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“Never bet against Mitch McConnell.”

2017-07-01

Jon and Tommy attend a health care rally outside the United States Capitol and talk to patients, doctors, activists, and politicians, including Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Brian Schatz, Congresswoman Debbie-Wasserman Schultz, Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Chris Murphy, and Senator Michael Bennet. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Listeners was and composed jobs unseparated for free, that's right away, free Tommy, he's. Gotta deprecated outcome such cricket. One morning, What is it? Zip recruiter, dotcom, slash crooked, welcome to a special bonus episode of POD, save America, I'm John Fabric, I'm Tommy these or we went to a halt. The rally in DC on Wednesday, the when we set the scene. Currently, we're in the Washington, Hilton, that's right or in a part of the restaurant were not allowed to be sitting. They all seem to mind so far we're just recordings Intro couple days later, fuckin homicide word leaving DC tomorrow, but anyway, so timing. I went to this rally on Wednesday. It was outside the capital, cop thousand people there yet and we just interviewed a bunch of people and we so some people who came to tell their stories about health care we saw some doctor
is that we talk to them. He would just drove down Spillover Marilyn Virginia the district you're just came there because they are really worried about the bill in its repeal and like a bunch of physicians we're talking about what it would mean for the hostels where they work would mean for them as caregivers for their families. We are thus not organised by plan parenthood move on dot org. So anyway, he walked around rally and we talked people univee than we thought have you guys want to hear it yeah, and we also met a couple politician for there. Today was the last one to come here. We thought the boat was going to be this week. We wanted to be on the ground in part of any effort to stop the bill. Luckily Mcconnell real. Did now the votes, and hopefully they will remain that way in this single passport. Torture. Bunch report too much centres it was inspired. Stuff it made me feel, more energize in ready to get out there it, but what it really drove homeless, how important the work is outside of DC for the next several weeks during recess to make. Senators realise how much people oppose this God awful Bill
and how much the work is ahead of us now behind Us- and I said this on the pod yesterday, but nice thing about it is, is like I didn't hear Trump save a lot now. It's like for all the people say about, like the activists are resistance of angry and people that we saw came there because, like their healthcare, meant everything to them and they told really inspiring stories, and it is not a game. Not yet it really matter in Unladen from they knew exactly what This bill would mean for them for their community and you'll, hear they care about getting you'll, hear it, and it's really impressive Pylos granting of doktor, who is a health care, actually psych, citing chapter and verse what it would mean for gunshot victims. Physician to patients, and then we are ranch. Chris Murphy, ran, is Debbie Worrisome, insults to brain shadow, has centre from why ran into Jason, candor, our good friend, but for some reason wasn't on where we talked
he won't be here. Importation get our Jason and then, at the end of the day, we actually went to Michael Bennett's office under from Colorado. We sat down with him, so you'll be in all of this and this episode and is our first kind of fields. We're doing episode. Learning is harder than it looks. Let us now to build. We got yelled out by the cops in the middle of a bunch of interviews. There were some people with bull horns that it blew up our spot of you I'm someone onstage and spoke low that yeah I didn't know that was gonna. Canada's private had done more preparation, as I we're wearing shorts and We want to send out yourself teacher office in shorts, just great, and I guess we're not Anyway, it was inspiring stuff, I'm really glad you guys get to hear it and it's all get back out there without further ado. Here we go We got the rally rent, a bunch of people with personal stuff he's in personal reasons, for being there, including several doctors, the first person we hockey was actually a guiding Kyle Fischer. Who works here Yard County Hospital in Maryland. I work at all costs.
