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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 6, 2013 6:00pm-9:01pm EST

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hometown, stephen wrote "i am disgusted. i have's and the last two days trying to get my application through. this would not be an issue except the coverage i currently have is going away because of the new requirements. although we were promised we coverage."our you know this lot has serious problems. you delayed over half of the mandate deadlines. for employers, unions, and small businesses. nor for millions of other americans that are losing their health care. fearare worried and their is palpable. your main goal should've been to protect americans and lessen their risk and ensure their safety. this lawur zeal to put -- america'sou should all you accountable. i repeat my request for you to resign.
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>> madame secretary, thank you for joining us this morning. facing with we are the marketplace website are unacceptable, they need to be fixed immediately. i would like to put things in a historical perspective. the age-old plan is facing hurdles. problems the set show soul security. medicare is facing trouble. new problems in medicare bug trend it -- drug benefit. from the headlines early part of this decade. major programs that have come below in terms of the social safety net in this country and
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health care security. while this is an excusable, it is a challenge that has been faced time and time when any program has been unveiled. i find it amazing that those ascribe blame have spent every waking hour of the working toears dismantle, destroy, obstruct, and impede the success of the affordable care act. concerned not about its failure, but about its success. what i hope we will focus on is how to succeed. i want to get a sense when those of us on the committee worked to put this together, we were under the assumption that state- controlled by republican
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legislatures or governors would put a higher premium on the love of state rights than their dislike of the president or some ideological political opposition. which is why we are seeing far better success in states that have established their own marketplace. oft is the consequence having so many of the states not pursue their own marketplace and delegating it to the federal government? envision not having that many states? what has been the consequences of the burden of that? quacks we really didn't know. we knew that 27 states had sued around the constitutionality of the bill. there was uncertainty what would happen when the court declared it unconstitutional how those states would react. some have chosen a partnership where we still run the bulk of
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the exchange. it has added to the uncertainty of how large the operation would be. we did have deadlines in january of 13 for states to officially declare if they would run their own marketplace or not. and by february, a partnership plan. the state using the hub is significantly higher than they might have predicted initially at the outset of the plan. offeringsbust product , very competitive. one fourth of the insurers are brand-new.
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they have choices, they have competition. quacks the state marketplaces seem to be having greater success than those being run federally? quacks the web features are running more smoothly if you think about one set of products and one set of prices in one state. -- but less complicated all of the states, as well as the federal markets are using the hub. they are coming into the federal market to certify security and income -- lastt me ask you one question because we are hearing from a number of providers, including health centers. my state did not set up its own exchange. insurance companies have yet to provide them with networking contracts.
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in order to ensure network adequacy. if we are going to say state insurance regulators are responsible, many of these are actively hostile. people supposed to shop for a plan when the network is not yet in place? quacks there is no -- >> there is no plan that has a network that is readily available and of the statetiny insurance department. every plan in the market has a network. consumers can access that information as we shop for insurance coverage.
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>> we know president obama's thomas that if you like the health plan you have, you will be able to keep your health plan. millions of americans are finding out that just isn't the case. henry ford said that customers his model t in any color they want so long as it was black. if you like your current plan, you can keep it as long as it is the model he chooses. i offered a proposal to give people the honest choice to keep in thelans but everyone majority party voted against it. it still has the promise on their that if you like your health plan, you can keep it. wyomingites got word that
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they could not keep the insurance that they've got even if they like it. i am working with the bill under ron johnson that would allow americans to keep their health care if they like it. notices are a up to the american public. it is hurting the economy and making health insurance less affordable. the one-size-fits-all approach is hurting our country and we need more people in congress that understand this. my hope is that even my democrat colleagues are seeing the light. my question to you is this. what is the administration doing to help the people as a result of the broken promise attack o?
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subsidy't qualify for and are facing thousands of dollars in insurance costs. wyoming's costs are higher than any other state in the nation and we only have two providers. there has not been an increase in the number of providers. your answer? >> i believe the president's was in the law from the day that it was written. a grandfather clause that we wrote as a prophecy -- policy. notplans in effect that did change to the detriment of the consumer, even though the insurance company could raise premiums, they could not or take awayefits items that the consumer alike. those are in effect -- consumer
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liked. and will be effect enjoyed into the future. come into have to compliance with anything in the law. but if the plans turnover and -- you heard senator nelson and we served together as insurance commissioners. talking about the planned turnover. overans changed over and again since 2010, insurers have been on notice since 2010 that they needed to come into .ompliance the employer market and every other part of health insurance. quacks i am -- >> i am not
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worried about the insurers, i am worried about the people. they are worried -- losing the doctor that they like to go to. there are changes that have been made that are causing some problems. you also mentioned a number of .eople are signing up i noticed in washington state, 35,000 people signed up for obama care. 87% will receive their coverage through medicaid. tony 6000 people enrolled in kentucky and 80% of those will in medicaid. 96% are going into medicaid. it has costs to the federal government, particularly with some of the increases that were put into this law. are we going to be able to afford this increase? paying other customers the tab to provide the revenue to do this? when the affordable care act
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was passed, it was anticipated 100% of the states would expand medicaid. it was altered by the supreme court decision that made medicaid expansion a voluntary expansion for states. we have 30 governors republican and democratic who have declared their interest in moving ahead with medicaid expansion. that expansion of 100% of the states was paid for in the affordable care act. it is heart of the law that was passed in 2010. unlike medicare part d that was not paid for when congress passed it. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i am convinced that the fundamentals are sound. implementatione in a very orderly way, protecting millions of americans . the practices that existed before the affordable care act are being dealt with. about theeagues talk actions of private insurance companies today, go back and see how many people lost coverage. insurance companies pulling out of markets, reducing benefits and increasing premiums. i also point out in regard to the exchanges, the number of carriers offering plans and the pricing of those plans came in much stronger than we anticipated. it is sound.
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disappointment as to how the shopping and enrollment was not done more effectively starting october 1. i guess my question, madam secretary. as a result of the delay in individuals being able to shop , there are people that will be disadvantaged. people who have not gotten as far as they want. consumer fatigue. people will have a more challenging time. number ofve a large people that have lost coverage, which was understandable because these are policies that were changed since 2010. that are individuals changed their insurance policies frequently.
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they want to enroll by mid- december so that they can get effective january 1. what steps are you taking to -- to make it easier and more convenient for people to be able to shop and enroll bac? for steps have you taken those suffering the delay to get the website working. >> step one through six is getting be site fixed as rapidly as possible. we are deploying additional assets to the call center. operations have additional individuals now.
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we have 12,000 trained call center representatives that not only have in english and spanish , buton of scripts translators that can answer questions and up to 150 languages. they can take them from start to finish or help create an application. train trying to throughout the ground and they are actively working in their neighborhoods. the state has a contract through community groups and well-known medical advocacy groups. through a paper
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application or on the phone or in person. >> i would urge you to make that available to those of us more comfortable using applications. >> we had alternate strategies to enhance those alternate strategies. exchanges operated by the states are having different results. some are doing well and some are not. i would urge you to monitor the progress made on the state exchanges because we want to make sure those that have been disadvantaged because of the inadequacy of the performance of online shopping and enrollment that it might go beyond federal exchanges and those are also protected as you look at ways to
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compensate for the slower rollout. we have regular updates with the state directors. it won is occurring at 4:00 this afternoon. we are not only trying to pay attention to the federal marketplace, but keeping him very close touch with lessons learned. them in other areas to figure out what is working and what is not. using the full six months to really reach out and enroll people that are eager for affordable health care. madame secretary, in september of 2009, the polls said that 88% of americans were currentd with their health insurance plan. which is why the president made a promise that he made. you can see, yesterday
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afternoon, the white house website says if you like your plan, you can keep it. you don't have to change a thing due to the health care law. we know that lying to congress is a crime. isng to the american people not. i would like to ask you a simple true or false question. is that statement true? or is it false? statement -- the vast majority of americans that employered are in the market or public plans are veterans plans. those plans have stayed in place and have continued to offer benefits. the 11 million people in the individual market will keep plans that now will have
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stronger coverage. others will have to choose if they have a brand-new plan. note that youord have refused to answer my question if it is true or false. in june of 2010, is it true that the department that you headed estimated between 40 and 67% of wouldbuying insurance lose grandfather status? on the same day that your department estimated that 66% of the people in small employer plans and 45% would lose their grandfather status by 2013? >> senator, that is an inaccurate use of those statistics.
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could i answer the question? i can tell you what the statistics mean. would like to tell you what the statistics mean. answer -- >> she did answer, she said it was inaccurate. >> that is not what the statistics say. it was a look back at how much turn there was in the marketplace, not a projection of what was going to happen. isn't it true, according to the congressional budget office get 156 million americans their health insurance from their employer sponsored health care plan in 2013? the office estimated that because of the failure to keep the promise on the white house , 78 million americans will not be able to keep their
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lands as promised. >> i don't have any idea what that statistic is. there are about 170 million that have employer-based coverage but i don't know the statistic. >> i would commend the estimate to you which is what congress depends upon. bemillion people will not able to keep their employer- .rovided coverage this is a false statement that this administration has consistently doubled down on and repeated time and time again. conclude isng i can that it is impossible to do something in this administration that gets you fired. the americano people, consistently misrepresent the facts. it is impossible to get fired. whereare in dallas
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president obama is expected to speak shortly about the health care law. they have been working on an outreach effort and the volunteers are part of the dallas area interfaith community. start at 540ed to eastern and president obama is running late because of a two- hour meeting with senators up for reelection in 2014. a story says that the senators abetted their obamacare anger about the rollout of the website. will be back here live when the president's peaks. in the meantime, this is oklahoma talking about the oil industry. specifically, the keystone oil pipeline. >> let's get started. waiting for the state department to do their final review on keystone xl. the report yesterday show that the company has spent $2 billion
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so far on the pipeline? what have you spent the money on so far he ac? things you spend money on in these types of projects. in order to be in service at the time we were anticipating, there is a lot of long lead time items. pipe, all the various control systems. to put those orders in early. that is probably the lion's share of that amount of money. there are hundreds of environmental studies that need to be done. it all adds up. i would add that the vast majority of that equipment came from american suppliers. >> what about jobs? flag thatthe south should be running up and soon the. what type of jobs are there for building pipelines in this country?
