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Cory Booker Faces Blunt Health Care Questions From Ady Barkan | Uncovered | NowThis

Cory Booker Faces Blunt Health Care Questions From Ady Barkan | Uncovered | NowThis

To me Ady is what we need
more of in our country right now. I have a lot of respect for him and I know a lot about his story, his testimony
before congress, his organizing. And for me we have a problem in this country where we
are not connected enough to each other to understand that we’re all in this together
and that the suffering of some undermines the well-being of all. How are you? Senator Booker, thank you so much for taking
the time to do this today. And for being the first candidate to do one of these conversations
with me. You never forget your first. I want to start this off with a quick summary
of my story and my life the last couple of years. Hey, Carl. It’s me. Dad. A year ago, I was a healthy man. Today, my muscles are turning into jello. And my voice ain’t what it used to be. All that matters to me is to make you proud
of your old Dad. That’s very beautiful. So, first question, Senator,
and it’s a hard one. Are you and Ms. Dawson going to have some brilliant and gorgeous babies, too? She and I are talking on FaceTime, all the
time, and that would be a dream. So I’m hoping that the path we’re on leads there. But you could help a brother out, and give her a call and let her know that she should keep that
in consideration. With pleasure. All right. Okay. So back to some easier questions. Yeah. I know that your father had Parkinson’s disease,
which is related to ALS, and that caring for him was very challenging for your mother. So, let me just ask what was that like for you? You see your dad go from a strong person,
and then you get to a point where you’re taking your dad to the bathroom. And where he is
a man of great humor and great strength, and you see this disease that attacks him every
day and tries to rob him of what makes him special. Senator Booker, let’s zoom out. Clearly, the health care system isn’t working for the American people. Families are turning to GoFundMe,
going bankrupt and going without the care they need. On our health care tour last year,
I met Raven, a student here in California, with Type 1 diabetes who pays $3,000 per a
month for the insulin she needs to survive. In Des Moines, Iowa, we spoke with Laurel,
who was forced to move her family out of the state for 18 months after she had an aneurysm. She feared losing her health insurance coverage for the rest of her life, thanks to that
pre-existing condition. And the system features tremendous racial inequities, leaving Black and brown
families with worse care and worse health. As President, will you push to expeditiously
replace the private health insurance model with a single payer model or will you push
for a more limited expansion? I think that if you ask anybody, and they’re
going to be intellectually honest with you, that if we are designing the perfect system
in America it would be a single payer system. But this is where I want to be candid. I’m not going to let perfect be the enemy of the good, at a time that we need serious good. As a guy who represented a low-income Black and brown community, folks on my block didn’t
have time to wait for me to fight for the perfect criminal justice reform bill. But why is moving quickly incompatible with
pursuing Medicare for all? I don’t think they are incompatible and I
don’t think we can afford to let them be incompatible. And so, I deal, and have for most of my career,
in a level of urgencies where the tyranny of the or, it’s either this or that, I don’t
have time for that. Every single day we’ve got to move this system and make it better
and create the kind of momentum and change, in terms of our political spectrum, to be
able to move it. I guess, let me rephrase, will you be asking
Congress to send you a single payer bill or a public option bill? So the short answer is yes, but what if Congress
doesn’t? Presidents are, I think, at their best when they don’t wait on Congress. But they also, like FDR did in creating programs that now we take for granted, like social
security and more. Presidents have to be able to sell things, have to be able to move the
bar, have to be able to make change happen. We can prove that we are on the right side
of history by creating a public option that works, that has everybody from small businesses
and entrepreneurs to folks like those that are in my community that can easily shift
into that public option. I agree with you that
the health care crisis is dire. People need help right away, but that’s actually how I arrive at my support
for Medicare for all. The insurance industry is going to do everything it can to block
any of these proposals, including a public option, which means the only way to win is
with a huge grassroots movement. Yes. And that enthusiasm mainly
exists for Medicare for all. I’m worried that people aren’t going to march or engage in civil disobedience in
support of a public option. What do you say to that argument? I say to folks that I agree with you, change
doesn’t come from Washington. It comes to Washington. We didn’t get women’s right to
vote because a bunch of male senators got together and put their arms around each other
and said, hey fellas, it’s time to get women the right to vote. We got that fundamental
American right because people fought, demonstrated, demanded it and it happened. This issue of health care, for me, I see it
every single day how people are dying. Let’s not use euphemisms. And so this is a moral issue. I really believe
we need, especially after this president who is every day engaging in moral vandalism. The next president is not just going to have to be a great policy tactician, they’re going
to have to be a president that can best heal this country. Call to our moral imagination
and call us to more collective action to achieve what should be fundamentally just. Senator, I know you will forgive me if some
of my questions seem blunt, but this topic is life and death for me. I’m not sure I’ll
ever get to interview you again, so I’m just going to speak my mind. You would never take money from the NRA and
the gun manufacturers, for example, and you’re a national leader in the fight
against gun violence. The pharmaceutical and insurance industries profit off of denying people necessary
care, resulting in tens of thousands of preventable deaths year after year. Why do you think it’s
okay to take their money? I actually don’t think it’s
okay to take their money. Years before I got into this presidential primary, I said, you know what? I’m not taking
corporate PAC money. I’m not taking federal lobbyist money. I decided before I became
a presidential candidate, that you can’t campaign wrong and think you’re going to govern right. Ok. I asked people on Twitter what questions they
would have for you about your health care plans if they got the
opportunity to meet you. Sarah asks, “What is your plan to improve access to mental health care and substance
abuse treatment, particularly in the context of the opioid crisis?” Those of us in inner cities have been screaming
about this awful policy we have in this country for decades before the opioid epidemic swept
through lots of different countries. All over our country, in all different communities. And so for those of us who’ve been watching this nightmare, I’m so happy that more voices
are growing that say we can’t arrest our way out of an addiction problem. We can’t arrest
our way out of a mental health problem. And treating addiction as a health care issue,
and substance abuse as a health care issue, not a criminal justice issue. Senator, this is my last question. I am really
grateful for your sitting with me and what you have laid out today. One thing I have
been doing a lot of lately since my diagnosis is thinking about my life and legacy. I hope that Carl, Rachael, and other people in my life, remember me as a committed husband,
father, and as someone who spent his life trying to serve the public interest. I think being forced to confront my own mortality has made me think about
that in really stark terms. I’m curious what do you want your legacy to be, after you eventually exit the stage
of national politics? How do want to be remembered? The way you frame your question, first of
all, is very beautiful about your life. I just want to say thank you to you, because
again, the heroes in my life aren’t normally the people with titles or positions. The people
who make transformative change are often folks in humble positions, who find a way to trigger
a deeper empathy that actually, ultimately, results in deeper understanding We still bathe in the love of folks who died
a long time ago, who changed this nation, who changed this world. I feel my days are limited as well. If I live as long as my dad did I just have 10,000 plus days
left on this planet. I’m imperfect, and I stumble, and I come up short all the time, but I want to
use every day I have to be the most bold and unapologetic instrument of love, as I can,
in this world. What does love look like in public, as one famous person once said, it looks like justice. I am going to do everything I can do, no matter what my title is, what
my position is, no matter what, just try to be an agent of love, and not forget that often
the biggest thing you can do in any day is often just one small act of kindness, and
decency, and love to another. Thank you. Senator, your message and vision is one that the American people need to hear. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity
to talk with you.