Hospital Lottery Hence in Need Medic It is huge for our patience and really concerned about both huge cuts in the each year in the B c r S, as was the cap's the cap I think is. Unreported story. That's the lifetime on coverage per capita caps dancing system in Medicaid sit. Can build a handle. It and another I patients, especially young child. This adults are, can be the first year, kicked off of medicate. Do a lot of violence prevention work and before the SBA. Eighty percent of gunshot wound victims. Their uninsured or got some sort of public insurance. So I know all of my patients are, for the most part can lose insurance in its unacceptable. One of the big arguments at proponents of cut Medicaid make you know what people don't have insurance. This whole idea that
dies so crazy, because people can always go to the emergency room where they can go to public hospital. What do you think about that? I dont do came up. Emergency room. We can fix you up issue if you're A heart attack I can fix, are attacked. You have a stroke. If you get shot, we can do. Care of that would be of long diabetes, that you need your medication taking care of. If you need chemotherapy, we can take care of acute. But if you don't have somewhere to go to afterwards, that's not terribly helpful. Only patch things up, we haven't move, caring for you? For the rest, your time is nothing about the spill. That's helpful in an perform after talking to Kyle. We ran into another doktor name cave in, and bird from Maryland. She was a practising Obi Julian and her husband was also a trauma, sir. In the military. It's hard to start anywhere. It's all bad most.
Patients were covered by Medicaid, and that was the only way they got prenatal care and if you cut people off from care, they come in sicker and its harder to help them. One of the arguments that proponents of the bill Magus they well even people arrive. Health insurance will be excluded this room or go to a public hospital, and you know that's all that's for well who pays for the public hospital, the taxpayers We pay for it one way or the other. So why not? Do it the cheaper Wang at every one health care so that they are taken care of and can catch things are then we met a woman and from can't know Heil, but a message for her undecided. Senator rapporteur, my assign has a quote from Senator around man. That says, I believe we can turn the tide and I believe we can save lives and I believe we cannot just save lives of those who otherwise may overdose, but we can help all those who are addicted. The hundreds of thousands Ohio. More than two hundred and twenty thousand Ohioans with addiction or mental health disorders have coverage under the eighth yea, and I'm asking Senator portmanteau standby has worked
We also ran into a few people who had some pretty powerful personal stories and reasons for coming to the rally that day mine is more Europe a holler. I must suit it from Anchorage Alaska and I go to the University of Alaska, encourage and I'm here today, because I stand of plan parenthood, and I stand with plan parenthood, because when I was fifteen I was sexually assaulted and coming from a small rural community in so that no Alaska, I didn't, have access to healthcare. The I needed- and I am grateful to data plan. Parenthood was two blocks away from my home to give me the health care and the tools I need to succeed after my incident happened. I met with Senator more Caskey back in March, and I just want to tell her that I am so grateful that she has publicly stated that she's going to stand a plain parenthood, and really I just want both my senators to know that when it comes to this healthcare bell, I will hold them accountable if they vote the wrong way. This healthcare bill. Not only will impact Americans by will drastically impact
skins and in the midst of our financial crisis. We cannot afford to lose health care when it comes down to a alaskan lives will be lost and I hope that they really stick with their constituents on this map from Boston Massachusetts and I'm here, because I am alive because medicated between twenty fifty in twenty sixteen Dana cost, seven hundred and thirty thousand dollars to keep me alive in year today, in twenty seventeen, the total cost him medication. So far, seventy three thousand dollars answer back away, the problem of Virginia externally wanted, and why are you here garnet twenty six weeks, and she- and she has medicaid- adds her secondary insurance, Medicaid waiver and loses. We can afford her services to help her brow and develop and have a typical adulthood. A lot of you, but we thought you were to citizens who cared enough about this bill and were concerned enough about what it would mean for our health care system. They came out, but one
story, we heard was actually from congresswoman floor too cumbersome and Debbie Watchman shops. We met up with cars from Schulz in the middle of the crap. You know, there's nothing more personal, then your health, if you don't have your health, you don't have anything. That's what my parents sold me my whole life- and you know you have it hit you smack in the face when, like I went through when I was forty one years old, I was the picture of help on one day and the next day I found a lump in my breast and was a cancer patient, and suddenly you have approved and condition that you know you're dealing with for the rest of your life and these evil people want a yank, the rug out from under a hundred and twenty nine million Americans. Like me and millions of those who have a pre existing condition on top of that, take the ability of seniors to live in nursing homes and to be cared for in the waning years of their lives. This is horrific legislation. Is cruel and unacceptable. I noticed this morning that senator from your state marker Rubio overheated, where big phantom he's just that
so he started saying you know what, for it already has a waiver. These aren't medicate cuts. These are you know we're not going to accept. The expansion in the media has been wrong in saying that people going to do. Ok. What do you say to? That is a reason why Mokroe Rubio refuses to basically appear in public in the state of Florida and that's because bonuses no time all meetings he ran and when I have no current somewhere is he's been actually locked out and kicked out of almost all of his district offices, because there are too many protesters, Marco Rubio so nice to say that on camera and to say that appear in Washington DC he's not been able to look any of his constituents in the eye because we have the largest percentage of seniors of any state in the country and sixty five percent of seniors who are in a nursing home are able to be there only because of medicate, and so Let's see him, look the seniors in the eye and say to Florida and actually try to get away with that, making you're going to lose the healthcare you have you're going to lose the health care that you might need in the future and not a good message concessions in full.
