April 16, 2015 -- On Tuesday, the Senate voted 92-8 to approve H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. The bill, known as the “doc fix,” permanently eliminates the automatic formula that reduces Medicare payments to physicians. Congress has passed 17 temporary versions of the bill since 2003. The bill also extends the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides low-cost healthcare to low-income families, through fiscal year 2017. Before voting for the final bill, Democrats had been working to extend the CHIP program for four years, and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced an amendment to extend the program that ultimately did not pass. Finally, the bill funds community health centers for an additional two years and prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions at those clinics.
H.R. 2 is supported by many medical and physician groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill will add $141 billion to federal budget deficits over the next 10 years, and conservative groups, like the Club for Growth, opposed the measure since Congress failed to offset the cost of the legislation.
Senate Data: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions from interest groups supporting H.R. 2, as identified by MapLight, to members of the Senate voting on H.R. 2 from October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2014.
Senators voting ‘YES’ on H.R. 2 received, on average, 2.1 times more money ($1,391,867) from organizations supporting the bill compared to senators voting ‘NO’ ($670,512).
On March 26, 2015, the House of Representatives voted 392-37 to approve H.R. 2.
House Data: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions from interest groups supporting H.R. 2, as identified by MapLight, to members of the House of Representatives voting on H.R. 2 from October 1, 2012, to September 30, 2014.
Representatives voting ‘YES’ on H.R. 2 received, on average, 2.6 times more money ($268,483) from organizations supporting the bill compared to representatives voting ‘NO’ ($105,096).
Methodology: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to members of the Senate and House of Representatives from PACs and employees of interest groups supporting H.R. 2. House of Representatives analysis date range is from October 1, 2012, to September 30, 2014. Senate analysis date range is from October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2014.. Contributions data source: OpenSecrets.org.
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