tv U.S. Senate CSPAN July 30, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: well, mr. president, it's almost august. we're just a few weeks away from the political parties' nominating conventions. at this point in past presidential election years, the senate is diligently working on things like appropriation bills or the defense authorization
bill, but not this year in the senate. our democratic colleagues refuse to do the basic work of government, even though chairman inouye has said he would like to pass some of the nine appropriation bills his committee has worked hard to complete, we haven't taken up a single one. our democratic colleagues won't bring the defense authorization bill to the floor either, even though both the chairman and the ranking member of the armed services committee are ready to work on this important legislation as well. and they refuse to work with us to help the economy or to prevent a looming tax hike on nearly a million small businesses at the end of the year. instead, they prefer to waste valuable time on a vote they have argued for many years shouldn't take place this close to a presidential election. now that there is a democrat in the white house, they refuse to
follow past practice of postponing the consideration of circuit court nominations this late in a presidential election year so the american people can decide who they want to make these important appointments. this practice is known as the leahy-thurmond rule. it's a custom they vigorously defended when there was a republican in the white house. so let's take a look at recent history. in 2004, the unemployment rate was only 5.4%. on our circuit courts, however, back in 2004, there were nine declared judicial emergencies. now, that didn't matter to our democratic colleagues. the senate stopped, stopped circuit court nominations in june of that year, even though
we had nine judicial emergencies. in 2008, the unemployment rate was much higher at 6.1%. on our circuit courts, there were almost as many judicial emergencies. but on the fourth circuit, things were much, much worse. fully 1/4 of the seats were empty, even though there were qualified nominees to fill them. our democrat colleagues didn't care either. in the name of senate custom and practice by which i mean the leahy-thurmond rule, they pocket filibustered several outstanding circuit court nominees in committee. now, it didn't matter to our democratic friends that these nominees enjoyed strong home state support, including bipartisan home state support, or that they had outstanding
credentials or that they would fill declared emergencies on those circuit courts. the senate couldn't process them they told us again and again and again because it was june, and that was to quote the chairman of the judiciary committee way past the time of the leahy-thurmond rule. today, as august -- not june, but august is upon us, the country's unemployment rate is unfortunately much higher than it was in either 2004 or 2008. it's now at 8.2%. but the situation on our circuit courts is much better than it was in either 2004 or 2008. there are now fewer judicial emergencies. and in terms of what the senate
can do about it, as opposed to the president's failure to nominate people, we have confirmed, we have confirmed every nominee whom the president has submitted to fill a judicial emergency, save one, only one. that's right. the senate has confirmed every nominee he has sent up to fill an emergency on our circuit courts, save one, and that one nominee isn't on the senate floor. in fact, the senate has already confirmed as many or more circuit court nominees this year than it did in 2004 or 2008. it has confirmed a much higher percentage of circuit court nominations. and it has confirmed these nominations faster than during the bush administration. on the last point, although you won't hear our democratic
friends acknowledge it, the average time from nomination to confirmation, the average time from nomination to confirmation of a circuit court nominee for president obama is over a month faster than it was for president bush in his first term. time from nomination to confirmation for president obama is over a month faster than in president bush's first term, and it is over 100 days faster than it was for president bush's circuit court nominees overall. so the situation with our economy is worse now than it was in 2004 or 2008, while the situation on our circuit courts is better. the economy is worse but the situation on circuit courts is better. so what do you think our
democratic colleagues are going to focus on? are they going to do the basic work of government, fund the government, for example? it doesn't look like. are they going to reauthorize important programs for our nation's defense? i'm told it's been 50-some odd years since the defense authorization bill hasn't passed. no sign of it this year. are they going to work with us to fix the economy or preventing -- prevent a looming tax hike? i don't see any evidence of it yet. what they want to do instead is violate the custom in presidential election years that the congressional research service says they have been the biggest proponents of. this is not me saying this. this is the congressional research service. they want to violate the custom in presidential election years that the c.r.s. says they have
been the biggest proponents of. the c.r.s. does not say that the biggest proponent of the leahy-thurmond rule is me or ranking member grassley. or even senator thurmond. rather, the c.r.s. says the most frequent proponent of the rule -- quote -- "is the current chairman of the senate judiciary committee." no doubt we'll hear some post hoc rationale from our democratic friends as to could the rule the c.r.s. says they've been the biggest proponents of. doesn't apply to them. they'll ignore the pocket filibusters to fill judicial emergencies during a republican administration but, of course, that's par for the course. par for the course. whether it's pro forma sessions to prevent recess appointments
or judicial filibusters or the leahy-thurman rule, our friends don't want the practices they have pioneered -- they don't want the practices that they have pioneered or been the biggest proponents of to apply to them. they don't want the practices that they've been the pioneers of and the biggest proponents of to apply to them. now, it's pretty convenient for them, but that's not the way the senate is supposed to work. in sum, on the subject of the leahy-thurman rule -- leahy-thurmond rule, we have been more responsible in deciding to inspoke it -- invoke it this year than our democratic colleagues were in either 2004 or 2008.
i would urge my friends to oppose this double standard and to oppose cloture. and let me repeat. this is not about the individual who has been nominated. it wasn't in many respects about the individuals to be nominated in 2004 and 2008. what this is is a bipartisan time-out, bipartisan in the sense it's been used by both sides, time-out within this year six months of an election, in 2008 it was within eight months of an election, eight months at the end of the term, but in six months of an election to these important lifetime jobs to see who the next president may be. and so -- yes, i i yield to my friend from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: first of all, let me say it's awkward one of the
best nominees, robert bacharach, is the one that's the subject of this thing and i regret that's the case. the problem that you have is that this will be the latest confirmation of a circuit court nominee during an election year in 20 years. it was thinking just today that i cannot vote against this guy, but i sure can just vote present. if we have a 20-year precedent put in there by the democrats and the republicans alike,ed i really wouldn't want to be the one to break that precedent. we're within four months of an election right now. i think it's very important what we do what we've done over the last 20 years and allow the new administration to come in. this bacharach, by the way, he's been up there for two years before any action and i think you have to be a little suspicious why it is coming up right now. i may end up voting present on this. mr. mcconnell: i thank my friend from oklahoma. he confirms this is not about the nominee who apparently is
well qualified. this is about an approach that's developed, called the leahy-thurmond rule, over several decades, under which it's been the practice to kind of call a time-out within rather close proximity to the election. in 2008 the time-out was called in june. we are going to enter august the end of this week. by say also to my friend from oklahoma we have confirmed for the president in this election year six circuit court nominees nominees, president bush in 2008 got four. president bush in 2004 got five. we've not been unfair to the administration. and it's certainly no reflection on what is apparently an outstanding nominee from your state. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, i hope the american are american
people are witnessing this moment in the united states senate. we are about to make history. we're going to make history in a few minutes when we have a roll call vote on u.s. magistrate judge robert bacharach to the tenth circuit court of appeals. this fine man, who has been nominated to this high position in the federal judiciary has the support of both of the senators of his home state. they are both republicans. listen to what senator tom coburn said of mr. bacharach, magistrate back raj. a stellar candidate. listen to what senator inhofe said about this same nominee from his state. a great guy. i listened to these comments and then i reflect on the fact this man was reported out of the senate judiciary committee on a voice vote. there was so little controversy because of his outstanding record, he was reported out on a voice vote.
