tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 19, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EST
>> yes or no, ma'am? >> yes. >> i'm actually very happy with my current health care. [laughter] oh, boy, you try to open -- >> feel bad you can't keep it. >> gentleman's time is expired. you have a clarifying question. >> thank you. the question that he was asking you folks were on this mackenzie document we spent so many time talking about tab one of the notebook.
if you stlean report -- seen that report before? >> i'm familiar with the report. >> okay. >> no. >> and have you seen it? >> i have not. >> okay. so, the two of you -- any -- answers you were giving really just based on speculation since you haven't seen it involved with it; is that right? >> yes. >> that's correct. >> okay. so mr. olson was asking you about some of these recommendations inspect is from last spring. it was a snapshot on page 4 of that report. at the bottom where hef talking about evolving requirements multiple definition of success, et. cetera. the part he forgot mention, which of the part also, i noticed they forgot to mention when a previous witness of up the part in the box in at the bold type at the bottom of the current situation bullet which
say cms has been working to mitigate challenges resulting from program characteristics. do you see that? >> i do. >> what does it mean to you? >> it means that recognize the risk and challenge of the program and they were looking at options or mitigation approaches that would minimize the risk. >> so cms hired them to do an evaluation of the program and come up with some concerns they could then work to mitigate; is that right? >> yes. >> and that's the same reason they hired your company to do security assessment to find placeses where there might be problem and make recommendation they can work to mitigate? >> that's right. and the recommendations they made did it work to mitigate the risk. >> yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have no further questions. >> had you seen the document
before today? >> i'm familiar of the document. it's been awhile. >> you're familiar. when they say they have been working to mitigate challenge. you are personally aware that some of these mitigations are taking place or saying so today. >> i have no idea what mitigation -- whether they took the recommendation. >> i was curious you were drawing conclusion. i didn't know -- that's based upon anything standing out -- >> it brings a unique set of challenges they are dealing to deal with. you can't necessarily correct right now with the environment.
on it own it's enough to secure concern. >> agreed. t one of our big e challenges we're facing as an industry today that being cybersecurity. >> who is in charge of the environment? >> verizon. >> and i assume you mean owns it and control it is? how difficult is it to develop these security measures while the system is being built? >> that would not be ideal. >> do you have all the tools and capabilities now to successfully and fully monitor the system? >> i'm always striving. do you have all tools need fully monitor the system. >> we have a set of control that exceed any set of -- >> i appreciate you're doing a great job. i'm trying to get a sen of have
you been limited in any way in your ability to do all the things you like to do with your excellent team in place. >> there are some things we have asked for that are no in place as of yet. >> such as what? >> these -- they're technical in nature, again, we have a standard set of controls for -- >> we might want to have him give us that information. >> can you do that? is that something you would like to do private? >> i would be happy to get with my team and get it. >> i appreciate that. >> do you have all the tools nice to fully -- >> we're an integrated team. >> all right. do you have all the tools necessary to do your work here? >> we play a different role but yes. >> okay. let me ask this with regard to -- is a system -- had there been any attempt under
what you monitored any attempts to -- the system that you can tell? >> congressman, the simple answer is yes. the longer answer is i don't have an environment where it's not being attacked today, though. >> as i understand. so with regard to this, then, is the system now are you saying it's fully secure? from external hackers trying to get in? >> i've never -- we live in a world of not if but more when. that's the nature of the world we live in today. so i never give you a guarantee that someone is not going get in. it's probably going happen at some point. we have designed it to limit to damage and identify it as quick as possible. >> so we cannot at this point sign off the system is fully secure. t an ongoing process. >> it's always an ongoing process. today i feel cairvel comfort with the capabilities we put in place. >> do you agree?
>> i would. >> talk in the microphone. >> perspective but i would say that from our perspective with regard to -- right now today a system is secure as dave said. security is always evolving and dynamic and ongoing and we want to do better and keep on top of the latest technology and alliances. we'll always be maturing. but as regards the scope of our contract and the appliances and tools and processes we have in place, we are confident. >> i appreciate your standards of complen and appreciate you understand it's an evolving process. but given the concerns of the security, what i'm hearing from you is nobody can give 100% guarantee that this website is secure with regard to the data that has -- the person identifiable information as people put their things in there. no one can guarantee that some headachier will try to get in it. they will don't try to probe until they get through, is that
what you're saying. >> i would say the same thing about facebook or any banking website as well. >> it's unfortunate the world we live in today. >> i appreciate that today. i appreciate the comment from the panel today. i ask unanimous consent that the written be introduce to the record. they will be admitted. i can unanimous consent that -- to authorize staff to make it appropriate for redactions. without objection it will be entered to the record. i would like to thank you for participating today. i remind members they have 10 business days to submit questions for the record.
[inaudible conversations] the senate small business look for the health care rollout for small businesses. focus on states that opted for their own health insurance marketplaces. live coverage gets started tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. and later in the day, also on c-span 3 a senate panel investigate the procedure involving national security workers who have access to classified information. that is the security
former south dakota senator talking about issues with the health care website. he joined us on "washington journal" for 40>> minutes. >> joining us now is the democratic leader from 1995 to 2005 and represented the state of south dakota. welcome. >> guest: thank you.talk a talk about what you brought to the table as far as the creatioe of the affordable care act. what was your role? giving my views.tunity to i had written a book called and critical.me it laid out a lot of principles i thought ought to be included. some of them were some weren't. it was an exciting and tran formational time.transfortional it still is.e about talk about what you're seeing. are the main problems are ought now and how they can be addressd how they can be addressed. guest: i think the main problem
is still the execution of the website itself. the fundamentals are to contain costs and to improve quality. there is no question we know we cannot continue with the current system as it exists. we have 50 million people uninsured. 25,000 people every year die because they have no insurance. we can do a lot better. this is a chance to address that in a meaningful way. it will take some time that we are getting there. we have to continue to be patient. host: what about the sign-up problems with th web? gu getting better. we're going to keep. you know, i don't know -- massachusetts when they start theirs and i think it was 2006 06 had people. that signed up in the first
month. that's all that signed up.that e it's now been an enormousonth success. it you had a vote today on montana, i dare say 90% of the people saylet keep it. people wd that over time have the say. they the same one state, to a nation. guest: but we can learn from that. some of it was avoidable. it is unfortunate we do not catch this earlier. that does not deny. we have to make our system better. all of those who criticize and really find fault are not providing the kind of opportunities for alternatives. what is it we do if we do not do
this? what solutions are there that might provide a better solution than what we are looking at today? none of the critics that i have seen are being forthcoming in that regard. host: what about the initial enrollment numbers? guest: in those exchanges where the states are operating are pretty good. i think we will see if i am continue as we meet the deadline. the american people want to be able to make their decisions in a slow and careful way. when i was helping my mother with medicare part d almost 10 years ago, we had a lot of the same challenges to figure out the best plan and how she might be affected by this. we had a lot of the glitches but we worked through those glitches
and my mother made a good decision with regard to her medicare decision. it is provided in large measure because of the approach we use with the aca, that is working extremely well. host: a lot of success depends on those young, healthy people. guest: it is a deal they cannot refuse. they can sign up on their parents' plan. they had in our was opportunities to be given special treatment. they can sign up for a catastrophic plan up until they are 30 years old. they will get assistance. there is innermost opportunity to take responsibility and to do the right thing. people ask me, is health care a right in any country? i think it is a moral right.
