2:15 PM EST
John A. Barrasso M.D., R-WY

Mr. BARRASSO. When I talk to other doctors, they tell me, across the board they order a number of tests, expensive tests--call it defensive medicine--tests that do not necessarily help a patient get better, get well, but just to make sure they get covered in case they are sued. It is not unusual, when [Page: S12534]

you look at the numbers, that we are talking $100 billion a year in tests that are done that do not necessarily help somebody get better, but they are

doing it because of the legal atmosphere in this country.

Here we are on the Senate floor on a Sunday afternoon. The President is less than 100 yards away, a former Member of this body. He ought to be involving all Senators. He is meeting behind closed doors, possibly cutting deals, trying to come to arrangements, twisting arms, asking people to march, follow his marching orders right off a cliff that I think is going to be coming for health care in America.

I think he ought to be involving all Americans. We are talking to the Americans in this country. We are not hiding behind closed doors. People who aren't part of those discussions are completely cut out.

I know my colleague from Tennessee has been outstanding and outspoken on these very issues, but we are here, and we want to visit with people because we do have solutions that work; that will not increase the cost of care, which is what we are seeing now; that are not going to cut Medicare, which is what the Democrats are proposing; that are not going to increase taxes, which the Democrats are proposing; and they are not going to drive up the premiums.

The whole idea behind this was to get the costs under control. Senator Ensign's amendment does that by taking a look at the lawsuit abuse that we look at in this country. But I want to turn to my colleague from Tennessee, who I know has some more points he wants to make.