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Senate Proceeding on Dec 21st, 2009 :: 5:18:15 to 5:33:25
Total video length: 7 hours 41 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Joseph Lieberman

5:18:11 to 5:18:31( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: yield the floor, i would ask unanimous consent that some portion of the statement be placed in the record as if read, and be, and i thank the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lieberman: madam president? the presiding officer: the se mr. lieberman: i thank the chair and i thank my friend from massachusetts. madam president, i rise today to declare and explain my support

Joseph Lieberman

5:18:15 to 5:33:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Joseph Lieberman

Joseph Lieberman

5:18:32 to 5:18:54( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: for the patient protection and affordable care act. first i want to commend senator reid and all of those he worked with so long and hard, including my friend and colleague from connecticut, senator dodd, for all that they have achieved in this legislation. madam president, the truth is that no piece of legislation as significant and complicated as

Joseph Lieberman

5:18:55 to 5:19:17( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: this is could possibly be totally satisfying to every one of us. in the end, each one of to ask ourselves do the positives in this legislation substantially outweigh the negatives? are the things we like in the bill greater than the things that worry us? for me, the answer to both of

Joseph Lieberman

5:19:18 to 5:19:39( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: these questions is yes, because this bill makes real progress on the three important goals i have had, ihink most people have had for health care reform. first, most of us have wanted to stop the continuous increases in the cost of health care that

Joseph Lieberman

5:20:03 to 5:20:27( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: i believe this bill makes real progress in achieving each of these three goals, and most importantly, it does so in a fiscally responsible way. the patient protection and affordable care act not only doesn't add to our national debt through new health care delivery reforms, it will help reduce the

Joseph Lieberman

5:20:28 to 5:20:49( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: deficit by -- debt, really, by by $130 billion over ten years, according to independent congressional budget office. that figure could multiply many times over during the second ten years, thanks in part to the manager's amendment that incorporated stronger cost containment proposals that several of us across party lines

Joseph Lieberman

5:20:50 to 5:21:10( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: made to senator reid. it is very significant in addition that according to the actuary at the center for medicare and medicaid services, this bill will extend solvency of the medicare trust nd for an additional nine years.

Joseph Lieberman

5:21:11 to 5:21:31( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: madam president, this a also take substantial steps toward creating a health care delivery system that pays for the quality of the care patients receive rather than the quantity of care. and i'm proud to have worked with members of both sides of the aisle to include amendments that would do just that. for instance, senator collins

Joseph Lieberman

5:21:32 to 5:21:53( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: and i introduced an amendment, parts of which were included in the manager's package that enhance transparency for consumers so they can make more informed decisions in choosing their health care providers and insurers. in fact, our amendment will create

Joseph Lieberman

5:21:54 to 5:22:15( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: website measures that exist now but are not known by the rest of us will be posted for everyone to see and to use in physicians. this will also create incentives, we believe, for doctors to provide high-quality, more efficient care. i also cosponsored an amendment

Joseph Lieberman

5:22:16 to 5:22:36( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: introduced by senator warner and some other freshmen senators that will contain costs even more. this amendment creates prevention programs to help us understand how to effectively manage chronic diseases suc as diabetes, and it requires prescription drug plans under

Joseph Lieberman

5:22:37 to 5:22:57( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: medicare part 2 to offer medication therapy management services to beneficiaries so they can better adhere to prescription treatments. all that is progress on the first goal that i and most others had, which is to reduce the costs of health care without compromising, in fact, improving

Joseph Lieberman

5:22:58 to 5:23:19( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: its quality. the second goal, if t passes, insurance companies, senator kerry said, will not only be able -- not only not be able to deny coverage if an individual has a pre-existing condition, and they will not be allowed to rescind you become outrageous reality today.

Joseph Lieberman

5:23:20 to 5:23:41( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: thanks to changes made by the manager's amendment, insurance companies will to spend they collect on medical for patients rather than on administrative costs and profits. that's real progress on the second goal i mentioned. as for the third goal, the fact

Joseph Lieberman

5:23:42 to 5:24:03( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: is -- atteste actuary and c.b.o., 31 million more americans will be able to have health insurance as a result of this legislation. we say that so often, i think we forget the power of 31 million people who don't have

Joseph Lieberman

5:24:04 to 5:24:25( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: it after this bill passes. that is a giant step for ou society. it is not only the right thing to do, but it will also eliminate the so-called hidden tax that each of us who has health insurance today pays in higher premiums when someone who has no health insurance gets sick and goes to the hospital to

Joseph Lieberman

5:24:26 to 5:24:49( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: be treated. that's real progress on the third fundamental goal of health care reform that i mentioned. now, is there anything in the bill that worries well, of course there is, and i'd say most of all i w we and future congresses will not have the discipline to keep

Joseph Lieberman

5:24:50 to 5:25:12( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: many of the transforming the way health care is delivered, because some of these reforms are controversial, and they're going to be opposed by some health care providers and health care beneficiaries. so without the kind of discipline i have just mentioned, this bill will add to our national debt or increase

Joseph Lieberman

5:25:13 to 5:25:33( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: taxes, and neither of those results is if we stick to the contents of the bill, this bill will cut health care costs and it will reduce our national debt. in my opinion, our exploding national debt is the biggest domestic threat to our country's future.

