Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Oct 21st, 2009 :: 0:56:05 to 1:04:40
Total video length: 10 hours 20 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Roger F. Wicker

0:56:01 to 0:56:23( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president, i understand that i am recognized for 10 minutes. the presiding officer: the senator is correct. a senator: i'd like to talk

Roger F. Wicker

0:56:05 to 1:04:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Roger F. Wicker

Roger F. Wicker

0:56:24 to 0:56:45( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: further about health care reform. mr. wicker: earlier this month the senate finance voted to approve a deeply flawed bill that would raise taxes, cut medicare, increase government spending, increase health care premiums, and actually drive the cost of health care up, not down. we note finance committee's bill will not be the final product

Roger F. Wicker

0:56:46 to 0:57:06( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: voted on by the senate. three or four members of one party and one party only, without the press there without the public looking in, without other members ofhe senate there, are meeting now behind closed doors to merger the finance committee bill with the "help" committee's version. the secret nature of these meetings is all the more reason for the final

Roger F. Wicker

0:57:07 to 0:57:28( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: bill to be made available to the public prior to a final vote. we've all heard the outcry from our constituents asking us to read the bills before we vote on them. i think we should go one step further than reading this health care bill ourselves. we should allow the public to read the bill themselves. just recently eight of my

Roger F. Wicker

0:57:29 to 0:57:50( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: friends on the other side of the aisle cent letter to the -- sent a letter to the majority leader demanding rightly that this health care legislation be made available for 72 hours before the senate proceeds with this bill. the letter fm these eight conscientious democrats says, among other things, and i quote,

Roger F. Wicker

0:57:51 to 0:58:11( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: "without a doubt, resphorming health care in america is one of the most monumental and far-reaching undertakingings considered by this body in decade." it goes on to ask four things of the majority leader. that the legislative text and complete budget scores from c.b.o. on the health care legislation to be considered on

Roger F. Wicker

0:58:12 to 0:58:32( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: the floor be made available 72 hours in advance. secondly, the letter asks that the legislative text and complete c.b.o. score of the health care legislation, as amended, be made available and they make the same request as far as amendments to be filed and offered on the floor, and

Roger F. Wicker

0:58:33 to 0:58:54( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: the final conference report, which might come from the house and senate. i congratulate these members of the other party for making this request. the question i think on the minds of people around washington, d.c., and around the country watching this issue is, will this request be ignored?

Roger F. Wicker

0:58:55 to 0:59:17( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: will these eight members of the democratic kaw cause be steam rolled by -- caucus be steam rolled by their leadership? will this conscientious request be cast aside by the majority leader? the people deserve to see the final product, the product of the majority party, and we know that the american people want to see it, because more -- as more

Roger F. Wicker

0:59:18 to 0:59:40( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: americans learn about the product, the less they like it. a survey released monday nowndz that a -- found that a majority of americans omed the plans backed by the president and democrats in congress. this skepticism persists despite the best public relations efforts of my the bill approved by the finance

Roger F. Wicker

0:59:41 to 1:00:01( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: committee essentially is still a partisan one. numerous studies and have highlighted how the bill's new mandates would actually raise insurance premiums for americans, not lower them. a recent price waterhouse coopers analysis of the bill found that by 2019 the average cost of a family's insurance

Roger F. Wicker

1:00:02 to 1:00:25( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: policy would increase by $4,000 more than it would if congress simply does nothing at all. of course, no that congress do nothing at all. the status quo is clearly inadequate, and there are many things we could do on step-by-step basis to improve the health of americans.

Roger F. Wicker

1:00:26 to 1:00:46( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: but back to this $4,000 in extra cost for factor behind them is the staggering tax hikes necessary to p for this $1 trillion new entitlement program. the finance committee's proposal raises taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars on insurance plans, on medical device

Roger F. Wicker

1:00:47 to 1:01:09( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: producers, on pharmaceuticals. we all know that taxes will not lower the costs of these services. in fact, we can expect just the opposite. these taxes will be paid by average americans. former c.b.o. director douglas holtz aiken recently said these costs will be passed on to consumers by either directly

Roger F. Wicker

1:01:10 to 1:01:32( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: raising insurance premiums or by fueling higher health care costs that inevitably lead to higher premiums. he went on to say, the plan would not only fail to reduce the cost burden on middle-class families, it wld make that burden significantly worse. now, in addition to failing to reduce the price of health care, the finance plan carries a

Roger F. Wicker

1:01:33 to 1:01:54( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: number of other serious flaws, particularly as it relates to medicare and health care options for our seniors. the bill cuts medicare by $500 billion. now let me repeat that, mr. president. the bill cuts $500 billion from medicare, despite the fact that

Roger F. Wicker

1:01:55 to 1:02:16( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: the medicare program is already insolvent and on the path to bankruptcy by the year 2017 unless we take action. billions of medicare dollars would be from nursing homes, from hospice care under this finance committee proposal. it would also slash $120 billion from medicare advantage, denying

Roger F. Wicker

1:02:17 to 1:02:37( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: 11 million seniors the health care choices and options that regular medicare does not offer. if these provisions were not bad enough, the bill's negative impact on state budgets is even more disturbing. medicaid would be expanded to a level that threatens funding of essential state services like

Roger F. Wicker

1:02:38 to 1:03:00( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: ucation, like law enforcement. in my state of mississippi, medicaid payments already make up 12% of our state's overall budget. and governor barbour joined a growing chorus of governors, both republican and democrat, in rning of the consequences of congress forcing states to shoulder more of the medicaid burden.

Roger F. Wicker

1:03:01 to 1:03:21( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: in fact, if the finance bill is enacted, medicaid's expansion would result in fully 25% of americans being on this government-run health care system, and we know, mr. president, is now run so poorly that many physicians will not accept medicaid patients.

Roger F. Wicker

1:03:22 to 1:03:42( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: and the bill proposes that we put one-quarter of americans on this after weeks of talk bill that's worse than the status quo, and i feel this bill will only get worse when the majority leader emerges from his secret negotiations and tries to

Roger F. Wicker

1:03:43 to 1:04:04( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: pass his version of a federal health care takeover. mr. presiden i think we can do better. raising taxes, increasing costs and eliminating choice is hardly the type of health care reform the american people want, particularly during a time when unemployment levels are at a 25-year high.

Roger F. Wicker

1:04:05 to 1:04:25( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: there are many commonsense reforms that could pass congress quickly and with bipartisan support. this is not a choice between a federal takeover and the status quo. a step-by-step approach can inject competion, increase choices, and use market principles to bring down prices.

Roger F. Wicker

1:04:26 to 1:04:40( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: by allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines, by implementing medical malpractice reform, and allowing small businesses to join in association health plans, we can lower the cost of health care

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