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tv   Senator Wyden on Health and Human Services Secretary Nomination  CSPAN  February 9, 2017 8:00am-9:02am EST

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[inaudible conversations] >> when the senate reconvened at 10 eastern, they will debate the nomination of congressman tom price to the health and human services secretary. secretary. a vote on his nomination would happen at 1:45 am eastern time eastern time at the latest. live coverage of the senate here on c-span2. >> in the senate wednesday ron wyden, the only democrat on the finance committee, explained his opposition to tom price nomination as hhs secretary. this is one hour. >> mr. president? >> the senator from oregon. >> mr. president, as of thesi senate begins to consider the
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price nomination, i wanted to see if i could put a little perspective on the upcoming debate. focusing on bipartisanship has always been important to me. i know many of my colleagues on the senate finance committee on the democratic side share that view. and in 2009, the nominations of democrats tom daschle, tim geithner and ron kirk were all handled in a bipartisan way. issues came up in the vetting process in each of these cases, and both sides of the committee took the investigation seriously. unfortunately, mr. president, that has not been the case in 2017. p
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while congressman price served on the powerful ways and means i committee, he traded in healthcare stock, push policies that help his portfolio, and got special access to a promising stock deal. i asked th the congressman direy in his finance committee hearing whether he got a special deal. he said that he did not. i don't think you could be much clearer than the following passage from a recent report by a pulitzer prize-winning reporter at "the wall street journal." he wrote, and i quote, rep tom price got a privileged offer to buy a biomedical stock at discount that company officials
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said contrary to his congressional testimony this month. and i want to repeat that, mr. president, because i think it goes right to the heart of why finance committee democrats feel that the effort to do the to congressman price is not pu a pulitzer prize-winning reporter at "the wall street journal," i have just read it again. wrote rep tom price got a privileged offer to buy a biomedical stock at a discount,o the companies officials said, contrary to his congressional testimony this month. so as i indicated my democratic colleagues and i on the committee said it was importantd to take more time to look into this issue. l but the majority when we said we
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needed to take more time to look at it, they decided to look the other way. that's the first reason for concern on my side. the second is how congressman price would manage health and human services, a department that is really all about people. services for seniors, services for the poor, for the disabled, for children and families. these are the powerful threads of our safety net. if the safety net is not there, for those who have nowhere else to turn. p those poor will suffer greatly.e now, mr. president, the debate on congressman price's nomination come in my view, is i referendum on the future of healthcare in america. and in short, it's a debate
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about whether it makes sense for our country to go back to the dark days when healthcare worked only for the healthy and the wealthy. based on the public record, medicare is a program congressman price doesn't believe in and it guarantees services he doesn't believe seniors should have. on the affordable care act, he is the architect of repeal and run.. he wrote the bill himself. he proposed weakening protections for americans with pre-existing conditions. he would slash medicaid, shredding the healthcare safety net for the least fortunate in our country. he would take away healthcare choices for women across the c country. look for the common thread, mr.
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president, and colleagues, among the price proposals. they take away coverage for our people, make healthcare more expensive for individuals, or we both. that's where congressman price stands when it comes to americans healthcare. every senator who cast a voteany for congressman price has to stand by that agenda. and the island what this means for the future of american healthcare, there is the and lingering specter of syria's legal and ethical issues. tonight and in the hours ahead, this debate is going to tackle each of those issues, and more. as he gets underway, mr. president, i'm going to beginn
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medicare. in my view, medicare has been a historic achievement in the way policy is made in our country. in any debate like this one, i pant codirector of the panthers when life couldn't imagine life without medicare. but i'll tell you, mr. president, they told me stories about what it was like for their grandparent when there wasn't medicare. there were poor farms, literally poor farms, were older people who had served our country, served our country and the armed forces, very often spent the last days in what amounted to squalor at these poor farms. and then medicare came along, and for millions of older people
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it was a godsend. so i want to start my discussion with respect to medicare from a comment that congressman price made about medicare in 2009. and it is a quote, mr. president, that speaks volumes about the price perspective on the medicare program that is so treasured by millions of older people. congressman price wrote in 2009, and again i'm going to quote, nothing has had a greaterative negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federalc government intrusion into medicine through medicare. i would just say to my friend, the president of the senate, i know this is how seniors in
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oregon see this, seniors in oregon consider medicare to be a godsend, not an intrusion into medicine, as you see from the price perspective.ent, a so here's the bottom line, mr. president, and colleagues, as we begin this debate. medicare is a promise. medicare is built on a promise of guaranteed benefits. guaranteed benefits that it will be there for you. it's not a voucher. it's not a slip of paper. guaranteed benefits that you can count on. and it's a promise that congressman price has indicated, and it's a matter of public record, it's a promise that congressman price is more than willing to break.
