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tv   Senate Democrats on Affordable Care Act Repeal  CSPAN  January 10, 2017 6:53am-8:37am EST

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ms. baldwin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin.
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ms. baldwin: i rise this evening to join my colleagues, democrats, independents, to fight together to protect the health and economic security of the american people. in 2012 when i was elected to the united states senate, i can assure you that the people of wisconsin did not send me here to take their health care away. we are barely into the second week of the new congress and the republican establishment is already wielding its power to accomplish just one thing: making america sick again. the budget resolution that we are considering this week will
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repeal the affordable care act, put insurance companies back in charge of people's health care, strip health care away from millions of americans, and raise premiums. it will take us from affordable coverage to chaos. this is the first step towards higher costs, fewer people with health insurance, and more uncertainty for american families. in short, the republicans believe they have a mandate to make america sick. by repealing the law and taking away the health care that families already have, republicans are forcing 30 million americans to lose their
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insurance. republicans are putting the health care coverage of over 200,000 wisconsinites at risk. and they are raising taxes on more than 190,000 wisconsinites who rely on and receive premium tax credits to help them afford high-quality health insurance. instead, they are giving tax breaks to big corporations and handing over control to the insurance companies who will be free, once again, to deny coverage if you have a preexisting condition, jack up premiums simply because you are a woman, drop your coverage if you get sick or have a baby. mr. president, i could continue to list some very disturbing
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facts and statistics of what this republican repeal of health care reform will do to our working class and what it will mean to rip away protections from families struggling with cancer or other serious illnesses, but these facts seem to fall flat on the other side of the aisle. so instead i'm demanding that my republican colleagues listen, not to me but to the calls from real people that we are here to represent and fight for: our constituents back home. i demand that they listen to randy. randy is from rinelander,
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wisconsin. randy told me that the affordable care act has been a save i don't remember for his wife who was diagnosed with kidney failure more than two years ago as a result of an autoimmune disease. she has to have dialysis three times a week. the law eliminated her lifetime maximum limit -- i'm sorry -- yes, the law eliminated her lifetime maximum limit, and that helps them afford her lifesaving care. and it prevents her from being denied coverage because of her preexisting condition. randy said that repealing the law will force them to face the harsh reality of not only losing insurance but also declaring bankruptcy. i also heard from sheilah from
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nina, wisconsin. sheilah is a small business owner who relies on the premium tax credits that helped her purchase her health plan through the marketplace. she writes, "i just wanted to let you know how devastating it will be for my family if the affordable care act is repealed. to take away the subsidies would pretty much turn the plan into unaffordable care act," she told me. sheilah has owned a small hair salon for 35 years and said that the premium tax credits under the law have made it possible for her to buy decent health insurance for the first time in her whole career. and i want my republican colleagues to listen to joel. joel is a physician from milwaukee. he is on the front lines of
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delivering high-quality health care and told me that he'd witnessed tremendous good that has occurred as a result of the health care law. he's been able to provide his patients with better care because they have increased coverage. and he is especially aware of the positive impact of allowing children to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26. but joel remembers the days before the affordable care act. he said that he has seen firsthand the insurance companies callously denying or dropping coverage for families with preexisting conditions or those struggling with a new diagnosis. he doesn't want to go back to the days when insurance companies were in charge and literally dictated his patients'
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health. i want my republican colleagues to listen to chelsea from shelby, wisconsin. when she was pregnant with her daughter zoe, she learned that zoe would be born with a congenital heart defect. at just five days old, zoe had to have open-heart surgery. she had it at children's hospital in wawatosa, wisconsin, and was fighting for her life. thankfully, she is recovering and she's living a healthy life. the affordable care act protects my daughter. it allows her to have health care access and not be denied, chelsea twroat me. "i'm pleading to you as a mother to fight for that and follow through on that promise. there are so many kids in wisconsin with heart defects, as well as other kids with
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preexisting conditions, that are counting on you to protect that right." so for zoe, i want to call on my republican colleagues to stand with me, with all of us, to protect these health care rights and benefits for all of our families. these are our families who are benefiting right now, from the protections in the law and the quality affordable healt healthe options it provides. the and they are calling on congress, calling on the republican majority to stop their plot that is going to take this all away. mr. president, i could continue to share stories of real wisconsinites whose coverage is at risk today, but i want to take a moment to illustrate what life was like before the affordable care act was the law of the land, before these
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sweeping reforms and protections had been put in place. during my time in the house of representatives, sue from beloitte, wisconsin, reached out to meevment she told me, "my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. after treatment began, we found out that the insurance company had a small loophole. under our insurance, they have a $13,000 limit per year on radiation and chemotherapy. that amount did not even cover the first treatment of either radiation or chemo," sue said. she said, "i was not going to have my husband die for lack of treatment, so we started to use our savings and our available credit to pay for medical expenses. my husband later died. after having completely depleted
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our savings and facing insurmountable credit card debt," she told me, "i had no choice but to file for bankruptcy." sue's devastating ordeal was a common story all across our country almost eight years ago, before health care reform was enacted to prohibit lifetime caps and to restrict annual limits on care. before the health law, i heard from too many working wisconsin families who went bankrupt, sold their homes, and even spent their entire life's savings just to get the health care that they needed. this was when america was sick. and when lawmakers prioritized the health of insurance companies over the health of the american people. republicans will take us back to those days when they vote to
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make america sick again. mr. president, i want to share one last story about life before the affordable care act, and that's my own. as many of you may know, i was raised by my maternal grandparents in madison, wisconsin. when i was just 9 years old, i was diagnosed with a serious childhood illness, similar to spinal meningitis. and i spent three months at 9 years old in the hospital. my grandparents had health insurance, but learned that their plan didn't cover me. since their insurance didn't cover me, they made incredible sacrifices to pay for the care that i needed. when i got better, my grandparents did what think responsible parent or grandparent would do. they looked for an insurance policy that would cover me into the future.