with that comes a responsibility. my republican friends talk about the importance of citizen responsibility, but then argue there is no need when it comes to health. i think the responsibility is an important part of american citizenship. taking responsibility to ensure you're not a burden to society ought to be one of those requirements of american citizenship. host: our guest is tom daschle an talking about the affordable care act rollout. for democrats. 202-585-3881 for republicans. 202-585-3882 for independents. how would you rate the
leadership of the president on the rollout? guest: this has never been done in 100 years. we have tried and tried and failed and failed over 100 years. administration for some of the glitches? of course. we need to take responsibility when things go right away and things go wrong. i also give them great credit and with that comes a lot of challenge and opportunity for mistakes, because we have never done it before. will he get it right eventually? -- will we get it right eventually? i have no doubt. they are taking on the heavy lifting to do this. i am more optimistic than a lot of people are. host: ron from new jersey, good
morning. caller: mr. daschle, i really like you. i have never seen such desperation as the republicans seem to have to kill this law. ollowems they want to fin brothers'agenda. the president asked for help and their words nowhere to be found. forgot to say sticker shock. that is their latest word. i congratulate you and the democrats working hard on this law. i think they are trying to turn people against themselves to get the insurance. they are desperate. thank you. needs a think this city
real injection of bipartisanship. i just came back from a week in japan. the japanese have been shaking their heads wondering how the city came this dysfunctional. how is it we cannot address the basic challenges like health care and all of the economic issues we have been grappling with, including the budget. we have a responsibility to get the job done. start governing the way our people and our founding fathers expected. i think that is required of all of us. from new york.ff caller: thank you. hubris jumped into my head. there is a huge disingenuousness from the democrats.
they talk like they are for the people but when it all comes all threeu owning branches of government -- the biggest tall tale in the health care debacle is the dog that did not bark. pharmaceuticals and insurance companies are saying this is not a good thing because it was lining their pockets. guest: i would just say if you look at the record, i wrote a book on how the law was enacted. i did a lot of research and found there was enormous reduce a patient by all the stakeholders. they were invited to the white house and to hearings. they discussed this matter at great length. is not accurate to say they do not have an opportunity to
express themselves. there were 350 amendments and almost half of them were republican amendments that were ultimately passed in the committee. there is a misunderstanding to i regrete to which -- it was so partisan at the end. we have to find ways to do better in reaching common ground. i am disappointed we did not see more bipartisanship in the process. host: there were no bipartisan votes. guest: there were republican amendments on the floor that were passed. at the end of the day, we do not see any republican support for the bill. caller: i just want to tell you how much i appreciate as a republican that we are trying to plan national health care
put into place. taxpayer,ear-old taxpayer, iyear-old am scared to death that might health care fees are so high anyway and they are going to double or triple. i am now in a position that i cannot afford to pay that. light toow has the come in. i am scared to death of the irs. i have been paying all along. i have been paying for 40 years. and now the irs coming down on top of me. i cannot pay my health care fee and they take a little assets i have left. i am very frightened about that.
could you please address that? goes too many of the concerns you raised. to provide more security and more opportunities for choice. right now, you had many people who could not get insurance because of pre-existing conditions or they were dropped from their insurance plan because they had reached annual our lifetime limits. they were charged much higher fees if they were a woman or older. the law attempts to address all of these disparities in a meaningful way. if you cannot afford to pay for the premiums, the government is going to help you pay those premiums. we have to go through this process to convince you and others that are skeptical about what it may mean for them and the implications they have going
forward. i am hopeful and confident that we are going to do a lot better job than we have done in the past, in large measure because of the detections in this law. host: there is a publication from south dakota, an op-ed. tomcolumn says, "only daschle can save the affordable care act." president nominated me. there are some issues involving a car that i had used that i did not realize was a taxable source of income. in never occurred to me it was shared with a friend. i found out and i paid the taxes. it became a far more obligated political controversy then i thought was deserved.
i decided i would remove myself from consideration. and an dear friend enormously successful journalist and pioneer in native american journalism. i am flattered and honored by his comments. it needs our country and our congress and the american people to be working together to come up with a better understanding of the implications for health going forward. i think the one thing most people agree with is that we know we have a cost problem. when i was born, health was 4% of gdp. if a monkey to have great grandchildren, it will be 32% of gdp -- if i am lucky to have great-grandchildren, it will be 32% of gdp.
we can do better than this. this is our first installment in doing just that. we are not anywhere close to being finished. host: let me take the idea of his point. how would you all-out the affordable care act? guest: i am not going to second- guess the administration. what was important was to include all of the players and to test, test, test. we probably could have done a better job at both of those things. are we going to learn from lessons past and tried to do a better job of ensuring that we understand the complicated nature of this in a way that will allow us to work in a much more effective way? i think we are on that track today. i do not think we will reach the 100% goal.
we're going to be in a better position by the end of the year. that is the expectation of the american people. host: our previous guest was concerned about missing deadlines. guest: it is no excuse to do nothing and to further complicate the problem by decimating the actuarial tables and all the things the insurance companies and others have counted on to make sure this is going to work in the long term. we do not want to create even more problems going forward. just as we would do in the private sector if the same circumstances resented themselves. host: will the be a problem as far as actuarials? our previous guest said rates have already been determined. guest: the president did a smart
thing. he said we will let two other factors weigh in. the insurance companies will have to make that decision. the commissioners will have to weigh if a problem exists. wethe extent that it does, are not going to change it. host: some have rejected the idea. guest: i am not surprised. there is uncertainty about what the mix will be and the balance of the actuarial cac relations required to meet the premium expectations. host: here is troy from st. paul, minnesota. caller: i went on the minnesota site. i found it to be pretty easy to get on. my wife is a school teacher.
