Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  July 5, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

7:00 pm
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. b.p.'s cost for cleanup and damage claims from the gulf oil spill have topped $3 billion so far. >> suarez: i'm ray suarez. on the newshour tonight, choppy seas prevented officials from determining whether a giant oil-skimmer called "the a whale" will be effective. we get the latest on the disaster and the containment efforts. >> woodruff: then we update the political deadlock in iraq as vice president biden visited baghdad this weekend. >> suarez: jeffrey brown
7:01 pm
wraps up key decisions from the just-ended supreme court terms. >> woodruff: we have an encore report from spencer mikeest on health care for san francisco's uninsured. a program the supreme court let stand . >> we're a public plan. we're that public option. and i don't think you noticed anything but the american flag on city hall when you came here. we didn't replace it with the canadian flag. the sky didn't fall in. the world didn't come to an end. >> suarez: and fred de sam lazaro tells the story of one man's attempt to bridge the digital divide in one of johannesburg's poorest neighborhoods. one phone call at a time. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
7:02 pm
chevron, this is the power of human energy . b nsf railway. and by the bill and melinda gates foundation dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life . and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
7:03 pm
>> suarez: there was no holiday in the battle with that blown oil well in the gulf of mexico. but weather again hindered cleanup efforts as the oil fouled the fourth of july weekend. and as tar balls washed up on beachs in texas for the first time. out on the water the problem through the weekend and again today was heavy surf and high winds. rough conditions have kept many skimmer boats from working along the coasts of alabama, mississippi and florida. the weather also interfered with testing a so-called superskimmer ship dubbed "the a whale" at 1100 feet long, the converted tanker can handle 21 million gallons of contaminated water each day. on shore cleanup crews were out this weekend scooping tar balls from the sand and shoreline. in gulfport, mississippi more than a thousand workers tried to get the beach clean, then keep it that way as the
7:04 pm
waves brought more oily globs. >> we'll work this beach today. we'll work it right now, in 20 minutes or later we'll have to work it again. >> suarez: but in pensacola beach, florida yesterday there was little oil to be seen. by and large, though, crowds were much smaller than usual on many gulf coast beaches. in gulf shores, alabama, local merchants said they'd seen their business drop by more than half. >> this is the we can that pays then for october, november, december, january and february. so it's not whether you are profitable this week, is are you profitable enough to then sustain throughout the off season. >> suarez: b.p. has insisted there take care of all those damaged. and as of today t had spent more than $3 billion on response and billed its drilling partners for some of the cost. but many local leaders along the gallon say the money is simply not coming fast enough. >> we're all frustrated. we feel helpless because we
7:05 pm
continue to hear excuses. but you know, a company such as b.p. they've got enough bean counters on staff, they should have had checks coming out six weeks ago. it doesn't make sense to me at all. >> suarez: meanwhile, b.p. continued drilling two relief wells as the best hope for finally putting a plug in the gushing well at the bottom of the gulf. for a closer look at the latest efforts to skim the oil and the tanker that's being tested, we turn to greg mccormack, director of the petroleum extension service at the university of texas, austin. for the record, the service partners with members of the oil & gas industry. he joins us from houston. greg mccormack what makes this a whale different from the other skimmers that have been work the gulf for weeks? >> i think it's huge size makes it very much different than the skimmers that are out there now. and it's capacity to hold liquid is about 2 million barrels. so it has huge capacity.
7:06 pm
it's a very, very different vessel than the ones out there right now. >> suarez: so when are you talking about something as big as that, would it be able to handle more crude and then not have to burn it out on the gulf? >> i think the issue that we have right now is not necessarily burning it. i think that's always going to occur. but the issue that this vessel is going to be able to do is in theory anyway is to be able to take a lot more water and oil mixture in and to treat that oil and water mixture. >> suarez: so does it bring it somewhere as oil and water or does it treat it on board in effect and discharge the water? >> it treats it on board. i haven't been able to find out a lot of information on how it treats it. i believe what it's going to do is pump the oil water mixture that gets on board into the various tanks there.