You now. If I were him, I would not be peddling that message to seniors. They can see right through. You I have a lot of time on their hands to hold your feats of a fire and they burn so is the March begins. We see our friend been Winkler jogging to the front Ben is a friend pod he's also the Washington director of move on DOT, org and then has been helping organise these rallies for the last few weeks have been absolutely crushing it. He was part of the impromptu Allie Vigil that was on the capital steps with Corey Booker and Jean Louis, that couple nights before then awesome. So we grab him for a few minutes to talk about where the bill is what people can do, how they can get involved and It was great. This you're, like the Superbowl, where were in like this insane overtime that wasn't supposed to happen. And no one knows what the hell is going to happen. The problem is matrix, all is a lot like Tom Brady like this? Is the guy you just never really wanna bet against. He's good at this game right and that's why we need to expand the playing. This is breaking out of his way
weather for completely we need to expand the playing field just needs to go beyond that. The politics of this bill. The way he's going to trade for votes in the Senate is not by just adding and subtracting provision to this bill. It's by adding and other stuff that will make her break people's political careers still arm movement or pressure needs to be at the level that it feels like an existential threat to people's long term careers, their senators, the lost their Senate seats, years after major votes like the Iraq war or Obamacare? This needs to be one of those vote that people will not be able to live down to four or six years from now. So we get a lot of people saying either I live in a deep red state. My centres are definitely you know. Voting for this or island a blue state and a definite going against. What can I do to help? So what do we tell them
so if you are lucky enough to be represented by a deep red Republicans, but the fear of God in them all these people talk. One thing that's been great over the last couple weeks is that the call volume to swing republican senators has exploded. We're back in the four February days. Were people couldn't get through? Voicemail boxes are full, but that's really happened only to the swing Republicans editors, we ve all been so targeted, which has been amazing, but there's all these other senators that aren't having that experience right now, and some of them are like asking really is there that much of it they deal? So this is actually really important time called Democrats and say you are doing everything you can you expect them to do the same? You expect them to keep up the that hurt them. I am like. I've been talking to senators and Senate staff there, a bunch of Ike senators are on fire right now there on the front lines, but there are some that are saying. I'm worried that similarly obstructionist, if we keep this up like at some point, we ve got to go back to business as usual. No, like Democrats keep
They need to know their being cheered on every time they stand up and fight, and I saw you had a good idea today for one of these centres are going home or the fourth at recess there not holding town halls. What's this suggestion for people who centres not holding its, how we have this gift independence day, an event? It is this epic opportunity. It is the one time when every senator has to go outside and face constituents and here's the thing. This is a great thing, indeed blue and deep red Democrats in the deepest deeply states when they show up, applaud them and go talk them out healthcare, and if you see a reporter, go and tell the rapporteur that you care about what the senators doing on healthcare, literally major media outlets are going to blue states to see what the reaction is too democrat standing up on healthcare in the deepest red states in the Kansas is of the world. I guess the programme back Kansas of the World
brewing Republicans on healthcare that will show up that will hit the raiders, unlike their borders, like I just got off the phone with a reporter asked me with states to go to tweet out if you're gonna, be it a fourth of July parade. We want to hear about it. We want to amplify it because the reaction that they get at home is the defining factor for the future of this bill. This is the most uniting by partisan political issue of our time. Democrats, Republicans, everyone hates this bill, except for billionaires, so we ve got the team up and stop the millionaires from passing it. Can I tell you something: costing us. What is discussing to me is, like literal, actual billionaires, are being used to pressure republican senators of over this. They brought Steve wind at this meeting with Dean Heller, see when the billionaire casino magnates they brought him to the meeting to President Heller perfectly like personally lit it like these are people who will make millions of dollars by throwing kids off their healthcare by throwing seniors out of nursing homes. The billionaires mostly commends the Republicans that they have to vote for this thing that it just makes me want to vomit and like we need to show up in bigger numbers than
