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Senate Proceeding 05-09-06 on May 9th, 2006 :: 1:02:55 to 1:15:59
Total video length: 3 hours 46 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Mike DeWine

0:58:18 to 1:02:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mike DeWine

Mike DeWine

1:02:39 to 1:02:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mike DeWine: their families and employees and the small business health plans will give them that option. i would yield the floor to the senator from north carolina. the presiding officer: the senator from north

Richard Burr

1:02:55 to 1:03:10( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: carolina is recognized. mr. burr: i thank the president. i thank the chairman. the chairman has presented a carefully crafted piece of legislation to the senate floor, one that took a tremendous amount

Richard Burr

1:02:55 to 1:15:59( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Richard Burr

Richard Burr

1:03:10 to 1:03:21( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: of skill to negotiate, one that had incredible support, more support when the bill passed out of committee than it does today. why? because people fear it might become law. people fear this might pass and

Richard Burr

1:03:21 to 1:03:38( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: they never believed that it would. and what does it do? it brings additional competition to the marketplace. but more importantly, it brings coverage to americans that have no coverage today. why

Richard Burr

1:03:38 to 1:03:59( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: are we here today on tuesday afternoon at almost 5:00? because the united states senate is in a 30-hour debate about whether we're going to be willing or able to proceed. we're not even on the bill

Richard Burr

1:03:59 to 1:04:14( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: yet. we're in a procedural mode where it required us to have a vote to proceed to consider whether we were going to have a debate on this bill. 1955, a bill that changes the choice of the uninsured

Richard Burr

1:04:14 to 1:04:26( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: population in america. the choices that they have today are nothing and nothing. you know, under any scenario, you would have unanimous support to change that, but there are actually people that are against

Richard Burr

1:04:26 to 1:04:41( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: that up here. not across the country, mr. president. as a matter of fact, in this poll done by opinion opinion strategies in march of this -- done by public opinion strategies in march of this year,

Richard Burr

1:04:41 to 1:05:00( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: over 80% of the people polled overwhelmingly support small business health plans. in other words, this legislation legislation, the effort to bring new choices of products that are affordable to small

Richard Burr

1:05:00 to 1:05:14( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: businesses, to employers and more importantly to the employees that they hire. mr. president, in north carolina, we have 671,000 small businesses. 98% of firms with employees are considered small businesses

Richard Burr

1:05:14 to 1:05:30( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: in north carolina. don't let anybody come to the floor and tell you that this bill does not have an effect but on a select group of people. it may be a select, targeted group of people but it's

Richard Burr

1:05:30 to 1:05:51( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: 98% of the employers in north carolina. women-owned small businesses have increased 24% in north carolina since 1997. hispanic-owned small businesses have increased 24% since the same date. black-owned

Richard Burr

1:05:51 to 1:06:04( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: small businesses have increased 31% since 1997. and asian-owned small businesses have increased 74% since 1997. these are companies that benefit from this legislation. these are companies today that

Richard Burr

1:06:04 to 1:06:19( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: can't afford the premium costs of health insurance. therefore, their employee base goes without. they're in that category of uninsured that so many people come and talk about on this floor but they talk

Richard Burr

1:06:19 to 1:06:31( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: about them without the solution as to how they're covered. this is a population that in some cases today are on medicaid medicaid. they work full-time, their income level qualifies them and what

Richard Burr

1:06:31 to 1:06:47( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: would be the incentive for them to get off of medicaid? it would be for an employer to have the option to offer them health care the way a majority of america is now -- has now provided health

Richard Burr

1:06:47 to 1:07:05( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: care through their employer. but we're here in 30 hours of debate trying to decide whether we're going to allow members to come to the floor and debate a bill and to offer an amendments -- amendments

Richard Burr

1:07:05 to 1:07:19( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: that will allow us to switch from nothing to nothing, to nothing and something. for us to inject something, some ray of hope into the millions of americans that don't have coverage today. mr. president,

Richard Burr

1:07:19 to 1:07:38( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: let me read a few letters. i think it's always helpful to hear from people who this effects, the human face behind the issues that sometimes we lose on this floor just simply because we don't want to talk

Richard Burr

1:07:38 to 1:07:52( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: about names or pictures. this woman from sundbury, north carolina. she wrote me mid-april of this year. i'm just going to read some pieces. she says, "support sbhp legislation, s. 1955. i feel that

Richard Burr

1:07:52 to 1:08:08( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: this is very important because i haven't had health insurance in many years because my employer doesn't have access to affordable insurance to offer us." some suggest on this senate floor that that's

Richard Burr

1:08:08 to 1:08:21( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: not the case, that everybody's got the opportunity to have health insurance. "i haven't had health insurance in many years." why? "because my employer can't afford what's available." another one,

Richard Burr

1:08:21 to 1:08:32( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: received april of this year from a young lady in elizabeth city, north carolina. "please support senate bill 1955, the health insurance marketplace modernization and affordable act. my employer cannot

Richard Burr

1:08:32 to 1:08:47( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: afford health insurance for their employees. my husband works for ford. they're closing his plant soon. we'll have no insurance unless my employer offers it. i have premature twins. they were born three

Richard Burr

1:08:47 to 1:09:00( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: months early. it costs me $2,000 a month to feed them. that does not include any doctors appointments we have to go to. i feel that this is a great bill." what's america looking for? they're looking

Richard Burr

1:09:00 to 1:09:15( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: for hope. they're looking for to us produce a product out of this institution that actually fulfills their needs i don't know how it can be any clearer. it's not offered to me today because my employer

Richard Burr

1:09:15 to 1:09:31( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: can't afford the options that are in our marketplace. what do we do? we create new options that are affordable. that's in fact what the chairman's trying to do with this bill. here's a third one,

Richard Burr

1:09:31 to 1:09:43( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: it's also from elizabeth city but a different -- a different business. and it says, "small businesses need help with insurance" in big, bold letters. "i'm now paying $986 per month for my wife and myself.

