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Senate Proceeding 01-08-09 on Jan 8th, 2009 :: 0:43:55 to 0:58:40
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Sheldon Whitehouse

0:43:36 to 0:44:01( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator recognized. mr. whitehouse: madam president, i request that the pending quorum call: be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. whitehouse: may i further ask unanimous consent that the following staff members from senate shaheen's office be given floor privileges for today's

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:43:55 to 0:58:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Sheldon Whitehouse

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:44:03 to 0:44:23( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: session: mora rearcontinue and michael youth the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. whitehouse: and i ask to morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. whitehouse: today senator dash will has come before the -- daschle has come before the

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:44:24 to 0:44:45( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: committee as head of the committee for health and houston services. i know all of our the senate found it moving and wonderful to see the distinguished chairman of that committee, senator kennedy, back in his chair, leading that hearing. we are all delighted to see him back at work here in the senate and we're delighted to see senator daschle back with us in

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:44:46 to 0:45:06( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: the senate in this exciting new capacity. we know that every american deserves health care he or she can afford. senator daschle knows to do that we need basic, systemic reform that will improve the way health care is delivered in this country. senator daschle has already brought forward ideas like the creation of a federal health

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:45:07 to 0:45:27( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: board that have contributed enormously to the health care reform debate, and i hope very much he will further at h.h.s. his nomination and president-elect obama's creation of a new white house office of health care reform emphasizes their serious commitment to solving this bedeviling problem.

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:45:28 to 0:45:50( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: senator daschle will bring distinguished, thoughtful leadership to the crisis in our nation's health care system. health care reform is the signal challenge facing our families, our economy,nd our government. and i wanted to take a few minutes today to speak about this great challenge and the urgent need for action. we all know the system is broken.

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:45:51 to 0:46:12( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: the evidence lies all around us. in across the country, when a lost job is frightening, not just because it means lost income, but because it means lost health care, our health care system is broken. when sudden illness strikes and insurae won't cover the costs,

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:46:13 to 0:46:35( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: our health care system is broken. when families have to wait to see a doctor until it's too late because they have no health insurance to pay for the vifort, our health care system is broken. we see the evidence of the broken system in the stagging cost of health care in this country.

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:46:36 to 0:46:56( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: our g.d.p. on health care. that's about twice what our major industrialized competitor nations spend. the annual cost of the system exceeds trillion, and it's expected soon to double. family health emergencies have been the most common cause of personal bankruptcy, and

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:46:57 to 0:47:17( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: businesses large and small struggle under the weight of ever-increasing health insurance costs. there's more health care than steel in ford's cars, and more health care than coffee in starbucks' coffee. and yet for all of that money what do we get? we still leave 46 million

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:47:18 to 0:47:38( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: americans uninsured. 46 million wrenching stories of health care foregone, of personal lost. and that doesn't even include the experiences of our nation's underinsured or small business owners struggling to provide health insurance or the many americans who just receive

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:47:39 to 0:48:01( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: poor-quality health care. president-elect obama is committed to reforming this broken system and it's taken swift action to engage the american people in a national conversation about what's wrong and what we can do to fix it. last month he and secretary-designate daschle asked people to hold meetings in their communities to discuss health care reform and to share

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:48:02 to 0:48:22( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: their ideas. in the end, there is no better way to understand the deep failures of our health care system and the very real pain, frustration, anxiety, and anger that it causes than to talk to the people who've experienced it firsthand. over the past few years, in

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:48:23 to 0:48:43( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: community dinners that i have around our state, in my office, as i travel around, many, many rhode islanders have reached out to me to share their stories and to urge that we work urgently to repair that broken system. madam president, i'd like to take a moment and share a few of those stories.

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:48:44 to 0:49:05( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: a mother in narragansett, rhode island, shared a story about hear 20-year-old son who suffered from severe disorder and relies on therapy and expensive medications to remain a valued and ploddive member of his community. her family health insurance plan and his preexisting condition

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:49:06 to 0:49:27( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: makes buying insurance on the individual market impossible, prohibitively expensive. so what did they do? this mother and her family came up with a surprising solution. they enrolled her son at the community college of rhode island so that he could participate in the student health insurance plan.

Sheldon Whitehouse

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

Sheldon Whitehouse: he takes the absolute minimum course load in order to to work, but he remains a student because it is less expensive to pay for college tuition than it is to pay for individual health insurance. any parent with a child in college knows what a burden this rhode island family is to ensure that their son gets

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:49:50 to 0:50:10( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: the basic treatment he needs to stay healthy. i also heard from the proud owneof a bookkeeping and tax preparation service in warwick, rhode island. she has worked tirelessly to raise five sons, go back to college and finally she's become her own boss. and yet despite all of her

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:50:11 to 0:50:31( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: effort and success, she wrote me to plead for reform. she wrote this: "i spend over 50% of my income just to have health insurance for my husband and myself. the premiums are over ,000 per month, even with very high deductibles. my employees need insurance also, but i'm unable

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:50:32 to 0:50:52( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: to provide them with any benefits because of the poor economic conditions." her employees are like family to her. like in so many small businesses. and it breaks her heart that they're uninsured. yet she says that she simply will not be able to keep her doors open if she tried to contribute toward their

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:50:53 to 0:51:14( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: benefits. in the midst of this economic downturn and particularly in rhode island where the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation, this story shows all too clearly how closely linked are the tasks of reforming our health care system and strengthening our economy. our health ce system manages

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:51:15 to 0:51:36( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: to fail even those who believe themselves to be covered. a woman who lives and who has health insurance and was always careful to pay her bills on time assumed that she would be covered in the event of an emergency. why not? she was premiums, she had insurance.