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now, it's a promise that when you turn 65 you will be guaranteed health care benefits, regardless of your economic station in life or the status of your health. and the reason medicare was built with this special guarantee is straightforward. no american knows how healthy they will be when they reach age 65. perhaps you are a marathoner at age 50 and you develop arthritis or alzheimer's or cancer a decade and a half later. furthermore, no one knows what the economy is going to look like years ahead, or decades ahead into the future. so the less fortunate, high inflation or stock market crash could all but wiped out what
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they are set aside over a lifetime of work. seniors could find their benefits exposed to new danger every time there is a financial downturn. now during the recent campaign, the american people heard a standard trump pledge -- no cuts to medicare. but when you look at the price record and the promise of president trump, there is a big gap between the two. when you look at congressman price's plan, it's clear that the child pledge was on the ropes the minute he was nominated -- child pledge. in fact, congressman price said admi
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within the first six to eight months of the administration.. let me repeat that again, mr. president. stateme some of these statements that the congressman has made are soa far-fetched that once in a while i'm going to have to repeat them so that people really get a sense of why we are so he concerned. congressman price said that heir wants to voucherize medicare within the first six to eight months of the administration. so what that would mean is right out of the chute, the medicare promise, the promise of guaranteed benefit, congressman price wants to break the promise. in his budget the congressman called for privatizing medicare and cutting it by nearly $500 billion.
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he also championed legislation to allow a practice called balanced billing in medicare. that means seniors could be forced to cover extra charges above what the program pays for the services they receive in the doctor's office. older americans on fixed incomes would be forced to pay more for their care. colleagues, i believe that congress has no greater dutyf than to uphold the promise of medicare. and in my view, there is no need to mince words. privatizing medicare as congressman price has sought to do things and and, and and to the program guaranteed health benefits. it would break the medicare promise, a promise of guaranteed benefits and services and in the
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medicare as our country knows it. now let me turn to thehe affordable care act. when it comes to the affordable care act, for years now there is been a steady drumbeat coming from my colleagues on the other side, repeal and replace, repeal and replace. i think it's gotten to the point where children sing it almost as a jingle, repeal and replace. it's been said so many times. dozens of show boats, hundreds of hearings and press conferences, a government shutdown, all built around that slogan repeal and replace. 1. the president-elect said repeal and replace would happen come in his words, simultaneously. shortly before inauguration, he said they would come within the
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same hour, and he said congressman price was riding the replacement plan and it was nearly ready to be unveiled. but the public heard a different story. during congressman price's finance committee hearing. at that hearing our colleague, senator brown of ohio asked, asked the president said he's working with you on the replacement plan for the affordable care act, which is nearly finished, and it will be revealed after your confirmation.stion. is that true? that was the question. posted by senator brown to congressman price. the congressman said, it's true that he said that, yes, that he said that, yeah. a moment later he added, i've had conversations with the president about health care, yes. so if anybody is waiting for thi
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curtain to rise on the price replacement plan, it sounds like you are going to have to wait a while longer. in fact, the president said this weekend, just this weekend, americans might have to wait t until next year to see the the replacement. but the uncertainty about what comes next sure hasn't slowed down the charge of many towards repeal. f in fact, the president issued au day one executive order instructing the executive branch to roll back the affordable care act in any way possible. so i thought given these developments, mr. president, the fact that congressman price is the architect of a repeal and run bill, that the president
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immediately on day one tr triedo set in motion a strategy to get some of the key protections in t the affordable care act, ih thought i ought to follow this r up with congressman price during his nomination hearing in the finance committee. so i asked congressman price during his finance nomination hearing whether the congressmand would state that nobody would be worse off under the presidentsot executive not real complicated. there has been all this talk to the campaign about how now mon president trump can do a betters job, less money, that was the constant refrain. i decided given these ominous developments that i just described since the beginning of this year, i thought i would just ask congressman price
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whether anybody would be worse off under the executive order. he ducked the question. and i remember asking him about whether people would be worse off with respect to coverage, and i remember, and he said something about how people would have access to health care. well, i'll tell you, hearing the word access rather than coverage means that somebody is walking back a commitment to people really getting care. everybody pretty much cannot access. everybody can say for sure, if i had the money i could get it. it's about coverage. so we asked congressman price whether people would be worse off, and he ducked the question. so then i asked if he would commit that no one would lose
