Karen McCarthy on Health Care
Former Democratic Representative (MO-5)
Voted NO on limiting medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000 damages.
Vote to pass a bill that would limit the awards that plaintiffs and their attorneys could be given in medical malpractice cases. The bill would limit non-economic damages, including physical and emotional pain to $250,000. The bill would also limit punitive damages to $250,000 or double economic damages, whichever amount is greater. Punitive damages would be banned against makers and distributors of medical products if the Food and Drug Administration approved those products. The bill would call for all states to set damage caps but would not block existing state statutory limits. The bill would cap attorneys' contingency fees to 40% of the first $50,000 in damages; 33.3% of the next $50,000; 25% of the next $500,000; and 15% of any amount in excess of $600,000.
Reference: Medical Malpractice Liability Limitation bill;
Bill HR 4280
; vote number 2004-166
on May 12, 2004
Voted NO on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients.
Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act of 2003: Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. Starting in 2006, prescription coverage would be made available through private insurers to seniors. Seniors would pay a monthly premium of an estimated $35 in 2006. Individuals enrolled in the plan would cover the first $250 of annual drug costs themselves, and 25 percent of all drug costs up to $2,250. The government would offer a fallback prescription drug plan in regions were no private plans had made a bid.Over a 10 year time period medicare payments to managed care plans would increase by $14.2 billion. A pilot project would begin in 2010 in which Medicare would compete with private insurers to provide coverage for doctors and hospitals costs in six metropolitan areas for six years. The importation of drugs from Canada would be approved only if HHS determines there is no safety risks and that consumers would be saving money.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL;
; vote number 2003-669
on Nov 22, 2003
Voted NO on allowing reimportation of prescription drugs.
Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2003: Vote to pass a bill that would call for the Food and Drug Administration to begin a program that would permit the importation of FDA-approved prescription drugs from Australia, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and South Africa.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Gutknecht, R-MN;
; vote number 2003-445
on Jul 24, 2003
Voted YES on small business associations for buying health insurance.
Vote to pass a bill that would permit the creation of association health plans through which small companies could group together to buy insurance for their employees. Association health plans that cover employees in several states would be excused from many individual state insurance regulations but would be regulated by the Labor Department.
Reference: Small Business Health Fairness Act;
Bill HR 660
; vote number 2003-296
on Jun 19, 2003
Voted NO on capping damages and setting time limits in medical lawsuits.
Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2003: To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system. Limits the availability of punitive damages, and sets a 3-year limit for suing.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Greenwood, R-PA;
Bill HR 5
; vote number 2003-64
on Mar 13, 2003
Voted NO on allowing suing HMOs, but under federal rules & limited award.
Vote to adopt an amendment that would limit liability and damage awards when a patient is harmed by a denial of health care. It would allow a patient to sue a health maintenance organization in state court but federal, not state, law would govern.
Bill HR 2563
; vote number 2001-329
on Aug 2, 2001
Voted NO on Prescription Drug Coverage under Medicare.
HR 4680, the Medicare Rx 2000 Act, would institute a new program to provide voluntary prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries through subsidies to private plans. The program would cost an estimated $40 billion over five years and would go into effect in fiscal 2003.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Thomas, R-CA;
Bill HR 4680
; vote number 2000-357
on Jun 28, 2000
Voted NO on banning physician-assisted suicide.
Vote on HR 2260, the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999, would ban the use of drugs for physician-assisted suicide. The bill would not allow doctors to give lethal prescriptions to terminally ill patients, and instead promotes "palliative care," or aggressive pain relief techniques.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hyde, R-IL;
Bill HR 2260
; vote number 1999-544
on Oct 27, 1999
Voted NO on establishing tax-exempt Medical Savings Accounts.
The bill allows all taxpayers to create a tax-exempt account for paying medical expenses called a Medical Savings Account [MSA]. Also, the measure would allow the full cost of health care premiums to be taken as a tax deduction for the self-employed and taxpayers who are paying for their own insurance. The bill would also allow the establishment of "HealthMarts," regional groups of insurers, health care providers and employers who could work together to develop packages for uninsured employees. Another provision of the bill would establish "association health plan," in which organizations could combine resources to purchase health insurance at better rates than they could separately.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Talent, R-MO;
Bill HR 2990
; vote number 1999-485
on Oct 6, 1999
Rated 83% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record.
McCarthy scores 83% 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
Collect data on birth defects and present to the public.
McCarthy 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.
Supported funding women's health needs.
