ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 1, 2013
Guest: Jay Carney, Chris Murphy, Jan Schakowsky, Bruce Bartlett, Michael
Lofgren, Dr. Kavita Patel; Marcelas Owens; Gina Owens
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And tonight, 20 hours into a U.S. government shutdown, Republicans are
facing the unpleasant reality of the world outside the conservative bubble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rarely have I seen an instance where one party is
so much more responsible, guilty, than the other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the stakes have really been raised in this now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any face-saving way for the Republicans
to back themselves out of this corner?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you commit a vote on a clean C.R.?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a mistake and it is hurting the Republican
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: But we also want
basic fairness for all Americans under Obamacare.
REPORTER: What do you say to those workers, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My favorite is "The Daily News." I think we end
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The House of Turds."
HAYES (voice-over): As Republicans feel the heat of the spotlight one
day into a shutdown, the president this afternoon seized the bully pulpit
to say once more, this time, he will not be negotiating with Republicans.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me repeat, I will
not negotiate over Congress` responsibility to pay bills that`s already
racked up. Nobody gets to hurt our economy and millions of hardworking
families over a law you don`t like.
HAYES: As the president stands firm, Republicans continue to turn on
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: There`s so much opposition to that
policy, it`s madness. It`s going absolutely nowhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what we`re going to do is play out the
strategy that I would call that`s kind of an oxymoron because it`s really
not a strategy.
HAYES: With the GOP in disarray, the right-wing media is working
overtime to spin a government shutdown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight hundred thousand federal workers furloughed,
OK? Most people won`t know that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a pinprick. It is not the end of the
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: People are probably going to
realize they can live with a lot less government.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Maybe I`m just one of the few people, I`m
just not -- this doesn`t impact me mentally. We`ve had 17 government
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Look at this. Republicans are to blame.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is such an appropriate headline. How do they
get away with that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, inappropriate and inaccurate. It`s just
HAYES: While FOX News attempts to rebrand the shutdown, a slim down
in some epic denialism, the real effects of the shut down are unfolding
across America. At the commissary of red stone arsenal, an army post in
Huntsville, Alabama, people are stocking up on perishable.
MARILYN TURESDALE, COMMISIARY EMPLOYEE: Right now, it`s going to
affect and not only me, it`s going to affect everybody. Everybody is
shopping today, trying to get as much as they can get because they don`t
know what`s going to happen.
HAYES: A furloughed employee in Norfolk naval shipyard in Virginia
prepares to find new work.
BRUCE LOWE, NORFOLK NAVAL YARD EMPLOYEE: It`s devastating.
REPORTER: What`s next for you?
LOWE: Make some money on the side, cut some grass, bartend, or
HAYES: And in the nation`s capital today, as World War II veterans
stormed the barricade of the shuttered World War II memorial, the
Republicans lawmakers who shut the town down tried to hold a press
conference amidst the shouting protesters.
PROTESTER: You guys are worthless!
HAYES: An overwhelming 72 percent of Americans are opposed to a
government shutdown to block the implementation of Obamacare. And we are
watching in real time the consequences of that shutdown playing out almost
like everyone said they would.
KARL ROVE: It gives the president a bully pulpit and a gigantic stick
on which to beat us.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This is going to be a complete disaster. We`re
on the threshold of that.
HAYES: If only October John Boehner listened to March John Boehner.
BOEHNER: There`s no reason to get into a debate about shutting down
the government. It`s just not a smart thing to do.
HAYES: Joining me now is White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
And we`re hearing now that the House of Representatives is going to
pass and send over to the Senate for a bunch of mini C.R.s for things they
feel are inconveniencing their constituents to much or drawing too much
negative press. That seems to me like a good way of governing our way out
of this. I imagine the White House feels the same way.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, Chris, it just
demonstrates the lack of seriousness the House Republicans have known in
approaching this very simple task, which is fulfilling their responsibility
to keep the government open, to extend funding at current levels, no
partisan strings attached by Democrats, no partisan strings attached by the
president, just do your job, fund the government, keep it open.
The president is willing as he said all along and as he had done all
year, to have discussions and negotiations about our broader budget issues,
how we continue to invest where we need to invest, to keep our economy
growing, how we invest to make our middle class more secure and how we
responsibly continue to reduce our deficits.
HAYES: Right now.
CARNEY: But in a balanced way.
But, you know, this approach demonstrates they`re still not serious.
It`s like picking little -- they`re cherry picking little pieces of the
argument they want to open, like you said, because it`s inconvenient to
keep them shut.
