Senate Begins Voting on Health Reconciliation Amendments

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The “vote-a-rama” on amendments and motions to the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act (H.R. 4872) has begun!

I’ll try to keep a running tally of the results below, divided by each member who offered the amendment or motion.  Unless otherwise noted, all information is obtained from republican.senate.gov.

Judd Gregg (R-NH)

  1. This amendment “prohibits using these Medicare cuts to pay for new government spending in the underlying bill.”  The health care law “and reconciliation bill cut a combined $529 billion from Medicare.”  It was tabled, 56-42.
  2. A second amendment would “extend the current physician reimbursement formula under Medicare for three years, which will be fully paid for with savings the Democrats claim will occur under their new health care law,” according to a press release.  The “current fix expires on March 31, leaving doctors with a scheduled 21% cut in reimbursement payments for seeing Medicare patients.”  A budget point of order was raised against the amendment, and an attempt to waive the motion was defeated by a vote of 42-56.

John McCain (R-AZ)

This amendment “repeals the following ‘sweetheart deals’ included in the health care law and the reconciliation bill…”

  • Increase in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments just for Tennessee (Section 1203, page 71 of H.R. 4872);
  • Increase in Medicaid DSH payments just for Hawaii (Section 10201, page 2132 of H.R. 3590);
  • The "Louisiana Purchase" to increase Medicaid funding just for Louisiana (Section 2006, page 428 of H.R. 3590);
  • Increased Medicare reimbursement just for frontier states (Section 10324, page 2237 of H.R. 3590);
  • Medicare coverage just for Libby, Montana residents exposed to environmental hazards (Section 10323, page 2222 of H.R. 3590);
  • A $100 million hospital funding provision intended to benefit Connecticut (Section 10502, page 2354 of H.R. 3590); and
  • Extension of Section 508 hospital reimbursement provisions just to Michigan and Connecticut (Section 10905, pages 2205-06 of H.R. 3590)

It was tabled, 54-43.

Mike Crapo (R-ID)

This motion would “commit the health care bill to the Finance Committee with instructions to ensure that the bill will result in no tax increase for anyone earning under $200,000/$250,000 a year.”  It was tabled, 56-43.

Mike Enzi (R-WY)

This motion would “commit the health care bill to the Finance Committee with instructions to strike the employer mandate with an offset.”  It was tabled, 58-41.

John Barrasso (R-WY)

This amendment makes implementation of the health care law and the reconciliation bill contingent upon a certification from the Secretary of Health and Human Services that such legislation "would not increase premiums more than the premium increases projected under existing law."  It was tabled, 57-41.

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

This amendment “re-writes Section 1312 of the health law to make the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, political appointees (including Executive Service, Senior Executive Service, and Schedule C personnel), as well as congressional staff eligible to purchase coverage through the Exchange, and requires that federal health benefits to these officials may be provided only through the Exchange.”  A budget point of order was raised against the amendment, and an attempt to waive the motion was defeated by a vote of 43-56.

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

This motion would commit “the reconciliation bill to the HELP Committee and direct the Committee to reduce the interest rate on student loans from 6.8 percent to 5.3 percent.”  This “1.5 percent reduction would save an average student just over $2,000 and eliminate the profits the government is planning to make off students to pay for their health care legislation.”  It was tabled, 58-41.

George LeMieux (R-FL)

This amendment “makes Members of Congress ineligible for health insurance coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), makes Members eligible to enroll in Medicaid, and provides that employer contributions made by the Office of Personnel Management on behalf of Members of Congress may be paid to state Medicaid agencies to subsidize Members’ coverage.”  A budget point of order was raised against the amendment, and an attempt to waive the motion was defeated by a vote of 40-59.

Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

  1. This motion to commit would “block cuts to Medicare Advantage from taking effect if more than 1,000,000 seniors are projected to lose their health coverage as a result of those cuts.”  It was tabled, 56-42.
  2. This amendment would “protect wounded warriors (anyone covered under TRICARE for Life or the veteran’s health care program) by striking the device tax for any TRICARE covered device.”  The reconciliation bill “converts the annual fee on the medical device industry into a 2.3 percent tax on medical device sales.”  It was tabled, 54-44.

Tom Coburn (R-OK)

This amendment, which was tabled by a vote of 57-42, would:

  • establish a fraud prevention and claims processing system to prevent approval of fraudulent claims, the abuse of prescription drugs through "doctor shopping," and filling of claims filed by debarred or excluded Medicare and Medicaid providers.
  • prohibit plans administered by the federal government and health Exchanges from covering erectile dysfunction drugs for "individuals convicted of child molestation, rape, or other forms of sexual assault."
  • prohibit federal reimbursement for abortifacients, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

This amendment permits states to opt out of provisions of the health law, "including, but not limited to, provisions and amendments relating to the individual mandate, the employer mandate, taxes on prescription drugs, taxes on medical devices, taxes on high value health plans, Medicare cuts, and the unfunded expansion of Medicaid."  It was tabled, 58-41.

Susan Collins (R-ME)

This amendment would “waive the employer mandate tax for the hiring of previously unemployed individuals.”  It was tabled, 58-41.

John Thune (R-SD)

  1. This amendment requires the Secretary of Education to certify that no state would experience a net job loss as a result of the new student loan provisions being enacted in the underlying bill.  It was tabled, 55-43.
  2. A second amendment he offered would strike the CLASS Act (insurance program for elderly and disabled long-term care).  A budget point of order was raised against the amendment, and an attempt to waive the motion was defeated by a vote of 43-55.

John Cornyn (R-TX)

This motion to commit would send “the health care bill to the Senate Finance Committee with instructions to strip out the 3.8 percent investment tax.”  It was tabled, 52-46.

Pat Roberts (R-KS)

  1. This amendment would “strike the medical device tax.”  The reconciliation bill “converts the annual fee on the medical device industry into a 2.3 percent tax on medical device sales.”  It was tabled, 56-42.
  2. This amendment “exempts critical access hospitals in rural areas from cuts proposed by the Independent Payment Advisory Board.”  A budget point of order was raised against the amendment, and an attempt to waive the motion was defeated by a vote of 42-54.
  3. This motion to commit would repeal “new bureaucracies that could ration Americans’ care.”  Specifically, it would repeal “the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, any new functions of the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board.”  It was tabled, 59-37.

Jim Inhofe (R-OK)

This amendment would “strike the medical device tax for pediatric devices and devices for persons with disabilities.”  The reconciliation bill “converts the annual fee on the medical device industry into a 2.3 percent tax on medical device sales.”  It was tabled, 57-41.

Richard Burr (R-NC)

This amendment would “clarify that beneficiaries of Tricare or Veterans health care programs meet the individual mandate requirement of the health care Act with that coverage.”  It was tabled, 54-44.

David Vitter (R-LA)

This amendment would repeal the health reform law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).  It was tabled, 58-39.

Update: You get the idea of what’s happening here, with each amendment being easily defeated. You can follow additional votes here.

(credit image – political information)

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