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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  November 14, 2013 4:00pm-9:01pm EST

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jeff from columbus grove wrote to alert me of a cancellation notice he received indicating his insurance policies is being dropped as of december 1 of this year. he has less than one month to find a new plan which will cost more, have fewer benefits and have higher deductibles. in addition, his choices for new health insurance options for the hospital and the local doctor he can choose. dwight from arlington wrote he and his wife received a notice that due to the a.c.a., his wife's insurance policy would no longer be available. coverage will d will double from $189 per month to $394 with increased deductible costs. finally, i've heard from a local township trustee that the township has received notice that their health insurance plan has been canceled because of the a.c.a.
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these are just several examples of stories here hearing. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker despite the president's promise that americans could keep their health care plan thousands of my constituents have learned that their health care plans will soon be terminated. mr. marchant: i recently received a letter from david haeger, the c.f.o. of a technology company head quartered in my district. he was informed that the health care plan offered by his company is being canceled. this is a well-liked plan that pays 100% of the employees' monthly health care premiums. but that is not good enough for obamacare. this company will now be forced
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to pay 19% more for its health care next year and its employees will have to shell out more money for a new plan that they don't like. this is in addition to the newly created reinsurance fee of $510 a month for the company that has to pay, that has no value at all to the workers. mr. haeger wants to know why his employees are having their excellent health care plans canceled by obamacare. we must allow americans to keep the health care plans they like, not just for one year that has been proposed by the president, but permanently. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, it was a gamble for the president to promise the country if you
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like your plan, you can keep it. given that his health care proposal amounted to a complete restructuring of our health care system. and 16% of the american economy. by now every member of this chamber has received countless letters, phone calls and emails from millions of americans who have had your health insurance either canceled or turned unaffordable due to the affordable care act. this is a devastating reality for this family. lisa and her husband bob. they're just two -- they're just one of many families in the fifth congressional district hurt by this law. lisa and bob are self-employed. their small business owners with five children and bills to pay. after receiving notice that their affordable health plan is being canceled, they're facing cost increases of more than $20,000 a year for a plan that actually covers less. mr. speaker, the only solution is a transition to health reforms that actually contain costs and expands access.
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the president promised a -- president's promise alone is certainly not enough. the american people deserve better. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today because the american public was sold a false bill of goods. rachel, my constituent from decatur, illinois, recently contacted my office to let me know that the health care plan she had for her and her daughter is being canceled due to obamacare. she was provided with a list of options to replace that plan but the cheapest would double her monthly premium and increase her deductible to $6,000 per person. mr. davis: mr. speaker, rachel and her daughter had a plan and they liked it and now she cannot afford any of the alternatives given to her. in her note to me, rachel summed
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it up best, we were told we could keep our plan if we liked our plan. we are at a loss how we will continue our health care coverage. mr. speaker, the last 45 days prove what many of us have been saying all along. this law is simply unacceptable, unworkable and unaffordable, period. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma rise? mr. lankford: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lankford: mr. speaker, the president seems to flippantly just talk about 5% of americans have received a cancellation notice. as if they're just individuals that didn't have a policy that really met his standard for what he was looking for or what the administration was looking for. well, that 5% equals about five million people across the country. they're not just a random statistic, they're families and individuals like the evans family. and not just this one family, but everyone that works in their business received this same
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letter. why is that? because as the president continues to speak about these are just individuals that receive this, that's not actually true either. here's a letter from aetna that came in to the evans and every employee in their business that says, as you've heard the affordable care act is bringing many changes to health insurance. one of these changes is at the association groups which are comprised of small employers cannot provide coverage as large group entity. consequently aetna is discontinuing the current plans and has notified your employer. the plans they have and they've been able to find are 25% increase of last year. their firm cannot hire additional people next year because of the additional cost. this is the united states of america. what are we doing telling people what health insurance that they can purchase? with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. carter: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. i am a co-sponsor of the keep your health plan act. you know we had promises to folks that they could keep their health plan, keep their doctors, and obviously those promises are not being kept. now, a lot of americans are finding out this hard news. and one of them is elizabeth hoffman, this pretty young lady and her son right here, from a small town in my district. elizabeth is a single mother with a young son. she does not get insurance through her employer. she got her insurance through humana at $167 a month with a $2,000 deductible and it was the plan she liked. for her, she's lost her plan. humana has canceled that plan. the plan most similar to the one she has now costs $404 a month and a $2,500 dedubbletble.
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needless to say she's not happy. she's not happy with the obama pran and she's not happy with the exchange and she's quite honestly worried about the pharmacy she's going to go to. she's not likely to have insurance next year. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina rise? mrs. ellmers: i ask unanimous done sent -- consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. ellmers: mr. speaker, i rise today to speak on behalf of north carolinians. i'd like to share the story of mary anne and donald. they are among the 160,000 north carolinians whose policies have been canceled and whose premiums are going up. donald and i both had a $5,000 dedubblet county -- deductible individual h.s.a. policy and both are canceled now. our premiums are more than doubling under the replacement policies. i can't -- i contacted blue cross/blue shield and learned they are required by law to roll
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us into a suggestioned plan -- suggested plan if i cannot sign up for something else. they also told me they need no additional authority to remove this premium from our bank account in january. because of the premium increase -- and the cost, i will have to forego paying for gas and groceries every month. this cannot happen. my plan is to cancel our health care policy so that there won't be a policy to roll into and face paying the penalty. as of the end of this month, we will both be uninsured. mr. speaker, there are mary anne's and donald's all across this country facing the same fate. that's why we'll continue to fight for this issue. thank you so much, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? without objection. >> mr. speaker last week president obama apologized for not being clear enough when he promised to the public that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. 3 1/2 million americans have already received letters from their insurance companies
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informing them their current plan will no longer be offered and that number's exectsed to reach 10 million -- expected to reach 10 million. let me share with you two stories from the 25th district of texas. robert from austin, texas, startsed a new business this year. his insurer called him this week to let him know his premiums will now be $1,200 a month, more than his mortgage. what's affordable about that? diane from driftwood, kansas, -- texas, is a cancer survivor with a special needs child and believed the president when he said she could keep her and her child's doctors but her doctors will no longer accept her insurance. mr. speaker, i have a growing pile of similar letters and emails on my desk and what i see is a tragedy in america. let's let those who like their health care keep their health care let's make positive reforms for those currently uninsured and let's restore the financial stability and relief that obamacare has robbed many of from us. americans are hurting. in god we trust. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from texas rise? without objection. mr. olson: mr. speaker i'd like to introduce the american people to scott and denies weissmann. from missouri city, texas. these texans are pictured at the alamo. they're about to receive god's greatest gift. their first child. a daughter. with a beautiful name, mia isabela. denisa is due on december 31 of
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2013. but instead of being filled with only joy, scott and denisa are now full of worry because they've been told they will lose their health care, their family health care, on january 1 of 2014. thanks to obamacare. neither scott nor denisa nor any american should have to face this ordeal. if my colleagues vote for the upton bill tomorrow, families like the weissmanns can love the new gift their mia isabela without worry. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3350. let's reassure all americans
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that if they like their health plan they can truly keep it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, if you like your health plan, you can keep it was president obama's promise to the people since 2009. but just last week he attempted to apologize to those losing health insurance because of the law. mr. walberg: i'm glad the president is starting to see the truth. the people need more than just apologies for broken promises. in my michigan district, a 29-year-old woman named roseanne has been battling sarcoma cancer for over a year. because of her disease and treatment she can't work full time. but through part-time work she's
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managed to pay all heifer own bills -- all her own bills. she's until is he received a notice that she will lose her current care coverage because of obamacare and have to pay $225 more a month for government-approved plan. roseanne doesn't need an apology. she just wants to keep her insurance, along with nearly five million other americans who have lost their coverage in the last six weeks alone. house republicans remain committed to fighting for americans and providing fairness for all. the president needs to join our efforts, mr. speaker, and keep his promise to the american people. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house forer with -- for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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mr. luetkemeyer: thank you mr. speaker. these numbers and the need to institute a fix that allows americans to keep their current coverage further highlight that the president's health care law is a failure. one of my many constituents has been affected by the law is stephanie bachmann of barn heart, missouri. stephanie, her husband and two teenager youngsters are hardworking, healthy, do not use a great deal of health services. she told me that they've been extremely pleased with their current plan because it worked for them in terms of cost and coverage. now thanks to the president's health care law, stephanie's been told that her family cannot keep their current plan and will be forced to buy a different plan with a premium that costs 66% more per month, has a higher deductible and exorbitant co-pay. in other words, a plan that costs more and covers less. . the fix for the president is for him to sign legislation. stephanie -- for stephanie and
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her family's sake it's time for the president to do the right thing and work with congress. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 3350, the keep your health plan act. while full repeal of the president's health care law is in the best interests of the american people, tomorrow's vote is another effort to restore fairness at a time when the president refuses to acknowledge broken promises. the president promised the american people if you like your health insurance plan you can keep it. if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. unfortunately, that hasn't worked out. mr. renacci: hundreds of my constituents have already received cancellation notices. one, diane worcester, received
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notice that she's unable to keep her doctor whom she likes and trusts. my vote tomorrow is for diane and the millions like her that want to keep their health care plans the president promised they cap keep. i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? without objection. >> mr. speaker, for more than 3 1/2 years president obama repeatedly promised tom in this picture that if he liked his health care plan he could keep it, period. mr. neugebauer: in spite of the president's assurances, tom, along with 3 -- mr. johnson: in spite of the president's assurances, tom and 3.5 million other americans have received cancellations
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notices fromer that providers. tom is a constituent from allen, texas, with dwarfism, which makes access to the doctors he likes truces and knows critical to his well being. not only has obama affected his health care, thomas said it's taken time energy, and focus away from growing his small business. that even makes them mad. as tom's dad often said if you're not going to be part of the solution, at least don't be part of the problem. thus far, obamacare is the problem. it's time for president obama to joan our efforts and provide a real solution to this flawed and unworkable law. i yield back. the speaker: the gentleman's time has ex-peered. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for onemen. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i rise today to share a story from missouri's fourth
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district from an individual who had her insurance canceled buzz of obamacare. donna from california, missouri wrote in sing she and her husband received a letter stating their plan would be canceled next year because it doesn't comply with the law. after researching new plans on exchanges she found their premiums for a comparable plan would increase by $300 and their deductible would increase by $,300. she says i'm not sure i'll be able to pay my medical expenses. that's a choice being forced upon me and limiting my freedoms. mrs. hartzler: i worry about parents who don't take their children to the doctor because they can't afford the out of pocket expenses or they lose everything because they did seek help far critically ill child. we're here to speak out for you and the millions of americans who were given a promise. that's why i'm proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that our president keeps the promise he made to so many americans. you deserve it.
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i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has ex-peered. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speakermark recent weeks i've received countless examples of heartbreaking stories from the people of missouri's second congressional district about how government-run health care is impacting their lives. today i rise to put a face on the failures of obamacare and tell pam and dennis hoffman's story who hail from chesterfield, missouri. this is their story in their own words. ms. wagner: and i quote. we are livid that president obama broke his promise to us about keeping our doctors. the federal government has very few success stories at running programs and this is -- and this is a prime example. not only am i going to lose my insurance but i received a letter that i would lose care from my doctor, my ob/gyn, who i have seen for over 30 years.
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i wanted to stay with my plan. there was nothing wrong with it. it was not a junk plan. which obama so frequently likes to call them. mr. speaker, this is just one of millions of examples of real people being hurt by obamacare. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new mexico rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker the president promised that if you like your plan you can keep it. but he hasn't followed that promise and he followed up with an administration of a man that's even worse. mr. pearce: only 172 people have been able to sign up in the one month 24-hour access to the website that's supposed to allow us to sign up. more people are served popcorn and soft drinks in halftime of
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an artesia football game than have been able to get health insurance through this website. ron, of truth and consequence said he lost his health coverage and the replacement is 250% to 550% higher. kathy from silver city on fecksed income retirement their premiums are quadrupling. jen on facebook, going from $300 a month to $1,500 a month. wonders where she can get the money to pay that. maybe you have an answer mr. president. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has ex-peered. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, today president obama announced yet another delay to his health care mandate. the president is picking and choosing which parts of
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obamacare he wants to enforce. the president needs to stop picking winners and losers. obamacare is broken and cannot be fixed. republicans led the fight against obamacare because we knew the mandate would cause individuals to lose their health care. we knew monthly premiums would skyrocket and we knew the quality of health care of americans would suffer. mr. smith: for over three years president obama has made numerous statements to american families to sell his misguided health care law and now he's asking americans to trust him again? well, my constituents in the show me state are not buying it president obama. mr. president, -- mr. speaker, obamacare cannot be fecksed by delaying portions of the law. obama kear needs to be repealed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for onemen
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and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i'd like to read you a letter from a woman named katherine from levelland. her daughter has an aggress i form of texas that requires treatments in lubbock and houston. mr. neugebauer: along with the expense of the treatments, we keep an apartment in houston for her treatments. we have a private insurance policy. we have had it for four years. we are devastated to fine out that taylor's policy is being cancel. president obama said if you're one of the 250 million americans who already have health insurance you'll get to keep your own health insurance. unfortunately, we have not been given that choice to keep taylor's health insurance. i wanted you to know our story so that when you are in washington, you can share it with others. i western that katherine and taylor's story were unique but unfortunately, i receive dozens
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of emails from constituents telling me about lost coverage, lower benefits and higher premiums. they're looking for us to make it right. i'll do everything in my power to fix this and ensure that mothers like katherine don't have to worry about losing critical coverage for their families. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, since 2010, president obama has touted his well-known phrase if you like your health care plan you'll be able to keep your health care plan. the past few weeks have made it very clear that president obama has failed to keep that promise. according to the associated press, 3.5 million people have already seen their health plan canceled. mr. johnson: constituents from all over eastern and southeastern ohio have been contacting my office notifying me of skyrocketing premiums and
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canceled health plans. take for instance, kathy from my hometown in marietta ohio. here's the sletter -- letter she received. she was notified her plan is not in compliance under the requirements of the a.c.a. and would instead be rolled over into a better plan. turns out the better plan increases her premiums from $670 a month to $1,600 a month. more than double. skyrocketing premiumsful canceled plans, and a complete takeover of health care do not make health care affordable. the president should keep his promise to the american people, let congress work to fix this problem, and support the keep your health plan act and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska rise? without objection. >> thank you mr. speaker. i rise today to highlight the impact of the curns health care situation. the millions of americans who
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are losing their health care coverage include manage in nebraska's third district. pam weldon a self-employed small businesswoman from nebraska, has a pre-existing condition but she has had affordable health insurance coverage which meets her needs but she just received this letter which explains her current plan will no longer be offered. pam told me she had great coverage before, obviously including coverage of her pre-existing condition. she has since tried to see what is available through and the 800 number as well but unsuccessfully. mr. smith: as of january 1rk she will lose the coverage that she likes. like pam millions of americans are learning they are losing their health care plans they were told they could keep. i have heard from many other nebraskans who are losing their insurance or their rates have increased so much they cannot afford to keep the plan they currently have. this is not what the american people want. and both sides need to work together to make this right. i encourage all of my
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colleagues to support the keep your health care plan act. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask cams consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker,th -- the president continues to union latry -- mr. speaker the president continues to unilaterally implement these so-called fixes but this law is broken and it's hurting millions and millions of americans. every day i hear from more of my constituents who have had their coverage canceled and seen their premiums increase. i just recently heard from a woman who is going to have a baby early next year from my hometown of williams port, pennsylvania, that she will lose her health care coverage january 1. i received a copy of the document from a sfit of mine, paul from lakawanna county,
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notice from insurance, it is important that you know that the federal health care reform will require many changes to health insurance plans beginning in 2014. as a result of the december 31, 2014 the special health insurance plan you have will no longer be offered. we need to repeal the aed forable care act and replace it with health care reform that actually lowers costs and increases access to -- access to quality health care. the president has an obligation to keep his promise. going back on one's word sets a very poor example for our children. mr. marino: and that is the truth. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does this egentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, the affordable care act is more than a website. that's the comforting assurance president obama is giving to the american people as the continuing train wreck of his law's implementation grinds on. the law is more than a website.
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unfortunately, that means it's flaw -- its flaws extend past the website as well. it is bad technology mixed with bad policy. each day we hear more and more people losing plans they like despite the president's promise they could keep them. recently, i spoke with scot randolph, a self-employed father of two in my district, who is feeling the harmful effects head on. mr. fitzpatrick: he received this notice in the mail that said his insurance plan, which he liked and which worked for him and his two sons was going to be terminated and replaced with a similar plan at trip they will cost. i think scott said it best when he said the president guaranteed me, if you like your plan you can keep it. the fact is, i can keep my plan, i just can't afford my plan now. mr. president, this is unacceptable. period. let's pass the keep your health plan act and offer help to the millions of americans hurt by this broken promise. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from ohio rise? . without objection. >> this week americans and the administration along with the media are starting to see the harmful effects of obamacare on our country. many ohioans are experiencing sticker shock and are desperately worried if they'll have coverage at all and if they'll keep their doctor. mr. gibbs: a constituent recently told me that his hours were cut to part time in order for his employer to keep the business running. a man from canton, ohio, called in and will see his premiums increase by 700% due to this harmful law. a single mother of two young boys from ashland, ohio, will not be able to afford the increase in price of her premium each month under obamacare. when she wrote in she asked a great question, if this is the affordable care act, why can i no longer afford my health care insurance? it seems as though my constituents have more common sense than those who wrote this devastating law.
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along in my colleagues in the house remain committed to protecting americans from this law and ensuring that you are in charge of your health care decisions, not some bureaucrat here in washington. whether it's the doctor's office the gas pump, at the dinner table or at the job market, washington is standing in the way of hardworking americans and it's just not fair. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lamalfa: mr. speaker, over the past few months i've heard hundreds of stories from my constituents about the president's health care law and the devastating effects it is having on their families and small businesses. one issue i want to address today is the serious threat obamacare is to the rural health care situation in our country. for my constituents in northern california who are already facing a shortage of care and choices. many families have to turn to bordering states to see a doctor or for emergency room visits.
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now we know that the law's actually creating a much larger challenge for rural americans. today i want to share with you a story from a constituent i met just a couple months ago at a fair. patricia lives with her husband a self-employed business owner in a rural border town just inside the california-oregon state line. their long-time family doctor is in oregon as well as the closest doctor. these letters i have here also point out that they have had their insurance coverage canceled recently. and so, this notification has thrown them into a tizzy because of the law and their plan has been canceled. you this they now have to enroll in a plan that they don't like, that is inferior and increasing their cost by hundreds of dollars each month. patricia wrote know and said, i'm told we might not have coverage for our regular doctor in oregon that we've been seeing for years and of course our closest hospital which is also in oregon.
