Why Does Allyson Schwartz Keep Casting Bad Votes on the Affordable Care Act?

With liberals under the assumption that Allyson Schwartz is the “progressives’ pick” for the 2014 gubernatorial election, why does New Democrat Allyson Schwartz continue to take bad votes when it comes restricting the Affordable Care Act?  For the past year or so, Keystone Politics has been covering Allyson Schwartz’s votes when it comes to the ACA, and her record isn’t that great.

Here are a couple of examples of her non-progressive voting record on the issue:

At This Time, Allyson Schwartz Cannot Be Trusted on Obamacare Implementation

Congresswoman Schwartz’s M.O. on health care issues over the past two sessions has been to give House Republicans cover to dismantle important parts of Obamacare.

And the parts of Obamacare that she wants to get rid of all have one thing in common: they would reduce profits for health care providers – hospitals, medical device makers, doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

I think the fight over health care reform gave a lot of Democrats a funny idea about what the political economy of health care cost control is all about.

The Democratic Party chose to make insurance companies the villain of that fight, naturally, because everybody hates insurance companies. And it’s true that the very existence of private insurance companies is a huge waste.

The problem is that health care providers’ prices are too high. We spend about double what other developed countries spend per person, and we get worse outcomes.

If we want to bring our health care prices in line with those of Canada and other developed countries, there is no way around the fact that provider prices need to come down.

Allyson Schwartz is on the wrong side of this debate. She has vocally opposed all the Obamacare policies that would actually bring the prices down – IPAB (which she eventually caved on), provider taxes, and the medical device tax.


Howard Dean Has an Excuse. Allyson Schwartz Doesn’t.

Howard Dean is getting paid by health care providers to say theIndependent Payment Advisory Board won’t work. That is what he does for a living now: leveraging his credibility with liberals to get bad information about health care further past their bullshit detectors than a regular hospital spokesperson could. Jonathan Cohn reminds us what Howard Dean has been up to since leaving the DNC.

What is not clear to me is why Allyson Schwartz hates the IPAB so much, and wants to let the AMA set reimbursement rates for the public insurers. Though she recently voted with the Democrats against the latest Republican attempt to kill off IPAB, she keeps giving opposition quotes to reporters every time House Republicans go after this. And she is still introducing bills to increase the prices public insurers pay to providers in the country with the highest health care costs in the world.

So what’s Allyson Schwartz’s latest quarrel with the ACA?  The New Democrat candidate joined 66 other corporate friendly and Blue Dog democrats to vote for the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act.  The New York Times describes the bill as:

The legislation is the latest effort by Republicans to capitalize on troubled rollout of the president’s signature health care law, which they view as a major weakness for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

In a news conference on Thursday, Speaker John A. Boehner said the bill was “part of a broader effort to protect the American people from the consequences of this disastrous law.”

He said that while Mr. Obama “doesn’t want anyone to see what’s taking place with this law,” he himself believes that “the millions of Americans being hurt by it, frankly, have a right to know.”

Some Democrats have argued that the bill is an example of Republicans overstating the problems on the health care website. On Thursday, the ranking Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform — Representatives Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and Henry A. Waxman of California — released a memo pointing out that there have been “no successful security attacks to date” on HealthCare.gov and that the agency already has protocols in place for notifying affected users about any security breaches.

When it comes to talking about the 66 Democrats and the Democratic front-runner in the gubernatorial primary, Howie Klein from DownWithTryanny had this to share:

Yadda, yadda, yadda… Nancy Pelosi, of course, voted against the latest attempt to take health care away from poor people. So did 121 other Democrats. But every single Republican and 67 Democratsmany from the Republican-wing of the Democratic Party— voted with them. Conservative Democrats we’re out in force showing their true colors this morning for Joe Pitts’ Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act (H.R. 3811). Republican coke freak Trey Radel (R-FL) was one of the co-sponsors.

I get Pelosi’s frustration but if she was unhappy enough about this, why not tell Steve Israel to stop encouraging Democrats to cross the aisle and back this kind of legislation. Earlier today someone was whining about how Republicans are killing working families with their opposition to raising the minimum wage and how Democrats should pulverize them for it. Well they should– but Steve Israel is shoveling DCCC money into the campaigns of Democrats who joined the Republicans to vote against a minimum wage increase, particularly New Dems and Blue Dogs like John Barrow (GA), Bill Owens (NY) and Kurt Shrader (OR).

So here’s a couple of questions for the Allyson Schwartz campaign.  Why is Representative Schwartz still taking bad votes on the ACA?  What does Allyson Schwartz have to gain by taking these votes?  Is Allyson Schwartz taking these votes so it can look like that she is moving herself to “the center?”

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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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