and the democratic majority leader has offered to bring to the floor of the senate a nominee approved by both republican senators from oklahoma, and now you hear senator mcconnell coming to the floor and explain why the republicans will have to filibuster and stop this man from being appointed to the court. is it something about him? no. it's all about politics. and it's all about the presidential campaign. if the republicans sustain this filibuster and stop this good man from his service on the circuit court, it will be the first time in the history of the united states senate that an appeals court nominee with bipartisan committee support has ever, ever been filibustered on the floor of the senate. but how can we be surprised? this will be the 86th republican filibuste it is said that if the only tool you own is a hammer, every
problem looks like a nail. if you happen to be a republican leader in the senate, every day looks likes another chance for a filibuster. 86 filibusters. now they're filibustering judicial nominees unanimously approved by the committee and approved by both republican senators, the president is prepared to sign this man into this position, a critically important position in the judiciary, and who is stopping him? the republicans in the senate. no surprise. the 86th republican filibuster, senate filibuster in this congress. no surprise that it comes from senator mcconnell, who very openly and candidly and i assume honestly said my biggest job in the senate is to make sure barack obama is a one-term president. that's how he welcomed president obama to the white house. and so they piled filibuster on
top of filibuster to stop the rare possibility that this president would give this good man, this un-- exceptional man, i should say, exceptional man a chance to serve his country. listen to the background of this man who is about to become a victim of the 86th republican filibuster. 13 years he sved. he's handled an impressive caseload including almost 3,000 civil and criminal matters and 400 judicial settlement conferences. he is the type of consensus nominee that we look for in every single state. he's given the highest possible rating by the american bar association. no questions asked, this is a good man and a good candidate for this spot. the american bar association's nonpartisan peer review, every single reviewer said this magistrate is well qualified to serve as a circuit court judge
in the tenth circuit court of appeals. and where are the politics there? the politics are the democratic majority leader has offered to the two republican senators from oklahoma a chance for this good man to serve and now they are going to stop him with a republican filibuster. if you wonder if you're looking for evidence of a dysfunctional senate, hold on tight and in just a few moments we'll start a roll call and you'll watch as republican after republican comes and votes to kill this man's nomination for the tenth circuit court of appeals. president obama will be the first president in 20 years to complete his first term with more judicial vacancies than when he took office. they have dragged their feet every step of the way with filibusters and delays to stop this president from appointing the judges he was elected to appoint. and good people, good people
like u.s. magistrate judge robert bacharach who submit their names in this process, who go through extensive background investigations, who put their lives on hold wondering, just wondering if they are going to make it, end up getting caught in a political game that's being played here on the floor. i just hope there's a handful -- five, six, or seven republican senators -- who will give this man a fair break, give him a chance to serve his country as the circuit judge for the tenth circuit court of appeals. please, let us not make history today by stopping a highly qualified bipartisan nominee, well qualified by the american bar association from serving this circuit. the senators, the republican senators from oklahoma were right. he's a stellar candidate and by every measure, a great guy. please, don't make him a victim
of last-minute political campaigning in this last week before the recess that we take for our democratic and national convention and republican national convention. he shouldn't be a victim of this presidential campaign. he deserves a chance to serve. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, i don't like to get involved in the back and forth on this issue. it just bothers me. chairman leahy goes into all these numbers, and they are distorted for the most part in connection with the reality. i've said that i simply will not, however, stand by and see the record misconstrued and the picture painted is something from what it is. president bush's judicial
nominees were filibustered extraordinarily. unlike anything we'd ever seen before. and this is the way it happened. i was here, i remember it very distinctly. president bush was elected president, and 2001, shortly after he was elected, "the new york times" reported that a group of well known liberal law professors, including lawrence tribe, cass sunstein, marsha greenberger met with the democratic senators in a retreat and they proposed to the democratic conference, who were then in a minority in the united states senate, they didn't have the majority, president bush was the president, going to be nominating judges, and they decided to change the ground rules of judicial confirmation. that is the fact. after they took -- after that,
they were aggressively executing a plan of unprecedented obstruction of judicial nominees. in a totally unprecedented use of the filibuster, the senate confirmed only six of 25 of president bush's circuit court nominees. six out of 25. and two of those six were prior clinton nominees that president bush as an act of good faith renominated. they were, of course, immediately confirmed. yet the majority of president bush's first nominees to the circuit court waited years for confirmation. many were never confirmed. perhaps the most disturbing tore story was miguel estrada which has come up recently in the
confirmation of supreme court justices in which some of my democratic colleagues basically acknowledge that he was badly treated. he was an outstanding -- is an outstanding appellate lawyer, supremely qualified to serve on the district -- district of columbia circuit court. he waited 16 months for a hearing. they would not give him a hearing. this was all after 2000 and their determination to change the ground rules. before that, filibusters hn been utilized against nominees. not in any degree. almost never, actually. we had a fight over it, i spoke on maybe half a dozen or a dozen times about mr. estrada. there were seven cloture votes,
seven attempts by the republicans to get a vote on mr. estrada so he could be confirmed and he was a superb nominee, he was treated very poorly, and he was not -- it was not the right thing and people have acknowledged it since. mr. president, is there a time agreement on a vote to commence? the presiding officer: the time for the minority has just expired. mr. sessions: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to have one additional moment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. se mr. sessions: let me just say this, in the last 20 years, going back even before this dispute that began in 2000 when the democrats changed the ground rules of confirmations and started filibustering systematically qualified nominees, not one circuit judge has been confirmed after this date. that's been the tradition of the
senate. it's been referred to as the thurman rule, maybe even more appropriately the leahy rule. others have talked about the quotes that have been made from senator reid and senator leahy on the floor. this is the tradition of the senate, that when you're up for reelection, after this date to get your nominees confirmed, you have to win reelection. and if president obama is successful in being reelected, i'm sure he'll have a high likelihood of getting this nominee and others confirmed. i thank the chair and would yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
quorum call: mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: and i would yield back all time prior to the vote. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination o robert e. bacharach of oklahoma to be united states circuit judge for the 10th circuit. signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is: is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of robert e. bacharach of oklahoma to be united states circuit judge for the 10th circuit shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory urn the rule. the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or to change their vote? seeing none, on this vote the yeas are 56. the nays are 34. three senators responded "present." three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. under the previous order, the senate will resume legislative session. the motion to proceed to s. 3414 is agreed to and the clerk will report the measure. the clerk: calendar number 470, s. 3414, a bill to enhance the security and resiliency of
the cyber and communications infrastructure of the united states. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent there be a period of morning business for debate only -- i'm sorry. strike that. i ask unanimous consent there now be a period of debate only on s. 3414 and that this will go forward until 2:15 on tuesday, july 31. further at 2:15, on that date, tuesday, i be recognized. the presiding officer: is there objection? the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: just a question for the chair through the majority leader. i planned on making a statement on bacharach. you're saying debate only. will that preclude unanimous consent for morning business? thank you. i have no objection. the presiding officer: without objection.
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: if the majority leader is finished, i would ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. reid: madam president, if i -- the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: if i could ask my friend to withhold for a brief minute. mrs. shaheen: that's fine. mr. reid: it's my understanding that senator coburn's been waiting around for awhile to talk. you're okay? okay. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: thank you, madam president. i come to the floor this evening to talk about an amendment that i filed to the cybersecurity act, s. 3414. now, this is the fourth time i filed this amendment, and it's not on the cybersecurity act per se, although it does address
energy use which is one of the critical challenges we face as we're trying to address cybersecurity in this country. this is an amendment that is the substance of s. 1000, the energy savings and industrial competitiveness act, which is sponsored -- the other cosponsor, senator rob portman, and he's a cosponsor on this amendment. and what the energy savings and industrial competitiveness act and the amendment that i filed does is create a national energy-efficiency strategy for the united states. so this amendment is the same language that senator portman and i filed to the bring the jobs home act and the middle-class tax cut act, and it's one that we're going to continue to file because we think it's important for this
amendment and this legislation to have an opportunity for a vote from this entire senate. because we think this is bipartisan legislation that has broad support among our colleagues. this legislation is based on two important premises that i've already spoken to in the chamber. first, that the american public desperately wants congress to work together in a bipartisan way to address this nation's energy needs. and second, that energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest way to meet our energy challenges, and that not only does it help us develop a strategy around energy, but it's a strategy that can be supported whether you live in new england, as i do, whether you live in the west, whether you live in the south. it's a strategy that is important whether you support fossil fuels, oil and gas, whether you support nuclear, or whether you support wind and
solar. we all benefit from energy efficiency. and it's also a strategy that the evidence is that the american public wants to see the senate act on energy efficiency legislation, and i think that evidence is overwhelming because last week, i started an online campaign asking people to sign a petition calling on senate leadership to bring this bill to the floor, and the text of the petition is what you see here. it's small print and so it's hard to read, but it asks people to support the shaheen-portman energy efficiency bill. i just want to read a section of it. it says -- "the shaheen-portman act would help make the united states a global leader in the fastest and cheapest method we have for addressing our energy
needs, energy efficiency. energy efficiency is within our grasp. it uses proven technology that we can manufacture here at home to lower energy costs across all sectors of our economy." in just a matter of days, we've already collected over 4,600 signatures from supporters across the country, and that number continues to grow. anyone interested in signing a petition and in learning more about the many benefits of energy efficiency can easily do so by visiting my web site at shaheen.senate.gov. now, while drafting the bill, senator portman and i met with a number of stakeholders so that we could better understand the obstacles that the private sector faces when they're trying to deploy energy-efficient technologies, so we had discussions with companies from energy-intensive industries, from trade groups, from those representing the real estate community, from environmental advocates and from financing
organizations, and the feedback that we received about ways to remove these barriers and drive the adoption of energy-efficient technologies became the basis for this legislation. so as a result, we have a bill that provides a variety of low-cost tools that will speed this nation's transition to a more energy-efficient economy. the bill addresses three major areas of u.s. energy use -- residential and commercial buildings which consume 40% of all energy use in the country, the industrial sector which consumes more energy than any other sector of the u.s. economy, and the federal government which is the country's single biggest user of energy. so highlights of the bill include establishing advanced building codes for voluntary residential and commercial buildings to cut energy use, and i would emphasize that those codes are voluntary and we've worked with the real estate and
the building industry on those codes. second, the legislation helps manufacturers finance and implement energy-efficient production technologies and practices because that's one of the biggest obstacles to retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency. and third, the legislation would require the federal government to adopt better building standards and smart metering technology. our legislation is bipartisan, and in addition to the thousands of signatures on this petition, it has support from well over 200 businesses, environmental groups, think tanks and trade associations, and those groups include the national association of manufacturers, the u.s. chamber of commerce, the environmental defense fund, businesses like johnson controls, honeywell, united technologies corporation, and this broad coalition of supporters recognizes that the
legislation is an easy first step that will make our economy more competitive and our nation more secure by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and still meeting the demand for energy savings technologies from individuals and businesses alike. and i think it's important to point out that there are real economic benefits and a recent study by policy experts at the american council for an energy-efficient economy found that the legislation will achieve savings for consumers and businesses. specifically, their study found that by 2020, the bill could save consumers $4 billion a year once it's enacted, and it would add 80,000 jobs to the economy. so at a time when we're worried about growing the economy, when we're worried about the fragile recovery, this is the kind of legislation that will allow us
to create good jobs, with off the shelf technologies. madam president, with the shaheen-portman energy efficiency bill, the senate has an opportunity to provide the american people with exactly what they want -- an effective, bipartisan approach to addressing this nation's energy needs that also creates jobs and grows the economy. i hope that we will be able to persuade leadership and my colleagues that this is legislation that merits full debate and a vote on the floor and that we will be able to bring s. 1000 or this amendment to the floor for a vote. thank you very much, madam president. i yield the floor. mr. coburn: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: i ask to speak in morning business as much time as i might consume and ask also unanimous consent that when i am finished, that the senator from
ohio be recognized for ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coburn: i wanted to come to the floor to talk about two or three subjects. the first is to issue an apology to the majority leader. i don't apologize for my frustration of this place, but occasionally my words are harsh and inaccurate. this past week, i used words that were inappropriate in describing his actions in the senate, and for that i offer a public apology. i do not apologize for how i think the senate is being run and the damage that i think is being done to the country, but as an individual, he has a very difficult time, and i understand that, and to him i ask his forgiveness. i wanted to talk a moment about the exercise we just went through, and i'd ask that my comments be placed -- i ask unanimous consent that my comments be placed in the record immediately following the vote tally as announced by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. coburn: you know, we just disallowed one of the best candidates for the appellate court in my eight years since i have been in the senate. magistrate judge bob bacharach is a stellar individual, rated very highly qualified by the american bar association, and what has happened is we're in the position today because of the games that are being played, political games, and let me just put into the record what's really going on. there are three judges ahead of bob bacharach in line. we have had a leahy-thurmond rule for some 20 years. i have been quoted, i think it's a stupid rule, but the background is that protecting
the prerogative of the senate is one of the most important things the majority leader can do, and what we have seen happen with the lack of agreement this last holiday season over the moving forward of judges and their approval was the unconstitutional usurpings of power by the president of the united states and the appointment during our pro forma sessions of three individuals, one to the consumer financial protection board and two to the nlrb. and quite frankly, if you look at what madison wrote in federalist 51, the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same branch of government consist to those administering each give the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist
encroachment of the others. ambition must be made to counteract ambition. the interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. and so started the saga in january of this past year where the reaction of my colleagues on my side of the aisle was to shut down -- in response to the president's move was to shut down all judicial confirmations. and i stood up in my caucus and fought that. i thought it was the wrong action then. i still think it would have been the wrong action. but i convinced my caucus not to go that direction, and to do that, i agreed that i would consent to the leahy-thurmond rule in this election cycle. but i hope this is the last election cycle we use the leahy-thurmond rule, because on the other side of the
constitutional issues is that a duly elected president does have the right to have their nominees considered, whether i agree with them or not. and to prove this was really a stunt rather than anything other than that, and bob bacharach becomes the pawn in that, is that we had an agreement on judges and then we had cloture filed on regular circuit court judges on which there was no real controversy, and all of those circuit court judges after that cloture was filed on them and then withdrawn have henceforth been approved. so to the american public, the game is politics and not policy for our country, and to me, it saddens me, it frustrates me that we are at this stage, because it's not a whole lot
different than what you see on the playground of the kindergarten. the person who most has spoken in favor of the leahy-thurmond rule is the chairman of the judiciary committee, and yet we find this impasse. so what we ought to all do, every member of the senate and the judiciary committee, during the break after this election, is to work together to try to resolve this so this doesn't happen to any other president and doesn't do damage to the senate and the integrity of the senate. and the game on judges, a president gets elected with their state home senators, they make a selection, and if they -- we just shouldn't use the filibuster unless a judge is highly questionable or biased in their viewpoint. i regret that we're in this
position. i think this was just a vote to delay bob bacharach's eventual confirmation. if president obama wins the election, i fully expect that judge bacharach will be approved, and if he doesn't win the election, i plan on standing and fighting for this judge for this same position under a republican president because he's exactly what we want on the court, somebody that's right down the middle in terms of what the law means, what the constitution means. he has stellar intellectual capabilities, and he has the qualities that we all would want, both from the right and the left, as a fair divider of the facts. and that's what we want in judges. he will make an ideal appellate judge, regardless of his political affiliation. and if we can't get there, then what that says is the partisan politics of today, as everybody
outside washington recognizes, is killing our country. which brings me to the next area in what i wanted to discuss. that's, quite frankly, that if i was coming to the floor with intelligence about an imminent threat to our national security, americans would demand that our government and this body take immediate action. if an army was on our border, if missiles were about to be launched at our territory or if there were a terrorist plot in motion, doing anything less than us uniting in the face of that threat and taking divisive action -- decisive action would be seen as cowardice and foolishness, yet that's precisely where we are today, which brings me to my frustration with the majority leader.
the threat, though, doesn't come from traditional armies or terrorists. the threat comes from our unsustainable spending and this body's refusal to unite and take action. it isn't just the conservatives who are sounding the alarm. the warnings are coming from our military leaders, diplomats and statesmen on both sides of the aisle, as well as the international financial community. admiral mike mullen, the retired joint chiefs of staff, while he was still chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said the greatest threat to this nation is its debt. we have done not one thing since january to address that problem. we're having spats over judges, we're having spats over all the small things, but the greatest imminent danger to our country we're doing nothing about. i believe we have less than two
to five years to act, to make a significant change in our path. no one knows when this nation will cross the point of no return. and we may have already, but there is a point where we will lose control of our own destiny. it's coming. and the fact that the senate this year has had fewer votes than at any time since 1947 according to the congressional research service, why is that? because we have a political year. we don't want to take votes. we don't want to have to explain to our constituencies why we voted yea or nay on something. so the whole goal is to not vote. and ultimately, the whole goal is to not address the very pressing issues facing this country. what do you think is going to happen to the defense department with no defense authorization
bill? they're in lala land. where do they go? we're not going to give them the direction with which to spend the largest discretionary amount of money in our government, $600 billion. they're going to be coasting, flying by the seat of their plants, not going to have radar, not going to have anything, not going to be any stealth and yet we refuse to do that. and we've spent a larger amount of time in quorum calls, 37% of the time, this year, in nothing but quorum calls. and we've spent the same amount of time doing votes. so less than a third had of the time available to the senate has actually been on the business associated with the country and most of the business that we've addressed isn't this critical risk that's in front of our country. just last week, vanguard, the largest private owner of u.s.
bonds, $186 billion they own of u.s. bonds, say we have until 2016 to act. if we don't act, we will go into a death spiral. bond investors will revolt, they will drive up prices, drive up interest rates, and drop prices. we already know from c.b.o. that the entitlement programs are on the brink of insolvency. social security disability, we've added 3.2 million people to those rolls since january 1 of 2009. that system will be bankrupt in less than 18 months. not a comment. 8.5 million people depend on those payments. not a comment from the leadership in addressing a trust fund that will be out of money in less than 18 months.
our founders believed that pliks that live beyond their means don't survive. they talked about it. history is full of examples. and europe is reminding of those today. the euro and the europe we know it is on its deathbed. every month, every week there's a new set of reus is tiff efforts that are not working. what's the real problem? the real problem is they spent money they didn't have on things they absolutely didn't need and the bill is due. so if you want to see what america is going to look like in two or three years, just look at europe. look at the demonstrations, look at the crying out of the masses to say how did we get here? and the pain of fixing it is too great. that's why we should be addressing our problems now.
the reason america looks good, we're the least wilted rose in the bud vase. and the only reason we look good is because they look so bad. we're at 103% debt to g.d.p. it's costing us at least 1.2 million jobs in new job creation every year, at historical interest rates, our interest costs per year would be over a trillion dollars. the interest rates are falsely low because of what the federal reserve has done. the price to pay for that is coming in the future. what's the contrast? i ask seniors all the time do you think we ought to save medicare, and they say yes. i say do you think we ought to save medicare just like it is? they say yes. and i say do you think we ought to save medicare just like it is if you know if we save medicare just like it is that your
grandchildren will have a standard of living one-third lower than you have have? and then they say no. you see, america is used to doing hard things. it's just the senate right now that isn't -- won't do hard things. won't come together. won't make the sacrifices. we value our positions more than we value the country that we live in. and the consequences are showing. we have 8.2% unemployment rate. if you use the same statistics we used in 1980, our unemployment rate is above 9.6%. just measuring it the same way we measured it 32 years ago. now that we're measuring the difference we don't see the real impact. today we are dangerously close to a global great depression. let's remember the last time the world saw a great depression. that depression was the leading cause of the global war that
killed 60 million people. 2.5% of the world's population. do we dare go down that path by putting politics ahead of principle and policy? fortunately, many of our leaders see this threat and are calling on us to take action. consider this exchange between former secretary of state james baker and current secretary of state hillary clinton last month on the charlie rose show. secretary bake perks i know one thing, we're broke. we can't afford wars anymore. we can't afford a lot of things. and the biggest threat facing the country today is not some threat from the outside, it's not iran, it's not nuclear weapons or anything else, it's our economy. we better darn well get our economic house in order because the strength of our nation has always depended upon our economy. you cannot be strong politically, militarily or
diplomatically if you're not strong economically. he's giving us a foreshadow of what's coming. secretary clinton in response, well, amen to that because i've had to go around the world the last three and a half years reassuring many leaders both in the governments and business sectors of a lot of countries that the united states was moving forward economically, that we were not ceding our leadership position, we were as present as ever, but we recognize that we had to put our economic house in order. if secretary baker and secretary clinton can agree, why can't we? here's two polar opposites. they both see the same thing. the only problem is we haven't put our economic house in order. i know it's the senate majority leader's position to try to protect both his incumbent and his members. and i know the conventional dizz wizdom says we can't get anything done in an election year but i want to tell you it's
not good enough anymore. it's not good enough for the country. the country deserves better. by doing nothing, we are pushing our children and grandchildren off a fiscal cliff and by doing nothing weiner guaranteeing the very tax increases and the very cuts in entitlements that both sides say they want to avoid. if you're an unemployed american right now or someone struggling to make ends meet, when is the right time for us to act? is it a perfect political moment that's always a mirage beyond the horizon of the next election or is it today or this week? the american people have lost their confidence in us because we refuse to act even as we call on others to do things that we won't do ourselves. today we're asking our soldiers to risk their lives for our country. why can't we do the same? why are we allowed to play it
safe when we're asking others to make the ultimate sacrifice? especially when we as elected leaders have so much less at stake. i believe the american people want us to do hard things and will actually reward us for demonstrating leadership and courage. the problems before us we have today, they can all be solved. but delay, delay means the pain that comes with the solution is much greater. but yet the delay, that's the path we've chosen. that's the path we've chosen in the senate, that's the path the president has chosen, to not face the real issues, the coming and impending wrupt bankruptcy of -- bankruptcy of medicare, the fact that the
average medicare couple takes three times more out of medicare than what they put in, and the fact that the baby boom generation will overwhelm the trust fund that pays the hospital bills. worst case scenario, in four years the medicare trust fund will be wrupt brupt -- will be bankrupt. i know that sounds like a lot of things. let me show the american people some camps examples. we hear a lot of mindless rhetoric about which sidside is to blame. just like the debate before the vote on bob bacharach. the truth is obvious to mote taxpayers. both sides are to blame. both republicans and democrats. when republicans had the chance to restore limited government, we helped double the size of government. meanwhile, the leaders today chief complaint is that we didn't overspend enough. i know the senate majority leader has a tough job and the burden of leadership, but he's refusing to accept the
responsibility that is truly ours today. we're going to be measured, this congress is going to be measured by our actions. and, you know, at the end of this week for five weeks the senate is going to take off, and we're going to be just like rome. actually what should happen to every senator as we leave this place the end of this week is we should each be handed a fiddle so we can all fiddle while the government and the financial situation and the economic chaos that is ours today grows unabated. you know, real leadership isn't about being right. it's about doing the right thing. we're not doing the right thing in the u.s. senate today. we're not reforming the tax code that's 90,000 pages that takes
110,000 i.r.s. employees to administer. we're not addressing the impending bankruptcy of medicare. we're not assuring the solvency of social security and increasing the payments for those on the very low end of the totem pole. we're not addressing the key issues facing our country. why are we here? if we're not going to address those issues. we're addressing every issue but those. again, it's evident that my frustration is high. what i would say, i want the senate to return to the body it was when i first came here. i think we can do that. i think senator reid can lead us to do that. but every day we waste, every day that we're not fixing the real problems, the real disease that faces our country, means that we're responsible for a significant increase in the pain
and disruption that is coming. let it not be so. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent the privileges of the floor be granted to ben cohen, who is a fellow on my staff. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. i rise today because there was an obvious omission in the olympic opening ceremony on friday. 40 years after 11 israeli olympians and a german police officer were murdered at the 1992 munich games, the london games opened with no acknowledgment of this tragedy. there was neither mention nor a moment of silence for those victims of the munich massacre. 40 years ago on september 4, five palestinians stormed the apartments of the israeli national team in the olympic
village and murdered 11 israeli team members. again and again the i.o.v.c., the hat international olympic committee has rejected a request to hold a moment of silence at opening ceremonies. i thank senator gillibrand for her resolution calling for the i.o.c. to hold a moment of silence. i remind the i.o.c. it's not too late. they were not random victims. they were targeted because of the country they represented and the beliefs they held. shock -- jacques roge said we feel the opening shairm ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident. that's the best he could do. i can't think of a more appropriate moment to remember these olympians. the munich massacre is part of the olympic story. we can't raea race it, we shouldn't overlook it. we know what happens when we avoid the past and of course we
cannot afford to repeat it. i ask that we all do everything we can to convince the i.o.c. to step up and do the right thing. let me tell you why this especially matters for people in ohio and my home state, in greater cleveland the part of ohio which i call home. in beachwood, ohio, a suburb east of cleveland there is a national memorial to david burger, an american citizen, one of the 11 israeli team members killed in munich. as a nation we honor his memory, we honored that memory of his israeli teammates, we also have a moral responsibility to hold those responsible for his death accountable. holding those responsible includes those who supported and financed the terrorists who perpetrated these actions. we had the chance to hold libya accountable yet during negotiations that led to the 2008 u.s.-libya claims settlement agreement mr. burger was not included despite, despite widely accepted evidence
that libya played an important role in the massacre. we know the qadhafi region supported terrorist groups like the black september organization, supported them and it welcomed the bodies of the dead terrorists from the munich massacre to a heroes' tribute. seeking just and compensation for victims of global terrorism sends a powerful message to those who may be seeking to do further harm. in the window of opportunity to engage the new libyan government's never been created -- never been greater, excuse me. the libyan ambassador said earlier this month in op-ed to "the washington post" he hopes -- quote -- "that washington considers an entd prize fund for thib little bittia and we would work closely with the u.s. government on its creation." those are the words of the ambassador. such a fund should slu include restitution. this includes the burger family.
this is about letting violent extremists know they and their supporters will be pursued until justice is served sending a clear signal to those contemplating terrorism as a political tool. as we cheer on the american athletes the next couple of weeks, i ask that we all take a moment and think about the munich massacre, about david burger, about what more we can do to preserve their legacy and resolve to thwart those who by their use of terror and violence would undermine all that the olympic games are supposed to represent. thank you, madam president. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. brown: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: i ask that the senate proceed to a period of morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 533 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
the clerk: s. res. 533 designating october, 2012 as national work and family month. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. brown: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements appear in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: i understand there are two bills at the desk. i ask for their first reading en bloc. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the titles of the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 3457, a bill to require the secretary of veterans' affairs various to establish a veterans' job corps and for other purposes. h.r. 4078, an act to provide that no agency may take any significant regulatory action until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 6%. mr. brown: i now ask for a second reading en bloc and i object to my own request en
bloc. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bills will be read for a second time on the next legislative day. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent when the senate complete it's business it, following the prayer and pledge, the journal be approved, the journal of proceedings approved to debate, the time for the two leaders reserved for their use later in the day, the majority leader be recognized, and the time until 12:30 be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees with the majority controlling the first hour and the republicans controlling the second hour, and that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: madam president, we will continue to debate the cybersecurity bill tomorrow. senators will be notified when votes are scheduled. if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.
