tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN August 18, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
darp a is america's greatest idea factory. and then the history -- a look at the history of malaria and why it kills millions of people every year. >> according to a new survey, over half of u.s. employers plan to change their health benefits program next year. that survey was carried out by the national fitness group on health, an association of large employers. off the president of the group discusses the results with reporters at an event at the national press club. it is about one hour.
>> if you have any technical questions about the survey, we have caring for that. we are very glad to be here. this is an exciting time in our history. as large employers in know, we are in the middle of a transition and transformation as to help finance -- health care is delivered in this country. we are very busy trying to figure out what will happen and what could happen, especially to large employers and their employees, retirees and dependents, and help navigate these complicated transitions. for the most part, we are excited about some of the changes. we think that every restaurant of the u.s. -- resident of the u.s. should have access to affordable, quality health care and we have been working with everybody else including policy makers to make certain that happens as soon as possible and that care and affordable health insurance are available to every
resident of the u.s.. i am here today to report on the survey that we conduct every year. we usually do it in the summer. it is a survey -- most employee benefit surveys are put out in the late part of the year so that you get results for what has happened. we started about seven years ago during this survey to try to anticipate what is coming up. we ask what are you planning to do for the following year? it happens this year with health care reform the following year is a transformation year. following year is a transformation year. we ask a number of questions about the impact of the legislation and some of the regulations. as i am sure all of you know who write on this topic, u.s.
employers ve long struggled with health care costs. health care cost problems have been serious for 20 years in the united states. we do know that if employers are able to use cost-management practices, and make choices about programs that will, for example, help employees and their dependents be healthier, that, in fact, you can bend the cost curve, not as much as we would like, that is for sure. instead of 10%, we would be looking at 6% or 7%. that is real mon on the bottom line. we also know that t affordable care act has driven employers to rethink their strategy, and make decisions about what they're going to do now, and in the future. we have a fairly long timeline. we have a lot of changes that will have an impact immediately, meaning 2011,
starting in january depending on when your plan years. we also have things come along in stages. employers have stepped back and said what do we need to do to be aligned with where the nation is headed? this is the first year that is occurring. this survey is quite timely. inerms of the overview of this study, which asked members to provide information for what they will be offering to their employees for the calendar year, 2011, which for most of them starts on january 1. most employers are sending out open enrollment packages, and announcing to their employees, dependents, and retirees in some instances, what their choices will be for next year. fall is usually the open enrollment period. we had 72 rge employers to respond. we only asked our large employer members, representing about 3.7
million employees who completed the survey. we asked the question of what you are basically telling your cfo you need to put in the budget for what medical claim costs are going to be. fourth 2010, we have with the esmate was, and what they believe it will be in 2011. the 2011 budget projections include any changes that might have made it not as expensive as it would have been if they had made no changes. this is what they believe they will have to spend. as you might see, from the document that you have, in 2010, we estimate that the mean for the employee survey was a 7% inease. these are all self-insured employers.
they pay administrative costs for health plans. this is all about claims. this data tells you what people are doing. they're going to the doctor. they're getting more indigene. theyre being submitted to the hospital. this is not insurance profit, or any of the floss we have been hearing about in reform. this is the underlying use of medical services. for 2011, our employers are budgeting 8.9% as a mean. it is about to% higher on the mean. the median, for 2010, was 8%. the median for 2011 is 8.3%. you probably allnderstand this, but the important thing is that the needy in tells you what
is the midpoint for 50% above, and 50% below the number. that washes out the all liars. a meeting can be higher or lower because of certain things, but a median is to a point in de blogger continue on. with a mean of nearly 9%, we estimate that about 1% has to do with the mandated changes that employers have to include for 2011 under the affordable care act, and about another 1% of cost increases. this is a softer number because it is harder to demonstrate in the short term. we have seen evidence of hospital prices going up rather substantially. the other 1% is really building in some of the other changes that are likely to be occurring now, and within the last year. for example, if hospitals, or
others, feel their costs will go up because of the health care reform, where because of what is happening in the economy -- or because of what is happening in the economy, they are raising their charges. employers, who are the only ones who actually pay charges, or close to them, where as the gornment pays what it chooses to pay. they have what it calls administrative pricing. private employers might have some negotiating room, but they really do have to pay the cost shiftrom the public sector. it is a whole nother subject. if anyone wants to talk about it later, i will be happy to do that. one of the questions we ask is what plan design changes are you considering in spite of, and
what might be the effect of wanting to be, or not caring about being a grandfather plan? you may recall the president promis from the very beginning that if you like your health plan, you will be permitted to keep it. one of the things they did was put out rules that basically said you can not me too many changes to your plan, and if you do, you will lose that grandfathered status. if you lose that status, you need to meet a number of requirements. the theory was that if a large, self-insured employer would want to maintain grandfather status, and what make sure that it was like the plan of march, 2010, as possible. most of our employers are continuing to make the planned changes that they were going to
make. by the way, i would just make an aside on this point. there is a bit of a misuerstanding between those who run the health plans as self-insured employers, and policy makers. it goes something like this -- most employers really offer the same plan year after year, but they are always tweaking them. for example, in light of a geographic area, they might offer a product from united healthcare. you, as an employee, think that is your plan, but every year, when i get my open enrollment package there are some changes. they're usually small, but they are definitely changes. most employers think of the plan as something that has a lot more flexibility within it, although the broad strokes of it remain the same. one of the ways they have written the regulation would, in
fact, make it hard to make even some of the typical changes that are madevery year. as you can see, 53% say they will be making planned changes, and 19% will make changes, but are scaling back the changes, sometimes because they're just as a tent, 19% are making no adjustments as a result of the law. i was asked the question if that was high or low. i would say that it is not likely that as much as 19% would have made no changes. maybe 10% or 15% who have made no changes, especially those with highly unionized populations, because they have contracts that usually last for three years. if you're at the beginning of a contract, you might not make a lot of changes during that time period. in terms of changes due to the
health care legislation, as you recall, even the grandfather plans are required to meet certain requirements. the first one is, and you can see this on page 6, is that if you have an overall, lifetime limit -- a limit of $5 million over a lifetime. you work for a company. when your medical claims reached $5 million, in theory, you would get n more. that is what an overall limit would be on a lifetime. 70% of our employers are making a lifetime limit changes, that is, they are eliminating it. it is probably very high. ifhey have a lifetime limit, many do not, but if they have won, it is really very high, for the most part. the only time you see a low ones, is in another subject. changes to annual like time limits as another one.
37% of those responding said they would make changes because of the requirement. 26% white removed annual dollar limits on overall -- would remove annual dollar limits. the plan might have something like $300,000 in a year, and maybe a lifime limit of $5 million, and in a given year, you might have $300,000. this is another one that would be eliminated. finally, 13% removing pre- existing contions for children under 19. by the way, most employers do not have a pre-existing exclusion condition for children under 19, and ashley did not even have them for adults, which comes later -- and they actually do not even have them for adults, which comes later. it could be you have a six-month
waiting period. it might be that for the first six months, things would not be covered. that is probably what this number is picking up. generally, coverage for children is pretty comprehensive. there is also another part of the affordable care act that includes an opportunity for employees to voluntarily enroll in a sort of insurance program called the community living assistance services and support act. that was a provision that was near and dear to the heart of senator kennedy, and was put in the bill because he wanted it in the bill. it basically would require that someone voluntarily pay, and there are different numbers on what it could be, and it could be $123, all month, for five
years, at the end of that five years, you met certain criteria to having disabilities to daily living, you could get a cash payment of as much as $50. that would cover not your medical expenses, but some of your living, household expenses. if you needed someone to come in to help you bathe, or something like that. only 3% are going to be doing that. the statute makes it clear that employers can operate voluntarily, but you might imagine it is expensive to administer a program like that. there is some sense that it is not really an insurance product. we could go back into some detail. as you all know, the statute changes the deductibility, and
tax-freeness of retiree drug subsidies. i apologize. some of this gets really technical. a local back to different parts of the law. basically, there was a take away of a tax benefit that employers got. they got a subsidyor the retiree drug benefits, and they also did not get taxed on that. that is changing. the question was what are you going to do about it, and i think the interesting no. there is that 69% have it under review. 26% and making no changes. there is also a temporary reinsurance program for early retirees. a lot of employers still provide coverage for those that are retiring before medicare, which is, by the way, the most
expensive place for coverage for anybody. the act allowed for some subsidies for the reinsurance plan for retirees to help employees pay the bill for early retirees. 62% said they intend to apply for that. the application, i believe, can out june 1. as i recall, it is already out, and we do know that many employers have applied for that assistance. one of the top three most effective steps to control health-care costs that are you taking now, and you were to put the top three. the slide on page 10 shows you what were the most effective, the second most effective, and the third most effective tactic. you will see that 21% ranked the
most effective tactic offering a consumer-directed health plan, and 6% said the was the second most effective, and 10%, the third most effective. next, well as initiatives. 19% thought that was the second most effective. 17% thought it was the third most effective those two together, are considered very beneficial in helping to control health-care costs. you can also see the fourth one down, disease and condition management, also has a substantial number, of being in the top three. increased employer cost sharing -- interestingly, one of the biggest concerns that policymakers had had had been on the cost-sharing side. emoyers think cost sharing is important, but they did not actually see it as the most important thing, by far.
