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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  December 17, 2009 7:06pm-7:30pm EST

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care overhaul reading some remarkable information concerning the mood and views of the american people following on a "washington post" abc news poll out yesterday was 51% of americans say they oppose the proposed changes to the system, 44% approve. thanks to the efforts of so many people, including our leadership, we have turned american public opinion because we been informing them of the consequences of passage of this legislation. let me just quote from "the wall street journal" article. according to the more americans now believe it is better to keep the current health care system and to pass president barack obama's plan according to a new wall street journal nbc news poll. the shift from a fall when they enjoyed when the overhaul
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enjoyed an edge over the status quo. according to the poll, 44% of americans that it's better to pass no plan at all compared with 41% who said it's better to pass a plan. what they are saying is, don't do this government takeover. don't increase your taxes, don't increase spending, don't increase the cost. and it's remarkable shift things to informing the american people that i just mention one other statistic to my -- i mean a couple of other points made in this poll in the u.s. in "the wall street journal." in december, 41 -- in september, 45% of americans said they wanted to have the plan passed. 41% wanted to keep the system. in december this poll out today only 41% of the american people want it passed and 44% say keep the current system.
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and then of course we have another interesting statistic, trust that the government will do what is right. 21% say always most of the time. 46% say only some of the time. in 32% of the american people say almost never. and of course, the anger and disapproval of this health care plan and right now is the centerpiece of americans dissatisfaction of the way we do business. and let me just finish up. we don't have a bill, we don't have a bill. here we've been debating all this time we do not have legislation. now this was one of the bills we were presented with, but we don't -- we know that significant changes are being made behind closed doors. we don't have a cbo estimate of the cost. we understand that they keep
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sending estimates over to cbo and it comes back and do they send them back, which is probably why last week the senator from illinois, the number two ranking democrat said to me, i don't know what's in the bill either. an exact quote, i would say to the senator from arizona that i'm in the dark almost as much as he has and i'm in the leadership. that's an interesting commentary. and of course, the issue of the protection of the rights of the unborn is still unclear. that is a big issue with a lot of americans. it's a big issue with me and they know it's a big issue with my colleagues. so here we are back off of the bill at self and apparently we are going to have some sort of a vote on christmas eve or something like that. what the american people are saying now when they're saying keep the status quo, they are saying stop, go back to the beginning, sit down and have bipartisan basis and let's get
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this done, but let's get it done right. americans know that medicare is gone broke. americans know that costs are rising too quickly. that americans want us to do this right and not in a partisan fashion and not with a bill that cost too much, taxes too much, and deprives people of their benefits. >> the senator from arizona, i thank you for your questions. i say we have two positions in the senate, dr. coburn and dr. barrasso for my domain. and i'm wondering if they were there with me for just a minute or two to reflect something the minority leader said. and the senator from arizona, the minority leader, the republican leader talked about a historic mistake. there's not a lot of talk around here about making history on health care. the problem is there's many different kinds of history as the republican leader has pointed out in seems our friends on the other side are absolutely determined to pursue a comic odyssey of political kamikaze mission towards a mistake which
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will be disastrous for them in the elections of 2010, but much more important that for the country. i did a little research on historic mistakes. we've made them before in the united states congress and maybe we'd be wise to take governor schwarzenegger's advice and slow down and stop and learn from our history, rather than try to top our previous historic mistakes like the smoot-hawley tariff. that sounded pretty good at the time in 1930 with the idea was to buy american. but most historians agree it was a mistake and he contributed to the depression. there was the alien sedition act of 1798 senate pretty good at the time. we're going to keep his foreigners in our midst. they're mostly french then friends saying bad things about the government, but it offended all of our tradition of free speech. 1969, congress enacted a millionaire's tax they called it to try to catch 155 americans who weren't paying any tax.
