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Senate Proceeding 12-02-09 on Dec 2nd, 2009 :: 6:36:35 to 6:49:35
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Lindsey Graham

6:36:31 to 6:36:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: comments regarding medicare and mr. graham: i'd like to thank my friend from georgia and i'll try to b i goes say we don't -- we need to do health care reform, i think that's pretty obvious to a lot of people. the inflationary increase in

Lindsey Graham

6:36:35 to 6:49:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham

6:36:54 to 6:37:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: private sector in the health care ar a lot of individuals are having to pay for their health care costs are getting double-digit increases in premiums. in the public sector, the medicare and medicaid program are just unsustainable. medicare alone is $38 trillion underfunded. over the next 75 years we've

Lindsey Graham

6:37:16 to 6:37:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: promised benefits to the baby boom generation and current retirees, and we're $38 trillion short of being able to honor those benefits. what has happened? you've created a government program everyone likes, respects, and is trying to save

Lindsey Graham

6:37:37 to 6:37:58( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: and actuarially it is not going to make unless we reform it. so what have we don't? in the name of health care reform we've taken a program that many senior citizens rely upon, all senior citizens practically. we reduced the amount of money that we're going to spend on

Lindsey Graham

6:37:59 to 6:38:19( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: that program and give the money from medicare to create another program that the government will eventually run and it makes no sense much we need sense. we need to look at medicare from impending bankruptcy.

Lindsey Graham

6:38:20 to 6:38:40( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: why would you reduce medicare by by $764 billion, take the money out of medicare that is financially already in trouble to create a new program? well, it makes no sense to me. that's not what we're trying to do from my point of view to form health care. now, medicare, cuts that senator chambliss was talking about, they're real.

Lindsey Graham

6:38:41 to 6:39:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the way our democratic colleagues and friends try to get to revenue neutrality on the -- on the additional spending to get it down to where it doe score in a deficit format is they take $464 billion out of medicare to offset the spending

Lindsey Graham

6:39:02 to 6:39:22( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: that is required by their bill. now, here's the question for the country: how many people in america really believe that this ngress or any other congress is actually going to reduce medicare spending b by $464 billion over 10 years? i would argue that if you believe that, should not be

Lindsey Graham

6:39:23 to 6:39:43( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: driving. there is absolutely no history to justify that conclusion. in the 111th congress there were 200 bills proposed, and i was probably on some of them, to increase the payments to medicare.

Lindsey Graham

6:39:44 to 6:40:04( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: in 1997 we passed a balanced budget agreement when president clinton was president slowing down the growth rate of medicare. that worked fine for a while until doctors started complaing, along with hospitals, about the revenue reductions.

Lindsey Graham

6:40:05 to 6:40:25( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: every year, since about 1999 1999-2000, we have been forgiving the reductions that were due under thealanced budget agreement because none of us want to go back to our doctors and say that we're going to honor those cuts that we created in 1997 because it's creating a burden on our doctors. will that happen in the future?

Lindsey Graham

6:40:26 to 6:40:46( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: you better believe it will happen in the future. in 2007, senator cornyn and gregg introduced an amendment to reduce medicare spending b by $33.8 billion under the reconciliation instructions. it got 23 votes.

Lindsey Graham

6:40:47 to 6:41:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: i rember not long republican majority proposed reducing medicare b by $10 billion. not one member of the democratic senate voted for that reduction. they had to fly the vice president back from pakistan to break a tie. over $10 billion. so my argument is quite simple

Lindsey Graham

6:41:08 to 6:41:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: to the american people. we're not going to reduce medicare by $464 billion. and if we don't do that, the bill is not paid for. and that creates a problem of monumental proportions. if we did reduce medicare b

Lindsey Graham

6:41:29 to 6:41:49( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: by $464 billion, and took the money out of medicare to create another government program, we have done a very dishonest thing to seniors. we're dammed if -- damned if we do and damned if we don't. during the whole campaign, i

Lindsey Graham

6:41:50 to 6:42:10( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: don't suggesting that you needed to cut medicare to create medicare reform for not medicare services. but that's exactly what we're doing. now to my democratic colleagues, there will come a day when republicans and democrats will have to sit down and seriously deal with the underfunding of

Lindsey Graham

6:42:11 to 6:42:32( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: medicare, with the impending bankruptcy of medicare. everything that we're doing in this bill may make sense to save medicare from bankruptcy. it doesn't make sense to pay for another government-run health care program outside of medicare. it makes no sense t take the savings that we're trying to find in medicare and not use them to save medicare from what i think is going to be a budget

Lindsey Graham

6:42:33 to 6:42:54( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: disaster. so let it be said that this attempt to pay for health care, to make it revenue neutral, will require the congress to do something with medicare that has never been done before and it's not going to do in the future.

