What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : HR 4872. (Health care reconciliation) Motion to kill an amendment that would require the government to certify that the health care overhaul law will not increase insurance premiums more than has been projected/On the motion (2010 senate Roll Call 68)
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HR 4872. (Health care reconciliation) Motion to kill an amendment that would require the government to certify that the health care overhaul law will not increase insurance premiums more than has been projected/On the motion
senate Roll Call 68     Mar 24, 2010
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to kill an amendment by John Barrasso, R-Wyo., that would have required the Health and Human Services Department to certify that the health care overhaul law cleared the day before would not increase insurance premiums more than what had been projected prior to the law’s enactment.   A bill is “cleared” when one chamber of Congress passes a bill that has already been passed by the other chamber; once a bill is “cleared” it is sent to the president.  The law being changed aims to expand the availability of health care coverage for some 31 million Americans that are not currently covered.  

Barrasso said his amendment would protect families and small businesses from “dramatic increases in insurance premiums.”

“My amendment directs the Department of Health and Human Services to certify that insurance premiums will not rise faster under the new health care law than they would have if the law had not been passed. If they find that premiums are higher, then the new law would sunset,” Barrasso said.  “This month in Pennsylvania, the President said the Senate bill would reduce most people’s premiums. I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, if you believe the President and you believe that this bill lowers premiums, prove it. Vote for this amendment.”

Max Baucus, D-Mont., said it’s not only the president that has said the health care overhaul will reduce premiums, but also the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

“The Congressional Budget Office has concluded that premiums under this legislation will, all things equal, be reduced for big business as much as 3 percent. Small businesses will see a decrease of 11 percent if you factor in the small business tax credits for coverage. Individuals who receive tax credits in the exchange will find a 57-percent reduction in premiums; again, all things being equal,” Baucus said.  “Will someone find an increase in premium? Somebody might buy a very expensive health insurance policy. Maybe that person’s premiums might go up.”

By a vote of 57-41, the amendment was killed.  All but one Democrat present voted to kill the amendment.  Every Republican present voted against killing the amendment.  The end result is that the amendment was killed and the bill went forward without language that would have required the government to certify that the new health care overhaul law will not raise premiums above what had been projected prior to the law’s enactment.

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