Bob Casey on Health Care

Democratic Sr Senator (PA)


Defend ObamaCare instead of single-payer

During Barack Obama's presidency, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) could only find 62 other House Democrats willing to co-sponsor his single-payer health care proposal--which would expand Medicare to cover every American. But now that Speaker Paul Ryan's House health care bill has imploded, Conyers's team has already signed up 78 co-sponsors for the exact same single-payer bill. And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced over the weekend he'd be launching a new Medicare-for-All initiative.

But while Sanders and progressive Democrats clamor for a more aggressive approach, some Senate Democrats expressed skepticism about the need to go that far, that quickly. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was openly critical, arguing "it's important that we keep options open for people who rely on health care." Most preferred to duck the question altogether, and concentrate on defending Americans who are covered under ObamaCare, as Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) put it.

Source: Jeff Stein in Vox.com, "TrumpCare dead" , Mar 29, 2017

Shift $700B from Medicare to ObamaCare, but no senior funds

Smith's attack ad says, "Bob Casey voted to cut Medicare by $700 billion to fund ObamaCare. Casey opposes a balanced budget amendment. He voted to spend $46 billion of your tax dollars on wasteful earmarks for special interests. And Casey voted for higher taxes 50 times."

Smith's suggestion that Casey voted to cut Medicare is a reference to provisions in President Barack Obama's health care law that phase in reductions in reimbursements to hospitals, insurance companies and other service providers but aren't cuts that hit seniors directly. Ryan's Medicare plan would keep the cuts, while Romney would undo them.

Source: Cumberlink Sentinel on 2012 PA Senate debate ad review , Sep 19, 2012

Medicare Part D program is fundamentally flawed

Medicare negotiating to lower drug prices
Bob CaseySupports
Rick SantorumOpposes
Q: Will you support or oppose allowing Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate lower prices for needed prescription drugs?

A: The Part D legislation currently prohibits Medicare officials from negotiating lower bulk prices with drug companies. It also continues to block the re-importation of safe, FDA-approved prescription drugs at lower prices from Canada. At the same time, the legislation lavishes extravagant taxpayer-financed incentives on the HMOs. The Medicare Part D program is fundamentally flawed and is in clear need of a complete overhaul. It provides too much benefit to the HMOs while the law’s “donut holes” in coverage require many seniors to pay for all drug costs out of their own pockets.

Source: 2006 AARP Senate candidate questionnaire , Sep 29, 2006

Fill the “doughnut hole” of missing Medicare Rx costs

Seniors continue to struggle with the high cost of prescription drugs. Bob Casey believes we must improve the Medicare prescription drug benefit. For example, the federal government should be allowed to negotiate for lower drug prices and we should use these savings to help fill the “doughnut hole” that requires beneficiaries to pay for drug costs out of their own pocket. We should change federal regulations to allow for the reimportation of safe prescription drugs.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, bobcaseyforpa.com, “Issues” , Feb 22, 2006

Fight to Expand Health Care Coverage

The federal government should address rising health care costs. Too many employers and families are struggling with the high cost of health care. Bob Casey will fight to expand health care coverage and make quality health care more affordable.
Source: Casey for Senate web site: “Issues: Economy” , Dec 1, 2005

Opposes Cloning of Human Embryos for Experimentation

Opposes cloning of human embryos for experimentation
Source: Lancaster County Action 2004 Voter Guide Questionnaire , Nov 2, 2004

Use tobacco settlement for healthcare for unemployed

We have 1.2 million people in the state with no health care at all, a quarter of a million of them are children. Since the recession began in March 2001, we’ve had 120,000 people in the state lose their jobs, in many cases losing their health insurance. What I want to do immediately is use tobacco-settlement dollars to target health-care coverage for the unemployed and their children. We can cover another 90,000 people [beyond the existing proposals], including children of unemployed workers.
Source: Interview with Philadelphia City paper , May 15, 2002

Supports suing HMOs, but opposes damage caps

Q: Do you support the option to sue HMOs?

A: Yes.

Q: Doctors are caught between lower reimbursements and soaring premiums. Isn’t tort reform a good idea?

