Tammy Baldwin on Health Care

Last Updated : Nov 01, 2012

Summary

Congresswoman Baldwin is a long time supporter of universal health care and has supported legislation to create a medicare buy-in for all. She supports a public option and states that it and the Affordable Care Act will lower the deficit.

Universal Health Care

In 1999, Congresswoman Baldwin put forth an amendment which would create a universal single-payer system by allowing certain individuals between the ages of 55-65 to buy into Medicare. There were also provisions for the working disabled, a tax credit, and home health services.

Minimum Level of Protection

In 1999, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that people no longer trust that the best medical decisions are being made in this system, and too many people with health care coverage are being driven into debt because necessary treatment is not being covered by their managed care company. She added that patients are losing faith that they can count on their health insurance plans to provide the care that they were promised when they enrolled and faithfully paid their premiums. She called for a minimum standard of patient protections for all Americans.

Health Care and Uninsured Americans

In 2002, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in support of health care reform and discussing several misconceptions. She stated that the US was facing an extremely serious health crisis and the first misconception was that the number of uninsured in the United States is not large and that it might not have increased in the recent years. The second misperception is that it is assumed that the people who are uninsured do not live in families that work. The third myth is that it is improper to assume that the uninsured get adequate medical attention. She stated that the lack of preventative care by those with no health insurance causes those people to be less healthy as diseases are only caught when they manifest with symptons.

In 2004 she spoke again and stated that he average family's share of health insurance premiums has risen by almost $1,000 in the last 4 years, a 57 percent increase. She also stated that while health care costs have been growing, the percentage of Americans receiving health care coverage through their employers has dropped.

Prescription Drugs

In 2000, Congresswoman Baldwin supported the Medicare Drug Cost Savings Act of 2001. That legislation would have providing coverage of self-administered drugs that, when used in place of physician-administered drugs already covered by Medicare, result in overall cost savings to the program.

In 2001, she co-sponsored the Prescription Drug Fairness for Seniors Act 2001 to allow pharmacies that serve Medicare beneficiaries to purchase prescription drugs at the average price that the drugs are sold in other developed nations. She stated that he legislation has been estimated to reduce prices for brand-name prescription drugs by approximately 40 percent.

State Initiatives

In 2000, Congresswoman Baldwin co-sponsored the Health Security for All Americans Act. The legislation would limit out-of-pocket expenses, provide comprehensive health care by guaranteeing a minimum benefit package equal to the benefits offered to Members of Congress, and ensures the quality of health care benefits by providing strong patient protections. This is done by allowing the states to decide for themselves how to provide quality, affordable, and comprehensive health care coverage for all of their residents.

In 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin introduced the Health Partnership Through Creative Federalism Act. She stated that state initiatives can help make federal reform smarter, safer, swifter, and more cost efficient.

SCHIP

In 2007, Congresswoman Baldwin supported the SCHIP reauthorization legislation. After President Bush vetoed the legislation, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that Democrats remained steadfast in their desire to enact a law that allows health care coverage for 10 million children in need.

When the legislation passed the Congress again in 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that in our current economic and health care crises, middle class children are the forgotten victims. She added that working parents must not be driven into bankruptcy by high medical bills, nor should their children go without medical care and that we need to expand coverage to more kids and we need to help states cover all families in need.

Affordable Care Act

In November of 2009, when Congresswoman Baldwin voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act, she stated that that the law will deliver meaningful insurance reform, outlaw outrageous insurance abuses, lower costs, and extend coverage to all. She added that every American deserves health care, and every American shall have it through this legislation.

In March of 2010, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that the Affordable Care Act was crucial for our economy, was fully paid for, will rein in health care costs, and cut the deficit by $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years, all while expanding and improving health care coverage for millions of American families.

That same month, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that people in Congress need to decide which side they are on. She stated that the two sides were either the people or insurance companies.

 

Universal Health Care

In March of 1999, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting his introduction of an amendment to allow for Medicare buy-in and other mechanisms to create universal health care.

 

Managed Reform

In October of 1999, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke in support of overall health care reform. She discussed the need for a minimum level of protection for patients.

 

Medicare Prescription Drugs

In May of 2000, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support for the Medicare Drug Cost Savings Act.

 

Health Security For All Americans Act

In August of 2000, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support for the Health Security for All Americans Act.

 

Prescription Drug Fairness

In April of 2001, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support for legislation to enact fairness in prescription drug costs through the Prescription Drug Fairness for Seniors Act.

 

Bipartisan Patient Protection Act

In August of 2001, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor discussng the need for reform to the HMO system.

 

Uninsured Americans

In July of 2002, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor about the need for health care reform to cover uninsured Americans.

 

The Need for Reform

In October of 2004, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor about the need for reform in the Health care system.

 

Support for SCHIP

In October of 2007, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support for the compromised version of the SCHIP legislation.

 

Passage of SCHIP

In January of 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her vote in support of the SCHIP legislation and her support for the bill.

 

Support for SCHIP

In February of 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in support of the SCHIP reauthorization and expansion.

 

State Inititives

March of 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support for legislation to support state iitiatives in health care reform.

 

Affordable Care Act

In November of 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in support of the Affordable Care Act and stating that every American deserved health care.

 

Health Care Reform Reduces the Deficit

In March of 2010, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her view that the health care reform legislation would cut $1.3 trillion from the deficit.

 

Whose Side are You On

In March of 2010, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in support of health care reform and stating that you are either on the side of insurance agents or the side of the people.

 

Reaction to Federal Court Ruling

In January of 2011, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support to a recent court ruling and stating that the health care law was constitutional.

