Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Mar 17th, 2011 :: 1:55:40 to 2:03:20
Total video length: 9 hours 9 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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John Ensign

1:55:40 to 1:56:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: employee that works for wynn resorts. well, this is just one story, but it's a story that i heard repeated across the state of nevada over and over again. and while two-thirds of our economy is on consumer spending, is incentivized by consumer spending, if you take $900 out

John Ensign

1:55:40 to 2:03:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Ensign

John Ensign

1:56:03 to 1:56:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: of the pockets out of the average employee in my state -- and i'm sure that's being repeated across the country -- well, that's less money that people have to spend to encourage economic growth. we know that this bill which was over 2,000 pages, which, you know, very few, if anybody, read

John Ensign

1:56:26 to 1:56:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: it, and if they did read it, i can guarantee you that almost no one understood it. even the people who wrote it. now has over 6,000 pages worth of regulations which once again are just incredibly complex. and unless you're a large company who has experts, who has lawyers who can search through this to try to figure out what

John Ensign

1:56:48 to 1:57:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: that means to you, it's very difficult to understand. there were -- there was over over $500 billion taken out of medicare, and it wasn't taken to shore up medicare. it was actually taken out to create a brand-new entitlement program. so you take $500 billion out of

John Ensign

1:57:10 to 1:57:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: medicare and put it toward a new entitlement program, instead of shoring up medicare and making medicare a better system. there are also higher taxes in this bill. literally, hundreds of billions of dollars in higher taxes. and, you know, sure they passed it and they said it was just the health insurance companies that we're going to tax and it was

John Ensign

1:57:31 to 1:57:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: just medical device that is were going to be taxed. there were 11 different new taxes in this health care bill, one of the reasons that i opposed the health care bill. let me just give you a real-life example of one of those taxes, what it really means to patients and to future cures. one of the companies that produces -- it's an extraordinary device, for people

John Ensign

1:57:57 to 1:58:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: who have uncontrollable seizures epilepsy, common names for procedures. one of the treatments for that is an electronic device that actually helps reprogram the brain. they actually implant this. it's kind of like a -- instead of a pacemaker for the heart, it's a pacemaker for the brain. well, that's a very expensive device. it's over $20,000. the company that makes that

John Ensign

1:58:19 to 1:58:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: device puts most of the money that they make back into research and development for making better devices. because of the new tax, they're not going to have nearly the resources to put back into research and development to develop better products to help more patients in the future. and to tell you if -- if we

John Ensign

1:58:40 to 1:59:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: wouldn't have had this device in the first place, many people out there have completely uncontrollable seizures. well, with this device, over half of those people actually are able to control their seizures. nothing else works. no other medication works for them, but over half of them are able to control their seizures because of this device. these are the types of things that this health care bill is

John Ensign

1:59:02 to 1:59:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: doing damage to our health care system, which is by all accounts the finest health care system in the world. the biggest problem with this health care bill is it didn't go after the number-one problem that we have in health care, and that's the health care. we understand that health care is too expensive in the united states. even though it's the finest quality, it's too expensive.

John Ensign

1:59:24 to 1:59:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: what we should do is strike down this health care bill as unconstitutional or repeal it and then start with a health care reform bill that goes after the true problem in health care, and that's the cost. well, what can we do about the cost of health care? we all know that, first of all, that something we should absolutely do that some -- many

John Ensign

1:59:45 to 2:00:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: states are doing. the state of texas is a really good example of where it has been successful, and that's to change our medical liability laws, to reign in these out-of-control trial lawyers across the country that are driving up all of our health care costs. we all know that doctors prescribe all kinds of unnecessary tests just to cover

John Ensign

2:00:07 to 2:00:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: themselves in case of that one lawsuit. well, when good medical liability reform bills are put into place, what happens is the true victims of medical malpractice actually get compensation because there aren't as many frivolous lawsuits clogging up the courts. but the other thing that happens is the cost of medical liability insurance, the cost to our

John Ensign

2:00:30 to 2:00:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: health care system goes down. the congressional budget office just came out with a -- with a -- saying that there would be approximately $70 billion to $80 billion in savings over the next ten years if we enacted medical liability reform. i think that number is very, very low but it's not insuggest. but there's many other things that we can do with health

John Ensign

2:00:51 to 2:01:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: care -- a health care reform bill that brings down the cost. first of all, we need to put the patient back at the center of the health care universe. we understand that today we have what's called a third-party payer system. the person receiving the care is not the person paying for the care. we need to put the person that's receiving the care back with

John Ensign

2:01:12 to 2:01:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: what's known as some skin in the game so that they start talking to their doctor, their doctor has to talk to them. this can be done through things like health savings accounts. health savings accounts combine a high-deductible policy with a health savings account either that their employer puts in or they put in and then they go and actually negotiate with their doctors.

John Ensign

2:01:33 to 2:01:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: the beautiful thing about that is they don't have to worry about a gatekeeper. anybody that's boney an h.m.o. understands he have -- that's been on an h.m.o. understands you have to go through a gatekeeper to get to a specialist. well, if it's your money, you can go to any doctor you want to go to and the doctor has to be accountable to you because it's your money. if we had over 300 million

John Ensign

2:01:54 to 2:02:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: people in the united states shopping for health care, we understand that market forces will drive down the cost and bring up the quality. unfortunately, the government right now already controls health care pretty much in the united states. it pays almost 60% of total bills, when you add them all up, about 60% of the bills are paid for by the government in the united states.

John Ensign

2:02:15 to 2:02:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: so the government already controls health care and that's the reason we continue to see costs in health care skyrocketing over the many years, until recently, where the costs are now even going up faster. so this health care bill -- reform bill that was passed last year -- some people called it obama-care, that bill is actually making things worse,

John Ensign

2:02:37 to 2:02:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: not making things better, for the health care system of the united states. so, mr. president, i believe strongly the hutchison amendment, which would freeze any of the implementation of the health care bill until it is decided in the courts whether it's constitutional is a vital amendment to making sure that states don't waste a lot of money, that private-sector companies don't waste a lot of

John Ensign

2:02:58 to 2:03:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: money complying with a bill that may be struck down as unconstitutional. and this is money you can't get back. once it's spent, it's gone and we can't get that back. and we already know how -- how much the states are struggling with their budgets right now. you're seeing what's happening in wisconsin, ohio, my state of nevada. that's happening all across the country. so we need to put this bill on

John Ensign

2:03:19 to 2:03:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: hold until we know whether it's going to be constitutional or

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