that CBO score comes down. If the Republicans succeed in getting this through the House - and I was just talking to one White House official here a few moments ago, Wolf, they were saying it might pass by two or three votes. I'm just hearing from one official in just the last few minutes who said, this might pass by one vote according to some of the score keeping that they're doing over here at the White House. So this is definitely going to be a nail-biter.
But as we've been reporting, we do expect, if this does pass, for House Republicans to come over here for some kind of victory lap ceremony with President Trump. Presumably that's part of the reason why his trip up to New York City later on this evening has been pushed back. He's supposed to meet with the Australian prime minister. That was supposed to happen this afternoon and that's now happening later on this evening so they can deal with health care, Wolf.
BLITZER: It's a nail-biter. And I see the president just tweeted. Once again, I'll read it. "Insurance companies are fleeing Obamacare. It is dead. Our health care plan will lower premiums and deductibles and be great health care." Clearly the president of the United States is watching this debate unfold.
TAPPER: Two -
BLITZER: He is watching.
TAPPER: Two insurers this week, one in the commonwealth of Virginia and one in Iowa indicating that they're going to pull out of the Obamacare exchange. It's been a big problem. Let's talk about this and more with CNN senior economic analyst Stephen Moore. He's also a former senior economic adviser for the Trump campaign, and also with us, CNN political commentator Steve Israel, who is the former Democratic congressman from New York.
Stephen Moore, let me just start with you.
No CEO, no Congressional Budget Office analysis, no price tag, no indication of how many people will have insurance after this bill becomes law. Doesn't that give you a pause?
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: Well, look, this is a long time in coming this bill. And, you know, it's so interesting, I was watching the speeches on the House floor and I was having a deja vu, Jake, because it was exactly seven years ago you had exactly the opposite debate, where Republicans were saying Democrats you're going to lose your House seats if you pass this bill. And, of course, the Democrats were devastated in the 2010 midterm elections.
But, look, the scoring of this is going to come. There will be a score before the final vote. This has to go through the House, then the Senate and probably another vote in the House and Senate to pass the final bill. But I think - I want to make one point that hasn't been made throughout this show, which is, really what's at stake here is a complete conflict of visions between the two parties in the United States. I mean the Democrats, and I've been on this show many times debating Democrats who admit that Obamacare is falling apart but they say we need to move more towards a government-run system. And so what this is really about I think fundamentally is whether Americans want a government-run health care system because if we stay with Obamacare it will be a government-run system, or whether we want more of a free enterprise system where the private-sector runs our health care. And I think that's really the big stake in this whole debate.
TAPPER: Congressman Israel, let me ask you, the way that this bill - the original bill, Obamacare, the American - the Affordable Health Care Act, the way that that was sold to the American people was, in many ways, mendacious. They were told, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. That's not true. And it's just imperially evident out there that insurance companies are leaving Obamacare exchanges, leaving voters, consumers with fewer options, not greater options. Do you think the Democrats, in the way they sold this bill to the public, really undermine their own credibility on the issue of health care?
[14:10:23] STEVE ISRAEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Jake, look, let's stipulate that Obamacare is far from perfect. That there was some significant flaws in its execution, including a website that went down. That there were unintended consequences.
TAPPER: Yes, I didn't even remember that one.
ISRAEL: Here's the deal. Here's the deal. I do too. It was the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It was fun for anybody.
But here's the deal. There are always unintended consequences. And I believe that the unintended consequences of the bill that's being voted on now and what happens in the Senate and what happens in the House-Senate conference are really going to plague Republicans in a Midterm election.
What I'm curious to see is this. At the end of the day, when does this bill take effect? If they move the effective date of this bill until after the midterm elections in 2018, that is an admission that they know that this thing is a monster, that this thing is going to be hugely problematic.