dollars from the billionaire so up to make sure that this thing is so toxic that they never want to touch it again. Rina to another friend the pioneer attendant who's, the president of the Centre for american Progress, who talk with us about the current the play of the healthcare bill. I guess my group This fear is that quota called muttered will sell out fur. Just you knew pennies, but I think you were hearing enough deep anxiety about this and truthfully the american people know a lot about the spell apparently more than Donald Trump and don't like it, and so that we really can help us. But in a way we can give an inch. People like in Nevada Heller has to hear from fair day in and day out. Can't you be like we're safe. Whenever safe with Mitch, Mcconnell Responsive America stick around more ratio company with POD save America has brought you buy bluebottle I'll, get you some bluebottle runner heard. You guys got blue bottled. The office
and yet pretty excited to get back and you're gonna love. It's epiphany. I did. He loves Bilbao, went from diet, coke to coffee now, bluebottle, remember the first time you watch tv and high definition actually to do who was it a game changer for you? It was. It was like that's what the field looks like know what people have a similar experience with our new favour cup of Joe Bluebottle Coffee now have actually been the palazzo before in Venice is delicious. Zero, one, I'm very forward our office Let's go there. Anonymous bluebottle is so fresh and so much more flavorful than anything else out there, because they work with farmers, all over the world to source only the most delicious and sustainably. Auditors gives you get shit. The beans are then roasted within forty eight hours of your order and shipped directly to your doors. They arrive at peak freshness, nothing to show for weeks, boobs something for everyone's palette from the lighter fruit forward profiles of single origins, oh, my goodness, to their deep chocolate. He expresses and bless YO get through. It makes
The blue idle coffee like we did an experience. What great coffee is post? It tastes like hurry to bluebottle coffee dot TK. Slash America move or ten dollars off your first subscription over that that's bluebottle, coffee, dot com. Slash a mare. I love that could everything those I'm Tommy is America, bluebottle, coffee, dot, com, Slash America, happy Independence day, One thing about the rally that was surprising in a good way was how many democratic senators we ran into who were just roaming through the crowd. So first person we saw what Democratic, Senator Christmas Hollan from Maryland, and we talked to him for a little while no time for victory lamp, and I saw- What happened in the house right first time they killed it, but they brought it back to life. So right now, today in the next couple weeks. Are the critical moments here, and it's really important that when these roads lookin centres go home for the fourth of July. People show up at the parades and picnics barbecues and tell him stop. This thing would have even saying: what's your quick pitch on the bill which, wearing my heart,
Mama, quick pitches. This is not about healthcare. It is about Jeremy, look he had worn by governments there. That's all right! I mean we're about the word buffet on tv. The other day, just saying he's gonna get a six hundred. Seventy thousand dollar an annual tacs caught he said. We should name this, that you'll take care of the rich bill and reality is that that is what this is all about. If you go back and look at the Paul Ryan Republican Budget for the last many years, very deep cuts to Medicaid big tax breaks for wealthy people, and that's why the core of this is broken and wrong, so they need a back away from that were happy to work with them on improving exchanges those things we can do, they haven't shown any interest in doing that they are more interested in hiding out behind closed doors, but we would like to do that. Do we think Donald Trump knows what's in this building into how hard do you think, he's a lobbying for this bill or see just pushing these members off a cliff without knowing what's in it? I really don't think he knows. What's in it looked during the campaign
weeded out no cuts to Medicaid and then its supporting legislation with these gigantic cuts to Medicaid, yes, a big, so nation in the White House. This is great goes behind stores calls it mean. I don't think he really He knows the details. The bill I know is hearing from April. We, the walk is it we want, but that's about it, and not even that later, we up with why centre and prolific twitter Brian shots Mitch is essentially using that two or three hundred billion dollars in so called savings remind people on and ratify people. Often we don't know if it'll work by work, we do know, is that this bill, more and more unpopular, the more and more time people have a chance. Talk about it and look at its own where's, the sovereign people across the country? Let their vote as we heard
like to be elected to this institution, its known for debate, clearly, geography and to have the most important piece of legislation will be written. This Congress entirely behind closed doors, with thirteen guys in some lobbyists is people just up in arms yeah they are its gross. You know, parliament is that we are supposed to be the world's greatest deliberative body, because we have to be where the place where solutions have to be forged. Whatever our faults, where the place where problems get solved if they get solved at the federal level there are a lot of members on both sides of the oil that cherish their prerogatives. As a member of whatever committee, they ve worked so hard to get on and I'm thinking of all the more Alexander who did a bipartisan billing education with Patty, Murray or Orange hatch. You used to do deals with Teddy Kennedy, and their gobbles are essentially useless. Part of the argument that I'm making internal so the citizen.