7:07 pm
and it has probably 10 or 12 different size tanks on board designed to hold crude oil and just let the oil separate from the water naturally. and then pump the water back out and retain the oil. >> suarez: well, they've been looking at the gulf and stopping work for many days in the past week since hurricane alex moved through. why do choppy seas make it harder to do this work if the oil is floating on the top? >> well, what you want to be able to skim the oil off, you want to be able to contain it and when you have choppy waters, anything more than a couple of feet of wave action, are you not able to contain the oil. also you're not able to skim it off properly. and so i think that's going to be an issue, especially when we have a lot of storms coming up into the gulf of mexico. >> suarez: so the oil what, goes over the boom that's put out there to corral it? >> the oil goes over the boom. it's very difficult to
7:08 pm
corral it in-- when you have any kind of significant wave action. >> suarez: all during this last month or so practically since the beginning of this two and a half month its ago b.p. has been putting dispersant not gulf of mexico. when are you putting dispersant on to the oil, does that make it harder to pick up? >> i think it does make it harder to pick up dispersant. its action is to allow the oil to bhix the water so that you have a kind of solution. and so it can be dispersed and you can have weathering action. you can also have the bacteria act on it. so it does definitely make it more difficult to pick up. >> suarez: now you mentioned at the outset that this was a very dig craft, this a whale. does that make it harder to move around the area where this oil is coming to the surface? >> it makes it considerably harder.
7:09 pm
for this boat to operate, it has to operate at a speed of about 8 or 9 miles per hour so the rudders could be affected. and it has a turning rateesque meaning its ability to turn is about 2 miles. and the other part is to go from 8 or 9 miles an hour to a dead stop takes about two miles. so i'm very concerned when you are operating close to the well head, close to the 15 or 20 vessels that are already cristing, i would have some concern with its ability to maneuver in tight spaces. >> suarez: a lot of the video taken by helicopter in the containment area shows a lot of small boats in the area around where the rig once stood. when you are trying to turn around an 1100 foot craft does everybody else have to get out of the way? >> everybody else would definitely have to get out of the way. because this huge vessel cannot turn very, very quickly. and i'm told there are about
7:10 pm
6,000 vessels right in that area. not in the three mile area around the well site but in the area where they are trying to remove the oil before it gets to the beaches. so i think we have, you know, great concern about that. >> suarez: greg mccormack joins us from houston. thanks a lot for talking to us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour, the political stalemate in iraq, the supreme court term in review. health care for san francisco's uninsured. and cell phones for south africa's poor. but first, the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan in our news room. >> 3 u.s. troops and a british soldier were killed by roadside booms in afghanistan today t that made a dozen international troops to die in the first five days of july. meanwhile, leading u.s. senators warned americans just expect more such days. republican john mccain spoke in kabul. >> there are obviously obstacles that lie ahead.
7:11 pm
there will be more difficulty times in the short-term. casualties will go up. but i'm convinced we can succeed and will succeed in khandahar is obviously the key area and if we succeed there, we will succeed in the rest of this struggle. >> reporter: khandahar is a taliban stronghold. the planned offensive to seize the city has been delayed. the democratic republic of congo began two days of mourning today for at least 242 people killed in a tanker truck explosion on friday. more than 200 others were hurt. the truck tipped over near a site where people had gathered to watch the world cup soccer matches. dozens ran toward the truck and began scooping up fuel before the explosion. some 61 women and 36 children were among the dead. in mexico the ruling party managed to hold off a resurgence by the former ruling party in sunday's elections. president felipe calderon's conservative as lined with leftists to win control of three states from the
7:12 pm
institutional revolutionary party. the pri, as it's known h run those states for more than 80 years and it still won nine governorships. voter turnout in some states was low because of ongoing drug gang violence. poland's electoral commission officially declared a winner today in the presidential election. bronislaw komorowski, a probusiness conservative. he took more than 53% of the vote in sunday's balloting. his rival was former prime minister jaroslaw kaczynski, he is the twin brother of the late president lech kaczynski who died any plane crash last april. china has sentenced an american geologist to eight years in prison for buying data on the chinese oil industry. 45-year-old xue feng was already in custody for two and a half years and says he's been tortured. the u.s. government has asked for his immediate release. china claims he violated state secrecy laws and endangered national security. toyota began a large recall of lexus and crown vehicles in japan today.
7:13 pm
the company said the cars could stall because of flawed in the valve springs, a crucial engine component. the recall is expected to extend to 270,000 vehicles around the world including about 140000 in the u.s. since last october, toyota has recalled more than 8 million vehicles for a variety of problems. those are some the day's major stories. now back to judy. >> woodruff: vice president biden spent the fourth of july in iraq. and he left today after nudging iraqi leaders toward forming a new government. it was his fourth trip to iraq as vice president . it came with the country in the grips of a political stalemate that has lasted almost four months. >> i remain as i have, as you know from the beginning, extremely optimistic about a government being formed here that will be representative, represent all the major parties. >> woodruff: mr. biden met sunday with current prime minister nouri al-maliki and former premier alawi.
