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Senate Proceeding 12-15-09 on Dec 15th, 2009 :: 1:37:25 to 1:51:20
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Max Baucus

1:37:25 to 1:51:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Max Baucus

Max Baucus

1:37:35 to 1:37:57( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: quorum call: mr. baucus: mr. the presiding officer: the senator fromontana. mr. baucus: i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. baucus: i am here to remind us why we are here today, on health care reform is so, so important. i would like to go through the costs of what are the consequences if we do not pass health care reform? well, first of all, rising

Max Baucus

1:37:58 to 1:38:18( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: health care costs are wrecking the lives of americans. in 2007, 62% of bankr were due this legislation will help reduce the rate of growth of health care costs. in fact, the preside's council of economic adviseers, -- advisors just announced there would be a 1% reduction in

Max Baucus

1:38:19 to 1:38:40( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: national health care costs. and the c.b.o. basically said that there would be -- that this bill is deficit neutral and that it would have an effect of reducing health care costs. this bill will reduce health care costs. a harvard study found that in addition when people don't have health likely to be much more ill. a harvard study found that every

Max Baucus

1:38:41 to 1:39:01( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: year in america, lack of health insurance leads to 45,000 deaths. if americans do not have health insurance,t leads to about 45,000 deaths in our country. that's intolerable, mr. president. hocan we in the united states of america, we pride ourselves as being the biggest, the strongest, the most moral

Max Baucus

1:39:02 to 1:39:25( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: country on the globe, how can we allow 45,000 petraeus per year just because somebody does not have health insurance? people without health insurance also have a 40% higher risk of death, 40% higher risk of death if one does not have health insurance. what about -- how does this bill affect medicare? according to the c.m.s. actuaries, h.h.s. actuaries,

Max Baucus

1:39:26 to 1:39:46( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: medicare is projected to go broke in about year 2017, but c.m.s. has estimated that this act will actually extend solvency to the year 2026. that's very important, mr. president, an important message to senior.

Max Baucus

1:39:47 to 1:40:08( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: the medicare solvency of the trust fund will be extended in this legislation for at least ne moreears, beyond 2017. i wish it were farther but that's a lot better than not extending solvency. extending solvency for that the bill also would increase the number of -- the percentage of ople who have health health insurance from about 83% to 94%. that, too, is no

Max Baucus

1:40:09 to 1:40:29( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: on legislation would reform the insurance market, protect those with preexisting conditions, prevent insurance companies from discriminating and capping coverage, and require insurance companies to renew policies as long as policyholders pay their premiums. let me just say a bit more and whittle more precision about

Max Baucus

1:40:30 to 1:40:50( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: premium costs. the centers for medicare and medicaid, the office of actuary have confirmed this. they confirmed that this legislation will cover 33 million americans, tha currently uninsured, and will do so while significa medicare costs and medicare spending.

Max Baucus

1:40:51 to 1:41:11( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: just think of that. 33 million americans who are currently not covered and at the same time reduce med medicaid costs. don't take my word for it. that's the projection of the chief actuary of in addition chief actuary says this will extend the life of the trust

Max Baucus

1:41:12 to 1:41:32( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: fund for nine years. reduces the cost to seniors, to a family medicare part-b premiums according to the c.m.s. actuary will be $300 lower than it otherwise would be and the out-of-pocket costs will

Max Baucus

1:41:33 to 1:41:53( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: for a couple, i think tha roughly $400. that's a total of about reduction for a couple in 2019, reduction of medicare part-b premium costs and reduction in out-of-pocket costs. essentially, the actuary concludes -- a quote

Max Baucus

1:41:54 to 1:42:16( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: reductions in medicare payment updates for providers, actions of the independent medicare advisory board tax hotax on high-cost health insurance plans, will have health care cost growth rates." "significant impact on future

Max Baucus

1:42:17 to 1:42:37( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: health care cost growth rates." the actuary says it will bend the cost curve. that's evident. also the actuary concludes in 2019, health expenditures are projected to rise by 7.2% with no change but 6.9% under the proposal. that is, under the proposal, health care costs will rise at a lower rate than they will if

Max Baucus

1:42:38 to 1:42:58( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: this legislation does not pass. in addition, this report shows how health insurance costs for millions of americans will reduce premiums by 14% to 20% for people in the individual market. actually, that's the congressional budget office that reached that conclusion and not the actuary. the congressional budget office

Max Baucus

1:42:59 to 1:43:19( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: has basically concluded that for 93% of americans, premiums will be lowered. fo will be lowered. it is true that for those who are employed, as 5/6 of the persons who now have health insurance, the preems yums won't go down -- premiums went go down a heck of a lot but they'll come

Max Baucus

1:43:20 to 1:43:43( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: down due t and for and for the 7% whose premiums are not better coverage than they now have. that's because of market reform and rating reform and no more rescissions, et cetera. so this is a very, very good

Max Baucus

1:43:44 to 1:44:04( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: dealment i'd like to say one word too on health care cost reduction. a lot of senators have quoted an article by gawande in the "new yorker" magazine explaining why

Max Baucus

1:44:05 to 1:44:26( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: the phenomenon of parts of the country, due to the way we pay hospitals and for the are you system and, therefore, explaining about the basic reason why there's so in the american health care system. well, dr. gawande has recent just recently published another article in the "new yorker," i think it was a week or two ago. and that n that article, he beaskly says --

Max Baucus

1:44:27 to 1:44:47( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: andn that article, he basically says that of all the ideas that have been provided by practioners androviders and people worried about the rise of health care costs in america, all the ideas are in they're all in there. all the ways to work to start to lower health care costs are in this leg and he also says that the pilot projects, the demonstration

Max Baucus

1:44:48 to 1:45:10( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: projects in this legis good because you have to work a little bit, you've got to experiment a little, you've got to try this, try that, see where bundling works, see where bundling does not work. but the provisions are there. and we can all be quite confident this administration's going to do its level best to make sure these projects work.

