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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 5, 2015 12:30am-2:31am EST

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and therefore when the obama administration chose to make them available to americans regardless of their address they were violating the law that the president signed. >> several reports have been done about the impact. here is one from urban institute that says: marie in richmond, virginia. a republican caller. >> i just wanted to make a comment about this health insurance.
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i had blue cross for years, and i had a really good premium payment that i paid every month and i had really good insurance. after this took effect, i lost my insurance and my premium went up to $600 per month. i think it is terrible and i hope that the supreme court does decide to go the republicans'way. >> frank in ohio, an independent caller. >> my question is, a lot of people are missing the fact that everybody wants the american people to have insurance, but nobody wants our economy to fail. obamacare is going to take down our economy, and people don't understand that. we want people to have insurance but we want to live in a good economy. >> we talked about the impact of the court's decision.
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the administration saying that we don't have an authority for a plan b if the court rules against us. but in the wall street journal yesterday, the republican said they have a backup plan. >> that is one thing that the challengers say they are for. they say that it is not that they want to take people out of their hospital beds and watch them die in the streets, they say that there must be better approaches and that may be a contrary decision for the government would unfreeze the wheels of government in some sort of -- and some sort of compromise could be worked out. that, of course, is very speculative. we have not seen a lot of common ground between the president and the now republican majorities in congress. the president will probably be very reluctant to make any
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changes in the law other than simply correcting what he sees to be an erroneous supreme court decision. and the other thing is whether the republicans have a majority themselves for any specific solution. both houses passing a specific fix the have a chance of being signed by the president. >> roberts is in the hot seat according to you, why do you think that? >> past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. but in the last health care case, three years ago, it was the chief justice who decided to hold up the law. he did so suggesting his personal distaste, but he felt he had a duty to find a way to uphold it if there was a plausible argument to do so. the chief justice may be faced with a similar question, does he
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want to look for a very strict reading that the challengers say leads to only run result -- only one result, or does he have to look at a broader interpretation? >> we will let you go to get up to the court to cover the case. back in studio, we are joined by mary agnes carey to talk a little bit more about this subsidy issue. why did congress include subsidies in the first place? mary: they wanted to help people afford health insurance. if you look at the bridge between income levels for 100% to 400% of poverty which subsidies are aimed at, for an individual that is about 11,700 to around $47,000. with family size, that amount
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will grow. the thought is, if you help provide subsidies, that financial assistance, you will get more people enrolled and more people covered, which was one of the main goals. greta: who are we talking about? who gets the subsidy? mary: many of these people are people who used to purchase and could not get insurance on the individual market. they are out there buying on their own. if you get health care coverage at work and it is deemed to be comprehensive and affordable you cannot apply to get a subsidy. most of these people are people buying their own health insurance, maybe they do not get health care coverage at work or they have their own business or want to start their own business, but they are out there buying policies. greta: how do you qualify? what does your income have to be? mary: for an individual, the range is around $11,700 to about $47,000 -- that is between the 100% and 400% of poverty. for a family of four, the top of the range, the 400% of poverty is around $92,000 or $94,000. the more money you make, the
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less of the subsidy you receive. another key factor, is you do still have to pay some of your own money before the subsidy kicks in. that lower level of poverty it's around 2% or 3% of your income. greta: even if you get a subsidy, your premium could be a little bit higher. what goes into that factor of having let's say i have the same income as somebody else but my subsidy is not as large as somebody else who is getting it? mary: health insurance, like politics, is local. what you pay for health insurance really depends on where you live. my colleagues at kaiser have done a lot of great work at this. they look at price variances between states and sometimes within counties. it depends on how many insurers are participating and how competitive the market is. typically if you live in an urban market, you have more competition. in a rural area, less
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competition. the amount is linked to the second lowest cost silver plan. coverage in the affordable care act is based on four tiers. platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. there is a lot of factors that help determine how far the money goes for you. greta: these plaintiffs in this case in king v. burwell, what kind of subsidies where they getting? mary: i think they were fairly generous on income levels, but as you noted, they have an objection to being required to purchase health insurance, even with subsidies. from their perspective the subsidy amount did not matter. greta: why could they get a subsidy? mary: because of their income levels. david king is a limousine driver who had a subsidy -- beg your pardon, an income level that qualified for a subsidy.
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the same is true for the other plaintiff. it is based on income. the less money you make, the more generous of a subsidy you get, not only for a premium, but if your income is at 250% of poverty around $29,000 for an individual, you can also get some cost-sharing subsidies on your deductible. there is additional help there for people with certain income levels. greta: there is hazardous exemption, how does that play into this subsidy debate? mary: if the purchase of health insurance, even with a subsidy costs more than 8% of your income, you would not have to buy it. that is where the part of this case is. if subsidies were taken away insurance would be unaffordable for many people. it would cost beyond 8 percent of their income. greta: which means they do not have to pay the irs a fine for not having health insurance. mary: another related issue is for the employer mandate. it requires that employers of 50 or higher have to provide health
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insurance. if they cannot get a subsidy then there goes the employer mandate. greta: the employer mandate in just the states that have federally run exchanges or across the country? mary: across the country, but if the federal subsidies were struck down, they would still be there in the states. they would be gone for federal but it was still pertain in state exchanges because subsidies would continue to flow. greta: mary agnes carey here to take your calls about the health care law. this is how we have divided the lines. if you are receiving a subsidy from the affordable care act dial at (202)748-8000. if you are getting coverage at work, (202) 748-8001.
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if you decided to remain uninsured, here is the line for you, (202) 748-8002. all others, call in at (202) 748-8003. let me go to vernon in missouri. he receives a subsidy. tell us what kind of subsidy you are receiving. caller: i don't know if it is state or federal, but i pay $155 and they pay over 4-something. i make $22,000 a year, approximately. greta: what are your thoughts on this? caller: well, i am up in the air because if they kick this out, i'd like to have a question to the young lady here. do you think this will open up another can of worms because i have been paying in my premiums and if this gets kicked out and i am not sure if missouri has a
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subsidy and they stop paying and i lose the insurance, all the money that i have paid in since december, because i did not have it in 2014, is a waste. then i no longer have it. what will we do about that? it is hard to make these premiums. mary: i think the caller raises several good points. even with cost-sharing it is difficult to make the premiums. it sounds like it is been a struggle for him. if the subsidies were thrown out, i do not think you would get your premium dollars back because you received coverage for the months which you had the premium. if the coverage -- if the subsidies are no longer there, people cannot afford health insurance. it becomes much more difficult for them to be able to pay for it. the fear is that the only people who can stay in these federally-based exchanges, we are talking around three dozen states, the only people who will stay are the ones who are really sick, costly, their premiums are expensive, and that will become
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a death spiral, if you will. instead of having a balanced risk pool with healthy and sick people, you will primarily have the sickest people and those premiums -- obviously they will be sicker and costlier to ensure. premiums will skyrocket. greta: vernon was asking about his state. take a look at the map. missouri is one of the black states here. these are the states that have a federal or partnership exchange. you are talking about a total enrollment around 7 million people or so. maybe a little bit more. the blue states are the states that have set up their own exchanges, including the d.c. government. they would not be impacted by this court decision. rich in westchester, pennsylvania. caller: i think it is interesting that they talk about subsidies, but not where does the money come from? you have to remember that there
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are people like me that because of the law, we got thrown off our insurance and premiums doubled. like your previous guest, it is great that he can now afford insurance, but somebody is helping him pay for that insurance. that person is me. my question to you is, what about the people who have really been hurt by this law? and secondly, you should probably tie in how the employer mandate plays into the law because if there is no subsidy in the state there's no employer mandate, those two are tied together. thank you. mary: what is interesting, i wonder what rich's previous policy covered. one reason premiums have gone up is because their old policy was perhaps limited in coverages and did not comply with something called the essential health benefits in the affordable care act. some people do not want these benefits.
