tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 6, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
arkansas. admitted to the emergency room. when i got into the ward, they gave me pajamas and toiletries. the toiletries were shampoo, soap, etc., etc. it was in a clear plastic bag and at the bottom of the bag it said made in china. our own administration is buying products from foreign countries. host: we will take our viewers to the national coalition on health care in the public sector
holding a form on the 2017 medicare premiums spike. they will be looking at the increase in statute and medicare spending patterns happening now on c-span. we will see you back your tomorrow morning on the "washington journal." >> as we seek to maintain a high level of health care benefits for our workforce. obviously, the topic of today's session is very important to us, and we are grateful for you being here. i also want to mention that although this issue is a tremendous importance to us, because of the nation of -- because of the nature of the population, we are interested in health care costs the gamut -- health care across the gamut. you have employees who participate in programs may of
whom are likely members of our coalition. that it we can be helpful to you at other times, we would welcome the opportunity. standing in the back of the room, are senior policy advisor is angela mcpherson -- andrew mcpherson. i would encourage you to reach out to us if we could be helpful in that regard. i want to say a special word of thanks to the folks at the national coalition on health care. john and larry who have been so involved in preparing today's session. they are real assets and we are proud to partner with them in this endeavor. wanted to thank all the panelists. i want to say a particular thank
you to jane gilbert and chris collins who are representing two of the founding members of our health care roundtable. so, with that as a very brief introduction to who we are at why we are here, i would like to introduce our friend and colleague, mr. john roberts. >> good morning, everyone. this is turning into an annual exercise because the reason we are here is that costs in the medicare part b program that pays for health physicians is projected to go up 22% while the cost of living is flat. we have a serious imbalance, and that is the focus of today. my name is john rosser, the ceo of the national coalition of
health care, a nonprofit that represents consumers, providers, payers, and purchasers in health care. our mission is health care affordability, and today, it will reinforce the need for us to take more steps in medicare and in the system of health care more generally to keep health care more affordable. so, let me just introduce our excellent lineup of speakers starting with longtime colleague and friend tricia neuman. she will lay out the facts for us. there is no one better able to do that. of health director policy and the project on medicare's future. aarp is withrom us. an organization deeply concerned
about anything that has to do with medicare. jane gilbert is the kentucky teacher's retirement system. and chris collins is the assistant government relations for the ohio public employee's retirement system. we are going to hear from private sector and public sector. finally, we have matt. he is executive director of the national association of medicaid directors. medicaid is very much a part of this dissection --discussion. with that, tricia. tricia: good morning. thank you john, larry and the coalition. it is good to be back with several panelists to talk about this issue. i have three goals for myself this morning and you can see how
well i do. i will set the stage and talk about where we are in terms of medicare premiums and cost-sharing. i am then going to explain the nitty-gritty connection between premiums and social security and something called the hold harmless, and how that fits together and why. lastly, i will talk about what we do now and what we don't know and when we will now the things that we need to know to understand what is really going to be happening in 2017 for beneficiaries. mind,hose three goals in let's see how we do here. ok, where are we now? we are in a situation where whereis a medicare part a people do not pay premiums. part b pays for physician and outpatient services. d.t c is the hmo and part
for people who are in medicare part b, which is what we are going to be focusing on, there are premiums, which very on people's incomes. pay $121 perpeople month based on their income. they also pay deductibles, which are affected by the issue we talking about today. another point to keep in mind is many people rely on social security for the bulk of their income, which is about $1200 per month. so, what is in store? the medicare actuaries after getting information from social security and the bureau of labor statistics say that they predict that medicare premiums will rise by 22% between this year and next year as will the medicare part b deductible.
that is a big increase in historic terms. and that is why we are here today. the reason why the premium is expected to go up has to do with quota,ial security which is expected to increase on top of no quoted last year. an underlying issue is what is going on with social security? and then medicare is sort of the tail of the dog getting the impact of what is going on with social security. i just want you to see the projected 20%, 22% and increase and -- increase in deductibles. what you can see is the income-related premium rises $170.50 to almost $400.
something people that don't normally remember when they think about income-related premiums. for everybody at that level, which is above $85,000 per person, their premiums will also go up by 22%. 22%his takes effect, the increase goes across the board for anyone who is not protected by the hold harmless. so why are the actuaries protecting another year of large increases in part b premiums and deductibles? how does this all happen? each year, it is the secretary of health and human services that make the determination of what the part b premium will be. this has not happened yet. in general, the part b premium is based on, it is an amount that would cover 25% of all part -- 25% of all part b
spending. together, theyll will take 25% of all part b spending costs in general revenues. that is a calculation the secretary has to make, and then there is a little wiggle room in a language that says there should be adequate reserves in the supplemental insurance trust fund. based on a 25% threshold in the , thept of adequate reserve secretary has the authority to premiums, and the secretary will set premiums probably within the next month. once she knows what is going on with the social security quota. at this point, what we know was that the quota is expected to increase by 0.2%. if that happens, many people on medicare, most people on medicare, will be protected by something called the hold
harmless, which will -- which basically says, your part b premium cannot increase so much that a major social security check go down. because most people have their premiums deducted from the social security checks. and that is a provision in law that is intended to protect people who rely of social security to get by, and the idea is part b premiums should not diminish your social security income. that is the idea behind it. but what happens is when a lot of people are protected by the hold harmless provision, because it would otherwise force their social security checks to go are not people who protected, and i will tell you who they are in a second, end up paying more because they are compensating for the people who aren't paying the full premium. have i lost you yet? excellent.
let's do an example here. this is what you call the typical year. and a typical year, let's say the social security quota is 2% in the part b premium goes up 5%. i am making up these numbers because i want to illustrate the point. that saved the social security benefit in year one is $1500, and the part b premium is $100. a typical person would have their premiums deducted from the social security check, and they would then take home $1400. got it? so let's go to your two. 2% cola, there is a that they there is a 5% increase in the part b premium that goes to $105. when you take $105 out of the social security check on this person is going to see an increase in the social security payment.