The right thing to do if they want them to have the government open is
to open the government.
HAYES: Right now, we`re going to go towards this other deadline,
which is the October 17th debt ceiling limit as announced by the Treasury.
At a certain point if this extends, if the government shutdown because of a
lack of appropriation extends, does there come a tipping point at which the
White House will not sign off on a deal that doesn`t also include a debt
Because it seems to me that a week from now if you`re passing
something to get us out of the shutdown and turning around and finding
yourselves staring down the barrel of another fight of the debt ceiling,
that doesn`t do anyone any good.
CARNEY: Let me say two things, Chris. One, you know, the habit that
Republicans, especially in the House have of, you know, governing by crisis
and consecutive crisis and habitual crisis is bad for the economy and bad
for the American people and we oppose it. So, that goes a little bit to
what you`re asking.
Secondly, you`re right to raise the debt ceiling because the concern
that we have is that as bad as shutting the government down is with the
hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans who couldn`t go to work
today and aren`t getting paid and all the other negative impacts of
shutdown, default is infinitely worse. It would be catastrophic, as the
IMF said today.
And the mere flirtation with default as we saw in 2011 by these same
House Republicans would have truly damaging effects on our economy and on
the middle class.
So, we`re opposed to that. But the president is being clear, no
negotiating over Congress`s responsibility to pay the bills that Congress
has racked up. So, you know, we won`t negotiate over that.
HAYES: You talked about the habit --
HAYES: I want to ask you, because you talk about the habit -- the
habit that`s been formed here and the need to break that habit. I wonder
if you think the president and the White House bear some responsibility for
the habit because back in 2011 when the House Republicans first threatened
essentially default in the process of trying to get leverage for a budget
deal, the president was willing to negotiate.
Did that set a negative precedent that we`re now living with to this
CARNEY: There`s no question, Chris, that of the 40 plus times that
Congress has voted to raise the debt ceiling, the singular exception to how
they approached it was 2011 and that for the first time in our history, one
party, in this case the Republicans, chose to actually flirt with default
and that had negative consequences and were the first to acknowledge that
had negative consequences that were bad for the economy.
What the president was trying to do that year was reach a
comprehensive budget great with the speaker of the House and with
Republicans in the House and the Senate and he hoped and believed he could
and he thought that would be the right thing for the economy. He certainly
never supported the idea and I remember standing at the podium absolutely
castigating those who supported the idea, that we could flirt with default.
But we learned that summer that Republicans were willing to do that
and Americans across the country paid the price for it.
HAYES: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, thank you so much for
CARNEY: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now is Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from
And, Senator, one of the things -- one of the themes in the first 20
hours of this from a political standpoint is it seems to me the Democratic
caucus in the both the Senate and House are quite united. You`ve seen now
the House leadership bring a number of different attempts at trying to game
out something that will kick the ball back into your court, whether it`s
appointing conferees to a conference committee or whether it`s this -- what
looks to be a failed attempt to pass mini C.R.s.
Is that the case? Is the perception here right that the Democratic
members of the Senate and House are all on the same page, more or less,
nothing except for a clean C.R. going forward?
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Yes, the Democrats in the Senate
are totally united here. We`re willing to talk to the Republicans but not
while the government is shut down.
We just can`t continue to run government by crisis. I mean, what
we`re talking about here is essentially a six-week continuing resolution.
So, as a price of keeping the open for six weeks, the Republicans want to
repeal a health care law that is going to help millions of Americans.
Well, what are they going to want six weeks from now? Six weeks from
then? We can`t continue to do this. And I think as caucus in the Senate,
Democrats have just decided enough for enough. We have to stop allowing
Republicans to take the entire economy by hostage.
And we do this knowing that if John Boehner brought up a clean
continuing resolution on the floor of the House, it would pass. So, if
there was no other way out of this other than negotiation, maybe we`re
willing to talk. But if he brings that you clean resolution, he`ll get
votes from Democrats and Republicans and the crisis is over.
HAYES: One thing I couldn`t help but notice last night as we were
covering this, and the continuing resolution language was pinging back
between the House and the Senate, was that the roll call votes in the
Senate were all 54-46. And I think it`s interesting to point out here that
because of the way the rules work on items in the budget, there was not a
filibuster in operation on the floor, and I think it`s worth pointing out -
- and I`m curious what you would think about this, that if the filibuster
were operational yesterday, this would be a very different situation
because the majority caucus in the Senate wouldn`t be able to just pass a
clean continuing resolution. We would be in negotiations probably right
MURPHY: Yes, so think about how bad this looks and how much worse it
would be if the filibuster was operational. For those who of us want the
filibuster gone, this is an example of at least how it makes it a little
bit better without it.
