tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 26, 2015 3:00am-5:01am EDT
god, the merciful and compassionate, speaker boehner vice president biden, senate majority leader mcconnell, house majority leader mccarthy, house minority leader ms. pelosi senate minority leader, ladies and gentlemen of the congress, please allow me to thank you for your gracious invitation to address this unique forum of deliberative democracy. above all else, i'd like to begin by thanking the people of the united states whose generous support for my country has been such immense value in advancing the cause of freedom. [applause] more than one million brave
americans have served in afghanistan. they have come to know our snow-capped mountains, our valleys, our wind-swept deserts, our parched fields, our rivers and our plains of waving wheat but more important than knowing our geography they've come to defend and to know our people. in return, the people of afghanistan recognizes the bravery of your soldiers and the tremendous sacrifices that americans have made to keep afghanistan free. [applause] we owe a profound debt to the
2,315 service men and women killed in the more than -- and the more than 20,000 who have been wounded in service to your country and ours. [applause] we owe a profound debt to the soldiers who've lost limbs, to buried bombs. to the brave veterans and to the families who tragically lost their loved ones to the enemies' cowardly acts of terror. we owe a profound debt to the many americans who come to build schools, repair wells and cured the sick and we must acknowledge
with appreciation that at the end of the day, it's the ordinary americans whose hard-earned taxes who over the years built the partnership that has led our conversation today. [applause] i want to thank the american taxpayers and you, their representatives, for supporting us. the service of american men and women, civilian or military, has been made possible by bipartisan support of the congress of the united states. on behalf of our parliament and people, i salute and thank you. it has always been a pleasure to receive the congress men and women during your trips to afghanistan. please do come again and again.
and if you are in service, please come in your proud uniforms. [applause] i have a unique opportunity that when senator graham was just as a colonel, i asked him to salute -- our british general and he complied. [laughter] so thank you. veterans will always be welcomed in afghanistan. our deepest hope is that the time will come when americans visiting our country, see the cultural heritage and natural riches of the valley, the ancient architecture, the fishing streams, the forests and the ancient architecture of another.
not as soldiers but as parents showing their children the beautiful country where they served in the war that defeated terror. [applause] on behalf of my entire country, when that day comes you'll be our most welcomed and honored guests. america's support to afghanistan has been led by a succession of remarkable generals. i'm proud to have known and worked with dan mcneil, david mckiernan, stanley mcchrystal, david petraeus, john allen joseph stanford and john campbell. their commitment and dedication is inspirational. these generals lived in simple quarters. they worked tirelessly through the night and their leadership of their troops sets an example that our generals are working
hard to follow. your civilian leaders are no less inspirational. ambassadors such as ronald newman, ryan crocker, james cunningham and my good friend, michael mckinley, give american diplomacy first-class leadership and strategic understanding. and i would be remiss not to mention the stimulating conversations with my friends from this chamber like john mccain, lindsey graham, carl levin. but i must also acknowledge the deeply appreciated contribution of the aide workers who are day-to-day representatives of your country. i've met people from all 50 states of the union, from senators and representatives to construction workers and
computer operators. i want to thank all of them for introducing the best of america to the people of afghanistan. [applause] finally, i would like to thank president obama. he's an admirable and principled partner. his support for afghanistan has always been conditional on our performance. i like and appreciate his clear and disciplined approach make an engagement. thanks to his rigor we were encouraged and supported to build up the afghan armed forces into the self-reliant army it is today. [applause] because he stood firm on the deadline for the surge and the transition the u.s. army pulled
off a logistical near miracle. first deploying then withdrawing nearly 100,000 soldiers without a hitch. and it is thanks to his promise to america to end the active combat that we saw a seamless hand over the responsibility for all combat operations from your side to ours on december 31, 2014. [applause] u.s. soldiers are no longer engaged in combat. [applause] but we are delighted to have them in the train, asset, and advice mission. tragedy brought our two countries together, but our shared interest and values that will keep us together.
september 11, 2001 was not a distant image that i watched on the emotionless screen of television. it was horrific and it was personal. i was in my office at the world when the first plane smashed into the world trade center and forever changed the lives of each and every one of us. new york is a special place for me and my family. my wife and i are both graduates of columbia university. i was another beneficiary of americans' wonderful generosity that has built so many long-standing friendships throughout its universities. i ate corn beef at new york's greatest melting pot. [applause] close friends were working near
the trade center. my children who were born in new york and my daughter was living in new york when the twin towers fell. i visited ground zero that very week. seeing first hand the tragedy and devastation drove home the realization that after 9/11 the world would never be the same. i went home knowing that america would seek justice and i began to write the plan for our national reconstruction. justice came swiftly, al qaeda terrorists were killed or driven underground. the taliban acknowledging their losses after the initial encounters quickly vacated the cities with their leadership moving to pakistan and their rank and file returning to their villages. there was considerable anxiety about how the afghan people would respond to the american presence. the issue was put to rest by the
welcome accorded to the american soldiers and civilians as partner. even today, despite the thankfully rare tragedy. the overwhelming majority of afghans continue to see the partnership with the united states as foundational for our future. there's no better proof of this than last october's overwhelming and immediate parliamentary approval of the bilateral security agreement and status of forces agreement, both of which testified to our desire to continue the partnership. afghanistan has been the frontline of the global battle against extremism. america, as a result, has been safe, but that safety has been ensured through the loss of american and afghan lives in the fight against terror.
we have made great sacrifices. but then it's our patriotic to do so. you, on the other hand, have a choice and when came to a fork in the road chose to do the right thing. thank you. [applause] most recently due to the refusal of our previous government to sign the bilateral security agreement and status forces agreement with nato, we have lost momentum. and both partners have to operate under uncertainty resulting in some eight months of lost time in the most critical moment of transition. you could have used this opportunity to end the partnership and return home in frustration, but you did not. thanks to the flexibility showed
by president obama and congress, we have made up for the loss and have regained momentum. without breaking by even the day of promise of president obama to the american people that the combat role would end on december 31, 2014. thank you for staying. [applause] i would like to talk a little about our partnership because it's evolving. we are starting to balance the focus on security with a new emphasis on rule of law and justice, growth in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation. the framework for our future relationship is defined by our strategic partnership agreement and the bilateral security agreement. on your side you have reaffirmed your commitment to support afghanistan. on our side, we will focus on
self-reliance. to get there, we have initiated reforms that would create a self-sustaining afghanistan. i know american people are asking the same questions as afghan people. will we have the resources to provide a sustained basis for our operation? and the answer is within this , decade, we will. [applause] as the current face of our relationship grows to a close, our appreciation for the depth of american contribution to our people cannot be measured in words alone. but can be seen quite literally in the number of afghans whose futures have been changed thanks to america and its allies.
