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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Health Care History; What's in Health Care Reform Bill?; Interview With Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak
Aired March 22, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: the sound, the fury, the fight over health care reform, what it means to you, what it means to the people you elected and who will be asking for your vote in remember, and whether this epic battle was fought in a way to be proud of or not.
Who was behind the lies told about the bill on both sides? We are "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.
And, later, the man who nearly stopped the bill over abortion, then changed his mind. He got pummeled for both positions. We will ask Congressman Bart Stupak why he voted the way he did -- some very "Raw Politics" in that.
Also later tonight, with health care, he achieved what no president ever has. The question is, will voters reward or punish President Obama, and what about Nancy Pelosi and the rest of Congress? Republicans say this will be an albatross around the necks of Democrat. We will strategy with Republicans and Democrat -- all sides tonight on 360.
First up, though, history and what it means for you, your family and the country, because whether you support the bill or not, you can agree with this. There has not been a moment like this since before many of us were born.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: On this vote, the yeas are 220, the nays are 211. The bill is passed.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that is the moment in the House late last night when they passed the Senate version of health care reform and a package of fixes to it. President Obama is going to sign the bill tomorrow. He will also push for the Senate fixes, and then head out to sell Americans on it, because, as you know, plenty of Americans do not support this, or don't know much about it.
Last night, though, for the president, it was a very sweet moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tonight's vote is not a victory for any one party. It is a victory for them. It is a victory for the American people. And it is a victory for common sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, again, for the president, it's sign the bill tomorrow, then try to sell it at least until November.
In a moment, we are going to have a "Keeping Them Honest" report on some of the lies that have been told about this bill.
But, first, I just want to head over to the wall, and let's go over a little bit about what is in the bill and how it is supposed to be paid for. First of all, let's talk about what happens first. Starting six months from now, from tomorrow, insurance companies have to cover kids regardless of illness.
Also in six months, young people up to age 26 get to stay on their parents' plans. Now, currently, the cutoff varies by states.
Also, there will be no more annual or lifetime caps for anyone with expensive long-term illnesses, like cancer. Also, seniors will get a $250 rebate for prescription drugs to help them get across that doughnut hole in their existing coverage -- again, all of these -- these things kick in after six months.
So do subsidies to help small companies buy insurance for employees. Then, let's move forward into 2011. Fees on drugmakers start kicking in to pay for covering more people. Then you move the clock ahead to 2013, and the taxes come into play, most of them on people making more than $200,000 a year or couples making more than $250,000.
There is also a new tax on interest and dividends and a sales tax on medical devices, which Republican critics say will discourage innovation. Then, also, 2014, the whole enchilada. No one can be turned down for coverage or dropped because they are sick.
Now, also, everyone in that year has to purchase coverage or face fines. They start off small and they rise up to 2.5 percent of incomes. Exchanges will be set up to try to boost competition. Also in 2014, families will get tax breaks to afford coverage, and Medicaid will be expanded as well for lower-income families.
Now, Republicans are vowing to fight all of this, of course, and Republican attorney generals in at least 11 states right now are planning legal challenges. We're going to speak with Utah's attorney general in a moment.
But, first, "Keeping Them Honest," there's been a lot of really mean and lot of nasty stuff said, we all know, in the last couple of days, and, frankly, a lot of lies told. Now, I don't know if you saw this, but right up to the vote, some protesters on Capitol Hill shouted racial slurs at an African-American congressman, a bigoted slur at a gay congressman. One congressman was even spat on.
There were congressmen waving signs, egging on crowds. One member shouted baby killer on the floor of the House. And on both sides, people called one another liars. Now, that has been a constant throughout the years since this whole thing began, but are both sides equally guilty of stretching the truth?
Ed Henry tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker!
ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The noise was deafening, passions running high.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Have you read the bill? Have you read the reconciliation bill? Have you read the manager's amendment? Hell, no, you haven't!
HENRY: But were the charges on both sides true? "Keeping Them Honest" in a word, no. The most questionable claim nearly brought down final health bill: Republican charges the plan would force taxpayers to pay for abortions.
BOEHNER: Can you go home and tell your constituents with confidence that this bill respects the sanctity of all human life and that it won't allow for taxpayer funding of abortions for the first time in 30 years?
UNIDENTIFIED MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: No!
BOEHNER: No, you cannot.
HENRY: Actually, White House officials say they can point to something that knocks this down, section 130B1B of the bill, which says -- quote -- "Abortions for which public funding is prohibited."
The second questionable claim this weekend came from a familiar face, conservative icon Sarah Palin. Over the weekend, she tweeted: "Shocking new questions, whether military health care plans are protected under Obamacare. How will underpaid troops afford their own purchase?"
Actually, the bill stipulates that most military medical care is not affected by the new law, but a drafting error left some doubt. The language was tweaked to fix it, so Palin's charge, like her false claim about death panels, has now evaporated.
