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Senate Proceeding on Nov 19th, 2009 :: 0:33:15 to 0:36:45
Total video length: 10 hours 21 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Tom Udall

0:33:10 to 0:33:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: republican senators a for governors that may want to do things differently in their state, and so what we have done here is give them the option of opting out in this public option that we're providing. i personally, looking at the facts and looking at the situation, i don't know why a state would want to opt out, but

Tom Udall

0:33:15 to 0:36:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Udall

Tom Udall

0:33:31 to 0:33:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: there's going to be the check and balance there of the legislature having to pass a law, the governor having to sign it and say we don't want to have anything to do with the public option, but we realize that with the public option, that you bring competion to the market. you expose these high administrative costs that you just talked about.

Tom Udall

0:33:52 to 0:34:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: you know, one of the things people don't realize on administrative costs is the federal government runs the medicare program. here you have a program that when i go to town hall meetings, i say raise your hand if you're on medicare. they will put their hand up. i'll say keep your hand up if you like medicare, and so they will raise their hand and they

Tom Udall

0:34:13 to 0:34:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: will keep it up. you know, 95% of the people like medicare. well, medicare has a 3%, 3% administrative cost, and as you just said earlier, the insurance companies that we're dealing with, they have anywhere from 25% to 30% adminisative costs. and so if you put a public

Tom Udall

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

Tom Udall: option out there, you're going to find that you're competition. mr. merkley: well, let me give you an example of how that competition can work in a health insurance marketplace. in oregon, we have a public option in workers compensation, which is health insurance for injuries that occur on the job. well, we have had this public

Tom Udall

0:34:55 to 0:35:17( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: option for 80 years. it didn' it wasn't that well designed, wasn't that well managed. abou20 years ago, a group got together of businesses, and the businesses said we need a better insurance policy, we need a better competitive market for on the job health

Tom Udall

0:35:18 to 0:35:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: in a deal that was called mahonia-hall deal, mahonia-hall rewrote and improved the management of our public option, and the result is rates today in workers compensation in oregon are half of what they were 20 years ago because competion was introduced, efficiencies

Tom Udall

0:35:40 to 0:36:02( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: and i can tell you there isn't a business in oregon to be found campaigning to eliminate the state accident insurance fund, which is a public option in work-based health care. now, our colleague sheldon whitehouse was involved in establishing a very similar program in rhode island, and their workers comp, he told

Tom Udall

0:36:03 to 0:36:23( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: me -- and i think he has told this chamber that that competition introduced by rhode island adopting a work-based health care public option resulted in their rates dropping by half. well, wouldn't it be great if competition could reduce health care costs in america rather than having 10% to 15% increases

Tom Udall

0:36:24 to 0:36:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: every single mr. udall: senator merkley, you hit it on the head and i have been here on the floor with senator whitehouse. i know senator reid was just here participating in the colloquy, and the point that both of them, i think, made is that when you inject a public option into the insurance market, whether it's health insurance, whether it's work

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