tv [untitled] CSPAN June 9, 2009 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT
expensive care, or they get sick and end up in hospital out outrageously expenditures. this is not to address those needs because many of those people don't have a whole lot of money. we need a simple by system. we need a universal system. we need a comprehensive system. i believe we can do that. >> will senator baucus hold a hearing on the single-payer system? >> caller: what he indicated is that he apologize. he thought he should have done that. he thought, was a hundred% sure that at this stage in the process probably too late for the finance committee. on the other hand, on the health education committee which is the other committee dealing with this issue i believe we will have a testimony to the best of my knowledge for single-payer applicant's. >> who is leading the effort, senator kennedy battling cancer senator dodd is at this moment taking most of a lung with other senators. we are meeting, as i mentioned later on this morning we will be going on for three or four hours going down the bill.
so i think god has assumed leadership spec is senator baucus open to your ideas? he's not? >> to a single-payer idea. not in a million years does that about. >> does that bother you? >> it bothers me. it's not just senator baucus. it's every republican. let's be clear. >> i'm an independent, and that's why. >> but you caucus with the republicans. >> we have some wonderful democrats fighting to do the right thing. but you have some conservative democrats who will be working with republicans. from a political point, let me say this, there is some people say we have to move forward in a bipartisan approach which means that we have to have closer on a filibuster which means you have to have 60 votes which means you have to make major major compromises. my guess is, and i maybe wrong with this, but my strong feeling if we end up with a bill as 60
or 70 votes, it would be such a weak bill that it will not accomplish i think what the american people want. i would rather pass a strong vote with 51 votes than a week filled with 65 or 70 votes. the bottom line is the current system is dysfunctional, we are wasting 300, $400 billion we need to move toward a cost effective comprehensive universal program. we have to finally move in that direction. this is a human right, and we have to have the courage to take on the drug companies and insurance companies who just exerts enormous power here in washington. >> good morning karen. >> caller: good morning. i have a quick statement and then a question. the biggest problem we have in america is greed and it goes all the way from the largest politician all the way down to the individual. that's what i believe. and no matter what system is put in place, greed will always find a loophole. and because people aren't honest and people don't care about
other people, that's the problem. i raise kids on 1500 a month, never went bankrupt, never had defaulted on a loan. and never had a health insurance. my husband wouldn't pay for and i couldn't afford it. but you know what, i pay my bills and i didn't buy branded card and that's how i did it. so it is doable. for the individual. but my question is what about putting a cap on how much -- how much these big ceos can make an all different things? and also as far as i'm looking for a politician who is willing -- you know, people fought and died for this country. we don't even have a politician who is willing to sacrifice his job. >> let me start off with the first point, that kerry may. she's right. i mean, we are at a moment in history and we saw this on the people from wall street not content making 30 or 40% rate of return.
hedge fund managers were making billions of dollars that they had to make more. she's right. greed permeates almost every aspect of life. but i would say to karen who is as i understand, living with no health insurance, because she doesn't have a whole lot of money, care and that's a dangerous position to be in because you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. you don't know what kind of thing can develop your you don't know what kind of accident can happen. so i think as a nation we have got to move toward health care for all people. in terms of putting one's job on the line, i think there are people in congress, perhaps you are prepared to stand up to big money interests, and take on the drug companies and insurance companies. but i think karen is right, it's just not enough spec we had a call and an e-mail at it we. this from daniel young who says my sister had cancer and went bankrupt because of it. 10 years later she has had problems getting jobs because
she had cancer. >> this is another issue. bankruptcy we touched on. you know, if you go to other countries around the world, people are going to criticize all the countries. but you asked how many people go bankrupt because of illness in canada or in other countries. the answer in most cases is zero. it just doesn't happen. second of all we have millions of people today who are staying on their jobs. do you know why they are staying on the jobs? not because they are content or happy on their jobs. because they have decent health insurance and they are afraid to leave their jobs to go to another job with health insurance is not as good. does that make any sense from a personal point of view or from an economic point of view? and the answer is it doesn't. so what we have got to do is move away from employer-based health care to national health care which is if you are an american, no matter what your job, if you are sweeping the streets, you can be the president of the united states, you're going to the same quality
copper into the. >> from san antonio single you please clarify what senator sanders that the federal health care policy they receive is seriously subsidized by tax dollars, unlike the comments of represented gingrich. >> to things like that. the program i have is the best of my knowledge the same as postal workers, the same as my secretary, the same as anybody who works for the federal government. it's not like numbers of congress have a different policy. second of all, the caller is right. like many others employer-based health care system, our health care system, the federal health care system is of course subsidized by the government. absolutely. >> our last call from casper wyoming on the independent mind. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i just wanted to talk about, you know, i'm not sure that national health care is the answer. i know we need something. i am a retired social worker.
