Kirsten Gillibrand on Health Care

Last Updated : Nov 10, 2010

Summary

Since her arrival in the Senate, Senator Gillibrand has been a vocal supporter of health care reform legislation and healthy living initiatives. She has supported legislation to force restaurants to print nutritional information on their menus, and eliminate trans-fats from school lunches.

Senator Gillibrand supports a public option, stating that competition is needed to lower health care costs and a public option sets the standard for quality, efficiency, and cost and would create incentives for healthy competition that would serve the interests of all Americans. Senator Gillibrand was one of four Senators who signed a letter asking Senator Reid to use a reconciliation technique to pass a public option with only 50 votes.

Stating that health care is a right to be given to all Americans and not just for those who can afford it, Senator Gillibrand supported the 2009 health care reform legislation and voted for it each time. She has stated that the program would lower the federal deficit, and improve care for all Americans. 

Throughout the reform debate, Senator Gillibrand was a vocal opponent to the Stupak amendment to prevent federal funding for abortions. The Stupak amendment sought to prevent insurance plans that accepted people who paid for those plans through subsidies from covering abortions. The idea was that those subsidies were federal money and purchasing plans that covered abortion with that money amount to federal funding for abortions. Senator Gillibrand stated that this went beyond the normal Hyde Amendment standards because it prevented women who wanted those plans with the additional abortion coverage from having that alternative.

Senator Gillibrand has also stated that while Medicare needs to be reformed, she would support a Medicare buy-in to create a government run single-payer system.

 

Support for Menu Nutritional Information

In May of 2009, Senator Gillibrand issued a press statement noting her support for a national effort to force restaurants to list nutritional information on their menus.

 

Support for a Public Option

In April of 2009, Senator Gillibrand issued a press statement noting her belief that a public option was necessary to fulfill the promises of reform and lower costs.

 

Support for Banning Trans-Fats

In July of 2009, Senator Gillibrand issued a press statement noting her support for legislation to ban trans-fats from school lunches. The plan would increase federal reimbursement rates for schools that comply with the program.

 

Discrimination Against Women in Current System

 

Act Now to Fix Health Care

 

Opposition to the Stupak Amendment

In October of 2009, Senator Gillibrand spoke on the Senate floor about her support for the health care reform plan and her belief that reproductive health care should be provided.

In November and December of 2009, Senator Gillibrand spoke on the Senate floor about misconceptions dealing with federal dollars and abortion. She states that the health care legislation maintains the current agreement not to fund abortion with federal money. She speaks against the Stupak amendment and says that it does not allow people to purchase plans covering abortion with their own money.

In this speech, Senator Gillibrand notes that the Stupak amendment prohibits any provider from covering abortion if they accept people into that plan that receive government subsidies to pay for this plan. She states that this is a lack of access to full reproductive health care.

 

Campaign Video - Health Care is a Right

In a campaign video, Senator Gillibrand answers a question about her position on health care. She states that health care is a right that all citizens are entitled to and not a privilege. She states that Medicare needs to be reformed, but after that she would support a single-payer medicare buy-in.

 

Reconciliation and the Public Option

Senator Gillibrand was one of four Senators to sign onto a letter asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to place a public option in the reconciliation bill. She cited the letter in an April 2010 press statement.

 

Official Website Statements

 

Campaign Website Statements

 

 

Voting Record

Repeal of Health Care Reform

In February of 2011, the Senate voted on repealing the 2009-2010 health care reform legislation. The attempt failed on a party line vote . Kirsten Gillibrand voted against repealing the health care reform legislation.

Kirsten Gillibrand voted against repealing the health care reform legislation.

2009-2010 Health Care Reform - Reconciliation

The 2009-2010 health care reform legislation passed through the Senate in three votes. The first was to end the filibuster, the second was to pass the Senate bill, and the third was to pass the reconciliation bill.

Due to the death of Senator Kennedy and the election of Senator Brown in Massachussetts, the Democrats no longer possessed the 60 vote majority to break a filibuster. A reconciliation bill was passed to unify the Senate and House version and to enact the legislation. Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of passage of the reconciliation bill.

Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of passage of the reconciliation bill.

2009-2010 Health Care Reform - Passage

After the cloture vote to end the filibuster, a vote was taken to pass the legislation called "Obamacare" by its opponents. Kirsten Gillibrand in favor of final passage of the legislation.

Kirsten Gillibrand in favor of final passage of the legislation.

2009-2010 Health Care Reform - Cloture Vote

The first vote in the health care reform process was for cloture on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009. This bill was different from the version that had recently passed through the House. Both votes went down party lines with all Democrats supporting the legislation and all Republicans opposing it. Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of the reform by voting for cloture.

Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of the reform by voting for cloture.

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. Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of SCHIP.

Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of SCHIP.

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 Senate 79-17. Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Kirsten Gillibrand 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. Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of SCHIP.

Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of SCHIP.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S Res 156; A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that reform of our Nation's health care system should include the establishment of a federally-backed insurance pool - Cosponsor

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that reform of our Nation's health care system should include the establishment of a federally-backed insurance pool

Session-111; Bill Number-S 1681; Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Declares that nothing in the McCarran-Ferguson Act shall be construed to permit health insurance issuers or issuers of medical malpractice insurance to engage in any form of price fixing, bid rigging, or market allocations in connection with providing health insurance coverage or coverage for medical malpractice claims or actions. Makes this Act nonapplicable to any information gathering and rate setting activities of any state commission of insurance or any other state regulatory entity with authority to set insurance rates.

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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