we figured out we can save about $800 a month by going off her coverage from her schoolteacher plan. this care i had to look at it five times. then i called up the people on the phone, on the policy. they said all i have to do is call them back and i could sign up. i am not asking for a tax break. if there wasn't this care plan and if they didn't get it rammed hrough, we would not be having this discussion. it would just keep rambling on. everybody would be paying over. host: you have a policy in place
already? caller: we pay $6,000 a month for my wife, myself, my daughter -- we apy $1600. almost $1000 out of her pocket. the school district pays $600. i cannot even find a policy that costs that much. i had to look at it five times. i could not believe it. y.st: thanks, tro guest: one of my closest friends called yesterday that his son signed up in the last couple of days and saved over $600 a month from what he was paying before. you will see a lot more of that going forward. as people that are understand, they're going to save a lot of
money. that is going to make this a lot more popular. the glitches will be history, someday. vaughn froms alabama. good morning. caller: the way of the language gets confusing around here. we have the best health care -- health care --in the world. the world seems to think we have the best health care here. all we are talking about is how to pay for it. if we had jobs, we would go back to what it used to be years and years ago out of our pockets. now we have insurance in between. people handling insurance will be relying on the government or it is going to be the government. the insurance policy is a piece
of paper. health care is what you get when they save your life and put you back together again. guest: the caller is definitely right that there is a difference between health care and health insurance. i would emphatically argue we are by far from having the best health care system in the world. if you look at any rankings. the world health organization, we don't even rank in the top 20. on just about every performance criteria we fault our short anywhere near the best. -- we fall far short anywhere near the best. we have a huge responsibility to destroy the myths about where we stand in regard to health. a life expectancy in this country is actually going down. we have some of the best technology in the world. we have some of the finest institutions in the world. unfortunately not everyone gets into the mayo clinic or cleveland clinic or johns
hopkins. because they don't, the rest of us have to deal with health skip -- health care that is not the quality that one gets at one of the finest institutions in the world. therein lies the distinction. do we have some of the finest institutions? absolutely. do we have the finest health care? not even close. we have to make that distinction and make sure that as we look at how to address the challenges we face, we've got the facts. and those are the facts. the problem is, even though we don't even come close to being the best health care in the world as a nation, we pay more than the next 10 countries combined, more than the gdp of india or brazil or russia. just for health care alone. so, we are paying more than anyone else and we are not getting the result of a lot of other countries. at is what this whole fight is about. host: a viewer off of twitter -- states leave it to the to administer and decide?
guest: that is what we have had for 200 years. the state administered and decided on the problems have gotten worse. we have about 50 million people uninsured. quality is going down, not up. life expectancy is going down. what we decided in this country -- has always been a debate about government, whether government or the private sector should do it. back in 1915 only about 15% health care was related for government and that was primarily for veterans. it was expanded to the point where in the 1960's where we added medicare and medicaid, we expanded the role of government. in 2011 for the first time there was more government insurance and private insurance. 50 today. about 50- the real question is what should the role of government be going forward. we decided we should expand the role and medicaid of those cases where people just don't have the resources to buy health insurance and we created new private marketplaces with private insurance for people to choose on the marketplace in
those cases were medicaid is not necessary. that is the balance that the american people have interesting towards for some time. interestingly, the president chose to use one of the most conservative think tank approaches, heritage foundation, to create the model in the first place and i think that balance is something that we will continue to try to resolve as we go forward. host: "the washington post" highlights the recent poll looking at the president's popularity. 42% is where it stands. what does it mean for an agenda going forward? guest: the polls are going to rise and fall. you look at all of the president's predecessors, and they have had strong moments and moments where people have been concerned. obviously with the controversies involving health and involving the government shutdown and a number of things that have been isng on in washington, 42% probably 35% better than where congress is today. it is all relative.
the question is, how can we improve the perception and confidence of the american people in the government in washington today. the question -- the answer is, we have to find more ways to work together. a partisan bickering and the polarization and the tofrontation that continues be part of the rhetoric and get back to working in governing like the american people expect third host: you mention part of the bickering, your former career in the senate. a picture on the front page of "the new york times" talking about a third nominee for a judgeship and blocked by republicans in the senate. talking about filibuster and the process. give us your insight of what is going on, the idea of a filibuster, and your experience in the senate. guest: i think filibusters have been used to frequently on both sides of the isle, frankly. i have been involved in filibusters when i was majority leader and minority leader, and frankly, i look back with some regret that we didn't do a better job of resolving our
differences back then. but whatever level of all to what hexperienced, it experienced in the last two years. had oneohnson filibuster during the six years he was majority leader, 1954-19 60. harry reid in eight years has had something like 400 filibusters. the dramatic upswing in the number of filibusters of both on nominations and legislation has just exploded in the last few years. to a lotled, i think, of dysfunction and a lot of the anger and frustration that you see today among the american people. host: how do you change that? i wouldirst of all, like to see us go back to the old way of addressing filibusters, where you didn't dual and triple track. that is, set the nomination aside and pick up something else. i would require everyone who
filibusters hold the floor for whatever length of time it took to get cloture. that is the way we did it in the past. i think i had a very consequential effect on limiting the number of filibusters as we went forward. i would also eliminate the practice of what we commonly memberght hold where any of congress will say i will filibuster if you bring this bill or nomination on the floor. to be aas turned out one-person veto. government cannot work with one person vetoes in the country today. you can't run a government when you can get the people into the positions of responsibility for which they were nominated. you can't run a government if you continue to see the immigration bill languished for as long as it has or any one of a number of pieces of legislation that demand consideration today. this country deserves better than that and i think we've got to look at ways in which procedure can address these issues more effectively going forward. host: our guest, former senate democratic leader from 1995-2005
, tom daschle. martin from wisconsin. independent line. caller: good morning, think -- c-span3 hi, tom, how are you? two comments in one question. and you educate us a little more about the money flow within the aca. somebody get a subsidy, the insurance company paying the fed -- how does the actual money flow question mark somebody pays the insurance company. the second thing is the point you mentioned about bipartisanship -- good grief, harry reid will not take any bills to the floor. can you give them a call to get things moving? thanks. works the way the subsidy is you are entitled, based on your income, as he signed up for a given plan, there is a calculation and that is one of the areas where we had probably technicalst degree of difficulty in determining what that subsidy might be for any
income.an given one's that is automatically tabulated and the premium you pay to the insurance company is reduced by that degree, and the difference is made up by the subsidy itself. legislation,o the i was say i think you've got a i think- i would say you've got a lot of in assigning blame to senator reid when he has had so much difficulty moving his agenda forward. he and i have talked about this on many occasion. the problem he's got, of course, as majority leader is a limited number of days in which to deal with all the legislative responsibilities. i frankly don't think we spend enough time in washington today. the country needs to do better leaving on thursdays and coming back on tuesdays, the way the current schedule is worked.
