All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/13/2017

Guests: Bernie Sanders, Ed Evans

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

ANNOUNCER:  In West Virginia, hopes ride on campaign promises.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  We`re going to put the miners back to work.  We`re going to put the miners back to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of the promises that he`s made come through, we can see at least a little bit of a turnaround.

ANNOUNCER:  Racked by unemployment, poverty and an opioid crisis, this county is trying to hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We just have to hold on to whatever we have and not keep losing, losing, losing.

ANNOUNCER:  In the campaign, this state connected with two voices.  Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

BERNIE SANDERS, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM VERMONT:  Something is fundamentally wrong.

ANNOUNCER:  This is ALL IN AMERICA Bernie Sanders in Trump Country from McDowell County, West Virginia, here is Chris Hayes.

Good evening from the Mountain View High School in McDowell County, West Virginia, where we`ve come for a show.  We are calling "BERNIE SANDERS IN TRUMP COUNTRY."  All right.  President Trump of course did get 75 percent of the vote in the general election here in McDowell County and he made a lot of promises to the people here.  First and foremost, the return of jobs in the coal industry whose decline is decimated in McDowell County.  This is also a place where ObamaCare has been a lifeline for many people.  People who could lose access to vital coverage under the GOP healthcare plan.  And tonight, we`re going to talk about all of that with members of this community as well as with Senator Bernie Sanders who joins me now.

A friendly crowd for you, Senator.  Why - you and I talked - you and I were in Kenosha, Wisconsin, very different place, in a lot of respects, but a place that voted for Donald Trump by a very thin margin.  This place voted for Trump by a very wide margin.  Why did you want to come down to McDowell County?

SANDERS:  Well, I was here during the campaign.  We had a Town Meeting about a mile away from here.  And I`ve got to tell you, Chris, you know, I held many, many Town Meetings throughout the campaign but that one stays in my mind because of the courage and the determination and the honesty of the people who were there.  This is a community that has a whole lot of problems.  People didn`t run away from those problems but they are determined to solve those problems and to go forward.  So I enjoyed that meeting and I thought it also important that we have national television starting to focus not just on McDowell County but on rural America and what`s happening coast to coast in small towns across this country.

HAYES:  We`re here in McDowell.  McDowell has a bunch of specific challenges.  Some of them having to do with coal industry and other things that were going to get to.  But it`s also not in some ways, that different from the rest of West Virginia -

SANDERS:  That`s right.

HAYES:  - or Appalachia or even big parts of your state in Vermont.

SANDERS:  Absolutely.  In my state of Vermont, we are seeing - and this is really sad and it`s extremely upsetting.  We are seeing young people leaving our small towns because they can`t find decent jobs and these are kids who wanted to stay in Vermont.  And that`s going on all over this country.  So what we`re seeing is an exodus of jobs in rural America.  We`re seeing a lot of educational challenges.  Kids who can`t afford to go to college, we`re seeing environmental problems, we`re seeing health care problems.  So the problem here may be a little bit more severe, but what we`re going to talk about tonight, in fact, is taking place in many, many hundreds of small towns throughout this country.

HAYES:  You know, there`s a lot of promises that got made to places like McDowell County and several America in the campaign particularly.  President Trump promised to bring coal jobs back.  He recently - I want to play a little bit of sound of him saying that he made good on a promise when he had a bunch of coal miners into the Oval Office to sign a piece of legislation that would repeal a law that prevented coal companies from polluting streams.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  This is HJ resolution 38 and that will eliminate another terrible job-killing rule, saving many thousands of American jobs, especially in the mines, which I`m been promising you.  We`re going to fight for you like I promised I would in the campaign, and you were very good to me and I`m going to be even better to you, I promise you that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  That`s the President signing a piece of legislation promising to bring jobs back to coal country, places like here in McDowell County.  We`ve got some residents of McDowell County up there.  Philip, you just got hired as a coal miner, am I right?

PHILIP LUCION, MCDOWELL COUNTY COAL MINER:  Yes.

HAYES:  Coal took a beating, 2010-2015.  Tell me what that -- what did that look like in McDowell?  What happened to coal industry?

LUCION:  Looked pretty bad because that`s where most of the income for a lot of men that work in this county comes from, is coal mining.  And if you`re not mining coal, you`re doing a secondary job that doesn`t pay nowhere near as much and you can`t support your family, you can`t take care of what you have to take care of.  So I`m just - I`m happy to be back to work underground in the mines. 

HAYES:  Were you working in mines before?

