KCTS 9 Connects/Supreme Court Decisions - June 29, 2012

CNX: Supreme Court Decisions 6/29/12
  • KCTS 9 Connects

Supreme Court Decisions

We weigh in on how the Supreme Court's healthcare and corporate campaign rulings will affect Washington state and the race for Governor.

  • About
  • Mike Kreidler Transcript
  • Jorge Barron and Matt Beretto Transcript

About the Episode

This week the U.S. Supreme Court handed down major decisions on health care reform, immigration, and corporate campaign contributions. Our Insiders Roundtable weighs in on how the health care and corporate campaign rulings will affect Washington state and the race for Governor. Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler joins us to discuss the Supreme Court's health care ruling. We'll also talk with Jorge Barron, who heads the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Matt Barreto, University of Washington Political Science professor and pollster for Latino Decisions about the high court's ruling on Arizona's illegal immigrant law.

Related:
Mike Kreidler's reaction and comments about the Washington Health Benefit Exchange program
Matt Barreto on why the Supreme Court's ruling could alienate Latino voters
Poll: Latino voters on Obama DREAM announcement and Romney's 'self-deport' alternative
Latino Decisions website

Enrique Cerna:
We are going to talk more. We do want to mention the fact that Rob McKenna did, his portion on this is that he was aiming at the individual mandate, although he was tabbed with the whole thing since he did join into the whole health care debate. But let's talk more a bit later about some of the other rulings. So now that the supreme court has upheld the 2010 affordable care act, what does it mean for Washington state's health benefit exchange, which will offer a menu of insurance plans for state residents, and it's set to go into effect in 2014. For answers now, we turn to Washington state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler. Well, let me ask you first, were you shocked by this ruling?

Mike Kreidler:
I was pleasantly surprised. I was almost afraid to put my money on anything. My feeling was that if I was pushed, I would have said they will affirm the affordable care act. But when it happened, I was just on pins and needles, and I wouldn't have bet that that's what they would have done.

Enrique Cerna:
And that John Roberts might have been the one vote.

Mike Kreidler:
If you told me John Roberts was going to be the deciding vote, I would have said we're in trouble.

Enrique Cerna:
Well, let's talk about the plans now. It was interesting this morning, I was hearing a story on NPR about Florida. And the fact that they had done nothing, because their Governor was so opposed to the affordable care act. They had done no planning whatsoever about exchanges. And now, I think to their surprise, that this was upheld, they have to start from scratch. But Washington state's been working on this for a while?

Mike Kreidler:
Right from the get go, we've been working with both the nationally with the insurance commissioners, in addition to that with health and human services at the federal level, making sure that we were doing everything we possibly could to meet the time lines. It's a real challenge because we're building reform around the private insurance system. Doing that is a very complex task. So I don't know how a state could put this on hold and wait for a supreme court decision. It means that they're going to defer to the federal government to do the work for their citizens, whereas states like Washington, and there's only a handful of us that are actually trying to design it to help Washingtonians, build it around what Washingtonians want.

Enrique Cerna:
How is this going to work?

Mike Kreidler:
You know, you mentioned the health insurance exchange. It really is a marketplace and it's really targeted toward people who buy it for themselves or their families or small business. That's where the subsidies will be offered for people that have trouble paying for their health insurance premiums. They'll be able to go into the exchange, it will be online, and it will be available to them to meet with people. And it will be a true marketplace. They'll be able to compare one health insurance plan against another. They have to meet standard type of benefits in each of those plans. It's going to force the insurance companies to finally compete on service and quality and price, rather than trying to make sure that they got rid of the sick people and only kept the healthy people to be insured. So it will be good competition. We anticipate we're going to see more entries into the market right now of health carriers than we currently experience right now.

Enrique Cerna:
And this is really for people who don't have health insurance.

Mike Kreidler:
That's going to be the major target group. But you'll find a lot of people who say, I'm buying it for myself and my family, I don't qualify because my income is too high. Still, it's a very easy place to go buy it. So I anticipate it will be a very robust marketplace within the exchange, but you'll also have a very vibrant market outside the exchange. But even those plans will have to meet certain criteria.

Enrique Cerna:
How have insurance companies been about working on this, knowing that the act was being debated in the supreme court? Were they at all hesitant about making the plans here or did you have to push?