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we are now living with a constant fear that our new policy under obamacare will not provide coverage when we need it. mr. speaker, this is wrong. mr. president, it's broke. we need to support a new plan. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from d.c. rise? ms. norton: mr. speaker, i ask to address the house for one minute revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. norton: when the time comes member and staff will get their insurance at d.c. health link. they will have a good chance to pay less because they will have 267 choices. in advance, one of my staff members, who has a name brand policy from our federal program, went on dchealthlink and found she could get the same policy for from $160 to $220 less with
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the same deductible. if republicans want to deal in anecdotes, hers is far more typical than those from the crowd who have gone from 41 repeals to their new strategy of actively sabotaging the affordable care act. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? without objection. mr. jones: mr. speaker, obamacare is a disaster. the president knows that congress -- the president knows it, congress knows it and more importantly the american people now know. it mr. wilson: the president claims to be working with congress to stop the train wreck the a.c.a. is waging on american families. actions speak louder than words. it's time for him to engage with house republicans to find a solution. we must help mary in lexington,
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south carolina whose health care policy premium has already increased 275% since the beginning of this year. and rebecca, from akin, who will be forced to pay $600 more a month for the same coverage in january. and alvin, an uninsured veteran also living in akin, who is trying to purchase insurance on the government health care website but can't afford it because the premium will be higher than his mortgage, utilities and internet combined. this is absurd. for the sake of the middle class, we must replace obamacare with commonsense solutions that protect families, provides a safety net and supports jobs. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? without objection. >> thank you mr. speaker.
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at least 225,000 residents of michigan have or will shortly receive letters informing them that their current health plan and insurance policies will be canceled because of obamacare. to put that number in context, more people in michigan have had their private health care plans canceled due to obamacare than have even selected the private plan nationwide on adding insult to injury, the dismal enrollment number announced by the administration does not represent an adequate depiction of the obamacare experience. whether it's nancy from grant, barbara from walker, terry from grandville or david from twin lake my constituents all seem to be sharing the same experience. mr. huizenga: frustration followed by exass peration, rounded out with higher costs that they can't afford. we hear you and i'm here for you. the reality of obamacare's experience is a website that is difficult to navigate when it actually works coupled with policy options that result in
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higher health care costs for michigan consumers. i applaud my friend and colleague, fred upton, who is going to be leading a charge to provide a legislative solution to that problem tomorrow. and i hope our friends across the aisle will be able to provide that same relief to their constituents and i hope they'll join me in doing so. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. brown: address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. brown: thank you mr. speaker. you know, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. any group, the house republicans, that passed a bill 44 times to rescind the health care bill, obamacare because obama cares. the shutdown cost the american
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people $24 billion. i come from the great state of florida where the medicaid extension have not to this time been accepted. that means that over a million people a million people will not receive health care. every time i speak to a group of students at the university of florida, florida a&m, i ask them, how many students can stay on their family plan, because of obamacare? every single hand goes up. so let's be clear. the first rollout was the proposal that let over three million people stay on their family plan. and the doughnut hole. because obamacare, we're closing
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that, that was instituted under the bush administration. i really do believe to whom god has given much, much is expected. i really do expect more from the people's house than what we have gotten from the republic leadership. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from north dakota rise? without objection. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, wayne and lee anne operate a ranch in north dakota. they've never been active in politics but a recent letter from their insurance company has changed all of that. for their letter informed them that they'd be losing their health care coverage due to the excessive regulations of obamacare. mr. speaker, 36,000 north dakotans are receiving similar cancellation notices, similar to that of wayne and lee anne. each of these figures on this poster represents over 1,200
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north dakotans just like wayne and lee anne. on the other hand, only 30 north dakotans have been able to sign up for obamacare through the first month. not 30,000, not 3,000, not even 300, mr. speaker, 30. each figure on this part of the graphic represents one north dakotan able to sign up. mr. speaker, in north dakota, like much of america, a man's word is his bond. we must help the president make good on his promise and pass the keep your health plan act tomorrow. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? without objection. mr. camp: today i rise on behalf of the people i represent in michigan who are feeling the real impact of obamacare. they're paying more for health care losing the coverage they have and like, and having their work hours cut. i've been receiving calls, emails and letters from people worried about the negative
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impacts obamacare is having on their lives. jeff frazier from midland, michigan, wrote, and i'm quoting here my wife has been recently informed by her insurance carrier that her health care policy does not comply with the affordable care act. now we must purchase a new policy to get the same coverage at an 18% increase in our premium. so what happened to the if you like your insurance you can keep it, end quote? unfortunately jeff's story isn't unique. he and an estimated 225,000 people in the state of michigan and millions of americans across the country are losing the coverage they have and like because of obamacare. i urge my colleagues, join me in standing up against higher health care costs, dropped coverage reduced work hours that are hurting the constituents i serve in michigan and americans all across the country. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise?
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without objection. >> mr. speaker, new jersey's largest newspaper, the star ledger of newark, yesterday reported that fewer than 27,000 people have signed up for private health care insurance via the troubled obamacare website, health mr. lance: the number includes just 741 in new jersey. these enrollment numbers are being dramatically outpaced by the millions of americans including at least 800,000 new jerseyans, who are losing their plans because of the law despite the president's promise they would not. the house will vote tomorrow on the keep your health plan act that will provide much-needed certainty and relief to americans who have lost or are about to lose their current health care coverage. i encourage president obama to keep his promise to the american people and join members of
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congress on both sides of the aisle in support of letting those who like their current health care plans to keep them under the law. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. you know, sometimes the truth hurts. and for a quarter of a million pennsylvanians, the truth really hurts. because they are losing their health care plans. mike mckeon and his father own and operate titan tool company, it's a small business in fair view, pennsylvania, that their family has run since 1920. mr. kelly: in his letter to our office, michael wrote, my dad has always prided himself of offering 100% health care coverage for every single one of our associates. it's been this way for as long as i can remember. however, under obamacare, their yearly premium will rise 113.9%, taking the cost from $120,000 to
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$227,000. one of his employees will see her monthly premium go up from just over $300 to $940. that's a 249% increase. and in michael's words, this type of increase is too much for the company to weather. next year for the first time in decades, my father and my family are forced to drop insurance coverage for our employees. and he also added, being the generous and concerned person my dad is, he said he would give each employee this year's cost of premium to offset the rise in cost. but beyond that he cannot afford to do any more. this means that next december, we will all have to pay enormous increases out of our pocket for poorer coverage. that happens to be the truth and not one that they have to go back on later on. mr. speaker, i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from mississippi rise? . without objection.
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>> they said implementing obamacare is going to be a train wreck and that train wreck went right through one of the communities in my district and ran right over reverend bobby urban. he says, i had health insurance. i was happy with it. it was coverage i picked out and i selected and my policy was canceled because it did not meet obamacare guidelines. reverend urban was made a promise by the president of the united states, if you like your health insurance, you can keep it. that promise has been broken. it is vital that we pass the keep your health plan act so that this house can step up and honor the promise that was made to reverend urban and those americans like him you like your health insurance, you can
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keep it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker dan from pennsylvania wrote to me, he said i'm having very serious difficulties with the new health care. i called a place in the marketplace today inquiring on an affordable plan for my wife. i currently pay around $300 a month through my employer for coverage but she's lost her job. he marketplace premium for her beginning in january will be over $800 a month. how do you think this is affordable coverage? this is a 200% increase or more for me. my wife and i both have bills to pay. i will lose my house if i pay this outrageous premium. i will find it to be necessary to drop her from coverage. i would have been willing to do my share in this but this is
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beyond my reach. i'm 62 years old, i've had a major heart attack three years ago. i was revived four times in this heart attack and had complications which required emergency abdominal surgery to save my life again. i'm back to work but i have medical expenses. and now my premium just for my wife is doubling. i'm sorry for being angry but i feel cheated. i'm not able to afford the outrageous premiums and i will not be able to cover my wife. mr. speaker, this breaks your heart. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i felt compelled to come because let's talk about what this is. s the 44th time to try to deny people access to health care. that's what it is. if you listen to my colleagues, you would think that all of americans are being denied
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health care coverage. number one, we talk -- we're audiocassetting about 5%, and 5% is too much system of what the president did today was to say that we're going to make sure that those individuals who have lost their coverage, if the insurance company wills -- will stand up, they'll do the right thing. what this says is -- what we know is 36 states, most of them headed by republicans, that have already decided they didn't want to get involved. they didn't want state exchanges. so they wanted to make sure that they can deny individuals who have had pre-existing diseases because you can talk about the people saying thank you, mr. president for the affordable care act, because of my pre-existing condition i have been turned down by insurance companies. with affordable care that won't happen. young people who don't have insurance up to age 26 will still be covered because of the affordable care act. what this is is a process and
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attempt to try to end the affordable care act for the 44th time. let's not do that let's give the people health care. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bishop: in 2003 5-year-old isabella was diagnosed with leukemia. that's driven the decisions her family has made since that time. she had daily chemotherapy for three years and is now in remission but 18 months ago she started to have side effects from this disease that affected her heart, her bones her cognitive processing. since that time, and since obamacare was passed, her insurance rates have more than doubled and she was told this year that their insurance would be canceled by the end of this year.
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as ill bell's mother wrote, the affordable care -- as isabel's mother wrote, the affordable care act has seriously threatened my family's way of life. i defy anyone to say that the insurance we currently have is not enough. my daughter is living proof that it is. mr. speaker, these people are being hurt by the present system and that needs to be change. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, by the government's own numbers, for every american who has found health coverage ournedba ma cair since it rolled out, some 50 americans have lost their health insurance on the individual market, but that doesn't account for the many millions more who are losing employer insurance or are losing wages as a direct result of the democrats' obamacare
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fiasco. mr. mcclintock: one such family is the harolds abury family in mare poe is a. he writes, i'm a carpenter and covered under the company's plan. when i retired my wife went to work and she was informed yesterday that he was dropping coverage and dropping coverage for anyone below full time. we'll be able to enroll her on my plan, but this doesn't address her loss of income. mr. speaker, my office is being flooded by such complaints, i have to believe that our colleagues across the aisle are hearing the same things, why aren't they listening? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to indicate as many of my colleagues have that beyond the so-called glitches and hiccups of the website, that the president's health care bill simply is not working. in fact, it is hurting. since the president's health care bill was signed into law, i've seen the anxiety, the confusion and the genuine fear of south jersey families employers, and of health care professionals and for four years the conversations around the kitchen table and the water coolers have been about this anxiety and uncertainty. that's turned to real fear. fear and anger. terry from millville told me that her mother and her mother-in-law had current plans they were very happy with. they were canceled under the president's health care bill. only the -- only to be replaced with plans with higher co-pays and premiums. randy from scoville wrote on my
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facebook that the monthly premiums are now $2,500 $700 more than before. mr. lobiondo: lou, who opened a small business, hired more than 50 people, has to make them part time. this is not working and it's wrong. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, we all heard president obe ma say that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it, period. mr. hastings: a constituent on mine from yakima write, my wife and i are self-employee. our provider just sent us a letter telling us due to the affordable health care act our policy will no longer be available and we'll have to choose a new policy. he went on to say, the least expensive policy is double the cost of my original policy and the deductible went up to
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$10,000. mr. speaker, gary is not alone. millions of hardworking americans have lost the insurance they like and can't a-- and can afford. the keep your health care plan that we will vote on tomorrow fulfills president obama's promise even if he won't. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, all we're asking is that the president keeps his word. i've got hundreds of letters now from constituents from all across my entire district from oakdale they're canceling their plcy. before it was $275 for me and my wife. we got a letter saying our plan is no longer available and our premium will be $434.60 a
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month. an increase of $155.60. tom says, farm bureau informed me that my med insurance will be canceled in january of 2014. my premium will increase 170% for now. valerie, my policy was canceled, in shopping for a new plan i see my monthly costs will at least triple for inferior coverage. these lists go on and on and on. dawn from turlock says i received a letter today from my health care provider and they notified us our health care insurance has just doubled. we owe it to the american people that this cannot go on any longer. the president needs to fulfill his promise. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise to give
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voice to my constituents. while i would expect that obamacare's thousands of pages would help at least a handful of people, a sampling of mail coming into my office lets me know that help by the affordable care act is rare. steve from greenfield says he and his wife are in good health with current insurance costing $485 a month. under obamacare that goes to roughly $1,150 a month a 237% increase. june from batavia received a letter from united health care and while she says she can handle it it will be a problem for her husband he has stage four kidney disease and is on dialysis and will soon not have his doctors. don from loveland said if the affordable care act is allowed to stand my family will have to come up with an extra $6,604 next year. we can't afford that from what i'm seeing, stress and anxiety
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with becoming an increasingly common dige know -- diagnosis. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? without objection. >> thank you mr. speaker. once again today the president said to the american people, if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. at least for one more year, if you're lucky. the problem is, saying something many times does not magically make it come true. right now only 701 people in the state of indiana have been able to sign up for insurance through the affordable care act exchanges. mr. messer: according to the indiana department of insurance, more than 108,000 hoosiers will receive or have received cancellation letters. one of those people is michael
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sturgis of greensburg. he called my office after receiving a cancellation letter from his insurance company. he was told his monthly premium was going to increase from $397 a month to $831 a month. his $5,000 deductible will go up to $7,300. that is unacceptable and it is certainly not affordable. that's why we need to pass h.r. 3350 the keep your health plan act of 013 and let the american people re-- act of 2013 and let the american people remain in charge of their health care. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, millions of americans find themselves in the heartbreaking situation of losing their health care plans thanks to a broken promise that the white house is now
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scrambling to try to fix. hoosiers like jared from woodburn, indiana, were told they could keep their plans but unfortunately jared found this cancellation letter in his mailbox on september 23. he is just one of the more than 3.5 million americans who lost coverage under obamacare. for jared the timing couldn't have been worse. in the middle of selling their home and making an offer on another, jared his wife and 1-year-old son were hit with a cancellation letter and the real possibility that their health care costs will become unaffordable. mr. stutzman: president obama's health care law is hurting hughesiers. if he's serious about helping americans like jared he should start by keeping his promise and signing the keep your health care plan -- keep your health plan act as soon as it is passed. enough is enough. thank you, mr. speaker i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise?
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. without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my office has been flooded with constituents calling to share their obama horror story, take nicole butler, for instance, a mother of three children living in colorado springs. mr. kaufman: her families' humana policy was deemed in her -- mr. lamborn: her family's humana policy, the cheapest obamacare plan she could find would cost her family $1,003 in month in premiums, more than twice as much. this is the same story for other colorado families who have been canceled. mr. speaker, the american people took our president at his word when he said if you like your plan you can keep it. i look forward to legislation which will give relief to
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families in colorado and all over this country. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah rise? without objection. mr. stewart: mr. speaker, we have officially entered la-la land that the president thinks by the mere power of his own voice he can turn back time. by simply announcing he will no longer enforce provisions within his own law. think about that. the answer to fixing this law is for him to announce that they won't enforce the law, and that tells you how desperate they are. his announcement today will only make things worse. and it's the american people who will continue to pay. i like everyone who has spoken on this floor this afternoon have many, many examples of people who are being hurt today because of provisions of
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obamacare. amanda from utah in my district has seen their family's deductibles and the rates they will pay double. another has had their plan canceled. a small business owner, they're scrambling now to try to find something, some way in which they can maintain insurance for their family. president obama repeatedly promised that if you have health insurance you can keep it. that promise has not been fulfilled. we call upon him to do that today. and mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to share some powerful stories that kentuckians have shared with me regarding their experiences with obamacare. mr. guthrie: a small business insurance plan will be canceled. here's a letter. dear, james holloway ii, you will be moving to the affordable care act compliant
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plan. the plan i have was not john plan. i like my plan. but unfortunately won't be able to keep that plan. another received a cancellation notice of her plan after calling her insurance agent, she learned that a similar plan to what she and her husband had was available at a cost of $490 more a month. vince birda said being forced to go on the exchange, his family's insurance will jump from $375 to $849 montreal. he asked a -- to $849 a month. the fact that president obama repeatedly told the americans, if you like your plan you can keep it, i've heard over and over from kentuckyians that's not the case. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you mr. speaker.
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i'd like to share two stories with you. mr. shimkus: i have a constituent that paid 80%. he paid $122.17 a month. this plan was canceled. to get a plan now with a $6,000 deductible and pay 80%, it is $259.02 a month, but it will cover peed at rick dental and ma -- pediatric dental and maternity. he's single and male. his point is i had a plan, i liked it. the president said i could keep it. that was a lie. i also want to share -- this is tara eric, they are both employed with a son. their premium is doubling. they aren't sure how they will be able to save for coverage for kai and pay for his insurance. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in penalties
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toward the president. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. griffin: mr. speaker, i rise today to tell the stories of real people in arkansas who have been hurt by obamacare. others are seeing their premiums double, triple and quadruple. many are losing the health insurance plans they'd like to keep and wondering why president obama told them repeatedly that that would never happen. one single mom in little rock told me that her current health insurance plan will be canceled at the end of the year in just six weeks. she's worried this will affect her daughter, who's about to start graduate school. terry and his wife in rose bud, arkansas, will see their premium rise from $380 to more than $1,000 per month.
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that's not affordable. and daniel hanley, here with his horse, a vet in little rock received this notification that his health insurance plan was being canceled because of obamacare. "cancellation notice says obamacare will ultimately prevent us from offering competitive medical insurance. as a result, we anticipate that your medical insurance policy will be ending effective midnight, december 31, 2013." it's clear that obamacare's a broken law, and its broken website is only the beginning. obamacare must be repealed so we can pass real patient-centered health care reform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. long: a constituent emailed my office this morning and then followed up with a call.
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she is fed up with obamacare. she is battling cancer that requires traveling to a neighboring state. she told me her health insurance is being canceled due to the president's health care law. she was able to find a new plan but no longer be able to see her cancer doctor in little rock. she said, my doctor and i are concerned about the future treatment if i have to change docs. how many other americans can no longer go to the treatment centers they need for life-saving care? this is absurd. i have decided to continue my life-saving treatments in little rock but will likely go bankrupt in the process. just a little more stress the obama plan has placed on thousands of americans undergoing life-saving treatment. i am angry, not only for myself, but for everyone else who is going through this. mr. speaker, we need to honor the promise president obama made to the millions of americans who like their plans and are now receiving
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cancellation notices. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana rise? without objection. mr. fleming: mr. speaker, i want you to meet andrew parks, a hardworking young man from bossier city, louisiana. other businesses were forced to do by the obamacare employer mandate, they reduced andrew's hours from a nearly -- merely 40-hour workweek to 26 hours a week. he suffered a substantial loss in pay. then, the other shoe dropped. his employer recently sent me this notice from a national firm that his health insurance would not meet obamacare standards and would be
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discontinued at the end of the year. his ordeal could not be worse. he's fought through a long-term illness and is a survivor of cancer. yet, all he's asked for me is the opportunity to work hard, earn a living and keep his health insurance he could afford. but all obamacare has done is make those goals much more difficult to reach. obamacare is damaging our economy and harming individuals. it needs to be repealed and repealed now. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, my constituents are asking a simple question and the question they're asking the wouse is, can you hear us now? can you hear us now and do you understand this frustration that we feel? i've got a constituent, mr.