LUCION:  Yes.  I`ve been underground for ten years, and then got laid off, had to take a secondary job that doesn`t pay, doesn`t have hospitalization or nothing.  Now, I have all of that again.  And I just hope that it last.  So I could take care of me and my family.

HAYES:  What was that like to go from being underground, working to mines, having to set a coal mine job to being laid off and having to take a second job?

LUCION:  I didn`t like it.  I didn`t (INAUDIBLE) at all because I love there in coal miner.  That`s what`s in my blood and that`s what I do.  And I`ll do it until I die.  But it just doesn`t feel right doing anything else.  And a lot of coal miners say they love it.  I do.  But we do it for the money.  We do it for the hospitalization, we do it for what it gives us.  Not because it`s a glamorous job or anything like that.  It`s for the money.  It`s why we do it.

HAYES:  Would you do something - if there were jobs here in McDowell County that paid what coal mining paid, gave the benefits coal mining paid, would people take those jobs?

LUCION:  Absolutely.

HAYES:  Are there - are there any job - are there any jobs in McDowell County that do that?

LUCION:  No.

HAYES:  So Senator, coal, I think, is on a long-term decline.

SANDERS:  Yes.

HAYES:  What do you tell the folks here for whom, like Philip, that is the one job that pays a decent wage and gives benefits?

SANDERS:  Well.  Let me be honest and say two things.  I think - and disagree with me if you think I`m wrong on this, but coal in this area has been in decline I think, since the `70s and the `80s.  It`s not anything that`s new.  And I think - and second of all - and I know not everybody - you know, will be happy with me saying this, but I happen to believe, unlike the President, that climate change is real and it is a threat to all.  But having said that, I don`t hold this gentleman and the coal miners responsible for climate change.  In fact, in fact, these guys are heroes.  I remember, I grew up in a ranked control apartment House in Brooklyn, New York and I will never forget the piles of coal.  I don`t know if it came from here or wherever it came.  You kept my house warm.  Thank you.  So you`re not - you are not my enemy.  But what we have to do in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, what we have to do is to say the choice is not transforming our energy system to protect the planet and throwing people out on the street.  The choice is reinvesting in communities that have been devastated by changes in energy and make sure folks have decent paying jobs and we can do that.  We are not a poor country.

HAYES:  Let me just go back to you for a second, Philip.  Senator talk about climate change.  People were applauding.  I notice you didn`t applaud.  What do you - do you think it`s true?

LUCION:  Climate change, well, I mean, the world`s been changing for billions of years.  I mean, I don`t think personally because I`m not a scientist or a physicist, I don`t really know the technical stuff, but I don`t think that it`s coal, it`s everything.  You know, it`s cars, it`s people -

HAYES:  That`s true.

LUCION:  - people who smoke.  There`s, what, 20 million, 100 million people who smoke cigarettes.  But then again, when coal produces carbon monoxide, trees eat carbon dioxide and gives us oxygen.  And coal is nowhere near more disasters than nuclear power.  You know, you take all the coal that`s been mined since its inception till now, you take all of the pollution since until now, it will never add up to the pollution that one nuclear meltdown makes.

HAYES:  A bunch of people applauded when the Senator said the coal has been on the decline since the `70s and `80s.  Is that generally the feeling?

LUCION:  Yes.

AUDIENCE:  Yes.

HAYES:  So, it was - it got particularly bad in 2010-2015 but that was part of a long decline, right? 

LUCION:  Yes.

AUDIENCE:  Yes. 

HAYES:  So, when someone says, like the President of United States, literally, I will reopen the coal mines.  The President said that, that line, I`m going to bring coal jobs back, delegate, do you believe that`s true?  Is that possible?

ED EVANS, STATE DELEGATE:  You have to look at the whole situation.  The reason we had the decline in the coal industry was mechanization.  It doesn`t take nearly as many men to run a machine that mines of coal four years as did the guys were actually picking the coal with a shovel and a pick.  I would be - I would be - I think in my own mind, remiss if I said that he can do that.  I don`t think he can.  Now, he can bring -

HAYES:  Let me stop you there because I want to see - does the room agree with that?

AUDIENCE:  Yes.

HAYES:  So the President of the United States is not going to wave some magic wand, he`s not going to pass some piece of legislation that`s going to reopen the coal mines here in McDowell County?

AUDIENCE:  No.

HAYES:  That`s not happening.

AUDIENCE:  No.

HAYES:  Continue.

