Cotton’s Response to Claims Ad is False

Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton_3977563342019250100

Tom Cotton’s campaign manager emailed the following to KARK in response to claims his first political TV ad in his run for Senate is false:

1. Pryor cast the deciding vote for Obamacare

Without Mark Pryor’s vote for Obamacare, the bill would not have become law.  All of the votes were critical, since President Obama declined to build bipartisan consensus and instead forced it through on a party-line vote.  It required 60 Democratic votes.  Had Mark Pryor not voted in favor, the legislation would not have passed.  (H.R. 3590, Roll Call Vote #396:  Passed 60-39, 12/24/09, Pryor voted Yea.)

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Pryor’s support of the President’s health care reform proposal would be “critical to passing a bill in the Senate.”  “With health-care legislation moving toward consideration by the full House and Senate this fall, members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation continue to play key roles in the process.  Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both Democrats, are regularly named among the handful of moderates whose support will be critical to passing a bill in the Senate.”  (Jane Fullerton, “Pryor, Lincoln Seen As Key In Passing Health Bill,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/17/09).

Pryor’s vote was “key to the outcome of the Senate bill.”  “Lincoln and Pryor are among the handful of moderate Democrats – along with colleagues such as Evan Bayh of Indiana, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska – whose votes will be key to the outcome of the Senate bill.”  (Jane Fullerton, “Lincoln, Pryor Cautious on Health Bill,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/30/09).

Further, despite Mark Pryor’s insistence that Obamacare is not perfect and he would amend it, he has voted against delaying the individual mandate and repealing the device tax (roll call votes 210 and 211 ).  This is in spite of the overwhelming failure of the Obamacare exchanges, which highlights why average Americans, just like big businesses, deserve a delay in the law if not outright repeal. 

2. Pryor votes himself and everyone in Congress special subsidies so they’re protected from Obamacare

By voting to table the amendments (roll call vote 211), Mark Pryor voted for special subsidies for his colleagues and his staff that are not available for anyone else.  Roll call vote 211 would have required members of Congress and their staff to adhere to Obamacare as it is written, thereby nullifying the OPM ruling. 

Sec. 1312 (f)(2)(B)(i) prevents large businesses from contracting for plans on the exchanges until 2017 and does not provide an exception for doing so before that date.  Under OPM’s rule, members of Congress and their staff will be the only Americans receiving an employer contribution from a large employer on the small business exchange in 2014. 

Large employer is not authorized to make a premium contribution to plans purchased on the exchanges

Sec. 1312 (d)(3)(D)(i) requires the purchase of health care plans by Congress from the exchanges.  These plans are created under 42 U.S.C. § 18032, not 5 U.S.C § 8906, under which section OPM has the authority to subsidize coverage (and subsidies are limited to 5 U.S.C. plans). 

Further, Sec. 1312 (f)(2)(B)(i) implicitly prohibits large employers from participating in the business exchanges until 2017 (“Beginning in 2017, each State may allow issuers of health insurance coverage in the large group market in the State to offer qualified health plans in such market through an Exchange.”

Individual “subsidies” are tax credits, administered through the tax code.

First, Sec. 1401 (the section addressing the tax credits) explicitly states they will be administered through the tax code (“there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this subtitle for any taxable year an amount equal to the premium assistance credit amount of the taxpayer for the taxable year”).

Further, Sec. 1401 (c)(1)(A) establishes the levels at which these “subsidies” are allowed; stating “The term ‘applicable taxpayer’ means, with respect to any taxable year, a taxpayer whose household income for the taxable year exceeds 100 percent but does not exceed 400 percent of an amount equal to the poverty line for a family of the size involved.”   That works out to approximately $45,000 for an individual, or $94,200 for a family of 4.

Finally, individuals receiving payments under this code cannot be receiving health coverage from their employer, as stated by Sec. 1401 (c)(2)(C) and the subsequent clauses.

CNN “fact checkers” could not rule the Obamacare exemption “false,” calling it “in dispute.”

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