Itself is to say you you spend twenty or thirty years becoming president protests of the United States. And you're, the children of the lights go out with the boys like out on the third line for the presidency over the presidency has a gamble. He's not in the room, but TED crews is Senator IRAN widen from Oregon has been an expert on health care. For years really knows, this issue I found out he was on his way out of the rally and he actually grabbed us. His son is a big front of the pod, and so he's about us, and we chatter with him for a little bit about healthcare. We can not let up even with over the next two weeks, because I was gonna predict and I'm kind of like Yogi Bear. I don't you predict incessantly about future at its heart
Protection of I was gonna predict. This bill will be back on the Senate floor two weeks from now, and what we gotta do is won T rail, another bad, build and hurts people and lay the foundations for a bill, for example, that holds down the costs of prescription drugs, lift the restrictions that Medicare can bargained down the costs. Let's stop a bad bill, lay the foundation for the future. You could not swing a dead cat without hitting a? U S centre later we saw The pipe Chris Murphy right outside the capital media, conversation about where things stand and how to keep healthcare in the headlines. In the coming weeks, I mean this guy's. A master tacticians Mcconnell is work in it right now. Got a lot of money to buy these guys off, but at the same time, this is worst nightmare, like he wanted this bill on the forward this we because he knew that this new rotting
issued stink throughout the recess and a wooden help, him get votes, so yeah. I think he's gonna work the votes, but he didn't want this to happen. It is important to remember that. What's yours the level of anger among people like capital and more kuski, and are these statements just window dressing, do you think they are really? How get up leaving their. I think the problem for repairs Dickens is that their looking at an electorate that has made up their minds about this bill, it's sort of feels like the public impressions on this piece of legislation are cooked there only heading in one direction, so even if they can and get it will pay off for West Virginia or Fur Alaska. In the inn, still thirteen percent of Americans want this and that's hard to bring home. Your constituents mean that Cochrane east. His phone calls the other day. Seven hundred the against two four at night: that's Mississippi, and so that tells you what's happening in these officers very Moran. That was that, as a surprise, that
again, if, if the cause you're going seven hundred to two against the bill in Mississippi them, they're probably go in the same way in Kansas in Alabama in Kinshasa. You may find some weird members who you thought were good team members starting to get cold feet. Stop there where members, ok, you're Mcconnell, you ve lived your entire life to be in power. This bill, Poles while percent wisely so pushing. I just think when you been chasing the car right through the streets, your neighborhood for seven years and then stops laid you hit. Start the latch, your teeth onto it and that's. What's goin on they have created a petrol motion machine that they can't stop even if they wanted to- and I think, they're looking at what happen in Virginia, so there's no name guy who just lax his arms with Donald Trump? Almost beats mainstream Canada, and if they don't do healthcare, then there are
a bunch of other Corey Stuarts out there who are gonna potentially score, some big upset It's a reality for them, but it's a problem that they create is how do you feel about our ability to keep in the headlines for a week or two, I'm nervous that the tv networks don't think that this gets eyeballs like Russia does in some of these other issues, and so we're gonna have to create news on this. We are going to have to build out like this in every state to make sure the tv cameras have to turn out not sure that without us and without big numbers, like have today that will keep the nations eyes August on this, especially because tramp is going to get up every day. Thinking about what new, rages tweets you can send out what missile strikes you launched to try to distract folks attention from this. I say that partially ingest don't go anywhere is pod, save America and there's more on the wet POD save America has brought you buy betterment Tommy launched, tell us about betterment since the financial