7:14 pm
the two men viing to lead iraq. after an inconclusive election last march, both maliki, shiite's bloc and alawi's alliance backed by sunnis claimed the right to form a new government. today a kurdish leader, president talabani also met with vice president biden. but there was no mention of any new proposals by the u.s. all of this as iraq's political vacuum has raised concern that insurgent kos reignite widespread sectarian fighting. the vice president took note of these fears and remarks on sunday and sounded a note of optimism. >> this nation once embroiled in sectarian strife and violence is moving toward a lasting security and prosperity with a government that represents the interest of every member of the community. because until they get that straight, and they are getting straight, there's no real shot they can become what they are capable of.
7:15 pm
>> woodruff: mr. biden also reaffirmed u.s. plans to officially conclude combat operations at the end of august. drawing down to 50,000 american troops from the current 77,000. still, last night insurgents fired mortar rounds into baghdad's green zone where the american embassy is located. >> please remain undercover. there is still a threat of fire. >> reporter: loud weaker weakers-- speakers in the embassy warned workers to take cover but no one was hurt and there was no damage. and to the west, a woman blew herself up sunday killing four and injuring dozens at a government building in ramadi. and joining us from baghdad is jane araf of the christian science monitor. i talked with her a few hours ago. jane, hello. it's been almost four months since the voters went to the polls there any rack. why is it taking so long to form a government? >> well, that is the question. i guess the simple answer,
7:16 pm
judy s that there are too few posts and too many players. now what they are trying to do is put together a package where they would decide who would be prime minister, president and speaker all together. the problem is that everybody wants those positions obviously. and nobody is really willing to compromise. this really is seen not just putting together a government but actually a question of their very political survival. >> are the sticking points related to the sectarian groups, the shi'a, the sunni, the kurds or is it more than that? >> it is related to that in the sense. but more than that, a lot of the, so much of it is related to personality. the personality of the prime minister who has been prime minister for four years, and wants to hang on that post. the prime minister of alawi another strong leader, a strong man as iraqis see him. a lot of it really is about individuals. it's not so much about issues which is what iraqis think should be. this is a country where it's the beginning of summer, 110,
7:17 pm
120°, six hours of electricity a day. no jobs, and people here really feel that politicians should put their own interests aside for a second and just get on with it and form a government and do something. >> woodruff: and jane, how is vice president biden's trip seen there? what is it believed there that the difference is that this could make? >> well, really what they are looking for is the feeling that the u.s. is still engaged in the process here. and by engaged, that actually means that they will step in if there is a need to step in. not so much in terms of american interference because they don't really want that, but they're kind of scene as a mediator at this point. similar to the way the u.n. is seen. so when vice president biden was here, he met wall the major players. apparently did not present any concrete proposals. they weren't looking for any. but really hammered home that he believes as everyone does, really, that it could be a cries fis this government isn't formed soon. so the u.s. has it has done in similar circumstances is
7:18 pm
actually trying to play to role of mediator and bring the many parties together . >> woodruff: and by crisis what is meant by that. what are they really worried about there. >> they are worried about a lot of things. but essentially what it boils down is not even some of security. i was talking to the general a few days ago and he believes that the security part of this is pretty much on track. what they are really worried about is that that concept of stability that relies on so much more could actually fray around the edges. if it takes longer, there won't be a government that can make those tough decisions and more than that, there won't be a government that will give people who went to the polls under dangerous circumstances four months ago a reason to believe that there was a point in having gone to the poles. there is rampant corruption, serious problems there are lots of decisions that need to be made and nothing's really been done for not just the last four months but well before that during the political campaign. so the feeling really is that unless these issues are tackled, things could begin to fragment.
