What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Health Insurance : (H.R. 1) On an amendment prohibiting federal funds from being used by the Health and Human Services Department to implement rules relating to an “essential benefits package”—the benefits all health insurance plans must provide to their enrollees under a major health care law enacted in 2010. (2011 house Roll Call 141)
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(H.R. 1) On an amendment prohibiting federal funds from being used by the Health and Human Services Department to implement rules relating to an “essential benefits package”—the benefits all health insurance plans must provide to their enrollees under a major health care law enacted in 2010.
house Roll Call 141     Feb 18, 2011
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) prohibiting federal funds from being used by the Health and Human Services Department to implement rules relating to an “essential benefits package”—the benefits all health insurance plans must provide to their enrollees under a major health care law enacted in 2010. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Pitts urged support for his amendment: “This amendment prevents funds from being used by the Department of Health and Human Services to implement rules regarding ObamaCare's [the 2010 health care law] essential benefits package. As if ObamaCare's mandate that everyone must purchase health insurance wasn't enough, the law went one step further. The federal government will now tell every single American and business what their health plans must cover. To make matters worse, ObamaCare grants this unprecedented power to a single person. ObamaCare gives this power to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to determine which benefits are essential for patients, affecting every man, woman and child in America…”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) opposed the amendment: “…This amendment will stop the implementation of essential health benefits. These rules will ensure that a minimum level of quality health coverage will be covered by plans available on the exchanges. We are talking about benefits related to things like hospitalization, emergency services, maternity care, newborn care, mental health care. This ensures that every plan on the exchange meets minimum standards. It protects individuals and small businesses. It allows them to pick out their plans with the confidence that they will be able to get the adequate kinds of coverage that they need.”

The House agreed to this amendment by a vote of 239-183. Voting “yea” were 235 Republicans and 4 Democrats. 181 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment prohibiting funds provided by a “continuing resolution” (which funded the federal government through September 2011, and cut $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs) from being used by the Health and Human Services Department to implement rules relating to an “essential benefits package”—the benefits all health insurance plans must provide to their enrollees under a major health care law enacted in 2010.

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