McCarthy adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 2A: WOMEN’S HEALTH:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC2 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR49—Treatment of Children’s Deformities Act—require coverage for congenital or developmental deformity or disorder due to trauma, infection, tumor, or disease. (Kelly)
- HR306—Genetic Information Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance Act—prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of genetic information. (Slaughter)
- HR1285—Cancer Screening Coverage Act —require coverage of breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal cancer screening. (Maloney/Kelly)
- HR1388—Medicare Cancer Clinical Trial Coverage Act—officially expand Medicare coverage to clinical trials (N.Johnson/Cardin)
- HR116—Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act—and HR383—Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act—and HR1070—require coverage for a minimum hospital stay for mastectomies and treatment of breast cancer. (DeLauro/Kelly/Eshoo)
- HR1816—Eliminate Colorectal Cancer Act—require coverage for colorectal cancer screenings. (Slaughter/McIntosh)
- HR961—Ovarian Cancer Research and Information Amendments—provide for programs regarding ovarian cancer. (Mink)
- HR845—Beneficiary Health Coverage Notification Rights Act—require notification of impending termination of coverage resulting from the failure of a group health plan to pay premiums. (Thurman)
- HR1966—Asthma Awareness, Education and Treatment Act—carry out programs regarding the prevention and management of asthma and allergies. (Millender-McDonald)
- H. Con. Res. 64—Cervical Cancer Public Awareness Resolution—recognizing the severity of the issue of cervical health. (Millender-McDonald)
- H.Res. 19—expressing the seriousness of mental illness. (Roukema)
- HR1899—The Health Care Worker Needlestick Prevention Act—require regulations to minimize the risk of needlestick injury to health care workers. (Roukema/Stark)
Supported funding older women's health.
McCarthy adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 2B: OLDER WOMEN’S HEALTH:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC3 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR762—Lupus Research and Care Amendments of 1999—A bill to provide for research and services with respect to lupus. (Meek)
- HR925—Osteoporosis Early Detection and Prevention Act of 1999—A bill to require that health insurance plans provide coverage for qualified individuals for bone mass measurement. (Maloney/Morella)
- HR933—Osteoporosis Federal Employee Health Benefits Standardization Act of 1999—A bill to ensure that coverage of bone mass measurement is provided under the health benefits program for federal employees (Morella)
- HR1187—Medicare Medical Nutrition Therapy Act of 1999—A bill to provide for coverage under part B of the Medicare Program of medical nutrition therapy services furnished by registered dietitians and nutrition professionals. (N. Johnson)
- HR2294—Osteoporosis Education and Prevention Act of 1999—A bill to amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to help prevent osteoporosis. (Berkley/Roukema/DeLauro/Maloney)
- HR2471—Public Health Osteoporosis Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Act of 1999—A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for screenings, referrals, and education regarding osteoporosis. (E.B. Johnson/Kelly)
Supported funding Prenatal and Postpartum Care.
McCarthy adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 3B: Prenatal and Postpartum Care:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC5 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR 1843—Mothers and Newborns Health Insurance Act—improve prenatal care and delivery of healthy babies by enrolling pregnant women under state CHIP programs and allowing the option of automatically enrolling the babies born to those women in CHIP. (Hyde/Lowey)
- HR2538—Folic Acid Promotion and Birth Defects Prevention Act—provide for a national folic acid education program to prevent birth defects. 70% of neural tube birth defects could be prevented if women of childbearing age consumed 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. The problem is that a majority of women are still not aware of the benefits of folic acid, nor are they consuming the recommended daily amount. (Roybal-Allard/Emerson)
- H. Res. 163—raise awareness of post partum depression. Approximately 400,000 women experience
post partum depression each year. More than just the “baby blues,” the more extreme cases of post partum depression can result in sadness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and low self esteem in new mothers. The resolution provides statistics, and provides recommendations on how the US can work to reduce its incidence, including providing information, training of medical providers, and screening of new mothers for symptoms for early detection of the problem. Additionally, the resolution calls on the U.S. to begin to collect data on post partum depression, so that we can measure its extent. (Capps-Kingston)
- HR1848—Right to Breastfeed Act—ensure a woman’s right to breastfeed her child on any part of federal property (federal parks, federal buildings, and national museums) where she and her child have a right to be. (Maloney/Morella/Roybal-Allard) [STATUS: enacted as part of the FY2000 Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill]
Supported funding Family and Children's Coverage.
McCarthy adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 3D: Family Planning and Children’s Coverage:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC6 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR 1806—Access to Women’s Health Care Act —provide women in managed care plans with direct access to ob/gyn services and the option of choosing their ob/gyn provider (including non-physicians specialists) as their primary care provider. (Lowey/Lazio)
- HR 1636—Teen Pregnancy Reduction Act—The federal government spends more than $200 million annually specifically for teen pregnancy programs or services. These amounts demonstrate a significant investment in a national effort to prevent teen pregnancy. However, we know very little about the effectiveness of teen pregnancy prevention programs because adequate evaluation is not taking place. In an effort to bolster evaluation of teen pregnancy prevention programs of every type, the bill would provide for both a substantial
investment in rigorous, scientific evaluation as well as the dissemination of information on programs, models and processes that have proven effective in preventing teen pregnancy. (Lowey/Castle)
- HR 827—Improved Maternal and Children’s Health Coverage Act of 1999—expand health coverage for uninsured children by improving the outreach to an enrollment of children into Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). (DeGette)
- HR 1085—Healthy Kids Act 2000—improve health care for pregnant women and newborns by ensuring direct access to obstetric and gynecological care for women and pediatric care for children, by giving states greater flexibility by allowing them to enroll income-eligible pregnant women in State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and by increasing enrollment of Medicaid-eligible women. This bill also includes sections for pediatric medical education, public health promotion, and research. (Emerson)