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Senate Proceeding on Nov 18th, 2009 :: 0:59:25 to 1:14:05
Total video length: 7 hours 47 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Mary Landrieu

0:59:21 to 0:59:41( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: on the road to recovery. thank you, mr. president. as i yield the floor, i want to acknowledge the great leadership of the chairman of the small business community, the senator from louisiana. thank you. mr. president. i thank the senator from colorado and the senator from virginia for their remarks

Mary Landrieu

0:59:25 to 1:14:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mary Landrieu

Mary Landrieu

0:59:42 to 1:00:02( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: earlier this morning on the subject that i'm also going to speak on, which is the urgency for us to provide support and help to the millions of small businesses out there that are depending on us to get this reform done right. but, mr. president, before i go

Mary Landrieu

1:00:03 to 1:00:24( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: into those remarks, i would like to join my colleagues in mentioning and commenting and thanking senator byrd extraordinary leadership, not just to the people of west virginia, but to the people of our nation, and, in fact, mr. president, to millions of people around

Mary Landrieu

1:00:25 to 1:00:46( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: of the policies that he has driven here, the speeches, the words that he has put behind so many of the most remarkable policy half of the century. his work here has had enormous impacts. again, not just in his state and our nation but worldwide. i'm speaking also as a senator

Mary Landrieu

1:00:47 to 1:01:11( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: from louisiana today to give firsthand witness to his sensitivend timely and extraordinary leadership after the katrina and rita disasters now almost four and a half years ag it will be five years august. it's hard to believe that the

Mary Landrieu

1:01:12 to 1:01:34( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: hurricanes and the subsequent levy failures that devastated one of that devastated one of t reons of america. there were very few people that stood up here, really very few people that stood up here in waington. the administration at the time had a hard time grasping the scope of the disaster, but there was one person who understood. there were several others, but

Mary Landrieu

1:01:35 to 1:01:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: on in particular, senator byrd, who understood. and amazingly, without even having gone down there, which was very hard to understand if you didn't go to new orleans or south louisiana, but he instinctively understood because of his compassion and his great empathy, i guess developed over

Mary Landrieu

1:01:56 to 1:02:16( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: a lifetime of caring and giving and understanding and he heard the cries of the people, and he responded. and so because of his leadership on the appropriations committee, despite so much stacked against us, he was able to step up, and i will never forget people of o state will never forget the friend that we have

Mary Landrieu

1:02:17 to 1:02:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: in senator byrd. and he continues to this day to watch after our recovery and to support it, and if and when new orleans makes its 300th anniversary, which will be in 2018, our city will be 300 years old, there will be a person that needs to be thanked on that day for helping the city actually reach its 300th birthday, and

Mary Landrieu

1:02:39 to 1:03:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: that would be the great senator from west virginia. mr. president, i want to fo small congress about why they begin engaging in this very tough debate on health care.

Mary Landrieu

1:03:01 to 1:03:22( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: many different issues brought us to the table. one of the issues that brought me to this table of reform and negotiation was the desperate plight of small businesses in america, mr. president, who have nowhere to turn. as my colleagues have said in their very excellent statements

Mary Landrieu

1:03:23 to 1:03:43( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: this morning, the unpredictable and unsustainable and skyrocketing costs of health care to small business in america is damaging their ability to grow, is participating in an uptick of bankruptcies, is diminishing their ability to hire people and

Mary Landrieu

1:03:44 to 1:04:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: to create jobs at a time when our country created, perhaps more than ever in the last 25 or 30 years. so until we get health care right for small business, they can't get job creation right for america, and it's as simple as that.

Mary Landrieu

1:04:06 to 1:04:27( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: so as difficult as this debate has been, and it has been, very long, very arduous with lots of different views, one thing we must get right in these final weeks and months of this debate is getting it right for small business. i've heard from hundreds of small business owners as chairman of the small business committee.

Mary Landrieu

1:04:28 to 1:04:49( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: my members have heard from hundreds. we have heard almost from thousands through their representative associations, from conservative associations to associations representing a broad stretch of small businesses in this country, saying this is their number one issue.

Mary Landrieu

1:04:50 to 1:05:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: just this week, barbara biersmith who owns a sylvan learning center in monroe. 27 million that actually exists in the united states of america, 27 million. that's a lot of people, that's a lot of businesses, it's a lot of employees. she is one of them. this is what she wrote in the

Mary Landrieu

1:05:11 to 1:05:32( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: "monroe news star" this week." as a business owner, i have struggled in vain for more than 22 years to find a way to provide health insurance for my employees. health insurance providers tell me i have too few employees to make a group or they tell me that one of my employees has a pre-existing condition that exclude them from a group and

Mary Landrieu

1:05:33 to 1:05:53( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: that would then make the group too small. the kind of highly educated, experienced people i prefer to hire nearly always have pre-existing conditions. who doesn't have a pre-existing condition by the age of considering that being of child-bearing age with some of these plans is now a pre-existing condition.

Mary Landrieu

1:05:54 to 1:06:14( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: just being of child-bearing age and being a woman is now considered a pre-existing condition, i think barbara's right. who doesn't have a pre-existing condition these days based on the interpretation of some of these policies? she goes on to say: "because my business can't provide good

Mary Landrieu

1:06:15 to 1:06:35( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: health benefits, i'm restricted to hiring people who are covered by their spouse's medical insurance." and this is something that's not talked about often, so i will take a minute. i know my colleague from washington is waiting to speak so i will go through this as quickly as i can. i hear this over and over again when i'm home on the streets and in the towns and communities.