But I`ll tell you this -- if there was a filibuster, I`m not sure that
the Republicans would all stand together because there is a group of
Republicans in the Senate who actually think that this tactic on behalf of
the Tea Party in the House is absolutely foolish, who can conveniently vote
no now because they know it`s only a 50-vote requirement but likely might
join with us because ultimately, a lot of the senior Republicans in the
Senate know that this is so destructive to the Republican brand to own this
kind of dysfunction and to own the shutdown as the Republicans in the House
do right now.
HAYES: What do you think you`re going to hear from your constituents?
I mean, there`s already a battle brewing in the press from different kind
of partisan perspectives about what the reality of what the shutdown looks
like. What are you expecting to hear from your constituents as it plays
MURPHY: Yes, I think people are pretty sick and tired of all this.
And so, they`re kind of used to us walking up to the precipice on, you
know, everything from the deft ceiling, to the fiscal cliff, to previous
shutdowns ,and then walking it back. So, I think there`s going to be some
surprise this week when our failure to get this done and Republicans
recalcitrance, that bad things actually start to happen. And so, we`re
starting to get phone calls from people who didn`t really think they were
going to get furloughed who are now out of paycheck, seniors who thought
their Social Security claim is going to be processed but isn`t, from people
who are going to get a small business loan this week who now can`t get a
call back from the SBA.
So, you`re going to see a mounting furor from the public. Now, I`ll
admit, some people just blame everybody down here.
MURPHY: But people who don`t blame everybody know that it`s the
Republicans to blame. You`re going to see an awakening of the public over
the course of the week when they realized how devastating this really is
and how simple it is to fix if John Boehner just called a vote on the clean
continuing resolution in the House of Representatives.
HAYES: Senator Chris Murphy, thank you so much for your time.
MURPHY: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: I should mention, I mentioned earlier, Republicans in the
House introduced tonight three mini-bills that would fund veterans
benefits, government operations in Washington, D.C. and national parks.
Those funding bills, this is their big new strategy they were going to put
his on the Senate again -- those were all defeated moments ago. This is
the latest strategy after failing to receive two-thirds of the votes
necessary to pass, for a procedural reason I can explain, the president
threatened to veto any piecemeal funding bills if they made it through
Congress. But, of course, they didn`t make it through Congress.
And joining me now to discuss it, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky,
Democrat from Illinois.
This strikes as we`re now leaving the realm of absorb into kind of
self parody, we`re now the House leadership can`t even get the votes to
pass the gimmicky stuff they want to pass to try to blame Democrats or the
senator or the White House.
SEN. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, I think that`s what they
want to do. What they want to do is say, oh, you see, those Democrats
wouldn`t open up the parks and they wouldn`t open -- you know, help the
veterans. But it doesn`t really work because they don`t get to pick and
choose what parts of the government that they want.
But, Chris, I want to say one thing. I think you`re missing
SCHAKOWSKY: Today was the first day of Obamacare.
SCHAKOWSKY: Over 2.8 million people went to Web sites across the
country. In Illinois, we had over 10,000 people -- is that right -- apply
for applications, and 78,000 went. Web sites crashed all across the
country for people who wanted to sign up, who wanted to get information.
So what is it that the Republicans are going to hold hostage now?
They`ve been on the floor saying, oh, we have to do this because everyone
hates Obamacare, they don`t want this, this is dangerous. Nobody should
sign up. And people are.
So what is it that they`re going to now say we`re going to hold up the
continuing resolution, we`re not going to raise the debt ceiling. Really?
To get rid of Obamacare?
It looks really popular as of today.
HAYES: And I think one of the things that Republicans have feared and
they`ve been arguing kind of in the alternative in a way that is in tension
with itself is that it`s a disaster people hated and we have to stop it now
before people try it because then it will be too hard to get rid of it.
SCHAKOWSKY: And what we`ve been saying is that their greatest fear is
not that it will fail but that it will succeed. And so, if today is any
indication, and I know that there are still glitches and some of the Web
sites slowed down, I think it was healthcare.gov because so many people
were on. But, you know, there`s an article about one guy who had to wait
three hours. He says, to save $6,000, I would have waited all day, it`s
fine with me.