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but looked as they might, they discovered that because of my previous illness, they couldn't find a policy. they couldn't find it from any insurer at any price. and at 9 years old, i had been branded with those magic words -- preexisting condition. well, thanks to the affordable care act, children today have new protections and no one can be denied insurance coverage because of a preexisting condition. my family experience helped inspire me to enter public service and to fight to ensure that every american has quality affordable health care as a right, not a privilege. this is what i fought for and will continue to fight with my
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colleagues to protect. these vital benefits that the health law guarantees to all wisconsinites and families across this great country, but we cannot fight aloan. republicans are hard at work making america sick again, taking us back from affordable health care to chaos, handling -- handing over the reins of insurance to insurance companies and driving up health care costs for all americans. i call on them to stand accountable to our families and to the american people that we are charged to represent. i call on them to join us to fight for sue who was forced into medical bankruptcy. i call on them to fight to
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protect zoey from predatory insurance companies who want to deny her coverage because of her heart condition. to fight for sheila and her producers like her, and to fight for our health care professionals, nurses aides, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses and doctors like joel. and to fight for randy and his wife as they battle her kidney failure. we have been ready for over six years to work together to keep all that works with the affordable care act and to fix what doesn't, but instead of working on bipartisan reforms to improve the affordable care act, this republican plan to repeel historic health care reforms will create nothing short of
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chaos. i know i speak for my colleagues, my democratic colleagues, my independent colleagues when i say that we are here and we will stay here on the floor because we are ready, we are ready to work across the aisle to protect coverage and to improve the affordable care act. but we will not help you make america sick again, and we will not help you take away people's health care. i yield back. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: mr. president, the hippocratic oath that guides health care practitioners begins with these powerful words -- first, do no harm. this is certainly good guidance for our doctors and other health care practitioners, but isn't it good guidance also for those who
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are in the realm of health care policy, for those who are health care policy practitioners as well as the doctors themselves, first do no harm. but those powerful first words of the hippocratic oath very relevant to this discussion are being ignored by my colleagues across the aisle, by the republicans who have come to power and said we are going to dismantle health care across this nation for millions of americans, and we don't know what we're going to do next. we're going to repeal this plan and we're going to run away, and in a few years we might figure out how to replace these health care provisions. this is an irresponsible perspective. we hold in our hands the health care challenges of america, and
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to repeal and run will do a tremendous amount of harm. and the irresponsibility of it is terrifying families across america. they're scared of what the future holds and the uncertainty that awaits them under this strategy of making america sick again. folks are afraid that if they have ever been sick or injured, they'll soon be denied coverage because they have a preexisting condition. they are afraid that they might be one of the more than 20 million americans who will lose insurance, who will gain insurance through the a.c.a., have gained access to affordable quality health care. they are afraid that the chaos created in the market will result in premium hikes that will make health care unaffordable to low-income and middle-class americans. they're afraid of an unforeseen emergency wiping them out
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financially, driving them into bankruptcy, and our seniors, they're afraid as well. they remember the situation that existed before they reached 65, if they had a health care need and didn't have insurance, they had to wrestle between paying for their prescriptions or paying their heating bill. and they don't want to be in that position again. they know how much progress we've made by filling the doughnut hole that pays for prescriptions throughout the continuum, and they don't want us to go backward. so from so many different directions, americans are terrified with the republican repeal and run strategy threatening to do harm to their lives. and how do i know this? i know this because they are writing to me and they are writing to my colleagues and we're sharing those stories tonight. the letter i have from a young
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woman in portland starts out i must implore you to protect the a.c.a. its existence saves the lives of millions, including mine. she says i was born in full renal failure. i currently maintain stage three renal function with the help of prescription medication. if i am unable to afford my medication, i will enter end stage renal function. that is kidney failure, and i will die. she ended her message by saying i am so scared. i am only 26. i have so much more to do. cameron of beaver creek writes my wife and daughter both have chronic health conditions, and the a.c.a. has allowed us to have them covered by health insurance despite having preexisting conditions. if the a.c.a. is repealed, we will lose this protection.
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and i don't know how we could afford to pay for their medical costs directly. and lisa in wilsonville wrote to me about the impact that repealing the a.c.a. will have on her special needs daughter. lisa says if the a.c.a. is repealed, we lose funding that directly impacts my daughter's programs, her respite care, her medicaid, and i will no longer get support and be able to take care of my daughter. just before christmas, i got a message from nick. nick wrote and shared this story of a recent medical emergency that threatened his life. he said without notice, this past march, my heart suffered a debilitating viral infection which resulted in congestive heart failure. as things stand, i require a new heart and await that occurrence with patience and resolve. he continues, thanks to the
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a.c.a., i was able to purchase health insurance the month prior to that diagnosis. without it, i don't know how i could have paid for my initial three-week hospitalization. without it, my ability to obtain a replacement organ would be uncertain. without it, i envision a bankruptcy filing as the only viable financial option. individuals are writing about their challenges as patients, but doctors are also writing to share their observations as folks who see hundreds of patients in the course of a year. meg writes and says i have practiced both before and after the affordable care act and witnessed the sense of hope and relief the expansion of medicaid in oregon brought to my patients who are facing serious illnesses. we have been able to participate at community and state level innovations to help transform health care delivery, lowering
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costs, improving outcomes and making people's lives better. isn't that what we should be about? not a strategy of doing harm to millions of americans, but a strategy of making people's lives better. a physician from roseburg, a hand surgeon, wrote about the challenges that he and his wife face, the serious medical challenges, and says prior to the affordable care act, we were uninsurable due to these preexisting conditions. it seems clear the a.c.a. will be repealed, and we nong millions of other americans will again be uninsurable. this will not be simply a matter of the insurance being expensive. it will be a matter of the insurance not being available at any cost. and he continues so i am pleading with you to enact legislation prohibiting insurance from denying the
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ability to sell policies to individuals without -- with prior medical conditions. the health of millions of americans rests on your shoulders. and i might add that the health of millions of americans rests on the debate and the discussion and the decisions of the u.s. senate. and angela, another doctor, wrote about her work with the lgbtq community, saying the loss of the affordable care act would be devastating. we have only just won the right for patients to access medical care, hormones and surgery in this last year, i have seen a great improvements in my patients' well-being and mental health. with the loss of the affordable care act, many of my patients will be devastated. and she continues there is a 50% suicide rate in the transgender community. please help me prevent any further suicides by protecting the affordable care act.
