State of Iowa Archives: on Health Care


Sam Clovis: Repeal ObamaCare, the Unaffordable Care Act

The Unaffordable Care Act should be repealed. Period.

True healthcare reform should be accomplished by examining market solutions and allowing those markets to work. The Congress of the United States should advance tort reform and repeal the McCarron-Ferguson Act, thus allowing individuals in any state to shop for health insurance from any provider. By doing just these two things, estimates are that healthcare costs would be cut by up to 50%. Today, we face premium increases at near triple digit levels with no end in sight.

The current healthcare legislation is already leading to rationing, reduced care availability and will ultimately lead to fewer healthcare professionals available to treat an ever-increasing population. This is not only bad for the nation, it is immoral. This law must be repealed.

Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, Iowans4SamClovis.com, "Issues" Nov 11, 2013

Bruce Braley: AdWatch: Targeted by RNC robocalls for support of ObamaCare

Rep. Bruce Braley is among 11 Democrats targeted by the Republican National Committee for their support of ObamaCare. The RNC is using robocalls and posting on Facebook to urge people to call their representatives and ask "why they supported President Obama's lie that people could keep their healthcare plans under ObamaCare."

The targets besides Braley are Rep. Gary Peters (MI), Sens. Mark Warner (VA), Mark Begich (AK), Dick Durbin (IL), Kay Hagan (NC), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Mark Pryor (AR), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Mark Udall (CO). The robocall script reads:

"President Obama and the Democrats said you could keep your healthcare plan under ObamaCare. Now we know [SENATOR] actually VOTED to make it more difficult. Call [SENATOR] at (XXX)-XXX-XXX & ask why [he/she] lied."

The robocalls are a response to Democrats launching the "GOP Shutdown Watch" campaign, highlighting Republican senate candidates who supported the partial federal government shutdown.

Source: MI Daily Tribune AdWatch: 2014 Iowa Senate debate Nov 5, 2013

Joni Ernst: Voted against Medicaid expansion in Iowa

Ernst scored in response to the first question, which was about ObamaCare. She pointed out that she was the only one on the stage who has actually stood up against ObamaCare, because she voted against Medicaid expansion in Iowa.
Source: Kevin Hall in Iowa Republican on 2014 Iowa Senate debate Oct 24, 2013

Sam Clovis: Keep ObamaCare rule: kids can stay on parent's plan until 26

Sam Clovis said he wants to be a U.S. senator so he can stand with Utah's Mike Lee and Texas' Ted Cruz, both considered among the chamber's most hard-core conservatives.

Clovis praised two senators, Lee and Cruz, who fueled the movement to use the shutdown as leverage to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. Clovis said he'd keep the pieces that allow adult children to stay on a parent's policy until age 26, and the pieces related to high-risk and pre-existing conditions. But he said it's an immoral law because it adds $150 billion a year in national debt.

"I've read the bill, and I challenge anyone else in this building to say they've read the bill. And I've read every word of it," Clovis said.

Source: Indianapolis Star on 2014 Iowa Senate race Oct 24, 2013

Joni Ernst: Staunchly opposed to ObamaCare

Repeal and Replace Obamacare: Joni is staunchly opposed to the Obamacare law. Joni supports immediate action to defund Obamacare, repeal it, and replace it with free-market alternatives that put patients first, and healthcare decisions back in the hands of doctors rather than bureaucrats.
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, JoniForIowa.com, "Issues" Sep 9, 2013

Michele Bachmann: 2012 is our one shot to get rid of ObamaCare

BACHMANN: When you look at Newt Gingrich, for 20 years, he's been advocating for the individual mandate. Or Mitt Romney, he's the only governor that put into place socialized medicine. If you look at Newt/Romney, they were for ObamaCare principles.

GINGRICH: I fought against ObamaCare at every step of the way.

ROMNEY: If I'm President, we're going to get rid of ObamaCare and return the responsibility and care of health care to the people in the states.

BACHMANN: You'd have to go back to 1993 when Newt first advocated for the individual mandate in healthcare. And Gov. Romney sent his teamw to the White House to meet with Obama to teach them how to spread the RomneyCare model across the nation. We have one shot to get rid of ObamaCare, that's it. It is 2012. Do we honestly believe that two men who've just stood on this stage and defended RomneyCare when it was put in place in Massachusetts and the individual mandate when he proposed it in 1993, are they honestly going to get rid of it in 2012

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa Dec 10, 2011

Mitt Romney: Return healthcare to states, under the 10th Amendment

BACHMANN: Romney is the only governor that put into place socialized medicine. Romney sent his team to meet with Obama to teach them how to spread the RomneyCare model across the nation.

ROMNEY: One, I didn't send a team to meet with Obama. I wish he'd have given me a call. I wish when he was putting together his health care plan, he'd have had the judgment to say, "Let me talk to a governor who understands this topic," and get on the phone. I'd have said, "Mr. President, you're going down a very, very bad path. Do not continue going down that path because what you're going to do is you're going to raise taxes. You're going to cut Medicare." The plan we put in place in Massachusetts deals with the 8% of our people who didn't have insurance. The 92% of people who did have insurance, nothing changes for them. If I'm President, we're going to get rid of ObamaCare and return, under our Constitution--the 10th Amendment--the responsibility and care of health care to the people in the states.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa Dec 10, 2011

Mitt Romney: No FEDERAL individual mandate; but state mandate ok

PERRY: [To Romney]: The fact of the matter is, you're for individual mandate.

ROMNEY: If the people of Massachusetts don't like our plan, they can get rid of it. Individuals under the 10th Amendment have the power to craft their own solutions. I'm absolutely adamantly opposed to ObamaCare. It's a 2,000-page bill that takes over health care. It is wrong for health care. It's unconstitutional.

