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Dick Cheney on Health Care

Vice President of the United States under George W. Bush


FactCheck: Claimed $15B for AIDS-actually $2B this year

FACT CHECK: Cheney used a misleading figure to support the idea that the administration was “deeply concerned” about the toll that AIDS has taken on poor countries, stating that the administration has “authorized $15 billion to help in the international effort.” That’s true, but the $15-billion figure was to be spread over five years-and when it came actually appropriating and spending the funds, Bush sought only $2 billion for the fiscal year that just ended. Congress increased that to $2.4 billion.
Source: Edwards-Cheney debate analysis by FactCheck 2004 , Oct 6, 2004

We’ve made significant progress on the AIDS epidemic

A: What should the government’s role be in helping to end the growth of the AIDS epidemic?

CHENEY: This is a great tragedy when you think about the enormous cost here in the US and around the world of the AIDS epidemic. Bush has been deeply concerned about it. He has moved and proposed and gotten through the Congress authorization for $15 billion to help in the international effort, to be targeted in those places where we need to do everything we can, through a combination of education as well as providing the kinds of medicines that will help people control the infection. Here in the US, we’ve made significant progress. I have not heard the numbers with respect to African- American women. We have made progress in terms of the overall rate of AIDS infection, primarily through a combination of education and public awareness as well as the development, as a result of research, of drugs that allow people to live longer lives even though they are infected - obviously we need to do more of that.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential , Oct 5, 2004

Rising malpractice insurance rates is a devastating problem

Q: You have said that lawsuits are partly to blame for higher medical costs. Has John Edwards been part of the problem?

A: I’m not familiar with his cases. My concern is specifically with what’s happened to our medical care system because of rising malpractice insurance rates, because we failed to adequately reform our medical liability structure. And they were deeply concerned because they were fearful that there’d be another increase in malpractice insurance rates as a result of what they believe are frivolous lawsuits and that that would put them out of business. In Wyoming, we’ve lost the top insurer of malpractice insurance in the state. The rates for a general practitioner have gone from $40,000 a year to $100,000 a year for an insurance policy. We think this has a devastating impact on the quality of health care. High risk patients don’t get covered anymore. We’ve lost one out of eleven OB/GYN practitioners in the country. We think it can be fixed, needs to be fixed.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential , Oct 5, 2004

The Medicare reform bill will help 40 million seniors

CHENEY: The most important and significant change in health care in the last several years was the Medicare reform bill this year. Medicare used to pay for heart bypass surgery but didn’t pay for the prescription drugs that might allow you to avoid it. It’ll provide prescription drug benefits to 40 million senior citizens.

EDWARDS: They had a choice on allowing prescription drugs into this country from Canada, of being with the American people or with the drug companies. They were with the drug companies. They had a choice on negotiating discounts in the Medicare prescription drug bill of being with the American people or with the drug companies. They were with the drug companies. They had a choice on the patients’ bill of rights, allowing people to make their own health care decisions and not having insurance companies make them, be with the American people, be with the big insurance companies. They’re with the insurance companies.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential , Oct 5, 2004

Limiting medical lawsuits keeps healthcare affordable

To keep health coverage affordable, Congress should pass medical liability reform this year. Frivolous lawsuits are forcing doctors to stop practicing medicine. Too often, physicians are closing their practices and moving to states where insurance premiums are lower. Those that remain often have to order unnecessary tests and procedures just to avoid the possibility of a lawsuit. This defensive medicine drives up health care cost, and all Americans pay those bills.

This is a national problem- it needs a national solution. The time has come for Congress to set reasonable limits on the litigation culture. We need a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages, and we need reasonable limits on punitive damages. The House has already passed a good bill reforming medical liability. Now the Senate needs to act. No one was ever healed by a frivolous lawsuit.

Source: Remarks at the National Minority Enterprise Conference , Sep 30, 2003

Limit federal role in health care

Source: Republican party platform 2000, “Quality Care” , Aug 15, 2000

Prescription drug benefits for Medicare recipients

Cheney said he opposed some worthy social programs while in Congress because the country couldn’t afford them, given budget deficits and the need to increase military spending to fight the Cold War. Given the current economic climate, Cheney said: “We’re now in a position to be able to look at doing some things from the compassionate standpoint.” He mentioned prescription drug benefits for Medicare recipients, something his fellow conservatives fought for some time before offering a plan of their own. Cheney said he opposed some worthy social programs while in Congress because the country couldn’t afford them, given budget deficits and the need to increase military spending to fight the Cold War. Given the current economic climate, Cheney said: “We’re now in a position to be able to look at doing some things from the compassionate standpoint.” He mentioned prescription drug benefits for Medicare recipients, something his fellow conservatives fought for some time before offering a plan of their own.
Source: D. Ian Hopper, Associated Press , Jul 26, 2000

Fund Medicare psychologists; self-employees; & organ donors

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1989

Require HMO registration & AIDS testing

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1988

Voted against 1979 hospital cost control plan

Source: Congressional Record, in Poltics in America, Alan Ehrenhalt , Jan 1, 1979

Voted YES 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.
Reference: Bill H Con Res 83 ; vote number 2001-65 on Apr 3, 2001

Other governors on Health Care: Dick Cheney on other issues:
WY Gubernatorial:
Matt Mead
WY Senatorial:
John Barrasso
Michael Enzi

Newly elected Nov. 2012:
IN: Mike Pence (R)
NC: Pat McCrory (R)
NH: Maggie Hassan (D)
MT: Steve Bullock (D)
WA: Jay Inslee (D)

Re-elected 2012:
DE: Jack Markell (D)
MO: Jay Nixon (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
UT: Gary Herbert (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WV: Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Up for re-election 2013:
NJ: Chris Christie
VA: Bob McDonnell
Up for re-election 2014:
AK: Sean Parnell
AL: Robert Bentley
AR: Mike Beebe
AZ: Jan Brewer
CA: Jerry Brown
CO: John Hickenlooper
CT: Dan Malloy
FL: Rick Scott
GA: Nathan Deal
HI: Neil Abercrombie
IA: Terry Branstad
ID: Butch Otter
IL: Pat Quinn
KS: Sam Brownback
MA: Deval Patrick
MD: Martin O'Malley
ME: Paul LePage
MI: Rick Snyder
MN: Mark Dayton
NH: Maggie Hassan
NM: Susana Martinez
NV: Brian Sandoval
NY: Andrew Cuomo
OH: John Kasich
OK: Mary Fallin
OR: John Kitzhaber
PA: Tom Corbett
RI: Linc Chafee
SC: Nikki Haley
SD: Dennis Daugaard
TN: Bill Haslam
TX: Rick Perry
VT: Peter Shumlin
WI: Scott Walker
WY: Matt Mead
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Page last updated: Apr 25, 2013