there is no hold harmless issue here. that is a typical year. but this year like last year's not a typical year, or does not look like it will be. lester, there was no cola. -- last year, there was no cola. in this example, if the social security check increases by three dollars and the part b ,remium still goes up by $105 when you take the part b premium out of the lower social security check, what you can see here is the social security check would otherwise drop below $4000 in the following year because -- $1400 in the following year. that cannot happen in the hold harmless. that is what it is designed to prevent. gets a smaller part
the premiums of that their social security check does not go down. i know it is a little complicated, but i thought the example might help. ok. people are is, most protected by the hold harmless, but not everybody is. i think the folks at the table will talk about what that means for them. anybody knew to medicare next year would not be protected by the hold harmless because they did not have their part the premium deducted from their social security check because they did not pay the part b premium. people who don't receive social security aren't protected. people who are billed directly for their part b premiums and don't have their part b premiums deducted because they write a check. people who are duly eligible for medicare and medicaid. paysis when the state
their deductible. withhen beneficiaries higher income are not protected by hold harmless. people, say that 70% of you're not going to pay the full amount. 30% of the people paying the part b premium pay more than they would have paid if this provision in law was not in place. in this particular case, part b spending is rising faster than it has in recent years, but the big jump in the premium that could happen has more to do with the hold harmless and it has to do with what is going on inside part b and projected spending growth. so, is this deja vu all over again? we talked about this last year when premiums are expected to rise by 52%. in there was no cola
november of 2015, congress stepped up with a bipartisan act of 2015 that rejected a 52% increase of taking affect, and increase the premium instead by 16%, which could be the amount it would have increased had the hold harmless not been in effect. will that happen again? it is not clear. about thatng to know particular provision of law is that it had a cost estimate to it of over $70 billion and to make it budget neutral, the law required a three dollar rebate, repayment overtime, which increases the premium, both the standard amount and the income-related premium. what is coming up next? this leads me to what we know and what we don't now. social security administration will make an announcement later this month.
it will let us know what the cola is. if the cola is 0.2%, we have an idea of what the premium could be, but remember, the secretary has some authority with just a premium, up or down, depending on the reserves in the trust fund. than 0.2la is bigger percent, then the projected increase we talked about will be lower, should be lower. after the announcement occurs, then the next step is the secretary will announce what the premium is. it this year is like last year, that should happen in early november. at that point, we won't know what the deal is and we will know what the premium will be, unless congress takes action. but this is where i get to the point where i am telling you what we know what we don't know, and what we will know, and it will become pretty clear in a few weeks. so why is all of this important?
this is important because people on medicare, many people on medicare have limited incomes. i've always liked to circle back to that because what you see is that half of all people on medicare live on an income of about $24,000 or less per person. it is important to think about the connection between health expenses, like premiums, and income, like social security because putting the two together are critical when we think about retirement security from an older and disabled population. we already know from the actuaries that medicare premiums and cost-sharing take a bigger and bigger bite out of social security payments. this shows you the percentage of social security payments that go for part b in part d. we are building on a base of health care costs going far more rapidly than income. atally, that just looks
premiums and caution for parts and c.art b they are paying premiums for private insurance, dental care, eye glasses, hearing aids, and services and support. all of this particular issue the are here to talk about today builds on a broader set of questions about the affordability of health care for an older population with many who live on limited incomes. [indiscernible] >> thank you very much for including me. we have to do this again unfortunately. we're all a depth at handling it. thank you, john, for inviting me
to participate. tricia provided a good background letting us know what is out there and what we are facing. i will start zeroing in on the population affected and the beneficiaries this is happening to. first, it bears repeating that medicare is not free. there is considerable caution rings -- there is considerable cost-sharing. as tricia mentioned, supplemental coverage and part d drug coverage is additional and there is no coverage for dental, hearing, or vision. most people are paying out-of-pocket, not just you have medicare, you are set, there are no additional cost the site premiums. there is no out of pocket cap in medicare, so these costs can add up fairly quickly, especially for someone who is sick, or unhealthy, nexus is the medicare
-- accesses the medical system on the releases. and not everyone is held harmless. she broke down the groups, but there are numbers associated. beneficiaries, 60 million people give or take, 2.6 million people of those are new to medicare part b and another 3.2 million are higher income individuals whose premiums are income-related and are not held harmless. there are some were not collecting medicare checks for whatever reason. i want to spend a moment focusing on the do beneficiaries and those with incomes --they are often overlooked in all of this. with, among those not
-- harmless social security begins at full retirement age at 66. if you want to claim full benefits and everything you are entitled to over your working life, you have to wait until 66 and that will go up to two 67 -- that will go up to 67 in the next two years. people are put in a situation where they are turning 65, and roman medicare, but they are still not on social security for another year or more. we happen to get questions from
many of our members asking for advice really about enrolling in medicare. i know there is a premium spike happening. should i claim benefits early in order to avoid the premium increase? even though we don't get personal, financial advice because every case is different, it is probably a bad idea to enroll early and forgo higher social security benefits over the course of your life for one medicarears of higher premiums, however, the fact that this question is on our member's mines means they are worried about premiums and what he temporary spike could do for their pocketbooks and household budgets. of the notponent held harmless are those who do not have medicare premiums deducted from the social security checks at the end of one year and the beginning of the next. this is people who may have enrolled in medicare during
2017, they are not included, but includes people who might be in rolling right now. right now, october could be too late. by the time social security gets up to speed and starts to testing medicare premium, we have to have november and december accounted for fellow in order to avoid -- accounted for in order to avoid the hold harmless. and do these notes appear to provide numbers and context for new enrollees. even though younger beneficiaries, 65 to 69 have fewer health care costs, they are still spending over $3000 a
year out-of-pocket on health going tonses, which is change when you retired and living on a fixed income. even though they might be younger, healthier, new to medicare, they are still paying out-of-pocket expenses, over $3000 in most cases and that is the median. half are paying more than that, so it could go up quite a bit. the average is a little bit higher. last week, i would like to talk about -- a lot of people say, they are higher income beneficiaries, so they can pay higher premiums. social security administration uses the most recent federal tax return provided by the internal
revenue service. the 2016 tax return contains your 2015 income. that is what is used to determine 2017 premiums. as an example, let's say janet has been working and she has earned 87,000 --$86,000 in 2015. fairly comfortable, upper/middle-class. she decides she is retired in 2016 and roles in medicare now that she is 65. she now lives off of $50,000 in savings and retirement income, which is reasonable and fairly substantial. however, she still has to pay the higher income related premiums because her previous work income is what is counted for the calculation. even though she is not living on
considerably less, she is still considered high income and has to pay higher premiums. i just urge everybody to remember that high income is not the same as wealthy. i would like to throw it over to jane are john. jane: good morning. i am glad to be back again this year on this topic, but i'm not glad to be back this year on this topic. i am jane gilbert. i'm with the teacher's retirement organization for the state of kentucky, and represent as 40,000on as large
-- 46,000 teachers. participate for the two teacher's health plans. i am thankful to represent those 46,000, and i want to thank a few of those kentucky congressional delegates, like zach marshall. thank you for coming. as it has been mentioned this morning, kentucky falls into one of those buckets. we don't paint to the social security bucket along with 15 other states that don't pay into social security. 10 of those happens to be member of the health care sector roundtable. you heard of introduction from john this morning regarding the public sector roundtable.
interesting that we have 10 of the 15 as members about that roundtable and i am glad to be a part of that roundtable as well. in terms of demographics, i mentioned that i represent 46,000 retired teachers, 15,000 65those are on an under health plan and 31,000 of those are on a medicare-eligible health plan through an advantage plan. our average age is 74 on the medicare plan. give a shout out along with my friend willard scott. we have about 42 retired teachers over the age of 100. the have had 208 teachers between 95 and 99 and 750 retired teachers between the ages of 90 and 94.