on september 10, 2001, this will no longer shock you, there were no girls enrolled in school in afghanistan. it was illegal to educate girls. today, more than three million girls in primary schools across the country are learning to openly and actively participate in the future of a democratic afghanistan. [applause] their parents thank you.
in 2002, when the allies built their first clinics, the average lifespan of the ordinary afghan was 44 years. today it's over 60. their children thank you. [applause] today the rate of maternal mortality in our poor country remains unacceptably high, but thanks to the immense effort you have made to build clinics and train nurses, and afghan woman no longer -- is no longer more likely to die because she gives birth to a child than if she had
been somewhat caught on the frontline of combat. their husbands and their children thank you. [applause] our partnership with america and its allies has brought our country hope where we had none. we would once again like to thank you for that wonderful gift from your people to ours. the gift of hope. [applause] but in afghanistan, there's a saying that no gift can remain unreciprocated. today i would like to return that gift of reborn hope by
offering the american people a partnership with a nation that is committed to the cause of freedom and that will join the fight against the growing threat of terrorism. [applause] i will use my remarks today to tell america the history of how a future of afghanistan came to be. it is a story about how a poor country that relied on foreign help became a self-reliant nation where free trade and the rule of law create jobs and prosperity for its people. it is also a story about how a country that has been ravaged by conflict became a platform for peace and regional stability and prosperity. ladies and gentlemen, the story of afghanistan's path to self-reliance is already started.
it began with last year's election and the formation of our national unity government. afghanistan's external image is of a traditional country that has been frozen in time. that my partner of dr. abdullah, intense and compassionate campaigns on the most modern officials. that is the need to end corruption. taking the action that would build transparency into government and guaranteeing support for the impartial rule of law. campaigns became forums for public debate, in the final election, not only more than seven million afghans turned out to the polls, but more than 38% of the votes were cast by women. many of them would never have previously had a chance to speak politically with their own voice. [applause]
there's no denying that the election was hard fought, but in the end we chose the politics of unity over the politics of division. the national unity government brings together all parts of the country to make the government an arena where disputes are resolved. dr. abdullah and myself may not initially agree on every issue but we both believe deeply that spirited debate will produce better outcomes than will confrontational stalemate. we not only work together, we like working well together. [applause]
afghanistan country perception is what's suited to democracy. like americans, afghans are individuals, none of us defers to anyone else. persuading each other is an art form. our key characteristics are our openness and hospitality. we believe in equality. even in the most traditional part of the country, our leadership must earn rather than inherit their position. there is a strong public conscience. people are expected to act for the common good. we love debate. ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce you to afghanistan.
we are an old country with a proud heritage and a history of trade with our neighbors. we have had bills of exchange for at least 2,000 years. and our women could write 2 1/2 thousand years ago. for at least three millennia, we have the caravans and trade folks that spread across asia bringing chinese silk and indian textiles to ancient rome and renaissance italy. the 19th century disrupted this world as it did in so many other places. afghanistan became an isolated buffer, caught between two expanding empires. the emergence of the soviet union further isolated our country, culminating in the 1979 invasion and the subsequent war of resistance. today, however, the isolation is over. first, awareness is growing, afghanistan is quite literally the heart of asia.
asia cannot become a continental economy without us. asia in the next 25 years will have the 1869 moment, the east and west coast of the united states were joined through the transcontinental but this new interconnected asia cannot happen without us. we are in the midst of 3.5 billion people and we should be able to export something and not just import. our fragmented geography can once again become the opportunity for integrating central, west, east and south asia into a network that supports stability and prosperity over a vast swath of service. diplomatic efforts to advance integration cross-border trade and support, multicountry investments in energy, transport and water.
and this again is beginning. the first major project between central asia and south asia for transmitting energy is already under way. and i truly believe that diplomatic efforts backed by the leaders of our countries was built, the peace and prosperity for south and central asia in the same way that the common market has done so for europe and afghanistan has done for our neighboring region to the east. we envision afghanistan that within 20 years it's become a hub of trade in gas pipelines, power transmission lines railways, modern telecom and banking services. american support for all of these is essential and we thank you for that commitment. [applause]
ladies and gentlemen, if one story of our future history is bright, there is another darker cloud that is making its way towards our country. afghanistan's security transition took place against the backdrop of the unexpected rise of religious extremism in the middle east. the promise of the arab spring gave way to the emergence of terror and collapse of state. but the change ecology of terror could have not formed without some states tolerating financing, providing sanctuary and using violent, nonstate actors as instruments of shortsighted policies. it is critical that the world understand the terrible threat that they pose to the states of western and central asia. terrorist movements whose goal to destabilize every state in
the region are looking for new bases of operation. we're the front line. but terrorists neither recognize boundaries more require -- nor require passports to spread their message of hate and discord. from the west, the dash is already sending advanced guards to southern western afghanistan. without pakistan's counterinsurgency operations in which more than 40,000 people have already died are pushing the taliban towards afghanistan's border region. culminization of the economy is an indispensable part of this new ecology of terror. control over the narcotics trade is proof providing the financing of these groups to find weapons. blurring the lines between criminal economics and criminal politics. each of these groups poses a clear and present danger to our neighbors, to the arab islamic world and to the world at large.
