Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 07-16-09 on Jul 16th, 2009 :: 0:37:50 to 0:55:55
Total video length: 4 hours 37 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:451 Duration: 0:18:05 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Keith Ellison

0:37:43 to 0:38:04( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: referred to the committee on foreign affairs and orred printed. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. ellison: thank you, mr. speaker. my name is keith ellison, i'm appearing on behalf of the progressive caucus, which is

Keith Ellison

0:37:50 to 0:55:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison

0:38:05 to 0:38:26( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: coming again to the floor, mr. speaker, to discuss a progressive vision for america, a vision of america that has a central focus of american quality of life being better for all people. that has the central focus of the welfare of americans being better than it was before.

Keith Ellison

0:38:27 to 0:38:48( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: in the progressive caucus, mr. speaker, we have a set of values which say that yes, we can live in harmony with the planet earth. yes, we can engage in activity that will allow all americans to have health care. yes, we can have civil rights for all people, yes, america can be a party and a member in

Keith Ellison

0:38:49 to 0:39:10( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the global village in which we promote peace and in which we stand with nations who are struggling to emerge around the world. the progressive vision for america, the progressive vision that says that the greatest points of our nation's history were when we passed the law for civil rights for all people. a progressive vision where we said the wagner act, where

Keith Ellison

0:39:11 to 0:39:31( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: workers will have rights was a great moment in american history. a progressive vision where we put together the resources necessary to pull america out of the great depression and into a greater level of rights, a greater level of community.

Keith Ellison

0:39:32 to 0:39:53( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: tonight, we're talking about health care. i hope to be joined by my colleagues soon, but i want to set out that this is the congressional progressive message, mr. speaker, if anybody wants to communicate with us, do so very important people know how to get in touch with us.

Keith Ellison

0:39:54 to 0:40:14( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: s the progress i message where we come every week on the house floor to talk about a ogressive vision. health care is the topic. health care is the issue in front of the american people today. health care is what everybody is talking about here on capitol hill. and this is the progressive message. we'll talk about a progressive vision for america.

Keith Ellison

0:40:15 to 0:40:36( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: mr. speaker, i'm using these boards to help illustrate a point. but the main concept here as we talk about the progressive vision for america's health care, we want to start out with a central idea. and that is, care should be the watch word. we should be talking about care.

Keith Ellison

0:40:37 to 0:40:57( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: not who pays, not who doesn't pay, care. we should be talking about not all the complicated mechanisms first, we'll get to that. it's time to talk about that. and that will be a good and appropriate time to raise these re complicated issues. but the first thing we start with awe talk about the

Keith Ellison

0:40:58 to 0:41:19( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: progressive vision is care. health care. care should be where we start, care should be how we end. if we care for each other as americans, if we regard all americans as essential and important we will construct a health care system and bring forth health care reform which makes sense for everybody. which costs less than this

Keith Ellison

0:41:20 to 0:41:41( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: system does now because this system is not driven by care, it's driven by something else, which i'll get to in a moment. we also have to have in this health care reform package a public option. but when ise the word public option, what i mean is a we're-all-in-this-together option.

Keith Ellison

0:41:42 to 0:42:03( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: a public option says, we will have a public option, together with private options, in which the public can say, look, i want to select that public option because it works for me d my family or my business and that's what people can take advantage of. there will be private options in the public -- in the system, health care reform starts with

Keith Ellison

0:42:04 to 0:42:25( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the idea of care and states that the public option, which will be included in this health care reform bill and is in the bill now, is really a we're-in-this-together option. that's what it's about. that's the point. we'll talk more about that later. i think it's important when we talk about a public option, we're talking about an option that's available for americans

Keith Ellison

0:42:26 to 0:42:46( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: to select which really says we're not going to leave you out in the cold. you're not by yourself. this ownership society is not a in fact, it's a society in which we're all in this thing together. .6 c1 so, mr. speaker, as i sai before,ere's what drives our vision.

Keith Ellison

0:42:47 to 0:43:07( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: but the system, the status quo, has something else driving the vision, health care reform means patients before profits. that's what health care refo means. health care reform doesn't mean there will be profits, but of course there will be private businesses on the exchange, there will be people making money, doctors will continue to make good salaries, nurses as

Keith Ellison

0:43:08 to 0:43:28( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: well, other people who do good things for our society will be compensated, of course. but the fact is, we will not have the insurance companies who are not allowed to just charge anything they want and pay their c.e.o.'s anything they want, we will have something with patient care will be just as important in

Keith Ellison

0:43:29 to 0:43:51( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: this health care reform system. so i want to talk tonight, mr. speaker, about exact what health care reform must include. so let me just get to this board and then i have a chart which will simplify it. because, mr. speaker, i believe there are folks who want to make this thing complicated.

