This was a vote on final passage of legislation repealing a provision of a major health care reform law that provided federal funding for school-based health care centers.
The 2010 health care reform law—which was signed into law by President Obama and established near universal health coverage in the U.S.—provided federal funds for school-based health care centers. This bill rescinded those funds.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) urged support for the bill: “…The American people know that we are borrowing 43 cents for every dollar we spend these days. We do not need to be giving grants of dollars that we have collected from hardworking taxpayers to local entities to build or renovate school-based health centers. This is not a core function of the federal government. It is not a core function of our taxpayers.”
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) also supported the bill: “In our current financial situation, it is not only necessary but it is our responsibility that we examine all of our spending and make all necessary adjustments. H.R. 1214 [the underlying bill] is a simple bill aimed at a simple goal--to get some of the spending that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act advanced inappropriately. Section 4101(a) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act funds only the construction of school-based health centers.”
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) opposed the bill: “My colleague from Texas has said over and over again he supports school-based clinics. He even supportsfsupports funding for school-based clinics. Then what is the possible rationale for posting this bill?...School-based health clinics are a tremendous success story. These programs provide primary care, mental health, dentaland dental health services to vulnerable children across the country in every state. Multiple studies have found that these programs are cost-effective investments. They result in lower emergency room usage, hospitalizations, and Medicaid costs. In fact, patients seen at school-based health centers cost Medicaid on average $30.40 less than comparable non-school-based health center patients.”
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) also opposed the bill: “I rise again in opposition to this bill.
I do so with somewhat of a personal angle on this. My wife, Audrey, is a pediatric nurse practitioner. At one time she worked in a school-based health center. She doesn't today, presently. But I certainly, through her, have gotten a chance to be exposed to the benefit of school-based health centers. There is no more efficient delivery system. It makes sure that kids get good, high-quality care at school, gets them back on their feet, back in class where they belong, rather than going to emergency rooms and spending hours waiting for care or being sent home many times in an unsupervised situation out of class. Again, the beauty of a school-based health clinic is that it obviously is in a setting where children are located. Again, the turnaround in terms of making sure that they're back doing what's good for them and good for their future is just smart investment.”
The House passed this bill by a vote of 235-191. Voting “yea” were 232 Republicans and 3 Democrats. 187 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation repealing a provision of a major health care reform law that provided federal funding for school-based health care centers. President Obama, however, had threatened to veto the bill if it were to reach his desk.