PERRY: I read your first book and it said that your mandate in Massachusetts should be the model for the country. It came out of the reprint of the book. But, I'm just sayin', you were for individual mandates.

ROMNEY: You've raised that before, Rick. And you're simply wrong.

PERRY: It was true then. It's true now.

ROMNEY: Rick, I'll tell you what. $10,000 bet?

PERRY: I'm not in the betting business. I'll show you the book.

ROMNEY: I wrote the book. Chapter seven is called The Massachusetts Model. I have not said anything about our plan being a national model imposed on the nation.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa Dec 10, 2011

Newt Gingrich: HillaryCare mandate ok; ObamaCare mandate unconstitutional

BACHMANN: You'd have to go back to 1993 when Newt first advocated for the individual mandate in healthcare, and as recently as May of this year, he was still advocating for the individual mandate in healthcare.

GINGRICH: In 1993, in fighting HillaryCare, virtually every conservative saw the mandate as a less-dangerous future than what Hillary was trying to do. After HillaryCare disappeared it became more and more obvious that mandates have all sorts of problems built into them. People gradually tried to find other techniques. I frankly was floundering, trying to find a way to make sure that people who could afford it were paying their hospital bills while still leaving an out so libertarians to not buy insurance. And that's what we're wrestling with. It's now clear that the mandate, I think, is clearly unconstitutional. But, it started as a conservative effort to stop HillaryCare in the 1990s.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa Dec 10, 2011

Rick Perry: ObamaCare is an abomination for this country

ROMNEY: I wish Obama had called me [when creating ObamaCare]. I'd have said, "Mr. President, you're going down a very bad path." If I'm President, we're going to get rid of ObamaCare.

PERRY: [Romney] has been for the individual mandate. I'm stunned, Mitt, that you said you wished you could've talked to Obama and said "You're going down the wrong path," because that is exactly the path that you've taken in Massachusetts. [One] study said there've been over $8 billion of additional cost. I wish you could have had the conversation with the people of Massachusetts a long time before that phone call, because the fact of the matter is, you're for individual mandate. And you can talk about "I'm going to repeal ObamaCare." But the record is very clear. You were for individual mandates. And that is the problem. And the question is then, "Who can look Obama in the eye, and say, 'ObamaCare is an abomination for this country,'?" And I'm going to do that. And I can take that fight to him and win that fight.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa Dec 10, 2011

Ron Paul: Government should not protect you from yourself

Q: Should the government do anything about unhealthy habits in young people?

PAUL: No, essentially not, but they have to be a referee. If people are doing things that hurt other people, yes. But if you embark on instituting a society where government protects you from yourself, you're in big trouble, and that's what they're doing.

Q: What about mandates for adults?

PAUL: You talk about ObamaCare using force, but that's all government is, is force. I mean, do you have a choice about paying Medicare taxes? So there's not a whole of different: you're forced to buy insurance. That's one step further. But you have to stop with force. Once government uses force to mold behavior or mold the economy, they've overstepped the bounds and they've violated the whole concept of our revolution and our Constitution.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa Dec 10, 2011

Michele Bachmann: I fought; when others ran, I fought

BACHMANN [to Pawlenty]: When you were governor in Minnesota, you praised the unconstitutional individual mandates and called for requiring all people in our state to purchase health insurance. During my time in the US Congress I have fought all of these unconstitutional measures.

PAWLENTY: That's not the kinds of things she said when I was governor of the state of Minnesota. She says she led the effort against ObamaCare, we got ObamaCare. She led the effort against TARP, we got TARP. She said she's got a titanium spine. It's not her spine we're worried about, it's her record of results.

BACHMANN: Thank you so much. I was at the tip of the spear fighting against the implementation of ObamaCare in the US Congress. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama ran Congress, but I gave them a run for their money. I fought when others ran. I fought. And I led against increasing the deficit.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Michele Bachmann: Government has no authority to force people to buy insurance

Q: [to Romney]: Where do you find mandating authority for health insurance [as RomneyCare does] in the Constitution?

ROMNEY: Are you familiar with the Massachusetts constitution? I am. And the MA constitution allows states [to mandate insurance].

Q: [to Bachmann]: Does that make any difference whether mandatory health insurance is being imposed by a state or by the federal government?

BACHMANN: No, I don't believe that it does. I think that the government is without authority to compel a citize to purchase a product or a service against their will, because effectively when the federal government does that, what they're doing is they are saying to the individual, they are going to set the price of what that product is. If the federal government can force American citizens or if a state can force their citizens to purchase health insurance, there is nothing that the state cannot do. This is clearly an unconstitutional action, whether it's done at the federal level or whether it's the state level

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Mitt Romney: ObamaCare's biggest difference: I believe in 10th Amendment

Q: [to Pawlenty]: You've said that the president's plan and the Romney plan are so similar that you called them both ObamneyCare.

PAWLENTY: Obamacare was patterned after Mitt's plan. And for Mitt or anyone else to say that there aren't substantial similarities or they're not essentially the same plan, it just isn't credible.

ROMNEY: There are some similarities between what we did in Massachusetts and what President Obama did, but there are some big differences. And one is, I believe in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. And that says that powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved by the states and the people. We put together a plan that was right for Massachusetts. The president took the power of the people & the states away from them and put in place a one-size-fits-all plan. It's bad law. It's bad constitutional law. It's bad medicine. And if I'm president, on my first day, I'll direct the secretary of HHS to grant a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Mitt Romney: MA Constitution allows mandate; US Constitution does not

Q: Do you think that government at any level has the right to make someone buy a good or service just because they are a resident? Where do you find that mandating authority in the Constitution?

