Ted Kennedy on Health Care
Democratic Sr Senator (MA)
2006: Supported RomneyCare as model for other states
The plan we ultimately constructed & proposed to the legislature relied on three basic components:
Our first stop was the office of Ted Kennedy. He saw an opportunity to work on a bipartisan experiment that might
become a model for other states. He quickly grasped the structure of our program, and he agreed to support our approach. The bill wasn't perfect; nothing that groundbreaking could be. But it was a big improvement over what we had.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.173-175
, Mar 2, 2010
- Those who could afford insurance would either buy it pay their own health-care costs--no more free riders showing up at the hospital expecting to ge
care at tax-payers' expense
- For those who couldn't afford health insurance on their own, the state would pay a portion of their premium with the amount of the subsidy determined on a sliding scale by income
- To make it easier to insurers to service
individual customers, the state would create a "connector" or "exchange" that would collect premiums and pass them on to the insurers.
1972 book, "In Critical Condition", favored national system
When Pres. Truman proposed national health insurance in 1945, the AMA portrayed the idea as "socialized medicine." In a 1969 speech, I declared that the time had come for such a program, despite its unarguably high costs.
I expanded these views of the American health care system in my 1972 book "In Critical Condition."
I introduced the first bill of my career for national health insurance. It was defeated: the first setback in a long, long struggle.
Source: True Compass, by Edward M. Kennedy, p.303
, Sep 14, 2009
1974 cancer fight: address inhumanity of healthcare system
[Teddy Jr. was diagnosed with bone cancer & had one leg amputated.] In 1974, my resolute 12-year-old commenced a rigorous pattern: Every 3 weeks for 2 years, I would fly with Teddy from Washington to Boston, where he would endure 6 hours of lying nearly
motionless in his hospital bed while a needle dripped medicine into his bloodstream. The entire process covered 3 days.
My many hours at Boston Children's Hospital were precious in another way. While Teddy was asleep, I wandered the halls, and sought
out other parents who, like me, were keeping vigil. These were mostly working people. Their modest savings allowed them to raise their families comfortably and with hope--until catastrophe struck. It was in these conversations that the inhumanity of our
health care system truly hit home to me. We shared common ground in our anxieties about whether our children would live or die, or survive with debilitating frailties. But for my new friends, this was only one terrible part of a larger nightmare.
Source: True Compass, by Edward M. Kennedy, p.310
, Sep 14, 2009
1977: preferred single-payer but it's politically impossible
We negotiated long and hard in 1977 to compromise on a single-payer system and agree instead to support a plan built on our existing system of private insurance provided that coverage was mandatory and universal. I had personally supported single payer i
the past and understood the benefits of it, but I also knew that it would be politically impossible to pass.
The moment called for bold leadership and swift action built around a single piece of legislation. We continued to work toward that end. But
Pres. Carter continued to slow down the process. By the summer of 1978, I felt that the president was squandering a real opportunity to get something done. The Jimmy Carter who had declared that he wanted mandatory and universal coverage and had a plan
that was nearly identical to mine had now been replaced by the President Carter who wanted to approach health insurance in incremental steps, over time, if certain cost containment benchmarks were met.
Source: True Compass, by Edward M. Kennedy, p.359
, Sep 14, 2009
1970s: Quadrupled federal spending on cancer research
It was Ted Kennedy's influence quadrupled federal spending on cancer research back in the early 1970s; he who secured the funds for generations of scientists through the National Institutes of Health; and he who relentlessly expanded the federal role in
paying for the health care of children, the poor, and the elderly. The dramatic infusions of cash had transformed health care in America, enabling research centers to devise new treatments for the deadliest of diseases.
Without Ted's efforts to boost
funding through NIH, Medicare, and many other programs, Boston's Mass General as it is now known would not exist. Nor would the great research hospitals lining Boston's Longwood Avenue. Nor would the outstanding hospitals in other parts of the country.
Political leaders and historians had long acknowledged Ted's eminent role in expanding health-care treatments, but everyday citizens often failed to make the connection between Ted's health care policies and the great institutions they funded.
