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House Proceeding 07-09-09 on Jul 9th, 2009 :: 2:08:45 to 2:59:10
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Keith Ellison

2:08:44 to 2:09:02( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: but children's future and grandchildren's future. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, t gentleman from minnesota is recognized for 60 minutes as the

Keith Ellison

2:08:45 to 2:59:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison

2:09:23 to 2:09:44( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: designee of the majority leader. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i am keith ellison and i'm a member of the progressive caucus. it's late and the hour is moving towards the time when a lot of folks are looking to retire for the evening, but we've got to talk health care. but before we do, let me

Keith Ellison

2:09:45 to 2:10:06( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: introduce the progressive caucus, message that we have for people tonight. mr. speaker, the progressive caucus, the progre that we come every week or come to this chamber every week to talk about a progressive vision for america. what is the progressive vision for america? progressive vision for america is a vision, mr. speaker, in

Keith Ellison

2:10:07 to 2:10:27( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: which people can live free of discrimination. people can live in harmony with the earth. workers can work with dignity. workers can have respect and safety on the job and earn decent pay. we'll all americs can have health care and enjoy the benefits and bounty of this great country ofurs. a progressive vision, a vision

Keith Ellison

2:10:28 to 2:10:50( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: similar to the one that martin luther king had for our country. a vision similar to the one rampeell carson had for our rsh rachel carson had for our country. a pr embraces all, which includes all, where human beings living

Keith Ellison

2:10:51 to 2:11:11( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: in harmony, free from fear who do not disrespect our environment who believe we should have health care so that people c standard of living. . it's what we do when we come to the house floon about what we believe in.

Keith Ellison

2:11:12 to 2:11:33( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the congressional progress caucus is the group that i speak for tonight. and this is our website, mr. speaker, which is cpc. grijalva.house.gov and we'll put this up at the end of our hour so people can check us out. what are we talking about tonight?

Keith Ellison

2:11:34 to 2:11:54( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: we are talking about health care reform. patients before profits. tonight, mr. speaker, i think this presentation could not be possibly more different, it could possibly be more different from the hour you just heard because the hour that you just heard a moment ago talked about what we couldn't do, who

Keith Ellison

2:11:55 to 2:12:16( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: couldn't get care, why we have to have the status quo, why things have to be the way they are, why we cannot have reform. that's what you just heard an hour ago. horror stories and horror stories, fear mongering like we hear, we have been hearing for many decades now. we heard the same thing in 1994. remember harry and louise ads?

Keith Ellison

2:12:17 to 2:12:38( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the government will take your health care away. the government's going to make medical decisions for you. let me just say that it's not true. don't fear. the american people should not fear health care reform. the american people, 300 million strong, know that 50 million, nearly 50 million of our number are without any health care at all.

Keith Ellison

2:12:39 to 2:12:59( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the 250 million who do have health care ow that the private insurance companies have been reaping enormous profits while you have been paying higher deductibles, you ever been paying higher co-pay, and you have been paying higher premiums, and you have been denied coverageor pre-ex-ising conditions. the fact is that the time for change is now.

Keith Ellison

2:13:00 to 2:13:20( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: and i think for the first time in a long time real change is right within our hands. mr. speaker, if the american people have a will for a greater vel of health care, for a greater level of quality of life in which all americans don't have to go to bed at night

Keith Ellison

2:13:21 to 2:13:43( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: afraid they are going to be without, this is the time for them to raise their voices. i think a few things are important to know. the few things are important to know, mr. speaker. and that is, that just like in 1994, the scare tactics that we just heard and we'll hear again tonight are in full force. and if the amerin people don't

Keith Ellison

2:13:44 to 2:14:04( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: step forward, mr. speaker, you don't know which vision of america is going to prevail. a progressive vision for health care for all americans -- where all americans have health care, where all americans have access to care that says prevention, that says long-term care, that says that we are going to have a public option which we desperately need, or this

Keith Ellison

2:14:05 to 2:14:25( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: situation which leaves 50 million americans out and escalati costs and preex-ising conditions which doom people to a -- pre-existing conditions which doom people to a medical nightmare. i just want to say the fight is on. it's raging, it's happening. and if the people want to be heard, mr. speaker, they need to

Keith Ellison

2:14:26 to 2:14:46( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: be heard now. let me just say this, in the first three months of 2009, in the first three months of 2009, the chamber of commerce and the pharmaceutical researchers and manufacturers of america, phrma, paidobbyists a combined $22.5

Keith Ellison

2:14:47 to 2:15:09( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: million to promote their terest. ok. you didn't hear me. $22.5 million to lobby people like me, mr. speaker, to not give the america people health care. to kp the status quo. to let it be how it is.