And then there was the old standby.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: The overwhelming number of people in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District want nothing to do with this government takeover of health care. HENRY: Government takeover of health care -- the legislation actually builds on the current system, which is why the president's senior adviser, David Axelrod, told me it is a recycled false claim.
DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: I think that some of the arguments you heard yesterday were -- were really tinny, if not bewildering, because they didn't bear resemblance to the program that was being voted on.
HENRY: But the president also made at least one statement that is highly questionable, as he cited the Congressional Budget Office's projection that the bill will reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion 20 years from now.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is paid for and will not add a dime to deficit. It will reduce the deficit.
HENRY: But, in fact, the CBO noted -- quote -- "The imprecision of that calculation reflects the even greater degree of uncertainty in long-term predictions."
COOPER: So, Ed, what is going on at the White House, because we know some key players showed up there tonight for a meeting in Oval Office?
HENRY: It's interesting, a lot of intrigue tonight, because, you know, last night, the White House was being clear they didn't want to celebrate. There was only one little bit of celebration. Told by top aides the president invited some staffers up to the Truman Balcony, which oversees the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial.
They sort of toasted this victory, but then made clear they are going back to work. And at this meeting in the Oval Office tonight, there are some key senators, like the majority leader, Harry Reid, who came over.
And I'm told they were plotting strategy, how they want the next few days to go out -- go over in terms of dealing with these procedural hurdles in the Senate with that fix-it bill.
And while, publicly, they keep saying they are confident they're going to get it done, I am picking up a little bit of nervousness inside the White House that maybe some of these hurdles are going to be difficult, and they're worried there could be some stumbles on this fix-it bill. So this meeting was important to try to lay out the strategy to deal with that -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, going late in to the night.
Ed Henry, thanks.
Safe to say that the live chat is up and running right now AC360.com -- not just running, but it's buzzing. Check it out.
Coming up next, exclusive: Former President Bill Clinton weighs in on the health care bill's passage.
And Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak, who stood at the center of the most controversial part of the bill, and who, depending on who you believe, was called a baby killer on the floor of the House or not, we will talk to him about that, what he believes.
Also Utah's attorney general, Mark Shurtleff, who plans to challenge the constitutionality of requiring all Americans to carry insurance, and he is not the only one.
And, later, what this means to President Obama, the Democrats, and the GOP -- our panel weighs in, left, right, and center, Ed Rollins, Paul Begala, who fought so hard during the Clinton administration to pass health care reform, Dana Bash, and Joe Johns.
We will be right back.
COOPER: "Raw Politics" now, raw and ugly.
You saw a bit of it in Ed Henry's report -- Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak got an earful of it firsthand. He was a holdout, saying he would likely vote no, until he got an executive order from President Obama reaffirming that the bill does not provide federal funding for abortion.
When he switched his vote to a yes and stood up to explain why, here is what happened. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BART STUPAK (D), MICHIGAN: The motion to recommit does not promote life. It is the Democrats who have stood up -- it is the Democrats who have stood up...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suspend. Those who are shouting out are out of order.
REP. RANDY NEUGEBAUER (R), TEXAS: ... baby killer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baby killer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You could hear the words "baby killer" being yelled. It was a Texas Republican, Randy Neugebauer, who said today it. He owned up to it today, issuing a statement that said what he really said was, "It's a baby killer," referring to the deal, not to Congressman Stupak, personally.
Congressman Stupak joins us now.
Congressman, I know you accepted the representative's apology to you for his outburst thanks . The Democratic majority whip, though, Jim Clyburn, said, that is not enough, that the congressman needs to apologize, not just to you, but to the whole House.
Do you agree?
STUPAK: I agree. If it's not directed at me, then he must have directed at the rest of the members of the House. And we have to maintain proper decorum in the House of Representatives, set the example, keep our cool under intense pressure and debate.
So, I think Congressman Neugebauer owes the apology to the House of Representatives.
COOPER: Do you believe he was -- was calling you a baby killer, or do you believe -- I mean, he says "it's a baby killer."
STUPAK: Well, I -- when I talked to Randy today, I told him, I thought he directed it at me. I was the only one speaking. I was speaking about pro-life and how the Democrats stood up for the principle of life, and we got the executive order to reaffirm that principle in this legislation. So, I was pleased to vote for this legislation.
COOPER: So, you didn't hear him say, "it's"? You just heard "baby killer"?
STUPAK: No, I just heard "baby killer," right.
COOPER: What is that like? I mean, what -- what went through your mind when you heard that?
STUPAK: Just another cheap shot. I have been through a lot the last few months and weeks, and from both sides.
COOPER: But, on the floor of the House is -- that is a whole other level.
STUPAK: I mean, heck, they attacked President Obama.
I mean, Anderson, this is getting out of control. I wish the Republican leadership would talk to their members and tell them there's a proper decorum. And let's be respectful. We set examples. Then you wonder why, when we walked back and forth to votes, we had all the problems with racial slurs and everything else being thrown at members.
