Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Mar 4th, 2010 :: 1:13:00 to 1:34:30
Total video length: 10 hours 9 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:133 Duration: 0:21:30 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Max Baucus

1:12:56 to 1:13:16( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: i thank dr. barrasso. i i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. baucus: madam president, we ar

Max Baucus

1:13:00 to 1:34:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Max Baucus

Max Baucus

1:13:17 to 1:13:37( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: cuts to extend certain payments for unemployment insurance, cobra subsidies and so forth. it is a jobs bill. this is a safety net extenders bill. this is not a health care bill. four senators just spoke -- i think there were four -- there

Max Baucus

1:13:38 to 1:13:59( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: were six of them all together. basically very critical of the health care reform bill that passed the senate, very critical of the president's efforts to pass health care reform. i think some of the misstatements made deserve a response. the senator from mississippi called it -- the senate health care bill a massive tax increase simply the senator is mistaken. that's not correct.

Max Baucus

1:14:00 to 1:14:20( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: the health care reform is, in fact, a major tax cut. not a tax increase, but a major tax cut. the senate-passed health care bill provided more than than $400 billion in tax cuts for americans to buy health insurance. $400 billion in tax cuts. those are credits, tax credits given to americans to buy health insurance.

Max Baucus

1:14:21 to 1:14:43( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: it sounds like a tax cut to me. this is the largest tax cut for individuals since the record tax cuts of 2001. the junior senator from wyoming said that we need to stop and start all over again. anyone who has paid any attention to the debate on health ce reform for any

Max Baucus

1:14:44 to 1:15:04( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: amount of time knows that the opportunity to pass health care reform comes around about once in a generation. in fact, i think with teddy roosevelt, the first attempt to pass health care reform has been 60, 70 years. we are on the cusp of passing major health care reform now. madam president, we all know

Max Baucus

1:15:05 to 1:15:26( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: that health care reform must pass. why? to address the draconian cost increases that families, companies, and budgets are facing to reform the health insurance industry, and if we don't do it now, don't reform health care now, believe me, this country is going to be digging itself into a pretty deep hole.

Max Baucus

1:15:27 to 1:15:48( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: this comes along once in a lifetime. so a call to stop and start all over again is, in reality, a call to kill health care reform. that's what that is. whenever you hear somebody say, let's stop and start allver again, really what they want to do is kill health care reform. that's the whole point of it is.

Max Baucus

1:15:49 to 1:16:09( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: stopping and starting all over again sounds to me like nobody is paying attention to where we are. most senators don't like to be partisan, but the fact is, the other side of the aisle never presented a comprehensive health care reform proposal.

Max Baucus

1:16:10 to 1:16:30( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: there was never an alternative. in my judgment, it was a disservice to the american people that the other side did not present anything that could be called comprehensive health care reform so that we could debate it. the proposal offer by the finance committee and offered by the "help" committee merged together, that was one of the that was basically a democratic version.

Max Baucus

1:16:31 to 1:16:52( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: there could be an taunt to debate that as well as the one offered by the other sievmentd except they never offered one. what did they do? they just picked and tried to find holes and crit siessments it is easy, easy, easy to criticize. anything can be criticized. and if you're halfway

Max Baucus

1:16:53 to 1:17:15( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: intelligent, you can make something that's inaccurate sound pretty good. very little good-faith effort to fry to find a common sliewsmghts there was an effort a while ago when senator grossly, myself, senator enzi, senator conrad, senar snowe worked hard to try to find a solution.