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they include things like maternity coverage, pediatric coverage, and so on. some folks, and maybe rick is one of them, had a policy that was smaller and more tailored to him. and he could not keep it, in part because of the affordable care act. that is one factor. if your policy was more limited and became more comprehensive, then it costs more money. he raises again the employer mandate. the link is that if the subsidies went away in the federal market places, that means coverage is no longer affordable and people cannot get subsidies to buy the coverage. as an employer in the employer mandate -- again these are employers with 50 or more workers -- if your worker gets a subsidy and you have to pay a fine, well, that goes away because they cannot get the subsidies. not only would the individual mandate disappear in the federal exchanges, but so would employer mandates. greta: when the health care law
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was being drafted and on the floor, was this issue established by the states ever brought up? mary: i know that members of congress wanted them to take the initiative and to establish exchanges, but i never heard anyone to stay that if they do not establish one they do not get subsidies. i never heard that as an intent or purposeful thought among the people who drafted the law. the briefs said the same thing that this was never our intention. we fully intended to have that. greta: of course, there are republican lawmakers that say that was not the intent of congress. and this administration has overreached. if you take a look at the amicus brief filed by republican lawmakers to the court, they say:
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mary: right, you do not get a do over. stick to the law, you cannot change it now. you cannot adjust your interest. i mean, one interesting thing here is, typically in congress the senate passes a version of the law, the house passes a version, you go to conference and clean it up. that never happened here because of a lot of political issues around the affordable care act. it was done in a way called reconciliation in the senate and had no republican support in either chamber. you never had that house-senate conference to make sure to fix the issue. greta: we are talking about king
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v. burwell, at target this -- at heart of this discussion at the supreme court today. what did congress intended when they wrote those words? the justices will be asking questions and hearing from both sides. our coverage on c-span continues after "the washington journal." when audio is released from today's argument, cameras are not allowed in court, on friday at 1:00 p.m. eastern time, we will air them on friday evening at 8:00 p.m. jenny, in indiana, you get coverage at work, go ahead. caller: yes, i am very unhappy with the affordable care act. as rich has said, my deductible has more than doubled. it is not a basic plan. i had cadillac insurance for many years through my company. they can no longer afford to put that out there with the tax braces that the obama plan has put on it.
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and then, we used to have insurance where you could pick through many. now we are picking through two possibly three insurance plans. as i turn 55 this year, my deductible has gone way up. i am just not going to go because i am too busy paying for everybody else be able to go to the doctor or because by the time i reach my deductible and i pay $650 a month for my insurance, i cannot keep going. him and mary: you are saying you had cadillac coverage before did your employer explain why? caller: he said taxes would go up on it. greta: hold on, jenny. she said the employer said taxes would go up. ok, jenny. caller: they said it would go up on it to a huge amount where they are a big company and there is no way they could afford it
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for everyone. so some of us got cut on that, obviously the higher up you were, the less likely you got cut. as far as the price of insurance, it is ridiculous now. mary: i find this interesting that someone would tell you it is the tax on the plan that would go up. i would think it is the premium increase and i wonder why your premium went up if you had cadillac coverage. it is hard to compare what you had before and what you have now. one trend that has happened before the affordable care act was continuing with it, is that employers, and i am not saying this is what is happening to you, but employers are shifting more of the cost for health care onto employees. sometimes even if it's the same amount of coverage, they have employees pay a higher premium -- share of the premium or more co-pays or deductibles. i do wonder what is happening in your market. did you have carriers leave for some reason?
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again, this is one of those difficult but very important conversations to have about the affordable care act looking at coverage people had, how has that changed, how has that increased? we have had two callers who talked about their coverage going up because of the affordable care act. really looking at that and finding out those market effects is incredibly important. not everybody gets a subsidy and gets to keep the plan that they liked. some of these plans were extended in certain markets and certain ones prevailed. the thing to remember, too, is some leave the market which change plan offerings. i think we are all incredibly important. host: ron is next in massachusetts. he also gets coverage at work. caller: hi, thank you for taking my call. before the affordable care act insurance companies could, especially if it was direct pay and not through a group, they could cancel someone's coverage for getting sick. i have a friend of mine whose
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sister had developed cervical cancer. she was getting direct pay and her insurer dropped her. there was nothing she could do. you could either go on a public plan, we have something called mass health, or you could leave the state and get direct pay coverage that is protected through mandates and she would be protected by the mandates we had here. i wanted to put that out here that that had been that way since forever. no one was doing anything about it. this might not be a perfect plan, but for her, it is a perfect resolve to issues she had in her life. mary: we are talking about people in the individual market. there's much more standardization now for policies sold there. you can't you cancel if people get sick, unless you committed fraud on your application. no more lifetime limits.
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the thought was -- if you standardize the coverage and benefits and everybody plays by the same rules, that it would be better for individuals who were out there purchasing their own health insurance. i certainly think it is fair to say that many people take comfort in these provisions who were on the individual market before and they couldn't afford the coverage and they couldn't keep their kids up to age 26 on their policies. all these sorts of things. proponents look at the provisions and say, this is a good thing because of the circumstances that the caller just explained. host: keri, riverview, florida. you are on the air with mary agnes carey with kaiser health. caller: thank you. i am irish, also. i have blue cross and blue shield for 10 years. when the affordable care act or obamacare came into effect, i was told that i could keep my
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plan. last february, last month actually, i got a letter saying i was no longer eligible and i would have to go on the affordable care act plan, which i refuse to do. i have never taken any subsidies. i have always paid my own way. i am on medicare anyway. this so-called affordable care act, i know you are just doing your job, but it is not working for the average american person. that is all i wanted to say. thank you for taking my call. host: keri says it is not working. mary: on medicare, as you mentioned, you are not impacted by the affordable care subsidies. there are changes with the affordable care act -- the closing of the gap in coverage for prescription drugs were used to be on your own.
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that gap in coverage is getting narrowed. as far as the blue cross blue shield plan pulling out, if this were one of your medicare choices, again, every year insurers can decide if it is in the medicare program, the employer-based market, individual market, whether they are in or out. what drove that decision of blue cross blue shield to leave your particular portfolio of medicare choices is unclear. the broader issue for the under 65 market, is that in some cases, if a plan did not comply with the central health benefits -- essential health benefits offered in the affordable care act or a state commissioner, if they had that power decided they did not want plans with all these aca requirements to be offered, or they say, you know what, i am not making enough money, i am out. there are a lot of factors that drive to stay in or out. host: earl is next in baltimore. he received an aca subsidy.
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caller: yes, i have questions as to whether or not the legitimacy of the affordable care act were actually being looked at. if you take the insurance industry as an onion and start to peel away the layers, you will find that the insurance companies actually are lobbying against the affordable care act so they can maintain their higher premiums on the individuals that have insurance. my question is, is it really congress or is it the lobbyists that congress is actually now working for that has helped to determine whether or not the affordable care act will go forward? mary: well, you cannot have a conversation about washington without discussing lobbyists.
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lobbyists of all political persuasions and categories of concern are on capitol hill every single day to try to get whatever they want done. of course, insurers were definitely part of the affordable care act discussion. there is a tax right now on insurance plans that they would like to get pulled out. they would like to get taxes taken away, for example, the medical device manufacturers have lobbied really heavily on that. whenever you have any law, something as comprehensive and sweeping as the health care law, affordable care act, obamacare you will always have lobbying pressure to change it or modify it. look no more than the medicare program. we have hospital lobbyists and health-care lobbyists. they are every day on capitol hill trying to get it shaped to their likings. lobbying, legislation, there is
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a total intersection. greta: we will go to florida. he decided to remain uninsured. why is that? caller: the thing is, i have been homeless for quite a while. i have a pre-existing condition from 1978 with a broken ankle and i have developed ra -- rheumatoid arthritis. i have torn rotator cuffs now, carpal tunnel syndrome, and i have to see a specialist for something like this. i wondering, i'm in florida and i come from massachusetts, so i know i would have been better to stay there, but my mom had passed away and i am stuck here without medical coverage. i am pretty much homeless. i have a lot of problems developed from this and i am curious, what is my next move? if you could help me with something like that and maybe there are people who have the same problem out there.
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greta: i will have mary agnes carey answer. turn up your tv and listen. mary: i apologize for the loss of your mother. i have gone through that myself. i also want to express my concern about the various medical injuries you have and how difficult those are for you. it sounds like you definitely need some medical treatment. here is the difficulty, if you are homeless, my assumption is you do not have income or if you do, it is low. florida did not expand the medicaid program under the affordable care act. this was made optional for states. what the affordable care act does is take the medicaid expansion and they expand medicaid up to 138% of poverty. again, that was optional. if you make less than 100% of the poverty line, and that is around $11,000, and my feeling is that is your category, you cannot even qualify for a subsidy to get covered in the federal exchange.
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florida is a federal exchange. here is my advice. there are many community health centers throughout the country that received additional funding with affordable care act. they might be able to help you on a sliding scale to get some of this medical care looked at. you are talking about you have to see a specialist. that is trickier to achieve, it depends on who sees which patients and what the compensation is. i would urge you to go to a community health center to get some care. you can go to the library, if there is a local library with computer access, you can look for community health centers at hhs.gov, or google health community center in my county or my city. that is what i would try to get those conditions looked at because it sounds like you do host: we are talking with mary agnes carey of kaiser health news.
