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Jon Corzine on Health Care

Democratic Jr Senator (NJ)


Universal access to health care, with restrictions

Q: Your plan for universal access to health care requires that businesses provide coverage to their employees and cover most of the cost. Would that hurt small businesses?

A: It would not hurt small business because I would create a situation where the employee takes up part of the responsibility for paying for the insurance, with support on a means-tested basis for the employee. And I would work to encourage regional pools, which the federal government then would provide subsidies to.

Source: NJ Senatorial debate with Rep. Bob Franks , Oct 9, 2000

Share health costs among business, employees, & government

Q: What about the cost to small business of your plan for universal access to health care?

A: [Small businesses] have to understand that it is going to be a co-pay arrangement with the employees and there will be support for the employees based on means- testing, and that there will be substantial subsidizations to regional pools. If that’s the case, the cost will be less, and frankly, the idea of using tax deductions for low- income workers who may not even be paying taxes, maybe even in an earned-income tax credit basis, is not going to provide the kind of access at health care that’s going to make sense for a lot of the folks that work in these low-paying jobs. And the idea that this is going to cause unemployment I think is about like saying raising the minimum wage in 1996 was going to throw us into a recession. The fact is the economy has continued to grow, grow very effectively.

Source: NJ Senatorial debate with Rep. Bob Franks , Oct 9, 2000

Supports More Federal Funding for Health Coverage

We need to change health insurance so every American is covered in the right way, and we need to do it now.
Source: Web site VoteCorzine.org, “Cover ALL children” , Sep 19, 2000

Voted YES on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would allow federal government negotiations with prescription drug manufactures for the best possible prescription drug prices. Amendment details: To ensure that any savings associated with legislation that provides the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to participate in the negotiation of contracts with manufacturers of covered part D drugs to achieve the best possible prices for such drugs under Medicare Part D of the Social Security Act, that requires the Secretary to negotiate contracts with manufacturers of such drugs for each fallback prescription drug plan, and that requires the Secretary to participate in the negotiation for a contract for any such drug upon the request of a prescription drug plan or an MA-PD plan, is reserved for reducing expenditures under such part.
Reference: Prescription Drug Amendment; Bill S.Amdt. 214 to S.Con.Res. 18 ; vote number 2005-60 on Mar 17, 2005

Voted YES on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit.

S. 1 As Amended; Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $400 billion over 10 years to create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients beginning in 2006. Seniors would be allowed to remain within the traditional fee-for-service program or seniors would have the option to switch to a Medicare Advantage program that includes prescription drug coverage. Private insurers would provide prescription drug coverage. Private Insurers would engage in competitive bidding to be awarded two-year regional contracts by the Center for Medicare Choices under the Department of Health and Human Services.Enrolled seniors would pay a $275 deductible and an average monthly premium of $35. Annual drug costs beyond the deductible and up to $4,500 would be divided equally between the beneficiary and the insurer. Beneficiaries with incomes below 160 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for added assistance.
Reference: Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit bill; Bill S.1/H.R.1 ; vote number 2003-262 on Jun 26, 2003

Voted YES on allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada.

S. 812, as amended; Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2002. Vote to pass a bill that would permit a single 30-month stay against Food and Drug Administration approval of a generic drug patent when a brand-name company's patent is challenged. The secretary of Health and Human Services would be authorized to announce regulations allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canada into the United States. Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers that provide drugs for importation would be required to register with Health and Human Services. Individuals would be allowed to import prescription drugs from Canada. The medication would have to be for an individual use and a supply of less than 90-days.
Reference: Bill S.812 ; vote number 2002-201 on Jul 31, 2002

Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages.

Vote to provide federal protections, such as access to specialty and emergency room care, and allow patients to sue health insurers in state and federal courts. Economic damages would not be capped, and punitive damages would be capped at $5 million.
Reference: Bill S1052 ; vote number 2001-220 on Jun 29, 2001

Voted NO on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Vote to pass an amendment that would make up to $300 billion available for a Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2002 through 2011. The money would come from the budget's contingency fund. The amendment would also require a Medicare overhaul.
Reference: Bill H Con Res 83 ; vote number 2001-65 on Apr 3, 2001

Invest funds to alleviate the nursing shortage.

Corzine co-sponsored the Nurse Reinvestment Act

Source: Bill sponsored by 39 Senators 01-S706 on Apr 5, 2001

Rated 100% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record.

Corzine scores 100% by APHA on health issues

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health. APHA is concerned with a broad set of issues affecting personal and environmental health, including federal and state funding for health programs, pollution control, programs and policies related to chronic and infectious diseases, a smoke-free society, and professional education in public health.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: APHA website 03n-APHA on Dec 31, 2003

End government propaganda on Medicare bill.