Joseph Lieberman

5:25:34 to 5:25:55( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: that is why i've said this bill must reduce that debt, not increase it. accumulated debt is currently over with o estimating that an additional additional $9 trillion will be added in the next ten years. that is unprecedented in our history. we are -- we are running up to

Joseph Lieberman

5:25:56 to 5:26:16( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: the time when we can see moment possible that we never thought would be possible when our capacity as a nation to borrow will be imperiled, when we'll have to raise interest rates so high that it will constrict our economy a us back into a recession worse than the one that we're coming out of now. madam president, we cannot bring

Joseph Lieberman

5:26:17 to 5:26:38( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: the fiscal books of our government back into balance by only making the health care system more cost-effective, but we will never control our national debt without doing so. medicare is in a particularly perilous condition today. without reform, the medicare

Joseph Lieberman

5:26:39 to 5:27:01( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: trust fund will be broke in eight years, broke, with tens of millions of baby boomers reaching the we simply must protect medicare so it remains a viable program for both current and future generations. and this leads me to my firm opposition to the creation of a

Joseph Lieberman

5:27:02 to 5:27:22( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: new government-run insurance company, program, and to lowering the age of eligibility for medicare to 55 years. that opposition was rooted in my very serious concerns about our long-term nationalebt and fragile fiscal condition of medicare. for any new

Joseph Lieberman

5:27:23 to 5:27:43( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: insurance program, including the medicare extension-expansion idea, cover costs, the federal government -- that is, federal taxpayers, the america would have to pay the difference. that could easily put our federal government and the taxpayers on the hook for billions and billions of dollars

Joseph Lieberman

5:27:44 to 5:28:05( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: in futur liabilities and further jeopardize the solvency of medicare. because of the insurance market reforms in this bill, creation -- and other measures, the creation of new -- a new system of tax credits and subsidies for people making up

Joseph Lieberman

5:28:06 to 5:28:26( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: to 400% of poverty, the creation of a new government-run health care, so-called public option or the expansion of medicare to people necessary. neither proposal would extend not be benefited by the new provisions of this bill.

Joseph Lieberman

5:28:27 to 5:28:47( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: neither the public option nor the expansion of medicare. yet both proposals would, in my opinion, lead to higher premiums for the 180 million people who have insurance today and are struggling to afford the health insurance they have now because of cost shifting. according to studies by the

Joseph Lieberman

5:28:48 to 5:29:09( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: c.b.o., a insurance program of public option would actuall charge competing private plans on the exchange and expanding medicare to cover people 55 years or older would lead to cost madam president, i know that the removal of the public option

Joseph Lieberman

5:29:10 to 5:29:30( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: from the bill here in the senate disappointed and angered many members of the senate and the house, and while i know it pleased and reassured others, i want to say to those who were not happy about the removal of the public option from this bill that never said a public option was essential to the reform goals he

Joseph Lieberman

5:29:31 to 5:29:51( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: set out of us have. when the president spoke earlier this year to the joint session of congress, he said public option is, and i quote -- "an additional step we can take." end quote. an additional step, he said, but not an essential one. and then he added, and i quote again -- "the public option is

Joseph Lieberman

5:29:52 to 5:30:12( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: only a means to that end." end quote. and conclude thad we should remain, and i quote again -- "open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal." i'm confident, madam president, that this bill accomplishes the goals that the president and most of us set out to achieve without the creatio brand-new government-run

Joseph Lieberman

5:30:13 to 5:30:33( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: insurance company or the further weakening of medicare. this bill as it appears it will remerge from the senate is delicately balanced. i understand that the normal inclination in the conference committee with our colleagues in the house is to split the difference, but splitting the difference on this bill runs a

Joseph Lieberman

5:30:34 to 5:30:54( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: real risk of breaking the fragile 60-vote senate consensus that we have now and preventing us from adopting health care reform in this congr that would be a very sad ending. so rather tha splitting our differences, i hope the conferees will adopt our agreements so that we can enact

Joseph Lieberman

5:30:55 to 5:31:15( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: health care reform this year. the rules of the senate require 60 votes to end debate on a conference report. each member of the senate will have to this bill emerges from conference whether he or she wants to be one of the 60 votes necessary to take up and pass the conference report. the presiding offic: the senator's time has expired. mr. lieberman: madam president,

Joseph Lieberman

5:31:16 to 5:31:37( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: i'm going to try this once again as i did once before on this floor. i ask for an additional moment, unanimous consent for an additional moment -- or maybe two moments to complete my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lieberman: i thank my friends. each member of the senate, i repeat, will have to decide once again when this bill emerges from the conference whether he

Joseph Lieberman

5:31:38 to 5:31:58( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: or she wants to be one of the 60 votes necessary to take up and pass the conference report. in this case, my own sense of the senate is the same as that expressed in the last few days by senators conrad and nelson and others. if significant changes are made to the senate bill and conference, it will be difficult to hold the 60 votes we now have.

Joseph Lieberman

5:31:59 to 5:32:19( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: i have two priorities that will matter a lot to me. the first is to continue and maintain the health care reforms that will improve the cost-effectiveness of our health care system and help reduce the national debt. second, i hope there will be no attempt to reinsert a so-called public option in any form in the

Joseph Lieberman

5:32:20 to 5:32:40( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: conference report. that would mean that i would not be able to support the report, and i want to support it. i believe i'm not alone in that opinion supported the bill last night. as i have said, our exploding national debt is the biggest threat to our nation's future. that means we must begin to

Joseph Lieberman

5:32:41 to 5:33:02( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: politically difficult decisions to reduce our debt, and that means saying no. some groups and some ideas, including some we would otherwise support because we simply can't afford them anymore. a final hope about the conference report. perhaps some will say it's naive. i hope that the conferees will find a way to produce a report that can be supported by some

Joseph Lieberman

5:33:03 to 5:33:24( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: republican members of the senate and house. it is a sad commentary on this moment in our political history, that so major a reform will be adopted with no bipartisan support. hopefully, the find a it might be, to conclude this long legislative journey with a bill that is not only worth

Joseph Lieberman

5:33:25 to 5:33:26( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: supporting, as i believe the

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