7:19 pm
>> woodruff: jane, we're told one of the things the vice president said to both mr. maliki and mr. alawi is that the u.s. does not want to see outside interference from other countries. and i guess iran is probably at the top of that list. how much of a factor is iran, or isn't it? >> it's always a factor that's kind of lurking in the background. not quite so overt right now. according to senior military and political officials here, iran hasn't been doing as much as it normally has done in terms of sending weapons, fighters, funding mill tenant groups. but what it has been doing is leaning quite heavily on some of the political players. now this is a country that is always going to have strong ties with iran. they're a neighbor they are strong historical ties but it is not just iran. this is really a country that feels beseejd it feels it is surrounded by hostile gulf arab countries, hostile countries in general where the sunni arab majority are afraid of the shi'a majority here. >> woodruff: finally just to
7:20 pm
sum what are the expectations now that the u.s. is going to be drawing down to 50,000 troop tess end of next month? >> it's kind of a wild card, judy. you know, one would like to believe that things are as rosy as vice president biden said. he thought they were when he flew in here and spend time in the green zone, not some of in the rest of the baghdad or iraq. but when you go out in the streets, and tonight these streets are full of pilgrims walking to one of the major shi'a schrynes. you get the sense that things are better. certainly better than they were a couple of years ago but there is still a huge sense of uncertainty. a huge sense that they really do have to wait and see, to see if this will work. and you get that as well from the more, the million iraqis still inside the country who are not coming back until they actually see if there is a competence-- competent government. in the streets the jury is out on this. the last government, the last parliament they thought was corrupt and inexpect to put it really bluntly, they
7:21 pm
are not holding their breath as to this one coming up. >> all right, january, speaking to us from baghdad, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> suarez: next, taking stock of the just completed supreme court term. jeffrey brown has our story. >> brown: the supreme court tackled issues from campaign-finance reform to gun control from gay rights to miranda rights. it was the first term for sonia soto mayor, and featured an unusual public spat between members of the court and the president. we take a look back at the term now with tlooet veteran court watches, tom goldstein a washington lawyer and founder of scotus blog.com, paul butler professor of law george washington university. and niomi rah who teaches at george mason university and served as associate counsel and special assistant to the
7:22 pm
president in the george w. bush white house. tom goldstein i will start with you. one of the themes of this term clearlys that to bement the extent to which we have seen the growth and solidification of what we have seen a roberts court. what does that mean. >> we're talking about the conservative majority lead by chief justice john roberts and the biggest cases that would lead the nuts hour in the evening, campaign finance, gun rights, cases you mentioned. the courts conservative did hold a majority and advanced the ball in that direction. but if you look beneath the surface i think in case we can talk b you will see the court's left had some successes as well. overall i think a mixed term. >> brown: a mixed term. paul butler what do you see? >> i see conservative judicial activism. i see conservative court that is bold, that's aggressive, that doesn't let things like subtle precedent stand in its way when it can decide a case on narrow grounds, chooses to decide broadly. and i agree it's kind of the
7:23 pm
chief justice smelling himself. but he's successful. he got his way 90% of the time. >> brown: and what do you see? >> i think which would have to disagree with the characterization of conservative judicial activism. i think that the conservative and chief justice john roberts have enjoyed a number of successes but i think you can see that in many of those cases in which they've prevailed, they haven't gone as far as some conservatives would have hoped they would go. and in fact, that their decisions were on the whole, i think, fairly incremental in terms of advancing the law. >> brown: how about an example. give us an example of a case where they perhaps didn't go as far as they could have? >> well, i think the sarbanes oxley accounting board case is one such case case. i think the chief justice set out some very important and broad principless but the remedy that he chose largely kept the accounting board intact. and its functions preserved. >> brown: and paul butler.
7:24 pm
>> i think that i that is-- . >> brown: go ahead. >> i think that that is one good example of where they could have gone further but they set up important principless and then held their position. >> brown: paul butlering make your case for where you saw them overreaching in your words . >> its most notorious example is the campaign financing case. which they could have decided on narrow grounds the same way they did. but instead they set the whole statute was unconstitutional. they established the first amendment rights for corporations, kind of disturbing law that everybody thought had recently been decided, recently as a couple years ago. and the cross in the desert case. again they could have gone narrow, instead they went broad. they claimed to be minimalist but they are the not at all. >> brown: and tom, you started this with mixed. so we are talking about some big cases. >> they raised some of the most important cases but there is a whole term of ones that get in the news and ones that don't. what do you see that is
7:25 pm
mixed. >> any time you have 90 decisions and you have 9 different justices who aren't just in can't, will you get different results. everybody can pick out their favorites. i do think what you see is when the conservatives are able to really go pretty far like in the campaign finance case that paul butler was talking about, that is when you have is justice kennedy, a center justice the kind of swing vote, when he is animated and wants to go in a particular direction, he leads ultimately. so there is a case involving juvenile life without parole where the supreme court held with justice kennedy in control of the court, that you can't sentence a juvenile to life without parole for a nonhomicide offense. and that's a case that went the liberal direction. he's the one who r8 controls the biggest decisions, i think. >> brown: but in the other cases where, and for example, paul butler i think it was who said, that the chief justice was-- got his way, i think he put t 90%. that means he voted on the winning side. >> that's right. he was in the majority 90% of the time. but a goodly number of those
7:26 pm
cases he was actually along with the left there might be six to three cases. so i gave that you juvenile life without parole example. he was with the liberals if in the result although he voted for a narrower standard in that case. so he really is trying to lead the court, i think. he is trying not to be uniformly aligned with the conservatives. >> brown: let me ask you to start this negotiation round of questions. which is where, when you look at the intellectual energy or the pushing on this court where does it come from? >> here paul butler is, i think right, where the direction of the court when it comes to moving the law is with the conservative. the left of the court, we don't have the true liberals of a thurgood marshall or justice brennan any more. you have the left of the court holding on by its fingernails, almost, trying to say don't change the law any more. don't move campaign finance. don't pull back on the miranda warnings. the left doesn't have an energetic movement to try and advance the law.
