? josh: this sunday on close-up, three times the charm for conger's annie kuster. she makes new hampshire history. line to defend our freedom. so why is veterans health care so difficult to put together? good morning to you thanks for joining us. i am josh mcelveen. while election night focused on the white house race and the tug-of-war for kelly ayotte's senate seat, congressman annie kuster became the first democrat to win three consecutive terms in congress, representing new
knew that. rep. kuster: the second district has been a republican district for most of my lifetime. when we look into it, you go all the way back to 1853, and a democrat had not won three terms. so i am proud of it. it is a purple district. i always say i bring people together to get things done. josh: did you have a couple of moments of stress election night? rep. kuster: it is just funny though way the town's report. it turns out it was hanover, keene, and nashua that had not reported. so it looked closer than we would have wanted here but right about that time, i got word we would have a healthy win with 15,000 votes. so i did not stress too much. but it was volatile at the top of the ticket. i think that impacted -- you
was very close. i am thrilled for maggie hassan and new hampshire that she makes it to the senate, but it was close all day and a lot of lasers. very high turnout. and it turns out both sides were turning out. josh: we have had a couple of weeks to absorb everything going on. donald trump is under constant scrutiny now as he makes the selection for his cabinet. do you think he is getting a fair shake? rep. kuster: we are in unchartered territory. the word i keep thinking is "unpredictability." election night, i think he gave a gracious speech. then the very next thing, he appoints steve bannon, who wears associated with white supremacists and nationalists a heartbeat from the oval office. i think there is a lot of uncertainty for everyone.
republicans who are wondering. now, he has announced there is no legal obligation to separate his his his interests from the presidency. -- his business interests from the presidency. that is unprecedented. every president has not even been involved in their mutual funds, to say nothing of the business down the street. josh: do you see it as him trying to make more money or being a control freak? rep. kuster: i think he is making money off of this. he opened a ran you hotel a block from the white house. you have to figure every time someone comes in to see him in the oval office, he will say, "how was your room?" he will make money off the presidency. that is unprecedented and troubling. josh: as we have seen through this campaign, so many people are willing to forgive donald
people he has offended -- for the baggage he brought, the things he says, the people he has offended. mitt romney, for instance. we are taping this before thanksgiving, but under consideration for secretary of state. do you think that will add legitimacy to the administration in terms of taking care of the country? rep. kuster: i do. any time he can pick someone w that has a thoughtful approach -- i think nikki haley at the u.n. i do not agree with these people in public policy. i am concerned about us getting into wars and foreign policy, rolling back our rights, reproductive rights, or privatization of social security, but at least i know these are people you can have an
there are others -- giuliani seems to have gone off the rails the last few months. so i am troubled when he brings these people in that are firebrands that want to blow the place up. but we have to give it time. in my own personal point of view, i did not support him and i am skeptical, but il opiates. his family talked about paid family leave. that is a big priority of mine. infrastructure, a baked priority of mine. but the devil is in the details. and i will be calling him out. my phones rang off the hook with the steve bannon appointment, and i medially got a letter out -- and i immediately got a letter out to object to that appointment.
country forward and not be so divisive. josh: some good news governor elect sununu was when he met with vice president-elect mike pence. talking about the opiate crisis. the governor elect felt good about the fact that the admission nation said they would hand out block grants to the states and let the states deal with it. rep. kuster: it is a bill totally bipartisan. this is the task force i started with mr. guinta. we will move forward in a bipartisan way. it is about substantial funding. we are talking numbers as high as $1 billion in funding back to the states. the states will make the decision around law enforcement, education prevention, treatment, and long-term recovery.