Source: Last Lion, by Peter Canellos, p. 6
, Feb 17, 2009
Quality health care is a fundamental right, not a privilege
For me, this is a season of hope, new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many and not just for the few, new hope. And this is the cause of my life, new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every
American -- north, south, east, west, young, old -- will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.
Source: Speech at 2008 Democratic National Convention
, Aug 26, 2008
Acknowledged expert on healthcare issues
Health care reform represented a steep learning curve for more than a few members of Congress. Given the volume of bills they are expected to vote on, most members focus on legislation related to their committee assignments and don't have time to learn
the intricacies of every issue before the House or Senate. But I was surprised to encounter more than one Congressman who didn't know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, both federally funded health insurance programs.
This knowledge gap became apparent to me one day at a meeting with a group of Senators. Ted Kennedy, one of the true experts on healthcare, listened to question after question posed by his colleagues.
Finally he barked out, "If you would just look at page 34 of the briefing material you'll find the answer to that question." He knew every detail--including page numbers--off the top of his head.
Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.232
, Nov 1, 2003
Let workers keep insurance when they change jobs
In early September 1994, it became clear that the president didn't have the votes even to get the health-care bill out of Senate committee. I warned Hillary that the failure to pass any health reform at all would seriously injure the administration in
general and her reputation in particular. I suggested that she back a limited bill [such as] the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill that Congress passed late in 1996. Bob Dole had endorsed such a concept. I said that if the Clinton's backed the
Dole bill as an alternative, Dole would be forced to support it since it was his bill, even though he was reluctant to pass anything at all that summer, hoping to use Clinton's failure to reform health care as a campaign issue.
Hillary was adamant that she would not back such a bill, because "you can't fix part of the problem,. If you do this over here, it causes this bad reaction over there. You've got to do it all or do nothing."
Source: Behind the Oval Office, by Dick Morris, p.111
, Jan 18, 1997
AIDS victims need protection against discrimination
In every era, society is confronted with the challenge of dealing with those who are disabled. All too often, out of fear and misunderstanding, the reaction is to shun those who are afflicted. Half a century ago, our response to the polio epidemic was to
close swimming pools. Most recently, we have seen the impact of fear and misinformation in the treatment of people with AIDS.
In every case, science, public health and painful experience have shown that the appropriate reaction is not to fear or to
isolate, but to reach out with assistance and support.
In no instance is this response more essential than in the epidemic of AIDS. Beyond the fundamental issues of fairness and justice for individuals, protections against discrimination for people
with HIV disease are essential to protect the public health. We cannot expect to bring this devastating scourge under control unless we make it possible for individuals who believe that they may be infected to come forward for counseling and testing.
Source: A Patriot's Handbook, by Caroline Kennedy, p.333-335
, May 9, 1989
Voted NO on means-testing to determine Medicare Part D premium.
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To require wealthy Medicare beneficiaries to pay a greater share of their Medicare Part D premiums.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES: Sen. ENSIGN: This amendment is to means test Medicare Part D the same way we means test Medicare Part B. An individual senior making over $82,000 a year, or a senior couple making over $164,000, would be expected to pay a little over $10 a month extra. That is all we are doing. This amendment saves a couple billion dollars over the next 5 years. It is very reasonable. There is nothing else in this budget that does anything on entitlement reform, and we all know entitlements are heading for a train wreck in this country. We ought to at least do this little bit for our children for deficit reduction.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO: Sen. BAUCUS: The problem with this amendment is exactly what the sponsor said: It is exactly like Part B. Medicare Part B is a premium that is paid with respect to doctors' examinations and Medicare reimbursement. Part D is the drug benefit. Part D premiums vary significantly nationwide according to geography and according to the plans offered. It is nothing like Part B.
Second, any change in Part D is required to be in any Medicare bill if it comes up. We may want to make other Medicare changes. We don't want to be restricted to means testing.
Third, this should be considered broad health care reform, at least Medicare reform, and not be isolated in this case. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 42-56
Bill S.Amdt.4240 to S.Con.Res.70
; vote number 08-S063
on Mar 13, 2008
Voted NO on allowing tribal Indians to opt out of federal healthcare.
