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Senate Proceeding on Dec 23rd, 2009 :: 9:53:30 to 10:09:05
Total video length: 10 hours 30 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Amy Klobuchar

9:53:26 to 9:53:46( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: government, we can show more cost containment american public. i thank the pre yield the floor. ms. klobuchar: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota.

Amy Klobuchar

9:53:30 to 10:09:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar

9:53:47 to 9:54:07( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i ask to speak for 12 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i come to the floor today in support of the patient protection and affordable care act, and it's an honor to follow my friend from washingto senator cantwell, who has been such a leader on the finance committee in focusing on the very issue that is key in my state, and that is cost r

Amy Klobuchar

9:54:08 to 9:54:28( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: delivery system reform, because for too long, the people in cost-effective states like minnesota and washington and wisconsin have been seeing other states not quite offering that kind of quality care that we would like to see all over the country. and i think it always shocks people. if you go to a hotel and you say

Amy Klobuchar

9:54:29 to 9:54:49( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: you want to get a room, usually if you spend more money, you have a bigger room, you get a better view. well, that's not true with health care. time and time again, we see studies across this country, academic studies, bipartisan studies showing that, in fact, some of the highest quality health care comes at some of the lowest costs. so as the senator from washington talked about how we

Amy Klobuchar

9:54:50 to 9:55:10( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: can save that $700 billion a year that is wasted in our system, a lot of it comes not at the cost of care but actually at getting better care. becausif you reduce unnecessary waste, if you stop having people running around to different specialists that are giving them conflicting advice and not conferring and not knowing about the med

Amy Klobuchar

9:55:11 to 9:55:31( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: occasions they're -- the medications they're taking, when you have those disorganized systems, they not only cost too much money for everyone, they also give worse care. that is why the male model, the integrated care model primary care doctor, working with a team of specialists, is a model that we would like to see all across this country. mr. president, we can't simply keep pushing our problems to

Amy Klobuchar

9:55:32 to 9:55:54( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: another day. rising health care costs are unsuainable, busting the budgets of families and businesses alike. if we do not act, these costs are going to break the backs of the american people. this country spends spends $2.4 trillion on health care last year alone. that's one out of every $6 in the american economy.

Amy Klobuchar

9:55:55 to 9:56:15( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: it's projected to be 20% of our whole economy in 20 if weo not act. despite spending one and a half times more per person on health care than in any other country, we all know that there are many problems systems. and what has been going on here, mr. president, is that wages simply do not keep pace with premiums.

Amy Klobuchar

9:56:16 to 9:56:36( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: people's wages have been stagnant or maybe gone up a little, gone down some or they have lost their jobs, but health care costs continue to skyrocket. i always tell the people in my ste there are three numbers we need to rember -- six, 12, and 24. ten years ago, the average american family was spending spending $6,000 a year on their health care.

Amy Klobuchar

9:56:37 to 9:56:57( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: now they're spending $12,000, with many people spending a lot more. what will they be spend ten years if we do not act? $24,000, up to $36,000 a year on their health care premiums, mr. president. when i go around my state, i hear these stories all the time. a little backpack company up in

Amy Klobuchar

9:56:58 to 9:57:18( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: two harbors, minnesota. they make backpacks for our soldiers. they've done well. they've built tir business. but the guy in charge told me he didn't even know if he would have started that business if knew then what he knows now, and that is for his family of four, small little business, two harbors, minnesota, he is spending $24,000 a year on his health care.

Amy Klobuchar

9:57:19 to 9:57:40( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: i've heard from doctors at gunderson lutheran in la crescent, minnesota. they told me the story how in one of their hospitals in their region, that they had three patients within a one-month period come into the emergency room with stomach problems, severe stomach problems, and then they had ruptured appendixes. you know what they said, why it had gotten to that point?

Amy Klobuchar

9:57:41 to 9:58:03( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: why they for two of them, they worked in small businesses and they afraid it would blow up the premiums, blow up the health care costs for that little company. and the third one said they couldn't afford the co-pays. so they waited and they waited and they waited and they got a doctor and that doctor was the emergency room, some of the most expensive care in thi country.

Amy Klobuchar

9:58:04 to 9:58:24( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: i heard from another mom in minnesota hoz daughter is mickey and the mom is cheryl. she said -- "i just got off the phone with my daughter mickey. at first i couldn't understd her because she was sobbing so hard. her husband had just been told by his boss that they wouldn't be carrying health insurance on their employees any longer. they are a small company and it was costing them $13,000 a month.

Amy Klobuchar

9:58:25 to 9:58:45( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: for her, for my daughter, this is a matter of life and death. she has cystic fibrosis. her medications can run anywhere from $7,000 to $13,000 a month because it is a pre-existing condition. the insurance companies won't touch her unless it's under a group plan like the one her husband just lost.