EVANS:  We also have to look at the people that once lived here.  There were 100,000 people in this county at one time.  Most of them were immigrants.  Cities like Gary, West Virginia, U.S. steel literally carved a town out of the mountainside.  Come here, we`ve got your House waiting on you.  We`ve got the job waiting on you.  And that`s why they came.  Now that`s not here.  We don`t have any housing here.  We - new people that want to come here and work, there`s no place for them to live.

HAYES:  Sabrina, what happens to a place when jobs go away, the way they`ve gone away in McDowell?  What have - what have you seen in your lifetime, if you had to tell someone the story of the trajectory of this place that you call home?  What would you tell?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I never saw the jobs.  I never saw what could be.  I still don`t know what all is out there.  I`m trying to figure it out.  That you`re born in a generational poverty where you don`t know people who can get houses, or can get cars, or if you do, it`s like 10 percent of people.  I mean, it`s not that many.  So you think you`re really rich if you can get a House and a car and compared to some people, you are, but for all the coal that has come out of our mountain and the whole country and all - half of the world got electricity because of my grandparents, my great- grandparents, my uncles, my cousins, we really - we really got (INAUDIBLE) out of it.  So I was - I was born -

HAYES:  Do you agree with that, Senator?

SANDERS:  Yes.  Of course I do.  I mean, you know, these guys are heroes.  How many of them - and by the way, while we`re talking about the issue, you may know, Phil, that right now there are tens of thousands of coal miners who were promised health care when they retired, whose families were promised pensions and got a congress, including Senator McConnell from the coal state of Kentucky, which is holding up legislation to make sure these families have the health care and the pensions that they were promised.  So - if you think about all of the mines who suffered and died from black lung disease or all of the other injuries -

LUCION:  Yes.

SANDERS:  - yes, I would say that as a nation, we owe these folks a great deal.

AUDIENCE:  Amen.

SANDERS:  Which is why we have to keep the promises that were made to them by the companies that went bankrupt and make sure those families get the pensions and the health care that they desperately need.

AUDIENCE:  Yes. 

HAYES:  So since you`re working in the mines right now and you know, coal is a boom bust business, right?  Folks agree with that, right?

AUDIENCE:  Yes.

HAYES:  Times get good, people get flush, people get jobs, everyone goes under, right, comes back.  There`s always that sense that maybe it`s going to come back.  Do you think that the President could get the mines opening again?  Can you imagine a future McDowell where coal really comes back in a big way, the way it was in 1980 or 1990?

LUCION:  Me personally, I hope it does.  I mean, I don`t know what the future holds for coalmining, but I know that it would be a great future because like he said, infrastructure is crumbling and falling apart.  And  America makes the best steel.  We have the best coal.  We`ve got the best bunch of men that work in the coal mines in this world.  I believe that we could really rebuild America.  Not with just McDowell County of course, but with any county or any state that has coal.  I think it should go on until there`s no more of it left.  I`m all about mining coal.  I mean.  And I know a lot of men in here, if they work in the coal mines or have, I`m sure they would agree with me on that.  I think we need hospitalization.  Every coal miner does, to take care of what happens to you underground.  Because it`s a harsh environment.  Very harsh.

SANDERS:  Philip, let me jump in and ask you a question. 

HAYES:  Yes.

SANDERS:  I certainly agree with you that every worker, whether you`re a coal miner or somebody else should be in fact -

LUCION:  Yes.

SANDERS:  Let me pose this question to Phil and to other people.  We are the only other major country on earth, the only one, that doesn`t guarantee health care to all people as a right.  What do you think?  Do you think we should join other countries, guarantee health care as a right of all?

LUCION:  I think yes.  I think every American citizen should have health care.

HAYES:  That`s actually - I`m glad the senator brought that up because there`s a big fight that`s going to happen.  It`s already happening.  You guys are nodding your head.  There`s a big fight about exactly that and I want to talk about what that fight looks like and what it`s going to do to McDowell County right after we take this quick break.  Don`t go anywhere.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think it`s kind of ironic that a senator from the northeast -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  - takes care of my benefits better than someone like Mitch McConnell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

I`ve been here daily for 66 years.  It was a booming business and you were busy from opening time, 7:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night.  You never had time to loaf.  The coal mines was all working, the men were working by hand, primarily, instead of machines, but it was a rich - a rich booming county.  When the mine was working, and you had coal miners, they want to clean cars.  And so you`d stay busy washing cars.  I used to wash 250 cars a month.  I haven`t washed a car in two years, I think it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  All right.  We`re back here in McDowell County and Senator Sanders just talked about healthcare.  And that`s a huge, huge issue.  You folks feel like that`s a big issue in this county? 

AUDIENCE:  Yes.