So the first thing I suggest people look at, as this bill winds its way through, and right now I think we have premature jubilation because we do have a long and rocky road before it comes back to the House and to the president's desk, the thing I'm going to be looking at is, what is the effective date? Post-midterm election, they don't want to lose seats over a bill they know is a bad bill. If it's before the midterm election, they have confidence it's going to be OK.
MOORE: But, congressman, that's what - congressman, that's what -
TAPPER: Stephen Moore, go ahead.
MOORE: Congressman, that's what the Democrats did when you passed Obamacare (INAUDIBLE).
ISRAEL: That's correct. That's - you're right.
TAPPER: All right, Stephen, so let me ask you, Congressman Israel makes a point that a lot of people have made, which is, this bill that is - that might pass the House today is not going to pass the Senate in its current form, unless, of course, they change the rules of the Senate. Do you think that Nancy Pelosi has a point when she says to Republicans in the House, you're walking the plank for something that's not going to become law?
MOORE: Are you asking me, Jake?
TAPPER: Yes, yes, Stephen Moore.
MOORE: Yes. So I think that - look, the Republicans have to pass Obamacare repeal. If they don't, they're going to get wiped out in the 2018 election. So, you know, both choices may not be very good, but failure to act here after Republicans, for seven years, have promised to their voters and to conservatives around the country they were going to repeal this, they have to do it.
And, by the way, you know, it was Barack Obama who said, you know, eight years ago that elections have consequences. And, let's face it, this election that we just had in November was, if nothing else, it was a referendum by the American voters about whether they wanted to keep Obamacare and they voted on it and they said no they wanted to get rid of it.
And one last thing. Jake, it's so interesting that the title of this law is the Affordable Care Act and that's where it has broken down where I live in Virginia. We are losing our insurance companies, our costs are going through the roof and that's something that's kind of been left out of the discussion is, people are going to lose their insurance and drop their insurance if their insurance costs keep going up by thousands of dollars a year.
TAPPER: All right, gentlemen, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
BLITZER: You know, the main vote is now underway. You can see it up on your screen. Take a look at this, three minutes and 40 seconds time remaining. There's always a little extra. Right now, what was it, 185 yeas, 174 nays.
John King, this is a critically important vote right now, even though it's going to be, if it passes, it will be drastically changed in the Senate.
KING: Right, this gets it through the House. It gets the president and Speaker Ryan and the Republican leadership team a very much needed short term victory to prove that an all-Republican Washington can at least start the steps of governing and keeping campaign promises. We have no idea, a, whether this bill actually becomes a final bill that gets to the president's desk, a law, to repeal and replace Obamacare. We have no idea if that's going to happen. And we also don't have a very good sense yet of what will the economy look like, what will the president's approval rating look like, and how will this impact 2018.
But we do know this, Democrats clearly think they are taking up what they thought was a generational achievement, passing a national health care plan. Democrats thought we'd waited for 50 years. We've always wanted to do this. They thought it would be a great asset to their party. It turned in - politically into an albatross. They got wiped out in 2010, wiped out in 2014 and again in 2016 in large part because of Obamacare. They believe they're handing ownership of what became an albatross to the Republicans.
BLITZER: And remember, as we look at the roll call right now, what, 198 in favor, 192 opposed. The magic number, 216. That's what the Republicans need in order to get this passed.
BORGER: Yes. And to Stephen Moore's point about Iowa, Virginia, the insurers leaving, I think that's an important points to make. Aetna said that it was leaving because of uncertainty in the marketplace and the cost of these high-risk pools. Well, even after this is passed, I would argue there is still going to be uncertainty in the marketplace and there is still going to be questions about the high-risk pools because if this bill were to be adopted - just let's say, it won't be, but say the Senate were to adopt the same provisions on high-risk pools adding another $8 billion, for example, even the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, says you would not need $8 billion over five years, you would need $15 billion to $20 billion over one year. Just one year. And the - so it's not enough money. So would insurers have the same problem with this bill that they did with Obamacare?
