The Best (or worst) that the US Senate has to Offer

319px-Orrin_Hatch,_official_portrait,_112th_Congress

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R) Utah

 

Can anyone find the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in this Speech given by Senator Orrin Hatch at the US Senate Podium two days ago? hmmm

June 8, 2016

Senate Session, Part 2

02:33:26

Orrin Hatch
MR. HATCH: MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE ONLY BEEN HERE 40 YEARS, AND THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME AT THE END. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN MISTREATED. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THEY HAVE HAD MORE JUDGES IN SEVEN YEARS THAN PRESIDENT BUSH HAD IN A FULL EIGHT YEARS, AND THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE MORE JUDGES, BUT IT’S THE MAJORITY LEADER’S DETERMINATION AS TO WHEN THOSE JUDGES WILL COME UP AND WHEN THEY WILL BE CONFIRMED, AND I THINK THAT HE HAS BEEN DOING IT ON A REGULAR BASIS. I HATE TO GO BACK IN TIME, BUT I COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND SHOW HOW THE DELAYS OF REPUBLICAN JUDGES WITH REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS WERE JUST UNBELIEVABLE, AND ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT, YOU KNOW, IT’S NICE TO RAISE THESE FUSSES AROUND HERE, AND I DON’T BLAME THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS BECAUSE SHE IS DOING HER JOB, BUT LET’S ALLOW THE MAJORITY LEADER TO DO HIS JOB AS WELL. MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE ONCE AGAIN TO DISCUSS THE STATE OF OUR NATION’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND WHAT WE CAN LIKELY EXPECT IN 2017 UNDER OBAMACARE. THIS IS A GOOD SUBJECT FOLLOWING ON TO THIS JUDGESHIP DISCUSSION BECAUSE THE DEMOCRATS ARE ACTING SO OFFENDED AND SO MISTREATED, WHEN I HATE TO TELL YOU HOW WE WERE MISTREATED TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME WHEN WE HAD — WE HAD REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS. LET ME JUST TALK ABOUT WHAT WE CAN EXPECT IN 2017 UNDER OBAMACARE. HOWEVER, BEFORE I DELVE INTO THAT DISCUSSION, I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO PROVIDE A LITTLE CONTEXT. ROUGHLY SEVEN AND A HALF YEARS AGO, PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS SWORN INTO OFFICE RIDING A WAVE OF GOODWILL, OPTIMISM AND SO MANY PROMISES ABOUT WHAT HE WAS AND WAS NOT GOING TO DO THAT IT WAS DIFFICULT TO KEEP TRACK OF. SEVEN AND A HALF YEARS MAY NOT BE ALL THAT LONG IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS, BUT IT IS SURELY LONG ENOUGH TO EVALUATE THE ECONOMIC SUCCESSES AND FAILURES OF A SINGLE ADMINISTRATION. SO LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE WITNESSED IN THE YEARS PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS BEEN IN OFFICE. SINCE JANUARY, 2009, OUR NATION’S GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT HAS GROWN AT AN AVERAGE ANNUAL RATE OF ONLY 1.7%. THINK OF THAT. 1.7% IN SEVEN AND A HALF YEARS. AND THE OVERALL TRAJECTORY HASN’T REALLY BEEN IMPROVING. IN THE LAST QUARTER, OUR ECONOMY GREW AT THE SLOWEST RATE IN TWO YEARS. AT THE SAME TIME WE HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT SLOW G.D.P. GROWTH, WAGE GROWTH HAS BEEN SLUGGISH AND MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME IN THE UNITED STATES HAS ACTUALLY