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Rockefeller: The ‘insurance industry is not running this markup, but it is running certain people in this markup.’

By Amanda Terkel  

"Rockefeller: The ‘insurance industry is not running this markup, but it is running certain people in this markup.’"

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Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) argued that the Senate Finance Committee should put off a vote on health care legislation until the bill is put on the committee’s website for a full 72 hours — in order to allow time for senators to consult with health insurance lobbyists. Earlier this month, Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that special interests on K Street saw a copy of Baucus’ bill before the White House did. Today, in response to an amendment offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) called out this special-interest representation:

ROCKEFELLER: This is a very very important amendment, and it’s a very very bad amendment. If there’s anything which is clear, it’s that the insurance industry is not running this markup, but it is running certain people in this markup. [...]

CORNYN: With all due respect, senator, I don’t know what amendment you’re referring to —

ROCKEFELLER: I’m referring to yours.

CORNYN: — you’re certainly not referring to my amendment

ROCKEFELLER: I am.

Watch it:

Transcript:

ROCKEFELLER: This is a very very important amendment, and it’s a very very bad amendment. If there’s anything which is clear, it’s that the insurance industry is not running this markup, but it is running certain people in this markup.

What you have done through your amendment, Sen. Cornyn, is to take the very clear fact that those who are self-insured through their companies — that the insurance companies would be grandfathered from ever accepting any of the disciplines which we are putting on the rest of non-self-insured population. So that what you’re saying, almost half of all Americans, because of the grandfathering, will not get the restraints on the caps, the recissions, all of those things, which are standard fare for what we think over here. We think the insurance industries are the major problem.

As Maria Cantwell says, this bill is about giving subsidies to insurance companies to do what’s — instead of giving it, helping people. This is the grandfather of all grandfathers.

CORNYN: With all due respect, senator, I don’t know what amendment you’re referring to —

ROCKEFELLER: I’m referring to yours.

CORNYN: — you’re certainly not referring to my amendment —

ROCKEFELLER: I am.

CORNYN: — because what you’re proposing by proposing new mandates on employer-provided policies — we’re not talking about insurance, we’re talking about coverage that’s provided by an employer that’s subject to the Employee Reduction Insurance Act. It’s not standard insurance policy.

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