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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 20, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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several of the items that happen right away. the senate bill will make it illegal for insurance companies to drop coverage for americans who are sick. basically, they call rescissions. beginning six months after the date of enactment. insurance companies will also be barred from limiting the total benefits americans can use over the course of a year, otherwise known as lifetime caps, beginning six months after the date of enactment. affordable insurance coverage options will be made available to high risk pools to americans who have been denied coverage because they have preexisting conditions effective 90 days after enactment. early retirees between 55 and 64, i hear from a lot of them trying to figure out as they now are retired, they still have some coverage from their former employer but it is expensive. what this does is set up a new program and access a program
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that will reduce, reduce their premiums beginning 90 days after enactment. insurance companies will be required to start posting their overhead costs on a public web site so consumers can better compare the deal they are getting effective july 1, 2010. insurance companies will have to start providing external review processes beginning six months after the date of enactment. dependents will be able to receive coverage up to the age of 26 on their parents' policy beginning six months after the date of enactment. this is one again i hear so much when i'm back home and from e-mails and hrerts, people -- and letters people wanting to keep kids on their policy. insurance companies will be providing -- seniors will have
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access to dramatic discounts to the purchases of name brand prescription drugs in the medicare part-d program beginning july 1. children under 18 cannot be denied for preexisting coverage. free preventive coverage for seniors. the doughnut hole for seniors, a $500 reduction. again, the issue with medicare, i want to say, when we started this effort to reform health care, medicare was in trouble and could be in serious trouble by 2017. this legislation adds ten more years to medicare. to be specific to alaska, and i'll be brief on this, but i think it is important, many of these issues i laid out are important to alaska but there are quite a few very specific. first remind folks what the impact is currently in alaska.
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133,000 alaskans do not currently have insurance. 27,000 residents who now buy expensive individual premiums would get affordable new coverage. we'll be covering more children, doubling the amount of what we called -l denali kid kaeurbgs what we call here in washington schip to more than 15,000 young people, ending the hidden tax on families. about $119 million spent on uncompensated care averaging about $119 per premium by creating a larger program that we're doing here, we can eliminate that cost. and i've heard over and over again about medicare advantage and let me tell you how that works for alaskans. we have 60,000 medicare beneficiaries paying a price for excessive overpayments through higher premiums even though 99% of our alaskan seniors do not
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participate in medicare advantage. what you hear when you hear about medicare advantage -- and those that have it, i'm sure they enjoy it. but in my state we're subsidizing that. 99% of our seniors do not take that program, so we pay an extra approximately $90 to subsidize that program for those things they claim they have. the reality is that was supposed to be run by the private sector saving money to medicare and it's costing us more. it kofgs my state -- costing my state $90 per alaskan family. as i mentioned under early retirees, on the national program, 7,300 alaskans will be affected in a positive way. 8,600 alaska small businesses could be helped by the alaska
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tax credit. even more specific, items i added specifically in the bill to focus on alaska-specific issues. i want to thank senator harkin on this next one, which is important, it is providing more providers, more primary care providers. it is a loan repayment program, and i know he's been an advocate of getting more private care providers in the system. loan repayments go from $35,000 to $50,000 for the national health service core providing across this country. the program serves health professional shortage areas including 77 in alaska. in part, this is in part because of this and due to other major expansions the health, education, labor, and pensions committee is estimating the bill tracked 24,000 new primary care providers. if you want to make a difference
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to the new health care system this is one critical piece. senator harkin, i know you have been an advocate for this for many, many years. to see us get to this state and move forward is significant and will have a positive impact. another one, which is a program which has great benefit for our hospitals, it is the medicare project supporting hospitals in smaller communities and rural states, skepbgd that for an additional five years, moving from 10 states to 20 states and creating another 15 hospitals that could participate. the alaska health care task force. specifically in this legislation to deal with our medicare provider issue in alaska but also our tricare making sure we deliver the right kind of hospital and medical care to our veterans. and more physician assistance. we inserted a specific language to make sure we allow loan repayments for physician assistance in teaching facility,
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faculty to be also included in loan forgivenness. last year we had 375 p.a.'s that handled 1.2 million office visits in alaska. after 21 years the indian health service is in this bill to be reauthorized. 21 years it has not been reauthorized. there are many great things in this piece of legislation. from a broader perspective as i mentioned earlier in my comments but also very specific to alaska. could it be better? absolutely. but do we think we have a piece of legislation that's going to make an impact to people's lives? yes, we tkofplt if we want to keep it the same old business as usual, i guarantee you 5 years, 2 years, 10 years from now we'll be in this hall trying to figure out what to do and a bigger crisis. this is the right decision. it will be an honor for me later this evening to make a vote in the affirmative to move past the cloture vote and getting on to voting for this bill.
