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Bob Riley on Health Care

Republican Governor; previously GOP Representative (AL-3)


Voted YES on allowing suing HMOs, but under federal rules & limited award.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would limit liability and damage awards when a patient is harmed by a denial of health care. It would allow a patient to sue a health maintenance organization in state court but federal, not state, law would govern.
Bill HR 2563 ; vote number 2001-329 on Aug 2, 2001

Voted YES on subsidizing private insurance for Medicare Rx drug coverage.

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

Limit anti-trust lawsuits on health plans and insurers.

Riley co-sponsored limiting anti-trust lawsuits on health plans and insurers

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:

EXCERPTS FROM CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS:

    Congress finds the following:
  1. A large number of Americans receive their health care coverage from managed health care plans.
  2. The market power of insurance companies has increased tremendously since the early 1990's, due to mergers and acquisitions.
  3. Health plans improperly manipulate the practice of medicine through such mechanisms as inappropriately making medical necessity determinations, and knowingly denying and delaying payment.
  4. The intent of the antitrust laws is to encourage competition and protect the consumer, and the current per se standard for enforcing the antitrust laws in the health care field frequently does not achieve these objectives.
  5. An application of the "rule of reason" will tend to promote both competition and high-quality patient care.
  6. In any action under the antitrust laws challenging a health plan, conduct shall not be deemed illegal per se, but shall be judged on the basis of its reasonableness, taking into account all relevant factors affecting competition and proposed contract terms.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary; never called for a House vote.

Source: Health Care Antitrust Improvements Act (H.R.3897) 02-HR3897 on Mar 7, 2002

3.2% funding increase for National Institutes of Health.

Riley signed Letter from 24 Governors to leaders in Congress

NIH, as well as the indirect job benefits of laboratories needing space, supplies, services, and equipment. We are also deeply aware that NIH-funded discoveries are the basis of new companies and even new industries in our communities.

NIH research is an instrumental part of the success of the US life sciences industry and its 6 million high-wage US jobs. Moreover, follow-on life science research advances are now stimulating new jobs and new solutions in green energy, agriculture, the environment and industrial manufacturing. NIH funding enables the scientific talent and discoveries that are at the heart of this vast array of economic activity.

As you develop the Congressional Budget Resolution, we urge you to enable the 3.2% funding increase for NIH contained in the President's budget request. We thank you for your past support for biomedical research and ask you to craft a budget resolution that accommodates the President's $32.2 billion FY 2011 NIH budget request.

The greatest contribution NIH makes is to the health and well-being of Americans. Past federal investments in medical research, combined with those from the private sector, have led to improved health, better quality of life, and improved productivity of millions of patients and their families.

But NIH is also an important national, regional, and local economic engine. Together, our states received more than $19 billion from the NIH last year for promising research efforts. NIH funding directly supports 350,000 jobs across the US. In our states, we see firsthand the world class research institutions and scientific teams enabled by

Source: Letter from 24 Governors to leaders in Congress 100413-Gov on Apr 13, 2010

Loosen "one-size-fits-all" approach to Medicaid.

Riley signed Letter to Pres. Obama from 32 Governors

As Governors, we are writing to you regarding the excessive constraints placed on us by healthcare-related federal mandates. One of our biggest concerns continues to be the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which prevent states from managing their Medicaid programs for their unique Medicaid populations. We ask for your immediate action to remove these MOE requirements so that states are once again granted the flexibility to control their program costs and make necessary budget decisions.

Every Governor, Republican and Democrat, will face unprecedented budget challenges in the coming months. Efforts to regulate state operations impose greater uncertainty on our budgets for oncoming years and create a perfect storm when coupled with the current state of the economy.

Health and education are the primary cost drivers for most state budgets. Medicaid enrollment is up. Revenues are down. States are unable to afford the current Medicaid program, yet our hands are tied by the MOE requirements. The effect of the federal requirements is unconscionable; the federal requirements force Governors to cut other critical state programs, such as education, in order to fund a "one-size-fits-all" approach to Medicaid. Again, we ask you to lift the MOE requirements so that states may make difficult budget decisions in ways that reflect the needs of their residents.

Source: Letter to Obama from 32 Governors 110107-Gov on Jan 7, 2011

Collect data on birth defects and present to the public.

Riley co-sponsored the Birth Defects Prevention Act

Corresponding House bill is H.R.1114. Became Public Law No: 105-168.
Source: Bill sponsored by 35 Senators and 164 Reps 97-S419 on Mar 11, 1997

Other governors on Health Care: Bob Riley on other issues:
AL Gubernatorial:
Robert Bentley
AL Senatorial:
Jeff Sessions
Richard Shelby

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 21, 2011