laws and institutions and enforcement. until a few weeks ago, rod beckstrom oversaw the domain names worldwide for assigned names and numbers. tonight, an inside look at the internet and cybersecurity on "the communicators" at 8 eastern on c-span2. we did not begin as a city in kentucky. there was only a vague native american region and later a county in another state called
kentucky. we began in 1778 as virginia. this weekend, join booktv, american history tv, and c-span's local content vehicles in law louisville, kentucky. biography john david dyke and rebooting american politics, the interpret revolution, and sunday at 5 p.m. eastern on american history tv. three weeks of farmington plantations in 1841 would be key in shaping abe ham lincoln's views on slavery. also, the hay day of the steam boat on the ohio river. take a look back on the bell of lieuville. once a month, we explore the history and literary life of cities across america. this weekend from louisville on c-spans 2 and 3.
a discussion on a recent survey examing medicaid programs in all 50 states. from "washington journal," this is 40 minutes. >> host: senior correspondent with health news. good morning. >> guest: morning. >> host: a story in "usa today," 13 states pinch medicaid benefit, federal expansion of the program is at risk. when you talk about states pinching medicaid, what are you doing? >> guest: a lot of things, cutting fees to hospitals and doctors. they are cutting eligibility for the programs making it harder to qualify, and they are reducing benefits or having medicaid recipient to have them pay more things like going to the emergency room when they don't have a true emergency or limiting benefits for home health benefits only allowed it so many times a year or limiting drug benefittings allowing them
to have so many drugs a month. >> host: here's what it found. alabama, for example, cutting fees to doctors and dentists by 10 #%, eliminating eye coverage and brand name drugs for most adults. how many leeway do states have to make changes to the medicaid program? is there a limit how much they can scale back on? >> guest: yes, there is. for the last couple of years, 2009, they have not been able to -- they call it maintenance -- but can't reduce eligibility, and, in fact, below 133% below poverty level or make it harder for people to enroll in the program. there is a lot -- there's a lot of optional benefits that states have been free. the federal government gave the states leeway, and also they gave states the ability, again, states going up to 2 00% of the
poverty level and non-pregnant level, scaling it back. there are limits. the feds have to approve a fair amount of the cuts that states go through. >> host: an example of a state making cuts you describe. hawaii is reducing eligibility for non-pregnant adults from 200% of the poverty level to 133%. the money behind that that means $46,000 for a family of four that could have been covered before, but now it's only limited to a family of four making $30,000. >> right. >> host: what states are you seeing the most change in? >> guest: florida cutting provider fees particularly for hospitals, 10%-12% a year ago with another 6% this month. florida's a big state. alabama, as you mentioned, a number of states. illinois is a big one cutting 26,000 parents off of the
medicaid program. they faced budget programs like a lot of states, and medicaid is the first or second program in study programs so it gets whacked a lot when economy times are tough. >> host: we're talking about cuts the states are making to the medicaid program. in 20 # 14, states are no longer barred from making it harder for adults to qualify for the medicaid program. why is that, and what will it mean? >> guest: sure. in 2014, the big part of the president obama's health care law takes effect. basically, it sets a floor for medicaid so nationally, if you are below 133% of the poverty level for which a family of four, it's $33,000 and a single is $17,000, you automatically qualify, but right now, there's eligibility rules in every state, and also depending on if you're a child, if you're pregnant, disabled, but the health law sets one rule because it's built simple.
the problem with medicaid is people don't know they are eligible because states have rules in determining eligibility. the federal law simplifies that. >> host: getting to the phones and take a call for phil. ken, independent calling in pine bluff, arkansas. good morning, ken. >> caller: good morning. i would like to know about -- can you show me the cut in arkansas? >> host: good question. are all states cutting? >> guest: no. 13 states are cutting. in is a glass half full half empty question. if you're in the 13 states, you may be affected, but on the other hand, 37 states are not cutting medicaid. arkansas, i do not believe, was on the list of these 13 states that were cutting. running through the list, alabama, california, colorado, connecticut,florida, hawaii, illinois, louisiana, maine, maryland, new hampshire, south
dakota, and wisconsin are the 13 states. there's experts who believe this is the good news in that there's been a lot of talk how states can't afford medicaid and they won't be able to afford it going tbars, but others say, well, today, 37 states, even given the tough economic times are not cutting. they say it's good news showing things are getting better, and last year, things were not. more than half the states cut medicaid making changes. in the sense, this shows the economic conditions around the country, you know, are improving somewhat and states are not having to cut as deep. >> host: are you seeing any correlation in the states? anything that binds them together? ideological or they are facing really tight budgets and states to have balance the budget? some states are resis -- resis tent to the president's health care law. is there a common tie? >> guest: it comes into it to a agree, but for the most part in this case where the cutting
is right now, it's balancing the budget. california, for example, it a big supporter of the health care law and tried to move forward with the law as quick as possible, but they are looking to cut more payments to hospitals. they are looking to reduce, make it harder for people to go to the emergency room for free. it depends on where states -- illinois is another. the president comes from illinois. illinois is the state that looked to do some of the health care law, but they face financial challenges so they have had to make cuts as well. it's -- there is ideology, but i think more so what we see right now is states are having tough economic times culting the program. >> host: university heights, ohio, good morning. >> caller: i wanted to make a statement. i think it's pathetic that the republicans are using this as a ploy when it's the funds that are available for medicaid, and they just use this as a ploy to make the president look bad. if your guest could add to that.
>> guest: okay. >> host: let's talk about what options states face because they can get some federal money to expand the program. >> caller: sure. right now, the way it's been for the last 46 years is that states in the government split the cost of medicaid where the states pick up at least 50%, and in some cases upwards of 70% of the cost of medicaid. into the expansion of the health care law, approximately 17 million more people become eligible for medicaid, the federal government pays 100% of the expansion for the first three years. in 2014, 2015, and 20 # 16. in the years following, the states pick up some of the cost, but no more than 10% of the cost in 2020 and therefore thereafter. the feds pay the full cost, but it's not that easy because there are some costs. one, even if you only pay
5%-10%. 10% in some cases 1 billions and billions of dollars. it doesn't sound big, but they are big dollars to states that don't have the dollars. the expansion would drive the millions of people out there to qualify for medicaid, but for whatever reason didn't sign up. not only have expansion, but the individual mandate where all people are required to carry insurance. now, the mandate does not apply for the poorest people in the country. they won't face that penalty, but we expect there's a lot of talk about the mandate and people expect to get insurance. we expect medicaid expansion, the mandate to drive people who previously would have qualified to go ahead now and end roll. those who previously would have qualified, they won't get -- the states won't get 100%. they still have to pay the old traditional match where the state is picking up 40% and 50%. states see that as an additional cost. >> host: is the obama administration concerned there will be essentially a hole?
a group of poorer americans who are not covered even though the goal of the obama health care law 1 to get all americans covered under health insurance? if middle class americans get assistance or exchanges and if the poorest are covered, what about those who don't qualify for medicaid, but can't afford to buy their own insurance policy? >> guest: well, it could be a big hole created by the supreme court's ruling in the case making it optional for states to do medicaid expansion. before the supreme court, it was expected it was a great deal, states would take it, and there was a provision in the law where if the state didn't do the expansion, they would put at risk all medicaid funds, and that was seen as how could they give it up all because that's over a third of the annual budget, but supreme court rules that that would be coercion and that the feds could not hold it over the heads of states saying it's all or none. it's made a optional and over
the next year, 18 months, we'll see states decide if they want to play or not. i think we've, most people expect the large majority of states to take it because, again, the feds are offering a lot of money and states often don't turn down money from the federal government, but there are, obviously, we heard from a number of republican led states in florida, texas, louisiana to name a few who said, no, we're not going to do it. it's important to realize that right now it's early. states have another year plus to decide, and obviously, we have to pass the election as well. there could be a hole now. we could have some states expand in 20 # 14, and we could have some that don't. basically, if the states that do expand it, it's ruled out, and everyone under 133% qualifies for medicaid, and if you're above 133% up to 400% of the federal poverty level, you can qualify for subsidies in the new state health insurance exchanges
or marketplaces where you go on line to buy health care and get government assistance. >> host: when we say "133 #% of the poverty level," that's $33,000 for a family of four. if you want to talk with phil about medicaid and how some states are making cuts to the program, here's the numbers to call. 20 # 2747001. republicans 202737002, and independs -- a republican in new york, good morning. >> caller: good morning. i'm a registered republican, and just coincidentally, my father knew henry kaiser and was offered the position of heading up when he was setting up the system in california. to be in charge of the bhaiferl health thing, and he declined, but, he, you know, he was not good in working organizations, but i'm a great admirer of what
the company does. i want to say that the thing that makes our health care system so drift to change is all of these huge multibillion dollar industries, so many of them, each one fighting for a share of the pie, and it's the divide and conquer process that wise politicians used for years, but it didn't evolve for that reason. that's the way it is now so you have these many, many different powerful lobbies, each fighting about health care reform. it's worth noting that many of the states that are most opposed to the act are states who do a terrible job of providing health care to their own people like louisiana, a state i love, and texas, they just do a bad job of providing public health, but they are the most -- the governors among the most against in putting in sensible reform.
