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start your day with the number one choice of dentists. philips sonicare removes significantly more plaque versl-us ora70. experience this amazing feel of clean. innotion a you. philips sonicare. save now when you buy philips sonicare. hello, i'm sheinelle jones at msnbc world headquarters in new york. one republican member of congress is facing his constituents for the first time since the house health care vote. >> i paid $98 for an advil, for a frickin' advil. i'm a college professor, i have great insurance. i wouldn't have to care about any of this, but i care about my fellow citizens. >> tom reed is facing angry crowds at town hall meetings in western new york today. beth fouhy is at the third stop of the day. let's talk about what you're hearing today from constituents.
>> yeah, boy, congressman reed is getting an earful from his constituents here. he is one of the only republican congressmen who is actually even hold any town hall meetings this weekend, so you've got to give him props for that because he is meeting some pretty angry people. we were with him at his meeting this morning in dunkirk. about 125 people packed into a firehouse to let him know what they feel about the health care plan the republican house passed on thursday. the main concern amplified everywhere is what this is going to do to people with pre-existing conditions. people kept getting up one by one by one telling him about their pre-existing condition. one little child stood up with a sign saying i was born by c-section, does that make me a pre-existing condition? people are very, very concern, afraid of losing their health coverage, of losing the medicaid expansion, which has helped a lot of low income people in this county get health insurance. i caught up with congressman
reed a little bit later and i asked him about the fact that donald trump all along has said that he would not allow people to lose coverage if he were president. we know, of course, that the cbo has looked at this plan and said that up to 24 million people might lose their coverage. here is what congressman reed had to say. >> under the existing path that we are on with the affordable care act, we are seeing scores that were predicting 24 million folks having coverage. now only 10 million folks. we cant be beholden to the bean counrs. wee got to make good, informed decisions and common sense policy decisions. that's what i try to do. i think at the end of the day we'll see a better outcome than what the affordable care act or bau obamacare is producing with the results. >> reporter: so you see congressman reed is calling the cbo bean counters and saying the bean counters have too much control over this process. essentially that we should trust this house plan to cover everybody that it's supposed to cover and nobody is going to lose coverage and that prices are going to come down.
that's what congressman reed is saying. that's what the republican house is saying. we'll see what the senate says. they'll take up the bill next and we'll see what congressman reed hears from constituents at his next town hall meeting. >> i guess the fact people are trekking there in the rain to voice their opinion means this isn't going away any time soon. beth, thank you. stay dry. back in washington new questions about exactly how much the trump camp knew of michael flynn's ties to russia. let's bring in nbc's kelly o'donnell. she's in branchburg, new jersey, today, not far from the president's estate. kelly, what's the latest in this flynn saga today? >> reporter: well, of course michael flynn served for just a few weeks as the president's national security advisor but for more than a year as the top campaign advisor. new reporting from the associated press, "the washington post" and nbc news as well talks about the fact that there was an official on the transition team in the foreign policy department who was concerned enough about michael
flynn and his contacts with the russian ambassador that he requested from the obama administration, who was a part of the transition, the cia profile that was done by the intelligence agency on the russian ambassador. the idea behind that was trying to persuade flynn that by talking to the russian ambassador he might in fact be talking to russian intelligence to try to persuade flynn that he had to be careful about how he interacted with the russian ambassador and remind him any contacts with the russian ambassador were likely being surveilled by u.s. intelligence, phone calls being listened to, that kind of thing. this is startling because michael flynn had been the defense intelligence agency chief. he knew a lot about intelligence, and it also suggests that maybe there were worries insidhe trump team, the organization, before it all sort of blew up for michael flynn later on after he did not fully explain to the vice president his phone call, talking about sanctions with the russian ambassador and that led
to his dismissal. so some new detail is coming out and this is happening in advance of expected hearings on capitol hill and the ongoing investigation of both the senate and the house intelligence committees that are looking at the very broad picture of russian interference in 2016, which includes possible ties between russian intelligence figures and some of the associates of donald trump. so that's the background and it's moving forward, because we do expect that former obama administration intelligence personnel and the former justice department official who had warned the white house about flynn will be appearing before congress. so this is sort of teeing that up knowing there will be big headlines and more heat for the trump white house over the russia issue, something they would like to not have to deal with and, sheinelle, i can tell you they're not commenting on these new reports. >> i guess the big question is how big of a problem could this be for the administration?
