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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  June 22, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. on the newshour tonight: >> republicans believe we have a responsibility to act, and we are. >> sreenivasan: senate republicans unveil their health care bill. we break down the most controversial details and political stakes. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff reporting from colorado at the aspen institute's spotlight health conference. i get reaction to the senate plan from one of the architects of obamacare, former secretary of health and human services kathleeen siebeilius. >> fixing the affordable care act is important. the trump administration, i would suggest, has done nothing but sabotage the act since they came to office. >> sreenivasan: also ahead on the newshour, hunger plagues venezuela.
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with skyrocketing food prices and an economy in freefall-- malnutrition hits the country's most vulnerable citizens. and where low-income americans go when they don't have bank accounts. making sense of the multi- billion dollar industry that is still largely unregulated. >> what's interesting is that even my boss at the payday lender said, "payday is a lousy product but we're filling a need that nobody else will fill." >> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, ad improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century.
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>> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: the battle lines are forming tonight in the senate over replacing obamacare. republican leaders released details of their bill today, but democrats are rejecting it outright, and some in the g.o.p. are not happy either. lisa desjardins begins our
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coverage. >> it's time to act because obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class and american families deserve better than it's failing status quo. >> desjardins: after weeks of work behind closed doors, majority leader mitch mcconnell made the senate republican bill public this morning. it shares some broad strokes with the bill that house republicans passed in may. it would cut medicaid overall, and impose annual limits on spending. it also repeals the individual mandate penalty under obamacare, and ends most of the taxes that paid for the affordable care act. the bill lets states waive required coverage of essential health benefits, things like mental health and hospital care. and, it blocks federal funds to planned parenthood for one year and for health plans that cover most abortions. democrats unanimously oppose the measure. minority leader chuck schumer. >> simply put, this bill will
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result in higher costs, less care, and millions of americans will lose their health insurance particularly through medicaid. it's every bit as bad as the house bill. in some ways, it's even worse. >> desjardins: house speaker paul ryan welcomed the senate's action, without getting into the details. >> i know how hard this is to pass a bill like this. what was helpful to us that we didn't have senate leadership playing armchair quarterback with us. the last thing i want to do is play armchair quarterback with them. >> desjardins: the senate did break with the house on a few issues. the senate bill would phase out the expansion of medicaid, but more slowly than the house, ending it by 2024. and starting in 2025, the senate would cut all of medicaid more deeply than the house. the senate plan also keeps protections for people with pre- existing conditions while the house bill lets states waive those. and, the senate bill continues obamacare subsidies but limits
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them to a smaller group of lower-income people. schumer says taken as a whole, the changes mean any benefits are in name only. >> the senate republican health care bill is a wolf in sheep's clothing only this wolf has even sharper teeth than house bill. >> desjardins: disability advocates and others protested today outside majority leaders mcconnell's office. capitol police arrested a number of them. republican leaders argued opponents need to look at the actual text before criticizing. >> they can read the bill if they have objections to the provisions we can debate them but what they're talking about is a bill that does not exist which they had not read. >> desjardins: at the white house, president trump voiced support and stressed this is not a final draft. >> obamacare is a disaster. it's dead. totally dead. and we're putting a plan today that's going to be negotiated. >> desjardins: those
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negotiations started instantly. republicans can afford for just two of their members to vote no. and today, kentucky senator rand paul and three other republicans say they oppose it as written. >> and i believe the leverage and count of four people is enough that hopefully those who wrote the bill will say we want some or all of their votes and therefore we'll try to make the bill look more like a repeal bill and less like a reiteration of obamacare. >> desjardins: the congressional budget office says it will have its analysis of the bill by early next week. mcconnell is pushing for a vote two or three days after that. >> sreenivasan: lisa will be back to help us analyze the political prospects for the senate republican health care bill, after the news summary. in the day's other news, president trump declared he did not record conversations with f.b.i. director james comey. he'd raised the possibility that tapes existed, after he fired comey last month. today, on twitter, the president said: "i have no idea whether there are 'tapes' or recordings
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of my conversations with james comey, but i did not make, and do not have, any such recordings." the president also expressed frustration again today about russia's hacking of the presidential campaign. he stated on twitter that the obama administration should have taken action, since it was still in office at the time. and, he charged the whole thing is a "hoax" pushed by democrats. gulf coast states took a thrashing today after tropical storm "cindy" slogged ashore overnight with heavy rain. flooding was reported from texas to florida, and alabama governor kay ivey warned the danger is not over yet. >> this is not just a coastal issue for goodness sake, this is about inland as well. so everybody needs to have heads up and be alert to the rising water that can effect flooding. >> sreenivasan: the storm has now weakened to a tropical depression but could bring heavy rain all the way to the mid- atlantic region by the weekend. in afghanistan, the taliban set off a powerful car bomb today that killed at least 34 people. it happened in the capital of helmand province, in the south.
