Darlene Hooley on Health Care
Democratic Representative (OR-5)
Voted YES on overriding veto on expansion of Medicare.
Pres. GEORGE W. BUSH's veto message (argument to vote No):
- Extends Medicare to cover additional preventive services.
- Includes body mass index and end-of-life planning among initial preventive physical examinations.
- Eliminates by 2014 [the currently higher] copayment rates for Medicare psychiatric services.
I support the primary objective of this legislation, to forestall reductions in physician payments. Yet taking choices away from seniors to pay physicians is wrong. This bill is objectionable, and I am vetoing it because:In addition, H.R. 6331 would delay important reforms like the Durable Medical
Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies competitive bidding program. Changing policy in mid-stream is also confusing to beneficiaries who are receiving services from quality suppliers at lower prices. In order to slow the growth in Medicare spending, competition within the program should be expanded, not diminished.
- It would harm beneficiaries by taking private health plan options away from them.
- It would undermine the Medicare prescription drug program.
- It is fiscally irresponsible, and it would imperil the long-term fiscal soundness of Medicare by using short-term budget gimmicks that do not solve the problem.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Sen. PATTY MURRAY (D, WA): President Bush vetoed a bill that would make vital improvements to the program that has helped ensure that millions of seniors and the disabled can get the care they need. This bill puts an emphasis on preventive care that will help our seniors stay healthy, and it will help to keep costs down by enabling those patients to get care before they get seriously ill. This bill will improve coverage for low-income seniors who need expert help to afford basic care. It will help make sure our seniors get mental health care.
Reference: Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act;
; vote number 2008-H491
on Jul 15, 2008
Voted YES on giving mental health full equity with physical health.
- Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2008: Requires group health plans to apply the same treatment limits on mental health or substance-related disorder benefits as they do for medical and surgical benefits (parity requirement).
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: Prohibits a group health plan from adjusting premium or contribution amounts for a group on the basis of genetic information.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Rep. PALLONE. This is a comprehensive bill which will establish full mental health and addiction care parity. The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 authorized for 5 years partial parity by mandating that the annual and lifetime dollar limit for mental health treatment under group health plans offering mental health coverage be no less than that for physical illnesses. This bill requires full parity and also protects against discrimination by diagnosis.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Rep. DEAL of Georgia: I am a supporter of the concept of mental health parity, but this bill before us today is not the correct approach. This path will raise the price of health insurance, and would cause some to lose their health insurance benefits and some employers to terminate mental health benefits altogether.
The bill's focus is also overly broad. Our legislation should focus on serious biologically-based mental disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, not on jet lag and caffeine addiction, as this bill would include. There are no criteria for judicial review, required notice and comment, or congressional review of future decisions.
I would ask my colleagues to vote "no" today so that we can take up the Senate bill and avoid a possible stalemate in a House-Senate conference on an issue that should be signed into law this Congress.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Bill passed House, 268-148
Reference: Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act;
; vote number 08-HR1424
on Mar 5, 2008
Voted YES on Veto override: Extend SCHIP to cover 6M more kids.
OnTheIssues Explanation: This vote is a veto override of the SCHIP extension (State Children's Health Insurance Program). The bill passed the House 265-142 on 10/25/07, and was vetoed by Pres. Bush on 12/12/07.
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: This Act would enroll all 6 million uninsured children who are eligible, but not enrolled, for coverage under existing programs.
PRESIDENT'S VETO MESSAGE: Our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage--not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage. My Administration strongly supports reauthorization of SCHIP. [But this bill, even with changes, does not meet the requirements I outlined].
It would still shift SCHIP away from its original purpose by covering adults. It would still include coverage of many individuals with incomes higher than the median income. It would still result in government health care for approximately
2 million children who already have private health care coverage.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Rep. DINGELL: This is not a perfect bill, but it is an excellent bipartisan compromise. The bill protects health insurance coverage for some 6 million children who now depend on SCHIP. It provides health coverage for 3.9 million children who are eligible, yet remain uninsured. Together, this is a total of better than 10 million young Americans who, without this legislation, would not have health insurance.
