Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Kline's Broken Promises On Healthcare

In 2000 when John Kline (MN R) faced off against Bill Luther, there was a TV ad that showed a small baby while the announcer told viewers that 'Rep. John Kline is fighting for “affordable, quality healthcare”.' Now - six years later anyone watching that ad would either laugh at loud or cry given Kline's horrific record on healthcare since then:
  • Kline voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay. (Feb 2006) This allows hospitals to refuse treatment to Medicaid patients when they are unable to pay their co-pay in addition to excluding payment to grandparents for foster care.
  • Kline voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research.
  • Kline voted YES on limiting medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000 damages. (May 2004) I guess we hope it’s not his child left dead from gross medical neglect. Pain and suffering damages are often all that is available when a child dies from medical negligence.
  • Kline voted YES on capping damages & setting time limits in medical lawsuits. (Mar 2003)
  • Kline voted YES on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. (Nov 2003) Makes me wonder if Kline’s prescription drug benefit has limits?
  • Kline voted NO on allowing reimportation of prescription drugs. (Jul 2003)

But this doesn’t end at just broken promises for affordable quality healthcare: Big drug interests have given over $100,850 to Kline over the Representative's career. They know who they can count on for their votes.

  • Rep. Kline voted for the GOP Medicare Prescription Drug Bill that will give billions to businesses and the health care industry, while forcing seniors to accept annual increases in premiums and deductibles and a growing gap in coverage for the prescription drugs they buy.
  • Rep. Kline voted against allowing millions of Americans to save their hard-earned dollars on prescription drugs by re-importing them from Canada, even though these were U.S. made and patient safety was ensured.

While John Kline has been in office the medically uninsured population has grown nationally to 46 million Americans without health insurance. In Minnesota alone the uninsured has grown from 5.4% to 6.7%, for a total of 343,000 Minnesotans without health insurance. Those without insurance forego medical care entirely, ignoring preventive care and routine checkups, then clogging overstressed emergency rooms when their health problems become critical.

Rep. John Kline is rated 0% by APHA, showing a anti-public health voting record. 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.

If Kline was committed to “affordable, quality healthcare”, ask yourself how he could take money from and vote for the special interests of big drug and insurance companies instead of Minnesotans? Better yet, ask your neighbors about thier health insurance. They'll tell you about increasing costs for fewer services, if they have services. As it stands today one in five of Minneosta's children have no insurance. So go ahead and ask but I can guarantee the answer is to vote for change.

Across the Great Divide has more on the state of healthcare in's not a rosy picture.

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