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what do they pay? what about the overall job numbers of the keystone xl? >> this has been an area that the opposition has made very misleading statements and plain out right lies. very simply, talk about the gulf coast portion of the keystone pipeline which we are just finishing building right now. we will employ another 9000 americans. we employ more in manufacturing the pipe, the pump, the control systems that are required for these projects. we can actually identify each and every one of those workers on our pipeline. those are hard and solid
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numbers. about atone xl alone is $5.5 billion project. it is crossing a number of states. these kind of projects really do produce a great number of jobs. are veryare paid, they high-paying jobs. most of these are union jobs and you can see the impact when you see the union partners and how hard they are pushing in d.c. and the administration for this to go through. how are you addressing the environmental concerns? it is different from other oil and the chemical mixture that you need in order to move it through pipelines causes environmental risks to the land and the water around these pipelines? this is nothing but a misrepresentation. the department of state looked at this issue of if this oil is
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different from other oil. the four environmental impact statements that have been prepared, i think the last word on this -- our federal u.s. pipeline regulator femmes a -- probably the most respected independent scientific body in the united states if not the world to look into this issue. their firm conclusion was that they saw absolutely no material and anyce between this of the other oils. this issue is nothing but a red herring and it has been completely taken out of the picture by the work done by the state department and the u.s. national academy of sciences. >> do pipelines amid co2?
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our pipeline is powered by electricity so it does not produce any co2. president talks about the keystone xl pipeline that needs to be carbon neutral. co2annot increase our emissions. >> here is the best way to think about this. our opponents would have you believe that building pipelines increases greenhouse gases. let's think about this practically. a refining consumption for the products. if we don't build keystone pipeline, the world is not going to consume less oil. they will consume the same oil and it will probably come from
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increasing u.s. production. but this is not a transportation issue, it is a consumption issue. the state department in their most recent impact statement looked specifically at this issue and came to the conclusion that building or not building the pipeline would have little to no impact on greenhouse gas emissions. from our perspective, we were happy to hear the president's test to see if the pipeline in any way exacerbated global ght. we are comfortable that is not the case. >> let me begin with bill beatty on twitter. it interesting to see how much the government has spent examining keystone xl. democratic caller. >> let me say that i have been watching c-span since 1980.
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question.ish my just producing or recovering this from canada is devastating to the land. it doesn't matter. this oil is going overseas. every ounce of oil recovered from the ground is sold on the market of the world. we produce more oil than anything else. our number one export is gasoline. it going through a pipeline, it will eat it up. >> karl was breaking up there a little bit, but i think he was referring to the environmental
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issue of the oil sands and talking about this argument that the oil is for export. let me say right off the bat that nothing could be further from the truth. i am all about the facts. 15 u.s. consumes about million barrels of oil a day. a are one of the largest consumers on the planet and we import every day about 7 million or 8 million barrels of oil. to suggest the keystone pipeline -- by the way, this is a pipeline from producing areas in canada and the u.s. to refineries in the gulf coast. it is not a pipeline to export terminals. it is a pipeline to refineries. refineriesthat these importing millions of barrels of oil a day from venezuela, saudi arabia, they are going to take this cheaper canadian oil, run it past the gates of their refinery, put it into tankers,
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pay money to move that oil to other destinations and import higher-priced oil boggles the mind. could be further from the truth. everyone of these consumers of oil, not one drop is going offshore. i am from first nation peoples. from the time of colonization and the conquering of all of the , this has beenly the same denial story over and over and over again. >> what are you referring to? the fact that this is doing no harm to mother earth. no harm to our waters. people that live on this earth and the animals.
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this is all about money. this is all about destroying the land. is about the betterment of the people and the people that have so much money that they don't know what to do with it. it is disgusting that this country can't tell the truth from the time of the first treaty. people should understand that every agreement that this country has made with the people regarding land has been broken. >> we will leave it there and move on to larry in santa barbara, california. >> i have a question for the people that represent the oil industry. canadahat the people of have opposed the construction of a pipeline, it is my
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understanding to the west coast of north america for a of tar sands oil. the people of the united states, what are we? second-class citizens? --t we would approve this how much, by comparison, co2 is generated during the extraction process of getting the oil out of the sands as opposed to normal pumping of oil out of the ground? >> larry, i will first deal with your question about the co2 generated. thework that i have seen, most recent work done by sera, the world-renowned energy consultant based in the u.s.. they did a comprehensive analysis of the energy admissions of various types of crude and they found that on a
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wells to wheels basis, oilsands crude was somewhere in the range of three percent or six percent greater density than the average barrel of crude refined in the u.s.. the important point is that we are displacing oil that would otherwise be coming into these gulf coast refineries. they are all configured to run heavy oil. heavy oiletting the from venezuela, mexico, and california. when you compare to those types of oil -- >> you can see all of this online. live to dallas to hear from president obama talking about the health care law. good evening. erton.e is edna tempora i bring greetings from oak
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cliff, texas. and greetings from brian carter in concorde baptist church. have the honor to present to you our commander-in-chief. on january 12, 2012, i was diagnosed with cancer. and i didthe hospital not do the paperwork right. i want to make sure that everybody understands affordable health care. so that no one else will be denied service for not doing the proper paperwork like i did. i know you have been waiting so i will not go through all the ay.ff i am supposed to sta i will introduce to you
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president barack obama. [applause] >> give edna a round of applause. [applause] it is wonderful to see all of you. let me make special mention to people that are here. your outstanding mayor is here. outstanding county judge clay jenkins who is doing a great job on affordable care. congresswoman johnson is here. rabbi davidto thank stern and asher knight for hosting us today. the main reason i am here is to thank all of you. is one that is repeated all across the country. that got sick and did not
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have health insurance. folks that thought they had health insurance and turned out that because of the fine print or not filling something out right, they were short what they needed in terms of getting healed. when i ran for office, we were in the midst of the great recession. my number one priority was making sure we did not go into a great depression. we have seen the economy begin to recover even though washington has not been helpful with things like the shutdown. we have seen 7.5 million jobs created and record exports. we have seen growth in places like dallas. people are starting to get their footing. we are starting to recover. we did not start tackling the health care system in a it would continue
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to undermine the economy, hurt families, and hurt business. there is a reason why it has never been done before. making sure that everybody had affordable and quality health care. but through democratic and republican presidents, we could not get it done. the reason is because it is hard. , even if theye don't like what is going on, they are nervous about change. but we were able to get it done in part because of grassroots folks like you that fought so hard to make sure that we are able to deliver on universal health care. that is what this is all about. ultimately, the politics and the chatter leads out the fact that
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the system is not working for too many people. asis important for us, difficult and challenging as it has been, to move forward and make sure that folks like at the -- edna know they are going to get good care and their families won't get bankrupt because somebody got sick. that is what we have been fighting for. over the last three years, we have put a bunch of benefits in place. people don't know we have put them in place but they are already in place. is 25 have a child who and doesn't have health insurance and is on the parents plan, the reason is because of the affordable care act. getting discounts on prescription drugs and saving hundreds of dollars because of the discount through the
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affordable care act. have toe companies treat customers right because of the affordable care act. no more lifetime limits or dropping people when they get sick. but to finish the job, we have to sign up those folks that don't have insurance and improve the insurance for those that are underinsured. they have been subject to the winds of the insurance company. whims of the insurance company. that is the challenge we've got over the next three months, six months, one year. done, we willat have created a stable system in which there is no reason why people should not be getting health care in this country. first to say that the first part i am not happy with. you have heard about the website
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woes. nothing drives me more crazy than the fact that right now, there is great insurance to be had out there, choice, competition, where people can save money for a better product. but too many folks have not been able to get through the website. this is like having a really good product in the store and the cash registers don't work and there aren't enough parking spots. nobody can get through the door. we are working overtime to get this fixed. the website is already better than it was at the beginning of october. by the end of this month, we anticipate it will be working the way it is supposed to. folks are working 24 make sure that happens. 24/7 to make sure that
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happens. the insurance is already there. if they can't get through to the website, they can call the call center and people can take their application and be walked through the process. in person ifply there are folks out there helping people sign up. you havehat all of been committed to doing. it is so important. the truth of the matter is that even if the website were working 100%, people would still need help to navigate through this stuff. a high percentage of people readynot have access to a computer or it might be confusing for them. they need people to help guide them through this process. that is true of any kind of insurance. it is a complicated process. to all of you, the congregations, the faith-
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based groups are critically important and it is not going to stop even after the website is running perfectly. we will need all of you to be making these efforts. i want to make special mention and the work to get because that is the kind of commitment we will need on the ground on a day-to- day basis. my main job here today is to say thank you. nothing is going to stop us from getting this done. the right side of history. it is the right thing to do for our economy, businesses, and families. the last point i want to make. of times, this task is especially challenging. in the great lone star state.