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in about one hour and a half they will pick up the issue of king v. burwell. what did congress mean when they put in language to provide subsidies for those in the affordable care act? do they only apply to state exchanges or across the nation to those that have been set up by the federal government? mary agnes carey joining us. i want to talk about the ramifications of what the court decides. if the court rules against the white house, what will the administration do? guest: silvio burwell, she keeps getting that question on capitol hill. republican members said they heard there is a 100 page plan floating around hhs. she said she was not aware of that document. a couple of things in that category. secretary burwell has written to congress speaking on behalf of the administration saying they
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have no administrative remedy. there is nothing they can do to step in and help people get covered. that is really a big focus. i think what is unknown, how does the court rule? typically, they take in effect about a month. do they say, these subsidies can exist for 90 days so congress can have a transitional. with the hopes that congress will act? you are talking about 7.5 million people that can lose their subsidies at some point. all the resulting impacts on the insurance market, the death spiral we talked about individual mandate disappears, employer mandate disappeared there is a domino effect and it is unclear whether or not congress will step in. republicans were talking about alternatives. they are looking at the idea of some kind of tax credits for both, but they are not saying to what extent.
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in their world, they would not want to happen in individual mandate or employer mandate. they would allow some kind of coverage for people with pre-existing coverage. if we think about it, the court rules at the end of june and we are barely in march. they are looking at it and they have time. in recent days, we have seen these stories and announcements on the house and senate side saying they are looking at it because i think they know there is a phenomenal amount of political pressure on them to do something. the key will be, whether you can get consensus in the party to do it. will conservatives, who really hate the law, say, we can try and kill this thing for five years and now we are going to turn around and give some release if the supreme court gives us a victory? those are some arguments and we have a presidential election next year. there is a lot of interest within the republican party. host: the majority leader, kevin mccarthy, tweeting this out --
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echoing what paul ryan's had to say, along with his colleagues in the house. an offramp from obamacare. they have outlined, without a lot of specifics, what they will do if the court rules against the white house. if the consensus with republicans in the house and senate, no? you will have to split what the tea party republicans, conservative republicans, what they would want. guest: what would not be acceptable to democrats. they would like to have a subsidies to stay just the way they are and that is not acceptable to a lot of republicans. at the heart, a philosophical debate on the direction of health care. we have had it for years. with the affordable care act, it comes to the forefront.
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the proposal that coming out now, they do not think they need it. we have had a couple of callers say they like their own coverage but they cannot get it anymore or cost too much money. why is washington setting any kind of restrictions on out-of-pocket coverage when it is this sort of thing? we just had a collar talking about individual markets and the perils, that is what the law was intended to deal with. there is great debate between republicans and democrats on the right solution. host: republicans saying they will have a plan b if the court rules against the white house in king v. burwell. arguments to start around 10:00 a.m. eastern time. as mary agnes carey said, they will make a decision in june and announced the decision in june. let's go to the next caller. take a look at what the urban institute put together on the
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impact of a potential supreme court decision against these subsidies. let's go to rob in oxford, new york. good coverage at work. caller: it is bob. my wife works for new york state and i retired. this has not affected us. her premiums are the same. we pay in the health remedies from that. my question is, i heard mary's say that of two possibly $10 billion will be spent on this affordable care act. if the government would just put $3 million in the health saving process account for every citizen, which is around 300 and 10 million, that would be less than $1 billion and we would all have a health saving plastic count that we could buy our own insurance anywhere we want.
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if the president really wanted us or congress really wanted us to have insurance, would they not have created a health saving's account for all of us? guest: number one, we have not talked about the amount of money in federal subsidies being spent. i would direct everybody to the congressional budget website because that is the scorekeeper in congress. it is safe to say that there are billions of dollars being spent in subsidies. the caller is talking about a health savings possible. that is popular with a lot of people -- a health savings account. that is popular with a lot of people, especially republicans and some democrats. you use it for medical expenses. this is something where you would pair it with a high deductible plan, so your premium would be lower but there is more out-of-pocket to get your health insurance. that is one part of the
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question. secondly, he makes an interesting point. he said his wife was a state employee and she is probably covered by a state or union plan. they were not affected. medicare, he is not affected. all of the focus and discussion, there are millions of people out there who have not seen a big difference in their coverage. they have not lost their coverage. the premiums have not increased. in fact, they may look at, for example, keeping an adult child up to 26 on their health insurance plan. or no more lifetime benefits. there are things that people in the employer market or other markets have looked into the affordable care act and say that they think it is something that appeals to them. host: john in indianapolis. you are receiving a subsidy? caller: yes, i am. host: how much?
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caller: my subsidy is, i caller believe, about 700 and something dollars a month. what has happened is that last year, to the marketplace, i was with anthem, and i did not have to pay anything. this year, i found another plan that has set up with premiums that would be more effective to me and before the first of the year, i had actually paid all the premiums for the entire year of 2015. then i got a notice with the indiana health indiana plan, 2.0 -- that program, it is a state thing, and it said i might be able to work for that and i had to fool out the questionnaire
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for my help -- for my health and they determined that i do fall in that category and that they have to make a determination. i still have insurance with this and i have some offices paid for, but one other thing, to my 1095 tax form came in incorrect. i have to it for that before i can do taxes. i'm involved in everything, so i have to wait and i am sure things will pan out, but i do not know when i can get my taxes done and it has not been a real convenience for it. i did not have insurance before, so who knows? i might be better off than i was before. guest: i think you have introduced a lot of complexities that are unfolding with the four double care act. for example, if you have the wrong 1095 tax form.
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the department of health and human services is saying they are going to fix the problem and get runs out to people. for example, you obviously are wondering, when will i get this form to file my taxes? it sounds to me that you are shifting from private insurance in 2014 to medicaid in 2015. i believe that is the indiana medicaid program. this is not unusual in the health insurance market. they call it the churn. your income decreases and you leave private insurance to go into medicaid. it looks like maybe that is what is happening. this is a consumer who sounds very involved and very on top of it. very knowledgeable and i can still be very confusing. host: he gets his insurance through work in lebanon, pennsylvania. on the air. caller: hi.
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i guess my comment at first is it appears that mary is pro-aca. talk about the pros and cons all and we can day. who gets subsidies, who doesn't, who is paying more? my question for mary is, the way the affordable care act was passed, it was using a process called reconciliation. i want to know her thoughts on how that was done and whether or not -- this is about controlling -- the government control of health care rather than making it affordable because as one caller said previously, a lot of people are getting subsidies but there are other people who are paying for that. i just wanted to talk about the fairness in the way it was passed. guest: personal, if you listened to the whole broadcast, i try to explain the good, bad and ugly. please do not leave the
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broadcast taking that i have a political point of view one way or the other. believe me, i got a handful just trying to explain it and understand it. that's into reconciliation. a procedure that can be used in the house for matters that deal with budget issues. the reason both parties like to use it, republicans and democrats, it means you can pass something with 50 votes instead of the usual 60. filibuster proof, right? that is why democrats went that route. you might remember after the death of ted kennedy, the senator of massachusetts passage of the affordable care act was up in the air. republican got elected and things went haywire on capitol hill. the senate decided to use reconciliation to pass it. to me, as i look at the health laws, here is one of the biggest problems for the democrats. they had no republican support. when you implement something this big and you do not have any
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republicans with you, you are going to have a lot of angst along the way. we have been seeing this over the last years with the health law. when congress passed the prescription drug act, back in 2003, very few votes in the house -- they kind of held democrats back and told they passed it with their own books. you had a little bit of support in the senate, but there was a whole different field as the law went forward and implemented. you had some democratic opposition, do not get me wrong. they do not like the fact of the way it was set up with insurance companies. but you do not have any accommodation now. it has been political opposition all along. the caller raises an interesting question. if we had democrats here who passed it at the time and the president with us, could we asked the question, was it worth it? was reconciliation worth it? when you did it with no republican books.