Keith Ellison

2:15:10 to 2:15:33( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: to let these preex-ising -- pre-existing exclusions continue on. to let 50 million americans out in the cold. to continue to the increasing premiums and these ridiculous co-pays people are having to pay. you didn't hear me. the first three months of 2009, the u.s. chamber of commerce and the pharmaceutical researchers and manufacturers of america,

Keith Ellison

2:15:34 to 2:15:55( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: phrma, paid lobbyists a combined $22.5 million to promote their interest. $22.5 million in january, february, and march. you think that's a lot of money, mr. speaker? it's nothing if you compare it to the amount of money they made by denying americans health care. by denying enrolled americans health care as the way they have

Keith Ellison

2:15:56 to 2:16:17( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: been doing and say we don't cover that, we don't cover that. and by reaping all these excessive profits. oh, $22 million is a rounding error fo them but it's an enormous amount of money for us, mr. speaker. monday, july 6, just a few days ago, "the washington post" said,

Keith Ellison

2:16:18 to 2:16:38( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: familiar players in health care bill lobbying. the largest insurers, hospitals, and medical groups have hired more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of congress in hopes of influencing their old bosses and completion. that's nearly -- that's not quite one for every member of

Keith Ellison

2:16:39 to 2:17:00( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: congress but almost nearly one for every member of congress, and that's just counting the former members of congress and former staffers. just to try to twist and arm to say leave the status quo as it is. three out of every four major health care firms have at least one former insider on their lobbying payrolls, according to "the washington post" analysis.

Keith Ellison

2:17:01 to 2:17:22( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: nearly half of the insideers previously worked for key committees and lawmakers currently debating whether to adopt a public insurance option which is opposed by major industry. so they are going to get people who used to work here to come try to stop progress and keep us from a progressive visio because they care about what? they care more about what?

Keith Ellison

2:17:23 to 2:17:44( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: they care about profits before patients. and we in the progressive caucus care about patients before profits. the hirings are part of a record breaking influence campaign by the health care industry. now, you say -- i say record breaking. this is according to "the washington post," mr. speaker. record breaking influence campaign by the health care industry.

Keith Ellison

2:17:45 to 2:18:08( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: you know, mr. speaker, you may have been dazzled, shocked, and amazed by what you saw in 1994 when they in fact killed health care. now they are pulling out all the stops and make sure ty set a record in the amount of influence they are trying to campaign for to defeat health care reform. they want the status quo, we

Keith Ellison

2:18:09 to 2:18:29( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: want a progressive vision. this bill, mr. speaker, just hold on to something because this number might stagger you, $1.4 million a day, $1.4 million a day. nearly $1.5 million a day to

Keith Ellison

2:18:30 to 2:18:50( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: stop health care reform. by paying lobbyists and this is just according to what's been disclosed in their records. $1.4 million a day just to lobby against health care reform? yes. so, mr. speaker, the american people want to be -- want health

Keith Ellison

2:18:51 to 2:19:12( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: care reform, they better say something because $1.4 million a day can speak pretty loud. the pharmaceutical researcand manufacturers of america doubled its spending nearly seven million in the first quarter of 2009, followed by pfizer with more than six million. if they are right, if this

Keith Ellison

2:19:13 to 2:19:34( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: system is good, why they spend all this money? can't they just let the facts speak for themselves? no, the facts need to be adjusted for them. the "post" examined federally required disclosure reports submit bide health care firms that spent more than $100 lobbying in the first quarter of

Keith Ellison

2:19:35 to 2:19:56( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: this year and use current and past filings to identify former lawmakers, congressional staff, and executive branch officials. this is a quote, revolving door offers a short cut to a member of congress to the highest bidder, said sheila crumholtz,

Keith Ellison

2:19:57 to 2:20:17( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: executive director for responsive politics. it's a small -- here's her quote, this is really a shocker, mr. speaker, it's a small cost of doing business relative to the profits that they garner. so again $1.4 million a day seems like a whole lot of to me, but when you think about

Keith Ellison

2:20:18 to 2:20:38( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the money that is reaped from the status quo in their denial of claims and denial of pre-existing conditions and all of this stuff, it's really not a big deal at all. mr. speaker, let me just show folks just what this profit is doing.

Keith Ellison

2:20:39 to 2:21:01( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: is going on. projected spending as a -- projected spending on health care as a percentage of gross domestic product, mr. speaker, has been doing nothing but going up and up and up. if you look at just projected costs in 2007, we are talking about an enormous upward slight

Keith Ellison

2:21:02 to 2:21:22( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: from about 15% upward nearly 50% if these numbers are projected to 2008. medicare's going up and medicaid going up. but those lines are relatively flat. if you look at all the other health care cos, it's just jumping up. this is spending and whatever i spend somebody else makes, this represents the enormous amount

Keith Ellison

2:21:23 to 2:21:44( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: of money that will be made under the status why defeat the real change that we need. mr. eaker, let me just also point out a few other facts that i think is important. we have about -- we have a

Keith Ellison

2:21:45 to 2:22:05( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: growing number of members of this body, the house of representatives, many of whom are progressive caucus members, who are saying they won't vote for any plan unless it includes a public option. i'm one of those. i know i have been accused of being dr. nair, drawing a line in the sand and not being flexible.