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i think all of you understand that there is no state that needs this more than texas. think about it. we were just talking on the way over here. in addition to signing people up for the marketplaces where they could buy private insurance, part of the affordable care act was expanding the number of working families that would qualify for medicaid. because of a supreme court ruling, it is voluntary. which states decide to expand medicaid coverage and which don't. in just the dallas area, 133,000
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people who don't currently have health insurance would immediately get health insurance without even having to go if the stateebsite of texas decided to do it. there are over $500 million just for this county that would come in to help families get health insurance. nothing to do with the website. if the state of texas made this decision. your neighboring states have made that decision because they look at it and say this is a no- brainer. why would we not want to take advantage of this? the state of arkansas has already reduced its number of uninsured by 14%. already, just in the first month, by signing people up
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for expanded medicaid. oregon has a 10% reduction in the number of uninsured already in the first month. just because the governor and the legislature made the right decision. there is no reason why this state can't do the same. area, 133 thousand people and across the state, one million people. it is a big state. one million people. citizens that don't have health insurance that could get it right away if the state of texas decided to take advantage of this. gets me a little frustrated although i understand folkse i am in politics, who are complaining about how
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the website is not working. why isn't obama fixing this? they are leaving one million people right now without health insurance that they could immediately fix. there is not a lot of logic to that. but that's ok. we have gone through barriers before. we have gone through struggles before. if you stick to doing the right thing, we will get it done. i want all of you to remember that as challenging as this may seem sometimes, as frustrating as may be sometimes, we will get this done. do, not if, when we do,
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we will have families across this great state of texas that the have the security and well-being of high quality affordable health insurance. and that is going to be good for business. it means that all the providers around here instead of taking folks to the emergency room, they have customers who have insurance. those of you that already have health insurance, your premiums will not be subsidizing folks that don't have health insurance. people will get preventive care which means that people are likely to be healthier. power. within our aat is within our grasp. pretty motivated group. it looks like a group that is ready to go.
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i am here to tell you that i will be right there with you the entire way until we get this done. everybody in texas and across the country will have the affordable care that they need. god bless you, god bless america, god bless the state of texas. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] ♪
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in dallasnt obama this evening. we are opening up phones and getting comments on what you heard the president say or what you heard from secretary sibelius today. for you ons going the implementation of the health care law. our hashtag is #cspanchat. we want to show you all the comments before the finance committee meeting this evening. testifiedsibelius earlier today and we will show it to you at 8:00 p.m. eastern. i just wanted to call and
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make a short comment. my husband and i were sitting here praying and being very happy that our president is out at dallas. a little ways from where jfk was murdered. i am glad he is leaving dallas. i don't trust any of them down there. the 50th anniversary of the --t -- entity assassination, kennedy assassination, that is on c-span three. let's hear from pasadena, texas. susan, welcome. >> he never mentioned one thing about all of the lies he has done. our greathe slandered state and our governor.
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that is not right. i don't care if it is the president or not. from pasadena texas. we hear from bernie from altavista, iowa. >> i have a couple of comments. he talks about everything is free and medicaid, but he doesn't talk about what it will cost the country. for those people that get free health insurance, somebody is going to be paying for it. it is the middle class that keeps giving the taxes. he doesn't mention all the taxes in the affordable health care act. to talkwhen he gets up about how great it is, he ought to talk about where the money is coming from also. newse dallas morning website, the picture of the president arriving this evening at the event.
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other events, fundraisers for the senatorial campaign committee. obama makes the case for obamacare and dallas. the remarks of secretary kathleen sebelius in just a bit. she was questioned by john cordon about the health care implementation. here is a bit of that. >> the president is touting the navigator program which, as you know, for people who are hired to help people navigate the affordable care act. i would like to ask you this question. no't it true that there is federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check even though they will receive sensitive personal information from the individuals they help sign up for the affordable air cacti -- care act. >> that's true. states can add background checks and other features, but it is
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not part of the federal requirement. >> a convicted felon could be a navigator and acquire information unbeknownst to them. possible. we have contracts with organizations and they have taken the responsibility to screen their individual thatators and make sure they are sufficiently trained for the job. but it is possible. >> we will show you that a hearing coming up tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. sebelius rejects bipartisan calls for delay and health care law. at a hearing came hours after the obama administration said that the chief information officer whose office supervised the creation
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of the troubled website was retiring. tony trenkle will step down to take a position in the private sector. that is the new york times. paul is from winchester, ohio. >> i have a couple comments. all, i think the health care law will be a great thing and will be straightened out. like my brother here about 10 years ago, he laid in a hospital .or 119 days $856,000 for the bill. it completely wiped him out. andad to sell his home stuff like that. be goodng is going to
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for the american people and the middle classes and the poor people in this country. care can furnish health for all the people in washington that costs thousands and millions of dollars a year. we can certainly do it for the poor and the underclass people of this nation. tweets that every member of congress and their staff should experience the bronze plan being offered. we shouldn't have to pay for gold plans. >> i am basically just a middle- class american and i was told by dianne feinstein and barbara that middle-ators, class americans would be saving money. more fors paying 300% my coverage for my family and i
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am paying 30% more myself erie it i have a daughter -- myself. i have a daughter with crohn's disease. happened after the implementation of the law? yes.r: we are middle-class family of four. host: how much more per year is that going to cost you do you think yo? caller: it depends with crohn's disease. flareup she could spend three weeks in the hospital. 20% of that, you do the math. i'm going to go broke. i have to try to upgrade my coverage. i'm already paying 30% more for what we have. let's go back to texas
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next on the democrats find. mckinney, texas. it was wonderful to see the president here by dallas. it's wonderful that people now to healthcare that is complete. host: tulsa, oklahoma, on the line for all others. am a broker and i've been doing health insurance inkerage for 25 years oklahoma, missouri, and texas at one time. let me just say, just to be broker, i see this
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as a good thing to give wellness visits where before people had to meet the dock the bulls, i've never understood it and i've never liked selling policies that way. preventative measures are covered. there are a lot of good things in this law. there is some drudgery going the president is explaining that now they are saying in a brokerage publication today that they are ofking about how i'm one 70,000 that is certified to do this but they came to us and they say nothing about the brokers but we help guide people. youpresident just said annot go down and just by auto insurance policy, no disrespect. host: where the president was
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speaking this evening. caller: he was talking about how they need more help from people. they need to get her on a policy with a low stop adoptable to cover out-of-pocket but people need to be educated. miseducation of and misinformation about this and it's so unfortunate. does oklahoma have a state exchange setup? i think we lost him. let's go to spalding, ohio, on the republican line. i don't understand how the media can keep reporting on how business will be for our -- will be good for our country.
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i investigated it and i got canceled today. my is better and a lot cheaper than what's available and i don't know how you can just sit around and report about how great this is going to be or america. this is really going to flip the economy upside down. host: how did you get the news today? was it a letter, and e-mail? caller: i'm a small businessman. my whole company was canceled because our policy does not meet the requirements. havetually exceeds that we too much on their but that's why we got canceled. host: how many employees including yourself were covered? caller: 16. in dallaspresident
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this afternoon running late. it was originally scheduled october 21 but got pushed back in the wake of the government shutdown and rescheduled for this afternoon. he met with democratic senators. here is the headline in roll call.
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partyare a few democratic fundraisers in dallas, highland park, this evening. bree in louisiana, go ahead. caller: hello? hello? host: you were on the air, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. seeing president obama today in dallas in front of all the i was just taken aback that no one questioned him about the lie he told the american people that if you like europe's and you can keep it. if you like your dr. you can keep it.
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this is tremendous for the american people. this is devastating to a lot of people around the country. they covered it with another live. a situation where she's taking advantage of the elderly and the underprivileged people telling them that they are going when this ish care nothing about the health care system. this is nothing but a control system to get everyone to sign up, hurry up. he has spent over $6 billion -- i'm confused. i'm so upset about what he's doing to the american people. look how much he has spent, 600 --lion people, trying to get
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$600 million trying to get this together. commentsouple eager off of twitter. this one from steve says -- we will show you her comments in just a moment. referring to an earlier collar. ft. worth, chris, on the independent line. hello. you are on the air. caller: if the president is so everybody'sout health, why is he protect and gmo's they arehe
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poisoning everyone will span the fluoride in the water reactor they could get rid of that. up next, my, democratic line. the systeme been in three years, i'm a veteran, and a union employee. my employer contributed and to my health care for many years and i have an account there for many years but i have used for a co-pay to reimburse. january, that will no longer be available to me because they are not recognizing the va or medicaid as group so i'm being forced to go back into an insurance that i don't need that i have to pay
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for. the kicker resigned disabled right now and i'm not working for my union anymore. i have not worked since may. i'm being forced to spend all of the money accumulated over the years but it could have been using for my meds through the va and as of january, that money will not be available to me anymore. go throughad to using one of the exchanges in nevada? willr: i'm in the va and i not be changing anything but the fact is that they are going to be stealing this money that i have had for many years that i use for my co-pay to pay for my medicine. that's not going to be available anymore. host: is it a health savings account? caller: it's through a union hall. it is through the contract.
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over the years, it has accumulated and they have put a years ande in the there's about $8,000 in that account. they put about $1300 in a quarter and about three quarters of that money will be gone and i will be able to use it at all for anything. president obama speaking addressing some of the current concerns about people being able .o keep the policy president obama recalibrate to keep your insurance pledge. let's get one more call here. barbara from idaho springs. hello.
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this is barbara. i'm a republican registered but soon to switch to the democrats. i really appreciated the president is talk today. i wish he would talk like that more because it explained a lot to the people. the people on the individual plans, i cannot believe how ignorant they are. i have been on the individual .lans for about 20 years now they are sending out notices. we have so much more and i really appreciate what they are
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doing. that's what i wanted to say. host: more tomorrow morning beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on "washington journal." testifiedebelius today before the senate finance committee and we will also show me the president's comments in at 10:40 p.m. eastern. on the senate floor today, senator kelly ayotte called on the president to call a timeout on his health care law. here is the speech from earlier today on the senate floor. >> i rise today to talk about the impact this is having on the people of my state in new hampshire. in one month, we have already withso many problems
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obamacare. frankly, it's a mess. 'se failure of health care website is something that has revealed deeply troubling incompetence in terms of implementing a website that people can use, have access to. we want to be in a position where the website is really the canary in a coal mine. the flaws are much deeper. even former supporters are telling me it's not working. i hear from my constituents about this. there were concerns that were brought forward years ago at this point.