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i have a feeling they might say yes. it is important to know that democrats and republicans, whoever has majority control they use reconciliation if they need to. they can come with some peril. host: saying it was not sure of the best thing for democrats to do out of the gate. get a majority in both the house and sent it -- house and senate. guest: exactly. has it been worth a question mark again, that is the big question. host: john in north carolina. though ahead. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i just wanted to make a comment that i am a retired and my premiums did not change. or not that much. there was a slight rise this year. the amount we pay on co-pays and things like that, they really went up drastically. the think i think is, the trust
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factor between the people and the government. and the fact that it seems like there is this game being played out there and we are somehow being manipulated. it just does not sit well with a lot of people. i am an insulin independent diabetic. one example, my premiums for insulin went up from $10 to $80 in one swoop. that is just one thing. i am on a fixed income, but anyway, i appreciate the call. i am concerned about this trust thing because i worked for government for a lot of years and i just think that that trust is vital. guest: well, it sounds to me --
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you are in a big risk group. i want to say you are in a group of 13 million people or 14 million people who are independence and get coverage through -- or getting them props for yourself. the bigger the group, the more the insulation. you talk about your co-pays and out-of-pocket going up. that is happening all over the place. it started before the affordable care act and continued since then. no matter if it is federal or private, you are managing your costs. you are asking your employees to take on more of the cost. i'm not saying that is a bad thing, but it is happening. host: that brings up the insurance industry and the health care industry. how do they feel about this? guest: they would like those subsidies to continue. if you think about it, the subsidies that allow you to purchase health insurance, if
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you are a hospital, the subsidies that people covered. instead of uncompensated care and providers and insurance companies have said to the courts in breeze that they believe the congressional intent was that everybody gets those subsidies and that is the way it should say. host: mary in connecticut, those who decided not to get insurance. caller: i just wanted to let you know that i do not plan on getting the insurance. i am 56 years old and i had an awesome insurance policy for years ago. my husband passed away. i do not have the money. you know, i called the state and they said it was going to be around 300 something dollars a month. and my alternative will not be covered. it is cheaper for me to just walk into a clinic down the street, go in, and get treated. i want to the doctor to years ago and was told i was
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borderline diabetic and i need to lose five pounds. well, i lost 56 pounds and i am not a diabetic. i am healthy and take care of myself. i do not know where you guys expect me to get this money from. host: mary, is the penalty a lot less for you then to pay insurance? caller: there is a $1000 penalty -- my income is $26,000 a year. so it would be what? maybe $2600 would be my penalty. another thing, the court, the supreme court, just because they said it is ok -- they change the law, the bill. it was supposed to be a penalty and they cannot charge a penalty but taxes. congressman on the no taxes, we will not increase taxes, but you know what? they did. guest: connecticut has their own exchange. why don't you want to take a subsidy to get coverage?
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is she still there? host: she is off. sorry. she's such a makes $26,000 a year, i'm wondering if she would qualify for the hardship exemption? guest: here's my first thought. if it is $300 a month with or without a subsidy in the state of connecticut, i do not know the answer. doing the math on live television is scary. here is my concern, $95 or 10% of income, the greater of the two. that is for 2014. for 2015, that is going to jump to $325 or maybe 2% of your income. you may be paying more in 2015 than you paid in 2014. this is going to increase again in 2016. you need to sort of look at that
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because it is only, as you mentioned, when i go to the clinic and pay out of my pocket to get coverage, wouldn't that out-of-pocket payment be less if i had health insurance? now, if you just do not want to have health insurance, you do not like the law, that is fine but i am trying to figure out all the angles on how you came to that decision. there are certainly people who dislike the law and think government should not be in the business of telling me i need health insurance or need a subsidy. they certainly have a right to do that. host: we are seeing that message outside of the supreme court today. protesters looking at the live scenes of protesters out side of the court. guest: the internal revenue service is part of treasury and treasury is part of the three agencies implement a lot. the internal revenue service -- we are going to interpret the slot to meet subsidies apply to everyone and that is where the irs comes in. host: roland in salem, new
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hampshire. caller: yes, my question is, like the gentleman said, i'm dependent on insulin. they told me that within six months i would be in a donut hole and i would have to pay over 240 something dollars for one vial of insulin. i tried to find out what is the cost of this insulin and nobody can answer me. this is not the only medication that i am on. i am on other medicine, which when this obamacare started, all of the tears went up from two to three. already out-of-pocket, in two months, i spent over $600. i am on disability, my wife is on disability, i do not know how i'm going to pay for this insulin. last two, i wait six months without any insulin and took a chance. my doctor said, roland, you are playing russian roulette with your life. guest: this is very interesting. he is talking about two years. he is talking about them on of
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money you have to pay out of your pocket to get a certain drug. the insurance plan is something called a formulary. that is how much they will cover for drugs and how much you will have to pay to get them. he goes in different tiers depending on it. he also talked about the doughnut hole. this is a gap in coverage and medicare where the beneficiary picks up the entire frame. that is being reduced. it sounds like it is not quick enough for roland. a couple of ideas i have for you i would try to find out, medicare.gov has a one 800 number. could you find out if there is any kind of relief for you? especially since both of you are both on disability. is there anyway you could get some assistance with the price
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of those drugs. if medicare.gov cannot do it for you, some of the drug manufacturers have those programs, and it would vary by manufacturer and you would have to do some homework. i know none of us really want to go through that kind of paperwork, but it might be worth your while to inquire about that to help reduce your, which it sounds like you need some help because you do not want to go without insulin for six months. host: one more call for you, mary agnes carey. you receive a subsidy, donald? caller: i do, and i am happy for it. i am so disappointed with this country the way the republicans have done this whole thing, even when the law was being formed. they did everything they could to overturn it -- to turn it over and mess it up for people. most of them call themselves a christian. i am telling you, i have worked 30 years as a truck driver.
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i am retired now, and i retired last year at the age of 62. i was able to get health care, and that is the reason i retired. who wants a 62-year-old driving an 18 wheeler? nobody is getting killed because i am out there driving a big truck like that. at an older age. and i am getting good care, good coverage. they call that obamacare. that is the worst thing obama did, put his name on that. host: can i ask you something? caller: i am sick of the way they do this in this country. people need health care. host: we got that point. let me ask you this. if the subsidy goes away, will you continue to get insurance? caller: i will probably lose it. i have a disorder in my blood.
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the premium that i pay, when i got put on last year, is almost double but i do not care because i am not paying the sky high prices i was paying when i was working. every time i go to the hospital with the blue cross and blue shield, what i had all my life when i was working, they acted like i did not have any insurance at all. host: let's talk about who remains in the risk pool if these subsidies go away? guest: chances are it is the sickest people who absolutely have to have health insurance and cannot live without it. if you have no healthy people in the risk pool, premiums will skyrocket. there are estimates of premiums going up 35% or more because you do not have your healthy people. you might say i do not have a subsidy, now i do not have to pay that individual mandate penalty, so i will take a
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chance. host: mary agnes carey, what are you listening for today in these oral arguments lack of what do you think is the key here? guest: it will be interesting to see how the justices work through what congress intended and how literally do they take that phrase established by the state, and how much room if any do we have in determining their views about the federal government establishing an exchange, equivalent to that of the state? i have to tell you, people who know the court better than i do, i have been told several times that what the justices ask may have nothing to do with a final ruling, but nonetheless it will be fascinating. host: mary agnes carey -- you can find her reporting online. thank you for your time. >> friday, the supreme court will be releasing audio of the
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oral arguments on health care subsidies. on friday evening we will bring you the proceedings in their entirety starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. on the next "washington journal," the under secretary of state for political affairs on foreign-policy challenges facing the united states, including the u.s. relationship with israel negotiations over your rent's nuclear program, and the threat posed by isis. you will also talked to john wunderlich about hillary clinton's use of personal e-mail. washington journal live each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. >> the political landscape has changed with the 114th congress. not only are there 43 new republicans and 50 new democrats in the house and 12 the republicans and one new democrat in the senate, there are 100
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eight women in congress including the first african-american republican in the house in the first woman veteran in the senate. keep track using congressional chronicle on c-span.org. it has lots of useful information, including voting results and statistics about each session. through congress, best access, on c-span, c-span2, c-span radio, and c-span oth.org. >> here at c-span around this time we talk to you about our student documentry competition. the goal with the annual competition is to challenge middle and high school students to think about issues that affect them and their community. the 2015 theme for student cam this year was the three branches and you. we asked students to tell us a story that demonstrated how a policy, law, or action has affected them or their community. and in addition to telling it through video, we asked them to use c-span programming in their video and explore alternative
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points of view. before we meet the -- one of the grand prize winners and watch a portion of their grand prize video, here's a little bit more background on the competition. there were five top themes among the many entry this is year. they were education, health, economy, equality and immigration. we received more than 2,200 entries from 45 states and the district of columbia. students were able to enter as a team of up to three or individually. and there were four categories in which they could enter, broken down by regions at the high school level, high school eastern states, high school central states and high school western states. middle schoolers competed separately. in the end, 150 student prizes were awarded totaling $100,000. now it's time to announce the grand prize winner a team of eighth graders from lexington, kentucky, were named the grand prize winners in 2015 for their
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video on the minimum wage titled the artificial wage. their cable provider is time warner cable. here's a small clip from the winning piece by anna, katie and michael. >> sydney jones is a single mother with a 4-year-old child. she has to make tough choices every week since she has to make ends meet on a minimum wage job. $7.25 an hour. she said $15,080 a year isn't enough for her to get by. >> it is hard because sometimes i have to decide like, if my son needs underwear, i'm going to have to be late on the bill -- on a bill to buy underwear or i'm going to have to ask people to borrow money. so it is hard, sometimes. >> sydney is not alone. according to the bureau of labor statistics, 3.3 million americans make minimum wage or below. that's 2.6% of all u.s. workers.