When you see it on the House floor, they must think, oh, it must be OK then. I wish the Republican leadership would pull their membership in and say, look, there is a proper decorum. If you can't handle it, don't be on the House floor.
COOPER: I want to talk about this executive order.
COOPER: Would you have accepted an executive order if the president had offered that idea at the very beginning of the process?
STUPAK: Well, we negotiated out this executive order. It took a couple days to get it done.
Well, no, we had to exhaust different avenues. I tried different proposals, a different process. The problem is, every time we could agree to something in the House, you need 60 votes in the Senate, and we really could only get 45 votes in the Senate.
COOPER: So, who suggested this, I mean, the idea of the executive order? When did it get suggested? When -- how did it come about?
STUPAK: I think it was in the conversation Rahm Emanuel and I had a couple weeks ago. We were looking at a sense of the Congress, joint concurrent resolutions. We were -- all kinds of procedural ways.
But every time, we would run into a roadblock being in the Senate. We could not get the 60 votes. I even talked to a number of Republican senators who are pro-life. And I said, if we do a resolution, just limit it to this point, will you support us? And they said no. So...
COOPER: You do have some legal experts, and a lot of folks, critics of yours, saying today that they're confused by your thinking on this. They say, look, executive orders cannot overrule the law, that it takes congressional action.
COOPER: So, does this bill, which you now voted for, contain federal funding for abortion, in your opinion?
STUPAK: The bill, but the executive order clarifies it. The executive order has the full force and effect of law.
You know, it is interesting. These same critics...
COOPER: But it's not a law.
STUPAK: But -- but these same critics -- these same critics, when George W. Bush put the executive order out for stem cell research, remember, limit the stem cell research, these same critics said it was wonderful, it was welcome news, we applaud it.
Now President Obama does an executive order, and, suddenly, it is no good. It is. Remember...
COOPER: You are saying it trumps the law?
STUPAK: I am saying, it says, here is how the administration is going to implement this law.
And President Obama has said, as he implements this law, there will not be public funding for abortion. It is very clear. The restrictions of Hyde applies to the new law and the insurance exchange, right there on page two, very clear.
Executive orders are used all the time. What is the most famous one, Anderson Cooper, was Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, executive order number 95. That is probably the most famous one that we know of. And they are in effect.
I mean, George -- they're OK for George Bush when we're talking about sanctity of life, but because it is President Obama, it is not OK? That is hypocrisy. I'm afraid to say it, but that just drips with hypocrisy.
COOPER: Congressman Stupak, appreciate you being on the program. Thank you, sir.
STUPAK: You bet. Thank you.
COOPER: Now, the Republican opposition, unified on Capitol Hill, growing in Republican statehouses around the country -- at least 11 state attorneys general right now seeking to challenge in federal court the portion of the law requiring everyone to buy insurance.
Tonight, one such attorney general, Utah's Mark Shurtleff, he joins us now.
So, what is the main case that you are going to make as to why this is improper?
MARK SHURTLEFF, UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, that is the individual mandate is unconstitutional and it goes way beyond Congress' power.
I mean, Anderson, in the entire history of this country, there has never been an occasion where the federal government, as a condition of citizenship, requires to you to buy a service or -- and then to pay a penalty if you don't do that. We believe that is not an authority that is granted in the Constitution.
SHURTLEFF: And, therefore, under the 10th Amendment, the states need to step up and protect the individual and states' rights.
COOPER: As you well know -- and probably better than me, because you are an attorney, and I'm not -- a lot of legal experts we have heard from point to the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution, which basically regulates -- gives the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce. And the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled in support of the federal government's -- and with a very broad definition of what interstate commerce is.
SHURTLEFF: Well, no doubt about it. The federal courts, over 100 years, have extended and expanded that -- that reach of the federal government.
However, in '95 and 2000, with a couple of cases, the courts have -- the Supreme Court has now said that that power is not unlimited, that you have to be able to establish, number one, that whatever you are trying to regulate is interstate commerce at its core, and, number two, that it is not traditionally regulated by the states.
And, in both cases, we believe that a choice about whether to insure yourself, whether to even pay for or access insurance or access health care system is an individual choice. It's not interstate commerce. And where it has been, it has been regulated by the states.
So, we believe that, under Lopez and Morrison and some of these cases of more recent note that we do have a chance to have the courts rule that this is unconstitutional.
COOPER: But the federal government tells people, you know, you have to wear a seat belt, and that incurs with it certain costs for car manufacturers and for people who -- you know, who have to now have a seat belt. I mean...
SHURTLEFF: Well, that -- you still have a choice. And, actually, for the most part, those are regulations that are state regulations, as are the requirement to have insurance on your automobile.
But you have still got to choose whether to drive or not. In this case, whether you access the health care system at all, whether you are self-insured, and you can pay for your own, it does not matter. They have said, you will have to pay for it.