 

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. Tammy Baldwin voted against the HEALTH Act.

Tammy Baldwin 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. Tammy Baldwin voted against repealing the health care legislation.

Tammy Baldwin 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. Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of the health care amendments for the House and Senate bills.

Tammy Baldwin 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. Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Tammy Baldwin 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. Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of the health care reconciliation bill.

Tammy Baldwin 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. Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of the original health care reform bill.

Tammy Baldwin 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. Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Tammy Baldwin 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. Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of SCHIP.

Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of SCHIP.

Medicare Part D - Final Vote

After the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 passed the Senate, it came back for a final vote in the House. It passed the House in final form 220-215. Tammy Baldwin voted against medicare part D when it passed the House in final form.

Tammy Baldwin voted against medicare part D when it passed the House in final form.

Medicare Part D

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 is sometimes called Medicare Part D. It was a sweeping reform that created plans for the senior citizens to purchase prescription drugs. The bill iniitially passed the House 216-215. Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of Medicare Part D.

Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of Medicare Part D.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 191; Public Option Deficit Reduction Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer through Exchanges a health benefits plan (public health insurance option) that ensures choice, competition, and stability of affordable, high-quality coverage throughout the United States. Declares that the Secretary's primary responsibility is to create a low-cost plan without compromising quality or access to care. Sets forth provisions related to the establishment and governance of the public health insurance option, including that such plan: (1) may be made available only through Exchanges; (2) must comply with requirements applicable to other health benefits plans offered through such Exchanges, including requirements related to benefits, benefit levels, provider networks, notices, consumer protections, and cost sharing; and (3) must offer bronze, silver, and gold plan levels. Requires the Secretary to: (1) establish an office of the ombudsman for the public health insurance option; (2) collect such data as may be required to establish premiums and payment rates; (3) establish geographically adjusted premiums at a level sufficient to fully finance the costs of the health benefits provided and administrative costs related to the operation of the plan; and (4) establish payment rates and provide for greater payment rates for the first three years. Requires repayment of start-up costs for the public health insurance option. Authorizes the Secretary to utilize innovative payment mechanisms and policies to determine payments for items and services under the public health insurance option.

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-111; Bill Number-H R 5808; To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to establish a public health insurance option - Cosponsor

Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer through Exchanges a health benefits plan (public health insurance option) that ensures choice, competition, and stability of affordable, high-quality coverage throughout the United States. Declares that the Secretary's primary responsibility is to create a low-cost plan without compromising quality or access to care. Sets forth provisions related to the establishment and governance of the public health insurance option, including that such plan: (1) may be made available only through Exchanges; (2) must comply with requirements applicable to other health benefits plans offered through such Exchanges, including requirements related to benefits, benefit levels, provider networks, notices, consumer protections, and cost sharing; and (3) must offer bronze, silver, and gold plan levels.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 4752; Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Amends part D (Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit Program) of title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices that may be charged to Medicare part D prescription drug plan (PDP) sponsors and MedicareAdvantage (MA) organizations for covered part D drugs for part D eligible individuals who are enrolled under a PDP or under an MA-Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plan.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 4789; Medicare You Can Buy Into Act - Cosponsor

Public Option Act or the Medicare You Can Buy Into Act - Amends part A of title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to authorize an option for any citizen or permanent resident of the United States to buy into Medicare.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 3090; Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, to establish the Robert T. Matsui Center for Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Health Care. Provides for health care workforce diversity activities, including the establishment of: (1) a national working group on workforce diversity; (2) an aggregated database on health professional students; and (3) the Advisory Committee on Health Professions Training for Diversity. Requires health-related programs of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to collect data on race, ethnicity, primary language, and sexual orientation. Directs each federal health agency to implement a strategic plan to eliminate disparities on the basis of race, ethnicity, and primary language and improve the health and health care of minority populations.

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.

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.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 676; United States National Health Insurance Act - Cosponsor

To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-H R 2133; Health Security for All Americans Act - Prime Sponsor

Amends the Social Security Act to provide participating States with funding to provide health insurance coverage through State-administered plans targeted at low-income residents. Requires States to implement systems to ensure universal health insurance coverage for their residents by 2010, including by requiring employers to contribute to health insurance premiums for their employees. Requires health plans to: (1) create entities to serve as employers for their home care providers; (2) ensure that enrollees will continue to receive health services if the plan's services are terminated; and (3) supply the State with information on their health care workers.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 506; Health Partnership Through Creative Federalism Act - Prime Sponsor

Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a State Health Coverage Innovation Commission to: (1) request states to submit proposals for state health care expansion and improvement programs, which may include reform options such as tax credit approaches, expansions of public programs, or other appropriate alternatives; (2) review state applications and submit to Congress a list of state applications that the Commission recommends for approval; (3) report to the public concerning progress made by states; and (4) make recommendations to the Secretary and Congress for minimizing the negative effect of state programs on national employer groups, provider organizations, and insurers because of differing state requirements under the programs.

Session-111; Bill Number-H Con res 78; Expressing the support of the Congress regarding the need to facilitate State innovation in national health care reform. - Prime Sponsor

Sets forth Congress's commitment to include within legislation authorizing national health care reform provisions that facilitate state innovation and that: (1) promote the unique role of states as innovators in health care reform; (2) feature flexibility for states in implementing national goals and objectives for health care reform; (3) facilitate state efforts to improve upon and expand the goals and objectives of national health reform; and (4) incorporate the principles of state innovation espoused in the Health Partnership Act and Health Partnership Through Creative Federalism Act.

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