we can't govern effectively if we only try to do it about a day and a half or two days a week. we've got to spend more time here addressing the challenges, and when we do we can take on more of a legislative schedule. house-senate budget conferees, coming up with a deadline of december 15 to come up with results as far as spending issues. what do you make of the comp -- process of what you think the outcome will be? guest: i was very hopeful. it was something as part of the resolution of bringing an end to the debt limit them of the shutdown, to a close. i think it is essential that we redouble the efforts. i worry, for when i am hearing, about reports that not a lot of progress has been made so far. you got the thanksgiving break coming up. again, to my point about how much time is actually spent in washington. it isreally think essential to prove that we can govern, that we can take something as fundamental as our
budget and find some resolution here. there's got to be give on both sides that there really have to be determination on the part of the leadership that we aren't going to fail. we will stay here for whatever length of time it takes to get the job done. -- ne of the issues host: one of the issues of taxation. guest: that is correct. there is no way you can address the enormity of the problem without having some revenue on the table. it can't be done. we are about 17% gdp on revenue and 22% on spending. we've got to bring gdp on spending down and revenue up. we got to find some happy medium, some common ground in the middle. when that happens -- just as we have done every single successful -- i cannot find it tempting history where both revenue and spending were not both considered as we resolved these issues in the past. of course they are difficult, but that is the only way we will get the job done. host: what do you look to on spending?
guest: entitlements, there is a lot we can do. what i hope we do on entitlements -- frankly, not what we have done and what i did in the past is simply to cut the programs and shift the cost onto somebody else -- whether the beneficiary or the state with the private sector. what we've got to do is redesign and improve these entitlements. there are a lot of ways we can make sure we do more with less. suggestions made by a lot of very reputable organizations, there is no reason why we have to cut and shift the way would've been in the past. host: bonnie from parsons, kansas. republican line. caller: good morning. good morning, senator daschle. i have not seen you in such a long time. nice to see that you look so well. guest: thank you very much. that is kind. veryr:i want to tell you a funny story but i will be very brief about it so i will probably leave out a lot. hospital that i needed to go to, i had no way of making
transportation to the hospital through their bus, so i had to call public transportation. they said you needed to make a two-day advance deal so that i could get there. had a call -- i from independence, kansas, about 40 miles from me, and it was a limo company and they were willing to come and get me and take me to the hospital because my car has to be worked on right now. [laughter] terrible spider bite. nobody can figure that one out. but that is beside the point. just so funny that i end up with
a limo going to the hospital --ause they don't have it they have not worked out these little things like transportation. host: bonnie, thank you. state i come from a rural like she does. south dakota. wife and her childhood years in scott's city and saint francis, kansas. we still have relatives there. but she is exactly right. one of the real difficulties we have had with good health care delivery is transportation. people who live 100 miles from a good facility. that is why tele health will become more important to address the challenge of distance and to find alternative ways to give the better care. but we can do a better job. it shouldn't require a limo from independence to get to the hospital. we have to fix that, too.
host: slover spring, maryland. independent line. caller: hi, mr. daschle. thanks for all the great work. of my question. with all the debate and back- and-forth, i don't understand, what is the real agenda or arevation behind folks that politically opposed to this better coverage for people. a quick example -- i went to the er about a year ago and it turned out to be a fairly minor was a weekend and nobody was open and it was the only place i could get there in a hurry, and the bill was like $2000. i called the billing office, and they said people with insurance like you are effectively covering four or five other people who come in with no insurance or very little money. the whole idea of getting everyone to get coverage was a republican idea at one point,
something they were promoting. that is not the only aspect of the bill. i understand the glitches that occurred on the website and the loss of insurance by some people have given ammunition, but is it just that the old system was really just too profitable? i don't see any alternative being proffered by the republicans. i have the old system is just to profitable, is that it? -- is it just the old system is profitable? guest: my own view is at its core the debate is about the role of government going forward. what should the role of government be as we consider health care? in theid earlier program, i think what the american people have come to appreciate is that we probably need government and we need the private sector, and we need to find ways to integrate both government and private sector involvement more effectively going forward. your point about uncompensated
care is absolutely right. we have mandates today. people who say they are opposed to a mandate -- we have a mandate now called uncompensated care. all the care that is provided to people who have no ability to pay is being passed on to businesses and individuals in higher premiums and higher hospital and doctor costs because that is the only way the facilities and the providers can accommodate this uncompensated care. it is passed onto somebody else. and we pay the difference. that is probably the least efficient way to pay for those who don't have insurance today, and that is why, again, as the caller correctly points out, a lot of republicans over the years as well as democrats have called for people taking more responsibility for themselves, regardless of what context we are talking -- health care, response, tax abilities. we all have responsibilities as american citizens. what the affordable care act attempts to do is to say, look, we will give you the right to ehealth -- health care but we
also want you to take some of the responsibility for yourself. not only financial responsibility but we want you to better understand that your own need for taking better care of your own personal health -- if you have obesity issues, we've got to work with you to make obesity more of a priority. if you have other issues, we've got to make sure that you got the access to resources and facilities to deal with those challenges so you can take more personal responsibility. that is what this is all about. days?what do you do these guest: at the good fortune to work with a terrific law firm ,rimarily on health care issues hopefully good, strategic advice. i work with a couple of think tanks, the bipartisan policy center and the center for american progress. i serve on a few boards, i do some public speaking and enjoy it all. host: are you a lobbyist? guest: i did not register -- i don't lobby and i have never been on the hill lobbying for the affordable care act or
anything else. host: you wrote a book "critical -- what we can do about the health-care crisis." if i understand it correctly, some kind of federal -- establish? guest: what i described in the first book was laid out as it occurred in the legislation -- in the second book called "getting it done." i long felt that a lot of these decisions today are really becoming too politicized, as we see with the health-care system. just as we saw with monetary policy when it became too politicized in the early part of the 20th century, congress very wisely decided to take it out of politics into have a federal reserve board make monetary policy today. as audiences what you think would happen today if congress was in charge of monetary policy, raising and lowering interest rates, deciding what the supply of resources would be in our monetary context question mark i
think we all know the answer. but that is basically what has happened to health. because it is so complicated because it has become so politicized, my view is that we need an independent board to make a lot of the decisions that are obviously still subject to congressional approval and oversight, that that would de- politicize it and put more managers in charge of a lot of the decisions going forward. one day we will have that kind of the system, in my view. i think it is necessary. i would argue that we really don't have a health system today. if you define a system as having a central decision-making or administrative authority, we don't have it. we have a market made up of a collage of subsystems that are public and private and they are not well integrated. we need a better way to better integrate public and private engagement in health. will i guess the question be about oversight, if you give power to one port to make these decisions. guest: obviously, just as we have done with base closing and even with monetary policy, the congress can challenge the fed
and can do things that can influence the direction of monetary policy regardless of whether it is tax or budget. i think the same thing can be done in health care to there will always be an opportunity -- and i would argue, a necessity for a congressional role. but the day-to-day management of the health-care system, now about 18% of gdp and going up, it really has to be addressed in a more professional organizer and former successful way. host: tom daschle served in the senate, democrat from south
"washington journal" is live everyone morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c c-span. house speaker john boehner called on health care law to be repealed. he and house republicans spoke to reporters on tuesday. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everyone. you know, it's not just americans who are getting their cancellation notices that are upset. it's everything that follows. what we're seeing here is a pattern of broken promises from the administration. number one, is if you like your health care plan. you can keep it. i think most americans are finding out it's really not true. secondly, what the president said is, you know, we pass obamacare premiums are going to go down. and i think what many people are seeing is a premiums are going right through the roof.