HAYES:  Dr. Lori Tucker, I want to start with you because you`re a healthcare provider.  Tell me what you do, what kind of services you offer and what healthcare on the ground looks like here in McDowell. 

LORI TUCKER, OB-GYN SPECIALIST FROM PRINCETON:  Well, I`m an ob-gyn physician in Princeton, West Virginia.  It`s about an hour away.  To give you an idea, that`s 36 miles from here and it takes over an hour in good weather if you don`t get behind the coal truck.  So in southern West Virginia, so many patients were able to finally get health care with the Affordable Care Act.  There was a lot of resistance to that, you know, because everybody thought anything tied to President Obama was not necessarily a good thing.  But it ended up being tremendous for us.

HAYES:  Do you - do you have patients that went through that trajectory of beginning to say I don`t like ObamaCare, I don`t like this President too, I`m on Medicaid now and I`m actually happy this is here?

TUCKER:  I don`t know that they - that they know to appreciate it as much as they should.  I can tell you from the time that - you know, that transition eight years ago started until now, I probably had maybe a quarter of my patients were on Medicaid.  And now I would say probably 75 percent of my patients are Medicaid.  So that can tell you right now just the tremendous influence it`s had, particularly for maternity care.

HAYES:  How many people in the room are either on Medicaid or someone they know or love is on Medicaid?  Raise your hand?

TUCKER:  Everyone we know and love.  Absolutely.

HAYES:  Senator, I`d like to hear what you think about what the legislation that`s proposed right now would do to the folks in McDowell County given just how many people are enrolled on Medicaid.

SANDERS:  Well, let me be honest and start off and say, my view is different than most in Congress.  I happen to believe that health care is a right and we should move toward a Medicare for all program.  There is no small thing that, as a result of ObamaCare, 20 million more Americans got healthcare and many of them never in their life had care and go to a doctor when they needed to go or go to a hospital without worried about going bankrupt.  So that`s a big deal. 

Now, in West Virginia, ironically, you know, because Trump won this state, you know, by a landslide, you are looking if the Affordable Care Act, if ObamaCare is repealed, we are looking at hundreds of thousands of people who got Medicaid extension losing that.  And how many of those folks will die, how many of those folks will lose the opioid treatment that they now have?  It is a lot.  I don`t know exactly, but it is a whole lot.  But what really bothers me is that when you look at the republican bill, it should not be seen as a health care bill because throwing millions of people off of health care is not health care legislation. 

What it should be seen as is a huge tax break for the wealthiest people in this country.  200 - at a time - at a time when we have a massive level of incoming wealth and equality, when the rich are getting much richer, while the middle class shrinks, this legislation would provide over a ten-year period, $275 billion in tax breaks to the top two percent.  So when people tell you, "we don`t have enough money to invest in McDowell County or rebuild our infrastructure naturally but we do have 275 billion to give to the top two percent who are already doing phenomenally well, when they tell you they don`t have the money, don`t believe them.

HAYES:  And Mary Ann, I want to talk to you because you had a very personal experience with the Affordable Care Act and your son.  Tell me about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  My son, he had a liver transplant when he was 20 and during that six-week period, we raked up almost $800,000 in bills and our insurance - we didn`t realize it at that time because it was a very fine print that we had a million dollar lifetime maximum.  So our - the way that the ACA has helped us is that he`s been allowed to stay on our insurance.  He had a - he`s acquired a second disease now where he`s totally paralyzed, he`s on a feeding tube, he`s on a vent at night.  He can`t speak and just our being able to have him - we have him at home.  And our insurance, you know, he does - he has Medicaid but not all doctors are taking the Medicaid.

HAYES:  Let me ask you this.  The key point here is the lifetime cap, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Right.

HAYES:  The policy basically says - and folks are familiar with this, right?  You spend a million dollars and then that`s it,

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And that`s it. 

HAYES:  For your life, it`s done.  Affordable Care Act got rid of that.  If that - if that lifetime cap existed, that the Affordable Care Act have them in task, you would`ve just been out of luck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.  We would have been out of luck.

HAYES:  Judy, you`ve got a story about the Affordable Health Care Act as well as a specific health condition called "black lung" that affects a lot of folks here.  And I want to talk about that right after we take this quick break.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUCION:  I voted for him only solely because he said he was going to help us.  He`s going to put the coal miners back to work and we`re going to have health care and this and that.  We need health care.  Everybody in this room needs free health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES:  All right, we`re back here in McDowell, West Virginia.