A: I’m not a supporter of damage caps, and I’m not a supporter of playing games with liability provisions because I don’t think they lead to this wonderful malpractice reform that some think is out there. And more importantly, they adversely impact workers. I don’t think that the cost of lawsuits and damages and big verdicts has anything to do with the medical-malpractice challenge the state faces. The insurance companies, the ones who have caused most of the problems, were left out and really not held accountable. It was like a huge elephant in the room and they weren’t taken on. What you need is a governor who appoints an insurance commissioner who’s going to be very tough in the oversight of the insurance companies.

Source: Interview with Philadelphia City paper , May 15, 2002

Establish a national childhood cancer database.

Casey co-sponsored establishing a national childhood cancer database

Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2007 - A bill to advance medical research and treatments into pediatric cancers, ensure patients and families have access to the current treatments and information regarding pediatric cancers, establish a population-based national childhood cancer database, and promote public awareness of pediatric cancers.

    Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to childhood cancer professional and direct service organizations for the expansion and widespread implementation of:
  1. activities that provide information on treatment protocols to ensure early access to the best available therapies and clinical trials for pediatric cancers;
  2. activities that provide available information on the late effects of pediatric cancer treatment to ensure access to necessary long-term medical and psychological care; and
  3. direct resource services such as educational outreach for parents, information on school reentry and postsecondary education, and resource directories or referral services for financial assistance, psychological counseling, and other support services.
Legislative Outcome: House version H.R.1553; became Public Law 110-285 on 7/29/2008.
Source: Conquer Childhood Cancer Act (S911/HR1553) 07-S911 on Mar 19, 2007

Increase funding for occupational & physical therapy.

Casey signed Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (MARS)

Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2011 - Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to repeal the cap on outpatient physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy services of the type furnished by a physician or as an incident to physicians` services.


Section 1833 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395(l)) is amended by striking subsection (g).

[Explanatory note from Wikipedia.com `Therapy Cap`]:

In 1997 Congress established per-person Medicare spending limits, or `therapy cap` for nonhospital outpatient therapy, but responding to concerns that some people with Medicare need extensive services, it has since placed temporary moratoriums on the caps. The therapy cap is a combined $1,810 Medicare cap for physical therapy and speech language pathology, and a separate $1,810 cap for occupational therapy ($1870 for 2011). Medicare patients requiring rehabilitation from disabilities, car accidents, hip injuries, stroke, and other ailments would be limited to roughly two months worth of treatments at an outpatient therapy clinic. Any patients that exceed the cap, whether they are healed or not, would have to stop therapy, or pay for the therapy services out of their own pocket.Several medical associations have lobbied against therapy caps because the bill inadvertently restricted disabled seniors, stroke patients, and other severe cases from receiving therapy treatments.

Source: HR.1546&S829 11-S0829 on Apr 14, 2011

Opposes repealing ObamaCare.

Casey opposes the CC Voters Guide question on ObamaCare

Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Repealing "Obamacare" that forces citizens to buy insurance or pay a tax"

Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q5a on Oct 31, 2012

Preserve access to Medicaid & SCHIP during economic downturn.

Casey co-sponsored preserving access to Medicaid & SCHIP in economic downturn

A bill to preserve access to Medicaid and the State Children`s Health Insurance Program during an economic downturn.

Source: Economic Recovery in Health Care Act (S.2819) 2008-S2819 on Apr 7, 2008

Expand the National Health Service Corps.

Casey signed Access for All America Act

    A bill to achieve access to comprehensive primary health care services for all Americans and to reform the organization of primary care delivery through an expansion of the Community Health Center and National Health Service Corps programs. Amends the Public Health Service Act to:
  1. increase and extend the authorization of appropriations for community health centers and for the National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment program for FY2010-FY2015, and provide for increased funding for such programs in FY2016 and each subsequent fiscal year; and
  2. revise and expand provisions allowing a community health center to provide services at different locations, adjust its operating plan and budget, enter into arrangements with other centers to purchase supplies and services at reduced cost, and correct material failures in grant compliance.
Source: S.486&HR1296 2009-S486 on Mar 4, 2009

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