HAYES: Do you think that there`s a relationship -- I mean, one of the
things that`s interesting about today is the two things landed on the same
date -- the government shutdown essentially over defunding Obamacare or
delaying one of its key provision, and the implementation of the law. Is
this an accident or have we hit kind of pay dirt, the deep issue, the deep
fight in American politics between the left coalition and right coalition
as they are constituted?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I mean, you know, the days are -- the day was set
four years ago -- or three years ago, in 2010 when the Affordable Care Act
was passed. It was October 1st, it made some sense. Let`s remember that
Democrats still had control of the House of Representatives and no one
anticipated that this was -- that this was going to happen. So, the
convergence in some ways we thought was an unhappy one, but it turns out
that it may be really advantageous for us that we have these two things
happening on the same day because I think that they are left now without an
HAYES: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, thank you so much
for your time.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Marcelas lost his mom to an illness. She didn`t have
insurance and couldn`t afford the care that she needed. So, in her memory,
he has told his story across America so that no other children have to go
through what his family experienced.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What happened to the little boy who stood by President Obama`s
side on the day the Affordable Care Act was signed? We`re going to find
HAYES: Coming up, I`m going to talk to two Republicans who spent
decades working in Washington politics and on the Hill and to ask, is it me
or is the Republican Party truly off the rails right now?
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Here`s what a Republican said about some of his colleagues in
their desperate attempt to defund Obamacare through a government shutdown.
"Lemmings with suicide vest." That`s Congressman Devin Nunes of
California. "They have to be more than just a lemming because jumping to
your death is not enough. You have this group saying somehow if you`re not
with them, you`re with Obamacare. If you`re not with their plan, exactly
what they want to do, you`re with Obamacare. It`s getting a little old."
I`m a liberal -- a little confession -- and I`m inclined to think
Republicans are crossing into extreme new territory by holding up
government funding after losing an election to destroy a signature piece of
legislation of the country`s majority party, a piece of legislation that
was passed by both Houses, signed by the president, deemed constitutional
and extensively litigated in the last presidential election, one whose main
goal is to give millions of Americans access to affordable health care.
But there are Republicans just as perplexed as I am by the House
strategy, and let`s talk to some.
Joining me now is Bruce Bartlett, former senior policy analyst in the
Reagan White House, former deputy assistant secretary for economic policy
in the George H.W. Bush administration; and Michael Lofgren, former staff
member on the House and Senate Budget Committees in that position for 28
years and the author of "Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy,
Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted."
Mike, being a Hill veteran, having seen a whole bunch of continuing
resolution fights, budget fights, conference committees, are we dealing
with normal politics or have we crossed into some kind of different kind?
MICHAEL LOFGREN, AUTHOR, "PARTY IS OVER": No, this is not the 80s.
This is something new. The party that I joined was the party of Lincoln,
the party of Theodore Roosevelt. The party of Eisenhower. These were
patriots all. They were for one nation, indivisible.
Now, what we have an insurrectionist, neo-Confederate party that seems
dedicated to all kinds of apocalyptic outcomes. I don`t know whether this
comes from their fundamentalist religious outlook, or whether it`s just
good fundraising for them among their base. But they are no longer a
normal political party. They are an insurrectionist party that is bringing
down the government.
HAYES: OK. No longer a normal political party, I have heard a lot of
commentators say this. I want to play devil as advocate and check my own
biases here, Bruce.
We had more shutdowns before. In fact, we have more shutdowns
between, you know, Tip O`Neill and the Democratic Congress and Reagan than
we`ve now, and there`s also some who are arguing, Bruce, that the system, a
constitutional system like we have, invest minority parties with a lot of
power, and so this is a natural outcome of that system. What do you think
BRUCE BARTLETT, FORMER GEORGE H.W. BUSH ECONOMIC ADVISOR: Well,
that`s certainly true up to a point. But I think what we`re really seeing
here is a crisis of democracy, where one party believes its principles are
so correct, so strong and the other party`s principles are so evil that
we`re essentially talking about God compromising with Satan, and you can`t
do that, and therefore, they`re justified by using any means necessary,
perhaps even revolutionary or military means, to get their way, despite the
fact that the majority disagrees with them.
They don`t think that that matters in the slightest. The truth of
their principles is the only thing that matters to them.
HAYES: Mike, you said the word "insurrectionist". And I want to ask
you about the evolution from a normal party to what you called a not normal
How did that happen? What is the rupture? What`s the break that
happened to create the conditions for a party to start acting in a way the
current modern Republican Party is acting?
LOFGREN: Well, I would say Newt Gingrich`s speakership in 1995 was a
weigh station on road to this what we have now.