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that turned out to be an historic mistake because last year it caught 28 million american taxpayers until we had to rest to change it. and just a couple more, there was a catastrophic coverage act of 1988. i was well named because it turned out to be a catastrophe, a congressional catastrophe. the idea was to help seniors deal with financial reverses. but seniors didn't like paying for it. they surrounded the chairman of the ways and means committee in chicago and now the leader of that group is a member of congress. and then there was the luxury tax on those over $100,000 other historic mistake. because of raised about half the taxes it was supposed to and nearly sank the boating industry and opposed 7600 people out of jobs. so ask my friends from oklahoma and wyoming. it's going to be a lot harder for congress if they try to fix all this health care system at one to come back and repeal it
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then it was too repeal a boat tax. don't you think that we ought to take the time to avoid another historic mistake? >> i would answer my colleague from tennessee as a practicing physician. when i see the historic mistake were going to allow the federal government which carrier you are going to get. we're going to divide the loyalty of your physician and no longer will you be able to get 100% advocate for you they will be an advocate for the government over the government says. because in this bill the one that's going to come has three different programs that puts government bureaucracy in charge of what you can cannot have. doesn't consider what your personal health, which are personal medical history is, what's your family medical history of spirit here's what you can and cannot do. that call ration. that's in the bill. that's coming and that's a historic make because it ruins the best health care system in the world in the name of trying
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to fix the smaller problem in terms of access. and it ignores the real problem. the real problem is health care in this country cost too much. and we all know that this bill doesn't drive down that cost. it increases cost him his your premiums go up, your cost goes up, your care is going to go down because the government is going to tell you what to do. i think that they historic make and we've not addressed it. i'm wondering what my colleague from wyoming would think. >> i agree completely as they position taking care of people in wyoming for 25 years. i have great concerns about the spell or at least we know for sure is in it which is $500 million of that in medicare to our patients who depend on medicare and that the system we know has gone broke. and that's why there's a front-page story one of the wyoming papers, doctors shortage will worsen. it's going to be harder on perl communities and other communities around the country if this goes through because the folks who look at the parts of the bill that we have seen, they
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have said that one fifth of the hospitals in this country if they're able to keep their doors open will be operating in a significant loss ten years from now. that's not the best future for health health care in our country. but i had a telephone town hall meeting, people from all around the state of wyoming to call in and asking questions and they said what's in the bill? was coming to the senate? we don't know yet. we haven't seen that. and they said when you find out? to come home in a similar town meetings a week and have some input to what we think. but that's what we have to do as a senator. we had to say what's in the bill? let us go home, let us see its cover letter shared with our friends do we know. because right now the american people, what they think of this part of the bill, this 2000 page bill, the american people really believe that this will increase the cost of their own personal care. >> my colleague would yield here at yesterday as the chairman of the finance committee to ask unanimous consent that in fact
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at least 72 hours at the american people get to see this bill that the members of the senate get to see this bill that there be a complete cba o. score that we can have an understanding. he denied that request. and that comes back to transparency. the american people expect us to know exactly what we're voting on. they expect us to have read what we're voting on. and this explanation was that i can't guarantee that, that presumes a certain level of perception on my part and understanding and delving into the minds of the senators that they can actually understand. what does understand name? i mean, that's the kind of gibberish that the american people absolutely don't want. they want us to know what we're voting on when we get ready to vote on this bill. >> in relation of the commitments that was made that for 72 hours and the legislation would be online, not just for us to see, but for all americans to see. i asked the senator from kentucky again, the leader, is
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it not the perception now that this bill is probably cannot be pushed through for various parliamentary procedures that we will -- that the majority will try to force a final vote on this legislation to matter what before we leave. and isn't that in contradiction to what the american people are saying, that they want us, the majority want us to do nothing? is this a responsible way to govern, have the senate and wound the clock 24 hours, people on the floor, quorum calls, all this kind of stuff. and really they would also have no amount of that time for us to at least address some of the issues of this bill that began cutting medicare by $500 billion, increases taxes by $500 billion, on january 1 and in 4 years begin spending $2.5 trillion. is this a process that the
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american people are not reacting to in a negative fashion? obviously by pooling data. by the way, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that "the wall street journal" article entitled democrats palouse grows deeper and new poll and support for health overhaul weavings be included in the record. >> without objection. >> i would say to my friend from arizona with reference to the issue of the process, it's been a bit of a charade. in fact, a total charade. we've been out here for two weeks on the amendment process. we've had 21 votes, many of them have been side-by-side in order to cover the majority against potential downside, voting to cut medicare. and those voting to raise taxes. that no serious effort to engage in any kind of genuine amendment process such as the senator from arizona. i've been involved in here for
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quite a while. and then, the bill that we are actually only allowed to have about two votes a day on is not the real bill. the real bill, the core of it is, but they're a lot of little things around the edges that are being slipped in and slipped out. and they want to jam the public before christmas as the senator from arizona indicated. how arrogant is that? we know better than you, we know better than the republicans, we know better than the public. why don't all of you while, the republicans in the american public just sit down and shut up and leave it to us? and will take care of it before christmas. >> to the republican leader, senator from kentucky, i believe there's another little bit of history being made. this bill, this process is really historic in its arrogance. this isn't very hard to
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understand. the proposal is, to take 16%, 70% of our economy affecting 300 million americans, nothing could be more personal as the kentucky senator has said in our health care. and we don't have the bill. we do not have the bill. it's been written in secret in another room and if there's any part of this debate that went through to every single household in america i believe it was when the finance committee voted down a motion that the bill should he on the web for 72 hours so the american people can see the text, know what it costs, and know how it affects them. a democratic senators wrote and said we want to insist that we know what the tax is, that we have the official scorer from the congressional budget office and that we have it for 72 hours
