Deductibility for All Types of Health Insurance for Individuals Voted On, Failed 45-51

Unfortunately, the Senate did not vote on the Ensign Amendment to the U.S. Budget to allow individuals to who purchase HSA qualified health plans to deduct their premium costs from their taxes. The U.S. Senate passed the Budget (51-41) and therefore, there will be no vote.

It is more often than not that an amendment filed, like Senator Ensign’s, does not get voted on. There were 233 amendments filed by U.S. Senators, but only 37 amendments were voted on (some amendments had more than one vote) as you can see from the list below of the Senate floor activity on the Budget yesterday.

However, Super-Senator DeMint did get a vote on his amendment to give tax deductibility to all those who buy their own health insurance, regardless of the type of health insurance they choose.

This DeMint amendment lost, 45-51, and you can see below how your Senators voted.

Roll Call vote for DeMint amendment #4339:

YEAs —45

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)

Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lugar (R-IN)

Martinez (R-FL)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)

NAYs —51

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)

Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)

Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting – 4

Bond (R-MO)
Byrd (D-WV)

Domenici (R-NM)
McCain (R-AZ)

Essentially, the Senate ran out of time to consider all or even most of the filed amendments. In a nutshell, the Ensign amendment we were supporting did not make it into the cue before the cut off time.

This is why, earlier in the week, this letter was sent to the Senate Republican leadership.

However, it was a useful exercise, as there are few things that focus the minds of staff and Senators on an issue, other than having to prepare to vote on it.

Thank you to all the Coalition members and others who helped get the word out in support of the Ensign proposal.

The important thing is that we saw an opportunity and attempted to convert it into a win.

Rest assured, we will keep up our efforts to protect and expand Health Savings Accounts.

Here is the list of Roll Call votes on the Senate floor yesterday, Thursday, March 13, 2008.

Roll Call Votes:
Baucus amdt. #4160 (re: tax relief) – Agreed to (99-1)
Graham amdt. #4170 (re: tax relief) – Not Agree to (47-52)
Conrad amdt. #4190 (re: AMT) – Agreed to (53-46)
Specter amdt. #4169 (re: AMT) – Not Agreed to (49-50)
Motion to Table Motion to Reconsider Specter amdt. #4169 (re: AMT) – Not Tabled (49-51)
Motion to Reconsider Specter #4196 (re: AMT) – Reconsidered (51-50)
Specter amdt. #4169 (re: AMT) – Not Agreed to (49-51)
Salazar amdt. #4196, as mod (re: death tax) – Not Agreed to (38-62)
Kyl amdt. #4191 (re: death tax) – Not Agreed to (50-50)
Conrad amdt. #4204 (re: social security tax) – Agreed to (53-46)
Bunning amdt. #4192 (re: social security) – Not Agreed to (47-53)
Specter amdt. #4203 (re: LIHEAP funding) – Agreed to (95-4)
Dorgan amdt. #4198 (re: Indian health) – Agreed to (69-30)
Nelson (FL) amdt. #4329 (re: energy) – Agreed to (56-43)
Alexander amdt. #4207 (re: domestic energy supply) – Not Agreed to (47-51)
Kennedy amdt. #4350 (re: adult literacy) – Agreed to (95-2)
Alexander amdt. #4222 (re: English as common language) – Agreed to (54-44)
Menendez amdt. #4259 (re: immigration) – Agreed to (53-45)
Sessions amdt. #4231 (re: immigration) – Agreed to (61-30)
Motion to Waive CBO re: Cornyn amdt. 4242 – Not Waived (59-39)
Allard amdt. #4246 (re: expanded federal spending programs) – Not Agreed to (0-97)
Ensign amdt. #4240 (re: Medicare Part D) – Not Agreed to (42-56)
Sanders amdt. #4218 (re: tax hikes) – Not Agreed to (43-55)
DeMint amdt. #4328 (re: social security) – Not Agreed to (41-57)
Allard amdt. #4232 (re: ineffective programs) – Not Agreed to (29-68)
Brownback amdt. #4284 (re: commission) – Agreed to (49-48)
Kohl admt. #4197 (re: long term care) – Agreed to (89-7)
Motion to Table Vitter amdt. #4309 (re: sanctuary cities) – Tabled (58-40)
Boxer amdt. #4368 (re: DoJ Child Protection) – Agreed to (89-6)
Ensign amdt. #4335 (re: child custody protection) – Not Agreed to (49-49)
Motion to Waive CBO re: DeMint amdt. #4340 (re: gas prices) – Not Waived (39-59)
Motion to Waive CBO re: Cornyn #4313 (re: PAYGO) – Not Waived (27-71)
Kyl amdt. #4348 (re: tax extenders) – Not Agreed to (49-50)
Motion to Waive CBO re: DeMint amdt. #4347 (re: earmarks) – Not Waived (29-71)
Landrieu amdt. #4378 (re: death tax) – Not Agreed to (23-77)
Kyl amdt. #4372 (re: death tax) – Not Agreed to (48-50)
Grassley amdt. #4276 as modified (re: AMT/PAYGO) – Not Agreed to (47-51)
DeMint amdt. #4380 (re: Berkeley earmarks) – Not Agreed to (41-57)
Boxer amdt. #4379 (re: SCHIP) – Agreed to (70-27)
Allard amdt. #4233 (re: SCHIP for unborn children) – Not Agreed to (46-52)
DeMint amdt. #4339 (re: healthcare deductibility) – Not Agreed to (45-51)
Biden amdt. #4245 (re: international affairs) – Agreed to (73-23)
Vitter amdt. #4299 (re: SOS-reimportation) – Agreed to (73-23)
Adoption to S. Con. Res. 70, as amended (FY09 Budget Resolution) – Agreed to (51-41)

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