Mary Landrieu

1:06:36 to 1:06:58( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: i don't hear it here, so let me say it. i have any number of people that come up to me and say, you know, senator, thank you for working hard on health care. i'm a little concerned or confused about what you all are doing, but try to get it right because my health care is through my spouse who works for the government or my health care is through my spouse who works for a big cpany.

Mary Landrieu

1:06:59 to 1:07:21( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: if i didn't have that health care -- i was just in a restaurant last week. the gentleman that owns it was telling me this -- i couldn't be a small business owner because at least my health care is covered through my spouse. it's time for us to get the policy right in america so everyone can go to work and say they have health care that they can afford and access to it.

Mary Landrieu

1:07:22 to 1:07:44( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: she goes on to pray our representatives and senators soon pass federal legislation to help really small businesses of america. let me say that i hope that help is on the way. if we can negotiate this terms of subsidies for small businesses, particularly these very small businesses of under ten please

Mary Landrieu

1:07:45 to 1:08:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: or 25 employees, it would really help." the situation barbara is face something not acceptable and must be corrected, but her situation, as i said, is not unique. according to a report by the small business majority, health care costs for small businesses are expected to increase from

Mary Landrieu

1:08:27 to 1:08:49( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: small business cannot pay. this is a bill, they cannot pay. we must get this cost moving in a different direction. it will take some time, but we must get this chart from going up to have pushed every day of this

Mary Landrieu

1:08:50 to 1:09:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: debate containment. not only is it important for taxpayers and for the government, it's absolutely critical for small businesses to have more this shows the graph in a different way. this shows the cumulative cost of health first one, and now this is the

Mary Landrieu

1:09:13 to 1:09:34( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: job loss which will move from 178,000 small businesses will be lost in 2018 up from 39,000 because companies just can't continue to hire if they have got to pay higher premiums for the employees that they still have working for them.

Mary Landrieu

1:09:35 to 1:09:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: costs are high because a broken insura in order to satisfy their stockholders put a greater focus on their bottom and i understand when you're in business, you need to make a profit, and i understand that's why you're in business. i as a democrat have no problem with people making profits and significant ones as long as the

Mary Landrieu

1:10:18 to 1:10:39( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the people that you are trying to serve. and so we need some adjustments in those rules and regulations, and that is what i think we are doing i but more alarmingly, getting back to the statistics, according to some reports the recent "new york times" article, the insurance companies are plan to go raise rates even higher

Mary Landrieu

1:10:40 to 1:11:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: today in anticipation of our reform efforts. this is very unsettling and the sooner we act, the better, i think, that we will be. to help reform this market to bring some order and to order and a framework that would be extremely helpful. lack of choice and competion

Mary Landrieu

1:11:01 to 1:11:22( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: is a problem. as i said in louisiana, our two top insurers maintain 74% of the market. in two of the market. this is not real choice. it's not real competion, and that's why the exchanges that we have in most of the base bills, making them more robust, making

Mary Landrieu

1:11:23 to 1:11:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the subsidies as generous as we can to encourage individuals to assume responsibility for their health care, as well as subsidizing small businesses to encourage them to get into these larger pools, i really believe and many of us believe that that will help to drive down costs as we reform the private market. to level the playing field for

Mary Landrieu

1:11:46 to 1:12:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: small business and to provide working families with more choices at lower cost, the bill we will vote on here in the senate will have as robust an exchange system as posble. these excnges will allow businesses and individuals pool to give them the negotiating power and to spread risk. we estimate, mr. president,

Mary Landrieu

1:12:07 to 1:12:29( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: today that small businesses, as senator warner said, the senator from virginia, pay retail. everybody else pays wholesale. small busine pays retail. and the price of paying retail is a premiums that you're paying than large bus so we want to get that savings. the exchanges will achieve that.

Mary Landrieu

1:12:30 to 1:12:51( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the exchanges will also achieve lower administrative costs so you don't have to hire a full-time lawyer, a full-time accountant to navigate the wide variety or actually limited choices today that you will -- today, that you will have more transparency, more robust exchanges. and finally, regardless of the level of benefit choices, there

Mary Landrieu

1:12:52 to 1:13:13( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: should be a limit on how much individuals spend out of pocket, a minimum standard of care among all plans. these are some of the protections that we're working on for small businesses and will benefit individuals as well. so again for being on the floor this morning. i think senator cantwell, the senator from washington, is here

Mary Landrieu

1:13:14 to 1:13:35( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: to give voice to this important part of the and again, we have hundreds of members of congress. we all came to this debate carrying various issues and with greater concerns than others. one of my great concerns has been as we dig ourselves out of this great recession, some say the worst

Mary Landrieu

1:13:36 to 1:13:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: economic situation since the great depression. mr. president, the only way we're going to do that is for businesses to create jobs, and right now there is a big burden that they have been carrying alone. they need help, they need support, they need more tax credits, more robust subsidies, a more ord framework that allows the insurance companies to be in

Mary Landrieu

1:13:58 to 1:14:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: business and to make a profit, but also allows small business to be able to afford quality coverage for american workers so

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