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speaker, diane who got this letter from her insurance carrier with this couple of sentences -- effective january 1, all plans must be compliant with the new health care law therefore, the insurance company plan you have now will no longer be available after december 31. mr. roskam: so what happened to diane? a plan that she liked, a plan she was satisfied with as an 11-year cancer survivor a plan that she could afford, now was taken away based on obamacare and she was quote, migrated into obamacare, and her premium was nearly doubling. what does diane have to say about president obama's offer to fix this? she said this -- i want to see legislation passed to fix this problem, legislation i can trust. i don't want an administrative trust. i don't trust that to anyone. we need to fix this, we need to pass this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: mr. speaker, the affordable care act, also known as obamacare, needs to be repealed and replaced with better legislation. there is no administrative or legislative fix that would repair this flawed law. millions of americans across the united states are receiving notices that their health insurance plans are being canceled. just as a constituent of mine in san antonio, texas. his current insurance company sent him a notice informing him that his coverage will be canceled at the end of the year. the new obamacare policy will cost 98% more than his current plan. after the administration's announcement today jeff and his family may be able to keep their health care insurance coverage, but only for one year and at what cost? we need to replace obamacare
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with commonsense solutions that lower costs, expand access to care and eliminate unfair mandates and penalties. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you mr. speaker. the americans we're discussing did nothing wrong. mr. chabot: they purchased insurance before any federal mandate ordered them to. now they are losing their insurance. katie rupert is a constituent of mine. at 33, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, a sickness that later spread to her brain. she started radiation and travels to houston to see her oncology specialist. today, she is a stage 4 cancer survivor and doing well, but she knows that this will not last forever. katie had good coverage through her husband's workplace, but is losing it because of obamacare.
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what's worse, she's been told that her doctors are not covered by her options on the obamacare exchanges. she is a wife, a mother, an inspiration and now she's another example of this law's collateral damage. that's the impact of obamacare. we can do better. we have to do better. we owe katie and others like her at least that much. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. without objection, and pursuant to clause 11 of rule 1, the chair removes the gentleman from georgia, mr. graves, as a conferee on h.r. 3080 and appoints the gentleman from missouri, mr. graves to fill the vacancy. the clerk will notify the senate of the change in conferees. under the speaker's announced
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policy of january 3, 2013 the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. davis: thank you very much, mr. speaker. and i'm going to change the tenor a little bit and do a little switching, although i must confess there is not much more importance in this country than trying to make sure that citizens have access to quality comprehensive health care. and i think we are much closer to that than we have ever been and look forward to it actually happening. as i was listening, i was reminded of something that my father used to tell us, that if you keep telling yourself the
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same thing over and over and over and over again, you will eventually get to the point where you believe it. being here to do a special order, though, reminds me of my good friend, representative major owens, who was famous for doing special orders. i remember when i first came here that you could see representative major owens on the floor late at night by himself talking about education and the need to make sure it happened. and i guess the fact that he was a trained librarian may have had something to do with that. so i just wanted to take a moment and pay tribute to representative major owens for the tremendous work that he did on education and especially the
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work that he did that led to the creation of something called p.b.i.'s, predominantly black institutions as a part of the higher education act. and many, many students will remember your contribution to the development of what we know as these 75 or so institutions across the country that are called predominantly black institutions and who now receive special consideration for funds because of that designation. i also before i go into my subject want to express condolences to the family of commissioner beverly, who passed
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away earlier this week and is known as probably the most profound advocate for public housing and public housing residence in the city of chicago and perhaps throughout the nation. because she has spent more than 30 years advocating for this population group and was a founding member of the public housing museum which is well on its way to being developed. and so we express condolences to the family, friends and associates of commissioner beverly who lived in chicago in
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the abla holmes district. she was a public housing resident who advocated to the point of being selected by the mayor of the city of chicago to be a commissioner of the chicago housing authority. so we salute you, ms. beverly. and now, i want to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart, but it's also near and dear to the hearts of many. and it's also part of a crisis that actually exists in our country. our country is known for many things, as it should be. it's one of the and perhaps the wealthiest country on the face of the earth.
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it's one of the most technologically proficient countries in the world today. it's one of the most highly educated countries. but it also is the country that has the distinction of having more people incarcerated both per capita and in actual numbers than any other country on the face of the earth. more than 2.3 million people sit tonight in our prisons throughout america. about 750,000 of those come home every year. and you know of all the individuals who are incarcerated, most of them will come home or they will go to
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somewhere. there are numbers of individuals who, do, in fact, die in prison. they are liferes. and in many instances they are individuals who have committed horrible crimes, sadistic crimes, crimes that suggest they should never be let out on their own. but most individuals will return home or they will return to some community. and when they do, what happens to and with them will often determine whether or not they remain on the outside or how soon they will return to the inside. there are some things that we know about this population. we know that if they do not
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receive any help many of them about 2/3 within a three-year period of time will have done what we call recidivate and committed some offense which they could be re-arrested and re-incarcerated. and 50% of them within three years if nothing happens to or with them, if they don't get any help will be back in jail or prison costing the public money, living and being cared for at taxpayer expense. in some instances, these costs have become so high on to some
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states, that are just looking for ways that they can release them, some of them because in some instances they are spending as much money for corrections as they're spending for education. and that's an awful lot of money. but there is an alternative. and that alternative is called the second chance act. and that's what i'm going to spend some time talking about. as a matter of fact, it was passed into law five years ago signed by president bush. so it's not a democratic piece of action. it's not a republican -- it's a joint legislative initiative
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that had bipartisan, bicameral support democrats and republicans, house and senate -- passed. and the interesting thing about it is that all of the reports that we have seen, and there have been a number of them, justice center has put out a report called re-entry matters. other groups have issued reports . the leadership conference on civil and human rights. and the reports that i have seen all suggest that while it has not been a panacea meaning that
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it certainly has not been able to solve all of the problems or diminish all of the issues surrounding this need, it has, in fact, been very helpful. and there are states who are reporting reductions in recidivism. and that's one of the factors of keeping the number of people incarcerated as high as it is because for many of them they're constantly in and out and it becomes a cycle of going in and a cycle of getting out and going in again. but what helps them is when there are approaches, evidence
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-based that actually help them. and we have had about 600 such programs and grants that have been funded under the second chance act. of course, there hasn't been as much money or as much funding as would be needed, but 600 groups across the nation, 600 institutions, 600 research groups all working towards finding a solution and finding help has made a difference. it's time now to re-introduce this legislation. and i am pleased and delighted that yesterday in both the house
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and the senate, very senior level and prestigious members of both bodies have introduced and we have seen the re-introduction of the second chance act. in the senate senator leahy, chairman of judiciary. senator rob portman, democrat and republican. in the house representative jim sensenbrenner, former chairman of the judiciary committee. republican. myself democrat. and so we have democrats and republicans on this issue.
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there are a lot of things that we are not necessarily agreeing upon right now in congress. there is a tremendous amount of disagreement. enough that actually shut down the government. but on this issue, there appear to be the amergens of tremmed -- amergens of tremendous agreement, that makes all of us optimistic that something significant and even more significant can be done. so i want to highlight some of the organizations and groups who have been actively engaged in seriously involved, groups like
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the leadership conference for civil and human rights. groups like the justice center from the council of state governments. groups who have worked to demonstrate that people can be helped. what is it that individuals need actually when they are released from jail or prison? well, they certainly need more than $20 and a bus ticket. many of them have no place at all to go. but if they can find somebody waiting in some community that says, we're going to help you
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get re-established, we're going to help you find a place to live , a place that you can call your own, or if you've got a drug problem we're going to find you a source of treatment. or maybe you're in need of anger management help. we're going to find someone who can provide. perhaps you don't have much in the way of formal education and skill so maybe we will direct you to a g.e.d. program or maybe we will direct you to a vocational or technical training program so that you can develop the skills that you need in order to find a job. or to secure employment.
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then maybe you've got some emotional psychological or self-esteem problems. maybe maybe we can direct to you a program that will help you overcome these de-- deficiencies. and i can tell you that if these individuals can find a job, a place to work, a place where they know that they can fit and make a contribution, many of them will never ever see the inside of a jail or prison again because they have evolved into a person who knows that they have self-worth self-esteem that they can take
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care of themselves they can earn what they need and they can make a contribution. i can tell you there are many barriers that often prohibit and prevent individuals from finding their rightful place or being able to successfully re-enter society as a contributing member. for example, you may not be able to live in public housing if you have a felony conviction. you could just very well be barred. well, who needs public housing more than individuals who can't
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find a job? there are many entities within our society that say to an individual with a record, we don't hire people with records meaning, if you've been convicted of a felony there's no point to make an application even if we have help wanted signs posted. fortunately, there are some businesses and some companies who are beginning to ease up a little bit and see the futility of that kind of policy because if these individuals are never able to find a job, they will be a cost to the public the
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rest of their natural lives. somebody's tax dollars will have to go to support them in one way or the other. so some state legislatures are beginning to look at some of the licensing requirements that their states have and say maybe you can't get a license to be a barber or a beautician or coss mow tolks -- cosmotogist, yet you were able to get trained while incarcerated and now that you've been trained, you cannot work in that profession. of course, that does not appear to be very logical and so some
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states are beginning to review their policies as it relates to certain kinds of licensing requirements and whether or not individuals can get what might be called a waiver or whether they can demonstrate that not only do they have the training and expertise to do the job but they also have the character which will allow them to do it well. so a little bit of progress is being made in that direction. there are some instances where housing authorities are beginning to look and see
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whether or not there might be some way -- and i don't think anybody is suggesting when they're being asked to provide opportunity. certainly you wouldn't necessarily put a child molester at a daycare center. and many of the programs and many of the individuals who try and help erase some of the barriers, they already know that and that's not the kind of thing that they advocate. but they do believe that people should be given a chance an opportunity, a chance to demonstrate that they want to be good citizens, that they want to work that they want to contribute. and so i'm asking my
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colleagues, both in the house and the senate, to look at the invitation letters that they have received to become co-sponsors of this legislation . it's not asking for as much money as it needs. $100 million is money but it does not break the bank. that's the appropriation ask. i by one of the things we look at is what it has spawned and what it has sparked, not just how much federal money has gone into it, not just how many federal dollars but it has spawned response and reaction
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from states, local and county governments who have established their own second chance programs, who have put together their own second chance initiatives. and i certainly want to commend both the governor of the state of illinois, my governor who, by the way happens to live in my congressional district and is my constituent but my governor patrick quinn, for the state of illinois' response to this problem. i want to commend and congratulate the president of our cook county government county board which of course is
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larger than more than 25 states in the nation county of cook, a very large county with more than five million people in it. i want to commend the president for how the county government is trying to respond to this need and especially i want to commend the sheriff of our county. who has more than 13,000 people in his jail and he recognizes that many of them ought not be there because they got mental health problems and mental health issues and he's seeking and searching and looking for ways to change that. i want to commend the mayor of the city of chicago, our former
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colleague rahm emanuel, because he has established a number of programs with city agencies and with city government where they are set aside specifically for individuals who have records, individuals who've been incarcerated individuals who need a second chance both the city of chicago itself and the chicago transit authority. so there is bits and pieces of progress being made, and i commend all of those who are helping to make it. but my final ask is for my colleagues in both the house and the senate to join in this
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effort, sign onto the second chance act, help us get it renewed, help us to get it re-authorized to get it refunded and get it seriously implemented throughout the united states of america so that these individuals will know that our country does in fact believe in a second chance. i thank you, mr. speaker, and i'll yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentlewoman from missouri mrs. hartzler, is recognized as 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
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mrs. hartzler: i ask that members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks in order for us to submit. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. hartzler: mr. speaker, my fellow colleagues, i want to share with you a picture that i have in my office, and it's my favorite picture. it's the famous picture of president and then general george washington on his knees praying at valley forge. of course, we all remember from our history lessons the story of what happened during that time but the winter of valley forge was a terrible, terrible trying time for the continental army. they had suffered a lot of defeats that fall, and they went into a very cold harsh winter with very very limited supplies. and the stories that come from that are just heartbreaking. there is' 12,000 men that --
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there's 12,000 men that were encamped. many of them didn't have attention or shelter. several of them didn't have a blanket, and as you know, here in washington, d.c. and back home in missouri, the weather has started to turn cold and i think it was like 30 degrees this morning, and to think about what it would have been like to have to sleep out in the cold with no blanket during that time and, of course snow came along. and we have heard stories about how many of the men did not even have shoes. they had marched so much that fall and had gone through such harsh battles that their shoes had fell apart and we all saw pictures and heard stories how their feet bled, even in the snow, there were foot tracks like that. what's worse, many of them didn't even have food. this was the situation of 12,000 men such that the conditions were so bad that they ruled at one time that a third of them, almost 4,000 men were unfit for battle.
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and then 2,000 over the course of those winter months died as a result of the disease and other things that occurred during those very harsh conditions. and during that time we have learned a story that george washington, the commander of this rag tag but yet valiant group of men went to the woods and got down on his knees and prayed. the reason we know this is because the story of isaac potts, later shared the account he was a quaker farmer, he was riding his horse through the woods. he heard a sound, strange as if a man was crying out in prayer and he got off his horse and wrapped the reins through a sapling tree came into the opening, he could see something that shocked him. he said it like this. he said i saw the great george
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washington on his knees alone with a sword on one side and his hat on the other. he was at prayer to the god of the army beseaching to interpose for his divine aid. and we know what later happened and i believe is the result of those prayers. those rag tag army gained courage and strength. they started -- supplies started to come in. we had a general that was sent by benjamin franklin to start drilling them in and turn this ragtag but courageous group of men into a major strong fighting force and they came they were a force to meet the british army, and they did. and that was the turning point in the war and at valley forge, the whole outcome of not just the war but our country was
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turned and i believe because of the prayer of the general of the army. you know faith has been important to the armed services and to people of this country from the beginning and it is just as important now to our men and women in uniform as it was back in the beginning of our country. but yet, their ability to express their religious beliefs is being attacked from forces outside and forces within. and it's been discouraging the last few years to hear accounts of some of these infringements on the basic religious rights and freedoms of our men and women in uniform. that's why my colleagues and i are here in the next hour to first of all stand up for the religious rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in our constitution. i think it's very fitting and appropriate to remember that george washington was there and helped craft those rights in the
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bill of rights and the first right, the freedom of special of religion. and we want to not only celebrate that and stand up for that, but also raise awareness of the concerns that we have and to implore the department of defense to push back on some of the negative policies that have been coming out that infringe on their rights and change course and to continue to remain strong as a country preserving the basic freedoms, so we can continue to be strong in the future as we have in the past. so right now i want to invite someone who knows from very personal experience and can speak to this issue and my friend from georgia representative collins an active of the air force reserves, not only serving his country in many ways and serving his god. mr. collins: i appreciate the gentlelady yielding and being a part of this and bringing
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something to the forefront we need to discuss and it is a part of our foundation and it is a part of what you have shown as a reproduction of a painting there, that our values and our foundings were founded on a sense of prayer and not from a prayer that led to an exclusive nation, but a prayer that led to an inclusive nation. that's something that we have forgotten in this process. tonight, as we talk about this, i want to discuss it on veterans day. the president laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. as the final resting place of so many men and women arlington is full of religious symbolism and considered this country most hallowed ground. it gives us an opportunity to pay tribute along with those continuing to serve our great nation. those intered in arlington gave
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up their life to enjoy the life we enjoy today. over the past year, a number of instances have caused many to question at the pentagon and the v.a., no longer embrace the religious preems of its soldiers and the patients it led to defend. a news report came to light of two military chaplains being harassed in a veterans affairs chaplain training program in 2012. the v.a. employed chaplains and these two seasonned officers were looking to attend to the needs of those in v.a. care. i want you to understand these are not new chaplains. these are not new to the military environment. these are two who served in the military as chaplains and gone through this training, which should have been easy because it's something they have been doing their entire career. their suit claimed a v.a.
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supervisor repeatedly harassed the chaplains about their religious beliefs. they said not to pray in the nail of jesus which is an integral component of faith. the two chaplains were chastised for citing scripture. as a chaplain myself, i'm just amazed. chaplains not able to use scripture, of any faith group? that is the basis of any group we are no matter what faith we come from and administering to those with or without faith, it is a structural part. the chaplains' belief were belittled on many occasions and one of them withdrew from the program. the v.a. is designed to serve members of the armed forces during periods of needs and hardship. if the v.a. bars hardship how can we expect those from private
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illnesses to come forward? there are numerous reports of open hostility to those practicing the faith in uniform. in april, media sources reported that army soldiers were being briefed and evangelicals were considered to be trained in the vein of al qaeda. a few months ago not when this was first done, last month. as one who is a christian evangelical to be described with those in a terrorist organization on the vein of al qaeda is despicable and should be stopped. there were issues that were apologies for and never to restrict members' access to the
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site. this still continues to be a concern. and then we get a gentleman named mickey weinstein. he heads a military religious freedom foundation, but don't let the title of his organization fool you. that's what they want you to think. he believes that the phrase, so help me god should be removed from the air force academy. he asked to speak with top military brass to discuss religious freedom in the military. at some point in time should someone be given the opportunity to go before our highest military officials to plead a case to remove a constitutional right without the benefit of others giving the same courtesy? as i continue reflecting on the meaning of veterans day, it troubles my spirit that personnel may be targeting
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christian foundations. this country -- freedom of religion has been upmeld. there appears to be a strain inside the pentagon and v.a. whose mission it is to take away the soul of our fighting force. are we now to tip-toe on the very soul on the men and women who gave their lives for religious liberties and our other constitutional rights. as a military chaplain myself, i pray not. and i yield back. mrs. hartzler: well said. and you know, the oath that you talk about, i want to expound on it so people understand that what weinstein. the air force removed the poster , the words of the academy oath and the committee is considering removing the phrase recited by all incoming cadets.
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and let me read it. this is the oath that now every cadet gives when they come into the air force academy and also the sail oath of officers and same oath that members of congress say. this is what they want to remove the so help me god. i -- here we go -- i have been appointed air force cadet, do solemnly swear or affirm that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic and bear true faith and allegiance to the same and i take this obligation freely without purpose of evasion and i will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which i'm about to enter, so help me god. it is a time-honored oath. this is a serious decision to enter the service of the country whether it's in the military or
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member of congress and to have them question whether we should remove that or not is despicable. i would like to turn to representative doug lamborn and appreciate the letters he has authored to push back on many of these attacks on our religious freedoms. so go ahead, representative lamborn. mr. lamborn: i thank the gentlelady from missouri. she is a leader on military issues. we serve together on the armed services committee and becoming more known as a leader on military issues and her passion on religious freedom is evident on her getting us time here today. i rise in support of religious freedom in our military. i'm horpped to represent tens of thousands of men and women who serve at the five military installations in my district of colorado. it is made up of men and women of all faiths who deserve to
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practice their religious freedom, free from harassment and malicious attacks. but there is a growing and troubling pattern of religious discrimination against our men and women in arms. an army reserve training brief listed catholics evangelical christians, sunni muslims and some jews were listed as extremists look with hamas and al qaeda. i sent a letter with 34 of my colleagues to express deep concern and request information about what is being done to prevent this sort of offensive briefing from being given again and his response, secretary of the army assured us that this briefing was an isolated incident. secretary mchugh made a corrective measure said all would be vetted prior to presentation.