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coverage.ore. he ducked once more. then i asked if he would commit to holding off on implementing the executive order until a so he ducked. so the congressman was given an opportunity to in effect say that he would honor what the american people were told by president trump in the campaign, that the two would be hand-in-hand, the replacement and repealed would go hand in hand. but he had a chance to say that at the nomination hearing, and he just docked and he docked and deduct some more. americans are still being told that the affordable care act is the problem and it's got to be repealed. it looks to me now that what
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republicans have on offer now isn't repeal and replace at all. it's what i've been calling since last year repeal and run. and architect of repeal and run is congressman price. in fact he wrote the bill, wrota the bill that would have guidedl the aca last time around. -- gutted under the price of brent, 18 million americans would lose their health insurance in less than two years. by 2026 it would be 32 million who lose coverage.e, today, 26 million americans are uninsured. in a decade it would be 59 million. working americans would make up four out of every five people who lose their coverage. these are folks struggling to climb the economic ladder. con no-cost contraceptive coverage
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for millions of women would be gone. we would have women losingst access to care, hundreds of thousands almost immediately, just by the defendant at planned parenthood. hundreds of thousands more would lose their choice to see the doctors they trust. just think about that. legislation that's going to take away from american women the chance to see the doctor of their choosing, the doctor that they trust.w i don't know anybody in the last election, mr. president, who t thought that they were voting to see women lose the choice of the doctors that they trust.mi under the price plan, premiums jumped by hundreds of dollars a year as the individual market for health insurance collapses.
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health care costs skyrocket. it's a gut punch to all, even those who get their health insurance at work. because what it would do, mr. president, is in effect it would shrink, it would shrink the health care market in a way that they would be many more people who are seriously ill and had great expenses, and when you try to pass those on, that would mean people in the marketplace, and who had health insurance on their employer, would see increases. off another issue in the price plan that ought to set off alarm bells, in my view, is what congressman price has proposed for those with pre-existing health care conditions.
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this is especially important, in my view, mr. president. and when i proposed my ownrepubl health plan, eight democrats, at republicans, i was especially pleased that senators on both sides of the aisle understood that making sure that insurance companies could not knock the stuffing out of people with a pre-existing conditions in the longer was central to reform. because when you allow discrimination against those with a pre-existing condition, what you are essentially saying is health care in america is going to be for the healthy and the wealthy. if you're healthy, no problem with a pre-existing condition. if you are wealthy, again, no problem. so right at the heart of the affordable care act is a guarantee that insurance
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companies cannot discriminate against americans with pre-existing conditions. and, frankly, i was very pleased to see that, mr. president, because as i indicated, 16 senators, eight democrats, eight republicans, on our bill said that that was right at the heart of what they wanted in health care reform. so the aca, the affordable care act, said no denying coverage to pregnant women, no denying coverage to cancer patients, no denying coverage to kids with autism under the affordable care act. that is the law of the land. it protects every singlery american. no american under the affordable care act should have to feel when they go to bed at night that they are going to get hammered like in the old days because they had a pre-existing
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condition. now, congressman price once again returning to the public record, it's all in the public record here, mr. president, congressman price doesn't believe that the american people should have the protection of that kind of real band against discrimination for pre-existing conditions. in fact, he was quoted in 2012rd saying that it was, in his words, a terrible idea. lik so he would like the law changed, and his way to change a law that guarantees universalisg protection is to get rid of the guarantee, you are going to get discriminate against if you have a pre-existing condition. our colleague, senator ben nelson of florida, asked congressman price about the issue of making sure those with
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pre-existing conditions don't get discriminate against wendy finance committee held the nomination hearing. once again congressman price ducked and bobbed and weaved, and senator nelson asked if the congressman thought that the proposal to continue the ban on discriminating against people with a pre-existing condition is a terrible idea. here's what congressman price said. and i'll quote. what i've always said about pre-existing conditions is that nobody any system that pays attention to patients, nobody out to be priced out of the market for having a bad diagnosis. nobody., now, that probably is a pretty good soundbite. it's a good soundbite if you are
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trying to duck questions, but it is not a real answer to what senator nelson. and if you examine congressman price's own proposal when it comes to actually protecting people from discrimination with a pre-existing condition, you can see why congressman price isn't very interested in getting a straight answer. i'm going to turn now to one of the congressman said bills. it's ironically called empowering patients first. instead of a ban on discrimination against thosetios with pre-existing conditions, the price bill opened up loopholes to benefit insurancen companies. the price plan hinged on something called continuous
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coverage. and americans are going to probably hear a fair about about that in the months ahead. the price plan said that insurance companies have the right to inspect the recent past when you apply for coverage on the private market. if they found gaps when you went withoutdeny coverage for your pre-existing condition for up to a year and a half, or they could hike your premiums by 50%. in short, under the price plan, insurance companies could take n your money and skip out on covering the health care that you actually need. short summary of the price health worse health care, higher cost. now let's think about what this would mean for a cancer patient who suffers a job loss. witho up to 18 months without coverage