i look forward to sitting down with governor sununu on policies and programs around the state. but we have to get a handle on this. josh: a lot of numbers throwing around -- thrown around, but the money is not delivered. what do you expect? rep. kuster: paul ryan is on board to it. senator shaheen is involved in the senate side. that will show up the appropriation would be march of 2017. so a couple months from now. but using that mechanism of getting the money back to the states is much quicker. and the states have three or four months to plan how they would use that funding. and new hampshire will be well situated. this is a sad silver lining, but the money will be parceled out to those states most in need,
and the high rate of deaths, i think we will be at the front of the line to get the funds we need. josh: a sad silver lining, but perhaps we can be a national model. rep. kuster: absolutely. and new hampshire is a small enough place, we know each other, we know who the activists are, we have our deep brought to law enforcement engaged with the medical cmu across the state to we have mayors, committees. we will be ready to go. and i always say to my colleagues, heroin does not choose r's and d's. josh: another piece of history. all female delegation down there. maggie hassan, jeanne shaheen, and carol shea-porter. have you been in touch with
i have made this comment before, but will be -- what we have in common is if you have raised toddlers and teenagers, we know how to bring people together. i am looking forward to the work we can do for new hampshire. i have spoken with senator shaheen about resuming monthly breakfast meeting so we can coordinate efforts. there are plenty of challenges out there. i will be focused on veterans, heroin agriculture committee. carol and jeanne shaheen have worked on the armed services committee. everyone will bring a piece of it and tackle it to bring federal funding back here to new hampshire. roads, bridges, highways, schools, community colleges. and also to be coordinated when the new republican administration goes off the rails. we want to be there to speak up for new hampshire.
let's talk about the democratic party. sitting with bernie sanders earlier this week. he cannot help but lament and wonder what the future would have been in a different democratic party that did not have superdelegates pre-delivering -- rep. kuster: we call it coulda, woulda, shoulda. josh: but you cannot help wondering. do you think the rules should be changed within the dnc? rep. kuster: to that. but i will say barack obama was a grassroots candidates, and he also got the support through a lot of effort of the superdelegates. so i do not think it is impossible to navigate. i think it turns out bernie sanders did not choose that approach. no one ever came to ask for my votes. and i was surprised at that. so i think the system can work,
proof, but i am open to a discussion about it. i am not wedded to it. just like the electoral college. you see hillary clinton getting over 2 million more votes in the popular vote than the president-elect. you have to stop and wonder, are we using the best methodology for every person, every vote, counting towards the presidency? so i think all of these things are open for discussion. josh: devil's advocate. a popular vote would completely change the landscape if they want strictly -- it went strictly thumbs up, thumbs down. we would not enjoy the retail politics, but it also is the candidates that are. rep. kuster: but imagine you
this is not bush v. gore with a couple hundred here or there. 2 million americans -- 2 million is a substantial number of americans who have not been counted. and i understand chairman buckley -- who is under consideration for emc chair -- has a proposal -- for dnc chair --has a proposal for a trigger mechanism. josh: so looking forward, do you feel optimisti want to see difference. rep. kuster: absolutely. i have always been about bringing people together. that is what this bipartisan task force to combat the heroin epidemic is about. i will continue my work for veterans. i will protect seniors. i am concerned about privatization discussions. we have plenty of work out there. we will find common ground when
it is always a campaign issue. while politicians talk about helping veterans, one effort is taking into their own hands. -- we will start with you. this is borne out of the veterans choice. jack: i had veterans on the show explaining to me they are procedures that could be done at a local hospital in manchester or the seacoast, keene, north country, south. i thought it was outrageous. that a veteran that has served this state has to go to massachusetts or white river junction when it could be done here. catholic medical center was the first. and through the power of
hospitals in the state of new hampshire signed up and pledge to be hospitals for heroes. that means their providers have gone through the hoops to be v.a. certified. and a veteran can go through the choice program instead of going out of state to this past year since we have started this, 545 veterans in manchester alone went to cmc. the year before, it was just over 100. they are starting to use the choice program t josh: and you are the ceo and president of northeast dense adult opiate how did you get involved -- of northeast delta denta. how did you get involved? tom: i heard the show and i heard of a veteran who he could not prove his dental issues
they have done a lot for veterans in pain. they are doing a lot for free dentistry. then i worked with our partner, delta dental plan of california. and i help through vadip.org. so veterans are now signing up for a traditional program. so they can get a dental home. see veterans in pain. josh: a lot of people think of seeing dental as being important to health. tom: you cannot have good overall health without its. and you cannot eat without good teeth as well. jack: we had veterans on the show calling, saying for months or a year or two, they were trying to get surgery. they had headaches and neck pain
but they could not prove it, or they were a pow. but they say after calling tom's office, in two days, after a year of waiting, they got service. i met a veteran who thinks me. but you served, we just paid it that. we do not have a full v.a. service hospital. so my hope is there hospital for heroes, veterans can go locally and not ou s if you can and it is, by the choice program, why go two hours out of state? josh: i love the work you are doing. if there is one issue near india to me, it is taking care of veterans -- if there is one issue near and deer to me, it is taking care of veterans. but what are the challenges? jack: you had congresswoman kuster on.
