Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Mar 23rd, 2010 :: 4:28:50 to 4:36:55
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Patrick Leahy

4:28:31 to 4:28:51( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: be be made part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, this really is a new day of hope for tens of millions o americans who have fallen through the cracks or worry they may fall through the cracks of our broken health insurance system. when president barack obama signed the comprehensive health insurance reform

Patrick Leahy

4:28:50 to 4:36:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy

4:28:52 to 4:29:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: morning, i could not help but think as i sat there, this ranks with the creation of social security and medicare. they've talked about reforming health insurance for decades, but it hasn't been done. of course it's bn an arduous process but it's proven change

Patrick Leahy

4:29:14 to 4:29:34( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: is possible even though whef you have the pit stop position of wealthy special interests. america rose to meet one of its foremost challenges and renew its promises. america has some of the best health care in the world if you can afford it. millions of families in america

Patrick Leahy

4:29:35 to 4:29:56( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and vermont worry they're just one paycheck away from medical and financial disaster. this is a new day for them. and i'd ask all those members of congress who fought so hard against this health care and voted against it: are they willing to give up the great health care system that they have asembers of congress,

Patrick Leahy

4:29:57 to 4:30:17( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: that they can buy as members of congress, trade places with the millions of americans who can't buy the great health care system that members of congress have? i haven't heard a single one of them who voted against giving help to these millions of americans say they'd give up their own. whenever i travel in vermont,

Patrick Leahy

4:30:18 to 4:30:39( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i'm often stopped whr-rbgs it's in the gross -- whether it's in the grocery store, church, on the street or gas station and listen to personal wrenching stories like a woman who needs to spend $500 a month on prescriptions, who would be uninsured if it were not her

Patrick Leahy

4:30:40 to 4:31:01( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: husband's job. she's working two jobs to make ends meet. or the small business owner who works six and seven days a week, but s still can't afford the blood test her doctor recommended. if she becomesick, she'll lose her business and her home. or the man from central vermont who told me of a sister-in-law

Patrick Leahy

4:31:02 to 4:31:24( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: who lost parts of both of her feet because she couldn't afford simple care that would have saved her feet because she did not have health insurance. when she needed medical attention, she waited, hoping things would get better, knowing she couldn't afford to go to the doctor. but by the timeer family was

Patrick Leahy

4:31:25 to 4:31:48( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: able to step in, she had to be rushed to the emergency room not for a cure, but for amputations. this is america, mr. president, and i don't hear a single member of congress say they're ready to give up their insurance that they're able to buy through the u.s. senate or the house of representatives and trade places with this woman.

Patrick Leahy

4:31:49 to 4:32:09( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i grew up in my family's small business in montpelier, printing business. i know businesses want to attract and keep good workers and many want to be able to offer health insurance options as my parents did, but spiraling insurance costs are taking that option away.

Patrick Leahy

4:32:10 to 4:32:30( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: some of the most immediate and far-reaching new laws are tax credits that will help small businesses offer insurance to their employees. you know, health insurance is prevailed through a grueling gauntlet of obstructionm erected by the defenders of the status quo, worse than anything i've seen in my years here in the senate.

Patrick Leahy

4:32:31 to 4:32:52( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and one remaining gauntlet remains in the senate where partisan opposition has prompted an effort to derail these further improvements to this law. it is no wonder that while americans vastly support the individual components of these bills they have been skeptical when asked about the hazy

Patrick Leahy

4:32:53 to 4:33:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: concept of comprehensive reform. some have argued that doing nothing is a safe option. well, last month insurance companies planned a series of premium hikes as large as 39% in one state. last year the five largest for-profit insurance companies booked $12.2 billion in profit. and they raised the average

Patrick Leahy

4:33:14 to 4:33:34( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: family premium three times faster than wages. one company, wellpoint, is hiking rates by double digits in 11 states where the profits are 91%. with these soaring profits insurers continue to drop sick people from their rolls, spend

Patrick Leahy

4:33:35 to 4:33:57( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: less on care and because they have an exemption from the antitrust laws, they avoid competition. now that this bill is law, caps on coverage are eliminated. insurance companies are barred from dropping people from their plans even if they had paid their premiums, simply because,

Patrick Leahy

4:33:58 to 4:34:19( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: gosh, they got sick. the thing they bought health insurance for. and denying children health insurance coverage because of preexisting conditions is now illegal. parents can keep their children on their health policies until they're 26 years mr. president, i think of the people who work so hard on this.

Patrick Leahy

4:34:20 to 4:34:40( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i see chairman baucus and chairman dodd on the floor who would not be here without the two of them. and i think that we -- we must continue and must be able to finish this final step. the people of vermont have given

Patrick Leahy

4:34:41 to 4:35:01( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: me the honor of representing them in the senate for 35 years. i've joined in many debates that were contentious yet ultimately productive. and as we leaf through the pages of history, we can read the many times when congress showed its remarkable ability to rise up to reflect the conscnce of the

Patrick Leahy

4:35:02 to 4:35:22( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: nation. this body, especially, which should reflecthe conscience of our nation. as many here have noted, our dear friend, senator ted kennedy, would have been remarkably proud that the president and this congress passed reform unachievable for so many years before.

Patrick Leahy

4:35:23 to 4:35:43( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: he reminded all of us in a letter written to president obama what the stakes are in this debate. he wrote "what we face is, above all, a moralssue. not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." when the emotions are calmed, i

Patrick Leahy

4:35:44 to 4:36:04( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: believe this effort will be viewed as a credit to this good and great nation and its good people. the president and the congress have responded to a pressing national issue. they have shown they can rise to

Patrick Leahy

4:36:05 to 4:36:27( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the challenge before them. i'm proud to have the honor that vermonters have given me to represent and advance their interests in this effort. i'm glad to say to my fellow vermonters, now the day comes when you have the opportunity to have the kind of insurance that members of congress have.

Patrick Leahy

4:36:28 to 4:36:50( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i'm sorry that some have voted to deny that to you. this s you. i yield the floor. mr. baucus: mr. president, i yield 15 minutes to the chairman the de facto chairman of the

Patrick Leahy

4:36:51 to 4:36:57( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: "help" committee, the great senator from devoted countless hours and

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