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message after message after message saying first do no harm. and that means we as a body need to come together and move away from this reckless repeal and run strategy being proposed by the republicans. people are writing to express their fears and frustrations, and they're calling on us to do the right thing. folks like meg and nick and cameron and lisa and douglas. their lives are better because we enacted the affordable care act. these folks are writing because they are among the millions of people who are affected by the changes in this law, the millions who gained insurance coverage because of the law, or they are among those who gained coverage because of the
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expansion of medicaid, or they gained coverage because tax credits made health care affordable to low and middle-class families, or they are among the 27% of americans that are living with preexisting conditions that couldn't get insurance on the private market, or they are among those who lost coverage because of annual and lifetime limits baf -- before the a.c.a. these stories are powerful because these individuals are on the front line and health care is essential to quality of life. not just in america but in any location on this globe. there is enormous stress connected with a faulty health care system, and what we have achieved with the affordable care act is peace of mind for millions of americans, peace of mind that there will be the care in place when they need it, that
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they will be able to afford it and they won't be bankrupt, their loved ones will be able to have their health care challenges addressed. folks used to come to my town halls and say, senator, i'm just trying to stay alive until i reach 65 because i have a preexisting condition and i can't get medical care. can you imagine the stress that's involved in that? and folks would come and say, i would love to get insurance and address the health care issues i have, but i can't because i can't afford it. and now they can afford it because of the subsidies, the tax credits provided through the a.c.a. there was a woman that came up to me at an m.s., multiple sclerosis, fund-raising march and she said, senator, things are so different this year. and i said, what do you meanin? what has changed? a year ago if you got a diagnosis and you didn't have insurance, you wouldn't be able to get insurance because you had a preefnlt if you did have
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insurance, it is an expensive disease and because of annual limits or lifetime limits, you probably would run out of health care. now we have the peace of mind to know our loved ones will get the care they need. that's what we're fighting for, to first do no harm. and, second, make life better for millions of americans. let's come together and defend these massive advances that we've achieved over the last few years and not destroy it in this reckless, reckless, irresponsible repeal and run strategy. thank you, mr. president. mr. coons: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. coons kines rise today to -- mr. coons: i rise today to sound the alarm about the
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possible impact. should we indeed as a body proceed with barreling forward and repealing the affordable care act without a plan to replace it, as seems to be the intention of the majority? when i was first elected to the united states senate back in 2010, the affordable care act wasn't even a year old. yet republicans were already trying to repeal it, without offering any comprehensive plan with which to replace it. now more than six years and 60 repeal attempts later, it's truly disheartening to see that when it comes to plans for the american health care system seemingly nothing has changed. instead of working across the aisle to find constructive fixes to this affordable care act that could win bipartisan support, instead of finding new ways to invest in infrastructure or strengthening american manufacturing or coming together
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to respond to the russian attack on american democracy or even waiting a week to take this up coming vote so we senators can give our full focus to vetting the president-elect's cabinet nominees, instead of pursuing any of these priorities, it seems we're once again spend -- even wasting -- the american people's time to fulfill a misguided and in my view, mean-spirited promise to repeal the affordable care act at all costs, without a clear plan to replace it. sadly, in that sense, nothing has changed since i first came here in 2010. not so for the american people, though. plenty has changed for them and for my home state of delaware. more than 20 million americans now have gaininged access -- gained access to high-quality health insurance across our whole country, including 38,000 more delawareans. 38,000 is not a big number of people, but in my little state
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of 900,000, 38,000 more people who couldn't get access to health insurance before and can now is a big deal. across the whole country, the rate of uninsured americans is sat a record low of just 11%. and in delaware, fewer than 8%. and this is well down below pre-a.c.a. levels. let me fang what i think is the biggest, broadest, and most important benefit of the affordable care act, not just those tens of thousands in my state who've gotten coverage on the exchanges, but on my little state of 900,000, 560,000 delawareans get their health insurance through their employers. for those half or more delawareans, they've gained lifetime improvements to the quality of health insurance they have through the a.c.a. no discrimination against preexisting conditions. young people can stay on their parents' health insurance until they turn 26. free preventive care.
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no lifetime limits on coverage and recovery. and a requirement that insurance companies spend 80 cents of every dollar on health care versus overhead. these five key consumer protections have been the center of the best of what the affordable care act has delivered to delawareans and americans. and americans no longer have to make the phone calls they used to to their senators, to their congressmen, their local he want representatives pleading that they can somehow find access to affordable and quality coverage. these reforms have made an impact on americans across the country. but i've also come to the floor on a number of occasions over the years and recognized the challenges of the affordable care act, the ways in my home state that it has fallen short of our hopes and goals when it was initially passed, and have offered with an open hand to work across the aisle to find vehicles to repair and improve
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elements of it that haven't worked as it been hoped. before i turn to that though, let us focus for a few minutes on hearing the stories of delawareans who've reached out to me, because at the end of the day, my passionate defense of the affordable care act is rooted in individuals i've met and heard from, people whose lives have been changed by access to quality, affordable, accessible health care. and as republicans move us forward to a repeal vote, it is my hope that they will listen to these and other stories and think about what possible alternative pathway there might be that would save the opportunity for them to have access to decent quality health care. i grew up in a tiny town, a town of about 1,500 called hokassen, delaware. nicole grew up there, too.
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nicole spends at least an hour every day administering her daughter's breathing treatments. at $5,000 a month, her medications aren't cheap. and nicole is confident that without the affordable care act, she would have exceeded her annual cap on medical expenses well before the end of each year. nicole makes it pretty clear to me that without the consumer protections put in place by so-called obamacare, the a.c.a., she would have had one of three choices, choices tragically faced by many delawareans and americans before the affordable care act. one, hope she somehow qualifies for medicaid, which she probably doesn't because she is ehardworking enough and successful enough that her income makes her ineligible for medicaid. option two: go into deep debt to pay for her daughter's lifesaving treatment. option three: stop giving her daughter some of the medications she needs and hoped hope and pray she will not suffer
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needlessly. that's all if her daughter's m.s. wasn't a preexisting condition preventing her from getting any insurance at awvment nicole's story starkly outlines the new reality that millions of americans could face if we continue barreling down this misguided path of repealing the affordable care act wholesale without coming together around a plan for replacement. so that reality for so many sick americans or americans with sick children is this. hope you don't get sick. if that fails, and you don't qualify for some other form of government assistance, either go to into debt or try to get by without health care. that's it. that's what it was before the affordable care act. and following its repeal, that may sadly be what it is again. over the last few weeks, mr. president, i've heard l many, many stories. i'll cover a few. kim from wilmington, delaware is a thyroid cancer survivor who's able to get insurance because her cancer is no longer considered a preexisting
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condition. will her ability to access affordable, quality health care be repealed? there's sue from frankfurt, delaware, whose husband got desperately sick and hasn't been able to work since. despite his illness, they have mr. bennet: able to find coverage -- mr. coons: despite his illness, they have been able to find coverage. there's clarl of owe des la, delaware, whose song was able to stay on her health insurance when his employer didn't cover him. car low's sis tear also a diabetic was able to get health insurance when she tragically divorced at age 63 and lost coverage through her husband's employer. there's matthew from mill minute ton h's son was diagnosed with brain cancer.
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the year before his son's diagnosis, matthew and his family were on a non-a.c.a. compliant health insurance plan. "our family was young and healthy and we thought this plan was right for us. then my 11-year-old got sick right out of the blue. it can happen to anyone at any time." mr. president, matthew is right. illness can strike any one of us anytime and not just the flu, not just a cold, a tragic, expensive, terminal illnesses can strike any family in america at any time. just listen to the story of carrie from wilmington, delaware, a massage therapist who considers the affordable care act "nothing short of miraculous." here's why. carey signed up for health insurance in 2014 things to the subsidies provided through the affordable care act. she had long had nagging abdominal and lower back pain
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but didn't think much of it considering she had no family history of terrible diseases and had never even had a stitch before. fast-forward to january of 2015 when a routine diagnostic procedure covered by her new health insurance revealed that health insurance revealed that revealed that kerry h. three: can you. mon she had surgery a week later, followed six months of chemotherapy and ended up facing no out-of-pocket lenses besides her annual to the boat. her cancer has now been in a remission and number 2015 -- a right, the aca came along at the live and life.and i am certain with either the i would have lived and worked the discomfort and try to self treat until my cancer was so advanced it could not have beene successfully treated.