A: You're asking me, what do we think we should do about Obamacare? And the answer is, I think you have to repeal Obamacare, and I will, and I'll put in place a plan that allows states to craft their own programs to make those programs work.

Q: I'm asking you where you find that authority in the Constitution.

A: Are you familiar with the Massachusetts constitution? I am. And the Massachusetts constitution allows states, for instance, to say that our kids have to go to school. It has that power. We said, look, we're finding people that can afford health insurance, that are going to the hospital and getting the state to pay for them--people who are free riders. We said, you know what? We're going to insist that those people who can afford to pay for themselves do so. That was our conclusion

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Rick Santorum: If we let states mandate insurance, sterilization is ok too

Q: [to Paul]: Does a state has a constitutional right to make someone buy insurance just because they're a resident [as RomneyCare does]?

PAUL: The federal government can't go in and prohibit the states from doing bad things. And I would consider that a very bad thing, but they do have that leeway under our Constitution.

SANTORUM: This is the 10th Amendment run amok. We have Ron Paul saying, oh, whatever the states want to do under the 10th Amendment's fine. So if the states want to pass polygamy, that's fine. If the states want to impose sterilization, that's fine. No, our country is based on moral laws. There are things the states can't do. Abraham Lincoln said the states do not have the right to do wrong. I respect the 10th Amendment, but we are a nation that has values. We are a nation that was built on a moral enterprise, and states don't have the right to tramp over those because of the 10th Amendment.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Ron Paul: States CAN mandate insurance, but it's a bad idea

Q: [to Romney]: Where do you find mandating authority for health insurance [as RomneyCare does] in the Constitution?

ROMNEY: Are you familiar with the Massachusetts constitution? I am. It allows states [to mandate insurance].

Q: [to Paul]: Does a state have a constitutional right to make someone buy insurance just because they're a resident?

PAUL: No, the federal government can't go in and prohibit the states from doing bad things. And I would consider that a very bad thing, but you don't send in a federal police force because they're doing it. So they do have that leeway under our Constitution. But we have drifted so far from any of our care being delivered by the marketplace. And once you get the government involved--both parties have done it --they've developed a medical care delivery system based on corporatism. The corporations are doing quite well, whether it's Obama or under the Republicans. The drug companies do well. The insurance companies do well. The patient and the doctors suffer.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Tim Pawlenty: We did healthcare the right way in Minnesota

Q: As you both know there's an expression "Minnesota Nice." And some people believe that both of you have tested it in recent weeks. Gov. Pawlenty, you say that Rep. Bachmann has no accomplishments in Congress. You have questioned her ability to serve as president because of her history of migraines. Is she unqualified or is she just beating you in the polls?

PAWLENTY: To correct you, I have not questioned Rep. Bachmann's migraine headaches. I don't think that is an issue. Now as to Rep. Bachmann's record. Look, she has done wonderful things in her life, but it is an indisputable fact that in Congress her record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent. If you go to my record in Minnesota you will see government spending went from historic high to historic lows. We transformed the court in a conservative direction, we did health care reform the right way--no mandates individually, no government take-overs and more. That's the kind of record we're going to need to contrast and beat Barack Obama.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Tim Pawlenty: ObamneyCare: ObamaCare was patterned after RomneyCare

Q: [to Pawlenty]: You've said that the president's plan and the Romney plan are so similar that you called them both ObamneyCare. And you also said this: "I don't think you can prosecute the political case against Pres. Obama if you are a co-conspirator. What have Mitt Romney & Obama conspired to do?

PAWLENTY: Obamacare was patterned after Mitt's plan in Massachusetts. And for Mitt or anyone else to say that there aren't substantial similarities or they're not essentially the same plan, it just isn't credible. So that's why I called it Obamneycare, and I think that's a fair label, and I'm happy to call it that again tonight.

ROMNEY: There are some similarities between what we did in Massachusetts and what Pres. Obama did, but there are some big differences. And one is, I believe in the 10th Amendment. And that says that powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved by the states and the people. The president took the power of the states away from them.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Terry Branstad: Lifestyle changes make people healthier & save state money

The Healthiest State Initiative will assist Iowans with healthier lives. We control more than 70% of the factors that influence our health. Addressing comprehensive lifestyle changes could allow the State to redirect as much as $16 billion over the next five years to grow the state economy [versus being consumed by health care ($11 billion) and lost productivity ($5 billion)]. The success of this initiative is critical to the economic viability of the State.
Source: 2011 Iowa Gubernatorial press release Aug 10, 2011

Terry Branstad: Mental Health Care Reform: secure vulnerable Iowans

Source: 2011 Iowa Gubernatorial press release Apr 11, 2011

Chuck Grassley: Medicare has more drugs by not negotiating prices like VA

Conlin also attacked Grassley for his stance on prescription drugs and not leading Medicare bargain for better prices, the way the Veterans Administration does. Conlin said some drugs offered by the VA are 90% cheaper than those offered by Medicare, for the same exact product.

Grassley said there was a tradeoff. Medicare has access to a greater variety of drugs because it doesn't negotiate. "The CBO [Congressional Budget Office] says it won't save any money if you have the negotiations," he said.

Source: Times-Republican coverage of 2010 Iowa Senate debate Aug 29, 2010

Roxanne Conlin: Negotiate prescription drugs for Medicare like we do for VA

Conlin also attacked Grassley for his stance on prescription drugs and not leading Medicare bargain for better prices, the way the Veterans Administration does. Conlin said some drugs offered by the VA are 90% cheaper than those offered by Medicare, for the same exact product.