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mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. harkin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: first i want to thank the senator from alaska for all of his hard work on this bill. i think it's fair to say that the senator from alaska, a new member of the senate, i might add, has been very much involved in this bill and his focus has been on rural health and better health care for native alaskans. and as the senator knows, the indian health care improvement act, which also covers native alaskans is included in this bill. and i thank the senator from alaska for insisting on that and for being a strong supporter of making sure we do have primary care practitioners, both doctors but also nurse practitioners, physician assistants, other primary health care people who are going to serve in our small towns and rural communities. the senator from alaska has just
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been one of our best leaders on making sure that we have this in the bill, and i thank him for that very much. mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i have been listening on c-span 2 in addition to having the privilege of being over here on the floor, to this debate that's been going on. the debate that's been going on ever since the summer when we in the committee were fashioning this legislation. and i must say that to hear one side of this debate, i wouldn't recognize all of those hearings that we had last summer and all the markup that we did in the finance committee last september, because what has been
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presented to the senate and what has been presented to the public through press conferences by the opposition to this bill in most cases just simply is not correct. i want to give a couple of examples here this evening. in attacking this and saying what a dastardly thing that this is going to do for the country and how this is going to increase cost and raise taxes, each one of these things can be refuted. but it is a typical tactic that when you want to attack something and tear it down, you go after a specific item the senate is not in order to
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obfuscate which then misses the point of the whole piece of legislation. and the point of the whole piece of legislation is to make health care available and affordable in most cases through health insurance, in other cases through medicare and medicaid, and making it available, efficient and affordable. now, i want to give you one specific example, and it's a technical term in the insurance industry called the medical loss ratio. and it's the ratio and what an insurance company actually pays out in medical claims as opposed to what it pays for administrative expenses such as
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marketing, insurance agent commissions, underwriting, and an insurance company's profit. and it's interesting that the term medical loss ratio tells you a lot about the insurance industry because if you look at it only from their perspective, this percentage is their loss, but in fact the percentage is the amount of the premium dollar that goes to actually medical care. and what this amendment, this manager's amendment that we're going to vote on in less than two hours right now is that it causes a specific ratio so that
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you're getting a high amount of return on the insurance premium dollar. let me give you an example. this is an example of the medical loss ratio of a number of small employers, small employer that is group policies as well as policies in the individual market. this is where you have an employer that pays for your health insurance but it's a small employer, usually under 50 employees. and this is where you have policies that are given to individuals. the premiums usually are much, much higher if you are an individual buying insurance than
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if you're buying it in a group by an employer-sponsored group. and these are specific examples in a particular year of the lost ratio. now, interestingly, for aetna here at 82%, that's not actually a loss to aetna. it's interesting they call it a loss. that's actually 82 cents of a premium dollar, an insured policyholder's premium dollar that actually goes to medical coverage. that's good. united healthcare, 79%. humana down at 77. 77 cents of that dollar are going to health care, and the balance, 23 cents, is going to
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things like administrative expenses, paying for insurance agents, commissions, paying for their profit. well, what does the bill do? the bill brings that up to -- that they've got to do it for 80%. and that's all policies, mr. president. not just the new policies on the health insurance exchange. that's not just the policies that insurance companies are going to write new for the small group. it's all those policies that are in existence. look at the individual. the experience isn't quite as good. as a matter of fact, here is a company, coventry, only paying out 66 cents on every premium
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dollar that was actually going to health care, and the rest of that -- 34 cents -- was going to profit and administrative expenses and executive salaries and bonuses and so forth. and lo and behold, what we're going to vote on tonight in less than two hours is going to have to be 80 cents on every dollar. and you know what? if they don't make that 80 cents on every dollar, they're going to get penalized. we're putting some real teeth on this in insurance companies for the first time. now, look at the large group, the employer-sponsored insurance large group. all right. now, these are five of the larger insurance companies, and you can see that they've got a pretty good record thus far.
