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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  December 20, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EST

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ors fall short under president nixon and clinton. with every step forward and back, he never saw it easyñi he never stopped believing that in the freest country in history that would some day come to pass. the legislation guaranteing that no american would ever go broke because they got sick. no one would die because they didn't get the treatment needed. we will not, we must not let it slip through our hands. >> first of all, again, let me thank our leader senator reed. every team has a quarterback.
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he's been our quarterback. he's called the plays. we are going to go over that goal shortly there's a book called the good fight. i've said this before. he's going to have to have the revised edition and add another chapter on to that good fight. this is a good fight. harry reid has lead that fight and we've won it. fight." to max baucus who bent over backwards and not only went the extra mile but the extra hundred miles to involve the minority. to my great friend, chris dodd, who did a masterful job of leading our committee and
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getting the bill through and doing a masterful job. kriz and max and i are all classmates together. we were all sworn and the same day. -- as one in on the same day. -- sworn in on the same day. this is a starter home. it has a great foundation. we are expanding health-care coverage to 31 million americans. it has a protective rules -- were roof. this is not the end of health
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care reform, this is the beginning of health care reform. i am just proud to join my fellow senators and doing whatever i can to make sure we get over the goal in the next few days and have the president signed into law as soon as possible after the first of the year -- president sign it into law as soon as possible after the first of the year. >> [inaudible] >> i work with -- i worked with every democratic senator and many republican senators to come up with the merged bill and the amendment to that bill.
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negotiations took place with the people up here at the podium and sometimes individually and he was just like the rest of them. we worked with him over a period of many weeks. we have -- as you look through this bill, you will see that there are a number of different interests that different senators have and you will see that in the merged bill and the managers package. >> [inaudible] can use a one that was done? >> the doctors fix it was done because the doctors felt that was the best way to move forward. we all believe that it should be
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permanent. we need to do that. we had a one year fix. they are entitled to more than that and we agreed. we will work on that as soon as we get back after the holiday. >> the reaction is that that is the one state that gets 100% coverage forever. >> i would say this. if you read the bill, which i am sure you will, you will see that a number of states are treated differently than other states. that is what legislation is all about. it is compromise. but we work on a number of things to get a number of people's votes. there are many things that you
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will look at in this legislation and you'll wonder why that happened. a lot of times, you will think that something was done that was -- most of the time that is not true. with senator maulson, that was a minor part of the issue. we started working on that weeks ago. >> just to confirm, do you have 60 votes? >> it seems that way. thank you very much. >> and to everybody. -- thank you everybody. >> max, thanks. >> you are way ahead of me.
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. . . >> a short time later senate manage or the leader mitch
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mcconnell held a press conference to discuss why he is opposed. this is 15 minutes.
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>> it's important that we are having it read so we can figure is it out liar 300 million other americans. i'm here with a message for the american people this morning,w democrat leaders sprung a new piece of legislation on the mesh people that would have a hume impact. this is not renaming a post office democrats are forcing a
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vote over the weekend countying on the fact that american people are preoccupied with christmas and not paying attention to what they are doing. we know from all the survey data that americans are overwhelmingly opposed to this bill. this bill is a train wreck of historic proportions. they are so eager to claim a victory, they are so willing to jam it through. here are a few things americans need to know. in medicare, we note bill slashes hundreds of billions of dollars of medicare to fund massive government beurocracy.
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we know there are cuts to hospitals and nursing homes. we know there are cuts to home healthcare and hospice. the bill includes massive tax increases on american families and businesses. doing that ay at a time of double digit unemployment numbers. there are taxes on health insurance and medical devices. there are taxes on medicine and there are taxes on working families with very high medical expenses. a abortions.
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the bill has language on abortions. the class act refer to as a ponsy sceem is in the bill. medicaid. this is particularly interesting. it gives special sweet heart deals to a few states specifically nebraska and vermont.
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those who end up paige more so that nebraska and vermont can get a special deal. >> the history being made here. make no mistake about it. the history is the ignoring of the will of the american people.
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the history being made is that the bill being sold helping the problem in our nation makes the problem worse this spending will actually go up under this bill i assure you, they would not be trying to pass this the weekend before christmas and the middle of the night. the next vote will be in the middle of the night. it will be at 1:00 a.m. monday morning. if this is a good bill with bipartisan suppose port.
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to sit down and write this bill in a way that would pass the senate with 80 votes, we wouldn't be doing what we were doing. americans need to knowp, what' going on. americans need to learn as much as they can and we can as the process moves forward.ñr do you plan toñi use any otho=# tactic to make sure this bill does not pass before christmas. >> the important thing is for
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americans to understand that they are being jammed. nobody will notice. this issue isñi pretty darn big. this is not a post office bill. this is healthcare. >> they are hoping you will yield back some time.