5800 that areer greater than the age of 80 years old. increase, a $27 increase of the medicare part b premium has a huge impact in terms of my population. when i mention that teacher's retirement system along with other states involved with the public-sector health care roundtable do -- are doing their best to work with federal solutions. kentucky passed a piece of historic legislature known as shared responsibility, house bill 540. between a piece of legislature that brought in revenue streams to our medical insurance trust fund and reverse a pattern of borrowing from her pension plan to pay for health insurance, in addition to medicare advantage, medicare part d, all those
solutions, we have been able to reduce our 30 year liability. in terms of busting the trend a little bit with our medicare eligible health plan, we are bending the trend. premium our medicare come in addition to the part b pay directly to social security, medicare premium was in the $350 a month rate. three years later, it is $260 a month. again, that is some of the industry's best practices like medicare advantage in medicare part d. one of the things we did as well and this constant look at how can we contain costs? necessary years of service for retired teachers
from 20 years of service to 27 years of service. as i mentioned before, we jumped on the medicare advantage bandwagon in january of 20 of seven -- 2007. we also jumped on the medicare part d, known as the retiree drug subsidy in 2006. later, we moved on to a waiver plan in 2010 and just continued to seek a deeper subsidy. another stipulation was for teachero retired to the 's retirement system, they must have 15 years of service to be eligible at all for health insurance as a retired teacher. i mentioned share responsibility in that piece of legislation.
as well as some other federal solutions. we were able to trim $5 billion off of our 30 year actuary liability. some of the rest of those are just industry best practices. the state of kentucky in many other states have taken on, as part of their fiduciary responsibility. how have we communicated this to the retired teachers of kentucky? given them the worst case scenario, so last year at this time, the worst scenario was $105 a month goes to $159 a month. we were appreciative for the solution and the 2015 balanced budget act because it me to go from $105 to $122 instead of $159. this year, we communicated the
worst-case scenario of $149 a month. we are looking at a $22, i am sorry, a $27 increase, which is a 22% increase to the addition of the 16% increase. last year. these increases don't make a lot of sense. for medicare advantage plan is trending downward, yet our members are being charged some pretty large increases in medicare part b. in addition to the state -- in addition to the 10 states who don't pay into social security, i would like to mention that in all 50 states for those who are on original medicare, they are being asked to pay some pretty stiff increases in regards to the medicare part b deductible,
that applies to those with original medicare. that is looking at an increase from $166 a month all the way to $204 a month. we are in this increase together. again, as i was here last year, and here this year, teacher's retirement system of kentucky and on behalf of our 46,000 retired teachers, we would love to see this not to be an annual issue, and we put love to see solutions in terms of the 30% of the states, the non-social security state, the 30% is not pay the increase for the medicare increase. help to make it this is the last time i am here in this regard. collinsng to let chris
-- he is next of after me and we will be available for questions after everyone speaks. chris: and you come everyone. my name is chris collins and i am assistant relations office for the -- i appreciate being here today. background, of represent members who represent for state and local government, townships, public libraries, and employees in the state of ohio. we have one million members altogether if you add a public employees, folks working for a public employer, and retirees. it is a big chunk of ohio.
we are one of those systems that is not covered by social security. the potential impact of the med b increase is significant. medicare0,000 plus retirees in our system, and many of those folks would not be receiving a benefit. we are their pension. those of the the folks who would be impacted if the increase went into effect. if you look at all the statewide we have a state peter's system, system covers school employees like bus drivers, police and fire and highway patrol, we are talking about 260,000 plus eligible retirees impacted by this effect. it is a large number, but each
one of those people, there are individual stories behind that. them.her is one of last year, when we went through this, we were very thank the congress was able to reach a solution, but they did see an increase both for him and my mom for the medicare part b premiums. they had to factor that into their budget and he had his kidney removed. now he is going to dialysis and seeing his position more regularly. my mom and her upper 70's is having additional problems. these benefits are very important to each of these individual retirees. it is important to remember for each one of those numbers we talk about, there is a story behind that. these are individuals who committed their lives to public service in the state of ohio.
even if you're talking about an even if of what is -- you are talking about an increase, for a couple like my parents, that is an additional $54 a month, $300 plus a year that they have to fit into their budget, and that is very challenging. they're certainly not the only population in ohio that might be impacted. speak -- at the rate the people turning 65. , we of 8700ack members who turn 65 in the last year. you can imagine going forward, there are people aging into this program that will be not subject to the hold harmless under the social security act. and any other category that is been mentioned already is the dual eligible population, the
medicare/medicaid population. speaking to our ohio medicaid department, we know the increase could be $3300 for them. i just want to leave you with a little information and insight in terms of how it is affecting us in ohio and hope that like last year, we can come together in congress and find a solution to help avoid the full impact of this change. thank you. >> great, thanks a lot. appreciate all of you attending and watching on c-span. the national association of medicaid directors. those of the individuals in each of the 56 states and u.s. territories who run the medicaid program. you may be asking, what exactly is medicaid, and why is that
relevant for a question on medicare solvency? very good question. medicaid is the largest health insurance program in this country. we serve 72 million americans. combined state and federal dollars last year, half $1 trillion. it is a big and important program. my is irrelevant here? isn't medicaid the program for the poor, pregnant women and kids and low income working families? at some levels, yes, that is a lot of people be covered. medicaid covers almost half the births in this country, third of all kids, a lot of things. but what is perhaps the best kept secret in health care in this country is medicaid's role in supporting, subsidizing, and keeping solvent the medicare program.
this is not well known, but it is incredibly important. if you think about the diagram of the medicare population and the medicaid population, the overlap has been referred to a couple of times as the dual eligible population. , frail seniors, low income with disabilities. it is about 9 million, compared to the 72 million that medicaid covers. when you think about it from a very blunt budgetary perspective, despite the fact primary, and is medicaid is just kind of stepping in to fill in the gaps. the gaps happen to be very, very big. medicare does not do long-term care. medicare has serious limitations like dental services.
