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Senate Proceeding on Dec 11th, 2009 :: 4:20:15 to 4:33:05
Total video length: 9 hours 44 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Susan Collins

4:20:12 to 4:20:33( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: that is what we have sought to do in this to my friend from maine. ms. collins: thank madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: thank you, madam president. first, let me thank my two colleagues for their hard work on these amendments. my colleague from oregon, senator wyden, has been working

Susan Collins

4:20:15 to 4:33:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Susan Collins

Susan Collins

4:20:34 to 4:20:56( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: so hard on health care issues for such a long tim my colleague from indiana, senator bayh, and i have together on other issues, and i'm proud of t three of us have been able to come

Susan Collins

4:20:57 to 4:21:17( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: way to present to our colleagues three important amendments. madam president, it is, as senator bayh has noted, so unfortunate that the debate on this and partisan. senator wyden approached me

Susan Collins

4:21:18 to 4:21:38( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: about trying to find some common ground on some issues that would now, i should make president, that the these amendments -- important, though, they are; great steps, though, they are -- do not solve all the problems that i have

Susan Collins

4:21:39 to 4:22:00( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: with the legislation before us. but they do improve the underlying bill in ways, because they would help to advance the goal of more affordable insurance choices for consumers, providing more choices, more competion, and

Susan Collins

4:22:01 to 4:22:21( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: greater affordability,fter all, should health care reform. but the bill before us falls short in meeting those objectives. let me in summary, our amendments would

Susan Collins

4:22:22 to 4:22:42( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: allow individuals who receiving subsidies to purchase lower-cost plans if that coverage is more affordable for them and more appropriate for them. we are also proposing health insurance vouchers that would provide more options for

Susan Collins

4:22:43 to 4:23:04( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: employers and employees alike. and we are proposing to insurers to keep their rates lower than be. now, let me further explain three amendments, madam president. first, we would open up the

Susan Collins

4:23:05 to 4:23:25( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: catastrophic plan, the so-called young individual market regardless of a eligible for a subsidy under the bill. madam president, it's incredible to me that we are going to so

Susan Collins

4:23:26 to 4:23:47( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: constrain the insurance choices for an individual who is receiving no taxpayer subsidy all. that does not make sense. we want to people can keep the insurance they have if they like it, but

Susan Collins

4:23:48 to 4:24:10( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: also that they have more options available to them. why should individual who is not receiving any help, no sub on types of plans that are authorized by this bill?

Susan Collins

4:24:11 to 4:24:32( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: now, madam president, some would you're going to have a problem where a person will perhaps have a health savings account to supplement catastrophic insurance plan, and then wait till they're ill to trade up to a far bette but, madam president, there's way to stop that from happening.

Susan Collins

4:24:33 to 4:24:55( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: we have drafted our amendment so that if an individual wished to upgrade his or her coverage, he or she would have to the next plan year and then could

Susan Collins

4:24:56 to 4:25:16( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: known as "t "bronze plan, whic the next higher level. that would help with a situation where an individual waits until he or she becomes ill before upgrading coverage. we also want to make sure that consumers know exactly what they are buying and what kind of

Susan Collins

4:25:17 to 4:25:37( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: coverage they'd be getting. and that's why we would require health plans to disclose fully the terms of the coverage to ensure that consumers fully understand the limitations. and, finally, this amendment wo

Susan Collins

4:25:38 to 4:25:59( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: have the ability to impose additional requirements or conditions for the catastrophic plans offered u but the bottom line is health care reform should be about expanding access to affordable choices.

