#badvotes Paulsen Vote Tracker: American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) – ACA repeal/replace bill

SUMMARY

AHCA was a bill presented in the House of Representatives to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analyzed the AHCA and determined that under the AHCA:

  • 24 million would lose their health insurance;
  • $880 billion dollars would be cut from Medicaid;
  • Insurers would be allowed to charge five times more for older enrollees than younger ones
  • Social Security expenditures would decrease by $3 billion due to earlier mortality;
  • Taxes on the top 5% of income-earners would be reduced.  

A revised version of the bill was offered, which attempted to woo votes from the Freedom Caucus Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. The revised version stripped away essential health benefits in insurance policies, so that insurance companies could sell “insurance” that did not cover hospitalization, maternity care, prescription drug benefits, etc.  The revised bill was pulled without a vote after House Speaker Paul Ryan determined that it did not have enough votes to pass.

Paulsen’s position:  Paulsen supported the bill to the end.  He spoke on the House floor in support of the bill minutes before the bill was pulled with no vote.

TAKEAWAY

Paulsen is now on record for ardently supporting the failed AHCA which would have taken health insurance away from millions of Americans.

More info: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/politics/house-health-care-vote/

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#badvotes Paulsen Vote Tracker: H.R. 1101 Small Business Health Fairness Act

SUMMARY: 

Association Health Plans (AHPs) have been around for decades.  They allow small businesses to provide coverage to their employees through health plans established by trade associations and industry groups.  AHPs are currently regulated by the states.  H.R. 1101 would allow an AHP to be entirely exempt from state regulation by being self-insured or following the rules of a single state nationwide. The bill would increase the risk of fraud, would increase the risk of insolvency of the AHP, and would remove consumer protections that states provide.

Paulsen voted:  YES

TAKEAWAY:

This bill would undermine Minnesota’s authority to regulate health insurance sold to small businesses in our state.  The bill would remove consumer protections in health care plans that are required by Minnesota.  

More info:  http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/blog/2017/mar/house-proposal-to-promote-association-health-plans-poses-risks-for-insurance-markets-consumers.

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#badvotes Paulsen Vote Tracker: H.R. 1181 Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act

SUMMARY: 

Presently if a veteran is mentally incompetent to manage their finances, the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs can appoint another person (a fiduciary) to manage their affairs for them. When a fiduciary needs to be appointed, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs can also submit the veteran’s name for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database, banning them from buying or owning a firearm or ammunition.  H.R. 1181 would prohibit the Dept. of Veterans Affairs from classifying a veteran as mentally incompetent for the purpose of gun ownership after he or she has been assigned a fiduciary to manage their financial affairs.

Paulsen voted:  YES

TAKEAWAY:

Paulsen voted to pass this bill which makes it easier for veterans who have been deemed by the VA to be mentally incompetent to buy guns.

More info:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/03/22/a-congressional-bill-could-allow-veterans-deemed-mentally-incompetent-to-own-guns/?utm_term=.94f0dc9e021c.

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#badvotes Paulsen Vote Tracker: H.R. 1259 VA Accountability First Act

SUMMARY: 

This is an anti-union bill.  The bill reduces grievance procedures that give VA employees a protective space to speak out against mis-management.  It allows VA employees to be fired with little to no justification and reduces their opportunity to defend themselves against the firing.  

Paulsen voted:  YES

TAKEAWAY:

This vote reflects Paulsen’s opposition to collective bargaining and labor organizations.

More info:  You can read the AFLCIO’s position on this bill at http://www.aflcio.org/Legislation-and-Politics/Legislative-Alerts/Letter-Opposing-the-VA-Accountability-First-Act-H.R.-1259.