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:51:37 to 0:51:58( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: but not too long ago, she suddenly had to have her appendix removed, despite having health insurance, she left that hospital with a 0,000 bill. she's currently working for a temp service and has no idea how she can pay off this debt. she'd recently bought her own

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:51:59 to 0:52:20( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: home, a longtime dream and an accomplishment in which she took great pride. and now, because of the print of thatealth insurance policy, s risks losing the home that she worked so long to afford. as this rhode islander learned in the hardest way possible,

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:52:21 to 0:52:41( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: health insurance often ends up it's on behalf of these rhode islanders and so many others that i urge my colleague come together to support health care reform that will lower costs and improve the quality of care for all americans. we must improve the way we deliver health care by promoting

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:52:42 to 0:53:03( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: quality, implementing health information technologies, and investing in we must and will protect existing coverage when it is good. we must improve it when it is not. and we must guarantee health

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:53:04 to 0:53:28( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: care for the 46 million of americans, 9 million of whom are children, who have no health insurance at all. we see ourselves now in darkening and tumultuous economic times, and yet looking beyond the immediate economic

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:53:29 to 0:53:49( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: perils we face, there is a 5 trillion unfunded liability for medicare that is bearing down on us. it is bearing down on us because our population is aging, because people get sicker as they age, and that makes them more

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:53:50 to 0:54:10( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: expensive. unless we figure out in this chamber a way to unless we if i can out a way in this chamber to reverse the aging process, unless we figure out a way in this chamber make elders have healthier lives

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:54:11 to 0:54:32( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: and bodies, then younger people -- than young people, this is inevitable. its coming at us, and we to prepare. in order to prepare, we have to reform the health care delivery system. we are committed, as democrats, to making sure that every

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:54:33 to 0:54:53( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: american has health insurance coverage. but it is not bring everyone into the boat. if you had a boat in the ocean and people swimming around it and to save them you needed to bring them into the boat, you would do that. but if the boat itself was

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:54:54 to 0:55:17( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: sinking, if the on fire, just bringing everybody into the boat is not an adequate discharge of your duties. it is also important that you repair the boat, that you get it steaming forward, that you make sure it is safe for the people

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:55:18 to 0:55:39( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: who you bring into it. that means reforming our health information technology infrastructure so that every american can count on an electronic health record, so that when you go doctor, you don't have to fill out that clipboard one time

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:55:40 to 0:56:00( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: after another when at the sam time you can sign onto amazon and not only do they know who you are, they know what you've bought and they've got suggestions for you based your buying habits. there is no excuse for our health the 1950's ashe rest of the

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:56:01 to 0:56:21( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: economy moves forward into the 21st century. it requires improving the quality of health care and it requires investing in prevention. we dramatically underinvest in prevention and quality. there are market failures that causes those they are reparable, and in

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:56:22 to 0:56:43( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: addition to the cost savings, it's estimated that 100,000 americans die every year -- 100,000 america die every year because of avoidable medical errors. it is simply not tolerable to allow that to continue, particularly where it is a win-win situation, improved quality of care means

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:56:44 to 0:57:06( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: lower cost. and finally, the third leg of the reform, inddition to health information technology and quality and prevention reform, is that we have to reform care to align the price signal that we send by those payments with what we want from health care. until we do that, we will be

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:57:07 to 0:57:27( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: constantly struggling uphill againstur own financial message. this is all this is all so doable, but it will take time. these are complex matters. we will have to make adjustments. the adjustments will take

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:57:28 to 0:57:48( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: it's a dynamic environment which will have to make course corrections along the way. that means that we need to start now. we do not have the luxury of time on our side. if we do not get started on a thoroughgoing health care delivery system reform now, then

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:57:49 to 0:58:10( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: the alternative will be times that are even larker and mortem multiwith us than we find ourselves in multiwith us than we find ourselves in right now. i see the chairman of the budget committee, a man with an eloquent voice on the dark and tumultuous times on the one and risks we take from the current situation on the floor.

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:58:11 to 0:58:31( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: so i will gladly yield at this point and i thank the chair, the presiding officer. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from noh dakota is recognized. mr. conrad: madam president, first of all, i want to thank senator whitehouse for his contributions to this chamber. he has just been an outstanding

Sheldon Whitehouse

0:58:32 to 0:58:42( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: he serves on the budget committee with me, developed a special expertise on health care which is so need.

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