TRIBAL MEMBER CHOICE PROGRAM: Members of federally-recognized Indian Tribes shall be provided the opportunity to voluntarily enroll, with a risk-adjusted subsidy for the purchase of qualified health insurance in order to--
- improve Indian access to high quality health care services;
- provide incentives to Indian patients to seek preventive health care services;
- create opportunities for Indians to participate in the health care decision process;
- encourage effective use of health care services by Indians; and
- allow Indians to make health care coverage & delivery decisions & choices.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. COBURN: The underlying legislation, S.1200, does not fix the underlying problems with tribal healthcare. It does not fix rationing. It does not fix waiting lines. It does not fix the inferior quality that is being applied to a lot of Native Americans and Alaskans in this country. It does not fix
any of those problems. In fact, it authorizes more services without making sure the money is there to follow it.
Those who say a failure to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act is a violation of our trust obligations are correct. However, I believe simply reauthorizing this system with minor modifications is an even greater violation of that commitment.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. DORGAN: It is not more money necessarily that is only going to solve the problem. But I guarantee you that less money will not solve the problem. If you add another program for other Indians who can go somewhere else and be able to present a card, they have now taken money out of the system and purchased their own insurance--then those who live on the reservation with the current Indian Health Service clinic there has less money. How does that work to help the folks who are stranded with no competition?
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 28-67
Reference: Tribal Member Choice Program;
Bill SA.4034 to SA.3899 to S.1200
; vote number 08-S025
on Feb 14, 2008
Voted YES on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility.
Allows State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), that require state legislation to meet additional requirements imposed by this Act, additional time to make required plan changes. Pres. Bush vetoed this bill on Dec. 12, 2007, as well as a version (HR976) from Feb. 2007.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. DINGELL: This is not a perfect bill, but it is an excellent bipartisan compromise. The bill provides health coverage for 3.9 million children who are eligible, yet remain uninsured. It meets the concerns expressed in the President's veto message [from HR976]:
- It terminates the coverage of childless adults.
- It targets bonus payments only to States that increase enrollments of the poorest uninsured children, and it prohibits States from covering families with incomes above $51,000.
- It contains adequate enforcement to ensure that only US citizens are covered.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. DEAL: This bill
[fails to] fix the previous legislation that has been vetoed:
- On illegal immigration: Would the verification system prevent an illegal alien from fraudulently using another person's name to obtain SCHIP benefits? No.
- On adults in SCHIP: Up to 10% of the enrollees in SCHIP will be adults, not children, in the next 5 years, and money for poor children shouldn't go to cover adults.
- On crowd-out: The CBO still estimates there will be some 2 million people who will lose their private health insurance coverage and become enrolled in a government-run program.
Veto message from President Bush:
Like its predecessor, HR976, this bill does not put poor children first and it moves our country's health care system in the wrong direction. Ultimately, our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage--not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage. As a result, I cannot sign this legislation.
Reference: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act;
Bill H.R. 3963
; vote number 2007-403
on Nov 1, 2007
Voted YES on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D.
Would require negotiating with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices that may be charged to prescription drug plan sponsors for covered Medicare part D drugs.
Proponents support voting YES because:
This legislation is an overdue step to improve part D drug benefits. The bipartisan bill is simple and straightforward. It removes the prohibition from negotiating discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and requires the Secretary of Health & Human Services to negotiate. This legislation will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.
It is equally important to understand that this legislation does not do certain things. HR4 does not preclude private plans from getting additional discounts on medicines they offer seniors and people with disabilities. HR4 does not establish a national formulary. HR4 does not require price controls. HR4 does not hamstring research and development by pharmaceutical houses.
HR4 does not require using the Department of Veterans Affairs' price schedule.
Opponents support voting NO because:
Does ideological purity trump sound public policy? It shouldn't, but, unfortunately, it appears that ideology would profoundly change the Medicare part D prescription drug program, a program that is working well, a program that has arrived on time and under budget. The changes are not being proposed because of any weakness or defect in the program, but because of ideological opposition to market-based prices. Since the inception of the part D program, America's seniors have had access to greater coverage at a lower cost than at any time under Medicare.