>> guest: robert, thanks for the call. yes, henry was a major industrialist, and his money was made available to start the foundation, which i'll quickly note is not affiliated and we are a non-profit, non-partisan organization. you're right, there's a lot of lobbying going on, and in the next year, we see hospitals and doctors and obviously patient advocates out there to push states to take the money and do the expansion because they are going to say, one, this is good for people's health, and if people have health insurance, they are more likely to go out and seek preventative health care to help them deal with chronic diseases, and recent studies show if you're on medicaid, that lowers mortality rate. there's a big push from that,
but you're right. there are the number of states that are saying they are against the law are the ones that have not had as good as medicaid ben -- benefits as others. largely in the south and southwest, they have the highest percentage of people qualifying, and they face a big crunch. you know, it's a -- medicaid is an interesting test because in medicaid, it's different in every state, and states face a lot of different tests, but how good the program is and benefit depends on where you live. medicaid is better if you're in new york or in new england compared to florida or louisiana or in parts of the west. >> host: louisiana is one of the states making cuts to the program. here's what health news tells us. louisiana's cutting fees to doctors excluding primary care by 3.4%. it's cutting fees to dentists by over 3.5%. it's cutting mental health providers by 1.9% and cutting
fees to dialysis senders by 3.7%. jim tweets and asks, will we see legislation that forces doctors to see medicaid and medicare patients despite low reimbursement rates? tell us what happens had a state like louisiana cuts reimburressments to doctors. how do doctors deal with it? what happens to the patients? is there any repercussion like jim's talking about? >> guest: you bet. you know, doctors don't work for free. if doctors are going to get paid less, they typically do a couple things. i mean, they'll try to do the best they can to see as many patients as they can, but it gets down to a level where they stop seeing new medicaid patients. they'll see existing, but stop seeing new. eventually, they may stop medicaid patients all together. same with hospitals getting cut as well, and this is more after -- more of an indirect cut, and
hospitals cut programs in the community because revenue sources are stopping. a lot of hospitals today own primary care and specialty positions so what some hospitals like in new hampshire, for example, they decided the rates were low enough where it's not worthwhile for them to continue to see medicaid patients so they told them to go elsewhere. this basically leaves medicaid parties less access for care. just having a medicaid care doesn't mean you have coverage. on the other hand, what the obama administration has done with the law is they've put a lot of money into community health centers. there are a wonderful resource for poor people, uninsured or even the insured to go for health care, and yet, they do primary care, but not specialty care. there's community health services and centers, but no specialty care and may affect hospital care as well. >> host: talking with the senior correspondent for kaiser
health news. 13 states to pinch medicaid benefits. phil covers medicaid, medicare, long term care, hospitals, and various state health issues in addition to working at the health news receivers as a board member for the association of health care journalists and health news florida, a non-profit news service, and he's been covering the health beat for 20 years. william, democratic caller in dixon, pennsylvania. good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: i have a question because i'm on social security disability. i feel that when i apply for medicaid, i tried to get it and i didn't because i was refused because i was paid too much money like $200 when it's $1200 minimum to get this medicaid, and understanding why government is doing this to such a person, and why can't we get help from
anybody else or why can't the government help us try to get more from medicaid to help us out? i thank you very much. >> guest: well, you will be getting help in 2014 when the eligibility is raised, but that's been one of the difficult problems with medicaid is that people, they call it term where people go on and off as income changes slightly. you fall on and off the program. some states over the last couple of years made it easier where they guarantee people 12 months eligibility so no matter what happens to you and your salary over that year, you'll still be eel jill for -- eligible for program, but not all states have done that. some states see that as a cost, and, you know, cost is a big issue. the reason why they don't allow you on because states see this is a cost to them then a benefit to medicaid, and that's why even if you miss out by a few dollars, the state looks at it as an expense, you know, rather
than looking at what this means for the people in terms of losing out on important benefits. >> host: chicago, republican line, hi. >> caller: good morning. i have a couple points if i may. the first one is morning after morning i sit here and listen to callers call in, and all you hear is the same single montra. poor mr. obama, everybody hates him. the evil republicans want him to look bad. in this situation, look at the reality. california and illinois, they are making cuts. those are the two most liberal utopian states are there. they are going broke. secondly, all i can say is for everyone that's been scream and demanding for government to take over our health care, welcome to the future. mr. obama made it perfectly clear during his campaign, perhaps granny doesn't need the operation. a pain pill will work fine.
welcome to your future. thank you. >> guest: well, thank you for the call, and you're right. the liberal states are showing that they can't afford the program like the conservatives say. costs are bad around the country, and there is a lot of politics at play here. i don't think you can separate the politics from the policy with medicaid. there's a lot of people out there who want to reduce government involvement in health care, and they question government on health care, and that's going to go into whether other states expand, but the economics is powerful here in that these costs are human for states. states, for years now, had trouble balancing their budgets given the economy and medicaid costs and health care costs, they've had difficulty. most of the problem with medicaid also is important to point out is not that the program's been inefficient, but it's that there's so many more
people in the program now because of the recession that states had trouble affording it because states pay providers has helped them, but the main problem with costs for medicaid is just so many more millions of people are in the program because they lost jobs, lost health benefits that they had to sign up for the program. >> host: our guest wrote a story at health news called states cut medicaid drug benefits to save money looking at illinois in particular. medicaid recipients there limited to four prescription drugs as the state becomes the latest to cap how many medicines they cover in the state federal health insurance program for the poor. doctors fear the state's cost cutting move could backfire on parties who have to get permission to go beyond the limit. 16 # states impose a monthly limit on the number of drugs patients can receive, and seven states enacted the caps or
tightened them. mississippi has a limit of two brand name drugs b and arkansas, adults limited up to six drugs a month. why are states targeting this for a place to create cuts and make rules, and what do patients deal with as a reprecushion. >> guest: sure. drugs make up the costs for medicaid, and drugs are available in generics where it costs less. it's another move to have patients take generic rather than brands, and it hurts only a limited number of patients. you know, obviously, hurts partes who take multiple brand name drugs in the case of alabama, illinois, states putting limits on all drugs. another place to cut. it hurts -- doesn't hurt everybody, but it could hurt some, but it puts doctors and patients in some difficult
positions because doctors who i talk to work with patients with asthma and diabetes and sometimes it's tricky to get the right drugs and dose to figure out how to control some of the disease and just when they get it right, now the state is telling them that, hey, we're not going to have the coverage. you may have to switch to generic or find another way. it's another cost, and states have tried a lot of things. people say it's a matter of states throwing things up against the wall to see what might work. states tried. they also tried formulas where they pick certain brand name drugs over other drugs. states try a lot of things. they try ways of paying providers to try to maybe slow the costs down. it's seems like medicaid's been one big experiment over the last number of years for states to control costs, and it's an ongoing battle, and i think drugs is now just one of the latest issues. it's relatively recent thing
only in the last 10 years have we seen states put limits on monthly drugs. >> host: connecticut, karen, independent caller, good morning. >> caller: good morning. so my question was being that we all pay so much for insurance, employees pay a lot for insurance, schools pay a lot for insurance. we're going to go to a one pair system. why not directly fund hospitals and cut the middlemen out of the line and have doctors practice medicine and take care of the patients rather than filing paperwork, hiring staff to file pare work with insurance policy companies is a waste of money. if you fund the hospital, if you are sick, you go. maybe there's a co-pay or something, but, you know, considering how much we're all paying for health insurance, how we're bankrupting our states to
try to provide medicare, why not just cut insurance out of the whole program and just fund our hospitals? >> guest: good question. thank you. some -- the simple answer some people think hospitals are the problem and we give hospitals all this money and hospitals have incentives, financial incentive to give you as much treatment and build up their hospital beds keeping you there as long as possible because more revenue they make. insurers argue they did a job of controlling cost and manage it giving oversight to whether or not you get the appropriate care. with medicaid, it's split. half the parties right now are in what we call medicaid managed care where private managed care companies like united health care and aetna, for example, oversea the care you get in medicare like if you're working at an employer and getting private insurance.
