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Senate Proceeding on Jul 30th, 2009 :: 0:49:50 to 1:01:10
Total video length: 4 hours 30 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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John Ensign

0:49:43 to 0:50:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: senator from nevada would give me an indication of how long he might be able to speak. mr. ensign: at the minutes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senator from nevada. mr. ensign: i thank the assistant

John Ensign

0:49:50 to 1:01:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Ensign

John Ensign

0:50:04 to 0:50:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: from illinois, for that courtesy. madam president, i rise to talk about health care reform this morning. it is critical in our system that we have the health care system in the but it's too expensive for too many americans.

John Ensign

0:50:25 to 0:50:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: and because of that, too many americans are uninsured. and not only are too many americans uninsured, for those who have insurance, a lot of folks, especially if you're employed by haven't gotten the kind of raises that you would otherwise gotten simply because if pple are paying more and more for your health insurance, there isn't the money there to

John Ensign

0:50:47 to 0:51:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: be able to give you higher wages. and so it's critical for so many reasons that we address the cost issue. we spend about $2 trillion a year in the united states on health care. someeople say we need to spend more. i disagree with that. i actually think we spend plenty of money in the united states on health care. we just don't spend it in the right ways.

John Ensign

0:51:08 to 0:51:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: we need to eliminate a lot of the waste, a lot of the bureaucratic spending on health -- of our health care dollars and get that money actually to the patients. now, there are five different committees between the house and the senate that are working on health care reform proposals. three in the house, two in the senate. let me address very quickly the

John Ensign

0:51:30 to 0:51:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: "help" committ bill, which is one of the committees from the united states senate that has passed a bill. it was passed straight party lines. and i think one of the reasons -- i'll of the flaws i believe that happened with that bill. first of all, it's not paid for. second of all, it's too

John Ensign

0:51:51 to 0:52:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: expensive and it doesn't cover enough people, especially for the money that is spent. 200 times in the secretary of health and human services new powers to establish programs, parameters, appropriate moneys and otherwise

John Ensign

0:52:13 to 0:52:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: dictate the course of one-sixth of our economy. 200 different times. this was about a 600-page bill. and if each one of those times were it detailed out where it of health and human services, if that was actually written in bill form at that point, this bill probably would have about

John Ensign

0:52:35 to 0:52:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: that's how incredibly complex our health care system is and how even more complex some people are trying to make it. this bill creates 50 new offices, bureaus, commissions, programs 87 new government programs alone

John Ensign

0:52:58 to 0:53:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: are created in the community so -- and the democrats rejected on a amendmen instructed the bill -- prevented the bill from riding funds on bike paths and street lights.

John Ensign

0:53:19 to 0:53:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: i like to see bike paths and things like that, but there is no place for that in the health care reform bill we're trying to put before the united states senate and the u.s. house of representatives. furthermore, the final cost of the bill has not been released. now, i'm on the finance committee, and there is a group of bipartisan senators trying to

John Ensign

0:53:40 to 0:54:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: work together to come up with an agreement. they have not been able to do that. the big reason is they're trying to finalize the details. the details are extraordinarily challenging because of how complex our health care system is today. that's why we need to take our time and

John Ensign

0:54:02 to 0:54:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: you don't mess with one-fifth o one-sixth of the economy of the united states and get itrong. there really are no do-overs when it comes to health care reform when we're doing it on this massive of a scale f. we mess it up, we literally can mess -p our country, we can mess up the economy of our country

John Ensign

0:54:23 to 0:54:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: and threaten the very existence of our system of government because we can bankrupt our country. we all know that medicare and medicaid are threatening to bankrupt our system of govement as it stands tod and all the "help" committ bill and other bills that have been introduced so far do is they accelerate how fast medicare and medicaid can bring

John Ensign

0:54:46 to 0:55:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: economic collapse to the united states. madam president, i'm working on other proposals. there are examples out where things are being done right in the health care system. i've told colleagues many times about safeway. safeway is a years ago

John Ensign

0:55:07 to 0:55:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: costs were just skyrocketing every year. with 200,000 employees they were spending health care going up every year. when a company is only making $200 million to $300 million a year and their costs are going up 20% a year, you could see the writing was on the they were going to bankrupt their company just with health

John Ensign

0:55:29 to 0:55:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: care costs. so theset out on a new course, and they focused on four areas. they incentivized their people through lower premiums if either they didn't smoke or they would quit smoking. and they also provided the smoking cessation products. they focused on or weight management.