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wellpoint, 85. humana, 82 cents on every doll dollar. they have a better record because they got a lot more individual lives that they can spread the insurance risk over, so they can pay out more in health insurance for health care and take out less for administrative expenses. but you know what we're going to do in this bill tonight? in 45 minutes we're going to raise that to 85%. 85 cents on every dollar. mr. president, before i came to the senate -- and i've been at this good fortune of serving the public for now going on over 35
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years. i've had the privilege being elected to one of the toughest jobs i've ever had in i lifetime of public service and that was the elected insurance commissioner of florida. it's also the elected treasurer. that position has morphed into what is called the chief financial officer now of florida. it's a member of the florida cabinet. and for six years i got to see what insurance companies will do. and i can tell you, instead of 85% and 80% that we're going to require in this bill of every insurance premium dollar that they pay out in medical costs, medical care. i can tell you that some of the
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insurance companies that i regulated back in the state of florida were down in the 60's. a lot of that was going into big-time plush administrative offices, all kinds of jets, all kinds of padded expense accounts. well, you can see what we are trying to do. -- what we're trying to do with this bill here tonight. now, let's ask: why do we have to have a ratio like this, and why is it important? it certainly is getting more medical care to the individual policyholder. but listen to this. a study that was done by the senate commerce committee shows that the ratios are often below
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what is considered to be fair. our commerce committee found that in the small business market, those with fewer than 50 employees, insurers spend only 79 cents out of every dollar on health care. that's in the commerce committee study. and in the individual market, it's even worse. it's 74 cents. and in that individual market, the insurer keeps more than a quarter of every individual premium dollar for overhead and profit. and so we need to ensure that the beneficiary policyholder's premiums and the federal subsidies that are going endow the purchase of private health insurance on the exchange are used for actual medical care and
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not for the wasteful administrative spending and marketing and profits. and if we don't do this kind of thing, regulating insurance companies, then they're going to take advantage, they're going to take the advantage of making more money at the expense of patient care. i want to give you an example. in spite of this recession, this economic recession that we're in, and the increasing unemployment over the past year, what has happened to the big insurance companies? well, they are posting big profits and they seem to be making more money by insuring fewer people.
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and the only way you can make more money with fewer customers is you get rid of your less profitable customers. in other words, the sick ones. that's called cherry-picking. you pick the good risk, which are the healthy ones, and you try to get rid of the sick ones. now, let me give you some examples. in the second quarter of this year, 2009, the largest health insurance company, united health group, announced a three-month profit of $859 million, in one quarter, and it more than doubled the profits from the previous year. united health earned these
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record profits in spite of the fact that it was insuring 600,000 fewer people than it did a year ago. let me give you another example. in the second quarter of this year, another large insurer, cigna, saw their profits jump 60% to $435 million, and cigna earned these healthy profits in spite of the fact that it is insuring 200,000 fewer people than it did a year ago. give you another example. in the second quarter of tbo 20, humana saw its profits rise 34% to $282 million, and humana earned those healthy profits in spite of the fact that it was
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insuring 100,000 fewer people than it did a year ago. and at the same time that they are dropping beneficiaries, insurance companies are paying their c.e.o.'s record salaries. in 2008, aetna's c.e.o. earned over $24 million, and that's the equivalent of more than $66,000 per day. you want to know where some of all of that administrative padding that's not coming back to the policyholder in health care, where is it going? there's a good example right there. aetna's c.e.o. earned over $24 million in that one year, 2008. so this medical loss ratio that