Max Baucus

1:17:16 to 1:17:38( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: we met or months andays, but frankly, to be totally ca candid about it, the other side decided it was better to play politics than to find a solution. that's why we had to withdraw. they withdrew because of so much political pressure on them from their leadership to kilt bill. senator snowe stayed with us for

Max Baucus

1:17:39 to 1:17:59( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: a while, but even -- i don't want to put words in senator snowe's mouth or decide what they wants to speak for her, but even she became under tremendous pressure not to find a solution. so any effort to start all over

Max Baucus

1:18:00 to 1:18:21( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: again is really a very thinly veiled attempt to kill health care reform. the senate passing health care reform, the senator from wyoming said that he want add series of ideas. well, one idea talked about is allow people to buy health surance across state lines. now, i'm sure he didn't mean this. but if he thinks that's a sole solution, i think most americans

Max Baucus

1:18:22 to 1:18:42( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: who are denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, who face all kinds of problems from the health insurance industry couldn't agree with that. but nevertheless i might say, madam president, the bill that passed the senate does allow insurance to be sold across state lines. maybe not quite as freely as the

Max Baucus

1:18:43 to 1:19:03( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: opponentopponents on the other side of the aisle would prefer, but we do allow insurance to be sold across state lines. why? because we want competion. we want people to choose. people should have the ability to choose what health insurance plan they want. there's very little competion now. in many states, there may be one or two companies that dominate. very little competion.

Max Baucus

1:19:04 to 1:19:25( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: that's not right. and allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines will allow better competion, allow bett choice. but it should be done in a way that's fair, fair to the american public. at's one of the big problems here if companies are allowed to just willy-nilly stem cell across state lines without protections? i'll tell wheys going to happen.

Max Baucus

1:19:26 to 1:19:47( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: it is going to be race to the bottom. the insurance companies will race to find the state that has the lowest standards. that's where they'll set up. then they'll sell across the country. that means that somebody who resides? a state that has pretty high standards but finds that the only policies being sold are

Max Baucus

1:19:48 to 1:20:09( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: those sold by a company that's registered in a state with lower standards is going to have very low-ality insurance. what we want here is fairness, even-handedness, some balance here so that insurance people are able to buy insurance freely and to buy -- have the choice to buy insurance. which is to say, madam

Max Baucus

1:20:10 to 1:20:32( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: president, the basic approach that the majority has taken in health insurance reform is to basically maintain the current system. today we spend about $2.4 trillion, $2.5 trillion in health care. that's a total figure. but half public, half private. half public is medicaid, medicare, children's health insurance -- that's about half.

Max Baucus

1:20:33 to 1:20:53( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: the other half is private. it's commercial insurance. that's the way it should be. that's our american way. we're not canada. we're not great britain. we're not sweden. we're not japan. we're america. in america we have a system which is basically 50/50. half public, h., half private. this legislation that's before

Max Baucus

1:20:54 to 1:21:14( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: us today maintains that allocation. maintains that ability for people to din to buy private insurance -- to continue to buy private insurance. maintains the ability for people to have more choices, more competition, moravailability to buy insurance, especially when the exchanges are set up. and i just don't -- so i say to

Max Baucus

1:21:15 to 1:21:35( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: my good friend from wyoming, i say, gee, mere's an idea. why not allow people to buy insurance across state lines? we do that. wree allow companies to sell across state lines. but that's after we have a level playing field, to make sure it is quality insurance. we want to make sure that insurance sold across state

Max Baucus

1:21:36 to 1:21:57( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: lines is quality insurance, not insurance of very, very low quality. and we also allow in the legislation -- major legislation allow snrurns to be sold across state lines when the exchange is set up. the senator from wyoming and oklahoma have talked about something else. they've talked about tort reform.

Max Baucus

1:21:58 to 1:22:18( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: i must say, when the senator from oklahoma talks about tort reform speaks, he -- first of all, he says that our bill ignores lawsuit reform. that, true, madam president, is not true. our legislation does not ignore tort reform. frankly, we begin with a series

Max Baucus

1:22:19 to 1:22:41( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: of steps. the bill begins with state-by-state programs to try out some of the best idea to address lawsuit reform. we basically -- basically states have the ability to try different measures. they can try courts, health coforts, or they can try

Max Baucus

1:22:42 to 1:23:02( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: something similar to work mn's comp. or they can set up systems similar to tort reform 0 or lawsuit reform in the state of michigan. it is called sorry, it works. if the patient goes to the