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most minimum wage workers are employed in fields like food service, retail sales or personal care such as day care. rosemarie gray makes minimum wage as a custodian. >> want to be able to take care of ourselves, pay our bills and pay for housing and we can't do that on minimum wage. just can't system of they have all these programs like food stamps, you know. they're going, why do you need food stamps? because you've got to eat. when you don't make enough to feed yourself and pay all your bill you just don't. >> the push is on to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to maybe $10.10 an hour, which would provide a little over $21,000 a year if the individual works 40 hours per week. it's been six years since the minimum wage was raised. some in congress say now is the time to raise it again.
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>> things are getting better. the problem is, they're only getting better for some. we know that corporate profits have continued to break records while americans are working harder and getting paid less. >> but some, like kentucky congressman andy barr, say raising the minimum wage will cost jobs, citing a nonpartisan study by the congressional budget office. >> if we mandate a higher minimum wage in those entry level jobs, then we would lose 500,000 to a million jobs immediately, those low-income jobs. that's the last thing we want. we don't want to create more unemployment. we want higher employment. >> representative barr says more education and better worker training are the keys to improving the lives of minimum wage workers like sidney and rosemarie, not an artificial wage. >> now it's time for taos meet one of the students that's on the grand prize winning team
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her name is anna gilligan and she's joining us from lexington, kentucky. hi, anna, congratulations to your team. anna: thank you so much. host: where were you when you heard the news you'd won? anna: i was in my principal's office with my team and a few teachers and i got the call and for the first time in my life i didn't have anything to say. host: isn't that terrific. were you surprised when you won? did you feel when you sent it in that it was a winner? anna: my team and i, when we were making it, we said, let's show so and so. we wanted to get the word out and let people know. we had no idea. there's always somebody better out there and we didn't know that this was a possibility. host: how did you choose the topic "the artificial wage" which deals with the minimum wage? anna: well, we were looking -- anna: we were looking through the clips you had available and
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we're all passionate about human rights and i was like, oh, let's look at, minimum wage, you know, hey, for the people. give them more money, help them out. and you know, right there, we're like, yeah, that's what we're going to do we want to help people. host: it's interesting, when people watch your video, and i hope they'll take time to find it on our website, off decided point of view, the three of you, that you speak through. was it your opinion when you started out the piece? anna: no, our opinion changed. when we first started researching, we saw the top layer. if you give people more money, they'll be happier and they can buy more things. but you know, we started to dig a little deeper, found out the cost of inflation and people can just send work elsewhere and put people out of a job, so we decided no, it is not best for the workers and our community. host: how did you find the people you interviewed particularly those who were working on minimum wage, to interview for the piece?
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anna: my father had a job connection he, found them through a job fair and we were able to coordinate those interviews through a program called jubilee jobs so they were like, all right, we have three people, if you would like to interview them, they are happy to tell you their story. host: were you happen toy -- were you surprised they were willing to share their lives with you? anna: we had one interesting view, one of the gentlemen said, no, i don't think this is a good idea. and that just shocked us. so just everything about it, it was very interesting. absolutely. host: is have you worked with video before or is this your first documentary project? anna: this is my first time, michael is very experienced and he helped out with the technical aspect of that. host: how did you put your three-member team together? anna: it was originally katie and i, because we've been
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friends since fourth grade and i was like, how are we going to put this together, who will help us make this a story and not just facts and i was like, michael, hey, why don't you come help us out. he was like, great. host: closing question, how will you celebrate your win, both at school and what will you do with your prize-winning money. anna: starting out, we didn't think this would happen so i haven't made any plans. invest in the stock market, do something worthwhile and maybe learn a little bit. host: do you know how your school will celebrate? anna: we'll watch this on tv and -- we're going to have an assembly. we're going to have an assembly and all sorts of fun stuff.
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host: i'm sure all the other students in your school will be happy to cheer you on. congratulations to you for your big win this year. we're very proud of you. anna: thank you so much. host: in addition to the grand prize winners, there were first prides winners in each category. first prize in high school east went to a team. first prize central went to a senior who talked about natural resources. another cox communications company team won in high school west who focused on the individuals with disabilities act. and here's our first prize in middle school went to two young ladies from silver spring, maryland, with their cable service provided by comcast. they chose medical research funding for their video. finally, one more prize.
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mckinley lare, our first prize winner in the high school central region also won our first ever fan favorite prize. this was student cam's first time allowing the public to preview and cast votes for their favorite documentary. you should know that all 150 main pleases were decided independently of the public vote but during a week of voting with 325,000 votes cast, mckinleigh's documentary received 195,000 votes. she'll be recognized as the th year's fan favorite and win an extra $500 cash prize. congratulations to all the student cam winners and all the state of the unions who entered this year. you can watch the winning entries on our website at studentcam.org. >> mitch mcconnell and harry reid commented on the challenge
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to the affordable care act's health insurance subsidies. another matter, across the street, the supreme court will hear arguments today in an important case. king versus burwell is the latest reminder of a law that is as unwieldy as it is unworkable -- obamacare. obamacare has been one rolling disaster after another for middle-class americans. first, it attacked seniors by raiding medicare to finance more government spending. then it canceled health plans for many who had been told they would be able to keep the plans they liked. and who can forget the web site debacle? the hits have kept on coming ever since. fewer choices higher costs increased tax burdens borne by the middle class and even more headaches at tax time. in fact, we now know that the obama administration sent
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inaccurate obamacare tax information to nearly a million people. so america's middle class deserve a lot better than the hurt of obamacare. now, we have heard a lot of predictions about what might happen if the court finds for the plaintiffs in this case, but we've also seen republican ideas about how to help americans that may be harmed again again by obamacare's broken promises. for instance, republicans think it's better to give americans and states the freedom to choose what's right for them rather than trying to impose costly mandates from washington like obamacare. so regardless, regardless of how the supreme court rules i look forward to continuing to work with my republican colleagues because while obamacare is a law that's all about higher costs and broken promises, republicans think health care should be about helping middle-class americans instead.
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mr. reid: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democrat leader. mr. reid: most issues that come before this body are complex and nuanced. rarely are we faced with simple issues but today we have a very simple clear-cut issue before us. it's as straightforward as any one could be, any one question. it is do you support american workers or do you not support american workers? under our law workers have the right to unionize and have their voices heard in the workplace. through elections workers choose for themselves whether or not to form a union. last year, the national labor relations board took an important step to modernize and streamline union election procedures. commonsense, simple advancements. the rule changes are good for
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workers and good for businesses. this whole fight doesn't deal with business for its workers. you have to search long and hard to find a business that opposes what the nlrb did. this is all the antiunion rhetoric of the republicans here in the senate. the reforms that nlrb pushed forward allows employers and unions to file forms electronically kind of the modern world that we all live in. they also allow communications with workers by email and cell phone. pretty reasonable reform, it sounds like to me. yet today senate republicans are trying to roll back rule changes instituted by the nlrb. later this afternoon we'll vote on a resolution of disapproval to undo those commonsense reforms. republicans think they are striking a blow against labor unions with votes like today's vote, but what they're really doing is undermining the american worker, american families. american workers and their families have come to rely on many of the benefits provided by
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collective bargaining -- higher wages, safe working conditions, decent health care. it's no surprise that some of the most prosperous times in american history namely the middle of the 20th century came about in times of record union membership. even today in my home state of nevada unions predict wages with the -- protect wages of the employees at the las vegas strip, up at lake tahoe and all over the state we ensure through the unions safe working conditions. certainly for the miners in elko county and around the state and also with rare exception provide quality health coverage to educators statewide. so i want to be very clear -- this is about who the republicans really are attacking, and it's the middle class. each time republicans throw a roadblock for workers to organize, they are weakening the american middle class. i support american families, i support american workers i support the middle class. senate democrats support the middle class. we do not support this
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republican attack on unions. we will vigorously fight any attempt to weaken worker protections, including the -- today's resolution vote. i would just comment briefly on my friend the republican leader's further trying to come to the floor once again and try to minimize the disaster of attacks on obamacare. the house has voted 57 times to repeal that law, 57 times. each time, the result is the same. as albert einstein said, the definition of insanity is someone who does something over and over again and gets the same results. so it's insane what they've done in the house and it's really insane what they're trying to do here in the senate. there's no question about the case before the united states
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supreme court. the language is clear. almost 10 million people will lose health insurance and we've seen in the press the last few days that really very, very terrible things would happen to families that lost their health care. but my friend, the republican leader is talking about doing is turning it back to the insurance industry. how is that? if you had a preexisting disability, no insurance. they set arbitrary limits as to how much they would pay. it was a time of -- for families who were trying to ensure -- insure their boys and girls mothers and fathers. so i would hope the supreme court would listen to the will of the american people and the will of the united states senate and the house of representatives which passed this law. we all knew the democratic congress, we still do. the law is very clear and t
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>> the political landscape has changed with 114th congress. it only are there 43 new republicans and 50 new democrats and 12 republicans and one new democrat in the senate, there are also 108 women in congress including the first african-american republican in the house in the first woman veteran in the senate. keep track using congressional chronicle on c-span.org. it has lots of useful information, including voting results and statistics about each session. , new congress, best access, on c-span, c-span2, c-span radio and c-span.org. there are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on book tv saturday night at 10:00 eastern david morris on the history of post-traumatic stress disorder that affects 20
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79 americans. sunday night at 8:00, scott taylor argues that the obama administration is hurting our national security. on american history tv on c-span3, the commemoration of bloody sunday, when voters rights advocates began a march from selma to montgomery and were met with violence by state and local police. we are live from selma with your phone calls all of the commemorative ceremony with president obama. then on sunday, i've coverage continues from the brown chapel ame church, the starting point for the marches. behind our complete schedule and c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. colonists, -- call us, e-mail us, or send us a tweet at c-span. joined the c-span conversation. my guess on facebook, follow us on twitter.