The bill makes changes to accommodate the President's stated concerns.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Veto override failed, 260-152 (2/3rds required)
Reference: SCHIP Extension;
Bill Veto override on H.R.3963
; vote number 08-HR3963
on Jan 23, 2008
- It terminates the coverage of childless adults in 1 year.
- It prohibits States from covering children in families with incomes above $51,000.
- It contains adequate enforcement to ensure that only US citizens are covered.
- It encourages securing health insurance provided through private employer.
Voted YES on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility.
Allows State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), that require state legislation to meet additional requirements imposed by this Act, additional time to make required plan changes. Pres. Bush vetoed this bill on Dec. 12, 2007, as well as a version (HR976) from Feb. 2007.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. DINGELL: This is not a perfect bill, but it is an excellent bipartisan compromise. The bill provides health coverage for 3.9 million children who are eligible, yet remain uninsured. It meets the concerns expressed in the President's veto message [from HR976]:
- It terminates the coverage of childless adults.
- It targets bonus payments only to States that increase enrollments of the poorest uninsured children, and it prohibits States from covering families with incomes above $51,000.
- It contains adequate enforcement to ensure that only US citizens are covered.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. DEAL: This bill
[fails to] fix the previous legislation that has been vetoed:
- On illegal immigration: Would the verification system prevent an illegal alien from fraudulently using another person's name to obtain SCHIP benefits? No.
- On adults in SCHIP: Up to 10% of the enrollees in SCHIP will be adults, not children, in the next 5 years, and money for poor children shouldn't go to cover adults.
- On crowd-out: The CBO still estimates there will be some 2 million people who will lose their private health insurance coverage and become enrolled in a government-run program.
Veto message from President Bush:
Like its predecessor, HR976, this bill does not put poor children first and it moves our country's health care system in the wrong direction. Ultimately, our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage--not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage. As a result, I cannot sign this legislation.
Reference: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act;
Bill H.R. 3963
; vote number 2007-1009
on Oct 25, 2007
Voted YES on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D.
Would require negotiating with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices that may be charged to prescription drug plan sponsors for covered Medicare part D drugs.
Proponents support voting YES because:
This legislation is an overdue step to improve part D drug benefits. The bipartisan bill is simple and straightforward. It removes the prohibition from negotiating discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and requires the Secretary of Health & Human Services to negotiate. This legislation will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.
It is equally important to understand that this legislation does not do certain things. HR4 does not preclude private plans from getting additional discounts on medicines they offer seniors and people with disabilities. HR4 does not establish a national formulary. HR4 does not require price controls. HR4 does not hamstring research and development by pharmaceutical houses.
HR4 does not require using the Department of Veterans Affairs' price schedule.
Opponents support voting NO because:
Does ideological purity trump sound public policy? It shouldn't, but, unfortunately, it appears that ideology would profoundly change the Medicare part D prescription drug program, a program that is working well, a program that has arrived on time and under budget. The changes are not being proposed because of any weakness or defect in the program, but because of ideological opposition to market-based prices. Since the inception of the part D program, America's seniors have had access to greater coverage at a lower cost than at any time under Medicare.
Under the guise of negotiation, this bill proposes to enact draconian price controls on pharmaceutical products. Competition has brought significant cost savings to the program. The current system trusts the marketplace, with some guidance, to be the most efficient arbiter of distribution.
Reference: Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act;
Bill HR 4 ("First 100 hours")
; vote number 2007-023
on Jan 12, 2007
Voted NO on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay.
Vote to pass a resolution, agreeing to S. AMDT. 2691 that removes the following provisions from S 1932:
Reference: Reconciliation resolution on the FY06 budget;
Bill H Res 653 on S. AMDT. 2691
; vote number 2006-004
on Feb 1, 2006
- Allows hospitals to refuse treatment to Medicaid patients when they are unable to pay their co-pay if the hospital deems the situation to be a non-emergency
- Excludes payment to grandparents for foster care
Voted NO on limiting medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000 damages.