this is growing. more and more states say, hey, we can't control medicaid costs anymore, and we're not sure we're doing a good job of quality of care in medicaid. they hire private insurers, and they put them in charge of their care, and it's a mixed bag. people look at it in terms of how they control costs and quality, and millions of people are added to it, but it's still uncertain whether or not this is working or not. this is the trend states are going. it gives states to help their budget giving health insurance companies a set amount of money, and if they treat people for that amount of money, then that's all the state will spend. if it costs insurers more money, the insurers at risk now, not the state. that's a big reason why the states moved to the medicaid managed care, and you'll see that more in the next number of years regardless of what happens to the federal health care law. >> host: a call from connecticut, let's go to a tweet
about connecticut. chris says, connecticut, a rich state, poorest cities, cutting medicaid payments seems like reverse income distribution. tells about a place like connecticut. >> well, connecticut right now is looking -- they are looking to, for some people, looking to eliminate coverage that had assets over $10 # ,000 and have limited income. we want to be careful talking about cutting medicaid, especially in all the states. we are not cutting the whole program, limited amount of people in that state, but, again, connecticut, like a number of states faces financial issues, and they are looking to see where they may have place to limit to some degree who qualify, and, again, this may just be some short term thing because, again, in 2014, some of the things cut now may be restored in 2014, and that's why some of the these cuts -- that's why the cuts today are a big issue. as we pointed out, states
cutting medicaid, this happens each time the economy goes down. it's nothing new. what's new this year as we are getting closer to the expansion, so people worry about, well, hey, how can we cut now on the verge of the major expansion? won't this hurt the cause? we want more doctors. we want hospitals to, up and down services. suspect it going to look bad to cut them now? that's raising questions of states saying we can't afford it. here's an example of what happens of states who can't afford. it. this is what they do. might we face these challenges in 2014? we'll see expansion which, again, if the president's re-elected and the 2014 expansion goes through, it may not eliminate some of these things. we may expand eligibility, but people raise the question if we pay doctors less money, there's not enough doctors in the program to treat the people. having the medicaid card itself, is it going to mean as much?
>> host: you mentioned that states are trying things out. they are trying out whether cutting money to providers is an effective way to cut costs and still serve people's needs. tightening up eel jilt. how much are states talking to each other and to the federal government? is the secretary of health and human services in regular contact with the administrators of the programs in these states? >> guest: we hear that they are. we are not the media and public are not privy to what conversations are going on. we'd love to hear more, but feds tell the states over, you know, in letters, documents over the last several weeks since the supreme court law is they are open wanting to give states as much flexibility as they can, but states are wanting to know more. they want to hear more from hhs and the feds on the ramifications of the ruling in the supreme court, and the big question from the supreme court is will states have to go to
133% of the poverty level or say, hey, just go to 100% of the poverty level. if states expand in 2014 to the 133% of poverty, will they later be -- will in 2017 when the states pay their share, can they drop out? these are a couple questions we've been waiting over the last few weeks for hhs to determine. obviously, we expect to hear in the next number of weeks what they say. >> host: a story brain at health news a little bit after the supreme court's ruling on the health care law saying secretary sebelius signaled to states don't rule back eligibility. we see the pictures flanked by photos head shots of her and governor perry and governor rick scott of florida. >> guest: states have been clear about that that they can't afford it. some people think if you read the letters that rick perry sent
to the feds is reads more political than policy and others raise the question is he looking for the next presidential ambition four years from now, and the feds have given some answers to states, but, again, there's a lot more that we have not heard from with the government on the direction, and there is some with medicaid, there is time. states need to know soon, but people are thinking states won't have to decide until next summer if they are going to extend medicaid. that's the difference from the health insurance exchanges where they are set up in the health care law where the feds really need to know by a week after election day if the states are going to move forward with the exchanges because that is a brand new thing around the country, and if the states are not going to move forward, the feds have said we'll set up exchanges in your state. the feds need a lot more head's
up. >> host: phil, prior to to working at kaiser, it was the palm beach coast, and a media fellow for a year and worked at the associated press in new york and in harrisburg, pennsylvania at the patriot news. hearing from melvin, a democrat in washington, d.c.. good morning. >> caller: i'm -- i'm living in florida now, however, if you talk about the cutting back on medicare, i find that ironic that he would be one cutting medicaid proposals in this new program after he and his company were found guilty of the fraud in medicare and medicaid with the most money in the history of medicare and medicaid, and then the people in florida turn around and elect this individual to governor after he defrauded the largest of frauders in
medicaid and medicare history. secondly, with respect to drugs and generic drugs, my insurance and health care plan is the same as the congress mep's, and i do not get all name brands. there's several i'm given, but they turn around and put me on generics. secondly, i was with kaiser, which was good while i was there before i left. they carry a lot of generic drugs rather than the name brands so that's nothing unusual. lastly, the lady talked about giving grandmother the pills, that's why people voted. you do not listen, and they take whatever propaganda they hear and take it to be true. sit down and read up on something and get some education. thank you very much. >> guest: thanks, melvin, for your call. as people know, rick scott came from the health industry background running hca, the
nation's largest hospital chain. he ran that in the 1990s, tremendous growth as a hospital, adding dozens and does pes of hospitals around the country. the chain was evolved in a major medicare settlement over some cases of fraud. rick scott was not indicted with that but others were. rick scott's been clear even before the health care law that he sees government as too much of a player in health care, and he's been against any expansion in health care. ..
>> good morning. addressing what one of your callers had said earlier about being in florida, i happen to have grown up there when i was a young boy with one of my childhood friends i spoke to him recently. his name is brandon kelly, and we were talking about how the house floor above is defunding the hospital and i looked at the stat. it just bewildered me it was, you know, they cut funding to hospitals. >> host: cutting funding to hospitals. >> guest: yes. that's a big part.
they make up the biggest chunk of medicaid so when the states are looking to reduce medicaid spending, hospitals or the first place they look at. they also will get big institutions, so they look at hospitals they can spread out. but when medicaid cuts hospitals it's not an even cut so it's a hospital typically in the inner cities medicaid patients were the large big parts of the portion of patients are medicaid. it's not an even split, and so far hospitals have been able to to some cuts that's what the house continues to cut it. hospital each couple more cost and they have to bear and cut services and some of politicians and those continue to look at hospitals as an area of that's where the money is so that's
where they are going to cut the cost. >> host: and he is a democratic scholar. >> caller: yeah, i'm glad you picked me up this morning. i was a rescue worker of the world trade center volunteered, and i have quite a few illnesses and i need my -- i have health coverage. of course i worked for the subway for 35 years. now, always remember how you vote. because you could be doing very well one day and the next day not doing so well so you may need medicaid some day. always think of that unless you are a multimillionaire. of course the chances are you won't become very poor but if you are a regular working person, think about medicaid. think about how you vote. thank you. >> guest: thanks for the call. you're right a lot of people don't think that medicaid the same way they think about the
sister program, medicare. a lot of people if you live long enough to qualify for medicare. the year's medicaid hasn't gotten much attention and is seen as a welfare program and sort of a little sister of medicare. my point to the birthday created in 1966 and right now more attention is being paid to medicaid and almost ever before because of what the expansion and the option states have mounted the biggest expansion of medicaid ever. but you're right. you never know when people are going to lose a job and lose their insurance and they are going to have to qualify it. as you know medicaid is by children who qualify for the program and many kids can qualify when their parents do not. many states make it easier. kids that qualify or pregnant women that qualify.