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>> a justice department investigation has concluded that there is racial bias within the artisan, missouri police department and the city possibly visible court. eric holder spoke about the investigation earlier this afternoon prompted by the police shooting of michael brown last summer. this is half an hour. eric holder: good afternoon. i'd like to take some time this afternoon to talk about the two informations the justice department has been conducting in missouri the last several months. the matter we are here to discuss is significant. not only because of the conclusions that the justice department is announcing today but also because of the broader conversation and the initiatives those conversations have inspired across the country on both the local and national level. those initiatives have included extensive and vital efforts to examine the causes of misunderstanding and mistrust
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between law enforcement officers and the communities that they serve. to support and strengthen our public safety institutions as a whole and to rebuild confidence wherever it has eroded. now, nearly seven months have passed since the shooting death of 18-year-old michael brown in ferguson, missouri. that tragic incident provoked widespread demonstrations and stirred really strong emotions from those in the ferguson area and around our nation. it also prompted a federal investigation by the united states department of justice with the criminal section of our civil rights division, the united states attorney's office for the eastern dribblingt of missouri, as well as the f.b.i. seeking to determine -- eastern district of missouri, as well as the f.b.i. seeking to determine if this violated federal civil rights law. the promise that i made when i twopet ferguson and at the time that we launched our investigation was not that we would arrive at a particular outcome but rather that we would pursue the facts wherever they
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led. our investigation has been fair and rigorous from the start. it has proceeded independently of the local investigation that concluded in november. and it has been thorough. as part of a wide-ranging examination of the evidence, federal investigators interviewed and re-interviewed eyewitnesses and other individuals claiming to have relevant information and independently canvas more than 300 residences to locate and interview additional witnesses. this morning, the justice department announced the conclusion of our investigation and released a comprehensive 87-page report documenting our findings and our conclusions that the facts do not support the filing of criminal charges against officer darren wilson in this case. michael brown's death, though a tragedy, did not involve prosecutable conduct on the part of officer wilson.
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now this conclusion represents the sound, considered, and independent judgment of the expert career prosecutors within the department of justice. i have been personally breefed on multiple occasions about these findings. i concur with the investigative team's judgment and the inability to meet required federal standard this outcome is supported by the facts we have found but i also know that these findings may not be consistent with some people's expectations. to all those who have closely followed this case and the national dialogue, i urbling you to read this report in full. now i recognize that the findings in our report may leave some to wonder how the department's findings can differ so sharply from some of the initial widely reported accounts of what transpired.
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i want to emphasize that the strength and integrity of america's justice system has always rested on its ability to deliver impartial results in precisely these types of difficult circumstances. adhearing strictly to the facts and to the law, regardless of assumptions. yet it remains not only valid but essential how such a statement of events was able to take hold so readily. a possible reason was uncovered in a second federal investigation, don by the civil rights division, determine if ferguson police officials have engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of violations of the united states constitution or federal law. as detailed in our searing report, this investigation found a community that was deeply
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polarized. a community where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents. a community where local authorities approached policing not as public safety but a way to generate revenue. a community where it was disproportionately found to harm african-american residences. and where it seems to stem from racial bias both implicit and explicit. and a community where all these conditions, unlawful practices and constitutional violations have not only severely undermined the public trust, eroded police legitimacy and made local residents less safe but created an intensely charged atmosphere where people feel under assault and urge siege by those who were charged with serve and to protect them.
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of course, violence is never justified. but seen in this context a highly toxic environment, define pid mistrust and resentment, intird illegal and misguided practices, it's in the difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of ferguson like a powder degree. in a sense, members of the community may not have been responding to a single altercation but to a general distrust. they have been subject to unreasonable searches and seizures, exacerbated by disproportionate use of these tactics against african-americans an driven by overriding pressure from the
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city to use law enforcement not as a public service but as a tool for raising revenue. now according to our investigation, this emphasis on revenue generation through policing has fostered unconstitutional practices or practices that contribute to constitutional violations. at nearly every level of ferguson's law enforcement system. ferguson police officers issued nearly 50% more citations in the last year than they did in 2010. an increase that has not been drive or even accompanied by a rise in crime. as a result of this excessive reliance on ticketing, today the city generates significant revenue from enforcement of code provisions along with taxes and other revenue streams in 2010, the city collected $1.3 million in fines and fees collected by the court. for fiscal year 2015, ferguson's
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city budget anticipates the revenues to exceed $3 million. more than double the total from just five years prior. our review of the evidence and our conversations with police officers have shown that significant pressure is brought to bear on law enforcement personnel to deliver on these revenue increases. once the system is primed for maximizing revenue, starting with fines and fine enforcement, the city relies on the police force to serve essentially as a collection agency for the municipal court rather than as a law enforcement entity focused primarily on maintaining and promoting public safety. in a wide variety of tactics including disciplinary measures are used to ensure certain levels of ticketing by individual officers regardless of public safety needs. as a result, it has become common place in ferguson for officers to charge multiple violations for the same conduct.
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three or four charges for a single stop is considered fairly routine. some officers even compete to see who can issue the largest number of citations during a single stop. a total that in at least one instance rose as high as 14. and we have observed that even minor code violations can sometimes result in multiple arrests, jail time, and payments that exceed the cost of the original ticket many times over. now, for example, in 2007, one woman received two parking tickets that together totaled $152. to date, she has paid $550 in fines and fees to the city of ferguson. she has been arrested twice for having unpaid tickets. and she has spent six days in jail. yet today, she still inexplicably owes ferguson $541.
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and her story is only one of dozens of similar accounts that our investigation uncovered. over time, it's clear that this culture of enforcement action is being disconnected from the public safety needs of the community, often to the detriment of community residents, has given rise to a disturbing and unconstitutional pattern or practice. our investigation showed that ferguson police officers routinely violate the fourth amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion. arresting them without probable cause. and using unreasonable force gerns them. according to the police department's own records, their own records, it's officers -- its officers frequently infringe on resident's first amendment right, they interfere with the right to record police activities. and they make enforcement decisions based on the way individuals express themselves. many of these constitutional violations have become routine.
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for instance, even though it's illegal for police officerses to detain a person even briefly without a reasonable suspicion it's become common practice for officers in ferguson to stop pedestrians and to request identification for no reason at all. and even in cases where police encounters start off as constitutionally defensible, we found that they frequently and rapidly escalate and end up blatantly and unnecessarily crossing the line. during the summer of 2012, one ferguson police officer detained a 32-year-old african-american man who had just finished playing basketball at a park. the officer approached the man while he was sitting in his car and he was arrested. the car's windows appeared to be more heavy tinted than ferguson's code allowed so the officer did have legitimate grounds to question him. but with no apparent justification the officer proceeded to accuse the man of being a pedophile.
