What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Health Insurance : HR 4872. (Health care reconciliation) Motion to allow an amendment that would require the president, vice president, members of Congress and others to receive their health care through “exchanges” created by the health insurance overhaul law/On the motion (2010 senate Roll Call 69)
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HR 4872. (Health care reconciliation) Motion to allow an amendment that would require the president, vice president, members of Congress and others to receive their health care through “exchanges” created by the health insurance overhaul law/On the motion
senate Roll Call 69     Mar 24, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to allow to go forward an amendment by Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that would have required the president, vice president, members of Congress, and certain congressional staff and political appointees, to receive their health care through the “exchanges” created by the health care overhaul.  These exchanges, to be run by each state, are intended to allow people who otherwise can’t afford health care insurance to purchase it at an affordable price.

When Grassley offered his amendment, Max Baucus, D-Mont., tried to defeat it with a parliamentary maneuver, saying the amendment violates the Senate’s budget rules.  Grassley then made a motion to waive the rules in this case, which is what this vote was on.

The law being changed aims to expand the availability of health care coverage for some 31 million Americans that are not currently covered.  

Grassley said that after seeing his amendment, President Obama announced that he will voluntarily participate in the health care exchanges that start in 2014.

“This is a little presumptuous since he has another election before 2014, but it is still effectively an endorsement of my amendment to make sure that political leaders live under the laws they pass for everyone else. But the principle should not be voluntary for political leaders,” Grassley said.

Max Baucus, D-Mont., said the amendment is “inappropriate.”

“Frankly, I don’t think it is wise at this point to try to negotiate who should additionally be covered in the exchanges and who should not. It was agreed to before. I say to my good friend from Iowa—he has been my very good friend—I don’t think it is intended to embarrass the President and the executive branch people, but I think it is inappropriate,” Baucus said.

By a vote of 43-56, the motion to waive the rules was rejected.  Every Republican present voted to waive the rules.  All but three Democrats present voted against waiving the rules.  The end result is that the rules were not waived, Grassley’s amendment to require the president, vice president and others to receive health care through health exchanges created by the health care overhaul law was defeated, and debate on the health care reconciliation bill continued.

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