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for cancer treatment they need that could be the difference between life and death. congressman price's bill didn't allow any special exceptions for certain gaps in coverage, no matter why you lost your insurance, maybe a layoff, may be your spouse passed, quitting your job to start a business or go back to school, insurance companies with the price plan, again, would be allowed to discriminate.ressman in congressman price's bill didn't create any safeguards for particular patients with life-threatening illnesses, no matter what kind of pre-existing condition you have, you would be at risk of losing access to care.companie and going by the practices those companies followed before the affordable care act, more than
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130 million americans under age 65 may have a pre-existing have condition. now, it's correct that not republicans may not decide to go ahead with congressman price's a bill as the final measure on replacement. but make no mistake about it. if confirmed, congressman price will be the caston of the child administrations health peace. hs his proposals matter and his approach is one that is followed by just about every other republican who is put forward a plan of their own.e colleagues, i think it would be an enormous mistake for the senate, for our country, to turn back the clock and go back to
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the days when health care was for the healthy and wealthy. i don't think there ought to bed a debate about the need foron real, truly strong protections for our people against discrimination for those with a pre-existing condition. the affordable care act locked a it in to black letter law, set a new standard. nobody in america is going to be denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition. in my view, it would be er yesteryear, turn back the clock and undermine those strong protections for the millions anf millions of americans who suffeg from those pre-existing health o conditions. that, as a matter of public record, is what congressman
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price's proposal would do. i want to turn now to his ideast with respect to medicaid. this, in my view, is an especially important program and a part of it that is usually missed is the nursing home benefit for seniors. and back when i was the director of the oregon gray panthers and i ran the legal aid office for the elderly, i saw in particular what medicaid meant for seniors who needed nursing home care. medicaid now covers costs for two-thirds of the seniors in nursing homes. and i think we ought to think about who these people are. in because, mr. president, these
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are people in colorado and oregon, across the country, who worked hard. they always played by the rules. they put their kids through school. they were part of their community. o they saved, they scrimped. they didn't go on an extra vacation. maybe they were thinking about buying a boat. they didn't do any of that. they didn't do any of that because they wanted to save and make sure that their spouse could have a dignified retirement, could put the kids through school. and they did everything right.s so they saved and they saved and they saved, but the fact is it cost a lot to be a senior in america today. spe so perhaps they spent down although savings. and their kids, the kids they love so much, are not doing that
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will economically so it's hard for the kids to help out withic, long-term care. without medicaid, and particularly the nursing home benefit, seniors, 65% of whom depend on the program for o nursing homes, wouldn't be able to have a dignified retirement.e so that nursing home benefit that is paid for by medicaid is also one that congressman price has proposed slashing. he does that by kegging $2 trillion out of medicaid over the course of two stages. first, congressman price repealed the expansion of m medicaid created under the
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affordable care act. this means that more than 11 million americans lose their coverage. and it is a plan that even republican governors are speaking out against. john kasich of ohio, i think he probably would tell you is probably not anybody's idea of a bleeding heart liberal, said recently, and i quote, if all of a sudden that goes away, what do we tell those 700,000 people? we are closed? can't do that. but that's exactly what congressman price's plan is going to end up doing. it's going to end up telling the 700,000 ohioans, along with millions of people across the country in oregon, across the land, and that's because he is pushing to take away their coverage and hasn't offered any
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real alternative that would preserve their access to care. so for all those seniors, the ones who worked hard and saved and did everything right, we all know them, perhaps it is the widow or down at the end of the block, there's not going to be away to pay for their health care. and they're not going to be abln to have a dignified retirement,h despite of the fact they did everything all their life to plan and save. congressman price's second medicaid cut turned the program into a block grant, and introduces a cap approach.fundig that slashes another 30% of its funding, and sets it up to be squeezed even more down the road. now, medicaid goes a lot further in terms of taking on some of cd
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the biggest health care challenges in america. i cited the nursing home benefit because that's one that i dealt with again and again when i was director of the gray panthers, mr. president, but the fact is that the program is helping communities across the country take on a whole host of health care challenges. the opioid epidemic is one example. now, we know that opioidit addiction has hit american communities like a wrecking ball. more than 1 million people struggle with substance abuse, and they would lose access to care if the price plan to repeal medicaid expansion goes through. and further cuts to medicaid m would make the problem evenr. worse. and it would just be for adultsa mr. president.