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i think the people are rightly out raged >> what would magically happen if democrats went home for a week and came back to vote. we'd be happy to go home tomorrow and deal with this bill next year. we are still analyzing it but the err notify indication as i said. you know, the bill is still being read for the first time by most.
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senators have had a chance to look at it. i can't give you the final take on it. i give you earlier whatñi the early cakeses are that the adequate. >> talking about how the gop was outraged. you were debating a decoy bill. there was a move on the floor. can you talk about that. >> no one had seen it before today. 2 was important for everybody to read and understand it. my staff is going through it now. what i'm giving you today is a preliminary take on what's in there we know there's dispaired
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we know in nebraska and vermont, the places to fuss up. there are i'm sure other things in there. we are trying to take other looks at it. they have been behind closed dors over the last few weeks this is a 2100 page a monsterous deal.
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playing these nation's games with healthcare. it's an outrage and it needs to be called that. anyone else? ok. thank you. >> following this remark, other
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senators gathered it discuss their reaction. this is about 25 minutes >> i know you haven't had anything to do this morning. the snow is beautiful. you've been going back to back on this. as someone who has deliver thousands of babies and have a personal issue in this. the claim that this is a prolife rider on this bill is absolutely fictitious. for the first time, federal tax dollar also be used to pay for abortions. ñiif you read the language, it violates a clear intent of the hyde, sei-willçóthat is a drasn
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policy. there is no prohibition on coverage in federal the new public option managed by the office of personnel management will cover abortions, the manager's amendmentñi includes reauthorization of the health care improvement act. the amendment rejects compromise proposal on abortions. this is far worse than the casey proposal, the cash proposal, and it will eventually have a negative result.
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>> the hyde amendment has been part of our law since 1977, and been bipartisan in its support. today we have the first time that that amendment is going to be watered down and no longer exist at all. the house clearly voted in a bipartisan way to protect the amendment, and the fact that we would not have subsidize abortions in this country because so many people feel so strongly about it, i am in absolute support of the hyde amendment and believe that watering it down should defeat this bill. the rest of the things we are learning about this bill that were in the underlying bill should also be recommended for the rejection of it. all of the tax cuts that are
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going to start in two weeks. the bill does not become implemented for four years. so you are asking people to pay taxes for four years,ó[ hamer insurance premiums on policies if they are covered, hired prescription drug costs, and hired a vice equipment costs because of higher taxes, and yet there is no bill that anyone can sign up for or four years. >> i was hoping we could give the american people a process. it has a three energy-something page amendment being read. at the end of the day, i hope
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president obama will keep up to his campaign promises of changing the way we will do business. he said that everyone will have a seat at the table, health care will be transparent, on c- span, and you will have access. maybe i do not have the channel, because i do not see that on tv. what about the conference of bishops? there are opposing the compromise. but if you're wondering if this is a partisan measure, i would argue that the catholic church
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is not part of the republican or democratic party. they care about the unborn. if i was making an important choice, people would have been standing behind me. that is all about this bill. you could not find one group to stand behind and validate what he was saying. at the end of the day, this reinforces everything that the american people hate about congress. and the price tag has not changed one bit with the better. this new entitlement program for long-term health care has not changed at all. they will create a new entitlement, beginning in 2011,
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creating $72 billion. the class act was a ponzi scheme of the first order. 11 senators wrote to the democratic party saying the class act is fiscallyñi irresponsible, and millions of americans are dying to have congress act responsibly. as we go forward between now and christmas, a democratic colleague said we have the votes, why can't we go home? we are not going home. why couldn't we wait until after christmas to pass the bill? it was in their interest to pass it through. they have rounded up the 60th
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vote and they are applauding themselves when there is nothing to applaud. so we are going to talk about this until christmas, waiting until people not want to know the truth. the question is not why people can't go home, it is why can we do with the american people expect a bus and be responsible when it comes to legislation? á÷>> i think that this bill is clearly irresponsible and morally reprehensible. the abortion language in this bill funds abortion for the first time since 1977. the last time the federal government funded abortion, the numbers funded 300,000 a year.
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it is funding abortion with federal taxpayer dollars and premiums that will go through federal taxpayer established insurance plans or proposals. that is morally reprehensible, fiscally irresponsible, and we do not have the money to do this with. here we are on saturday morning, getting the bill, and people are saying what is in it, what is not in it, and rushing to pass it. if it were a traditional bill, it would be one that would work through the process that everybody has a chance to look at and at the end of the day we >> at the end of the day, we'd probably have somewhere between 70-80 votes.