Grassley said there was a tradeoff. Medicare has access to a greater variety of drugs because it doesn't negotiate. "The CBO [Congressional Budget Office] says it won't save any money if you have the negotiations," he said.

Source: Times-Republican coverage of 2010 Iowa Senate debate Aug 29, 2010

Roxanne Conlin: Reward quality of care, not quantity

Iowa health care providers deliver high quality care to our seniors, but existing Medicare policy punishes them with unfair reimbursement rates. For decades, that has meant that Iowa's physicians and hospitals have had one of the lowest reimbursement rates in the nation. We should reward quality of care, not quantity. Iowa doctors should not suffer because they consistently do the right thing for their patients. I will fight to fix this chronic inequality.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.RoxanneForIowa, "Issues" Jul 20, 2010

Roxanne Conlin: Moral imperative to prevent 45,000 deaths from lack of care

It is a moral imperative to prevent 45,000 people from dying annually because they cannot get the health care they need. The health care reform bill is a good start. We now have the foundation of policy that puts people first, not the big insurance companies. We have assured that people are no longer denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. We have stopped insurance companies from canceling policies as soon as people get sick. Much remains to be done however. We must not allow insurance companies to avoid anti-trust laws. We must bring competition to the insurance industry by repealing the McCarran-Ferguson Act.

We can pay for these important advances in coverage in several ways. For example, reversing Senator Grassley's ban on allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices for seniors will add hundreds of billions of dollars to that program. Another way in which we will be able to save on care is through the health and well being programs supported in the Reform Act.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.RoxanneForIowa, "Issues" Jul 20, 2010

Christopher Reed: First cut waste, fraud, & abuse in Medicare/Medicaid

Q: When you talk about out of control spending, what about a program like Medicare, Medicaid? Would you cut into those?

A: No. But I would make sure that there is the waste and the fraud and abuse of that is taken care of.

Q: The waste, fraud and abuse is an easy phrase. But how do you actually cut spending?

A: Well, I guess I would have to go there and I would have to look at what is in there and what isn’t and write bills appropriately that take care of those measures.

Source: Dean Borg, Iowa Public TV. on 2008 Iowa Senate debate Jun 6, 2008

Barack Obama: Being poor in this country is hazardous to your health

Q: Both Latinos and Blacks receive significantly worse medical care than whites in the US, when they get care. What can the president do to address this, and can we afford it?

A: The president can do everything to address this and can afford it if we are able to bring people together to get it done. And this is something that I am committed to doing as president. But it is indisputable that if you are poor in this country that is hazardous to your health, if you are black or brown, too, and poor, it can be downright deadly. Right now, even when blacks or Latinos have the same health insurance as whites, they are not receiving the same quality of care. And that means that we’ve got to have more black and brown doctors and nurses; we’ve got to have studies in terms of making sure that we are eliminating these disparities; we’ve got to make sure that we are doing outreach in these communities ahead of time to prevent disease.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Hillary Clinton: Pledges to support $50B for AIDS relief in US and world

Today is World AIDS Day. All of us have committed to supporting $50 billion for global AIDS relief, which I am very excited about. But let’s not forget that AIDS now is growing again in our own country, particularly among African American and Latino women. The leading cause of death for African American women between the ages of 25 and 34 is AIDS. So I want to ask all of my fellow candidates here if they would join me, not only in a pledge for what we’re going to do globally to address the AIDS pandemic in Africa and Asia and elsewhere, but will you join me in a pledge that we’re going to do everything we can once again to address the AIDS pandemic right here in the US, and to put the money in that will provide the services and the treatment and the prevention that our own people deserve to have. Because frankly we have turned our backs, we have frozen the amount of money, and I am very worried about what is happening to countless numbers of Americans when it comes to HIV and AIDS.
Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Duncan Hunter: Allow Americans to buy health insurance across state lines

Let’s get back to freedom. One thing you can’t do right now, if you’re an American who has a health insurance plan is you can’t buy health insurance across state lines. Now, we’ve seen studies that have shown that the same coverage that costs 750 bucks a month in Massachusetts, you can buy in Missouri for 170 bucks a month. But you can’t buy your health insurance across state lines like Americans buy lots of stuff across state lines.
Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Duncan Hunter: SCHIP bill is the first extension of socialized medicine

I had a senior citizen come into my office one day. She had a $10 wrist brace on. And she said, “I was told not to complain about this, because government is paying for it.” She gave me the bill. It was $525. You’re going to see a lot of $525 wrist braces if we continue to pass this SCHIP bill which really is the first extension of socialized medicine. This is socialized medicine. It’s going to go to families that make $60,000 a year. Those aren’t poor children [being covered by SCHIP].
Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Mike Huckabee: Give Americans Congress’ healthcare, or give Congress ours

Q: What do you think of Sen. Grassley’s compromise plan to cover 3.2 million more poor children by raising the cigarette tax, which Pres. Bush has threatened to veto--who do you side with, Pres. Bush or Sen. Grassley?