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he prohibited the man from using his cell phone and ordered him to get out of his car if a pat down sirge even though he had no reason to suspect that the man was ared and when the man objected, citing his constitutional rights, the police officer drew his service weapon pointed it at the man's head, and arrested him on eight different counts. now this arrest caused the man to lose his job. unfortunately this event appears to have anything but an isolated incident. our investigation shows that members of ferguson's police force frequently escalate rather than defuse tensions with the residents they encounter. such actions are sometimes accompanied by first amendment violations including arresting people for talking back to officer, for recording their public activities or engaging in other conduct that is constitutionally protected. this behavior not only exacerbates tensions in its own right, it has the effect of
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stifling community confidence that is absolutely vital for effective policing. and this in turn deepens the widespread distrust provoked by the department's other unconstitutional exercises of police power. none of which is more harmful than its pattern of excessive force. now among the incidents of excessive force discovered by our comprehensive review, some resulted from stops or arrests that had no legal basis to begin with. others were punitive or retaliatory in nature. the police department's routine use of tasers was found to be not really unconstitution -- unonly unconstitutional but abusive and dangerous. records showed a history of using unnecessary force against people with mental illness. and our findings indicated that the overwhelming majority of force, almost 90%, is directed against african-americans. this deeply alarming statistic points to one of this the most
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pernicious aspects of the conduct our investigation uncovered, that these policing practices disproportionately harm african-american residents. in fact, our view of the evidence found no, no alternative explanation for the disproportionate impact on african-american residents other than implicit and explicit racial bias. no other basis. between october 2012 and october 2014, despite making up only 67% of the population, african-americans accounted for a little over 85% of all traffic stops by the ferguson police department. african-americans were twice as likely as white residents to be searched during a routine traffic stop even though they were 26% less likely to carry contraband. between october 2012 and july 2014, 35 black individuals, 35 black individuals and zero white
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individuals received five or more citations at the same time. during the same period african-americans accounted for 85% of the total charges brought by the ferguson police department. african-americans made up other o-- over 90% of those charges with a highly discretionary offense described as and i quote, manner of walking along roadway. unquote. manner of walking along roadway. and use of dogs by ferguson police appears to have been exclusively reserved for african-americans. in every case of a recorded person being bit by a police dog that person was african-american. the evidence of racial bias comes not on if statistics but also from remarks made by police, city and court officials.
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an examination of the records including a large volume of work emails shows a number of publicer is vapts expressing racist comments or gender discrimination, demonstrating, quote, test views and -- don straiting grotesque views of african-americans in which they were characterized as other and i want to emphasize these conclusions are drawn directly from the exhaustive findings report that the department of justice has now released. clearly these findings and others included in the report show that though some community perception of michael brown's tragic death may not have been accurate, the widespread conditions these were paced on and the climate that gave rise to them were all too real. some of those protesters were right.
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this is a reality that our investigators repetedly encountered in their interviews of police and city officials. their conversations with local residents and their review of thousands of pages of records and dock yulets. -- and documents. this evidence pointed to an unfortunate and unsustainable situation that has not only severely damaged relationships between law enforcement an members of the community, but made professional policing vastly more difficult. and i think very significantly unnecessarily placed officers at increased risk. today, now that our investigation has reached its conclusion, it is time. it is time for ferguson's leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action. let me be very clear. the united states department of justice reserves all of its rights and abilities to force compliance and to implement basic change. nothing is off the table. the report from the justice department presents two sets of immediate recommendationers in
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ferguson police department and the municipal court. these recommendations include implementation of a robust system of true community policing, increased tracking reviewage analysis of ferguson police department stop, search ticketing and arrest practices. increased civilian involvement in police decision making. and the development of mechanisms to effectively respond to allegations of officer misconduct. it also -- they also involve change tolts nice pal court system including modifications to bond amounts and detention procedures and to the use of arrest warrants as a meevens collecting owes fines an fees. in compliance with basic due process requirements. ensuring meaningful, sustainable and verifiable reform will require that these and other measures be part of a court enforcement remedial process that includes involvement from community stake holders as well as independent oversight in order to remedy the caught that we have identified to address the underlying culture that we
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have uncovered and to restore and rebuild the trust that has so padly been eroded. now as the brother of a retired police officer, i know that the overwhelming majority of america's brave men and women in law enforcement do their jobs honestly work integrity and often at great personal risk. i have immense regard for the vital role that they play in all of america's communities. and sacrifices that they and their families are too often called to make on behalf of their country. it is in great part for their sake and for their safety that we must seek to rebuild trust and foster mutual understanding in ferguson and in all communities where suspicion has been allowed to fester. negative practices by individual law enforcement officers and individual departments present a significant danger not only to their communities but also to committed and hardworking public safety officials around the country who perform incredibly challenging jobs with unwavering professionalism and uncommon
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valor. clearly we owe to these brave men and women to ensure that all law enforcement officials have the tools, training and support they need to do their jobs with maximum safety and effectiveness. now over the last few months these goals have driven president obama and me to announce a series of administration proposals that will enable us to heal mistrust from wherever it is fun from a national initiative to building trust and justice tos aher -- to a historic new task force on 21st century policing which will provide strong federal support to law enforcement and every level on a scale not seen since the johnson administration. these aims also have led me to travel throughout the country to atlanta, to cleveland, to memphis, chicago, to philadelphia, oakland, as well as to san francisco, to convene a series of round table discussions dedicated to building trust and engagement between law enforcement, civil
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rights, youth and community leaders from coast to coast. as these discussions have unfolded, i have repeatedly seen that although the concerns we are focused on today may be particularly acute in ferguson they're not confined to any one city, state, or geographic region. they implicate questions about fairness an trust that are truly national in scope. and they point not to insurmountable divides between people of different perspectives but to the shared values and the common desire for peace, for security, an for public safety that binds us together. binds police together as well as protesters. although the dialogue by itself will not be sufficient to address these issues because concrete action is what is needed now, concrete action. initiating a broad, frank and inclusive conversation is a necessary and productive first step in all the civil rights divisions activities in ferguson
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as in every pattern or practice they've launched over the last six years, our aim is to help facilitate and inform this conversation. to make certain that it leads to, again, concrete action and to ensure that law enforcement officers in every part of the united states live up to the same high standards of professionalism. it is clear from our work throughout this country, particularly through the work of our civil rights division, that the prospect of police accountability and criminal justice reform is an achieveable goal. one that we can reach with law enforcement and community members at the table as full partners. last august when i visited ferguson to meet with concerned citizens and community leaders i made a solemn commitment that the united states department of justice would continue to stand with the people there long after the national headlines had faded. this week, with the conclusion of our investigations into these matters, i again commit to the
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people of ferguson that we will continue to stand with you and to work with you to ensure that the necessary reforms are implemented. and even as we issue our findings in today's reports, our work will go on. it will go on as we engage with the city of ferguson and surrounding municipalities and surrounding municipalities reform their law enforcement practices and establish a public safety effort that protects and serves all members of the community. it will go on as we broaden this work and extend the assistance of the justice department to other communities around the country. and it will go on as we join together with all americans to ensure that public safety is not a burden undertaken by the brave few but a positive collaboration between everyone in this nation. the report we have issued and the steps that we have taken are only the beginning of a necessarily resource-intensive and inclusive process to promote
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reconciliation, to reduce and eliminate bias and to bridge gaps and build understanding. and in the days ahead, the department of jus till will stay true to my -- justice will stay true to my promise, vigilant in its excuse and determined in the pursuit of justice in every case, every circumstance and every community across the united states of america. thank you. [applause] announcer: journal, nicholas burns on foreign-policy challenges facing the united states, including the u.s. relationship with israel, negotiations over iran's nuclear program and isis. we will also talk to john wunderlich about hillary clinton's use of personal e-mail to conduct official business also secretary of state.
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"washington journal" live each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. guest: you would see what they used to call when they would cave -- they would call a button jeff, nation, stick all set. -- a mutt and jeff. washington was a large man. 6'7", very robust, terrific natural athlete. and madison is a skinny guy. announcer: this sunday on "q&a" stewart on james madison. guest: his gift that i write most about his ability to form partnerships with the great people of his era. but it also alludes to his gif t to to the country of his talents and what he was able to do to create the first self-sustaining constitutional
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republic. announcer: sunday night at 8:00 eastern and if it on c-span's "q &a." announcer: here at c-span around this time we talk to you about our student documentry competition. the goal with the annual competition is to challenge middle and high school students to think about issues that affect them and their community. the 2015 theme for student cam this year was the three branches and you. we asked students to tell us a story that demonstrated how a policy, law, or action has affected them or their community. and in addition to telling it through video, we asked them to use c-span programming in their video and explore alternative points of view. before we meet the -- one of the grand prize winners and watch a portion of their grand prize video, here's a little bit more background on the competition. there were five top themes among the many entry this is year.
