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Senate Proceeding on May 1st, 2008 :: 0:42:00 to 0:54:49
Total video length: 9 hours 29 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Mel Martinez

0:35:15 to 0:42:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mel Martinez

Mel Martinez

0:41:44 to 0:42:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: we can do this. america can meet this challenge. madam chair, i yield the floor and thank you for the extra minute. mr. brown: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio is recognized.

Sherrod Brown

0:42:00 to 0:42:10( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: mr. brown: thank you, madam president. i really just can't quite believe what i just heard. i think i heard that the reason, because democrats in 2006 said we need a different energy policy, that the

Sherrod Brown

0:42:00 to 0:54:49( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown

0:42:10 to 0:42:25( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: white house controlled by -- i mean the white house, the president and vice president, both who come out of the oil industry, both top energy executives, that the funding for the president's party,

Sherrod Brown

0:42:25 to 0:42:43( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: much of it comes from the oil industry. and in 2006, the democrats said that the congress had betrayed the american people because they let the oil industry write the energy bill. and now my friend

Sherrod Brown

0:42:43 to 0:42:58( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: from florida's saying it's the democrats' fault that gas prices are through the roof. it's the president who, one of his best friends was the c.e.o. of enron, a major funder to the president, close

Sherrod Brown

0:42:58 to 0:43:09( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: friend to the president, had a personal nickname for the c.e.o. of enron. and enron had gamed the system through speculating and speculating and speculating, and cost consumers, especially in the

Sherrod Brown

0:43:09 to 0:43:21( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: west coast, tens of millions, hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars as they raked off profits from their speculating. we're seeing the same kinds of things. i don't know if they're the president's

Sherrod Brown

0:43:21 to 0:43:35( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: friends doing it anymore, but i do know they're people who have gamed this system. and that's the reason, with no major international incident in the last two years, no major outage of a refinery or

Sherrod Brown

0:43:35 to 0:43:49( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: fire of a refinery or pipeline disruption that prices have spiked so much. and it's clear that the justice department working for the president of the united states who is not beholden to the oil

Sherrod Brown

0:43:49 to 0:43:59( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: industry might actually take some action on price fixing and recommend excess profits tax, all the kinds of things that we could be doing in this body and that the executive could do. but in this body we've

Sherrod Brown

0:43:59 to 0:44:12( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: seen filibusters. every time we try to do something on oil prices, every time we try to do something on long-term alternative energy, the republicans filibuster. they have filibustered more than 60

Sherrod Brown

0:44:12 to 0:44:22( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: times. it's approaching # 0. i'm not -- approaching 70. i'm not sure of the number. it's hard to keep up. they've filibustered more times in this congressional session than any time in history by

Sherrod Brown

0:44:22 to 0:44:37( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: a lot, and th efr continuing to do it -- and they're continuing to do it. we'd love to sit down with my friends on the other side of the aisle and work on this legislation. we in this body, the

Sherrod Brown

0:44:37 to 0:44:48( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: white house, from their addiction to oil company campaign dollars and help to wean the american people from our adiction to -- addiction to foradeign oil, we'd love to work on that. i introduced legislation

Sherrod Brown

0:44:48 to 0:44:59( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: yesterday that will help to jump-start green energy industry in this country. it's clear we need to do a lot of that, but the american public's tired of finger pointing and it's time that this congress

Sherrod Brown

0:44:59 to 0:45:10( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: did more on energy and the republicans instead of filibustering -- there are 51 democrats in this body. we need 60 votes to do anything because of the filibuster. instead of the republicans holding together

Sherrod Brown

0:45:10 to 0:45:19( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: and blocking things, instead of filibustering, let us work together on energy issues, not have the oil companies dictate to this body like they did for year after year after year and when i was in the

Sherrod Brown

0:45:19 to 0:45:30( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: house of representatives, the oil companies dictated to the house of representatives' leadership and everybody in those days in the majority party, which was republicans then, in the majority party

Sherrod Brown

0:45:30 to 0:45:41( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: went along with their leaders on writing an energy bill that had $18 billion of subsidies and giveaways and tax breaks to the oil industry. yet they are the most profitable industry in america year