if it's proven they knew about flynn's contacts months before he was asked to resign? >> reporter: well, that is hard to decipher because we're talking about someone who was a transition official and made these requests. we don't know if the president had been informed about these concerns or the vice president, that might be something that is still to be investigated. they said the president was right to -- it's right to look at his ties to russia, his acceptance of cash payment for doing a speech in moscow, things he had not disclosed in advance, thins like that. they hoped to distance themself from flynn. they hoped by taking him out of the white house would take him out of this. that's very difficult given the scope and magnitude. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you.
well, the house not in session next week after the vo on the health care resolution. members are in their home districts and ateast one republican in new york state is facing backlash from constituents who want answers. joining me now is heidi pryzbyla. good afternoon to you. >> hi, sheinelle. >> i want you to take a listen to what constituents are telling new york congressman tom reed today and then we'll talk about it. >> just for my insulin, if i lose my insurance. we stood up and we said the pledge to the flag of the united states of america. why should it matter what state i live in? >> how do republicans convince voters that this is better than what they have? is that possible? you hear that hostility, even if you can't see it. >> to answer your question, i don't know that it's possible because those images are showing us just how much obamacare in these past several years has
changed the culture in america. look, in most every other industrialized country, health care is viewed as a right, that it does not matter how much you make, how little you have or how much you have, that your basic right to life should be a guarantee. well, obamacare has changed that in that it has certain -- a package of services that are considered essential. and what you're seeing is that this bill and the reason why it has 17% approval rating is hard for republicans to explain this as anything other than subtraction other than taking away, taking away the medicaid subsidies, taking away medicaid, taking away the subsidies. on the other hand of the ledger, most of that tax benefit going back into the pockets of the wealthy. >> there's something we haven't touched on but i think it's important. there have been a lot of headlines about sexual assault being considered as a pre-existing condition under this plan. a new analysis piece in "the new york post" says that's not true.
opponents of ahca say that because health status is up for interpretation, there is no control in the bill to prevent rising costs for survivors of rape and sexual assault. at least 45 states have laws prohibiting health insurance companies from using a woman's status as a domestic violence survivor to deny coverage, according to the national women's law center. so i guess i'll ask you this. does the gop have a communication problem of getting out the right info of what's actually in this bill? and then how do they fix it? at been problem on both sides of the bill when they try to push out an initiate and there's just so much false information out there? >> well, the problem is part communication, but the problem is that it's also partially true that it does open the door to certain forms of discrimination for a number of pre-existing conditions. and prior to the affordable health care act, pregnancy was one of those conditions. pregnancy is something that can happen unexpectedly to any woman, including a woman who is
raped. and people are also looking at in this bill the fact that money is clawed back from the biggest provider of abortion services, planned parenthood. that the subsidies can be denied to women who enroll in health care plans that provide abort n abortion. so while it is definitely not true that there's anything in this bill that stipulates discrimination against rape survivors, it does open the door to allowing insurance companies in states that decide to opt out of those essential benefits to consider certain pre-existing conditions and to discriminate and charge people higher prices for those. so that's a mouthful. that's hard to explain. >> okay. i want to pivot here while i have you. nbc news has learned the senate intelligence committee has asked former trump advisor, carter page, to provide a list of his contacts with russian officials and turn over any e-mails or other communications with russians. where does this investigation go? and then when will the public learn if there is anything to
this? >> the curious thing about this is until just recently when carter page found out that he was actually being surveilled, he had agreed to fully cooperate and to testify, and now he's clamming up. and so of course this just kind of adds to that whole visual of the public continuing to learn more information about these contacts that were going on between the trump campaign, even if he was a peripheral character, and the russians leading up to this. you know, he is one of a number of officials who are potentially going to come before that committee, including paul manafort, including roger stone, and there's just many more quesons at this point that need to be -- need to be answered. andarter page, because there was so much going on there in terms of his travel to russia and then him actually even being busted on msnbc by chris hayes about whether -- answering whether he actually met with