pressure on the contractors and providers. the hospital is owed $2 million from the insurance arm of the v.a. providers cannot float that bill. so people in congress have to keep -- keep pressure on the v.a. the speeded up, a ladies. josh: and you have been trying to bridge the gap. tom: that is a great thing about new hampshire. i got doctors to see veterans in pain. and we set up vadip.org. it is working. so thanks to listening to jack's show, i got this network in place. as jack says, every day, i got
veterans saying that their mouth is healed. jack: talk about the new hampshire way, one veteran told me he was apprehensive to smile around his daughter for eight years because of the damage, but after going to your friend, he smiles. josh: it is a life changer. jack: entitlements. they have earned the care. they just do not put their hands up and ask for help. josh: the way you guys are going about it, starting with the grassroots, and then bringing in the federal government, talking to annie kuster and other members of the delegation, do you feel that is more effective rather than asking the candidates? jack: you interviewed every one
kind of tentative about this. half of them running did not even know. this state open their eyes to veteran care, but it is all over the country. white river junction, manchester, good men and women who work at the v.a., but you have to have the collaboration with the private sector. cell phones were not made by the government, they were made by entrepreneurs. innovation has to happen from the private side. tom: and new hampshire is the doctors are veterans themselves. they understand and they understand the importance of oral health. it would be great if ava could see veterans -- if the v.a. could see veterans, even if they could not prove that their health issues happened in active service. jack: another veteran caught my
and he said no disrespect to the people in prison, they can go and get dental care in the county prison. she has to wait a year for dental coverage. it should be covered and part of what they get. josh: and i imagine -- you are a bit of a trailblazer in this area. are you reaching out to others? tom: i think we have become a benchmark for other delta countries across the country. in the establishment of this program, now have access. so it is becoming more of a national program. josh: big picture, i know you're working on this a lot. when it comes the veterans, whether it is homelessness or reintegrate in into society, this is not a single-pronged problem. a framework needs to be built.
your station and you in particular. you have been on the radio-thon with me. that is a 12 hour show i did on my station network to help veterans count, a great organization. the young veterans i interviewed coming back, yes, we have more work to do. we are just talking about physical care. the emotional wounds of service. some of the national guardsmen, six towards -- they come back with invisible emotional wounds. we are not even talking about. that is the next shoe to drop. they mentioned ptsd, the number of their colleagues who take their own lives. 22 every day in this country. we do not want them to take their own life. they need to get the help they earned.
perfect wife, perfect husband, perfect employee, when they have been in hostile land serving free -- serving for us to be in the dye free state? the emotional side is next. tom: let me put out a shout for veterans counts. that has also become a national benchmark for other states. it is not just emotional needs, but the little things. life goes on tne josh: we have to run. if you want to help, call into jack's show, new hampshire
josh: welcome back. as the president-elect continues to vet potential cabinet members, it appears one name will not be part of it. trump was asked about the possibility of senat k administration, to which he replied, "no, thank you." meanwhile, supporters of mitt romney say that he is a perfect choice to be the nation's top table mat. meanwhile, scott brown walked away with a pop in his step. scott brown figures he has the media angle covered the at his
and his army experience made him the best to head the v.a. during the meeting, he described the president-elect as focused but relaxed. despite media he believes is borderline harassing trump. mr. brown: he said there was a lack of transparency -- that is with the press. josh: with mitt romney to discuss secretary of state. there and shake a contrast to their dust-ups. >> his imagination must not be married to real power. >> mitt romney failed. >> it is critical that trump reaches out to romney.
says that he adds legitimacy to a trump administration. >> he would unite the republican party and he would get easy confirmation in the senate. josh: one name we have not heard a lot is corey lewandowski. after his departure from the campaign, he remained close to trump. he said he remains ready to help the president-elect anyway he can. this will wrap up this edition of "closeup." have a great sunday. [captioning performed by the nationalti which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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>> today on matter of fact. the president elect takes on the nation's challenges. as we consider the accomplishments of the obama administration. >> obama came in on a wave of magic. >> how will you remember his presidency? man who traveled 100- thousand miles to talk to the forgotten voters. >> how much time will they give the new president to deliver promises? >> plus,what's it like to live meal to meal? what you need to know. but first. did the president who campaigned for hope and change