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John H.
Republican ND

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  • Nomination of Patricia M. Wald to Be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

    by Senator John Hoeven

    Posted on 2013-12-11

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    HOEVEN. Madam President, I thank the esteemed Senator from Ohio for his remarks and express my support for his remarks as well.



    Myself and other colleagues have been on the floor today talking about the need to work in a bipartisan way. Obviously, the business before the Senate right now is nominations, and we want to emphasize again the importance of advice and consent in the nomination process but that it needs to be on a bipartisan basis.

    The change that, of course, has been made is that now the majority party can vote through, confirm a nomination without any input, any consent, any debate from the minority party. That is an issue not only in terms of the nomination process, the confirmation process of advise and consent, but that is also very much an issue in legislation.

    The importance of bipartisanship, whether it is in advise and consent in the confirmation process or whether it is in passing legislation, is seen because we have a country of more than 300 million people-- Republicans, Democrats, Independents--but at the end of the day, if we are going to have broad-based public support for the work we do, for the legislation we pass, it has to be done in a bipartisan way.

    My colleagues have been pointing that out in terms of the confirmation process. Also, they have been pointing that out in the context of the Affordable Care Act and ObamaCare. That is legislation that was passed on a partisan basis. One party, and one party only, voted for that legislation. What we have seen is that does not work.

    To get broad-based support for any legislation--let alone something as important as reform of health care--both parties have to be part of that work product. That is the only way we are going to get broad-based support across this great Nation on the important issues we face.

    Earlier today I read story after story from people from our great State expressing real challenges, real difficulties--the higher costs, higher deductibles, higher premiums, higher copays--they are facing as a result of the Affordable Care Act. I talked about the need to engage in the right kind of health care reform, the kind of health care reform that truly empowers individuals to pick their own health care insurance and their own health care provider; the need to pass the kind of legislation that will help us provide expanded health savings accounts tied with higher deductible policies that will encourage our young people to purchase health care insurance because they will be able to do so with lower premiums; the need for tort reform to help bring down health care costs; the need to increase competition across State lines so people have more choice, and with that competition, lower prices when it comes to choosing their health care insurance; and I talked about the need to reform Medicare, as the Presiding Officer knows, to provide the right incentives.

    Look at our great State of North Dakota. We have lower health care costs than most other States, and we have very good outcomes. For that we get not more Medicare reimbursement but less. That is exactly the wrong incentive--providing more reimbursement to States that have high costs regardless of outcome and lower reimbursement for States even with lower costs and better outcomes; in essence, getting less reimbursement, getting penalized for good performance. That is exactly the wrong approach and why we so desperately need to make reforms that create the right approach.

    These are the kinds of solutions we are advocating that we will continue to advocate to put in place for the American people. We need Members on both sides of the aisle to come together with [[Page S8728]] a step-by-step, comprehensive approach, market-based approach, that will truly create more choice, more competition, and empower people-- empower people--the great citizens of this country to take control of their health care decisions and make the decisions that best suit them and their families.

    I see that my colleague from the great State of South Dakota is in the Chamber. As always, I am very pleased to see him, and at this time I yield the floor.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.

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