Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Mar 24th, 2010 :: 6:20:40 to 6:27:40
Total video length: 17 hours 55 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Bob Corker

6:20:26 to 6:20:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: ready to proceed. mr. corker: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i want the senator from new hampshire, who i think has offered extraordinary leadership on this issue and on the issues regarding our country's huge amount of indebtedness. and i, like him, find it hard to believe that we're taking over

Bob Corker

6:20:40 to 6:27:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bob Corker

Bob Corker

6:20:48 to 6:21:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: $500 billion in savings from medicare -- as he just mentioned -- to leverage a new entitlement when we know that medicare itself has a $37 trillion unfunded liability. and he's mentioned, we go further by not even dealing with this doc fix that he just was discussing. i look forward to his amendment. i look forward to supporting it.

Bob Corker

6:21:10 to 6:21:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: and i thank him for his leadership. i wanted to talk, mr. president, today about unfunded liabilities. i was the mayor of a city. i know that you served in the general assembly in the state that you came from, mr. president. i was a commissioner of finance for our state where we dwelt all the financial issues for the state of tennessee.

Bob Corker

6:21:31 to 6:21:51( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i know that senator gregg was a governor. and one of the things that i think bothered all of us who used to serve at the city and state level was unfunded mandates. it's an incredible thing where washington will pass a piece of legislation -- and, by the way, have a major signing ceremony where everybody is patting each other on the back and celebrating that they just

Bob Corker

6:21:52 to 6:22:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: passed something -- and the part that's left out is that the states across this country are left with a huge unfunded mandate. we have a very good governor in our state. his name is phil bretteson. he is a democrat. he spent a lifetime in health care. he's handled our state's

Bob Corker

6:22:16 to 6:22:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: finances, i think, very well. he called me on friday talking about the fact that this bill was going to cause the state of tennessee, which is already experiencing huge tuition increases -- we have all kinds of services there that we're having difficulties dealing with -- and this bill, this bill is going to create a $1.1 billion

Bob Corker

6:22:37 to 6:22:57( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: unfunded liability for the state of tennessee p. i just find it hard to believe that our states around this country are dealing with, that we're passing legislation that puts in place a $1.1 billion unfunded mandate on the state of tennessee. but let me go a step further.

Bob Corker

6:22:58 to 6:23:20( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: this bill also violates something that we thought around here was sack crow sawngts and that was the un-- that we thought around here crow sangts and that was the unfunded mandates. most of us have served in local governments and we acknowledged that we should not be passing legislation that creates

Bob Corker

6:23:21 to 6:23:41( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: unfunded an mandates. we shouldn't be pting o patting ourselves on the back. i think everybody knows that this bill violates that. we said we didn't want to deal inappropriately with states, but we health care reform and we're

Bob Corker

6:23:42 to 6:24:02( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: going to do t let me come to the one that i find most fascinating. senator gregg -- senator gregg was j that we have this 21% cut coming for physicians who treat medicare recipients, and instead of taking the medicare savings that we found in this bill and

Bob Corker

6:24:03 to 6:24:25( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: using that to make sure that these physicians were paid, we're not going to do that. and in a short time, without us taking, -- $200 billion or so -- these physicians are going to have a cut. let me tell you what we're doing in this bill. and i think the president may already know this. but what we're doing in this bill, in addition to creating in

Bob Corker

6:24:26 to 6:24:46( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: our state a $1.1 billion unfund mandate, we're going to pay medicaid physicians -- physicians who treat medicaid patients, the same level if you're a primary physician as medicare reimbursements are today. but we're going to do that for two years.

Bob Corker

6:24:47 to 6:25:07( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: now, this is like the worst joke ever that we can play on our states. what we're saying is we're going to mandate to the states that the primary care physicians that treat medicaid recipients, their rate has to be jacked up. and we're going to provide the money for that for two years, but then that drops off.

Bob Corker

6:25:08 to 6:25:28( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: and so not only do we have this issue of the unfunded mandate, we're creating that exact cliff issue for states in this bill, which means that after this two-year period ends, after this two-year period ends and we've given them the money, to pay these physicians at medicare

Bob Corker

6:25:29 to 6:25:51( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: rates instead of medicaid, which is much lower, we're going to cut the funding off. and so the state is going to be in the position, obviously, of having to keep that up. it's like the worst joke ever. i don' th legislation like this and call itreform." i said this before. half the people that are going

Bob Corker

6:25:52 to 6:26:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: to beeceiving health care -- health insurance after this bill passes, are going on a medicaid program. mr. president, there was a bill -- there was a bill in the senate that ron wyden and bennett worked on together. it had some flaws t would have been an interesting startinstartingplace, though.

Bob Corker

6:26:15 to 6:26:35( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that bill caused medicaid recipients to have the same kind of heah care that you and i have. what we've done in this bill instead of that, instead of reforming, instead of focusing on cost, we're going to put half of the new recipients in a program that none of us -- none of us -- would want to be in. and we're calling that "health care reform."

Bob Corker

6:26:36 to 6:26:57( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: so, mr. president, i do plan later to offer an amendment to deal with this issue of unfunded mandates. i think it is wrong for us as a country to have people in federal office that push their desires off on people and then cause them to pick up the tab. i was a mayor, i was a

Bob Corker

6:26:58 to 6:27:18( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: commissioner of finance. you served in the general assembly. senator gregg served as a governor. we know that's wrong. i don't know why we're doing it. and i plan to offer an amendment to correct it. mr. president, i thank you for the time, a i notice the the presiding off

Bob Corker

6:27:19 to 6:27:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. gregg: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mr. gregg: i want to thank the senator from tennessee for his very concise and really effective statement on the problems with this bill. and the effect that it will

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