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Richard B.
Democrat CT

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  • Affordable Care Act

    by Senator Richard Blumenthal

    Posted on 2013-12-18

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    BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.



    The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Heinrich). Without objection, it is so ordered.

    Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I asked my colleague from Rhode Island to stay on the floor for a couple of minutes because I wanted to thank him for the erudite and eloquent explanation he has just given for why our focus should be so aggressively and unrelentingly on the tremendous opportunities for saving health care costs and raising health care quality at the same time. I am very proud to have joined him and other colleagues in a task force that is seeking commonsense solutions to lower the costs of health care and at the same time increase its efficiency and quality. The two go together.

    The phenomenon he just discussed of reducing readmissions to hospitals once patients are discharged also means that the quality of those discharges, the rehabilitation plans and hand-offs to primary physicians, and the suffering and pain for those patients is reduced, and that is just a microcosm of one example of how this goal can be accomplished.

    We are late in this year, and we have no real time remaining before the end of this year to do the kinds of reforms legislatively that will help advance this ball. But the attention we need to devote to this issue is clearly beyond this year and beyond the next year.

    We are making progress, and the graphs show it, but there is so much progress to be made in extending lifespans and quality of life as well as reducing the cost of health care.

    We need to make sure we seize this historic moment to show the rest of the world that we can do better and we will do better in providing health care delivery. The cause of health care delivery reform is one that cries out for a focused effort involving both branches of our government, executive and legislative, and both parties, as well as both Houses of this legislature.

    The kind of focus given by Senators Cantwell and Whitehouse so penetratingly and powerfully today is the kind of focus we should maintain. I hope in the days or months ahead we will devote more attention by coming to the floor, doing events in our States, and making sure the administration is aware of our concern in meetings. I look forward to continuing that effort in the time ahead.

    Again, I thank my colleague Senator Whitehouse, as well as others, such as Senator Schumer and my colleague from Connecticut Senator Murphy, as well as Senator Cantwell, for their devoted efforts. I am very proud to be working with them.

    I see my colleagues are on the Senate floor. It is late in the day, and I yield the floor.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi.

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