and that is where the large majority of people were in the program today. that is now in the expansion a lot of parents and a lot of adults who don't have children will now be able to be eligible for the program as well. so, it is a good program. it's helped millions of people. does it have its problems? you bet. and lack of providers in some areas. questions about people get quality-of-care they need and the oversight, but for many people medicaid is a lifesaver they can't live without. >> host: a final question that comes in from the oversight of gdp. can you think about the establishment of the center for medicare and the medicaid innovation? >> guest: it's another part of the health care law that's received millions, hundreds of millions of dollars. it enables states to try new things. they try new payment delivery models. that's been one of the questions coming forward is how can we make this program more
efficient. traditionally it has been medicaid paid doctors and hospitals to requiem the treatments, some people think just drives more unnecessary treatment and costs higher than a lot of states want to experiment with different ways of paying, giving a hospital, for example, a bumbled payment, one payment for all the services that a patient may need. the hospital and after the surgery and if they get all the money altogether at once, hospitals and doctors will find a way of splitting it up. that is one example, and there's a lot of different race states want to experiment you need money to do that and innovation centers are helping. most of the head of line of usa today's 13 states have medicaid benefits at which putting the federal expansion in medicaid program at risk. you can find similar stories of the kaiser health news website. our guest correspondent for
now we will show mittdsmwmwo romney's nation overseas tour with a remarks from jerusalem. he met with israeli prime he stated to israel's security and he said no option should be excluded to prevent iran from developing aña nuclear capability. is is 20 minutes. [applause] overnor, mrs. romney, distinguish honored guests,ñ friends of jerusalem, today t
ninth day of the jewish month, the day when jews around the world mourned the destruction o jerusalem our only temples and ngline of tragedy's that have befallen our people throughout history. a day of fasting and prayer we welcome you to renewed, unite and thriving jerusalem, the heart and soul, and the eternal capital of the jewish people in the state of israel. [applause] in 1967 and after 2,000 years, jerusalem has become again a desired destination for over three and a half a billion people peace seeking pilgrims and tourists. israel is ensured freedom of
religion and freedom of movemen has never before for our faith in jerusalem has returned to th central role it played 2,000 years ago. we are grateful to you, gov romney, for taking time out of ur busy schedule in the final months before the election to bring an message of friendshi and support from the american people to the people of israel. last we explore the common values and concerns that unite america and israel. we discussed ways of making the world safer and better for our children and the importance of defending peace-loving citizens of the world from those nations d ideologies that would do less harm. we shared our common beliefs an the central body of a strong economy to the naturalization of our national goals. ook for to hearing your
thoughts and wish you a productive and meaningful visit to israel and to the city of jerusalem a united capital inñ the state of israel. [applause] ladies and gentlemen let usñ warmly great governor mitt romney. [applause] >> appreciate that. congratulations. thank you. thank you. [applause] thank you. thank you for your kindñ introduction and for the warm welcome. it's a pleasure and privilege be in israel again and to see many friends.
to step foot into israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land. the jewish people persisted through one of the most monstrous crimes in history, an now this nation has come to tak its place among the most impressive democracies on earth israel's achievements are a wonder of the modern world. these achievements are a tribut to the resilience of the israel people. u have managed against all odds time and time agai throughout your history to persevere, to rise up and to emerge stronger. the historian paul johnson writing on the 50th anniversary of the creation of the jewi state says over the course of israel's life, 100 completely w independent states that com into existence, quote, israel i the only one whose creation can fairly be called a miracle, he wrote. it's a deeply moving expe
to be in jerusalem, the capitol of israel. [applause] [applause]ññ our two nations are separated b more than 5,000 miles. but for an american abroad, you n't get much closer to the÷ ÷eals and convictions of my ow country than you do in israel. we are part of the great fellowship of democracies. we speak the same language of freedom and justice and the right of every person to live i peace. we serve the same cause and provoke the same hatred and the same enemies of civilization. it is my firm conviction that
the security of israel is in th vital national security interes of the united states. [applause] ours is not an alliance based only on shared interest. but also in during shared values. in those shared values, one of the strongest voices is that of your prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. met with him this morning and i look forward to my family ining with his this evening a they close the fast of this day it's remarkable to consider how much diversity over a great s of time as recalled by just one day on the calendar. is is a day of remembrance an mourning. but like other such occasions it also calls for clarity and resolve.
at this time, we also rem the is the delete key 11 coaches at are massacred at the mun alembics 40 years ago. [applause] ten years ago this week, nine israeli and american students were murdered in a terrorist attack at hebrew university but the tragedies like these are not reserved to the past. their constant reminder of the reality of hate and the will with which that heat is execud upon the innocent. malcolm said this about the ght of the month. we remember, he said coming and now have the responsibility to make sure that never again wi our independence be destroyed kind of never again will they become homeless or defenseless. this, he added, is the crux of the problems facing us in the
future. so it is today as israel face enemies who do not pass crimes ainst the jewish people and seek to commit new ones but iran's leaders deny the holocaust and speak of wiping this nation off the map only the naive or worse would dismiss it as an excess of rhetoric. make no mistake the ayatoll tehran are testing our morrill defenses. you want to know who will object and look the other way. my message to the people of israel and iran is one of the same. we will not look away nor w my country ever look away fro our passion and commitment to israel. [applause] as what prime minister put it i vid words, if ann enemy of th
jewish people says he seeks to destroy us, believe him. have seen the horrors of history. we will not stand by. we will not watch them play out again. there would be foolish not to take the leaders at their they are after all the product of the radical theocracy. er the years the bloody bru record its seized embassies, targeted diplomats and killed its own people. it supports the ruthless regime and syria. they provide weapons that kill american soldiers in afghanista d iraq. its plot to assassinate diplomats and american soil. it's iran that is the state sponsor of terrorism and most destabilizing nation in the world. we have a solemn duty a moral imperative to denying iran's leaders the means to follow through on their levolent intentions pplause]
we should stand with all who would join our effort to preven a nuclear-armed iran and that cludes dissidents. don't erase from your memory th enes from years ago when regime brought its own people a they rose up the threat we face isn't from the iranian people but from the regime that oppresses them. five years ago with the nference, i said that iran' pursuit of nuclear weapons capability presents an intolerable threat to israel to america and the world. that threat has only become worse. now is than the claims that i seeks to enrich nuclear material for peaceful purposes by the ars of maligned deception. now is in the conduct of the leaders gives reason to trust them with nuclear material. but today the regime in iran is
five years closer to developing ear weapons capability. preventing the outcome must be our highest national security priority. want to pause on that point. it's sometimes said those that are most committed to stopping the regime from securing nuclea weapons are reckless and provocative and inviting war. the opposite is true. we are the true peace makers. history teaches with force and clarity that when the world's most despotic regimes secure th world's most destructive weapons, peace often gives way to oppression, violence or devastating. we must not delude ourselves into thinking that containment is an option. we must lead the effort to prevent iran from building and possessing nuclear weaponsñ capabilities. we should employ any and all measures to dissuade the regime from its nuclear course, and it is our fervent hope thatñ
diplomatic and economic measures will do so. in the final analysis of course no option should be excluded. we recognize the right to defen itself and that it's right for america to stand with you. [applause]ññ these are some of the principle outlined five years ago in th conference. what was timely then has become urgent today. let me turn from iran to othe nations in the middle east where we've seen rising turmoil and chaos.÷ to the north, syria is on the brink of a civil war.÷l6 the dictator in damascus, israe and america.÷ slaughter's his own people as h is desperately clings to power. under the growing interest and influence of hezbollah after a
year of upheaval and the rest egypt now has an islamist÷ president chosen in a space election.÷ hopefully the new government÷ understands one treasury÷ democracy is how those elected by÷ the majority respect the rights of those in the minority government honors the peace
you export technology, not citizens of your country are through all the worldñ [applause]÷ finally we believe in the freedom of expression because w are confident in our ideas and in the ability of our men and women to think for themselves.ñ we don't fear open debates.
you want to hear some sharp criticisms of israel and its policies you don't have to cros any borders. all you have to do was walk dow the street chemist it into a cafe there he will hear people reasoning, arguing for speaking their mind or just pick up a newspaper you will find some of the toughest criticisms of israel you will ever read÷ anywhere.÷ your nation like ours is ronger for this energetic÷ exchange of ideas and opinions. that's the way it is in the fre society. there are many the would cherish the÷ opportunities to do the s thing. these decent men and women design nothing more to have the opportunity to not only choose their government but toñ criticize without fear of÷ repression or repercussions.ñ i believe those that oppose the fundamental rights around the wrong side÷÷ of history sho
painfully slow to read we have the duty to speed and sheep history by beating unapologetic ambassadors for the values weñ share. united states and israel have own that we÷ can build s economies and strong military but we must also build strong arguments that advance our values and promote peace.÷ we must work together to change hearts and a week and minds through the power of freedom,ñ free enterprise and human rights. i believe the alliance but e state of israel and the÷ united states of america is mor than a strategic alliance to read it's a force for good in the world.÷ america's support of israel should make every american prou to the touchstones no country o organization or individual should ever dealt this basic
truth of free and strong americ will stand with a free and strong as rail. [applause] anding by israel doesn't me the military and intelligence cooperation alone we cannot stand silent as those that seek to undermine israel boys their criticisms and we certainly shouldn't join in that criticis and their adversaries. [applause] by history and conviction our two countries are bound together no individual, no nation commonwealth organization will pry as part.
as long as we stay together a stand together there is no threat we cannot overcome and very little that we cannot achieve. i love this country and i lov america. i love the friendships and passion we have for the value we share. thank you for your support today. y god bless the country of america and bless and protect the nation of israel. [applause]ñ ank you so much. ?ú?