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we are building into this bill that we're going to vote on shortly, it builds on other insurance provisions in this legislation which include guaranteed issue, which include prohibiting cancellations, it includes banning preexisting conditions so that they can't terminate you or not insure you because they cook up some excu excuse, some flimsy excuse. now, i'm not sure that this has been brought out in this debate, but i think that it's worthy of consideration by the senate. and in my closing minutes here, i just want to now step back and look at the overall package. why is this a good deal for
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america and why is it going to pass with an extraordinary threshold of 60 votes tonight? because we are not going to allow in this legislation excessive rate increases in the health insurance exchange that is created new, that's going to insure 31 million new people. a lot of those people are people that don't have insurance now. a company will be banned from that health insurance exchange if it starts jacking up its rates excessively. you talk about an insurance commissioner's dream, a regulator's dream? often of which your hands are tied and you're put into a straitjacket by the insurance laws of your state that you
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can't crack the whip on them? we're cracking the whip on them in this legislation. now, there's been a lot of talk out here about the program on medicare other than medicare fee-for-service called medicare advantage and how it's going to be whacked. well, i can tell you for my state of florida, there are 950,000 senior citizens on medicare advantage, and it is not going to be whacked. and there have been a lot of statements out here by people attributing it to florida that it was going to be cut. in this bill that we are voting on tonight and whenever we go to final passage, it is not. oh, and by the way, there was a statement made here -- and something that was entered into the record -- a letter from a cardiologist from jupiter, florida, that was complaining
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about how the cardiologist fees are being squeezed and they may not be able in the future to take care of medicare recipients. i happen to know about this. i've been trying to help the cardiologists. but it was stated out here on the floor of the senate that it's this bill that's doing that. that has nothing to do with this legislation. that has to do with the administrative functions of government in existing law, c.m.s., that in my opinion has used incomplete data to cut cardiologists, particularly that are needed in a state like florida, where, in fact, so many senior citizens are needing the service in medicare of cardiologists. here's another major thing in this bill. we are setting up a nationwide
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insurance plan that will be sold on these health insurance exchanges, and it will be operated by the office of personnel management, the same office that governs our federal employees, members of congress health insurance. there's a part in this bill on tort reform. it sets upstate grants to test alternatives to litigation. and in my remaining minute, let's don't forget the 31 million more people that are going to come in insured and how this over time is going to bring down the cost on medicare. it's not going to cut medicare, it's going to save medicare. and it's going to do that with efficiencies, such as electronic records and accountable care organizations and emphasis on primary care physicians. and to conclude, mr. president, what else does the bill do?
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it lowers the deficit over the next ten years by $132 billion. and in the second ten-year period, it's going to lower it by 1 -- up to $1.3 trillion. now, that's serious deficit reduction. and on that happy note, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. harkin: mr. president, first of all, let me thank the senator for his very strong commitment to medicare. i know of no senator who fights harder for medicare and to making prescription drugs more affordable to our seniors than the senator from florida. he has contributed his great expertise as a former insurance commissioner to the provisions that we have in this bill in cracking down on the insurance company abuses, and he just went through some of them there. so i just want to thank my good
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friend, senator nelson, from florida for all of his great input into this bill. mr. president, in a few minutes, the senate is going to close its doors for a brief recess. when those doors reopen just after midnight, the senate will reconvene for a historic purpose -- to bring the promise of quality, affordable health care to millions of americans. when those doors reopen, we who have the privilege of serving in this body will have the opportunity to vote for hope and opportunity and new help for working families who worry every day that their illness will cause them to go bankrupt. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until 12:01 a.m. monday, december 21, 2009.
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the. >> mr. wayne are you there?