afghanistan is carrying forward everyone's fight by containing this threat. but extremism is becoming a system, one, that like a dangerous virus, is constantly mutating, becoming more lethal very media savvy, well-financed and thriving on weakness and an overall lack of regional coordination. to date, afghanistan's people have rejected the violent movement. we are willing to speak truth about terror. military fighting may stem the
afghanistan, recognize the bravery of your soldiers and tremendous sacrifice that americans have made. from saudi american -- saudi arabia, they are aware -- the recent liberation across -- the recent declaration across the muslim world. building that alliance. afghanistan is uniquely positioned we have none of the
historical and for it -- inferiority complexes. after all, we defeated most empires. [applause] with the exception of the taliban extreme, islam has been traditionally inclusive. not violent and angry. our people are well vaccinated against the seduction -- our people desperately wants to be -- we would like to be leading ordinary lives. to go to school and come back to shop without being blown up to
sights to the struggle to end the condition that gives rise to extremism in the first place. our efforts begins with a frank recognition of our problems and the challenges that we must tackle with determination and commitment. nearly 40 years of conflict is produced a country where corruption permeates our government. until we root out this cancer, our government will never generate the trust to win hearts of our people or the trust of your taxpayers. we will eliminate corruption. [applause] president ghani: on our second day in office we tackled the notorious case of kabul bank which for years -- i'm pleased to report to you that all the court systems of afghanistan including the supreme court, has now made a decision against these thieves and have allowed
to collect from them and get the public purse refilled. [applause] president ghani: ladies and gentlemen, ending corruption and impunity are the precursors of self-reliance, but the true test will be whether we can restore the fiscal basis of public expenditure. we must make sure that natural resources and critical market linking, infrastructure, development provide our youth with jobs, help us balance the budget and launch the virtuous cycle. here i'm pleased to report that we are reversing decades of mismanagement. we have just reached agreement with i.m.f. but more significantly we are determined to create the wealth that would not make us dependent.
during this decade, we can assure you that we will be able to pay both for our security and delivery of services. [applause] president ghani: if economic growth is the first foundation block of self-reliance. the second foundation is with the educational of afghanistan's woman. no country in the modern world can be self-reliant with half of its population locked away. uneducated and unable to contribute energy, creativity and national development. we have a tradition of respecting women and let us not forget the largest trader was the wife of the prophet. and the greater transmitter of college, it was the second wife
of the prophet. customs do not replace the fundamental sense of justice between man and woman that societies that seek fairness are built upon. afghan culture tradition for women as leaders, managers, and traders. the gender apartheid imposed by the taliban came from people outside of families in refugee camps and villages boarding schools. our plan for restoring woman's place in society is built on three pillars. that rests on a foundation of respect for the human, religious, and constitution rights of all our citizens. first, and i want to spend a little time on this theme, educating woman is not solely a matter of right, important though they are. it is a matter of national necessity.
[applause] president ghani: i said in the past that educating one of a young girl will change the next five generation of a family. i would not be standing before you today as an educated man if my grandmother, an exile in india, could learn to read under the british not taken it upon herself to make sure that i would match my youthful passion for hunting and riding horses with masters the classics and striving in foreign languages. thank you, grandmother. [applause] president ghani: afghanistan's self-reliance demands men and woman who can run a modern economy. basic health and education must reach all our young girls. that's a promise.
but beyond providing all our young girls with these basic rights, we'll increase to parity, the number of woman graduating high schools and colleges. even as i talk to you, today in kabul the signs are already being finished for an all woman's university that will provide safe, top quality education for the next generation of afghan woman leader. let me tell you the story of a young woman from kandahar. her schooling began when she breaks thread of the cycle by people swearing that they will throw acid in her face before they would let a girl attend a school. she would not be dissuaded. her uncle threatened to disown her when she applied to university, but she stared him down. she went to american university of afghanistan where she not only topped of had her class but aided by a fulbright scholarship
went on to get a master's degree from the ohio state university. today, formerly her uncle is so proud of her that he tells his grandchildren, both little boys and little girls, they must be as brave as their aunt. [applause] president ghani: like thousands of afghan women thanks america for those opportunities. from the primary schoolteachers, university in kabul, from the scholarship to ohio. that changed her life and her children's future. she is dedicated to create opportunities for millions of afghan women. [applause] president ghani: the second pillar is that woman must have the same access taking on the opportunities as man. woman's full empowerment will
come about not through global conventions or government programs but when they own jobs and businesses. the united states has been a steadfast supporter of the nationwide national solidarity program which for 10 years has given not thousands but millions of poor village women their first chance to control their own resource. [applause] president ghani: our third and final foundational belief is that a mental and cultural revolution must take place over treatment of women and by our society. interest's no point talking about how much we respect woman's honor if we let threat go unpunished or allow harassment in our street. [applause]
president ghani: we have signed the global conventions to end violence and discrimination against woman. we will implement them vigorously, but work is still needed to convince our people that the protection of woman's right is part and parcel of their own quest for social justice. i personally as the leader of afghanistan am committed to working with the activists and leaders of our country to bring about this mental change. both dr. abdullah and i will insist that the officials of our government have national standards for workplace fairness. [applause] president ghani: thanks to your help and support, the opportunities for women are
indeed changing. i'm sure that many of you have seen those videos of fathers proudly taking their shiny eyed daughters to show off their newfound skills in the ancient art of skateboarding. they are but a few of the changes that are under way and must be protected. i am meeting frequently women who are entertaining idea, seriously idea of becoming the first woman president of afghanistan and we will support them. [applause] president ghani: i am pleased to state that we fulfilled our promise to name four women to the afghan cabinet.
raising the woman share to 20% still too low, but at least our promise, we are determined to name qualified woman to ambassadors and increase their number as deputy ministers, and we are working hard to attract and trade our whole new cadre of woman into our government. i promise you, 5 years from now our ministry will have a whole new electorate with woman in leading position. [applause] president ghani: we are a country of young people. the absolute majority of people are under 30 years of age. you are invested in the future not in repeating the past. jobs and engagement with the world are their first priority. despite all of the assistance afghanistan has received over the years, 30% of the population still lives below the poverty
line. lacking even basic services such as clean water or household electricity. this cannot continue. we have articulated a charter that will find investments that are needed to reduce poverty across the nation and prepare the next generation for capitalizing on the new opportunities that are thriving economy can provide. ladies and gentlemen, so far i have talked about how we will achieve self-reliance by ending corruption, balancing the budget, mobilizing the energies of woman and youth, and growing the economy. let me now turn to the elephant that is lacking in the back of the room. we must secure peace. [applause] president ghani: afghans have
shown that we know how to fight. unfortunately, we have inherited that skill for 3 million years. since as far back as invasion of alexander and the more modern expulsion of the soviet union afghans have shown that you'll protect our country against foreign attacks no matter how steep the price or how well armed the intruder. i have no doubt that provided that they continue to receive equipment and training our formed forces will stand firm against any effort by outside extremists to build a base inside. but we must now show that we can also bring peace. our strategy is built around three initiatives. the first is diplomacy to build a community of nations. we have met with the leaders of pakistan, india, turkmenistan, emirate, and china, among others.