Keith Ellison

0:43:52 to 0:44:12( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: and people switch off their mind and say it's really complicated, i don't get it and seem to be talking bad about it and won't plug in. but i want the americans to know what this health care reform bill is talking about. it makes care the operative phrase in health care and puts patients before profits,

Keith Ellison

0:44:13 to 0:44:35( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: although profits are not out of the picture, they' around. but patient care is what really is driving the conversation. a health care reform bill must include guaranteed eligibility. no american will be turned away from any insurance plan because of illness or preexisting conditions. mr. speaker, how many americans

Keith Ellison

0:44:36 to 0:44:56( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: are home rightow checking over their bills, who are perhaps anxiety ridden or maybe even in tears because they've just been dropped or denied coverage because of a preexisting condition? i told a story last week, mr. speaker, about a dear friend of mine who called me aside in a community forum i had on health care in my hometown of

Keith Ellison

0:44:57 to 0:45:17( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: mieapolis, minnesota, and said to me with tears in her eyes that she had a dilemma. she didn't know what to do. her sister and her mom had succumbed to breast cancer. she thinks she's at risk. she knows that if she goes to get the tests to find out, then

Keith Ellison

0:45:18 to 0:45:40( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: she will be presumed to have a preexisting condition and could be dropped. but if she doesn't and she does have the early stages of breast cancer, she will not be getting the care she n so she gets the care test, now she can be dropped for having a preexisting condition. if she doesn't get the test

Keith Ellison

0:45:41 to 0:46:02( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: now, she has -- her breast cancer cou this is the situation that so many americans are in today and it's wrong. and the health care reform we're talking about, guaranteed eligibility, no american will be turned away from any insurance plan because of lness or preexisting conditions. meaning that the health care company and insurance companies just can't insure the people

Keith Ellison

0:46:03 to 0:46:23( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: who are well, the people who never make claims, they've got to insure everybody. comprehensive benefits. the new public plan, this is you're-not-on knife your own plan will include maternity, mental health, and disease management programs. this is comprehensive benefits

Keith Ellison

0:46:24 to 0:46:44( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: and different from some of those plans you get that's a good plan for health care only it doesn't cover anything, only it has a highetectable, high co-pay and high premium and doest offer any real coverage, that's excluded, doesn't cover this, doesn't cover that. that's not the plan we're talking about, comprehensive benefits.

Keith Ellison

0:46:45 to 0:47:05( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: affordable premiums, co-pays and deductibles. as i said, they've got a certain version of health care out there now that the private market has cost up, where they have high co-pays, high premiums, high deductibles, meaning if you go to the doctor, you've got to pay a

Keith Ellison

0:47:06 to 0:47:28( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: lot, you've got to pay a lot out of your check every two weeks or every month when you get paid. and then if you need a procedure, you've got to cough it out of your own personal money because they don't cover anything or even nearly everything. so participants will be judged

Keith Ellison

0:47:29 to 0:47:50( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: preventative services. that means if you want to stay healthy by doing preventative health care that option will be available to you. subsidies, individuals and families who don't call phi for medicaid or s chip but still need assistance will receive

Keith Ellison

0:47:51 to 0:48:12( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: subsidies and keep health care affordable. we won't leave anyone out even the people on the low prev the doctor and this will be covered. health care reform, guaranteed eligibility, no exclusion for a preexisting condition, co plan that covers things you need, affordable premiums, co-pays and deductibles and

Keith Ellison

0:48:13 to 0:48:33( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: subsidies for people who need them. so this was a chart that we developed, mr. speaker, to try to make it simple for folks because it is complicated. it's our job in congress to try to boil this stuff down and make it digestible so we came up with this little chart to try to talk about what's going on.

Keith Ellison

0:48:34 to 0:48:55( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: let's just say we're here at the path to health care for all. sop here at the top of the box, mr. speaker, you've got every american. right now in what the plan will yield is basically three of these levels you'll fit into. one is employee based insurance. you heard president obama say if you like your health care, keep it.

Keith Ellison

0:48:56 to 0:49:18( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: that's what that is. if you like your health care, keep it. it's exactly what you have now if you have employee based health care. that is going to cost less. there will be no more discrimination for preexisting conditions. there will be no discrimination for age or gender. and we'll have medical ratio of 85% because 85% of the premiums must go to patient care.