7:27 pm
>> brown: let me bring in naomi on that one. where do you see the intellectual energy? >> i think i would agree with tom. it seems that much of the intellectual energy is on what's characterized as a conservative wing of the court. and you can see there are a number of interesting debates amongst the conservative justices. so for example in the mcdonald case which dealt with handgun and whether the second amendment should be incorporated against the state, there were four justices who wanted to decide that question on substantive due process grounds and justice thomas concurred in the opinion and suggested it should be decided on privileges and immunities ground. which is really which i think displays a lot of intellectual energy when are you willing to talk about a doctrine that has been moribund for some 100 years. >> brown: paul butler where does that leave the justices we refer to as the liberal justices? trying to hold on to territory rather than
7:28 pm
pushing things their way or what? >> yes, jeff, and maybe hoping that justice kagan is going to come in and shake things up, provide some energy. you know, frankly the progressives on the court now, they are older. justice stevens our leader was 09 years old. the other ones are getting on in years and they seem a little less energetic. so maybe, you know, we have no idea how justice kagan f she is confirmed, will actually rule. but if she is a judge the way a lot of us expect, maybe shell's provide some of the energy for the left that justice scalia provides for the right. >> brown: just staying with you, of course there was the first term as we said for justice sotomayor, what did you see from that in terms of impact, energy decisions. >> you know, her first big descent was in a mar anda case where she really let the court and especially justice thomas have it she didn't like the way it
7:29 pm
ruled. and she said they were turning miranda upside down. so some people weren't sure where she would be on criminal justice because she is a former prosecutor. but she seems a pretty doctrineare conservative. she is not way out there. she is to the going move the ball way to the left but she is pretty standardly progressive. >> you said conservative, i think you mean a doctrine air liberal. >> she is kind of moderate like the justice she replasd. a little more to the left but she's not a flame-thrower if you will. >> brown: tom, i read a synopsis did you looking at the whole term and you said that a change in the court's composition can have unexpected consequences. you were referring to what justices themselves say. how did that show itself this year. >> well, justice souter departed on the left, although a george h.w. bush replaced by sonia sotomay or. and this year we saw unusual combinations among the
7:30 pm
justices where sonia sotomayor could be with any number of different alignments and with elena kagan coming in, i think will you see more of that, for ten years the supreme court didn't change. now we have had john roberts, sam alito, sonia sotomayor and presumably elena cagar. >> in a short period. >> over the past 15 years that a big shake-up in the last five in particular, and so i think that's a good thing. if the court is just perceived as a bunch of idea logs, okay, it will be 5-4 and we'll see what way kennedy goes. i think it is progress just getting that renewed energy. >> brown: that does mean naomi that a lot of this is a work in progress because a lot of these people are still relatively new? >> i think that that is right. i mean if elena kagan is confirmed we'll have four new justices in a span of five years which as tom said is a tremendous amount of turnover. and with the new chief justice i think the new composition of the court is just starting to take shape and it will be very interesting to watch how
7:31 pm
things do shake up. and i think in talking about the narrowly divided decisions i think this term some 46% of the decisions were 9-0. so sometimes i think it's easy to overstate some of the disagreement on the court when in fact in a large percentage of cases they're actually all on the same page. >> brown: tom goldstein one more thing. i mention this public spat that grew out of the citizen's united case, the campaign finance. are there continuing repercussions to that? did it put the court in a more public eye than normal? >> well, the administration has decided to run against the supreme court kind from a populist angle. to say that the supreme court is too pro corporation so i don't think we're done with this yet. i think they believe there is political upside. in terms of whether or not the supreme court backed off or that the condition serve difficults will get up set. i don't think so serve a grown-up here. the justices are kind of used to the washington mentality. so i don't see it generating
7:32 pm
greater chroorbs. >> paul butler, what do you think about that one? >> you know, the interesting tv moment a lot of people when they saw justice alito shaking his head at something president obama said and saying that's not true, thought it was disrespectful. but i don't know if it has much weight outside of that. you know, the president says that he wants congress to do something about that campaign financing case. but the court decided that on constitutional grounds. so short of abolishing or amending the first amendment, i'm not real sure what the court can do what the congress can do. >> brown: a last word from you, do you see any lasting repercussions from that spat or movement on the case itself? >> i'm not-- i don't know about the lasting repercussions but i think it's interesting that the president has been willing to so publicly criticize the supreme court. and that chief justice roberts hasn't been shy about responding. i think that that is an interesting dynamic. and one that i suspect we
7:33 pm
will see more of in the coming years. >> all right. i want to thank you. that omee, paul butler, tom goldstein, thanks a lot. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: speaking of the supreme court last week the justices allowed the city of san francisco to continue with its own health plan for the uninsured. many residents have already enrolled, as our correspondent spencer mikeest learned when he report reported ton for our health unit in october. here is a second look. the unit is a partnership with 9 robert wood johnson foundation. >> reporter: until recently san francisco a diverse city way population of nearly 800,000, had more than 60,000 adult residents with no health insurance. they were not poor enough for medicaid nor old enough for medicare. while the nation struggled with reforming health care this city began a program of its own that so far has enrolled more than three quarters of its uninsured. it's called healthy san francisco.