their commitment for building mutual security across nation includes ending the financing and sanctuary for extremist groups. the second initiative is to build up the ability of our armed forces to project their elected government across our entire national territory. our partnership with the united states now transformed into the resolute support mission has given afghanistan a well trained army that is taking the fight to the enemy. we are no longer on the defensive. on december 31, 2014, all combat operations were ended and turned over to afghan security forces. general campbell, has publicly testified in this very chamber that the afghan army's professionalism and morale meet
all of the military man's expectation. we will negotiate the taliban from a position of strength not weakness so that the hard part gains in education, health government, freedom and woman's rights are not lost. [applause] president ghani: the third initiative will be our push for national reconciliation. the taliban need to choose not to be al qaeda. and if they choose to be afghan, they will be welcomed to be part of the fabric of our society. [applause] president ghani: many believe themselves to be patriots against the corruption and criminality that they saw in their towns and villages. we can deal with grievances, provided that competence agree
to respect the constitution and the rule of laws as the outcomes of negotiations we are confident that we can find a path. ladies and gentlemen, i'm not here to tell you a story about an overnight transformation of my country. you're too wise for such stories. 12 years of partnership provide evidence enough that the road ahead will be difficult. we live in a rough neighborhood. we are a very poor country. self-reliance is our goal. we bear the scars of the fight against the soviet union. scars that are in our minds as on the bodies of the afghan farmers and american soldiers who have fought for freedom. but although we may be poor, we are very proud. our goal of self-reliance is no pipe dream to pacify partners who are tired of hearing the promises that we failed to meet.
we want your know how, the business skills of your corporations, the innovation of your start-ups, and the commitment, but we don't want your charity. we have no more interest in perpetuating a childish dependence than you have in being saddled with a poor family member who lacks the energy and drive to get out and find a job. we are not going to be the lazy uncle joe. [laughter] [applause] president ghani: afghanistan can and will be an enduring success. your support, your understanding, and your commitment to our country will not have been in vain. afghanistan will be the graveyard of al qaeda and their foreign terrorist associates. [applause]
president ghani: never again will our country be hosts to terrorists. never again will we give extremists the sanctuary to be their destructive plots. we will be the platform for the peaceful cooperation of our civilization. together our two countries will finish the job that began on that clear, terrible september morning almost 14 years ago. we have the will and we have the commitment that will anchor our country and the world community of peaceful democratic nations. knowing our condition, you, the american congress and the american people, will decide how to ensure that our common goals
>> on the next "washington journal" james jay carafano talks took into account desertion charge filed against sergeant bergdahl. loretta sanchez, a member of the armed sferses and homeland security committees discusses the debate over defense spending and the president's debate to stay in afghanistan through 2015. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this sunday on q & a. eric larson on his new book, "dead wake." >> the story gets complicated when the question arises as to what ultimately happened?
why was it allowed to enter the irish sea without escort, without the kind of detailed warning that could have been provided to captain william thomas turner but was not. this has led to interesting speculation about was the ship essentially set up for attack by church hill? it is interesting. i found no smoking memo. believe my, i would have if it exited. there was nothing from churchil to jackie fisher saying let's let it go into the irish sea. nothing like that exists. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q & a. >> president obama marked the fifth anniversary of the
healthcare law with a ceremony at the white house. the president said the law is working despite republican efforts to undermine it. this event is 20 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by dr. nancy mirren. [applause] pres. obama: there you go. hey. [applause] dr. mirren: good morning. good morning. i am a practicing internist that focuses on women's health. i went into medicine for all the
typical reasons. i wanted to help people. i was good in science. i was caring. primary care was my natural fit so i followed my heart and i did not look back. i work in a wonderful practice with another fabulous physician. in 2010, we were fortunate enough to embark on a transformation journey that enhanced our goals as physicians and provide better access and quality care to our patients. our practice thrived and grew. thanks to the funds made available through the affordable care act, small practices such as ours have continued to innovate, change and lead. as a primary care physician, i believe it is our responsibility to advocate and care for patients and today i am honored to introduce to you a visionary
in health-care reform, the president of the united states, president barack obama. [applause] pres. obama: the job. thank you. thank you so much, everybody. thank you. everybody, have a seat. thank you, doctor, for that introduction. i want to thank sylvia burwell our outstanding head of health and human services. we've got some wonderful members of congress here today who helped make this happen. and i want to offer a heartfelt thanks to all of the top medical professionals who are here today. we've got hospital leaders. we've got health care ceo's, doctors, patients, advocates consumer groups, democrats and republicans. we've all come together to spend time and effort to make the
affordable care act and america's health care system work even better. make the affordable care act even better. with one big goal, to continue to improve the cost and quality of health care in america. you've already taken steps on your own. the american cancer society is committed to teaching its members about how new patient centered approaches can improve cancer care. a doctor that is here set a goal of having 80% of the citizens of delaware received care from new payment and delivery models than five years. a doctor from grand junction colorado, is using a new model that allows patients to have access 24/7.
i don't know how that allows him to sleep but i know his patients are sleeping better. these are efforts that show and we don't need to reinvent the wheel. we already figuring out what works, what we have to do is to share these best practices and ideas, including ways to pay for care. that is what this network is all about. just five years in, the affordable care act has our improve the quality of health care across the board. a lot the attention has been rightly focused on peoples access to care. that obviously was a huge motivator for us passing the act, making sure that people that didn't have health insurance had the security of health insurance. another essential benefit was that we had am inefficient system.