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sadly, this past month, reports of additional offensive army briefings came to light. first at camp shelby in mississippi where it listed the family association as a domestic hate group alongside groups like neo-nazis, black panthers and nation of islam. at a fort hood briefing, it listed evangelical groups as a threat to the united states. this briefing was not an isolated incident. this pattern must be addressed. i was encouraged to learn that secretary mchugh issued an order to cease all briefings on the subject of extremist organizations and activities. secretary mchugh rightly described the mislabeling of christian evangelical groups as quote, inaccurate and objectionable inconsistent with the current army policy.
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i commend secretary mchugh's recent action and believe it was a step in the right direction. however these army briefings are small examples of what i believe is a larger issue which is a pattern of intolerance of people of faith in the army. mislabeling christians we have seen a christian chaplain remove a story he had written to remove the phrase there are no atheeists in foxholes. the president upon signing the national defense authorization act called religious freedom protections for military chaplains and other service members, quote unnecessary and ill-advised, unquote. i have no idea how he could say this. mr. speaker, this religious intolerance is unacceptable. our nation was founded on christian principles, but always
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believed on freedom of self-expression and intolerance. we owe it to our men and women in uniform to defend these basic rights. religious freedom is an integral point of the united states and pillar of our nation from the very beginning. you can see the picture that representative hartzler showed of george washington and also been a strong part of our military heritage. we must remain firmly committed to defending that freedom. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back to the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. hartzler: thank you, representative lamborn. that was very good and i appreciate all the summary of some of the concerns that we have and the pattern that has developed in the intolerance in the military of religious expression. thank you for your leadership on that. i would like to turn to my friend from texas, representative roger williams. mr. williams: in our nation's 237 years, over 25 million men
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and women have served in the armed forces. they wear the uniform, defend our homeland and protect their fellow friend and most importantly, they honor the oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic. mr. speaker, the first amendment of the constitution states congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. freedom of religion is how we live our faith not just where we attend worship services. all those stationed domestically can attend religious services and for troops overseas who can't walk off base to attend a service, there are military chaplains that facilitate services for them. . . but it duvent just cover worship services, it covers exercise of religion.
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sadly in the last few years, attacks on crenity come to light. soldiers are being told they can't associate themselves with christian groups. those soldiers are told not to associate with, contribute to, or ba part of these christian groups. this is not only an outrage, it is un-american and a direct violation of the constitution that these men and women have sworn by their lives to uphold. troops do not take an oath to their superior, the president, the government or congress. they take an oath to defend the constitution which protects their religious liberty. the department of defense rules and regulations protecting these rights need to be enforced. as a whole, the military overwhelmingly respects the rights and religious beliefs of individuals but these so-called isolated incidences of intimidation and coercion must end now and immediately. mr. speaker, our armed forces are willing and ready to answer
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the call of duty and so many have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms and liberties we as americans value so dearly. my district, the 25th district of texas is home to fort hood, the largest military installation in america. the patriots at fort hood deserve to have someone fighting on their behalf when their rights as americans are violated. congress must assure that every time a man or woman makes the admirable decision to join the military they are not signing away their first amendment rights. let's make sure right here, right now, that our policies have no room for interpretation when it come toths military's right to freely practice their religion. after all, we are one nation under god. in god we always trust. i yield back. >> thank you so much, representative williams, well said. appreciate it very much.
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mrs. hartzler: now i'd like to yield time on a real leader on this ensuring that our men and women in uniform are not discriminated against based on their religious beliefs. he's authored an amendment of the national defense act protecting those rights, i turn to john fleming of louisiana. mr. fleming: i thank the gentlelady from massachusetts and thank you for your leadership and also tonight having this great time to come together and talk about subject that i think is increasingly important. with great foresight and clarity the founding fathers enshrined religious liberty as our first amendment right, stating that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or impeding the free inters thereof. this is an important constitutional right that is for every american, including service members who defend those very liberties with their own lives. the ability to live one's life
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informed by one's faith is not just a protected constitutional right. it's also essential for the individual well being of our soldiers and the uniquely stressful -- in the uniquely stressful military environment, congress must ensure our men and women in uniform can access religious support and practice their faith without risking career reprisals. service members increasingly fear even mentioning their faith in the military because of restrictions, uncertain spoils surrounding religious expression and a general climate of hostility toward those with particular religious or moral viewpoints. this is not your father's military. this is not the military you served in. this is a different military when it comes to respecting religious rights and freedoms. last year, the house armed services committee adopted an amendment to the national defense authorization act, section 533, that provided protections of sincerely held
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religious beliefs forer is vess members and chaplains. however, we have yet to see the regulations that should have been issued in accordance with this amendment. in march 2013, jag memorandum, the air force clearly showed it is interpreting 533 as only protecting the religious belief of service members and not the actual expression of those beliefs through actions and free speech. for heaven's sake, of course the military can't say anything about what you believe because nobody know what is you believe unless you expression those -- express those beliefs in some way or another. just as the first amendment does not mean just freedom of worship, but rather it is the free exercise of religion, service members are not only protected in holding a belief but are free to live their lives in accordance with those beliefs an give voice to them. this june, on a bipartisan basis, the house armed services committee adopted my amendment to the national defense authorization act to clarify
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the protections provided for actions and speech that flow from sincerely held religious and moral convictions. my amendment provides the department flexibility to ensure the morale and readiness needs of service members are met upon the application of this provision. it clarifies that action and speech along with the beliefs of a service member are protected by the first amendment. it requires that d.o.d. consult with faith group which is already work with military to endorse military chaplains when implementing section 533. while the military context requires good order and discipline to be maintained, good order and discipline cannot be wielded as a club to stifle reasonable religious expression of service members. so what am i talking about here? let me give you examples. a service member received a severe and possibly career
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ending reprimand from his commanding officer for respectfully expressing his faith's religious position in a personal religious blog even though the blog included a disclaimer that his views were not official military policy. an air force officer kept a bible on his tesk along with other personal items for 18 years. when he transfered to his latest assignment he was told by his supervisor that he could not keep his bible in public view. that it may offend someone if they actually saw his bible. walter reed hospital briefly prohibited the distribution of religious materials, i.e. bibles and scripture of any faith, from being given to wounded service members. thousands of army reserve soldiers received equal opportunity training labeling evangelical christians, catholics, ultra orthodox jews and others as religious
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extremists, comparable to the k.k.k. and al qaeda. this training, which was memorized in writing, further instructed service members that they may not support such extremist organizations. by attending meetings, fundraising or attending meetings. thousands of soldiers told they could not go to church, lead sunday school, tithe, share their faith or give out bibles. another series of equal opportunity training sessions held for army active components at camp shelby in alabama and again at fort hood in texas listed a prominent ministry, the american family association, as an extremist group alongside the k.k.k. i am pleased that secretary mchugh on being made awear of these particular types of egregious training materials canceled all future equal opportunity training until the d.o.d. gets its act together.
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there's the case of sergeant monk a fine young man i met personally whombings relieved of his position after objecting to his commander's plans to punish an instructor who had expressed religious objections to gay marriage. when asked about his own support of traditional marriage sergeant monk was told that he was in violation of air force policy, yes, because he supported traditional marriage he was in violation of air force policy. and after 19 years, almost 20 years, almost reaching retirement, he was fired. in performing his official duties, an air force chaplain, lieutenant counselor reyes, a joint -- at joint base elmendorf, alaska, wrote a column on "the chaplain's corner," chaplains gave all in world war ii, end quote. it traces the phrase of a famous phrase used by president
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eisenhower and connecting it to the idea that military is unique and service members must confront the grim reality of death he writes, everyone expresses some form of faith every day. whether it's religious or secular. some express faith by believing when they get up in the morning they will arrive at work in one piece. what is the root or object of your faith? is it something you can count on in times of plenty or loss? peace or chaos? joy or sorrow? success or failure? what is faith to you. and finally, the column did not speak negatively of people of faith or people of nonfaith. though the commander removed the -- removed the column from the chaplain's corner webpage, he reposted the column after media attention and congressional inquiries. i would just like to say in conclusion mr. speaker, that we are see assault on religious liberty, not just religion, not
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just christianity, but religious liberty. in a way this nation has never seen before. and bear in mind, why did our forefathers, why did our ancestors come to this nation? for different reasons. economic reasons. freedom of speech and other things. but primarily for religious freedom and that is the one freedom that appears to be slipping away in the most important venue that we have and that is in the military. because who pays a heavier price far freedom than our uniform members who stand in the gap who protect us each and every day in our own freedoms? with that, i yield back. i thank the gentlelady. mrs. hartzler: thank you so much, representative. your leadership has made a difference and appreciate your comments. i know another colleague from texas who is a captain in the army, probably has a few things to share about this.
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i'd like to hear from my friend, louie gohmert. mr. gohmert: i thank my friend from missouri for yielding and for setting up this time that we could share about what's going on and just in contrast to my friend from louisiana's examples of the abuses of military members' first amendment rights, the government is not supposed to prohibit the free exercise of religion, of course we know in the military, i knew that there are some things you give up when you're in the military you can't assemble when you want to, you can't speak when you want to, but commanders in chief have always known that when it came to religious liberty, you should not infringe upon people's religious beliefs especially when they believed they were
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fighting for a country where people could have first amendment rights to utilize and to worship god. and in fact, of course mitigating circumstance four years in the army, we didn't have a commander in chief that had issued an order attributed to george washington that people should not take the name of the lord in vain because how can we ask god's blessing on our military at the same time, the same mouth is taking god's name in vain, that was not the order of the day when i was in the army, but by the same token, you saw crosses at chapels on military installations. you saw crosses inside of chapels, outside of chapels, and now they've been removed. we've been -- now they been removed, we've been told from inside and outside of chapels on military installations.
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it's outrageous. we hear people call the generation in america that won world war ii, making the world safer for democracy, the greatest generation. yet if you look at what occurred during world war ii, you had a president of the united states that went on national radio on d-day and prayed about the evil forces that our troops were trying to defeat, prayed god's blessing openly, for several minutes on national radio and i was given by my aunt a new testament with a metal cover, there are all kinds of stories about the metal covers actually stopping bullets when they were placed in pockets but this on the metal cover it says, may the lord be with you.
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well, under the new rules this administration, and even though i haven't seen anything that this in chief has signed or said -- that this commander in chief has signed or said you can't practice your christian beliefs, we're not going to afford you conscience exemptions like have always been provided throughout our country, i haven't seen that but as harry truman said, the buck stops with the commander in chief. and and whether it is stopping the commander-in-chief can stop the buck and bring it to his desk and make these decisions. here is what franklin d. roosevelt did. in this new testament. may the lord be with you on the front. inside at the top it says white house, washington, as
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commander-in-chief i take commending of those who read the bible. throughout the centuries men of many faiths have found in this sacred words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. it is a fountain of strength, and now as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul signed by franklin d. roosevelt. i have been trying to find a bible in recent days that has an insubscription or signature from the current commander-in-chief who says he takes great inspiration from franklin roosevelt and instead do we not find bibles being encouraged and handed out, we see crosses being
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taken back, people being told they can't have their own bible where people might see it. it is an outrage. and i worry for our nation, just as george washington did, how can we expect god to bless a nation that is not being allowed to even praise god publicly in our military. it is a sad day. but what's more, if george washington is right, we are stripping our nation of the opportunity to have our military blessed because of what was done in prior military that brought about blessings. even if you don't believe in god whatsoever, why wouldn't you want to at least have an insurance policy that maybe the reason they were blessed was
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because of things done like this in our military, signed by the president of the united states. obviously, this is a stamp of the president's signature. but again, i appreciate my friend from missouri #militaryfreedom. we encourage people to utilize that to give us information because we want to help our military protect us. and i thank you for this effort and for this hour and encourage all of our colleagues, mr. speaker, to stand up for what's right for our military, their freedom of religion. thank you. mrs. hartzler: thank you. i appreciate you bringing your bible and sharing that story. it brings home how things are changed and we need to go back having an administration and department of defense that protects and preserves and promotes the exercise of religion among our troops for
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the protection and blessing for not om them but our country. i would like to yield to randy hultgren to share on this important topic. mr. hultgren: i greesht your important work on this. this is such an important subject for us to be talking about. i rise tonight troubled by what appears to be growing attacks on the religious freedom on those serving in our military. our great nation was founded on the principle that all men and women have a natural right to freely practice their respective faiths and these rights extend equally to the brave men and women to those who serve in our armed forces. our documents protect the inalienable rights including that of religious liberties. congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. in 178 , the father of the
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constitution, james madison said, the religion of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. he recognized that one's faith contains dictates that barring harm from others, demands obedience and obedience not only through thought and behavior but by speech and action as well. individual's faith is inseprable from the way he or she acts. if they curtail religious action, they would be overstepping the bounds of the constitution. unfortunately, over the past several years, a string of aggressive government actions has child the religious practice of members of our armed forces. these soldiers defend our freedoms abroad, but did not expect to lose those freedoms at home.
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earlier this year, an officer in the air force was asked to remove the bible he kept on his desk. he was told his displaying his bible made others uncomfortable and he could as a superior be seen as forcing his religion on others. does this mean that president obama's forced his religion on others when he put his hand on president lincoln's bible as he sworn his oath. when did freedom for religion become freedom from religion. the government has stifled all religion. the so-called protection from religion religious expression extends further into service members' personal lives. a chaplain was republic pri hand manneded for expressing her own views. her post was created in her free time and only visible to her friends and family. wops the post was discovered, a
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superior demanded she remove it or potentially face disciplinary action including loss of rank and pay. she eventually was forced to rehoff the post. these are not isolated instances but reflect an institution-wide problem. a memo from 2011 to walter reed medical center. it said, no religious items, for example, bibles, reading material are allowed to be given away or used during a visit. so the memo prevented visiting priests from bringing his bible or an imam his koran to the hospital. this sparked a national outcry and it was rescinded. so the memo was accidental. what about military briefings,
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are they accidental as well. last month several were advised to treat the american family association as a hate group. apparently the christian ministry support for marriage was enough to slap on the hate group label. the pentagon later retracted the label. similarly at west point, think tank released a report at the beginning of the year labeling far right conservative groups specifically those holding pro-life values as domestic terrorists because a few radical activates used violence. the report lumped in everyone. it's dangerous and disingenuous to paint with such broad strokes blaming entire groups for the actions of a few individuals. these are a few examples of
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rising sentiment that attacks the expression of religion in our military first and then asks questions later. taken individually, these incidents are cause for for concern. taken together we must wonder whether this widespread activity is more than just coincidence. we must wonder why a an institution has opposed those who have long championed the values the military purports to uphold. soldiers are being told that religion has no place in the military. and if they hope to rise in the ranks or escape punishment, they must leave their faith at the door. the military is making broad demands over individual service members, demands that can't be made over civilians. no one should be choosing service to country over one his
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or her faith. they should practice without fear of reprimand. the first amendment secures religious freedom for all americans including those who protect our freedoms. how could we allow this to be stripped away from our soldiers, sailors and pilots, our brothers sisters mothers and fathers in armed forces all deserve the same rights and liberties that we enjoy, the very ones that they fought to protect. let's defend them at home as they defend us abroad. again thank you for doing this. and i yield back. mrs. hartzler: thank you, representative hultgren. we should defend their rights as they are defending us and i'm looking forward and very much appreciate my colleague from michigan who is here tonight as well because he has put his life on the line starting after high school, going to serve in vietnam.
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i believe you were an infantry rifleman and served with the military police over in iraq. thank you for your service. thank you for what you are doing to defend freedoms even today as we talk about this important issue. mr. bentivolio: i thank the gentlewoman from missouri to speak on this important topic. mr. speaker, a few months ago i read a report that really bothered me. it said those labeled evangelical christians and catholics as extremists. that disturbs me and it should disturb everyone in this room. in fact, everyone in this country. we have to remember that the men and women in our armed forces represent a microcosm of america, although they have a variety of beliefs, they work together to defend us. on the battlefield, the enemy doesn't care what you look like
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or what god you worship. i serve god and country in that order, as did many of my fellow soldiers. it was the greatest honor of my life to serve my country. first as an infantry man and later in the michigan army national guard for 20 years. i can say without a doubt that the soldiers i served with represented the best america had to offer. it is still true today as well. millions of them are christians. it is wrong and disrespectful to equate those who believe intraadditional values with members of a hate group. our military should grant mutual respect to everyone in the armed services because that diversity is what makes america great. and before i close, i would like to remind everyone about that famous prayer that was mentioned
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in the gentleman from texas speech. a great general said before the soldiers embarked on that great great battle on d-day, good luck and let us all be seach the blessings of jall mighty god on this great and nobel undertaking. general dwight eisenhower. thank you. i yield back. mrs. hartzler: we have another friend from california here, representative doug lamalfa and we are glad he is here and yield time to you to hear your thoughts on this topic of religious freedom in our military. mr. lamalfa: i appreciate you leading the charge on this very important issue. probably not being noticed by a lot of americans but a lot of the mill area tear that wish to
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express their religious freedoms as they see fit. indeed, that was one of the cornstone issues of the founders several items. on taxation of course. on private property and private property rights and more importantly, the ability for americans in the new country to express their religious views as they see fit and have the freedom to do that. it's rather amazing and certainly appalling in our own military we see that going on where those rights are being suppressed. especially what we are hearing tonight from some of my previous colleagues christianity, having a bible on the desk is a problem for somebody. how can people be labeled somehow as part of a terrorist organization when actually these are peaceful enterprises when
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you are trying to bring people together under the grace of god. i have in my washington, d.c. office and i have this portrait here of general washington as a reminder, as a way for me to continue to seek humility in myself. general washington, valley forge, what a man of principle of humility and grace. this picture captures so much. it is important that he bow to god and certainly served him well and certainly the founding of this country at a very perilous time when the revolutionary war was in great peril going either way at the time. . .
