Jason Altmire on Health Care

Last Updated : Apr 18, 2012

Summary

Congressman Altmire is generally supportive of government expansions into health care. He strongly supported the SCHIP legislation, but opposed the Obamacare reform packages in 2009-2010.

in 2007, Congressman Altmire spoke out against President Bush's veto of SCHIP legislation. He stated that President Bush was ignoring the stark reality faced by thousands of Pennsylvania's working families that are finding it increasingly difficult to afford health care coverage for their children. In 2009, he supported the reauthorization and expansion of the act and stated that because of this new law, thousands of Pennsylvania families would be able to provide their children with the quality health insurance they deserve. He stated that all children deserve to have the health care they need to grow into strong, healthy adults.

In 2008, Congressman Altmire supported a Democratic group supporting fully portable coverage and efforts by the government to influence behavior to make Americans more healthy. He also supported the SHOP act in 2008 and other times. This legislation would allow for companies to pool resources across state lines and prevent the use of data on employees to increase costs for health insurance.

In August of 2009, Congressman Altmire held a town hall that was dominated by the proposed health care reform legislation. He was asked a series of questions regarding health care and states that he is opposed to a single-payer system and that he feels that those in congress that do support it make up a small number. He stated that he supports a public option, but only if it competes on the same level as private companies. He also stated that he supports health savings accounts, but also asserts that tort reform is not going to have an appreciable affect on the cost of health care. In a final question, he stated that rationing is not a part of the health care system, but that discussions regarding end of life already take place.

During the debate over Obamacare, Congressman Altmire stated that he opposed the legislation because it did not do enough to address the major problems in health care of reducing costs and changing the delivery system. He maintained this position throughout the process of passing the legislation with the exception of expressing support for the Senate version of the bill. Congressman Altmire voted against Obamacare in the initial vote and in the reconciliation vote. However, he voted against the repeal of the legislation and stated that the benefits of the bill outweighed the drawbacks to the extent that it should not be repealed outright.

 

Opposition to Bush SCHIP Guidelines

In August of 2007, Congressman Altmire issued a press statement noting his opposition to new guidelines for the SCHIP program by President Bush. The new guidelines clamped down on children getting benefits if their parents make more money than the poverty level.

 

Support for SCHIP

In September of 2007, Congressman Altmire issued a press statement noting his support for legislation to reauthorize SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

 

Common Sense Health Care Reforms

In January of 2008, Congressman Altmire issued a press statement noting his support for a Democratic committee to address common sense health care reforms and his support for prevention, innovation, and competition.

 

SHOP Act

In June of 2008, Congressman Altmire issued a press statement noting his support for the SHOP Act.

 

Quality First Act

In April of 2009, Congressman Altmire released a press statement noting his introduction of a Quality First Act.

 

Support for SCHIP Expansion

In February of 2009, Congressman Altmire issued a press statement noting his support for the expansion and reauthorizatin of the SCHIP program.

 

Health Care Townhall

In August of 2009, Congressman Altmire held a town hall that was dominated by the proposed health care reform legislation. Congressman Altmire was asked a series of questions regarding health care and states that he is opposed to a single-payer system and that he feels that those in congress that do support it make up a small number. He states that he supports a public option, but only if it competes on the same level as private companies. He states that he supports health savings accounts, but also asserts that tort reform is not going to have an appreciable affect on the cost of health care. In a final question, he states that rationing is not a part of the health care system, but that discussions regarding end of life already take place.

 

Opposition to House Version

In November of 2009, Congressman Altmire issued a press statement noting his opposition the House version of the health care reform legislation and his intention to vote against the bill.

 

Support for Senate Version

In December of 2009, Congressman Altmire issued a press statement noting his support for the passage of the Senate version of the health care reform legislation. In the statement, the Congressman asserts that this version adequately addresses the issues of cost and delivery that he says are the problems in health care today.

 

Fox News Sunday

In March of 2010, Congressman Altmire appeared on Fox News Sunday and discussed his previous vote against the health care reform package called "obamacare" and the prospects for voting against the legislation again. Congressman Altmire states that he needs to see how the bill will lower costs for both Americans and the government. He states that he is looking for a better reimbursement process for Medicare and other government provided care.

 

CNN Appearance

Later in March of 2010, Congressman Altmire appeared on CNN and discussed the health care reform. He states that any acceptable reform must be about bring costs down for those that already have it.

 

Repeal of Obamacare

In January of 2011, Congressman Altmire appeared on Fox News and discussed the possible repeal of Obamacare. He states that he would not support the full repeal of the legislation as he likes the parts of the legislation that prevent exclusion of pre-existing conditions, allowing children to stay on parental policies until the age of 26, and closing the donut hole in Medicare. These statements were echoed in a press statement that Congressman Altmire released in early January of that year.

 

Official Website Statements

 

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. Jason Altmire voted against the HEALTH Act.

Jason Altmire voted against the HEALTH Act.

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. Jason Altmire voted against repealing the health care legislation.

Jason Altmire voted against 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. Jason Altmire voted against the health care amendments for the House and Senate bills.

Jason Altmire 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. Jason Altmire voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Jason Altmire 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. Jason Altmire voted against the health care reconciliation bill.

Jason Altmire 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. Jason Altmire voted against the original health care reform bill.

Jason Altmire 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. Jason Altmire voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Jason Altmire 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. Jason Altmire voted in favor of SCHIP.

Jason Altmire voted in favor of SCHIP.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 1256; Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act - Cosponsor

To protect the public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products, to amend title 5, United States Code, to make certain modifications in the Thrift Savings Plan, the Civil Service Retirement System, and the Federal Employees' Retirement System, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1343; Health Care Safety Net Act of 2008 - Cosponsor

To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide additional authorizations of appropriations for the health centers program under section 330 of such Act, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 4; Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To amend part D of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower covered part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.

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