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before we moved to vote. now we don't have the bill, we don't have the official score from the congressional budget office. seventy-two hours is three more days. and even though a democratic senators and other republican senator said we want to know what it costs, know what it is, and know how to do will affect us. they want it done before christmas. >> may be the reason why they don't want it to be online for 72 hours is because when they examine what we have on page 324 on this bill, and a billion dollar tax who don't have approved plans. a 20 billion-dollar tax on businesses that cannot afford to offer insurance to their employees. on page 1979, raises the number was 150 billion-dollar tax on many middle-class workers using so-called cadillac
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health-insurance lance. page 1997 will cost families and individuals an additional 5 billion by prohibiting the use of cb set aside for health care expenses. page 2010, make the cost of life-saving medicine more expensive by taxi pharmaceutical research $22 billion. the list goes on and on and including page 2040 increase the medicare payroll taxes by $53.8. that's one reason why maybe it's going to be difficult for them to win passage of this after 72 hours of examining this 2000 page bill. >> obviously, in addition to its other problems it is a job killer. with unemployment at 10%, a big tax increase on a variety of different americans as senator mccain has pointed out. in addition to all its other problems come a subset of problems or process problems if the job killer in the middle of
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a difficult recession. >> i.t. to my colleagues that the lack of transparency, one of the things my friend president obama said he wanted to have was transparency. there's been no transparency in this process. and that's why at least if there's no transparency. there's going to be no transparency in the process, we ought to at least have a transparent to the americans for 72 hours. and even a quote from the finance committee is i think it's impossible to certify that any senator will fully understand it. so, we're going to have a 2000 page plus bill and the chairman of the finance committee says he thinks it's going to be impossible to certify that any senator will fully understand this bill. that's the best reason i know not to pass this bill. because if we don't understand it, you can bet the american people aren't going to understand it. >> that seems to be the reason that --
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>> tough americans are beginning to understand that they don't want it. that's thanks to the efforts that have been made all over this country to educate the american people about what the impact is of this bill. >> just following along what you're saying, that's why the sport right now of the american people for this bill is at an all-time low, the lowest level of support other, fewer, this is the new nbc poll out yesterday, fewer than one out of three americans support this bill. they don't know what it meant, but they don't like what they see so far because they all believe overwhelming numbers believe that their own cost of their health care will go up, that this will add to the deficit, it will hurt the economy and that their health care would actually be better if we passed nothing. so why would the american people support a bill that's actually going to cost them more personally and their health care is going to get worse. that's not the value the american people have ever wanted. so that's what you're for my my patients at home.
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that's what i hear when visitors come in from wyoming. that's what we're hearing in all of our states and that's what the american people continue to say, do not pass this bill. as our leader said, we do need health care reform and dr. coburn certainly knows that, but it's not this reform that we need. >> we come to the floor every day and point out the problems with the bill. we've done that today. one, we don't have a bill, can't read it, don't know how much it costs, don't know how much it affects the american people. we point out that it raises taxes. it raises premiums, it would increase the data because it does include a lot of things like the positions reimbursement. and it cuts medicare by a trillion dollars over ten years once it's fully implemented very but we also point out what we think should be done and what we think should be done. my colleagues have documented many times. instead of wheeling and another 2000 page bill we should focus on the bill of reducing cost
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them and take several steps towards reducing cost. and the senator from arizona has talked about one of those, which is reducing the number of junk lawsuits against doctors. but i don't think that's anywhere in the bill unless it secretly been added in the back room today. >> that's one i doubt is being added, but again, i also want to point out americans are now against passage of this legislation. but in that polling data is very interesting although to the majority of seniors by much larger numbers, the actual beneficiaries of medicare are turning against it and the intensity of americans against it, which is harder to gauge any poll is incredible. if the response is that our efforts are getting are anything indicative of the mood of the american people and the intensity of it, it is probably
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as great as i have ever seen in the years that i have had the privilege of serving in the congress of the united states. and as polling data says more americans now think it's better to keep a current health care system than to pass president obama's plan is the message that's being sent. and the intensity is it higher than i've seen in my years of service. and i thank them for it. there's a chance that we could stop this, start beginning in january. we'd all be willing to come back, sit down together, negotiate with the c-span cameras, with the c-span cameras as the president committed that he would do as the candidates. and we'd sit down together here at the white house and fix the system which we all know needs fixed it does as the senator from oklahoma said, it cost that
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has to be addressed, not the quality. >> i'd like to bring up an example, which is we are going to see time and time again as this bill goes through. we had the u.s. preventative health task force put out a recommendation on breast cancer screening through. on the basis of cost. and what they said is it's not didn't to screen women under 50 with mammograms. because you have to scream 1900 before you find one breast cancer. but comparing over 50 have to scream 1470. so what we had was a decision that was made on cost, not on quality, not on patients, but based on cost. now we fixed that. as part of an amendment to one of these bills. we actually fixed that. there's three different agencies
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within this bill that are going to do the same thing. and every time they make a ruling based on cost, not based on clinical outcomes than what's best for patients. are we going to fix it? no, we are transferring the care of the american patient to three bureaucracies within the federal government and they are going to decide what you have to do. and if you think about it, just this week a member of his body's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. and she was diagnosed through a mammograms. and under that tax forced recommendation she wouldn't have gotten it. >> i asked the senator

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