Under the guise of negotiation, this bill proposes to enact draconian price controls on pharmaceutical products. Competition has brought significant cost savings to the program. The current system trusts the marketplace, with some guidance, to be the most efficient arbiter of distribution.
Reference: Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act;
Bill S.3 & H.R.4
; vote number 2007-132
on Apr 18, 2007
Status: Cloture rejected Cloture vote rejected, 55-42 (3/5ths required)
Voted NO on limiting medical liability lawsuits to $250,000.
A "cloture motion" cuts off debate. Voting YEA indicates support for the bill as written, in this case to cap medical liability lawsuits. Voting NAY indicates opposition to the bill or a desire to amend it. This bill would "provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system." It would limit medical lawsuit noneconomic damages to $250,000 from the health care provider, and no more than $500,000 from multiple health care institutions.
Proponents of the motion recommend voting YEA because:
- Many doctors have had to either stop practicing medicine due to increased insurance premiums.
- Patients are affected as well--due to rising malpractice rates, more and more patients are not able to find the medical specialists they need.
- The cost of medical malpractice insurance premiums are having wide-ranging effects. It is a national problem, and it is time for a national solution.
- I am pleased that
S. 22 extends liability protections to all health care providers and institutions.
- These bills are a commonsense solution to a serious problem, and it is time for us to vote up or down on this legislation.
Opponents of the motion recommend voting NAY because:
Reference: Medical Care Access Protection Act;
Bill S. 22
; vote number 2006-115
on May 8, 2006
- We have virtually no evidence that caps on economic damages will actually lower insurance rates. And in my view, these caps are not fair to victims.
- If we want to reduce malpractice insurance premiums we must address these problems as well as looking closely at the business practices of the insurance companies. What we shouldn't do is limit the recovery of victims of horrible injury to an arbitrarily low sum.
- This is obviously a complicated issue. This is the kind of issue that needs to be explored in depth in our committees so that a consensus can emerge. So I will vote no on cloture, and I hope that these bills will go through committees before we begin floor consideration of this important topic.
Voted YES on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D.
To provide for necessary beneficiary protections in order to ensure access to coverage under the Medicare part D prescription drug program. Voting YES would extend the 6-month enrollment period for the Prescription Drug Benefit Program to the entire year of 2006 and allows beneficiaries to change plans once in that year, without penalty, after enrollment. Also would fully reimburse pharmacies, states and individuals for cost in 2006 for covered Medicare Part D drugs.
Reference: Medicare Part D Amendment;
Bill S Amdt 2730 to HR 4297
; vote number 2006-005
on Feb 2, 2006
Voted YES on increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics.
Vote on an amendment that removes an increase in the Medicaid deduction rebate for generic drugs from 11% to 17%. The effect of the amendment, according to its sponsor, is as follows: "This bill eliminates the ability of generic drugs to be sold using Medicaid. Over half the prescription drugs used in Medicaid are generic. Because we have raised the fees so dramatically on what a generic drug company must pay a pharmacy to handle the drug, pharmacies are not going to use the generic. In the long run, that will cost the Medicaid Program billions of dollars. My amendment corrects that situation." A Senator opposing the amendment said: "This bill has in it already very significant incentives for generic utilization through the way we reimburse generics. Brand drugs account for 67% of Medicaid prescriptions, but they also account for 81% of the Medicaid rebates. This is reasonable policy for us, then, to create parity between brand and generic rebates. This amendment would upset that parity."
Reference: Amendment for Medicaid rebates for generic drugs;
Bill S Amdt 2348 to S 1932
; vote number 2005-299
on Nov 3, 2005
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;
; 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.
; 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.
; 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.
Bill H Con Res 83
; vote number 2001-65
on Apr 3, 2001
Voted YES on including prescription drugs under Medicare.