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the suicide attack targeted afghan soldiers who were lined up at a bank to receive their paychecks. but, officials said most of the dead were civilians. the associated press reports al- qaeda suspects are being systematically tortured in secret prisons across southern yemen. an a.p. investigation found at least 18 sites run by the united arab emirates and yemeni forces. it said 2,000 men have disappeared into the prisons, where they've been beaten with wires and roasted over fires. u.s. officials say they have no knowledge of the abuses. british officials say testing has found flammable siding on at least seven high-rise buildings since a london apartment tower burned last week. 79 people died in the blaze. prime minister theresa may's office said today that 600 buildings in the country have similar siding, and all of them need to be tested. >> landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe buildings and where they cannot do that, we expect alternative accommodation to be provided. we cannot and will not ask
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people to live in unsafe homes. >> sreenivasan: opposition leader jeremy corbyn called for urgent checks on some 4,000 buildings. back in this country, the interior department says it's taking grizzly bears in yellowstone national park, off the endangered species list. they've been protected since 1975, when there were only 136 grizzlies left around yellowstone. now, there are more than 700. the change could allow for limited hunting of the bears, outside the park. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average lost 12 points to close at 21,397. the nasdaq rose two points, and the s&p 500 slipped one. still to come on the newshour: former health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius on the republican plan to replace one of her biggest legacies-- obamacare. starvation in venezuela-- an economy in freefall leaves the country in dire straits. renewed outrage over police shootings of black americans, and much more.
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>> sreenivasan: we return now to the health care plan released today by senate republicans. to help break down the controversial details and politics, our own lisa desjardins, who's just returned from capitol hill. and mary agnus carey of kaiser health news. let's start with medicaid. how does this change what we know medicaid to be? >> the biggest change is how we change federal funding for the medicaid program. right now states can spend what they need matched on a percentage basis, but this would shift the medicaid program to a capped allotment, a set amount of money. the thought is over time would that a lot. rise fast enough to meet the medical costs of the population, and if it doesn't, what do you do? do you reducing payments to survivor, do you cut services, do you kick people off the roles? that's one of the biggest concerns. >> who does this lure in to get those crucial yes votes?
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>> we're really talking about those concerned for debt and deficit. the growth of medicaid is a concern, but it loses some votes potentially. a lot of conservative republican senators whose states have high proportions of medicaid users. take arizona, ohio, some of these swing states, west virginia. i talked to senator mccain today. he said he's not deciding what he does until he speaks to his governor to see what this means for the state budget and for medicaid. also alaska. a lot of these rural states, it's a real risk for them if they lose medicaid funding.çóó[ñ >> are there structural changes for medicaid? >> in the sense of structural requirement, you could have work requirements. governors could make those changes. and again, getting back to the growth and the payments.
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that is a big concern. >> the senate is doing it up front let the expansion last longer. they ultimately would cut it, but they will cut in the long run, ten years out, the amount that medicaid can grow by. so in the short run it's not as tough on medicaid as the house bill, but in the long run it cuts a lot more than the house bill. >> sreenivasan: even with these measures, rand paul said, i'm not satisfied. >> they have a volt problem. they can only lose two senators. that's not just a medicaid problem, but there's a problem from senators like rand paul concerned about tax credits and subsidies. this keeps the affordable care act subsidies intact structurally just reduces them. rand paul says that's obama care light. i'm not sure how he will be satisfied unless they remove those subsidies altogether. >> sreenivasan: we also heard a conversation about meanness or whether this has enough heart. when we talk about the affordability of this, the quality of the coverage, how does this bill address those?