it's just one more reason why this health care law need to be scrapped now. good morning. you know, the american people are very, very worried. moms and dadses are worried they're going to lose their health care plans. and they have the one they have and like and worried whether they're going to be able to actually go to the same pediatrician they want their children to go to. young adults are now, -- witnessing the increase in health care cost and whether or noting whether they're going to be afford a individual policy. individualities going to the health care.gov website are beginning to fear their identity will be stolen. you know, millions of americans -- we know now, are receiving cancellation notices from insurance companies. the president broke a major promise to the american people. now t hard for them to trust any
assurances under this law. we have heard the president say he didn't know about the problems with the website. but yet a report has justice come out to say there were warning signs throughout the white house for a report back in march. there was going to be a problem with the rollout of this health care law. now, nancy pelosi and the house democrats are the architects of obamacare. they helped design the law. last week 39 of them joined us in trying to help americans that are being hurt under this law. it is time for the senate to join them and join us and act to help protect the american people. we all know the famous quote by then speaker knapp. -- nancy pelosi. the american people disapprove this law.
painly because of the three main principle ways of the law i.t. first it was the website. it didn't work. consumer report -- have you ever noticed consumer report to recommend you not to go to a website? they recommend americans not to got website because the fear of having fraud. the failure of the president to say if you -- if you have your health care and like it you can keep it. americans know it wasn't true and wasn't being honest. the final waive of the principle failure is the cost. the idea it's going lower cost. it's going raise your costs. you won't be able to keep your doctor. t time for the senate to act with us as the american people continue to see that this is a major fill your and will not solve the problem. >> this week i got a letter from maureen hunter. she lives in silicon valley. this is what she two me. kathy, like so many others i've
had my health insurance policy canceled. my policy was affordable, filled my need as a 63-year-old woman. ism so helpless. and my sheeter heavy. i worked since i was 13 and i've done what i could to be productive and responsible. do you see a way out of this awful situation for me and millions like me? how did people like me end up being on the casualty list? please help. and her words struck me but a hey not different than millions of hard-working average americans all across this country. we've heard the numbers. over 5 million have received a letter canceling their health insurance policy. and yet, just over 100,000 have signed up if for the plan. these are more than just numbers. these are real people that are being impacted. like maureen, who come january 1st, doesn't know whether or not she's going to be able to see
her doctor. now, the house has passed a legislative solution. the president has proposed this political fix. short term in states like mine, washington state, the and the insurance commissioner said they're not going to implement the quick fix. it leaves people like this wondering what is going to happen on january 1st. we need real solutions and help people across the cub. we need to make sure we have health care that is affordable and assessable to the people of this country. >> the letters continue to pour fhfa our office. sad letter about people that are losing their health insurance. some of the saddest letters i have read are from young people. young people that are just starting out in life. they're trying to pay their bills. pay their student loan. find employment without having their hours cut in such a tough
job market with unemployment at record highs for these young folks. and the letters are telling the story. their premiums are increasing from in kansas close to 130 percents. their out of pocket costs are going from $2,000 to $6 ,000. these young people can't afford that. they already were on tight budgets just trying to figure out how they are going to pay their bills. now this added cost. the american people deserve better. >>. there are some real questions of fundamental fair rn that are being played out as cro the country. people understand when you break a promise there's something unfair about it. and when you lose a freedom to buy a health care plan that works for you and your family, there's something unfair about that. ..
>> you a half-hour terms of competition in terms of what is available to the american people. in some states you only have a few that offer plans. and if you have companies that are able, and you advertise in all 50 states, you would have much more competition and provided a portable coverage as well.
>> we do have appropriations with the government. including continuing resolution and i understand they want regular order. some of us have this today, the house appropriations bills, the senate appropriations bills are marked at a higher number and until there is an agreement on the budget conference on a discretionary spending number for the year, they are unable to do their work and it is not fair. so i hope that there will be a number. but we will have to talk to paul ryan and senator murray about this. [inaudible question]
this is about one hour and 20 minutes. >> mr. president, of course we are beginning a debate today and throughout the next hour and the rest of the day, you will see the women of the senate take the floor in support of our military. and this includes how to deal with sexual violence in the military. you will see in the next hour the fact that we have excellent ideas in the bill and then we will have a debate on how to further enhance this process. this is a compelling national problem. when you join the military and you face the enemy, you shouldn't have to fear the enemy
within. no woman should be a victim of rape by a fellow soldier or a man at sea and the and no man should face the same sexual attack in college hazing. there is no place in the united states military of violence against one member of the military by another. now, i am pretty fed up with service and empty promises and zero-tolerance policies and task force after task force after task force. and i am an old-timer in this institution and i've been here for 25 years and i have worked in this issue for every year since then and there has been some every part of that. i have had to deal with this situation at the naval academy where a female individual was
taunted by chained up by a journal, and so she was freed by a visiting air force cadet to be able to get her out of handcuffs at her own naval academy. then there were other kinds of incidents. statistics after statistics, there are 26,000 reasons why we are on the floor today. 26,000 sexual assaults have occurred in our united states military this past year. we look at the service academies training of future leaders. fifteen attacks at the naval academy. fifteen attacks at west point and over 50 attacks at the united states air force academy. now is the time to do something bold and to do something strong
and something unequivocal. something that the victims can have confidence in i'm i am proud of the leadership taken by the women and there are now seven women on the armed services committee and wow, do they work on a bipartisan basis with the leadership of the committee. we appreciate the work of the fine men who supported us in dealing with this. and we particularly want to thank the chairman for his leadership and we want to acknowledge the role of senator and half and we want to this.
deal with various kinds of reporting. i am so pleased that the bill works to prevent retaliation against someone who reports a crime. so if you feel that you have been a victim of sexual assault, you are not retaliating by stepping forward were there you were doubly victimized both by the attack and by those who want to squelch the fact in this includes also getting help and eliminates the statute of limitations for these crimes and it requires a review of decisions by commanders not to prosecute and dishonorable discharge for anyone convicted of a sexual assault. it ensures that every victim gets access to legal counsel and
then there are others that there could be corroboration on. sexual assault in the military continues to rise. it is a problem and i'm worried about the men and women every day that a well-trained and well protected. many of these are unpunished and unprosecuted. many of them give us eight picture as to why victims report these crimes. 50% don't think anything will be done, 43% believe that they will not be okay and 47% were part of retaliation. performs deal with those fears and their concerns and we are ready to reform and standardized by the military deals with these
problems and these reforms will change the way the military things and how they act and during the course of this process we met with victims and heard their stories with experts and advocates and we met with the military themselves and we are able to give off concerns a voice by using the defense bill with significant reform and we have done this together on both sides of the aisle, working with the leadership of the committee, the reforms that people can count upon for fairness in the process for the accused and also help to with those who have been victimized at to be sure that they are not victimized by jury system that they count upon. mr. president, i yield the floor at and i look forward to hearing from my senior republican colleague, senator collins. >> mr. president. >> thank you, mr. president.
