Monday, 28 May 2018

Bernie Sanders stopped by democrats in effort to lower drug prices.

Most of those votes were party line—or party line with the exception of Susan Collins (R-ME) and/or Dean Heller (R-NV). Heller is the only Republican facing re-election in 2018 in a state that Clinton won.

The one vote that broke this trend was perhaps the most interesting one of the night.

That was the vote on the amendment by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to lower drug prices by allowing for the importation of prescription drugs from Canada.

The amendment failed 46-52. 12 Republicans joined Klobuchar and Sanders in voting for it. And 13 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 12 Republicans:

John Boozman (R-AR)

Susan Collins (R-ME)

Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Dean Heller (R-NV)

John Kennedy (R-LA)

Mike Lee (R-UT)

John McCain (R-AZ)

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Rand Paul (R-KY)

John Thune (R-SD)

Here are the 13 Democrats:

Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Tom Carper (D-DE)

Bob Casey (D-PA)

Chris Coons (D-DE)

Joe Donnelly (D-IN)

Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

Patty Murray (D-WA)

Jon Tester (D-MT)

Mark Warner (D-VA)

Pharmaceutical_Manufacturing_Campaign_Contributions_to_U.S._Congress_Legislators_MapLight_-_Money_and_Politics_-_2017-01-12_10.19.46.png

Bennet, Booker, Casey, and Murray are among the biggest recipients of pharmaceutical industry money in the Senate (as you can see in the chart to the right).

Democrats saw less division in the other amendments (with only one defection across the other 24 amendments). I’ve provided an overview below.

1. Tim Kaine & Chris Murphy’s amendment to prevent the Senate from considering fast-track legislation that increases health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for Americans, reduces the number of Americans with health coverage, or reduces the benefits provided by private health insurers: 48-52 (party line)

2. Rand Paul’s amendment to balance the budget while still repealing the Affordable Care Act: 14-83

3. Mazie Hirono & Joe Donnelly’s amendment to create a budget point of order to prevent changes to Medicare that raise the eligibility age, change eligibility requirements, or privatize and voucherize the program; and to prevent changes to Medicaid that reduce state funding from current levels: 49-47 (party line, with Susan Collins and Dean Heller joining the Dems)

4. Jeff Flake’s amendment: 31-67

5. Bernie Sanders’s amendment to create a budget point of order to prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: 49-49 (Collins joined the Dems)

6. Bill Nelson’s amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would repeal health reforms that closed the prescription drug coverage gap under Medicare: 47-51 (party line)

7. Angus King’s amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would reduce health insurance access and affordability for individuals based on their occupation: 48-50 (party line, with Collins joining the Dems)

8. John Barrasso’s amendment that blames the Affordable Care Act for the shuttering of rural hospitals and reaffirms repeal: 51-47 (party line)

9. Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, and Jon Tester’s amendment create a point of order against legislation that would harm rural hospitals and health care providers: 51-47 (WV’s Shelley Moore Capito, ME’s Susan Collins, NV’s Dean Heller, and OH’s Rob Portman joined the Dems)

10. Dean Heller’s amendment to repeal and replace the ACA:  51-47 (party line)

11. Tammy Baldwin’s amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would reduce the number of young Americans enrolled in public or private health insurance, weaken dependent coverage of children up to age 26 under the ACA, and weaken access to care by increasing premiums or out-of-pocket costs for young Americans: 48-50 (party line, with Susan Collins joining the Dems)

12. Jeff Flake’s amendment to repeal and replace the ACA, faciliate medical facility leases, and create a blanket prohibition on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from hiring the formerly incarcerated without any consideration or inquiry into the relevance of the particular felony to the nature of the job: 50-48 (party line)

13. Jon Tester’s amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would limit veterans’ ability to choose VA health care: 48-50 (party line)

14. Bob Casey’s amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would limit or eliminate health care for someone with a pre-existing condition or place a lifetime cap on coverage with someone with a disability or chronic condition: 49-49 (party line, with Collins and Heller joining the Dems)

15. John Barrasso’s amendment to repeal and replace the ACA: 51-47 (party line)

16. Orrin Hatch’s amendment attacking the Medicaid expansion: 51-47 (party line)

17. Bob Menendez’s amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would eliminate or reduce Federal funding to States under the Medicaid expansion: 48-50 (party line, with Heller joining the Dems)

18. Lamar Alexander’s amendment that seems to be an attempt to block things like the Klobuchar-Sanders amendment on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry: 49-49 (IA’s Chuck Grassley and UT’s Orrin Hatch joined the Dems)

19. Ron Wyden’s amendment to create a point of order against any legislation that does not lower drug prices: 47-51 (party line)

20. Deb Fischer’s amendment “to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to strengthening Social Security or health care for women, which may include strengthening community health centers, and repealing and replacing Obamacare”: 52-46 (party line, with Joe Manchin joining the GOP)

21. Kirsten Gillibrand’s amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would roll back women’s health care: 49-49 (party line, with Collins and Heller joining the Dems)

22. Orrin Hatch’s amendment to repeal and replace the ACA: 51-47 (party line)

23. Sherrod Brown’s amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would undermine the historic coverage gains the United States has made in children’s health: 49-49 (party line, with Collins and Heller joining the Dems)

It is unclear to me whether there was any unique content to the three “repeal and replace” amendments other than a compendium of cliched and inaccurate talking points.

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