kislyak or not, it just creates this image that somebody is trying to cover something up, whether there's something there or not. it's a visual. >> that was an interview that was looped all over the place. heidi, thank you for your time on this saturday. >> thank you. still ahead in a moment, is trumpcare the right prescription for small business owners to provide for their employees? a small business owner gives me his take. sure we could travel, take it easy... but we've never been the type to just sit back... not when we've got so much more to give when you have the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. ameriprise
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what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. my shopping for health insurance, my choice is who is the cheapest this year? three years, three insurance companies. over the past two months as we transition to our new carrier, our premium bills are now 8700 per month. while i'm writing the check for the new company, i'm paying the full freight for the old
company. this is efficiency? this is not bureaucratic? this is cost effective? really? >> did you see the date in the top left-hand corner of the screen? that hearing took place eight years ago, even before the affordable care act became law, but it could have been just yesterday as president trump's american health care act heads to the senate, small business owners like my next guest featured in that clip are left wondering how it exactly will impact them. joining me is kelly conklin, owner of an architectural woodworking firm in new jeey board member of the main street alliance. good afternoon to you. >> hi. >> tell me how this new bill will change businesses way it stands. >> we're looking at substantial increases under the new law with a five-time ratio for older people. that represents about a $1400 increase per month for our company going forward.
>> in a february survey of small business owner, 60% supported a repeal of the affordable care act. how do you explain that? >> i think most small business owners like me are focused on their business. i don't think they have spent enough time looking at getting under the hood, so to speak, and really looking at what this means and what repeal means. >> but weren't you hit by rate increases under the affordable care act too? i feel like people are idealizing it and people don't know which way to go shall fr, >> sure. we had rate increases. shortly after i testified before congress, we got a new rate increase that would actually be the following year. our insurance company asked for 130% increase. since the affordable care act went into effect, our increases have been single digit. before that 130% increase, we were getting hit 25% to 30% a
year, year over year. >> obviously we can't write what's going to happen in the future but you're a business owner so i know you have to prepare. what is your game plan? let's say for you, worst case scenario the bill does pass the senate. how are you preparing for that? >> i'm preparing to give my employees some really bad news. we pay 80% of premium. but regardless, we're forking over 10, almost $11,000 a month now. we spend close to $132,000 a year on health insurance for our employees. it doesn't matter whether my employees pay that or i pay that, what percentage of it i pay, every month i have to write that $11,000 check. that comes out of our cash flow. there's a limit. there's a point at which i can no longer justify it and keep my people employed. it will put us out of business, which was the reason it was so important to support the affordable care act and it is so important to reject this hair
ball legislation. >> i was just about to ask you then, moving forward, what would you like to see? so you would like them to keep it and then just tweak it? >> i think it could use more than tweaks. we're looking at a system that is grossly -- continues to be grossly inefficient. it continues to be more expensive than any other so-called -- we call it a system. there's nothing systematic about it. and the rest of the world has figured this out. there are countless models we could look at that would lower premium costs, lower co-pays, eliminate deductibles, and that wondrous thing that most people never experience, and until you have a family member suddenly get sick, you just don't know what's going to hit you, co-insurance. an arcane black hole that the insurance companies control. you get hit up pretty good when something goes wrong. >> so, kelly, if you were to summarize this, you can't continue with your business as far as health care is concerned
the way it is now but you certainly don't like what's coming down the pipe if this happens? >> yeah, we really do need to stop, take a deep breath, and try much harder to find a solution because this is a solution to nothing. this is worse than going backwards. >> all right, i have to leave it there. kelly conklin, thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. still ahead, it's a crackdown on sanctuary cities that could put police in jail. that's next. pampers.