And, again, that is unprecedented. So, we believe that, in our responsibility under the 10th Amendment, we need to step up and -- and challenge that and have the courts rule on it.
COOPER: How long of a process are you talking about, and how expensive is this?
SHURTLEFF: I don't think it will be very -- real expensive. That's why we have multistate actions. And, by the way, we do multistate actions all the time, Republican and Democratic attorneys general joining together, even against -- I have sued our own -- my own Republican administration, when we feel like they have violated states' rights.
We hope to add some attorneys general. We think there will be some Democratic A.G.s joining us, because this really is not about politics. I mean, many parts of this bill are laudable. We're not talking about policy, simply the process, Anderson. And, if you are going to do something, you need to do it in a constitutional, lawful manner. And we don't believe they have when it comes to the individual mandate.
COOPER: "The New York Times" reported a little ago that -- and I quote -- that states where the constitutional amendment has been introduced are also places where the health care industry has spent heavily on political contributions. They're basically essentially saying that you and other attorneys general have gotten thousands of dollars in contributions from the industry.
A, is that the case? And, do you think, if so, that poses any kind of conflict here?
SHURTLEFF: Well, I can't speak for other A.G.s. That isn't a big part of my contributions. In fact, I have sued health care providers, pharmaceutical companies. In this case, the discussion is not political. It's about making sure the process is followed.
COOPER: You really...
COOPER: You're really saying this is not political?
COOPER: There's not a lot of Democratic attorney generals or governors signing on to this thing.
SHURTLEFF: No, did I and other Republican A.G.s sue Republican administrations when we felt they were encroaching on states' rights? Absolutely.
And, in this case, there will be extreme political pressure, frankly, brought on Democratic A.G.s. And there will be some courageous ones who will step up and say, this is not about politics. It's about our duty as Republican attorneys general in the states to protect states' rights and individual rights. And we are doing it for that reason and that reason alone.
COOPER: Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, I appreciate you being on the program.
SHURTLEFF: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Thank you very much.
SHURTLEFF: You bet, sir.
COOPER: Just ahead, a CNN exclusive: President Clinton, who famously failed to get universal health care passed, weighs in. Also tonight, will voters like what they're getting or not when they vote this fall? What impact is this going to have on this upcoming election? We have new polling and we will talk to our -- well, our whole political team here about what lies ahead for President Obama and Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats.
And, also, later, why did he do it? That's what everyone wants to know -- tonight, the answer from Tiger Woods.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: This bill is a fiscal Frankenstein. It is a government takeover. It is not democratic.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: I consider this to be the Civil Rights Act of the 21st century, because I do believe that this is the one fundamental right that this country has been wrestling with now for almost 100 years. I think, tonight, we took a giant step toward the establishment of a more perfect union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Very different views, two very different takes on last night's historic vote on health care.
Sixteen years ago, President Bill Clinton, of course, lost his battle to pass comprehensive health care. Here is what Mr. Clinton said today from Haiti interview in a CNN exclusive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fundamental difference between now and then, besides the fact that all of the indicators have gotten worse, so people understand how much more important it is, is that they filibustered it to death in the Senate, and they couldn't do it this time.
And so the president who hung in there when people were telling him to pack it in, and all the others that were able to work out, they were able to legislate it and compromise and work through to a solution. I'm thrilled. It's a great thing for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, history was made last night, but the health care battle certainly is not over.
Let's talk more. Let's dig deeper with our panel. Joe Johns joins me now, along with political contributor and Democratic strategist Paul Begala.
That's not Paul Begala. That's Ed Rollins.
(LAUGHTER) COOPER: Senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash.
ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Paul never looked so good.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Rollins has more hair than I do.
COOPER: Dana Bash, Paul Begala, Ed Rollins, the whole gang is here.
So, Paul, let's start off with you. You just heard from your former boss, former President Clinton, who tried to get the health care reform passed in the early '90s, didn't get it through. I was thinking about you last night. What was your reaction?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I was moved. I really was, Anderson.
I thought about it. I shed blood for that, but we failed. And it was an important failure. And it was the biggest failure of my professional life. So, to see the speaker of the House gavel this thing through, when everybody thought it was dead just a few months ago, to see this president lift it back up and resurrect it from the dead, I mean, I was completely thrilled.
And something that President Clinton told me -- in fact, he said it this weekend when we were talking about this -- he reminded me that, 500 years ago, Machiavelli said one of the hardest things to do in the world is to bring about a new order of things, because the people who will lose, who will be disadvantaged from the reform, they know very well what they are going to lose, and they will be zealous in opposing.,
But those who will gain only have a promise of gain, and they have not lived under that gain. And so they are only going to be lukewarm in their support. And that is why it is so hard to reform things in this life. And, 500 years later, Machiavelli is still right.
But I was thrilled.
COOPER: Do you really want to be quoting Machiavelli?
BEGALA: ... worth reading. It's a very powerful observation about human nature.