Richard Burr

1:09:43 to 1:10:00( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: this is for only 60% coverage and a $2 5rbgs00 deductible. i know people with group insurance who are paying $600 a month for 80% coverage and $250 deductible. many of those have dental insurance

Richard Burr

1:10:00 to 1:10:15( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: as well. my policy provides none. please vote for this bill. allow small businesses to have coverage equal to employers of other size companies." that's all we're doing. we're using the scale of what

Richard Burr

1:10:15 to 1:10:26( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: people who have a tremendous amount of employees can do and that's so they can go to insurance carriers and they can negotiate for products based upon the volume that their employees provide. but

Richard Burr

1:10:26 to 1:10:43( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: how does a small business owner do that when he's got five or six or seven employees? well, it's real simple. we allow them to band together. we allow them to band together in a common association

Richard Burr

1:10:43 to 1:11:00( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: or bond that they have and we allow that association to then market their entire association based upon the volume. here's another letter that i got on 4/6. it says, "as a small business owner, it's important

Richard Burr

1:11:00 to 1:11:10( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: to enable some economy of scale in allowing franchises to obtain more affordable health care coverage." mr. president, the last one i'm going to read it quite unique. "as a professional photographer,

Richard Burr

1:11:10 to 1:11:21( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: i've seen firsthand the difficulty that my fellow professional photographers face when attempting to purchase health insurance on their own. s. 1955 would allow photographers and other independent business

Richard Burr

1:11:21 to 1:11:37( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: owners to band together across state lines and to purchase health insurance insurance. having this is an -- this as an option and choice will improve our access to quality health care and help control

Richard Burr

1:11:37 to 1:11:51( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: costs through competition." these are from people on the front lines. it's from employees whose employers can't offer it today because it's not affordable. it's from individuals who own businesses and

Richard Burr

1:11:51 to 1:12:11( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: would like to offer it to their employees. it's even from photographers, somebody who their life is in their hands every day in a camera but they can't afford the individual cost of health insurance in

Richard Burr

1:12:11 to 1:12:28( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: today's marketplace. mr. president, in north carolina, we have 1.3 million uninsured north carolinians. of that 1.3 million, almost 900,000 uninsured individuals are in families or on their own where

Richard Burr

1:12:28 to 1:12:47( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: one person at least works full-time. 900,000 of the 1.3 million uninsured in north carolina could potentially be offered health insurance with the passage of this bill. we can narrow it down from

Richard Burr

1:12:47 to 1:13:01( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: 1.3 million to 400,000 individuals that are uninsured in north carolina with the passage of one simple bill here, or at least they've got the option to be able to purchase it for once. 91% of workers in

Richard Burr

1:13:01 to 1:13:15( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: large firms a thousand employees or over have health insurance, yet 66% of workers in small businesses defined as ten employees or under have health insurance. well, when you -- if you remember

Richard Burr

1:13:15 to 1:13:31( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: the north carolina numbers, i said 98% of firms with employees were small business. think of the millions of americans that are going to be touched by the passage of this one piece of legislation that

Richard Burr

1:13:31 to 1:13:42( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: provides them choice. where today their choice is between nothing and nothing. tomorrow their choice is between nothing and something. why are we here? we're here in 30 hours -- on 30 hours of debate.

Richard Burr

1:13:42 to 1:13:59( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: not debate on the bill, not debate about the amendments. debate about whether we're going to proceed forward. we do that at a time where i just went back and did a quick calculation on the back of

Richard Burr

1:13:59 to 1:14:14( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: my calendar. we have 76 legislative days left between now and adjournment. that's assuming that we have productive days on fridays and mondays. and as the chairman knows, fridays and mondays are not always productive

Richard Burr

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

Richard Burr: in the halls of congress. they're either slow to get here or quick to leave. if you cut out -- if you take out fridays and mondays, we're down to 45 days. but you know, we're going to spend 30 hours

Richard Burr

1:14:28 to 1:14:45( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: trying to decide whether we're going to move forward to debate this bill and we'll spend another 30 hours after we file cloture on the bill to get to a point where we can have an up-or-down vote, if,

Richard Burr

1:14:45 to 1:14:58( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: in fact, we get that far. last night we voted on two medical liability bills, medical liability that covers the entire medical professional world, where last night we were denied the ability to proceed and

Richard Burr

1:14:58 to 1:15:17( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: to debate the legislation, much less amend it. and the second bill i think the american people would be shocked at. that we were denied the ability to move forward, to debate or amend a piece of legislation

Richard Burr

1:15:17 to 1:15:25( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: that limited the liability to ob-gyns in america, a specialty that we're losing specialists every day where every year people aren't reupping. but we'll spend 30 hours debating whether we proceed not

Richard Burr

1:15:25 to 1:15:39( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: necessarily -- whether we proceed, not necessarily the merits of the bill. and my hope is that the chairman will be successful and i'll be beside him arguing every step of the way. because without

Richard Burr

1:15:39 to 1:15:59( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: this, these americans don't have hope of a choice of anything other than nothing and nothing. i yield the floor.~ the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senator from california is recognize

Barbara Boxer

1:15:59 to 1:16:10( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: ed. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i -- my understanding is that senator dorgan had time at 5:00 set aside. so if he would like to take it now, then i will wait until his conclusion. and i would ask unanimous

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