But I would also say that the GOP as it exists now is kind of a
Frankenstein monster that was created by the twin shocks of 9/11 and the
financial meltdown in 2008, because 9/11 sort released a lot of unpleasant
things in the American id, a kind of absolutism of good versus evil, a kind
of totalitarian outlook. We`ve seen this with the NSA.
And then the 2008 crash was similar to the Great Depression in many
countries. We were lucky. We had FDR. Many countries went violently to
HAYES: Yes. The twin traumas of those two crises is part of what I
think forms the legacy of the breakdown in kind of institutional norms.
Bruce, the other way that people talk about this is just the way that
a combination of the big one in 2010 and the ability to shape the way
districts are controlled at the state level, gerrymandering and also kind
of Democratic divide between the House Republican Caucus and the rest of
American in which increasingly, the members of the House Republican Caucus
that want this strategy, their constituents don`t look like the
constituents that went to the polls to elect Barack Obama.
BARTLETT: No, that`s right. One thing I want to add to what Mike
said and I agree completely, is that there deeper historical forces at work
here, namely, the takeover of the Republican Party why the South. We talk
about Republicans taking over the South but actually it`s the other way
BARTLETT: And the politics of the Republican Party today can best be
understood as the politics of the Southern Democrats. Now, don`t
misunderstand me. I`m not saying that this is a racial matter. I`m just
saying that the nature of the politics is the same, and I`ve been thinking
a lot the last two days about a term that you`re probably familiar with
called "massive resistance" --
BARTLETT: -- which was a term that was used in the 1950s to people
who opposed the Brown versus Board of Education decision and used any means
necessary, constitutional, legal, illegal, whatever it took to fight the
desegregation of the public schools. And that, in that sense, the
Republican politics of today are the same as the politics of the Southern
Democrats of the 1950s.
Economist Bruce Bartlett, former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren, I
should note that as of now, there`s been nothing illegal in the resistance
we`ve seen out of the House Republican Caucus.
We sent producers out in the field today to find out how people were
doing, signing up for Obamacare on day one. A report is coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This is footage from March 23, 2010 as President Obama signed
the patient protection and affordable care act. It`s the law we now call
Obama Care. And, that footage has become -- become a kind of visual
shorthand for Obama Care, especially for people like news in the television
When you want people to stand you`re talking about Obama Care, that
video is an easy choice. This was NBC nightly news on the night the bill
was signed. Here is "Rachel Maddow" Show more two years later when it was
upheld by the Supreme Court and then more than a year later, here is
politics nation just last week.
We have been using the clip a lot ourselves recently on this show as
the first day of open enrollment true closer. All the major players in
that video have been in the public eye nearly everyday since then. All
except for one, the little boy standing there.
Nearly everyone who sees this video, that little boy remains frozen in
time. That little boy is now 14 years old. And, as big as that day was in
2010, today it was just as big. He joins me live in studio. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADELINE AVILES: If I had stayed on the cobra plan, I would have had
to pay $650 a month to maintain the same package I had as an employee. My
income with unemployment benefits is $1,400 a month. So, that`s half of my
budget right there and I have other responsibilities of course. So, that
wasn`t going to work. From what I understand through the affordable care
act, that my premium is going to be about $75 to $85 a month. That is what
I consider affordable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was a woman named Madeline Aviles who was laid off from
her hospital job in January, who has been up battling osteoarthritis
without healthcare ever since. "All In" caught up with the viewers between
the service society of New York, which is helping people sign up for Obama
Care starting today at least they are trying to.
Glitches kept the web site in New York and many other states largely
in operation on day 1 of enrollment. Critics have harped on the web site
glitches today. But, they reflected the pent up demand for health care.
New York department of health announced its health exchange web site saw
7.5illion hits by mid-afternoon.
A response called overwhelming. Aviles said she didn`t mind the
glitches. She is willing to try again tomorrow if that what it takes to
finally have access to health care she can afford. For her and millions of
other Americans, today mark the culmination of a fight for health care
access that was 80 years in the making.
HAYES (voice-over): The idea of national health care was first
considered by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In the midst of a great
depression, FDR nearly included it in the social security act. But, he was
met by strong opposition from a group that would play a major role in
killing efforts to expand health care over the next 70 years, the American
Medical Association, the trade group for doctors.
Ten years later, it was President Harry Truman who called on congress
to create an optional national health insurance fund run by the federal
government. The AMA came out it again. They attacked the plan as
socialize medicine. The accused Truman staffers of being followers of a
Moscow party line, a house subcommittee called the plan a communist plot.