7:34 pm
and it is not strictly speaking health insurance, rather it's a way to provide health care but only within the city limits. the plan was not particularly radical. it used mostly existing resources like city clinics, nonprofit hospitals to supply and coordinate care. instead of fliting from one clinic or emergency room to another, enrollees choose a medical home, one of 30 public or private health centres in the city where they go for low or no-cost health care. >> so do you work? >> no. >> how you support yourself i don't. i'm taking care of my mom. >> phil wu say printing press operate never colorado with insurance who left his job and his insurance and moved to san francisco to take care of his aging mother. >> at 59, i don't think you could find a job that quickly and to replace your
7:35 pm
health insurance. >> reporter: wu has with who has high cholesterol and hypertense came to the chinatown public health centre for care and its director steered him into healthy san francisco. >> now phil knows this is his medical home. he actually cannot go toll another health centre to get care. >> if he needs hospitalization you manage it from here. >> we coordinate with the specialists, we coordinate the care of the emergency room. >> reporter: healthy san francisco was proposed in 2006 by mayor newsome and approved by the city supervisors. >> we're a public plan. we're that public option. and i don't think you noticed anything but the american flag on city hall when you came here. we didn't replace it with the canadian flag. the sky didn't fall. in the world didn't come toon end. >> newsome's plan is not exactly the public option debated in congress. city health director inch katz explained state law requires cities and countys to treat sick people even
7:36 pm
without payment, even in tough economic times. >> everywhere you go counties and cities are spending money taking care of the uninsured. and certainly we were. the problem with how we were doing it before was there was no system. the money exists. the money exists in los angeles, sacramento, philadelphia and new york. we got rid of the middle mann. we got rid of the pair, in this case the insurance companies and overhead. we became the single payor, the public option, the public plan. no new bureaucracy f no new costs associated with the administration was actually bourne. so the point is this wasn't a hugely costly program. >> does that hurt when i push. >> how about over here? >> each patient in healthy san francisco cost the city about 300 per month. that's in line with insurance costs. it totals 126 million a year. depend on their income and most are below the poverty level, enrollees pay nothing
7:37 pm
or from $20 a month up to about 200 plus co-payments. >> that doesn't pay for it all. the city hats mandated that businesses with 20 to 100 employees spend at least $1.23 an hour per worker for health care and that larger companies pay more. that money can be used to reimburse employees for health-care cost s to buy them health insurance or it can go to healthy san francisco. >> we believe in shared responsibility that we're all in this together. similar to the national debate. right now about 980 only a small number of businesses actually pay in directly to the system. >> but some of those businesses don't like the employer mandate. the golden gate restaurant association sued the city claiming that forcing restaurants to pay high health costs, especially for workers who work as little as 8 hours a week, violates federal law. >> the concern of a lot of restaurants, me included is you know you got to keep the
7:38 pm
doors open. >> lori thomas owns rose pistolo restaurant and provides insurance for many of her employees. she has put a surcharge on the menu to pay for added health-care costs. kevyn westly executive director of the restaurant association claims that fast increasing medical costs and coverage for part-time employees will boost restaurant spending far more than the city admits. >> the restaurant that used to spend 20,000 doing the right thing will be spending almost 440,000, which by the way is 24% of payroll which is triple what we are looking at at the national level so this is a real back breaker for small business. >> shoot is not sharing the burden for san francisco's uninsured. we're all for that we provided several different alternatives. my disappointment was that there seem to be a preagreeed upon solution and that was we will essentially tax the employers. >> the restaurant association would prefer a national or statewide health
7:39 pm
plan rather than a local one. mayor newsome who owns seven restaurants himself sales healthy san francisco has not cost any jobs and is badly needed. >> i'm very sensitive to the business concerns. at the same time i do believe in shared responsibility. >> newsome argues that uninsured residents waste money by using the city's very expensive emergency rooms like this one at san francisco's general hospital for nonemergency care. healthy san francisco puts those people in a system that costs less and keeps track of them susan kiren, ceo at san francisco general says emergency room use is slightly down as patients get used to the new system. >> for many years if they are used to going to an emergency department for their primary care, that is the first thing they will turn to. as they establish relationships with their medical home and their primary-care providers, they will change their pattern of
7:40 pm