Vote to establish a prescription drug benefit program through the Medicare health insurance program. Among other provisions, Medicare would contribute at least 50% of the cost of prescription drugs and beneficiaries would pay a $250 deductible
; vote number 2000-144
on Jun 22, 2000
Voted NO on limiting self-employment health deduction.
The Santorum (R-PA) amdt would effectively kill the Kennedy Amdt (D-MA) which would have allowed self-employed individuals to fully deduct the cost of their health insurance on their federal taxes.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)53; N)47
Reference: Santorum Amdt #1234;
Bill S. 1344
; vote number 1999-202
on Jul 13, 1999
Voted YES on increasing tobacco restrictions.
This cloture motion was on a bill which would have increased tobacco restrictions. [YES is an anti-smoking vote].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)57; N)42; NV)1
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on a modified committee substitute to S. 1415;
Bill S. 1415
; vote number 1998-161
on Jun 17, 1998
Voted NO on Medicare means-testing.
Approval of means-based testing for Medicare insurance premiums.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)70; N)20
Reference: Motion to table the Kennedy Amdt #440;
Bill S. 947
; vote number 1997-113
on Jun 24, 1997
Voted YES on blocking medical savings acounts.
Vote to block a plan which would allow tax-deductible medical savings accounts.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)52; N)46; NV)2
Reference: Kassebaum Amdt #3677;
Bill S. 1028
; vote number 1996-72
on Apr 18, 1996
Invest funds to alleviate the nursing shortage.
Kennedy co-sponsored the Nurse Reinvestment Act
Source: Bill sponsored by 39 Senators 01-S706 on Apr 5, 2001
- Amends Medicare to provide for nurse education training payments to qualified entities.
- Amends Medicaid to temporarily increase the matching rate for Medicaid nurse aide training and competency evaluation programs.
- Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide for the exclusion from gross income of amounts received under the National Nursing Service Corps Scholarship Program.
- Amends the Public Health Service Act to: (1) develop and issue public service announcements that advertise and promote the nursing profession, highlight the advantages and rewards of nursing, and encourage individuals from diverse communities and backgrounds to enter the nursing profession; and (2) award grants to designated eligible educational entities in order to increase the number of nurses.
- Establishes a National Nurse Service Corps Scholarship program that provides scholarships to individuals seeking nursing education in exchange for service by such individuals in areas with nursing shortages. Authorizes appropriations.
Let states make bulk Rx purchases, and other innovations.
Kennedy signed a letter from 30 Senators to the Secretary of HHS
To: The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary, Department of Health & Human Services
Dear Secretary Thompson:
As you know, prescription drug costs have been surging at double-digit rates for the last six years. The average annual increase 1999 through 2003 was a massive 16%, seven times the rate of general inflation.
These increases fall hardest on senior citizens and the uninsured. Their health needs are often great, and their low incomes often make these products unaffordable. They have no ability to use their combined purchasing power to negotiate reasonable prices. Taxpayers pay tens of billions of dollars for the purchase of drugs by Medicaid—an expense that could be reduced significantly if states are permitted to negotiate for the best prices from drug manufacturers.
As you know, the Supreme Court has just ruled that Maine's innovative program to reduce prescription drug costs for the uninsured and senior citizens is not a violation of the Medicaid law.
As a result of this decision, Maine can use the combined buying power of Medicaid and individuals purchasing drugs on their own to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers. Twenty-nine other states supported the position taken by Maine, and there is broad interest in many states in initiating similar programs.
The Supreme Court's ruling, however, left open the possibility that if the Department of Health and Human Services makes a finding that the Maine program violates the Medicaid statute, the Department's action would be upheld by the Court. We urge you not to intervene to block Maine's program or similar statutes in other states that achieve savings for taxpayers, the elderly, and the uninsured. Such programs must be carefully implemented to assure that the poor are not denied access to needed drugs, but there is no justification for the federal government to deny states the ability to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of their neediest citizens.
Source: Letter from 30 Senators to the Secretary of HHS 03-SEN6 on May 20, 2003
Rated 100% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record.
Kennedy 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.