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>> alex, explain why this let's try a call from. illinois are you there? >> yes. >> you are on there. >> i own for the bill because i think passing something would get us past the this debate because we see the republicans, they do not support the president. everything the president tries to accomplish, they are against it. i'm against the of health care bill let's get jobs and working again let's bring jobs back into the economy. right now broad has blessed me because i have two jobs
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but i don't have health care because i cannot afford my bills and health care czar would love to have a choice to choose health care providers but that want to get stuck with one giant health care provider and then take all of my money. i wish the public option was in there but it is not. we have to take it for what it is. >>host: let's go to kansas where robert diss on the line. >> i agree with my senators to vote against this. when it is signed they will take out of it. how do you take taxes out of people's money? the democrats can blame all they want on everything we have done the past four or six years but they have been
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in charge of all time. they are bankrupting us. i just understand how does not start until 2014 but you do not give any money and they should voted down two night. >>host: we appreciate your thoughts. eric from indiana? what do you hear that you like? >> caller: 31 million more americans are covered by health insurance. things will kick in next year with people being able to extend health insurance through that age of 26 and other stipulations for children to cover pre-existing conditions through the age of 19. i think the foundation of a prosperous nation is healthy and well educated citizens and this is a preamble to us to be able to progress to
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the 21st century. it is ironic the last caller was talking about been gripping the country. but the lasted ministration ran up a previous debt larger than the last 42 presidents combined. buydown finally glad we're spending money on helping six people then i on a war and the things that do not help our nation. >>host: alabama? did evening. fred. are you there? let's try tenn. >> caller: i have considered myself a republican but i voted for the president but i support the bill because there are millions of people who either cannot be covered by health care or would not be covered orenda current system because they have a pre-existing condition with a person with a disability or they work for themselves
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and have a large discount as they would with a major company and we have to secure health care for all those people from the current system. >>host: alex went from "congressional quarterly." go ahead. they called cloture by this sonat 1:01 a.m. eastern. why is this significant? >> it is a big tax go. if they can pass the though they will show the have the support to pass the bill. >>host: do they have the support? >> if they don't we are not aware. if they don't have the 60 votes i don't know who it would be they have only been negotiating with ben nelson from nebraska and he says he is for the bill. >>host: they have been added since 1:00 in the afternoon and it is coming upon a midnight.
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how would you describe the mood? k-mart . >> caller: republicans are realizing it is coming to a close if they cannot stop the bill. democrats are pretty enthusiastic about the outcome. >>host: one of the story lines has to do with the statement from the senator coburn who was followed by senator durbin. we do have short pieces but what is the issue? >> senator coburn is a straight talk gain, the dazed and get the little emotional about this issue. he was on the floor this afternoon and it was sort of the acknowledging that republicans can do much now to stop the bill from passing out of the senate. >>host: we have mr. cockburn and mr. durban from earlier today. here is a look.
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>> it is not about being bipartisan but you can take-it-or-leave-it. the american parade that somebody can not make the vote tonight. so that we can actually get the metal, and i understand i am over here but we ought to get to the middle of america and the middle of the senate a bill that can run through this country and actually do what we say we want to to do. >> the one to renew my a invitation to the senator from oklahoma to please come to the floor soon before my time expires recalled his office to make sure he knew i was trying to reach him i spoke on the floor to alert the republicans had won him to explain a statement he made on the floor earlier today. the statement the american
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people ought to pray that somebody cannot make the vote tonight. that is what they ought to pray. i am troubled by this statement and want to give the senator from oklahoma an opportunity to explain it because the simple reality is that don't think we should be wishing misfortunes on any senate colleagues on either side of the aisle. >>host: alex line from "congressional quarterly" did mr. cockburn ever come down to explain or talk privately? >> i don't know but i don't believe he ever came to the floor. from the perspective of the laymen or even a reporter, i did not think cockburn is statement was that outrageous i thought it was a frank acknowledgement that short of democrats getting lost in the snow on the way the republicans cannot do anything more erred but to stop the bill from passing. >>host: was there any more
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of on it on capitol hill? >> caller: and not too much there rose one question of senator lieberman could get back to the capital he left on friday to celebrate hanukkah. we have gotten confirmation he caught a train and is expected to be here. >>host: will all republicans be around for the bow? >> caller: they don't need to be. the onus is on the democrats to show up. they need 60 votes. really republicans to not have to show up at all. >>host: tonight is just the opening phase. there are several other boats leading up to christmas eve. what are those? >> tonight is the vote to end the filibuster it is the final package of changes to the bill. once that is done, they wage one day plus six hours until tuesday morning when they will vote to to adopt the
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managers' amendment then they will have another vote to end filibusters against the substitute amendment. that is the bill itself. they will vote to end filibusters against the bill itself on tuesday morning then wait another 30 hours than have evoked to adopt the bill in the form of an amendment and after that the middle of a vote to end filibusters against the underlying piece of legislation did you wait another 30 hours than on christmas eve they will adopt the entire piece of legislation. >>host: a lot of procedure. is there anything you can say about the g.o.p. strategy? >> caller: it will be interesting to see what republicans say to night. it should be clear that democrats have the 60 votes that they need. is just a matter of running out of the:00.