  • Booker offers a lot of nice sounding fluff but he doesn't really say anything at all. He is not for the people, he's for his rich donors who are lining his pockets. When Booker was Mayor of Newark, NJ, the water administration he was in charge of was rife with corruption and many of the board members went up on charges. Newark is still a cesspool with unemployment more than double the national average and water with lead levels much higher than Flint, Michigan and Booker did little, if anything, to help improve the city. He would be the WORST Liberal to be President.

  • Cory Booker is a wannabe white Obama! And a corporate Democratic Hack! The only true blue grassroots based candidates are Bernie and to a certain small extend Elizabeth Warren!

  • There is a Boo in Booker for a reason. Man, he could have been a good guy, but he chose to be corrupted by big donor money instead. The good thing though: he is polling very bad and it's just a matter of time until he drops out.

  • HEY BOOKER, IM A PERSON WITH MENTAL ILLNESS AND I CANT AFFORD A PUBLIC OPTION. My insurance covers my medication that keeps me from wanting to kill myself! Guess what? Because of your pharma buddies it’s STILL $100 per month purely to line their pockets! The price is not at all related to the cost of production! I’m going to be kicked off my Dad’s health insurance in the next 2 years, so my vote HAS to go to the person who is going to actually commit to me making sure I get my medication and don’t fall through the cracks. My life depends on it. I tried to get on the “public option” with Obamacare, but that would cost me over $400 per month. My rent is around $430 plus utilities and I can barely make enough money to make that. I’m bumming from my Dad a lot of the time. So. You want me to pay a second mortgage AND the $100 per month for my mood stabilizers just so I don’t kill myself. I’ll take your “public option” Booker; if you can find me a job in my area that makes me over $1,000 month that will tolerate a full time student schedule. I’m waiting, Booker.

    Frankly I’m a little shocked now news even published this. It’s ten minutes of platitudes and skirting questions. Booker fought FOR the Obamacare public option purely because he was taking money from big pharma at the time and they were yelling at him that they didn’t want their business cut out of the market! Same thing happened with price negotiation for drugs in that bill, he fought against it with conservatives and it never wound up in the final bill.

    Bernie is THE candidate. Everyone else is Bernie lite. Bernie without the commitment.

    It’s cute. It’s almost like they’re children playing house. Don’t buy into their playacting. We have receipts. We know who you play for and it’s not us.

  • Here the thing, WE NEED M4A but lets be real, M4A is aspirational and will not be quick and painless. I think most of Bernie's supporters understand this. Just the willingness to fight, protest, research, and organizing for it is my idea of a uncorrupt politician. Democrats that stand in the way will need to be dealt with.

  • Aaaaand I am crying again. Ady is my hero. He is a father using his remaining time to hold truth to power. I could only hope to be half the man he is. His message makes me want to do more for my nation and value time with my child even more.

