tv Senator Alexander on Health Care Bill CSPAN May 4, 2017 10:56pm-11:08pm EDT
[laughter] reporter: whose idea was the singing on the floor from your side? >> i think that was spontaneous. i have no idea. they all just seemed to burst into song. [laughter] >> thank you guys. >> thank you. >> the measure now goes to the senate which is not expected to act as quickly as the house. the lack of analysis from the congressional budget office will be a major contributor to that slow down. the estimate is necessary for the senate to determine if the bill qualifies under the rules governing the fast track procedure known as reconciliation. shortly after the house passed legislation, a tennessee
republican, lamar alexander came to the senate floor to outline items he would need to see in order to support it. the house ofnder: representatives has just passed a bill that would make major changes in the affordable care act by a vote of 217-to 13. i congratulate the house. the senate will carefully review the bill and we will go to work on the senate bill. for a senateoals bill. for not pretend to speak any member of the senate or any republican, but these are my goals for a bill which we will pass here. thousands, rescue the of tennesseans and millions of americans who under the affordable care act will be trapped in obamacare exchanges with few or zero options for
health insurance in the year 2018, unless congress acts. number two, my second goal is to lower premium costs. premium costs have increased and in some states are going through the roof under the afford of a care act. graduallyee, to transferred to the states more flexibility in administrating -- administering the medicaid program and to do it in a way that will not pull the rug out from those who rely on the program. number four, to make sure that those who have pre-existing health conditions have access to health insurance. this is one thing in the affordable care act that has strong support from just about everybody, including the president. if you have a pre-existing condition, you must have access to health care. and we need to make sure that
that is still true in any bill that we create in the senate. there is some urgency here because of what is happening in the individual market. when we say individual market this is what we are talking about, most americans get insurance from the government or on-the-job. .5% of americans get insurance through medicare. we're not talking about medicare today, the bill in the house or the one we will create in the senate does not affect medicare. about 60% of americans get their insurance on-the-job, about 20% or so through medicaid, that leaves about 4% who go into a market to buy. many of these americans by insurance -- buy insurance on marketplaces or exchanges created by the affordable care act. we call those the obamacare exchanges. about 85% of those that do by
their insurance on the exchanges have a government subsidy to help them by the insurance. we hear day goes by, and we are going to continue to hear about insurance companies pulling out of counties and states. yesterday, we heard the only insurer left in iowa is now likely to leave. that means more than 70,000 people on the exchanges will have no insurance to buy. most of them will have subsidies from the government, but -- so it is like thousands of people in iowa that have bus tickets into town, where no buses run. and that is what is happening right now because of the 2010 law which we call the afford a book air act. -- affordable care act. i know it well, because 44,000 people in the knoxville, tennessee area, my home area, will have subsidies in 2018 but
no insurance to purchase at the -- purchase with the subsidies, unless congress acts. 7% of6, last year counties in the united states had just one insurer offering plans on the of what will care act exchanges. this year, 2017, that number jumped to 32%, one in three counties in the united states, if you have a subsidy to buy insurance on the obamacare exchange, you have only one insurance, insurance companies offering you insurance. five entire states have only one insurer offering aca plans in their entire state, alabama, alaska, oklahoma, south carolina and wyoming. that is because on the law passed in 2010.
unfortunately, we will be hearing every day not just about insurers leaving counties and states, but about the ones that remain, because they will be charging skyhigh premiums. premiums went up by as much as 60% this year. by 160% in arizona. and as the new rate increases are proposed over the next few weeks, our constituents will say, what will you do about that? there is an urgency, but we want to get it right. again, here are my goals for the senate bill which we won all right in the next few weeks. rescue, that is not too strong a word, the millions of americans across this country who are going to have few or zero insurance options in the year 2018 because of collapsing
obamacare exchanges, unless congress acts. number two, lower premium rates. because in many states, the premiums are going through the roof under the affordable care act. number three, gradually transferred to states more flexibility in managing the medicaid programs. about 20% of americans get their insurance on medicaid paid and do so in such a way -- medicaid. and do so in such a way that when i pull the rug out from under those currently served by medicaid. finally, pre-existing conditions. americans who have insurance for pre-existing conditions continue to have access to them. in almost every case, if you get insurance on-the-job, you have
insurance for pre-existing conditions. iner the affordable care act 2010, there had to be insurance for pre-existing conditions. we had to make sure that americans have continued access if they have pre-existing conditions. with theove ahead speed, we are doing that because exchanges are collapsing and people could be without insurance. premiums could go up if we do not act. we want to get it right. there will be no artificial deadlines. carefullyrk together to write our own bill. we will make sure that we know what our bill costs, when we vote on it. by law, we have to do that. we will get it right and then we will vote. and hopefully the end result will be significant improvements for most americans, giving them
more choices of health insurance at a lower cost. and to do that by gradually transferring more decisions from washington dc to the states and to individuals. thank you. i yield before. ♪ c-span, where history unfold daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's paid ica's cable companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. ♪ washington journal, live every day with news and policy news that impacts you. friday morning, julie reiner of kaiser health noise -- kaiser health news discusses health care on thursday. and what consumers can expect going forward. be sure to watch washington
journal, live at seven 4 p.m. eastern on friday morning. join the discussion. passed a the house republican plan to replace the affordable care act by a vote of 217-213. barely passed the threshold. it was finalized 30 night when republican leaders agreed to an amendment by mike upton. it adds a billion dollars to the measure to help cover insurance costs for those with pre-existing conditions. as the new york times reports, it brought republican leadership the votes they needed to. debate on the bill and the role for the bill lasted about four hours. we will show all of that beginning with the debate. rules committee. over the past few weeks the rules committee has had the opportunity to hear from numerous stakeholders from the chair and ranking member of the committees ofies dirks to amendments. we heard testimony from mr.
macarthur and mr. upton to explain their amendments and a dress questions from the committee members and ms. mcsally tokes plane her legislation. this rule provide for further consideration of h.r. 162le 8, the american health care act and incorporates three amendments, that strengthen the underlying bill. it also provides for consideration of h.r. 2192, legislation authored by representative mcsally with one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the committee on energy and commerce. mr. speaker, all across our country the affordable care act continues to strip hardworking americans and families of access to affordable and quality medical care and offer them skyrocketing premiums and anemic provider networks in return. democrats have struggled -- smuggled obamacare with little guard, left lofty promise that is benefit a bureaucratic machine. seven years later we have seen these overwhelm prisses evaporate as they