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we had hoped that this would be a solution but instead it would be more of a financial drain. the onescan people are paying the price right now. they are getting cancellation notices. they are seeing their premiums go up. they are losing their doctors. workers are suffering. many of them have seen their hours cut because of an arbitrary mandate defining full- time workers as those who work 30 hours a week. others are fearful that they will lose their employer- sponsored care altogether and business owners remain reluctant to expand worried they will trigger the looming penalties for avalon i care. most tragically, we know the law was sold to the american people under false pretenses.
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the president said if you like your insurance plan, you keep it. in fact, yesterday we checked the website for the white house and the claim is still on there. i'm hearing every day from new hampshire residents who are theirg me they are seeing health insurance policies canceled. in the newspaper this morning, the headline in new hampshire 22,000ed that individuals will see coverage canceled at the end of the year. staterswhat granite have been writing to say to me and i want to share their with the entire country because i know this is not just happening to people in new hampshire but these are the real people who are being effect did by obamacare.
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the president was wrong. i cannot keep my coverage if i like it and i cannot keep my preferred hospital. these plans are the ones that are subpar. it brings me to tears on a daily basis. please help. he is self-employed. receiveo badly when i letters like this. he has a rare disease and they hide the dock the bold plan. he wrote, i received a notice from and seven. is this what president obama meant is that no one who has their current policy who likes it will lose it? i'm devastated that i will now have to go out and secure another policy somewhere which could cost me significantly more. writes i received a letter from anthem blue cross stating that my current plan was
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being discontinued because it did not conform to the law under the affordable care act. another words, the plan i was promised i could keep was made illegal by washington politicians. we have been told this would expand options. the fact is we are now being told what we can and cannot do and where we can go. to say i'm upset would not begin to describe how i feel. i'm a small business owner in new hampshire. i was recently informed that the policy i have had for all of will be canceled due to provisions in obamacare.
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they are transitioning me to a plan that costs more and offers substantially less benefits and protections than my original plan. i am outraged by this. me today we received a letter from anthem blue cross stating my husband individual plan, which he has had for 15 years, will no longer be in in 2014. i received a cancellation notice from my insurance company and the coverage i'm eligible for is -- help
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if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. issue theyanother are facing, that is a matter of not only theeping doctor you want to keep but also going to the hospital that you want to go to. the surenly one in road to participate on the oneanges at this point one-- insurer who will participate. not parthospitals are of the exchange and are excluded. for example, the capital of new hampshire's concord. hospitals excluded is
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concord hospital. i worked in concord for years. that all of the people who rely on non-hospital, have had their children there, have had treatment there, that they would be excluded if they are , this is aexchanges real impact on people and their lives. a doctor wrote me who was once a supporter and he describes the consequences simply -- his patients have one of three terrible options right now. is because the hospital in his area has been excluded from the exchange. they can switch doctors and drive considerable distance to a hospital that and some does .ncluded the change
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two, purchase outside the exchange at considerably higher rates than this year. or three, stick with their current doctor, risk having no insurance, and pay the government the penalty. with his hospital he's associated with excluded, he said it is the less affordable care act for his patients. this gave me a stunning practical effect of what this being left out would mean for his patients. consider the pregnant woman who has delivered all of her current children at our hospital. she is now expecting in february. she must now either drive the twisting new england roads in the dead of winter to a hospital 55 minutes from her home to deliver her baby or pay considerably higher insurance
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premiums to stay where she is comfortable and safe. these are one of numerous who have expressed similar concerns about local hospitals being excluded from the exchange. some ofo share with you the other concerns that have been written from my constituents. medicalf doctors and facilities that will take my and myce is limited massachusetts doctors are not on the list. the one closest to me, portsmouth hospital, is not on the list. kathleen says the exchange choice will not allow me to use my primary care doctor affiliated with the portsmouth hospital. all oncology physicians are located in boston, not covered. margaret in stratford wrote me.
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she currently go straight hospital in rochester which is, again, not part of the exchange and described the impact to me in this way. goould no longer be able to to the hospital which is four miles away. i could no longer see the gynecologist whom i trust. i could no longer use the surgeon who saved my life when emergency surgery was required. visit the sameer in turn asked. if i were to develop our problems -- the same internest. i could no longer go tere. his primary care physician is there and it says he will have to go to another hospital. he does not know the health condition.
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has gone to the hospital for 40 years. he has had multiple different insurance companies but have always been able to keep the same doctors. now, because of obamacare, it is out of the loop. this is totally unfair to all of the people who live in the area. ?hat gives you this says that none of her current positions including her primary care physician and her ob/gyn are in the exchange. nearest providers in this network are 45 minutes west, 60 minutes used, or 90 minutes north. this will be very costly to me in terms of time taken off to attend appointments at these distant offices are hospitals. since i'm self-employed, a day
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off to go to the dock your is a day without income. mother wrote me and said if my 17-year-old son does , i will beis winter required to take a minimum of son a day off to bring my to find a primary care physician who will accept insurance their affordable care. not that i could even afford that route. i'm also hearing heart wrenching from new hampshire citizens about how their premiums are going up. know, when this law was sold that, it was premiums would go down but that's not what i'm hearing from my constituents.
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he wrote, my insurance will double on january 1, 24th in. even the options up form to the health act are double the amount time paying today. it does not make any sense that my insurance would go up by double when this is called "affordable healthcare." total of myhe sum health care costs was $2300. i've been looking at health insurance for my family. will cost insurance 560 six dollars per month. the family did not bowl will be $11,500. even if i spend the same as last on actual health care, i will have to pay an additional $6,800.
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this is not fair and it is not affordable. i don't know how many people can budget for an additional $6,800 a year. >> another says, i'm self- employed and my wife and i pay for our health insurance through hampton -- and some. about $580 aey pay month for a major deductible plan with a total family deductible of $7,500. a couple of weeks ago, we received a letter informing that our own policies do not meet the of the aca and we would be counseled. when researching new options on the website, we found that our deductible was now going to be $12,000 per year at an increased
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cost of about a hundred $50 per month. feel as though the country has been misled about being able to keep her current coverage. i buy an individual policy to cover myself up my policy went up 25% on october 1 and one of the reasons stated in the letter i received from blue cross was to cover the implementation of aca. i dropped down to a less expensive plan and -- guess what me ii got a letter telling was ok until 2014 when the plan will be no longer be available because it does not comply with the new rules. i heard from patty who says
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after her insurance company told her to find a plan, she signed expensive least bronze plan available. her premium be $75 a month higher for a total of but inder $600 per month addition, i have a $5,400 annual deductible. prescription plan that mr. also and mr. lucy mandated has a $5,400 deductible. effectively, it's not a prescription plan at all. basically a very expensive catastrophic plan and nothing more. it is not affordable and i'm disgusted. barbara wrote me and she and her husband do not yet qualify for
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medicare. their existing plan is being phased out so she checked the theange and she writes product that was closest to what silver andy have is is just too expensive. the cheapest coverage we could find is in the bronze category monthll cost $1228 per of will have a deductible 11,900per individual and dollars per family. that means that all basic services and medications will be out of pocket. medications will be covered up $1228 ise co-pay, $14,000 and it is more than my mortgage.
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unlike the government, i cannot raise my debt ceiling. says, what was supposed to help people, like my husband and i were self-employed and he has , only hurtslness us. our premiums went up $2287 per month and this is now with a $4000 single family did not bowl. nothing like a 30% increase for one year. hoist yourself up every day, go to work, try to carry on is hard enough with this chronic illness. choosehave to pick and what bills we can afford to pay. james says she tried to enroll her son into the federal program .
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the quote was for $600 per month. you know any 20-year-old who can afford $600 a month? tim says, contrary to the original intent of the affordable care act, individuals who obtain insurance on their own art aim radically escalating costs based on individual coverage for a healthy non- smoking 51-year-old male available for january 1, 2014, on the healthcare exchange and the results are as following -- premium, 25% increase from $4200 to $5,300. increase ina 25% 82% increase in less than two years, $2900 in june 2012 to
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5300 2 january 2014. he wrote to me that what has been done to our health care system, this is the unaffordable care act. cases, the cost of insurance is rising because plans must include coverage for services that consumers don't situation on their and that their premiums will go up 40% based on obamacare. they are required to have this due to the law.
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we have no children under the age of 18. says the maternity issue is a trap for seniors. can anyone please explain to me why at 60 years of age i need an insurance land that requires maternity provisions? can someone tell me why i would need to pay for pediatric standalone dental. in would i have to pay exchange for you and reinsurance for you? the most affordable $504 ae has seen was month, which she cannot afford, and a $6,300 out-of-pocket premium. premium,ot afford the how can i afford the deductible?
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have heard from are worried that their employees will drop their coverage finding it cheaper to pay the fine them to provide coverage for their workers. benjamin in greenville writing, my portion is currently $5,000 per year and it will jump to $20,000 per year to maintain my current coverage. i make "too much money" to be subsidized. do i find $15,000. -- $15,000 per year? me, no more vacations. no more dance lessons for my kids. no more family date night once a month. nomura christmas presents.
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no more christmas presents. another theme i have heard is the feeling that those in the middle are being squeezed the most. donna writing my employer is now canceling the company-sponsored plan as of january 2014 which year. her 2200 $88 per and shopping for a new plan, i'm seeing the possibility of a $22 subsidy to help me with a monthly cost of $400. an increase of my health care i cannot afford. class, ahe middle taxpaying and proud american that did not act -- asked for this act and is now suffering because of it. cheryl says not only do i have to pay twice the premium but it will be post tax, a double hit.
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if i was poor, i would be ok. to for those of us trying make a good living and be responsible, productive citizens, we end up carrying this. this is not the american dream out all. salem says on september 30 he received a letter from and some informing that the new payment to keep my current plan, which i have had for over eight years will increase 212 dollars $.47 on january 1. increase for48 2014. this is what obamacare is doing to the middle class.
