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Senate Proceeding on Dec 14th, 2009 :: 0:42:05 to 1:00:25
Total video length: 6 hours 13 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Mary Landrieu

0:41:52 to 0:42:13( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: at the negotiating table, perhaps some of the provision that is they have talked about could have been considered, but since they pretty much packed up their bags months ago and l the debatend just come to the floor to talk, is very difficult to put any of their provisions in the legislation. there were some amendments that

Mary Landrieu

0:42:05 to 1:00:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mary Landrieu

Mary Landrieu

0:42:14 to 0:42:34( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: were accepted both i know in the senate on the finance committee and the the fact is there is a lot of choice in this bill. there are a lot of choices for individuals, for small businesses for americans and for businesses not only in the state of louisiana which i represent but all the states in the union.

Mary Landrieu

0:42:35 to 0:42:56( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: because as you can mr. president, without reform, the cost of -- for small business will rise from -- or the jobs lost because of the lack of reform will rise from 39,000 to

Mary Landrieu

0:42:57 to 0:43:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: 137,000, 178,000. these are jobs lost because small businesses are having a very, very difficult time affording premiums and because of a lack of reform in the private insurance market, which this bill also provides.

Mary Landrieu

0:43:18 to 0:43:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: this trend line will continue unless we do something, and that's why many of us are here working early in the morning through the middle of the day into late at night, trying to figure out the way to reform this system. so i really respect my coll i know them all very well, and they made their statements to the record this morning, but the

Mary Landrieu

0:43:39 to 0:43:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: fact of the matter is, mr. president, we have been at this since harry truman was the president. we can't throw this bill away and start all over again there is choice. there is expansion of medicaid and reform to the medicaid system. there is going to be a strengthening and reform of the medicare system. and in the middle, there is

Mary Landrieu

0:44:00 to 0:44:21( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: great strength and reform of the private insurance market, and i am a very strong supporter of choice and competion. but i came to the floor today to speak about a segment of our population, 27 million, to be exact. that's the number of small businesses, mr. president, that are depending on us to do our

Mary Landrieu

0:44:22 to 0:44:42( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: very best work on the patient protection and affordable care act that is pending before the senate as we speak. our economic prosperity as a nation, as you know, as a former governor of virginia who helped bring millions of jobs to your state and now is a leader, mr. president, on small business yourself, you know that the

Mary Landrieu

0:44:43 to 0:45:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: economic prosperity of our nation relies in large measure on how businesses become the economic engines that we know they can be to help lift us out of this recession. entrepre eeves and go to work each and every day. they go early to work. they stay late. they create jobs.

Mary Landrieu

0:45:06 to 0:45:27( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: they push the envelope on technical advances, and they assume the risk necessary to succeed in the private marketplace. small businesses created 64% of american jobs in the last 15 years. according to the small business administration and others. and yet as chair ofhe senate committee on entrepreneurship, i've heard time and time again

Mary Landrieu

0:45:28 to 0:45:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: from these same business owners that they cannot afford to operate in the current broken health care system and they desperately need us to fix and that's what this effort is underway. small businesses have been hard hit by premiums that are regularly increasing at 15%,

Mary Landrieu

0:45:49 to 0:46:11( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: 20%, and in many cases, mr. president, 45%. this is the cumulative cost health benefits. you'll see in 2009, $15 $156 million. without reform -- billion. without reform, it's going to go to $717 billion.

Mary Landrieu

0:46:12 to 0:46:32( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: and then in 2015, exceed the $1 trillion mark. this is what what my colleagues are urging us to do and do nothing or to start again. have been, as i said, since harry truman was the president, trying to f provide each and every american with affordable health

Mary Landrieu

0:46:33 to 0:46:53( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: insurance, either through the public or the private sector or some combination of the above. that's why this bill is so important, because without reform, this is the price our small businesses will have to pay and it is too steep, it is too high of a mountain for them

Mary Landrieu

0:46:54 to 0:47:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: to climb. without these reforms, as i said, costs are expected to more than double over the next 10 years, but, mr. president, this debate is not about numbers, it's about people. people like mike barry who owns hobbyworks in laurel, maryland, and who was here just last in the capitol to speak at a press conference. i've had hundreds of business

Mary Landrieu

0:47:16 to 0:47:36( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: owners from all over the country come and mike is one of the last ones to come and speak at a press conference last week. he said to us that his plan not too long ago cost only $100 a person, most of which he was happy to cover as a company. over the premiums have tripled, his

Mary Landrieu

0:47:37 to 0:47:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: employees have seen their costs go five times higher as they pay more of their premiums up to almost a $1,200 deductible. mike said, and his words are echoed by business owners in my state and business owners around the country, he said, "those of us who do provide coverage are

Mary Landrieu

0:47:58 to 0:48:19( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: slowly being dragged down by these costs. something that we once considered a benefit," a benefit, he said, "i was proud to provide, has now bece to be seen as a burden, a burden to be feared, because you just don't know what's coming next." he went on to say, "after years

Mary Landrieu

0:48:20 to 0:48:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: of astonishing rate hikes and decling competion among providers, many small businesses like mine may be only one or two years away from having to cut their health care programs entirely. not going to let these premiums," he said, "put me out of business. i'm just going to say we can't do it anymo." and, mr. president, this is what's happening all across america.