a lot of waste that didn't deliver the kind of quality that was needed. it also put health care providers in a box. financial incentives were skewed the other way. the work that we have been able to do is already spurring the kinds of changes that we had hoped for. it has helped reduce hospital readmission rates dramatically. it is a major reason why we have seen 50,000 fewer preventable patient deaths in hospitals. and if you want to know what that means, ask alicia cole, who suffers the long-term effects of a hospital acquired infection. she is here today because she doesn't want anybody else to endure what she has. and it's preventable if we set up good practices and financial
incentives reimbursement incentives are aligned with those best practices. so making sure that the if will care act works as intended to not only deliver access to care but also to improve the quality of care and the cost of care that is something that requires all of us to work together. that is part of what the law is all about. it is making health-care coverage more affordable and effective or all of us. in a lot of ways, it is working better than many of us including me, anticipated. wherever you are, here is why you should care about making the system more efficient. and here is why you should care that we keep the affordable care act in place. if you get insurance through your employer like most americans do, the aca debut new savings and protections. if you have a pre-existing
condition, if you about heartburn or a heart attack, this law means you can no longer be charged more denied coverage because a pre-existing condition. ever. it is the end of discrimination against the sick in america. and all of us are sick sometimes. if you don't have health insurance, you can go online to the marketplace and choose from a -- an array of quality affordable plans. every governor was given the option to extend medicare and medicaid for their citizens although only 28 have done so thus far. 16 million uninsured americans have gained health-care coverage. in just over one year, the ranks of the uninsured have dropped by nearly one third. if you are a woman, you can no longer be charged more just for being a woman. and you know, there are a lot of women, like more than 50%.
preventive care, like routine checkups and immunizations and contraception, that comes with no additional out-of-pocket costs. if you are a young person, you can now stay on your parents plan until you are 26. if you want to thank you, your honor new idea into a business, you are now free to do it because you can buy healthcare that is portable and not tied to your employer. most people have options that cost less than $100 per month. if you're a business owner -- because when we put forward the affordable care act there was a lot of question about how it would affect business. it turns out that employer premiums rose at a rate that was the lowest on record. if premiums and kept growing at the rate we saw in the last decade, then either the average family premium, and by the family or business, would be $800 higher than it is
-- $1,800 higher than it is today. that is 1800 bucks that businesses can use to hire and invest or that is $1800 that stays in the family's bank account. it shows up in their paycheck. if you are a senior, more than 9 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved over $15 billion on their prescriptions. there were fears promoted that somehow this would undermine medicare. it turns out that the life of the medicare trust fund has been extended for 13 years since this law was passed. and, relative to the topic today, we are moving medicare toward a payment model that uses quality of care more than quantity of care. we don't want to incentives to be skewed so that fighters feel
should do the right tests. perhaps they could invest the money on the front end to prevent disease instead of just on the backend to treat disease. as we speak, congress is ready to pass the medicare payment system. i've got my pen ready to sign a good bipartisan bill which would be real exciting. [applause] i love when congress passes bipartisan bills. it is always very encouraging. and i want to thank everybody here today for their work in supporting new models of care. the bottom line is this for the american people. this law is saving money for families and for businesses.
this law is also saving lives. lives that touch all of us. it is working despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, and defame this law. it is not the job killer that critvicks warned about for five years. we have had the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record. five straight years, 12 million new jobs. it is not the fiscal disaster critics warned about for five years. health-care prices are rising at the slowest rate in nearly 50 years which has helped cut our deficit by two thirds since i took office. before the aca, health care was the single biggest driver pushing up our deficits.
we were promised a lot of things in the past five years that didn't turn out to be the case -- death panels, doom, a serious alternative from republicans in congress. [laughter] the budget they introduced last week with literally double the number of uninsured americans. and in their defense, there are two reasons why coming up with an alternative has been difficult. first, it is because the affordable care act pretty much was their plan before i adopted it. based on conservative, market-based principles developed by the heritage foundation. supported by republicans in congress. deployed by a guy named mitt romney in massachusetts to great effect. if they want to take credit for this law, they can, i am happy to share it.
second, it is because health reform is really hard. people here who are in the trenches know that. good people from both parties have tried and failed to get it done for a hundred years because every public policy has trade-offs, especially when it affects 1/6 of the american economy. and applies to very personal needs of individual americans. we have made some mistakes since we passed this law but we also know beyond a shred of a doubt that the policy has worked. coverage is up. costs are at an historic low. deficits have been slashed, lives have been saved. so if anybody wants to join us in the spirit of people who put aside differences to come here today and help make the law work together, come on board. on the other hand, for folks who are basing their entire
political agenda on repealing the law, you have to explain how kicking millions of families of their insurance is somehow going to make us more free. or why forcing millions of families to pay thousands of dollars more will somehow make us more secure. or go back to the days where women pay more for coverage than men. or when pre-existing conditions blocked so many of us out of insurance. if that is your argument, speak to somebody like ann who is here. ann is 28 years old. where is ann? there you are. ann runs her own business in philadelphia. she thought what many of us think when we are young, that she was young and too healthy to bother with health insurance. she went to the gym every day, a
-- ate healthy, looks great, felt invincible. why pay doctor just to tell her she is ok. then her mom called and told ann to get insured against the what if's of life. but if you get sick? what if you get into a car accident? so ann went to healthcare.gov and checked out her options in the marketplace. she got covered for $85 per month. four months later, ann was diagnosed with early-stage stomach cancer. she underwent surgery, endure chemo, and today she is recovering. she looks great. she is here with us at the white house. she invited me to her wedding and i told her, you don't want the president at your wedding. if i didn't have insurance, ann wrote, " my stomach cancer
would've gone undiscovered slowly but silently killing me. " but because i did have insurance i had a chance to live a long life." [applause] president obama: and so in september, she will be marrying her fiancé, tom. she has convinced him to get covered too. and i do appreciate and michelle appreciates the invitation. as i said, it spoils the fun. here are two lessons -- number one, listen to your mom. number two, the affordable care act works. it is working not just to make sure that folks like ann get coverage, but is also working to
make sure that the system as a whole is providing better quality at a better price, freeing up our providers to do the things that led them to get into health care in the first place, and that is help people. it works. five years ago we declared that in the united states of america, the security of quality health care was a right, not a privilege. today, we have citizens all across the country, all of you here today, who are helping make that right a reality for every american regardless of their political beliefs. and we are saving money in the process and we're cutting the deficit in the process. and we are helping businesses in their bottom lines in the
process. we are making this country more competitive in the process. it is not going to happen overnight. there are still all kinds of bumps along the way. health care is complicated stuff. the hospital executives who are here and the doctors who are here and the consumer advocates who are here can tell you all the complications and the quirks, not just in the affordable care act but just generally making the system more rational and efficient take some time. but we are on our way and making progress. if all of a sudden, the same focus, the same wisdom and hard work that so many of you in this room displayed, if we keep working, not against one another but for one another and with one another then we will not just make progress in health care. we will keep on making sure that
across the board we are living up to our highest ideals. i'm very much appreciative of what you are doing. i'm very proud of it and why don't you guys get back to work. thank you very much. [applause] >> homeland security secretary jeh hohnson will be on capitol hill to testify about his department's budget priority. we'll have live coverage from the house appropriations subcommittee this morning at 9:00 eastern on c-span 3. british prime minister david cameron said this week that he will mot seek a third term -- not seek a third term if he wins a second term in the may elections. this is 35 minutes.