i think there is a little bit of a misunderstanding between the way employers view what is happening, and what policy makers are thinking about. on that point, if you go back severa years, you find employers saying they feel they have reached the maximum value of cost-sharing as a tool for getting employees, retirees, and dependence attention. at some point, they're going to get the care, and that is not what people want. on the next pitch, you can see what they are doing in 2011 in terms of cost-sharing. increasing employee contribution to the cost -- what the employee has to pay toward his or her own coverage. 63% are doing that. it could be as little as 1%. it could be going from their employers, who pay 85%, and the
employee pays 15%. it could still be way below the national average, which is 80% /20%. they are increase in out-of- pocket maximums. if you hit that maxim, whenever it is, $4,0, $5,000, or $6,000 for a family, once you hit it, 100% is paid for erything else in the year. it is kind of a protection, a safety net. you can see that it iseing increased, by small amounts, but it is being increased. the in-network deductible is being increased in 44% of cases, and the out-network deductible is increased by 46%. there were increased by 40% --
47% in 2010. employers tend to make a two or three-year plan. they try to not make too big of changes in any given year, especially because of this year with the financial meltdown and the great recession, there are a lot concerns that mo people's pay package is not only flat, and may have gone down, but there is also a recognition that most households if you go back three years or so have two working people in the family, and some number of those might not have a job at the moment. you might not have not only not had an increase in your own pay, where hours reduced, but you also might have someone in the household who may have lost their jobs. we know that from the data. there is a lot of concern about that. with the health-care costs going up around 7%, even if employers
only pass on 20% of the 7%, those are really hard dollars, at a time when everyone's dollars have ge down. i think they are sensitive to that. 21% were changing co-pays, and interestingly, there is more positive attention been put on primary care. only 6% were changing the copiague for -- the call-pay for primary care. there is an intent, i think everybody's part, to reduce or eliminate cold-pays for primary care, and not just for preventive benefits. this is seen as a very important tactic for controlling health- care costs, and, we think, increasing and improving
engagement and consumerism. in 2011, 44% are offering that as an option. 20% have gone to full replacement, where you have no other choice. the details may vary. they may or may not be a high- deductible health plan. the high-deductible health plans, that technically high- deductible, frankly, are not much higher than the average house plant. it was maybe one year and a half ago that a study fou that the median deductible now was over $1,000, and a high deductible was only about $1,200. the are higher, and higher deductibles for everybody. you can see that most of the movement, probably, between 2010 and 2011, was from those who moved from offering as an
option, to a full replacement. some employees had the choice lester, and this year they did not have the option. looked at wellness programs, which has been one of the most important initiatives that most large employers have been providing in the last five years, increasingly. there are well as programs targeting obesity, and in terms of employees, 76% said yes, and 23% said no. for spouses andomestic partners, 42% have said yes, and that has been a growing number. will probably see more, assuming the regulation does not keep us from doing some of those things. we begin to see a small, but significant number offering well as programs to children. as i am sure you all know, we
have a national crisis in that regard. if you turned to the next page, you will see the kind of things that are being done for participation in wellness activities in 2011. 41% are providing a premium discount for participation. in this case, it is through health assessment. th is a really big number. 5% are offering a premium surcharge. we like carrots, better than sticks, at least so far. 70% are offering other incentives related to the help -- 17%, our offer and other incentives. you can see the numbers for tobacco cessation -- 22% offered a premium discount, and 11% esntially a surcharge for nonparticipation. you can also see that for healthy lifestyles, usually
there are other kind of incentives, and there are a lot of reasons for that, including how hard or easy it is to administer something like that. this is really good news, in our opinion. you can also see that the average amount of the incentive in a year to employees is $386. believe me, that is real money. especially in the last two years, we have seen that small changes, just as we have seen the consumers in america change their behavior across the board, we have seen that some of the benefits -- people are much more positi. their pay more attention to what things cost. if you're giving a discount or a surcharge that did not get their attention three years ago, it is getting their attention now. in terms of pharmacy benefit management techniques to be used in 2011, 73% are using prior
authorization. that means that you have to get approval, basically, for a particular drug. therapy, 53% are using that. step therapy is where you are required, unless there is a particular chemical reason for going straight to the much more expensive drug, or newer drug, or more narrow set of clinical conditions, that you use the first one first, and if that does not do whatt should do, you go to the next one. you are required to do that, again, unless you have a specific clinical exception. 63% a three-tiered design, which means generic is the first brand, the second is its formulary brand, and in non- formulary brand ishe third.
a mandatory mail order for maintenance medication, like if you take something for a long time. it almost linda -- literally comes automatically from the p bm -- requiring that you either used mail order, or pay the full cost for difference between what your mail order cost would be, and what you get at retail. it tends to get people's attentn. mandatory sstitution -- 37%. just to sum up, you can see that employers are moving ahead with the changes of the affordable care act. they are not holding up changes that they want to make to maintain or retain a grandfather status. they actually do not think it is that important. employers are attempting to
control health-care costs. they understand that are stuck paying for all of these costs, no matter what, no matter what else is going on in terms of the health legislation, they will be paying the tab for a very long time. the exchanges will not be in place until 2014, at least under current law, and large employers would not have a choice of using them until 2017. that is a long way away. that is seven open enrollment, and one and three quarters presidential election. they are increasing some cost sharing, but most employers are not increasing it very much. they are, most importantly, focusing on health improvement activities, and they would like to be able to continue that, because that is one of the things they think is really important. they do like more and more consumer-directed health plans.
they are, if they have not done it recently, during the extended eligibility audits, especially now that there having to pay for dependence up to the age of 26. there are almost no more -- no more constraints on that. it could be a child that is married, lives elsewhere, and even works for someone else. the parent -- the employer of the parent is stock taking care of that. they want to make sure that ery indivual they are covering is an eligible dependent. there are also generally increasing cost-sharing for non-emergency use of emergency rooms. there are some -- there are still a ridiculously high use of emergency rooms. they're also using data warehouse is to target programs on the conditions that are
targeting people in terms of making them sick. they're using data and analysis to identify what parts of the country to concentrate particular programs. my favorite is -- used to b called the stroke belt. does anyone know what that means? the southeastern part had always been called the stroke belt because of the other things, the dietary conditions usually leave -- glad to strokes. places in the mid west are places where strokes and heart attacks e serious problems. there try to concentrate programs, including choosing healthier lifestyles, in places where there are particular problems. more employers are contracts centers of excellence.
there is a program where lowe's employees needing heart surgery, and you voluntarily want to go to the cleveland clinic, then they paid 100% of all of the cost, including the travel cost. i think we wilse more of that. there is a growing interest in a second opinion for conditions when someone has either a a diagnosis or recommendation. employers are actually paying for organizations torovide a second opinion, then, they are trying toind all sorts of ways they can control costs to actually improve quality and safety of care. they are still there, trying to do everything they can to improve the health of their employees, and control costs.