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Esme Murphy’s Talking Points: Cong. Paulsen on Trumcare and Town Halls

Regarding Rep. Paulsen’s claim of Congress on Your Corner events, we can find nothing listed on his website and no posting of events in local newspaper or even the StarTribune for anything for years, although he does have photos on his government website page. Events held at businesses and organizations with leadership who support (and, perhaps, contribute to?) Mr. Paulsen don’t constitute public town halls. Tele-townhalls have people screening questions before the caller is allowed to speak to Mr. Paulsen. And, it’s much easier to avoid answering questions any any follow-up questions when it’s a phone call controlled by your staffers.  Many constituents have gotten robocalls saying “sorry I missed you” for a tele-t0wnhall from Rep. Paulsen while they were obviously able to take the tele-townhall call. So, Rep. Paulsen, not matter what you say it really isn’t an effective way to reach out to your constituents.

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Paulsen Backs American Health Care Act

The following article by William Bornhoft was posted on the Minnetonka Patch website March 16, 2017:

“We are replacing Obamacare with a plan that will lower costs and give patients immediate relief,” Rep. Erik Paulsen said.

If you want to talk to Erik Paulsen, good luck. You might catch him at a Fourth of July parade, but no questions, please.Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Last week, Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen, who represents the suburbs in the west Twin Cities metro, voted in the House Ways and Means Committee to advance the American Health Care Act, saying it will give Americans access to quality, affordable health care options that are tailored to meet patients’ needs.

“After many years and countless stories of patients facing skyrocketing premiums, losing their health care plan, and not being able to see their doctor, we are replacing Obamacare with a plan that will lower costs and give patients immediate relief,” Paulsen said in a statement. (more…)

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Employees who decline genetic testing could face penalties under proposed bill

The following article by Lena Sun was posted on the Washington Post website March 11, 2017:

Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law.

In general, employers don’t have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce would allow employers to get around those obstacles if the information is collected as part of a workplace wellness program.

Such programs — which offer workers a variety of carrots and sticks to monitor and improve their health, such as lowering cholesterol — have become increasingly popular with companies. Some offer discounts on health insurance to employees who complete health-risk assessments. Others might charge people more for smoking. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are allowed to discount health insurance premiums by up to 30 percent — and in some cases 50 percent — for employees who voluntarily participate in a wellness program. (more…)

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Unable to get a response from Paulsen

The following letter to the editor was published in the March 12, 2017 was published by the Eden Prairie Sun-Current:

To the editor:

My congressman, Erik Paulsen, disappointed me on Feb. 23.

I drove to Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth to see him at a scheduled and highly publicized town hall. My daughter and two friends accompanied me. We arrived early to get a seat. That was good, because about 1,000 other people were in attendance as well.

The large church was packed, and people were lined up outside. Like me, Paulsen’s Third Congressional District constituents had questions for the congressman. They wanted to know what is to become of the Affordable Care Act, our public schools, immigration policies, our environment and many other issues.

I specifically wanted to know why Paulsen, who sits on the Ways and Means Committee, voted with 22 other Republicans against a rule that would force Pres. Trump to reveal his tax returns. My question was not answered. Paulsen did not want to defend his vote to me.

We were told he had been in St. Paul that afternoon. He was in the area. Congress was in recess to allow representatives to attend their town halls. We had to settle for a cardboard cutout of Paulsen. Needless to say, the cutout did not have answers for us.

The town hall organizers had a suspicion that Paulsen would not attend the town hall. It was booked as a “with or without him” town hall. Paulsen has not attended a town hall since 2011. This is astonishing to me, although I should not be surprised. Lately, I have been calling him every day. His aides take my name, my zip code and my email and promise Paulsen will get back to me. He does not. All of this lacks integrity.

I can look to votesmart.org to see his voting record (he always votes “yea” on Republican legislation), but I wanted to see him in person.

Jan Parks
Bloomington

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MN03 Erik Paulsen’s Daughters Could Be Big Winners In His American Health Care Act of 2017

The following article by MNCentral was posted on the MNPoliticalRountable website March 14, 2017:

Gosh, it seem like just yesterday that the candidates were in campaign mode … announcing their vision and goals …

Q: Why are you seeking election to the 3rd Congressional District?

Washington has been on the wrong track for far too long, and it is critical that we enact real, meaningful reforms that will put people back to work, while finally putting our nation on track for a sustainable economic recovery so that we can provide a healthy fiscal future for our children and grandchildren. (more…)

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