Steny Hoyer Opening Remarks at the White House Health Care Summit

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... the average family in the individual market who potentially can get costs. but stenny, why don't you. >> let me respond to one thing. you get cost shifted every penny that gets wasted in medicare than gets cost shifted to the private sector. so if in fact we're wasting the public sector, we're shifting it to the public sector. >> steny? >> mr. president, thank you very much. a quote i will use is we should have available an affordable health care to every american citizen to every family. i suppose there are a whole lot of every americans and american families listening to us today and watching us. and they're hoping that we're all sitting around here talking about them, not about us. that's the message they're sending to all of us. and they're absolutely correct. and we believe that we have been addressing them and trying to get some of these stories that all of us here torl a place where they won't be so tragic for individuals and for families. every one of us has a story. i had a message on my telephone answering machine just a little while ago, a couple of weeks ago. a woman that i know well called me up, she said stenny, i was just diagnosed with a tumor and i've got to be operated on. i don't have any insurance. my husband makes $28,000, i work part time and make about $5,000. she said we're making too much money for medicaid and we're going to go to the university of maryland hospital, they want 50% down. of a $25,0 bill. she doesn't have that and we're working on that trying to get her some additional help. hopefully we can. i had a small business in my district like all of you who last year paid $1100. a couple healthy, paid $1100. their bill is going to go up to $1830, $1830 next year. that's a 67% increase. they called me up, said we don't know that we can afford to keep our small business going. so all of us, john mccain, my good friend, that was your quote as you probably recall in the debate that you had with president obama. and the good thing was that both of you in effect said the same thing. that we need to get to the objective of covering all americans and having them have access to affordable health care. we agree with that. i think probably everyone around this table agrees to it. what we're going to talk about is the how. cost containment is one of those issues we need to deal with. cost containment for that small business that is having a 67% increase, cost containment for that woman who can't afford insurance. but has a health care issue that she can't avoid. it's not optional for her. many in my caucus believe that one way of doing that is to increase competition. to have an open, free market that is transparent. i think all of us around this table agree that a free market does that. an open market, a transparent market where people can compare prices and compare what they're going to get. and that's what we've tried to do in both these bills. did it a little differently but that's what we tried to do. we hope we can get agreement on doing that, an open transparent market will bring down costs we believe and in addition to that, senator coburn, we certainly agree with you. that one in $3 is n being spent as effectively as it should be. and we have a lot of provisions in both bills as you well know that try to get to us a place where administrative costs, health information technology, so many other things are doneton wring the costs out. and in addition, you speak eloquently and correctly about wringing fraud, waste and abuse out of this system. i know you're happy to have seen in our bill in the house bill and in the senate bill very substantial investment in doing just what you suggest. so i think we have agreement on conflict of interest in delivery of medicine, as well. we've dealt with that in our bill. we've dealt with it previously as you well know. we've put incentives for prevention in here which you mentioned. we absolutely agree on that. we think this bill does that. now you may have a better way of doing it. we need to talk about how that better way is, but we certainly have addressed the issue of making sure that we have wellness as a focus, not sickness. we have to deal with sickness but what we really want is wellness. so we've worked very hard on that in this bill. you mentioned the school lunch and food stamp programs. i'm sure we can get there too in agreement. we certainly agree with the premise you stated. what have we done? >> we've stopped premium discrimination. ...