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tens of thousands of babies are born with a dependency to drugs each year. it's largely a product of the opioid crisis, and my view is that never can only rise under congressman price's plan to cut medicaid, a key source of primary care, prenatal care, and substance abuse treatment for pregnant women. medicaid is also the biggest source of funding for community and home-based care for those vulnerable americans with serious disability. it's a huge resource of aids treatment in america, particularly with the affordable care act expansion. all in all, 74 million americans rely on medicaid, and they are certainly not among the most
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fortunate. half of them are kids, including millions with special needs. the program covered nearly half. of all births, and million americans with disabilities. and i want to come back again to the faces of these people, because i'm not sure when people hear the words medicaid, what they see.y i mentioned that it's so many seniors who com, after planningd saving and scrimping, made the program for nursing home care. it's covering people who toil through hard work, even multiple jobs, bringing home just enough to keep them out of poverty. for many, signing up for the medicaid program brought an endo to the years when they had to
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choose between visiting the doctor and putting food on the table. medicaid is there health care safety net, and make no mistake about it, congressman price's proposal leaves of that safety net in tatters. there isn't any other back shot for those vulnerable americans, from small, tiny children to seniors who depend on it, for nursing home care. there's no other backstop ifbacp they are, if access to medicaid causeway. one of the arguments made by the advocates of block grants and these gaps is that states would have flexibility. and they point to a section of the affordable care act that i wrote to support their case.
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i believe they are talking about what's called section 1332. there's a there's a big difference, mr. president, between what i wrote in the affordable care act and what block grants would do. what i wrote in the affordable care act, and we had a number of senators on both sides of the aisle who are interested in this issue, what i wrote is with that flexibility, the affordable care act lets states do better by their people. the price plan, the block grant, let's states do worse. slashing medicaid also hits state budgets. extraordinarily hard. that's a big reason why governors across the country have been skeptical, republican governors like john kasich and rick snyder from michigan. today, medicaid comes with an
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open ended kind of feature. federal funding for the program doesn't kick down to zero. nobody gets cut off. wor if you are a working american eligible for medicaid, you had to worry about being locked out of the doctor's office if the program goes into the red. program changes that. states will get a chunk of money each year. runs out, especially during times of economic downturn. that's when medicaid is needed most, the times when working americans at the most trouble walking the economic tightrope. this is in addition to the undeniable routine demands on the program. an aging baby boomer population that will be in increasing needs of nursing home and home-based care. public health emergencies like the zika virus that come without
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with natural disasters like hurricane katrina or the flint water crisis that devastates communities. new high cost of drugs that can be cures to come with a steep price. and the reality is that the state block grant runs out, thag raises questions that ought to o be alarming to all who care about americans, vulnerable americans having access to care they need. nursi what happens if seniors lose their nursing home benefits in the middle of the year? where would they go? with patients with substance abuse treatments whose access tm care? if a states medicaid funding dries up midway through the fiscal year, who would pay for a birth? with the parents of a newborn
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child bears the entire cost on a modest income, working hard and hospital bill could reach tens of thousands of dollars. now, when it comes time to pitch this very extreme health care agenda to the american people, congressman price is very articulate and sticks closely to well rehearsed language. that's because the price agenda that which took tens of millions of americans other insurance coverage and force people to pay much higher costs for much very lesser care isn't going to go over very well when people really understand what's ates t stake. as i mentioned one of the priorities the cartman talks about most frequently is access. always saying that his vision is
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americans want access to care. that is one very hollow theory. access to health care does it mean a lot if you can't afford the cost. so when americans here the price plan that people will have access rather than coverage, pay attention. pay attention. because if you have coverage the today and he's going to promise you access in the future, chances are you are going into the whole. you better figure out how you'rh going to pay for it.or the cartman talks about flexibility for patients. but under congressman price's plan, the wipeout consumer protection and minimum standard for covered its insurance about flexibility. the congressman likes to talk
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about using metrics to measure health care. very hard to follow what this metrics approach is talking about are all about.hat when his proposals were challenged using facts and figures, including those thatsil come from our nonpartisan scorekeeper, the congressional budget office, he disagreed during his hearing he just disagreed with congressional budget office when i asked him about some of his funding cuts would deprive women access to preventive care. he objects to even the simplest of measures. how much fun it his proposals come from our health care programs is calculated by nonpartisan experts. in my view, you can't run from t the metrics when they don't tell you what you want to hear. s finally the congressman and many others say patients should be at the center of care.