[14:15:38] I mean according to Kaiser, Obamacare paid $2 billion to high-risk pools to cover just 100,000 people over one year, and that's just 100,000 people. So the question is, how do you get the uncertainty out of the marketplace, particularly when you're handing it over to states and it's going to vary from state to state.
BLITZER: You know, take a look at the roll call, Jake, as we're watch - I'm watching it very, very closely. Two Democrats now have voted in favor, 18 Republicans have voted opposed. So that change - we didn't think any Democrats, Jake, were going to vote in favor of this legislation, but as of right now two Democrats have voted in favor, 18 Republicans have voted against, 216, that's the number the Republicans need. There are 211 right now.
TAPPER: There are only five votes left that they need. There are 11 Republicans who have not voted, for Democrats who have not voted. They need - well, they just -
TAPPER: So there are - so there are six - there we go back to five. But in any case, right now the pressure on those nine Republicans is immense. I suspect that all the nine are from the 22 or 23 seats that Republicans have, the congressional seat, that Hillary Clinton won the presidential race. Oh, my God, they're just one vote away now. So the pressure on those five Republicans, one of them has to walk the plank. Let's listen in.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: Yes.
Oh, there it is.
TAPPER: There it is. They hit 216.
BLITZER: That's it.
TAPPER: They've had 216 votes.
BLITZER: They can still change their minds. But as of right now, the 216 number has been achieved. The Republicans will declare victory at this stage. The president just tweeted, by the way, "if victorious, Republicans will be having a big press conference at the beautiful Rose Garden of the White House immediately after the vote."
And, Nia, it looks like the Republicans have it.
HENDERSON: Yes, they did. And it looks like those two Democrats who had - looks like they voted for it, changed their mind. Probably a mistake there. And we'll see what this president says in terms of the messaging. It's a big moment for him. So many doubts in those first 100 days that he could get something done, and now he has.
BLITZER: All right, let's listen to the floor of the House.
CROWD: Hey, hey, hey, good-bye.
TAPPER: Those are Republicans singing it to Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) members change their votes.
BLITZER: It says time remaining is zero. They can keep it open a little bit longer. There are a couple members who have not yet voted, but the Republicans clearly have the number they need, 217 right now to 213. One -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the I's (ph) are 217, the nays are 213. The bill is passed. And without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
The unfinished business is the vote on the motion from the gentleman from Mr. - from California, Mr. Rice, to suspend the rules and pass H.R. 1644 as amended on which the ayes and nays ordered. Clerk, report the title of the bill.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: H.R. 1644, a bill to enhance sanctions with respect to transactions related to North Korea and -
BLITZER: All right, so there you have it, they're going on to other business now on the floor of the House. The members will be going into recess fairly soon.
Dana Bash, you're up on The Hill getting immediate reaction. They expected it would be close. It was very close, but the Republicans had enough to get this legislation passed in the House.
BASH: Barely, with only one vote to spare. They needed 216. Got 217. It tells you that some of those members who were on the fence and said to the leadership, I'll be there if I need - if you need me but I really don't want to, didn't have to, and clearly didn't want to, which I think tells you something.
[14:20:00] But let's just take a step back and remind everybody that, you know, elections have consequences and this is such a stark example. How many times have I been walking these halls, have you been covering the House of Representatives, the Republican-led House, during the last years until President Trump got in and they would vote on repealing Obamacare over and over and over and over, knowing that it was just symbolic. Well, now they did it in a way that they knew that it has real consequences.
So let's go to the Senate and that's a very big challenge and they have - still have to mesh the bills and get it to the president. But it is a first step that they never could do in a way that they thought that there was light at the end of the tunnel before.
