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Bob Smith on Health Care

Republican Sr Senator (NH; retired 2002)


Avoid federal funding for health coverage

Q: Do you support or oppose more federal funding for health coverage?

A: Strongly oppose.

Source: Email interview on 2010 Senate race with OnTheIssues.org Mar 4, 2010

Medicare: Revise reimbursement rules for Home Health Care

[I propose] a common sense revision of the medicare home health reimbursement formulas. The mandated formulas penalized efficient care providers and rewarded the inefficient. [My proposal] establishes a fiscally responsible framework that rewards efficiency and ensures the continuity of quality home health services for seniors. This year, I call on Medicare officials to include representatives from the home health industry in the process of formulating new rules for reimbursing providers.
Source: senate.gov/~smith “Smith on the Issues” Aug 30, 1999

Tobacco bill was a $500B tax bill in disguise

The tobacco bill that failed in the Senate last year would have imposed a tax increase of at least half a trillion dollars that would have fallen disproportionately on the poorest American families. Many politicians and interest groups were relying on the revenue raised by those tax hikes to fund spending on a wide range of programs many of which have nothing at all to do with smoking; and would have lavishly enriched a small number of trial lawyers involved in state lawsuits.
Source: (X-ref Tax reform)senate.gov/~smith “Smith on the Issues” Aug 30, 1999

Supports public health measures, but supports right to smoke

Smoking is a health hazard and a bad habit. I have voted consistently to abolish taxpayer-funded subsidies for tobacco growers, to restrict smoking in public places and to strengthen existing curbs on smoking by minors. I will continue to support such common sense public health measures. And if tobacco manufacturers have engaged in corporate misconduct, they ought to be held accountable in a court of law. At the same time, I believe that adults have the right to decide whether or not to smoke.
Source: senate.gov/~smith “Smith on the Issues” Aug 30, 1999

Unhealthy pleasures should be decided by individuals

I believe that the decision whether or not to trade one’s own long-term health for whatever short-term pleasures smoking may provide -- like the decisions to drink alcoholic beverages, eat fatty foods, or drink caffeinated products -- is one that should be left to the individual, not the Federal government.
Source: (X-ref Drugs) senate.gov/~smith “Smith on the Issues” Aug 30, 1999

New non-VA programs for military retirees’ health care

I am deeply concerned about the ability of our military retirees over the age of 65 to get access to quality health care. We have a moral obligation to assist those in need who have honorably served our country. I [support a] test program to ensure the availability of adequate health care for Medicare-eligible military retirees. The program ensures [against the VA’s problems with] geographic constraints resulting from the diminishing number of military treatment facilities.
Source: (X-ref defense) senate.gov/~smith “Smith on the Issues” Aug 30, 1999

HMO cost control shouldn’t hurt patients

While HMOs have had a great deal of success in containing health care costs in our nation, I believe that cost control must not be achieved at the expense of the patient. I supported legislation aimed at providing basic consumer protections, expanding access to coverage, improving health care quality, and providing consumers with more coverage options.
Source: Smith’s Senate Home Page Jul 2, 1999

HMOs: more info; prudent emergency care; external appeal

Source: Smith’s Senate Home Page Jul 2, 1999

Health-care vouchers; tax incentives; limit med.mal.

Source: 1996 National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1996

Voted YES on allowing reimportation 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.
Reference: Bill S.812 ; vote number 2002-201 on Jul 31, 2002

Voted NO 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.
Reference: Bill S1052 ; vote number 2001-220 on Jun 29, 2001

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

Voted NO 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
Reference: Bill HR.4690 ; vote number 2000-144 on Jun 22, 2000

Voted YES 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 NO 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 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 NO on blocking 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

Other candidates on Health Care: Bob Smith on other issues:
NH Gubernatorial:
John Lynch
NH Senatorial:
Jeanne Shaheen
Kelly Ayotte

Retiring as of Jan. 2011:
CT:Dodd(D)
DE:Kaufman(D)
FL:Martinez(R)
FL:LeMieux(R)
IL:Burris(D)
IN:Bayh(D)
KS:Brownback(R)
KY:Bunning(R)
MO:Bond(R)
ND:Dorgan(D)
NH:Gregg(R)
OH:Voinovich(R)
PA:Specter(R)
UT:Bennett(R)
WV:Goodwin(D)

Unseated as of Jan. 2011:
AR:Lincoln(D)
UT:Bennett(R)
WI:Feingold(D)


Newly elected, Nov. 2010:
AR:Boozman(R)
CT:Blumenthal(D)
CO:Bennet(D)
DE:Coons(D)
FL:Rubio(R)
IL:Kirk(R)
IN:Coats(R)
KS:Moran(R)
KY:Paul(R)
MO:Blunt(R)
ND:Hoeven(R)
NH:Ayotte(R)
NY2:Gillibrand(D)
OH:Portman(R)
PA:Toomey(R)
UT:Lee(R)
WI:Johnson(R)
WV:Manchin(D)


Re-elected, Nov. 2010:
AK:Murkowski(I)
AL:Shelby(R)
AZ:McCain(R)
CA:Boxer(D)
GA:Isakson(R)
HI:Inouye(D)
IA:Grassley(R)
ID:Crapo(R)
LA:Vitter(R)
MD:Mikulski(D)
NC:Burr(R)
NV:Reid(D)
NY6:Schumer(D)
OK:Coburn(R)
OR:Wyden(D)
SC:DeMint(R)
SD:Thune(R)
VT:Leahy(D)
WA:Murray(D)
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Page last updated: Nov 26, 2010