Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Missouri for her good idea, and her passion for this issue, and for her statement that when people sign up for these exchanges, they don't have to go by train, plane, or automobile to Washington, D.C. to get their insurance.
I heard when I was home this week over and over again concern from people that I was suprisised came up to me. Several people came up and said, "We're Republicans, but we don't think it's fair if seniors have to pay more when tax cuts are going to the wealthiest." I heard from people in Lanesboro, Minnesota, small business owners who were worried about what was happening with the proposal from the other side. And in Northfield, Minnesota, the town of cows, college, and contentment. Can I tell you they were not very content at the Northfield Hospital as they saw the devastating impact that this bill would have on rural hospitals.
So that's why I appreciate my colleague from North Dakota, Senator Heitkamp, bringing people together today to talk about the fact there is another way forward. There is another way forward and the people in this chamber have done this before. The FAST Act Senator McConnell negotiated that with Senator Boxer, a major transportation bill. The last time we had an issue with doctors' fees, we were able to get that done on a bipartisan basis. So what we are simply asking our colleagues today is to start afresh and look at what we can do together to help the people of this country without sabotoging the current health care delivery sytem and without taking this out on the most vulnerable through Medicaid cuts.
Here's some ideas. Prescription drug prices. Why would we not allow the 41 million seniors in this country to use their bargaining power--harness their bargaining power, as my friend Senator Nelson from Florida understands because he knows there are a lot of seniors in Florida. Harness that bargaining power to negotiate for lower prescription drugs. Yet the current law bands them from doing that. So all we want to do is lift that ban and let our seniors negotiate. That is not in this bill we are considering from the Republican side. This is something we can come together and work on.
We can get less expensive drugs in the form of generic drugs. Yet right now, we have a situation where major prescription drug companies are paying generic compaies to keep their products off the market. It's called pay-for-delay. Senator Grassley and I have a bill to eliminate that. We can bring in less expensive drugs from other countries. If in fact we have a situation where the prices have ballooned as they have for the top selling drugs in America. Four of them have gone up over 400 percent.
The exchanges, that's something else we have agreement. Senator Collins has been working on that. Senator Kaine and Carper have a bill on this. Senator Shaheen is working on the cost-sharing issue. We can work together to make it more affordable for people who are in the exchanges. Our small business rates, we must work on that. I truly believe we can come together.
And I will end with this. I got to be at that baseball game and the crowd with the 25,000 people that were watching the two teams play each other. Senator Donnelly of Indiana was on the field. And at the end of the game after the Democratic team won, they didn't keep the trophy. No. They handed the trophy to the Republican team and asked them to place that trophy in Congressman Scalise's office. We are not two teams. We are one team. And that's for our country, for America. So let's work together on this bill.
Thank you very much, Mr. President. I yield the floor.