GONE DOWN UNDER THIS PRESIDENT, DECLINING AT AN ANNUAL RATE OF ALMOST .5%. SLOW ECONOMIC GROWTH, SLOW WAGE GROWTH, DECLINING HOUSEHOLD INCOMES. THIS PAST FRIDAY, WE LEARNED THAT THE ECONOMY ADDED ONLY 38,000 JOBS IN MAY WITH JOBS GAINS HAVING AVERAGED A SLUGGISH 112,000 PER MONTH SINCE PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK OFFICE, AND THIS WAS ONLY 38,000 THIS LAST MONTH. WHEN ARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE GOING TO WAKE UP AND REALIZE THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB? NOT ONLY ARE THEY NOT DOING THEIR JOB, THEY ARE DOING A LOUSY JOB. THERE IS NOT A NEW NORMAL HERE EITHER. THEY ARE TRYING TO PASS OFF THAT THEY HAVE LOW — LOW UNEMPLOYMENT RATES. THEY ARE NOT COUNTING ALL THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T EVEN LOOK FOR A JOB ANYMORE. IF YOU COUNT THEM, IT’S WELL OVER 9%. THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN THE OBAMA ECONOMY. SADLY, EVEN THAT DOESN’T TELL THE WHOLE SAD STORY. ALONG WITH A STAGNANT ECONOMY AND DECLINING HOUSEHOLD INCOME, THE COST OF HEALTH CARE HAS GONE UP ALMOST EXPONENTIALLY. AND EXPONENTIALLY IN SOME AREAS. HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOR FAMILIES WITH EMPLOYER-BASED COVERAGE, ONE OF THE HANDFUL OF BENCHMARKS FOR MEASURING THE COST OF HEALTH CARE IN THE U.S., HAS GONE UP BY AN AVERAGE OF 5% A YEAR. THAT TREND, ACCORDING TO BOTH THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE AND THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION, IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE OVER THE NEXT DECADE WITH PREMIUMS IN THE INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET GOING UP AT AN EVEN FASTER RATE. MEANWHILE, THE FEDERAL RESERVE PROJECTS THAT GROWTH IN OUR ECONOMY WILL RANGE BETWEEN 1.8% AND 2.3%, WELL BELOW HISTORIC AVERAGES AND FAR BELOW THE GROWTH RATE FOR AVERAGE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS. DO YOU THINK WE’RE GOING TO DO ANY BETTER WITH A NEW DEMOCRAT PRESIDENT? I DON’T THINK SO. SHE HAS ALREADY ADMITTED SHE IS GOING TO FOLLOW THE PRINCIPLES OF THIS PRESIDENT, AND THE PROGRAM OF THIS PRESIDENT. LONG AGO, — LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY. LONG STORY SHORT, UNDER THIS PRESIDENT, WE HAVE SEEN MOSTLY LACKLUSTER ECONOMIC GROWTH AND A DECLINE IN HOUSEHOLD INCOME WHILE THE COST OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE HAS EATEN UP AN INCREASINGLY LARGER SHARE OF AMERICAN FAMILIES’ EARNINGS AND AN EVER-GROWING PERCENTAGE OF OUR NATIONAL ECONOMY, AND ACCORDING TO MOST CREDIBLE PROJECTIONS, IT’S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE. AND THERE ARE STILL 30 MILLION PEOPLE WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE, ABOUT THE NUMBER THERE WAS WHEN THEY CAME UP WITH THIS COLOSSAL, WASTEFUL MESS OF THE HEALTH CARE BILL. THIS CORRELATION OF ECONOMIC STAGNATION AND EXPLODING HEALTH CARE COSTS IS PARTICULARLY DAMNING FOR THIS PRESIDENT BECAUSE HIS SIGNATURE DOMESTIC ACHIEVEMENT, HIS TOP PRIORITY AFTER BEING ELECTED WAS PASSAGE OF THE SO-CALLED AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT, A LAW THAT WAS AMONG MANY OTHER THINGS SUPPOSED TO BRING DOWN HEALTH CARE COSTS. THE WORD AFFORDABLE IS ACTUALLY IN THE OPERATIVE WORD — IS ACTUALLY THE OPERATIVE WORD IN THE NAME OF THE LAW, MR. PRESIDENT, YET IT IS PROBABLY THE LEAST SUITABLE