Keith Ellison

2:22:06 to 2:22:26( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: well, they are right. i'm flexible but not on this. no public option means a red vote which means no for me. we've got to have a public option. we have to have it. and i'm proud to say that speaker pelosi, charlie rangel, and leaders in this body have said that we are

Keith Ellison

2:22:27 to 2:22:48( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: our public option. it's because people have said and the people out there have raised their voices, mr. speaker, the people have -- the people in this body have let the people in america down and they stood up for change. but it's not just in the house, mr. speaker, i'm happy to say that members of the other body, senator russ feingold, senator

Keith Ellison

2:22:49 to 2:23:09( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: bernie saunders, senator chuck schumer are standing up and speaking out for a public option right now. senator feingold, senator saunders, and senator schumer having been quiet, mr. speaker. they are trying to make sure that we get this public option through the senate as we work forward in the house. what we really need, mr.

Keith Ellison

2:23:10 to 2:23:30( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: speaker, is for americans to let their voices be heard. because if they say, oh, well, the leaders in all under control, that's exactly when we lose it. the american people are like the wind that pushes the boat throh the sea. i don't care how big your sail is, how pretty it is, what you

Keith Ellison

2:23:31 to 2:23:53( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: put on it, if there's no wind it doesn't move. and that's how this democracy's going to work. as i praise representative russ feingold, let me tell you what he said on june 18, and he deserves our respect, mr. speaker. senator feingold said, quote, a strong public health insurance

Keith Ellison

2:23:54 to 2:24:15( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: option is consistent with the healthy private market and effective private insurance plans. we have several insurers that operate in my home state of wisconsin that provide great health coverage to their beficiaries. responsible insurers should have no trouble competing with a public insurance option on the merits ever their plans, but a strong public health insurance

Keith Ellison

2:24:16 to 2:24:37( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: option will provide a powerful incentive for less responsible insurers to re-evaluate their own cost chairing and benefit plans to -- sharing and benefit plans to ensure they are an attractive option for consumers. that's what russ feingold said, mr. speaker. and he went on to add, there's another benefit of a public health insurance option which

Keith Ellison

2:24:38 to 2:24:58( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: hits particularly close to home. my hometown of janesville, wisconsin, that's russ feingold's hometown, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state of wisconsin. recently our g.m. assembly plant ceased production and other related business throughout the community are struggling to stay afloat during these tough economic times. of course these challenges are

Keith Ellison

2:24:59 to 2:25:19( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: shared by many other communities a-- across the state and i would add across the nation. back to the quote, a public health insurance option would be invaluable to families in janesville and many other cities across america.

Keith Ellison

2:25:20 to 2:25:41( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: . because they have been laid off that can travel wp an individual from job to job. public health insurance option would make a tremendous difference who are facing crippling health care costs who are trying to keep businesses open. that is our great senator

Keith Ellison

2:25:42 to 2:26:02( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: feingold as he spoke about a public option. i want the american people to know, mr. speaker, th house of representatives and in the senate, there arleaders who have heard the cries of the american people who have heard the demands for change and who are going to stand up for a public option. and i think, mr. speaker, that i

Keith Ellison

2:26:03 to 2:26:23( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: just want to take a second to that i thank you to all the members in the house and three senators who have gone on record for a public option. mr. speaker, i also want to share a few other points that i think are real important at this time as we just discussed this critical thing.

Keith Ellison

2:26:24 to 2:26:44( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the fact is is that what we need is a real focus on patients nonprofits. the way the health care proposal is working right now and the draft looks is there are basically three prongs. ?? one is employee-based health care insurance.

Keith Ellison

2:26:45 to 2:27:06( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: if you like the insurance, you can keep it. you get to keep your health insurance if that's what you want. two, people who over 65 or who qualify for medicaid can get health insurance. those people in government programs already can sre in that benefit. but the third option is this

Keith Ellison

2:27:07 to 2:27:27( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: exchange where private insurance plans and a public option will be available for people and people can bid on these options and purchase their health care. there will be a subsidy of up to 400% of the poverty guidelines.