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that's why i like that portrait so much, i'm glad you brought it here tonight. the reasons, as put by the founders for our religious freedom have been mentioned here. it is a right guaranteed by the first amendment. those who are willing to lay down their lives for us fought for that for all of us americans and should be guaranteed this right without any questions asked. so i feel to work to -- i feel the need to work, to fight, to uphold that right. who is taking over in our military who feelings it is acceptable to suppress this freedom of religion? i don't understand it. so we're here to protect thoser is vess members as well and their ability to have that freedom. we know the chaplaincy was forled in 1775 at the behest of general washington who knew and
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acknowledged how important religious freedom was to our soldiers. these chaplains exist to facile tit the free exercise of religion under the first amendment for service members an faithfully administer to service members of all faiths or of no faiths. i think that's a key thing to mention here. you know we've all heard about the story mentioned earlier, too, about there's no atheists in fox holes. you may have heard that phrase. it goes back to a story by father cummings, a civilian catholic priest in the philippines the phrase was coined in the japanese attack at corregidor. during the siege the father noticed non-catholics were attending his service is. some he knew weren't catholics, some he knew were atheists. they were looking for something. with the surrender, he began
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calming men down by outering the lord's prayer. he out ert the frade phrase there's no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole. we know there are all different religions in this country and those who practice no religion and we embrace on that -- embrace all that. everybody has that right. atheists are still allowed to be atheist bus to have a group of people dictate to everybody else, how many times have we seen these battles where a high school graduation, someone wants to sue to stop a prayer or a nativity scene. if you don't like it, don't pay attention to it. the rest of us see offensive things in tv, commercials, t-shirts people wear, even people's hygiene and we aren't able to go around being able to
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stop them expressing themselves that way. it certainly goes against the founding of this country to be oppressing people's religious trueviews. indeed it is contributing to i think, a breaking down of our military and its strength to have this going on. so being able to join mrs. hartzler tonight here and my other colleagues in pointing this out to the american public and doing something about it here in these halls of congress is a necessary thing. i thank my colleague for bringing this tonight and allowing me to speak. i yield back. mrs. hartzler: thank you friend thank you for your kind words expressing how porn it is we stand strong for our military. we want our military to be strong and their ability to be able to pray and hold on to their faith, express their faith is what makes them strong it's part of it. we don't want to undermine that. thank you for those words. now i'd like to turn to representative nunl lee from
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mississippi's first district to -- none lee from mississippi's first district -- nunlly from mississippi's first district. thank you for your leadership. mr. nunl lee: thank you -- mr. nun nembings lee: thank you -- mr. nunnelee: thank you mrs. hartzler. when we looked at this country we said -- look when our forefathers looked at this constitution, they said you did a good job but something is missing. the bill of rights. those 10 planks were constructed and added as part of the ratification process. i'm convinced if those 10 planks had not been added, the constitution never would have been ratify. i do not believe it is
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insignificant that the first sentence of the first amendment guarantees free dm of -- freedom of real job. congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of realor prohibiting the free exercise thereof. and our men and women in the military take an oath of office to support and defend that very constitution. but they do not surrender that first amendment right immediately when they put on a union forl. the trend of military officers displaying christians of nonprofit organizations as, quote, extremists, and a potential threat to our nation, is unconscionable. recently, they labeled the american family association, a group in my district, that by
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their very name indicates they are committed to the preservation of the american family, and the fact that they're labeled as an extremist organization, unbelievable. these developments report of what appears to be a mounting culture of religious intolerance and hostility toward christians in the military. i do not believe that adequate steps have been taken to address the root cause of these incidents and that's why i put together the letter that mrs. hartzler referred to to the secretary of the army, along with a number of my colleagues to communicate our concerns regarding these developments and as for the details on what the army is doing to foster a culture of religious liberty among our men and women in the military. while our founding fathers prohibited the establishment of state religion they purposely did not restrict references to god or personal beliefs in civic dialogue.
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military service or everyday life. mr. speaker, the dais on which you sit, over which you preside in this great house, has behind it the american flag. above that flag are the four words of our national motto. in god we trust. congress has a responsibility to fight attempts within our military to restrict religious liberty of those who serve our nation and to work to safeguard their freedoms. it's intolerable for those brave men and women serving our country to be denied these free throw doms they are putting their lives on the line to defend. i yield back. mrs. hartzler: thank you for your leadership on that and bringing up those excellent points. now i would like to turn to my friend from kansas, from the west, tim huelskamp, to share
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his thoughts on this important topic, military religious freedom. mr. huelskamp: thank you, congresswoman, i appreciate your leadership on this top ex. it is so essential just to our brave men and women who serve in the military but to our foundation as a nation. i would like to identify two story that was occurred in the last month and a half in the military, very troubling. during the government slowdown in october the administration as was reported in some parts of the media required all chapels serviced by contract chaplains to be closed. in particular, i visited with father ray leonard, who served a naval base in south carolina. he was not informed at the time. he showed up for saturday evening mass to a locked door at the chapel. door welcomed.
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shut down, go away. people from his congress geags were pouring into the parking lot and were forbidden, a locked door, not allowed to enter. he said, i'd like to volunteer, i'd like to do it for free, i'd like to say mass. the goth said no. father leonard had just come back from serving as a missionary for 10 years in china. his words were, i expected that in china. i expected a locked church door in china but not in america. not on a military base. the department of defense decided they were going to punish men and women of faith by locking those doors. another case of a chaplain in texas, first day of the government slowdown, he was ordered, come to the office. by 10:00 his blackbury was taken from him -- blackberry was taken from him, his computer was not allowed to him, he was forbidden to answer private call he was forbid ton answer emails, he was forbidden
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to communicate with any of the folks he was he was counseling, people with ptsd. it's those kinds of things you wonder what they're thinking at the department of defense in this administration. because as james madison wrote, conscience is the most sacred of all property but if you refuse access, refuse access to chaplains the folks putting their lives on the line, i was in the white house in april. in which the congressional medal of honor was granted to father emil. the president talked about his great history of how inspire catholics and protestants and jews and muslims at that death camp. he received an award. tremendous honor. he's a tremendous man a tremendous leader. but he's the very type of person that i believe today would not be allowed to serve in our u.s. military. that's a shame.
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but most devastating, it's not just a shame, it's a loss. the men and women who are looking for that type of support, that type of encouragement that type of inspiration. this was a nation founded with his blessings and then we turn around and lock the church door. we turn around and kick chaplains out who actually have views that differ p with the administration. this is an atk on religious liberty in the military who will be there to defend the religious liberty of our members of the armed services? i yield back. mrs. hartzler: thank you very much. we started off with a poster of george washington praying at valley forge. we've come a long way in this country. you have heard the stories tonight of how freedom to express that religion is under attack. it's time for the pattern of intimidation and intolerance and coercion to stop. it's time to preserve and defend religious freedom to keep america strong, keep our armed services strong. mr. speaker work that, i yold back.
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the speaker pro tempore: -- i yield ba. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- the gentlewoman yields back. under the speaker announced policy of january 3rks2013, the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher, for 30 minutes. mr. rohrabacher: i want to associate myself with the comments of my colleagues. this struggle started with our founding fathers and will not end with us. every generation has to peck up this etorch or the light of liberty and justice will be ex-ting westerned and it will never be recovered. tonight i would like to talk about a significant part of our freedom and liberty and it deals specifically with patents and intellectual property rights. and i know sometimes over the years people when they hear,
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oh, someone's going to talk about patent law, there's a big yawn but this has been a significant part of the success of the united states. our founding fathers believed that with technology and freedom and yes, with profit motive, that this was the formula that would uplift human kind, that would make america a great country in which all of our people benefited from this greatness and this prosster i -- prosperity we would have here. they believed it so strongly they wrote into our constitution a guarantee of the ownership rights of inventors and authors. it is the only place in the body of the constitution where the word right is used. the rest of the rights we have just been talking about were part of our -- the bill of rights, but in the constitution itself article 1, section 8, clause 8, it states, congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and
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inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries, end of quote. this provision has served america well leading to a general prosperity that's been the envy of the world. it's led to national security and it's led to, yes, average people living decent lives. and it is not just something that is fleeting, it is at the heart of our system, the right to own one's technology that they invent, has pushed our people into one of
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the world's greatest power. this provision has served america well leading to prosperity, national security, and yes, this average life of our people that we can be proud of. americans -- some people think it's just hard work that has caused this great success of our country. yes, americans work hard, but so do other people. technology has made the difference. technology multiplies our results of our work of our people and hard work of our people into prosperity. that is the secret of america's success. it's technology and freedom. and yes, it was our strong patent system that made this difference. we have had a strong patent system since the founding of our country, as i just pointed out. yet, today multinational corporations, run by americans, want to diminish the patent
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protection that our country has had traditionally. over the years, we fought -- and i say we fought, meaning since i have been in congress for 25 years, we have fought time and again and fought back sometimes defeating, but sometimes to compromise but these are attempts to weaken our patent system, which is the basis of american prosperity. what has been happening over the years? for example, we have had a strong patent system in the united states but a weak patent system in the rest of the world. that's why they aren't prospering. they were set up so big guys could rob from the little guys. our patent system was set up that the ownership is a gift from god and can't be stolen by a power grab by a big company. while overseas in japan and
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europe, that is president true. they have tried over the last 25 years to harmonize our law with the european law and the japanese law. they call it harmon niesing with the rest of the world. they want our law to be weakened rather than bringing up the other laws from around the world to our standards. for example, up until recently there has been little change in this, but they were trying to propose that we have a publishing law or patent application that they have overseas. what do they have overseas? in japan and in europe, someone files for a patent and if it has haven't been issued within 18 months, the patent is published. now our system in the united states has been the opposite. you file for a patent and it has been against the law for anyone to even indicate what is in that
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patent application until the patent is issued. and if it takes a year, two years, 10 years because it is such a complicated issue, however long it takes, our inventors knew that no one was going to get a hold of their patent information until the patent was granted. and again in europe, what they wanted to do and tried to do here in this body, but we fought them back, is have that same system, which is call the steal american technologies act, because after 18 months. we have had a tradition in the united states that you do get a certain time of protection. that's what our constitution says. traditionally, it has been 17 years. but that 17 years starts from when you are issued the patent. in europe, after 20 months, after 20 months, no matter if
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you've got that patent or not. that clock starts ticking and by the time you end up with a patent sometimes you've lost all but a year, maybe all of your time for an error to enjoy the rights and the rewards of having invented something. under our system again, once that clock starts, it only starts after you have been issued your patent and you get 17 years of guaranteed time. these corporations were trying to change that and saying we need to harmon mies with the rest of the world. the reason they were doing it is they want to steal from the american invent tore, the same way these big boys have been stealing from people in europe and japan and inventors
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throughout the world. let me once again note that for 25 years, i have been fighting for the small inventors struggling to defend the patent rights for these young and maybe not young maybe just people who are middle-aged and old as well, but people who don't have means but people who have ideas, people who are creating, who come up with the breakthroughs. farnkworth is here in the capitol hill. he invented the picture tube. he fought this all the way to the supreme court and the supreme court cited with this one lower-income individual who had to enlist people to invest in his court case against rca in order to bring that case to the
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supreme court. and there is a statue in our congress to mr. farnsworth. rca was trying to steal it knowing he wouldn't have to give credit to this hick from utah. supposedly there has been always some excuse that has been used by these corporations multinational, people who have businesses all over the world, some of them headed by americans. but even the americans no longer think they have to watch out for the united states. they're watching out for their global interest of their company. well they have to have some reason some excuse of why to take away or diminish the patent rights of our own people and harmonize it with someone else. in the past they have used the excuse of the submarine patenter. this is just one of the
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derogatory terms they came up with in order to justify the fact that they were diminishing the property rights of our intellectual inventors and those people that were coming up with our new technology. and they come up with these derogatory terms. these big companies have big p.r. firms to come up with a term that can be used as sort of an excuse to say, yes, to diminishing america's patent protection for the little guys. after all, who would support these big multinational corporations? they said we want to take anything these people invept and give them whatever we want to give them or not give them anything. we want to have the right to steal from them and that's why we want to change the rules. they wouldn't get anywhere. instead, business is being treated unfairly by submarine patenters.
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that's what they have used before and now they have a new term. in this wave, this onslaught facing this wave after wave for 20 years. now they insist we need patent change because of the threat of the so-called patent troll. and they -- there will be some word that they can come up with that seems to be sinister enough to scare the american people and letting the big guys steal the ideas from the little guys. these so-called pat interest trolls are companies that represent patent holders. they are people that invented pat especially or represent the companies who actually have bought into pat especially that represent the patent holders themselves. they are engaged basically in
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defending the rights of patent rights against the infringement of those rights of the patents they own. their pat especially are no different. they call them patent t rmpomplmplmp s, but we have people engaged in the business of enforcing pat especially that are not being enforced. and they basically are seeking to protect some little guys who don't have the money or to see that they can join in partnership with people in order to maximize their benefit from the patents in which these people hold. they are valid patents. all these inyou endo. sinister thoughts and phrases to make it sound like we aren't talking about legitimate patents. and we are also talking about huge corporate infringers that would have us believe that those
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patents are unfair and evil because patent trolls are involved . what makes the difference between the good patents owned by large corporations themselves, these corporations we are talking about, do own patents and quite frankly, try to enforce other patents that they have accumulated and bought, what makes them different from the patent trolls? it is someone who is identified out for profit that technology did not invent. oh my goodness, you have someone who didn't invent something and want to make some money by investing or joining a partnership by someone who did invent it. that is not as sinister as patent troll sounds. we know lawyers can get people to settle just because they
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don't want to go through the procedures. that doesn't mean we should destroy the right of people to sue when they have a legitimate claim because some lawyers go out and misuse the system. that should be up to a judge or a jury, not a restriction on the right of people to file suit in order to protect the rights and to gain compensation if their rights have been violated. if the small inventor doesn't have the resources to defend their patent, an individual company can buy those rights and you can buy them like you buy an individual piece of property. that's what it intellectual property or create a partnership with the inventor, and that means they can then try to seek a suit or some sort of compensation or infringement on those patents. i have consulted with a number of deprupes and they have
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reafffirmed to me that the legislation that is now being proposed by the judiciary committee further disadvantages the little guy against the deep-pocketted multinational corporations that are behind the changes that are now being proposed in the united states congress, which i will detail in a few moments. yes, they are using the guys of targeting these patent trolls and hope to achieve alegislation that will prevent little guys from actually selling these products to these big guys or have a dramatic impact on the ability or dramatic impact on the ability of people who own patents to actually file suit against those big infringers and do this in the name of controlling the patent trolls.
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what does that mean? that is someone who hasn't invented something but working with the inventor to see the rights are respected. how hard a business it is in order to see that they have the resources to enforce their patent rights against large corporations mainly or even if they are medium-sized corporations who are infringing on a patent meaning they are using this invention and the inventor says you are infringing, i would like you to pay me the rights on this while i still own it and the answer is, sue me because the big corporations know full well they know full well that they are -- that they have deep pockets and can handle anything and the little guy, well especially if they get this law passed the little guy won't be
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able to seek help and much more complicated. tonight i draw the american people to h.r. 3309 the innovative act -- the innovation act, introduced by chairman goodlatte with 14 bipartisan co-sponsors. this bill is scheduled to be marked up in the house judiciary committee next week, even though the committee has only held one hearing since this bill was introduced and it was only introduced eight legislative days ago. something is being rammed through the process here, big time. people need to see that and what are they trying to do? why are they ram, inc. it through? because this is the multinational corporations who want to diminish the rights of the little guy and only we the american people can stop that with our sense of fairness and that we need to make sure the
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power isn't in the hands of the corporations who are not necessarily in allegiance with the united states. the witnesses from the hearings on this legislation is -- have included a former patent director, and he made it clear we should move slowly and with great care in making the many changes in patent law that are part of this legislation, especially in light of the fact that no one yet understands the implications of the last patent bill that was passed through congress during the last congress. they passed a patent bill called the america invents act which is in the process of being implemented and interpreted by the patent office and by the courts. so we haven't digested that last bite the congress took out of the patent law apple and now they want taos gobble down a few more. in and of itself, this legislation is too broad, its implications are too unclear and its impact and effects are
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unknowable. that's what witnesses and other experts have indicated and the conclusion is move forward with caution, not ram something through in a few days. but that's not what's happening. congress is being railroaded into passing this legislation on top of the last legislation which we haven't even figured out how it works yet. now of course they've got the patent trolls in which -- they're telling us to be afraid of so we don't have to worry about any of that don't think about it, don't think, just remember patent trolls are sinister and we've got to stop them and pass this bill. that's what most of these people are hearing here in congress. congress needs to hear from their own constituents about bills leek this. so what's going on? this congressional ramrodding exemplifies the battle to diminish america's patent system and it's been going on for 25 years, wave after wave of attack on america's patent
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system, we fought them back most of the time but this time we could lose and if you lose one that system is changed forever. according to the co-sponsors of h.r. 3309, it is an attempt to combat this problem of patent trolls and here it is even though the stud cri mandated by congress in the last patent bill, they mandated this study by congress, and that study that was mandated by the last law shows that this whole much-heralded patent troll problem, is not the major driver of lawsuits that are we're being told and has not created, no t--- n-o-t created new lawsuits. most of the decisions will make it much more complicated, much more costly, much more challenging to bring a lawsuit
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for patent infringement. that's what it's all about. they want to make it more difficult to challenge them, instead, if what we're really talking about are people abusing the patent system in order to abuse these businessmen, we should be instead making it cheaper and simpler and easier to defend against baseless accusations of infringement. we are being asked to raise the bar for an inventor to bring a lawsuit to defend his or her rights, rather than lowering the bar to allow a small business to defend itself against frivolous lawsuits. in addition, the claim of technical correction under that claim, this legislation proposes to remove the patent system's only independent judicial review process, section 45 of title 35 if this
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passes, inventors who are not satisfied with the patent office administrative process will have no recourse new york recourse although this safeguard of judicial recourse has been in american law since 1836. this isn't some antiquated process. it's an independent judicial review and last year the supreme court reaffirmed the importance of having judicial review when you have people in the patent office who are defining the property rights of american inventors something so important to our country. now the patent office has requested that judicial review be done away with because it is burdensome for them to defend their actions in court on the rare occasion that this happens so -- oh, it's burdensome. the patent office wants to strip away the rights of americans because it's
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inconvenient to the bureaucracy. here's where we got the bureaucracy and multinational corporations working hand in glf. this legislation going before the judiciary committee here in the house next week is consistent with a decades-long war being waged on america's independent inventors. mr. speaker, how many minutes do i have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has approximately seven minutes. will the gentleman yield to the gentleman from texas and maintain his time? mr. rohrabacher: yes, ewill. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker i send to the desk a privilege red port from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 413 resolution providing for considering of the bill h.r. 3350 to authorize health insurance insurers to continue to offer for sale current individual health insurance coverage in satisfaction of the minimum health insurance coverage rirpte and for other
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purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the matter is referred to the house calendar and ordered print. the gentleman is recognized for seven minutes. mr. rohrabacher: here's some sections of that bill, h.r. 3309 which will be going through the judiciary committee next week and how it undermines america's patent system and patent rights of the little guy and opens up a power grab by the multinational corporations. which is something we've been experiencing for the last 25 years and have had to beat back every time, well, here we go. here's some provisions of this bill. h.r. 3309 creates additional information requirement which is means when you're filing a legal case for infringement, it's going to cost you a lot more. there's more paperwork and thus a more -- and thus more potential for a dismissal of the case on a technicality. more paperwork means heeger
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cost more likely to have the case thrown out on a technyality which increases, not decreases, the chances of small patent holders being infringed. and this bill also switches to loser pays. and of course loser pays sounds like a good idea but when you talk in terms of patent rights, what we've got is these huge corporations who got deep pockets and if you end up having loser pays, the little guy thes for him to actually try to have -- having loser pay means that this big big corporation can put massive expenses ontoer that defense where you have only smaller amount that's available so you will then put at great disadvantage. again, making the little guy putting them at the disadvantage of these big multinational corporations. h r. 309 -- 3309 adds a new
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dimension to this loser pays. it allows the court to breng other into the case involuntarily as a plaintiff. if they have an interest in the patent, they make them liable for the cost system of you have somebody like milo farnsworth, whose idea was stolen, anyone who would invest in his lawsuit, which is what he had to do to take it all the way to the supreme court and god bless the supreme court of the united states and the united states of america that we have a court that sided with this little guy but now they want to change that so the milo farnsworths can't get people to invest in their suit because at that component they are then liable for the court costs of the big corporation that's being taken on. this is so broad that people can be made part of an infringement case even if their interest in the patent is just legal or innocent such as those who have licensed the patent.