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now, i want it understood, mr. president, i don't see how anybody could dispute that ideaf of course patients should be at the center of care. but when i look at the priceti proposal i don't see the patient at the center of health care. i see money at ic special interests at the center of health care. the price plan tells vulnerableg americans that there health care is only going to go as far as their bank accounts are going to take them. the well-to-do may be able to manage just fine under the price proposal and the costs they pust on to patients. but i am absolutely certain that millions of working americans won't be able to do it. i'm going to wrap up now, mr.
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president, talking about severae glaring issues, ethical issues, with respect to congressman price. and i'll begin with the congressman said significant investments in an australian biomedical company. a lot of information about those investments come in to view. over the course of months of investigation and reporting. what the facts show is that in 2016 the congressman was part of an exclusive deal to buy stock at a discounted price, ideal called a private placement. on multiple occasions he was given opportunities to come clean and explain his participation in the special stock sale. d he never has. and now the majority on the finance committee has cut off the vetting process before getting all the facts or having
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the congressman correct the record. so i'm going to take a moment tonight to lay out the facts. it's well known that congressman price learned about the company from a house colleague, congressman chris collins. chris collins isn't exactly a a casual observer of the australian business pages. he's inmate that the company is large shareholder and a member of its board. many of the companies other major shareholders are people ic congress, collins, or family members, chief of staff, others that he is close to. after learning about the company from his colleague, congressman price made his first purchase in the company stock in 2015. he bought 61,000 shares. so now let's fast-forward to august 2016. the congressman bought another of a private stock sale for u.s. investors. when the private sale took
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place, innate shares are tradinr on the austrian stock exchange to the equivalent of 31 americae sense. the participants in this private sale got that shares at a steep discount. that discount meds that congressman price paid tens of a thousands of dollars less than a typical investor would have paid on the open market. with respect to that purchase,. the record remains unclear. it does come down to two issues. how he came to participate in the private placement, and whether he got special access and other investors didn't happen. on those issues congressman price tells one-story. company officials, congressman collins and public documents tell another. first, i'm going to examine how congressman price came to participate in this private deal. as he tells if you decide to
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make that purchase based on his own research into the company. but "the wall street journal",,t ebola, since, say otherwise. i will read from a q january 302000 report, and a quote. mr. price got in on the discounted sale after mr. collins filled in and on the companies drug trial, according to mr. collins. a mr. collins said he told mr. price of the additional private placement. he said mr. price asked if he could participate in it. could you have someone send me the documents, mr. collins recalled mr. price asking him. it paints a pretty clearrom congressman price got information on his colleague. the companies top shareholder, eddie got an invitation to a special deal. the claim that his conversation with congressman collins had no affect on the congressman said decision on congressman price'ss decision to invest just does not pass muster.
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so i will turn to the second point. wa whether or not the deal was available to all company shareholders. congressman price insist it was. here's the exchange he and i had during his nomination hearing in the finance committee. q i said at the court, you purchase stock in australian company through private offerings at discounts, not available to the public. congressman price responded and the court, well, if i may, thosl at t individual that was an investor at the time. that's not what inmate management including the ceo told "the wall street journal." according to the wall street journals report, congressman price was one of six special fri american investors in a category called friends and family. i'll read a passage from the story..