Corzine signed a letter from 6 Senators to Directors of Television Networks

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through a public relations firm, distributed Video News Releases (VNRs) to numerous local television news stations across the country. These VNRs contain pre-scripted news story packages and B-Roll designed to influence local news station to run stories complimentary of the new Medicare law recently signed by President Bush. However, these VNRs may mislead many news stations because they do not identify that they are produced by the government. In addition, these materials are currently being evaluated to determine whether they are illegal "covert propaganda."

We urge you to immediately warn stations not to use these materials and pull any stories that use them.

These tapes can be identified as follows: Two English-language versions begin with B-Roll of video slides promoting the new Medicare law, followed by interview soundbites from Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Leslie Norwalk, Acting Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Following these soundbites, a complete television news package is run, with a voice-over by a fictional reporter named "Karen Ryan." Following the news package, more B-Roll is provided, including scenes of President Bush's rally at the signing of the bill, scenes from a pharmacy and scenes of seniors playing table games.

It is critical to the credibility of an independent news media that covert government propaganda be rejected for use by news organizations. We also believe that honest government should not resort to such deceptive tactics, and it is our belief that these materials violate the above-mentioned Federal law. Thank you for your cooperation with this request.

Source: Letter from 6 Senators to Directors of Television Networks 04-SEN3 on Mar 15, 2004

Adopt national health reform legislation before the end of the year.

Corzine signed a letter from 22 Governors to Congressional leaders:

In a letter to congressional leadership, 22 governors are urging federal lawmakers to adopt national health reform legislation before the end of the year to provide families and businesses with much-needed security and stability.

"We commend you and your colleagues for provisions included in your bills that will help states," the governors wrote. "Many of the provisions will allow states to achieve long term savings and help cover those who currently go without health coverage. We recognize that health reform is a shared responsibility and everyone, including state governments, needs to partner to reform our broken health care system."

"Efforts at the federal level, like the recent and critical investments that support states' HIV and prevention initiatives, are beginning the work to lower health care costs. Our citizens and our states, however, will only achieve the health care security and stability they need if we succeed in working together to achieve health care reform."

Source: Letter from CO Gov. Bill Ritter and 21 other Governors 10-GOV1 on Oct 1, 2009

Extend SCHIP with full funding, plus $12B for Medicaid.

Corzine signed extending SCHIP with full funding, plus $12B for Medicaid

We understand that Congress is moving toward another temporary funding extension for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The nation's governors recommend the extension include sufficient funds so no state faces a shortfall during the time of the extension. Going forward, full reauthorization of SCHIP remains our top priority and we are hopeful that Congress and the Administration will continue discussions to ensure a sensible, bipartisan SCHIP reauthorization proposal is reached as soon as possible.

In addition, the series of recent Medicaid administrative changes represents a significant cost shift to states of approximately $12 billion in federal Medicaid spending over five years that governors strongly oppose. Sufficient time is needed to evaluate the proposed regulations and we request Congress consider imposing new and extending existing moratoriums on the proposed Medicaid regulations to provide this opportunity.

Source: Letter from 4 governors to House & Senate leadership NGA-0712HC on Dec 17, 2007

Delay Medicaid changes that shift costs from feds to states.

Corzine signed delaying Medicaid changes that shift costs from feds to states

The nation's governors urge you to include state countercyclical funding as part of your legislation to stimulate the economy. This would include $6 billion in Medicaid assistance by freezing scheduled federal FMAP reductions and increasing all states' FMAP as well as providing $6 billion in a flexible block grant.

The revenue reductions and Medicaid increases that accompany all economic downturns, in combination with state balanced budget requirements, are forcing states to cut spending as the economy weakens. These actions are procyclical and will make the current downturn both longer and more severe.

States already are experiencing the effects of the slowing economy. During the last two recessions, the state fiscal picture continued to deteriorate for two years after the recessions ended. If the current downturn follows the path of the two previous recessions, 35 to 40 states will face budget cuts in 2009.

In 2003, While we strongly believe that a more thoughtful and collaborative consideration of the issues raised by these regulations is in the best interest of the Medicaid program, there simply is not sufficient time during the remainder of the congressional calendar to fashion appropriate solutions. Your legislation delays implementation of the regulations to ensure Congress has sufficient time to act appropriately on the regulations.

Your leadership on this high priority of the nation's governors is very much appreciated.

Source: Letter from 4 governors to House Cmte. on Energy & Commerce NGA-0804HC on Apr 2, 2008

Other governors on Health Care: Jon Corzine on other issues:
NJ Gubernatorial:
Chris Christie
NJ Senatorial:
Frank Lautenberg
Robert Menendez

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011