Mary Landrieu

0:48:46 to 0:49:07( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: only in about 15 years ago, 65% of small businesses in our country offered affordable health insurance, something they were proud to provide full and comprehensive coverage, many of them picking up a m the costs. today that has dropped 30% and dropping every week that we fail to act.

Mary Landrieu

0:49:08 to 0:49:28( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: small business owners like mike from maryland, small busins owners like hundreds in my state need meaningful a meaningful health care reform. the senate health bill contains measures that will both responsibly pus in place intermediate and long-term insurance reforms that are very, very important.

Mary Landrieu

0:49:29 to 0:49:49( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: let me start with benefits. i understand that there are others -- there are some, including myself, like to see benefits here but these are some that are important, substantial and real. temporary insurance for early retirees will be available this bill.

Mary Landrieu

0:49:50 to 0:50:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: this will help tough stage in their states may establish exchanges to get kind of a jump on, of course, the mandatory date that is in t no ann lifetime limits. this will be a very important benefit to small busess. reporting medical loss ratios

Mary Landrieu

0:50:11 to 0:50:31( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: for the first time insurance companies will have to report information that will help keep the costs lower bring more transparency and accountability to the system. the bridge credit for small business will go into effect almost immediately. it will help businesses that have 10 employees or 25

Mary Landrieu

0:50:32 to 0:50:52( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: employees to provide health coverage for their workers. and then in the inter in the intermediate time frame, there's some additional. they're -- the exchanges would be set up by 2014.

Mary Landrieu

0:50:53 to 0:51:14( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: when people talk about choice on the other side, there going to be plenty of choice in this bill for uninsured individuals, for those that are in small businesses up to employees, they will be able to access these exchanges, loo for affordable options, and that is going to be a major improvement

Mary Landrieu

0:51:15 to 0:51:37( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: over the current system. there's a bridge credit, a credit that i call a bridge credit, a bridge to the exchanges for small businesses. and then once the exchanges are up and running, businesses will be able, 10 and 25 employees or less, to be able to get almost 35% credit for the insurance they provide.

Mary Landrieu

0:51:38 to 0:51:58( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: and that, mr. president, is in addition -- that, mr. president, is in addition to the deductibility that they have in the current law. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to speak for another five the objection. ms. landrieu: thank you. while one of the major criticisms of this bill has been

Mary Landrieu

0:51:59 to 0:52:19( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the cost, the bill does show fiscal responsibility, cutting budget deficits by $127 billion in the first decade $650 billion in the second decade. you know, anything we do is going to cost some money upfront to fix the system. but the way this bill is being

Mary Landrieu

0:52:20 to 0:52:41( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: designed is that for every dollar that's spent, there's a dollar raised to pay for that change. that is, you change of method, considering the last eight years, where bill after bill was put on this floor, whether for domestic or international priorities, not

Mary Landrieu

0:52:42 to 0:53:02( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: paid for at all. so, you know, we can be criticized for trying to push something, a major reform forward, but at least we're finding ways within the system to pay for these important changes that will hopefully drive down costs for everyonement as mike reminded

Mary Landrieu

0:53:03 to 0:53:23( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: me, the gentleman who spoke at our press conference, he said, "it's even more important not to let one problem prevent you from solving another. so while we do have budget deficit problems and we're very, very sensitive to it, we can't allow that to stop us from doing anything else. what we can do is, as we work on the other things, do it in the most fiscally responsible way

Mary Landrieu

0:53:24 to 0:53:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: possible. that is why i and many members of the senate have said we're not prepared to vote on anything until we get a final sib i c.b.o. score to make sure that not only can we afford have we paid for it, but that over time preum costs will go down, costs to the government will go down state level as well as to small

Mary Landrieu

0:53:49 to 0:54:09( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: businessesment let me just say that the business round-table reports that these exchanges, both in the near term and the intermediate term could reduce administrative costs for business owners by as much as 22%. and business owners can get back they can get back to making shoes, mr. president, not running around insurance that they can't find.