they know they have to do both, and will for a long time. i thank you very much for your attention and your time, and i welcome any questions on any of these topics. yes, gerry? >> for estimated cost increases, what percentage of that is health-care reform, and they jump of that is due to legislation. in theory, with more people getting coverage, we are seeing the providers are getting less uncompensated care, and lesser of the need to raise rates. how do you explain why providers are boosting rates even more? >> that is a great question i will repeat it, although i guess everybody heard it, right? we wonder about that a little bit ourselves. i could tell you what they would say. there certainly correct.
it is just a question of how iraq -- how correct from different points of view. even though the affordable care act will help us cover another 32 million people, we probably have some more around 47 million people, or 48 million people, wh have no health care coverage, and it might be worse than that, because those numbers are a coup of years ago. we will still be taking care of them. the second thing, and this is really tricky, the more the patients come in the door, who are paid by public pay years, with administrative pricing, which in most instances will be bew what they considered their actual cost, there is still the differential, and they will stay as long as there is that differential, they have to make it up from someplace. we, on the employer side would say maybe we should actually be bringing down the cost of care
delivery, so that we do not have that disparity. but, we have been saying that for a long time, and it has not made a difference. that is one of the things, or some of the things they might say. wh we would like to see is a combination of everybody working together and saying you cannot continue to rely on the private sector to pick up the slack. we have to change. as the exchange's get set up, and as we have more and more people in medicaid, and in terms of payment, medicaid payment to the actual underlying cost of hospital or a doctor, is the worst payment, from their point of view. there is the biggest gap. medicare, there is a gap, but it is not as big as medicaid. the more people we have in medicaid, which is one of the main ways we are quick to cover a lot of new people, denmark -- one ofhe bat is how hospitals
believe they're not getting one of the% of their cost. >> did anybody here that? the difference between compensated care, and under- compensated care -- that is exactly it. there are people that would argue that there is none that is undercompensated. >> do you have any ideas of how many employers would lose their grandfathered status because they are making changes under the health reform law? >> well, i guess the question is whether they want -- there is a stateme you have to say, that you believe you have maintained your grandfather status. there is a step you need to take. we do not know how many, which is now that most of them are saying that if -- how many.
we just know that most of them are saying that if they do not visit this year, -- le it this year -- the number of constraints, and, by the way, it could be below the national average, you cut already pay more as employers -- you could already pay more as an employer than anyone else in the country. the figure they look at is whether you increase it. if you were going from chargi them 12%, to 18%, which was to be belowhe national average, you would be out of compliance. we do not know the number, but we estimate it will be somewhere over 50%, and certainly, by the second year, when you have more planning time. by the way, the plan, and this gets pretty technical really quickly, each plan someone
offers is separately determined to be grandfathered or not. for example, you might offer two plans. you may have a traditional ppo that you do not mess with very much, and then you offer a more attractive plan with a savings account, etc.tc., and you did not bother to grandfather that one because you can be very creative with that. you might do more things than you want to do,ut you did not want to have to say this is a grandfather plant, and we basically have not made any changes. i am overstating their, but every plant is different. most employers to offer more than one plan, by the way. >> the survey was conducted in may and june. since then, it seems there has been a lot more information on how restrictive the grandfather rules will become and how difficult it will be to maintain
that. are you hearing anything from members where that number might be lower? >> they had a pretty good sense of where this was headed. you're right. there is more detail. it also takes a while to read some of these things. now, i think where they are, is the belief is the next year will be the bigger problem for most. now, they have more certainty, and in this case, it is not particularly good certainty, it is not a certainty that pleases them, but it is more certainty. just to give you an example of what's we and -- of whate and our employers would like to see -- if you were an exceptionally generous employer in march of 2010, you are the worst off. the changes are fixed on the
assumption that you are at the national average. if you were more generous, the changes are things like five percentage points. you can not change co-insurance at all. if you're co-insurance is 50%, which would be really ld, it easily 20%, -- is 15%, which is really low, it is usually 20%. the more you did for your off yous, the worse are. everyone is sitting there saying now, we know where we need to be, they're also saying there is not enough to be grandfathered to be worth worrying about. a lot ofhings that are in their make sense in the small, individual insurance market, but they are not all that difficult for most large employers.
so, it is not very, in all, something that you say oh, gosh , i am afraion when to lose my grandfather status. -- i am afraid i am going to lose my grandfather status. large employers are regulated by the labor department for their health plans. they haveery, very rigorous rules they live with. i used to administer these at the xerox corporati. i can tell you, but it burned on your head. it is very demanding. it is a lot of consumer protection. there is even a statement. the statement for the grandfather plan that you have to sign, and put in your document's open enrollment, says you should know that if this plan is grandfathered, you do not get the consumer
protections you would get in the affordable care act. it would not say that you he the other consumer protections you would get. that is -- there is that kind of disparity in how these things are bein viewed in the policy world, and the people that administer these plans, down in the trenches. >> i am with bloomberg news. i wanted to ask about the survey on cost-sharing. you mentioned in the list of things that employees said that they thought were effective, and that increasing cost sharing, over time, employers are finding that to be less useful. at the same time, the same servite -- survey shows that 60% of the company's plan to reach 63% of the company's you talk
to plan 2- 63% of the company's you talked to plan to increase the premium. how you reconcile that? >> first, it is two reasons. they will be increasing their costs because the costs are going up. the percentage is determined by to the already built-i in premium. they may charge 50%, or 17%. they might -- 15%, or 17%. they might go to 18%. they usually do small increments. responsibleple are -- human-resources people are responsible. they want to keep employees happy.
the increased cost sharing is not very much, and the increase in the premium is not very much, but those changes are frequently used to encourage people to make choices that employers would like them to make. so, for example, there is usually a big differential between what an employee pays on a monthly, or bi-weekly basis, for a consumer-directed health plan. i do not have the numbers in front of me, but our survey a couple of years ago found that 36% of our employers charged 30% more -- less than the plan. if they want people to make choices, basically they increase the premium on and hmo and
decrease it on ppo's. they're always doing this to encourage people to make different choices. sometimes, the straight forward numbers mask some of those complexities. that is one of the concerns we have about the grandfather rain. most employers make a lot changes. what we would like to see is an equivalent that would solve the problem. if you have a super-rich plan, and you just want to make small changes to it, but they happen to be some of the changes that would trigger you out of grandfather, as long as your actual equivalent is very high, then, that would be ok. that is what most employers think about -- what is the whole package? what are the tradeoffs within the package? that, again, is one of the problems with regulation, and requirements from people that do
not administer plans. they will be looking at one thing. for example, there are a lot employers that cover dependents that are not in the last -- the new list of current dependence. -- of covering the dependence. the new rules read that you did not have to be a dependent under the irs rule to be a dependent. some rules cover dependents that have no relationsp, but they ver them because they are financially responsible to them. right now, that depends and would not be allowed, under the new rule, and, in fact, if they keep covering those on usual dependents they will have to give up what makes them
different from anyone in the neighborhood, and that is that you are financially responsible. there are those kinds of complexities. yes? >> in terms of more plans going in the direction of consumer- directed plans, what does it mean for the provider? what can they expect if more large employers are going in this direction? >> well, the provider should expect that they would have more people coming in with higher deductibles, and they will need to collect those dedtibles, essentially. there will be higher-dit higher cost-sharing. what we all -- higher cost-
sharing. what we hope is that people will ask questions. if someone is told we think we should do an mri, or a cat scan, and the patient asks a basic question like what difference will it make in my treatment, and the doctor, or whoever is ordering it, says we would just like to have it for additional information. the patient might say i do not want it. the patient, then, has made the decision. it is not going to effect treatment, and not make any difference, because the doctor has made up what he or she is going to do, maybe the patient would say it is no longer free to me. we hope there uld be more questions. [unintelligible]
>> and asking questions, and reading the ebo. we know frothe planthat exist that people do that. they ask queions. we do have a lot of information on that. did i answer your question, fully? >> i will follow up. >> sure. >> part of what you we saying was that within that 63% of employers that said they will shift, past -- at least som of the premium costs, that represents a lot of different kind of changes, not just a blunt shift over. >> right. >> the premium could be 1%, but
you know there are two -- the cost-sharing, and the pricing of the point of care. the other data would suggest that it isore likely to be on the premium side, because premiums have gotten so high. we are coming out of 10 years ago, people paying very little because, among other things, the costs were 100% less. one of the things that is painful for everybody is that if you look at a chart that shows what has happened to the dollar cost, which is what we all know -- no one knows -- no one says my plan was up 6%, they say it went up $100, or something like that -- it is not only what it is costing in absolute dollars, it is the flat, or even negative
wage scale. the affordability gap is much worse, not just a little bit. two years ago, before the meltdown, and the recession, we were talking about how horrible the affordability gap was. americcould not afford this. the economy is crippling. it keeps us from being competitive. then, suddenly, everything else collapses. if you could chart it, we were kind of going like this, and suddenly, it is like this because the botm dropped out of the economy. healthcare is not touched by any of that. it is still growing at the same rate or more than it was picked it is like they are impervious to what is happening -- that it was. it is like they are impervious to what is happening in the economy. you have any other questions, comments, thoughts? >> down the road, it might be
cheaper for an employer to terminate coverage, pay the penalties at are set under the law, give employees extra money to buy coverage tthe state exchanges -- do you see that scenario developing? >> i think the employers are thinking broadly in two ways. first, they know that no matter what happens down the road, they have to come up for competitive reasons, provide a comprehensive benefits plan today. they are trying to navigate the transitions as effectively and efficiently as they can. i think what could happen in the future is wide open. wide open. a lot will depend on the extent
to which we can get a handle, and actually begin to control costs, as the president, and now-gone per orr said always talked about. also, as people move in and out of the labor market and our exchanges operating, the exchanges, themselves, become a place that people feel more and more comfortable, and the exchanges are actually doing a good job of managing health-care costs, it al of that is happening, it might look more attractive. it will also, probably, very by industry, or location, and culture. there are places like in silicon valley where there are benefits that are not provided in other places in the country.