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this hide the ball process and then throw it out at the last minute and vote at 1:00 a.m. in the morning is the very sort of process that we hate seeing take place. this should be put off until after christmas. people being able to scam init instead of it being done in the dark of the night when washington is jammed in with a snow storm. >> i think today signifies an important think for the american people. this is not about differences between republicans and democrats when it comes to policy. this is about members exercising their ability to get special treatment for their state when others in this country will pay for it.
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i agree with everything that's been said. i could go further on the abortion language. i think the leg wrath harry reid had is better than what was negotiated. he negotiated a medicaid agreement for nebraska that puts the federal government on the hook forever, not for six years, not for 10 years. this is the nebraska wind fall agreement. it means if you are a taxpayer in virginia or in ohio or you are a7ñ taxpayer in arkansas, are gooding to pay taxes to make sure people in nebraska don't have to paid any portion of the medicaid expansion gnat
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future. . . . we're supposed to tax equally and apply equally but we are into something now that is a continuation of what has been so awful the last 12 months, picking winners and losers. harry reid only allowed some to win and others to lose. but in this process, the american people lose. this bill will be incredibly expensive, cost jobs in this country, and as has been proven, it does not reform health care, it raises taxes too high, spends too much money. the american people lose in an agreement like this.
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>>quickly, what this provision does is set up a supreme court challenge. roe versus wade is clear on funding for abortion, and now we are seeing that what that was laid down years ago is thrown up in the air, and it is obvious that things have been -- votes have been bought. what ever it takes to get a vote, that is what the leader did. taxpayers are sending money to nebraska. the list goes on and on. is that the way that the election nears envisioned the change that ought to come to america that they expressed in
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the last election? this is not business as usual. it is far worse than usual. it has been negotiated for 26 years by individuals. i know little bit about the subjects, and if this is what negotiation is all about, it is a poor way of doing business and a poor way of negotiating. >> i would make one final statement. the crisis of confidence in this country is at an apex and has not seen in 150 years. and that lack confidence undermines the ability of legitimate government. we need to be paying attention to that, because a lot of people out there today through this process, not just the bill,
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but the process, will give up on government, and rightly so. questions? >> help me out a little bit on your position, on how this is worse. çóñi>> i understand this is not explicitly say no abortion, but the position is that you are segregating the parts of the exchange that are private. >> it is federal dollars. it is the policy in the country today under no taxpayers' dollars, or the use to pay for abortion. it has been that way for 34 years, but it changes with this bill. as soon as five states opt out,
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there will be a challenge using the president to say they cannot do that. consequently, we will have to hide language stripped forever, and you will be as a taxpayer, whether you believe in abortion or not, they will be paying for it. there is also no conscience protection in this. so we will be going after those in terms of training systems when they may not want to offer that. >> [unintelligible] >> we can't find it yet, and that goes back to the other point. we are going to vote on this at 11 on monday morning. that is ours from when we first looking at the amendment. you can see what people in thisi
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country don't have any confidence. the average bill is less than 400 pages. we have had 10 republicans amendments voted on -- well, now we have no bill. so description by our leader saying that this is a jam is exactly right. they do not want the american people to know absolutely what is in this bill. >> it is the worst crisis of confidence in 150 years. do you think we are on the brink of civil war? >> there was no reference. but what i hear from -- and i just picked 150 years. but what i hear from constituents everywhere i travel, you represent what is in the best long-term interest
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of our country. and people are not having confidence to govern. when you lose confidence, you lose the ability to govern. and we're thinking about long- term prospects, rather than how we benefit otherwise our own. >> trying to segment private money? >> there's no segmentation in the health care improvement act. the hyde language is gone. so we will use federal government money to pay for abortions on indian reservations. how to use segment the money? you cannot segment the money. that is like saying we're not going to let social security money be spent on other things. you are saying we are going to have a lock box, when there is
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no lock box. >> this is caps redone. they have just try to say, ok, we will set another category, but it is the same sort of segment, and we went through that debate earlier and everyone said this is not funding for abortion because we're segmenting, but this is federal dollars, you artist putting them in a different pocket. so that is funding of abortion. and in the exchange, you will have one that will fund abortion. and we have never done that. it is still federal money. >> if barbara boxer is ok with this language, nobody in the right-to-life community can be ok with it, because her position is well-known, and she thinks the federal government ought to spend money on abortion. >> i heard the explanation today about writing two checks.