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mr. president, i have many more, but stories like carlos, suzanne, can have been pouring into the inboxes of my colleagues are in the country. my democratic colleagues and i have known since it was signed into law that the eighth day nod perfect. i talk to small businesses that want to offer health insurance for employees but has struggled to find affordable options in delaware. i've met plenty of his deductibles and premiums are higher than they'd like to see an effort an economist and budget forecasters to know our fist will help depends on doingy even more to control health carf costs. that's exactly why two years ago i came to this floor with a simple commonsense request of my republican colleagues. work with us to make the affordable care act better. my colleague, a physician for the state of louisiana happened to be the name that they would've had a number of constructive and positive conversation sense. sadly, despite many attempts over many years, i've so far
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have been unable to find a republican partner willing to constructive fixes to the law.,o my view and as i said two years ago, and no conversation about the affordable care act and how to improve it can be complete without reconciling the reality of millions of american it has helped him and many others for whom it is: sure. i sat to address the affordability of health care coverage for all families.ok cosponsored bills to increase tax credits to make it more affordable for small business. look for ways to make sure space-bar competition in the marketplace especially in small states like delaware and regulatory reform and cost containment efforts to furthernd slow the growth of health care costs. for years, my colleagues and i have asked a republican friend to put aside the rhetoric and focus on pursuing fixes like
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these. the bottom line is still dispute the affordable care act has helped millions of americans just like the delaware in the stories i read today live healthier, safer and more secure ther lives. let's take a look at the alternative. there is no single proposednt plan. there are dozens of bills in the house and senate that would do lots of different things. but it would be hard to predict with precision but the alternative really is. but we know about the yield will do. as i've today the alternative, let's call it child care isla nothing more than a wholesale retail with no clear plan to replace. childcare, a simple repeal by one estimate would take
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26 million americans more than 50,000 delaware into their health insurance. even for those who don't lose insurance, those hundreds of thousands of delaware in to get insurance through their employer, it would be much lower quality because it would remove all the consumer protection would come to embrace.ta he would give $350 million tax-cut to the wealthiest 1% ofx our country and a nearly $250 billion tax cut to big corporations. while tax cuts have their day, pushing aside all that revenue with no plan for how to replace the affordable care act and how to pay for it i think will become a desperate and dangeroua move. childcare a simple replace it -t a simple repeal of the affordable care act with a 3 million jobs and trigger negative economic impacts will be on the health care or by creating profound uncertainty.nm in this state and local governments loosen it toon
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2 billion in tax revenue. that the reality and describing a repeal of the affordable care act as anything other than the mark ejection of wild uncertainty into our daily lives, health insurance and health care market is just not square. that's the reality. describing in any other with political rhetoric cannot have that is what this debate repeal without replace. matthew from well-maintained as an 11-year-old son diagnosed the next actively with brain cancer concluded his note to me with one last thought. he wrote of his son, he's my hero and i will fight for him. i know others who continue to suffer his miller late everyrinr day. thank you, matthew. thank you for sharing your story and continuing to fight and i stand wi delaware in to do my level best
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to stand with you every step of the way every day until we finde a better path together. thank you, mr. president. with that, i leave the floor. >> mr. president. >> senator from maine. >> my colleagues have spoken tonight eloquently about a number of consequences that would follow from the repeal of the affordable care act. increasing the drug costs for seniors, devastating impact onnr rural hospitals, elimination of can tumor protection and everybody's health insurance, not just those on the affordablh care act. limitations on mental health coverage from the substance abuse, all of the issues that then presented eloquently and differen passionately. i want to do something a littlet different and this isn't easy for me, but i want to tell myl
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own story and why i feel so strongly about the issue of health insurance for all of our people. 43 years ago, i think it was just about to speak, i was a young member here in the men stayed senate. a junior staff member who was covered by health insurance provided by my employer, the united states senate. i paid a share come to santa fe to share. but the health insurance that i had as part of a free preventive care exactly like that is required by the affordable care act. the other thing that the plan i chose had was a wednesday nightn dr. session. so because i had a free checkup and because it was on one day night i didn't have the miss anf
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work, in late january, early february of 1974 i went in for n checkup. first one i had an eight or nine years. bringing my shirt back on the doctors said you've got a mole on your back, angus and i think you have to keep an eye on it. tonight i went home and mentioned it to my wife in the next morning she said i don't like the looks of that name. let's have it taken off. i went back in the followingve o wednesday night because they wednesday at our sick enough have to take off work. i'd coverage so i didn't worry about what it would cost me in the mall was removed. when they called me to come back in, i will never forget this moment as long as i live. the doctor said angus, i think you better sit down. and he told me that i had what was called malignant melanoma. at the time i didn't know what t it meant. i thought it was simply skin cancer. you're cancer. your bath is all the time and have been taken off.
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now, in the late melanoma is one of the most the early forms of cancer. one of its characteristics as it starts with a mall, but once you don't treat it, it then gets into your system and go somewhere else. and if you don't catch it in time, you will die. i caught it in time. i had surgery, check out a big hunk of my back and surgery under my arm. to this day, my shoulder is still numb from that surgery, but here i am. it has haunted me since that day that i was treated and my lifes. saved because i had health i insurance. i know to a certainty that had i not have that coverage, had i not had their free checkup i would not be here today.
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and it is always stayed with me that somewhere in america that week,.month permit that year year there was a young man or woman who had a mole on your arm or back or neck. couldn't do anything about it, didn't think about it until it was too late and they are gone and i am here. i don't know why i was saved. abo essay generator to be here t tonight. but for the life of me, i cannot figure out what anyone would want to take health insurance away from millions of people. it is a death sentence for somep significant percentage of those people. of in 2009, the american journal of public health did a study, a comprehensive study and what they concluded by step for evern
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million people who are uninsured, you can predict about 1000 premature unnecessary debt. so the map is pretty simple. either over 20 million people that have been afforded health insurance either through the exchanges ark through the expansion of medicaid that didn't have it before. and if we take that away, that is 22,000 deaths a year. how can we do that with good conscience? how can we sentence people to death? we are talking about bankruptcies and all the kinds of stories that we've heard. they are all valid. they are all-important. for me, this is personable. this is about life itself.
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it's a better fix, normality, obligation to our felloweakers,i citizens. and like all the others beakersn i know there's lots of problems with the affordable care act. i wasn't here when it was ready passed. it isn't exactly the way it would've worked on it or written it. i'm ready to sit down with anybody that wants to talk about finding a solution. but let's not talk about the solution being ripping coverage away from people who desperately need it. it is just raw and i understand the political impulse that folks of the other side of the aisle talking about this for six years and they are going to repeal it and get rid of it and people n cheer and all that kind of but nowadays real. this is that rhetoric anymore. this is in a in a bar. this is real people's lives. so let's just slow down. if
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and if people want to come up with a different solution, if they want to modify the currentl system, if they want to try to make changes that make it easier th for us all businesses and change the hours of work that required the definition of full-time, all of those things can be discussed and i don't care whether we call it child care, mcconnell cared, ryan care. we can call it whatever we want. but the fundamental principle lr here is that health insurance is a life or death and we should honor that commitment that has been made to millions of people at putting over 80,000 people in maine who have taken advantage of this program, many of whom had never had health care before. many whom have had tragicut stories which we heard all night
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about children born with birth defects or children that had some disease that a gas gauge ornithologist science as weer heard a few minutes ago that they had can't or if theydn haven't had the coverage and gone in, they would be here. this isn't politics. this is people's lives. i can't relate to the good people i know in this body on both sides of the aisle can't figure out a way to say what slw slow down, let's slow down and talk about how to fix it, how to change it, how to replace it and put it before repeal. because once repeal occurs, all kinds of bad result in even if they are grandfathered and people say we are going to repeal and delay. that is repealing chaos.
