Greenwald exposes Latham's real record on health care

Following up on my post about Congressman Tom Latham’s first television ad, Becky Greenwald’s campaign has publicized the gory details about what the fourth district’s loyal Republican foot-soldier has done on health care in Congress.

Excerpt:

Tom Latham’s campaign released their first advertisement called “Trusted Leadership” on healthcare touting one piece of bipartisan legislation. However one bill can’t hide Latham’s years of voting with the George Bush and the Republican Party 94% of the time. These bills benefit the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies and hurt the American people.

“Latham’s ad is nothing more than a distraction from his real record of partisan votes with Bush and the Republicans against healthcare and hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interests,” said Erin Seidler, Greenwald Campaign spokesperson. “Becky Greenwald will fight for comprehensive healthcare for all Americans and fix the disastrous Medicare Part D program.”

The full text of the press release is after the jump. Good stuff.


For Immediate Release                                                                Contact: Erin Seidler

September 23, 2008                                                                                 515-537-4465

Latham Ad Distracts from Partisan Record on Healthcare

One Bill Won’t Hide Years of Bad Votes on Healthcare

Waukee, IA – Tom Latham’s campaign released their first advertisement called “Trusted Leadership” on healthcare touting one piece of bipartisan legislation. However one bill can’t hide Latham’s years of voting with the George Bush and the Republican Party 94% of the time. These bills benefit the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies and hurt the American people.

“Latham’s ad is nothing more than a distraction from his real record of partisan votes with Bush and the Republicans against healthcare and hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interests,” said Erin Seidler, Greenwald Campaign spokesperson. “Becky Greenwald will fight for comprehensive healthcare for all Americans and fix the disastrous Medicare Part D program.”

Tom Latham’s Partisan Record on Healthcare:

Tom Latham has accepted $85,900 from pharmaceutical industry since he was elected according to Center for Responsive Politics  [www.opensecrets.org, accessed 7/03/08]

According to the Center for Responsive Politics Latham has taken $192,657 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry.

Voted to Block SCHIP Veto Override Attempt. In 2008, Latham opposed a motion made by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) to end debate and consider a veto override of the bill to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program at nearly $60 billion over five years, expanding the program by $35 billion.   The motion passed 217-195.  HR3963, Vote #21, 1/23/08

Opposed Expansion of Children’s Health Care In 2007, Latham voted against the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007, legislation to expand the current State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by $47.8 billion. The bill expanded the current State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by $47.8 billion in order to bring 5 million children into the government health insurance program in addition to the 6.6 million children already enrolled.

The measure also expanded the federal subsidy program for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, eliminates the current penalty for those enrolling late in the new Medicare prescription drug program, requires that the poorest Medicare beneficiaries be put in prescription drug plans that cover 95% of the 100 most used drugs, and makes permanent the program that helps low-income people pay their Medicare premiums. The White House threatened to veto the bill as an ill-advised expansion of government-run insurance.” [Congressional Quarterly House Action Reports, No. 110-21/July 31, 2007]

According to the Washington Post, the bill included two “noteworthy innovations. It would focus additional federal health-care spending on ensuring that poor children eligible for coverage actually receive it. And it would end expensive and unnecessary subsidies for managed-care programs for seniors while making new efforts to help the poorest seniors.” Washington Post, 7/30/07] The bill passed 225-204.  [HR 3162, Vote #787, 8/1/07

Voted for 2003 Drug Plan That Cost Seniors Thousands In 2003, Latham voted in favor of the prescription drug bill. The prescription drug plan pushed seniors into HMOs, had no limits on premiums and contained a massive gap in coverage that will still cost many seniors thousands. According to the Kaiser Foundation, 33 percent of seniors – one in three – will probably have drug costs between $2,000 and $5,000, the size of the House coverage gap. Kaiser also estimates that the average Medicare beneficiary would still have to pay $1,760 in out-of-pocket drug costs.  New York Times, 6/28/03; CQ Weekly, 7/5/03] The bill passed, 216-215.  [HR 1, Vote #332, 6/26/03

Opposed Medicare Prescription Drug Negotiation In 2007, Latham voted against requiring the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices. The bill included discounts, rebates, and other price concessions that may be charged for drugs covered under the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Chicago Tribune, 1/13/07; CQ Weekly, 1/08/07] The bill passed 255-170.  [HR 4, Vote #23, 1/12/07

Voted to Prevent Reimportation of Prescription Drugs In 2007, Latham voted in favor of an amendment to the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill to prevent the reimportation of prescription drugs. The amendment would have removed language in the bill which barred the use of funds by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent individuals, wholesalers and pharmacists from importing FDA-approved prescription drugs. Congressional Quarterly] The amendment was defeated 152-278.  [HR 3161, Vote #806, 8/2/07

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