Keith Ellison

2:27:28 to 2:27:48( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: we would ban the exclusion of people with pre-existing conditions. and there's a proposal that anyone who wants to put their plan in that exchange would have to have a medical loss ray show of about 85% which means actual health care delivered to people, the money would have to be 8 %

Keith Ellison

2:27:49 to 2:28:11( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: of their overall budget and 15% would be on administrative costs and other things like that. medicare does a whole lot better than that and so does the v.a. that's basically an outline speaker. that's basically what it is. but i just wanted to make sure thate really, really hit, really hit this idea of this

Keith Ellison

2:28:12 to 2:28:33( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: public option tonight. our system wastes roughly about $600 billion on treatments and procedures that cannot be shown to improve health outcomes right now. a public option would make just charging these kinds of fees to just generate money something that they can't afford to do

Keith Ellison

2:28:34 to 2:28:54( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: because you got real competition that's not driven by a profit motive, but driven by quality health care. the fact is, mr. speaker, we are ready. we need to drive waste out of the system and we need ways to make private insurers really compete with this public option,

Keith Ellison

2:28:55 to 2:29:16( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: which they will not do. as you know, mr. speaker, under a previous act, insurance companies are not required to compete with each other. they have an exemption from antitrust laws and therefore can

Keith Ellison

2:29:17 to 2:29:38( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: collude. so we need this public option to make them compete. mr. speaker, i don't have to get up here and tell you that health care costs in america are crushing america's businesses and families. but i will offer a few examples. our manufacturers spend more per hour on health care than they do their counterparts in canada and

Keith Ellison

2:29:39 to 2:29:59( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: japan and u.k. combined. what i'm saying is if you have a coany that is international in scope and has places in canada and subsidiaries in japan and england, the american manufacturers spend more per hour on health care than all

Keith Ellison

2:30:00 to 2:30:24( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: these hour subsidiaries combined. that's making america noncompetive and putting us at a competitive disadvantage. mr. speaker, i bet you didn't know and maybe you did that health care costs for small businesses have grown 30% since the year 2000 alone. we need health care. we need a public option.

Keith Ellison

2:30:25 to 2:30:45( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the average family premium costs $1,100 more per year because our health care system fails to cover everyone. the individual premium costs $400 or more. mr. speaker, we need a public option and need health care reform. in 2004, half of all people filing for bankruptcy cited medical problems as a cause.

Keith Ellison

2:30:46 to 2:31:07( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: that's half. well, mr. speaker, i have a chart right here where this is def because it's much higher than half now. medical bills underlie 60% of u.s. bankruptcy, according to a

Keith Ellison

2:31:08 to 2:31:29( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: recent study. the news company. medical bills are involved in more than 60% of u.s. personal bankruptcy, increase of 50% in just six years. u.s. researchers reported on thursday. more than 75% of these bankrupt families had health insurae but still overwhelmed by medical debts.

Keith Ellison

2:31:30 to 2:31:53( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the team at harvard medical school, harvard law school and ohio university reported in the american journal of medicine. quote, using a conservative definition, 62.1% of all bankruptcy in 2007 were medical, 92% of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5,000 or 10%

Keith Ellison

2:31:54 to 2:32:14( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: of pre-tax family in researchers wrote. quote, most medical debtors we well educated, owned homes and had middle-class occupations. mr. speaker, this scenario is what the previous -- the speakers in the previous hour were trying to defend.

Keith Ellison

2:32:15 to 2:32:36( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: is that not crazy? that is not what the american people want. that is not what the american people deserve. the speakers in the previous hour were literally defending this system and standing in the way of reform. few more facts, mr. speaker, in 2008, just last year, half of

Keith Ellison

2:32:37 to 2:32:57( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: all people filing home florks cited medical problems as a cause. medical problems deeply implicated even in the foreclosure crisis. high costs lead to people losing coverage. 14,000 people are louis losing coverage every day.

Keith Ellison

2:32:58 to 2:33:20( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the numbers are staggering and your eyes gloss over and you can't really hear them. sometimes numbers don't bring much light to the subject as one would want, but let me say, 14,000 americans are losing coverage every day in the midst of this economic crisis. why? because as unemployment creeps towards 10%, when you lose your

Keith Ellison

2:33:21 to 2:33:42( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: job, you lose your health care, because we don't have health care or employer-beatsed health care system. mr. speaker, again, serious problem. last month, 400,000-plus jobs lost by americans. either one of them is dealing wi no health care or has to carry an enormous cobra payment on their back. mr. speaker, that's not good.

Keith Ellison

2:33:43 to 2:34:05( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: 60% of americans say that th or a member of their household have delayed or skipped health care in the last year. 60% of americans say they or a member of their household ha delayed or skipped health care within the last year. now, mr. speaker, we need to reform our i hope that's obvious to everybody.

