This was a vote on a motion to recommit that would have required the Health and Human Services Department to post on its website a list of the school districts that would lose federal funding for school health centers as a result of legislation repealing a provision of major health care reform law that provided funding for those health centers. A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. This motion was offered to legislation repealing a provision of the 2010 health care reform law—which was signed into law by President Obama and established near universal health coverage in the U.S.—that provided federal funds for such school-based health care centers.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) urged support for this motion to recommit: “School-based health centers are on the front lines of preventative care, and preventative care saves lives and saves money, and school-based centers are on the front lines of preventative care. As a nurse for over 30 years, I know that prevention can keep people out of the emergency rooms that taxpayers help fund, and it keeps them from needing expensive procedures and medicines that drive up insurance costs. Patients seen at school-based centers, for example, cost Medicaid an average of $30 less than comparable nonschool-based health center patients. School-based health centers play an important role in treating sports concussions and halting the spread of infectious diseases like the flu….I offer this motion to recommit today to highlight the terrible impacts of the Republican approach in this legislation.”
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) opposed the motion to recommit: “Washington's addiction to spending has become crystal clear to the American people, and the passage of this massive health care law by President Obama last year is exhibit A. Of the thousands of problems in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the underlying bill, H.R. 1214 [the underlying bill], addresses but one of them and a very small one at that. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides $200 million in mandatory funding for the construction of school-based health centers. The bill eliminates this funding as our nation faces a mounting deficit and debt crisis. Funding for school-based health center construction may be a good idea. Maybe it's not a good idea. Maybe we should have that debate, which we didn't in the run-up to the passage of this bill [health care reform law]. But the 111th Congress, the last Congress, did not think about it before they threw literally $200 million at the program [in the health care reform law]….The motion to recommit, brought forward by the other side, shows they simply do not realize that we have a spending problem in Washington, D.C….I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the motion to recommit, `yes' on the underlying bill. Let's get our fiscal house back in order.”
The House rejected this motion to recommit by a vote of 180-230. Voting “yea’ were 180 Democrats. All 222 Republicans present and 8 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected a motion to recommit that would have required the Health and Human Services Department to post on its website a list of the school districts that would lose federal funding for school health centers as a result of legislation repealing a provision of major health care reform law that provided funding for those health centers.