Max Baucus

1:23:03 to 1:23:25( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: hospital and they say, sorry, it it didn't work f they reach an agreement, that's great. if they don't, then the statements used by the physician -- if there is a subsequent suit, cannot be used. so we do begin to go down the road of lawsuit reform in the major bill. now, the senator from wyoming also talked about people joing

Max Baucus

1:23:26 to 1:23:47( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: together to buy insurance in associations. i might say again, madam president, our bill allows that. it alloys that and much more. -- it allows that and much more. when you hear people talk about the bill they join together in association health plans, it's important to also point out to people, that's quite restrictive. first of all, it's restrictive in the sense it's only available

Max Baucus

1:23:48 to 1:24:09( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: to members of that association. it's not available to other people. i think we would want to make sure we set up pooling arrangements that all americans have the availability of pooling arrangements. in addition, who joins associations? well, the companies join them. what about the employees? the employees might -- the

Max Baucus

1:24:10 to 1:24:31( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: companies might have members of association, pooling, but it might not be what -- in the best interest -- or what the employees want. it really cuts out the employees. so the pooling that we allow in our underlying bill is real pooling. it's honest-to-goodness pooling and frankly real pooling will

Max Baucus

1:24:32 to 1:24:52( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: occur when the exchange is set up because then -- where companies will be able to sell across state lines in the insurance exchange and a lot more people will be involved, which will enable us to have the same benefits of pooling. i might also say a point about the exchange. right now, madam president, you

Max Baucus

1:24:53 to 1:25:13( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: get on your computer. if you want to find the lowest airline ticket, what do you do? you go to or by the, you go to exspeeds -- you go to orbitz, you go to exspeedsia. you go to these various outfits. i like these outfits. you can shop online. that's basically what we are

Max Baucus

1:25:14 to 1:25:35( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: taking about with the insurance exchange. just like orbitz, just like expedia. get online, you can shop, find the right fares. it is going to be easier because we're requiring insurance forms to be standardized, which will simplify so people can understand the choice that they're pursuing.

Max Baucus

1:25:36 to 1:25:57( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: make the choice that they want to. so i just want to make sure that the senate knows that when the senator from wyoming talks about associations, he's really talking about pooling. our underlying bill has pooling, and i think even better pooling. the senator from oklahoma,

Max Baucus

1:25:58 to 1:26:21( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: mississippi, and wyoming expressed sho at the prospect of health care being addressed in the budget reconciliation process. the senator from oklahoma said the reconciliation process means -- quote -- "ramming it through." well, what my colleagues fail to remember is that this body has used budget reconciliation 22 times. this is nothing new.

Max Baucus

1:26:22 to 1:26:44( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: 17 of those times the republican party controlled either the congress or the white house. when reconciliation was used. and it in most of the times when we had reconciliation bills, they included measures on health care. health care is no stranger to the reconciliation process. i'll make that clear. health care is no stranger to the reconciliation process. i will not talking about mierng

Max Baucus

1:26:45 to 1:27:07( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: -- i am not talking about minor provisions in health care reform. reconciliation was a process by which the republican senate passed the cobra health insurance bill. the republican senate passed the cobra health insurance bill under reconciliation when they were in charge. cay bra stands for consolidated

Max Baucus

1:27:08 to 1:27:28( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: omnibus reconciliation act of 1976. congress used re1ke reconciliation to create the children's health insurance program in 1997. health care is no stranger to this reconciliation process. it's actually an exception when congress has done health reform outside of reconciliation.

Max Baucus

1:27:29 to 1:27:49( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: that's the real truth. the senator from arizona questioned the constitutionality of people to buy insurance. my colleagues actually -- i want to say that -- they want health care to be thrown out if these charges are true. the fact of the matter is that

Max Baucus

1:27:50 to 1:28:10( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: the vast majority of scholars have considered the matter and have said that the commerce clause and the revenue clause in the constitution give the congress ample authority to address the responsibility of people to buy insurance. this has been addressed many, many, many times. certainly, someone can trot out a law professor or somody who can make a contrary claim.

