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Senate Proceeding on Jan 28th, 2009 :: 5:42:35 to 6:00:20
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Chuck Grassley

5:42:27 to 5:42:47( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: quorum call: mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding offi senator from mr. grassley: i calling of the quorum be susp the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered mr. grassley: if it's ok colleagues here, i want to -- i'd like to do a short one on morning business and then a

Chuck Grassley

5:42:35 to 6:00:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

5:42:48 to 5:43:10( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: longer one on the bill -- or the kyl amendment. is that ok? ok. thank you. like permission to speak as if morning business for a few minutes. the presiding officer: so authorized. mr. grassley: it's no secret that i have worked for decades to bring greater trans

Chuck Grassley

5:43:11 to 5:43:32( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and accountability to all facets of government operations. if there's one thing that i learned over those years, it is that you cannot achieve the goal of greater transparency accountability without the today we are experiencing the greatest financial crisis of our nation's history. daily we hear of more companies failing and the need for my

Chuck Grassley

5:43:33 to 5:43:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: more billions of federal funds to save this bank or that investment company. in response to this crisis, the treasury department unveiled initial plan to buy stakes in banks and other financial firms. that trouble asset relief program known to all of us

Chuck Grassley

5:43:57 to 5:44:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: by the acronym and it is costing american taxpayers in order to bring maximum responsibility, there is strong investigator -- inspector general.

Chuck Grassley

5:44:19 to 5:44:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: similarly in an effort to provide maximum transparency, congress required the government ac around here as g.a.o., to monitor an oversee the tarp program as well. the government accountability office's mission is to look at the overall performance of the initiative and its impact on the

Chuck Grassley

5:44:40 to 5:45:00( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: financial system. the general account -- government accountability office is also required to prepare regular reports for however, the government accountability office cannot do its job without access to information. and i have learned that it does not have all needs.

Chuck Grassley

5:45:01 to 5:45:21( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: although the government accountability officean examine the records of the treasury itself and of any of its agents or the government accountability office does not have access to the books and records enties that receive tarp funds.

Chuck Grassley

5:45:22 to 5:45:42( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and the connection there is public dollars. the public ought to have tonow. believe it or not the government accountability office can't have access to information from the banks and investment compani that receive billions of taxpayers' dollars. that is the problem and this

Chuck Grassley

5:45:43 to 5:46:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: legi introducing is intended to fix that as well. the government government accountability office is -- the gove is supposed to be ears of the congress -- and ears of the congress of the united states. well, it can't do that job wearing blinders and ear plugs.

Chuck Grassley

5:46:04 to 5:46:25( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: now, mr. president, i'd like to speak on kyl amendment number 46 named after senator kyl from arizona. i strongly support the amendment that has been offered by senator kyl. and this is to the children's health insurance bill. this amendment would

Chuck Grassley

5:46:26 to 5:46:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the crowd-out policies that we agreed to by both sides in the -- in health insurance bills that we debated here in the senate in 2007. for reons that i cannot fathom this important section of the

Chuck Grassley

5:46:47 to 5:47:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: bill was dropped this year. a high incident of crowd-out is problematic for many reasons. before we go any fur to make sure that it's clear what the term crowd-out means. crowd-out can have many meanings, in fact, so let me elaborate. the crowd-out thate're

Chuck Grassley

5:47:09 to 5:47:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: referring to is when a family already has health coverage for their child and they cancel that policy to put them on a government program. this is referred to as crowd-out with the idea that when the government comes in and offers taxpayers subsidized health coverage, it crowds out the

Chuck Grassley

5:47:31 to 5:47:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: coverage that was already there in the first place. this is a bad thing when it happens for a number of reasons. so i'll go first of more difficult for employers to offer health insurance coverage. it especially

Chuck Grassley

5:47:52 to 5:48:13( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: employers who may be unable to meet health plan participation requirements. it has cost of coverage for those who have private plans because it removes a large number of young and healthy individuals from the risk pool, thus spreading the cost of

Chuck Grassley

5:48:14 to 5:48:34( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: across smaller and, in most cases, older pools. the second reason why crowd-out is bad is that it inappropriately uses dollars to fund cov could have been provided by an employer. individuals coverage that had been

Chuck Grassley

5:48:35 to 5:48:55( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: part by their employer or do not enroll in plans offered and subsidized by their employer to enroll in such a private plan. when this employer's contribution to those plans is replaced by taxpayer dollars.