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and roberta in nashua is pleading for help. she wrote, please hear my plea and see what you can do to help us keep our care and not be forced into purchasing exchange insurance which is so costly and will be a financial hardship for us. it is not affordable. addition to cancel policies, patients losing their doctors alsoigher premiums, i have heard about another consequence of obamacare from people who are hard trying to make ends meet and those are workers seeing their hours cut. under the law, they must provide workage for them those who 30 hours or more per week. many of these employers, not surprisingly, have decided to reduce hours rather than comply
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so this is what the snarky -- hard-working people are writing to me about. i heard from an emt who wrote to me and said, my employer notified the 75 of us who work 1, our effective january hours will be cut due to obamacare. our incomes will drop him make it harder for us to buy our own insurance. an educator from the upper valley writing, our school district and surrounding are cutting back paraprofessional jobs to 29 hours. were full-se people time. instead they hired several part- time people to cover the wants full-time positions. now they are no longer entitled to any benefits. many of these individuals have work 15 or more years as a full timer.
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i've heard from business owners as well. and say the looming mandate the law is causing them to think about eliminating coverage for their employees even though they don't want to do it. they want to do what's right. stevens says, i am a small employer and i would be tempted to dump the plan for my employee to give them a few extra dollars and just get out of the business. i have also heard time and time again about how looming are causing businesses to think twice about growing and expand. on a business level, i don't know if i will expand because i would not be able to pay the penalties or the health insurance for my staff members.
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madam president, these are just some of the stories that i'm receiving from new hampshire about hardships that obamacare is causing poor people who are working hard, for people who want to make ends meet and keep the health plans that they have now and i feel terribly bad for these people. it breaks my heart. i have worked hard, sponsored many efforts, and voted to repeal this law. i called repeatedly over the timeouteral days for a from obamacare. we do need a timeout, madam , because of the concerns i just spoke about in this chamber that i'm hearing from my constituents and i know that many members of the chamber are hearing.
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we need the president to call a timeout. i came to the floor several times during the government and i said it was wrong to shut down the government to try to defund obamacare because of the harmful impact. i even took the step of calling on members of my own party to not go forward and shut down the government. now it's time for the president to see the impact of this law and understand from someone who, in some instances, has stood up to her own party on the government shutdown. i'm asking the president of the to hear from the people of this country that are being negatively impacted by the healthcare law. a timeout, mr. president.
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it's not working. they're having difficulties with the website. there were eight other personal information will not be protected. i talked about today, the problems are much deeper with people receiving cancellation that theyremium hikes cannot afford, hours being cut who want to work and make a living in this great country. i would us the president to call a timeout to bring people together. the law was passed out of this chamber on party lines. i would argue the best way to address healthcare in this and to address real concerns i know people have with the status quo as well is to bring a bipartisan group together. what we are seeing now is not working.
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my constituents have also taken the time to point out to me in addition to the major problems that they see with obamacare, they shared a few ideas with me as well about where they think we should go from here instead of obamacare and i want to share those as well. one suggestion i saw and it is one i agree with is to allow for the purchase of insurance across state lines. why should they not have to compete on a national basis? putso agree that we should our focus where it belongs crafting legislation to improve healthcare costs rather than trying to create an artificial marketplace. another constituent wisely
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pointed out that there should not be a could he -- a cookie including of policies senior citizens purchasing maternity care. people should shop for coverage that suits their particular needs and we should respect that different people have different needs in healthcare. there are many other ideas i know we could work together. they have written me other great ideas as well. finally, an over arching theme, americans are tired of being the of partisan gamesmanship. i agree. we have had so much on so many issues in the congress. they're tired of the politics and they want us to work together. i agree.
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on behalf of the people of new for aire, irony my call timeout on obamacare. let's find solutions at work for the american people. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. >> republican senator kelly ayotte of new hampshire talking calling for president obama to take a timeout on the healthcare law. we will open up our phone lines again here on c-span for a few minutes to hear from you and your thoughts on the implementation of the healthcare law and what you're hearing from members of congress, what you heard today from kathleen sebelius and the president. the numbers are on your screen.
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we will get your phone calls in just a second. the senate is in this week. lots of hearings this week on healthcare and other issues. the house is out on recess but they are back next week and will take up legislation. the house gop plans to tweak and schedules a plan on a keep your health care act.
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huntington, west virginia, on the democratic line. caller: thank you. i just want to make a comment. a lot of people are not will help aat this lot of practitioners around the united states because they're not letting the people understand. listening to the senator who was she talks about how the middle class will be affected, but she does not realize that the lower class will really be covered which is a good thing so i'm 100% for it. >> tony and west virginia on the republican line. caller: i just want to make this very short and brief. i want to say to all americans god bless america,
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first of all, and our wonderful congress. i do not understand why many house democrats and the president are more worried about addressing concerns with the website and the technical glitches when the real concern should be the fact that most americans are not going to be able to afford what they normally could as far as healthcare and other prescription coverage. that's all i had to say. in sioux falls, south dakota, on the others line. caller: here we go. >> you are on the air. mute your television. caller: ok. has thethink obama right to tell people what to do. dictator andhe's a i'm not happy with him. he needs to be impeached.
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>> president obama speaking today in dallas. we will show you those comments again this evening at 10:40 p.m. eastern. also the hearing with secretary sibelius. writing about the presidents meeting before he left washington, a headline in the national journal. they are writing about a meeting earlier today before the president left. senate democrats running for reelection carried their concerns for a private meeting with president obama. thenew hampshire, john on democrats line. caller: i've spoken to a lot of people at work and people who voted for the president and this will come back to haunt the party very greatly.
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i think the whole process and theyoing through need to go back to the drawing board. >> are you active in the party and new hampshire? caller: i would not say out is but a voted for the president in them very concerned. >> republican line, hello. caller: not only am i concerned obamacare,rices of there are bigger problems than that. we were talking about icv9-10. this whole thing needs to be overhauled. talked -- ite needs to be -- >> explain.
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you are this. what is that? it is a completely new code set that we will use to file the insurance for patients. >> this is the result of the affordable care act? caller: it's been coming for several years. when not onlye peopleseeing change for but we are seeing such tremendous change in our positions overall. it is no longer worth it. >> thanks for all the calls. more them tomorrow morning on "washington journal." we should do the comments of kelly ayotte. the senate has been dealing with the employee nondiscrimination act which would ban employers from firing, hiring,
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discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender. here's the headline -- there'll be a couple of key senate votes tomorrow on the floor including one on an from pat toomey. here is some debate between senator rob portman and the main's susan collins. believe that no one should be subject to unjust discrimination. i support the basic premise of be judged byshould their experience, qualifications, performance and not by the sexual orientation. bottom line, people should not be able to be fired just because they are gay.
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they should insure that they are available to wall. it should be improved. promoteesigned to tolerance and one kind and it does not promote intolerance of another. religious liberty is an important part of the nondiscrimination act already. it includes a significant exemption for religious employers. we have to make certain that they are not subject to a different kind of discrimination. ensuredment seeks to that they cannot penalize a religious employer because they file as exempt. it protects a church, religious charity, religious school from adverse action from the government.
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they cannot use it to deny tax- exempt status or other. it prohibits the government from punishing a religious institution from upholding their beliefs and seeks the state from interfering in matters of faith. it does something else important. it specifies several broad employmentlated to discrimination. my amendment to this and an explicit reference to the fundamental right of religious freedom. it establishes the basic purpose da that it must be made consistent with religious liberty. ideally they go hand-in-hand. when we think about nondiscrimination, many of us think of the great civil rights movement. fight forknow, the
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tolerance goes back further than that, to the very foundation of our republic. mother's ancestors were quakers. they came in search of religious freedom. at first it was something hard to find. iny were often persecuted their views and practices were viewed to be unorthodox, even strange. sometimes they were imprisoned, their books were burned. they did not want them inside their borders. they knew a little bit about religious freedom and they knew something about discrimination. experience that made a freedom of conscience a cornerstone of our founding documents. ,he first amendment begins "congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. this is really our first
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nondiscrimination law. n/a we passed that seeks to isvent discrimination against it if it does not protect religious liberty. they are not perfect in my amendment makes them better. mys is why i appreciate colleagues giving it the support it deserves. i look forward to the passing of this legislation with this amendment and i appreciate the work of the senator from maine and others. >> madam president, i rise to commend the senator from ohio four wringing forth this very worthwhile initiative which the senate passed without the sense. his amendment is very important. but it simply says is that an organization is exempt from enda
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for religious reasons then government cannot turn around and somehow retaliate against the employer based upon his claiming, or her claiming, a legitimate religious exemption as provided by enda. they are entitled to compete for certain grants or contracts from the federal state or government. this cannot be discrimination against the employer for claiming the religious exemption legitimately conferred upon the nda.ness under e i think it's important. we don't want retaliation,
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discrimination, unfair treatment on either side. i really commend senator portman for coming together with this and i believe that it is consistent it has been a pleasure to work in support of this initiative. thank you madam president. >> the senate will vote tomorrow on the amendment exempting religious organizations from the nondiscrimination act. next, to then senate finance committee to hear from kathleen sebelius of health and human services secretary. she addressed a number of issues
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, saying we are not where we need to be. she testified before the committee for 2.5 hours. [no audio] [no audio]
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>> we will come to order. in february, 1958, against the backdrop of a divided nation , a junior senator from massachusetts spoke at a college in baltimore.
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the young senator, named john kennedy, said -- let us not despair the act. let us not seek the republican answer or the democratic answer, but the right answer. let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, let us accept our own responsibility for the future. ". more than 55 years later, jfk's advice reigns true. it is important to remember now as we implement the affordable care act. five weeks ago the end -- the administration launched www.c- launched it was to be the premier website for the affordable care act. needless to say, it has been a rocky rollout. problems have plagued the website. let me say right off the bat that this is unacceptable.