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this, combined with loser pay provision, means that if the patent holder loses the infringement suit, anyone who has done business with him may lose or be held financially liable. what a disincentive for people to support the efforts of small inventors. this is absurd. yet this is what's going to be going through the judiciary committee next week, just luke they tried to push this on us for 25 years and the players behind this are big multinational corporations trying to steal the technology that has been invented by america's small inventors. h.r. 3309 allows the courts to limit discovery until clarifying the patent and infringement claim. what does that mean? the case will take longer an thus cost more. the transparency of patent ownership, filing a claim for infringement a patent owner
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must, according to the provisions of this proposed legislation, provide information about all parties with an interest in the patent to the patent office and to the accused infringer. as a result, we have an elimination of privacy in these business dealings, the little guy is totally exposed, as are his friends. here again we're trying to do everything we can in this legislation trying to do -- this legislation is trying to do everything it can to try to get people not to support the little inventor. don't get on his side. don't give him any strength to enforce his rights because he invented something that now some nult national corporation has stolen and wants to, what wants to manufacture it in china. well once again this requirement has been invoked, the patent holder must maintain a -- here it comes, the patent holder will also have to
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maintain a current record of information on file in the patent office. thus we have, again bureaucratic reporting requirements for these little enventors. that stuff to a big corporation means nothing, but to a small inventor it means all his time and all his resources and if indeed they do not report if this is -- let's put it this way. those -- it dramatically increases -- if this is -- if he doesn't report it right he could lose the intellectual property rights he's trying to protect. in addition, the patent holder would be forced to pay recordkeeping fees to maintain a current record at the patent office. there we have bureaucratic fees, all aimed at the little go because the big guys can afford this, they've got people on the payroll got lawyers on the payroll. then we have the customer suit exemption.
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this section appears to remove all the current section 296 of title 35, which specifically allows, here goes, this is really significant this allows inventors to sue governments who infringe on their patents. what we're talking about here is if a government steals a person's intellectual property, that it will -- it permits them to get away with it. this immas cue lates the right of the american people to hold their government accountable if the government steals their technology. this is totally con try american tradition. limits of discovery in a court case unless the judge determines it necessary and appropriate, an infringer, section 6 of h.r. 3309, an infringer, especially big ones like large multinational
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corporations may make an infringement paper trail -- oh wrea. this requires a paper trail, what we're saying here this section that is so broad and so diverse that plaintiffs will have to ask repeatedly for discovery. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. if the gentleman will -- under the speaker's anouned spoifl january 3, 201, the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. foxx, for 30 minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague from california for his concern. mr. speaker, the decisions we make in this body matter to the people in this country. they matter to families. when washington chose to
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radically alter health care, something that impabblingts every american and comprises -- that impacts every american and comprises 1/6 of the united states economy, the effects extend well beyond committee hearing rooms courtrooms and government office suites. the effects are felt in doctors' offices they are felt in homes across the fifth district i represent. they are felt by moms and dads who are finding out the health care they had counted on keeping, insurance they had budgeted for and know they can afford won't be -- won't be around next year. . it was estimated that 160,000 north carolinians received that news. my constituent dawn from wilkes county is one of them. she wrote to me to tell me exactly how washington a's
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interference with her health care is affecting her. let me let dawn speak for herself. dear representative foxx, never in my life have i been without health insurance. i'm writing to share with you the impact of the affordable care act on my health care options. i work part time and purchase my own health insurance. in order to have an affordable monthly premium and to have the possibility of budgeting for dental and vision care as well as general medical care, i've had a high deductible health savings account, h.s.a., for several years. the affordable care act has eliminated my current h.s.a. with blue cross/blue shield of north carolina. i currently have an annual deductible of $5,000 and a monthly premium of $1600.30.
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-- $160.30. the a.c.a. compliant replacement policy which i have been offered by blue cross/blue shield will have a $5,500 annual deductible and will cost $478.60 per month. even with a 10% higher deductible, this new plan will cost $318.30 per month more than what i can now afford. that is a 198% increase. almost three times what i now pay. for a plan with a higher deductible. please help me understand how this is affordable care. my husband and i do not have cable or satellite television high-speed internet, smart phones or other optional services which we can cancel in
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order to pay the astounding increase in my health insurance premium. we do qualify for a partial subsidy to help cover the premium, but that does not change the $5,743.20 annual price for this meager health insurance policy. it merely shifts part of the expense to our children and some other taxpayers. i have spoken with representatives in the health care exchange and and with independent shunes brokers. -- insurance brokers. but they offer little hope. do i have any option in order to continue to live within my means and afford to pay for my own health care? i am truly bewildered. sincerely, dawn. mr. speaker, reading dawn's
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letter breaks my heart. this is a woman who plans ahead. she budgets carefully. she takes pride in her work. and responsibility for herself and for her family. obamacare is changing things drastically for her and millions of other americans like her. with about a month to go before the affordable care act renders her current health insurance illegal, dawn is left with questions. the last of which i'll repeat again. is it possible to live within my means and afford to pay for my own health care? americans took the president at his word when he said they'd be able to keep the care and doctors they liked. they trusted that a law called the affordable care act would
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actually make health care more affordable. they believed that the president wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class through this law. mr. speaker, the president's broken promises are hurting families like dawn's. but the higher premiums and the canceled plans are central to obamacare. the law will work only if many americans are compelled to leave their current plans and pay more for government-approved insurance. now, as the country is becoming better acquainted with this very sad reality democrats and republicans from washington must recognize that repeal is still the only way a to solve all a of obamacare's problems. the answer to america's health
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care challenges is not going to be found in 100% partisan solutions like the affordable care act. we should work together to enact honest patient-centered reforms that empower families like dawn's with choices and custom care options, so that she can continue to pay for health care and still live within her means. mr. speaker, thank you, i yield back. mr. speaker, i believe the gentleman from california would like to be recognized. i yield to the gentleman from california. mr. rohrabacher: thank you very much. i have a few more minutes to finish my remarks and if the lady would yield to me that time i'd be very appreciative. ms. foxx: i'm happy, mr.
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speaker, to yield to the gentleman from california for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. rohrabacher: ok. so, i would hope this could be attached to the latter part of the speech that i put together a few minutes ago. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rohrabacher: section 6 of h.r. 3309 calls for a limit on discovery, when we're talking about patent suits, just so you'll know again, one of the results of this is hard to understand. what it means is that if you limit the discovery that someone says, i invented this and i'm trying to have discovery with a huge corporation to find out how they inge fringe -- infringed on my patent if you limit that discovery, that little guy has to have more motions it costs a lot more money and thus the little guys can't afford to bring a suit against the big guys. so, basically what we've got is a list of things in this bill
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that make it extremely more difficult for the little guy to afford to support and defend his own patents. and on top of that, then we have this attack on patent petroleums who are there to try -- trols who are there to try to assist anybody who can't afford to enforce his or her own patent. this is a boone to the huge corporations, the multinational corporations and perhaps foreign corporations who also get involved in this. small business outreach section , there's a -- let us note that the section 7, the small businessedcation outreach information access says that the director of the patent office will create a database on patent trolls, then create a strategy to teach businesses how to defend themselves against patent trolls. we've got the creation of an enemy's list.
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that's what we have here. justification for people to be put on an enemy's list. and finally let me just note here section 9. impro. and -- improving technical corrections, which it states it eliminates section 45, title 35. again, this is one of the most important things they're trying to slip through this process. this would again, and i'm repeating this because it's so important, eliminates the independent judicial review of patent applications which has been part and law of the land since 1836 a huge emass clation, a cut in the rights of people who are seeking patents and vendors, the creative people in our country. this would eliminate their right, if the patent office is not treating them fairly or has
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made a mistake, for a judicial review that has been a right of the americans since 1836. this is horrendous, this bill being considered next week by the house judiciary committee is not reform. it is an antipatent bill consistent with decades-long antipatent attacks by multinational corporations who want to emssculate america's patent system and these multinational corporations, may or may not be headed by americans, but they are not watching out for the interests of our country and especially they aren't watching out for the innovators and inventors of our country. i ask the american people, the patriots, to call their members of congress and oppose h.r. 3309, the innovation act, and i would add one last element as my colleague was just talking about, the obamacare issue that we are now discussing here.
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one of the things that i have found most objectionable to the -- what is it, the american affordability act. they have a to provision in that bill -- they have a provision in that bill that gives a 2.5% tax on the gross receipts of anyone who invents a medical device. our inventors have helped increase the standard of living of our people, have improved the chances for survival survival of people's families, by inventing new technologies that have enabled us to fight diseases that have taken millions of people throughout the history of the planet, taken them away in horrible agony. we have our innovators and our inventors now creating these new things. i have a personal situation in
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this, where a loved one is suffering from cancer. and that loved one has had implanted in her a little -- it's a portal, they call it, it's under the skin and it permits this person to have chemotherapy and blood transfusions without having to go to the blood vessels. this invention has saved this person's life because 20 years ago that person would probably have had -- a young girl, would probably have had collapsed blood vessels or died in some type of situation where infection from putting the needles in one's arm -- this is what happened 20 years ago and why the survival rate now of such cancer patients has gone up. i feel like hugging the person who invented that device.
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that person deserves more love and gratitude. this administration has seen fit to punish this person for this creativity and this innovation. this administration put a 2.5% tax not on the net, not after all these expenses this inventor went into to invent this all the expenses into producing it, all the expense that goes into distributing it, making sure people knew how to use this new device. no no, thanks 2.5% -- this is a 2.5% tax on the gross income. it's a horrendous penalty on the person who has saved the lives of all these people. that's what this affordability act is all about. that's what obamacare is all about. in some misguided idea an idea
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that we're going to redistribute the wealth and take care of everybody through government. we are now doing things that are of great harm to the people of this country. not just to the infrastructure, the financial infrastructure of our health care, which is collapsing under the incompetence of this law that is foisted upon them with lies no, but also we are now facing the situation where the very heart and soul of progress of human progress, medical technology is being punished through this law. i join with my colleagues and say that this is something we should all join together repeal and start again and try to do a better job next time. i yield back to -- ms. foxx: i thank my colleague for his comments and with that, mr. speaker, i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair,
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the ayes have it. the motion is >> it looks like most americans will be able to hang onto their insurance plans for a little bit. what do we hear from president obama today? >> the president said that he
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proposed a solution that would allow insurance companies to continue offering plans that they were selling in 2013 into 2014. this is an attempt to provide transitional relief to people who got their cancellation notices that there land would no longer be a viable option under obamacare. >> chairman fred upton of the commerce committee has a bill on the house floor. it does something similar. how does his bill differ from what the president is proposing? >> it is another technical. the upton build the house will vote on would allow insurance companies to keep plans. what the president is proposing is that those plans can exist for only the people who have the coverage. that ensures -- it limits how many people can get a hold of these plans. our insurance protections the affordable care act has at the present and democrats say is
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important to have in the 2014 post-obamacare, post-affordable care act world. >> will democrats support that bill? if not, do they have an alternative that they might get to propose? >> house democrats were putting a lot of pressure on the white house to come up with some solution that they could vote for. they worry about their constituents at home getting cancellation notices. they worry that they will get blamed for that in the next election. they are helping the president break the promise that constituents would be able to keep the insurance coverages that they like. so far, many democrats who were thinking about voting for this bill from fred upton says they are reconsidering.
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they might oppose it. the white house says the upton bill would undermine the affordable care act. they worried about a lot of defections. i think we will see some democrats both in the measure. some of these bills have gotten support from republicans. we might see more than normal on this. the huge defections, hundreds or more democrats the white house is worried about -- >> there is an article that you contributed at the headline says democrats are not fully satisfied with obamacare fix. there is a picture of two senators. what did you hear from a senator today? >> it is interesting. in the senate, most of the democrats who are facing election in 2014 were not so
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happy with this measure. they want to be able to say that they passed something or at least a chance to cast a vote in favor of some kind of legislative fix that would restore the promise from the president that they have broken. several democrats in 2014 are pushing for the proposal from senator landrieu. >> viewers can follow jennifer on twitter and also read your reporting at thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> early today, president obama spoke at the white house on the health care law. here is more. >> the other problem that concerns americans who have received letters from their insurers that they might need losing the plan and the
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individual market often because they no longer meet the log requirements to cover basic requirements like prescription drugs for doctors visits. as i indicated earlier i completely get how this can be upsetting to americans after they heard assurances from me that if they liked a plan, they could keep it. to those americans, i hear you loud and clear. i said i would do everything i could to fix this problem. today i'm offering an idea that would help to do it. people who have plans that predate the affordable care act can keep those plans. that was already in the law. it is called a grandfather clause. today we will extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law took effect and the people who bought plans since the law took effect. state insurance commissioners
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still have to decide what plants and cannot be sold in their states, but insurers can extend plants that would otherwise be canceled into 2014 and americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to renal in the same kind of plan. they must inform the customers of two things -- one, protections these renewed plants do not include. number two, the marketplace offers new options for better coverage and tax credit that might help bring on the costs. so, if you received one of these letters, encourage you to take a look at the marketplace, even if the website is not working as smoothly as it should. there is a tool that lets you browse. it is working just fine. this fix will not solve every problem for every person but it
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will help a lot of people. doing more will require work with congress. i have said from the beginning and willing to work with both parties to fix the problems as they arise. this is an example of what i was talking about. we can make this law work better. >> some of the president's remarks on health care from earlier today, you can see the entire comments tonight at 8 a.m. -- 8 p.m. eastern or any time on after the president's comments send my authority -- senate minority leader mitch mcconnell released a statement -- house speaker john boehner also responded, saying in part --
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next, a discussion on how the american people might play a role in ending the gridlock in the nations capital. from "washington journal", this is 50 minutes. >> we are back with the president and founder of voice of the people. he also works at the university of maryland school of policy. you will talk about gridlock in washington. welcome. let me show the viewers with the latest polls show about gridlock and the impact of that. why do americans disapprove of congress's job performance? if you nine percent in a gallup poll says it is because of ineffectiveness and impart partisan gridlock. 90% said performance on issues. nine percent said poor epic/behavior. 50% said other. voting for incumbents, 60% of
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americans would completely replace all members of congress and 35% would keep a select few. what is going on? why are people so frustrated with gridlock in washington? >> the fact that it is quite vivid with the shutdown and all of the problems they have in solving any the problems, what they see is that what is behind this is that there are special interests that are competing and pulling on different sides of congress. that is creating gridlock. they think congress is paying attention to the special interests and not to the people. they think if they listen to the people more, this kind of gridlock would not happen. >> you wrote a piece in the christian science monitor. the founders believed that the sense of the people would naturally align with the common good. when elected leaders got at
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loggerheads, the people should as thomas jefferson said, play the role of the arbiter. >> the voice of the people is to give people a greater voice and bring them to the table where decisions are being made. our goal is to create a large sample of the american people so that there are a few hundred of them in every congressional district that are briefed on the issues that congress is dealing with. they hear the arguments, pro and con, and give their views of what congress should be doing so congress can hear from the people and the evidence is the views of the people are not as polarized as congress and they are more apt to move through these impasses. >> how would it work? >> people would be selected scientifically to be representative using the most scientific method say get a microcosm of every congressional
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district. these people would be connected online. if they do not have internet access they would be given it so it would between the representative. the policymaking simulations. everything about this would be vetted with members on both sides of the aisle and with expert so everyone is assured that it is fair and balanced and the arguments are the strongest arguments of people have the experience just like congress when they have briefs and give the pro and con argument. ultimately they weigh in. host: how would you make sure is not just the party basis i get into these party committees? but gerrymandering you have a conservative district with the people who want to get involved that would be involved.
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guest: we did a poll on this. we asked people if you are asked to be part of the people's cabinet, would you do it? 78% said that they would be willing to make that kind of commitment. americans do want their voices heard. a large segment of the population would want to be involved and not just in the standard political activists. host: how are they going to be heard by a member of congress? guest: every member of congress is an example of their constituents. they would know what their views are in their district here it and the senators in their state. host: how would these people make informed decisions? guest: they would be given these briefings. the key element of the situation around a bill or another issue would be presented to them. they may face a problem when dealing with the budget.
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if you ask do you want to cut the deficit, the majority says yes. do you want to increase taxes? no, i don't really want to increase taxes. do you want to cut spending? no, i don't want to cut spending. so it seems like the public is incoherent, but it turns out if you give people tools, here is the discretionary budget broken out, here are the sources of revenue, and here is -- tell us how you want to balance this how you want to deal with it. what do you think is the best budget we should have? people make decisions, getting constant feedback. when we did that with the representative sample of the public, they cut the deficit quite a lot, over $400 billion for just one year. that was just doing it with a discretionary budget. they show they can deal with the social security shortfall. there is real evidence that when
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you give people the tools, they go into a problem-solving mode and they do not just look out for their own interests. one thing we look for is income tax rates -- do they favor their own income bracket? they did not. they were basically the same. people do naturally step back and think about the common good. but the decisions they make are not necessarily in their self- interest. host: from a viewer -- "special interests have controlled congress for decades. why is the public sentiment rising against that now?" guest: as it happens, it is natural that the public become more marginalized. it means that members -- you would think with the internet that all those people would have better means of communicating
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with their members, but it has just created a cacophony. they cannot really sort it out. so what you really need is a scientific approach will stop -- approach. get a representative sample. the other part of it is a lot of the things that people say are based on this information, and they are expressing a concern about this, about that and not looking at the whole big picture and making a recommendation. the people think and the founders thought that is really what the founders called the calm and deliberate of the community, the solutions that people come to when they have a chance to consider. that is what should be guiding government, and this is a means to create that voice. host: a tweet -- "politicians work for the corporations. bernie sanders said all laws written are for big business. we do not fall for the red/blue checkers."