                Judy, you intimately know black lung, and that`s a specific ailment that affects a lot of folks here.  What is at stake in terms of the Affordable Care Act and its repeal for you and the folks that you know and love?

                HIFFE:  OK, with the black lung, before the Affordable Care Act, you know, President Nixon signed that the coal miners would be compensated for their health because their life is going to be shortened by the black lung and it does come from the occupation.

                President Reagan then made it so hard for the miner to prove he had black lung.  It just could not even be done hardly.

                So then, our Senator Bird was wheeled out on the Senate floor in a wheelchair when they were passing the Affordable Care Act and he got that if a miner had worked 15 years in the mines, the burden of proof would go to the company to prove he didn`t have the black lung instead of the miner having to prove it.

                Also, when the miner would die, the spouse had to reprove it.  Senator Bird got that part  removed. 

                But this is all going to die with the Affordable Care Act.

                HAYES:  I just want to be clear, if they pass this bill right now, if they repeal the Affordable Care Act, the expanded eligibility for folks with black lung, for all the folks in this county and the neighboring counties and throughout West Virginia and Pennsylvania and Kentucky and Tennessee that mined coal for years, it will go back to being much, much harder Virginia, it will go back to being much, much harder for those folks to access benefits from the government.  Is that right?

                HIFFE:  Yes.  And also, we have these rural health clinics that treat these miners with this black lung disease.  And, you know, it`s very needed.  That is mostly funded by the Affordable Care Act.  That will go.

                HAYES:  Senator, I`ve got to note an irony about this bill that`s in Washington that Judy brings up.

                If you look at this bill that`s being proposed in congress right now whether you support it or oppose it, one thing you`d notice is that the people who take it on the chin the most are rural folks, that`s just a fact about the way the bill is structured.  You can think the bill is great or you could think it`s terrible.  But if you look at the subsidies, if you look at the black lung provisions, I mean... 

                SANDERS:  Rural hospitals will be devastated.

                HAYES:  Rural hospitals.  I mean, this bill, whether you think it`s great or not, whether you think the Affordable Care Act needs to go and you want, quote, more choice, it does seem inevitable that rural hospitals, rural health care delivery and rural folks are going to take it on the chin the most with this bill.

                SANDERS:  So, the irony is, I think what you`re suggesting, is that many of the folks who voted for Trump are going to be hurt the most.

                One of the reasons -- again, we can agree with the Affordable Care Act, you don`t like the Affordable Care Act, whatever, nobody denies that when a piece of legislation impacts tens of millions of people and many, many hundreds of billions of dollars, it is significant.  To the best of my knowledge, as of today, what the Republicans want to do, because they don`t want a discussion like this  about what`s in the bill, what they want to do is pass it in a very brief period of time in the House, bring it to the Senate without any hearings at all, unprecedented for a major piece of legislation like that.

                So there is a reason why the American Medical Association opposes it, why the American Hospital Association oppose it, why AARP and many groups, the AFL-CIO, many other organizations oppose it, because it does the things that Judy talked about.  It`s going to result in people dying because you don`t have health insurance, and you get sick, what do you do, you don`t go to the doctor.  And by the time you get to the doctor it could be too late.

                They don`t want to discuss it, because it`s really, again, is not a health care bill.  It is a bill.

                And morally, we should be thinking about, what does it mean that we throw millions of people off of health care to give huge tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country?  That is not a moral decision, it`s not what this country should be about.

                It`s easy to say, let`s rip apart the Affordable Care Act.  You know what, it is not a perfect piece of legislation, OK, we can all agree on that.  Deductions have gone up too high, premiums have gone up.  It is not a perfect piece of legislation.

                The goal should be to improve it, not simply throw it out.

                HAYES:  Now, there is a specific health care issue in this country and throughout west virginia that you folks are dealing with that is being dealt with across the country, including in New York City, which is opioids, and that presents unique challenges.  And I want to talk a little bit - if you guys want to talk about that?

                HIFFE:  Absolutely.

                HAYES:  Let`s take one break and talk about this after the break.

                (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

                HAYES:  All right, we`re here back in McDowell County.  We were just talking about opioids.  And that is not something I should be very clear that is unique to McDowell County in any way shape or form.

                In fact, Staten Island, New York City has seen unbelievable increase in opioid deaths.

                Mr. Chafin, stand up for me for a second.  You served in the state senate for 32 years.

                CAFIN:  I did.

                HAYES:  You`re part of a lawsuit right now against the drug companies.  We`ve covered this on my show last week about drug wholesalers.  What`s the lawsuit getting at?

                CHAFIN:  The lawsuit is ground zero for opioid drugs in the nation.