Sherrod Brown

0:45:41 to 0:45:54( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: after year after year.| something gives, madam president, it is time for something very, very different. i want to work together. the finger-pointing should end. let's do this right. but don't block

Sherrod Brown

0:45:54 to 0:46:10( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: us from doing things that will help stablize gas prices now. will help to bring them down over the short an medium term and long term, come up with a real energy policy so we're not relying on -- as

Sherrod Brown

0:46:10 to 0:46:21( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: my friend, senator martinez said, not relying on venezuela, and saudi arabia and countries that are not so friendly to us. madam president, i ask unanimous consent to place the -- the -- the remainder

Sherrod Brown

0:46:21 to 0:46:35( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: of my talk in the record in a different place. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. a senator: earlier this week, i spoke about cover the uninsuredding week about a bill that would increase

Sherrod Brown

0:46:35 to 0:46:50( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: access to health coverage for small businesses and self-employed individuals, a group we all too often forget around here. i will formerly introduce the empowerment act today. mr. brown: i would

Sherrod Brown

0:46:50 to 0:47:06( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: like to discuss this in a bit more depth. first, why is it necessary? it is necessary because 82% -- 82% of workers -- 82% of the uninsured work for a living. they have jobs. the overwhelming majority work

Sherrod Brown

0:47:06 to 0:47:21( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: in small companies, self-employed, companies with two people, five people, 20 people. whatever. in ohio in my state, whetherte you're in stuboville or limon, 99% of firms with more than 50 workers sponsor

Sherrod Brown

0:47:21 to 0:47:35( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: health insurance. if you're in a relatively mid-sized, larger companies, you have 55 workers, 99% of those firms offer some kind of fairly decent insurance for their employees.ee that's for companies above

Sherrod Brown

0:47:35 to 0:47:53( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: 50. companies under 50, only 44% of those firms do. many of them are self-employed. many of them have five, 10, or 15 employees. smaller employers who do offer coverage, most of them absolutely

Sherrod Brown

0:47:53 to 0:48:10( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: try to. i talked to small business people -- people from springfield to glainsville to bel air to delphis, i hear that they want to insurance their employees, it is harder and harder. according to the well-respected

Sherrod Brown

0:48:10 to 0:48:23( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: rand corporation, a nonpartisan group, who analyze these things, small businesses saw the economic burden of hl health insurance rise due to the economy from 2000 to 2005. it continues with the

Sherrod Brown

0:48:23 to 0:48:37( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: self-employed, they don't get a group rate break if the can find an insurer willing to cover them. in the small pool, if you have three employees or eight employees, you're self-insured, you're

Sherrod Brown

0:48:37 to 0:48:48( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: an individual -- if you're self-employed and there's -- anybody in this -- in this small pool of one or 20 that has some major preexisting condition, you probably can't get insurance at all. in the mean

Sherrod Brown

0:48:48 to 0:49:03( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: time health insurancers have been living large. their profits increasing by more than a third over the last five years. not much different, madam president, from the oil industry where the public recoils

Sherrod Brown

0:49:03 to 0:49:18( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: from staggering high gas prices, the oil industry is making record profits. the public, particularly small business is recoiling from higher health insurance premiums an higher he could pays and deductibles,

Sherrod Brown

0:49:18 to 0:49:31( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: yet health insurance companies are doing better and better. middle class families are shouldering the burden of skyrocket gas prices and high food prices. it would be ideal if -- if they could afford

Sherrod Brown

0:49:31 to 0:49:48( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: to pay a king's ran some for health insurance the they can't and they shouldn't have to with those realities staring us in the face, inaction from this body is the same as indifference. my legislation

Sherrod Brown

0:49:48 to 0:49:59( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: attacks the issue of self-coverage access. to assure the access, it would have an insurance pool modeled after the health benefits program. fehp, the federal employees health benefits program, enables

Sherrod Brown

0:49:59 to 0:50:12( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: enroll res to choose from health plans whose rates are negotiated by the federal office of personnel management has served members of congress and hundreds of thousands of federal employee well for