So, you know, this is a promise that is being kept, and it is for better or for worse and Republicans feel that they are going walk out that door, they are now, we are told, going to - many of them going to go to the White House to have an event in the Rose Garden with President Trump to talk about this. Now the issue is the messaging war. And it is going to be a race, a race. And it's already under way for Republicans to beat back the Democrats who are - have been successful even in the past week on other issues in framing these things the way they want to. Framing this, obviously, in a way that is, you're taking away health care for people who need it and so on and so forth and Republicans have a big challenge to say, no, no, that's not true, we're just doing it in a different way. We're not sure if we'll ever know the answer because it's going to change a lot when it gets to the Senate, if it gets out of the Senate. But this is something that we should take a - take a note of and say that this is - particularly since they were in such dire straits, they had to pull the bill. They thought Obamacare was going to be the law of the land for so long after they really messed this up a little more than a month ago. Now they have some victory to declare.
BLITZER: A big win for the Republicans on this day after a major setback, only six weeks ago when they didn't have enough votes to even have a roll call.
Let's get quick reaction from John King.
KING: The 2018 campaign for control of the House just began in earnest right there. This will become a defining moment. The success for the president in the short term. This does not get it to the finish line. He's going to have a big event at the White House that will be in every Democratic House campaign ad next year, trying to tie those Republicans to President Trump. We don't know what his popularity will be when the election season rolls around. But I think what this does now is this is a - this is a - it gives the president a short term victory to get the long term success he and the Republicans want. We're going to learn if this president can really negotiate -
HENDERSON: Yes, and -
KING: And resolve the differences between the Republicans in the House and the very narrow 52-48, 52 Republicans in the Senate. To work that out to get a bill to the finish line is going to require some legislative magic.
HENDERSON: Yes. And Trumpcare is real now, right?
HENDERSON: It didn't really become a real thing before because it was only around for about 17 days. So it's going to take weeks and weeks for this thing to make its way through the Senate. The debate -
BLITZER: Yes, Nia, as you see these members going down the stairs -
BLITZER: A lot of folks are screaming out the word ":shame, shame." There's a lot of anger right now.
HENDERSON: And I imagine those are Democrats. And, sure, I mean this was their big legislative accomplishment. Obama's legacy. And now they've seen that all turned upside down with this vote. I think what we're going to have to look for over these next couple of weeks and days is the CBO score. What happens in these town halls? These folks are going to go home. The messaging, how good are Democrats in being in the opposition party?
BLITZER: Dana Bash has a special guest.
Dana, tell us who you have.
BASH: Hi there. I'm back with the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is just coming off the floor.
You're, I'm sure, feeling quite good about what you just accomplished.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), MAJORITY LEADER: Well, this is a new opportunities for all those that are losing their health care, or had their premiums rise, it's an opportunities to lower the premiums, give people more choice of what they can select, and improve the health care. Because as just we read this week, 94 of the 99 counties in Iowa will not have insurance. Aetna pulling out of Virginia. This is on a downward spiral. We need to help.
BASH: No, I know that's your hope, but if you - if you look at the picture right there, we have a monitor, the members, your members, your rank-and-file and the Democrats are walking down the steps of the Capitol and there are protesters out there screaming "shame." So you have a lot of work to do to convince people that what you just told me about people's costs going down, the premiums going down, their access to coverage going up, is really going to happen.
MCCARTHY: Yes. And it - well, the first thing they know for sure is they're losing their health care. The 18 co-ops that have pulled out, the 94 counties that do not now have insurance in Iowa, what does that do to pre-existing conditions. You can't have coverage in that process. So this is an opportunity to show them how premiums go down, have more choice and let the individual decide what they need. And as we walk through this and show people, I think you'll see a fundamental different change across the country.
[14:25:02] BASH: You were very focused on communications and this is going to be a huge communications challenge. I mean this next election cycle, 2018, just started in a big way. You just heard the opening salvo from the Democratic side. Nancy Pelosi, very, very strong in saying if members - if people back home don't know who the members of Congress are, they are going to know now. You have a lot of work to do to keep your endangered members in their seats, don't you?