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next caller. ohio. independent caller. caller: i really appreciate what you are on to with this guest. i don't know what we can expect from apathetic and ignorant voters that do not know the issues. i want you to comment on the bad gerrymandering that took place in ohio. we get all of these congressional representatives who are republicans, and i will hang up and listen to your comment. guest: gerrymandering is another thing that has happened that has reduced the representativeness and the competitiveness and the relevance of the public because it is driven by the party. we want to give the public as a whole a voice, not just the way that the party is going to have an impact by gerrymandering or
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getting money from special interests and trying to promote their candidates or their message. it is getting to the views of the people. most people are not so partisan. when people are presented arguments pro and con on these issues, we have found that in most cases the majority finds the pro-arguments convincing somewhat and the con arguments convincing somewhat. looking on both sides of the issue, they say there is something valuable on both sides, let's try to find a way to have both of those values integrated into what we make in terms of laws and policy. host: steve is up next independent caller. caller: good morning. thanks goodness for c-span. i have two questions. how does mr. kull see america
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today, as a democracy or a republic? my second question -- how do you view the american state of today? would we be better off as a democracy or a republic? host: i go back to the founders. the founders thought in terms of a republic with democratic principles guiding it. we need leaders thinking in terms of the common good guided by the sense of the people. thought the people should play a central role. that is why they start off with the phrase, "we the people." that is what the founders thought should happen. leaders have more information and they need to make decisions. the american people agree with that. but they need to be guided by the people, by the values of the people and the founders said when they got to loggerheads
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when they were having trouble making decisions, then the public could come in and play the role of arbiter's, thomas jefferson said. when that happens, they can help break the logjam. host: from california, republican caller. caller: about the gridlock, my view is that it would be caused by the lack of a budget. by not having a federal budget it allows both sides to stay apart. what should happen is they should come together and get a budget. there are going to be sticking points, and that is where the president has to step in and break the logjam. an example that would be the six-panel superpower for the sequester. it deadlocked at 6-6. president obama should have
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stepped in and made a decision on the two points going forward. but the lack of budget for the last six or seven years has allowed both sides to stay apart, and that is the primary cause for the gridlock. guest: i think a budget would be very valuable to find a common framework for how to move forward. this is another example where the public can play an important role. when people are given the budget, they are able to come together and find a coherent budget that makes sense, that reduces the deficit. it is again the problem of polarization, and this is most likely rooted to a large extent in the special interests that have had an impact on members, encouraging them or demanding that they be more rigid. when there is that rigidity on both sides, it is hard to come together and find common ground and create something like a budget. hopefully we will have a way of
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creating a model for that and leading the way and encourage members on both sides to show similar flexibility and move toward common ground. host: sea of tranquility treats "is it true that the negative aspects of gridlock is ginned up by the press? more laws do not equal good laws, aca website?" guest: sometimes it is a question of finding the kind of common sense about the issues that can guide with the policies that are made as well as the laws that are made and just the way that congress deals between the parties between congress and the executive branch. host: so the cabinet that you want to set up where people would let the members of congress know how they feel on certain big issues -- why not go ahead and just start that? why not work with a member of congress right now and say we want to set this up, you should help us do this?
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guest: it is funny that you should say that because that is what voice of the people is doing. you can read about it on our website. we are beginning to build some cabinets in states and districts working with members interested in doing this, so we will begin with foundation money to start building those cabinets one at a time. we ultimately see this as a public/private partnership, that the public needs to play a role, and thus we are looking for donations to help out toward building the citizen cabinets. that is the purpose of the voice of the people organization. host: "the armory cause of gridlock is the absence of your earmarks." guest: i don't know that i would agree with that.
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earmarks are controversial. it would be constructive and help counter some of the effect of special interests through the earmarks. host: we go to sean next. democratic caller. caller: good morning. hello, mr. kull. what do you see as the limits of congressional reform? do you ever foresee partial elimination of the house? if the original intention was to have the most responsive body of elected officials, do you think this could be replaced with something from federal or social media platform?
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do you think this would be more effective? it seems like elections have been decided based on scandals. in 2006 i think there were close to 20 congressional scandals in the house. people really are not voting based on issues, they are voting on gossip. host: all right. steven kull? guest: i don't think we will have a complete transformation of the structure of congress. we have some trouble on the agreement of running the daily business of congress, the budget, and so on. but i do think there are reforms that have the potential for reducing the influence of money and for moving beyond polarization and giving the people of voice. host: for more information, you can go to thank you, sir. appreciate it. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> coming up on the next
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"washington journal" and look at the president's health care law. our guest is congressman andy harris of maryland. then a congressman from michigan is here to talk about the health care law, farm bill negotiations come and pending changes to federal on appointment insurance. "washington journal" is live every day at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> here is a poem that comes directly out of my boyhood in detroit. sundays my father got up early and put his clothes on. made bank fires blaze. no one ever thanked him. i would wake and hear the cold splintering and breaking. rooms are warm. i would slowly rise and dress.
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speaking indifferently to him who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. what did i know? what did i know of love austere and lonely offices? >> robert hayden is one of the major poets of our time. i find whatever i feel like. reading poetry, kagan his books and go over them again and again. his poetry principles and his prose -- one of the attractive features is that all of his poems are written in different styles and different voices and different forms and techniques. he was very deliberate about this from the beginning. many poets write well, but they write essentially the same poem over and over again. that hayden was determined to try to make every problem unique
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as it could be. he writes historical poems personal poems comic poems dramatic alums. -- dramatic poems. he is a fascinating figure. he represents the world of early detroit, detroit in the teens and 20s of the 20th century all the way through the depression and the war and the aftermath. the life that people lived in the 50s and 60s. he was part of the civil rights movement. there are so many areas in which he has written beautifully and compellingly. i'm delighted that there is attention being paid to him at his centennial. >> the life of public robert hayden this weekend as the tv and american history tv look at the history and literary life of
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ann arbor, michigan, saturday at noon on c-span two and send at 5 p.m. on c-span three. >> i knew so much have been written about teddy. i needed another story. i got into town -- i figured out the difference between them to. i started reading about the progressive era and the magazines in the press. these guys are at the center of it. historians are writing -- these people were the vanguard of the progressive movement. i started reading about them. he came into my life. >> roosevelt, taft, and the muckrakers sunday night with the "bully pulpit" author on c-
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span's "q&a"." >> from a young age, jaclyn bouvier like to write. should often create poems for her parents. she would write a poem and illustrated. in the fall of 1915, jaclyn bouvier entered a very well- known writing contest and had a winning essay. one was a self-portrait. who are three people in history you wish you had known? in the first two, she mentions a french poet and oscar wilde the author and a russian ballet -- she was hired as inquiring camera girl. one, we have on display -- she has interviewed vice president nixon and john f. kennedy.
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as we know in her later life the last part of her life, she was very prolific editor of books in new york city and working with several different authors i've close to several different topics. >> >> see it this weekend on c- span. our series continues live monday looking at lady bird johnson. >> coming up, president obama announces in executive order to allow people to keep their current health care plans for a year. we follow with senator landrieu of louisiana to allow people to keep herman it plans permanently.
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later, houston the credit leaders talk about the president's announcement. a day after the re- president obama announced an executive order to stem it insurance plan cancellations to allow people to keep current plans for one year. a quote from by the president saying changing the rules after health plans have met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers. we take a look now at president obama's announcement from the white house. >> good morning. today i want to update the american people on our efforts to implement and improve the affordable care act, and i'll take a couple of your questions. but before i do, i just want to say a few words about the
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tragedy that's unfolded in the philippines. over the past few days, i think all of us have been shaken by the images of the devastation wrought by typhoon haiyan. it's a heartbreaking reminder of how fragile life is, and among the dead are several americans. so our prayers are with the filipino people, and with filipino americans across our country who are anxious about their family and friends back home. one of our core principles is, when friends are in trouble, america helps. as i told president aquino earlier this week, the united states will continue to offer whatever assistance we can. our military personnel and usaid team do this better than anybody in the world, and they've been already on the ground working tirelessly to deliver food water, medicine, shelter, and to help with airlift. today, the aircraft carrier uss george washington and other ships arrived to help with
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search- and-rescue, as well as supplies, medical care and logistical support. and more help is on the way. america's strength, of course, has always been more than just about what our government can do it's also about what our citizens can do. it's about the big-heartedness of the american people when they see other folks in trouble. so today, i would encourage everybody who wants to help, to visit -- that's -- and that will offer you links to organizations that are working on the ground and ways that you can support their efforts. our friends in the philippines will face a long, hard road ahead, but they'll continue to have a friend and partner in the united states of america. now, switching gears, it has now been six weeks since the affordable care act's new marketplace has opened for business. i think it's fair to say that the rollout has been rough so far. and i think everybody
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understands that i'm not happy about the fact that the rollout has been wrought with a whole range of problems that i've been deeply concerned about. but today i want to talk about what we know after these first few weeks and what we're doing to implement and improve the law. yesterday, the white house announced that in the first month, more than 100,000 americans successfully enrolled in new insurance plans. is that as high a number as we'd like? absolutely not. but it does mean that people want affordable health care. the problems of the website have prevented too many americans from completing the enrollment process. and that's on us, not on them. but there is no question that there's real demand for quality, affordable health insurance. in the first month, nearly a million people successfully completed an application for themselves or their families. those applications represent
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more than 1.5 million people. of those 1.5 million people, 106,000 of them have successfully signed up to get covered. another 396,000 have the ability to gain access to medicaid under the affordable care act. that's been less reported on, but it shouldn't be. americans who are having a difficult time, who are poor many of them working, may have a disability; they're americans like everybody else, and the fact that they are now able to get insurance is going to be critically important. later today, i'll be in ohio, where governor kasich, a republican, has expanded medicaid under the affordable care act. and as many as 275,000 ohioans will ultimately be better off because of it. and if every governor followed suit, another 5.4 million americans could gain access to health care next year. so bottom line is, in just one month, despite all the problems that we've seen with the
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website, more than 500,000 americans could know the security of health care by january 1st -- many of them for the first time in their lives. and that's life-changing and it's significant. that still leaves about 1 million americans who successfully made it through the website, and now qualify to buy insurance, but haven't picked a plan yet. and there's no question that if the website were working as it's supposed to, that number would be much higher of people who have actually enrolled. so that's problem number one -- making sure that the website works the way it's supposed to. it's gotten a lot better over the last few weeks than it was on the first day, but we're working 24/7 to get it working for the vast majority of americans in a smooth, consistent way. the other problem that has received a lot of attention concerns americans who have received letters from their insurers that they may be losing the plans they bought in the old
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individual market, often because they no longer meet the law's requirements to cover basic benefits like prescription drugs or doctors' visits. now, as i indicated earlier, i completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of americans, particularly after assurances they heard from me that if they had a plan that they liked, they could keep it. and to those americans, i hear you loud and clear. i said that i would do everything we can to fix this problem. and today i'm offering an idea that will help do it. already, people who have plans that predate the affordable care act can keep those plans if they haven't changed. that was already in the law. that's what's called a grandfather clause. it was included in the law. today, we're going to extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law took effect, and to people who bought plans since the law took effect. so state insurance commissioners
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still have the power to decide what plans can and can't be sold in their states. but the bottom line is, insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014, and americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan. we're also requiring insurers to extend current plans to inform their customers about two things. one, that protections -- what protections these renewed plans don't include. and number two, that the marketplace offers new options with better coverage and tax credits that might help you bring down the cost. so if you've received one of these letters, i'd encourage you to take a look at the marketplace. even if the website isn't working as smoothly as it should be for everybody yet, the plan comparison tool that lets you browse costs for new plans near you is working just fine. now, this fix won't solve every problem for every person.
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but it's going to help a lot of people. doing more will require work with congress. and i've said from the beginning, i'm willing to work with democrats and republicans to fix problems as they arise. this is an example of what i was talking about. we can always make this law work better. it is important to understand, though, that the old individual market was not working well. and it's important that we don't pretend that somehow that's a place worth going back to. too often, it works fine as long as you stay healthy; it doesn't work well when you're sick. so year after year, americans were routinely exposed to financial ruin, or denied coverage due to minor preexisting conditions, or dropped from coverage altogether even if they paid their premiums on time. that's one of the reasons we pursued this reform in the first place. and that's why i will not accept proposals that are just another
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brazen attempt to undermine or repeal the overall law and drag us back into a broken system. we will continue to make the case, even to folks who choose to keep their own plans, that they should shop around in the new marketplace because there's a good chance that they'll be able to buy better insurance at lower cost. so we're going to do everything we can to help the americans who have received these cancellation notices. but i also want everybody to remember there are still 40 million americans who don't have health insurance at all. i'm not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to get health insurance for the first time. and i'm not going to walk away from something that has helped the cost of health care grow at its slowest rate in 50 years. so we're at the opening weeks of the project to build a better health care system for everybody a system that will offer real financial security and peace of mind to millions of americans. it is a complex process.
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there are all kinds of challenges. i'm sure there will be additional challenges that come up. and it's important that we're honest and straightforward in terms of when we come up with a problem with these reforms and these laws, that we address them. but we've got to move forward on this. it took 100 years for us to even get to the point where we could start talking about and implementing a law to make sure everybody has got health insurance. and my pledge to the american people is, is that we're going to solve the problems that are there, we're going to get it right, and the affordable care act is going to work for the american people. so with that, i'm going to take your questions, and i'm going to start with julie pace of ap. >> thank you, mr. president. the combination of the website problems and the concerns over the policy cancellations has sparked a lot of worry within your own party, and polls also show that you're taking some hits with the public on both your overall job approval rating and also on factors like trust and honesty. do you feel as though the flawed health care rollout has led to a
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breach in the public trust and confidence in government? and if so, how do you plan to resolve that? >> there is no doubt that people are frustrated. we just came out of a shutdown and the possibility that for the first time in over 200 years, we wouldn't pay our bills. and people breathed a sigh of relief when that finally got done, and the next thing they know is, is that the president's health care reform can't get the website to work and that there are these other problems with respect to cancellation notices. and i understand why folks are frustrated. i would be, too. because sometimes people look at what's taking place in washington and they say, not enough is getting done that helps me with my life. and regardless of what congress does, ultimately i'm the president of the united states
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and they expect me to do something about it. so in terms of how i intend to approach it, i'm just going to keep on working as hard as i can around the priorities that the american people care about. and i think it's legitimate for them to expect me to have to win back some credibility on this health care law in particular, and on a whole range of these issues in general. and that's on me. i mean, we fumbled the rollout on this health care law. there are a whole bunch of things about it that are working really well which people didn't notice because they weren't controversial -- so making sure kids could stay on their parents' plans until they were through the age of 25, and making sure that seniors got more discounts on their prescription drugs. there were a whole bunch of stuff that we did well over the first three years. but we always knew that these
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marketplaces, creating a place where people can shop and through competition get a better deal for the health insurance that their families need, we always knew that that was going to be complicated and everybody was going to be paying a lot of attention to it. and we should have done a better job getting that right on day one -- not on day 28 or on day 40. i am confident that by the time we look back on this next year that people are going to say this is working well, and it's helping a lot of people. but my intention in terms of winning back the confidence of the american people is just to work as hard as i can; identify the problems that we've got make sure that we're fixing them. whether it's a website, whether it is making sure that folks who
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got these cancellation notices get help, we're just going to keep on chipping away at this until the job is done. major garrett. >> thank you, mr. president. you said while the law was being debated, "if you like your plan, you can keep it." you said after the law was implemented or signed, "if you like your plan you can keep it." americans believed you, sir, when you said that to them over and over. do you not believe, sir, the american people deserve a deeper, more transparent accountability from you as to why you said that over and over when your own statistic published in the federal register alerted your policy staff -- and i presume you -- to the fact that millions of americans would, in fact probably fall into the very gap you're trying to administratively fix now? that's one question. second question. you were informed, or several people in this building were informed two weeks before the launch of the website that it was failing the most basic tests internally, and yet a decision was made to launch the website on october 1st.
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did you, sir, make that test? and if so, did you regret that? >> okay, on the website, i was not informed directly that the website would not be working the way it was supposed to. had i been informed, i wouldn't be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. i'm accused of a lot of things but i don't think i'm stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on amazon or travelocity a week before the website opens if i thought that it wasn't going to work. so clearly, we and i did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website. even a week into it, the thinking was that these were some glitches that would be fixed with patches, as opposed to some broader systemic problems that took much longer to fix and we're still working on them. so that doesn't excuse the fact that they just don't work. but i think it's fair to say
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that, no, garrett -- major, we would not have rolled out something knowing very well that it wasn't going to work the way it was supposed, given all the scrutiny that we knew was going to be on the website. with respect to the pledge i made that if you like your plan, you can keep it, i think -- and i've said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way i put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. it was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. we put a grandfather clause into the law, but it was insufficient. keep in mind that the individual market accounts for 5 percent of the population. so when i said you can keep your health care, i'm looking at folks who've got employer-based
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health care; i'm looking at folks who've got medicare and medicaid -- and that accounts for the vast majority of americans. and then for people who don't have any health insurance at all, obviously that didn't apply. my commitment to them was, you're going to be able to get affordable health care for the first time. you have an individual market that accounts for about 5 percent of the population. and our working assumption was my working assumption was that the majority of those folks would find better policies at lower costs or the same costs in the marketplaces, and that the universe of folks who potentially would not find a better deal in the marketplaces, the grandfather clause would work sufficiently for them. and it didn't. and again, that's on us. which is why we're -- that's on me. and that's why i'm trying to fix it.
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and as i said earlier, i guess last week, and i will repeat that's something i deeply regret because it's scary getting a cancellation notice. now, it is important to understand that out of that population, typically there is constant churn in that market. this market is not very stable and reliable for people. so people have a lot of complaints when they're in that marketplace. as long as you're healthy things seem to be going pretty good. and so a lot of people think i've got pretty good insurance until they get sick -- and then suddenly they look at the fine and print, and they've got a $50,000 out-of-pocket expense that they can't pay. we know that on average over the last decade, each year, premiums in that individual market would go up an average of 15 percent a year. i know that because when we were talking about health care
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reform, one of the complaints was: i bought health care in the individual market and i just got a notice from the insurer, they dropped me after i had an illness; or my premium skyrocketed by 20 or 30 percent, why aren't we doing something about this? so part of what our goal has been is to make sure that that individual market is stable and fair, and has the kind of consumer protections that make sure that people don't get a rude surprise when they really need health insurance. but if you just got a cancellation notice, and so far you're thinking, my prices are pretty good, you haven't been sick, and it fits your budget, and now you get this notice -- you're going to be worried about it. and if the insurer is saying the reason you're getting this notice is because of the affordable care act, then you're going to be understandably aggravated about it. now, for a big portion of those people, the truth is they might
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have gotten a notice saying, we're jacking up your rates by 30 percent. they might have said, from here on out, we're not going to cover x, y and z illnesses, we're changing the -- because these were all 12-month policies. the insurance companies were under no obligation to renew the exact same policies that you had before. but, look, one of the things i understood when we decided to reform that health insurance market, part of the reason why it hasn't been done before and it's very difficult to do, is that anything that's going on that's tough in the health care market, if you initiated a reform, can be attributed to your law. and so what we want to do is to be able to say to these folks, you know what, the affordable care act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan. now, what folks may find is the insurance companies may still
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come back and say, we want to charge you 20 percent more than we did last year; or we're not going to cover prescription drugs now. but that's in the nature of the market that existed earlier. >> did you decide, sir, that the simple declaration was something the american people could handle, but this nuanced answer you just gave now was something that you couldn't handle and you didn't trust the american people with a fuller truth? >> no. i think, as i said earlier major, my expectation was that for 98 percent of the american people, either it genuinely wouldn't change at all, or they'd be pleasantly surprised with the options in the marketplace, and that the grandfather clause would cover the rest. that proved not to be the case. and that's on me. and the american people -- those who got cancellation notices do deserve and have received an
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apology from me. but they don't want just words. what they want is whether we can make sure that they are in a better place, and that we meet that commitment. and, by the way, i think it's very important for me to note that there are a whole bunch of folks up in congress and others who made this statement, and they were entirely sincere about it. and the fact that you've got this percentage of people who have had this impact -- i want them to know that their senator or congressman, they were making representations based on what i told them and what this white house and our administrative staff told them. and so it's not on them. it's on us. but it is something that we intend to fix. steve collinson. >> do you have reason to believe that iran would walk away from nuclear talks if congress draws up new sanctions?