A: I’d like to side with the people of America who really are looking for a lot better action than they’re getting out of their president or Congress. You know, if you want to know how to fix it, I’ve got a solution. Either give every American the same kind of health care that Congress has, or make Congress have the same kind of health care that every American has. They’ll get it fixed. We really have an incredible problem because our system is upside-down. It focuses on intervention at the catastrophic level of disease rather than really focusing on prevention. So we’ve got a system that, no matter how much money we pour into it, we’re not going to fix it, until we begin to address the fact that this country has put its focus not on wellness, not on health, but on sickness.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Mitt Romney: Insure 45 million uninsured with a free-market based system

It doesn’t make sense to have 45 million people without insurance. It’s not good for them because they don’t get good preventative care and disease management. But it’s not good for the rest of the citizens either, because if people aren’t insured, they go to the emergency room for their care when they get very sick. That’s expensive. They don’t have any insurance to cover it. So guess who pays? Everybody else. So it’s not good for the people that aren’t insured. We have to have our citizens insured, and we’re not going to do that by tax exemptions, because the people that don’t have insurance aren’t paying taxes. What you have to do is what we did in Massachusetts. Is it perfect? No. But we say, let’s rely on personal responsibility, help people buy their own private insurance, get our citizens insured, not with a government takeover, not with new taxes needed, but instead with a free-market based system that gets all of our citizens in the system. No more free rides. It works.
Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: $15,000 tax deduction for health savings accounts

Q: What do you think of Sen. Grassley’s compromise plan to cover 3.2 million more poor children by raising the cigarette tax?

A: The bill had two very unfortunate parts to it. One, it would reduce Medicaid Advantage, which is a very, very successful program that actually does bring about some form of a free-market solution. And second, it would have the really odd effect of moving children who presently have private insurance to becoming wards of the state, basically having them move in the direction toward socialized medicine. That would be a terrible thing to do. What we should do is increase the number of people who have private insurance. In order to do that, we should give them a major tax deduction, $15,000, let them have a health savings account as part of that. They’ll have an incentive to own their own health insurance. That’s the thing that’s wrong with the market here. It is not really good to move this thing in terms of more government control of health care.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Sam Brownback: Market-based solution over socialized government-pay system

Q: The SCHIP bill would raise tobacco tax. How do we pay for health care in this country without raising some additional revenues?

A: Well, that’s why I voted against the bill. But it wasn’t just that. The piece of it that I think you have to recognize is that you’ve got a fundamental decision to make here on health care, which is 16% of the economy, going north fast, probably headed to 20% of our total economy. Do you think the solution to providing more and better health care is (1) that we should have more government solutions involved, or (2) should there be more market-based solutions involved? And I think clearly the answer here is you need more market forces in health care. That’s what we need to do. Instead, you’ve got the Democrats doing a step-by-step march toward a socialized government-pay system. And they’re very happy to do it that way. But we can get better health care going this way. And we can hold the price of it down and not bust the federal treasury at the same time.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Womb-to-tomb health care is not federal responsibility

Q: What do you think of Sen. Grassley’s compromise plan to cover 3.2 million more poor children by raising the cigarette tax?

A: Let me suggest we think about something in the area of health care that perhaps is unique, different and scary to some people, but that is this: It’s not the responsibility of the federal government to provide womb-to-tomb health care for America. And so, we constantly debate on exactly what way we want to push government control of this issue, but in every way we’re doing it, it’s unhealthy. It is unhealthy to have a government health-care plan in America. There are some things we can do, absolutely. The expansion of health savings accounts that increases individual responsibly. The allowing for people to actually take the reimportation of prescription drugs.

Q: I know you voted against the expansion of the children’s health insurance this week.

A: You bet I did.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tom Tancredo: FactCheck: Illegals use less medical care than citizens

Tancredo misrepresented the health care expenses of illegal immigrants, saying “Let’s do something about the 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country that are taking a large part of our health care dollars.” To the contrary, a 2006 study by RAND Corp. determined that undocumented immigrants, 3.2% of the population, account for only 1.5% of US medical costs. The study found that immigrants, both legal and illegal, use fewer medical services and less funding from public insurers than native born residents. The study was performed in Los Angeles, and the numbers were extrapolated to apply to the full US population. Researchers suggested that “because Los Angeles is known as an immigrant-friendly location for services, the estimates for the nation may be lower for undocumented immigrant service use and, thus, may be lower for medical costs.” Immigrants may use more resources than Rep. Tancredo would like, but it’s a stretch to say that they “are taking a large part of our health care dollars.”
Source: FactCheck on 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tommy Thompson: Convert illness & disease system to wellness & prevention

Q: What do you think of Sen. Grassley’s compromise plan to cover 3.2 million more poor children by raising the cigarette tax, which Pres. Bush has threatened to veto--who do you side with, Pres. Bush or Sen. Grassley?

A: Neither one of them are right. The problem is, we’ve got a sickness, illness and disease society. We spend 90% of $2 trillion--that’s 16% of the gross national product--on getting people well after they get sick. Less than 10% of the money keeping you out of the hospital, out of the nursing home. Does anybody in America think that’s a smart idea? I think it’s dumb. Let’s go to wellness and prevention. Number two, let’s start managing diseases in America. Let’s make sure that individuals that are chronically ill and physically disabled are able to get the quality of health and therefore get the quality of life. They take up 66% of the cost. You could reduce that down to 50%.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tommy Thompson: End breast cancer by the year 2015 for all women in America

Q: What is the defining mistake of your life and why?

A: My mother-in-law died of breast cancer. My wife has breast cancer. My young daughter has breast cancer. I don’t think I was supportive enough, and that’s why I’m vowing right now to end breast cancer by the year 2015 for all the women in America.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Dick Gephardt: AdWatch: Criticizes Dean for 11-year-old outdated stances

AD VIDEO: Dean speaking wordlessly, punctuated by ominous sound effects; Gephardt surrounded by supporters.

AD AUDIO: NARRATOR: Did you know Howard Dean called Medicare “one of the worst federal programs ever”? Did you know he supported the Republican plan to cut Medicare by $270 billion? And did you know Howard Dean supported cutting Social Security retirement benefits to balance the budget?