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that is what was just alluded to. this is federal money. it is like social security money going in the general fund. the money will be mixed with federal money. i do not care whether there is additional separate premium or not, it's still is mixed with federal money, and that is what pays for abortion. so they are disingenuous when they say that there is going to be segregation among the funding for abortion versus non- abortion policies. >> in your statement, at least what i grabbed, you seem to provide that center nelson used the abortion as a bargaining chip and wound up with worse language than the first place, but effectively used abortion to get a better deal for nebraska. >> you received it correctly,
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and i think that it shows a tremendous willingness to allow some in this country to win and many to lose by one member of the senate, and i think that is wrong. >> you cannot get one republican vote change in 1/6 of the economy. that says a lot about the republican party and the process. i am one republican who does not mind trying to find common ground on tough issues. i am going to try it on energy policy, i have done it in the past and will do it again, but it is virtually impossible for any republican to have a meaningful say. senator collins and senator snowe are not on board. the class act is a devastating
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program that will create long- term financial problems. senator nelson may have helped on medicaid, but has not helped nebraska with medicare cuts. at the end of the day, i hope the people realize it is not over. this is a long way from being done. if you want to change, speak up. let people know. the cuts are going to affect people in nebraska, and tax increases will affect people in nebraska, and this abortion language, the conference of bishops understands the difference between stupac language and this language, and they have decided to oppose the bill. that's as all i need to know
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about the pro-life issue, when the conference of catholic bishops say they oppose the language and opposed the bill because of language. that is all you need to know from my point of view. i do not always agree with the catholic church, particularly on the death penalty, but i agree with them on right-to-life issue. they have just got to pass the bill, because the democratic party features, that is the with a look at this thing. they go from reforming health care to worry about the future of the democratic party. whatever it took to get the last boat,that is what they did. they had nothing to do with the overall best interest of the country, and that can happen to both parties, i guess. but this is not about health care reform, it is about the democratic party trying to save themselves.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable sa 109090909] >> shortly later, of vermont independent senator bernie sanders offered his thoughts on the project of the debate. he spoke for just over five minutes from the radio and tv gallery. >> and now, vt. independent senator bernie sanders. this is just under 10 minutes. >> thank you very much. i'm here with the senator from maryland, who wanted to say a few words on one aspect of this legislation. in the midst of the overall crisis in america, there is one crisis focused on, the crisis in primary health care.
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that means some 60 million americans today do not have access to a doctor on a regular basis. what that and that meaning is that when people get sick, they end up in the emergency room. or they become sicker than they should have banned and end up in the hospital, a great personal suffering and pain, and somehow even death. we supported by a thousand americans who died because we do not get to it got them on a regular basis. what this manages to do is add $10 billion more over a five- year time into community health centers. what that means is that an additional 25 million americans will also have access to federally qualified health centers, meaning high quality health care, low-cost drugs, and health counseling.
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it also means because of a significant increase in health services, we will be forgiving debts for students going into primary care. in recent years, it has had a -- 20,000 more doctors, teachers, and nurses will be created. i can tell you that in my state, in recent years, we have significantly increased centers. it has had a profound impact on the health and well-being of people, and at the end of the day, studies indicate medicaid saved money because we keep people out of expensive emergency health rooms and hospitals. so this is a win-win proposition. we have $10 billion now in the senate bill.
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they have $14 billion in the house bill. we believe the final number will probably be $14 billion. if that happens, there will be a revolution in primary health care in america, with millions more having access to mental health counseling. let me introduce senator kardin. >> i have sat for many caucus meetings were bernie sanders has raised this issue over and over again. let me try to underscore how important this is. we know we have a shortage of professionals. we also know we do not have enough facilities in our community to handle all our population want to receive health care. we have been fighting for many
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years for coverage. this bill does a great service to america in getting a lot more people insured. 31 million is what the congressional budget office has said. we hope there will be even more. the question is, where will they get their needs met? we do not have enough primary- care physicians today, we do not have enough space and our clinics. i have visited a community health centers in maryland. they have one thing in common. they all need more capacity. they already are stretched as to what they can handle. we need more locations in rural areas people have a hard time finding primary-care help, and we need more capacity generally throughout the nation. i had a chance to talk to one of the leaders of johns hopkins hospital in baltimore. ñra colleague believes we should have affordable access to
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health insurance. he told me if we do not do something to produce more primary care professionals, and if we do not provide more community health center capacity, we are not going to be able to provide care in the most cost-effective way. the bill that we had on the floor of the united states senate needed to be improved, and senator sanders has accomplished that. i know that was a focus on major issues, but our objective was to find that every american have affordable have access to health care, and the initiative will help 25 more million americans reach that goal. congratulations on that. >> they talked about certain special favors and the bill.