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>> a couple things to lisa's point about subsidy, they would be linked to income, but also with age like the house bill. the top end of the scale, there would be less generous, more generous at the lower end of the scale, but the other thing about this is what is your money going to buy with this subsidy? the senate bill would allow the plans to be less generous. right now the affordable care act, the sort of middle-level plan that subsidy is based on would cover 70% of the cost. under this senate draft, that would drop to 58%. so would you have to pay more and older perhaps a higher income person might pay more for less, and so that whole benefit of what you're getting for your money is going to be a big concern here. >> sreenivasan: one thing president trump has put on the table as a non-negotiable is preexisting conditions. that's something that was very popular from obamacare, a lot of people want the keep that. how does this bill tackle it? >> preexisting conditions would still have to be covered, but a state could get a variance from a set of the central health benefits. these are ten things that have to be covered, mental health
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care, prescription drugs, maternity care, states could get a waiver from those. so there is some concern if a state could have plans that didn't cover prescription drugs and mental health care, what would that mean for beneficiaries? there is concern there? >> sreenivasan: one of the most divisive topics comes down to planned parenthood funding specifically around the case of abortions. >> that's right. this was a late decision by the senate leadership here. they went back and forth. there was a lot of discussion behind closed doors. in the end, this draft right now would defund planned parenthood, all of the federal funding, that's over $500 million for that organization, for one year. instead of defunding it forever, it would be for one year. that's still a very serious political problem, especially for two senators, lisa murkowski of alaska, and susan collins of maine. we talked to both of them today. they haven't decided, but they are concerned about that. they said if that remains in the bill, and there is a lot of negotiation, if it's in the bill, they'll propose an amendment to change it. that will be a fascinating vote
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on the senate floor. we expect that. speaking of it, that's what we need to watch right now. there's going to be a lot of horse trading right now behind closed doors. mitch mcconnell is counting on it. this bill will change. after it changes, there will be a process that next week of amendments. there will be a long day of a lot of votes. we'll see how many of them pass. it really to me seems 50/50 on whether this gets through. certainly not as it is now. the question is how will it change. >> sreenivasan: and there are still constituents on the sidelines saying it looks like covering opioid addiction is really important in my state in west virginia and ohio. there are people that going to be lobbying to try to get those in the bill. >> well, that medicaid expansion has funded a lot of opioid addiction treatment in ohio, for example, and other states, and if that goes away, how are you going to help those folks? as we know, it's the number-one killer for americans 50 and over now. >> they put $2 billion to help with opioids, but those concerned say that's a drop in the bucket and not nearly
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enough. >> sreenivasan: all right. lisa desjardins, mary agnes carey, thank you both. >> sreenivasan: there have been many responses to the senate plan today, including from former president obama. he said: "simply put, if there's a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family this bill will do you harm. and small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks... cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation." and now to judy woodruff in aspen, colorado who spoke today with a key figure in the obama administration about the republicans plan to undo much of the affordable care act and >> woodruff: now we get reaction to the senate plan from a woman instrumental in creating obamacare. i sat down earlier today with former secretary of health and human services, kathleen sebelius. i began by asking her overall assessment of the proposal. >> i think it follows the unfortunate framework of the house bill. people will lose coverage. we don't know how many until the
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c.b.o. actually scores the bill some time next week, but no doubt there will be people priced out of the marketplace. we know that individual costs will go up, which seems really contrary to what people are telling me they want. they want the pay less out of pocket, they'd like the pay less for their premium, but nothing in this bill does that. it changes the medicaid programs for every state in the country, and, judy, as you know, i'm a former governor, i ran a medicaid program, medicaid has been a 52-year-old partnership for state and federal governments to take care of the most needy americans, and then it was expanded in the affordable care act to cover low-income working adults. and there's a huge slash in that program, again proposed by the senate. it cuts planned parenthood funding, which gives services and support to millions of women across the country.
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it continues the path that the house took. >> woodruff: let me pick up on the medicaid point. it is true that the house bill did make deep cuts, changes in medicaid. >> right. >> woodruff: what republican senators say they are doing is phasing this in, they stretched it out over a longer number of... longer period of years. it delays the effectual date of these changes in medicaid. so isn't this something of an movement. , makes it more acceptable? >> delaying the awful doesn't make it less awful. so i think having a few more years of grace period is probably a good thing, but they make actually in the senate bill, as i've read the draft, they make deeper cuts in the underlying medicaid program than the house even suggested. that really affects every state budget in the country. every governor receives from the federal government the largest amount of federal funds through the medicaid program.
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it takes care of disabled children and adults, takes care of a lot of poor seniors in nursing homes. it pays for half of the births in the country and about 40% of children's health insurance. that's the underlying program. you can't cut that program without really harming services to the most vulnerable americans and really blowing up state budgets across the country. it takes longer, but it still happens. >> woodruff: i think what republicans are arguing is that medicaid as it's presently structured is unsustainable. it costs too much for the federal government, costs too much for the states, and they say they're taking steps to make sure that if they're in the longer run, they also say they're creating this fund with tens of billions of dollars to take care of some coverage gaps that have been created by these changes. >> well, again, i think it's important to understand, these populations don't disappear. so the federal government has decided they will stop paying