Keith Ellison

0:49:19 to 0:49:39( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: so they won't be able to dress up their pockets with those $100 million salaries some of these health care insurance company c.e.o.'s make. then there's the plan -- so this is a lot like we have now only we'll have improvement because of cost, because of the the medical loss ratio and because of the banning of the

Keith Ellison

0:49:40 to 0:50:00( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: exclusion for preexisting condition. then also we have public programs that exist now, medicare, medicare, s-chip, available to seniors and families below poverty line. we'll have all of that. still there. what's going to be new, mr. speaker, is health care

Keith Ellison

0:50:01 to 0:50:22( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: insurance ex this is going to be -- this bubble is going to be kind of new. and it's going to go into effect in a few months perhaps after we pass the bill. perhaps as much as 12 months, but it will be counted in months. health care insurace exchange. eligible individuals and small businesses will be able to go into the exchange, and what

Keith Ellison

0:50:23 to 0:50:45( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: will be on the exchange, private insurance plans for the people can purchase and will be what you'll have there is a public option. now, people who go into the health care exchange will be subsidized up to 400% of the poverty level. that means if you're at the poverty level times four, you take that income you have at

Keith Ellison

0:50:46 to 0:51:07( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the poverty level, times four, you know, if you make 400% of the poverty level, meaning you make well over the poverty level but till still -- but still don't have enough for health care, you did receive -- you can receive some sort of subsidy to make sure you can afford coverage. then you can go into the exchange and it might be on a -- you might be able to pick

Keith Ellison

0:51:08 to 0:51:29( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: your policy because the policies will be standardized and yoll be able to get -- pick one, a public plan or a private plan. and you'll be able to get your health care policy picking the one that you want. guaranteeing that you'll have a choice. guaranteeing that you'll have options and you'll be able to select based on your needs. we're going to revisit this

Keith Ellison

0:51:30 to 0:51:50( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: chart in a moment, mr. speaker, because it's important to go back to it. so i just wanted to say that tonight what we want to do with this progressive hour, with progressive -- with this progressive ho we want to talk to folks to help them understand the health care reform plan, helping folks to

Keith Ellison

0:51:51 to 0:52:12( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: understand what the public option is. as i said before, the public option should be understood. it's something that's going to help you. it's something that means this is our commitment to each other. like social security is our commitment to each other, like other important programs are a commitment to each other, so what we all do together to make

Keith Ellison

0:52:13 to 0:52:33( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: sure people can make it, this is what the public option represents. so, mr. speaker, many in congress, the house and senate, believe that any significant health care reform package must include a robust public option. we've seen leaders, brave, courageous legislators like russ feingold in the senate and

Keith Ellison

0:52:34 to 0:52:54( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: bernie sanders and chuck schumer in the senate over in the other body talking about the importance of a public option. but here in the house we've heard the same commitment from some great leaders like john lewis, lois capps and like congressman pingri from maine who is new to this body all making important commitments to support a public option, on

Keith Ellison

0:52:55 to 0:53:16( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: both sides. and of course we heard the president talk about the public option as well. so we have people in both houses and in the president's office talking about the public option. we talk a little bit about what it means. but let me just elaborate on that a little bit. what it means at its heart is it means giving the uninsured

Keith Ellison

0:53:17 to 0:53:37( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: the option to enroll in a public health care plan sort of like medicare. that's what it means. giving the uninsured the option , the choice, the choice to enroll in a public health care plan like medicare, a public insurance option would compete -- we're talking competition here, mr. speaker.

Keith Ellison

0:53:38 to 0:53:58( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: we're not talking aboutot competing. we are talking about competing. we don't have much competition, but with the public option we will have some competition. and this public option will compete on a level playing field with private health insurers and the uninsured individuals will get a chance to choose which plan is best

Keith Ellison

0:53:59 to 0:54:19( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: for them. if you look at the hlth care rket today and you go into a given area, everybody knows that one or two firms dominate in that particular area, maybe three. sometimes you just really don't have any optns at all, mr. speaker. and so we have a lack of insurance right now.

Keith Ellison

0:54:20 to 0:54:41( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: a lack of competition now and what we need to do is get some real competition. and why is having a public health care option important? many reasons. but here are a few. a broad number of research and a broad spectrum of research has confirmed that the public

Keith Ellison

0:54:42 to 0:55:03( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: health insurer's option is a key component of cost continuum, to drive down the cost of heth care, you need a public option. because what it does is it introduces more competition, lower administrative expenses and drive cost saving innovation. some folks don't know our health insurance industry right

Keith Ellison

0:55:04 to 0:55:27( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: now is exempt from anti-trust legislation and doesn't really have to compete. but a public option will drive them to competition which is a good thing. also, need for a public option, according to research from the commonwealth fund, the net administrative cost for medicare and medicaid are 5% and 8% respectively. these are plans, medicare and

Keith Ellison

0:55:28 to 0:55:49( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: medicaid, which already drive reasonable costs down so that folks who participate in these programsre not being charged for a bunch of stuff that they don't need, they're getting low administrative costs. i just want to say i've been joined now by one of my favorite colleagues, donna edwards, who by the way is a pretty good softball player, that's an aside.

Keith Ellison

0:55:50 to 0:55:56( Edit History Discussion )

Keith Ellison: but congresswoman edwards is here. she represents the district of maryland. and let me just give her a

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid