Trump Cabinet Picks; Rahm's Sanctuary City Stand; Message Of Unity; Trump Protests Continue; ObamaCare's Future; Small Biz Confidence; SEC



Trump Protests Continue; ObamaCare's Future; Small Biz Confidence; SEC

Chair Stepping Down - Part 2>

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Obamacare; Insurance; Wall Street; SEC; Mary Jo White; Obamacare; Aviation;

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BARTIROMO: Meanwhile President Obama force to defend his signature legislation. What to expect as president-elect Donald Trump vows to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Small business major impact, we are breaking down how small businesses across the country are reacting to a Trump presidency this morning. A new listeria concerns hitting yet another ice cream maker. The latest recall you need to know about.

Checking markets this morning. The Dow Industrials coming off of another record high close yesterday. Futures indicating, we will see yet another record at the opening of trading with a gain of about 10 points. We're watching the retail sector this morning. Several companies have to report earnings plus in the retail space, plus we've got retail sales do out. One hour from 5.10 to represent of a gain is what people are expecting.

In Europe, markets are mixed this morning. Take a look at the Eurozone indices and you see the FT 100 in London have passed represent. All of the DAX index in Germany down a fraction. In Asia, overnight stocks mostly lower with the exception of Hong Kong which the hang Seng index saw a gain of one half of one percent.

A breakfast staple getting a makeover, the flavor Kellogg's hopes consumers will say are great. All right. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to repeal and replace ObamaCare with something better. Yesterday, President Obama said that's great if republicans can pull it off.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they can come up with something better that actually works and a year or two after they've replaced the Affordable Care Act with their own plan that 25 million people has health insurance and it's cheaper and better and running smoothly, I'll be the first one to say that's great. Congratulations.


BARTIROMO: Let's bring in one of the architects of ObamaCare. MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber. Good to see you, sir. Thanks so much for joining us.


BARTIROMO: So we know what Donald Trump has said on the campaign trail. Can you change the legislation but leave things like preexisting conditions, parent -- young people on their parent's plans because those are the two things that Donald Trump said are worth keeping.

GRUBER: There's two points, Maria. First of all, on preexisting conditions, let's be clear, that isn't the big problem that the Affordable Care Act fixed. So let's take the example of my wife. She's a breast cancer survivor. If Donald Trump says insurers can no longer include preexisting conditions, she could walk and the insurer should say, yes, you have preexisting condition. I want to -- but I'm going to charge you $10,000 a month. They're all jus0t deny you insurance. Donald Trump doesn't follow those problems. The Affordable Care Act does.

BARTIROMO: OK. But the Affordable Care Act also has made it incredibly expensive for business and for individuals. I mean, there's a reason that you're not in healthcare so they were going to lose a billion dollars on it and so they're pulling out of the plan. So obviously there's something seriously wrong with this legislation to upset so many people because they can't afford it.

GRUBER: Maria, I'm afraid you're just wrong on that. Let's start with businesses, 150 million Americans get insurance through their employer. The cost employer insurance today is $3,100 lower than it would have been that was projected before ObamaCare. Individual insurance which is paid by about seven million people is exactly where it would have been absent ObamaCare. The press coverage has been completely misleading on this. ObamaCare is actually save people money.

BARTIROMO: So why have three major insurance companies left the exchanges?

GRUBER: They've left the exchanges because this is a new and innovative insurance market for which they're not prepared. They want to offer expensive broad network products that people don't want. People want less expensive products, they want more selected products and that's what they're demanding. People are looking for a new kind of insurance. There are other companies that are doing very well, better thrive on these exchanges and we're in a transition period. And you know when insurance markets go through transition period.

BARTIROMO: So, why are we seeing on average 25 percent increase as in premiums next year and then a state like Arizona, you're going to see premiums up 116 percent?

GRUBER: Well, basically, if you look at, Maria, what you're not accounting for is actually premiums where 20 percent below where they would have been without the law before these increases. Basically what happened as insurers came in to low, they realized that now they're catching up, they're basically where they would have been without the law. And take a state like Arizona and some other states were tied, that's because these states have fought the law rather than supporting it. If you look at states that have actually encourage people to sign up and behave just as law expected, expanding Medicaid and encouraging people to sign-up, premiums are very much under control and growing much more slowly.

BARTIROMO: You know, I've had this debate with Zeke Emanuel many times and it's very hard to make the case that you're making knowing what the reality is. And the reality is that families cannot afford ObamaCare and the reality is that the premiums for families across the country have skyrocketed. And even if you're in a plan with your company, like you say, so many people are, companies are not hiring more worker beauties they are being forced to provide healthcare. So the planned 100 percent is being looked at as way too expensive. That's not press, that's not speculation. This is what families and businesses are saying.

GRUBER: Maria, that's just wrong. I mean, quite frankly, what you're missing is that ObamaCare did not fix all the world's problems. You have to ask yourself, did ObamaCare make things better in America?

BARTIROMO: Jonathan, what is wrong with what I just said?

GRUBER: What is wrong you just said is the following, first of all, you keep bringing employers. Employer insurance was has been -- was falling dramatically before ObamaCare. Since ObamaCare came in, it's been flat, it hasn't fallen in premiums have gone down. They've gone down --

BARTIROMO: Premiums are going up in 17, on average by 25 percent. We know --

GRUBER: No, not for employers, Maria. Not for employers, Maria. You keep mixing it up. Employers, most of your listeners have employers insurance. Their premiums are not going up 22 percent. They're growing the slowest --

BARTIROMO: They don't have any choice because all these insurance companies have pulled out. You've got Humana, United Health, Aetna.

GRUBER: Maria, once again, let's -- please. They've not pulled out of employer insurance. You're mixing it up. Employer insurance, which is what most of your listeners have, 150 million people, no insurers are leaving. Premiums are growing at a historically slow rates. Premiums of $3,100 below, we expected. Now let's come to the individual exchanges. That affects that most seven million people. OK, 120 if it's large. There, you're right, insurers have left. Premiums are up. In that market, premiums are up to where they would have been before the law because over the last three years they've been down 20 percent. You're not talking about that.

BARTIROMO: Jonathan, let's talk about businesses in general, because we have a lot of small businesses on this program. And what they constantly say, day after day, is the reason that they're not hiring more employees is because they can't afford to offer health insurance. And the reason that they don't want to take a number of employees they have above 50 is because they will be forced to offer insurance. And the reason that they are turning full-time jobs into part-time jobs is so that they can avoid paying for the insurance.

So you want to separate business and individuals, fine, let's do it. Businesses are not hiring workers because the legislation is too expensive. We can just agree or disagree on it but it's a fact and that's what businesses say when they come on this program. So the question becomes, have you make this legislation less expensive?

GRUBER: Maria, look, once again, please don't use the word fact because you're not saying facts. You're saying anecdotes. The fact - -

BARTIROMO: I'll tell you what is a fact, Jonathan. I'll tell you what is a fact. A fact is that economic growth is two percent or lower. And the fact is one of the reason that economic growth is as low as it is, is because businesses are not hiring workers and not doing activity because of the cost of ObamaCare. That's a fact. Do you dispute -- do you dispute economic growth? Do you dispute economic growth? Ten years after the financial crisis?

GRUBER: Economic growth is the rapidest it's been in eight years. OK. Economic growth were coming out of recession and ObamaCare is irrelevant to economic growth. Please. There is no evidence at all. You are getting totally non-fact-based argument. There is no evidence at all that ObamaCare has anything to do with economic growth.

BARTIROMO: Jonathan, it's very hard -- it's very hard to believe you after what you said when this law first came out that Americans are stupid and that you needed a stupid public to get this law through. In fact, let's roll that back. Listen to this, Jonathan. Here's what you said a few years ago.


GRUBER: Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage and basically, you know, call this stupidity of the American voter or whatever. But basically that was really critical to getting things past.


BARTIROMO: So we're stupid and that's why you were able to pass this legislation through.

GRUBER: Maria, I deeply regret those comments which are taken out of comment -- out of context.

BARTIROMO: What's out of context? We just heard you say it. What is out of context about what you said?

GRUBER: What is out of context is that I was at an academic conference, conjecturing about something I shouldn't make conjecture on. I made a mistake. I shouldn't have said that. That doesn't excuse you're denying true facts. You're making up facts, Maria. OK. That doesn't use --

BARTIROMO: OK. So, what did I make up? What did I make up?

GRUBER: You made up the fact that ObamaCare has caused job loss. There is no evidence.

BARTIROMO: Yes, there is. There is 100 percent evidence. All I need are 10 CEOs to come on this show and tell me that's the reason and that becomes fact.

GRUBER: OK. Who cares if some CEO comes on the show and tells you that? Look at the data, Maria. You use the word data. Look at the data. There is not a single data point.

BARTIROMO: I don't need data when I have the CEO telling me I'm not adding workers because of the cost of ObamaCare. That is my data. I just spoke to the boss and he gave me the reason.

GRUBER: Well, Maria, that is absolutely wrong. That's not how you consider data. Data is considered by actually looking at the facts on the ground and the facts are --

BARTIROMO: The facts on the ground are the managers of businesses, the people who are actually making hiring decisions and why they are not putting new jobs in their company because it's too expensive to do so because of ObamaCare. That's data, Jonathan. For you to -- for you to say that what a CEO says is the reason that he's not hiring people is not important is ridiculous.

GRUBER: Maria, you have people on the show who are expressing a view of one company with potentially -- and we don't know what they're going to say. I made a mistake and comment, I regret. Those CEOs are coming on there making a comment. Who knows if they're making up for political reasons, why they're making it? The bottom-line, Maria, is we have data --

BARTIROMO: They're making it because they can afford the legislation. That's why they're making it.

GRUBER: Maria, we have data -- we have data collected unambiguously --

BARTIROMO: OK. What is your data? What is your data? Tell you about making this law less expensive for businesses and individuals?

GRUBER: The law -- my data tells -- you can look at it. If your listeners want to cut through the stuff you're saying, look at the data. Go to the Kaiser Family Foundation. It does an unambiguous survey every year of all employers and over the last five years of ObamaCare's past, the premium growth of employer insurance has been the slowest in measured history. That is a fact. Do not tell me --

BARTIROMO: I don't need to go to the Kaiser Foundation when I know what my friend is paying for healthcare, a thousand dollars and it was 500 or what I know of businesses paying. It was here and now it's here. All I need to know is what people are saying. I can't spend this money on activity. I can't spend this money hiring people because I'm spending this money on healthcare.

Do you think that in the first two years of President Obama's presidency, when he had both houses of congress, he should've focused instead upon healthcare on economic growth. Maybe we would be in a different place than we are today at two percent economic growth?

GRUBER: President Obama focused on economic growth. He passed the largest stimulus in our nation's history. So don't say (inaudible)

BARTIROMO: Wait a minute. Did you just say the Affordable Care Act was the largest stimulus in history?

GRUBER: No. I said, the stimulus package was the largest stimulus in history. Over the opposition of republican congress. So don't start blaming President Obama when -- first of all, once again, you're moving to economic growth. That's not what this is about. This is about a healthcare law. And once again, you can yell and bring up CEOs who want to give examples. Your listeners who really want to know the truth. I urge you to actually look at the facts.

BARTIROMO: That's why we want to have people who are actually getting affected by the law, not someone in their ivory tower telling us what this should be, but in fact, what people are seeing on the ground because they're the ones that are affected by the law, that's why that's fact, talking to CEOs and talking to the managers of businesses, Jonathan. Not somebody who's just looking at a bunch of numbers on the Kaiser website. Good to see you, sir. Thank you. Jonathan Gruber, joining us.

We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Let's talk movies. One of the stars of the widely popular Netflix series "Making a Murderer" is set to be released in prison today. Cheryl Casone with that story right now. Cheryl.

CHERYL CASONE, FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR: Yes, just take a little detour for a moment here, Maria. Oh, man, Maria. All right. Great interview, by the way. All right. Brendan Dassey, remember, he confessed to helping his uncle, Steven Avery murder a woman and dispose of her body back in 2007. But after years of appeals, a federal judge overturned Dassey's conviction ruling investigators made false promises to him during his interview and his confession was coerced. Well, the Wisconsin district attorney filed an emergency motion to delay Dassey's release. Big story will keep you posted.

Let's talk food. More ice cream brands are being recalled because of the listeria scare today. Cedar Crest recalling its Pirate's Booty. The company says the cookie dough of the product comes from the factory of Aspen Hills which reported positive test result for listeria. Cedar Crest at a low, we talked about this already, Weight Watchers recalling its Smart Ones Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sundae and House of Flavors is pulling its Ashby's Sterling Peanut Butter Landslide. These recalls are voluntary. No has been reported, but all of these companies are just being safe.

