Rick Lazio on Health Care

Give uninsured employees a deduction to pay for health care

Q: Would you support a universal health care bill?

CLINTON: We need to take step-by-step progress toward providing insurance for every American. I’d expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program. I’d allow people between 55 and 65 to buy into Medicare. I want to see mental health considered on parity. He’s opposed the “patients’ bill of rights” that is supported in a bipartisan coalition, as well as by 300 medical and health groups. And he’s gone for the GOP version of the prescription drug benefit, which wouldn’t cover 650,000 New Yorkers.

LAZIO: Mrs. Clinton’s plan in 1993 would have been an unmitigated disaster. No New Yorker would ever have written a bill that would have led to 75,000 jobs being destroyed, health care rationing and the destruction of many of our teaching hospitals. I have supported doubling the amount of money that we spend on health care research. I have voted for deductibility for those employees who are not covered by an employer’s plan.

Source: (X-ref Hillary) Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Lazio: Hillary’s proposals would destroy teaching hospitals

Q: In 1993, why did you recommend measures that would have hurt New York’s teaching hospitals?

CLINTON: Senator Moynihan was absolutely right to propose a piece of legislation that would guarantee that our teaching hospitals will be funded to perform the functions that they do which can not be performed within the market at a profit, namely, training our doctors and nurses and providing health care for the sickest of the sick and doing the research we all benefit from.

LAZIO: You know, a New Yorker would never have made that proposal. Mrs. Clinton has had two opportunities - two opportunities to make policy: One on health care and one on education. And on health care it was an unmitigated disaster. It would have led to health care rationing. It would have destroyed teaching hospitals. It would have led to all types of unintended consequences, perhaps. But the bottom line is it would have been terrible for New York.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Patient rights include access but not unlimited lawsuits

Q: Why did you veto a patient bill of rights? A: First of all, there’s two different versions of the patients bill of rights that I supported. The two versions that I supported had access to specialists and quality care. I support a right to sue. But I don’t support unlimited damages and unlimited lawsuits. I want to make sure that patients get the care that they need in a timely fashion. I don’t want to force people to have to languish in court.
Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Opposes allowing patient lawsuits against HMOs

On Health. Lazio opposed a bipartisan bill last year that would place restrictions on health insurers and allow patients to sue their managed-care plans and supported instead Republican proposals that would not allow such lawsuits.
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Against allowing assisted suicide

On Suicide. Lazio voted to overturn Oregon’s assisted-suicide law.
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Hillary’s universal health care is “an abysmal disaster”

Lazio attacked Hillary Clinton’s attempt to promote a national health care plan, describing it as “an abysmal disaster.” Clinton has repeatedly called for universal affordable health care.
Source: New York Times, p. A19 May 22, 2000

Supports Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act

[With the Breast & Cervical Cancer Treatment Act] we took a substantial stride towards giving thousands of American women the gift of life. No longer will women be consigned to a literal death sentence merely because they cannot afford medical insurance. Congress brought Mothers’ Day a little bit early this year. Today’s legislation provides strong incentives for the individual States to include a Medicaid treatment package for those low-income women who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer.
Source: Press Release; by Heather O’Farrell May 9, 2000

Focus on prevention; patient rights; more coverage options

Source: National Political Awareness Test 1998 ( Jul 2, 1998

Voted YES on Prescription Drug Coverage under Medicare.

HR 4680, the Medicare Rx 2000 Act, would institute a new program to provide voluntary prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries through subsidies to private plans. The program would cost an estimated $40 billion over five years and would go into effect in fiscal 2003.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Thomas, R-CA; Bill HR 4680 ; vote number 2000-357 on Jun 28, 2000

Voted YES on banning physician-assisted suicide.

Vote on HR 2260, the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999, would ban the use of drugs for physician-assisted suicide. The bill would not allow doctors to give lethal prescriptions to terminally ill patients, and instead promotes "palliative care," or aggressive pain relief techniques.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hyde, R-IL; Bill HR 2260 ; vote number 1999-544 on Oct 27, 1999

Voted YES on establishing tax-exempt Medical Savings Accounts.

The bill allows all taxpayers to create a tax-exempt account for paying medical expenses called a Medical Savings Account [MSA]. Also, the measure would allow the full cost of health care premiums to be taken as a tax deduction for the self-employed and taxpayers who are paying for their own insurance. The bill would also allow the establishment of "HealthMarts," regional groups of insurers, health care providers and employers who could work together to develop packages for uninsured employees. Another provision of the bill would establish "association health plan," in which organizations could combine resources to purchase health insurance at better rates than they could separately.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Talent, R-MO; Bill HR 2990 ; vote number 1999-485 on Oct 6, 1999

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