>> questions to the prime minister. [applause] >> thank you mr. speaker. i know the whole house wants to join me in offering our deepest condolences to all those killed in yesterdays crash in france. it is heartbreaking to hear about the schoolchildren, the babies, the people whose lives came to an end. it is very likely there were some british nationals involved. at this stage, three british nationals have been identified as being on the flight. the foreign office is working urgently to discover whether any other british nationals were on board. we will give further information when it is available. our ambassador to france is at the crash site today.
i spoke to chancellor merkel and prime minister rajoy last night and made it clear that the u.k. is ready to offer any assistance we can. i expect to speak to president hollande today. this morning, i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others and i shall have further such meetings later today. >> esther speaker, may i join the prime minister and expressing sympathy to all families affected. in 2014, the number of people working on contracts increased by 19%. the percentage living in relative poverty was at the highest level since 2001. does the prime minister agree that under his watch, the future of our young people is only getting darker? pm cameron: what has happened under my watch is that there are 174,000 more people employed. it is this government that has
outlawed exclusivity after 13 years of inaction. in her own constituency, the claimant count has fallen by 32% since the election. that is evident that our economic plan is working in scotland and the rest of the united kingdom. >> thank you mr. speaker. one of the most disturbing scandals has been the infection of thousands of people across the nation with hiv and hepatitis c through contaminated blood. nearly 25 years of campaigning on both sides of this house to address the scandal. could the prime minister, as the last act of his government ensure a full apology and above all, proper compensation for the families terribly affected. pm cameron: my honorable friend is absolutely right to raise
this. i can do all of the three things that he asked for. i know that many members on all sides of this house have raised the question of infected blood. i have spoken about how constituents have been through my surgeries. while it would be for the next government to take account of these findings, it is right that we use these moments to take into account the pain and suffering. it is difficult to imagine the feelings of unfairness that people must feel by being infected as a result of a totally unrelated treatment in the nhs. to each and every one of those people i would like to say sorry. on behalf of the government for something that should not have happened. no amount of money can fully make up for what did happen, but it is vital that we move as quickly as possible to make sure that the payments are made to the people infected by this blood. the government will provide at least 25 million pounds in 2015-2016. if i am prime minister in may,
we will respond to the findings of this report as a matter of priority. i know that lord penrose was unable to present the findings of this report because of illness and i'm sure the whole house was to send them our best wishes. >> ed miliband. [applause] mp miliband: mr. speaker, let me first say that i fully associate myself with the sentiments that the prime minister just made. i also joined the prime minister in offering my condolences to those families that lost loved ones in the devastating plane crash yesterday, especially remembering the three british victims. our thoughts are with all of the victims, their families and friends. the prime minister announced his retirement plans.
and he said it was because he believed in giving straight answers to straight questions. after five years of prime minister's questions, that was music to my ears. pm cameron: in 43 days time, i plan to arrange his retirement. >> straight answers deserve straight questions and the answer is yes. mp miliband: nobody is going to believe it. nobody is going to believe it because his extreme spending
plans, the numbers don't add up, and because he promised it last time and broke his promise. let's try him on another one. can he confirm -- >> order! order! the leader of the opposition will be heard. if we overrun, so be it. the right honorable gentleman will be heard and the prime minister will be heard and every other member will be heard. the leader of the opposition, can he confirm? mp miliband: can he confirm that the spending cuts he planned in the next three years will be greater than anything seen in the last five. pm cameron: will he rule out national insurance contributions? yes or no? mp miliband: he will have plenty of time to ask questions after
may 7. i am afraid to say his own office of budget responsibility says a much sharper squeeze on real spending. next question and this should be an easier one. five years ago, he promised to cut net migration by tens of thousands. straight answer to a straight question. is that a broken promise, yes or no? let me give him a second chance. i asked him a very simple question -- let me ask him again. will he rule out an increase in national insurance contributions? we all know this is labour's job -- working people, families,
enterprises. mp miliband: there is only one person who is going to raise taxes on ordinary families and that is him. and he didn't answer the question. five years ago, he promised no top-down reorganization of the nhs. can he confirmed that is a broken promise, yes or no? pm cameron: i will tell you what is happening in the nhs, 9000 more doctors and 20,000 more bureaucrats. but we have heard it now, a clear promise on vat from this side of the house and no answer from that side. and he goes to a bigger point, mr. speaker. he has had five years to come up with an economic plan. he has had five years to work out policies for the future of this country. he has had five years to demonstrate leadership and he
has failed on every count. mp miliband: nobody believed his promises on the national health service because he has broken his promises. three years ago, he cut the top rate of income tax. can he rule out under a tory government, a further cut? pm cameron: the richest in this country are paying more tax under this government than they were under the last government. we set out plans for tax cuts. if you are young and you work hard, you will get an apprenticeship. if you are a family, we will take you out of tax until you earn 12,500 pounds. i don't want to see middle income families drawn in the top rate of tax. we have made our promises, now let him make a promise. will he increase national insurance, yes or no? mp miliband: nobody believes his promises.
he has had five years of failing working families. more spending cuts, more tax cuts for the richest. it is time for a better plan. it is time for a labour government. pm cameron: absolutely no ability to answer the question. this is a country where unemployment is falling, the deficit is coming down, more good school places for our children, living conditions rising. that is the choice and 43 days time. come with us on a long-term plan that is delivering instead of the chaos of economic crisis from labour.
