Little Rock – Five years ago today, on July 31, 2009, Congressman Mike Ross voted for H.R. 3200, a radically liberal federal takeover of the U.S. healthcare system. H.R. 3200 was the initial bill of President Obama’s original healthcare reform agenda, including a government run public option, a mandate on individuals and employers to purchase health insurance and created healthcare insurance exchanges. Except for the public option, each of these provisions eventually became law under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Mike Ross not only voted for this initial legislation but Democratic congressional leaders also recognized Congressman Ross for negotiating it out of his committee.
Although Congressman Ross is quick to point out that H.R. 3200 never became law after his vote, Ross’ own committee website describes the sequence as:
Hutchinson spokesman Christian Olson issued the following statement:
Arkansans deserve to know the truth about Congressman Ross’ history with a liberal takeover of their healthcare.
- Congressman Mike Ross served as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee which was a hurdle that the initial healthcare reform bill H.R. 3200 would have to overcome: http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=subcommittee/full-committee-111th-congress
- Congressman Ross was a member of the so-called “Blue Dog Coalition” and emerged as the negotiator on healthcare reform for the Blue Dogs: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25570.html
- In July of 2009, H.R. 3200 would have to emerge from the House Energy and Commerce committee if it was ever going to make it to the House floor.
- On July 21, 2009, Congressman Ross met with President Obama at the White House to negotiate healthcare reform: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25244.html
- Following the meeting, Congressman Ross held a press conference with Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25244.html
- Congressman Ross brokered a deal to vote for H.R. 3200: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25570.html "After two weeks of very long and intense negotiations, I'm proud to report that we've reached an agreement that will allow healthcare reform to move forward," said Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, a top negotiator for Blue Dog Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
- On July 31, 2009 Congressman Ross voted for H.R. 3200 clearing the path to the House floor: http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/HR-3200-Final-Passage-Roll-Call-2009-7-31.pdf
- Mike Ross was lauded to the press as “the guy who got it done” according to fellow committee member Peter Welch (VT). http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25661_Page2.html
- Congressman Ross voted against removing the government run public option provision from H.R. 3200. In fact, on his own website, Congressman Ross argued the benefits of a public option healthcare system: http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Burgess-Amendment-3-HR-3200-FC-2009-7-28.pdf
- Congressman Ross voted against an amendment to H.R. 3200 that would have allowed Americans to keep their healthcare even after he stated on his own website the complete opposite: http://www.nwahomepage.com/fulltext-news/mr-ross-votes-no/d/fulltext-news/GpXbZoe9NU69TgNh0wPzdw and http://web.archive.org/web/20090902073409/http://ross.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=180§iontree=6#Myth
- Congressman Ross voted to kill an amendment that would require congress to enroll in the government run public option despite saying on his own website that Congress should be the first to receive: http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Blunt-Terry-Gingrey-Myrick-Amendment-HR-3200-FC-2009-7-28.pdf
- Congressman Ross voted against an amendment requiring that all Americans be given the same level of healthcare choice that members of congress receive: http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Terry-Gingrey-Blunt-Amendment-2-HR-3200-FC-2009-7-31.pdf and http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/HR-3200-Terry-2-Roll-Call-2009-7-31.pdf
- Congressman Ross voted against an amendment that would block the income tax surcharge to fund the sweeping healthcare overhaul: http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Barton-Amendment-HR-3200-FC-2009-7-28.pdf and http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/HR-3200-Barton-1-Roll-Call-2009-7-30.pdf
- Congressman Ross voted against an amendment to reduce cuts to Medicare: http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Burgess-Amendment-1-HR-3200-FC-2009-7-28.pdf and http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/HR-3200-Burgess-1-Roll-Call-2009-7-30.pdf
- In September of 2009, Congressman Ross said that he welcomed any debate or review on his record of supporting healthcare reform: http://s3.amazonaws.com/propublica/assets/docs/mike_ross_statement.pdf
About Asa: Asa Hutchinson is the Republican nominee for Governor of Arkansas. He has served as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Congressman from the 3rd Congressional District, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Asa has spent the majority of his career in the private sector as a small business owner, lawyer and entrepreneur. He and his wife Susan have been married for forty years and have four grown children and five grandchildren.
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