COOPER: No, it is, but it's Machiavelli. It's sort of Machiavellian of you -- hence the expression.
COOPER: Ed Rollins, where do Republicans go from here? They are vowing -- you just heard the attorney general in Utah saying they were going to fight it on constitutional grounds. Others are saying they're going to try to repeal it. What happens now?
ROLLINS: Well, the fight is just beginning.
Obviously, victory comes to those with staying power. And the president and speaker and the majority leader all deserve great credit for hanging in there and getting this thing done.
But Republicans and independents think this is so important for the long-term financial future of this country that they will continue to fight it on every front. They will fight it in the Senate. They will fight it...
COOPER: But the repeal thing is -- they're not going to be able to...
ROLLINS: The repeal is not the issue. I think the issue is, every year, there will be some modification of this bill.
And I think, if there's more Republicans, there will be modifications that will be more severe to this bill. And I think we don't know where this bill is going to go in the end. We -- I assume it's going to pass in the Senate, but there's a long-term place to get this thing in every household.
COOPER: Joe, what do you make of these constitutional battles, as you heard from the attorney general?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: It is real simple, when you look at this thing.
There is a question. People look at this thing and say, really? I am going to actually have to pay a penalty if I don't get insurance? What about that? Is that constitutional?
The other half is, very simply, if you talk to lawyers, a lot of people will say, on the Democratic side, hey, states can order people to buy automobile insurance; therefore, the government ought to be able to order you to buy health insurance.
The question, the bottom line is, does the Congress have enough power to do this? Well, hey, Congress has vast power, so they probably are going to, you know...
COOPER: As the attorney general pointed out, most courts have ruled for generations now that they do. JOHNS: Right.
COOPER: Dana, you just heard from Congressman Stupak. He thought the guy didn't say "It's a baby killer." He thought he was just being called a baby killer.
Have you -- what has the mood been like today on Capitol Hill? Because it was really ugly this weekend, the people roaming the halls yelling at Barney Frank and yelling at Congressman Lewis.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes. And I -- it's true. And I witnessed -- exactly.
I witnessed the protesters. Really, they were everywhere you turned. Outside the Capitol -- it was a beautiful weekend. They knew that the congressmen were going to come back and forth to the Capitol in the basements where they could be. And, of course, we had some very unfortunate incidents. But to watch...
COOPER: We should also just point out, the picture we're showing, these are just the regular protesters. These were not the folks who, in the halls, were yelling the epithets.
COOPER: So, this picture is really not the one we should be showing when talking about that, because I don't want to give the impression that it was these people.
But, clearly, there was a lot of protests going on outside and inside.
BASH: Exactly. And you heard Congressman Stupak say that he believes -- and he is not the only one -- I should say that there are Democrats and Republicans who we talked to today. Both sides of the aisle, they say that that kind of action inside the chamber is just unacceptable.
With the regard to the mood on the health care bill and what happened last night, it is really fascinating, Anderson. You could almost feel it in the geography of the Capitol. If you are on the House side, you can feel the relief. You can feel almost the shock that they actually got this done, after everything that they have been through.
And as you move across the Capitol to the Senate side, you can feel the tension building, because it is not over, and they know on the Senate side that they have a lot more work to be done.
COOPER: Yes. I want to talk about these fixes, what comes next, with all of you coming up shortly.
We're going to have a lot more with our guests throughout the hour. You heard the cheers. You saw the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, taking the victory lap. As Dana just said, it is not over by a long shot. We are going to look at what Republicans plan to do to knock the bill down and why they may have a very good chance coming up.
Also, Tiger Woods speaking out on -- well, on what he did, and what he says about it now.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Making history on health care, but what cost to the president and his party and for all of us? We'll have more from the panel in a moment, but first -- first, let's look at some other important stories. Christine Romans joins us with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, you mentioned it earlier. Former president Bill Clinton is in Haiti. Today he toured a tent city in Port-au-Prince with former president George W. Bush. The two men are raising the U.S. fundraising efforts for Haiti following January's earthquake. Mr. Bush said he hopes that their visit reminds Americans that the country still needs help.
In a battle watched by many, Google today said it will no longer censor searches for China. It moved its search engine from the mainland and redirected users to its Hong-Kong-based service. Google has for months accused the Chinese government of cyber attacks and trying to limit free speech. China fired back today, accusing Google of violating written promises.
Tiger Woods has given his first television interviews since the sex scandal surrounding him surfaced. Woods tells the Golf Channel, Anderson, his actions were disgusting and that he was living a lie. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: I tried to stop, but I couldn't stop. And it was just -- it was horrific.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For a man who is so disciplined physically and psychologically, why couldn't you say no?