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the cabinet nominee, this is mrf price, was one of fewer than 20 u.s. investors who were invited last year to buy discounted shares of the company, an opportunity that for mr. price arose from an invitation from a fellow congressman. at mr. collins invitation to mr. price in june ordered chairs discount in the private placement at $.1 18 cents apiecd then more in july at 26 cents a share. mr. collins, that's the colleague, said in a new view. those orders went through in august after board approval. dis mr. price invested between 50,000-$100,000 according to his disclosure form. mr. this disclosure form. inves mr. wilkinson, the companies ceo said investors who it bought in a previous private placement were called to make friends and family aware of the opportunity. we are always looking to increase our shareholder base, but those new parties have to meet the definition of a sophisticated financialix
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investor.e fell quote, only six investors including mr. price fell into the friends and family category. mr. collins, that's his friend in congress, said. about 10 more u.s. investors were offered discounted shares because they had previously been invited to partake in private placement offering. furthermore, congressman collins and mr. wilkerson added more detail, and i quote, a discounted stock offer in innate, as a company was known, was made to all shareholders in australia and new zealand but not in the u.s. according to mr. collins and confront in a separate interview with the innate ceo. bottom line, congressman price got in as a special guest, a friend and family guest of congressman collins. what he told the committee that the deal was open to
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shareholders was dead wrong. i'm going to repeat this quote from "the wall street journal." this was part of report, mr. president, that was authored by this i journalist. h this is what he wrote in "the wall street journal." rep tom price got a privileged offer to buy a biomedical stock at a discount. the the companies officials said, contrary to his congressional testimony this so the stock deal involving innate i have outlined because there's obviously a great deal of significance. it's not the only ethical issue at hand. congressma.congressman price ind legislation that would lower the tax bills of three major stock pharmaceutical companies he owns significant amounts of stock in.
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he invested $15,000 in an medical equipment company, and introduce legislation to increase the amount medicare e pays for that type of equipment. part of his bill went on to become law. then there is his investment inl a company called zimmer biomed. in 2015 medicare was preparing . new pricing model that would change the way the program paidm for hip and knee replacement. instead of paying for each individual service, medicaid and said it would try to make its payments more efficient by bundling the costs together in one lump sum. the new system, however, has the potential to affect the revenues of zimmer biomed. on march 17, 2016, a few weeks before the governments model, the cms model was set to go into effect, congressman price bot thousands of dollars worth of zimmer biomed stock to his poker cap.
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on march 23, less than a weekmea later, he introduced h.r. 4848, a hip act, which would have delayed the implementation ofs.g cms regulations for medicai coverage of joint replacement. he was the lead republican sponsor of the bill. so bottom line, congressmanin price introduced legislation that certainly had the potential to add to his personal fortune. congressman price is argued that he didn't purchase the stock, and others, his broker was making the deal. but at the very least he would've known about the deals within days when he filled his periodic transaction reports with the house. on august 15, 2016, not only did that he had purchased zimmer biomed along with dozens of other stocks, he initialed the entry for zimmer biomed in order to correct a mistake on the document.
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now, wrapping up, mr. president, i want to go back to the fact that when congressman price day before the finance committee, he didn't give us the whole story. and in effect i think thettee finance committee, regrettably, has an ethical double standard now.lo look at the nominations of tom daschle, tim geithner and ron kirk at the outset of the obama administration. that bedding was rigorous, it was bipartisan. we looked over every stone, peered around every corner. now when a glaring issue comes up that undeniably deserves investigation, the party in power is shutting down the vetting process and moving towards confirmation. i think this is sending a dangerous message to nominees in the future. i'll close by way of saying, mr. president, that the nominee has an extreme agenda.s
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his proposals strip tens of millions of americans other health care coverage. his proposals would put americans with pre-existing conditions in danger of losingg coverage for the care they need. it would unravel the medicare promise to guarantee a benefit of vital importance to millions of american seniors. and when it comes to ethics, as i've described, congressman price falls well short of the standard the american people expect nominees to meet. i will not support his nomination. i urge my colleagues to join me in opposition, and i yield the floor. >> when the senate reconvenes at 10 eastern, they will debate the nomination of congressman tom price to be health and human services secretary. a vote on the nomination would happen at 145 am eastern time at the latest.
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live coverage of the senate here on c-span2. >> every weekend otb brings you 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors. here's what's coming up this weekend.
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>> this book focuses on women because we are the first influencer. we are the first teacher. if you look at stats, data show we are also increased in a number as head of household and full provider in the household. therefore, figures from amman to implement managed not just from a man to his son, but also a woman to the son and daughter. the >> this week, and the british house of commons, prime minister teresa may answer questions about leaving the european union and legislation to begin


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