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for vulnerable people across america, for poor seniors in nursing homes, for poor pregnant women and children, for disabled children and adults. they are capping the amount of federal money that goes. that doesn't change the population. so all it does is shift costs to state budgets and a lot of states do not have the extra money, to local budgets, or to make sure that people don't have services. every pot of money that is talked about to cover the gap in services is well under what is being paid for right now. so we're here talking about opioid treatment and the crisis that we have across america. there is about 5. 5 billion this year being spent on mental health services and opioids, nowhere near that amount is being proposed as even a multi-year funding plan. if they take away planned parenthood coverage from pregnant women and children,
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they then have a hunting gap in services. so -- a huge gap in services. so i don't think they're being honest about who gets affected and what happens to those folks that the money is cut at the federal level. >> woodruff: let's go back to the basic complaint the republicans have had, and this is their complaint, and even democrats acknowledge problems and some serious problems, with the affordable care act. the cost of premiums going up, the fact that many insurers have pulled out of the exchanges. what is it now, dozens of countries around the country that only have one insurer. these are fundamental problems that had to be addressed one way or another, aren't they? >> you're absolutely right. the coverage issue, getting more insurers to offer coverage across the country needs to be solved. there are solutions for that with the reinsurance pools that have been proposed. people want to pay less and less means not only premiums, because about 85% of the people get help
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with their premium coverage, but they want the pay less out of pocket. again, none of this bill does that. in fact, they would shift more cost on to individuals. so fixing the affordable care act is important. the trump administration i would suggest has done nothing but sabotage the act since they came to office, refusing to enforce the mandate, refusing to tell insurers they'll pay the subsidy, which has caused drop-outs, and not clarifying what the rules are, so companies are indeed charging higher rates. >> woodruff: at the same time, president trump himself has said he believes all people should be covered by health insurance. he said again this week, i want to see health coverage that has heart. >> which would be great, but that isn't what is proposed in either the house bill or the senate bill, and both president trump has declared as great bills. well, i apologize. i haven't seen what he said about the senate bill. he applauded the house for their
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terrific bill, which took coverage away from 23 million americans. we don't know how bad the senate bill is going to be, but i can guarantee you millions of people will lose coverage and pay higher costs. >> woodruff: he also called it mean. >> the house bill? >> woodruff: the house bill.xd whatever happensñr here, it loos as if this is the beginning of the end of obamacare. i mean, this billing, right now there is some senate opposition, but they are working the try to get something passed through congress. it's a huge priority for republicans. is this the beginning of the end for obamacare? >> it's hard to tell. i think we have a different conversation now in america, which is a good thing, that people now say insurance companies should not ever again be allowed to discriminate against individuals as preexisting health conditions. that conversation was not even had five years ago. this is some recognition that healthcare for all is a positive
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just available depending on where you work or where you live. that's a good thing. but what we're actually doing in the future i think is really important. who loses and who gains and both the house bill and the senate bill fall most heavily on the sickest, oldest, and lowest-income americans and shift those dollars not into the federal treasury but to tax breaks for the richest. >> woodruff: kathleen sebelius, former secretary of health and human services. thank you very much. >> good to be with you. >> woodruff: tune in tomorrow, when i talk with stephen ubl, president and c.e.o. of pharma, the drug industry's largest trade group, for a different take on the challenges facing our health care system. plus, there's more from aspen at the end of the show, when we'll meet a chef promoting health through good food. hari? >> sreenivasan: thanks, judy. now, the crisis in venezuela takes many forms: economic, political, social.
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but perhaps nothing is more harmful day-to-day than shortages of medicine and food. put simply, many venezuelans are starving to death. and their government often can't, or won't, do anything to help. in partnership with the pulitzer center on crisis reporting, special correspondent nadja drost and videographer bruno federico report. and a warning: images and accounts in this story may upset some viewers. >> reporter: an hour outside of the capital, caracas, traces of a once-productive industrial and agricultural region, flank the highway outside the town of yare. an abandoned factory, a farm, deserted, and overgrown, the carcass of a government dairy project. these buildings, like the economy they once helped support, are in collapse. katiuska morales' husband can only find occasional work as a day-laborer, and the family faces nation-wide shortages of food, at runaway inflation prices.
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>> ( translated ): everything is expensive. what one earns in three or four days of work is what it costs to buy one kilogram of rice. >> reporter: morales can't feed her family. >> ( translated ): when the boy says, "mama, i want food," i can't find the way to tell him there is none. >> reporter: the only thing in the family's kitchen today are mangoes, stored in the oven under the attentive eye of three-year-old david, who searches amongst the bruised fruit for a good one. with its economy in free fall, and food prices sky-rocketing, many venezuelans are eating less and less every day. one recent study found that in the last year, 75% of venezuelans lost an average of 19 pounds. but it is children who are suffering the most, and severe malnutrition among them is rising at an alarming rate. three out of morales' six children have been diagnosed
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with severe malnutrition. she's most worried about her 10- month old baby. >> ( translated ): i see her small, she doesn't grow. she doesn't try crawling or walking. i feel i have to be careful that she doesn't fall to the side, it's like she's faint. >> reporter: back in caracas, susana raffalli, who specializes in food emergencies for the catholic charity caritas, has carried out a study on malnutrition. >> ( translated ): we've gone from having 8% of children with severe malnutrition in october, to 12% in just four months. when a child loses 30-40% of their weight, that's called severe malnutrition. why is that severe? because the child is so skinny it is at risk of dying. >> reporter: in a country sitting on the biggest oil reserves in the world, why has it become so difficult for so many, to eat? almost entirely reliant on oil exports, venezuela barely hardly