Keith Ellison

2:34:06 to 2:34:27( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: you and i both know it's not obvious to everybody, though we wish that it was. bulet me talk a little bit about it for a moment. bring up our poster -- lost it. patients before profits.

Keith Ellison

2:34:28 to 2:34:49( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: mr. speaker, reform will alleviate the burden on families by lowering costs. ensuring timely access to affordable, quality health care, making sure everyone has access to preventive health care will help keep the american people healthy and allowing workers to change jobs without woreying about losing health care.

Keith Ellison

2:34:50 to 2:35:10( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: imagine being stuck in a job you have and you can't leave because you got health care. mr. speaker, i talked to a dear friend of mine who i have known for many years, many years, mr. speaker and i know you know when you know someone for years and years and years but there is

Keith Ellison

2:35:11 to 2:35:31( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: something i didn't know. when i had a health care forum in my district of minneapolis a few weeks ago. i won't mention his name, because i'm going to protect their privacy. but this friend of mine who i have known for years, i didn't know this fact about her. let's call her ann. that's not her name.

Keith Ellison

2:35:32 to 2:35:52( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: ann, after a health care forum that i held in my district in minneapolis at which 220 people showed up because they demand health care reform, waited around after everybody left, after the health care forum and said she needed to talk to me. and i said, you know, ann, sure i'll take a minute and we can

Keith Ellison

2:35:53 to 2:36:14( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: talk. and she sat me down and this is a strong woman. she is not someone who is easily given over to tears, but she was in tears. she is only about 36, 37 years old and has a beautiful family and is just a great person all around. anyway, ann sat me down and she looked me straight me in the

Keith Ellison

2:36:15 to 2:36:37( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: eye, when she looked me in the eye, i knew she was serious, serious, serious, serious. and what she said was this. that i'm on my job and i have a health care -- health insurance at my job. but members of my family, including my sisters and my mom have had breast cancer.

Keith Ellison

2:36:38 to 2:37:01( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: and mr. speaker, she told me that she is afraid to go get a test to determine whether she may develop breast cancer because if she gets this test, mr. speaker, then the health care company might decide she has a pre-existing condition and

Keith Ellison

2:37:02 to 2:37:22( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: then drop her from the policy. but if she doesn't go find out, mr. speaker, if she might develop breast cancer, she can't get treatment tht she needs that may save her life one day. she's a young mom. she's only about 36, 37 years old and she has kids who she's

Keith Ellison

2:37:23 to 2:37:43( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: trying to raise. mr. speaker, imagine being in the case where you can't go get the test to find out whether you have breast cancer, because if you do, that's going to be a pre-existing condition and yet you can't afford not to do it, because if you don't do it like your mother and your sister, you

Keith Ellison

2:37:44 to 2:38:05( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: may develop breast cancer. this is a system that these folks, who are standing in the way of reform are trying to preserve. and mr. speaker, it is wrong. it is time for reform to take place and the time for reform is now. reform will alleviate the burden on families by lowering costs. reform will alleviate the burden

Keith Ellison

2:38:06 to 2:38:26( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: on our economy by creating more efficient insurance and delivery system, which will reduce waste and allow more rational financing system where everyone contributes including, instead of shifting costs from some people on to others. it will alleviate the burden on business tt has hindered their ability to compete because of

Keith Ellison

2:38:27 to 2:38:47( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: these enormous health care costs. mr. speaker, we got to have a public option. i explained the public option a moment ago. a public option is just one of other health insurance coverage programs that will be offered on the exchange.

Keith Ellison

2:38:48 to 2:39:09( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: but mr. speaker, the public option, the public option needs to be understood. it means what the public option is is giving the public the option to enroll in a public plan like medicare. the public insurance option woulcompete directly with health care insurers.

Keith Ellison

2:39:10 to 2:39:30( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: why are they afraid to compete? what are they scared of? the uninsured individuals would get to choose which plans are best for them, a private one or the public option. why is having a public option so important? a broader way of research has

Keith Ellison

2:39:31 to 2:39:52( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: confirmed that a public health insurance option is a key component of cost containment because it will introduce more competition, something conservatives say they like, whenever it makes them exorbitant money. it will lower administrative expenses. i talked about the medical loss ratio of 85%.