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the insurance industry is going to start to pull back. the health care industry is going to say we don't know what the situation is going to be. we are going to have to slow down, stop hiring, lay people off. all those changes start happening right away. they can't be prevented. and to tell people don't worry, we are going to cover you, that is cool and i don't think my colleagues intend to be cool. there's not a mean-spirited person in this body. we have a different view of how to achieve these results, but the fundamental result should be people have health insurance if they don't have to risk their lives every day and live under that threat. that is what this discussion is all about. that is why i'm i view this as much more than ad political issue and i understand the difference is that understand the history and politics of it, but i just think
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now that it's real, let's slow down and find another way to solve this problem that protects the gains that have been made and stands off the best judges of the law, but allows us to protect the fundamental idea to find health insurance that theyh can afford and keep them from being denied health insurance for reasons through no fault of their own. i think this is a moral and ethical issue. and i go back and they feel so strongly about this because of my own experience. i know it to that man in 1974 who didn't have insurance, who didn't have a checkup, who had the melanoma and who died. i have an obligation to thatn'te young man to see that doesn't
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continue to have been in the wealthiest and most developed society honors. this is sad day in we have within our power to do and a deeply hope that we could take a deep breath, back away, not away from this idea of we've got to repeal and talk about fundamental principles of helping people cope with this most serious and personal of. pi issues. i have confidence in this body. i have confidence in the goodwill of this body and of the american people. and if we can get away from talking about it in the abstract as a political issue, we can talk about it about real people.
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that is what i hope we can do over the next weeks and months and i'm convinced we can come to a solution. b not that it will make everybodyt happy and will save lives and make our country a better place. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. >> democratic leader. >> first let me thank my good friend friend named for his as usual on the mark and eloquent r remarks. i want to thank my colleague from connecticut whose one of our great speakers and mainstayo lets me sneaking ahead of him so i will be brief. i went to say, mr. president, my democratic colleagues are holding the floor tonight to demonstrate our solidarity and commitment to defending the
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affordable care act. it's not just defending some abstract thought. it's not about protect and president obama's legacy for democrat legacy. it's about people. it's the american people and their access to affordable health care. def it's about defending the health care system that has been made d fairer, more generous, more accessible and more affordable to the american family. it's about men and women and children his stories, mr. president we have heard from member after member. one part of the country to the other in their lives have been paid in many cases their lives have been saved by a health tont reform. that is why democrats have held the floor tonight. though the hours have wayne dunn will fight this repeal with n every fiber in our being. we will not go gently into thate
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good night. mr. president, the history of health care reform has been cast and recast that the parties but there's a truth to be told here. here's the truth. the affordable care act our health care system before the affordable care act our health h care system is a mess. health care costs are growing at a rate much faster, eating into workers paychecks, it dissuaded them from taking risks in changing jobs if they lose thatg coverage. a debilitating illness could wipe away a lifetime of hard earned savings because insurers could put limits on how much treatment they cover. women were charged more with the same health care coverage. many couldn't get insurance if they had a preexisting condition. some insurance companies would simply delete you from the rules that he got sick. in short, premiums spiraling up.
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discriminatory practices are marketplace out of balance. mr. president, i remember there days before health care reform, before aca. everyone was complaining about the system, this idea that everything was hunky-dory and then aca came in his fiction. and i was involved. when you health care reform would be difficult. a $3 trillion industry with complicated rules and procedures. c the politics are arduous and fob that reason, health care reform had bedeviled congresses and presidents for decades. but we know back in 2009 that we have a rare opportunity and he was too important to let politics are lobbyists for special interests or fear stand in the way. and the past, democrats would vote to make smaller slices of
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the overall pie. r the chip program, make your friend is no longer here, jay g rockefeller championed it. getting generic prescription drugs on the market. i was involved in that. along with the senator from utah. a but neither, neither was the congress able to pass a comprehensive package and reform to our health care system until the ac at the greatest leap forward in american health care certainly since the passage of medicare and medicaid and you can measure the result that the law helped bend the health care costs curve down, insured more americans than any time in our nations history since we started measuring the uninsured rate, all while providing higher quality health care.
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was it the perfect act? no, no one ever said it was. i listen to my friend to my friends and colleagues on the floor these past few weeks. they use quotes from president obama saying the law could use improvements to prove that it's failing.s. that is how that. w no one ever said the law would be perfect. i for one enjoy public option. nearly had it in 2009. to increase competition andho market places where there's still too little, but scrapped the whole thing and go back? a chaotic marketplace, inconsistent coverage, skyrocketing premiums? no way. that to 40 million uninsured americans, back to discriminating against women with preexisting conditions? no way. mr. president, democrats don't want to make america safe again.
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we don't want to repeal the largest expansion of affordable health care since medicare and medicaid and leave chaos in its that's way.'s chaos instead of affordable care. that is what the republican plan would do sure as i am here tonight. so this evening, mr. president, as college after college has come to the floor to describe how the aca is helping constituents, helping nurses, helping rojas of those, helping students and seniors. i hope our republican friends listen to them. the american people start they are. they have been watching this debate. we have been talking to them on the phones. and they will carefully consider the consequences of repealing this law and i hope our republican colleagues will, particularly without a viable t
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comprehensive replacement. and so with the close of this long night, and make a simple plea to my republican colleagues turn back. it's not too late. you already hear the grumbling for members on the left side of your caucus in the right side of your caucus. they are starting to say now that you have some power here. you are in the majority. maybe we should repeal without a replace even though for six years you've been able to come up with a replacement. the republican senators from maine and market, tennessee andy kentucky. rick santorum, former senator, even the president-elect says maybe we should replace, figure were peeled. openface though, we are just to repealing. so my simple advice to my republican colleagues, turned
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back the health care of millions of americans hang in the balance. affordable care for every american hangs in the balance. if republicans repeal of the aca without a detailed comprehensive than to replace it, not a mere framework, not a set of principles, not adventures lowball policies cobbled together, they will create utter chaos, not affordable care. not work with us, democrats. we work with you to improve it. we know there needs to be some improvements. but don't scrap the law, beating all those in large and then come to us and say now let's fixment, that. you'd better have a replacement, something you haven't been able to do for six years.
