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John Ashcroft on Health Care

Former Attorney General; Former Republican Senator (MO)


Voted against penalties on tobacco companies

The Justice Department’s crusade against Big Tobacco may end under Ashcroft. In 1998, he voted against against Sen. John McCain’s tobacco regulation bill to impose huge penalties on tobacco companies if they didn’t decrease rates of youth smoking, saying among other things that the companies shouldn’t take all the blame. “There is something that really hasn’t been talked about in the debate: individual responsibility. ... People have known there are adverse health impacts,” he said at the time.
Source: ABCnews.com, “An Ashcroft Justice Department” , Dec 23, 2000

Medicare lockbox; more funding too

Source: JohnAshcroft.org, campaign web site , Nov 7, 2000

Sole committee vote against 1998 McCain tobacco bill

As chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, McCain became the senator charged with the issue of forging consensus on tobacco legislation--an unlikely issue in that McCain was himself an avid smoker in the Hanoi Hilton. Pres. Clinton, in a White House ceremony, endorsed the 1997 agreement to regulate tobacco--the deal that had been brokered between the tobacco companies and certain state attorneys general. The bill, christened the McCain bill, passed through the Commerce Committee by a vote of 19-1. Members of both parties, with an eye to events beyond the 1998 mid-term elections, suggested that McCain's skill in shepherding such a contentious issue through committee demonstrated presidential caliber. (The sole dissenting negative vote belonged to the conservative Republican John Ashcroft of Missouri.) The McCain bill failed in the Senate.
Source: John McCain: An Essay, by John Karaagac, p.180-187 , Sep 20, 2000

$150M for basic health care for uninsured

Q. Even if Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program enroll all “eligible” children, there would still be millions of uninsured children. How do you propose insuring each and every child in America?

A. Because of our state’s limited government resources, it is important to focus on children whose families cannot afford health insurance. I support initiatives that give uninsured families more options to obtain health insurance, such as allowing full deductibility for health insurance costs for families headed by self-employed individuals, and health insurance tax deductions/credits for families who cannot obtain coverage from an employer. I continue to strongly support funding increases for consolidated health centers, which give uninsured individuals - including children - access to basic health care. Most recently I called for a $150 million increase in community health centers funding for FY2001.

Source: National Association of Children’s Hospitals survey , Sep 9, 2000

Voted NO on including prescription drugs under Medicare.

Vote to establish a prescription drug benefit program through the Medicare health insurance program. Among other provisions, Medicare would contribute at least 50% of the cost of prescription drugs and beneficiaries would pay a $250 deductible
Reference: Bill HR.4690 ; vote number 2000-144 on Jun 22, 2000

Voted YES on limiting self-employment health deduction.

The Santorum (R-PA) amdt would effectively kill the Kennedy Amdt (D-MA) which would have allowed self-employed individuals to fully deduct the cost of their health insurance on their federal taxes.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)53; N)47
Reference: Santorum Amdt #1234; Bill S. 1344 ; vote number 1999-202 on Jul 13, 1999

Voted NO on increasing tobacco restrictions.

This cloture motion was on a bill which would have increased tobacco restrictions. [YES is an anti-smoking vote].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)57; N)42; NV)1
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on a modified committee substitute to S. 1415; Bill S. 1415 ; vote number 1998-161 on Jun 17, 1998

Voted YES on Medicare means-testing.

Approval of means-based testing for Medicare insurance premiums.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)70; N)20
Reference: Motion to table the Kennedy Amdt #440; Bill S. 947 ; vote number 1997-113 on Jun 24, 1997

Voted NO on blocking medical savings acounts.

Vote to block a plan which would allow tax-deductible medical savings accounts.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)52; N)46; NV)2
Reference: Kassebaum Amdt #3677; Bill S. 1028 ; vote number 1996-72 on Apr 18, 1996

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Page last updated: Mar 09, 2014