Keith Ellison

2:39:53 to 2:40:15( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: i have a bill which will raise it to 90%. medicare will outcompete them and drive cost savings innovation. according to research from the commonwealth fund, the net administrative cos for medicare and m and 8% respectively. that's why i think a medical

Keith Ellison

2:40:16 to 2:40:36( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: loss ratio of 90% would be good. they should be able to do it. . if you look up the top five health care insurance companies their administrative costs were 17% and the average is the fact is they are

Keith Ellison

2:40:37 to 2:40:57( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: inefficient, they like it that way, and they don't want to change. but a public option would make them change. it would make them change, mr. speaker. members of the congressional progressive caucus signed a letter to speaker pelosi and the democratic leadership clearly stating that a robust public

Keith Ellison

2:40:58 to 2:41:18( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: option must be in the mix. this year in the congress we must act on health care reform and that health care reform must include a public option. we believe that only a health care plan with a robust public option will provide more americans with greater access to treatment and doctors with less interference in on strucks from big insurance companies and

Keith Ellison

2:41:19 to 2:41:39( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: other profit-driven special interests. mr. speaker, if you listen to the hour just before i came on, you heard people spinning scenarios and imaginary ghosts and demons and goblins in the air in which a patient would have a government bureaucrat,

Keith Ellison

2:41:40 to 2:42:00( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: their word, in between the doctor. that hasn't happened. that's imaginary. it's not going to happen. now, today, today, a patient has to deal with a bureaucrat in an insurance company before they can get the medal treatment that they need.

Keith Ellison

2:42:01 to 2:42:21( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: their claims have been excluded. some bureaucrat has said we are not going to approve that. we are going to den that. we are not going to allow that procedure to happen, even though a doctor has recommended it. that's reality. what they are talking about an hour ago was fantasy and it's kind of like on freddie krueger

Keith Ellison

2:42:22 to 2:42:43( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: order nothing but a nightmare and horror film. we urgently need to fix health care. for american families, every day americans worry not simply about getting well, but whether they can afford to get well. millions of americans wonder if they can afford the routine care

Keith Ellison

2:42:44 to 2:43:07( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: to stay well. premiums have doubled over the last nine years, three times faster than wages. ok, three times faster than wages. the average american family already pays an extra $1,100 in premiums every year for a broken system that supports 46.5

Keith Ellison

2:43:08 to 2:43:29( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: million uninsured americans. we need the change for american business. soaring health care costs put american companies at a competitive disadvantage in a global economy. small businesses are forced to choose between coverage and layoffs. that's a choice they should never have to make. what about the fiscal future of america? we have the most expensive

Keith Ellison

2:43:30 to 2:43:51( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: health care system in the world. we spend almost 50% more per person on health care than the next most costly nation. and we are no healthier f we are spending all this money, mr. speaker, but we are not healthier for it. if you look at national rankings of american's health and wellness, we are not at the top although spending is at the top. we are at the bottom.

Keith Ellison

2:43:52 to 2:44:13( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: when it comes to diabetes, when it comes to heart disease, when it comes to cancer when, it comes to all these critical things, mr. speaker. what are we going to do about it? we better step up and do something and that something cannot wait. if we do nothing in a decade we'll be spending one out of every $5 on health care. in 30 years it will be one out

Keith Ellison

2:44:14 to 2:44:35( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: of every three. health care reform is necessary. and it's deficit reduction because reform will drive down costs. what we want toffer is cost reduction, choice, security, and quality. president obama and this congress want to reduce health care costs, mr. speaker, and

Keith Ellison

2:44:36 to 2:44:56( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: offer people a choice of doctors and plans and guarantee affordable quality health care foall. that's what we are trying to do. this is an american solution. you always hear people talking about, well, what they do in canada what, they do in the u. what, they do in france. we are not talking about any of those countries. we are talking about a uniquely american solution.

Keith Ellison

2:44:57 to 2:45:17( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: not trying to be like anybody else, mr. speaker. the fact of the matter is, 3 other countries in the world and every industrialized country has national health insurance, we don't. that's why their outcomes are betternd their costs are lower, but, mr. speake we are not talking about -- comparing ourselves to some other contry.

Keith Ellison

2:45:18 to 2:45:38( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: we are not talking about what other countries do. we are talking about an american solution. that will ensure every child in america is covered. that will invest in prevention and wellness. we'll ensure that doctors and nurses get the information they need to provide individuals with the best care available. and never again will your

Keith Ellison

2:45:39 to 2:45:59( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: coverage be denied because of a pre-exising condition or your age or gender or ending a system where profits come for people and millions go without vital health care. never again, never again should we make life or a job decision based on coverage. never again should we let our families suffer medical --

Keith Ellison

2:46:00 to 2:46:20( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: excuse me, financial catastrophe or bankruptcy because of these high costs. mr. speaker, i'm coming to the point where we are probably going to wind up in not too long, but i do just want to just make a few more points before i take my seat. one the things i want to do,

Keith Ellison

2:46:21 to 2:46:41( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: mr. speaker, before we just take our seat is just point out the fact that scare tactics and fear tactics have not served the american people well, not back in 1994 when health care was defeated then. and they won't work now. we learned a lot since 1994 and we are not going for it, mr.