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>> i did not have all the details. but vermont has been very aggressive in making sure that all of our low-income kids and others have access to health care. we were there, doing the right thing. with many of us in vermont and around the country, we felt it was wrong to penalize a state that had done a better job than perhaps all of us. massachusetts was up there as well. you do not penalize states because they come up with money to do the right thing. thank you for taking care of more people, and we will penalize you for doing that. that is saying that we're not going to penalize states that have done the right thing. we are proud in vermont that we have done the right thing. but taxpayers should not be penalized.
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the bottom line for me isñi that if you expand medicaid and health insurance in general, that is important. but at the end of the day, it does not mean much if people cannot find a doctor or a dentist, and we have at expanded to 10,000 communities in america as a result of the legislation. they will now have access to community health centers. 10,000 more. çó20,000 more primary health cae physicians. and that is what is going to help revolutionize primary n america, anonize primary important step forward. ok? thank you very much.
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>> senate will come back in for a key vote on monday morning. live coverage of the senate on c-span 2. >> president barack obama spoke with reporters at the white house not long before senator ben nelson to speak of the health care legislation.ç the president's remarks are
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about five minutes. >> hello. good afternoon everybody, you know that i am from chicago, so let me first say that when the place i left is covered with snow, i finally feel like home. i am sorry to drag you out in this weather, but i want to speak briefly about the significant progress we have made on two challenges facing the american people. the health care and our dependence on fossil fuels. with health care it now appears that the people will have the vote that secures for them to have health care insurance and affordable options for those who do not. i want to thank senator reid and every senator that has been working around the clock that made this happen. there is still work to be done,
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but today is a major step forward for the american people. after a nearly century long struggle, we are on the cusp of making health care reform a reality in america. as a legislation being a part of the process, but may i add that landmark amendments make it stronger. there will now be penalties for insurance w3companies that arbitrarily jack up rates on consumers. and while they will be prevented on conditions once the exchange is open, in the meantime there will be a high-risk pool where they can purchase coverage. and insurance companies will now be prohibited from denying coverage to children immediately after this bill passes. there is explicit language to
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protect a patient's choice of doctor. these protections are in addition to the ones we have been talking for some time. no longer will insurance companies will able to drop your coverage once you become sicoúçand no longer pay out o your pocket for treatments you need. on this bill families will save on their ñrpremiums, businesses will save money now and in the future. this bill will strengthen medicare and strengthen the life of the program. this will be qthe largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade.kóçzvfj&y in qfact we just learned from the congressional budget office that this bill will reduce our deficit by $132 billion over the first decade in the program
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and over $1 trillion in the decade after that. finally this will make coverage affordable to over 30 million americans who do not have it. as i said before, these are not small changes, they are big changes. they are fundamental reforms, they will save money and lives ç and i look forward to working with congress. i want to mention the progress in copenhagen. for the first time in history all the major economies have come together to accept their reaction on climate change.w3ok this important break through lays the foundation for international action for years to come. this progress did not come easy and çówe know this progress on this aspect of climate change
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and negotiations is not enough. going forward we will have to build on the momentum that we established in copenhagen so is sustained and sufficient over time. at home that is our effort çto create clean economy, to çcrea new jobs and industries, and ç pass the legislation needed to spark these clean-energy revolution. so, even though we have a long way to go, there is no qqtion ç that we accomplished much in the last few days. i want america to continue to lead in this effort, and america will lead i]in the economy and putting çpeople ba to worth. and that's why i went to copenhagen yesterday and will continue in the efforts of weeks and months to come.ç thank you. >> [inaudible] çpublic option?
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>> the çsenate continues work the health care bill and here is how you can çfollow the debate. watch gavel to gavel, unedited and commercial free only on c-span 2, listen to the c-span radio and listen to the hub of video archives on the bills and amendments. leadership from other key senators. and now for iphone and itouch users, use the c-span new ç iphone ap, it's free and you can listen with c-span2 and c-span radio.
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up next live your phone calls and comments -aáe on "washington journal." with senator conrad and following that war contracting çin iraq.ç ç >> he çwas an imposing figure, he was not a giant of his time, yet he emerged as a nominee at a time when the country was marked with big figures. >> his manifest on the future, robert merry looks at the life and times of our 11th president, tonight on c-span "q & a." >> we will talk with drew armstrong about the continuing health care debate in the senate, and


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