Susan Collins

4:26:00 to 4:26:20( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: and the bill that's on the floor now in the individual market to have to pay more for health care coverage than they do today. and that isn't right. if their health care coverage is working well

Susan Collins

4:26:21 to 4:26:42( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: are higher income and can bear the risk, if they have a health savings plan, if they are not getting a taxpayer subsidy, why should we dictate to this degree the level of buy? so, i believe that this

Susan Collins

4:26:43 to 4:27:04( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: amendment is simply common sense. let me explain dwha it wou mean in my home state o because i think it shows that one size does not fit in purchasing coverage in the individual market have a policy

Susan Collins

4:27:05 to 4:27:25( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: with an actuarial value of less than 60%. the most popular individual market policy sold in maine costs a 40-year-old about $185 a month. it's a catastrophic coverage plan that these individuals are

Susan Collins

4:27:26 to 4:27:47( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: often pairing with a health savings account. now, under the bill that wre debating, unless they are grandfathered and don't have any change -- for example, they haven't gotten married or divorced - 40-year-old would have to leas $420 a month -- more than

Susan Collins

4:27:48 to 4:28:08( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: twice as much -- for a policy that would meet the new minimum standard or else pay penalty. now, there is an exception in the bill, but it's only for 30. what we're saying is, l

Susan Collins

4:28:09 to 4:28:30( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: broaden that so that if you don't receive help from government, if you don't receive a can buy that kind of catastrophic coverage plan. a second amendment that the three of us are offering would provide more choices

Susan Collins

4:28:31 to 4:28:51( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: businesses and to their employees. given giving employers and employees more choices should be among the chief goals of health car reform. our amendment would allow employers who choose to do so offer vouchers to employees so

Susan Collins

4:28:52 to 4:29:12( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: that they can on the exchange. this would allow them, for example, to use the employer voucher plus tap into the subsidy their income level and put some of their own funds into purchasing the kind

Susan Collins

4:29:13 to 4:29:33( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: that they want. as senator wyden has explained, this program is completely optional. employers could offer these vouchers or decide to continue with their employer plan. and let me tell you one reason i bill. we need more

Susan Collins

4:29:34 to 4:29:57( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: insurance through the exchange, because if more people are using the risk pool, and the rates will be better for everyone. whenever in insurance you can have more people over which to spread the drive costs and premiums down.

Susan Collins

4:29:58 to 4:30:18( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: so it's not surprising to that our nation's largest small business group, the nfib, has endorsed our amendment. and let me just read one paragraph om the nfib letter, because it really sums it up. the nfib says, "this amendment

Susan Collins

4:30:19 to 4:30:42( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: addresses existing for small businesses. in the current system, small employers often have few options beyond take it or leave it. th will encourage employers to provide insurance coverage for employees.

Susan Collins

4:30:43 to 4:31:04( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: it is the exact employer mandates that harm struggling businesses, discouraged jobs. i think the nfib has well. this will give more choices both to employers and to employees.

Susan Collins

4:31:05 to 4:31:25( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: and let me say a few words about our proposal to modify the formula for the allocation of the $6.7 billion annual tax on health insurance providers. now, there are a lot of problems

Susan Collins

4:31:26 to 4:31:47( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: with that particular tax, madam president, not the least of which is bec between when the tax is imposed and four years later when the subsidies are finally available. another problem is that the tax applies to nonprofit insurance as well as for-profit insurance. i'm working withenator carl

Susan Collins

4:31:48 to 4:32:10( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: levin to try to address that problem. well, here's what we're saying. the way that the tax is designed in the bill, there's little to keep insurers from jacking up the premiums, which is exactly the opposite of what we want them they're going to just pass this tax on.

Susan Collins

4:32:11 to 4:32:31( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: so what we want to do is to give insurers an premiums as low as possible. so you're an insurer that is holding down the cost of your premiums, you don't pay as m a share of that tax.

Susan Collins

4:32:32 to 4:32:53( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: that makes sense. that helps us be fairer to efficient insurer who is working hard to keep -- to keep premiums down. again, madam president, i'm very pleased to join with colleagues in presenting to

Susan Collins

4:32:54 to 4:33:05( Edit History Discussion )

Susan Collins: senate three amendments that will prode more choices, greater affordability, more options. these should be the goals of

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