>> mr. speaker, 13 months ago, my constituent lee smith tragically lost her three-month-old baby due to a rare heart condition. in an effort to help other families avoid the grief and despair of losing a child, mr. smith wants all schools to install defibrillators and teach lifesaving skills. will the prime minister offer his support for this vital cause? pm cameron: let me say to my honorable friend and his constituent that there is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a child and everything we can do to help with this, we should. the chancellor put in his budget one million pounds for defibrillators, including putting defibrillators in schools. i want to see a situation community building pubs,
village halls, all have defibrillators. we can save lives in this way, particularly when we are saving such young lives. we must do better. >> can i start by expressing my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the tragic german air wings crash. mr. speaker, there are 600 and 80 people seeking asylum in rochdale. more than the entire southeast of england. we are all proud of the assistance we offer those people in need. but public services in rochdale are already stretched and asylum-seekers are not helping the situation. does the prime minister except that this is not fair on rochdale and what does he plan to do about it? pm cameron: i think the gentleman is totally right to raise this issue.
the number asylum seekers is down by a 1/3. what we have done is we are fast tracking more cases, resolving cases more quickly. but i have to say to him that the legislation governing the distribution of asylum-seekers with something that was put in place under the last labour government. i have been following what the honorable gentleman has been saying. he said very good dispatches from the front, knocking on doors in rochdale. he said that any labor politician that says do you, they knock on the door and say ed miliband is popular, they are telling lies. this north london is the view of the world just is not play in rochdale or anywhere else beginning with and are outside the m-25. i would encourage him to do more interviews because he could caused so many more.
>> thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, in may 2010 unemployment in a next mining area stood at 1540, today it is all most a third of that at 580. i think the prime minister would agree with me that a strong conservative government and a conservative district council with a long-term economic plan are able to succeed in bringing jobs and growth where the labor equivalent failed to do so. pm cameron: my honorable friend is absolutely right. in south derbyshire, since the election, claimant for unemployment are down 68%.
those are statistics but every one of those people is a job with a livelihood and chance to provide for their families. that is what this election is going to be about. young people who want jobs, we're offering apprenticeships. young families who want homes, we have homes. pensioners who want security we have pension benefits guaranteed. that is what is on the ballot paper and i think that is what people will choose. >> following the publication of the select committee yesterday it came about that the man who went about disturbing these letters to ira fugitives has actually received the royal prerogative of mercy for certain crimes. will the prime minister now list all of those other leading republicans who have likewise received the royal pardon so that republicans in northern ireland can know which one of their leaders have received,
probably with a bended knee, such a royal pardon. and secondly, so everyone can know which governments have been involved with such nefarious activity. pm cameron: i will look very carefully at the question he asked and what we can do to be transparent. i would say to him that governments in the past have had to make difficult decisions with respect to northern ireland to try to bring people together that has involved difficult compromises and things that he and probably i have found at times deeply distasteful. but sometimes, in the pursuit of peace, these things have to be done. >> can i congratulate my right honorable friend and the department of transport for
their securing a 15 million pound rails infrastructure scheme which feeds my constituency. however, we still need better infrastructure. additional tracks if we are to get longer trains and faster journey times. will my right honorable friend meet me and discuss how we can further boost the economy? pm cameron: always happy to meet with my honorable friend and discuss these issues. i believe this government has gone right by the southwest and not least with an additional 57,000 seats on southwest trains every week from december. 1, 400extra car parking spaces at train stations across the region. we can have this investment not just in the southwest but right across our country because we have a long-term economic plan is delivering the growth this country needs.
>> how can the prime minister put himself on a fixed term contract? and isn't he concerned? pm cameron: very simple what i have said. i answered a very clear question and maybe the leader of the opposition will answer some clear questions. very simple. two terms, 10 years, and one kitchen. >> is your right honorable friend as alarmed as i am? is my right honorable friend as alarmed as i am that alex hammond is planning to impose demands on the u.k. government and is he concerned that he will have nothing to do. pm cameron: i think my honorable friend makes a very important point. as far as i can see, alex hammond has taken the entire labour party hostage.
and today we got the ransom note. it says, higher borrowing, uncontrolled inflation unfettered welfare, higher taxes, and weaker defense. that is what is being demanded in the british people have only one way of saying no to this appalling hostage situation and that is to vote conservative in may. >> can i ask the prime minister about the continually dire condition at london bridge station. is he aware that the abysmal service and the chaotic scenes that a company network rail's latest stage of development? can i ask him to personally take responsibility for resolving this and to bring
forward and early, straightforward compensation scheme for the many tens of thousands of commuters who have had their lives so seriously disrupted? pm cameron: anyone who has seen the pictures of what happens some mornings at london bridge station knows that the pressures are events. we need to know that the department of transport are working to bring about the best possible solutions. what i can say is that you can't criticize this government for failing to invest in london's transport infrastructure. the crossrail scheme is the biggest -- they say we did that, they left an enormous bill. it is one thing to promise something, another to put it in the ground.
>> mr. speaker, it is very easy just to say the words long-term economic plan. but the last five years has seen sharply falling unemployment, hugely increased business startups, and massive investment in the new hospitals. does the prime minister think that the sun will continue to shine on brighton? pm cameron: first of all, let me pay tribute to my honorable friend who has been a real champion for brighton. he has worked very hard for the extra investment and the rebuilding of this hospital and i am so glad that that redevelopment will take place. also, i would take note that the claimant count in his constituency has gone down 52%.
the long-term use claimant count has gone down 50% since last election and i think we can say the sun will continue to shine on brighton. >> i agree with the prime minister that the sunshine's on brighton. it shines bright green on brighton. recently revealed that in the space of a single month, nearly 1700 trains between brighton and london ran late. to add insult to injury, unfair trade company rules meant that the passengers received compensation on only a few of those journeys. 59 of the 7,300 journeys. will you join me in backing the campaign for a fair compensation system? pm cameron: i should have said
in my previous answer, is that the only part of brighton where the sun doesn't shine is the local green council. we need a tory gain there as well. she is right to raise the case of rail compensation. we are looking closely at the campaign and and what can be done to make the scheme easier and better for people. >> thousands of constituents now enjoy access to superfast broadband. that is helping to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban and also helping small businesses benefit from our long-term economic plan. however, getting the remaining rolled out will be difficult. will the prime minister meet with us to ensure we can get these deliveries as quickly as possible. pm cameron: i am always happy
to meet with my honorable friend who is a real champion for his constituents and he is right to put this issue front and center in his campaign. we are investing to get broadband to 95% of the u.k. by 2017. that program is going well. every day the rollout reaches another 5,000 homes and businesses. the party opposite complaints, but broadband has doubled under this government. that is what happens because of the work that we put in. we are investing extra money to make sure we can get to the most hard-to-reach premises, and that will include subsidizing the cost of superfast satellite connections which will help people who currently have the slowest speed. >> mr. speaker -- >> order! the honorable members question will be heard.