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produces anything of its own, and has relied hugely on food imports. but with oil revenues down, corruption and an economy in shambles, the government hardly has any dollars to sell to importers. >> ( translated ): there is at least a 30-40% shortage in the availability of food, because it's not being produced nor is it getting imported. we don't know how this void will get filled. >> reporter: to alleviate the scarcity, the government recently decided to loosen its monopoly on many food imports to allow other importers to bring in staples. some shortages have eased, but now, with triple-digit inflation driving upprices, few can afford to pay for even the most basic goods. we're on our way to one of the biggest hospitals in caracas, to visit the pediatric unit. but four years ago, when the crisis started deepening, the government banned the use of any cameras inside hospitals. because of that, and the fact
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that the hospital and the area around it is full of military and governmentaligned militia, we're going to have to try to enter unnoticed, and with a hidden camera. once inside, we follow dr. livia machado, an expert in child nutrition, into the emergency ward for children. this baby's diagnosis: malnutrition, at seven months old.. >> she was born six and a half pounds. now she weighs seven. the economic conditions now don't allow her to buy formula. >> ( translated ): it became more expensive and i couldn't afford it. >> ( translated ): the most important thing is that there's no access to baby formula, you can't get it in the country, and when you can, it's at such high prices. how much did you pay the last time for formula? >> 20,000 bolivares. >> reporter: that's a third of a month's minimum wage, for three days worth of formula. five of the 20 children in this
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unit have severe malnutrition. dr. machado worries about the increase in cases she sees. >> ( translated ): but even more worrisome, and something i've never seen and that strikes me as critical, are children who are between half-a-year and a year old and they've never even gained two pounds in their whole life. >> reporter: like this baby. >> ( translated ): her condition is very critical, from a respiratory and metabolic perspective, and everything that triggered this was hunger. >> reporter: i ask how many months old she is. >> ( translated ): 11 months, almost a year. and she doesn't even weigh nine pounds. >> reporter: dr. machado says this baby's mother hardly eats anything herself in order to give what she can to her six children. but it's been woefully inadequate, and brought the baby to a critical state-- the child has suffered two cardiac arrests here.
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she died the next day. but it's not just the deadly malnutrition. there is little medication to treat the many complications that it can cause. hospitals have less than 5% of the medications they need. - the desperation of doctors and nurses trying to work with broken equipment and without life-saving treatments, is driving them into the streets to protest. what do they want? >> ( translated ): supplies for hospitals, food, medicine, to be able to attend to patients. >> reporter: the flow of medicines into the country has plummeted after most foreign drug companies cut off ties with venezuela over $6 billion plus in unpaid debts. to ease the shortage, these doctors and nurses are demanding that the government open what they call a "humanitarian
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channel" to allow for donations of medications. the government has said that accepting humanitarian relief would expose venezuela to foreign intervention. but some organizations are finding ways around what they say amounts to a government ban on aid. accion solidaria is part of a coalition promoting health rights, codevida. its president, francisco valencia, leads us to a storage room that's been converted to what looks like a well- organized, ad-hoc pharmacy that accepts donations of medications and distributes them to venezuelans. >> ( translated ): here, all of these medications come from abroad. because of the situation here, you can't get these medications here. here, we have painkillers, antibiotics, there's medicine for children as well. >> reporter: the supplies are sent by venezuelans and other donors from around the world, but in small packages, to avoid suspicion and bypass customs
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authorities. >> ( translated ): door-to-door deliveries. they're sent privately. >> reporter: like a courier company. >> eso, una courrier express. >> reporter: once valencia and his colleagues categorize the new shipments, they announce their stockpile over twitter, facebook and on local radio stations. their hotline number is flooded with calls from venezuelans wanting to claim the medicines >> ( translated ): so far, we've been able to give medication to over 5,000 people. >> reporter: but valencia knows that what they provide is a mere drop in a sea of need. >> ( translated ): if you see this here, it's not a quantity to supply all of venezuela. >> reporter: valencia and others in health organizations say the government needs to recognize that venezuela is facing a humanitarian crisis, and one that warrants government and international action. >> ( translated ): what we're asking is that they do something and make available the resources that are needed here, because it's not just caritas that is
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sounding the alarm of what will happen. it is happening to us. and there are children with malnutrition dying in hospitals. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, reporting with bruno federico, i'm nadja drost in caracas. >> sreenivasan: next need some cash real quick? paul solman explores why for some the bank may not be the best bet. >> this is east 138th street, which in many ways is the wall street of the bronx. you've got a lot of financial service providers along the street. bodegas, you have small money remitters. >> reporter: and there's a pawn shop, not the kind of financier you'd find on the actual wall st. but hey, this is the south bronx, poorest congressional district in america, where some 40% percent of residents live
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below the poverty line. >> the main service provider on the street is ritecheck, where we have our financial service center. >> reporter: joe coleman is president of this chain of 14 stores in the south bronx and harlem. they'll cash your checks, pay your bills, transfer money, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. something like half these customers are "unbanked," meaning they have no bank account. on purpose. jose benitez is a construction contractor. >> ( translated ): every time you go to a bank there's a problem. you lose time. >> reporter: the bank takes too long to cash checks, he says. >> can you sign there for me please? >> reporter: and, says cashier jackie morel: >> the bank don't offer all the services that we do. we have prepaid cards. they pay their bills, pay their rent, it's different things that they can do in one place. >> reporter: but the best alternative is check cashers, payday lenders, pawn shops? maybe you assume what i did, that they prey on the poor.