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in power politics and paychecks, the unemployment rate is now at its lowest in a decade. it fell to 4.4% last month. employers adding 211,000 new jobs. the 79th straight month of job growth and the longest stretch of growth on record. texas governor greg abbott says he'll sign what will be the nation's strongest crackdown on sanctuary cities. under a bill passed by the legislature this week, police in
texas could be jailed if they don't detain undocumented immigrants when requested by federal authorities. >> what we're doing is just ensuring that our local law enforcement agencies are going to be cooperating with the federal government. >> if police chiefs and sheriffs fail to comply with immigration orders, they could be charged and jailed for up to one year. and it's a different way of looking at president trump. the university of virginia's center for politics asked trump supporters in focus groups if donald trump were an animal, what would he be? how about this, the top response, 19 cited lion for being assertive, powerful and fierce, tiger was second. using the words strong, independent and sneaky. how about this one, dog came in third. respondents citing mood changes, unpredictability and acting without thinking. still ahead, cyber
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welcome back. i'm sheinelle jones here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. at the half hour, here's what we're monitoring. happening now, french voters in overseas territories are already casting ballots in the presidential election. ex-patriots in new york city are voting at the french consulate. voters are joining long lines in montreal, patiently waiting their turn to cast their ballots. election officials in france are fighting to prevent a mass i've hack and document leak from influencing voters ahead of tomorrow's vote there. let's go to nbc's matt bradley who joins us from paris with more. matt, has the government been able to keep news of the hack from being reported and discussed today? >> reporter: thanks, sheinelle. well, the newspaper of record here came out and said that it wouldn't be reportingny of the details or really anything at
all about these hacks. thateen seen by some in the united states as a virtuous decision by an upstanding newspaper, but in reality they're really just complying with the law here. we're in the midst of a blackout period right now. it started last night around midnight and will last until sunday night around 8:00 p.m. french time when the polls close. that's when newspapers and individuals can start talking about politics once again. it's important to remember, this law doesn't just cover the media, it also means that individuals and just about anybody can actually be technically prosecuted under french law for broaching the topic of the campaign. sheinelle. >> so, do we have a sense of what's in the leaked documents? >> reporter: well, it's mostly mundane details. it's the kind of thing that is passed around amongst campaign officials. it's similar in that sense to the dnc leaks that happened last year. what we're talking about is the normal day-to-day operations of a campaign. there's some details about
expenses, making some purchases, questions about what is within the remit of the law, but most of it is actually quite boring. it's the kind of thing like the dnc hack last year. if you wanted to see a scandal, if you wanted to see something illegal or a controversy or a conspiracy, then you could probably find it, sheinelle. >> i think a lot of people wor fascinated that there's this blackout time or they're not supposed to talk about it. i feel like times are different now. especially with social media. people are walking around with their phones, how do you try to contain all of this, and the whole concept of fake news, news that's not even true? >> reporter: well, they can't really. it's all a little bit quaint, a little out of date, but they can try. that means that the major publications and the major television stations, they have been quiet. i mean if you look at le mond, they are leading with a story about security during the elections and during the voting. if you look at all the other
stories, they're talking about sports, soccer scores, that kind of thing, so they're abiding by it. it's pretty amazing. in america, especially coming from msnbc, it would be incredible the day before an election to see anything but blanket ra of th vote. but here in france and actually in several places throughout europe, this is just customary and has been going on for decades. >> finally, is there any buzz on whether something like this could sway the election? >> reporter: well, it's hard for us to know the buzz since of course we have no media to look at. and there's no polling. that's definitely outside of the law. but what we do know is that it probably won't because there isn't that much of a scandal coming out of this. it was released at a time that was strategic, which means that of course the macron campaign wouldn't have been able to really respond to it, which is why they rushed out that statement in quite literally the 11th hour before this media blackout took effect. they came out with a statement around 11:30, about 30 minutes
before the media blackout. but after that, there hasn't been that much talk about this. it's been pretty muted and kind of left to the imaginations of the voters. and again, those who want to see it, those who are within the alt-right universe, and a lot of the le pen people do travel in those circles, they will see what they want to see. they will take this message and see a scandal if they want to see it. they can take that to the ballot box with them. but the fact is, those people were probably already going to be voting for le pen anyway. >> you know what, the results will be here soon enough. matt bradley, thank you for your time today. confirmation that the obama administration was so concerned over mike flynn's dealings with russian officials that they were cautious when briefing the trump transition team on russia. joining me to talk about this is tara moller. good afternoon to you. >> good afternoon. >> tara, this latest report says a member of the trump team approached the cia in november.