>> to put -- they could not give any advice because it was unregulated. does the prime minister agree that that company -- and it is about time we deal with this ripoff britain problem? pm cameron: can i pay tribute to the gentleman who is standing down at the election? he's been a member of parliament --he's not?
sorry. i want to defend the team. this is my 146th appearance at the dispatch box doing prime minister elections and they normally get these things right. let me rephrase. let me pay tribute to him anyway and wish him luck in the current battle he has in his constituency. he raises a case we have all had. people who put money into timeshare schemes by companies that turned out to be disreputable. we have all had problems getting those companies properly uncovered and regulated. shall look into the specific case and write him either in his capacity as m.p. or whatever it is after the election. >> mr. speaker, the prime
minister knows i have often been unhelpful to the government in the house select committee. but as a member of that committee it is my duty to be impartial. does the prime minister share my concerns that the system has been fundamentally undermined by labor's refusal to even discussed decreased admin costs, not posing a threat to the nhs -- >> order! the remainder of the question must be heard. >> no charges introduced and no plans to.
pm cameron: my honorable friend makes a very important point which is that the select committee report has been held back because labor members of parliament don't want to tell the truth about national healthcare. they are only interested in trying to weaponize the nhs. the fact is, there are more doctors, more nurses, more operations being carried out. the truth is, it is disgraceful that labor would try to cover it up. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this is in fact my last prime minister's questions after 23 years in this place. but i do hope that my very good friend will be rejoining this place in may. can the prime minister please tell us, which causes and more
anguish, his imminent return or my imminent departure? pm cameron: i was looking forward to missing you both. i said in this house for 14 years and all the time he has been a member of parliament. i remember passionate speeches at least if not on the iraq war and civil liberties in our country and making sure we respond in the right way for terror. he has always stood up for his constituents and he will be missed by everyone. >> on the very last day before the 2010 general election, the prime minister visited to have a joyous occasion which led to my presence in the house today. will the prime minister make another visit to see for himself the dramatic
improvement in business confidence in the dramatic falls and unemployment that have taken place in montgomeryshire as a result of the government's long-term plan. pm cameron: it was a huge pleasure to go visit my honorable friend just before the last election. i thought it was a long shot but nonetheless he made it here. he has been a fantastic member of parliament. in wales, since the election we have 22,000 more small businesses, employment going up by 52,000, private sector growth, we see a real recovery in wales. it feeds my honorable friend back here and standing up for his constituents. >> i have hear a cutting from the york press on the 24th of sprail, 2010 isit said, "david cameron last
night dismissed claims that tories would put up b.n.t.'s. in the election. that was the last election. why should the public believe promises he makes for this coming election? pm cameron: i have given the straightest possible answer. this time, we know what needs to be done. we know the changes. the truth is, both sides of this house have voted for a 30 billion pound adjustment. the labor front bench voted for it too. we have set out what need to happen with departmental spending and welfare and tax avoidance. the labour party said that half of the 30 billion must be raised in taxes. so we know a tax bombshell is coming from labor and we learned today and we learned today it will be a jobs tax bombshell. they want to do it after the next election and it would wreck our economy.
there is only one group of people who can stop it. >> would you agree that measures to reduce the noise for the a-38 going forward they should use their profits on those sites to -- pm cameron: i think today is a good day to discuss noise pollution. i think it is appropriate that we quiet down and think about the subject for a minute. my friend campaigned on this issue. it is a big concern for his constituents. we are resurfacing 80% of the network with low noise servicing. that can make a real
difference. and i will look carefully at what we can do for his own constituency. >> last week, some of the rougher elements of the house -- chose to refer to the prime minister as chicken. i hope we've moved on. however, will the prime minister agree with me that we entirely refer to him as a lame duck? pm cameron: i will tell you what is a lame-duck, and that is trying to get into downing street on the back of alex hammond's coattails. they know they cannot win the election on their own so they are preparing a ransom note,
higher taxes, more borrowing weaker defense, breaking up our union. never mind talk of ducks, i am looking at alex hammond's poodle. >> thank you mr. speaker. on friday, in partnership with local businesses, i will be launching a new campaign calling for millions in investments, new jobs for the bristol region, and provide access to the motorway. will the prime minister look closely at the campaign? pm cameron: let me pay tribute to my right honorable friend. it is very hard work. he is absolutely right that we do need to see better transit schemes in bristol and i know the transport secretary would be happy to look at the campaign. as a great historian, and indeed someone who is written
about richard the third, we shouldn't let this day pass without noting that of course richard the third will be buried tomorrow. 2 it is worth remembering it is the last time someone did in their relatives to get the top job and the country ended in chaos. >> order! >> on the next "washington journal" retired colonel general james carafano talks about the charges filed against sergeantberg call recovered last year. and loretta sanchez a member of the armed services and homeland security discusses the bait over defense spending and the president's decision to
stay in afghanistan through 2015. as always, we'll take your calls and join the conversation at facebook and twitter as well. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this sunday on q&a, eric larsen on his new book "dead wake." >> the story is complicated when the question arises as to what ultimately happened to the lucitania. why was it allowed to enter the sea without escort, without the kind of detailed warning that could have been provided to captain william thomas turner but was not? and this has led to some interesting speculation to which was the ship essentially set up for attack by churchill or someone in the admiral ti?
it's interesting, i found the no smoking memo, believe me i would have found a smoking memo if it existed but nothing to say there was nothing from churchill to jackie fisher or someone else saying let's let the lusitania go in the irish sea because we wanted something. nothing like that exists. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific, on c-span's "q&a." >> next, a senate panel looks at alzheimer's research and the effect of the disease. witnesses include medical researchers and former model bee smith who was diagnosed with alzheimer's. main senator suzanne collins chairs the special aging committee.