Max Baucus

1:28:11 to 1:28:32( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: but, madam president, our committee, the finance committee, looked that the issue very, very thoroughly. we searched out lots of law professors. we want to find out, is this constitutional or is it not? and the weight, the far weight of constitutional scholarship, is that in fact this is constitutional and so when

Max Baucus

1:28:33 to 1:28:53( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: senators stand up here and say it is not constitutional, they're entitled to their own opinions; that's fair. that's why we debate. but i might say that when one studies literature and question constitutional law professors, the vast, vast opinion is that this is constitutional.

Max Baucus

1:28:54 to 1:29:14( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: i might also add that most states require people to buy auto insurance right now. is that unconstitutional? is it unconstitutional for a state to require the purchase of liability insurance if you want to operate a car? i don't think so. now, the senators from wyoming said that our bill would bend the cost curve.

Max Baucus

1:29:15 to 1:29:36( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: he said the bill would raise health care costs. that's not true, madam president. flatly, simply, catorically, positively not true. the nonpartisan congressional budget office says that the underlying bill would reduce federal government commitment to health care in the second ten

Max Baucus

1:29:37 to 1:29:59( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: years, reduce -- reduce. that doesn't sound like costs going up. the budget office says, it'll reduce it. our bill, according to the congressional budget office, would also cut costs for the taxpayer. first of all, the budget -- the c.b.o. said that the legislation, the health care legislation reduced the deficit by $132 billion in the first ten

Max Baucus

1:30:42 to 1:31:03( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: budget, the path to iewg our fiscal deficit situation is through health care reform. we need health care reform to get our -- get budgets, family, company and governments under control. just to repeat, our bill according to c.b.o. would cut

Max Baucus

1:31:04 to 1:31:24( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: costs for taxpayers, reduce budget deficits up to to $10 billion and a trillion the next ten. to summarize, our bill provides real cost control. that's what's needed, real cost control. our bill reforms incentives under the tax code to encourage smarter shopping for health

Max Baucus

1:31:25 to 1:31:45( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: insurance. i might say, madam president, if this side over here wants us to stop and start over again, what's going to happen? it's going to mean all those people today -- and there are millions of them -- who are denying -- who are denied quality health insurance because of a pre-existing condition wil be unable to get good health

Max Baucus

1:31:46 to 1:32:06( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: insurance. basically, those who say stop and start over are saying we want you, you who can't get health insurance because of a pre-existing condition to continue not to get good health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. that's basically what they are saying. that's not right. that's not right at all. it reminds me, too, a fellow in

Max Baucus

1:32:07 to 1:32:28( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: my home state of montana, a few years ago, i w talking to him. he just said max, he said it's just awful. i have a small construction firm. i have six or seven people in my firm. there is one person who has been with me for 20 or 30 years. the insurance company informed me that my premiums are now going to go up 40%.

Max Baucus

1:32:29 to 1:32:49( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: why i asked? one of your employees, long-time employees has a pre-existing condition, and you have got to either let him go -- and then your rates will only go up 20%, or if you keep him, your rate will go up 40%. that put this fella, the owner of the firm, the guy i was talking to, in a an untenable position. so what did he do?

Max Baucus

1:32:50 to 1:33:10( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: he shopped around, he looked and looked and looked to try to find another insurance company that wouldn't raise premiums quite so much. he finally found one. his rates went up, but not a full 40%. i forgot how much they went up by. he was wrong to be in that position. he was not going to fire that person who was such a good person who has been with him for such a long period of time. so our bill would begin

Max Baucus

1:33:11 to 1:33:33( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: reforming the way the government pays for health care. right now, the government pays for the number of services performed. our bill would begin to have the government pay for quality. very important point, madam president. i think this is a real game changer. this is what's going to really make a difference over time is how we pay for health care.

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