In the end, it was the Korean War that brought Truman`s efforts to an
end. But, the national conversation for health care had been pushed
forward. When Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law 20 years later, it
was the efforts of Harry Truman he credited with making it possible.
In the early 1970s, Senator Ted Kennedy worked behind the scenes with
President Richard Nixon to find a compromise national health care plan.
Nixon was facing the usual opposition from the usual suspects and Kennedy
dreamed of a single payer system, but compromise seemed within reach.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED KENNEDY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS SENIOR SENATOR: The purpose of this
program is simply this -- I want America to have the finest health care in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): But on the very day in 1974 that Nixon sent a
message to congress proposing a comprehensive national health insurance
plan, the House of Representatives voted to investigate him over the
Watergate scandal. The Kennedy/Nixon talks ended, the Nixon presidency
ended and the issue of national health care didn`t come to the forefront
for another two decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, 67TH UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE:
Nothing is more important to our nation than ensuring that every American
has comprehensive health care benefits that can never be taken away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): With Democrats in control of congress and first
lady Hillary Rodham Clinton driving the effort, it looked like universal
health care would finally become a reality in 1993. But the medical
establishment, the health care industry and the business community once
again poured money into killing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUISE: Having choices we don`t like is no choice at all.
HARRY: They choose --
LOUISE: We lose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): With the help of Harry and Louise ad, the
industry succeed in turning public opinion against the bill, and by summer
of 1994, the Clinton plan was dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now is the time
to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): Barack Obama made universal health care a
priority of his 2008 campaign and the first major initiative of his
presidency. The public was with him. Congress was with him. Even after
70 years, the AMA was with him. But, the right wing was united in
Opponents warned of death panels, socialism, a government takeover of
health care. Even as democrats abandoned liberal priorities like the
public option, the ugly debate raged on. The law improbably survived a
series of near-death experiences until democrats finally pushed through a
bill by a whisker in March 2010 and the president signed the affordable
care act into law.
That was three and a half years ago and as we know the fight didn`t
end when the bill became a law. It has survived 40 republican attempts to
appeal it, survived a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court. And,
today with the U.S. government should down in an ill-fated last gas effort
by republicans to stop it, the Obama Care exchanges are open for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AVILES: I don`t want to sound political, but honestly I voted for
this. And, it makes me proud to know that my vote counted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, if you listen to republicans, Obama Care is going to be
terrible for your doctor, because now everyone will have insurance, that
reigning room will be jam packed, but reimbursement rates will be lowered,
so we will be getting paid less. I will talk to a doctor who worked on the
affordable care act in the White House. The real story next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER (1): Good morning and fasten your seat
belts, everybody. It`s going to be a bit of a bumpy ride as we get started
here with the Obama Care this morning on day one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): So, Obama Care was online but now
without a few hiccups we have seen that already today and many Obama Care
web sites meant to provide access to the insurance delays or breakdowns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (2): A lot of these is why republicans have
been pushing for a one year delay in the rule out of Obama Care.
PRES. OBAMA: Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled
out a new mobile operating system. And, within days they found a glitch.
So, they fixed it. I don`t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop
selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The Obama administration never shied away from the fact that
there would be glitches with the rule out of the Obama Care exchanges.
But, when some members in the media failed to realize that the reality of
these glitches are caused, at least impart, by the high volume of people
looking to sign up for insurance. For example, here in New York, exchanges
begin operating eight this morning and received 2 million visits in the
first 90 minutes, which almost defies my belief.
Joining me now is Dr. Kavita Patel, a primary care physician at John
Hopkins hospital and Brookings Institution Fellow. She worked on the
affordable care act as a senior advisor to Valerie Jarrett in the Obama
It is great to have you here. You got an interesting prospective on
this law as a health care provider yourself and someone who worked on the
law. Day one, there were a lot of glitches, there were -- I mean I was
seeing -- and this want not just the Fox News propaganda machine. Web
sites were down. People are having a hard time getting through. How do
you think today went?
DR. KAVITA PATEL, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN AT JOHN HOPKINS HOSPITAL: I
think, overall, today it went very well because the bottom line is that
people know that they have options. And, even though -- yes, there were
technical glitches, just like the president said, we`re fixing them. They
were working on it and no matter what you can always get a hold of someone,
even by the good old fashion land line and that is the most important
HAYES: Do you think -- do you worry about the threshold of action
here being this kind of thing where you need to get people to sign up for
DR. PATEL: OK.