first, i would like to commend the senior senator, from maryland, the dean of women senators are organizing this debate today on an issue that concerns each of us and that is the growing crisis of sexual assault in the military. mr. president, the first raise my concern over the military's inadequate response to the growing crisis of sexual assault. i remember it well, it was a hearing before the senate armed services committee in the year 2004, at which i have expressed my growing alarm about the number of sexual assaults in the military and be an adequate response by the leaders of the
military to provide adequate care for the survivors and to ensure appropriate punishment for the perpetrators of these reprehensible crimes. in any that i had with general george casey, i have seen it at the military needs to be much more responsive to reports of sexual assault, particularly in the field and to separate these women in some cases the male victims from their alleged attackers. the department must also vigorously prosecute the defenders and hold the commanders accountable for establishing zero-tolerance policies. mr. president, to say the general cases response was disappointing, that would be an
understatement. i am convinced that if the military had heeded the concerns that i and others like senator mikulski raised back then a decade ago, this terrible problem would have been addressed much sooner saving many individuals from the, and the pain and the injustice that they have endured. back then the attitude of the high-ranking officials who were testifying at that 2004 hearing was dismissive even though they never should have occurred in the first place and this includes the discipline that is disciplined with every military unit. the attitude that i perceive
among military officers today is markedly different than the one that i encountered nine years ago. the work of the stated policy of zero tolerance into reality, however, has remained unfinished business and this includes the number of assaults is greatly diminished and remains a goal and not reality. and ensuring that survivors did not think twice about reporting an assault for fear of retaliation or damage to their careers and it is still not part of the military culture. in 2011 i joined our former colleague, john kerry, and co-authoring the defense act as an initial step to address this crisis and provisions of this
bill was signed into law as part of the fiscal year of 2012 of the national defense authorization and they have provided survivors and the assistance of advocates with genuine confidentiality and they have provided guaranteed access to an attorney and consideration to be transferred far away from their assailant. i introduced the coast guard strong act to extend these protectors through the coast guard members in this includes ranking member inhofe and senator mccaskill for their work to include these provisions and more than anything, survivors they do have the confidence the legal system in which they purport a crime will produce a
>> thank you, madame. >> it is fully enforcing the stated policy of zero tolerance for sexual assault and there are strong views if the pentagon and this is a result of still more studies or perhaps even wait a few more years to see if these provisions have made a difference. mr. president, i strongly
disagree how many more victims are required to suffer before we take additional action and how many more lives must be ruined before we wait for the results of yet more studies. and that is why i have decided to support senator gillibrand's amendment to this bill. this was not an easy decision. because there are valid arguments on both sides.
and this takes him squarely including sexual assaults and in my judgment it will encourage more victims to report sexual assaults. and that is absolutely critical. there can be no question, mr. president, about the senate's commitment to reducing the instances of sexual assault in the military and to providing appropriate care for survivors and as we debate various proposals, we are united by the need for the serious reforms that are included already in this bill and that will enhance the military's response to sexual assault. and i would like to thank all of those and i am certain that our
work from the mda will make a real difference. >> a senator from new hampshire. >> i thank you, mr. president. and this includes bringing this to the floor today and i want to thank the senator who has seen the chamber as well and has been a leader, as well as senator claire mccaskill, who is a member of the armed services committee with me. this has been an issue that has brought people together for the right reasons.
the women of the senate have really driven this and it is important to understand that this is not a woman's issue. it is an issue for anyone and this is an issue about justice and an issue about fairness and an issue about making sure that victims, men and women get the justice and the support that they deserve and that they understand and appreciate the we want them to have a victim, they can come forward and get the support that they need and that they deserve and this is also about the character of our military. we are blessed to have the best military if you are a commander
and you do not stop or present actual assault and have a climate in the unit that says zero tolerance, this is not going to happen in a victim comes forward that you don't handle this the right way and supporting victims and ensuring that they are held accountable, you will be relieved from the command. and that is a climate in which all of this are brought forward. where we work together across the aisle with provisions that
are very strong to support victims. one of those is a special victims council and senator patty murray and i have talked about a pilot program will actually have their own lawyer and someone to represent them in their interest to know that if they come forward there is someone looking out for them. and that is one of the provisions contained to ensure that every victim will have someone who stands for them and in addition to that, retaliation, we have made it against victims a crime under the uniform code of military justice to stay to the victims but if you come forward and your retaliated against, whoever does that will be guilty of a crime.
sending the message that we want to support you and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. in addition, i believe that if we want to solve this problem, the provisions in this bill that people have worked together on our very strong. i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their work together and we are going to pass unprecedented reforms that the military understands that this is not an issue that can be left in the closet that can be quietly spoken of but they can't come forward. but the reforms are very tough and they support it the victims and hold them accountable and they make sure that we do not see what we have seen in the past and that will be done under
this bill and that is not allowed anymore if this bill passes on the floor. i have simply come to the floor today to say that there is so much that we have agreed upon is going to address this issue in the military and for all of my colleagues are on the floor today, i thank them for their leadership. but we will not let this rest. the one thing that i do know is that certainly those of us that served on the armed services committee who don't serve on the armed services committee but serve on the other appropriations committees, despite the unprecedented reforms that we will pass on a bipartisan basis, to ensure the victims are supported, we won't let this go, this is not something where we pass this reform and that's the end of the story. every few months we will be asking why have you done to
implement these reforms. in this will be part of what we have intended that is the right thing for victims of crime and the right thing for our military, getting done. i'm proud of everything we have done and will do on a bipartisan basis to stand against sexual assault in our military, this is not the end of the story and we will continue to pursue this to make sure that they understand that they are accountable and the victims of crime understand in the military that they will be supported and that we will not let this go. so i thank you, mr. president. i think my colleagues for everything that they have done to support the victims of crime and end this in the military.