accessing health care. >> healthy san francisco patients can now make medical appointments in advance and can use an urgent care facility with little notice. many of the new enrollees have chosen the family health centre as san francisco general as their medical home dr. hammer is the director. >> we will to expand hours. we had to hire some new providers so we could see all these patients. already thinks the public health clinic is just going to be a factory. we took sort of pride in proving them wrong. >> good morning. how are you today. >> reporter: the kaiser family foundation recently found that 94% of participants are satisfied with the program. the numbers of participants in healthy san francisco continues to grow. 6 or 700 a week as more and more of the uninsured hear about the program . it is definitely not health insurance, at he just access to health services. >> it attracts more than
7:41 pm
just the poor. >> 22-year-old art studd institute sally ing signed up when her parent's insurance wouldn't cover her any more. >> right now your fee is looking at $60 every three months. >> but even advocates admit the program has some problems. only a few pharmacies handle healthy san francisco prescriptions and here and at some clinics, the waits can be long. some patients also chain that their payments are too high. but mayor newsome is convinced healthy san francisco say model the nation could learn from. >> studies show that we're providing quality health care at a substantially lower cost than people can provide health insurance. thus creating competition and lowering ultimate costs to the consumer and the user as well as the taxpayer. >> thank you for calling healthy san francisco rts the obama administration had urged the supreme court to dismiss the restaurant association's suit which
7:42 pm
challenged mandatory employer contributions to healthy san francisco. last week the court refused to hear the case so the law stands and the program continues . >> suarez: now as the world cup matches move into the semi-finals, we turn to the poorer neighborhoods of johannesburg in the shadow of the soccer stadiums , special correspondent fred de sam laz ro reports on one man's efforts to bridge the divide. >> downtown johannesburg is not in many tourist pro sures it has a reputation for drugs and gang violence. but raul thinks that is exaggerated. he was happy to take an american television crew around neighborhoods like hillbrow. he says this area sn sin habited not by gangsters but ode folks struggling to make ends meet. many are imgrants from other african countries.
7:43 pm
most live without one of the most basic tools of modern life. >> a lot of these people have not had decent and cheap and affordable access to the internet or telephone services. >> reporter: he says fewer than 1 percent of households here or in south africa's rural areas can afford land lines. people are forced to use prepaid cell phones at rates three times what americans pay for similar service even though people here earn much less. he says the huge fees to connect or terminate calls to local phone networks hurt south africa's competitiveness with countries with lower telecom rates like india and china . >> it costs a lot less than if someone phoned a land line but luckily , look at the countries ,ed telecommunications costs are
7:44 pm
low, low, low. and here we are being exploited . like 20 minutes is almost $8. >> for a local call. >> for a 20 minute cell to cell call. >> reporter: the big telecommunication providers like votocom and mtm say the prices reflect the cost of building infrastructure across a vast country. the critics say the companies are simply ignoring poorer neighborhoods they perceive as les lucrative and they say the government hasn't helped. the government still owns a share of what used to be a public telecom monopoly and it share notice windfall of phone and broadband profits. flying it under the radar of these sky-high rates, he saw an opportunity to start his own business called-- telecom. >> we combine both both, and people normally would be buying-- we have a module of
7:45 pm
people who are saving money. >> across the downtown duba has installed relay antennas that connect one building to the next. routers connect the buildings to the internet and make internet-based phones possible. >> we've got a pair of cable going into every single parent. >> he describes himself as a greek with robin hood urges. he made a fortune selling education software mostly in europe. he told his-- sold his company and with a few other investors began duba telecom as a social business two years ago. he is an economist and teacher by training and the new business has brought out his inner door-to-door salesman. >> do you want cheap telephones in your room. >> he randomly knocks on strangers' doors. >> phones are free. >> the phones are free, you pay for the internet but you have prepaid air time for the phones. >> duba has placed phones free in about 9,000 apartments. to use them to call cell phones or land lines requires prepaid credit
7:46 pm
which is sold at nearby convenience stores. it's how they recover its costs. though he points out the cards are far cheaper than the large company ones. for more and more people phone and increasingly internet connections are making a huge difference. >> so now we connect to the internet. >> lucas is a bus driver way catering side business. internet access is essential, he says but until now getting on-line could be a cell phone connection ate up most of his profits. >> now your business is going to pick up also, your side business. >> i really hope so. that is my wish. >> lucas and his wife are most exciteded for what it means in the future for their son . >> we can get information. >> one connection at a time, he says the neighborhood is being transformed. >>it probably about 1500 internet terminals which is
7:47 pm
