Steve Austria on Health Care

Last Updated : Oct 09, 2010

Campaign Website Statements

Issues That Matter: Health Care

I voted against the government takeover of our health care system. While we all want health care reform, at a cost of $1.2 trillion, the health care bill as passed was not the reform we needed which increase the cost of healthcare and increased taxes on families and small businesses. Instead, we should have been focused on lowering the cost of health care, to make it more affordable for our working families. We could have done this with national medical malpractice reform, implement Health Information Technology, expanding Health Savings Accounts and allowing small businesses to band together, across state lines, to offer health care to their employees.

Voting Record

Tort Reform

In March of 2012, the House voted on HR 5, also know as the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011. This legislation would have set a statute of limitations of three years after the date of manifestation of an injury or one year after the claimant discovers the injury for a lawsuit, made each party liable only for the amount of damages directly proportional to such party's percentage of responsibility, allowed the court to restrict the payment of attorney contingency fees, authorized punitive damages only where there is clear and convincing evidence that a person acted with malicious intent to injure the claimant, limited punitive damages to $500,000, limited noneconomic damages to $250,000, and denied punitive damages in the case of products approved, cleared, or licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or otherwise considered in compliance with FDA standards. Steve Austria cast a "No Vote"

Repeal of Health Care Reform

In early 2011, the House voted on repealing the 2009-2010 health care reform legislation, called "Obamacare" by its opponents. Steve Austria voted in favor of repealing the health care legislation.

Steve Austria voted in favor of repealing the health care legislation.

2009-2010 Health Care Reform - Amendments

There were three significant votes on the health care reform legislation in the house. The first passed the house version, the second passed the reconciliation bill, and the third passed a bill to address "problems" in the original bills. This vote passed amendments to address the problems with the reconciliation bill. Steve Austria voted against the health care amendments for the House and Senate bills.

Steve Austria voted against the health care amendments for the House and Senate bills.

Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

In March of 2010 the House voted on the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The legislation was to pass the health care reform through the reconciliation process. No Republicans voted for the legislation and 22 Democrats voted against the bill. The bill passed 220-207. Steve Austria voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Steve Austria voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

2009-2010 Health Care Reform - Reconciliation

After a separate version of health care reform passed in the Senate, the Democrats lost the 60 seats they needed to break a Republican filibuster. To pass the reform bill, the House passed a reconciliation bill that would allow the House and Senate versions to be combined without a separate verion passing the Senate. Steve Austria voted against the health care reconciliation bill.

Steve Austria voted against the health care reconciliation bill.

2009-2010 Health Care Reform Bill

The Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962) was the version that passed the House. It was supported by most Democrats and only 1 Republican. Steve Austria voted against the original health care reform bill.

Steve Austria voted against the original health care reform bill.

Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act sets up health requirements for tobacco products, sets labeling guidelines, requires tobacco companies to report the content of their products, and prescribes punishements for violating any rules. The measure passed the House 298-112. Steve Austria voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Steve Austria voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

SCHIP

In addition to attempting overall health care reform, congress re-authorized SCHIP in 2009. SCHIP is a program to provide children with health care and fund it through tobacco taxes. The program passed with the full support of Democrats and roughly 1/4 of the Republicans. Steve Austria voted in favor of SCHIP.

Steve Austria voted in favor of SCHIP.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 144; Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011 - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal a provision (added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that extends to corporations that are not tax-exempt the requirement to report payments of $600 or more.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 369; Health Savings and Affordability Act of 2011 - Prime Sponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) allow a tax deduction from gross income for the cost of health insurance coverage for individual taxpayers, their spouses, and dependents; (2) permit holders of health savings accounts (HSAs) and their spouses who are age 55 or older to make additional (catch-up) contributions to a joint HSA; (3) increase the allowable amount of the tax deduction for contributions to HSAs; (4) combine individual and family deductibles under high deductible health insurance plans; (5) allow for increased rollovers from flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) into HSAs; (6) allow the payment of premiums from HSAs for high deductible health plans; and (7) treat as medical care for purposes of the tax deduction for medical expenses certain exercise equipment and fees for physical fitness programs.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 5141; Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal a provision (added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that extends to corporations that are not tax-exempt the requirement to report payments of $600 or more.

Session-111; Bill Number-H Res 1188; Ensuring an up or down vote on certain health care legislation - Cosponsor

Prohibits the Committee on Rules from reporting a rule or order that provides for disposition of the Senate amendments to H.R. 3590 (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [PPACA]) unless it provides for: (1) at least one hour of debate, equally divided and controlled by the majority leader and the minority leader; and (2) a requirement that the Speaker put the question on disposition of the Senate amendments and that the yeas and nays be considered as ordered thereon.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 5111; To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to modify special rules relating to coverage of abortion services under such Act. - Cosponsor

Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.) Requires any qualified health benefit plan offered through an Exchange that includes coverage for abortions to also offer a qualified health benefit plan through the Exchange that is identical in every respect except that it does not cover abortions.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 4904; Defunding the Health Care Mandate - Cosponsor

Prohibits any funds appropriated or otherwise made available to any federal department or agency from being used to implement or enforce any federal mandate to purchase health insurance.

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