Vote to pass a bill that would limit the awards that plaintiffs and their attorneys could be given in medical malpractice cases. The bill would limit non-economic damages, including physical and emotional pain to $250,000. The bill would also limit punitive damages to $250,000 or double economic damages, whichever amount is greater. Punitive damages would be banned against makers and distributors of medical products if the Food and Drug Administration approved those products. The bill would call for all states to set damage caps but would not block existing state statutory limits. The bill would cap attorneys' contingency fees to 40% of the first $50,000 in damages; 33.3% of the next $50,000; 25% of the next $500,000; and 15% of any amount in excess of $600,000.
Reference: Medical Malpractice Liability Limitation bill;
Bill HR 4280
; vote number 2004-166
on May 12, 2004
Voted NO on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients.
Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act of 2003: Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. Starting in 2006, prescription coverage would be made available through private insurers to seniors. Seniors would pay a monthly premium of an estimated $35 in 2006. Individuals enrolled in the plan would cover the first $250 of annual drug costs themselves, and 25 percent of all drug costs up to $2,250. The government would offer a fallback prescription drug plan in regions were no private plans had made a bid.Over a 10 year time period medicare payments to managed care plans would increase by $14.2 billion. A pilot project would begin in 2010 in which Medicare would compete with private insurers to provide coverage for doctors and hospitals costs in six metropolitan areas for six years. The importation of drugs from Canada would be approved only if HHS determines there is no safety risks and that consumers would be saving money.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL;
; vote number 2003-669
on Nov 22, 2003
Voted YES on allowing reimportation of prescription drugs.
Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003: Vote to pass a bill that would call for the Food and Drug Administration to begin a program that would permit the importation of FDA-approved prescription drugs from Australia, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and South Africa.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Gutknecht, R-MN;
; vote number 2003-445
on Jul 24, 2003
Voted NO on small business associations for buying health insurance.
Vote to pass a bill that would permit the creation of association health plans through which small companies could group together to buy insurance for their employees. Association health plans that cover employees in several states would be excused from many individual state insurance regulations but would be regulated by the Labor Department.
Reference: Small Business Health Fairness Act;
Bill HR 660
; vote number 2003-296
on Jun 19, 2003
Voted NO on capping damages & setting time limits in medical lawsuits.
Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2003: To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system. Limits the availability of punitive damages, and sets a 3-year limit for suing.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Greenwood, R-PA;
Bill HR 5
; vote number 2003-64
on Mar 13, 2003
Voted NO on allowing suing HMOs, but under federal rules & limited award.
Vote to adopt an amendment that would limit liability and damage awards when a patient is harmed by a denial of health care. It would allow a patient to sue a health maintenance organization in state court but federal, not state, law would govern.
Bill HR 2563
; vote number 2001-329
on Aug 2, 2001
Voted NO on subsidizing private insurance for Medicare Rx drug coverage.
HR 4680, the Medicare Rx 2000 Act, would institute a new program to provide voluntary prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries through subsidies to private plans. The program would cost an estimated $40 billion over five years and would go into effect in fiscal 2003.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Thomas, R-CA;
Bill HR 4680
; vote number 2000-357
on Jun 28, 2000
Voted NO on banning physician-assisted suicide.
Vote on HR 2260, the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999, would ban the use of drugs for physician-assisted suicide. The bill would not allow doctors to give lethal prescriptions to terminally ill patients, and instead promotes "palliative care," or aggressive pain relief techniques.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hyde, R-IL;
Bill HR 2260
; vote number 1999-544
on Oct 27, 1999
Voted NO on establishing tax-exempt Medical Savings Accounts.
