Home Mark Warner Audio: On Gene Rossi Show, Sen. Mark Warner Talks “Junk” Health Care...

Audio: On Gene Rossi Show, Sen. Mark Warner Talks “Junk” Health Care Plans, “Gig Economy,” Trump Ukraine Scandal and Impeachment

Warner "really disappointed" in Republicans for not calling out "the absolutely, absolutely inappropriate charge by the President to somehow threaten the whistleblower"

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Sen. Mark Warner was on the Gene Rossi Show yesterday, and had some interesting things to say on several topics – “junk” health care plans, the “gig economy,” the Trump whistleblower/Ukraine scandal and impeachment. Check out the audio, below, followed by a few highlights (bolding added by me for emphasis). Nice work by Gene Rossi getting this interview, by the way!

  • “What’s happened under Trump’s effort to kind of undermine the Affordable Care Act is they say well we’re gonna protect people with pre-existing conditions. But what they’ve offered instead is what called they call skinny plans, I call them junk plans, where frankly people are manipulated into buying an insurance plan, thinking it’s going to cover their pre-existing condition or thinking it’s going to cover them when they go to the doctor or the hospital and they find these plans, while cheap on the front end don’t cover a lot of folks with pre-existing conditions and they have huge huge premiums and huge co-pays.” (By the way, note that “junk plans” were exactly what State Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant was pushing, and what she has falsely claimed would protect people with pre-existing conditions.)
  • “Shortly after we come back [from recess], every member of the Senate will have a chance to  actually vote to protect  people with pre-existing conditions or they’ll vote no. So it will finally give us a little clarity on an issue that so far at least a lot of Republicans have said they want to protect this provision but they’ve not been forced to take any vote.
  • On the “gig economy,” Sen. Warner said, “I think in our country we need to recognize we’re not going to go back to everybody working full-time long term in the same place. We need a portable benefit system that says for every dollar you make, some portion of that dollars ought to go to a benefit bucket and we can argue about how much the employer ought to kick in or not. But we ought to have that portable benefit attached to you and be portable so as you move from job to job, you bring your benefits you’ve accrued with you.”
  • “Number two…increasingly with automation, artificial intelligence, globalization, no matter what kind of job you have you’re gonna have to continue to increase your skills…One of the ideas I hope some of the Democratic candidates would take up, and it would be as big and idea as anything Bernie and Elizabeth are talking about, is saying we ought to treat investment in human beings, in human capital, on a tax and accounting basis at least as well as we treat investment in tangible goods…Right now, you’ve got this circumstance where if you go out and spend $5,000 on a robot, you actually get a tax credit which is much more powerful than a tax deduction. That robot is an asset; you can put it on your balance sheet, which increases increases the value of your company and you can brag about it if you’re a public company. If…that same employer spends $5,000 training up people, you don’t get a tax credit, it’s actually viewed as a cost, so I’d like to create the equivalent of an R&D tax credit for investment in human beings.”
  • On the Ukraine whistleblower scandal and impeachment, Sen. Warner said: “One
    thing I can comment on is what’s already the president’s disclosed – I don’t know
    how anyone can think that the president’s conversation with Ukrainian president, where Americans and Virginians can read the words…were clearly asking for a favor and clearly implying that he could he could help Ukraine a lot more if they would help cooperate with him on digging up dirt on Biden. I’ve not had anyone, even any of Trump’s staunchest supporters, say that was a good call. Now, whether it rises to the level of impeachment will be some of the things the House are looking to, and frankly what…Richard Burr and I are doing. We’re having an inquiry as well from our Senate Intelligence Committee. I think keeping that inquiry bipartisan is so important because people will view the House as partisan, they’ll view the White House’s partisan. I hope we can actually get to the facts. And some of the facts that I want to find out – and there seems to be at least allegations of this in the in the whistleblower’s complaint – is that this call on July 25th was not some kind of one-off action where the president just made it up in the course of a conversation with the Ukrainian President. It sure as heck appears that this was part of a strategy that he and Rudy Giuliani had been cooking up for some time. And if that proves to be the case – and… I think we’ve got to look at that evidence – that makes that July 25th call I think even more problematic and more inappropriate.”
  • Warner added, “So that’s where we’re looking. I also think that one of the things that’s happened this week you know independent of the specifics of the call is the absolutely, absolutely inappropriate charge by the President to somehow threaten the whistleblower and threaten any of the people that talked to the whistleblower when he made the comments, that you know somehow these are spies and it’s treasonous and we know how we used to take care of that in the old days. I’ve been really disappointed that more of my Republican colleagues…haven’t called out that just morally inappropriate…and I think goes against the whole heart and soul of the whole whistleblower process.”