What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Health Insurance : HR 3590. (Health care overhaul) Gregg of New Hampshire amendment that would prohibit anything that spends money or reduces revenues in a major heath insurance overhaul bill from being implemented until the provisions are certified not to raise the deficit/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 368)
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HR 3590. (Health care overhaul) Gregg of New Hampshire amendment that would prohibit anything that spends money or reduces revenues in a major heath insurance overhaul bill from being implemented until the provisions are certified not to raise the deficit/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 368     Dec 07, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Judd Gregg, R-N.H., that would have prohibited any provisions in the health care overhaul bill that spent money or reduced revenue from being implemented until those provisions were certified as not raising the deficit. The amendment would require those certifications to come from the Office of Management and Budget and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The amendment was offered to a bill that would overhaul the health insurance system, create a public health insurance option and impose requirements on insurance companies.

Gregg’s amendment attempts to protect Medicare spending from cuts that would occur under the bill, particularly to the Medicare Advantage program, which mimics private HMOs.

Gregg said his amendment “says, simply: No Medicare money can be used to fund other parts of this bill. To the extent Medicare savings occur under this bill as a result of cuts to home health care, cuts to Medicare Advantage, cuts to provider groups, those dollars will not be taken and used to fund new entitlements for people who are not on Medicare, not seniors. They will not be taken to fund the purchase of votes around here to pass this bill.”

Max Baucus, D-Mont., said far from protecting Medicare, Gregg’s amendment is designed to kill the health care overhaul bill.

“The amendment has more details to it, but you can get the flavor of it from a few excerpts. Let me quote from the amendment. The first subsection of the amendment is entitled “Ban on New Spending Taking Effect.” You really don’t have to go much further to get an idea of what the amendment is about,” Baucus said. “So if you don’t like tax reductions to help people buy health insurance, if you don’t like making health insurance affordable, if you don’t like health care for the lowest income Americans, and if you don’t like health care for kids, then the Gregg amendment is for you.”

By a vote of 43-56, the amendment was rejected. Every Republican present voted for the amendment. All but three Democrats present voted against the amendment. The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have prevented revenue reducing or spending provisions in a health care overhaul bill from being implemented unless they were certified as not raising the deficit.

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