Kennedy 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
Establish a national childhood cancer database.
Kennedy co-sponsored establishing a national childhood cancer database
Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2007 - A bill to advance medical research and treatments into pediatric cancers, ensure patients and families have access to the current treatments and information regarding pediatric cancers, establish a population-based national childhood cancer database, and promote public awareness of pediatric cancers.
Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to childhood cancer professional and direct service organizations for the expansion and widespread implementation of: Legislative Outcome: House version H.R.1553; became Public Law 110-285 on 7/29/2008.
Source: Conquer Childhood Cancer Act (S911/HR1553) 07-S911 on Mar 19, 2007
- activities that provide information on treatment protocols to ensure early access to the best available therapies and clinical trials for pediatric cancers;
- activities that provide available information on the late effects of pediatric cancer treatment to ensure access to necessary long-term medical and psychological care; and
- direct resource services such as educational outreach for parents, information on school reentry and postsecondary education, and resource directories or referral services for financial assistance, psychological counseling, and other support services.
Preserve access to Medicaid & SCHIP during economic downturn.
Kennedy co-sponsored preserving access to Medicaid & SCHIP in economic downturn
A bill to preserve access to Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program during an economic downturn.
Source: Economic Recovery in Health Care Act (S.2819) 2008-S2819 on Apr 7, 2008
- Economic Recovery in Health Care Act of 2008 - Prohibits finalizing, implementing, enforcing, or otherwise taking any action, prior to April 1, 2009, on any changes to Medicaid programs or State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
- Amends the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007 to extend through April 1, 2009, the moratorium relating to the cost limit for providers.
- Amends the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 to extend through April 1, 2009, the moratorium relating to rehabilitation services, school-based administration, and school-based transportation.
- Provides for state fiscal relief through a temporary increase of Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP).
Disclose payments from manufacturers to physicians.
Kennedy signed Physician Payments Sunshine Act
An amendment to provide for transparency in the relationship between physicians and applicable manufacturers with respect to payments and other transfers of value and physician ownership or investment interests in manufacturers.
Source: S.301&HR.3138 2009-S301 on Jan 22, 2009
- Requires any manufacturer of a covered drug, device, biological, or medical supply that makes a payment or another transfer of value to a physician, a physician medical practice, or a physician group practice to report annually, in electronic form, specified information on such transactions to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Requires any such manufacturer, or related group purchasing organization, also to report annually to the Secretary, in electronic form, certain information regarding any ownership or investment interest (other than in a publicly traded security and mutual fund) held by a physician (or an immediate family member) in the manufacturer or group purchasing organization during the preceding year.
- Prescribes administrative penalties for failure to comply with these requirements.
- Requires report submission procedures to ensure public availability of required information on a website.
Expand the National Health Service Corps.
Kennedy signed Access for All America Act
A bill to achieve access to comprehensive primary health care services for all Americans and to reform the organization of primary care delivery through an expansion of the Community Health Center and National Health Service Corps programs. Amends the Public Health Service Act to:
Source: S.486&HR1296 2009-S486 on Mar 4, 2009
- increase and extend the authorization of appropriations for community health centers and for the National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment program for FY2010-FY2015, and provide for increased funding for such programs in FY2016 and each subsequent fiscal year; and
- revise and expand provisions allowing a community health center to provide services at different locations, adjust its operating plan and budget, enter into arrangements with other centers to purchase supplies and services at reduced cost, and correct material failures in grant compliance.
Collect data on birth defects and present to the public.
Kennedy co-sponsored the Birth Defects Prevention Act
Directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out programs to: 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
- collect and analyze, and make available data on the causes of birth defects and on the incidence and prevalence of such defects;
- operate regional centers for the conduct of applied epidemiological research on the prevention of such defects;
- provide information and education to the public on the prevention of such defects;
- collect and analyze data by gender and by racial and ethnic group9/6/2004
- collect such data from birth and death certificates, hospital records, and such other sources; and
- (3) encourage States to establish or improve programs for the collection and analysis of epidemiological data on birth defects and to make the data available.
Page last updated: Aug 13, 2014