apparently they were concerned flynn was about to meet russian ambassador sergey kislyak without knowing that he was rumored to have ties to russian intelligence agencies. could the trump team have done more at the time about flynn? >> i think it's interesting the new information is that the transition team itself was concerned about this. so it wasn't just sally yates at the justice department, it wasn't just obama administration officials, it was republicans within the transition team itself. so it does beg the question as to why this wasn't handled sooner. it seems the reports are indicating they did actually approach flynn about this and his conversations continued to proceed with his russian contacts. so, yeah, it raises some questions about vetting, it raises questions as to why this wasn't bumped up the chain. i think perhaps these conversations will come out. this was just the first initial report yesterday about these transition concerns. but i think it raises some concerns about vetting. he was only the national security advisor for less than 30 days. perhaps that could have all been avoided if they had perhaps handled this sooner and not
appointed him to that position in the first place. >> obama aides said in transition meetings flynn was notably dismissive of the threat russia posed to the u.s., so it seemed like several red flags. to be fair here, do people believe the obama administration handled it properly? >> yeah, i think there were a few different red flags. one that he seemed to be going against transition officials, his own transition officials' warnings about contacts with russia, and they were warning him about possible monitoring of those conversations with the russian ambassador and he should have known that anyway. his background is in defense and intelligence so it's unclear why that didn't put a stop to some of this. and it's also interesting that it shows that the obama administration was being cautious as well about the information th we handing off to the trump transition team, particularly regarding the response of russian sanctions and the expulsion of diplomats over the russian hacking incident. it said that information was not disclosed to the transition official because they were concerned about potential leaks to russia, so that's all a bit of a new twist in the story. no new big bombshells but more
information painting a bigger, broader picture of what was happening before the resignation of flynn later in the administration. >> as we learn about all of those things you just mentioned and perhaps more will come out, do you think this is an appropriate course of action in the circumstances? >> what specifically, the resignation -- >> well, the report says that when obama officials decided on sanctions against russia, they gave the trump team only a few hours advance notice instead of a few days. >> i think it's interesting. typically they probably would have been given more notice. you know, the trump administration was being briefed day to day probably on lots of matters of foreign policy and security. it would seem it should have been one of those and probably in the typical course of business that would have been information conveyed to them sooner. however, because there may have been concerns about improper contacts between flynn and the russians, it seems the obama administration was concerned about potentially tipping the russians off to what was going to be happening prior to their announcement of this. so again hindsight is 20/20. right now with flynn's resignation, we see perhaps it
was prudent of the obama administration to do that, but you also wanting the incoming administration to be prepared on these matters and up to speed an probably not fielding these bits of information last minute. so i don't think anyone made a huge blunder here. i think it was cautious by the obama administration but i think typically that's not how it would work. you want the new administration up to speed and in the loop on these matters. >> yesterday the senate intelligence committee sent letters asking former trump advisers, carter page, roger stone and michael flynn to reveal their russian contacts. what do you make of that request? >> i think that request is what would be expected. you have an intelligence investigation under way. they're going to request it fist. if they don't get it based on the request, they can issue a subpoena i think with the right amount of votes. i'm not sure of the precise number the committee requires, but they can and do have the power to subpoena that information. i think there's been varying levels of cooperation. i don't think carter page has been quick to say he's going to tuveeverything immediately. i think at others have been more forward and fth coming with information, but i don't think that's unexpected that they would ask for those
communications, particularly since many of these were not disclosed initially. and there's also been payments that were not disclosed, particularly in the case of flynn. >> right. so with that said, let's look forward here to monday. former acting attorney general sally yates is expected to testify before the senate judiciary committee. what are you expecting to hear from her? >> i think she's going to lay down exactly what she told the administration about her knowledge of flynn's conversations with the russians. i think she's going to lay out the series of warnings she perhaps gave to the trump administration about flynn's contacts with the russians. i think it will be interesting to see from her testimony who she was specifically giving these warnings to, how far up the chain these warnings went, particularly about flynn misleading vice president pence. i think everybody sort of knows now that yates was in contact with the white house, but how was that contact initially made, how did it go up the chain, who made the decision to ignore her warnings early on and how and when did that switch over time and why did it eventually lead to the resignation and/or firing, depending on how you
want to characterize it, of general flynn. >> all these pieces are in the air now, we have to wait and see how they come down. tara maller, thank you for talking with me on this saturday. >> thank you. the reality of the new health care bill. a hospice nurse joins me to tell me the flaws in her opinion of the bill and what they could mean for some of her patients. then we're going to check in on the town hall of a congressman who voted yes on the plan. hear what his constituents have to say about his vote. we can't stay here!
