This Is the Only Recent Time Jeff Sessions Voted to Expand Health Care Coverage

It was to cover fetuses at the expense of their mothers.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), has voted numerous times against expanded access to health care. He has cast just one vote in recent years to expand health care access. The group he believed deserved better access to coverage? Fetuses.

In 2008, Sessions voted yes on an amendment to remove pregnant women from the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and instead give coverage to the fetus. At the time of the vote, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) described the amendment as follows: “It takes it away from the woman and gives it to the fetus. Now, if the woman is pregnant in an accident, loses the child, she does not get coverage, the child gets coverage.” The amendment failed, with 46 senators voting for it and 52 against it.

It’s the only time in recent years that Sessions has voted in favor of expanding health care coverage—if you can call it that. He voted against expanding access to care for low-income people under Medicare and Medicaid in 2008, against expanding SCHIP to four million children in 2009, and against the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The clear difference, of course, is that Sessions’ vote for fetuses wasn’t really a health care vote; it was an anti-abortion vote.

If confirmed as attorney general, Sessions would have a huge say on the issues of abortion and women’s reproductive health care. Sessions could choose to investigate Planned Parenthood, for example, and defend state and federal policies that make it harder for women to access an abortion or reproductive care.

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate