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Senate Proceeding on Jun 9th, 2009 :: 0:27:50 to 0:43:25
Total video length: 2 hours 34 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Charles Schumer

0:27:47 to 0:28:10( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: mr. schumer: thank you. first let me thank my friend and colleague from illinois for his strong and forceful words, meaningful, bringing it home, as he always does, in a very strong and good way about individuals and how they are affected. i'd like to talk a little bit about where we're at in health care and where we have to

Charles Schumer

0:27:50 to 0:43:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Charles Schumer

Charles Schumer

0:28:11 to 0:28:33( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: let me just say, mr. president, that about ten years ago -- i can't remember the exact time -- there was a, one the major issues we faced was called the patient bill of rights. people felt, doctors felt, patients felt, everyone felt that h.m.o.'s were taking undue

Charles Schumer

0:28:34 to 0:28:54( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: advantage of them. doctors, a patient needed desperately a prescription. they'd call up some accountant in a faraway city, couldn't get approval and the patient wouldn't get the medicine. it sort of hit home. there was a movie called "as good as it gets." it had jack ni coleson and can't remember the name of the woman

Charles Schumer

0:28:55 to 0:29:15( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: who was the star in there as well. and the family couldn't get the health care they needed because the h.m.o. turned them down. and i believe it was her child who was really hurting. and when she and jack made remarks about how somebody has to keep an ey

Charles Schumer

0:29:16 to 0:29:36( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: h.m.o.s in theaters across america, the audience got up and cheered. that's again what we're talking about here today when we talk about public option. every one of us has a friend, a family member, or maybe it's ourselves who has experienced the basic intransigence of insurance companies

Charles Schumer

0:29:37 to 0:29:57( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: providing, even when you have a package of benefits, in providing the kind of care you or a loved one, a member of your family, needs. it's clear in america that the insurance companies -- and they're doing their job,

Charles Schumer

0:29:58 to 0:30:18( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: maximizing their profit to their shareholders, and of course our capitalist system says that they have to maximize it by trying to sell as many policies as possible. so there's some check on it. but it's clear that not happy with insurance companies. my good friend, the minority

Charles Schumer

0:30:19 to 0:30:44( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: leader from kentucky, keeps saying we don't want the government involved. well, let me ask you, who is going to protect the individual and even some of the individual providers -- the doctor in a small town or inner city ghetto from the insurance company when the insurance company either charges too much, tries to get

Charles Schumer

0:30:45 to 0:31:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: rid of, like in the case of the small businessman from springfield, that my friend, dick durbin talked when they are denied coverage, or when they can't get coverage, or we're not renewing your proposal, or whatever.

Charles Schumer

0:31:07 to 0:31:28( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: we understand that there needs to be a check on the insurance companies, and left alone they will not provide the kind low-cost full health care that many, many americans need. when we propose

Charles Schumer

0:31:29 to 0:31:49( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: we are proposing someone to keep a check on them. that's the only point here. if we had complete faith in the insurance companies, we wouldn't be debating public option. if we had complete faith that left on their the situation, an illness, and

Charles Schumer

0:31:50 to 0:32:10( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: your costs went way up, they said, sure, we're going to take care of you, you contract when you were healthy and now that happens, i'm not saying it never happens but what about the times it doesn't. and praise god we're healthy, and it mig

Charles Schumer

0:32:11 to 0:32:31( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: there has to be a check on the insurance companies. that public option does. the insurance companies are part of the free enter ris it's a great system. in

Charles Schumer

0:32:32 to 0:32:53( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: probably in their charters -- their goal is to maximize profits to the shareholders by producing a good product. but we all know, particularly when it comes to health, that system has it sometimes works. and it sometimes doesn't work. if we thought only the private

Charles Schumer

0:32:54 to 0:33:15( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: sector should provide health have and i know there are some way over on the right side, who would like to get rid of medicare. if we thought that private insurance on its own worked just fine, we wouldn't have fought for years for a patient bill of

Charles Schumer

0:33:16 to 0:33:37( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: rights. so this idea, coming from the minority, that we should have no check on the insurance companies which is what we would have if we had no form of public option, isn't where the american people are at.

Charles Schumer

0:33:38 to 0:34:00( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: it's certainly not where i'm now, some bring up, and ihink it's a valid art, the argument, well, if the government is involved -- by that the government take over health care; we're proposing that in this exchange where all kinds of insurance companies compete that there be at least

Charles Schumer

0:34:01 to 0:34:21( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: one who doesn't put the profit motive above all but has to put patients above all, a public option. it doesn't make a profit. what we're saying is, if you believe in competion, why not let the public option compete. we do this in state governments.

Charles Schumer

0:34:22 to 0:34:43( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: in state governments if you are a state worker you can sometimes -- in public plan or a private plan. that pass how it should be. we are simply saying, you know, just as there say i don't think there should

Charles Schumer

0:34:44 to 0:35:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: be any private sector involved in health care, it should all be public -- and many people think that's not the right just as wrong if you think that's wrong, which i know my friend from kentucky does, to say it should only be private sector.

Charles Schumer

0:35:07 to 0:35:30( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: let's see who does a better job. let marketplace. my view is this: there has to be a level playing field. option such advantages that overwhelm the private sector. the proposal i've made and others are looking at things

Charles Schumer

0:35:31 to 0:35:53( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: like this, senator bingaman one; my friends in the house, i think congressman welch and murphy, were saying we can try the government won't -- playing field level. the government won't keep pouring money in, it sets it up and it has to compete.

