Friday, January 9, 2015

Sinema Only Arizona Representative To Cross Party Lines In Work-Week-For-Health-Insurance-Purposes Vote

The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday voted 252-172 to approve a measure that undoes a provision of Obamacare (formally known as the Affordable Care Act).  Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) voted "aye", and became the only Arizona Representative to cross party lines on the measure.

Sinema was one of 12 Democrats to join with the entire GOP caucus in sending the Save American Workers Act to the Senate.  As Arizona's Politics reported earlier in the week, Sinema also co-sponsored the bill, which the Congressional Budget Office reported will increase the budget deficit by $71.3B and increase the number of uninsured.

For purposes of employer-based health insurance coverage, it determines that an employee is full-time if they are working 40 hrs/week, instead of 30. According to the CBO/JCT report, this will cause a shift for approximately 1,000,000 people, moving them from employer-based coverage to either the individual-based market or the rolls of the uninsured.

After requests from Arizona's Politics (and likely others), Sinema issued an explanation of her vote earlier today:
“Arizonans want to work hard and earn enough to support their families. This bill is a commonsense fix that creates important stability for Arizona businesses and allows Arizona workers to work enough hours to provide for themselves and their families. Fighting for the hardworking families in our state will always be one of my top priorities in Congress.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD4) did not vote because he flew back to Arizona because of a family medical emergency, and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-CD7) did not vote because he was on the way back to Washington, DC on Air Force 1.

The House does not appear to have enough votes to override a promised Presidential veto.

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