GEPHARDT: I will be a president who will fight to protect Medicare and Social Security.

ANALYSIS: What the ad obscures is that the Dean quotes are at least nine years old and do not reflect the positions he holds today. When Dean called Medicare “one of the worst federal programs” in 1993, he was referring to the way the government ran it. Dean was quoted by a Vermont newspaper in 1995 as saying he could support GOP efforts to “reduce the Medicare growth rate,” but the $270 billion figure was not mentioned. Dean did say in 1995 “we need to increase the retirement age”, but has since changed his stance.

Source: Ad-Watch of Iowa market, Washington Post, p. A08 Jan 16, 2004

Carol Moseley-Braun: Single-payer system is the only answer

Q: Do you support a universal single-payer health care?

A: I do. The only answer for our health-care system in this country is single-payer. If we go to a single-payer system, we will create jobs; we will give a boost to our economy. In fact, based on the numbers for other countries that have single-payer, they are right now spending about $4,000 a year per capita on health care. We spend much, much more than that, and we get a lot less back because of all of the waste in the system.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

John Edwards: Cap on damages for personal injuries is discriminatory

Q: What do you think about the cap on damages for personal injuries?

A: Bush is proposing about this and what happens in our courtrooms shows his philosophy about everything. He doesn’t believe in democracy. He hates the idea that his friends and his supporters are going to walk into a courtroom and be treated exactly the same way as a child or a family who have been the victims of fraud or abuse. The victim have been disabled for life, I mean, this could not be more discriminatory than it is.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Dick Gephardt: Fact Check: Dean agreed with Clinton on cuts, not Gingrich

FACTCHECK on Medicare: Gephardt again dragged up a misleading figure from 1995 claiming Dean was in league with Republicans trying to cut Medicare by $270 billion.

GEPHARDT: The Republicans tried to cut Medicare by $270 billion. And Bill Clinton and the Democrats fought them off. At that time, you were head of the governors’ association, and you agreed with their proposal.

FACTCHECK: Dean did speak approvingly back then of a Republican proposal in the Senate that would have reined in Medicare spending growth by $270 billion over seven years. But if slowing the growth of spending is a “cut” then the Democrats were proposing one, too. The Clinton administration was proposing to slow Medicare spending by $124 billion over the same period.

Source: FactCheck on 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Howard Dean: Fact Check: Dean agreed with Clinton on cuts, not Gingrich

FACTCHECK: Dean did speak approvingly back then of a Republican proposal in the Senate that would have reined in Medicare spending growth by $270 billion over seven years. But if slowing the growth of spending is a “cut” then the Democrats were proposing one, too. The Clinton administration was proposing to slow Medicare spending by $124 billion over the same period.
Source: (X-ref Gephardt) FactCheck.org on 2004 Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Carol Moseley-Braun: Break link between healthcare and employment

Is there any rational reason why payment for our health care system is tied to our employment? There really isn’t. It is not health care that needs to be reformed; we have the best health care in the world. What we don’t have is a rational system for paying for it. All of the industrialized nations manage to provide health care to their citizens for less than the 15% of GDP that it costs here in the US. Are Americans that much sicker? There’s just a problem with the way that we pay for it.
Source: Speech at Iowa Health Care Forum, Drake University Aug 14, 2003

Al Sharpton: Right to health care, to education, and to vote

I’m running for president to make health care a constitutional right. Not only do we need universal health care, we need to give every American the right to health care, the right to education, the right to vote. We don’t have those constitutional rights.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Bob Graham: 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

Carol Moseley-Braun: Pay for universal care with money already in system

I believe we have the capacity to pay for a universal system modeled on the way that Medicare is handled. We right now spend more as a percentage of our GDP than any other nation in the world. With the money that is already in the system, we can pay for universal coverage that preserves quality, and patient and provider relationships.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Carol Moseley-Braun: Replace patchwork system with Medicare-modeled system

The answer lies in moving away from an employment- based system. One of the reasons we have 41 million Americans with no coverage is because those people either work for themselves, or are in businesses that don’t provide them with coverage. We try to patchwork this system with Medicare, Medicaid, CHIPs, all of these different acronyms. The fact is, the only way we’re going to address the payment issues is to have a universal system modeled on the way that Medicare is handled but a universal coverage so that all Americans are covered.

We have to restore the relationship between providers and patients so that the insurance companies don’t become gatekeepers to the system and get in the middle of care decisions. We have to make certain that we maintain the quality of care that American people expect.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Dennis Kucinich: Private companies charge 18% admin & Medicare charges 3%

My health-care plan, Medicare for all, calls for a 7.7% tax paid for by the employer. Employers are already paying 8.5%. So it actually saves businesses money. That would raise about $920 billion. In addition to that, there’s already over a trillion dollars being spent a year in local, state and federal dollars for health care. The American people are already paying for health care for all, but they’re not getting it.

That’s why I say it’s time to take the profit out of health care. We have the money in the system, but right now the private companies are charging about 18% for administration, while the cost of Medicare administration is only 3%.

I think it is urgent that we take profit out of health care. How many homes have this discussion every day in America? “Well, I don’t feel well. Ah, we don’t have the money to go to the doctor.” Or, “Well, we can’t afford that surgery.” We need to stop those kind of discussions in America. We have the money in this country.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Dick Gephardt: Tax breaks to all companies to cover all employees

I have a health-care plan that gets everybody guaranteed health care that cannot be taken away. I will bring a plan that says to every employer in the country, “You’ve got to cover your employees,” and I’ll give them generous tax credits to get it done.