WOODS: I don't know. Now I know, but at the time, as just part of what I learned from being in treatment, being there for 45 days. You learn a lot. You strip away the denial and the rationalization, and you come to the truth. And the truth is very painful at times, and you stare at yourself and look at the person you've become, and you become disgusted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: And in Iceland, flames amid the frozen landscape. Under this glacier in Southern Iceland, a volcano long dormant is stirring to life. There we go. These images are breathtaking.
The danger is real. Hundreds have been evacuated in the event that an eruption triggers massive floods.
You know, Anderson, since the Vikings in the 9th Century, they've called it the Land of Fire and Ice, but I call it a glacier in southern Iceland for a reason, because this is how it's spelled, Anderson. I don't know if you can pronounce this.
COOPER: Wow. You did want to attempt that, did you?
ROMANS: No, I'm giving away the secrets, but that's why I say it is a glacier in Southern Iceland. It is Eyjafjaelajokul. I went on Facebook and asked people. I said, "Is anybody from Iceland? Could anybody tell me how to pronounce this?"
COOPER: Like Iceland hasn't had enough trouble lately. Their entire economy has collapsed. Their banks have shut down, and now this.
ROMANS: Enter a volcano.
COOPER: Yes. All right. Christine, time for our "Beat 360" winners, our daily challenge to viewers. Come up with a caption better than the one we can come up with for a photo that we put on the blog every day.
Tonight's picture, Vice President Joe Biden speaking to the media about recovery act tax cuts today in Washington.
The staff winner tonight is V. His caption is: "You know what this is, Boehner? The world's smallest violin."
The viewer winner is V. Ralston (ph) from New York. We're not sure what the "V" stands for. V's caption: "Vice President Biden demonstrates the pinching technique he used to convince the last few Democrats to say yes to the health-care bill."
(SOUND EFFECTS: GROAN)
COOPER: Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.
ROMANS: Joe Biden (ph) says, "I have no fingernails left after this experience of the last year."
COOPER: Ahead on 360, we're "Keeping Them Honest," why some of the health care promises that Democrats have made and why they won't be kept, and what is ahead and what is at stake. And President Obama has dropped in the polls? His approval rating at an all-low taken before the vote, and what it means for the Democrats.
COOPER: When President Obama spoke after the House passed the Senate health care bill, here's how he described the history that had just been made.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So this isn't radical reform but it is major reform. This legislation will not fix everything that ails our health care system, but it moves us decisively in the right direction. This is what change looks like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Tomorrow President Obama is going to sign that health- care bill into law, but that will not end the battle, of course. Dana Bash tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jubilation on the House floor. And the celebration continued today at this photo-op.
Signing the Senate health care bill to send to the president.
PELOSI: We're making history and progress to the American people.
But "Keeping Them honest," it's not over yet. Until the Senate passes a bill of fixes, some of the promises Democrats have been making will not happen. Take this one for example.
REP. JOHN TIERNEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It will close the so- called doughnut hole in their current coverage.
BASH: The so-called doughnut hole, a Medicare loophole that makes seniors pay more out of pocket for prescription drug coverage. Democrats say over and over, they closed it.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: This bill will immediately begin to close the doughnut hole for prescription medications for the seniors.
BASH: But the Senate health-care bill headed to the White House doesn't do that. It only narrows the gap by $500. It's actually the yet-to-be-passed fixes bill that closes the doughnut hole by 2020. And in the Senate, the road to passing that through the process known as reconciliation is not easy.
Marty Paone is a parliamentary expert. He was a parliamentary aide for 30 years.
MARTY PAONE, FORMER DEMOCRATIC SENATE SECRETARY: In order to qualify for its use, the provision has to affect either federal revenues or outlays, so you have to have something that's related to the budget of the federal government.
BASH: So Republicans are scrubbing the bill for violations and can raise unlimited objections. GOP senators can also slow things down by offering unlimited amendments. (on camera) Amendment after amendment after amendment after amendment. And if any of those amendments pass?
PAONE: Then it goes back to the House. So, that -- you can see that's a nightmare scenario.
BASH (voice-over): A nightmare scenario, because that would once again delay the final passage of health care.
COOPER: Dana joins us now, along with the rest are our panel, Paul Begala, Ed Rollins and Joe Johns.
So Dana, we heard from Ed Henry, that President Obama has been meeting this evening in the White House in the Oval Office with top Senate Democrats. how concerned are they about getting this package of fixes through?
BASH: Well, they think that they're going to get some package through. The question is at what changes will there be. And in talking to Democrats tonight who know about some of the problems, they say that they actually do potentially have some problems.
This kind of legislation through reconciliation usually takes months to really work out, because it is so complicated and it's so difficult to make sure that you have everything right. Republicans know that, and they have been working very hard to try to figure out exactly what so-called points of order to raise. Anything that they raise, and the parliamentarian says, "Yes, you're right," that is a change. That means it has to go back to the House. Senate Democrats think that the House would eventually pass it, but it just will take longer.
COOPER: So, Paul, politically, what happens now? I mean, how does this play out for Republicans and for Democrats?