Keith Ellison

2:46:42 to 2:47:02( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: speaker. the fact is health care is a social imperative. it's an economic necessity. and the new study by the president's council of economic advisors demonstrates that the current health care system is on an unsustainable path. without reform, escalating health care insurance premiums

Keith Ellison

2:47:03 to 2:47:24( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: will continue to cause american workers and families to experience eroding health care benefits and stagnating wages while rising spending on health care and medicaid will lead to massive unsustainable federal budget deficit. the fact is we need change. just have a few more points to make, mr. speaker, then i'll be able to hand it over to my

Keith Ellison

2:47:25 to 2:47:45( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: colleagues on the other side of the aisle. i don' know what they are talking about, but if they talk about health care, i want you to remember what i said, mr. speaker, because these facts are critical and we cannot allow anyone to scare us away from the reform that is necessary today. the fact is, mr. speaker, the american people want change and they are going to get change and

Keith Ellison

2:47:46 to 2:48:10( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: they are going to be much, much better for it. the fact is, that we do need this public option. we do need health care reform. and as soon as i find what i was looking for i'll tell the folks

Keith Ellison

2:48:11 to 2:48:31( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: what i wanted to tell them. got what i need. so, mr. speaker, as i was saying before the fact is is that we do need the change and we can't allow it to be denied. it's time for the american people to raise their voice, mr. speaker, if they want to be heard. i talked about my friend, ann,

Keith Ellison

2:48:32 to 2:48:52( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: whose name really isn't ann, but i talked about her fear of going to get that test to determine whether she has breast cancer or not, because as i said, mr. speaker f. she gets the test she could be denied for pre-exising condition or dropped from her insurance, or if she doesn't get the test she won't be able to get the treatment to fight off that breast cancer. she's in a terrible position. she's not the only one.

Keith Ellison

2:48:53 to 2:49:14( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: i want to talk about a few other folks, mr. speaker, before i yield the microphone. i want to talk about mary from minneapolis. maryays, my daughter needed her wisdom teeth out. at the time with insurance we were told to pay $375, which we did.

Keith Ellison

2:49:15 to 2:49:35( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: then i got build for over $1,000. resubmitted, eventually the amount was reduced to $750. meantime my husband has no paycheck. i have calcium deposits in my back which make it difficult to walk, t i can't afford the co-pays so i'm waiting until it's so bad i can't walk. that's what mary from

Keith Ellison

2:49:36 to 2:49:56( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: minneapolis said with the status quo which some people in this bodyant to preserve. denise fro minneapolis says, i find more and more often that my family and i are skipping doctor visits for preventive care or even when we would have -- we would have made a visit to the doctor in the past, but now can't afford the co-payment to

Keith Ellison

2:49:57 to 2:50:19( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: be seen. this is especially true for a childhood illness as well as dental problems that could potentially be very serious, and injuries that in reality should be checked out by a doctor. my family is insured yet because of our current employment situation combined with rising health care costs, it has come

Keith Ellison

2:50:20 to 2:50:40( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: out of each -- come out of our reach to have the kind of care that we have enjoyed in the past. i feel that being left out for the inability to be able to bear the burden of the costs. this may mean that we will pay dearly in the future for things that could have been prevented or less serious than they had

Keith Ellison

2:50:41 to 2:51:01( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: been if they were able to see a doctor. that's denise from minneapolis. here's janice from golden valley, minnesota. i have worked every day since the day i turned 15. and i'm currently 51, married, with two teenage children. i have a college degree and we have always lived a balanced and frugal life.

Keith Ellison

2:51:02 to 2:51:22( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: we do not take exotic trips and mostly by generic groceries or thrift discount drugstore clothing -- discount store clothing. i do not and never have smoke or drank and i have been at my job for over 20 years, yet i bring home less and less each year due primarily to health care premiu and costs.

Keith Ellison

2:51:23 to 2:51:44( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: health care premiums and co-pays cost about 25% to 30% of my income. health care premiums cost me more than my federal, state, social security, union dues, and retirement plan deduction combined from each paycheck. the increase has been so great that we have stopped being able to contribute to savings for about four years.

Keith Ellison

2:51:45 to 2:52:06( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the one treatment -- the one thing i fear more than anything is me or family member getting sick because of what treatment will cost even beyond the premium cost. when i have a strange new sensation in my eye or vain hurting in my leg or dull pain in my chest, i just pray it will go away on its own because i'm afraid of what it will cost me.

Keith Ellison

2:52:07 to 2:52:27( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: we pay out so much for health insurance yet we cannot afford to really even use it. and i feel even worse for those who have no health care insurance at all. this reflects so badly on what america has become, a place where only the wealthiest survive and the profit by the few takes priority over the basic needs of all.