and medicare has a lot of cost sharing requirements, premiums, co-pays, deductibles. medicaid steps in and covers those. when you look at that small group of people who are already getting that the medicare spendm has to offer, we 42% of the medicaid budget on that population. that is staggering and not well known, and is critically important. -- a hugege component component of that is around cost-sharing, premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, and that is what makes it will get here today. so, tricia talked about the reason why we are here. part b premiums going up, a medicaid solvency issue. when you exempt a large portion, 70% of medicare beneficiaries,
that hit lance disproportionately on the remaining 30%. some of that 30% are the higher income medicare beneficiaries and andrew talked about their issues and it will hit retired people, and a lot of folks. but it is really going to hit state medicaid programs. the irony is on some level, it is not going to directly hit the 9 million lowest income beneficiaries. because medicaid is going to take the entire hit. i would caution you not to think that that makes it free because anytime medicaid takes a big hit like that, there are going to be repercussions, trade-offs, sacrifices that have to get made either elsewhere with this population, or elsewhere in other populations, and that is
something that is really important we need to pay attention to. you have heardes and you will continue to hear is things just don't make sense. i would continue to hammer home the fact that the reason we are here at all does not make sense. medicare solvency is important. i get that, the all get that, it needs to be sold. -- it needs to be solvent. it just is not make sense that letter a, we as a nation as a society have it knowledge that there is a large portion of the most loanable and frail and poorest individuals who cannot afford to pay the part b premiums, deductibles, co-pays, etc., but rather than saying, we ve thoseg to wai
responsibilities, we shift the tax burden on the state government. state government that is also trying to provide long-term care trying tond really fix the health care system for the most vulnerable in society. these things don't make sense. having the spike does not make sense. and having the spike and medicare part b premiums disproportionately impacts states, does not make sense. chris talked about the impact in ohio. you are seeing that in every state. we have a handout in the packets , our partners at a group called federal funds information for states have put together a 50 state impact projections over what this will mean, and the short version of that is, this
simple change, this simple increase in the part b premium is going to increase medicaid's spending by $2.5 billion. and that is obviously state in federal spending. the state's share is $1.1 billion. again, how does that make sense? any time the state medicaid programs see a spike in costs like fat, and again, we saw this last year where the potential hit was going to be much, much higher. thankfully, congress stepped in and did something about it, but there was still a hit. at any time there is this kind of spike, and the best case scenario, what it is going to mean for states, they will probably have to slowdown some of the investment they are making in real health care transformation, delivery system reform, improvement.
quite frankly, the worst case, the real world scenario is states are going to have to make trade-offs. and the are going to have to look at what are we doing in terms of eligibility? what are we doing in terms of benefits for other populations? what are we doing for reimbursement rates for providers across the system? this is a closed system. we don't get to print money at the state level. -- and it makes no sense again for the medicare program for policymakers to be shifting the tax burden of medicare solvency on to the state medicaid program. if you want to shift it around within federal pocketbooks, that is fine. but don't shifted back onto the states where we actually have to balance budgets and be cannot print money. think what i would just say in it is ahere is that
real frustrating thing to be a peer again -- to be up here again, the deja vu thing. we don't need this to be another astainable growth rate her clearly nonsensical policy just keeps revisiting itself year after year after year and we go through this panic and worry and have to go to congress and say, can you fix it for us this year? because maybe they will, maybe they won't. the interest it last year and fixed some of it, not all of it. that, we time we do have to come up with offsets, and those office will be meaningful as well. this does not make sense. i would just leave you with a broad thought, which is medicare ,olvency, medicaid pays for it
anymore.t do it we need to fix is permanently. thank you. we have had five terrific presentations, plenty of time for your questions. let me just offer three of my own observations as a result of this discussion. the first, medicare is a complicated program. it is not easy for people to understand all the interactions, all the choices that people face , and it's interaction social security is complex. this is difficult. that,something particularly those in congress,
need to get your heads around because as matt says, this does not make sense. ok. -- we have tont it knowledge the fact that the things we're talking about today are not understood by most medicare beneficiaries. i am willing to bet that those muchu have not received mail yet, but believe me, when this hits, you will receive outrage cries. this is an issue we see something that is going to be thinkainful, but yet, i thank you for c-span being here. we have a lot of work to do to help people prepare and anticipate what could be a very difficult set of increased costs. the third observation is, i want to go back to something that --cia pointed out, which
this is about the interaction between social security and its cost of living and medicare and we premiums are set. you might say, why are they so out of sync because shouldn't the social security cost-of-living reflect the higher costs of medicare beneficiaries and what they face? guess what? it does not. cost of living is based on the experience under 65, not the experience of those who are eligible and receiving medicare benefits. so, it is built-in to the way that we measure is a disconnect. in veryplaying out now painful consequences because ,ocial security is practically andout a cost of living,
health costs continue to go up, even fairly modestly, but it is a disconnect that is creating this issue. so my pitch coming back to the mission of the national coalition is we have more work to do around keeping medicare costs reasonable, keeping health care system costs reasonable so that people can actually enjoy the pension benefits, or wages that they have because right now, we are taking away, whether you are working, whether you are retired, we are taking away some of those benefits with higher higher health care costs. now, i think it is time for those of you who have questions, or comments. yes. there you go.
and i'm opening the floor. if you would, please stand, identify yourself, because c-span would like to make sure that we hear you. go ahead. [indiscernible] >> what would be the percentage if they did that same formula this year? does that make sense? >> does anyone know the answer to that? >> we don't exactly know because members are not available for a couple of weeks, so it depends on where it ends up be. ing. the estimates may be another $10 to $15.
but it is that small. just the second, let the microphone catch up to you, melissa. >> i am alyssa with the national council on aging and thank you for your presentation. wondered if we have an idea of these initial requirements with social security? [indiscernible] >> yes it is. tricia, do you want to take this? tricia: it is a concern. medicaid has got more complicated and medicare has got more disconnected from social security with the age of retirement changing. there is a greater burden on social security and not too many
resources at social security to address the questions that people have when they come in, and to deal with differential payments and social security checks. if i could actually just add, it is more complicated at this point to not let it happen because congress has not done anything yet. they have about two months to implement the reverse changes in congress were to intervene, and change the calculation again. social security administration has not been proceeding as much as they can with the assumption that the changes will occur if we have to wait for congress to come back in a lame-duck and do anything in these very little time for them to implement the new updates. the longer we wait, it becomes more complicated for them. isi think your question really quite important because
it is a practical matter of congress, they are not likely to act until well until late november, early december. and that does not give social security very much time at all to adjust. we are also having to do with the fact of staff cutbacks and shortages in social security ministry nation. the combined effect is that this is a crisis for the program to deal with all of this complexity, all the differences, and still get people their checks on time and the correct amount. yes, in the back. >> hi, i am autumn campbell. and certainlynt welcome any response from the panel. that this issue is happening, the senate labor eight appropriations committee 17s approved a measure for fy
to eliminate the assistance program, nationwide program that provides free counseling services to medicare beneficiaries in terms of helping them choose the medicare options that are best for them and for their pocketbooks. i just wanted to say with this complicated issue happening with more medicare fishy every seeking -- medicare beneficiaries seeking counseling, can you comment if that makes sense, or your thoughts on the move by the senate to remove that counseling benefit? >> i can say that we are concerned about it and we value the programs. we are hoping we are working that it does not get enacted. the understanding of the complexities that people are facing a reinforcing the the to have an adequate
program to help people understand the choices. this is really an essential service. this is not optional. that, inould add onto thinking about what to medicare beneficiaries are being asked to do, we are about to launch into the medicare open enrollment period. much has not been must -- press attention focused on the decisions that people should be making between october 15 and december 7. sippss something that the have provided. social security can do some, but cannot do that much in that area. s are really needed as well as public education to drive people to compare their options and make changes. be needing this information, including what it means for their underlying premiums, including part d.