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it has been disappointing to your members of the administration say that they did not see the problems coming. secretary sibelius, last time you came before this committee i used to year -- two words about -- two words to relate my worry over the law's implementation. make no mistake, i believe in this law. i spent two years of my life working on the affordable care act, there is nothing i want more to succeed. months ago i warned that if implementation did not improve, the marketplace might struggle. other senators voiced similar concerns. when we asked for updates on the market places, the responses we got were completely unsatisfactory. we were told multiple times that everything was on track. we now know that that was not the case.
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now it is time to move forward. madam secretary, you deserve credit for coming before the american people in accepting the responsibility of the websites problems. the focus is where it should be, on the future. it is clear to me that you're working as hard as you can to fix keep that it. when this law was created we made a promise to the american people. a promise to fix a broken system . a promise to ensure that all americans have access to quality, affordable health care, we made a promise to make sure that no one ever went broke just because they got sick. you must make good on that promise. some people have called for your resignation. we cannot fix the blame for the past. you need to stay at hhs and help get the marketplace working. recently you said you expected
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the website to be running smoothly for the majority of users by late november. there is no room for error. you must beat, and i say beat, that deadline. why? these marketplaces open the door to quality health insurance for millions of americans. 7 million americans will get insurance for marketplaces and 2014 according to projections. 10 years in, that number will grow to 24 million. there is no question that that cannot happen unless the marketplace runs at full speed. i believe that you will fix the problems because you know how critical the marketplaces are. for the first time ever consumers having guaranteed access to high-quality insurance. consumers will never be forced into bargain basement plans or refused coverage of cases like childbirth or cancer treatment. they will never be denied coverage because of pre-existing
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conditions or cut off because they hit an annual or lifetime limit. we already have concrete examples of how the marketplaces are helping real people. consider these stories from the letters i have received from october 1. gary, from billings, montana, said that the monthly premium he pays for his family of four is just over $2000 but thanks to the affordable care act for next year it will be 1160 five dollars, saving $800 each month. allison in wolf point, montana, wrote to say that thanks to the act she will have access to affordable insurance for the first time in almost 20 years. she suffered an injury in college and because of that pre- existing condition the cost of insurance was prohibitive. instead she rationed visits to the adapter and cut back on the outdoor activities that make montana so great. no skiing, hiking, horseback riding, but now she will have access to high-quality insurance
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that she can afford. tony, a small business lawyer from bozeman, montana, wrote in to express his excitement on how it will save his small business $10,000 each year. he wrote -- as a small business owner, i can emphatically state that the affordable care act is not only good for my business, it is the only way that i can continue to provide to give health insurance to my family and employees. the staffing, training, the hard things that is business needs to stay competitive, he added it is good for his company, himself, his employers and family. a pretty impressive list. i have no doubt that stories like these will keep coming in in the weeks and months ahead. madam secretary, i was glad to hear you set a target rate for to be fully operational.
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i look forward to hearing you plan to meet that goal. shedding light on where things stand, what the administration is doing to correct his problems as they -- and if there is a role for congress to help, we want to be there. that is what matters right now. as resident kennedy said, let us not despair, but act. let's not seek the democratic or republican answer, but the right answer, let's get this done. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for scheduling today's hearing. thank you, secretary sabia lias, for being here today. it has been six months since he last appeared before the committee. given everything that has gone on since that time, particularly regarding the implementation of obamacare, i would say that today's appearance is long past
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due. in april you assured us that the implementation was on track and that all was going smoothly and that the exchanges would be ready to go by october 1. it now appears that your statements from the previous hearings were at best misinformed. from where i sit, things do not seem to be going smoothly at all. i think we would all agree that the best part of the implementation of the so-called affordable care act has been an absolute debacle. you admitted as much last week when you testified before house energy and commerce committee when you said -- hold me accountable for the debacle, i am responsible. while i am glad that you are accepting the sponsor ability for this disastrous rollout, i would have preferred to you in the administration were honest with us to begin with. perhaps he really did believe that things were on track in april, but you must have had several indications before october 1 that there were problems with the website and the exchanges.
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it is simply inexcusable that the members of this committee were not told earlier that these problems were occurring. it was not for want of asking. i personally sent you a number of letters asking for details on the information and implementation of the health care law. many of which were ignored entirely. the attitude toward the senate committee with the jurisdiction over your agency is to -- has simply been appalling and needs to be rectified. if the past month has been any indication, there are likely to be numerous additional problems ahead. that being the case, it is only proper that you provide us with more regular updates on the issues with which you are dealing. in fact, i would ask that you come here once per month for the next six months to advise this committee with status up its on the implementation of obamacare and i hope you will agree to do so. like i said, madam secretary, it
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is clear the problems you encountered so far were not on for scene. two separate problems, one from the government accountability office in june, another from the department of health and human service inspector general in august identified challenges months ahead of the october 1 deadline. yet there is no indication that the warnings from these nonpartisan government watchdogs were heated by the administration or that any thought was given to delaying the start up as a result. on april 1 i raise concerns about whether adequate that -- adequate testing was occurring to ensure that privacy controls were in place with the exchanges. in fact i specifically asked you about having an independent entity review the entire system before it went live to make sure that all the appropriate privacy and security controls were in place. you assured me that all testing protocols were being followed
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and that privacy issues were a high priority. however, we now know that no end to end testing of the system occurred before the system went live. none. in fact he officials knew on september 27 that there was a high security risk to the system if it went on as planned. my colleagues and i sent several letters since the spring asking for more information. what privacy controls are being implemented as part of the exchange infrastructure? we asked for details about whether or not testing was being done to address the privacy and security concerns we had raised. to date we have not received any answers to those questions. so, not only can millions of americans not log into the website successfully, but those who have actually succeeded could now find themselves at the mercy of identity thieves across the globe.
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i would call this a less than ideal situation for our constituents. bringing us to another set of issues that i hope you will be able to shed some light on later today. let me start with a simple premise. words matter. we have all heard the golden saying that honesty is the best policy. unfortunately this wisdom does not seem to apply to the obamacare pledges. more and more promises made at this time -- or made at the time that this law was passed are currently proving to not be reality on a daily basis. that health care reform would reduce costs by $2500 for the average family. the truth is with all the new mandates going into effect, the cost of health insurance in this country is projected to rise at remarkable rate. some studies, including one from the manhattan institute, estimated that individual premiums will increase by 99% for females -- 99% for males and 62% for women nationwide.
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and then obama saying that if you could -- if you like your health care and like your doctor, you could keep it, this has proven to be simply untrue. this is why "the washington post ," gave him for pinocchio's. this represents the highest level of untruthfulness. you really have to try hard to get for pinocchio's. you do not simply get it for making a misstatement. it was not until the last few weeks that people in the administration and the white house started trying to be right with the president said. let's be candid. it was not a new honest streak that change their tone, it was the fact that americans started receiving cancellation notices from their insurers. according to the associated press, 3.5 million people have
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received these notices so far. put simply, there is a long track record of broken promises to this committee and the american people with respect to how this law should or would work and the impact it would have. i hope that that will stop today. no more caveats, no more excuses , just give us the truth. answers like we don't know and we were wrong are perfectly acceptable as long as that is the truth. i want to thank you again, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. as you can see, we have a lot to discuss. i want to thank you, madam secretary, for being here. i know it is not the most pleasant thing you can do, but the fact of the matter is that these are the jinnah questions that have to be answered by you and others in charge of these programs. i have not even gone into -- i expect he will be able to get
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this -- the i.t. problems solved , the information technology problems solved. that does not even begin to answer the questions about why small businesses are now -- will not employ more than 49 people because they trigger a huge, huge expense under this -- i think very poorly thought out plan to begin with. >> thank you, senator. secretary sibelius, thank you madam secretary for appearing today. i appreciate your taking time to explain what is going on here. obviously your statement will be included in the record. you know the drill. take as long as you want to summarize, this is a very important matter. tell us what you want to say.
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>> thank you, chairman, ranking members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to update the committee on the final implementation phase of the affordable care act. the law that passed both houses of congress was signed by the president and upheld by the supreme court and gives millions of americans an opportunity to obtain affordable health coverage. this is the first opportunity for many americans to get coverage, including people living in pain with chronic illnesses, young adults whose employers do not offer insurance , and parents struggling to keep up with mounting bills. in the last five weeks, access to has been a miserably frustrating experience for far too many of these americans. it is unacceptable and i am focused on fixing it and am accountable. i recognize that there is an even higher level of accountability. accountability to the sick, the
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vulnerable, the struggling americans who deserve better health care. the impact on the lives of everyday people is getting lost. i know this because i hear their stories cause a -- stories, as i am sure many of you do. we have a team of experts working on an aggressive schedule so that the consumer experience on the web gets better every day. as the chairman has said, by the end of november they are committed to having the site working smoothly for the vast majority of users. for we do not have is a fully functioning system yet that consumers need and deserve. we do have a plan in place to identify, prioritize, and manage the remaining axes across the system. we have reinforced our team with dozens of key personnel from the government and private sector, including respected engineers, technology managers, and software developers, designers and analysts from company like
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oracle and red hat. they are helping to diagnose problems and making quick decisions to analyze, troubleshoot, prioritize and resolve issues in real time. as this work continues we know that americans are shopping for plans, signing up and enrolling online on paper, on the phone, and in person. in fact, more than 2 million people have already called the call center with an average wait time of less than 30 seconds. i want to share with the committee a few indications of progress, what we have improved and what we intend to fix of the problems that remain. the two major areas of for -- of focus our performance dealing with speed and reliability, and functionality, fixing the bugs and other problems in the system . in the first few weeks after the launch of, users had to wait an average of eight seconds for pages to load, today
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takes typically less than a second. one month ago viewing the health land took minutes, today takes seconds. many consumers use to see a blank screen at the end of the application process. today they see if they are eligible for financial assistance, the next step in the process. users are receiving far fewer error messages and timeouts and are now able to process nearly 7000 registrants per hour with almost no errors. we have made more than a dozen additional fixes this weekend, allowing applications to be processed by additional insurers and allowing consumers to complete payments, approving the save and continue function, upgrading hardware so that the system can handle more users with greater stability. last night we installed more upgrades focusing on direct enrollment in improving the
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consumer experience. those upgrades will continue on an aggressive schedule between now and the end of november. we are making progress, but there is still a lot of work to do. some have asked -- why not just to delay implementation of the new law until all the problems are fixed? there is a pretty straightforward answer. delaying the affordable care act would not delay peoples cancer, diabetes, or parkinson's. it did not delay the need for dental health services or cholesterol screenings or prenatal health care. delaying the affordable care act does not allay the foreclosure notices for families forced into bankruptcy by unpayable medical bills. it does not delay the higher cost that all of us pay when uninsured americans are left with no choice but to rely on emergency rooms for care. for millions of americans, delays are not an option. people's lives depend on this.