>> mr. president? >> mr. president, i rise to join my colleagues in highlighting the academics of armed services and i'm glad to join many of my colleagues here and our leader as well and making sure the voices of women are heard in this debate. it includes 26,000 incidents of unwanted sexual contact among service members. washingtonians are very proud to send us in this includes those across our state and more than 65,000 men and women serving in the state of washington in
places like the puget sound naval shipyard and bangor, and the naval station as well. so we take it seriously when there are 116 reports across all of these installations in the state of washington in the year 2010. that number is just too high. and that is the only amount that is being reported. we know that there may be many assaults that are unreported. as my colleagues have been saying, we need to do everything that we can to address this problem and i am pleased that lewis mccord is developing a sexual assault prevention program and i urge my colleagues in the senate to address this
problem in this includes the men and women of our armed forces defending our country. so why are we leaving them unprotected while they serve. i have cosponsored legislation authored by my colleague to provide special counsel to victims of sexual assault and this will ensure that professionals trained in dealing with this are there to support the victims and their may be differing opinions on how to achieve these goals in the military. i believe that all of my colleagues can agree on a common goal, protecting the victims from further abuse. we need to put an end to an environment that allows sexual assault to occur and let the perpetrators go unpunished and discourage victims of sexual assault through fear and intimidation and we may differ on how to achieve that goal and
we are all here to say the same thing, enough is enough and we will not tolerate the sexual assaults in the military and armed forces and we want to our service members to come together and act towards an association today. we are here to speak volumes and how this is a part of this, a fact that this needs to come together to address that. i think the president and i do yield the floor. >> the senator from alaska. >> thank you. >> i ask unanimous consent that we be granted privileges for the remainder of this.
>> without objection. >> i want to thank my friends, the good senator from maryland and the dean of the women in the senate and the senator from maine who has organized this portion of the debate this morning but i would like to acknowledge and thank the women of the senate who are coming here this morning to speak on an issue that we would all agree upon, it is something that must be addressed that for far too long has not seen the redress that it commands. we stand together unified to make a difference and i want to acknowledge the good work particularly of senator claire mccaskill and senator gillibrand, who has worked to raise this issue and advance the discussion to the point where i believe that for the first time in far too long we will make
meaningful headway when it comes to addressing sexual assault and harassment and one has been called with two beds sexual trauma. working together, i think we do have that impetus and that push to truly address this in a meaningful way these areas. and it is open to all that we have sent a very strong message on these issues and a united message, clearly bipartisan. there is a difference of opinion within this body about how we address the crisis and how we create a culture that prevents the kinds of incidents that we are talking about from occurring and how we work to protect the
rights of the victims and ensure that justice and accountability are achieved in an open and transparent fashion so that the victims know that there is a system that works for them so that our constituents know that and we have that confidence again. because right now that does not exist. and we recognize that there are differences in the body and how to achieve the elimination of military sexual, and i believe, mr. president, that this is the best medicine for a difficult situation that has been allowed to languish for far too long. and this afternoon i intend to spend a little bit more time explaining why i think that
while this is disruptive of the status quo, while i believe that it is the purpose in joining with my female colleagues here in the senate, not to argue for or against one amendment or another but to point out that as reported by the armed services committee includes so many provisions agreeable to all of us that truly have a positive impact going forward and i would like to also be part of the course of the debate in the senate will consider some other amendments which enjoy the broad support and this includes senator barbara boxer who spoke so eloquently about her amendment that will protect the victims rights in article 32 proceedings in this amendment has drawn good support from those support her support as
well as those who oppose it. this is good legislation and i hope that we can come together to adopt this. i have submitted this amendment in this ensures us at our nation's service academies and that we have access to special victims council and another one of my amendments requires that from the heads of the service academies on the services available to those involved and i would hope that these would be offered and accepted at the appropriate time. those that have been undressed and others as well. these were all held to make a difference that this is just the beginning of solving the problem
in the congress of the united states can encourage good behavior and we can't sanction the bad behavior. but what we cannot do is legislate good culture and over the next few days we will hear a good many words about the importance of the chain of command and some will argue that bad behavior will cause the chain of command to abandon this responsibility and i do not accept this proposition. regardless of how we dispose the amendment, it is the responsibility of the chain of command to provide for good order and sound military culture always. this is a nonbillable duty of those who accept concessions of leadership and responsibility within our armed forces.
those who buy wear the uniform is left upon the values of this country and every action that they take must uphold those values. and sometimes i wonder. you must wonder does the chain of command get it. and i would like to share a sad story. the soldier's name was danny chan and he grew up in new york city's chinatown and he joined the army and was assigned to fort wainwright in fairbanks, alaska and from there he was deployed to afghanistan nine months after his deployment he was found dead in afghanistan of what the army described as an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and it's explained explained this way. a group of his superiors allegedly tormented him on an almost daily basis over the
course of six weeks in afghanistan last fall and they singled him out and he was there only chinese american soldier and they spit racial slurs at him and they forced him to do sprints while carrying a sandbag and they ordered him to crawl along gravel ground while they flung rocks at him and one day when his unit was assembling, he was forced to wear a hard hat and shout out instructions to his fellow soldiers in shiny. his story is not about sexual assault or harassment, but it is about harassment. it's about the kind of extreme behavior that has no place no place in the armed forces of this world's greatest democracy just like sexual assault or harassment or, have no place in
the the armed forces of the world's greatest democracy. this week we have the opportunity to send a statement to the chain of command that they need to clean up the culture and never again should we have to allow this to fester within our military. so i joined join with my colleagues this morning and unity for the victims and for a change that will realign the reality that our service members seem to face in the armed forces with the values of the greatest democracy on earth and i think the president and my colleagues and i yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> i rise to speak on the
national defense authorization act and how the senate and the women of the senate are working to address the crisis of military sexual assault. i would like to thank the senator for organizing and bringing us together this morning and this includes senator levin and inhofe for their leadership and i would like to thank senator mccaskill for working on this critical legislation over the past year and i would like to thank all of the women and you have heard from many of them this morning and will continue to hear from them all the more because this is an incredible year. a year that i hope will be remembered that is a decisive one in the effort to eradicate the military sexual assault once and for all. we are well aware this place our armed forces and we've all seen the numbers in 2012 and has
received 374 reports of sexual assault in the military and by the own estimates, 26,000 incidents took place during that time and that means that only 12.9%, a small fraction of incidences were actually reported. and even those reported, only 880 faced command action in 590 faces and 200 of those resulted in convictions. so we have a situation in which these people face any kind of discipline out of the universe 26,000 potential incidences and that is only 3.4% in which someone was held accountable and
only 302 or 1.1% were actually convicted of a crime. that is not a good of numbers and it sums up why the problems has been festering in my mini action this year. but i think we also know that we are not all here because of the statistics but because of real people. because each and every one of the numbers is a personal story of grief and we know them all too well. whether it was a scandal last year were a dozen or more instructors were accused of assaulting trainees with a more recent case, the airbase where an air force general decided to reinstate a pilot without explanation despite the fact that the pilot had been convicted of actual assault charges by a jury of his peers. i think of kimberly from minnesota. maybe someone that not everyone has heard of.