just am a part d point, i am not sure this point was made, the hold harmless does not take into account the part d premiums. so for people who see an increase in the part d increase, well see a reduction in the monthly payments and security -- social security. it is important to keep in mind is focused on part d. they may need to look at this before the open enrollment time. >> thank you. whole point was to protect cut in the salsa security benefit. we are now going to see those cut for millions of seniors because of increases in drug costs and increases in part be
as well. this will be a very difficult issue for many people. other comments or questions? right here. >> i am listening to you discuss premiums,in medicare i am wondering if that will directly impact medicaid possibly? is there any correlation? >> will it directly impact i think youollment? could definitely see if you have of the population that is not held harmless and does pay a big chunk, they could their five --ter, rolls. growing the i don't know how i would quantify that, but you could impact.ly see an
challenge would be as medicaid would take a $2.5 billion hit for paying this, what has to get? the challenge is when you step back and look at a macro level, what does medicaid do that is optional? it is things like long-term drugs.rescription those are the things that will this datetable if finds itself in a bind to find out where to come up with the new bill for $2.5 billion. that, to me, would be the biggest concern. >> i could envision how people might look for more information help how they could get when the premiums go up. this date finds itself in a bind to find there are many people that are eligible but not receiving or a medicaid savings program that provides premium
through medicaid. it would be easy to see how how do i get say help with this? them to applyd for programs they might not otherwise have gotten. >> it would also lead them to call their member of congress service providers, anywhere withpeople have contact people who might have information. this will be big as soon as people understand what the implications are personally. any other comments or questions? hogan, and i was what you think of proposed solutions congress could pursue in order to protect covered?hat are not >> unfortunately, we are really
looking at what is the most feasible. so the most realistic is a continuation of what they did year where they allow a to what thease actual oil amount would be and the rollout onto the 30% as an offset. this involves taking a loan and paying it back with a monthly ,urcharge, so it is not ideal best solution, but right now one of the more feasible ones. not solutions but rather band-aids. we're trying to prevent injury better --s of medicare beneficiaries. writer -- this is a
regrettable situation. hope we are not here next year. band-aids are only good to need for more action. i would go the characterization that this is not where we want to be. sense for the long-term. now as another bandit. >> while last year's solution deal, it was not meant to be a one-year solution. i think and what was written as balance budget5 act, the problem this year we cola that has triggered hold harmless issues.
>> that is certainly correct. >> i would reinforce that to say that we do need a band-aid now, at this really does call for broader and more thoughtful look at why we're doing what we're doing, how we are reaping and the solvent, constant reliance of keeping medicare solvent by shifting the tax burden to states and little and large ways does not make sense. that is a big policy change. take time to wrap her arms around it. >> i want to thank everyone for coming. i hope this has been helpful in understanding a quite complicated problem. i hope that we can arise at
the increase going up 22% in the be premium.t this discussion and other recent discussions on health care at .ww.c-span.org keeping our eye on hurricane matthew. florida gov. rick scott calling out for national guard assistance in evacuation spear he is tweetg youave been mandatory electrician notice, i encourage you to back without hesitation. south carolina also in potential path of the storm. following the most up-to-date information at hurricane matthew. we will keep you posted throughout the days. to campaign coverage. a debate that happens in california. the endorsements of pamela winning the endorsement
of barbara boxer and dianne feinstein. last night. between family harris and loretto sanchez. >> a historic matchup and the race for the open senate seat in .5 years pamela harris, loretta sanchez. presents the california senatorial debate. now, moderator mark round. >> hello, and thank you for joining us for the u.s. senate debate sponsored by abc seven. the first and only time they will be facing each other on the debate stage. pamela harris and loretto sanchez.
[applause] i would like to thank you for and the candidates as well for being here. welcome adrian albert, pathtive director of the ,round institute, and janice past president of the league of women voters of california. a quick overview of the format tonight. i will ask the first of the questions. the person to whom the question is addressed will get 90 seconds to answer. if the first candidate so have an she will additional 30 seconds after that. we will end at the first half with a question from an abc news viewer.ess then we will take a short break at the halfway point.
we will begin the second half of of debate with a mix rapidfire questions. and longform questions from our questions as well as from a cal state university student and another abc seven eyewitness you were. each candidate will have 90 seconds for closing statements at the end. we begin. yours is the highest profile race since california voters adopted the top two election system in 2010. you are both democrats a lot of -- democrats. what can you say to people to make them actually cast their ballots to you? rep. sanchez: first of all, our thoughts should go out to the family of sergeant owens who was killed in the santa clarita valley.
this is the first time in 24 years that the state chooses a new united states senator. i believe i have the experience to go in on day one and do the job. i have the life experience as a californian, growing up in a working-class family, a daughter of immigrants. i believe i have a legislative experience. i cast the tough votes on behalf of californians and i know how to do it. no on the iraq war, no on the patriot act, no on the wall street bailout. i believe i am the only one who has military and national security experience. on the armed services community -- committee. i have been to iraq and afghanistan into the corner of africa.
i am married to a retired colonel from the u.s. army and my youngest son is in the army. i know what it takes to defend this country, i am ready for this job and i believe you should vote for the person who can get the job done. ms. harris: i appreciate the point congresswoman made about the sheriff's deputy sergeant. in terms of this election, i agree, it is one of the most important that californians are looking at in terms of the future of california. i am a proud daughter of california. to the point if your question, when we talk about this issue from the context of what it means to be a democrat or republican, most issues that californians care about our -- are bipartisan or nonpartisan. i have never met someone who
wakes up with troubles at 3:00 in the morning in the context of whether they are democrat or republican. they are waking up about whether there children will get the education they deserve. they wake up wondering if they will have a roof over their head. they wake up wondering if taxpayers are getting a return on their investment. they wake up worrying about what is happening in terms of climate change in the future generation of their family and country. they want a leader who knows how to get things done. moderator: our next question. >> this is about the public attention to the question of
police shooting of citizens. local jurisdictions rub the country are weighing whether to quickly release law enforcement video. would you support a federal policy or guideline on the release of such video? ms. harris: thank you for that question. as you know, i have been a big proponent of making sure we have transparency in law enforcement. i run the death -- california department of justice. i have decided to bust open the criminal justice data, understanding there is a crisis have decided to bust open the criminal justice data, understanding there is a crisis of confidence between law enforcement and the communities we protect. there is a need to speak truth, a need for transparency if we are going to have trust. i was proud of the attorney general of the california, to create the first implicit bias and procedural justice training.
understanding that we have to take seriously what is happening in terms of disparities in the criminal justice system, the reality of racial profiling and the need to heal and improve the work we are doing. i am all in favor of what we must do and can do to adopt technology so that we are more transparent, including use of body cameras. rep. sanchez: well, i want to begin by saying that we all know that there is a problem out there. the trust factor has gone down in our country. our communities are looking for leadership on this, that when we discuss body cams, my opponent was absent. when there was a bill before the state legislature to take the evidence and take a look at these shootings that are going on, my opponent said no.