HAYES: -- And, if the first time you do it, it is like every time I
go to a web site, there is a kind of a little pre-roll out. "Oh, my God, I
will never going to see that clip." The greatest clip -- One little thing
stopped me. Do you worry about getting those people in the next three
DR. PATEL: Well, what`s nice is that we actually -- you know, we have
all the way until March 1st to get them so I think that`s important. The
more people hear about things, like even just what you`re doing for your
show tonight, the more people will go, "Oh, yeah, I can do that." So, I am
not worried about the threshold. In fact, we know that when people are
shopping for health insurance, sometimes it takes them several kind of
looks and visits to actually figure out what they want.
HAYES: My parents had to nag and nag and nag to get me to sign up for
a catastrophic plan when I was out of their plan and a young freelancer in
making about $15,000 a year. And, finally, I did. It was a good thing I
deed. I want to play you a little sound from Bill Clinton talking about
one of the big questions here, which is the -- this is the big experimental
question at the heart of this about whether this will work. Can you get
young healthy people in the pool? Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This only works for example, if
people show up and even if they buy cheapest plan and they claim their tax
credit, so it will not cost so much, $100 a month or so. We got to have
them in the pools because otherwise all these projected low costs cannot be
held if older people with preexisting conditions are disproportionately
represented in any given state. You got to have everybody lined up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Inside the White House, as this bill is being crafted, you
guys were thinking about -- their model -- what the model showed. Are you
confident that this is going to work out?
DR. PATEL: Yes, I am. I do think -- I think it may not happen right
away because I think it is like you said, people will kind to need to be
nagged. I tell you, moms and the mothers and wives and significant women
in the families often are the chief nagger and I do believe --
HAYES: By the way, a true gender reductionist here. But continue.
DR. PATEL: I can only speak for my personal family experience that I
am the chief nagger in my family. And, what that results in as people hear
more about this law -- I had a patient today who didn`t have insurance.
And, she`s 32, so in the young range. And, she just said, "When can I sign
up and when can I actually get an appointment to see a doctor?" So, I
think that`s what`s going to matter.
HAYES: Yes. The delivery -- It is the proof of the pudding is in the
eating and the proof of it is actually seeing a doctor. There is so much
misunderstanding about this law even now. There was this Jimmy Kimmel bit
you might have seen, where he was asking people and the amount of confusion
they have is very evident. You have actually done town halls for people
who are uninsured.
DR. PATEL: Right.
HAYES: What are the questions people still have and what is going to
finally crack that, so that people actually understand what is out there?
DR. PATEL: The most common question I got even today was, "So, you`re
telling me I can actually get health care starting when?" So, they want to
know when they can they see a doctor, will it cover prescriptions. Is this
going to give them -- you know visits to the doctor, the emergency room,
They had a lot of practical questions. They wanted to know that if
they didn`t sign up today because they had to go to work, could they make
sure they sign up on another day.
HAYES: It is not Election Day today, right?
DR. PATEL: Exactly. They all were confused like, "Is this the only
day we can sign up? And, they wanted to know what proof they needed," a
very practical question. "So, if we sign up online, do they need to see my
I.D. when I go to the office of the doctor?" My identification when I go
to the doctor?" And, because, we know that people have to demonstrate
proof if income if they need subsidies. There is a lot of practical
questions that instead of focusing on, you know, what`s happening on
Capitol Hill, this is what people really care about.
HAYES: I saw someone who did sign up today, who said it was less like
shopping for a flight, which was run by the metaphors people use them more
like a credit card application.
DR. PATEL: Exactly.
HAYES: I thought to myself -- well, you know, if Americans are good
at getting credit cards, so -- if that is a credit card application, that
seems like a doable amount of paper work.
DR. PATEL: Yes. They were asking -- So, it is not a quick -- I can
get -- you know? I can on it on app get a flight in 15 seconds.
DR. PATEL: -- It takes a lit more time but it should. But, it
should, people you know, you need to fill out your address. You need to
kind of fill out your address. You need to kind of fill out what your --
you know what your health, we know that you have to talk about your age and
what community you live in because that`s how we determine how much your
health insurance costs. Those are the questions people were asking was how
do we do this. How quickly can we get insurance and when can we start --
HAYES: And, when can I see a doctor? And, that returns us to when is
that issue here, which is this law. If and when it works is about getting
millions of people who don`t have reliable access to health care,
preventative care and the piece of mind that comes of being insured that
piece of mind and that wellness and that kind of grace that a functioning
safety net and a social contract provides. Dr. Kavita Patel, thank you.