                McDowell County, the city of Welch, a little city west of here named Kermit, they dumped 4,194,000 pills in that little town with 400 people.

                We...

                HAYES:  Say that again.  Say that again.

                CHAFIN:  A little town of Kermit, west of here.  In 2015 it has 400 people.  Three companies dumped 4,194,000 opioid pills in it in one year.  The pharmacy there was making $500,000 a month selling these pills.  People had 10,000 pills in their pocket and they were selling it to anyone who wants to buy it.  That is a (inaudible) source of Bergen (ph), McKessen Corporation (ph) out of San Francisco, and Cardinal Health out of Ohio.

                So, this suit is bringing -- we brought the first political subdivision suit in McDowell County that`s ever been brought, and our legal team did.  We also just recently filed a suit for the city of Welch and it`s for the opioid epidemic.

                HAYES:  And you`re seeing you irresponsibly pump these pills into this...

                CHAFIN:  Absolutely.  They knew - it was intentional, it was willful, it was wanton.  If you`re making a deadly, highly addictive, poisonous pill and if you take it in any quanties at all and send 4,194,000 to a town with 400 people, what do you think these companies are thinking?  It`s all about money.  Making money, Chris, is fine.  It`s the Bible says it`s the love of money that is evil that drives these people.  And it`s killing us.

                HAYES:  Thank you.

                Doctor, can you tell me a little bit about what this looks like on the ground here?

                TUCKER:  OK.  Let me just say, I never wanted to have to treat addiction in my life.  As an obstetrician, though, I have to now, because so many pregnant women who are addicted to pills.

                Now, I want to go back to what you were saying real quick to, one things you have to remember  is that there`s a supply and demand in southern West Virginia.  You can send as many pills in as you want, but if you don`t have a prescription to take to the pharmacy from a physician, you`re not going to  get it filled.

                So where is the start of the problem?  And it`s a lot with my profession.

                HAYES:  You think doctors?

                TUCKER:  I think so.

                HAYES:  Deana, you grew up here, right?  Can you talk a little bit about what it`s meant to watch this happen around you here in McDowell?

                LUCION:  A lot of the people that are my age are not here, they are in cemeteries.  they are buried.  They`ve left children.  They`ve left moms.  They`ve left dads.  It`s sad, because like the gentleman said, you know, there`s nothing to do here but it seems like get high.  And it`s sad because our generation, that`s all we have to look forward to around here.

                And you know, I have two children of my own and a third one on the way and if there is anything to be done about this, I want it to be done because they don`t have a voice and I do.  So -- and I agree with Dr. Tucker, a lot of the doctors here do over prescribe.  I myself am on 13 different medications alone at 29 years old.

                HAYES:  Right now?

                LUCION:  Right now.

                That I`ve had to stop due to pregnancy but alone, like I said me, 13 different medications at 29.

                HAYES:  Including pain medication?

                LUCION:  Well, I was for a broke finger, yeah.

                HAYES:  You`re shaking your head, delegate.  I mean, this is obviously this is bigger than McDowell but it`s particularly bad right here.

                What can you do?

                EVANS:  I`m concerned, you know, that we have so many people here as a teacher in this school for 35 years, it bothered me that so many of the kids said the first thing they wanted to do was get out of here because there was nothing for them to do, as she said, except for the drugs.

                We put a federal prison in here.  And one of the deals with the federal prison was that so many people in McDowell County would get a job.  The problem was, we couldn`t get people to work because they couldn`t pass the drug test.

                So, now they bring them in on buses here.

                HAYES:  So even when you jobs, right, which everyone is saying this place needs jobs, people that live here can`t get those jobs because they can`t clear that drug test?

                EVANS:  That`s correct.  And it concerns me that in the legislature, all we`re doing is passing bills that will put people in jail longer for doing the drugs.  We`re not doing anything on the front end.  We`re not doing any education.  We`re not doing any treatment.  We need a treatment facility here worse than any other place in America.

                HAYES:  Let me ask you a follow-up question.  You`re a Democrat.  You voted for Donald Trump, I take it, right?

                EVANS:  I did vote for Donald Trump.

                HAYES:  All right.

                When he talks -- he talked a lot about this on the campaign trail, about opioids.  He says two things, they are coming in over the border from Mexico, which if you listen to what is happening at the pharmacy in Kermit, it sounds like that`s not where the problem is originating.

                TUCKER:  Big pharma.

                HAYES:  And then the question to you is do you trust that the president is going to do any of those things that you`re talking about, not taking a law and order get tough approach but treatment, investment, things like that.  Do you trust that`s going to happen?