retired supreme court justice red nose day -- said this is imperative. i did not get my 30 seconds from earlier, so i would like to take it now. let's talk about what we're really doing. in my district, just one san sunday ago. we brought in our police force to service with our church and we broke bread, because to know they neighbor is to love thy neighbor. the more we convene and the more we do so that we don't have
these issues out there, we have to have local and state and federal and community leaders come together and get to know each other again as communities. ms. harris: i think the congresswoman when she talks about someone being absent should look at washington, d.c., and she is named as number three of the members most frequent in failing to attend meetings. i think it is important that you show up, and that is the kind of leadership california wants. in terms of the criminal justice system, i believe we should be smart on crime. we need to do the kind of things nationally the we have done here in the california department of justice, focusing on transparency, and i am proud to have done that. rep. sanchez: i would really like to rebut that. moderator: i'm going to give each of you an additional 30 seconds.
rep. sanchez: for the first 18 years in the congress, i have a 95% attendance record. come on guys, we are at school, that is a solid a. when barbara boxer ran as a house member for the senate, she had a 54%, i have a 68%. to do democracy in a large state like california, something has got to give. but i have never missed a crucial vote and i will never do it. moderator: we are trying to be strict with time now. 30 seconds. ms. harris: the record shows the congresswoman missed over 70% of the homeland security committee meetings. the facts speak for themselves. moderator: your question? >> you both talked about the
need for comprehensive immigration reform. what changes to the current system specifically would you support? rep. sanchez: comprehensive immigration reform is the moral imperative of our time. the hispanic caucus, which has always led on immigration reform, put me as one of the cochairs of the tax force on reform. i know a lot about this topic. in fact, i first started working on this when ronald reagan made a reform. at that time, my mother was head of the migrant education group in anaheim, and she saw that lawyers and shysters were taking the money of people replying for -- applying or reform. she started filling out that paperwork. we would be at home and my sisters and i would be filling out the forms of people who were
lined around our block as we were helping people come out of the shadows. people who were our friends, people who were her students. what would i do? we have done enough on border control, now we need to give immediate status to those members who are part of our community, they are in our churches, they are little league coaches, we should put them on the path if they choose to be a citizen. moderator: your time has expired. one minute. ms. harris: california has an outside stake in this conversation. we have the largest amount of immigrants documented and undocumented of any state in the country.
it is time that congress acts. they need to act in a way that create a pathway to citizenship that also includes a pathway for dreamers, which includes speaking about our farmers. i am proud to have the endorsement of the united farmers association. we need to have a pathway for our unaccompanied minors. recognizing that these children should be provided a safe place and we should be providing them with leadership in this country that fights for their needs as we have done. i'm proud to be supported by someone who helps undocumented workers who have been the subjects of fraud. i am proud also to have the support -- moderator: your time has expired. rep. sanchez: the other cochair of the hispanic task force has endorsed me.
he knows that when he goes around the country and talks about what he needs to do that i was the one that stood up and fought for you. we put together a six page menu of things that could happen once we lost the opportunity to push through a reform. we went to the president and we said, this needs to be done. that is how the other projects came up. there is so much more we can do. moderator: your time has expired. your question. >> 64 legalizes marijuana for adult use despite that the drug administration classifies it as a schedule one drug. how would you propose to resolve the contradiction between state and federal marijuana laws?
ms. harris: we have got to resolve it. i believe the voters will pass that initiative and recreational marijuana will be legal in california. we have got to move it from schedule one scheduled to. we have incarcerated a large amount of largely african-american and latino men in this country for using a small amount of this drug. we need to end mass incarceration of young people in this country. i also want to talk about in the context of the work i've done for a very long time, being smart on crime. we need to stop a criminal justice system that is broken because it focuses only on reaction after a crime occurs in that of prevention. focusing on crime when we know they are going to happen, focusing on young people who for the most part, when we see them
in the criminal justice system it is because they are criminal -- high school job out -- dropouts. we need to make sure that kids stay in school and we give them resources. these are a lot of issues that come out in that regard, but the war on drugs in this country has been a failure, it has criminalized it when it should be a public health issue. rep. sanchez: some people talk about doing things, we actually do things in my district. i have been on the forefront of ensuring that medical marijuana, once past, what have some regulation. i have been a fighter in the congress to get marijuana off of schedule one. i have been a fighter because, you know what, if you have a
dispensary, it is all a cash business because banks are afraid to take your money because we have a conflict between federal and state level laws. i have been trying to tell president obama, let california get this right. in santa ana, we passed an ordinance, we eliminated illegal dispensaries, shut them down, put in 19 legal ones, we collected taxes, we hired new law enforcement officers. and we unionized the dispensaries. ms. harris: i think we need to look at the congresswoman's record. frankly, when we look at the record we will see that she hasn't voted for policies in this country that have led to mass incarceration of people. she voted in favor of legislation that would allow a 13-year-old to be prosecuted as an adult.
she voted for legislation that would allow mandatory minimum sentences for juveniles. that is not evidence of someone who understands what we need to do to reform the criminal justice system. moderator: your question? >> what measures do you support to protect americans from acts of international terrorism in the united dates? are current loss sufficient? -- laws sufficient? rep. sanchez: when we look at it from an intelligence perspective, when we look at our threats, when we look at the short term in front of us and what we see from the long-term, the short-term one i believe is the lone wolf issue. the issue that terrorism is being hyped -- piped in through
those already in the united states. what should we do? we have to eliminate isis, and we are working to decapitate its leadership, find its finances and shut it down, and we are doing a lot of quite frankly those already in the united states. what should we do? top-secret work to eliminate that pipeline that comes into the united states that goes after the lone wolf. there are a lot of issues we need to work on. mental health. we need mental health parity, we've not been able to get that out there. we have to look at the gun use in this country and we have to put in common sense gun control so that we can bring down the use of available guns to those who would hurt us. the most important thing is we need our muslim american community with us to help us to get some of this that is coming in from isis.
ms. harris: we have to be smart and tough as a country. we need to do in a way that recognizes the emerging threats to the united states, including cyber security as a threat in terms of cyber attacks, cartels and transnational criminal organizations, and the issue of time a change which is a real threat to national security. in we need to go where isis him and exists. it also means of addressing it on domestic level, and that means not laying into the hands of isis propaganda and their recruitment tools, which in particular the congresswoman has helped by calling 20% of muslims inclined to commit ask of terror. that is playing into the hands of isis and all that they are doing to try and recruit young
muslim men throughout our country and around the world, suggesting that the united states should be an enemy because we do not embrace the muslim community. moderator: 30 seconds. rep. sanchez: that is completely false. over 20 years of doing all types of interviews on radio and tv, of debating in congress, i have learned that your words can be used in three ways sometimes you say something you wish you could take back. sometimes you say something you wish you would have said differently. sometimes you say something that your opponent purposely uses politically against you. that is what ms. harris and her cronies have been doing. moderator: your question from his harris. >> when you drive through the central valley, you will see signs of blaming leaders in
the washington, d c and sacramento for water problems. what you have to say about the state's farmers about water? ms. harris: i was a just in modesto last week with the farmers there having an extensive conversation with them. what we know is this, we are the canary in the coal mine, and we can be the leader on this issue of water for our country and the globe. we have to take it at a national scale, recycling and conservation. we have to capture storm water and desalination. we are doing work here, we need to do as a nation. we also need understand this is a matter of public health.