And it's breakfast, so let's talk about cereals. Exciting news if you're eating your cereal right now, Kellogg's introducing the newest flavor, following huge demand on social media, cinnamon frosted flakes. Kellogg's says the new cereal bowl hits store shelves later this month, Maria. And those are your headlines. By the way, that was a great interview. Back to you. That was amazing.

BARTIROMO: We're going to get back to small business in a second. Dealing with big concerns why there are lessen optimistic economic outlook could hurt jobs growth. We're going to take a look at it. That's next. Back in a minute.


BARTIROMO: Bank of America, out with its latest small business owner report as confidence shows little change from the lukewarm sentiment recorded in the spring of 2016.

Joining us right now is Sharon Miller. She's the head of Small Business or Bank of America. Sharon, good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.


BARTIROMO: The take away from small business from your standpoint. In the fall of last year national economy confidence was at 56 percent. It since plummeted to 31 percent. What's the reason behind that?

MILLER: Well, I think the confidence of our small business owners. First of all, in our study it did show that people are concerned about the economic environment, the uncertainty leading into the election certainly caused some of that. Now that we've seen the election behind us, the decision being made small business owners are now resilient and looking forward.

BARTIROMO: So what is holding them back from hiring more?

MILLER: Well, one, in our study, we showed that healthcare costs was a big concern of small business owners across the country. We are seeing that --

BARTIROMO: Thank you. I hope Jonathan Gruber is still watching the show. This is not Maria Bartiromo. This is Bank of America and their small business report.

MILLER: That's right. So we did show that healthcare cost was a huge concern among small business owners across the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've seen either those stock market has really taken off since the election. Do you see a similar kind of effect with small businesses? Do you feel like they were they poised to take off, you know, with a new administration it's going to focus on regulatory making reforms, it's going to focus on healthcare reform, it's going to focus on tax reform, it's going to focus regulatory reform?

MILLER: You know, in any election environment, there is a lot of uncertainty leading up to it. And once the decision is behind us, people can move forward. So I do feel that, you know, the small business owners that I talked to across the country, I do hear that. Now that we have the decision, we can look forward regardless of who's on office because there is certainty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ms. Sharon, I live in -- by the way, I live in Bur Oak, Wisconsin. I fly in here from there and I talk to business owners too. And it isn't just that the election is over. What I'm hearing from business owners is they like the fact that there's a business guy in the office. Do you think that's going to make a difference?

MILLER: Well, I think that in any environment that we're in, certainly it's important that people are focused on growth. And what I do find talking to small-business owners regardless of who's in office, they have a very can-do spirit. And so regardless of what's happening with the national economy or their local economies, they feel that they can move their business forward.

BARTIROMO: Let me ask you this related to something that Gruber said in various interview. Has ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act hurt growth in this country based on your analysis in the last eight years?

MILLER: Well, healthcare cost is the number one concern that we continue to see. It was both in our spring report as well as in our fall report. So that continues to be a theme.

BARTIROMO: So it's a headwind for growth?

MILLER: It is a headwind for growth.

BARTIROMO: How do you want to see a change? Do you think if we were to see a repeal and replace and costs stock going as high as they are, this will unleash more activity from small business?

MILLER: Well, I think anytime that you can, you know, have cost out of a system, it's going to be a benefit where you can invest more in growth and certainly -- and hiring employees.

BARTIROMO: Any sense of which sectors are doing best in terms of growth, sectors of small business?

MILLER: You know, we see across the United States certainly there's an opportunity with technology. This is a technology society regardless if you are in tech or you're providing services to major companies. So that is one area that we're seeing growth certainly manufacturing service environments as well.

BARTIROMO: So, what are the other costs and the impediments to growth away from healthcare? Is it wages? What are the other issues that small business talk about which restrains them from hiring?

MILLER: So leading into the election, it was around uncertainty in the economic environment. And so this poll was taken right before the election. And so again, any time that we see the decisions being made, people can move forward and grow their business.

BARTIROMO: All right. Sharon, good to see you. Thanks so much. Sharon Miller, Bank of America.

Still to come, president-elect Donald Trump hard at work establishing his cabinet. Former Trump campaign manager and senior advisor to the president-elect, Kellyanne Conway will join us live next with what we can expect from the Trump administration. Back in a moment.


BARTIROMO: Good Tuesday morning, everybody. Welcome back. I'm Maria Bartiromo and it is Tuesday, November 15th. Your top stories 8:00 A.M. on the east coast.


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