                EVANS:  I do not. I say, we are not doing anything on the front end.

                Now, if we`ve got the numbers of pills that the Senator Chafin says are coming in just to our little town, let`s magnify that by the entire state of West Virginia.

                Now let`s look at all 50 states in America.  The amount of pills that`s being manufactured and put on the streets for simple profit is just insane.

                HAYES:  Senator, what can you and your colleagues do, because you and Trump both talked about this on the campaign trail.  And I should say Hillary Clinton did as well.

                And one of the things that struck me during the campaign was, no one in Washington was talking about opioids until candidates had to start going, doing town halls.  And what happened in the campaign, they started showing up in New Hampshire and every town hall, all anyone wanted to talk about was opioids.

                How many people have lost someone in this room?

                SANDERS:  Jesus.

                HAYES:  Whoa. 

                Now the campaign is over and you know what I hear in Washington, Senator, no one talking about it anymore.  I heard about it on the campaign.  I heard about it in every town hall, I heard the president of the United States talking about it, and now we have a health bill in front of us in Washington that, frankly, I don`t think does anything the delegates talking about.

                SANDERS:  Well, it does the reverse.

                TUCKER:  It does.

                SANDERS:  If you end Medicaid extension and cut back on Medicaid, there will be less treatment available for folks who are dealing with addiction. 

                And, Chris, I mean the point to be made, I know how severe the problem is here, a couple of years ago, the governor of the state of Vermont gave his state of the state address and you know what he talked about?  Not economics, not health care, he talked about the opioid addiction problem in the state of Vermont.  And in New Hampshire, it`s severe.  It is a severe problem all over the country.

                So, I think there are a couple of things we ought to do.  I mean, the first thing, and Deana raised this issue, if people have nothing to look forward to in their lives, I suppose getting high is an alternative.

                Yes.

                It`s a tragic alternative.  All right, so we`ve got to deal with that reality.

                Second of all, putting people behind bars for longer periods of time is not, I think, going to solve the problem.

                EVANS:  No, it`s not.

                SANDERS:  We need treatment centers.

                EVANS:  Yes.

                SANDERS:  And, you know, in Vermont, we`ve been fairly aggressive about that but there are no treatment centers right here?

                EVANS:  No, there are not.

                SANDES:  I mean, ground zero of the opioid epidemic and no treatment centers here.

                EVANS;  There was one that was going to be built here a year or so ago and there was property available, a local entrepreneur working on that.  It goes Charleston, suddenly he`s told the money is not here now, just simply not available, just evaporated.

                TUCKER:  You know, and it`s going to get worse because if the Republican plan goes through mental health, maternity care, addiction treatment is going to go by the wayside.  And the onus of responsibility is going to be on us folks to take care of our own people and we can`t just keep ignoring it.  We`re talking about it, but how are we going to get these people treated if we don`t have the funds available for it.

                And -- and, if Medicaid gets cut federally and West Virginia has to fund more of that, guess what state is broke?  Ours.  We don`t have the funding to take care of that.  So, people are going to lose Medicaid people.

                I want to talk about how we make McDowell County great again when we come back from this break.

                (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

                UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think it`s kind of ironic that a Senator from the northeast.

                TUCKER:  Yes.

                UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Takes care of my benefits better than someone like Mitch McConnell.

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

                (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

                HAYES:  We`re back here in McDowell County. 

                Delegate Evans, let me start with you, because you`re a politician.  You`re in the middle right now.  There`s a budget fight happening in the capital.  And you also - you`re a Democrat, you voted for Donald Trump?

                EVANS:  That`s correct.

                HAYES:  What is your evaluation - we`re 50 days into this.  What is your evaluation of where this country is headed right now with this president?  And what it means for the folks here?

                EVANS;  I think there`s a lot of turmoil across the United States of America right now.  We`re seeing so many young people protesting different things, we`re seeing adults protesting different things.

                I think the president has got to back up some of the promises that he made, and especially to West Virginia.

                HAYES:  What about medicaid specifically?  What about this health care bill?

                EVANS:  We cannot do without Medicaid.  The Affordable Care Act also in West Virginia, to lose that would devastate West Virginia.  We will have people making the decision whether or not they are going to eat or they`re going to have health care.  And we have doctors that know this.  We have people that are influential enough to say out in public that we need to not do away with the Affordable Care Act but we need to fix it.

                HAYES:  So let me ask you the same question.  You got your back in the mine, so I think you`re probably feeling good personally about where things are headed.

