Brian Schatz on Health Care
It was advertised to Congress as costing some $500 billion, when the true cost, known to Federal bureaucrats before the bill was submitted to Congress, was well above $700 billion. By refusing to allow Medicare to negotiate collectively for cheaper drugs--as the Veteran's Administration can--the Bush administration guaranteed a windfall for drug companies and a bad deal for millions of elderly Americans. This was deception, pure and simple, motivated by greed and debts to big campaign donors.
What the American seniors want and deserve is a simple but comprehensive plan that will cover their current prescription drug costs. We can do this by filling in the existing gaps, and allowing the Federal government to use their buying power to negotiate better prices from the industry
Congressional Summary: To provide an additional religious exemption from the individual health coverage mandate. This Act may be cited as the 'Equitable Access to Care and Health Act' or the 'EACH Act'. The 'Religious Conscience Exemption' exempts individuals who are members of a recognized religious sect which relies solely on a religious method of healing, and for whom the acceptance of medical health services would be inconsistent with their religious beliefs.
Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (TheHill.com weblog, April 29, 2013): "We believe the EACH Act balances a respect for religious diversity against the need to prevent fraud and abuse," wrote Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and William Keating (D-MA). "It is imperative we expand the religious conscience exemption now as the Administration is verifying the various exemptions to the individual mandate," they wrote. Religious exemption from ObamaCare has come up before, including contraception. The EACH Act, however, deals only with exemptions from the insurance mandate.
Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (CHILD, Inc. "Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty", Dec. 2014): The Christian Science church is pushing hard to get another religious exemption through Congress. The EACH Act exempts everyone with "sincerely held religious beliefs" from the mandate to buy health insurance. We are particularly concerned about uninsured children: hundreds of American children have died because of their family's religious objections to medical care. The EACH Act increases the risk to children in faith-healing sects and the cost to the state if the children do get medical care. Some complain that their church members should not have to pay for health care that they won't use. But insurance works on the assumption that many in the pool of policyholders will not draw from it. Most people with fire insurance don't have their homes burn, for example.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
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AK: Murkowski(R) vs.Metcalfe(D) vs.Stevens(L) vs.
AL: Shelby(R) vs.Crumpton(D) vs.
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Senate Votes (analysis)