MCCARTHY: Well, I think the work has to do is explain. I mean every day that goes forward, somebody loses their health care because of Obamacare. This does nothing to Medicare. This does nothing if you get your insurance through your company. This is about the individual market, about Medicaid, being able to sustain that, provide it to individuals and give them a choice. No longer will government control all. No longer will your premiums go up and you have a high deductible where you don't have.
Remember the fact that more people paid the penalty and took the exemption than signed up for Obamacare. I mean when people sit back, read the bill, understand what's going forward, I think that education will work quite well.
BASH: I was talking to one of my colleagues up here, Karl Hulls (ph), who has been around for a long time and was saying something that I thought was very interesting, and that is that, you know, it is very rare that Congress, once they have given a benefit to the American people, (INAUDIBLE) to take it away. I know you're saying you're changing it, but it's going to be framed as taking it away. That - you're not worried about political suicide?
MCCARTHY: We don't take it away. See, that's the misrepresentation. This has pre-existing condition. Everybody that's currently on Medicare is protected through Medicaid right now. This has nothing to do with your Medicare. What this does do though, for all those people who are losing their health care because insurance is pulling out, like Iowa, Virginia, Tennessee and others, one-third of this country only has one choice. That's the monopoly. Now we're going to provide greater choice, greater options, provide them with a tax credit to actually select instead of government telling them what they can and cannot have.
BASH: Are you confident that the Senate is going to pass something so that your members didn't just take a vote that will be in vein?
MCCARTHY: I'm confident that we just made a vote to make sure we're going to lower premiums, give people greater choice and stop this death spiral that's going forward. Those aren't my words. Those are the health care providers that are out across the country because of Obamacare. And I know that people are now losing health care because of Obamacare. I wasn't going sit back and do nothing.
BASH: Mr. Leader -
MCCARTHY: We have moved it and now the Senate can do their legislating. Whatever they changes do (ph), we'll go to conference and we'll solve this once and for all.
BASH: Thank you. You heading to the White House?
BASH: OK. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
MCCARTHY: Thank you.
BASH: Back to you, Jake and Wolf.
TAPPER: All right, Dana Bash, thank you so much.
Let's bring in CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod.
David, your reaction to the House of Representatives passing a bill that, to a degree, begins the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, normally, Jake, when you cast a vote like this, you want to feel like the vote wasn't in vain and the law will go on to the Senate and it will be signed by the president. In this case, if I cast a vote for this, I might be hoping that the Senate changes it dramatically or it never comes back to the House and it doesn't become law because despite what Leader McCarthy just said, the CBO says 24 million less people will have health care as a result of this law if this were to become - this bill if it were to become law. And a lot of those people who would be impacted would be older Americans, lower middle income Americans. In other words, the Trump base, the base of the - that has now become the base of the Republican Party.
So, in one sense, this is a victory because they are checking a box and fulfilling a promise that they've made for seven years. But if it were actually to become law, it would become a political disaster for them.
TAPPER: Do you think that the Democrats should have been more aggressive in proposing fixes to Obamacare? Obviously there are problems with Obamacare. Anyone who is following the issue knows that. Insurers are pulling out of the exchanges. This week they announced that they were doing so in Iowa and Virginia. I don't want to take away focus from what Republicans just did, but I was surprised that Democrats, after the first failure of the Republicans to pass a repeal and replace bill, didn't come forward with their own legislation saying here are the six fixes. And, in fact, I know there are Democrats on Capitol Hill who wanted to do that but were told by the leadership not to.
[14:29:35] AXELROD: Yes. And, in fact, Nancy (INAUDIBLE) and Phil Shilaro (ph), who were two of the White House architects of the Affordable Care Act wrote a very compelling piece a few days ago about things that could be done to stabilize those exchanges. And, yes, that might have been a good move. But one thing we should point out, though, is there's a little bit of disingenuousness on the part of the speaker and the White House when they say how unstable these markets are. The markets had problems, but the instability and uncertainty that exists now exists in many ways because of the attitude of the administration toward them. I mean when they