                How much have you been paying attention to what`s going on in Washington, this president, how much do you feel encouraged by the direction things are going?

                PHILIP LUCION:  I pay quite a bit of attention to it all.  There`s a lot of protesting as Mr. Evans said.  I don`t know a lot of about politics and I don`t know what Donald Trump is going to do for the rest of the country, but as far as West Virginia, that`s what he promised us.  You know, that`s what matters to me, because I`m a West Virginian.  I`m proud to be a West Virignian.  And what the man - I voted for him only solely because what he said he was going to help us.  He was going to put the coal miners back to work and we`re going ot have health care, and this and that. 

                We need health care.  Everybody in this room needs free health care.

                HAYES:  Now, are you expect - I mean, when you think about him, he made those promises to you.  You`re looking for him to deliver on those promises, particularly on health care?

                PHILIP LUCION:  Absolutely.  On health care, yes.  Definitely.  Because I mean, some people are elderly.  They have no way to work.  They have no way -- if they can`t work, like Mr. Evans said, they can`t eat.  They`ve got to buy some kind of pill that costs $200 or $300 a piece.  Like my mom, she had cancer.  Some of the pills she had to buy, thank god by dad was in the MWA (ph).  It could take care of her bills.  Some of the pills were $200, $300 a piece.  Who can afford that?  Nobody can.  Not in West Virginia.

                HAYES:  Terry, let me talk to you for a second.  You worked in the mines yourself, huh?

                :  Yes. I`m a retired UNWA (ph) miner and I never dreamed that I`d get to thank you personally myself to -- for the bill that you have co- sponsored in the Senate bill 175, the Miners Protection Act, which I`m one of those miners that will lose -- I`m one of those miners that will lose his health care at the end of April if they don`t pass that law.

                I come from local 1440 in (inaudible).  It`s a little town down the river where McDowell`s water goes to when it leaves McDowell County. And have over - we`re one of the largest locals in the UMWA. We have over 800 members, all inactive.  They`re are retired.  So, we look at things different and we look at our health care and what we`ve already worked out.

                We`re not going to mine any more coal.  Our coal mining days are over.  And we looked at -- to have the funds that we`ve worked for, that were promised to us taken care of.  That`s all we asked.  And it`s -- I think it`s kind of ironic that a senator from the northeast takes care of my benefits better than someone like Mitch McConnell.

                HAYES:  Senator, what would it mean -- let`s think for a second about what it would mean if  money were no object, if you could wave a magic wand for a future for a place like Row, Vermont, rural Kentucky and this McDowell County.  If you could imagine a future, right, and that future is not the future of all the coal mines open back up, what does that look like.  What can people even...

                SANDERS:  I can tell you what I think it looks like.  And people will say, well, this pie in the sky.  He`s being utopian.  He`s not being realistic.

                But what I want -- the point that I want to make is, you know, I`ve been in Washington a while.  And I see hundreds of billions of dollars going in tax breaks to people who don`t need it.  I see enormous amount of waste and inefficiency.

                So what I`m going to tell you is not utopian, it`s not crazy, it is real.  For a start, health care must be a right of all people, workers and retirees.

                Number two, a trillion dollar investment in an infrastructure will improve the quality of life of McDowell County and Vermont and create 15 million jobs.  Let`s do it.

                And again, when I talk about infrastructure for rural America, that includes good quality broadband so that industry can come.  And when we talk about the future, education is obviously the key.

                (APPLAUSE)

                SANDERS:  Again, this is not radicalism.  I want every kid in Burlington, Vermont, and McDowell County, West Virginia to know, that if he or she studies hard and does well in school, that those kids will be able to go to a public college or university tuition-free.

                And that transforms education, because kids will say I will study and have an opportunity for a higher education regardless of the income of my family.  So I think those are some of the goals that we should be striving for.

                And let me just conclude by saying this, I want everybody to be aware, check it out, don`t believe me, there are folks who not only do not want to go in that direction, they want to go in the very opposite direction.  They want to cut Social Security.  They want to cut veterans benefits.  So our job is to stand up and say that we are one country, whether it`s McDowell County or Burlington, Vermont, we are the wealthiest nation.  We don`t need to give tax breaks to billionaires.  We need to invest in working people.  That`s what we need to do.

                HAYES:  I just want to say personally I want to thank all of you folks from McDowell County for having us.  It`s been a real pleasure to be here and I`m happy that we got some time to talk about what`s going on here because it relates to things going on all over this country.  So, thank you very much for having us.

                That does it for All In.  Our special town hall here from McDowell County.  Thanks for watching.

 

 

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