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and would a diplomatic breakdown at this stage leave you no option but military action? and how do you respond to your critics on the hill who say that it was only tough sanctions that got iran to the table, but only tougher sanctions will make it capitulate? >> well, let me make a couple of points. number one, i've said before and i will repeat: we do not want iran having nuclear weapons. and it would be not only dangerous to us and our allies but it would be destabilizing to the entire region, and could trigger a nuclear arms race that would make life much more dangerous for all of us. so our policy is iran cannot have nuclear weapons. and i'm leaving all options on the table to make sure that we meet that goal. point number two: the reason we've got such vigorous sanctions is because i and my administration put in place,
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when i came into office, the international structure to have the most effective sanctions ever. and so i think it's fair to say that i know a little bit about sanctions, since we've set them up, and made sure that we mobilize the entire international community so that there weren't a lot of loopholes and they really had bite. and the intention in setting up those sanctions always was to bring the iranians to the table so that we could resolve this issue peacefully, because that is my preference. that's my preference because any armed conflict has cost to it, but it's also my preference because the best way to assure that a country does not have nuclear weapons is that they are making a decision not to have nuclear weapons, and we're in a position to verify that they don't have nuclear weapons. so as a consequence of the sanctions that we put in place
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and i appreciate all the help bipartisan help, that we received from congress in making that happen -- iran's economy has been crippled. they had a -5 percent growth rate last year. their currency plummeted. they're having significant problems in just the day-to-day economy on the ground in iran. and president rouhani made a decision that he was prepared to come and have a conversation with the international community about what they could do to solve this problem with us. we've now had a series of conversations, and it has never been realistic that we would resolve the entire problem all at once. what we have done is seen the possibility of an agreement in which iran would halt advances on its program; that it would
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dilute some of the highly enriched uranium that makes it easier for them to potentially produce a weapon; that they are subjecting themselves to much more vigorous inspections so that we know exactly what they're doing at all their various facilities; and that that would then provide time and space for us to test, over a certain period of months whether or not they are prepared to actually resolve this issue to the satisfaction of the international community -- making us confident that, in fact, they're not pursuing a nuclear weapons program. in return, the basic structure of what's been talked about, although not completed, is that we would provide very modest relief at the margins of the
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sanctions that we've set up. but importantly, we would leave in place the core sanctions that are most effective and have most impact on the iranian economy, specifically oil sanctions and sanctions with respect to banks and financing. and what that gives us is the opportunity to test how serious are they, but it also gives us an assurance that if it turns out six months from now that they're not serious, we can crank -- we can dial those sanctions right back up. so my message to congress has been that, let's see if this short-term, phase-one deal can be completed to our satisfaction where we're absolutely certain that while we're talking with the iranians, they're not busy advancing their program. we can buy some additional
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months in terms of their breakout capacity. let's test how willing they are to actually resolve this diplomatically and peacefully. we will have lost nothing if, at the end of the day, it turns out that they are not prepared to provide the international community the hard proof and assurances necessary for us to know that they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon. and if that turns out to be the case, then not only is our entire sanctions infrastructure still in place, not only are they still losing money from the fact that they can't sell their oil and get revenue from their oil as easily, even throughout these talks, but other options remain.
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but what i've said to members of congress is that if, in fact we're serious about trying to resolve this diplomatically -- because no matter how good our military is, military options are always messy, they're always difficult, always have unintended consequences, and in this situation are never complete in terms of making us certain that they don't then go out and pursue even more vigorously nuclear weapons in the future -- if we're serious about pursuing diplomacy, then there's no need for us to add new sanctions on top of the sanctions that are already very effective and that brought them to the table in the first place. now, if it turns out they can't deliver, they can't come to the table in a serious way and get this issue resolved, the sanctions can be ramped back up. and we've got that option. all right.
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roger runningen. roger, it's his birthday, by the way. so that's not the reason you got a question, but i thought it was important to note that. >> thank you, mr. president. >> happy birthday. >> back to health care. can you guarantee for the american people that the health care website is going to be fully operational for all people, not just the vast majority, by november 30? and second, more broadly, this is your signature domestic piece of legislation. you hear criticism on the hill that you and your white house team are too insular. is that how this mess came to be? >> well, i think there is going to be a lot of evaluation of how we got to this point. and i assure you that i've been
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asking a lot of questions about that. the truth is that this is, number one, very complicated. the website itself is doing a lot of stuff. there aren't a lot of websites out there that have to help people compare their possible insurance options, verify income to find out what kind of tax credits they might get communicate with those insurance companies so they can purchase make sure that all of it's verified. so there's just a bunch of pieces to it that made it challenging. and you combine that with the fact that the federal government does a lot of things really well. one of the things it does not do well is information technology procurement. this is kind of a systematic problem that we have across the board.
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and it is not surprising then that there were going to be some problems. now, i think we have to ask ourselves some hard questions inside the white house as opposed to why we didn't see more of these problems coming earlier on -- a, so we could set expectations; b, so that we could look for different ways for people to end up applying. so ultimately, you're right. this is something that's really important to me, and it's really important to millions of americans who have been waiting for a really long time to try to get health care because they don't have it. and i am very frustrated, but i'm also somebody who, if i fumbled the ball, i'm going to wait until i get the next play and then i'm going to try to run as hard as i can and do right by
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the team. so ultimately, i'm the head of this team. we did fumble the ball on it and what i'm going to do is make sure that we get it fixed. in terms of what happens on november 30th or december 1st, i think it's fair to say that the improvement will be marked and noticeable. the website will work much better on november 30th, december 1st than it worked certainly on october 1st. that's a pretty low bar. it will be working a lot better than it is -- it was last week and it will be working better than it was this week, which means that the majority of people who go to the website will see a website that is working the way it's supposed to. i think it is not possible for me to guarantee that 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time going on this website will
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have a perfectly seamless, smooth experience. we're going to have to continue to improve it even after november 30th, december 1st. but the majority of people who use it will be able to see it operate the way it was supposed to. one thing that we've discovered, though, that i think is worth noting: a lot of focus has been on the website and the technology, and that's partly because that's how we initially identified it -- these are glitches. what we're discovering is that part of the problem has been technology -- hardware and software -- and that's being upgraded. but even if we get the hardware and software working exactly the way it's supposed to with relatively minor glitches, what we're also discovering is that
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insurance is complicated to buy. and another mistake that we made i think was underestimating the difficulties of people purchasing insurance online and shopping for a lot of options with a lot of costs and a lot of different benefits and plans and somehow expecting that that would be very smooth. and then they've also got to try apply for tax credits on the website. so what we're doing even as we're trying to solve the technical problems is also what can we do to make the application a little bit simpler; what can we do to make it in english as opposed to bureaucratese; are there steps that we can skip while still getting the core information that people need and part of what we're realizing is that they are going to be a certain
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portion of people who are just going to need more help and more handholding in the application process. and so i guess part of the continuous improvement that i'm looking at is not just a technical issue. it's also, can we streamline the application process; what are we doing to give people more assistance in the application process; how do the call centers and the people who are helping folks in-person; how are they trained so that things can go more smoothly. because the bottom line ultimately is, i just want people to know what their options are in a clear way. and buying health insurance is never going to be like buying a song on itunes. it's just a much more complicated transaction. but i think we can continue to
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make it better -- all of which is to say that on december 1st november 30th, it will be a lot better, but there will still be some problems. some of those will not be because of technological problems -- although i'm sure that there will still be some glitches that have to be smoothed out. some of it's going to be how are we making this application process more user-friendly for folks. and one good example of this, by the way, just to use an analogy when we came into office, we heard a lot of complaints about the financial aid forms that families have to fill out to get federal financial aid. and i actually remember applying for some of that stuff and remember how difficult and confusing it was. and arne duncan over at education worked with a team to see what we could do to simplify it, and it made a big
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difference. and that's part of the process that we've got to go through. and in fact, if we can get some focus groups and we sit down with actual users and see how well is this working, what would improve it, what part of it didn't you understand -- that all i think is part of what we're going to be working on in the weeks ahead. >> what about the insularity criticism that you hear on the hill? >> i've got to say i meet with an awful lot of folks, and i talk to an awful lot of folks every day. and i have lunches with ceos and it venture capitalists and labor leaders and pretty much folks from all walks of life on a whole bunch of topics. and if you looked at my schedule on any given day, we're interacting with a whole lot of people. and i think it's fair to say that we have a pretty good track record of working with folks on technology and it from our
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campaign where, both in 2008 and 2012, we did a pretty darn good job on that. so it's not -- the idea that somehow we didn't have access or were interested in people's ideas, i think isn't accurate. what is true is that, as i said before, our it systems, how we purchase technology in the federal government is cumbersome, complicated, and outdated. and so this isn't a situation where on my campaign i could simply say, who are the best folks out there; let's get them around a table, let's figure out what we're doing, and we're just going to continue to improve it and refine it and work on our goals. if you're doing it at the
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federal government level, you're going through 40 pages of specs and this and that and the other, and there are all kinds of laws involved, and it makes it more difficult. it's part of the reason why chronically, federal it programs are over budget, behind schedule. and one of the -- when i do some monday morning quarterbacking on myself, one of the things that i do recognize is -- since i know that the federal government has not been good at this stuff in the past -- two years ago, as we were thinking about this, we might have done more to make sure that we were breaking the mold on how we were going to be setting this up. but that doesn't help us now. we've got to move forward. jeff mason. >> thank you, mr. president. today's fix that you just announced leaves it up to state insurance commissioners and insurance companies to ultimately decide whether to allow old policies to be renewed for a year. how confident are you that they
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will do that? and secondly, how concerned are you that this flawed rollout may hurt democrats' chances in next year's midterm elections, and your ability to advance other priorities such as immigration reform? >> on the first question traditionally, state insurance commissioners make decisions about what plans can be or cannot be sold, how they interact with insurers. what we're essentially saying is the affordable care act is not going to be the factor in what happens with folks in the individual market. and my guess is right away you're going to see a number of state insurance commissioners exercise it. part of the challenge is the individual markets are different in different states. there are some states that have individual insurance markets that already have almost all the consumer protections that the affordable care act does. they match up pretty good. it's not some big jump for folks to move into the marketplace.
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in others, they're pretty low standards, so you can sell pretty substandard plans in those markets. and that's where people might see a bigger jump in their premiums. so i think there's going to be some state-by-state evaluation on how this is handled. but the key point is, is that it allows us to be able to say to the folks who received these notices: look, i, the president of the united states and the insurance -- that the insurance model, the affordable care act is not going to be getting in the way of you shopping in the individual market that you used to have. as i said, there are still going to be some folks who over time i think, are going to find that the marketplaces are better. one way i described this to -- i met with a group of senators when this issue first came up --
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and it's not a perfect analogy but we made a decision as a society that every car has to have a seatbelt or airbags. and so you pass a regulation. and there are some additional costs, particularly at the start of increasing the safety and protections, but we make a decision as a society that the costs are outweighed by the benefits of all the lives that are saved. so what we're saying now is if you're buying a new car, you got to have a seatbelt. well, the problem with the grandfather clause that we put in place is it's almost like we said to folks, you got to buy a new car, even if you can't afford it right now. and sooner or later, folks are going to start trading in their
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old cars. but we don't need -- if their life circumstance is such where, for now at least, they want to keep the old car, even if the new car is better, we should be able to give them that option. and that's what we want to do. and, by the way, that's what we should have been able to do in drafting the rules in the first place. so, again, these are two fumbles on something that -- on a big game, which -- but the game is not over. with respect to the politics of it, i'll let you guys do a lot of the work on projecting what this means for various political scenarios. there is no doubt that our failure to roll out the aca smoothly has put a burden on democrats, whether they're
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running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin. and i feel deeply responsible for making it harder for them rather than easier for them to continue to promote the core values that i think led them to support this thing in the first place -- which is, in this country, as wealthy as we are, everybody should be able to have the security of affordable health care. and that's why i feel so strongly about fixing it. my first and foremost obligation is the american people, to make sure that they can get what's there -- if we can just get the darn website working and smooth this thing out -- which is plans
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that are affordable, and allow them to take advantage of tax credits and give them a better deal. but i also do feel an obligation to everybody out there who supported this effort. when we don't do a good job on the rollout, we're letting them down. and i don't like doing that. so my commitment to them is, we're going to just keep on doing better every day until we get it done. and in terms of the impact on me i think to some extent i addressed it when i talked to julie -- there are going to be ups and downs during the course of my presidency. and i think i said early on when i was running -- i am not a perfect man, and i will not be a perfect president, but i'll wake up every single day working as
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hard as i can on behalf of americans out there from every walk of life who are working hard, meeting their responsibilities, but sometimes are struggling because the way the system works isn't giving them a fair shot. and that pledge i haven't broke. that commitment, that promise, continues to be -- continues to hold -- the promise that i wouldn't be perfect, number one but also the promise that as long as i've got the honor of having this office, i'm just going to work as hard as i can to make things better for folks. and what that means specifically in this health care arena is we can't go back to the status quo. i mean, right now everybody is properly focused on us not doing a good job on the rollout, and that's legitimate and i get it. there have been times where i thought we were kind of slapped
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around a little bit unjustly. this one is deserved. right? it's on us. but we can't lose sight of the fact that the status quo before the affordable care act was not working at all. if the health care system had been working fine, and everybody had high-quality health insurance at affordable prices i wouldn't have made it a priority; we wouldn't have been fighting this hard to get it done -- which is why, when i see sometimes folks up on capitol hill, and republicans in particular, who have been suggesting repeal, repeal, let's get rid of this thing, i keep on asking what is it that you want to do? are you suggesting that the status quo was working? because it wasn't, and everybody knows it. it wasn't working in the individual market and it certainly wasn't working for the 41 million people who didn't
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have health insurance. and so what we did was we chose a path that was the least disruptive, to try to finally make sure that health care is treated in this country like it is in every other advanced country -- that it's not some privilege that just a certain portion of people can have, but it's something that everybody has some confidence about. and we didn't go far left and choose an approach that would have been much more disruptive. we didn't adopt some more conservative proposals that would have been much more disruptive. we tried to choose a way that built off the existing system. but it is complicated, it is hard, but i make no apologies for us taking this on -- because somebody sooner or later had to do it. i do make apologies for not having executed better over the last several months.
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>> and do you think that execution and the flaws in the rollout will affect your ability to do other things, like immigration reform and other policy priorities? >> well, look, if it comes to immigration reform, there is no reason for us not to do immigration reform. and we've already got strong bipartisan support for immigration reform out of the senate. you've got -- i met with a number of traditionally very conservative clergy who are deeply committed to immigration reform. we've got the business community entirely behind immigration reform. so you've got a bunch of constituencies that are traditionally much more -- have leaned much more heavily towards the republicans who are behind this. so if people are looking for an excuse not to do the right thing on immigration reform, they can always find an excuse -- we've run out of time, or this is
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hard, or the list goes on and on. but my working assumption is people should want to do the right thing. and when you've got an issue that would strengthen borders, make sure that the legal immigration system works the way it's supposed to, that would go after employers who have been doing the wrong thing when it comes to hiring undocumented workers, and would allow folks who are here illegally to get right with the law and pay a fine, and learn english and get to the back of the line, but ultimately join fully our american community -- when you've got a law that makes sense, you shouldn't be looking for an excuse not to do it. and i'm going to keep on pushing to make sure it gets done. am i going to have to do some work to rebuild confidence around some of our initiatives? yes. but part of this job is the
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things that go right, you guys aren't going to write about; the things that go wrong get prominent attention. that's how it has always been. that's not unique to me as president. and i'm up to the challenge. we're going to get this done. all right? thank you, everybody. >> john boehner released a statement saying the president has no credibility in his promise. it appears this is little more than a political responses onto shift blame rather than solve the problem. in the senate, mitch mcconnell said president obama announcement doesn't even come close to fixing the problems that so many americans are facing now. the house sits of elena measured --
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we spoke with a capitol hill reporter to explain the pieces of legislation. >> it looks like most americans will be able to hang onto their insurance plans through 2014. jennifer is health care reporter for politico. joining us on the issue, what did we hear today? >> the president said that he proposed an administrative solution that would allow insurance companies to continue offering plans they were selling in 2013 and earlier into 2014. this will provide one-year transitional relief to people who got their consolation notices that their plan would no longer be a viable option. >> chairman fred upton of the commerce committee has a bill on the house floor that does something similar. how does is -- >> it is technical. the bill that is going to be
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voted on tomorrow will allow insurance companies to keep up these plans and sell them to anybody. the president is proposing those plans can exist for only the people who have artie have the coverage. he says that insurers limit how many people can get a hold of these plans, don't have the protections the affordable care act has that is so important to have in the 2014 post obamacare world. >> the health care law has been the focal point for the past week or so. ending tomorrow on the debate on the upton bill, will democrats support that bill, and will have an alternative to propose? >> houston the cracks were putting pressure on the white house to come up with some solution they could vote for. there are worry about but their
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constituents were getting these cancellation notices, and worried that they are going to get a campaign ad in the next election that says they are helping the president break his promise. when the white house came out with their solution today they pitched the solution to them and so far many democrats who were thinking about voting for this bill from fred upton, they reconsidering. he might oppose it. the white house says that the bill would undermine the affordable care act and they are worried about a lot of defection. i think this will see some democrats vote for the measure, most of these bills have gotten a bit of support from republicans. we will see a bit more from normal on this. the huge defection, hundreds or more democrats won't happen.
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>> let's switch to the senate article you contributed to. the headline senate democrats are not fully satisfied with the obamacare fix. what particular do we hear about them today? >> it is interesting. in the house democrats were appeased by the plan. in the senate, most democrats facing elections in 2014 or not. we are not happy they -- they were not happy with the measure. he want to see a vote and say that they pass something, or cast a vote in favor of legislative fix that would restore the promise from the president that they say has broken. several other democrats up in 2014, they are pushing forward. >> our followers can follow
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jennifer on twitter and read her reporting on >> senator mary landrieu's legislation would allow consumers to keep current health insurance programs currently. her remarks are 10 minutes. >> thank you for coming today. i wanted to make a brief statement about the announcement of the president made earlier today. regarding keeping the promise that we made to americans that have individual health insurance plans. that may not be comprehensive may not be exactly what they need, but it is what they have. i believe they should be able to keep it. the president's action was welcomed. it is a first step towards making that possible.
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by his guidance, i hope we will be received with good will by our 50 states. the insurance commissioners, etc. i'm going to continue to work with leadership. i'm working with democrats and republicans if there is a legislative fix that is also necessary. it is very important to understand, this is very important step for our country. if this were easy to do, it would have been done 100 years ago. our nation, the greatest on the planet, has been struggling for decades as to come up with a way that middle-class families and average hard-working americans and the entrepreneurs that are in our country that were so proud of, we have been struggling and struggling with a way to provide for them affordable health insurance that they can depend on when they are
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sick. not just when they are healthy. insurance they can afford, that they can plan on having. the affordable care act does that. do we have some things to fix? absolutely. is this one of them? yes. the president's guidance is a step forward. i have a bill, there are others that have been filed. not to a great step forward. i have a bill and there are other bills that have been filed. we are working across the aisle. not to repeal the four -- the affordable care act. not to defund it. not too undermined it. not to got it. but to fix it. anybody that wants to work with me or anybody else to fix it, i will be willing. let me say these cancellation notice us that when out


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