Lindsey Graham

6:42:55 to 6:43:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: so the whole concept is going to fall like a house of cards. the way we tried to pay for this bill has got so many gimmicks in it, it would make an enron accountant blush. now, as to tort reform. quite frankly, i used to practice law and did mostly

Lindsey Graham

6:43:16 to 6:43:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: plaintiff's work. i am not a big plan of washington taking over state legal systems. i prefer to let states do what they're best at doing and let the federal government do a few things well, and we're lot of things poorly. but if we're going to take over the entire health care system, that's going to be the option available to us, then we also

Lindsey Graham

6:43:38 to 6:44:00( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: need to nationalize the way we deal with lawsuits. and to the a.m.a., there will come a day, if we keep going down the road here of where the national federal government will determine how you get to be a doctor. and there will be no state medical societies. and we'll have a national system to police that's what's coming if we continue to nationalize health

Lindsey Graham

6:44:01 to 6:44:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: care. so with senator chambliss, i tried to come up with a more reasoned approach when it comes to legal reform. i always believed that people deserve their day in court, and there's no better way to resolve a dispute than have a jury do it. i'd rather have a jury of

Lindsey Graham

6:44:22 to 6:44:42( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: independent-minded citizens to decide a case than politicians or any special group. one thing i've always been per exed about in america is that the risk of stewing somebody is -- suing somebody is very one

Lindsey Graham

6:44:43 to 6:45:04( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: sided. most developed nations have a loser payroll. i think you should have your day in court but there ought to be a down side to bringing another person into the legal system. so a loser payroll i think will do more to modify behavior tn any attempt to cap damages. let both wallets be on the table. you can have your day in court, but if you lose, you're going to

Lindsey Graham

6:45:05 to 6:45:25( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: have to pay some of the other side's legal costs, which will make you think twice. now, as to -- as to the indigent person, most people who see each other are not indigent -- who sue each other are not indigent. the judge would have the ability to modify the consequences of a loser payroll, but we need to know going in that both wallets

Lindsey Graham

6:45:26 to 6:45:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: are on the table, and under our arbitration where the doctor and the patient will submit their case, the case to an arbitration panel, and if either side turns down the recommendation of the panel, they can go to court, but then the loser payroll kicks in. i think that will weed out frivolous lawsuits than arbitrarily capping what the

Lindsey Graham

6:45:48 to 6:46:08( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: case may be worth in the eyes of a jury. i think it really does create a financial incentive not to bring frivolous lawsuits that does not exist today. if you have a $500,000 damage cap, most of the people i know say i'll take the $500,000. that's not much of a deterrent. but if you told someone you can

Lindsey Graham

6:46:09 to 6:46:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: bring this suit, the arbitration didn't go your way, but if you go into court after arbitration, you risk some of your financial assets, people will think twice. so i think that's why this is a good idea. the national chamber of commerce has endorsed it, and i'm proud of the fact that they have endorsed it. i would rather not go down this

Lindsey Graham

6:46:30 to 6:46:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: road, but if we're going to nationalize health care, we also need to do something about a legal system that's going to be affected by the nationalization of health care. the final comment i would like to make about what we're doing here is that it's probably worrisome to people at home that

Lindsey Graham

6:46:51 to 6:47:11( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: we're about to change 1/6 of the economy and you can't find one republican vote to help. now, i guess there's two ways to look at that. is the problem the republican party or maybe the bill is structured in a way that is so extreme there is no middle to it.

Lindsey Graham

6:47:12 to 6:47:32( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: and i would argue that what we have done here is that we have abandoned the middle for extreme. it's pretty extreme in my view to take a program that's that's $38 trillion underfunded, cut it and take the money to create a new program rather than

Lindsey Graham

6:47:33 to 6:47:55( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: saving the one that's in trouble. it's pretty extreme in my view to take a country that is so far in debt you can't see the future and add $2.5 trillion of more debt onto a nation that's already debt laden in the name of reforming health care. when you look at the second

Lindsey Graham

6:47:56 to 6:48:17( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: ten-year window of this bill, it adds $2.5 trillion to the national debt. is that necessary to reform health care? do we need any more money spent on health care or should we just take what we spend and spend it more wisely? the first ten years is a complete gimmick. what we do in the first ten years of this bill is collect

Lindsey Graham

6:48:18 to 6:48:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the half a trillion dollars in taxes for the ten-year period and we don't pay any benefits until the first four years are gone. now, that is just not fair. that's a gimmick. and that catches up with you in the second ten-year period. so the reason we don't have any bipartisan support is because

Lindsey Graham

6:48:39 to 6:48:59( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: we've come up wi that has no middle to it. this is a power grab by the federal government. this is a chance to set in motion a single-payer health care plan that the most liberal members of the house and the senate have been dreaming for.

Lindsey Graham

6:49:00 to 6:49:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: this is a liberal bill written by and for liberals, and it's not going to get any moderate support on the republican side side -- and there is some over here to be had -- and they're going to have a hard time convincing those red state democrats that this is good public policy. so that's where we find

Lindsey Graham

6:49:22 to 6:49:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: ourselves, trying to change 1/6 of the economy in a way that you don't have any hope of bringing people together. so i would argue we should stop and start over. i want to thank my good friend from georgia for trying to find

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