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too many hard-working people have been waiting for to long for the ability to obtain affordable health insurance. we want to save families from going bankrupt, we want to save the lives for more of our friends and neighbors by allowing them to detect medical issues early. delay is not an option. we are still at the beginning of a six-month open enrollment that ends at the end of march. there is plenty of time to sign up for the new plan. i want to put this into perspective, mr. chairman. the average private insurance enrollment is about two weeks in a worksite. many public lands allow for four weeks of open enrollment. medicare, the yearly open enrollment that is underway right now is six weeks long. the new marketplace was specifically designed for a long open enrollment, 26 weeks. those who enroll by the 15th
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will be able to access their benefits on day one. i am accountable to this committee and to the american public for getting the fix is in place. we are committing -- committed to getting fixed so that millions of americans can get the financial and health security they have been waiting for. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, you have addressed the principal question i was going to ask, namely that many people think the site should be shut down until it is totally fixed. i am going to ask that question. why keep limping along? why not just shut it down until it is put together the way it should be put together? many have pointed out that your fixes tend to have unintended consequences down the road. some other part of the system going into and after all the other fixes have been made. people ask why that has not
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happened. we also know that every day there is a story that someone did not get on, blank page, security problems, that is a bad media campaign. it is negative, does not hurt you, it -- it does not help you, it hurts you. why not have it shut down and just have one bad story and then for as long as it takes, a couple of weeks, go back and get that gateway up and running? you indicate that it delays health care for a lot of people and i appreciate that, but one more time, why not just get it done right? i have this series of rules in my office, i will not go through the rules, but one of them is do it now, the second one is do it right the first time. why not shut down and do it
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right? >> mr. chairman, i am relying on the advice not only of the inside team and contractors, but a lot of the outside experts who have come in to take a look at this system and they did a number of things along the way. they did a series of diagnostics, looked at the entire system and determined at the outset that is fixable, that it is not fatally flawed, which was the initial report from many people. secondly, we have asked that question a number of times. would it be helpful to take down the whole system and make fixes along the way? we have been advised that that actually does not help, that it is better to do routine operations, some of which are hot patches that can be done while the system is fully running and others are better to
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be done in the maintenance between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., when the user experience is low and we take the system down for periods of time. but given the fact that the various fixes, various functionality fixes, the code, have to be written in batches, it has been advised that you do not gain much from taking the whole system down for a week or a couple of weeks, that it is better to do this on an ongoing basis. >> jeff science, who i think is somewhat in charge of fixing some of this as far as i can tell, says he has a punch list. and he is going to punch them out one by one. how many items are on that punch list? which of them have been punched out? when do you expect to do the end to end testing?
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>> jeff has come into help manage the operations between the contractors and the cms team and the aggressive fix schedules. he will be with us, hopefully, through this process. he has been enormously helpful in being a management lieutenant with maryland, the cms administrator. i would say that there are a couple of hundred functional fixes that have been identified. they are in priority grouping. the first series of them has been underway. it depends on the night. it is hard to give you a moment by moment snapshot. there was a number that were done last night, hardware,
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additional installations were done over the weekend. at 5:00 or 6:00 each day it is really identified whether or not the testing for the individual coding fix can be actually apply that night. the list changes, but mr. chairman we will get you an update and i would say that we are into the list and not where we need to be, but that it is a fairly aggressive schedule to get to the entire list. >> are you going to do an end to end? wax because the site is running, it is an to end daily. people are coming through every day and it helps to identify some of what we are seeing. what we are doing with live time and to end testing, we could go back and inform the tech team what needs to happen. >> speaking of, i want this to
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work. this is a two-way street, you have to tell us what is going on candidly, fully, so that we do not wake up in november and lo and behold are still not there yet. >> secretary, as you know, for months i have expressed concerns about the privacy and security controls that have been implemented in this federally facilitated marketplace. now we know that key officials in the administration knew that there were privacy and security risks as well as serious operational issues that might occur if the exchanges went live on october 1. yet a decision was still made not to delay the launch until those decisions -- issues were fully addressed. many people, including myself, called for an independent entity, like the government accountability office, to
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conduct an end to end review of the marketplace to ensure that the privacy and security patrols -- controls were in place. i have a number of questions each about knowing -- about proceeding even though you knew that these issues would occur. when did you find out about the potential security risk to users of the website, number one? >> sir, i would say the preliminary report -- >> so, in august. >> minor, g i o had identified that there risks -- that there were risks -- gao had identified that there were risks that we took seriously. >> who briefed you on the potential security risks if the launch moved forward as planned? did anyone a brief you on the security risks?
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>> we discussed security on a regular basis with the operations team, but no one suggested that the risks outweighed the importance of moving forward, including our independent evaluator, who made recommendations to cms as required. >> i have been suggesting that since april. you said you felt strongly that the launch needed to proceed on the first for the americans that did not have health insurance so that they could get coverage is soonest possible. how did you balance that need with the risk that those americans might then fall victim to identity theft or have their personal information compromised why security controls? -- by security controls? how did you balance that? >> i share your concerns about individual privacy. i would say that the site was
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developed with the highest standards in mind. it is certified by the federal standard and we took very seriously the information in the hub that was specifically designed so that the federal government was not storing privacy information and actually access other secure government websites, but we tried to store the minimum possible information. we do not collect personal health information. >> but you do collect numbers -- social security numbers. >> sir, we don't collect them. the hub is a router function that actually identifies social security numbers and verifies them with the administration, but that information is not kept and stored. >> do they not have to give their family income?
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like that is verified by the irs and homeland security. >> it is also on the hub. >> pinging the homeland security database, pinging the irs via best -- database, it is not storing unique information. >> what were the trade-offs with launching the exchange on the first rather than waiting until a later date? other pieces of the marketplace have been delayed through insufficient privacy and security controls. >> senator, again i would say that the standards that were set out for security controls were met. you mentioned end to end testing . there were features of the system that were loaded very close to the launch date. that is why, i think, the administrator chose to authorize
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a temporary authorization to operate and not a permanent, because you cannot permanently authorize an authorization until you have the entire system. we knew we had features in the system that we had chosen not to apply from the outset. the shopping feature, the spanish website, again those need to be tested before the system can be only authorized. >> can you tell the committee how many people signed up for health care under the current system? >> senator, we will have enrollment on -- enrollment numbers out next week. we are still working on particularly the 834's, the piece with insurers, we want to make sure that begin valid, accurate numbers. >> my time is up, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. madame secretary, a community meeting at home, oregonians tell me to do everything i can to
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stop what they see as ridiculous, petty bickering in washington and help to get results by working cooperatively. in that spirit, as i told you, i am going to pass this morning on the blame game and for a few minutes, for this moment, even, let's just say the democrats and republicans are going to try to find some real common ground on this. the affordable care act that we discussed today focuses on expanding coverage and financial help to those who cannot afford insurance and more private sector choices for patients. before the affordable care act, the last health care reform was the expansion of medicare to provide prescription drugs to
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american senior citizens. it was enacted during the bush administration and is known as medicare part d. like the affordable care act, is zeroed in on the same concerns, expanding coverage, expanding assistance to the needy with increased marketplace choices. medicare part d has been a huge success. anyone who doubts it ought to think about the terrific hearing the chairman had at the aging committee a few weeks ago where democrats and republicans all made the same point. the medicare prescription drug program has been a godsend to millions of seniors by offering lifesaving medicine. it has cost 30% less than the congressional budget office predicted. but the medicare prescription drug program, as you know, did not start out so hot. the reality of the first few months of that program was
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pretty much bedlam. i went back and looked at the newspapers from that time. i will just describe a few of the headlines. "glitches in drug plan upset seniors." "medicare drug program is a wasteful disaster." "medicare blunders become a monster." these headlines about the medicare prescription drug program that democrats and republicans now together say is a success, the headlines of the medicare prescription drug program are exactly the types of headlines that have been written about the affordable care act in recent weeks. fortunately the prescription drug program got fixed and they got the chance to get off the ground.
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if this had been repealed, millions of seniors today would not have access to life-saving drugs. not a single member of this committee wants that. so, my question to you is -- what, in your view, madam secretary, could democratic and republican senators here on the finance committee do to make the latest health reforms the success, the way the medicare prescription drug program has been? >> senator, i think it is always welcome to have elected officials in their home state give information to constituents about what the law says, what their options are, what choices they have and access the process . that would be enormously helpful. particularly to constituents who may not be web savvy.
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who may not know about the law, linna be following this, but definitely need the benefits. i do feel that there is no excuse for what has been a miserable five weeks. i am committed to the fix of the website, on the other hand i know the people are using it every day and that the experience is getting better every day, so i am again encouraging the folks to use the website, use the call center, enroll in person and in the health center, find a navigator in the webs -- in the neighborhood, it is inordinately helpful. we would love to work with the committee on the issues that look down the road. not just that the marketplace that we were talking about, but really the impact of having the opportunity to look at delivery system changes.