Mike Kreidler:
You know, it's been one here where I've worked in a collaborative fashion with them, because it's in their best interest to have a stable market that has a level playing field. It's also in the interest of people who buy health insurance in the state of Washington. So it's been a collaborative effort of working together with them as we go forward so so far, it's been a reasonably good working relationship. It doesn't mean that we don't fight a lot on certain issues, and it doesn't mean that we're still not going to face a lot of challenges up through next year before the major reforms go into effect starting in 2014.

Enrique Cerna:
I've heard so many things since the ruling, a lot of vitriol from those that obviously did not want it to be passed in the beginning. Also, were angry about the fact that the court upheld it. Marco Rubio, a senator from Florida, said, okay, now the I.R.S. is going to be taxing the uninsured.

Mike Kreidler:
Not true. You're going to have incentives for people to go out and buy health insurance, if you have trouble paying your health insurance premium, there's going to be subSidies available to you to make sure you you have it, there's going to be expansion of the Medicaid program, some 300,000 people there will get it through the Medicaid program. These are people that are going into emergency rooms, getting care, and the cost, if they don't pay for it, then gets shifted to the rest of us with health insurance policies. Now, they're going to have coverage. And for tens of thousands of other people, they're going to see, in fact, a half a million people are going to wind up who are uninsured today, eligible for subsidies. And it will help them with their struggle with their health insurance premium to make it much easier for them to have it. And you also have a cap built into the program as to how much of your total income has to go to health insurance. When you hit that, then you hit a plateau. So there are protections built in here to make it much easier for people to have health insurance.

Enrique Cerna:
And all this will take effect in 2014, but obviously, the work is going on right now. Mike Kreidler, thank you very much for taking the time to share the information and your reaction to this ruling. We'll keep in touch to see how it all evolves.

Mike Kreidler:
Thank you very much, Enrique.

Enrique Cerna:
Before handing down the health care ruling, the supreme court struck down parts of an Arizona law, SB 1070, aimed at cracking down on undocumented immigrants. But it did uphold what some call the "show me your papers" requirement. The Arizona law was challenged by the Obama administration on constitutional grounds. Joining me to talk about the ruling is Jorge Barron, executive director of the northwest immigrant rights project, and Matt Beretto, University of Washington political science professor, who also heads up polling for Latino decisions. Well, Jorge, it's kind of a mixed decision here I think for you and others that are supportive of immigrant rights in the sense that what the high court did was that they said really that the federal government should be in charge of handling any immigration laws and setting laws in this state. But they did uphold that core of this. The show me your papers.

Jorge Barron:
Yeah. I think we're concerned about that aspect of it. I think certainly we were pleased to see that the high court did place some limitations on what the states could do in terms of immigration. But we are concerned about the fact that the court is basically saying, well, Arizona can experiment with this. It didn't say that, it did say that there were some questions that were going to have to be resolved and there could be further litigation in the future. But obviously, we think that this is going to have the high cost on people if the show me your papers provision is allowed to go forward as it has. So we're concerned about what's going to happen moving forward, not only in Arizona but in some other states.

Enrique Cerna:
So what other states are you concerned about? I know Alabama has been a part of this, Georgia.

Jorge Barron:
Well, there's been, you know, laws that have been passed in places like Alabama, Indiana, south Carolina, Georgia passed similar provisions. And I think there are a number of states that have kind of been on hold waiting to see what the supreme court says. So I'm concerned that there are going to be other states that will try to implement the show me your papers provision as well.

Enrique Cerna:
What about Washington state?

Jorge Barron:
Well, in Washington state, we've had a much stronger position on the fact that the state shouldn't be involved in that kind of immigration enforcement. And I think that's something we certainly advocate for. And it just doesn't make any sense. I think that putting aside what the constitutional issues that the court resolved, there's the policy question about whether this is a good idea, and really, at a time particularly when we have such limited resources and there's state budget constraints, it makes no sense for the state to be involved in immigration enforcement. And ultimately, it harms the functions of local law enforcement to be involved in immigration enforcement. And their role is primarily about public safety. And we're, you know, convinced that what Arizona is doing is actually going to harm public safety.

Enrique Cerna:
So Matt Beretto, you look at the political aspect of this and what communities are saying. The Latino vote, which is being really chased by both parties here, what do you see?

