Ron Wyden on Health Care

Last Updated : Jul 21, 2010

Summary

Senator Wyden is a strong proponent of a health care reform that passed congress in 2009 and he is a strong supporter of a public option. He has spoken in favor of a system where premiums for health insurance are withdrawn from paychecks prior to workers receiving them, and where people are "rewarded" for living healthy and choosing the "right" coverage.

He has proposed the Healthy Americans Act as an option to be considered.

 

Viewpoints on reform

In June of 2009, Senator Wyden spoke about what he believed "real" health care reform was all about. He proposed a number of issues and stated that if you play it too safe and pass only what the American people will buy, then you may miss your chance at real reform. He stated that what health care reform should lead to, is a system where the fees for health insurance are withdrawn prior to the worker seeing it, in the same manner that taxes are withdrawn "so they didn't have to worry about making payments". He stated that people should be "rewarded" for living a healthy lifestyle and choosing the right insurance.

 

Support for the public option

In September of 2009, Senator Wyden stated that he would support a public option to prevent insurance companies from ripping off customers.

 

2009 reform and reconciliation

In December of 2009, Senator Wyden stated that he supported the 2009 health care reform bill. He also noted that with reconciliation, only budgetary issues could be addressed and not legislative issues such as the mandate or the public option.

 

Statements on official website

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 . Ron Wyden voted against repealing the health care reform legislation.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of passage of the reconciliation bill.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden in favor of final passage of the legislation.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of the reform by voting for cloture.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of SCHIP.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Ron Wyden voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Amendment - Drug Reimportation

In July of 2006, a an amendment was voted on to prohibit the United States Customs and Border Protection from preventing an individual not in the business of importing a prescription drug from importing an FDA-approved prescription drug. Ron Wyden voted in favor of the amendment to prevent border patrol agents from taking prescription drugs from citizens crossing the border.

Ron Wyden voted in favor of the amendment to prevent border patrol agents from taking prescription drugs from citizens crossing the border.

Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

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 passed the Senate 54-44 Ron Wyden voted in favor of Medicare Part D.

Ron Wyden voted in favor of Medicare Part D.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 1150; Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

A bill to improve end-of-life care

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-111; Bill Number-S 391; Healthy Americans Act - Prime Sponsor

Requires each adult individual to have the opportunity to purchase a Healthy Americans Private Insurance Plan (HAPI), which is: (1) a plan offered by a state; or (2) an employer-sponsored health coverage plan. Makes individuals who are not enrolled in another specified health plan and who are not opposed to coverage for religious reasons responsible for enrolling themselves and their dependent children in a HAPI plan offered through their state of residence. Sets forth penalties for failure to enroll.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 242; Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the importation of prescription drugs, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 347; Advance Directives Improvement and Education Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act and title III of the Public Health Service Act to improve access to information about individuals' health care operations and legal rights for care near the end of life, to promote advance care planning and decisionmaking so that individuals' wishes are known should they become unable to speak for themselves, to engage health care providers in disseminating information about and assisting in the preparation of advance directives, which include living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 347; Advance Directives Improvement and Education Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act and title III of the Public Health Service Act to improve access to information about individuals' health care operations and legal rights for care near the end of life, to promote advance care planning and decisionmaking so that individuals' wishes are known should they become unable to speak for themselves, to engage health care providers in disseminating information about and assisting in the preparation of advance directives, which include living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 465; Advance Directives Improvement and Education Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act and title III of the Public Health Service Act to improve access to information about individuals' health care options and legal rights for care near the end of life, to promote advance care planning and decisionmaking so that individuals' wishes are known should they become unable to speak for themselves, to engage health care providers in disseminating information about and assisting in the preparation of advance directives, which include living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care, and for other purposes.

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