it is also a matter of jobs and the economy, let's bring the infrastructure dollars back from washington to our state. third, this is a matter of national security. right now, wars are being fought over oil. in a short matter of time, they will be fought over water. let california via leader for the globe and understand we must have more reliable and sustainable sources of water in our state and we can do that work. we can do as a model for the nation. rep. sanchez: when my opponent was asked, what is your water plan for california? she said one word, conservation. period. when they asked her, what about sites? she said i don't know what you are talking about. let me tell you about my water plan, because water is our
economy in california. especially in the central valley in here in southern california. we have taken the brunt of what is happening. conservation, yes. how about water recycling? the largest recycling plant in the world sits in my district. i helped bring in the money to build that. we have to store water when it comes to my underground and above. desalinization, which we have done in carlsbad. the largest place to study water in california is uc irvine. moderator: thank you. ms. harris: again, i think there is no question the california can be a leader on this.
let's understand that we also have to reject a false choice, that on the issue of water, you are either choosing for the state or choosing for the father -- farmer. we can do both. we need more reliable and sustainable choices for water. los angeles is doing a great job moderator: it is time for our first question from a viewer. >> my son, now 41, was 19 when he committed his first and only crime. the justice system has failed him in several ways and how he was -- [indiscernible]
senate bill 261 past, and no proposition 51 is on the ballot. the california prison system is broken. it is called rehabilitation but that is not happening. how do you feel about proposition 57, and what are your thoughts about fixing the overcrowding in prisons? moderator: due to a technical problem, our candidates could not hear it. we have it written down, so i will paraphrase it. this is from mary, who has a son, he is 41 years old and he was 19 when he committed his first and only crime. in her words, the justice system has failed him in several ways and how he was and no one seems to want to correct the problem. senate bill 261 past in 2016, and crop 57 is on the ballot. the prison system is broken, it is called rehabilitation but that is wrong. what you think about the overcrowding?
ms. harris: i'm in favor of doing whatever we need to do to bifurcate the prison problem. we cannot have a one size fits all approach to prime. as it relates to violent and serious crime, there is no question, serious consequences. as it relates to low-level offenses and nonviolent crime, we need another approach, one that shuts the revolving door. i have done that work. i created an initiative getting low-level offenders jobs and counseling, so they could turn their lives around and reduce the chance of they would reoffend. i wrote a book back in 2008, you can buy on amazon. [laughter]
but we need to do this work, we need to understand we cannot continue to inform public policy on a way that is about fear mongering. moderator: one minute. rep. sanchez: i'm against proposition 57. my opponent wrote the summary of it that we are reading as voters. she said it was about nonviolent felons getting out of jail. that is not true. she talks a good story on gun control, but did you know that if you give guns to gangs, you can get out of jail free if the proposition passes. if you do a job by -- drive-by shooting, you can get out of jail if this passes. if you discharge guns in a schoolyard, you can get out of jail free. she has failed to lead in supposedly the area that is her area of expertise. worse, she has failed to protect
california's as the attorney general. as a senator, she would skillfully and failed to protect us. moderator: we are at our halfway point. ms. harris: rebuttal? moderator: no, no rebuttal. ms. harris: darn. [laughter] moderator: we may come back and revisit this. you may wish to address it in response to another question. we are and our halfway point and we are going to take a short break. we will be back for the lightning round. >> we are getting this debate from abc seven eyewitness news in los angeles. they are in a commercial break and will return shortly. >> if you missed any of the vice
and good and active the lightning round questions from our panelists. >> to seek the senate seat, congresswoman, why would you give up a 20 year career? and madam attorney general, why would you give up your career? rep. sanchez: when barbara boxer announced she was retiring, it was my colleagues in the house of representatives, both democrat and republican, who came to me and said, we rely on you. you have been to iraq and afghanistan. we rely on you, you know where the horn of africa is, you are the nato vote in the nato parliament. we need you in the senate. you are prepared and ready to go.
moderator: 30 seconds has expired. ms. harris: i believe the california needs and wants and deserves bold leadership. one indication of the indication to be bold is a track record of getting things done. i have a track record of fighting for the homeless, fighting for students, fighting for criminal justice reform, fighting for immigrants. you got to show up. my opponent does not show up. you can have a lot of stamps on your passport, but you have to show up. my opponent did not show up once. >> would you seek to maintain or reverse the hyde amendment that prevents low income women for using public health insurance for abortions? rep. sanchez: i am in support of choice and the woman's -- opposed toutely am
anything that would limit her in resources necessary to achieve that purpose. i have been a fighter for a long on this matter. we have to support a woman's right to make a decision for her own reproductive health care. a society that denies that woman's ability to nice access health and well-being. the government should not stand in the way. >> i have a 100% voting record on reproductive rights in the congress. people know where i stand. i will always vote and push and women are treated equally and they have choice in life. that an orangete county, california, my opponent limited choice for our women.
you will see that she says one thing but does another. >> if you are elected to the u.s. senate, of which committees would you like to serve and why? rep. sanchez: i have sat on the armed services committee and the homeland security committee in congress. i would like to sit on the armed services committee in the senate. of the money that the congress moved in the time i've been there, nearly 60% has gone through the military committee. we look at the economy of the united states, we need to have someone serve on that committee. that and the finance committee. ms. harris: i have not thought about which committee i will sit on, i first want to get elected, but i will tell you that the reason i am writing in the work i hope to do includes fighting
for the immigrants of our state and passing conference of immigration reform, continuing to fight for what we need to do with the reform of the criminal justice system, fighting for our students who know that we are facing an incredible burden in terms of student loan debt. i am proud to have the support of elizabeth worn and folks -- warren. now a question from a student, a from president of the associated students of cal state l.a.. one minute to answer. >> good evening. i conducted a survey on facebook about voter cynicism among students. within minutes, the newsfeed was exploding. this shows students care. however, there was a concern about lack of trust for politicians, too much money and politics and feeling their vote does not matter.
given the concerns, what could you say to students in order to them to go out and vote? this, ask the key is with all people who are cynical .nd feel they don't matter the people for office need to see your -- see them and hear .hem and listen that is the work i have done throughout my work and the campaign. i know that when we put one investment, you get a of $23. 70% of you are graduating with student loan debt. i know when i've talked to students, that the average pilgrim at its $5,800, but the average tuition at uc is about $34,000 per year.