Chuck Grassley

5:48:56 to 5:49:19( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: crowds out health coverage that was already there. it means that taxpayers subsidized coverage is gradually creeping in and taking over the market. but it is also bad because it's a waste of taxpayers' money. and this is where we emphasize, because even though this bill meets a good goal of

Chuck Grassley

5:49:20 to 5:49:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: four milon covered, the question is: are we using the best use of the taxpayers' dollars because there's another several million out there that we ought to cover? and so when you're taking -- incentivizing private coverage for taxpayer support, then that money isn't available for the millions of

Chuck Grassley

5:49:42 to 5:50:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: people that a covered. when crowd-out happens, it means that the federal taxpayers are being told to pay for coverage for someone that already had coverage. if that chi coverage, then it goes without saying that this child was not

Chuck Grassley

5:50:04 to 5:50:25( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: uninsured. remember, the whole problem here is when the paying for coverage that was already there. so the more that the children's health insurance programs allowed to e incomes, the biggerhe problem crowd-out becomes.

Chuck Grassley

5:50:26 to 5:50:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the focus of this bill shall be covering millions of uninsured kids that we have in america with emphasis upon the lower the income, the more rationale there probably is for covering kids. crowd-out is also a bigger problem when the children's health insurance programs try to cover

Chuck Grassley

5:50:47 to 5:51:07( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: it's easy to see why. children who live in families with higher incomes are much more private coverage. it means more taxpayer dollars being spent on kids who already have coverage. and it means fewer cover the lower-income kids who

Chuck Grassley

5:51:08 to 5:51:28( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: are still uninsured. so it's really backwards when this when scrace taxpayers' dollars are used to pay for coverage for someone who was -- wasn't uninsured in the first place, this is a complete waste and mismanagement of scrace resources.

Chuck Grassley

5:51:29 to 5:51:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and it's a waste of scrace federal dollars at a time when we cannot afford to do that. it also means that dollar that could have been used to cover a child have any health insurance whatsoever. the policies that members on both sides of the aisle agreed

Chuck Grassley

5:51:51 to 5:52:12( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: to in both this bipartisan -- both of the bipartisan children's health insurance bills that we debated in 2007 had a very good policy to minimize crowd-out. let me take a second here. mr. president, i'll continue.

Chuck Grassley

5:52:13 to 5:52:34( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: first of all, those bills that we were talking was just talking about similar children health insurance bills that we debated and passed in 2007, they had very good policies t minimize this problem that we referred to as crowd-out. first of all,

Chuck Grassley

5:52:35 to 5:52:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: out a press in place to study the issue of crowd-out. it asked the government accountability office to do a report for congress describing the best practices that the - each of the 50 states are using to address the issue of crowd-out and whether or not things like geographic variation or family income aects crowd-out.

Chuck Grassley

5:52:57 to 5:53:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the provision eliminated in the bill before the senate -- and this is year in 2009 -- would require the institute of medicine to report on the timely way to measure on children and the best way to measure crowd-out. that provision was eliminated in

Chuck Grassley

5:53:18 to 5:53:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: this bill. based the secretary of health and human services was required to develop and publish recommendations regarding best practices for states in crowd-out. the secretary was also required to implement a uniform standard for data collection by states

Chuck Grassley

5:53:40 to 5:54:00( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: measure and report coverage for low-income children and crowd-out. the bipartisan crowd-out policy of two years ago would also require statements having received the recommendation from the secretary to describe how state was addressing children's health insurance program crow

Chuck Grassley

5:54:01 to 5:54:22( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: incorporating the best practices developed by the secreta the crowd-out policy both bipartisan bil included an enforcement mechan accountable for minimizing crowd-out when they expand to higher income levels.

Chuck Grassley

5:54:23 to 5:54:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: this is a very important because as we learned from the 2007 the report from the congressional budget office, crowd-out is a acute problem in children's health insurance programs cause crowd-out occurs more frequently at higher income the congressional budget office

Chuck Grassley

5:54:46 to 5:55:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: report also concludes that -- quote -- "in general the program to children and higher-income families is likely to gerate more of an offsetting reduction in private coverage than expanding the program to more children in low-income families. and i want to emphasi

Chuck Grassley

5:55:09 to 5:55:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: public at-large my -- my colleagues know this, the congressionabudget office is a nonpartisan, fiscal expert. so this is not a partisan issue that repo going on to refer to the congressional budget office, that office estimates that --

Chuck Grassley

5:55:31 to 5:55:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: quote -- "the reduction in private coverage amo children is between a quarter and a half of the incre coverage resultingrom the championshichipbill. for every 100 children who enroll as a

Chuck Grassley

5:55:52 to 5:56:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: program, there is a corresponding reduction in private coverage between 20 50 children." end of quote from c.b.o. therefore under both bipartisan bills the secretary using the improved data mechanism would determine if a state that was covering children over 300% of

Chuck Grassley

5:56:15 to 5:56:35( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: poverty was doing a good covering low-income c the purpose of schip in 1997 to cover low-incom had any cover. so you spend a lot of time covering higher income families and you have less money then to

Chuck Grassley

5:56:36 to 5:56:58( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: cover low-income kids. and you even exacerbates that problem. it was determined that a state -- if it was determined that a state was not doing good job then the state will not be able to receive feder

Chuck Grassley

5:56:59 to 5:57:19( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: children over 300% of poverty. so there -- there's kind of a sense we aren't arguing about if you want to cover people above 300%. t by golly as a gate if you -- as a state if you're not doing a good job of taking care of the low-income kids

Chuck Grassley

5:57:20 to 5:57:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the bill in the first place, you shouldn't be covering children over 300% of poverty. this crowd-out policy in both bipartisan bills of 2007 would have worked to minimize crowd-out by making sure that states are staying focused coring low-income kids. so it's a very important issue.

Chuck Grassley

5:57:42 to 5:58:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and it is one that we worked together on on a bipartisan basis. there was a lot of debate about crowd-out i2007 when we had children's health insurance program. everybody recognized this to be a very big problem. so this is why i'm so

Chuck Grassley

5:58:04 to 5:58:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: baffled as to why my democratic colleagues would abandon a provision that they helped develop. -- develop in a bipartisan bill two years ago. i don't know why they would want to strike such an important part helps blunt sharp criticisms that the bill when it allowed

Chuck Grassley

5:58:27 to 5:58:47( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: states to expand 300% of poverty. and the bill before us now allows expansion to even higher and higher income congressional -- as the congressional budget office says, the crowd-out problem is going to be even worse under

Chuck Grassley

5:58:48 to 5:59:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: this bill than it is already. according to the budget office table detailing estimates of enrollment based on this will public coverage. this is a very troubling number. the fact that the senate bill

Chuck Grassley

5:59:09 to 5:59:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: does not address this problem and goes back on policies that were worked out on a bipartisan basis is problematic. i hope that members will reevaluate their opposition to policies, to reduce crowd-out and vote in sup amendment that i've been talking

Chuck Grassley

5:59:31 to 5:59:53( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: about that my colleague, senator l from arizona, has introduced to the entire senate. here. we need to keep the children' health insurance program focused where it first started out in 1997, on lower-income kids.

Chuck Grassley

5:59:54 to 6:00:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and for case of a handful of states, covering more adults than they do even kids. we need to prevent s taxpayer funds from being used to pay for kids who already health coverage. we need to put this bipartisan policy that we have in two bills

Chuck Grassley

6:00:15 to 6:00:28( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: in 2007 back in this bill. so i urge my colleagues to support the kyl amendment and to do just that.

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