Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Dec 20th, 2009 :: 4:02:40 to 4:10:30
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Carl Levin

4:02:38 to 4:02:58( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: senator the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: thank you, mr. president. first let me thank the senator from montana for the extraordinary work that he has put in on this bill for so long, so many months, so many years. thanks also go, of course, to the democratic leader, our majority leader, senator dodd and others who have worked so hard to get us here. we are at a pivotal moment in

Carl Levin

4:02:40 to 4:10:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Carl Levin

Carl Levin

4:02:59 to 4:03:19( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the long fight to reform our health care system. everyone should by now be well aware of the history, of how presidents of both parties have tried and failed to achieve reform. and of how, after months of painstaking review, we've arrived at this instant, closer than ever to health care reform.

Carl Levin

4:03:20 to 4:03:40( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: it would be impossible to fashion legislation on an issue so massive and so complex on which all could agree on every detail. those seeking perfection will have to look outside this chamber or, for that matter, in any piece of complex legislation. but when they look outside the walls of this capitol, senators

Carl Levin

4:03:41 to 4:04:05( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: will also find problems that dwarf the imperfections of this bill. they will find a broken health care system, one in which we pay vastly more than other wealthy nations for care that is in many cases demonstrably inferior. they will find americans struggling to afford the health care coverage that they have and employers struggling to provide

Carl Levin

4:04:06 to 4:04:27( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: insurance to their employeesment employeesment -- employees. they will find manufacturers struggling under a costly health international competitors were long ago freed. they will find employee and employer alike plagued by never-ending uncertainty about the cost and availability of health insurance, an instability that haunts families and hinders job creation.

Carl Levin

4:04:28 to 4:04:48( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: they will find costs rising so fast that they threaten to swallow the rest of the federal budget and sink family budgets. they will find astonishing amounts of money spent, not on better care or treatments, but on overhead and bureaucracy. and they will find millions of americans

Carl Levin

4:04:49 to 4:05:09( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: all, a tragedy for the uninsured and a source expense that makes health care more expensive for all of us. so the choice before us now is whether any imperfections we might see in this bill outweigh the mountain of evidence that our current system is in dire need of repair. it is between moving forward on

Carl Levin

4:05:10 to 4:05:31( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: a significant repair of a broken system or quashing yet another attempt to reform health care and surrender to the status quo and to the rhetoric of distortion and fear. to me, this choice is clear. we cannot wait any longer for health care reform. the people of my state cannot wait. the people of this nation cannot wait.

Carl Levin

4:05:32 to 4:05:52( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: now is the time for all those years of frustrated effort, all the research and analysis, all the debate and discussion to reform a broken system. we must vote for cloture on the managers' amendment before us and continue to vote on the endless filibusters that confront us because we cannot

Carl Levin

4:05:53 to 4:06:16( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: we cannot wait any longer to reform had system -- reform this system because its costs are out of control. in 1990, this nation spent of its gross domestic product health care. that's $1.0. by 2018, the centers for medicare and medicaid services, c.m.s., estimates that figure

Carl Levin

4:06:17 to 4:06:38( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: will increase to 20%, $1 in every $5 will go to health care. c.m.s. estimates that after spending about $6,000 per capita on health care in 2003, spend more than $13,000 per capita in doubling our per-person expenditures in 15 years.

Carl Levin

4:06:39 to 4:06:59( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: this unsustainable costs for the american people. according to the kaiser family foundation, thousands fewer of our businesses are offering insurance than a decade ago, a clear sign they can no longer contain cost increases of 6% or more year after year. if we do nothing, these costs

Carl Levin

4:07:00 to 4:07:20( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: will continue to rise at a rate which will swallow the budgets of families, businesses, and government. we cannot wait any longer, because even for those fortunate enough to have insurance where they work, are increasingly unsure that it will be there when they need it most. every member of this body has

Carl Levin

4:07:21 to 4:07:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: heard from constituents who thout that they had solid health insurance only to find out that wriggled out of paying for debt desperately need care or found a convenient preexisting condition that voided their coverage or capped their coverage so that they faced a crushing choice between

Carl Levin

4:07:43 to 4:08:04( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: treatments that they had to have and costs that they could not afford. even in cases where families have health insurance, medical emergencies can leave debilitating costs in their wake. according to a "american journal of medicine," 62% of the united states in 2007

Carl Levin

4:08:05 to 4:08:26( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: involved medical costs&, and even more compelling -- costs, and even more compelling, three-quarters of those bankruptcies involved people who had health insurance when they got sick. there can be no clearer sign of the need to act than the fact that having health insurance is no insurance against bankruptcy

Carl Levin

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

Carl Levin: from medical we cannot wait any longer, because so much of the enormous costs at the heart of health care -- of this health care cris is money -- is money spent on things that have little or nothing to do with quality care. for example, those who purchase insurance in the individual market, roughly 30% of the costs

Carl Levin

4:08:49 to 4:09:10( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: that they pay will stem from the insurance company's administrative expenses on bureaucracy, not medicine. in 2003 study published in the "new england journal of medicine," found that in 199, americans spent over a thousand dollars per capita on health care administration costs. more than a thousand dollars for

Carl Levin

4:09:11 to 4:09:32( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: every man, woman and child in this nation spent onaperwork and red tape. electronic medical records, which make administration more efficient and improve the quality of care, are still not in use for moreatients. finally, mr. president, we cannot wait any longer because the inefficiencies of our system

Carl Levin

4:09:33 to 4:09:54( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: are crushing us and our budgets and even more pointedly because so many lives are at stake. 140,000 americans have lo their lives since000 because they lacked health insurance. we cannot afford to walk down this road any longer. we must change this bill will do it in a

Carl Levin

4:09:55 to 4:10:15( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: positive direction. i ask statement be inserted in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: and, again, i thank my good frien from montana and the other leaders who've made it possible for to us get to this point. mr. baucus: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. baucus: mr. president,'ll yield 16 from illinois. mr. durbin: i thank the chairman

Carl Levin

4:10:16 to 4:10:31( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: of the finance committee. and i want to ren invitation t oklahoma to please come to the floor but to do it soon before my time expires. i called his office to make sure that he knew i was trying to reach him. i've spoke own the floor to

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