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suzanne martindale is with consumers union. >> many of these products really strip away what few assets consumers have. if you're constantly paying a fee to cash a check, you're losing money on the deal, compared to if you simply had an account and were depositing checks. >> reporter: yet check cashing alone nearly doubled to $60 billion from 2000 to 2010. why, wondered lisa servon. >> it didn't make sense to me that people would be using a service like this in increasing numbers if it was so bad for them. i had done work in low-income neighborhoods for 20 years and i knew that people who don't have very much money know where every penny goes and that's when i scratched my head and realized there's got to be more to the story. >> reporter: to find out, servon worked as a cashier at this ritecheck for four months and then wrote a book, "the unbanking of america." she returned to the window when we visited, and was reminded of what she'd learned: people on
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the edge have no savings, and often need access to every cent, right away. >> one of the things that we do here is to take money off of people's e.b.t. cards, that's electronics benefit transfer. it's the equivalent of welfare these days. and we give you how much you want from that minus a $2 fee. one day a woman came in and she said she had $10 on her card. i ran the transaction and i gave her $8, and after she left i just was scratching my head and thinking, "wow, she just paid me 20% of what was available to her. >> reporter: cashier jackie morel, who taught servon the ropes here, explained. >> jackie says, "well, the atm's don't give you $8 or $13 or $28. they give you multiples of $20. maybe $10 if you're lucky." suddenly something that seems illogical makes sense because you realize that she needed that $8. she needed every dollar that she could get access to and it was worth it to her, to spend $2 in order to get it. time and again, working at the
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window i was able to really see, "oh, this is logical, actually. i would probably do the same thing if i was in that situation." >> reporter: joe coleman goes further. firms like his with regulated maximum rates were actually a reform move by new york state back in 1944, when check cashing was a truly free market. >> it was being done in bars and restaurants. it was the wild west. they could charge you 20, 30 percent to cash a check. >> reporter: and while the fees may seem high, says servon, they're completely transparent, unlike banks, when you rarely know what you're paying. >> the signage that spans the teller windows looks exactly like what you would see at a fast food restaurant like mcdonald's, and it tells you that it costs, two point i think, 03% of the face value of your check to cash it. $1.50 to pay a bill, $0.89 for a money order. all of that information is there. >> reporter: servon also found that for those with no financial cushion, cashing checks here can be cheaper than at a bank. >> if they've deposited that
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check in the bank it would take three or four days to clear. when they come here, they can use that cash right away. and they won't be subject to the kind of mistiming at a bank that could lead to an overdraft fee of $35. >> reporter: enough volume, and even the smallest fees add up. so ritecheck caters to folks big banks aren't much interested in. >> have a good day denise." >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: robert flexer is a ritecheck devotee. >> the people are so beautiful with you. they're so beautiful and humble, and lovable. >> reporter: jackie morel has worked behind the counter for 14 years. >> reporter: how many of the people who come in here do you know personally? >> everybody knows me in the street and everything. they bring me food, presents for my kids. they bring me everything! >> reporter: okay, maybe there are good reasons to use check cashers. but surely not payday lenders, so common in cash-strapped communities these days.
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servon writes that there are more payday lenders in the u.s. than starbucks and mcdonalds combined. and she did a stint at one. >> where i worked in california, they cost $15 per $100 borrowed, which comes out to an a.p.r. of 400% or 600%. >> that's a.p.r., annual percentage rate because it's 15%, $15 on 100. >> a lot of people end up not being able to pay the loan when it's due. this is where the problem comes in. if you can't pay that $100 loan back in two weeks, you basically end up taking out that loan again and paying another $15 for another two weeks. now you're paying $30 on $100. if you roll it over five or six times, you're paying way more than you borrowed. >> reporter: but look, says joe coleman... >> there's nowhere to go to get a couple hundred dollars. the payday industry has evolved, evolved organically to solve short-term, immediate problem. and i don't do the product, by the way. in new york, we don't do payday lending in new york. >> reporter: but you would.
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>> yes, i would, if i could. because it's a reasonable product if you use it responsibly in the way it's designed. >> reporter: not surprisingly, suzanne martindale of consumer's union disagrees. >> the evidence has been clear and damning for many, many years that the vast majority of people that start to take out payday loans end up in a cycle of debt. >> reporter: 80% of payday loans are reborrowed within 14 days, and almost 90% are reborrowed within 60 days. in fact, servon says... >> what's interesting is that even my boss at the payday lender said, "payday is a lousy product but we're filling a need that nobody else will fill." >> reporter: aren't the payday lenders taking advantage of these people? >> it's a very hard question to answering. the question really being, are payday loans helpful or harmful or alternatively, is very expensive credit better than no credit at all? i would say that the jury is still out on that question. we talk about getting rid of the lenders without recognizing that
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the demand is still there. the demand is still there because we had declining wages since the '70's, income volatility has doubled over the past 30 years so people have much less ability to predict how much money is coming into their household from week-to-week. >> reporter: and the less predictable the income, says joe coleman, the greater the need for check cashing, for payday lending even. >> voltaire said of the supreme being that if he didn't exist, we'd have to invent him. and the same can be said for our industry. if we didn't exist, you'd have to invent us. people need the service. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, this is economics correspondent, paul solman reporting from the south bronx. >> sreenivasan: to issues of policing, race and the law. issues in the forefront of the news once again. john yang has our look.