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they were education, health, economy, equality and immigration. we received more than 2,200 entries from 45 states and the district of columbia. students were able to enter as a team of up to three or individually. and there were four categories in which they could enter, broken down by regions at the high school level, high school eastern states, high school central states and high school western states. middle schoolers competed separately. in the end, 150 student prizes were awarded totaling $100,000. now it's time to announce the grand prize winner a team of eighth graders from lexington, kentucky, were named the grand prize winners in 2015 for their video on the minimum wage titled the artificial wage. their cable provider is time warner cable. here's a small clip from the winning piece by anna, katie and michael. [video clip] >> sydney jones is a single mother with a 4-year-old child. she has to make tough choices
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every week since she has to make ends meet on a minimum wage job. $7.25 an hour. she said $15,080 a year isn't enough for her to get by. >> it is hard because sometimes i have to decide like, if my son needs underwear, i'm going to have to be late on the bill -- on a bill to buy underwear or i'm going to have to ask people to borrow money. so it is hard, sometimes. >> sydney is not alone. according to the bureau of labor statistics, 3.3 million americans make minimum wage or below. that's 2.6% of all u.s. workers. most minimum wage workers are employed in fields like food service, retail sales or personal care such as day care. rosemarie gray makes minimum wage as a custodian. >> want to be able to take care of ourselves, pay our bills and pay for housing and we can't do that on minimum wage.
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just can't system of they have all these programs like food stamps, you know. they're going, why do you need food stamps? because you've got to eat. when you don't make enough to feed yourself and pay all your bill you just don't. >> the push is on to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour which would provide a little over $21,000 a year if the individual works 40 hours per week. it's been six years since the minimum wage was raised. some in congress say now is the time to raise it again. >> things are getting better. the problem is, they're only getting better for some. we know that corporate profits have continued to break records while americans are working harder and getting paid less. >> but some, like kentucky congressman andy barr, say raising the minimum wage will cost jobs, citing a nonpartisan study by the congressional
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budget office. >> if we mandate a higher minimum wage in those entry level jobs, then we would lose 500,000 to a million jobs immediately, those low-income jobs. that's the last thing we want. we don't want to create more unemployment. we want higher employment. >> representative barr says more education and better worker training are the keys to improving the lives of minimum wage workers like sidney and rosemarie, not an artificial wage. >> now it's time for taos meet -- for us to meet one of the students that's on the grand prize winning team, her name is anna gilligan and she's joining us from lexington, kentucky. hi, anna, congratulations to your team. anna: thank you so much. host: where were you when you heard the news you'd won? anna: i was in my principal's office with my team and a few teachers and i got the call and for the first time in my life i didn't have anything to say. host: isn't that terrific.
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were you surprised when you won? did you feel when you sent it in that it was a winner? anna: my team and i, when we were making it, we said, let's show so and so. we wanted to get the word out and let people know. we had no idea. there's always somebody better out there and we didn't know that this was a possibility. host: how did you choose the topic "the artificial wage" which deals with the minimum wage? anna: well, we were looking -- anna: we were looking through the clips you had available and we're all passionate about human rights and i was like, oh, let's look at, minimum wage, you know, hey, for the people. give them more money, help them out. and you know, right there, we're like, yeah, that's what we're going to do we want to help people. host: it's interesting, when people watch your video, and i hope they'll take time to find it on our website, off decided point of view, the three of you,
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that you speak through. was it your opinion when you started out the piece? anna: no, our opinion changed. when we first started researching, we saw the top layer. if you give people more money, they'll be happier and they can buy more things. but you know, we started to dig a little deeper, found out the cost of inflation and people can just send work elsewhere and put people out of a job, so we decided no, it is not best for the workers and our community. host: how did you find the people you interviewed particularly those who were working on minimum wage, to interview for the piece? anna: my father had a job connection he, found them through a job fair and we were able to coordinate those interviews through a program called jubilee jobs so they were like, all right, we have three people, if you would like to interview them, they are happy to tell you their story. host: were you happen toy -- were you surprised they were
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willing to share their lives with you? >> absolutely. anna: we had one interesting view, one of the gentlemen said, no, i don't think this is a good idea. and that just shocked us. so just everything about it, it was very interesting. absolutely. host: is have you worked with video before or is this your first documentary project? anna: this is my first time, michael is very experienced and he helped out with the technical aspect of that. host: how did you put your three-member team together? anna: it was originally katie and i, because we've been friends since fourth grade and i was like, how are we going to put this together, who will help us make this a story and not just facts and i was like, michael, hey, why don't you come help us out. he was like, great. host: closing question, how will you celebrate your win, both at
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school and what will you do with your prize-winning money. anna: starting out, we didn't think this would happen so i haven't made any plans. invest in the stock market, do something worthwhile and maybe learn a little bit. host: do you know how your school will celebrate? anna: we'll watch this on tv and -- we're going to have an assembly. anna: we're going to have an assembly and all sorts of fun stuff. host: i'm sure all the other students in your school will be happy to cheer you on. congratulations to you for your big win this year. we're very proud of you. anna: thank you so much. host: in addition to the grand prize winners, there were first prides winners in each category. first prize in high school east went to a team. first prize central went to a
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senior who talked about natural resources. another cox communications company team won in high school west who focused on the individuals with disabilities act. and here's our first prize in middle school went to two young ladies from silver spring, maryland, with their cable service provided by comcast. they chose medical research funding for their video. finally, one more prize. mckinley lare, our first prize winner in the high school central region also won our first ever fan favorite prize. this was student cam's first time allowing the public to preview and cast votes for their favorite documentary. you should know that all 150 main pleases were decided independently of the public vote but during a week of voting with
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325,000 votes cast, mckinleigh's documentary received 195,000 votes. she'll be recognized as the th year's fan favorite and win an extra $500 cash prize. congratulations to all the student cam winners and all the state of the unions who entered this year. you can watch the winning entries on our website at studentcam.org. announcer: the c-span city tour takes both tv and american history tv on the road traveling to cities to learn about their history and literary life right this weekend we partnered with comcast for a visit to galveston, texas. guest: the rising tide threw them. they watched in amazement as both of these factors -- at that
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time, we had wooden bath houses over the gulf of mexico. and we also have piers. and we had a huge pavilion called olympia by the sea. as the storm increased in intensity, these beaches were turned into matchsticks. the 1900 storm struck galveston saturday september 8 1900. the storm began at noon. increased in intensity then finally tapered off towards midnight that evening. this hurricane was and still is the deadly record -- the deadliest recorded event in the history of the u.s. announcer: watch all of our events from galveston saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2. and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on
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american history tv on seas and 3. -- on american history tv on c-span 3. announcer: the house foreign affairs committee held a hearing on the russia ukraine conflict and a look at how the u.s. government might as ukrainian or since. victoria nuland testified about her trip where she met with leaders in georgia and armenia. she also does just efforts to implement the cease-fire agreed to last month in minsk. this to our hearing is chaired by ed royce. >> welcome. this hearing will come to order. our topic chairman royce, ukraine's
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undersea -- under siege. unfortunately, the response to russia's aggression by the administration has been tepid. one year ago, russia invaded and seized crimea and some thought that vladimir putin would stop there. not so. last april, we led a delegation to ukraine. we travel to the russian speaking east. we had eight members on a delegation. we went to bordering areas and i have to share that the members -- that the ukrainians -- russian speaking ukrainians -- they wanted to be ukrainian. they did not want to be separatist. we spoke to the women's groups the lawyers grace, civil societies, jewish groups
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various ethnic minorities, the governor, the mayor. mr. angle spoke of the largest community center -- the largest synagogue in eastern europe. i can share with the members here what alan will attest to. the attitude was it seems that russia has recruited every skinhead and malcontent in the russian speaking world and they are trying to bring them into the east. they said we are holding them until hostilities are over. but they are coming in from russia in order to try to overthrow our government. so we have seen this situation where moscow moves from crimea
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to aggressively supporting militant separatist in ukraine and bringing russian troops into the country. russia may try to secure a land bridge to crimea. that is the great concern here. that is the wording we heard. but they would further expand this conflict and try to siege the port of mary a pull. when we talked to the united nations on the ground, they count over 6000 civilians who have been killed in this conflict. there are 1.7 million ukrainians that are now refugees. the actions taken by the u.s. and the eu allies include economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation have not checked hooton -- vladimir putin. he has become bolder, even
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menacing nato countries. the obama administration have put hope in diplomatic and cease-fire arrangements but it is not working. last week, i met with the deputy speaker of the ukraine parliament who says that his country urgently needs anti-tank weapons. he needs radar to pinpoint any fire, in order to oppress that artillery. he needs communications equipment to overcome russian jamming. ukrainian forces cannot match these advances that russia is pouring into eastern europe -- into eastern europe grain. when you see tanks coming to eastern ukraine, those are not ukrainians in those tanks. those are russians. there is no shortage of the will to fight, only a

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