  • Yeah. It's moving. There is a reason it's up here. It is difficult to find an 'acceptable' middle ground, but that's strategy. I don't know what will work, but I realise it has to be won first.
    An Australian.

  • Let’s save you some time. The interviewer basically asked if Booker would push for a single payer system. Booker flat out said no.


  • Cory is a great man who belongs in politics and maybe even the white house one day, however he has much stronger running mates at this point and I feel like he will only get a small percentage of the vote. I wish more of these runners were running for Congress instead of clogging the pipe to the white house.

  • Booker said he hasn’t taken big pharma money is a lie. He only stopped taking it after a 2017 backlash of him voting No on Bernie Sanders bill to reimport drugs from Canada.

  • Expanding Medicare to everyone is completely doable within 4 years as proposed by Bernie Sanders. In fact, EVERY OTHER major developed country has been able to to it!

  • Booker needs to man up and become the presidential candidate. Sanders/trump/Biden may end up dying of old age in office they all represent dinosaurs of past generations

  • Ah yes, the Senator who has received more pharmaceutical cash than any other Democrat and voted against importing inexpensive medications from Canada…

  • I agree that it MUST be a Public Option! I work for a small company and it costs me the same to go through ObamaCare as it does to pay through work. My Monthly amount is $1,200 and that's not copays or deductibles. I was just told that my prescription on this plan is going to cost me (my cost for a brand name) $270 a Month. I only bring home $3,200 a Month. You can see the problem. ObamaCare works for people who have very low income but not those who make low end of Middle income. We must have a Public Option. This was a beautiful video.

  • Watching this from Sweden I am puzzled that US looks like at least 50, if not 75, years back in history from where we are. Not only in Sweden but in Europe, Australia, many countries of Asia, etc. The entire world is not there yet but why is US lagging behind by so many decades, almost a century?

  • epoch times advertisements: major fail and insult to anyone with intelligence…and tell the marketing analysis folks that a jeff goldblum doppelgänger as a spokesperson is just wrong.

  • notice how he first says we need to change healthcare but isn't specific about what he wants except that he doesn't think medicare for all is the right choice because it "takes too long" because it's "perfect", then in the next breath saying that medicare for all isn't incompatible with being an expedient reform policy.

  • C Booker translated into plain English: 'Yeah, universal health would be great, but Big Insurance and Big Pharma won't like it and fighting them would be difficult, so we might go for some minor, incremental change that they'll accept but that won't interfere with profits. And I say it's wrong to take $ from Big Med but I did anyway.'

  • If you want to have kids with Rosario you should have thought about that 10 years ago when I was ready to meet another man and get pregnant by Him. What do I have to do with you now?

  • Sorry Booker, nobody's fooled by your smooth (or what you think is smooth) answers that do not answer the questions. People with a brain recognize bullchit when they hear it…that's why you're so low in the polls.

  • So torn if I want to like or dislike this video. Loved the format and Ady Barkan was awesome with great questions but Cory Booker manipulated his answers to avoid answering them honestly. He has a history of fighting against progress within healthcare to protect his donors' interests. He makes it sound like him taking their money was ancient history but it was only a couple of years ago. I hope everyone sees through him for the fraud that he is. Do you really trust someone who changes their position based on what is popular or someone who absorbs ridicule by standing up and saying this is what is right i.e. Bernie Sanders

  • What is he talking about, the "or"… what?! There's only one option, because anything less opens the door to sabotage by lobbyists!

  • Cory Booker makes me mad. I like him as a person, and I think he's probably a decent person, but he always disappoints me with trying to saddle the establishment vs progressive divide. Beto and Liz have the same problem. All three think they can do both. They don't understand that neither establishment or progressives will allow that, that you have to choose.
    Bernie Sanders chose progressivism back when he was in college and has NEVER wavered since. There isn't a picket line he will not cross. He isn't afraid. The American people deserve a president that is their champion.

  • Booker said in 2017 that he would put “a pause” on accepting money from the industry. This was after he received heavy progressive criticism for helping kill a bill sponsored by Sanders to lower drug prices. In 2016, pharmaceutical PACs gave $57,500 to Booker. Becton, Dickinson & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi PACs all contributed $5,000 each in 2016. Before that, in 2014, a cycle he was actually running in, Booker’s campaign took in $161,000 in pharmaceutical PAC money. Pfizer contributed $17,500, Merck & Co gave $12,500 and several more gave $10,000 each.

    Throughout his Senate career, PAC contributions have played a major part in his fundraising. Since 2013, Booker’s campaign has been given more than $2 million in PAC funds, particularly from business PACs which make up almost 76 percent of PAC contributions in his career. In the 2018 cycle, PACs from the communications and electronics sector led the way with $49,500 in contributions. One communication industry PAC donor was T-Mobile USA which gave Booker’s campaign $6,000 in 2018.

  • Fail Cory. Medicare for all is the litmus test.
    No gray area on Pharma/Med.
    Gross profits have been made off of the sick. Time to bury it.
    At this point its a moral, ethical discussion.
    Big pharma is done and you are not committing 100%
    99% is unacceptable

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