Amy Klobuchar

9:58:46 to 9:59:07( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: she went on to say in the leer -- "you need to stand and be my voice, be mickey's voice. mickey is a fighter, but she can't keep fighting a system that is so against her. mickey has already lived longer than any of her doctors expected. we need you to be her voice." that is why this bill is so

Amy Klobuchar

9:59:08 to 9:59:28( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: important, mr. president. the status quo is simply not sustainable, not for families, not for small for big businesses who are trying to compete internationally against companies in other countries that have more efficient health cares -- health care systems. despite claims from my friends on the other side of the aisle, we have spent months debating this issue. the c-span viewers know what i'm

Amy Klobuchar

9:59:29 to 9:59:49( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: talking about. you look at the input that the republicans have on this bill, you can see it. over 160 amendments accepted in the "help" committee, dozens of bipartisan meetings and roundtable discussions were held in the senate finance committee. they have engaged across this country so many people, sadly,

Amy Klobuchar

9:59:50 to 10:00:10( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: in a campaign of misinformation. now, i know a lot of people in minnesota and across the country are left trying to wade through all the ads, misinformation, and scare tactics to find out what this bill is about. well, mr. president, with this bill, and it is not perfect, as so many of my colleagues have said, we will make changes, we will

Amy Klobuchar

10:00:11 to 10:00:31( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: work to move forward, i would like to see more cost reductions in this bill. but what we do is a beginning not an end. we work to expand coverage and increase choice and for american consumers. first of all to me and to my mother, who's 82 years old, this bill protects medicare and our seniors. medicare is one of the most

Amy Klobuchar

10:00:32 to 10:00:52( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: valued social programs that our country has produced in the last half century. yet it is also a program in dire need of reform if it is to survive on sound financial foing and continue to provide the fine medical care that our seniors have come to expect. by 2011, the first baby boomers will enter the medicare system, and without mr. president, if we just sit

Amy Klobuchar

10:00:53 to 10:01:13( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: there and put our heads in the sand, it will go in the red by 2017. so you think of people like my mom, 82 years old, she wants to live well into her 90's and beyond. you think of people who are 55 who want to be on medicare when they're 65. it is going to go in the red by 2017 if we don't do something here to make sure that it's on

Amy Klobuchar

10:01:14 to 10:01:34( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: strong financial footing. with this bill, we start to do that. we extend medicare solvency by ten years. i'm eouraged that my legislation to create a value index that the senator from washington discussed as part of the formula, it's used to determine medicare's fee schedule, that it was included in the senate bill. this indexing will help reduce

Amy Klobuchar

10:01:35 to 10:01:56( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: unnecessary procedures because those who produce more volume will need to also improve care. or the increased volume will negatively impact fees. doctors will have a financial incentive to maximize the quality and the value of the services instead of just the quantity. my favorite story is not from minnesota along these lines.

Amy Klobuchar

10:01:57 to 10:02:19( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: geisinger, pennsylvania. they were trying to figure out how to treat diabetes. they realized with routine cases, those patients wanted to see someone more often to check in on them. so they had them assigned to nurses, the more difficult cases to the endocrine olses. endocrinologists. the endocrin endocrinologists would

Amy Klobuchar

10:02:20 to 10:02:40( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: review the nurses work. and they had much happier patients, quality went way up and they saved per patient. what does our medicare system do? it punishes them for that kind of good work. so that is what we're talking about. you can actually get higher quality when you can save money if you have the right incentives in place. with this legislation, we also

Amy Klobuchar

10:02:41 to 10:03:01( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: stop paying for care that doesn't resu in quality patient outcomes. who wants to go in the hospital to be treated and then get sick from something in the hospital? that's called hospital readmissions, when you have to go in again. in one year, hospital readmissions cost medicare $17.4 billion. and a 2007 report by the medicare payment advisory

Amy Klobuchar

10:03:02 to 10:03:22( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: commission found that medicare paid an average of $7,200 per readmission that was likely preventable. this practice must stop. this isn't good care for patients and it's not a good investment for taxpayers. the bill also establishes an independent commission tasked with presenting congress with comprehensive proposals to reduce health care costs and

Amy Klobuchar

10:03:23 to 10:03:43( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: improve quality of care for medicareeneficiaries. the current medicare payment policies are not working well for patients, doctors and hospitals. we have to control costs and we have to get that high-quality care like we see in minnesota throughout the country. in this bill, we also work to stop fraud and abuse. law enforcement authorities estimate that medicare fraud

