Joe Sestak on Health Care

Last Updated : Jun 30, 2010

Summary

Congressman Sestak supported the 2009 health care legislation, stating that he ran for office largely to deal with health care.  He stated that Americans are already paying for those without health insurance.  He supports a public option and a single-payer system, as long as the ability exists to purchase additional insurance. He supports mandates for health insurance. He states that the health care bill which was passed through congress, will reduce the cost of health care 15-20%.  

Congressman Sestak stated that the health care reform bill in congress is budget neutral and does not add to the deficit.

Congressman Sestak opposes the purchasing of insurance across state lines, and voted for and supports allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.  He did not rule out the possibility of illegal immigrants obtaining health care.  he opposed taxing health care benefits to pay for the plan.

 

Fox News Appearance

In April of 2010 Congressmen Toomey and Sestak appeared on Fox News and spoke about health care.  Congressman Toomey stated that the mandates would drive up the cost of health care, increase the debt by a trillion dollars, and remove jobs.  Congressman Sestak claimed that the legislation would drive down the cost of health care 15-20%, and that the comments were "silly".  Pat Toomey stated that the bill would drive up the cost and cited a CBO report stating as much.

 

 

The Public Option

In August of 2009, Congressman Sestak appeared on MSNBC and stated that he would not support a bill that did not have a public option.  He fell short of stating that he would not vote for such legislation, but stated that he would "find it hard" to support such legislation.

 

Health Care Debate

In September of 2009, Congressman Sestak debated Pat Toomey concerning the 2009 health care legislation.  This was prior to the 2010 Senate race.  There are some significant statements made by both men in this debate.

When asked about the possibility of moving health care away from an employer based system to one where each person bought their own health care, Congressman Sestak stated that he opposed this idea because he wanted employers to keep their employees.  He stated that a public option would create competition, and that such a system would be revenue neutral and take no money from the government.

Congressman Toomey described the source of the employer based health insurance system.  He stated that this third party payer system is flawed because the employer chooses the health care plan.  He stated that the public option was similar in that it was designed to be the least expensive and reimburse at lower.  He states that when given the option, employers will drop their employees under this system and pay less.

When asked about tort reform, Congressman Toomey stated that while tort reform was not a single solution, it should be in the mix.  He explains that the only reform in tort reform is the amount awarded in pain in suffering and not on the actual losses.  He states that there is expense involved with defensive medicine.

Congressman Sestak states that only 0.5% of the cost of health care can be removed through tort reform.  He stated that while 3 out 4 lawsuits may be frivolous, only 1 in 10 cases that can be brought ever really are.  He states that the federal government is not wise enough to state the amount which can be awarded in pain and suffering.

Both men state that they favor the re-importation of medicines.

Congressman Toomey accuses Congressman Sestak of voting for a version of the health care bill that allowed a state to outlaw private insurance completely.  Congressman Sestak did vote against the amendment itself.

Congressman Sestak states that the health care bill in congress in budget neutral and adds nothing to the deficit.

When asked if illegal immigrants should be covered under any plan, Congressman Toomey stated that they should not.  Congressman Sestak did not answer the question and stated that federal money is not allowed to be used for illegal purposes.

 

Single Payer

Congressman Sestak has stated that he would like for everyone to have the same care and plan that those in the military have.  At the net roots interview, Congressman Sestak was asked why he voted against the Kucinich amendment to create a single payer system.  He stated that he supports a single payer system but opposed the legislation because it prevented people from purchasing additional insurance.

 

Doing nothing is not an option

In a Fox News appearance in June of 2009, Congressman Sestak details how the plan is budget neutral by cutting waste in other areas.  He also states that doing nothing is not an option.

 

Union Taxation

In June of 2003, Congressman Sestak appeared on Fox news.  He came out in opposition to the possibility that unions would be exempt from taxation of health insurance.  He also stated that the majority of Americans are already paying for those without insurance.  Congressman Sestak also opposed the taxing of health care benefits to pay for the plan.

 

Transparency

When asked about the transparency of negotiations about the health care bill, Congressman Sestak responded : 

 

Campaign Website Statements

 

Official Website Statements

Voting Record

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. Joe Sestak voted in favor of the health care amendments for the House and Senate bills.

Joe Sestak voted in favor of 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. Joe Sestak voted in favor of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Joe Sestak voted in favor of 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. Joe Sestak voted in favor of the health care reconciliation bill.

Joe Sestak voted in favor of 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. Joe Sestak voted in favor of the original health care reform bill.

Joe Sestak voted in favor of 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. Joe Sestak voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Joe Sestak 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. Joe Sestak voted in favor of SCHIP.

Joe Sestak 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 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.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 3014; Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To improve the health of minority individuals, and for other purposes.

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