Keith Ellison

2:52:28 to 2:52:49( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: janice, i want you to know that we are fighting for patients before profits today. i want you to know, mr. speaker, about anita from roseville which is not moo my district but very close by. anita says, i work for a public school and my husband stayed home with our daughter.

Keith Ellison

2:52:50 to 2:53:10( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: we started -- we started paying -- i'm tongue tied tonight, mr. speaker, we started paying family health insurance in 2002 $10,000 out of pocket. this year we are paying $12,000 out of pocket and our co-pays are $40 a $50 a visit. our daughter is school age now, but my husband started looking for work when the economy took

Keith Ellison

2:53:11 to 2:53:31( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: its downturn last summer and still does not have a job. health insurance costs severely limit our quality of life by using up our disposable income. let me talk about prescilla from minnesota. prescilla got -- says this, i got on my husband's insurance

Keith Ellison

2:53:32 to 2:53:55( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: after the job i had discontinued coverage for me. we paid over $500 a month for this coverage. i had health insurance that came on suddenly with breathing problems. it took several hospitalizations and i.c.u. care before they finally figured out what the prlem was. my husband's insurance refused to pay for any of it, calling it a pre-existing condition.

Keith Ellison

2:53:56 to 2:54:16( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: by the way these will be banned under the plan offered by democrats. calling it a pre-existing condition. back to prescilla. and we were left with a medical bill for over $25,000 to pay ourselves. this was at the same time we were spending $500 per month on premiums.

Keith Ellison

2:54:17 to 2:54:37( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the provider sent our bill to collections. it has been a nightmare. my house is now disabled. and we have no coverage. yet this condition requires regular cat scans and nine different medications to make sure his condition is stable. i urge my colleagues who stand in the way of reform to listen

Keith Ellison

2:54:38 to 2:55:00( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: to these good decent people. they deserve better. they deserve better. let's not worry about what the chamber of commerce and what phrma want. let's worry about our constituents and patients of america. i'm going to just read one more story from doug, mr. speak, and then after that i'll make

Keith Ellison

2:55:01 to 2:55:24( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: some closing comments. i recently refilled my mail order predescriptions. i get as many generics as possible. however i'm a diabetic and both types of my insulin are not generic, neither are blood pressure medication or cholesterol medication and glucose test strips.

Keith Ellison

2:55:25 to 2:55:46( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: . my insurance company has made them free, quote, unquote, free for mail order while nonen erics doubled in price i chose the glue coast test strips because i can buy them and ration them by testing less than i should.

Keith Ellison

2:55:47 to 2:56:08( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: i'm still spending more money than i can afford and i'm afraid that my bank account will be overdrawn. if that happens, i will not be able to offer fooor gas for myself and my son. i could borrow from my elderly mother, but it looks like they will be losing their insurance

Keith Ellison

2:56:09 to 2:56:30( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: coverage from a failing car company. have a good job -- i have a good job with good benefits. that's what his last line says. i have a good job with quote, unquote, good benefits. i hope the constituents won't be

Keith Ellison

2:56:31 to 2:56:53( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: disappointed because i wasn't able to read their story. mary from minneapolis, denise from minneapolis, janice from golden valley, mary from minnesota, priscilla from minnesota, maria from minnesota, doug from minnesota, all calling

Keith Ellison

2:56:54 to 2:57:14( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: in and sharing very courageously their health care nightmare that they need to be relieved of. they need reform, mr. speaker. and the time for change is now. they need reform, mr. speaker. and the time for change is now. and so let me wrap up my

Keith Ellison

2:57:15 to 2:57:36( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: comments by just saying that it's wrong in the first three months of 2009 that the u.s. chamber of commerce and phrma paid to promote their interests which is to thwart reform of health care. and it is very disturbing that the "washington post" had to

Keith Ellison

2:57:37 to 2:57:59( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: report recently that the nation largest insurers have hired more than 350 former government staffers and retired members of congress in hopes of influencing us to thwart reform. and it's actually disgusting that the health care industry is spending more than $1.4 million

Keith Ellison

2:58:00 to 2:58:22( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: a day lobbying to thwart health care reform. mr. speaker, as a member of the progressive caucus vision of an america where  ?p people who are sick can go to the doctor, mr. speaker, as a member of the progressive caucus

Keith Ellison

2:58:23 to 2:58:43( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: that has a vision that we all can have deesp ent, affordable health care, i urge my colleagues, mr. speaker, to think about these decent people, anita, janice and others, because surely in their districts they have people just like these good people who need

Keith Ellison

2:58:44 to 2:59:05( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: change. let's say yes to the american people, mr. speaker. it's been an honor appearing here on the house floor with the progressive message and with the and mr. speaker, people

Keith Ellison

2:59:06 to 2:59:15( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: communicate by going to this

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