Matt Beretto:
Well, we're seeing that as Jorge described, there was a lot of frustration with what was happening in Arizona. Now that part of it is allowed to move forward, the show me your papers provision, people are very upset about that, that there was strong opposition in the Latino community to the Arizona bill. Not just in Arizona. But outside, Latinos in other states knew what was happening there, there was a lot of attention. And it was received very negatively. People are very concerned, not just for immigrants, but also just about racial profile, I think as Jorge explained. This is something that lots of people could get tied up in, if you're driving in Arizona, you get pulled over for a minor traffic violation. They could suddenly be putting you through immigration proceedings. So there's a lot of frustration. And I think that that is bad news for the republican party, who has backed this bill, as it has been allowed to move forward, a little bit, Latinos are quite upset about that. And republicans are in a position of having to defend them.

Enrique Cerna:
Romney, as he has dealt with this issue, he took a very hard line, particularly in the primaries. But he seems to have had difficulty really explaining himself on this issue.

Matt Beretto:
Yeah. You see a lot of back pedaling on Romney from the primary. So he starts out very, very far to the right saying very harsh things about immigrants, wanting English as the only language, doesn't even want ballots to be printed in Spanish for people who are U.S. citizens. And on a number of immigration dimensions, you had those challenges from people like Rick Santorum and Herman Cane and others who were being very anti immigrant. Romney went there with them. Now that that's over and he's trying to move back to the center, he's having a very hard time doing that. Balls he has these statements on record calling Arizona a model for the nation, what they're doing there in Arizona. Now he's trying to move to the center. But he's not giving a lot of information. You've seen that repeatedly. People having him, what's your position on this issue? And he's being vague and elusive. And he's not saying where he stand either on the dream act announcement or on this other issue. Otherwise, the only thing we have to go on are those statements he did make in the primary.

Enrique Cerna:
Is this more than a Latino issue.

Jorge Barron:
I do think that it's more than a Latino issue. You've seen in other states like Alabama where these provisions have been allowed to go forward, the impact that it's having already on economic issues. And you saw Matt mention people getting stopped, you had business executives for multi national companies who were coming in and who were arrested because they weren't carrying proper identification. And so people are realizing that this is not good for business. And that's obviously something that impacts everybody in the community. And even the public safety issue, one of the things that we say is when undocumented individuals or people who have undocumented individuals in their families are concerned about calling law enforcement and being bothered with the local law enforcement, that that affects all of us. Because the whole community, let's say if people are afraid to report crimes and things like that. So it is something that affects the entire community.

Enrique Cerna:
So Matt, obviously, President Obama benefits from this. But the fact is many in the Latino community are still not that happy with him because of the high deportation rate that he had earlier before he made this action on this kind of dream act lite, and now this ruling on Arizona. Are Latinos going to turn out and vote for him?

Matt Beretto:
Well, I think that's the big question. Because you identified exactly what we've been finding in the polling, that is that while Latinos were favorable toward Obama generally, they were very upset on the issue of immigration. When asked about his immigration policy, he was getting far less than 50% support. People were identifying the deportations, the raids, and what the DHS had been doing. Now, we've seen a change. In fact, we've had a poll that was in the field before and after and during the 1070 announcements. And we're seeing a change. We're seeing a shift that Obama is starting to look more favorable to Latinos, through the announcement, through the Arizona ruling, that he's coming to the aid of Latino issues. So he's getting a little bit of a bump. The question is can he carry that to November? Because a lot of these states that will be tested, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, there's a very large Latino population. And the president needs not only votes, but he needs record turn out. And that's what we'll be paying attention to.

Enrique Cerna:
30 seconds. What do you do now with regards to this decision?

Jorge Barron:
I think people in Arizona and other states will be continually monitoring what happens with those laws and making sure that challenges are being brought on those situations, and hopefully this will be bringing up what the high court said, which is this might be invalidated at the end.

Enrique Cerna:
All right. Jorge Barron, immigrant rights project, and Matt Beretto from the University of Washington. We'll be hearing more from you as we go forward in this election year. Thanks, guys.

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10/03/12

Hello,

We are a group of filmmakers/students at Bellevue College and currently we are working on a short film called "A Child of War."
The film is about a young girl (12 years old) who is a book-writer and has a wish to promote a National Children's Day for the US in her birthday.

We are planning to organize a campaign at Bellevue Downtown Park to promote A National Children's Day in America to inform and educate public about the necessity of having a special day for our children.

Below are the links of what we are doing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B0rl7hxjlM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNuoldearqw

Saeid Mojiri
Cell:425-518-4691
Email: octoberfirst2010@live.com

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