back -- there are a bill prepared did not want people to be distracted. they want them to be nick -- they are lucrative. they do not want people to be distracted. they want them to be making money. in places like that, companies might decide to do more, because it might become a more valuable benefit -- a trade-off for cash wages. more on-site wellness senators, programs, that kind of thing. they vary by state, company, and how these exchanges worked out, and what happens between now and then. for something like a voucher program, where some peoe could go into the exchanges, but not all would, would be right now, looking at a worst-case scenario. if all went in, or non went in,
it would be different. i think employers are recognizing what our obligations are today, and the biggest ones are improving health, and reducing costs. they're very pragmatic. the thing about business, especially employers, they're pragmatists. they live in the real world. they're competing like crazy. for the most part, we are not winning. we know we need to do something about that. we are struggling with alst no job growth. we have had a lot of loss in jobs. there are a lot of questions about how we're going to restart the economy, and actual star creating jobs. some of these requirements play into those concerns. i have heard members talk about how every new mandate is aed onto a base, that right now, in america this year, a family of
four's medical costs is over $18,000. this is just the claims cost. when you think about hiring, or creating another job, you have to think about what it costs to me to have that job, and it is the wages, pension retirement, vacation days, paid time off for holidays, and, on average, per active employee, over $9,000 in medical claim costs. we have to change all of those things, to do something about it, but there is not an easy answer in this transition. as ice began, i said this is a -- as i began, i said this is a transformative time. most of us cannot guess what is what happened in a year, but
what we know is that we have a path forward that we follow because we live in this real world, and we have to figure it out here-by-year. that is what this survey reflects in the work that we do. how we get to 2014, and by 2014, how does it look like? by 2017, what does it look like? by the way, we're putting a higher cost increases, and leaned out there in 2018 is the cadillac tax. there are employers, already, who are about to hit it. that is a lot of years forward. if they do not change that quite a lot, there will be many, many employees and employers paying the tax. some of what is costing ishe mandate. there is a little bit of a
catch-22. we are hoping that every time somebody talks about a cadillac tax, they are reminded that we need to be able to control costs if we're going tovoid the cadillac tax. they wanted to control costs, but we need to be allowed to do that, and that is what we need to be doing between now, and in particular, 2018. all right. that is a. thank [captioning performed by
ted stevens and that is to say that senator stevens was a man of god. there are certain circles it would find it rather surprising, if not difficult, to put god and a politician in the same sentence. however, think about it. what each of our senators and congressional delegation are challenged to is to love those in the serves -- who they served. certainly, if we think of the words of st. john the baptist, excuse me, st. john the apostle,
who wrote one of the several of the letters of the new testament. he said a pattern for linking the love of god with the love of neighbor. he put it very simply and very straight. if you cannot love your neighbor, you cannot love god. the two are inseparable. the two are mutually demanded. if we could borrow a line from one of the ancient broadway plays, they both go together.
you cannot have one without the other. that is where the life of senator stevens, i think, takes a very special note. he understood that. not only that, he lived it because he realized that his work in the sense was not going to be measured by appropriations and deaths -- appropriation and deaths. -- gifts. rather, what he wanted for himself was to be known as one who loved his people. he certainly served them, but he also loved them. that is why i say he is a man of god. he loved his neighbor and he loved god.
that is the essence of the message of jesus christ. in the book of wisdom, there are a number of things that are said that are appropriate. the souls of the just are not going to suffer torment, for the foolish seem to be dead. this seemed to see passing away as an affliction. even utter destruction. but the souls of the just are at peace. the hope of the dead is filled with immortality, chastised, but
god found the more the. -- were the. -- worthy. as a sacrificial offering, he took his sufferings to himself. the faithful will abide in him. the book of revelation is an echo of the old testament. as john roach, iraq -- as john wrote, i heard a voice from heaven, a blessed are those who died in the lord. the spirit response, yes, they will rest from their labors because their works go with them.
ted showed his love for god and for his neighbor. we have no hesitancy in entrusting him to almighty god. i would like to add one little notes. it might be called sort of a spiritual lobbying. we know that the lord will have no hesitancy in welcoming ted as one of his own, but we do hope that the lord has a building big enough to accommodate all the good works that are going to go with him.
the other point is, i am not sure how this fits, but if we can imagine that in heaven, they worked through committees -- [laughter] then all alaskans primarily would be asking that god put ted on the appropriations committee. [laughter] [applause] ted, on behalf of everyone here, i say simply that not only do we love you, but we sell beloved in new in your work and in your relationship with people.
>> alaska has lost a giant. we are gathering together across the state to remember and celebrate all that ted stevens was to so many of us. but we learned -- when we learned of the tragic accidental, all across the state, people gathered together to share their stories of the life of ted stevens. to people in cordova gathered to get -- together in their neighborhood, all came into one house, sharing coffee, a watching brief runs but c-span -- watching reruns of c-span when he delivered his last floor speech. we have seen the big banners that express the thanks to ted. i was flying down from fairbanks
a few days ago and the flight attendant came over the intercom system and gave the most incredibly warm and beautiful impromptu tributes to said stevens -- to ted stevens to all of those who were assembled on that flight. just last evening, thousands of alaskans lined the streets in the rain and in the damp to stand with signs paying tribute to our senator. these alaskans were not just out to pay tribute or show respect for the office. alaskans across the state are out to express the honor for the
man, the trip before the man, and truly the love for ted stevens. ted was alaska. he just was alaska. he will be remembered for all that he built in his state going as far back as statehood, whether it had to do with our fisheries, aviation safety, a telecommunications, rural health care, the military, all that he has done to build our state. they are legendary. his legacy, and his legacy rests not just with the infrastructure and the programs that he has created, but really that legacy rests with the lives that he touched.