i just retired less than a year ago. 20 years in social work in nursing home, hospital, assisted-living. >> we take you live to the president and remarks on the policy known as they go. live coverage on c-span2. >> thank you. thank you all for joining us here at the white house. before i began, i want to comment briefly on the announcement by the treasury department with regard to the financial stability plan. as you know, through this plan and its predecessor taxpayer dollars were used to stabilize the financial system at a time of extraordinary stress. and these funds were also meant to be an investment. and they were meant to be temporary. that's why this mornings announcement is important. several financial institutions are set to pay back $68 billion to taxpayers.
and while we know that we will not escape the worst financial crisis in decades without some losses to taxpayers, it's worth noting that in the first round of repayments from these companies, the government has actually turned a profit. this is not a sign that our troubles are over, far from it. the financial crisis, this administration inherited is still creating painful challenges for businesses and families alike and i think everyone sees it in their own individual districts. but it is a positive sign. we are seeing initial return on a few of these investments. we are restoring funds to the treasury where they will be available to safeguard against continuing risks to financial stability. and as of this money is returned, we will see our national debt lesson by $68 billion. billions of dollars that this generation will not have to borrow and future generations will not have to repay.
i have said repeatedly that i have no interest in managing the banking system, or for that matter running auto companies, or other private institutions. so today's announcement is welcome news to me. but i also want to say a return of these funds does not provide forgiveness for past excesses or permission for future misdeeds. it's critical that as our country emerges from this period of crisis that we learn its lessons. that those who seek reward do not take restless risk. that short-term gains are not pursued without regard for long-term consequences. at the same time, as we see greater responsibility from those in the private sector, it's my view and a few of those who are standing behind me today as well as those in the audience, that greater responsibility is required on the part of those who serve the public as well. as a nation, we have several imperatives at this different in
our history. we are confronting the worst recession in this country has faced in generations. and this is required extraordinary investment in the short-term. another imperative is addressing longer priorities, health care, energy, education. which threaten the american economy and the well being of american families. we have begun to tackle these problems as well. but we are also called upon to rein in deficits by addressing these and other challenges in a manner that is fiscally responsible. this in part requires the kind of line by line review of the budget that is ongoing, to remove things that we don't need and to make the programs that we do need work more efficiently. there are billions of dollars to be saved this way. but much of our effort will entail going after the big ticket items that drive the deficits. by ending a necessary no-bid contracts in reforming the way government contracts are rewarded we can save the
american people up to $40 billion every year. in addition, secretary robert gates is proposed a badly needed overhaul of a defense contracting system riddled with hundreds of billions of dollars in cost overruns. and the cancellation of superfluous defense systems necessary to combat the threats of the 21st century. we are also going to eliminate unwarranted subsidies currently lavished on health insurance companies through medicare which will save roughly $177 billion over the next decade. and this is part of a broader health reform. about which i will have more to say in the coming days, which will both cut costs and improve care. so all told, in the next four years the deficit will be cut in half. over the next decade, nondefense discretionary spending will reach its lowest level as they share of our national income since we began keeping records in 1962. but we must go further, and one
important step we can and must take is restoring the so-called asu will rule, or paygo. this is a rule i champion in the senate and called for time and again on the campaign trail. today, with the support of these legislators, including the speaker of the house, my administration is submitting to congress a proposal to codify this rule into law. and i hope that the house and senate will act quickly to pass it. [applause] >> the pay-as-you-go rule is very simple. congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere. this principle guide reached possible families for managing a budget and it is no coincidence that this rule was in place when
we moved from record deficits to record surpluses in the 1990s. and that when this rule was abandoned we return to record deficits that doubled the national debt. entitlement increases, tax cuts need to be paid for. they are not free, and borrowing to finance them is not a sustainable long-term policy. paying for what you spend is basic common sense. perhaps that's why here in washington it's been so elusive. of course, there have been those in washington leading the charge to restore paygo, and many of them are here today. i want to recognize congressman george miller who introduced the first paygo bill in the house or. [applause] i want to thank the house of blue dogs and their leader, especially baron hill who has been a driving force in favor of