I will cover part time as well as full time. I’ll cover retirees as well as active, and I will give an equal subsidy to every state and local government in this country, so that all public employees are treated the same as private employees with health care in this country.

If you want health care than can never be taken away from you, if you want to make sure that you have guaranteed care where the price won’t go up and it won’t be taken away, if you want health care that goes to every public employee in this country, state and local government and the like, if you want to give $1.5 billion from the federal government to state and local government here in Iowa in the next three years, then I am your candidate for president.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Dick Gephardt: Subsidize 60% of health costs for all employees

Q: Other candidates have offered lots of criticism of your plan -- it’s too expensive. It goes too far, too fast. Gives money to corporations who don’t need it. How will your plan cover everyone and yet also control costs?

GEPHARDT: My thoughts come from 25 years of working on this issue in the Congress, including trying to lead the fight to pass the Clinton health care plan in 1993 & 1994. I believe my plan covers the bases and gets down what we need to get done. First of all, it covers everybody. I do it by requiring every employer to cover all of their employees. I cover part time as well as full time. One of the games that’s going on is companies like WalMart are dropping people to part time so they don’t have to give them health insurance. I solve that problem. This issue is the moral issue of our time. You’ve got to treat everybody fairly. I give an equal subsidy, 60% of the costs of health care, to public employees. There is not another plan on the table that does that.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Howard Dean: Bush prescription: take 2 tax cuts and see me in the morning

We have a president who recommends cutting taxes, which make it impossible to have a decent health-care program in this country. The president’s prescription for everything is take two tax cuts and see me in the morning.

My prescription is a little different. I want a different kind of America. In our state everybody under 18 has health insurance, and I want an America where we all have health insurance that can’t be taken away.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Howard Dean: As doctor, knows health system; and knows how to pass plan

Q: Some who critique your plan say it’s piecemeal, that it doesn’t go far enough.

DEAN: I’m a doctor. Not only do I know how the system needs to work, I also know what we need to do to make it pass. My plan covers every single American. It’s cost is less than half of the Bush tax cut so you all can guess how I plan to pay for it. It uses public programs and private programs, and it does not give big corporations subsidies. It costs about a third of Gephardt’s plan.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

John Edwards: Bush works for big HMOs and big pharma; I stand up for you

We have to do something about the cost of health care in America, and in order to do it, we’re going to have to overcome this culture in Washington that pushes against taking on big insurance companies, big HMOs, big pharmaceutical companies.

I have done it. I have fought them all of my life. It is what I have done since I’ve been in the US Senate. I have offered legislation to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for every single American.

The only reason that the efforts we have made in the Congress to bring down the cost of health care in America are not the law of the land, is because the president works for those people, and we have got to put somebody in the White House who will stand up for you, will stand up against them, and will fight that culture in Washington, that prevents taking them on.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Al Gore: Weighted averages don’t work in Medicaid world

GORE [to Bradley]: The health care approach that I’ve recommended is the best way to get the universal health insurance and to start by providing affordable high-quality health care for every child. One way not to get there is by eliminating Medicaid and providing an inadequate $150-a-month voucher in its place.

BRADLEY: This is not a voucher. It’s a weighted average of the different states that will be adjusted over time. Everyone who has Medicaid now will have access to health care but they’ll have access to health care in a federal system which is the same system that provides help for congressmen and Senators.

GORE: Where could they buy the health care benefits that they get right now with $150 a month? A weighted average means a half the states would get less than $150 a month. A weighted average sounds like the guy who had his feet on a block of ice and his head in the oven and according to the weighted average, he was comfortable. It doesn’t work out in real life that way.

Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: All people on Medicaid should have a primary care physician

Q: How will your health care plan affect minorities? A: If you’re a Medicaid recipient, 2/3rds of doctors won’t accept you. You go to an emergency room to get the most expensive care. I want to provide a primary care physician for everybody. And 40% of the people in poverty in this country don’t have Medicaid. They’re overwhelmingly African-American & Latino. Under the proposal that I have offered they would have health care and they would be mainstreamed.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Alan Keyes: Health care choice will save money for long-term health care

Q: What steps would you take to insure that affordable, long-term care is available to anybody who needs it? A: We shouldn’t have government dictating to people. but instead we need to empower them through programs that voucherize the government system, that give people medical savings accounts, that allow greater choice on the part of individuals and families. And by making better use of our medical dollars, we will then be able to allocate those dollars with priority to the things that families really can’t handle for themselves and that means giving top priority to the kind of long-term care that can have a catastrophic effect on the family budget.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Gary Bauer: A patient bill of rights fits the conservative agenda

Q: What is your opinion on a Patient Bill of Rights? A: I think our party got off on the wrong foot some months ago when we stood against a patient bill of rights. I think if my mother is mistreated at her HMO and she’s experienced medical malpractice, she should have a right to sue. There’s nothing Republican or nothing conservative about standing with the big HMO’s against the average Americans. I’ll support a patient bill of rights.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

George W. Bush: Tax-deductible long-term care insurance for retirement

The danger in the health care debate is that America falls prey to the idea that the federal government should make all decisions for consumers and the federal government should make all decisions for the providers, that the federal government should ration care.

In terms of long-term care for the baby boomers, we ought to encourage the purchase of long-term care insurance and allow deductibility of that insurance so that the new younger generations are able to plan more aptly for when they retire.

Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

George W. Bush: Replace 132,000-page Medicare document with senior choice

As far as the elderly, [their health care is] controlled by a 132,000-page document to determine how to allocate and ration Medicare dollars to the seniors. It is a plan that is inefficient, it is a plan that’s antiquated. And what our government must do is empower our seniors to be able to make choices for themselves and support premiums for the poorest of seniors.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Orrin Hatch: Home health and nursing homes should be more affordable

Q: What steps would you take to insure that affordable, long-term care is available to anybody who needs it? A: I’m one of the prime authors of the Home Health Care Bill. I’ve worked very hard on nursing home issues. I visited a number of the nursing homes, especially the skilled nursing facilities where complex medical patients, like people with Alzheimer’s, like people with difficulties described here today, are taken care of. They were not making it. There were 900 of them going into Chapter 11.I went back. and literally in the last few days of the session, got the reimbursement levels up where these people were taken care of.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Steve Forbes: Replace “gatekeepers” with health care vouchers

The key is putting patients in charge of health care resources again. There’s no need for all of these 3rd parties, HMO’s, insurers, employers, gate keepers, government bureaucracies that stand in the way. [You should] have your choice of several hundred different health care plans. If you need long-term care [or] prescriptive medicines you can choose a plan that does it. And for those on Medicaid, you should be able to have vouchers so you make the choice, not where the government tells you to go.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Al Gore: Help seniors by helping Medicare

Q: How would your health care plan help older Americans on fixed incomes?

GORE: I allocate $374 billion over the next 10 years to the Medicare program. Under Senator Bradley’s plan, he doesn’t put a penny into Medicare.Under my plan, [an elderly patient] would get the cost of her prescription drugs covered. Under Senator Bradley’s plan, she would have a $500 deductible and then $300 premiums, so she wouldn’t get a penny of help under Senator Bradley’s plan.

BRADLEY: As a part of an overall health care program that I’ve proposed, I cover drug costs for senior citizens. After they’ve paid the first $800, they pay 25% above that. If we make sure they get access to the right drugs and we pay for them, that will save overall health care costs, because they will not be put into hospitals or have to pay very high expenses for doctor bills.

Source: (Cross-ref from Bradley) Democrat Debate in Johnston Iowa Jan 8, 2000

Bill Bradley: Covering drugs is the key to reducing health care costs

Q: How would your health care plan help older Americans on fixed incomes?

GORE: I allocate $374 billion over the next 10 years to the Medicare program. Under Senator Bradley’s plan, he doesn’t put a penny into Medicare.Under my plan, [an elderly patient] would get the cost of her prescription drugs covered. Under Senator Bradley’s plan, she would have a $500 deductible and then $300 premiums, so she wouldn’t get a penny of help under Senator Bradley’s plan.

BRADLEY: As a part of an overall health care program that I’ve proposed, I cover drug costs for senior citizens. After they’ve paid the first $800, they pay 25% above that. If we make sure they get access to the right drugs and we pay for them, that will save overall health care costs, because they will not be put into hospitals or have to pay very high expenses for doctor bills

Source: (Cross-ref from Gore) Democrat Debate in Johnston Iowa Jan 8, 2000

Alan Keyes: Focus on cost-reductions, not methods of payment

Q: Should health care be provided by more of a combination of government & churches & philanthropic organizations? A: The best way to regulate these matters and the best way to achieve results is not just to concentrate on how you pay for everything, but to concentrate on how you keep the costs down. We need an approach that will put the consumer of medical services in the driver’s seat and that will not just help to pay for things. If the costs keep skyrocketing, what good is it to keep throwing money after those higher costs? We need a system that will bring those costs down. And the system that brings the costs down in every other area of our lives is a consumer-policed system of competition where people have the right to make their own choices and can then carry the dollars that they’re going to use in a way that achieves the best results for them. Wherever we’re going to spend this money, we ought to voucherize it and let people make their own choices as to their medical care.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

Alan Keyes: Let market determine health payments, not bureaucrats

Q: Medicare payments to hospitals, insurers and doctors, are so inequitable when you look at various states. Can it be made more equitable? A: One of the problems is that you’re making determinations in bureaucracies that ought in fact to be made in the marketplace. Costs are different in different parts of the country. They would be reflected in the marketplace if people had the opportunity to make the choices, rather than having those limits imposed upon them by bureaucratic determination and fiat.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

George W. Bush: Keep Medicare in government, but provide flexibility

Q: What about the elimination and the phasing out of Medicare and Medicaid? A: No, I think it is a bad idea. Medicare is the responsibility of the Federal Government; it’s a commitment we’ve got to keep. The problem with Medicare is it’s run by a 135,000 page document where the government decides everything. They decide how the patient chooses things and how the doctors perform. I think we need to give patients more choice and doctors more flexibility. I think [phasing it out is] a bad idea.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

George W. Bush: Create Review Board to hear HMO complaints

Q: Do you believe patients should have the right to sue their HMO? A: I do. A Texas law says if you’ve got a complaint with your HMO and you’re the patient, you can take your complaint to what’s called an Independent Review Organization. It’s a group of objective minded people that hear your claim, that hear your cause. If they decide that the HMO is wrong, and the HMO ignores the finding, that then becomes a cause of action. I would have a National Review Board and make that possible for everyone.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

John McCain: Matching funds for seniors citizens’ prescription drugs

We’re asking senior citizens now to make a choice between their health and their income. They make too much money to be on Medicare and not enough to pay for their prescription drugs. We’ve got to devise a program that when a senior spends a certain part of their income on these prescription drugs that we’ll have a state and federal match for it. We can’t do that to our senior citizens.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

John McCain: Expand health insurance to 11 million uninsured children

[We have] 11 million children without health insurance. We’ve got to expand the children’s health insurance program. And I’ll tell you what: I have the guts to take the money where it shouldn’t be spent in Washington and put it where it should be spent, including 10 percent of the surplus.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Iowa Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2012 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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