i have heard from our students, , and hear you and see you you deserve to have are presented it to prioritize your issue. rep. sanchez: talk is cheap. let me tell you what we are doing where i live in my district. this great community jim is called -- gym is called santa ana community college. this year, entering freshmen are tuition free. we have actually done it. i carry the tell grant bill -- pell grant bill in the congress to double the size of the grant. i carry another bill that allows the pell grant to be used during the summer, because students don't always just go in the all in spring. i am working with hud to refinance student loans, so that
we can do what your parents do when they refinance their loans down to 3%. and community college, it has a for you -- for your programs now. moderator: we are now back to our standard form questions. >> i have to turn a page here. this one is a longer format question. for-profit universities have been sources of controversy. what action should the federal government do to protect the interest of students and taxpayers? rep. sanchez: i believe that any for-profit, nonprofit, private, public, any school that is cheating students were doing fraud should stop existing. but, many of the people i
represent and many californians need these for-profit colleges and vocational schools. think about the mechanics, the mechanic is working and trying to feed his family, but he has a dream to become an i.t. expert. he can't just stop and go to a four-year university. he goes to night school, and the community college does not offer what he wants. so he goes to the for-profit and earns a two-year certificate. those people who go after with just a brush of all of these schools do not understand the diversity, the diversity of education that we need.
my opponent has gone after the entire industry and she is so wrong, because so many people use good schools to get the certificate and their degrees and change their lives. ms. harris: on this point, i will agree with my opponent. i did initiate an industrywide investigation into for-profit colleges, and i will tell you why. because looking at them, i found a college like corinthian, who i sued because they were engaged in the most unbelievable predatory practices targeting some of our most desperate young people who simply wanted to get an education.
yes, we see them and put them out of business. by contrast, yes the voters to have a choice in this election. my opponent has taken thousands of dollars from the for-profit industry and has taken money from corinthian. i put a plan in place that we called freedom to learn. i believe, and i will fight, for the right of students to have free community college, and if you're household income is $34,000 or yes, you get free college or university. it is the right thing to do, providing our students with an education that is a pathway to a dream. if we let them be in debt, we will pay for it. rep. sanchez: we are already providing free education, free tuition at the community college. let me talk a little more about for-profit, because my opponent is disingenuous. yes, she went after some colleges, but after others had already done the hard work for her. more importantly, trump university. the most people who got swindled
were californians. she was taking his money in her campaign to fly around in first-class airfare and hotel and taking donald trumps money. her socialite friends in san francisco. moderator: your time has expired. hi there. >> in the last several days, the united states has ended cooperation with russia in the conflict with isis in syria after the bombing of aleppo with russian backed forces. russia suspended a nuclear treaty with the west. what is your view on america's current relationship with russia today? is this a former relationship gone bad or is russian now an adversary? ms. harris: i believe that russia poses a serious threat to the safety of our country, for a number of reasons. we know they have incredible
nuclear capacity. we also have good reason to believe that they have used cyber weaponry to hack into data systems in our country to manipulate the election of the president. and i believe we have to take them quite seriously. it troubles me when people engage, even in the presidential race, with the idea that they would respect putin more than president obama. russia is investing in the assad regime, which has created one of the biggest crisis since world war ii. syrian refugees, and particularly their children, of
the crisis. russia is posing a concern in terms what they're doing in ukraine. they are asserting aggression and we have to take it very seriously, and i believe that so far we are doing an adequate job but we have to stay on our toes. rep. sanchez: i believe that russia is one of the most dangerous threats that we have. i'm the voting member on the nato parliament. i work with my european allies. i have seen what has happened in ukraine. i was called recently by some of the generals in ukraine who asked me to go over and see the frontline. they said the little green men are there. i went, on my own dime, to take a look. our national guard is there helping, and we were able to deliver a new surveillance system for the border between
ukraine and russia. i have met assad, i met him on the day i had to deliver the news that we were putting sanchez in the congress, and the president had signed sanctions against him. i have been in turkey, i have been on the syrian border, i have been to the refugee camps, i have spoken to refugees. the largest humanitarian crisis -- moderator: 30 seconds if you like. ms. harris: you can have a lot of stance in your passport, but when you do not show up on the antiterrorism task force, that you call into question your commitment to protecting our country's security interests. voters have a choice on this issue, and it is about who shows up and who gets things done. the emerging threats that are challenging our national security include work i have
done throughout my career as attorney general and even before. thank you. >> cyber security is now a major issue. how would you strike a balance between privacy rights of americans and the need to protect individuals and corporations transactions online? rep. sanchez: we need to protect our liberties. when the patriot act was voted after 9/11, i said no. edward snowden showed us what we had given up. i said apple has the right to hold on to its lock on that device. people know where i am on civil liberties. i would like to go back to the savior to lead, because -- failure to lead, because my
opponent has insinuated it i have not been to work. the reality is, i work hard every single day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and people in my district know that. now, i have passed bills, inserted bills into legislation, i've worked across the aisle, on issues incredibly important. women in combat, sexual assault in the military, getting rid of don't ask don't tell. anti-stalking laws in place. when my opponent has been going around for two years campaigning in california, what she has done is through her own private corporation, in her smarts on crime, her report card is the crime rate. assaults by gun are up.
while she travels, we get failed. ms. harris: there is so much there, let's try to unpack it. ms. harris: there is so much there, let's try to unpack it. on cyber security, i am proud of the work we have done in my office that is been focused on prevention, an essential component of what we must do to attempt to be secure. that means urging everyone to encrypt data, we of been a leader in the country on that issue. we had done the work and i have done the work. we've done the work on suggesting only not only prevention but resilience. after we have been attacked, let's think about our airports, our hospitals, our electrical grids. let's be vigilant, and we also need have leadership to put in place a mechanism to be resilient and get back in the game. my opponent has passed one bill in her 20 years in congress, and that was to rename a post office.
let's talk about what needs to happen in terms of leadership. let's also understand the fear mongering is not going to get it done. the paper from your backyard said yesterday that the crime rate have plummeted. rep. sanchez: 9% increase on gun murders, homicides. 15% increase on assault with guns. and did i tell you, a 33% increase in sexual assaults? you said that was your report card, and that is a report card you do not want to show to your dad. moderator: we will begin our lightning round. adrian has a question for ms. harris. >> would you support a constitutional amendment
imposing term limits on members so, whatss, and if would the appropriate length? ms. harris: the voters need to make a decision. there is no question we need accountability, and i have great respect for all of our processes that require debates and 11 the voters to make a decision, and -- let the voters to make a decision, and then if they have done a good job, elects them out. again the bottom line is they , will be voted out if they don't have a track record of getting things done, and that is what this election is about. the voters of california want to know that you have a track record and that you show up. rep. sanchez: it is pretty obvious to me that my opponent doesn't understand the congress at all. in this national defense authorization act that we have before us, i was able to put in 17 different pieces of