All In   |  December 03, 2013

California schemin'

Chris Hayes talks with California Rep. Karen Bass, Sally Kohn, and Dean Baker about the latest Obamacare stunt attempted by the CA GOP.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we reached out to all of the members of the assembly and state signal. two california republicans agreed to come on the show and logistics on in the way. joining me now is karen bass . she knows her way around the state's politics. i'm amazed this existed. this is one of those rare times when a he'dline captured how truly ridiculous a story was. can you believe they did this?

>> you know what, this is exactly as you described it, an incredibly new low. but i think that it is an example of desperation. in california , you know that the state is 100% behind covered california in making sure that the aformable care act is implemented. for them to lower themselves to this level i'm shocked, and i'm shocked at the republican leader. i know her and i never imagined she would have done that.

>> do you get whiplash moving back and forth between washington with the house and the republicans that won chamber of commerce , and california in which the gop has been reduced a caucus that can do nothing more than make prank websites?

>> at the time that i was there, even though they were the minority we required super majorities to pass budgets and increase revenue. now democrats control both chambers with super majority . it's because of the antics that took place every year. we shut down the government on an annual basis. the voters in california got sick and tired of it and they rendered the republican party irrelevant and that's why there is super majorities in both houses.

>> i think california voters are trying to send national voters about obstruction. we need more compromise, and just elect overall majorities of democrats that can get stuff dun.

>> until my colleagues take their party back from being seized by an extremist minority in their party, i think weir facing this. i have to tell you when i came here to washington dc it was de deja vu . i'm glad that we don't have to deal with the challenges that i did during my time.

>> your constituents are some of the people that will benefit from the law. i'm curious how it is playing in your district right now. california like kentucky, like new york, is one of those test cases, it wasn't in the federal exchange, the website worked reasonably well, how well is it playing in your district right now?

>> very well and i know this every day from calls we get. a few weeks ago we had a townhall in my district and over 400 people turned out and we were doing enrollments on the spot and we had a townhall where we talked to people while they were waiting for their points. people came with genuine questions. the majority of the people with the exception of four or five were really supportive of the law and wanted to do everything they could to make it run better and to enroll. so there are things that we can do to improve. when i first came, the mantra was repeal and replace. i have not heard any replacement.

>> john boehner today was quite nonspecific about the replacement delegation --

>> actually, we have california delegation meetings as democrats. there is 53 of us in the caucus including democrats and republicans and we're quite large.

>> do you get the sense that your colleagues must be facing a barrage of inquiries.

>> the california republican delegation is a mixed bag. some come from very conservative districts. not many in california are against the affordable care act , but many of my republicans come from more moderate districts. they don't really subscribe to some of the extreme schism they have to come here and act out to survive their party.

>> obama care working in california is one of the success stories not getting the attention it deserves. but the single must under covered story is this. the affordable care act will cost less than was originally projected because it appears the effect of the law on health care costs. today the president touted this development.

>> health care costs are riding at the lowest rate in 50 years. so we're bending the cost of health care overall which benefits everybody.

>> a round of applause. sally cone is joining me. dean, i will begin with you. we should say that the slow increase in rate and spending care, we don't know what they are fully yet. but explain to folks how big a deal this is with the cbo now downward revising it's projections out into the future.

>> this is huge. we have seen the sharpest slow down in health care costs in post world war ii history. the difference between the projections in 2008 and what we think we're going to pay this year, it is $550 per person. $2200 for a family of four. is obama care responsible for all of that? no, and i don't work for the obama administration, but if it had gone the other way, imagine what we're looking at for costs that were $2400 more than projected. what do you think they would be saying?

>> would they be on the hook for it, absolutely. no one would say we don't know if this is obama care or not.

>> clearly i think obama care is part of the story, the downturn is part of the story. the downturn can't be all. i heard people saying people are out of work. that's true but they have been out of work, the downturn was 2009 . let's imagine ten million people lose their jobs, we expect to fall off in spending. but the economy is certainly better today than it was in 2009 , so --

>> i want to put dollars and cents to this. this is the difference in the cbo projected savings. they're projects $222 billion in a year from medicare and medicaid from this slowing of health care costs. the sequester is $87.9, and the cuts to food stamps is $23.8 billion.

>>> i have been on twitter all day about this, they can't find a single positive thing to say about the law. literally it could bring people's health care costs down to zero, they could cure cancer, and conservatives would be shouting from the rooftops that it's a disaster. i think this california thing is hysterical. in part because it's the sort of natural conclusion of the republican panic about this. they vote in mass against the law even though it originated in republican ideas. they vote to try to repeal it unsuccessfully. the website they think will sink it, and then they just throw toilet paper at it.

>> and in the absence of a website that wasn't malfunctioning, they created their own website to malfunction, right? they weren't served a gift of a malfunctioning --

>> it's worse than the scam websites, right?

>> they were preying on people --

>> at least try to sell them health insurance .

>> sally's point there i think is important. you have to remember that it is no now and always has been about politics, right? whether it is fate, how it is decided in the courts, it is fundamentally a political struggle to get this thing in place.

>> that is exactly right. i think the republicans were always hoping they could stop it in congress. they lost that. they were hoping the supreme court would strike it down and they lost that. they were hoping if a catastrophe and clearly that's not happening. every day people are signing up. i have insurance , i gather you have insurance , imagine you're working at a crap job and you can get insurance for yourself and your family, that's a huge thing. republicans can tell them anything they want and they see now that they have insurance .

>> that is really important. they highlighted the fact that the repeal strategy is rubbing away. every day that goes by, as people are getting health care and health insurance through this law, it gets harder and harder to take that thing away.

>> right, and 95% of people's insurance would never be effective. before the law went into effect, all of the other pieces of the law, the young people being able to stay on their parent's insurance , the ends of pre-existing conditions and medical spending caps, they were popular with the majority of republican voters, right? this law was doing pretty well. this individual mandate piece, and the ability for some people losing their insurance , some people getting better insurance at better prices, they have nothing better to critique.

>> a lot of people don't know this. the majority of the text of the law is about the repayment system to do precisely what we're seeing show up in the data which is to bring costs down.

>> that's right, it's trying to restructure systems to pay people based on outcomes, not on the services they provide.

>> and there is good evidence already in hospital readmission rates that point to the fact it is having a good effect. thank you, both. coming up, today in detroit, life got even harder for a lot of people.

>>> for 29 years they took out money from my check to go in to my pension. and the city was supposed to put out an equal amount of money. they didn't fund it like they were supposed to but they got my money, and then they sit around now and they're going to renig on the promise that we got.

>> i'm going to talk about how wall street is screwing detroit retirees out of their