amazing . >> collins owns two internet cafes without the lower connection rates, he says is, he would have no profitness . >> the 80% savings is allowing him to expand to a third store. and donough is also growing. >> revenue is now growing quite a lot. a steady 40% a month . >> his immediate goal is to more than double the number of households with duba phones to 25,000 by the end of this year. if it proves sustainable, he says this could be the model across the developing world. >> you could bring in one connection to the internet, you could distribute it be,
7:48 pm
prepaid to your neighborhood and also you can create a telephone system. and then that person would have enough money to make a nice living and service the users. >> if such enterprises prove profitable, he says, large companies may be attribute mood underserved inner city and rural markets, not just here but in many other countries. that would bring competition and lower prices for all. >> woodruff: finally tonight, an encore look at some fourth of july reflections from poet gregory djanikian. his fifth and most recent volume of poetry is "so i will till the ground" >> my name is gregory djanikian and i was born in alexandria, egypt, and came to this which when i was 8 years old. i have spent my boyhood in a small town in pennsylvania, williams port, home of the
7:49 pm
little league and my culturization to this country occurred in some ways on the baseball fields of that town. now i live near philadelphia, a city which saw the founding of this nation. i would like to read a poem called immigrant picnic which describes a july fourth get together of my immigrant family who with american families across the nation contribute to the celebration of independence. the poem-- poem also describes how we might contribute to the great melting pot that is the english language. that for many of us who have come from different countries, our difficulties with american i had yoms often lead town expected syntactic construction and surprising turns of phrase which enrich the language and by which we are enriched .
7:50 pm
immigrant picnic. it's the fourth of july, the flags are painting the town. the plastic forks and knifes are laid out like a parade. and i'm grilling. i've got my apron. i've got potato salad, macaroni, relish. i've got a hat shaped like the state of pennsylvania. i have my father what's his pleasure and he says hot dog, medium rare. and then hamburger, sure, what's the big difference, as if he is really asking. i put on hamburgers and hot dogs, slice up the pickles and bermudas, uncap the cond iments. the paper napkins are fluttering away like lost messages. are you running around, my mother says, like a chick when its head loose. ma, i say, you mean cut off, loose and cut off being as far apart as say son and daughter. she gives me a quizzical
7:51 pm
look as though i have been caught in some impropriety. i love you and your sister just the same, she says. sure, my grandmother pipes in, are you both our children, so why worry. that's not the point, i begin telling them. and i'm comparing words to fish now like the ones in the sea at port syid or like birds among the date palms on nile unrepentantly elusive, wild. son ya, my father says to my mother, what the hell is he talking about. he is on a ball, my mother says. that's roll, i say, throwing up my hands, as in hot dog, hamburger, dinner roll. and what about roll out the barrel, my mother asks. and my father slaps his hands y sure, he says, let's have some fun and launchs into a poll ca twirling my mother around an around like the happiest top. and my uncle is shaking his head saying you could grow nuts listening to us.
7:52 pm
and i'm thinking of pistachios in the sinai berge ong without end, pe cans in the south, the jumbled flavor of them suddenly in my mouth, wordless, confusing, crowding out everything else. >> suarez: again, the major developments of this day, b.p.'s cost in the gulf of mexico cooil spill climbed above $3 billion. the first tar balls from the spill made their way to the shores of texas. they were fonld on the peninsula in galveston island. and three u.s. troops and a british soldier were killed by a roadside bomb in afghanistan. a dozen international troops have died there in the first five days of july. the newshour's always on-line, hari sreenivasan in our news room previews what is there. >> reporter: more readings from gregory djanikian on the poetry page and explore works by other poets. tom goldstein of scott
7:53 pm
utzblog has a guide to the most important supreme security decisions of the term. plus read a dpan onstory to fred's report on cell phones in south africa. we look at finland's recent degree-- decree that internet access is a basic human right force all its citizens, on our web site newshour.pbs.org. >> and again to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in the iraq and afghanistan conflict, we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here in silence are 14 more
7:54 pm
7:55 pm
. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez, we'll see you on-line and again here tomorrow evening. we hope you had a good fourth of july holiday. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: bank of america, continuing to help fume our nation's economic growth. chevron, this is the power of human energy . b nsf railway. >> and by the alfred p shown foundation, supporting
7:56 pm
science, technology and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century . >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations . and-- this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org vo:geico, committed to providing service to
7:57 pm
7:58 pm
7:59 pm
its auto insurance customers for over 70 years. more information on auto insurance at geico.com or 1-800-947-auto any time of the day or night.

799 Views

1 Favorite

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on