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'system changes. i noted the committee just came up with a bipartisan proposal around a huge issue for medicare seniors, looking at those kinds of frameworks that actually encourage higher value lower- cost care as we move forward with more americans insured. i think that is one effort that should have a lot of bipartisan support. i would be encouraged, as you know, the affordable care act has a lot of features to deliver that -- the deal with sets of values for the medical dollars we are spending and how access to preventative care could actually change health profiles for millions of americans. those kinds of opportunities that are here -- >> >> thank you very much, [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> there is no question that this website has to get fixed and no way to express the frustration. i want to address the affordable insurance that is out there and the response that the public has had wanting to get on the website, get information because they need heat -- need health care and health insurance. because of the time i want to move quickly, ask you a few questions, if you can do yes or no, that would be great. let me share with you a story from michigan that was highlighted in an article in the l.a. times that talked about a woman named judith, 48 years old, work in a department store, had an insurance plan that costs are $65 per month that was a -- was affordable, she thought she had insurance, but then she was
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diagnosed with cancer and found out that her plan had a $2000 annual limit for treatment, so she delayed her care and it got worse, she was in a difficult situation. madame secretary, after january 1, will judith or any other woman face a cap on their coverage for breast cancer treatment? >> no. >> will judith or any other woman be charged more or be denied insurance just for being a woman? >> no. >> after january 1 will -- judith or any other woman have to fear being denied coverage by her insurance company because of breast cancer? >> no, she will not. >> these are all good things. some people in michigan certainly think so. i received a letter from greg miller, who said that his wife and he had a policy that covered
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their son and they received a notice this week that their son policy was being canceled because it was not compliant with the aca. it had a high deductible and paid only one doctor's visit per year and had no preventative care with limited prescription drug coverage. in fairness, the insurer advised us to go to the health care exchange to obtain a policy. we had no problem accessing the exchange or navigating to the various policy alternatives with much greater coverage than the old policy. we certainly want to hear more of that. thank you for passing obamacare. after january 1, will his sons insurance policy he guaranteed to cover prescription drugs? >> yes. >> after january first, with his insurance cover important preventative screenings without out-of-pocket costs for the family? like yes.
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>> yesterday i heard from crystal, a small business owner in pontiac, michigan, who has not been able to afford insurance for three years. she admitted that before the affordable care act she was one of the people who was using the emergency room and adding to the cost of everyone else and their insurance. last month she went to and was able to ensure herself quickly without interruption. she got a plan for $163 per month. she said to me that it is a payment she can live with and she could not tell me how happy she was to finally have health insurance, especially at her age. madam secretary, we have heard concerns about small businesses for years that have struggled for insurance. i certainly at every meeting for years and years at every performance meeting have wanted to talk about this. can you discuss how pulling together small business owners
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like crystal in the market ways will help them continue to afford insurance? >> small business owners, under the law, employers with less than full-time employment have no obligation to provide coverage, but many of them want to, it is how they keep, recruit, and retain the best employees. they are often in a market where they pay higher rates and have exorbitant costs if one of their employees gets sick or has a diagnosis. so, having an option, and small business owners can shop inside or outside the marketplace, but there will be new options within the marketplace with plans specifically for them and for the employers with fewer than 25 employees and low income workers, they may actually qualify for a new tax credit to provide that coverage up to 50%
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of the cost of insurance so that they are -- there are not only more choices and features but a larger pool, but for some a significant tax incentive for employer coverage. >> thank you, senator. senator grassley? >> thank you for joining us, madam secretary. you know of my interest in the claims act that brought 30 to $40 billion back, it is one of the best tools against fraud. i start by referring to a letter that you sent to congress on october 30. the letter states that the department does not consider qualified health benefits or other programs related to the oral facility marketplaces and other programs under obamacare to be federal health care programs. if that interpretation stands, it would have serious consequences. your letter calls into question whether vital enforcement and oversight tools and rebates, kick ax and bribes would be
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available to your agency. it weakens the ability to use the claims act. i do not understand why you are giving insurers within the exchanges a blanket exemption from years of civil and criminal laws and regulations, including anti-kickback law violations, just to name a few. this is not about my position on the underlying law, madam secretary. you and i disagree on that, however we can both agree, i hope, that you are moving forward with implementation no matter how badly it goes and how many promises are broken along the way. right now it is not going well. trying to exempt obamacare from a host of criminal and civil laws designed to protect taxpayer dollars from fraud just adds insult to injury. these laws were put in place to stop aggressive practices that ripped off taxpayers. you should not just be able to exempt obamacare from these
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protections with a stroke of the pen. a few questions -- was this exemption requested by any providers? if so? who provided it? >> no, sir, not to my knowledge, this was a legal discussion in the department. because these are private plans, they are not government plans. the legal interpretation was that the insurance plans being offered in the marketplace and offering plans off the marketplace should be treated the same. these are not government insurance programs, these are private plans. >> if you have any discussion with any providers or offer than these plans prior to their decision to join? >> no, sir. >> finally, would you make the lawyers who reviewed this decision available to my staff so that we can ask follow-up questions to better understand why the decision was made to greatly weaken the available statutes to protect taxpayer
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dollars? wax i would be glad to do that. again, we have not given up any authority over fraud. our department continues to have careful monitoring. we can decertify grounds for being in the marketplace, we can work with the attorney general. the state insurance departments from around the country are the regulators of these private insurance plans and private companies, who have very aggressive anti-fraud efforts. it was just a legal determination, since these are private companies and not dollars coming out of the medicare trust fund, that they should not be declared to be government health plans. >> the medicare advantage plan is the same and is governed. >> actually, it is not quite the same, senator. it is a private insurance plan where federal dollars are paid
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directly out of the trust fund to the medicare trust fund. this is different, these are individuals playing premiums -- paying premiums to the private marketplace. >> may i reserve my time for a second round? >> you may, absolutely. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary sibelius, i have read the testimony and listen to it carefully and appreciated your commitment to making the website work. i am concerned, though, that a lot of the testimony and discussion we are having seems to imply that the problem we are dealing with has to deal with outlets on the website. experts are being hired to get the website fixed and then everything will be great. the chairman asked you if it would not be better to hold off until we can get the website fixed. i want to expand the little beyond that. i am concerned, frankly, not
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that you will fix the website, but if the law will be fixed. i see that we are now finding that the concerns that many of us raise before about the law being properly laid out in real, our concerns about that are coming true. the president said -- if you like your plan, you can keep it. and not because the website is not working, but because of the way the law was put together we see that for millions of americans today, they are getting canceled. 100,000 in idaho, way more in terms of percentages than what the president is talking about. the president promised that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. millions of americans are finding out they cannot keep their doctor. the president promised that we could cut the average family premium by $2500 per year. although i read your testimony where you talked about premiums, i do not know what data sets you
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are using. the data i am aware of shows premiums in the individual market skyrocketing. they are going up faster than they did before the law. a quarter of a million dollars, you will not see your taxes increase the single dime. not one single dime. yet, as we discussed then, somewhere between $800 billion in a trillion dollars of new taxes that were delayed in the implementation that are now starting to hit and squarely hit the middle class. my question to you is, isn't it time for a timeout? the law is not working as it was promised. website is not working. let's fix it.
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the law is not working. isn't it time for a timeout so we can go when they start premiums go up and not down. seeing the failure of the law to occur. respectfully disagree about theassessment law working. there are millions of americans who have actually received benefits under the law. adults who million have insurance now because they are covered on the parents plan. there are seniors who are experiencing not only additional benefits in their medicare plan, but despite all of the accusations that somehow
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medicare advantage would cease to exist, we have a stronger and less expensive program today than we did. seniors80% discount for in their prescription drugs if they fell into the doughnut hole. millions of americans who have private employer coverage now have no co-pays and no fromurance, everything cancer screenings to immunizations. we have the lowest health-care cost increases in decades. in the private insurance market. in medicare, and medicaid. -- noare at an all-time one >> you can go through those points, and those datasets you're talking about. some of those have occurred. on the flip side we are seeing millions of americans lose their health care. millions more seeing their premiums going up, and the price
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for some of these fixes that you're talking about is phenomenally higher. it time to go away and take a look at the areas of the law that simply are failing? marketplace,n the the rates have come in about 60% ther than what congressional budget office projected those rates to be. >> the projection after -- not lower than actual fact. >> those were the projections of the rates, much like we heard senator wyden talk about the projections around medicare and -- make our -- medicare part d. >> the rates are going down? >> i did not say they were going down. i said they are lower than was predicted. millions of people in the market, they will actually for the first time ever have some financial help paying for their
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health insurance. >> we are going to have to move on here. >> one of the toughest public service jobs i ever had was the elected insurance commission of florida. one of the most doubling insurance markets was the individual insurance policies. peopleuld happen is would be enticed to come in to cheap health insurance and then over time, as the group got sicker, there was no control on the rates. it would go up, and they found limited health insurance. that is what the affordable care act is trying to address.
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we are talking about the individual insurance policies. not the group policies. case, we nowcular have no lifetime limits. we do not have pre-existing conditions. looking in your states and find many examples where the so-called cancellation fact, theyd, but in are going into a policy that is going to give them protections because of the 10 things that are required. in the affordable care act individual health insurance policies. colleagues ask my they look at this, please consider for example, a lady in that wasad a policy $54 a month. that sounds great. that is being canceled.
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when you got into the internals, as reported by cbs, lo and behold, she didn't have much coverage at all, and had she gotten a disease like cancer, she would have virtually had no coverage. she's going to have that coverage under the policies and the individual markets that are covered under the aca. thing abouty one what is going on in the states. take a state like kentucky. they did their work. in the first month, they sign up 30,000 people. look at my state. states basically because of politics they decided not to do anything about it.
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up, notept money to set going to expand medicaid, and look at the difficulty that now the federal government has had in 27 up this exchange states. why couldn't we have been like kentucky why couldn't we be like kentucky and be way ahead of the game? excuse forere is no the website not working. madam secretary, i am one of the ones that said, as i heard mr. chairman say, that people have listed your words when you criticized the fact the website was not working, and i said it was inexcusable.


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