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a warning: this story includes images of violence that viewers may find disturbing. >> hello sir. >> yang: this week, the public got to see the dash-cam video of last july's fatal police shooting of philando castile outside st. paul, minnesota. jurors had watched it several times before acquitting officer jeronimo yanez. a conversation about a broken tailight quickly turned tense. >> i have to tell you i have a firearm on me. >> okay, don't reach for it then. don't pull it out. >> i'm not pulling it out. >> don't. (gunshots) >> yang: prosecutors said castile, who had a permit for the gun, was reaching for his driver's license. yanez said he thought he was reaching for his gun. the day he was acquitted, yanez was fired. since 2005, 82 u.s. law enforcement officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter for on-duty shootings, according to bowling green state university criminologist philip stinson.
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so far, 29 have been convicted, five of them for murder. yesterday, a jury found former milwaukee police officer dominique heaggan-brown not guilty of reckless homicide for shooting sylville smitth last august. in court, smith's family shouted and cursed. (shouting) body-camera video caught heaggan-brown's brief chase of smith. heaggan-brown's first shot came as smith appeared to throw a gun over a fence. a second shot hit smith in the chest. >> stop reaching. stop reaching. >> yang: he said he acted in self-defense. the shooting sparked two nights of riots. and police use of deadly force is under scrutiny again in seattle, where officers in shot and killed charleena lyles, a 30-year-old pregnant woman who had called police to report a burglary at her apartment sunday. she had two kitchen knives and, her family said, mental health
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problems. as protestors took to the streets, seattle police, which is investigating the incident, acknowledged the officers had "less-lethal" options. so, why do few trials of police officers charged in on-duty shootings end in convictions? to explore that question, we're joined by david klinger, a criminologist at the university of missouri-st. louis and a former los angeles police officer. and bethany packnett, a co- founder of "campaign zero," which is pressing for police reform. she also served on president barack obama's police reform task force. thank you both for joining us. i want to ask you first, the two of you the same question. brittney, let me start with you. why is it seemingly so few of these police trials, police shooting trials end in
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convictions? >> it's because this is more than an individual issue. it's a systematic issue. so often we hear the conversation that it's about bad apples and bad actors, but at the end of the day, if this were just about individual, we wouldn't see less than 1% of convictions in all police shootings. of 1,155 people killed by police in 2016, there were only 13 charges brought, and so far we've seen no convictions. at the end of the day, this is a systematic issue that we have to look at, both from a cultural perspective and a policy one. >> yang: david klinger, what's you take? >> there are two issues, one are the number of charges leveled, and two is the conviction rate for those charges that have been brought forth. in terms of why so few charges are brought forth, i think if you take an honest look at the vast majority of officer-involved shootings, there is no criminal element whatsoever. for those that do lead to criminal charges, sometimes there is overcharge, and then
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sometimes there are situations where i and friends of mine, others in this profession, we scratch our heads and don't understand how the acquittal came about, but we always have to trust in the jury, and that's where we rest with this. >> yang: david, let my stay with you. are the laws written in a way that makes it tougher for convictions? >> well, i think one of the things that people have to understand is that there's basically a federal standard that was laid down in graham versus connor, which is a 1989 u.s. supreme court ruling that says you have to look at it through the eyes of a reasonable officer on the scene, and so what has happened over the years is that most states that i'm aware of at least, they basically incorporate this standard of an objectively reasonable officer on the scene, and then what happens is we have a situation where defense attorneys explain to the jury what a reasonable officer at the
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scene could have or should have done, and then the jury has to look at it that way typically. now, there's always differences across the 50 states in terms of their justifiable homicide statute, but i think that's the core understanding across the country about how it is that police officers are to be judged, and so consequently, when you have jurors who are novices getting educate, a good defense attorney makes an argument, and the jury says, oh, that make sense, i understand that officer could have been fearful or could have perceived that his or her life was in jeopardy, and an acquittal is forthcoming. and as i indicated, sometimes clearly some other times it leads many of us in the profession scratching our head because we know there are bad shootings and we know there are bad cops. >> yang: brittney, what's your take on this? >> i say it's twofold. one is we do have to look at the letter of the law and the ways in which it's unsufficient.