The bill allows all taxpayers to create a tax-exempt account for paying medical expenses called a Medical Savings Account [MSA]. Also, the measure would allow the full cost of health care premiums to be taken as a tax deduction for the self-employed and taxpayers who are paying for their own insurance. The bill would also allow the establishment of "HealthMarts," regional groups of insurers, health care providers and employers who could work together to develop packages for uninsured employees. Another provision of the bill would establish "association health plan," in which organizations could combine resources to purchase health insurance at better rates than they could separately.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Talent, R-MO;
Bill HR 2990
; vote number 1999-485
on Oct 6, 1999
Establish "report cards" on HMO quality of care.
Hooley adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
Promote Universal Access and Quality in Health Care
That more than 40 million Americans lack health insurance is one of our society’s most glaring inequities. Lack of insurance jeopardizes the health of disadvantaged Americans and also imposes high costs on everyone else when the uninsured lack preventive care and get treatment from emergency rooms. Washington provides a tax subsidy for insurance for Americans who get coverage from their employers but offers nothing to workers who don’t have job-based coverage.
Markets alone cannot assure universal access to health coverage. Government should enable all low-income families to buy health insurance. Individuals must take responsibility for insuring themselves and their families whether or not they qualify for public assistance.
Finally, to help promote higher quality in health care for all Americans, we need reliable information on the quality of health care delivered by health plans and providers; a “patient’s bill of rights” that ensures access to medically necessary care; and a system in which private health plans compete on the basis of quality as well as cost.
Goals for 2010
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC5 on Aug 1, 2000
- Reduce the number of uninsured Americans by two-thirds through tax credits, purchasing pools, and other means.
- Create a system of reliable “report cards” on the quality of care delivered by health plans and providers.
Rated 100% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record.
Hooley scores 100% by APHA on health issues
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health. APHA is concerned with a broad set of issues affecting personal and environmental health, including federal and state funding for health programs, pollution control, programs and policies related to chronic and infectious diseases, a smoke-free society, and professional education in public health.
The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: APHA website 03n-APHA on Dec 31, 2003
Supported funding women's health needs.
Hooley adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 2A: WOMEN’S HEALTH:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC2 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR49—Treatment of Children’s Deformities Act—require coverage for congenital or developmental deformity or disorder due to trauma, infection, tumor, or disease. (Kelly)
- HR306—Genetic Information Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance Act—prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of genetic information. (Slaughter)
- HR1285—Cancer Screening Coverage Act —require coverage of breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal cancer screening. (Maloney/Kelly)
- HR1388—Medicare Cancer Clinical Trial Coverage Act—officially expand Medicare coverage to clinical trials (N.Johnson/Cardin)
- HR116—Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act—and HR383—Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act—and HR1070—require coverage for a minimum hospital stay for mastectomies and treatment of breast cancer. (DeLauro/Kelly/Eshoo)
- HR1816—Eliminate Colorectal Cancer Act—require coverage for colorectal cancer screenings. (Slaughter/McIntosh)
- HR961—Ovarian Cancer Research and Information Amendments—provide for programs regarding ovarian cancer. (Mink)
- HR845—Beneficiary Health Coverage Notification Rights Act—require notification of impending termination of coverage resulting from the failure of a group health plan to pay premiums. (Thurman)
- HR1966—Asthma Awareness, Education and Treatment Act—carry out programs regarding the prevention and management of asthma and allergies. (Millender-McDonald)
- H. Con. Res. 64—Cervical Cancer Public Awareness Resolution—recognizing the severity of the issue of cervical health. (Millender-McDonald)
- H.Res. 19—expressing the seriousness of mental illness. (Roukema)
- HR1899—The Health Care Worker Needlestick Prevention Act—require regulations to minimize the risk of needlestick injury to health care workers. (Roukema/Stark)
Supported funding older women's health.