all those thousands and thousands of lives that he touched over the years. and we all have our ted stories. sometimes it was nothing more then, i shook his hand in the airport. he was famous for his handwritten notes expressing a condolence, congratulations. it was bill little things that ted had a passion -- it was the little things that ted had a passion for this land and this people that he represented. he treated them not as constituents. he treated them as neighbors. he treated them as friends. that was returned. he helped raise so many young alaskans. he would see the talent and a young person and he would help to grow that. he would encourage that.
as so many who are gathered here you have been touched in one way, shape, form by the life of ted stevens, by the hand of ted stevens, that will continue. it that will continue for decades to come. it was through his example, through the life that he led to comment that he taught us about trust, loyalty. he taught us about tenacity and commitments. never, ever, ever giving up. he taught us about faith in god and faith in prayer and love for our country at all times. ted date so many -- ted gave so many the wings to fly. we see that in our state daily. just three weeks ago, we were
gathered here in your church, and the question was asked, what are you looking forward to, ted? he said, spending that time with the grandkids. giving them those wings to fly. as important as ted stevens is to last is history, he was all about alaskas future. the legacy of dreams and the hope and confidence that he left alaskans surrounds all of us. to the family, to catherine, to each of you, we thank you for sharing this extraordinary man with each of us. on behalf of alaska and
everywhere, we thank you and we love you, uncle ted. i had been passed by the family to read a column entitled "to all legacy of the dreams." -- " a legacy of the dreams." i would leave a legacy of dreams to. the generation gap, igniting a fire in the youth and old alike. only the eternal flame spirit to light a path of change. i would leave a legacy of dreams that breed the best, a stalwart race of many free and fresh and
kenya as the great north land, creating magic from the natural thing is at hand. i would leave a legacy of dreams, sculpture a realm of courtesy and respect, a joy in doing, a pride in workmanship were each might show an understanding compassion. i would leave a legacy of dreams that each might note his own, yet share and share in peace and amity shining the godless urged to do another anin. i would leave a legacy of dreams for all to reach beyond the bottom line of now, to wear
seated. our scripture reading today is 1psalm 1:21. he will not suffer thy foot to be moved. behold he that he did israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. the lord is thy keeper. the lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. the lord shall preserve thee from all evil. he shall preserve thy soul. the lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in for this time forth and even for ever more. the lord bless the reading of his word. at this time, we would like for our special guest speakers to be escorted to the platform.
>> thank you for the welcome. i am the one who was honored. i am honored to be asked to say a few words. i must really pinch myself to fully understand that i am privileged to speak on the floor of the u.s. senate. coming from the boy i had, i could never have even dreamed of being here today. home is where the heart is, mr. president, that is so, i have two homes. one is right here in this chamber, the other one is in my beloved state of alaska. i must leave one to return to the other.
nothing that i can think of describes your father better than that statement he made on the floor of the united states senate to. your dad used to kid me about the fact that " a lot of irish politics. they think i called them because i'm irish. i do that because they're the best poets. [laughter] your dad had a lot in common with what of the irish poet said i have quoted free longtime, james joyce. james joyce once said, when i die, dublin will be written in my heart. i have no doubt, not a single doubt in my mind, that alaska is written in ted's heart.
--'s heart is big enough there also written across the big heart. it never had to wonder what was in his heart. it was obvious to everyone who knew him. it was obvious to me the day i met him as a 29-year-old kid was just elected to the united states senate. i have said it before to my colleagues in the senate. i see some many loyal friends to ted out there. a significant portion of the money that belongs in delaware and new york and george--- and georgia resides right here in alaska.
[laughter] [applause] i like to say that we did it willingly. [laughter] everyone of us to serve with ted -- and i served with ted for 37 years -- we all immediately knew what was in his heart. i have said it before and my colleagues have heard me say this before. senator mansfield once told me, every man or woman that comes into the united states senate brings with them a piece of their state. everyone who goes there bring something of a piece of their state. ted stevens, unlike any other man or woman with whom i served, was his state. from the eerie silence of the tundra to the mountains piercing
the sky to fierce independence combined with a strong sense of community all of you alaskans have, at these things more than describe alaska. they define a way of life. and no state has ever had been more fierce defender then -- of that state's way of life than ted stevens. he took such incredible pride in his family in this place. you and alaska took great pride in ted as well and with good reason. from the valerie demonstrated in world war -- valor demonstrated in world war ii do is for decades in service to the people of alaska, there was one thing you could be certain of -- you
could always count on ted stevens. whatever ted stevens said, whatever ted stevens gave you his hand, whenever ted stevens made a commitment, you could absolutely bet your life on the fact that he would keep the commitment. everyone also knows that ted friendship and support was not bounded by ideology. it had no bounds. none whatsoever. when i came to the senate in 1973, i was 100 out of 100 in seniority. many of my colleagues, some of whom are here today, offered help to get me through a pretty
tough time in my life. very few offered as warm of an embrace as the republican senator who i had never met in my life. he walked across the floor of the senate to my corner gas -- my corner desk and extended his hand and said, i want to get to know you. we want you to come to dinner. he was parked -- back in those days, we actually hung out with one another. we actually cared a lot about one another. it did not have anything to do with democrat or republican. that was part of a close-knit senate family within the senate family.
that family took me into their family. i was reminding ted's daughter that when she was -- in 1973 at a dinner, because they use to once a month have dinner at one another's homes. they insisted that this 30 year- old lawyer -- well aware -- widower become part of that family. they were a life preserver during a difficult time. they were there for me in 1973. we were all there for ted in 1978 when he lost and. -- anne. we began to rebuild our lives with katherine and joe. -- jill. no man deserves one great love in his life, let alone two.
he and i share that distinction. we celebrated each other's joyous occasions, including the birth of our daughters within weeks of one another. in the early days, we used to have birthdays together in the senate dining room. ted and died -- ted and i were bonded over shared similar tragedies and celebrated life's joys together. there are a lot of stories about his power as the united states senator. when one strand runs through every single solitary thing i observed ted do in the 37 years and that was his word was his bond. his personal generosity was
surprising in how quickly it was offered. one of the things i love most about ted is the pride he took in his family the people, the places, the things he loved the most. ted jr., i remember we were flying over the bering straits with your dad in a helicopter and he was pointing everything out. he pulled out a photograph that was five by seven. it was a picture of the guys standing on a deck of the boat that look like it was about to sink with a lobster claw and it was full of ice and it looked
like it was going to sink. he held out and said, that is my ted. that is what he does. i do not know how many times i called ken -- i called him. my daughter just got a master's degree from the university of pennsylvania and she graduated with a 3.93. i call ted and told him. i said, and nobody has ever done that well. he said, we have. [laughter] i know more about all six of you than you want me to know. you know, one of the measures i
apply to true friendship is if your friend is willing to share with you the things that he or she values most. ted was a true friend. he shared with all of those who called him a friend all those things he valued. ted stevens probably and unapologetically did everything he could do to improve the lives of the citizens of his beloved alaska. in return, he is going to live on in the state's history, not only as a man who literally helped create this state, but the man who also built it into the great state has the,. your state legislature was absolutely right in naming him the alaskan of the century.
i know of no united states senator who was ever been given such an honor. i think no habitat beyond being a father and husband made more prop -- made tadmor proud. for its time back in the interior department when his office door said alaska headquarters to actually writing the alaska state act that president eisenhower signed in 1958, ted stevens was alaska. maybe that is why his closest friends in the senate is a man you are about to hear from. he is this -- he has a similar background.
they both got their estates into the union. if ted had been japanese, they would have been brothers. war heroes, incredible similarities. incredible similarities. ladies and gentlemen, in the summer of 1899, edward henry harriman assembled a crew of 125 high-profile writers, artists, and scientist aboard a ship. their mission was to survey the alaskan coast. one of the men on board that ship was probably the second most important person in alaska history. he was one of the first to put the majesty of alaska into words and to place it in america's consciousness. i would like to share something that he wrote to and that i find
especially fitting today. "a few minutes ago, every tree was excited, about an to the roaring storm, tossing the branches and glorious enthusiasm like worship. the to the outer ear, that these trees are now silent, their songs will never cease. the glorious enthusiasm of ted stevens may have gone silent to our adherent -- our culture year, but for all of us, especially with this crowd of a beautiful state, his song will never cease. my prayer to you, catherine, and the entire stephens family, is that his memory will soon bring a smile to your lips before it
brings a tear to your eye. i pray that number will come sooner than later. from experience, i guarantee you that it will come. the people of alaska, i can say with absolute certainty without fear of contradiction, we shall not look upon his like again. i was proud to be his friend. >> thank you, mr. vice president. ladies and gentlemen, the honorable mitch mcconnell, minority leader of the united states senate, from kentucky. thank you for coming today.