BEGALA: Well, look, the important thing is the big bill has passed. The president will sign it. That's the house. The house has been built, right? The structure is there. We're now going to argue over the furniture. I know you're a big bean-bag chair man. Other people may like a La-Z-Boy guy like me. But that's important, but it's not as critical.
The Republicans have, and I think Paone was right in that piece, they have every right. They'll offer unlimited amendments, and the Democrats have to bat 1,000. They have to beat every single Republican amendment. And some of them probably will be very politically difficult to challenge, but if they don't, then we're back to the House and we're back at it again.
COOPER: We're going to have more with our panel with Ed and Joe Johns in just a minute. You can join the live chat. Let us know what you think at AC360.com.
A plunge in the polls for the president. President Obama's approval rating lower than ever. This was right below the vote, though. We're going to see whether he has the leverage to sell this health-care plan to Americans right now.
Plus the extraordinary life of a remarkable woman and a colleague. Remembering our friend, CNN photojournalist Margaret Moth.
COOPER: Heading into last night's House vote, President Obama's job approval rating had fallen to a low of 46 percent, according to the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll. It was down from 49 percent in February.
His marks on health care were even lower. Just 40 percent approved of the way he's handling the issue. Fifty-eight percent said they disapproved, which means Mr. Obama has got his work, certainly, cut out for him as he tries to sell the health-care reform that Congress has passed.
Let's go again to our panel: Joe Johns, Ed Rollins, Paul Begala and Dana Bash.
Paul, very quickly, clearly, these polls are not something that the White House likes to see. These were taken right before the vote. How seriously should the Democrats be taking these things?
BEGALA: Well, pretty seriously, but I bet you that a fair number of that 58 percent who disapproved of his performance on health care are liberals who either wanted him to pass it sooner or wanted it to be more liberal. Those folks will come home. If he does a good job of selling this, he should be able to turn that around quickly.
COOPER: Ed, how does this play out. You know as much about politics as anybody running campaigns. How does this play out in the next election?
ROLLINS: Well, it's going to play. It's going to be a factor. You know, I don't think the repeal alone is the issue. I think you've got 30 or 40 Democrats that are very vulnerable. I think you go make the case on the stimulus, what have you.
And the premise is that Democrats are going to spend our children and our grandchildren's futures into oblivion, and I think that's the issue. I think that they don't care what we say.
In the case of the polls, the bottom line is the president has been out for two to three weeks, trying to sell this, and every time he's been out there, his polls have dropped over the last two weeks. So I think it's going to be a very hard sell to go out when he doesn't have anything, really, to give them.
COOPER: In terms of the -- appealing to independents, I mean, is this socialism argument something you think that has resonance? Or is the most -- the biggest one that will have resonance that the Democrats are just spending, spending, spending? ROLLINS: Well, I think -- I think particularly young people that are independent, that, you know, their future is really being put in jeopardy. And the spending is enormous. They're not going to like the mandate. They're not going to like the fact that they have to have something no matter what you say, Joe. I mean, the bottom line is you don't have to insurance in a car if you don't want to drive.
These people have got to go out and spend some money, and they're not going to like that. They don't think their -- the people in Congress listened to them. And the last couple of weeks of watching this, it may be a great day for the Democrats, but for the country watching it, it wasn't a great day.
COOPER: And Joe, if people don't see an impact of this by the mid-term elections, I mean, that's -- doesn't play out well for the Democrats?
JOHNS: Absolutely. You've got to think that there are already some Democrats in the House of Representatives who walked the plank last night. And the fact of the matter is, people are going to be looking closely at those Democrats in Republican-leaning districts this fall.
There's also going to be a question about the flip-floppers, the people who were against it before they were for it. Those people are going to come under a lot of pressure. And it's going to be up to somebody to help them. The question is whether the president will be able to do that. It doesn't look like it right now.
COOPER: And Dana, it's probably going to be among the most fascinating mid-term elections that we have seen for a long time. What do you hear on Capitol Hill is what members of Congress are telling you. Some of them have got to be extremely worried about, you know, coming back?
BASH: Absolutely. There's no question. And that is why some of the last Democrats to decide were those who are freshmen, among the new members elected from conservative districts, maybe traditionally- Republican districts. And they just weren't sure what to do based -- it was sort of the difference between, maybe, what they campaigned on and what has turned out to be, at this point in time, a political negative for them back home.
What they are hoping, these vulnerable Democrats that I talked to, they are hoping that the White House and the party really does begin to, as they say, sell this, instead of defend this. But I talked to so many of them who really do worry that the narrative is set, and it could be very hard to turn that. Because it is has been so long that the Democrats have been kind of on the defensive on this.
COOPER: Yes. Ed, do you think the Republicans have played this right? I mean, basically...
ROLLINS: Well, we've been unified. This is the first time we've been unified in a long time. I mean, even during the George W. Bush era. So I think we have played it as well as we could play it. I think the leadership has kept them real disciplined in both the House and the Senate. Once again, there's 50, 60 members that are in trouble. And I feel there are those eight or 10 senators that are going to have real races.