Hooley adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 2B: OLDER WOMEN’S HEALTH:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC3 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR762—Lupus Research and Care Amendments of 1999—A bill to provide for research and services with respect to lupus. (Meek)
- HR925—Osteoporosis Early Detection and Prevention Act of 1999—A bill to require that health insurance plans provide coverage for qualified individuals for bone mass measurement. (Maloney/Morella)
- HR933—Osteoporosis Federal Employee Health Benefits Standardization Act of 1999—A bill to ensure that coverage of bone mass measurement is provided under the health benefits program for federal employees (Morella)
- HR1187—Medicare Medical Nutrition Therapy Act of 1999—A bill to provide for coverage under part B of the Medicare Program of medical nutrition therapy services furnished by registered dietitians and nutrition professionals. (N. Johnson)
- HR2294—Osteoporosis Education and Prevention Act of 1999—A bill to amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to help prevent osteoporosis. (Berkley/Roukema/DeLauro/Maloney)
- HR2471—Public Health Osteoporosis Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Act of 1999—A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for screenings, referrals, and education regarding osteoporosis. (E.B. Johnson/Kelly)
Supported funding Prenatal and Postpartum Care.
Hooley adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 3B: Prenatal and Postpartum Care:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC5 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR 1843—Mothers and Newborns Health Insurance Act—improve prenatal care and delivery of healthy babies by enrolling pregnant women under state CHIP programs and allowing the option of automatically enrolling the babies born to those women in CHIP. (Hyde/Lowey)
- HR2538—Folic Acid Promotion and Birth Defects Prevention Act—provide for a national folic acid education program to prevent birth defects. 70% of neural tube birth defects could be prevented if women of childbearing age consumed 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. The problem is that a majority of women are still not aware of the benefits of folic acid, nor are they consuming the recommended daily amount. (Roybal-Allard/Emerson)
- H. Res. 163—raise awareness of post partum depression. Approximately 400,000 women experience
post partum depression each year. More than just the “baby blues,” the more extreme cases of post partum depression can result in sadness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and low self esteem in new mothers. The resolution provides statistics, and provides recommendations on how the US can work to reduce its incidence, including providing information, training of medical providers, and screening of new mothers for symptoms for early detection of the problem. Additionally, the resolution calls on the U.S. to begin to collect data on post partum depression, so that we can measure its extent. (Capps-Kingston)
- HR1848—Right to Breastfeed Act—ensure a woman’s right to breastfeed her child on any part of federal property (federal parks, federal buildings, and national museums) where she and her child have a right to be. (Maloney/Morella/Roybal-Allard) [STATUS: enacted as part of the FY2000 Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill]
Supported funding Family and Children's Coverage.
Hooley adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 3D: Family Planning and Children’s Coverage:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC6 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR 1806—Access to Women’s Health Care Act —provide women in managed care plans with direct access to ob/gyn services and the option of choosing their ob/gyn provider (including non-physicians specialists) as their primary care provider. (Lowey/Lazio)
- HR 1636—Teen Pregnancy Reduction Act—The federal government spends more than $200 million annually specifically for teen pregnancy programs or services. These amounts demonstrate a significant investment in a national effort to prevent teen pregnancy. However, we know very little about the effectiveness of teen pregnancy prevention programs because adequate evaluation is not taking place. In an effort to bolster evaluation of teen pregnancy prevention programs of every type, the bill would provide for both a substantial
investment in rigorous, scientific evaluation as well as the dissemination of information on programs, models and processes that have proven effective in preventing teen pregnancy. (Lowey/Castle)
- HR 827—Improved Maternal and Children’s Health Coverage Act of 1999—expand health coverage for uninsured children by improving the outreach to an enrollment of children into Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). (DeGette)
- HR 1085—Healthy Kids Act 2000—improve health care for pregnant women and newborns by ensuring direct access to obstetric and gynecological care for women and pediatric care for children, by giving states greater flexibility by allowing them to enroll income-eligible pregnant women in State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and by increasing enrollment of Medicaid-eligible women. This bill also includes sections for pediatric medical education, public health promotion, and research. (Emerson)
Page last updated: Mar 15, 2012