Mary Landrieu

0:54:10 to 0:54:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: and if they could, it's too expensive for them anyway. if they're building high-tech equipment or electronic equipment, they can get back into the business of doing that in of figuring out insurance actuarial tables. so reduce administrative costs for small business is important. 22 million self-employed

Mary Landrieu

0:54:34 to 0:54:56( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: americans have even more unpredictable costs. their premiums have risen 74% since 2001. these exchanges will help them also reduce administrative costs. and i'm proud that one of the endments that i have pending on the senate floor would give

Mary Landrieu

0:54:57 to 0:55:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the self-employed a 50% tax a similar playing field, if you and large businesses that enjoy favorable tax treatment under e current tax code. it's been mentioned before, but insurance companies will no longer be allowed to arbitrarily raise rates or drop coverage.

Mary Landrieu

0:55:18 to 0:55:40( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: instead, c forced to compete on the price and quality of their plans, not by underwriting the least risk. the bill also has mandate, ins shared responsibility for businesses with more 50 employees. 96% of small business in america

Mary Landrieu

0:55:41 to 0:56:01( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: are exempt from the provision of required coverage, but we have come to terms with a system that requires indiduals to purchase insurance as well as small businesses to provide insurance with the proper tax credits and subsidies that help them make it possible. to help small businesses more immediately bridge the

Mary Landrieu

0:56:02 to 0:56:24( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: affordability gap exchanges will not be up and running until 2014. again, there's an amendment to push that up. i hope we will be able to do that. but in t bill, tax credits will help about 51,000 businesses in my state of louisiana alone.

Mary Landrieu

0:56:25 to 0:56:46( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: they are -- there are millions of businesses that will be -- hundreds of thousands of businesses that will benefit. 51,000 in my home state of louisiana alone, because of the credit we speak and through the amendment process we' to enrich and expand them. while these provisions in the underlying bill are strong for small business, there's always

Mary Landrieu

0:56:47 to 0:57:08( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: room for improvement. that's why i, along with many of my colleagues, have int series of amendments. some have a cost to them, like the 50% deduction. it's a $12 billion cost. but if we can find it in the bill, if the mark allows us to find $12 billion, that would be a good place to spend it,

Mary Landrieu

0:57:09 to 0:57:29( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: mr. pres individual, whether they're realtors or attorneys or accountants or sole contractors, carpenters that are working out there creating a job for themselves and creating economic opportunity in their communities could as a tax cut and a tax credit to help them.

Mary Landrieu

0:57:30 to 0:57:51( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: there are a series of amendments that i've introduced that don't have any cost associated, just common sense, create more efficiency in the system. i trust the leadership will consider including those. in addition, senator lincoln, under her leadership, has an amendment to expand both the bridge credit and the ta credit. it's a $9 billion provision but

Mary Landrieu

0:57:52 to 0:58:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: we're hoping that the mark will allow for that addition as well. i want to other things i want tohank the small business owners and organizations and advocates, mr. president, that have remained at the negotiating table. they didn't pack up their bags

Mary Landrieu

0:58:13 to 0:58:34( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: and run away but they stayed here in washington, in state capitals, on telephones, in conference calls, in public meetings, in the debates taking place in the many, many committee rooms to argue for this kind of reform. for choice, for transparency, for insurance market

Mary Landrieu

0:58:35 to 0:58:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: tax credits, more favorable tax treatment to help them afford the insurance that they know is the right thing for them to do, it's the smart thing for them to do, and most small business owners want to provide good health insurance for their employees so that they can compete for the best employees out there which helps them to

Mary Landrieu

0:58:56 to 0:59:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: keep their businesses strong. so i want to thank the small business owners, particularly the small business majority, many of the wom owners organizations that have stayed at the table to help negotiator this important bill. so in conclusion, as we move forward, i'm prepared to work with my colleagues here in the senate to pass meaningful and responsible health care reform for small business.

Mary Landrieu

0:59:18 to 0:59:39( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: we have here in washington to fix a system that i that is in desperate need of repair. let us not let this chance slip away. in these final days of negotiation, let us come together to find a way forward. again, one that reforms the private insurance market,

Mary Landrieu

0:59:40 to 1:00:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: strengthens medicare, and sustains its viability over a longer period of time, helps to improve the system of medicaid by hopefully providing poor, middle class, and wealthy people with more choices of health care, and by coming to terls, mr. president, that we're not going to have an all-public system, we're not going to have

Mary Landrieu

1:00:01 to 1:00:22( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: an all-private system. we're going to have to find a middle ground where we take the best of both sides, of a public and private system, and put them together so that every american can have insurance they can count on, and most importantly that our small businesses can have insurance that can help them create the jobs necessary to lead us out of this

Mary Landrieu

1:00:23 to 1:00:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: recession, to start turning this deficit situation around, and

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