>> catherine, then, susan, bath, -- beth, walter, ted, lily, members of this magnificent stephens family, the vice-president, reverend clergy, senate colleagues, distinguished guests and friends, last week, american said goodbye to one of its great men. ted stevens was respected and revered in washington and throughout the lower 48 for his
service to this country and as many legislative achievements and his legendary and gritgrit. ted colleagues in the senate lost a dear friend and yes, even sometimes feared. it is obvious to everyone that the people of alaska lost something even more. one of the things you learn when you come here for the first time is that despite its size, alaska is a very small place. people know each other. everyone, everyone knew ted stevens. he is an omnipresent reality. from the airport here in anchorage to the remotest
villages, attends contribution to alaska are as fast as the state itself. it is hard to imagine that any one man ever meant more than any one state then ted stevens. of course, it did not have to be that way. once he's been the a little time in washington, tune noticed that some senators with a double life. they can play one role in washington and another back in their home states. they can use their job in the senate as a platform to reach a national audience beyond their own constituents back home.
and for four decades, ted stevens was a living, breathing antithesis to that approach. in his view, if it was not good for alaska, it was not good, period. [laughter] as a young man, netiquette baltic it that 49 star on the flag. -- ted all tickets at 49th star on the plight. he helped to transform alaska into a modern state. he came to washington with a mission and he was faithful to that mission to the end. and every alaskan here and across the state should know that ted stevens devoted every day of his life, not to the
promotion of himself, but to you. it took a lot of effort, but ted was clearly the right man for the job. former chiefs of staff remembers being taken a back on his first trip to alaska with ted. when he showed up at ted's house to pick them up at 6:00 in the morning, he learned that had had arctic on to the briefing book he had been given the night before, read all the daily papers, and had already been on the phone to washington for a couple of hours. by the end of the trip, he said he needed a vacation for billing for two weeks what ted stevens had been doing for 39 years. ted would say that he worked so hard because there was always so much work to do. alaskans did not have the benefit of centuries of
infrastructure and development. and he did everything he could to make sure the rest of his colleagues knew about it, first hand. most lawmakers in washington, when you meet them for the first time, they might invite you to join them for dinner somewhere around town. ted stevens invited you to alaska. he wanted us to appreciate the unique challenges that people who lived here face every day in and every day out. and i can assure you -- turning down an invitation to alaska from ted stevens was not recommended. [laughter] in fact, an entire generation of federal officials and lawmakers trekked up. ted stevens -- trekked up here to ted stevens' invitation.
they were impressed by the magnificence of the scenery and just how much of alaska as progress is the direct result of this remarkable man. he poured himself into this place, treating it like one of his children. and to the people of alaska, i assure you, uncle ted. whatever it took to make sure that your concerns were known and that -- uncle ted did whatever it took to make sure that your concerns were known and met. it was a privilege discern -- to serve alongside him in the senate. we missed him for the past two years and we agreed with -- ive with the
>> my dear friends, we arrived in anchorage last evening after a six-hour journey from allied -- all white. i must say that it was a sad journey. the plane was quiet. believe it or not, no one drank. there were no movies. just whispers. because we for all: to anchorage -- we were all going to anchorage to say goodbye to a friend. yes, this is a time of mor urning. we mourn for katherine who lost her husband, a great man, a
great companion. we mourn for your children who got all love you dearly, he stood up for you time and time again, bravely, to protect un defend you. yes, he was a big bother, a good father. father, a goodt father. he told me once, he was glad that i was a grandfather. he was the old as grandfather in the not a state senate. [laughter] he said that he was looking for to several more. so, girls --
[laughter] keep in mind. this is a time of mourning, but it is also a time of reflection and celebration. many words have been spoken, printed, written about ted. they have reminded us of that tragic year, 1978, when he lost his beloved ann. when i saw him, he said why ann and not me? he was ready to give up but he realized he had a duty to carry out. so he stuck on. thank god. that has reminded us -- when we
all knew it, he was not guilty and he was vindicated, cleared of all charges. [applause] well, much has been said about his going to harvard, becoming a lawyer, and he served in california. i like to share with you a few personal footnotes. i do not know if you remember this, but ted was sworn and of
december 24, 1978. christmas eve. he was a christmas gift to alaska. [laughter] in many ways, he was. i call them up and said, let's get together. and we did. and we sensed that we had many things in common. we served in world war ii, halfway around the world. he loved veterans, he loved the military. then we were representing territories which were appendages to the nation. we were the forgotten people. did you know that it was cheaper
to call tokyo from honolulu? it was cheaper to call beijing from anchorage? yes, we were considered not only foreign. we did something about it. [laughter] [applause] then one day, he called me up and said, i want to see you. so i got to his office. and he said, there is a lot of oil improve obey -- in prudhoe
bay. we have to figure out a way to get it down here so we can sell it. i said, how do you propose to do it? he said, i am going to build a pipeline. i said, you are nuts. [laughter] you know what happened? when the oil began flowing through the pipe, it gave off friction. if he did that area, the snow melted, grass grew 12 months a year, the elk came by to eat, and they loved it. and now the elfl flock is five times what it was before the pipeline. for some reason, he always invited me to go on his
congressional delegations to other parts of the world. but he always picked those that somehow members sort of round upon. they could not take their wives, there were no shopping places, anything like that. for example, we were one of the first ones to go to afghanistan and iraq. it was so early, we stayed in tents. when we got there, it was dark -- no lights. this was a combat zone. and so i inquired, like all men should, where is the men's room? we are in a tent. and so the colonel said, go down
here, turn right, turn left, turn right, and turn right. and it was about two city blocks. [laughter] i let it ted and said, what are you going to do? [laughter] well, you got the answer. [laughter] as the vice president and senator mitch indicated, his work was good. his word was absolutely dead. you could take it to a bank. -- his word was absolutely good. you could take it to a bank. and he was also a tenacious. he called me one day and said, i want you to come to alaska and
see the natives. which we did. and as a result of that trip to gather -- to gather, wheat conjured up all kinds of things, not just schools and hospitals and clinics and roads, but other things. for example, at that time if you lived out in the village, there were no roads, and you could not fly in. but the village usually had a nurse. they needed a way to communicate somehow. ted and i began this high-tech business, it was from that trip. now it is commonplace all over the place. ted was that type of person but
soon after the vietnam war, when the country was divided, with soldiers returning from the front who literally had to sneak in at night because there were no welcoming bands and parades. the country responded by saying, from now on we will have only volunteers, no drafts. and ted said, if a man or woman is willing to put on the uniform and stand in harm's way and risked death to defend me, to protect me, i am going to do everything possible to be of
help so that they can come home to their loved ones, to their wives, their sweethearts, to their sons and daughters. and i hope you will join me. that is the kind of fellow he was. the veterans of america -- [applause] the veterans of america, the military family of america, lost a good friend. but there are many of us here who will do our damnedest to carry on his work. i have so many things in my heart i would like to share with you, but as a result of our relationship and trust, friendship, me -- we will make
the word bipartisan become real. real. and as you look around here among his colleagues, former colleagues, you will see a lot of democrats. the vice-president is democratic. yes. [laughter] [applause] no, unlike this audience. -- you know, i like this audience. you understand doubletalk. [laughter] as a result of this friendship,
we came across this legislative process that we call congressional initiative. for those who want to be negative about it, they call it earmarks. ted was the grandfather of earmarks. [laughter] and you can thank him for that. [applause] on march 9, 2005 ted gave an interview to the vfw, and this is what he had to say. i would like to close with these words. and i quote, as a young boy growing up in california, my dream was to become a pilot. during world war ii, that dream
became true when i flew in the army air corps and supported the air force in china. those of us who served in world war ii have been called the greatest generation. those of us who answered the call to service to what we call it the work on war -- the forgotten war, there are a few of us left. but as we see the heroism and reverie of those who served in our armed forces today, we know that they are truly our greatest generation. it takes an extraordinary person to do the job asked of the men and women in the military today. the world is a dangerous place, and this is a new era with new threats and determined enemies. our men and women in uniform preserve our freedom abroad.