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at campaign zero we did a report on the use of force. there are eight policies that both police departments and state legislatures can take on that will demonstrably diminish the possibility of police violence. very few police departments engage in even five of those. if it's not legal, then it's not punishable in the court system, so that's certainly an area in which we need to look and make those laws stronger. the other point that we have to not be afraid the look at is the issue of race. at the end of the day, black people are killed at a rate of three times higher than other folks by police, and if blackness is seen as the only weapon that you are armed with, it is still considered lethal in this country, we continue to find that in the number of charges and convictions that are brought. we continue to find that in places like seattle, and at the end of the day, my blackness is not a weapon. it's just my skin. until we handle our issue of racism, we're not going to see an end to this issue. >> yang: a lot of people try
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diversify the police force, by getting more diverse faces on the police force. is that an answer? >> i certainly think that's part of it. but it's not a single issue, and sowe can't have a single answer, right? we have to look at issues of inherent bias which quite frankly, especially issues of anti-blackness are not about white people or whether or not you're a person of color. we also have to look at issues of training, support, again, use of force policies, making sure that as a citizen i can walk around and feel safe in my community by someone who has sworn an oath to serve and protect me. >> yang: david, britney mentioned training. the police acknowledged in seattle those offers had non-lethal options they did not use. how much is this a training issue? >> i think a big piece of it, and i would argue that the race issue is one that gets overplayed. what i mean by that is this: if we look at shootings that could have been prevented, and it goes
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back the training and tactics, we can pretty much eliminate, in my opinion, the race piece. so, for example, here in st. louis, myself and rick rosenfeldt and two other colleagues were able to look at the spatial patterns of officer-involved shootings in the city of st. louis. at first it clearly looks as if race plays a role, but once you control for the levels of crime across neighborhoods, that drops out. so that's one example of why i'm not going to get on to the issue of race being the key. i really think it has to deal with the tactical performance of police officers across the board dealing with light, black, hispanic, male, female where they don't use sound tactics that then lead to the shootings that we scratch our heads over. and the issue with seattle, when they say they had non-lethal option, that doesn't necessarily mean they had non-lethal options to be employed in that situation but rather that they had non-lethal options with them
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some i'm not quite sure what that means. the seattle situation may well have been one of those where they could have employed a non-lethal option or they didn't, or it may mean they had them with them some we have to wait and see what the details show. >> yang: britney, you mentioned both training and race. how do you balance those two issues? >> i don't think it's either/or. i certainly agree there are tactical issues, but if race weren't an issue, we wouldn't be killed at three times the rate of others. from three years of data from community violence across the 60 largest police departments in the country and comparing that to rates of police violence, there is no correlation between community violence and police violence inch places like virginia beach, where there is a very low incidents of community violence, there is a very high incidents of police violence, and everyone that virginia beach killed in 2015 was black. so i refuse to ignore the race question in this issue.
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and if we do ignore race in this issue, then we do so at our peril. brittney packnett, david klinger, thank you both for joining us. sadly i think this is an issue we'll be talking about again, but thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: and now back to judy in colorado at the spotlight health conference. >> woodruff: here in aspen folks are thinking about ways to improve health, beyond hospitals, doctors' offices, and health clubs. you may recognize joy crump from her time as a contestant on top chef. she's now runs three farm-to- table restaurants in fredricksburg, virgina and spoke to us about how the food we eat impacts our health.
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>> my name is joy crump. i have three restaurants in virginia, and i was on season 12 of chef menteur. i'm here at spotlight health to shine a light on the connectivity between food and community and your personal health. in the past decade or so, maybe a little bit beyond that decade, we've rally begun to drill down into the connection between locality, where our food comes from, and health. it's something that we grew up with. we always grew up going toward what was closest to us, what was most readily available, what was in season, and what was cheapest, what tasted best. those things matter to us. now i think as a nation, we're insisting that we understand where things come from, that we have a considerlation between our food and communities in which our food is produced. the idea that that has to be expensive or that is of a quality level that everyone should have access to is sort of ludicrous. it's the opposite. you have to get used to eating the things that don't pass the
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test of getting into like a whole foods market but are still ecologically sound, lockley produced, organically farmed, picked by hand, traveled a short distance to get. to they may just have brown spots on them. you may be subject to something that's not so pretty. i can buy a beautiful bushell of peaches for $40 for a bushell. what i hope to share with young people that i work with in the restaurants and even the younger kids that i work with is a respected for the journey that food travels in order to get from where it comes from to our forks. we have to recognize that farmers bent down and picked things out of ground in order to get those vegetables on our plate. once we do that, i think we'll become less cavalier about how much we waste, and more intent on sharing and celebrating the food that we have. >> woodruff: sounds like good advice to me. and that's it from aspen
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tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> woodruff: and that's it from aspen for tonight. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks to analyze the week's news. for all of us at the pbs on.our, thank you and see you >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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boom! hello, i'm julia child. welcome to my house. what fun we're going to have baking all kinds of incredible cakes, pies and breads right here in my own kitchen. david ogonowski's known for the fanciful desserts he created at olive's in boston. today, he indulges our fantasies with this triple chocolate truffle treat. learn how you can make it, too, on...