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congressman reed at a town hall in western new york. this was this morning. >> i can put together an insurance policy that excludes about everything and sell it for $42 a month. and that's great as long as you stay healthy. what is the point where you have to answer, yes, we lowered it but we didn't take away the value of your insurance? >> let's get some perspective on this from a nurse. joining me now is teresa brown, a hospice nurse and author of "the shift, one nurse, 12 hours, four patients' lives." good afternoon to you, teresa. >> good afternoon. >> let's talk about what that constituent is trying to get at here in that sound bite. it speaks to part of your op-ed in "the new york times." can you speak a little more to this about what you wrote and what you say is really one of the real problems of our health care system? >> yes. this constituent makes an excellent point. people might think to say $42 a month for an insurance policy is exaggerate, but if it covers almost nothing, then you could have an insurance policy that
that's cheap. the problem is that then if you get sick, you won't have coverage to pay the bills that will come once you have a hospital stay or any really serious health care problem. so the republican bill is a bit of a ruse. what it says to americans is you can have much lower insurance premiums. and that may well be true, because people will be buying less insurance, which means they'll be getting less coverage if they get sick. you pay less, you get less. that's the concept we're all familiar with. and 's a really big worry, especially for people with pre-existing health conditions, because, again, the member of congress told the truth. you will be able to get coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. however, there are no longer limits on how much insurance companies can charge those patients. and so suddenly someone who could afford insurance, maybe it's going to be $20,000 a month
and they absolutely cannot pay that. so there's lots of promises in the bill that when you look at it, what they add up to is people getting less insurance, which means they get less care. and the other real problem with this plan and the affordable care act also did not address this as well as it could have is that in the u.s., we've come to believe that having a profit-based health care system is the way to have the best health care system possible. and that's not true. if you look internationally, we pay much more for our health care than other industrialized countries, and yet in general our outcomes are worse. and a lot of that is because there's a huge amount of money that is being spent on our health care system on enriching insurance companies, drug companies, device manufacturers, administrators at hospital systems. if we could bite the bullet and
rein in those profits the way other countries have done, we could give everyone good quality coverage that would not have to break the bank and would be affordable. >> theresa, i want to play for you a republican congressman, mike burgess, what he told my colleague, chris hayes last night. >> there will be access for everyone. >> but not insurance. >> actual care and coverage are different so i can tell you that as a physician. there are plenty of times that i saw people who had coverage and weren't getting care. >> he is a doctor, i should say. do you get the sense that some of the messengers are unsure of the impact this will have or maybe they are sure and they're standing by the bill? >> that's a great question. i think they are unsure and i think the language is very weasely to use maybe an unki word because there's paying for insurance. then there's the actual cost of your medical care, which can be thousands and thousands of dollars if you're very sick. and then there's the question of
do you have access to care. so because the emergency medical treatment and labor act mandates that hospitals have to provide emergency care, everyone in america has access to an emergency room, right. but once you're in that emergency room and it turns out you have leukemia or you have a serious heart condition, what's going to happen to you after that if you don't have insurance? so, yes, anyone can walk in the door to a hospital and say there's something going on with me, i need care. and if that's what you mean by access, that you can walk in the door, yeah, then they'll have access. but will they really get care? it's like going into a fancy restaurant. sure, you can maybe get up to the maitre d', but are you going to get to eat dinner? probably not. >> you've given us several minutes of a compelling case. if i were to give you 20, 30 seconds to sum up what you would like to see going forward if you have someone's ear, what would
that boe? >> i would say we need to believe in america and our ability to innovate. we can have the best health care system in the world and we should. and we should find a way to do that that works for everyone. >> theresa brown, thank you for your time on this saturday. >> thank you. still ahead, a look back at health care bajttles of the pas and the seemingly progressive agenda of president nixon. before fibromyalgia, i was active. i was energetic. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. for some, lyrica can significantly relieve
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tes it's a hot topic today, but health care reform certainly isn't new. republican president richard nixon pushed a health care reform bill in 1974 and it was blocked by democrats. let's listen to nixon promoting the bill. >> the overall result is under this plan that we would not have to have any new federal taxes. the additional cost could be paid for out of revenue that would be already available.