paygo. [applause] >> i want to acknowledge senator claire mccaskill who has shown real leadership on this issue in the senate, and as i said i want -- [applause] >> as i said, i want to acknowledge the speaker of the house as well as leader who are here because they understand the importance of this principle and are fully supportive of our efforts. in fact, two years ago a new democratic congress put in place of congressional rules to restore this principle. but could not pass legislation without the support of the administration. i want you all to know you now have that support. [applause] >> the fact is there are few who are distressed by deficits and it's a concern that crosses
party lines, geographic lines. that often in the give-and-take of the political process that vested interests of the few overtake the broader interests of the many. the debate of the day drowns out those who speak of what we may face tomorrow. and that's why pay-as-you-go is essential. it requires congress to navigate the aven flow of politics while remaining fixed on the fiscal horizon. the reckless fiscal policies of the past have left us in a very deep hole, and digging our way out of it will take time, patience, and some tough choices. i know that in the face of this historic challenge there are many across this country who are skeptical of our collective ability to meet it. they are not wrong to feel that way. they're not wrong to draw this lesson after years after we put off the difficult decisions in which we have allowed our politics to grow smaller as our challenge is grew ever more daunting. but i think everybody understands this is an
extraordinary moment. one in which we are called upon not just to restore fiscal responsibility, but to once again live up to the broader responsibilities we have to one another. and i know that we can summon that sense of shared obligation, that we have the capacity to change and grow, and do so even our toughest problems. and that's at the heart of why we are here today. i appreciate the work of the people in this room who have shown a willingness to make our choices and do the hard work that essential to overcoming the challenge of the president, while leading our nation better off in the future. so this is going to be a lift. know it's going to be tough. i think we can get it done. especially with the extraordinary leadership that is on display here today. thank you very much, everybody. [applause]
>> senators are still on the break to attend a party caucus lunches at this hour. they will be back at 2:15 eastern for more work on a bill regulating tobacco products. when the senate returns, this afternoon a vote on the substitute amendment offered by north carolina republican senator richard burr. that's expected at about 4:20 eastern time. also some news as judiciary chairman committee patrick leahy said that confirmation hearings
>> to try caucus is made up of members from the black, hispanic and asian pacific american caucus is. this is about 45 minutes. >> okay, good morning and thank you all for being here. some of us may have to leave for a markup. but we will made our statement and we will be coming and going as scheduled permit. i barber later type represent the ninth congressional district of california, also the chair of the congressional black caucus. and i stand here before you today as a very proud, original cosponsor of the health equity and accountability act of 2009 with my colleagues who have worked on this bill for many, many years. congresswoman christiansen, this
year will lead not only the efforts of the congressional black caucus but the congressional tri- caucus, which began actually three congresses ago. but also represents our collective commitment, to ensure that health equity is an integral part of health care reform. it references our unwillingness to forgive those who have been left out of the health care system for far too long, and it represents our very thoughtful solutions to ensure that health care reform improves the health, health care, wellness, and of course life opportunities of every single american, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, geographic, or socioeconomic background, as well as age. it's unfortunate that the
reality of our legislative thrust has been that it's been about 10 years, a decade ago that the last minority health bill was enacted. but in that time, in the last 10 years, we have learned so much about health disparities. the causes and the trends, as well as the economic and human impact. and so much unfortunately of what we all know is not very positive. let me just give you an example. more than three in every four persons of color, 76%, were uninsured for six months or mow in 2007 in 2008. and studies confirmed that found some uninsured have a disastrous impact on health and wellness, especially for people who live with chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, asthma. of course these diseases and others require a regular and
routine care to manage. we also know that african-american women are nearly four times more likely than white women to die during childbirth, or from pregnancy convocations, and that the infant mortality rate for african americans and american indian and alaska natives are more than two-time hires than that for whites. and so today we have more and more, and you will hear more of these statistics from members of the tri-caucus and we have decided that once again, we will introduce our bill, the health equity and accountability act of 2009 because it will begin to close many of these tragic disparities. there was a report in 2002 unequal treatment, many of those recommendations which again, our nation's leading health disparity elimination experts championed. this was a member, in 2002, we are now and 2009. so we're sitting in a very clear message that health care equity,