Amy Klobuchar

10:03:44 to 10:04:04( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: costs taxpayers more than $60 billion every year. $60 billion going to con men. $6 on billion goingo storefronts that say a doctor's office and all that's behind it are a bunch of fraudsters and rip-off artists that are getting money that is meant to be providing care to our seniors. $60 billion a year. final we hava bill that puts

Amy Klobuchar

10:04:05 to 10:04:27( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the tools in place, the enhanced criminal penl thinks that allows for that -- penalties that allows for those direct payments from the government to those providers so we don't have people ripping us off with an antiquated system with bad and false checks. with this change, we put a stop to criminals running phony businesses to steal medicare checks from our seniors. we're also working to help our seniors with the costs of their

Amy Klobuchar

10:04:28 to 10:04:48( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: prescription drugs, mr. president. millions of americans depend on prescription drugs to help them manage chronic diseases or other illnesses. trug prices continue to skyrket. that is why i personally favor and voted for reimportation to allow these safe drugs to come in from places like canada. we're not afraid of canada in minnesota. canadians come to shop and to

Amy Klobuchar

10:04:49 to 10:05:09( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: vacation and to fish in minnesota and we go to canada to shop and to canada. we don't have a problem with their drugs. sadly, that proposal did not pass the senate but i will continue to advocate for that. but what does this bill do so far? what is it ll that doughnut hole, that where seniors who had been getting help for paying with

Amy Klobuchar

10:05:10 to 10:05:30( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: their prescription drugs, stopped getting that help. that doughnut hole is now filled. this legislation provides relief for our small businesses. right now, small businesses pay 20% more than large businesses for the cos of care. in a recent national survey, nearly three-quarters of small businesses that did not offer benefits cited high premiums as

Amy Klobuchar

10:05:31 to 10:05:54( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: a reason. beginning in 2011, with this legislation, small businesses will be eligible for tax credits worth up to 35% of their contribution to their employee' health insurance plans. in 2014, these tax credits will even increase more. this legislation, as we all know, also creates insurance exchanges known as small

Amy Klobuchar

10:05:55 to 10:06:15( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: business health option programs, or shop programs, where small businesses can finally pool their numbers and do what big businesses do, to negotiate for better rates for their insurance. beginning with the passage of this bill -- and this is one of my favorite parts -- kids can't be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions. so if your son or daughter gets

Amy Klobuchar

10:06:16 to 10:06:36( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: sick, an insurance company can't look at you and say, i'm sorry your kid got sick, you don't have any insurance. you look at the story that i just read you with the -- with mickey, the woman whose husband lost her insurance. she had cystic fibrosis so she's not sure if she's going to be able to get insurance. this puts an end. fo kids, it does it immediately. the minute the bill gets signed

Amy Klobuchar

10:06:37 to 10:06:58( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: into law. insurance companies will also be barred from limiting the total benefits americans can use over the course of a year or over their lifetime. affordable insurance coverage options will also be made immediately available through a high-risk pool for americans who have been uninsured and have been denied coverage because they have a preexisting condition. with

Amy Klobuchar

10:06:59 to 10:07:19( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: companies immediately must fully cover regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illnesses, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetes. in addition, children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26. i see my friend,he senator from pennsylvania, here who --

Amy Klobuchar

10:07:20 to 10:07:40( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: well maybe he has four children who will soon be 26. so i know that many people are glad that this proposal has contained in it a proposal -- a provisn that says you can keep your kids on the insurance until they're 26. mr. president, we know that this bill isn't perfect and no big piece of legislation ever is. there's still work that needs to

Amy Klobuchar

10:07:41 to 10:08:01( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: be done in conference committee. there's still negotiations that will take place. there are still things tt need to be fixed. and we know that this is only the beginning of reform and not the end. but, mr. president, we must keep looking to the future. too often and for too long, health care costs have been spiraling out of control. that's why we can't afford to

Amy Klobuchar

10:08:02 to 10:08:23( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: hold off any long other reforming health care. i'm going to close by reading something that vicki kennedy, ted kennedy's widow, wrote in "the washington post." this is what she wrote this weekend. she said, "the bill before congress will finally deliver on the urgent need of all americans americans. it would make their lives better and do so much good for this country.

Amy Klobuchar

10:08:24 to 10:08:45( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: that in the end must be the test of reform. that was always the test for ted kennedy. he's not here to urge us not to let this chance slip through our fingers. so i humbly ask his colleagues to finish the work of his life, the work of generations, to allow the vote to go forward and

Amy Klobuchar

10:08:46 to 10:09:06( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: to pass health care reform now. as ted always said, when it's finally done, the people will wonder, what took so long:" after all the work and debate that's going into this bill over the past year, we are finally having the votes that the american people deserve. tomorrow morning, christmas eve, will be the vote.

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