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we're serious amazed professional and professional and personal standpoint to see if republicans will force them to wait until christmas eve. they could essentially throw in the towel and say, obviously you have the votes we will let you speed this up and pass the bill wednesday perhaps. >>host: if they are briefing today the republicans came out, the leadership's started talking about this differences between the senate bill and house bill is that the indication of strategy moving forward? >> caller: bair hoping a ranch will be thrown into this when they go into conference committee with the house. there are huge differences between the senate bill and house bill between the public plan that is not and also the senate bill and the house bill to finance legislation in very different ways. that is where you will see the most argument between
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democrats and senate in the house. i am sure republicans will do what they can to influence that debates and cause a problem. >>host: one more question. when they take a vote at 1:01 a.m. eastern, will they go out for the night? >> yes. a lot of them i don't think you will see again until tuesday morning. >>host: alex line from "congressional quarterly" thank you for the update. we have roughly 15 minutes before the senate comes back into session. we will take your phone calls for those in favor of the bill and those against, we have california, are you there? >> caller: yes site em. i am against the bill because it will be a huge huge, the whole country will go into economic upheaval. the health care is terrible. they will cut all health
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care services that we know and have had in this country for a very long time. is just terrible. i think we should kn full whole thing before we even get started any further with passing it. this is really crazy legislation. but as i feel. >>host: let's hear from virginia. why are you for the bill? are you there? please turn down your tv set so we can hear you better. >> caller:. >>host: taking your phone calls on health care legislation. >> caller: i am for the bill and i have been at for the bill since the start. republicans keep saying no don't know. of course, that is all they know how to do.
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they never dealt with the bill themselves. i am 78 years old did i have been waiting for this thing to happen for one year. i have been following this on c-span for one year to make sure it happens. >>host: what are you waiting for exactly? >> caller: i am waiting for them to take care of the insurance companies that is doing this to all of the debt at american people. >>host: how did you feel about the so-called public option? >> caller: i wish it is in there. it is not the bill i want. but, like the one senator said, you build a house and a foundation. and then you add on to it to make a right. that is what it is all about.
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once we get to this past past, they will bring it did and it will be in there. maybe a couple years because it is four years before leaving gets started. >>host: we appreciate your input. let's go to the state of ohio. >> caller: good evening. i am obviously for it it. i a agree with what the caller had to say but it sets us in a new direction and has given us a road map of where we will go. i believe republicans are really out of touch with the needs of america's health care. that was a big issue and they don't realize how big of an issue it was. they think just because they're folks have plenty of health care that everyone had and that is not the case. i feel the time has come for insurance companies to be set in the direction that is for america, not just for the very, very rich in this
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country. >>host: stock from pennsylvania? 349 against the bill. i guess for a different reason. of a -- with the economic downturn i feel health care reform was promoted basically as being free. if you will mandate health care for people, during hard economic times and make people go out and purchase a health care plan that they may not once or be able to afford to and probably could not put in their family budget every month, that may cause a lot more problems than people see or people defaulting on their car loan because now they have to buy health insurance. >>host: we will be here
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live with your phone calls for the next zero minutes we then go back to the floor of the senate 12 o one eastern they will start a brand new legislative day as we said and then they will take the vote on cloture for the bill it is actually one in a series of votes tonight but cloture on what they call the managers' amendment which is a package of the late changes that senator reid made to the bill. namely those by senator nelson. and then another cloture votes is out there on the substitute amendment that is the senate version of the health care bill the one put together with the house committee and the finance committee. then there is a vote on wednesday on cloture to the underlying bill, three procedural steps, 60 votes each and then we expect the
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final vote christmas eve at 7:00 p.m. that would be a majority vote at this point* a simple majority vote and any of this could have been -- have been shorter if they agreed to not spend as much time on any of the process. then the next call is from mississippi. go-ahead. >> caller: i am the french. i will go back to my country. my father was sick when he was 55 and my mother sick when she was 60 my parents lived to the age of 90 and 92. when they are sick and don't
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have insurance it makes them sicker. [inaudible] but not to have any ensure insert any insurance for the poor but for all of the people when they see babies die it is ridiculous. >>host: thank you for the time. when did you are against the health care bill? >> caller: i am a democrat and when they were here in the state of new jersey, they did not listen to us.