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so it is not too late. work with us democrats on improving the law. work with us on making it better. don't scrap it and make america safe again. turn back before it's too late. it will damage your party, but it will hurt millions of american fire more and hurt our great country. take a back, mr. president. i yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> once again congratulations oi your election. i have a.the chance to talk to the presiding officer and detailed about his past to the united states senate.ll i haven't had a chance to talk to my colleagues about how theya got here. you get your name dragged through the mud and all sorts of
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names. money. he got friends and strangers and ask them for money. it's no walk in the park to run for political office where to put your name out there and be , the subject of both praise and i lot of ridicule. decided the reason 100 of us have decided to put ourselves out there in the public spotlight because we deeply care about our neighbors, about the people who live in ours dates. we are doing this job to a mantr and woman because we want to make life better for people. in particular, people who have been thrown a curveball is by life. i grew up in a pretty
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economically secure house, but i understand a lot of kids don't have that opportunity and i feel like republicans and democrats are here because we want to lift those kids that. i've had a pretty healthy life. i feel like both republicans and democrats are here because we can't that other people aren't as fortunate. they got diagnosed with something terrible and our goal should be to help get them some cures or treatments.e we are here not because we think it's fun to run elections. we are here because we care desperately about people. this is a senator came was getting at in his remarks. all of the tabloid in the tv news shows, they spent time focused on politics. refocus her tail because if the
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daily political rack talk about politics, or should be thinking about this as well but not when we decided to run for the unitee states senate because we care about people. why we are here tonight is pretty simple. the repeal of the affordable care at with no replacement, with no plan for what comes next will hurt millions of real people in very real ways. i just don't believe in the end of my republican colleagues here want to cast a vote that will dh that. this tall guy right here is josh and he lives in connecticut.
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he is from guilford and he is standing next to his bone marrow donor and her boyfriend. this is josh's wife. josh was diagnosed with stage four non-hodgkin's lymphoma in 2012. here is what josh said. he will tell you the unvarnishet truth. the affordable care act is entirely responsible for me still being alive. the affordable care act is he entirely responsible for me still being alive. he relapsed after an additional diagnosis before he turned 26 and the only way he was able to get insurance was because of the affordable care act allowed him to stay on his mother's insurance up until he turned 26. during the course of his treatment he underwent stem cell transplants which could be up to
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$200,000 each. he needed ongoing transplants at a cost of $10,000 per treatment. he recalled how he was getting his first stem cell transplant and was then the hospital during deliberations on the affordable care act. i was in the hospital watching the tv when the supreme courtin approved the affordable care act. i remember the feeling i had in my body, a feeling i never ta experienced before because i knew that i was going to be taking care of. josh is in remission and in a few more years of being cancer free, the doctors tell them he might be out of the woods. i am more fearful for other people in my system because there's no way at it would afford any of those treatments if it wasn't for the affordable care act.
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this little guy's name is ryan lan. and this is his mother is a bull -- isabel.n- this book with a congenital heart defect in one day he had to be rushed to the children's medical center for emergency open heart surgery to keep in alive. she said she never thought about health insurance peach initiatet had it but didn't think about it until he went for the emergency surgery. she thought is the insurance going to cover it, will theyeate cover had, will they cover all the treatments he needs goingab forward now that he will have a preexisting condition that she found out the affordable care act protected her because it eliminated a common practice ofr insurance companies to cap the amount of coverage you get in o any one given year or over the course of your lifetime.
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isabel tells that plainly. without the affordablaffordabl e care if we would've never been able to afford daycare. we would've had to make awful decisions, decisions aboutth whether we capture house, kept our car, whether we can afford to work. the affordable care act fami protected her and her family is. finally, this is john is a hero in my book. john was born with cystic fibrosis and john tells a story about how health care is the it's more the world. it's more important than salary, more important than job, more important than friends. he struggles every day to that and the only way he lives his because he is able to take medication that allow him to continue to breed, his lungs t continue to function amidst this
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crippling disease in diagnosis.d john is on the affordable care at and john will tell you just e as plainly that without the affordable care act he woulde ys die. not two years from now. not three years from now. witho john would add within a matter of weeks because without his medications, he cannot live. it's not hyperbole to suggest that the absence of the affordable care act is a matter of life and death. without the affordable care to inhabit insurance and he cannot afford the medications to keep them alive. john disappears from this earthe these are real people than i care about it because i now had i not gotten the chance to beat john and isabel and josh.ol you've got these people in your state as well.n republican colleagues have just
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as many. b the biggest numbers in berlin in and democrats. they are represented by republicans. the mythology the affordable care act as a worked or that it's in some death spiral is just political writer. it is not true. this is an ap fact check story from today i believe in here is the beginning of it. it's as president elect john says that health care law would fall of its own weight. house speaker paul ryan says the law is that the actuaries call it death spiral. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell says by any measure obamacare has failed. the ap says the problem with these claims is that they are exaggerated if not downright false. the affordable care act has not failed for the 20 million
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americans who have insurance nod because of it. the affordable care act has notn failed for the millions more pay a month because insurance companies could no longer discriminate if you have a preexisting condition. the affordable care act has not failed for seniors across this country and medicare pay them less for prescription drugs. there is no doubt that the affordable care act isdifferents imperfect. we amended that 18 different. times. the affordable care act needs to be invented and perfected as well. if you care about these people and the prescription here is simple. stop, take a step back. don't search the entire health care economy into chaos. if you don't have to..
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i'm pretty sure donald trump will be president for the next two years. i'm pretty sure republicans will control the united states senate and house of representatives for the next 24 months. you've got time. you don't need to prove some point to the political talkshow host and conservative radio show th commentators. you can step back and rescue these real people from the state you're about to subject them to. by instead of engaging in a coms partisan repeal reaching acrossh the aisle to try to fix this six flaw. this l i've been here for the last six years. as part of the passage of this law upon us in the house ofthouf representatives and msn to my colleagues they literally tens of thousands of times in washington and across the country that their priority was to repeal and replace this law. i watched on tv are president
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elect say in response to a question about the process for health care repeal going forward, quote, know we are going to do it simultaneously come at repeal and replace the love. it'll be just fine. we are not going to have later today. and we're not going to have a two year period where there is nothing.ep a it will be repealed and replaced. there won't be a two-day period in between repeal and replace. and that's what i've heard from my republican colleagues. support your vote where your mouth has been. s the alternative is that deathls spiral. the associated press caused by mistruths out and said the c affordable care act is not in a death spiral.
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without any replacement for what happens next, that is what creates a death spiral. when you put a clock ticking on the life of the affordable care act, a couple things happened. people who need this feature done rush into those exchanges and a drive that the actuarial g cost and insurers look at themselves and they wanted to hang around around for that in maple. if you telegraph to people that you only got a year or two yeart left. you don't have to do this. t you don't have to visit that kind of harm on real people. i know that's not why republicans ran for office.