more importantly, our entire health care system would not be placed under the heavy hand of the federal government. and as i said in my state of the union, the great majority of doctors in this nation would be working for their patients rather than be working for the government. that is the key element of this plan. >> joining me now is john farrell, historian and author of "richard nixon, the life." looks at the role nixon played in the polarization of american politics. good afternoon you to. >> hi. how are you? >> good. give us a little history. was he the first president to try to pass health care reform. both of his brothers died young. was he driven by personal experience? >> he was driven by personal experience but also this was republican party orthodox going back as far as 1950 when nixon
first proposed this idea. nixon care returned in '71 and '74 and it returned as romney care in the state of massachusetts. the only real reason the republican has for objecting to this is the nickname obamacare. it's a political war over who's getting credit for something that's good for millions of people and republicans frankly have painted themselves interest a horrible corner because this is their solution. >> and we could talk about that for another 20 minutes, but i want to get to some other details of your book. you get into intriguing details of nixon's campaigns, but when it comes to the shanal affair, you were the first to under cover that nixon was involved. can you tell us what he did and how you tied him to it. >> sure. briefly it's been known by historians that there was an effort by the republican campaign to scuttle lin dlyndon
peace initiative. he always denied it. he denied it on the american people in the interviews. he denied he played a role in this. what i found in doing research is that nixon had not only played a role but he had direct today and he had told his staff anything they could do to monkey french johnson's peace initiative they should go out and do. >> i have your book here. there are so many books about nixon. this one is getting a lot of attention for being so well written. after all these years later people are still intrigued by nixon's style, his personality, his strength, his flaws. i graduated from northwestern university almost 18 years ago and i remember taking a class on nixon. again, that was twe20 years ago. what is it about him that's so captivating? >> he's this classic shakespeare
tragic figure. better people than me in their diaries and their remarks at the the time of water gate was saying this is classic greek tragedy being played out in front of us and yet he is bound towards it. i think that's just, you know, from the time of the greeks to shakespeare, that kind of a story is just going to have universal appeal and it's going to be a lasting one. >> to bring it back to present day, there have been a lot of comparisons, whether it's fair or not, to nixon and president trump in regards to his tense relationship with the press. some would refer to it as, you know, his war with the press. do you think that's fair? what's your take on the comparisons and what, if anything should we take from it? >> i think nixon from his perch in the afterlifes looking up at us and saying you see, it could get worse. and richard nixon never went out and called the press the enemy of the american people. he knew that they were his enemy, but donald trump in carrying it further and casting
this slur on the press has somehow against democracy i think has carried it a step further. >> about 30 seconds left. so much has been written about nixon. what's the one thing you didn't know or you want people to remember? >> i was surprised how much sympathy i had for the man as a person. he really did have a side of him that tried to do good and the original title for the book was richard nixon, an american tragedy. i think his really is a tragic story. endlessly intriguing and entertaining. even though it's 700 pages, it's 500 pages of fast paced narrative and another 150 of footnotes for those that are really junkies. >> i just looked and you're right. any other topic they didn't hit you that think is important that you want people to know in this book that's different from what they didn't know? >> absolutely. i thinks nixon's development on civil rights and how he treated the south is a fascinating glimpse at his character. he started out as a very strong friend and ally of martin luther
king and ended up being the person who adapted what's called the southern strategy which turned the south over to the republican party. but at the same time he desegregated more southern schools than any other american president. very complex individual. >> fair to say. john, thank you for your time this afternoon on this saturday. >> take care. >> that will do it for me this hour. thank you for watching. up next, richard louie with a republican congressman who voted yes on the new health care bill. have a good day. last year, he said he was going to dig a hole to china. at&t is working with farmers to improve irrigation techniques. remote moisture sensors use a reliable network to tell them when and where to water. so that farmers like ray can compete in big ways. china. oh ... he got there. that's the power of and.
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