John Ensign

0:55:51 to 0:56:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: if you were in the proper body mass index or if you would lose weight, they would give you a lower health care premium. they also focused on cholesterol and hypertension. they didn't having high cholesterol. they rewarded you for keeping your cholesterol under control

John Ensign

0:56:12 to 0:56:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: and they rewarded you for keeping your blood pressure under control. rewarding healt actually wor safeway is a very good example. what happened past four years? compared to the rest of the united states, they have been able to lower their health care costs by 40%. unfortunately, the congressional budget office, which is the official scorekeeper around here, looking at how much money

John Ensign

0:56:35 to 0:56:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: is going to be saved, their models don't work with something like the their economic models don't work. the bean counters around here, unfortunately, don't know how to put that into application for the rest of the country, which is because i believe if we make some of the same modeling that safeway did for the rest of the country, we could save huge amounts of money in our health

John Ensign

0:56:56 to 0:57:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: care system. we don't have to save 40% like safeway did. if we save 10% -- heck, if we don't save anything, if we just freeze the rate of growth to zero, we will be s money that we'll have plenty of money to be able to cover the uninsured. but unfortunately, the congressional budget office

John Ensign

0:57:17 to 0:57:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: doesn't say that it's going to save money. it's ludicrous, though, that having people quitting smoking, having them rewarding them for proper management wouldn't save money. we need to change the economic models that we have around here. not only will that save money, but it will also lead to higher-quality lives.

John Ensign

0:57:39 to 0:57:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: obesity is epidemic in the united states. type 2 diabetes is rampant. most type 2 diabetics can actually be reversed or at least controlled based on diet and exercise. and we need to encourage healthier behaviors in the united states. and instead of just having a

John Ensign

0:58:00 to 0:58:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: sick-care system, let's actually turn it into a true health care system here in the united states. another thing that we need do, i believe very strongly, and this is a role for the government, we need to provide transparency on cost and quality so that individuals

John Ensign

0:58:22 to 0:58:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: in the bay area, a colonoscopy can cost anywher from $800 to $8,000. well, if you provide costs and quality measurements, if the government does, that information across the united states, people can set up plans and they can say here's what the various costs are. we're going to pay, let's say, between the $800 and $8,000,

John Ensign

0:58:44 to 0:59:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: let's say they pay $1,200. then if you want the more expensive one, tough pay the difference. if you want the less expensive one, you can get the difference. that will cause people to shop, and they will have the information based on cost and quality of outcomes to be able to make smart medical decisions. the one thing that we don't want to do, madam president, is we don't want to put

John Ensign

0:59:05 to 0:59:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: making those decisions in between the docr and the patient. that is a precious relationship between a doctor and a patie, and we don't want the government making those i don't want to see a government-run plan that says, you know what? we're going to have rationing. so many other countries around the world, that's how they control their costs.

John Ensign

0:59:27 to 0:59:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: they actually ration care. there's delayed care. and we have better outcomes in the united states than, say, on cancer, on cardio vascular disease, on so many other areas that have government-run health care plans. so, i think it's critical that

John Ensign

0:59:48 to 1:00:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: we get together as republicans and democrats, really as americans, and come up with a health care system that is lower in cost and even better in quality than we have today. of the comieght committe committees out there are not going to achieve that. i've done several town hall meetings in the last couple of weeks.

John Ensign

1:00:10 to 1:00:31( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: we've called almost a couple hundred thousand niewndz talked to many of them -- and talked to them of them, gotten their feedback. one thing that is not quite unanous but iell from the calls we're seervetion its yeefer whelming, and that's people do not want a g plan.

John Ensign

1:00:32 to 1:00:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: they don't want a government rationing care. whatever plan we come up with shore include a government-run health care plan. i feel strongly about that, and i think as more and more of the american people find out what the effects after government-run plan would more opposition coming to that. so, madam president, i appreciate the senator from

John Ensign

1:00:54 to 1:01:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: illinois first, and let's get together as americans and do the right thing on health care and join, as independents across this country and have a health care s that is lower-cost and better-quality. madam president, i yield the fl

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