Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Oct 8th, 2009 :: 8:48:25 to 8:54:05
Total video length: 11 hours 47 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Tom Udall

8:48:22 to 8:48:43( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: about his support for the public opti. the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: i would ask, mr. presid for those of us that are on the floor here to carry on a colloquy, talking about a public option. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: and senator brown, i would just say that the number in new mexico -- you know, you

Tom Udall

8:48:25 to 8:54:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Udall

Tom Udall

8:48:44 to 8:49:05( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: have a range on your chart over there, but the number in new mexico is companies, two companies controlling 65% of the market. so we're talking aut a situation that isn't very competitive. and i think that's the bottom hearing. we have had our colleague from oregon, senator merkley here.

Tom Udall

8:49:06 to 8:49:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: we have had debbie stabenow from michigan. other colleagues here on the floor speak to that situation their states and why we should proceed with the public option. and let me, first of all, say to the senator from ohio, i appreciate him -- his leadership. i know that he was on the "help" committee. the "help" committee is the one

Tom Udall

8:49:27 to 8:49:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: that wrote the public option bill that we have the opportunity legislation here, so he was on the committee. some of us are getting into writing the legislation now, but that -- one of the best public options that's out there is the one that came out of senator kennedy's committee.

Tom Udall

8:49:48 to 8:50:10( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: it's been passed for a couple of months, and it's sitting right there, ready to go if we just put it in. you kno ask, when we -- and we talk here on the floor about a public option, what exactly are we talking about? i think people have a right to know we're talking about when we say

Tom Udall

8:50:11 to 8:50:31( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: and i think if i outline that a little bit, people will see why it's so important to have a public so let me give a little bit of an outline. first of all, it would be voluntary. we're not forcing anybody to get into it. we're talking about a voluntary system. so you would have a choice to

Tom Udall

8:50:32 to 8:50:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: get into it based on whether or not it would fit your particular circumstances. the public option would not be subsidized by the government. it would be fully financed by premiums. so this would be something where people would be paying premiums, the premiums would come in, and we would deficit.

Tom Udall

8:50:55 to 8:51:16( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: you would be creating a good, solid insurance situation and insuring people. we've heard, as senator brown has talked about here a little bit over and over again, and he put up a chart over there, about these incredible salaries. well, one of the things that a public option would do is you don't -- you don't make profit for the shareholders.

Tom Udall

8:51:17 to 8:51:37( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: you have the opportunity to take those premiums and put them back into health care. and so that -- that, once aga is something that's very important. but let's look here at this chart that senator brown has just loaned me here for a minute. but look at the total

Tom Udall

8:51:38 to 8:51:58( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: compensation for c.e.o.'s of major health insurance in 2008. aetna, $24.3 million. cigna, wel look at these salarie i mean, this is a total about eight or ten of t $85 million, $85 million in

Tom Udall

8:51:59 to 8:52:19( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: salaries. what we're talking about is money being spent on health care for people through a public option. one of the other things that i think would be a hallmark of a public option would be having low administrative costs since it operates on a nonprofit basis. now, one of the things that you

Tom Udall

8:52:20 to 8:52:43( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: should know insurance compies where you have these -- these working is they have administrative costs in the range that we've heard about, 30% administrative so what happens here is money comes in on the premiums, but they spend an incredible

Tom Udall

8:52:44 to 8:53:05( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: amount of time forth, denying claims, telling doctors they shouldn't put that in, they're not going to cover it, and it builds up into a big administtive cost. well, the great thing about a public option is that you don't have that high administrative and one of the comparisons there, senator brown, a you know,

Tom Udall

8:53:06 to 8:53:27( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: from vermont, i think medicare has 3% administrative costs. so here you have a comparison. % to 3%. one of the other parts of a public option that i really makes a difference is exerting bargaing power to obtain discounts from providers. that could make a big difference if we had a public option operating out there.

Tom Udall

8:53:28 to 8:53:49( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: we would offer savings to subscribers with lower premiums. we should follow the same insurance requirements private plans. and what we would offer through a public option would be low cost and high value. so basically, what we're talking about here is companies honest, driving the

Tom Udall

8:53:50 to 8:54:06( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: costs down, and competitive market. senator sanders, know, as you well know, the situation right now serving the american people. and i know -- and i know that you wanted to comment on your situation in vermont and what's

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