Charles Schumer

0:35:54 to 0:36:14( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: if the private sector needs preserves, because of catastrophic option, so will the public option. i am certain those who are interested in public obligation are interested in suggestions on making thelaying field level but make no mistake the public option is a different model. the public option will not have to make a profit. that's about 10% or 12%,hat

Charles Schumer

0:36:15 to 0:36:37( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: guess to health care for the maybes. the public option will not have to merchandise and advertise. that's often 20%. so right off the bat publi option has playing field but has 30% of its revenues that can go t patient health care. now my friends on the other side say, well, the public option

Charles Schumer

0:36:38 to 0:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: isn't very efficient. that it doesn't give direction and direct you to the right opinion to cure this disease but lets people go all over. well, if it's not, it's in the going to work. mr. president, if i were designing a health care s i'd even look carefully at single-payer.

Charles Schumer

0:37:01 to 0:37:22( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: i believe we do need control mechanisms. i think the insurance companies themselves no matter how we try to regulate them, will figure out ways around it. that is almost their mandate. their goal is to maximize profit. there is nothing wrong with that. but we're not going to get system pair here. we know -- not going to get single-payer here. we know that. and we're probable not giveen

Charles Schumer

0:37:23 to 0:37:46( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: going to get something called medicare for all, a more pure system that frankly is not a level playing field. but just as we have to compromise and move to t center a little something done, so do my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. again, when they say no public option, it's the inverse of

Charles Schumer

0:37:47 to 0:38:07( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: saying no private insurance comp let's see who d my view is this: the public option will have cerin advantages. it won't have to make a profit. it won't have to advertise in merchandise. but on the other hand, it's going to have responsibilities. when dick durbin's friend from springfield can't get ensure

Charles Schumer

0:38:08 to 0:38:29( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: from a private -- get insurance fr a private company, the public option will be there and that may be more expensive. we will try to pass laws saying the private insurance companies has to keep dick durbin's friend, the small businessman who is paying for his own insurance who got a huge increase in costs. but if you do believe as i do

Charles Schumer

0:38:30 to 0:38:50( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and i think most americans that the priva not going to imris this anisnot going goi not going to embrace there will be an intention of not covering people like that, the public option will step in.

Charles Schumer

0:38:51 to 0:39:12( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: so it is a different model, there is no question. it is not just another insurance company that happens public but it will be a playing field. there will be a playing feed where if the private insurance under certain rules the public open plan is under certain rules. if the private company has to leave reserves, the public

Charles Schumer

0:39:13 to 0:39:34( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: company will have to leave reserves. no one is seeking to unlevel the playing field but we are seeking keeping the insurance companies honest. a public option will bring in transparency when we know what the public option has will say why isn't the private

Charles Schumer

0:39:35 to 0:39:56( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: insurer paying a public option will keep the exchanges' that is why president obama feels strongly about it. he said so in his letter the my friend from iowa, senator grassley, said he was just being political. i don't think so. i think he studied this and he knows a public option will make the system work

Charles Schumer

0:39:57 to 0:40:17( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: it may be after three years the public option fails and isn't need. fine. fine. but i don't believe that will happen. but we're not going to in the public option just keep putting more and government money in till it wipes out the insurance companies. that's not the intent.

Charles Schumer

0:40:18 to 0:40:40( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the intent is to have a robust market like we have in other state and some of the federal systems where many different plans compete. one is a public option. there might also be co-ops like my friend from north dakota has been advocating. there will be plenty of private insurance companies. i'd say one other thing here: my

Charles Schumer

0:40:41 to 0:41:01( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: friends on the other side of the aisle say -- well, why can't we just have the private insurer compote and is a whole lot of plans. we don't have that in the vast majority of states now. we have a system where any private company can sell insurance but i believe the statistic is right and i'll correct the record if it is not

Charles Schumer

0:41:02 to 0:41:22( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: but the thrust is, i think, in more than half our states the top two companies have more than 50% of the market. there is usually not unvarnished competition when you jus leave it to the private insurance but

Charles Schumer

0:41:23 to 0:41:43( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: rather, that leads to price setting, pric leadership is what the economists call it. nobody tries to undercut on price. we've seen this with oil industry, for instance, where there are five big oil companies. and you don't get the kind of competition that you would from a public option even if there were only one or two insurance

Charles Schumer

0:41:44 to 0:42:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: companies competing. so i ask my colleagues, in conclusion, on the other side of the aisle, (a), to be open minded; we haven't said "no" this or "no" that." when you say no public option you say you want the private insurance companies, under the guise of

Charles Schumer

0:42:07 to 0:42:28( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: competition, run the show. and if you believe that will work, fine. but then you also will believe the public option won't be a threat to them. some of us who were worried that left to their own devices the priefs insurance companies will not -- the private insurance companies will not serve either

Charles Schumer

0:42:29 to 0:42:50( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: all or most of the public as they should be served say, let there be the competive advantage or the competive competition, being redundant, of a public option, on a level playing field thatas no particular built in advantages but has a different model.

Charles Schumer

0:42:51 to 0:43:12( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: no profit, no merchandising, serve the patient first. and this debate will continue. but i would just say to my fellow members out there who might be listening to this, when you hear the public option, ask them, who will provide a check on the insurance companies? and do you

Charles Schumer

0:43:13 to 0:43:25( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: companie even with some government regulation, won't find their way out of the regulations or to avoid the regulations or to walk around. the debate will continue.

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