That's where the battlegrounds are going to be. The extra votes Nancy Pelosi gets in her district aren't going to help some guy in a vulnerable district.
COOPER: Paul, do you -- how do you think the Republicans have played it? I mean, do you --- you clearly disagree with them, but do you think they have played it, their hand well?
BEGALA: Well, I think -- I think generally yes, they played a weak hand well. But this weekend those protesters calling John Lewis a living saint from the civil rights movement, calling him the "N" word, those extremists, those fringe people, they could become the face of the Republican movement here, and that's very dangerous for them.
I think moderates look at those people, and they are repulsed. And I think then the base looks at the fact that they lost. They lost to the hated Barack Obama, and they're going to be mad at the Republicans, too.
So I think you're going to see Republicans declining in the next poll, because both their base is angry at them for losing, because they hate a loser over there, and the moderate voters are going to be appalled at the kind of language.
ROLLINS: I just need to say, no offense, Paul, Republicans are outraged at those comments towards John Lewis and others.
COOPER: Right. This is a handful of people in a large crowd.
ROLLINS: And they don't represent us, and they deserve to be denounced. And they're bigots, and there's no place for them in American politics.
But I will say this. Our side having lost in a very close race, are intense, and we are ready to go to battle, the next battle in the Senate, and the next battle in November.
COOPER: And Paul, you think it would have been worse, though, for Democrats, had this not passed? These midterm elections would be worse, had this not passed?
BEGALA: Not even close. They would have lost the House if they had failed here. They'll lose seats. History and the economy dictate that the Democrats will lose some seats. But I think this will prevent them from losing the House.
COOPER: All right. We've got to leave it there. Good discussion. Paula Begala, Ed Rollins, Joe Johns, Dana Bash. A long weekend, I know, for all of you. And next on the program, a life on the front lines. A life on her own terms. A remarkable woman we want you to meet: Margaret Moth, a CNN photojournalist, coming up.
COOPER: For tonight's "Shot," paying tribute to a pioneering journalist here at CNN. You may not know her name, but we want you to know about her life. For decades, she covered wars and conflict zones. She was fearless and fun and truly one of a kind.
COOPER (voice-over): Her name was Margaret Moth and, among the giants in this business, she was a legend.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, who is the chain of command?
She is this larger-than-life character that I was, you know, quite intimidated by before I actually met her. You know, she was this extraordinary-looking girl. She has this dark, dark hair, dark eyes, wears dark clothes. And you know what? Sleeps with her dark combat boots on.
COOPER: She slept with her boots on in war-torn Sarajevo, so if a mortar landed or a story broke, she could grab her camera and go.
AMANPOUR: As soon as we met, and we started to work, I knew that Margaret is simply committed, passionate, dedicated and loved this job more than anything.
COOPER: She loved the job, the adventure of it all. She cared about the truth and sought it out, no matter the danger. In Sarajevo, she almost lost her life; she was shot in the face by a sniper.
MARGARET MOTH, PHOTOJOURNALIST: My face -- it felt like my face was falling off. And I was remember I was trying to hold it on.
AMANPOUR: She was completely enveloped in bandages. Her face was unrecognizable. She was so badly wounded. And the only thing I recognized was her hand. She had very distinctive, strong hands.
PARISA KHOSRAVI, SENIOR VP, INTERNATIONAL NEWSGATHERING: And all you could see were her two big, blue, bright eyes staring out.
COOPER: That brightness never dimmed, even through more than a dozen surgeries and years of pain. Margaret returned to work, returned to the world's front lines. She even went back to Sarajevo.
DR. PAUL PETTY, SURGEON: Most of humanity are what I would call herd animals. She's the antithesis of herd animal. She's a solo artist. And what distinguishes a non-herd animal as a human being is their demand of themselves that they go forward into the darkness with their eyes opened, looking straight into it. COOPER: Margaret looked straight into it when she was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. She dealt with it as she did everything else, with honesty and courage, with her eyes wide open.
MOTH: So, I mean, I really would have liked to have gone out with a little bit more flair. But I feel like I can die with dignity, then that's the main thing, you know. I mean, to me, it's no different if I die in six weeks or in 20 years. I don't think it matters how long you live. It's only to say that I got everything out of life.
COOPER: Margaret Moth died on Sunday. She was just 59 years old. She had traveled the world. She had ridden the waves of history, always out in front, running toward what others ran from. She relished her life, and she lived so it well.
COOPER: I had the pleasure of working with Margaret in Beirut in the heady days when pro-democracy demonstrations were sweeping that city. A bomb went off late one night, and though she'd worked all day, Margaret grabbed her camera and said, "Let's go, let's go."
She was an extraordinary lady with an extraordinary spirit, and she's gone to the great beyond with her eyes wide open.
We'll right back.