WORD FOR DESCRIBING WHAT THIS STATUTE HAS ACTUALLY DONE TO OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. IT HAS NOW BEEN THREE YEARS SINCE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WAS FULLY IMPLEMENTED AND IN EFFECT, AND IN ALL THREE OF THOSE YEARS AVERAGE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE GONE UP BY DOUBLE DIGITS IN MANY MARKETS. INSURERS ARE CURRENTLY MAKING RATE DECISIONS FOR YEAR FOUR OF OBAMACARE, AND FROM WHAT WE’VE SEEN THUS FAR, THINGS ARE ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE. ACCORDING TO ONE ANALYST, THE AVERAGE WEIGHTED RATE INCREASES REQUESTED FROM 28 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS APPROXIMATELY 20%. INDEED OVER THE PAST TWO MONTHS IT SEEMS LIKE WE’VE SEEN A NEW HEADLINE EVERY DAY THAT HIGHLIGHTS THE FAILURE OF OBAMACARE TO BRING DOWN PREMIUMS. FOR EXAMPLE, WE’VE RECENTLY LEARNED THAT IN NEW YORK, PATIENTS MAY SEE AN AVERAGE PREMIUM INCREASE OF 17% ON THE OBAMACARE INSURANCE EXCHANGES. IN FACT, ONE MAJOR NEW YORK CARRIER REQUESTED A RATE HIKE OF 45% OVER WHAT THEY CHARGED LAST YEAR. OR SHOULD I SAY THIS YEAR, I GUESS. IN THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, ONE MAJOR INSURER REQUESTED A PREMIUM INCREASE OF MORE THAN 83%. AND THOSE STATES AREN’T OUTLIERS, MR. PRESIDENT. AVERAGE PREMIUMS IN MISSISSIPPI COULD INCREASE BY OVER $1,000 NEXT YEAR. THAT’S ACCORDING TO RECENT REPORTS. INSURERS HAVE REQUESTED AVERAGE HIKES OF NEARLY 14% IN WASHINGTON. A MAJOR CARRIER IN NEW HAMPSHIRE REQUESTED AN INCREASE OF MORE THAN 45% FOR 2014. ANOTHER INSURER HAS SUBMITTED A REQUEST TO RAISE PREMIUMS BY 36% IN TENNESSEE. PEOPLE IN OTHER STATES LIKE VIRGINIA, FLORIDA, MAINE, OREGON AND IOWA ARE ALL FACING POTENTIAL DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASES IN PREMIUMS WITH SOME IN THE 30% TO 40% RANGE. KEEP IN MIND THESE ARE JUST THE STATES WE KNOW ABOUT THUS FAR. MORE NUMBERS AND ALMOST CERTAINLY MORE REQUESTED PREMIUM HIKES WILL BE MADE PUBLIC VERY SHORTLY. WE’RE STILL WAITING TO SEE SPECIFICALLY WHAT WILL HAPPEN FOR THE PEOPLE OF MY HOME STATE OF UTAH. STILL WE ALREADY KNOW THAT MANY UTAHANS ARE FACING DIFFICULTIES. I HEAR FROM MY CONSTITUENTS ALL THE TIME ON THESE ISSUES. FOR EXAMPLE, A CITIZEN FROM ROOSEVELT, UTAH, WROTE ME TO SAY THIS ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE WITH OBAMACARE — QUOTE — “I CAN’T AFFORD THE MONTHLY PREMIUMS, AND AS LONG AS I HAVE TO PAY EXTRAORDINARY DEDUCTIBLES, I MAY AS WELL JUST CONTINUE PAYING FOR THE VISITS AS I GO AND NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE EXTRA MONEY I WOULD HAVE TO SPEND IN PREMIUMS WHICH ARE OUTRAGEOUS. I REALIZE I WILL HAVE TO PAY A PENALTY WHEN I DO MY TAXES, BUT IT WILL BE WAY LESS THAN THE PREMIUMS I WOULD HAVE HAD TO PAY HAD I SIGNED UP FOR THIS HEALTH CARE DEBACLE.” UNQUOTE. ANOTHER CONSTITUENT NAMED ROCHELLE FROM SANTA CLARA, UTAH, SAID THIS IN A RECENT LETTER — QUOTE — “AS I AM LOOKING INTO PURCHASING THE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE WE NEED, I’M FINDING THAT IT IS TOTALLY RIDICULOUS. THE COSTS — THE CATASTROPHIC HEALTH CARE WE WERE PLANNING FOR A FEW YEARS AGO NO LONGER EXISTS BECAUSE OF THE HEALTH CARE LAWS. IN ORDER TO GET LEGAL HEALTH CARE FOR ME, MY SPOUSE AND MY THREE ELIGIBLE CHILDREN, I’M BEING REQUIRED TO PAY CLOSE TO $1,300 PER MONTH. THESE POLICIES STILL REQUIRE HUGE DEDUCTIBLES AND WILL QUICKLY EAT UP THE MONEY WE PUT AWAY FOR SUCH THINGS.” UNQUOTE. THESE STORIES UNFORTUNATELY ARE NOT ISOLATED INCIDENTS. PEOPLE THROUGH THE THE COUNTRY ARE GROWING MORE AND MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE COST OF HEALTH CARE UNDER THE PRESIDENT’S HEALTH LAW. EVEN WITHOUT THE SKYROCKETING COST OF HEALTH CARE, MILLIONS OF AMERICAN FAMILIES WOULD STILL BE STRUGGLING TO MAKE IT UNDER THE OBAMA ECONOMY. YET FOR THESE PEOPLE, ALL OF WHOM HAVE HAD TO SUFFER THROUGH A PERIOD OF STAGNANT ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DECLINING INCOMES, THESE RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE AT BEST A SLAP IN THE FACE AND AT WORST A NAIL IN THE FINANCIAL COFFIN. I SPENT A LOT OF TIME HERE ON THE SENATE FLOOR OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS DESCRIBING WHAT HAS GONE WRONG WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. I WON’T DETAIL THE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS WITH THE LAW HERE TODAY. INSTEAD I’LL REPEAT WHAT SHOULD BE CLEAR TO EVERYONE HERE. THIS LAW IS NOT WORKING. THIS LAW HAS IMPOSED EVEN GREATER BURDENS ON VIRTUALLY ALL THE PARTICIPANTS IN OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, AND THIS LAW IS FAILING MIDDLE-CLASS AND LOWER-INCOME FAMILIES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. WE CAN AND WE MUST DO BETTER. BUT IN ORDER TO DO SO, WE WILL HAVE TO TURN OUR FOCUS TO THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THE PATIENTS FACE AS THEY NAVIGATE OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, AND THAT’S COST. WE MUST BRING COSTS DOWN. ANY FUTURE ATTEMPTS AT HEALTH CARE REFORM THAT ARE NOT COST FOCUSED ARE, IN MY VIEW, AND I SUSPECT THE VIEW OF MOST AMERICANS, A WASTE OF TIME AND EFFORT. AS FOR ME, MY POSITION IS PRETTY CLEAR. I SUPPORT THE REPEAL OF OBAMACARE, AND I SUPPORT A REPLACEMENT THAT MAKES SENSE. I’VE WORKED WITH COLLEAGUES TO COME UP WITH A REPLACEMENT PROPOSAL DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO CONTAIN COSTS FOR PATIENTS AND CONSUMERS. AND A NUMBER OF HEALTH CARE EXPERTS HAVE CONCLUDED THAT OUR PROPOSAL WHICH WE’VE CALLED THE PATIENT CARE ACT WOULD DO JUST THAT. THERE ARE, OF COURSE, OTHER PROPOSALS OUT THERE. FOR EXAMPLE, I KNOW THAT THE HOUSE MAJORITY IS WORKING ON A PROPOSAL, AND I AM ANXIOUS TO SEE WHAT THEY COME UP WITH. AND AS CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE WHICH HAS JURISDICTION OVER MANY MAJOR ASPECTS OF OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, I HAVE BEGUN REACHING OUT TO STAKEHOLDERS TO DISCUSS IN MORE DETAIL THE CURRENT PREMIUM CRISIS AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ADDRESS IT. LET’S BE CLEAR, TO BRING DOWN THESE RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS, WE’LL NEED SIGNIFICANT BUY-IN FROM MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE. AND QUITE FRANKLY, I DON’T KNOW HOW ANY OF THEM COULD READ THE RECENT NEWS REPORTS ABOUT PREMIUM HIKES AND HEARING THE STORIES FROM THEIR CONSTITUENTS ABOUT SKYROCKETING HEALTH CARE COSTS AND THINK THAT OBAMACARE IS WORKING JUST THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO. SO IF I, AS I’VE SAID BEFORE, MY HOPE IS THAT AT SOME POINT MY COLLEAGUES ON THE DEMOCRAT SIDE WILL BEGIN TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FAILURES OF OBAMACARE. AT THE VERY LEAST, THEY SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT HAS FAILED TO BRING COSTS DOWN FOR PATIENTS AND CONSUMERS AND IS IN FACT DRIVING COSTS UP. UNTIL THAT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT COMES I PLAN TO DO ALL I CAN TO MAKE THE CASE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ABOUT THE NEED FOR CHANGE AND WORK WITH ANYONE WHO IS WILLING TO PUT IN THE EFFORT TO ADDRESS THESE MONUMENTAL PROBLEMS. I LOOK FORWARD TO SPEAKING MORE ABOUT THESE ISSUES IN THE COMING WEEKS AND MONTHS. WITH ALL THE ECONOMIC STRUGGLES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE IN THE MIDDLE CLASS AND WITH LOWER INCOMES, HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, THE LAST THING FAMILIES IN THE U.S. NEED IS THE CONTINUATION OF THE SKYROCKETING HEALTH PREMIUMS WE’VE SEEN AS A RESULT OF OBAMACARE. I PLAN TO DO ALL I CAN TO REVERSE THIS TREND. I KNOW THAT THERE ARE SOME ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE WHO FROM THE BEGINNING KNEW THAT IT WASN’T GOING TO WORK, AND THEN THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO THROW THEIR HANDS IN THE AIR AND SAY IT’S NOT WORKING, WE NEED TO GO TO SOCIALIZED MEDICINE OR ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF ALL HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY. ANYBODY WHO THINKS THAT THAT’S GOING TO BE A GOOD SYSTEM, BOY, HAVE I GOT A BRIDGE TO SELL YOU. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS AS BAD AS OUR SYSTEM WAS BEFORE, IT WAS BETTER THAN WHAT THIS IS. AND WE CAN MAKE IT BETTER. BUT IT’S GOING TO TAKE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS COMING TOGETHER IN THE BEST INTEREST AND GET RID OF THE STUPID POLITICS INVOLVED TO COME UP WITH A PROGRAM THAT REALLY WILL WORK FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. I CAN TELL YOU THIS, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CANNOT LIVE ON THE SLOW GROWTH THAT’S CURRENTLY GOING ON. WE CAN’T COMPETE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD ON THE SLOW GROWTH THAT THE CURRENTLY GOING ON. AND IT’S BEEN A SLOW GROWTH FOR ALL OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S TIME IN THE PRESIDENCY. IT WASN’T ALL HIS FAULT, BUT BY GOSH, THERE COULD HAVE BEEN PROGRAMS THAT WOULD HAVE MADE IT BETTER HAD THEY JUST RELIED A LITTLE BIT MORE ON THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM THAT REALLY HAS MADE THIS COUNTRY THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE
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Categories: Economic policy, Health Care, Politics

Tags: , , ,

1 reply

  1. When most other 82 year old men are retired and enjoying grandchildren, he keeps on well keeping on pontificating on a society he has little knowledge or in person contact. Being a Mormon, no doubt, he figures that others have the same ‘fall back’ for help when they need it and don’t need or require anyone else’s. Thus, the lack of empathy for the uninsured. It’s the only reason I could think was applicable.

    But do read through the narrative, find the inconsistencies, rate them by Pinocchio’s, 10 being the worst. heh…..since most of all of it are the same ‘talking’ points (and waste of breath) that makes up the GOP ‘we’re against’ speeches, it shouldn’t really be that hard to dissect.

    Liked by 2 people

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