said seen the glory of the coming of a lord he has loosed the fateful lightning up his terrible swift sword his truth is marching on. glory, glory hallelujah glory, glory hallelujah glory, glory hallelujah his truth is marching on i have seen him in the watch fires of a hundred burning camps i can read his righteous sentence
his day is marching on glory, glory, hallelujah glory, glory, hallelujah glory, glory, hallelujah his truth is marching on in the beauty of the lilies christ was born across the sea with the glory in his bosom that transfigures you and main as he died to make a man holy, let us live to make men free while got his marching on glory, glory, hallelujah glory, glory, hallelujah
glory, glory, hallelujah his truth is marching on ♪ >> thank you, you may be seated. >> and let us pray. gracious god, sovereign lord of history and the nations, give her of every good and perfect thank you for the gift of your servant, ted stevens. lord, we are grateful for the deaths of his dedication, loyalty, wisdom, compassion,
generosity, wit, courage, patriotism, and service. give your comfort to catherine, the children, and all of ted's loved ones, as well as the multiplied thousands of others who mourn. in a special way, bring sol ace to the families. also for the injured, that you would restore them quickly to robust health. lord, transform the darkness of the valley of the shadows of death into bright hope, and
provide us with strength, comfort, and courage for all our tomorrows. make a light -- may the life of ted stevens make as cognizant of the shortness of time and the link of paternity for all of us -- the link of eternity for all of us. as we cling to the hopes of resurrection and the risk eternal life, we prayed in the name of him who is the resurrection and the life, amen. our new testament reading comes from john 14:1-3, i
thessalonians, and romans 8:38- 39. hear the word of the lord. let not your heart be trouble. you believe in god -- believe also in me. in my father's house are many mansions. if it were not so, i would have told you. i go to prepare a place for you. and if they go to prepare a come for you, i will, aga again and receipts to myself so
that where i am, there you will be also. for the lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of god , and the dead in pchrist shall rise first. then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the lord. for i am persuaded that neither death nor life, angels nor principalities, powers nor things present nor things to
come, height nor depth or anything that is in all of creation shall separate us from the love of god which is in christ jesus our lord. the word of the lord. i would like for us to pray together the "our father,"and i want to invite the spouse's of the people in the senate with ted stevens, and others to come and join me by the podium as we pray together in honor of our dear friend, ted stevens. if the spouses could join me.
for nearly three years every morning, senator stevens caviled me and -- gaveled meat and for the senate prayer. we have a wonderful conversation and he always left me with a smile. he loved it but ties and got me addicted to bow ties. he was proud of the fact that he could type of vote tie as easily as people can tie their shoes. once i tied one, it had to stay that way. he could just pull it apart and say, it is easy, chaplain. but we are praying together. our water which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. i kingdom come. i will be done on earth as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our
trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. forever, of men. -- amen. god bless you. >> i am very grateful to catherine and lily who planned this service, for allowing me for a moment to share my thoughts about ted and to lead you into prayer.
some of you may be a bit confused if you're not an episcopalian about the word in front of by name. it is a description, not a job description. but now it is being applied to elderly clergyman, and it is a must to mean -- is supposed to mean "1 venerated." it is supposed to mean agent, but some think it means venomous. [laughter] when the plane crashed on august 9, i lost two friends. i knew won for only a few years but i greatly appreciated her friendship. i first met ted stevens when he was the district attorney in fairbanks in 1953.
i was a witness at trial for which he was a prosecuting attorney. and i am glad i was a witness on his side because the defendant was found guilty. however, my friendship with ted and his wife began in 1953 and now is the director a st. matthew's episcopal church in fairbanks, and flying to village missions along the yukon river. perhaps it was our common interest in flying or that we were veterans of world war two that brought us together. whatever it was, over the years, that friendship had deepened. even after he became a senator, we never trusts each other by the titles of senator and bother. it was always ted and norma. in the official correspondence, he would ride across the official greeting -- norm.
on december 4, 1978, ann died in he was seriously injured as you know in the crash of a small plane. he said from the hospital, and his first words were, alandhow how is ann? i had to tell him that she did not make it. they were on their way to spell schedule a wedding. susan wanted to delay the wedding but ted, in spite of his breed, convinced her that ann would want her to hold it is planned. she was buried and then the marriage took place at on the 16th. in the space of two weeks, the
senator knew the deaths of sorrow and the heights of joy. other children of the family mary, andy stevens -- and the stevens clan group. i am so glad i was made to feel part of the family. you of maine -- you may have seen up picture of ted in the newspaper. he was given that nickname because of his aggressive nature. all was -- all of us knew that he worked too hard. one day i gave him a toy turtle, and it crawled across the floor, singing, "you have got to slow down, you work too hard." but he did not throw it out. i have seen it in one of his offices. but you can be sure he did not follow the advice.
[laughter] there was too much the needed to be done for alaska and the nation. true, he did not always succeed, but he never stopped trying. and you may note that he had a great sense of humor. yet a boisterous laugh, and at times almost seem to be happy go lucky. most of the people of alaska only knew him as their senator, on behalf of his work of all the people in alaska, the military, the charities, and so on. the man and made possible the construction of the anchorage airport, medical centers, and other facilities. i wanted to show you in my brief moment ted stevens, the man. a man like ourselves who knows sarraute as well as joy, failure as well as success, turmoil as well as peace. i have told you all of this not
to boast of my friendship with the famous man and his family, but only did you may know that i share with many of you the depths of sorrow in a great sense of what you feel. i'm going to conclude my words by using the words of other men, words written by them which speak more eloquently than any i could compose. and the first is a poem which is really a song written and sung by a very famous scottish singer. he was the first british songwriter ever to sell over 1 million records. songs which he composed which you and i would call scottish folk songs. some humorous, some sad. and he was knighted by king george v. sir harry had one son who
was a captain and a scottish regiments. he was killed in battle in 1916. sir harry was told that his son's last words work carry on. so he wrote and sang a stirring song, because if you. song, you will feel compelled to march. i am bringing -- i am reading it because i think these of the words that ted would say to you in to me if he were present. i read this in a funeral last sunday, because she and ted were very much alike. this then is the song. every road through like is a long, long road filled with joy and sorrow to as you journey, how your heart would yearn
onward we must go keep right on to the end of the road keep right on to the end let your heart be strong keep right on to the end still a journey on until you come to your happy abode those that you have been dreaming of will be there at the end of the road we may get there with a smile with a good kind paula and in indian view we may cut short many a mile let me -- let courage every day be your star keep right on to the end of the road but your heart be strong. the you are tired and weary, still a journey on to you come to your happy abode
where all those you have been dreaming of will be there at the end of the road. in that song, that is the christian message. at the end of the road of life, and when i come to our end of the road, we know that there will be there to greet us that we will find all we have loved and been dreaming of. the second of the words of a man who lived in 1600. some of you have heard my funeral oration before and know what i'm going to say. the man was john donne. he was the dean of st. paul's cathedral in london in 1621. as in many parts of the world, of ellis told to announce the death of a man or woman. over time, this was the
newscaster which alerted the whole community that someone had died. people would come to the church and say, we heard the bell tolling, who died? john donne wrote these words. and i am going to paraphrase them. no man is an island, entire of itself. every man is a piece of the continent, all part of the main. if a cloth be washed away by the sea, europe is the lasess any man's death diminishes me because i am involved in mankind. and therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. to paraphrase him, not only are uni, so our states, so our
nation's, and for us, which is going from us, some of you somehow have lost a grain of sand, we will say. some of you, a pebble. and some of you like me, of boulder. to the state of alaska, and to our nation, the state and the nation have not lost a grain of sand. they have not lost a pebble. they have not lost of boulder. alaska and the nation have lost the mountain. i sincerely hope that somewhere in the mountain range in alaska, a great unnamed mountain will be found. on mountain which can be seen, not hidden, and mountain which can be seen and named after the senator.