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i get health care to people and how to ensure more people. let's sit down and figure out af middle ground so they can save the lives of all these people who were aligned on a period this is extraordinary what we were doing right now. absolutely extraordinary. we had sworn in less than a week ago. the new president has not even been inaugurated. there isn't even a conceptual plan for what will replace the affordable care act. we are rushing forward with repeal. there is an enthusiasm to the school to it's hard to understand. and so i hope that some of the
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republicans who just in the last 24 hours have called for a delay in this debate are heard a republican leadership i know that democrats will continue to be on this floor to make this case. and i guess i'm still optimistic enough about what is still a pretty broken town that in the end my republican friends aren't so cold hearted, aren't so barbaric as to take away is insurance like those we've been talking about here today when there was an alternative, and that there is another way, though political imperative to do this kind of damage. mr. schatz: th
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>> mr. president. >> the senator from hawaii. >> thank you by mr. president. i want to thank the leader for the aca. since they got together, he has been stalwart not just on the benefits of aca but specifically on mental health and the benefit in the de-stigmatization of mental health care in the contest the aca wasn't so long ago that people would step up and say i need help. i need mental health care and is broadly accepted on both sides of the aisle. mental health is held and that just as if you tweet your shoulder our needs and then with a crick in your neck. if you have mental health issues
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you need to get them taken carea of. with that, mr. president, the plan to repeal the affordable a care act reminds me of a car i used to have that was an okayt car. i remember i bought it in 06, but it was an 05 and it was no. one of those vets back of the lot and i got it for $2500 lesst than msrp from a station wagon, ugly. it was purple and i just sort of wrote it into the ground. i kept driving. i didn't take great care of it. i've gotten better about takingd care of my cars..c at the time i wrote it and wrote it in a ac busted i didn't fix it. there is a fender bender i didn't fix that. the car was okay, but it needed some tlc. but it got me around. what if i had taken this car to
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jiffy lube in honolulu to get a little tuneup and blast it and came back an hour later and it had been dismantled. that's what the republicans arguing that the affordable carg act. instead of fixing what's wrong and keep us working, they are going to destroy the american health care system. i checked it hard not to be apocryphal. i try hard not to be nasty and partisan on this floor, but this is factual. they are going to destroy the american health care system. that's what repeal and replace is all about. something triggered in a few months in a few years. there's something about the process is not on the level. tim people know anybody who's spent any time with health care policy
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knows that covered people with c preexisting conditions like cancer, mental illness, diabetes, a popular thing to do. people know the only way to do that created a brisk boat with healthy people. you can't just be paying off for the expensive cases. and he did not pay out. they need professionals in the risk for. non-sick people in the risk tha. pool. and that's how this all works. everybody understands that. everybody working on this in good faith understands you need to create a risk pool to cover so they know if they eliminate the individual mandate, they eliminate the benefits. but they are stuck with a promise that major repeal this law root and branch not to improve upon the law. in a state that we couldn't make even the most modest improvement
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to this law at any point in the last six or seven years. but if you did go if he ran republican orthodoxy. so it's not that they wanted to fix the law. they had told everybody that was so bad credit because it was about medicare that there was nothing good in it. and now daring to repeal and thy replace. they stuck with a promise to repeal this law totally invade now people are about to be very, very angry because president obama is only the president forh another 10 days and people are not going to accept the premise that they will with health care out from him. but to adjudicate health care because because it's called buth obamacare. that's an argument that may have worked three or four or five years ago. but the new president elect in a new congress, we have an
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obligation to have a better strategy than not. republicans do not have ang replacement plan. if they had won, they'd be adapting it shortly. it has been seven years and we haven't seen any legislative language. none. they have no plan at all for health care other than to cause the media harm and try to blame it on the law that they arell ge repealing. there'll be a few ways this could end up. octavia coppola. first the equivalent of a health wi care clip similar to what we've done with our fiscal situation or they have to periodically shovel money at the problem andy build up the insurance companies. what will happen as they are basically eviscerated the revenue that provides subsidies for individuals but they will realize the subsidies are quite popular but we eliminated the revenue. we don't want to increase taxes so let's borrow money and keep shoveling money at the insurance companies or they make minor t
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reforms and caught a replacement. that would be great. i do not see we are on this path right now. they have coverage away from millions of americans. this is completely irresponsible.rom 22 million people have health care coverage ripped away from them for the 22 million men, women and children. for those of you who still have coverage, i want you to know h this impacts you two. if you have a connection as common as diabetes or high blood pressure or mental health issues for crohn's disease. for pregnancy as a preexisting if if yo condition. you will not keep your coverage. you'll likely lose access to birth control. if you live in a rural area, everybody in rural america should understand this.
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there are rural states and non-rural states. every status with the rural state and non-rural state. the presiding officer has an urban area and plenty of rural e areas. i have one of the densest cities in the united states and how far-flung very small town that are old plantation towns. so everybody in the unitedresenl states senate represents rural america in some form or fashion. if you live in a rural area, chances are your local hospital will lose millions of dollars in funding which will force many rural hospitals to turn away patients and close their doors. this is not an exaggeration and i encourage every republican member of the senate and member of the house, city sent out their to ask their health care they are in a panic. let's be totally clear about what this means. t for a lot of small towns in i
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everywhere and between comment to hospitals and economic center of the community. it is the largest employer and i want you to understand if a rural house though loses its le. role, a lot of the working age folks leave. what happens is the author ofo the citizens because if you need access to emergency services, you are nowhere near care. there is not a single thing that we take you and the congress that would harm rural being communities than what is being done this week by the r republicans. be clear how much harm is about to be done for rural and communities. not just for a health care providers, nurses and doctors and technicians and janitors and
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everybody who works at those rural hospitals here that's important because a lot of instances that the economicic driver of a small town. people start to make choices with their own life and with their own planning, especially as they get older and think of the how do i stay close toha health care. if that hospital goes away, the rural town goes away. we've seen it in hawaii and that's why we fight or communite hospital. that is why we fight for why my comprehensive coast treatment center. that is why it everybody fightsu so hard for their community ofon rural hospitals as the center of the community not just economically, but without it you basically have no community. all of this will cause the entire insurance market tore unravel, raising costs forheir everyone. families will pay more for
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prescription drugs.d and pay more for out-of-pocket costs. if republicans are red-faced for the impact of the repeal and have been outlined for the last four or five hours over the last three or four days. there is another reason to be extremely cautious about what is about to happen. the vehicle for this is a budget resolution. they are trying to characterize this as though it's not a budget resolution. the only reason they do it as a budget vehicle is so they can de reconciliation. that means they only need 51 votes were otherwise they wouldd need 60 votes. but that was not a budget, this is the federal budget. this increases the deficit by trillions of dollars. this federal budget increases
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the deficit by trillions of dollars. not trillions of dollars at a flat in with the previous federal budget. this is not the monster's federal budget. you must be swallowing hard over the next couple of days. must be this must be a bitter pill to swallow because on the one hand you hate obamacare. on the other hand, boy you hate running up the national deficit. not that debt, deficit, by trillions of dollars. this is insane. this doesn't benefit. the next two or three days makes everything we've done in the last three or four years pale ii comparison. if you're a fiscal hawk, i cannot see how you get to guess on this.he you cannot increase the national debt by trillions of dollars and still call yourself a fiscal hawk. you had a choice in front of us.
