What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : H.R. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Instruct House Conferees to Strike Health Savings Accounts From the Conference Committee Version of the Prescription Drug Bill. (2003 house Roll Call 542)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
H.R. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Instruct House Conferees to Strike Health Savings Accounts From the Conference Committee Version of the Prescription Drug Bill.
house Roll Call 542     Oct 15, 2003
Member's Vote
(progressive
or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

Both the House and the Senate passed legislation earlier in the congressional session which would provide prescription drug coverage through private insurance companies. Because the legislation which emerged from each legislative body differed in certain respects, a conference committee was convened to iron out differences between the two bills. In an effort to influence the policy debate within the conference committee, Representative Schakowsky (D-IL) motioned to instruct House conferees to reject provisions in the House-passed bill which would create tax-favored health savings accounts. Progressives supported Schakowsky's motion because, in their view, health savings accounts would mainly benefit middle and high income earners rather than those individuals who are least able to afford prescription drugs. The estimated $174 billion cost of implementing health savings accounts, Progressives argued, could be better spent closing the gaps in prescription drug coverage which are contained in both the House and Senate versions of the legislation. In the House-passed bill, for instance, patients would be required to pay full price-i.e. get no insurance coverage-for all expenditures on prescription drugs between $2000 and $4900 per year. Progressives noted that half of all seniors have yearly expenditures on prescription drugs which fall within this gap in coverage. Conservatives voted against the motion to instruct; in their view, health savings accounts would provide individuals with a safe, reliable, and tax-favored method of saving for future health expenses. Republicans voted unanimously in opposition to Schakowsky's motion to instruct and, on a 190-218 vote, the motion was struck down and the House conferees were not instructed to strike health savings accounts from the conference committee version of the prescription drug bill.

N Y L
Issue Areas:
Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss