Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Which 11 Democrats Joined the GOP in Their Latest Assault on the Affordable Care Act?

On Tuesday, the House passed the deceptively named Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015. Given that the bill was coming from the party that wants to slash and voucherize Medicare, it's clear that it's not about Medicare rights. So what is it about?
This bill would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which was established under the ACA in response to high rates of growth in Medicare expenditures and charged with developing proposals to "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending." However, due in part to the success of the Affordable Care Act in slowing Medicare’s growth rate, CBO projects that the IPAB will not be triggered until 2024. By repealing IPAB before it has a chance to work, the bill would eliminate an important safeguard that will help reduce the rate of Medicare cost growth responsibly while protecting Medicare beneficiaries. The bill is simply another in a long line of House Republican efforts to undermine both the Medicare guarantee and the Affordable Care Act.
Further, because the CBO has estimated that the cost of repealing IPAB would be $7.1 billion over 10 years, Republicans have chosen to pay for the cost of repeal with cuts to the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. This fund is used to make national investments in prevention and public health, to improve health outcomes, and to enhance health care quality. It has been used to increase awareness of and access to preventive health services and reduce tobacco use - concentrating on the causes of chronic disease to help more Americans stay healthy.
Eliminating these funds in the name of damaging the sustainability of Medicare is a two-pronged attack on our nation’s public health.
In other words, it's just the latest in the never-ending series of GOP attacks on the Affordable Care Act. And it's a waste of time because Obama will veto it.

The bill passed 244 to 154.

11 Democrats voted with Republicans. Here they are:

Nick Ashford (NE-02)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
David Scott (GA-13)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

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