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it was around during the fight over the affordable care act in two thousand and nine, and he had some insightful things to say not only about healthcare but about the state of our politics in general, and how its changed over the years. It is hard to bet against Mitchell, colonel he's relentless said the stuff and I think, he's defined unfortunately defined politics that become very worried about, which is one withered, no rules. There, customs or no standards and whenever you can get away with, is what you can get away with. So if you can block Merrick and you blog Merk Earl, if you can blow up the nuclear option on this report, you do that too. And I think he will stop at nothing- to pass the spill. The get a big mistake for the Republican. I can't imagine how he could make the bill any further to the right and pass it. I don't think that's a possibility, which gives you a sense of it Nobody should bet against mature economies, ability get something like this stuff,
said earlier. Nobody should bet against Mature Connell's ability get something like this done This bill is already so far out of the mainstream of conventional republican political thought, much less. With Democrats, independence had to say I don't think he could possibly move it the right I do remember what it was like to be on the other side of this when we were passing the affordable care act, and I was out doing town Hall meetings in place Like Lamar Colorado, which is a place, I treasure, but not a place where I get a lot of votes and an affordable care, it was
We in parliament equivalent would have been doing internal meeting today in boulder. Trying to support this bill Toy IDA Centre with the challenges are. I think people should all across the country uses as an opportunity to make sure their voices are heard and everybody in the Senate understands what their position is, and if that happens, this bill isn't going to pass. We have this shockingly secretive, closed process and then this effort to jam a bill that would impact one. The american economy, through
In a week, what does that say to you about the broader state of our politics? It goes back to what I was saying earlier that now we ve got a feeling in Washington which is not shared in local governments, and it may be the state governments that, whatever you can get away with his okay and being in completely inconsistent as ok, you remember you guys will remember how much Mitch Mcconnell complained about the process with respect to a bomb occur. Now is a bill that had over a year of public vetting and countless hearings, and almost two hundred I think republican amendments were adopted as part of it, and he said the american people are sick and tired of these things be jam through in the middle of the night and
he's doing exactly the same thing here, because he thinks he can get away with it and he thinks nobody cares that a politician stands up and says the process is terrible and then, when it's on the other side that you can just be inconsistent, I may I will say that was one and I thought one of the great virtues of Obama when, when used presently, he was when he was in that job. He was in general, fairly consistent about what he said and I think was a guy also who, if the facts changed, and he had a reason to think differently about something. He would explain that change of opinion of his mind. You don't see that in our politics today.
Capitol Hill and it it is endemic. Think it's epidemic, it's a real problem for politics, because when we behave their way it degrades the institution, it degrades the people that are here and the public's expectations of what can actually get done diminishes and then you can get anything done, which is fine. If your position is where we ve all been sent here to dismantle the federal government, which is the position of some of these people, I mean having a nine percent approval rating for the Congress suits their purposes because they get to say so What's that place sucks. Unfortunately, if you are dealing with a healthcare system, when I don't care whether you're a supporter of the affordable care act or whether you opposed it, the reality people need to understand is that the America people's intersection with healthcare, not the affordable, but healthcare is unaware.
Able to them, and what we need is Democrats and Republicans to work together to fill the gaps, to make sure that people are covered at a reasonable price and that health care is predictable. That can happen with just Republicans Democrats, and so knowing that would you, I think people are to be doing here, is helping to elevate the institution rather than degraded and there's been too much degradation of it over. A period of time, we have a long way to build back, so I hope you enjoy these conversations. Hope you keep up the fight over the recess on health care. Remember go to those fourth of July Parades
and bring your sign from your t shirts, to find your senators find your representatives and let them know what you think about this bill really important, keep up the pressure and- and we will talk to you next week- so take care of everyone.
Transcript generated on 2020-04-02.