Sherrod Brown

0:50:12 to 0:50:28( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: many years now. so understand that there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of federal employees, whether they work in cleveland, whether they work in the -- in the office of budget

Sherrod Brown

0:50:28 to 0:50:42( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: and management in washington, whether they work for bethesda for the national institute of health, wright patterson, these federal employees are in a huge pool that negotiates price. it works in

Sherrod Brown

0:50:42 to 0:50:55( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: way that keeps rates in check. under my bill, an independent contractor would manage a program that looks like fehp, with a few modifications to accommodate the market segment it would serve. a few modifications

Sherrod Brown

0:50:55 to 0:51:09( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: are designed to hold down costs. the bill would establish a reinsurance program to pay claims that fall between $5,000 and $75,000. that's where small business gets hit the hardest when one or two or three

Sherrod Brown

0:51:09 to 0:51:23( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: employees in a company of 50, or 40, 30, or 100, one or two or three employees gets hit with a huge bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars, it affects the entire pool andffects premiums and makes

Sherrod Brown

0:51:23 to 0:51:38( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: insurance for the small business employer simply out of reach. this bill establishes a reinsurance program to pay claim that's fall between $5,000 and $75,000. it minimizes premium spikes, and makes

Sherrod Brown

0:51:38 to 0:51:49( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: it affordable regardless of the age. the bill establishes a lost ratio standard for insurancers, this means that insurers would be required to spend most of the premium on claims an hold down --

Sherrod Brown

0:51:49 to 0:52:02( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: and hold down the administrative costs. the administrative costs that the insurance companies takes are typically huge and have a major impact on the per employee cost of health insurance. the bill

Sherrod Brown

0:52:02 to 0:52:17( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: identifies and applies strategies to ensure that employees have best practices in health care. which means they're providing the right care at right time in the right amounts. finally the bill

Sherrod Brown

0:52:17 to 0:52:30( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: would target price gouging by the drug manufacturers and the manufacturers of other medical products including medical twices -- devices. it happens when an employee exploits american consumers by charging

Sherrod Brown

0:52:30 to 0:52:44( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: them higher prices than consumers of other wealthy nations. why do we pay so much more for prescription drugs in this country than the canadians pay? when the canadians are buying drugs manufactured

Sherrod Brown

0:52:44 to 0:52:58( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: in the united states. same drug, same brand name, same dosage, yet paying in canada half or a third as much. madam president, for years, when i was in the house of representatives, i used to take busloads

Sherrod Brown

0:52:58 to 0:53:13( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: of constituents to canada about 2 1/2 hours a way from lorraine, ohio, where i lived, to buy prescription drugs at a pharmacy in ontario. same drug, same dosage -- everything was the same except

Sherrod Brown

0:53:13 to 0:53:28( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: for the price. other modifications on the bill are designed to ensure that will health coverage is nondiscriminatory. think about it this way. if your next door neighbor develops an illness like clinical

Sherrod Brown

0:53:28 to 0:53:41( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: fretion and you develop an illness like heart disease, why should your next door neighbor be denied the health care that you get? you both have paid premiums to cover the health care costs, you

Sherrod Brown

0:53:41 to 0:53:54( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: both need health care. why is one condition the condition of heart disease more worthy of coverage than the condition of clinical depression? my bill charges a group representing providers and businesses, consumers

Sherrod Brown

0:53:54 to 0:54:07( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: an economists and health policy experts with free-thinking health coverage to eliminate the arbitrary differences in the coverage. the bottom line, madam president, is this, we have an opportunity

Sherrod Brown

0:54:07 to 0:54:21( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: toaks panned health coverage in way that achieves fundamental goals. one, we reached populations who can't find a home in the current insurance system because they're small businesses typically and

Sherrod Brown

0:54:21 to 0:54:36( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: self-employed. we stand up for american consume hoarse are paying absolutely ridiculous prices in many case for essential health care. we demand expanding discipline on the part of insurers, they can

Sherrod Brown

0:54:36 to 0:54:49( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: live with reasonable limits on their administrative costs as their profits go up and their executive salaries are in the stratosphere, we can clean up the delivery of health care services and end arbitrary

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