disparities, must be included in any health care reform bill that we debate and that we work on this year. because in the end, the inclusion and hopeful enactment of health care reform must leave no one behind. and that is what we are here to talk about today. so thank you again very much. i want to thank all the members for their hard work on this bill because this has been such a long process. but i think we have come together with an excellent bill, and we will be introducing it very soon. so congresswoman christiansen now will come forward. she is our physician, medical doctor from the virgin islands who had championed this with our [inaudible conversationstri-cau. >> thank you. thank you and all of our other great chairs for your outstanding leadership and my tri-caucus colleagues for your untiring efforts on be half of health equity and thank you all for joining us today. clearly, we are at a very
pivotal and a very exciting time. one that he tri-caucus tends to take full advantage of. for those of us who have been calling for health disparity elimination legislation, that will diversify the health workforce, focus our prevention, apply our community eccentric, approach to health disparities and the tens of thousands of premature preventable deaths every year, and improve the health and of all americans, for us it's a more even more exciting time. because the reform that's about to take place in our health care system, we are about to take it to another level of transformation with the legislation that we are about to introduce. and this will truly make a difference in the health and well being of millions of people in this country. in this historic year and his historic 111th congress, i have the honor and privilege of being the lead sponsor of the health equity and accountability act of 2009. and the time and the opportunity to get it past is now. this bill which applies a very comprehensive approach to ensure
health equity addresses the illnesses that cause disproportionate disease disability and death. but it goes steps further to address many of the root causes of health disparities, causes that people don't often think of as factors. yet, those that create the environment are cause for health and indeed any personal or community a tip to achieve, and we address them in this bill. i want to focus on two key provisions of the bill which relate directly to point to four and five of our joint tri-caucus priorities. the first are the workforce divisions which aim to incentivize and support underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities pursue careers as doctors and nurses. dentist, psychiatrist, pharmacist, hospice providers, community health workers and all of the whole spectrum of health care providers. and would also strengthen the institutions that predominately serb minorities and educate train and graduated into health care fields.
this is not a proposal. that is not in a proposal that is out there that doesn't make her that we will have to greatly expand the provider workforce to meet the demands of a fully insured populace. but there is also an increasing body of research which affirms that the chief danger to health equity, this expansion must grammatically increase the diversity in that workforce that reflects the demographics of our country on all levels. these providers will practice in the underserved communities and that the culture and linguistic accordance with will generate better relationships and trust and achieve better outcomes. that sigel every american can support. the second provision is the creation of health empowerment. because the good health either begins or ends in the community and because some of the most effective health equity efforts of those that are community-based, this bill also includes those health empowerment zones which are modeled after economic empowerment zones that provide
areas, the neighborhood, reservation, burrell, county, township or city with resources and technical assistance to identify their health disparity challenges and to coordinate existing resources and expertise to develop and implement community-based solutions. by the health equity act of 2009 dozen much more. throughout the provisions that you hear about, it goes about reaching -- it goes beyond reducing racial and ethnic health disparity. it also seeks to reduce gender, rural health disparities. and so in many ways the health equity and accountability act would improve the health care and health status of lives of all americans who have been on the downside of opportunity, attention and access in the current dysfunctional health care system. it's important to also put minority health in the proper perspective. many reports further document that improving the health of the poor and people of color will improve the quality of health care for everyone and help to bring the skyrocketing cost of everyone there's the burden of
down. for this reason i'm proud to stand here today with my colleagues, not going to ask all americans to support this bill, that you strongly support its inclusion in the final health care reform bill. and now i'm pleased to present the next bigger, my classmate and my colleague and a cochair of the cdc health, congressmen danny at chicago. >> thank you very much and i'm pleased to be here with all of the members of the tri-caucus, and i want to commend the leadership of our individual caucuses for bringing this together and having this to work so effectively. for more than 40 years, we have seen the growth and development of community, rural, migrant and family health centers. i maintain that these have proven themselves to be the most sufficient, most effective and most comprehensive approach to providing health care to large
numbers of low income people throughout america. as a matter of fact, they are the best thingpá has happened to health care probably since the indians discovered cornflakes. >> these centers currently service more than 18 million, mostly low income people, throughout america. they are linked and connected with secondary hospitals, with a tertiary care centers, and provide enormous training opportunities for individuals to work, especially in primary care. it is our position that any health legislation passed, any health reform legislation, and certainly in our view, that we must see serious expansion of these centers. not only do they provide health care, but they are economic booms to most of the low iom