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to rebuild on the progress of the affordable care act or do we strip millions of americans of t their health care coverage? that's a preexisting condition found in the cold and raise the national debt. we know aca has its flaws. no one ever said it was perfect i must be clear, every major piece of legislation and this body has ever passed has been flawed in some way. what we do what we are functioning deliberative body.fx reiterated. the record of bipartisan basis basis to fix it and that's what we should do. the benefit of aca are undeniable and that's what we should be debating. improvement to the aca, not an implosion. let's remember what our common goal is. giving every american the opportunity to get quality affordable health care that they deserve. i yield the floor.h you l
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>> mr. president.u >> the hour is late even though you have a lot of work i think i will be merciful and keep this short.t. i want to thank the senator from hawaii, the senior senator from hawaii for his remarks to want to wrap that. we've got multiple speakers now driving home a number of points. two of them i want to reiterate which is the fact that they look at a lot of more moderate and conservative outlets from the american enterprise institute on the way to the american medical association who did not support obamacare in the first ways. you have the responsible thoughtful people and without putting up a plan in showing th. american public what she will replace it with. it is not contrary to a lot of the political rhetoric we heard
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during the campaign season, but. it's against the logic. it's not prudent. it's actually read this and it's going to hurt a lot of people. it is akin to pushing someone off of the ledge and telling them if they follow down that we are going to get a plan. don't worry. the problem is people would get hurt in the interim. the cost of medical care of not having the business certainty that you need is going to spike markets and make things very i difficult. so i just want to say that this body whom i respect. i'm happy to hear voices like rb senator rampart and others on the republican side began to come out and say we should not be repealing this about replacing it. heard there's a lot of people as i even heard chuck schumer say himself to roll up his sleeves and talk about ways to improve e this. we heard from the president-elect saying he's
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going to have health care bettec and that cost less. he used the word terrific to t describe what is going to bring to the american people. where's the plan plan, what's r the idea? too many people right now in our country who are fearful of what might happen. and when i say fearful, it is a, base fear. for example, just some people right here for my state of new q jersey. this is america who lives in a town called montclair. not quite the same town dissenter from hawaii was taken out before will help you with? i'm doing alright. fo the lady from montclair writes very dramatic way, want to thank you for fighting as hard as we had to protect those of us to
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financial ruin. medical crisis and debt the aca has repealed. my for over 20 years i served my community by keeping a third of my caseload, no fee or low fee for those who have had noance insurance. for over 20 years i purchased my insurance privately and paid dearly for my medical coverage. two months ago i was diagnosed with inextricably rare cancer in the central nervous system. i'm fortunate that doctors believe it can be controlled but not cured. oral chemotherapy for life. i now as a result of this condition have zero chance of a being able to afford reasonable metal pole coverage purchased from an unregulated open market. my life without hyperbole depends on my being able to maintain continuity of care and insurance regulation to eliminate exclusions for preexisting conditions.
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the energy is limited so i thank you for doing all you can to fight for my life and my family. the idea that people with preexisting conditions are contributing to the economic health of our country is a distortion. i personally address that and their health care system is a provider-based fighting this bill. the state team that is asked and if i lose my health coverage and could no longer afford it, a third of my caseload to those who can't afford it, i will no longer be able to afford a third in my case goes to those who can afford it. it becomes a profound dominoaved effect. and that is really where we are right now. i've heard so many of my l colleagues, republican and democrat speak to the things they like about obamacare for others in the abstract of not giving obamacare and a credit. o
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.. have leukemia and beat it and then become an adult can't find insurance because nobody wants to insure them because they have exceeded these ideas of lifetime caps. they have gotten rid of this idea that -- that you can't stay on your parents' insurance just because you have turned 23, 24, now you can do it until you're 26. there are so many aspects of obamacare that people say that they like. one thing that even republican governors talk about liking is the idea of just medicaid expansions that have occurred in expansions that have occurred in have enabled millions of american, hard-working families, people living in nursing homes, those who suffer from addiction and poor and undeserved, to get access to quality health care, the underserved, get access to quality health care.ea that is really what's incredible. a we have people that are coalal miners and sick have benefited from this.
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we have folks who are in nursing homes benefited from this. we have folks suffering in this opioid crisis we have with addictions have been able to get access to coverage, access to care. more than this we have now created a system that equates and understands that mental illness and physical illness is on parody. insurance companies have to offer that as well. in addition to all of that, we have a system that says to anybody you can not be denied o for the kind of reasons you werf denied before and find yourself falling into the trap that so many americans did, that the number one reason, or at least one of the top reasons why people were declaring bankruptcy, was because they couldn't afford their medical bills. these are all things that are universally or at least overwhelming majority of americans want. so we all agree on many of the basic goals, the question is how
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to get there. it has been indicated by the president-elect and others they have a plan to get there, preserve all these things now being favored by americans, literally as martha fromnt montclair points out, saving people's lives. the question is, how are you? going to go there? by the way if you shortcut it and don't tell us how you will get there and repeal obamacare,s introduce insurance uncertainty in the markets. american medical association is speaking up, the american diabetes association is speaking up, the american cancer institute, are speaking up all non-partisan or conservative folks are speaking up you can not do repeal unless you put forward what you replace it with. free market folks know you don't introduce uncertainty in the market without consequences. that would be upset the individual marketplace, prices spiking and people pulling out and death spiral.
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i have seen it from people on both sides of the aisle, thought fullness they won't rush to embrace a pyric political victory at expense of real people. this is one of those moments. what are we going to do as a body? a are we repeal and not replace? or will we have a great discussion what that replacement will be? so, tonight we heard from a lotc of my colleagues, and i'm really proud folks taken to the floor. i'm even more proud from my office, we're hearing from people on both sides of the political aisle. not everybody likes obamacare. not everybody voted democrat, people from both sides of the aisle but they do not understand why we would rush forward doing the repeal without the replace. i want to thank everybody on, that has spoken tonight. it is, the hour is late. and i just want to thank a lot of the folks who don't normally keep these kind of hours. there are some pretty incredible people that work around the president's desk.
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we have a lot of pages here who do not get enough thanks on both sides, republican pages and democratic pages. i want to thank them as well for staying late, technically i don't want to call them out, if they stay past 10:00 p.m., they don't have to do their homework, show up to school, we might have done them a favor. that is what i hear. i thank you for tonight and mr. president, i want to note the ash sense of a quorum. ♪ >> the presidential inauguration of donald trump is friday january 20th. c-span will have live coverage of all of the day's events and ceremonies. watch live on c-span, and and listen live on the free c-span radio app. ♪ >> next, defense secretary


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