Bob Graham on Health Care
FL Sr Senator (retiring 2004); Democratic Primary Candidate for President
Open pharmaceutical competition with generics & re-imports
We need to open up competition in the pharmaceutical area through things like making it easier to get generic drugs to market, a reasonable reimportation plan. We need to also have a plan that will assure that access to life-saving drugs
are available to all Americans. And we can do that, among other things, by relieving the states from some of the pressure of prescription drugs for their older citizens, rather than the Republican plan, which is to stick it to the states first.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan
Sep 25, 2003
Step-by-step common sense will reduce uninsured
Q: At a time of record federal government deficits, how can this country bring the number of uninsured down?
GRAHAM: We can do it by practicing pragmatic common sense. Two very smart people, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton,
10 years ago tried to pass a comprehensive health-care reform. They were unable to do so. The lesson is that if we are going to get health care to those currently uninsured, we need to set the goal of all Americans having access to health care
and then proceed in a step-by-step basis.
I would personally advocate that we provide first for children, then for the working poor, and third for the early retiree. If we did those three groups, we would cut by two-thirds the
number of Americans who do not have health coverage. And we could do that at a cost of approximately $70 billion a year, a cost that I think is one the American people can afford and would support.
Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico
Sep 4, 2003
Rx drug benefit without herding people into HMOs
As president, I will provide health security. I will assure that Medicare is reformed with the first reform being the provision of a prescription-drug benefit.
And we won't herd all Americans into an HMO to get it.
I will do everything in my power to move us on a step-by-step basis towards full health coverage for all Americans and with costs that they can afford.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa
May 17, 2003
2-year temporary increase in federal share of Medicaid
GEPHARDT [to Graham]: Most states are in horrible deficits. Many are laying off teachers, and [cutting] Medicaid. My health care plan sends a $172 billion over three years to the states for health care for their employees, [including] $2.5 billion for
South Carolina. What plan would you bring forward to help the states through these tough times they're in now?
GRAHAM: You're absolutely right that this is a very difficult time for states. What we ought to do [first] is recognize
that a substantial amount of the problems that the states are experiencing is because of actions that we have taken at the federal level. Such as, not funding Homeland Security, not funding the No Child Left Behind legislation.
What I would do is for a two-year period increase the federal share of Medicaid, so that we could give relief to the states in one of the fastest growing areas of their budget.
Source: [X-ref from Gephardt] Democratic Debate in Columbia SC
May 3, 2003
Voted NO on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit.
S. 1 As Amended; Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $400 billion over 10 years to create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients beginning in 2006. Seniors would be allowed to remain within the traditional fee-for-service program or seniors would have the option to switch to a Medicare Advantage program that includes prescription drug coverage. Private insurers would provide prescription drug coverage. Private Insurers would engage in competitive bidding to be awarded two-year regional contracts by the Center for Medicare Choices under the Department of Health and Human Services.Enrolled seniors would pay a $275 deductible and an average monthly premium of $35. Annual drug costs beyond the deductible and up to $4,500 would be divided equally between the beneficiary and the insurer. Beneficiaries with incomes below 160 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for added assistance.
Reference: Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit bill;
; vote number 2003-262
on Jun 26, 2003
Voted YES on allowing importation of Rx drugs from Canada.
S. 812, as amended; Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2002. Vote to pass a bill that would permit a single 30-month stay against Food and Drug Administration approval of a generic drug patent when a brand-name company's patent is challenged. The secretary of Health and Human Services would be authorized to announce regulations allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canada into the United States. Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers that provide drugs for importation would be required to register with Health and Human Services. Individuals would be allowed to import prescription drugs from Canada. The medication would have to be for an individual use and a supply of less than 90-days.
; vote number 2002-201
on Jul 31, 2002
Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages.
Vote to provide federal protections, such as access to specialty and emergency room care, and allow patients to sue health insurers in state and federal courts. Economic damages would not be capped, and punitive damages would be capped at $5 million.
; vote number 2001-220
on Jun 29, 2001
Voted NO on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Vote to pass an amendment that would make up to $300 billion available for a Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2002 through 2011. The money would come from the budget's contingency fund. The amendment would also require a Medicare overhaul.
Bill H Con Res 83
; vote number 2001-65
on Apr 3, 2001
Voted YES on including prescription drugs under Medicare.
Vote to establish a prescription drug benefit program through the Medicare health insurance program. Among other provisions, Medicare would contribute at least 50% of the cost of prescription drugs and beneficiaries would pay a $250 deductible
; vote number 2000-144
on Jun 22, 2000
Voted NO on limiting self-employment health deduction.
The Santorum (R-PA) amdt would effectively kill the Kennedy Amdt (D-MA) which would have allowed self-employed individuals to fully deduct the cost of their health insurance on their federal taxes.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)53; N)47
Reference: Santorum Amdt #1234;
Bill S. 1344
; vote number 1999-202
on Jul 13, 1999
Voted YES on increasing tobacco restrictions.
This cloture motion was on a bill which would have increased tobacco restrictions. [YES is an anti-smoking vote].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)57; N)42; NV)1
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on a modified committee substitute to S. 1415;
Bill S. 1415
; vote number 1998-161
on Jun 17, 1998
Voted NO on banning human cloning.
This cloture motion was in order to end debate and move to consideration of legislation banning human cloning. [A YES vote opposes human cloning].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)42; N)54; NV)4
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on motion to proceed to S. 1601;
Bill S. 1601
; vote number 1998-10
on Feb 11, 1998
Voted YES on Medicare means-testing.
Approval of means-based testing for Medicare insurance premiums.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)70; N)20
Reference: Motion to table the Kennedy Amdt #440;
Bill S. 947
; vote number 1997-113
on Jun 24, 1997
Voted YES on medical savings acounts.
Vote to block a plan which would allow tax-deductible medical savings accounts.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)52; N)46; NV)2
Reference: Kassebaum Amdt #3677;
Bill S. 1028
; vote number 1996-72
on Apr 18, 1996
Invest funds to alleviate the nursing shortage.
Graham sponsored the Nurse Reinvestment Act
Source: Bill sponsored by 39 Senators 01-S706 on Apr 5, 2001
- Amends Medicare to provide for nurse education training payments to qualified entities.
- Amends Medicaid to temporarily increase the matching rate for Medicaid nurse aide training and competency evaluation programs.
- Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide for the exclusion from gross income of amounts received under the National Nursing Service Corps Scholarship Program.
- Amends the Public Health Service Act to: (1) develop and issue public service announcements that advertise and promote the nursing profession, highlight the advantages and rewards of nursing, and encourage individuals from diverse communities and backgrounds to enter the nursing profession; and (2) award grants to designated eligible educational entities in order to increase the number of nurses.
- Establishes a National Nurse Service Corps Scholarship program that provides scholarships to individuals seeking nursing education in exchange for service by such individuals in areas with nursing shortages. Authorizes appropriations.
Rated 100% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record.
Graham 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