Kay Bailey Hutchison on Health Care

Last Updated : Nov 03, 2010

Summary

Senator Hutchison has been a vocal opponent of the 2009 health care reform legislation throughout all phases of the legislative process. Initially, she opposed the method that was being used to create the legislation with no Republican involvement and no disclosure to the public. When the structure of the programs was revealed, Senator Hutchison opposed the tax penalties, and the creation of a public option. Senator Hutchison appeared on numerous television shows during the process to denounce the plan and referred to it as a government takeover of health care, and nothing more than a path that would lead to a single-payer system. Senator Hutchison specifically called out the the imposition of taxes immediately while the benefits of the package did not start for four years as a dishonest attempt to hide the true costs of the program. As the final legislation passed, Senator Hutchison asked the members of the House and the Senate to listen to their constituents and not pass the legislation. Before the final passage, Senator Hutchison attempted to enter an amendment to allow states to opt out of the program. After it's passage, she joined other Republican Senators in stating that they would repeal the legislation whenever possible, and claimed that the mandate within the legislation was unconstitutional.

During the debate, Senator Hutchison was critical of portions of the plan the punished states that had previously enacted tort reform. She stated that she supported a plan by Senator Jim DeMint which she said give tax credits to individuals, rather than impose mandates and fines, allows portability and choice, not tax increases and more government bureaucracy. She stated that it was an alternative that cuts down on waste, fraud, and abuse while driving down costs through badly needed tort reform. 

In 2009 Senator Hutchison voted in favor of passing the re-authorization and expansion of SCHIP. SCHIP is a program where states provide health insurance to children which is partially reimbursed by the federal government These program were paid for through massive increases in tobacco taxes. Senator Hutchison also voted in favor of Medicare Part D, a federal program to provide prescription drugs to seniors.

 

Initial Opposition to Reform Plan and Public Option

In July of 2009, Senator Hutchison appeared on CNBC to discuss the plans being put forth by the Democratic majority to reform health care in America. She noted her opposition to the plan and the public option. She stated that the plan and the public option were nothing more than methods of ensuring an eventual single-payer system.

 

 

Opposition to Further Plans

In September of 2009, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting that the plan being put forth by Senator Baucus would not garner bipartisan support.

In November of 2009, Senator Hutchison appeared on Fox Business, Good Morning America, and MSNBC and spoke again about her opposition to the plans being put forth and the possibility of a single-payer system or a public option. She spoke on the Senate floor for over 20 minutes concerning her opposition to the rapid pace of the plans being put forth, the large size of the plan, and the content of the legislation. She supported methods put forth by the Republicans to have the legislation read on the floor.

 

Taxes and Health Care

In August of 2009, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her concern over the tax increases due to the health care legislation and the effects the raises would have on the economy.

In December of 2009, Senator Hutchison spoke on the Senate floor about the increase in taxes in the program and the need to change this structure. She had a colloquy which lasted for 30 minutes where she spoke about the offset between the start of the taxes being presented to pay for the system and the start of benefits. She states that this is an unfair method to hide the true costs of the bill.

 

Tort Reform and Health Care

In November of 2009, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her opposition to parts of the health care reform legislation that punished states which had enacted tort reform by not allowing them to receive certain benefits.

 

Going back to the Committee

In December of 2009, Senator Hutchison spoke on the floor about a motion she had made to return the health care reform legislation to the committee and ensure that no funding for the legislation would occur before the benefits of the reform were enacted. The form of the bill which passed assessed fees to pay for the system starting immediately, but reforms did not come into place for 4 years. This hid the costs of the program.

 

Opposition to Final Form of Reform

After the election of Senator Brown, the Democrats sought to pass an identical form in both chambers and then address any issues in a reconciliation bill. Senator Hutchison was vocal in her opposition to the content of the legislation and the method by which it was passed. In November of 2009, she issued the following press statement.

As the House and Senate sought to pass identical versions of the health care reform legislation, Senator Hutchison issued a press statement calling the bill partisan.

When it became clear that the Democrats intended to pass the health care reform legislation through the reconciliation process, Senator Hutchison issued a press statement calling it "recycling" the legislation.

In March of 2010, Senator Hutchison spoke on the Senate floor and asked the House and Senate to "listen to their constituents" and vote against the legislation. She referred to the bill as a government takeover of health care and stated that it would kill 1/6 of the economy.

In addition to this speech, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her opposition to the final passage.

 

A State Opt-Out Plan

In March of 2010, Senator Hutchison introduced an amendment that would allow a state to opt-out of the reform plan.

 

Support For Repeal

Within days of the final health care reform vote, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting that she had joined with Senator DeMint in seeking to repeal the health care reform legislation.

 

Mandate is Unconstitutional

In August of 2010, Senator Hutchison issued a capital comments statement dedicated to stating that the mandate to purchase insurance was not constitutional.

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 . Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of repealing the health care reform legislation.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against passage of the reconciliation bill.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against final passage of the legislation.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the reform by voting against cloture.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the reform by voting against 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of SCHIP.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the amendment to prevent border patrol agents from taking prescription drugs from citizens crossing the border.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against 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 Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of Medicare Part D.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of Medicare Part D.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-S 192; Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act - Cosponsor

Repeals the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, effective as of its enactment. Restores provisions of law amended by such Act. Repeals the health care provisions of the Health Care and Education and Reconciliation Act of 2010, effective as of the Act's enactment. Restores provisions of law amended by the Act's health care provisions.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 19; American Liberty Restoration Act - Cosponsor

Repeals provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that require individuals to maintain minimum essential health care coverage. Applies the Internal Revenue Code as if such provisions had never been enacted.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 20; American Job Protection Act - Cosponsor

Repeals provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that require large employers to offer their full-time employees the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage. Applies the Internal Revenue Code as if such provisions had never been enacted.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 281; Save our States Act - Prime Sponsor

To delay the implementation of the health reform law in the United States until there is final resolution in pending lawsuits.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3152; A bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Cosponsor

Repeals the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the amendments made by that Act.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3502; American Liberty Restoration Act - Cosponsor

Repeals provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that require individuals to maintain minimum essential health care coverage. Applies the Internal Revenue Code as if such provisions had never been enacted.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3501; American Job Protection Act - Cosponsor

Repeals provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that require large employers to offer their full-time employees the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage. Applies the Internal Revenue Code as if such provisions had never been enacted.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 2835; Purchasing Insurance with Pre-Tax Dollars - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow: (1) taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions to deduct from gross income the costs of health insurance and long-term care insurance; and (2) payments from health savings accounts for non-group high deductible health plan premiums.

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