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Democrats Table Abortion Amendment
Wednesday, 09 December 2009

December 9--  Republican Senators trying to amend the Democrat Healthcare Bill continue to lose efforts to amend the bill.  Senator Johnny Isakson's office reports Democrats killed an amendment which would have prohibited the use of federal funds for abortions and another which would have given preference to senior citizens living in Florida.

 "U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today criticized the Senate for rejecting an amendment he co-sponsored that would have applied to the Senate health care bill a longstanding federal standard barring federal funding for abortion except in the case of rape, incest or life of the mother.

Senate Democrats tabled the amendment by U.S. Senators Orin Hatch, R-Utah, and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., by a vote of 54-45.

“By providing taxpayer funding of abortion, Senate Democrats are poised to radically change a federal policy that has been in place for over 30 years,” Isakson said. “I co-sponsored this amendment because it is incomprehensible to fund abortion with American tax dollars.”

The amendment would have extended a longstanding provision in law that has come to be known as the Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortions through funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for Health and Human Services, to the health care reform legislation currently being considered in the Senate. The amendment also would have prohibited the use of the bill’s proposed “affordability tax credits” to purchase a health insurance policy that covers abortion, and would have prohibited federal funding for abortion under the community health insurance option.

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today voted for an amendment that would have protected benefits for all enrollees in the Medicare Advantage program, which serves about 11 million seniors nationwide.

Senate Democrats defeated the amendment by Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., by a vote of 42-57.

“Our seniors rely on the Medicare Advantage program for coverage of essentials such as dental care, eye glasses, hearing aids and flu shots,” Isakson said. “It’s unfair to single out beneficiaries in one state. If these benefits are worth protecting for the seniors in Florida, they should be protected for seniors in every state.” 

Under a current provision in the Senate health care bill, Medicare Advantage plans in Florida would receive an additional payment in order to preserve current levels of benefits. As a result, seniors in Florida would not be subject to the significant cuts facing Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in other states.



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