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House Proceeding 02-24-10 on Feb 24th, 2010 :: 0:10:10 to 0:16:25
Total video length: 2 hours 47 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Lamar S. Smith

0:10:08 to 0:10:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: families invery state and at this point i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: madam speaker, h.r. 4626, the health insurance industry fair competition act, unfortunately dsn't do much.

Lamar S. Smith

0:10:10 to 0:16:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar S. Smith

Lamar S. Smith

0:10:29 to 0:10:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: in fact, it has all the subs stance of a soup made by boiling the shadow of a chicken. in his state of the union address on january 27, president obama challenged congress to create a plan that, quote, will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen medicare for seniors

Lamar S. Smith

0:10:51 to 0:11:12( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: company abuses, end quote. the administration's health care plan does just the opposite. it increases premiums, increases taxes and reduces medicare benefits for seniors. well, today mckaren-ferguson repeal bring down insurance premiums? no. the congressional budget office says that, quote, whether premiums would increase or

Lamar S. Smith

0:11:13 to 0:11:33( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: decrease as a result of this legislation is difficult to determine but in either case the magnitude of the effects is likely to be quite small, end quote. so what's the point of the bill? c.b.o. goes on to say that premium reductions from the bill are likely to be small because, quote, state laws already bar

Lamar S. Smith

0:11:34 to 0:11:55( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: the ac tiffs that would be prohibited under federal law if this bill was enacted, end quote. so what's the point of the bill? the national association for insurance commissioners pointed out that big bid rigging, price fixing and market allocation, quote, are not permitted under the mckaren-ferguson act and are

Lamar S. Smith

0:11:56 to 0:12:16( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: not tolerated under state law. indeed state insurance regulators actively enforce prohibitions in these areas, end quote. so, again,hat's the point of the bill? the mckaren-ferguson's act simply allows small and medium sized insurers to aggregate information for underwriting purposes so they can compete

Lamar S. Smith

0:12:17 to 0:12:39( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: effectively against larger companies. in other words, mckaren-ferguson helps promote competition by making small and medium sized underwriters viable. eliminating the exchange of data provision that was included in earlier versions of this bill likely will impede new entry into the health insurance markets. this means that there could be

Lamar S. Smith

0:12:40 to 0:13:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: less competition among health insurers. that said, i believe, as does the anti-trust modernization commission, that anti-trust exemptions should be rarely granted or created. and if they are necessary they should be written in as limited a way as necessary to meet a compelling public policy goal. i can understand why some of my colleagues may want to support

Lamar S. Smith

0:13:02 to 0:13:24( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: this bill and given that it will have no meaningful impact i don't oppose it. however, when repealing an existing anti-trust exemption we should be careful of the unintended consequences of our actions.

Lamar S. Smith

0:13:25 to 0:13:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: .7 c16 c13 eliminating mecal malpractice insurers goes a long way towards making this bill more reasonable. however the majority should adopt further changes to this bill to demonstrate that they are more interested in legislating than in targeting an unpopular industry for no real policy reason. specifically the legislation

Lamar S. Smith

0:13:46 to 0:14:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: should be amended to define the term "business of health insurance." second, we should reinsert the exchange of data provision added in the bill in committee. finally, we should clarify that this bill will not impinge upon state insurance regulations. none of these concepts are revolutionary. they were all included in eaier versions of this

Lamar S. Smith

0:14:07 to 0:14:27( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: legislation that were passed by the house. that said, if the majority really wants to help consumers, we should consider a measure that could actually achieve savings for patients, medical malpractice, tort reform. according to a study by the harvard school of public health, 40% of all medical malpractice suits against

Lamar S. Smith

0:14:28 to 0:14:48( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: doctors and hospitals are, quote, without merit. so every doctor must purchase malpractice insurance at great expense to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits. a department of health and human services study found that unlimited excessive damages adds $70 billion to $126

Lamar S. Smith

0:14:49 to 0:15:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: billion annually to health care cost. and doctors wereo concerned about frivolous lawsuits that they have to practice defensive medicine in -- and order unnecessary tests and procedures. h.h.s. estimates the national cost of defensive medicine is now more than $60 billion. all these expenses are then

Lamar S. Smith

0:15:10 to 0:15:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: passed on to patients in the cost of health care. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman can resume.

Lamar S. Smith

0:15:36 to 0:15:58( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: thank you. the gentleman from michigan, i suspended the gentleman from texas because he could not be heard. to quiet down the chamber. it's still the gentleman from texas' time. he has not yielded back his time yet. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. that's why some states including my home state of

Lamar S. Smith

0:15:59 to 0:16:19( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: texas had enacted tort reform to limit the amount of excessive damages in frivolous lauits. the results? insurance freedomums have fallen at availability of medical care has expanded. but this bill will do nothing to reduce the cost of health care. congress should setaside this bill and take up lawsuit abuse reform which could reduce

Lamar S. Smith

0:16:20 to 0:16:25( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: health care costs for our constituents.

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