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we told them it was wrong. if the senators thought they were doing the right thing, they would give exactly the people what they get themselves. i am 68 and i have medicare and i play -- pay blue cross and i can afford it. people are 20 years old and they don't want it and you are forcing them to have something that they don't want. they should take it themselves. is to be what they're asking us to take. they did not fix the drug plan and they will mess up the insurance plan for everybody. you should have the right and it should be the public option. >>host: balance go to nevada. what is your name? >> caller: peter. >> i am for it. think it is better to do something van and not do anything.
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it is a long time so i am glad for those who will be there tonight. >>host: what is it about the bill that appeals to you the most? >> caller: taking advantage of the sick people by the insurance companies. i have been sick with limited coverage but now of the bills happen to pass i think it would be better. i am glad for senator reid. the good leader. may god bless him and others >>host: fewer than 10 minutes before the senate comes into session. new york, you're on the air. >> caller: i am a democrat and i am against the bill. it is an american i do not have a job and have been unemployed since april. i do not need health care i needed job. priorities are backwards.
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nobody is dying industries but to force people to buy health care is an american. we have the best system in the world. people are not dying. people who like this bill should be ashamed of themselves. >>host: in case you are counting the days come money marks the 22nd consecutive day the senate has met, four days shy of a 26 day record set during the opening months of world war i. that's according to "congressional quarterly." and now we have illinois. >> caller: i am against it. the reason, it is unconstitutional. they are forcing me into something that i don't want. they will make me buy health insurance or if i don't, then they will find me or put me in jail?
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that is unconstitutional in this country. i noticed that everybody wants it, as a part of socialism what our founding fathers fought against. right noticed all the socialist countries can afford to come here to get work done so what does that tell you? am definitely against this and i hope that somebody is able to take it to the supreme court because it is unconstitutional. >>host: i want to remind you about our health care cuts of -- health care hub and it is right there, the link. there is a lot here for you. you can see so much of video on demand. you can watch the senate debate and read the bill and read the managers' amendment and the debate coverage overall includes live
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coverage nine c-span 2 and radio and toward/health care another way to get your house of. many different ways to take in the senate coverage. steve is taking in the coverage from nevada. good evening. >> caller: how're you? >>host: what do you think? >> caller: i am definitely for it. i have been following it and especially after it listening to senator nelson from florida talking about the big insurance companies and the money that they made, and the preexisting ways that they have now, i am for it completely. >>host: thank you. california. you are on the air. >> caller: high. i am against this bill.
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i personally do not know what is the rush because of these people who were hoping to get the health care reform, those that need insurance, they will not even see it for four years. i am thinking what is the rash? give them another year to talk about it may be within a year's time they can come up with a plan that comes up with the amount of people that need health care. the number keeps changing. but those that are listening keeping their fingers crossed, i hope they realized they will not be getting insured for four years. and an apartment that bothers me is constantly attacking business is back of this will not make it any easier. everybody needs jobs and for people just to focus on health care. if they would focus on the job, at least then they
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would have health care coverage and companies provide great health care. this is working backwards as far as i am concerned it. >>host: now to texas. >> caller: hello. wrote in this bill stinks. i am a health care professional and a physician's assistant. i absolutely believe congress has sold out to the insurance company. we should have a single payer system where one insurance company bid against the other for the government business just like the veterans do. i am also a veteran of the air force. >>host: of the bill is passed, how might it change your particular workplace? >> caller: not albreck will make it worse price single-payer system we would have one entity, one amount of overhead and paperwork and assets stance we have to deal with a group of insurance's then the
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government will get involved then it will be 50 times worse. a single payer system like the veterans with tricare with amana or at net bids for the business and there's only one group of individuals that you deal with as far as paperwork goes. >> we're about two minutes away. we want to point* you toward the "washington journal." there is plenty of time before your calls tomorrow morning and our guest includes steve forbes president and ceo of "forbes." 7:30 a.m. eastern he will be on four fell hold our. also the center for political accountability he will talk about the pressure to o 1/2 big businesses disclose on how much they spend. also the polling director from


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