not named senator ted stevens, not named senator ted. but local ted. -- uncle ted. [applause] uncle ted, in order that future generations will know that the famous man once lived among us, a man who not only served alaska and the nation, but loved alaska and its people. amen. and now the prayer's of the people. in peace, let us pray to the lord. almighty god, in the mystical body of the ice on christ our lord, -- of your son, i liked --
your life and your peace. from the grave and gate of debt, we may pass with him to our to with for resurrection. grant to us who are still on our pilgrimage and to walk as yet by fate, that your holy spirit may lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days. grant to your faithful people pardoned and peace that we may be cleansed from all of our sense and serve you with a quiet mind. read all those to -- pegrant those who mourn consolation. that they may have strengthen meet the days ahead in the
comfortable of a reasonable and holy hoped in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. grant us with all of those who have died in the hope of thy eternal and nigh everlasting glory, promised that those to share in the victory of your son jesus christ who lives with the and the holy spirit forever and ever. amen. [inaudible]
stories and there are many more to be told. in closing to date, i would like to share with you my personal story. my story about senator stevens has to do not with his past but about his future. he has a glorious future. the last thing that senator stevens said to me was publicly said right here in this auditorium. he was here on august the first with centralism rakowski and congressman don young. and i had him come forward because people were asking me because they knew that i knew the senator -- and by the way. how many of you have received one of those personal and written note cards? raise your hand? i thought i was the only one getting does. [laughter] and hundreds of you got them. and we will cherish them forever
and ever. but he was here and i said, senate there, people want to know what you're doing. and he said, i have started a consulting business in washington, d.c., but most of all i am being a grandfather more than i was ever able to do as a senator. and he said that with a big smile on his face, grandchildren. i want you to know that. and then he looked up at me, right here in front of the whole congregation, statewide television, and he said, pastor, just before he sat down, i want to thank you. you taught me that prayers' get answered. you taught me that prayers get answered. he was referring to the many prayers' that uni prayed for him during what he described as this terrible ordeal.
and god did answer our prayers. when i see him again in eternity, i believe his words to me, his first words to me will be again, pastor, i want to thank you, prayer is to get answered. why do i believe that? senator stevens parade another prayer with me that had to do with his future. he was rather private about his religion, and rightly so. he did not want to use that for political purposes. but he prayed with me this prayer. dear lord jesus, come into my life, forgive me of my sense, and take me to heaven when i die. and god answered that prayer last week out on a hill in the
state that he loved so dearly, the state of alaska. he prayed that prayer after me and with me after i shared with hamp of the holy scriptures said about all of us. romans says that we all, we all have sand and come short of the glory of god. the other goes on to tell us and romans, the wages of sin is death, but the gift of god is eternal light in christ jesus our lord. the wages of sin is death. i am so glad that god does not leave this in the dark about what that is. the bible explains it. that is not a ceasing to exist, it got says. it is only a separation. there is physical death in their spiritual death. physical death is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body.
the real ted stevens is not here -- just his body. the bible talks about the second death, spiritual death, and that is not a ceasing to exist. it is a separation of god for ever and ever. the good news is this. gift of god is eternal light in christ jesus our lord. the age-old question asked of the old testament holy scriptures by job, if a man die, shall he live again? and jesus christ, the son of god, came into this world all liver lover 2000 years ago to answer that question, not just by words, but by actions. he said, if you destroy my body and three days i will raise it up again to prove to you that there is life after death.
and i have the power over death. the reason that i am a follower of jesus cried, he is the only religious leader who ever lived and talked about how to get to heaven, but the rest of them all died. jesus christ came out of that brave allied and victorious over debt to prove he was silly claim to be, the son of god. and the at the -- to prove he was who he claimed that the, the son of god. and that is why he said in john, i am the resurrection and the life. he too believes in me, as though he may die, he shall live. the holy scriptures teach us that those who believe in jesus christ when they close their eyes in debt here are with the lord. to be absent from the body is to
be present with the lord. it our earthly tabernacle is destroyed, at parishes. we have a building, of body in heaven that god hath prepared for us. i'd just think that god has done something special. i believe that when we see our local ted have been has been, when you see your husband, when you see your bother, you see your grandfather, do not be surprised if he is not 6 feet 10 inches in his new body. [laughter] he is going to be the hulk that all this is that he was. -- all of us knew that he was. do not be surprised. dow wonderful birds, for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son at that those who believe in him would not perish but have everlasting
life. the gift of god is eternal life. but the gift is something that someone else buys and pays for and says, i want to give this to you. in order for gift to be ours, we must be willing to receive it and accepted. we take at our bill old and checkbook and try to pay for, then we're trying to buy it. it is not a get any longer. if we worked for it and earning, it is not a gift. i get this something that someone gives to you. the story of the gospel of jesus christ is that god sent his only begotten son into this world to purchase the forgiveness of sins so that he could give us that and give us everlasting life so that we could spend eternity with him. how you call upon the name of the lord? how you receive that gap? the scripture tells us plainly,
if you shop invest with your mouse lord jesus christ, bully -- if you confess with your mouth the lord jesus christ, you will be saved. with a heart manfully center of righteousness, and with a mouth confession is made into salvation. and the sums it up and romans -- whosoever shall call upon the name of the lord shall be saved. that means anybody and everybody. god wants everybody to spend eternity in that one for a place that jesus said i have gone to prepare for you. whosoever shall call. now my personal story today is that senator stevens parade with me, calling on the name of the lord to save him and taken to heaven when he died. and you know what? god always keeps his promises.
as we heard, senator stevens always kept his word. do you know where he got that? he got it from god. god always keeps his word. whosoever shall call upon the name of the lord shall be saved. he did not say in private. i was ashley's shocked when he said is so publicly. he said, pastor, i want to thank you for teaching me that prayer is due get answered. and i believe his first words to meet will be with a big smile on his face, and all have to look up at him, because i believe he will be 6 foot 10 inches, and he will say got answers prayer. whoever is -- god answers
prayer. maybe you need to pray your own prayer to god and except his wonderful gift of returnable -- eternal life through jesus christ. if you have never accepted that gift, i pray that you will personally to date. if so, you pray that prayer while like close as in prayer to date. eternal god, we thank you for not leaving us in the dark about death and life after death. we thank you for sending senator stevens into this world to do for us and all that he did to make our lives better. we can say with the words of the great apostle paul, he fought a good fight. he finished his race. now he is with you. but he has left all of us with great memories and we thank you for those great memories.
made those memories sustain s until we are reunited again in your wonderful home of heaven. we thank you for his family that shared him with all of us all of these years. comfort them at this time like only you can. we pray this in the wonderful name of your son, the lord jesus christ, who makes all the things possible and all the people said amen. at this time i'd been asked by the stephens family -- stevens family pet thank you for all of your expressions of support. they hope to speak to all of you in a reception that will follow in just a few moments. in preparation for that, everyone needs to remain in this auditorium and the overflow rooms until you are dismissed.
the family and friends will be escorting that casket outside. you will be able to observe that from the giant screens that are here. after that, half the family is going back and getting to the reception room, the alaska branch will be playing. when the family has arrived in the reception room, then you will be dismissed to the debtor -- to the reception room. ushers will direct you to their room. it is important for everyone to please remain in their seats in this room and in the other rooms until dismissed. transportation back your parking will be provided when you are ready to depart. it will be available -- you are welcome to stay and be in the reception room as long as you like. in transportation will be provided as long as it takes. on behalf of the stevens