DR. PATEL: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, next. Remember the little boy who stood next to
President Obama -- I am really excited about this. Three years ago, when
he signed the affordable care act, well that little boy will be here to
talk about what today means to him. Stay with us.
HAYES: That image was on March 23, 2010 at the signing ceremony for
the affordable care act. There is an essential figure in that picture, who
is much shorter than everyone else. It is clearly not a member of the U.S.
senate or the White House staff. He is Marcelas Owens. At the time, he
was just 11 years old and the senator Patty Murray a democrat from
Washington was the first person to tell the story of his life under the old
health care regime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATTY MURRAY, (D) WASHINGTON SENATOR: I`m going to tell everyone
about the story of this little boy here. His name is Mercelas Owens. I
met him at a health care rally in Seattle. He was 10 years old. He and
his two sisters who we have seen here as well have been through a lot. Two
years ago, their mother, tiffany, who is not in this picture -- that`s his
grandmother. Tiffany lost her life because she was not insured.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, Marcelas is 14 years old and a high school freshman.
He lives in Seattle with his two sisters and his grandmother. And, right
now, it is my absolute pleasure to welcome Marcellus Owens and his
grandmother, Gina Owens. And, it is really a great, great honor to have
you here. Thank you so much for making a trip out here.
MARCELAS OWENS, 14-YEAR-OLD BOY: Thank you guys for having us.
HAYES: All right, you -- I mean it is such an amazing thing. You
know -- you are from -- I don`t know if you know this. You probably do,
because if I were you, I would know this about myself, but -- Your photo is
so associated with that moment. I mean there is that boy there right by
the president of the United States at this landmark piece of legislation.
How do you feel on a day like today when this piece of legislation
essentially, this major part of it starts to go into effect?
OWENS: I`m feeling really good because today is where you can
actually see the effect that all of the hard work that everyone has been
doing. So, you can actually see people -- this is like the stepping stone,
like the first piece of change that`s going to be happening. And, so many
people are going to be benefiting from this. I don`t even think a lot of
HAYES: You were an activist of sorts, right? I mean, you were on --
it wasn`t like some accident that you ended up at that bill signing.
HAYES: And, you were working hard to get universal health care
because of the experience that you have had -- the tragic experience you
had in your own family. What did you learn from that experience of being
an activist, of going and talking to members of congress?
OWENS: I learned that -- that when you work hard with people that are
as dedicated as you, that you can make a lot of big changes that a lot of
people may have never thought would happen.
HAYES: You lost your daughter to illness.
GINA OWENS, GRANDMOTHER OF MARCELAS: I did.
HAYES: I imagine -- I can`t even begin to fathom as a father of a
child. What happened and how do you understand the way the old health care
regime contributed to the loss of your daughter?
GINA OWENS: What happened was that Tiffany basically fell through the
cracks of our health care system. She was working as an assistant manager.
She had health care and crew members working at the same fast food
restaurant she was a manager that did not have health care. So, she was
testifying in front of state legislators in Washington, wanting to help
crew members get health care coverage --
HAYES: So, she was an activist pushing for health care in her state.
GINA OWENS: Yes. She asked me to get her involved with the
organization I was already working with. So, she was doing activist work.
When she died, Marcelas then at 8 years old. It made him so bitter about
her death because she didn`t have to die. She lost her health care because
she got sick and so --
HAYES: She got sick and then from getting sick lost her job and from
losing her job lost her insurance?
GINA OWENS: Correct. And, when we went to the state to apply for
Medicaid, so she could see her doctors for her illness, because she worked
for a full year prior to that, she did not qualify.
HAYES: Marcellus, how do you feel when you hear all of the insults
people hurl at this bill and all of the anger that it seems to stoke in
people? What is your reaction to watching the amount of venom that there
is about this piece of legislation?
OWENS: Well, it makes me frustrated because I know that all of it
isn`t true. So, it makes me feel frustrated to know that some people
actually believe in it and are getting a false perception of what the
health care bill actually means.
So, then it makes me just frustrated because all of the hard work that
everybody`s been doing, including my grandmother and me and my mom have put
into it, it just seems that we`ve been fighting for a long time and I think
it`s time for a change.
HAYES: It is time for a change and I think people are going to start
seeing what the reality of that change looks like. Marcelas and Gina
Owens, it is a great pleasure. Thank you so much.
OWENS: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. That is "All In" for this evening. The "Rachel
Maddow" Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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