in 2005 she was handcuffed to a bed and assaulted by a fellow marine, her supervisor and she reported him and the end result was that he was demoted in rank than that was it. it is clear that we have so much more to do in addressing this problem and it doesn't just hurt our men and women in uniform. it undermines the integrity of our country and our armed forces and that's why we can't let it continue and i know that everyone in the senate for action to change this and that is what we are going again. this is that contains more than two dozen unprecedented reforms that will provide support to victims and help to rebuild trust in the military's handling of sexual assaults.
as a former former prosecutor, i learned over time that the outcomes are incredibly important and just as important is how people feel about how they are treated in a system and every year we did a survey of victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault and one of the things it became clear over time was how many months and was in prison was whether or not the crime was explained in the process was explained and whether or not the outcome was explained and we actually had people come back and say that i know that this case had to be dropped or i know that you could not bring charges in this case, but i felt and this is a victim talking that i felt that he treated me with respect and i understood that it would remain so that if another case came forward, my record would be there and my report would be there and if the facts were better, we could go forward with a pen that has led me to get
involved in the issues of the military on sexual assault report when i first got involved in this, we learned the shocking fact that many branches of the military for destroying the records, sometimes in one year and sometimes in five years and that's why olympia snowe and i got together proposed changes. belly that the records could be kept for decades. but the problem is despite the changes we have made on this exact authorization act, the victim actually has to sign something and say that they want these records retained and that would not have been in a civil court. current law only requires restrict retention of reports and that's when a service member chooses not to take legal action at the request of the affected service member and this might seem innocuous, but it is not. it allows for the continuing destruction, making it harder for servicemen or women for
assault related ailments were to seek justice in the future. i noticed with a former marine when her case could not be brought because she was marine who was kept for five years. when the perpetrator got out and raped two kids, the prosecutor was able to look at the records. it is simply helping to look at the records to know what happened and if there was a similar mo. a service member who has been through an assault should not be forced to make a far-reaching decision on whether his or her report on such a crime will be retained or not. that is what is happening right now, this bill gets rid of the double standard, ensuring that all records are stored in a secured and private manner for at least 50 years and it contains a provision requiring that the disposition of substantiated offenses be noted
and this will help ensure that commanders are aware of potential offenders and it contains language for military sexual assault prevention acts and i think the senator for her report of this, which expresses the sense of the senate that charges this and attempts to commit these offenses should be disposed of by court-martial or action and we want the offenders to be convicted and punished and not just given a conviction with a discharge. i introduce this with senator claire mccaskill who is here with us today and this includes the list of protected communications that can be investigated by the dod inspector general and mrs. expanded whistleblower protection that will help to ensure that service members are able to report sexual assault without facing retaliation.
these are a few of the provisions addressing us in the spell. senator murray is focused on the victim's right in treating them with the respect that they deserve. our country is fortunate that we have so many selfless men and women who volunteer to serve our country and when they raise their hands to serve, we take on the responsibility to provide the means to accomplish this to ensure that they don't have to worry about what is going on behind the front line. sexual assault betrays that responsibility and our servicemen and women experience this at a military sales to prevent and we owe them the basic decency of justice. i look forward to working with my colleagues so we can protect our service members once and for all. thank you and i yield the floor.
>> thank you. >> mr. president? >> senator. >> there is something pretty historic. over half of the women of the senate speaking on this issue. this is a bipartisan effort with 30 reforms that we have agreed to and it's very impressive that we are all here speaking up with one voice and difference and i hope that america is watching. because this has not ever happened before and i turned to the gentlelady from wisconsin for her remarks as well as the gentlelady washington state.
>> mr. president, i rise this morning to speak about this year's national defense authorization legislation. as well as the important reforms that are part of this improve the military response to sexual assault. the men and women in our armed services serve with courage in defense of our freedoms every day in their service needs to be respected by addressing the ongoing crisis and you can call it an epidemic of sexual assault in the military. we know that the system is broken and past time that we fix it. and i would like to share just one story from a remarkable and bremer brave woman who lives in la crosse, wisconsin. she joined the army in 2004.
and she was assaulted that year while stationed at fort meade in maryland for advanced individual training. she was interrogated for hours over numerous days and forced to drop the charge and she was written up in her assailant was not charged with any crime. she was deeply affected by the trauma of this crime and continues to face struggles with posttraumatic stress disorder. but she is a survival inspiration as well as a true inspiration and she has turned her pain encouraged into a platform for advocacy and
service to her community, working through her organization and empowered through art to raise awareness about military sexual assault through the power of art and storytelling. and that we must do everything we can to ensure that all have the support that they deserve. and that is why i am heartened by the 2014 national defense authorization act and i'm very grateful to the bipartisan coalition in particular of women senators who have worked diligently to make this change happen. in particular, senator joe brandon senator mccaskill have led the fight to make these improvements. their efforts will make a real difference in the lives of
countless americans by preventing sexual assault. however, i believe that more must be done to help victims of sexual assault and that is why i am a proud sponsor of the amendment, which would improve upon these important reforms by removing the prosecution of major crimes from the military chain of command. instead, military prosecutors will determine whether to move the case forward, which would eliminate the inherent bias and conflict of interest which deter victims from reporting sexual assault crimes in the first place. i am also filing an amendment to include the rotc programs and conversation about military sexual assault. just like we must ensure that our new officers from the
service academies meet our high standards, we must do the same of those commissioned in our programs across america. i think the important improvements in this year's defense authorization show the great promise of what can be achieved if we work together in a bipartisan way to get things done for the american people. and i have to tell you that it's a tremendous privilege to be a public servant and it's a special privilege to be the first woman elected from my state to the u.s. senate in one of the best parts for me is that i get to be a woman in the senate when there are incredible other individuals to work with and learn from and look up to. i want to thank my colleagues who served on the armed services
committee. i want to thank them for their work in guiding this process through their committee in such an effective and bipartisan way. this includes his stewardship of the range of motions. i would like to thank the calls and collins for organizing today's floor speeches. and this includes thanking my colleagues for their bipartisan work and i yield back. >> mr. president? >> a senator from missouri. >> i would like to thank my
colleagues, senator mikulski and senator collins for making an effort to highlight the work that has been done on this important issue and i would be less than candid to have one policy different dominate the discussion of this issue over the previous few weeks without anyone even realizing that historic reforms that are contained in this bill and i welcome the opportunity to come with my colleagues who may disagree on one policy issue but do not agree -- but they don't disagree on the goal and are taking a moment to recognize the work that has been put into this bill by not just the women of the armed services committee, but also the men of the armed services committee. after the hearings on some of us
have spent hundreds of hours poring over the transcripts and spending time visiting with prosecutors, i believe that we have fashioned historic and amazing changes that will forever change the successful prosecution of rapists and our military and go further to protect victims as well. i come to this issue with a great deal of experience. i think it is not that i have stood in the cold room prosecuting sexual predators