Zell Miller on Health Care

Medicaid must be managed for fraud and abuse

Runaway Medicaid growth was stopped in its tracks. In the 10 years before I took office [as Governor of Georgia], the Medicaid budget had increased 376%. As Governor I decided to put on the brakes. Through managed care and tougher fraud and abuse provisions, the increase during my 3 years was less than 3%! This could be done on the federal level, if we had the will to do it, for the system is filled with abuse and fraud that is beyond belief
Source: A National Party No More, by Sen. Zell Miller, p. 57 Oct 1, 2003

Use budget surplus to fund senior prescription drugs

I will work to expand Medicare to cover the cost of prescription drugs, so seniors don’t have to choose between paying their rent and buying the prescription drugs they need. Part of the surplus would be used to begin doing this for low-income seniors in 2001 and would be fully implemented forall by 2008. Government would pay 50 percent up to maximum of $2000 when the program starts, increasing to $5000 by 2008.
Source: AARP interview: AARP Voters Guides Nov 7, 2000

Tax credits for seniors’ assisted living

I want to provide affordable in-home health care for senior citizens by creating tax credits for assisted living. I want mandatory criminal background checks for elder care workers and I want to help make long-term care insurance available for everyone, regardless of income, or any pre-existing medical conditions.
Source: AARP interview: AARP Voters Guides Nov 7, 2000

Patient Bill of Rights: allow suing HMOs

I will fight for a real enforceable Patient’s Bill of Rights. Patients should have the right to sue HMO’s when there are denials and unnecessary delays in treatment. Medical decisions should be taken away from HMO bureaucrats and put back in the hands of doctors and healthcare professionals where they belong.
Source: AARP interview: AARP Voters Guides Nov 7, 2000

Guarantee Rx drug for all seniors under Medicare

Q: What about prescription medicine?

A: In America, no one should have to choose between medicine and food. I want to see a guaranteed prescription drug benefit for all seniors under Medicare. There’s a bipartisan plan in the Senate that I am co-sponsoring that is better than either plan being offered by the presidential candidates. It helps seniors get their drugs more quickly and with less red tape than the Bush plan, and it gives more choice with less expense than the Gore plan.

Source: The Macon (GA) Telegraph Oct 30, 2000

Provide classical music for all newborns

Zell Miller will deliver the first cassettes and CDs of classical music that will be provided to every newborn baby in Georgia. Miller first announced the program in January. Research shows a link between classical music and the enhanced brain development of infants. “Listening to music at a very early age affects the spatial, temporal reasoning that underlies math and engineering and even chess,” Miller said.
Source: Press Release, “Classical Casettes” Jun 22, 1998

Providing insurance for children is a top priority

In the area of human resources, the most important program is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It will leverage federal matching funds, and could provide health coverage for as many as 228,000 Georgia children. CHIP will expand Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and children from birth to age five, up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $32,100 a year for a family of four.
Source: Budget Address, Georgia Jan 13, 1998

Fraud Control Unit for Medicare fraud

Medicaid fraud is a major problem. Georgia taxpayers are being ripped off. And these criminals are stealing staggering amounts of taxpayer money. Estimates of annual losses due to health care fraud range from 3 to 10 percent of this nation’s health care expenditures. But Georgia has been fighting back. Because of the magnitude of the problem, I created by executive order the State Health Care Fraud Control Unit.The Unit has won 25 Medicaid fraud convictions in just the last nine months.
Source: Remarks at Bill Signings May 5, 1997

Voted YES on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit.

S. 1 As Amended; Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $400 billion over 10 years to create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients beginning in 2006. Seniors would be allowed to remain within the traditional fee-for-service program or seniors would have the option to switch to a Medicare Advantage program that includes prescription drug coverage. Private insurers would provide prescription drug coverage. Private Insurers would engage in competitive bidding to be awarded two-year regional contracts by the Center for Medicare Choices under the Department of Health and Human Services.Enrolled seniors would pay a $275 deductible and an average monthly premium of $35. Annual drug costs beyond the deductible and up to $4,500 would be divided equally between the beneficiary and the insurer. Beneficiaries with incomes below 160 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for added assistance.
Reference: Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit bill; Bill S.1/H.R.1 ; vote number 2003-262 on Jun 26, 2003

Voted YES on allowing importation of Rx drugs from Canada.

S. 812, as amended; Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2002. Vote to pass a bill that would permit a single 30-month stay against Food and Drug Administration approval of a generic drug patent when a brand-name company's patent is challenged. The secretary of Health and Human Services would be authorized to announce regulations allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canada into the United States. Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers that provide drugs for importation would be required to register with Health and Human Services. Individuals would be allowed to import prescription drugs from Canada. The medication would have to be for an individual use and a supply of less than 90-days.
Bill S.812 ; vote number 2002-201 on Jul 31, 2002

Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages.

Vote to provide federal protections, such as access to specialty and emergency room care, and allow patients to sue health insurers in state and federal courts. Economic damages would not be capped, and punitive damages would be capped at $5 million.
Bill S1052 ; vote number 2001-220 on Jun 29, 2001

Voted YES on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Vote to pass an amendment that would make up to $300 billion available for a Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2002 through 2011. The money would come from the budget's contingency fund. The amendment would also require a Medicare overhaul.
Bill H Con Res 83 ; vote number 2001-65 on Apr 3, 2001

Invest funds to alleviate the nursing shortage.

Miller sponsored the Nurse Reinvestment Act

Source: Bill sponsored by 39 Senators 01-S706 on Apr 5, 2001

Rated 0% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record.

Miller scores 0% 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

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