Max Baucus

1:45:11 to 1:45:32( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: that is, bundling, the moving towards quality as a basic reimbursement re quantity. the administration is going to work very hard to make sure they work. and i will say too as chairman of the finance committee, the committee with primary jurisdiction over these subjects, that we're going to have a lot of next year because it is very much in the interest of the american people to make sure

Max Baucus

1:45:33 to 1:45:56( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: this legislation works and works very and clearly with aggressive oversight hearings next year, we can help make sure that happens. one other point here. this bill represents a net tax cut, not a tax increase. a net tax cut for individuals. not a tax increase.

Max Baucus

1:45:57 to 1:46:18( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: and why do i say that? iay that because that's what the joint committee on tax says. who is the joint committee on tax? the joint committee on tax is an organization in washington that seives both the house and senate -- that serves both the house an senate, serves republicans and democrats, is not bipartisan, is very solid and confident. they're the outfit we rely on when we write tax legislation.

Max Baucus

1:46:19 to 1:46:41( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: basically they say t year 2019, americans will see a net tax cut of $40 billion and that tax cut is equal to an average tax decrease of more than $440 per affected taxpayer. and for low- and middle-income taxpayers making less than $200,000,this cut is even greater. average tax cut is

Max Baucus

1:46:42 to 1:47:02( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: than640 per affected taxpayer in the year 2019. to repeat, this bill, according to the joint committee on tax, is a net tax individual -- net individual tax cut. a cut. not an crease but a cut. and almost as great as the 2001 tax cut. many of us know how great that was.

Max Baucus

1:47:03 to 1:47:23( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: this is -- this is the biggest tax cut since 2001 in this legislation. mr. president, i also to want poin here. and that is a lot of people say gee, some of this does not take effect for several years. let's just go through what takes affect right

Max Baucus

1:47:24 to 1:47:44( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: what are these provisions that take affect the first is -- i'll r list. is -- it's -- the fancy term i is -- is pools to help people with -- with preexisting condition get access to health insurance even before the annual denial of preexisting conditions

Max Baucus

1:47:45 to 1:48:05( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: basically kicks in. that's $5 billion for federal support for high-risk pools providing affordable coverage to uninsured persons with preexisting conditions. that takes effect right away. second is reinsurance for retiree health benefit plans. basically that means that for -- there's immediate access to federal reinsurance for employer

Max Baucus

1:48:06 to 1:48:27( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: plans early retirees between the ages of essentially that means that the reinsurance, extra dollars are available for the outliers. that's a fancy term of saying the high-cost people in that age group, 55-64. in addition, we extend dependent coverage for young adults.

Max Baucus

1:48:28 to 1:48:48( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: today, you know, families provide health insurance for themselves and their kids and once the child is age more health insurance. we raise that level to 26 so a person could stay with the family and still have the family's health insurance. moreover, this legislation

Max Baucus

1:48:49 to 1:49:09( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: requires that the health insurance provide prevention and wellness benefits, but no deductibles and no cost-sharing requements. that too will help quite a bit. we all -- the legislation -- that takes care right away. moreover, right away, 2010, the legislation prohibits insurers from imposing annual and lifetime dollar limits. that takes effect right away.

Max Baucus

1:49:10 to 1:49:31( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: not later, not 2014, but right away. prohibition from imposing annual or lifetime limits. big problem today. moreover, this legislation will stop insurers from nullifying or rescinding policies when claims are filed. rescissions are a big problem today.

Max Baucus

1:49:32 to 1:49:52( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: 2010, this legislation passes, no more rescissions of health care policies. moreover, this legislation mini overhead costs to ensure that most premium dollars are spent on health benefits. not costly administration or executive compensation and profits. we also require disclosure of overhead and benefit spending

Max Baucus

1:49:53 to 1:50:14( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: and premium rebates. that's right away. what about small business persons? small businessmen? this legislation offers tax credits to small businesses with low wages to make covering their workers more affordable. it takes aect in credits for up to 50% of in

Max Baucus

1:50:15 to 1:50:35( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: to firms that choose to over coverage. i might also say that we -- there is stronger s provisions too i'm quite certain will be in the managers' amendment, that is, greater incentives to the tune of about $12 billion to $13 billion for small business will be in this legislation and will also be in the managers' amendment.

Max Baucus

1:50:36 to 1:50:56( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: moreover, what takes affect next year, not later? we impose a coverage gap in the medicare drug benefit. th basically means we close the doughnut hole. we're starting to close the doughnut seniors pay very high prices brand-name drugs if they're in that so-called doughnut hole. we close it so seniors don't have to pay those high prices

Max Baucus

1:50:57 to 1:51:17( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: anymore. as public access to information, more transparency. i could go on and on and on. there are many provisions which take effect right away and not the later date. mr. president, i believe that debate is drawing to conclusion on the four matters under consideration.

Max Baucus

1:51:18 to 1:51:20( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: we may be able to have votes as

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