Tag Archives: How many Democrats voted against the healthcare reform bill

Why Did They Vote The Way They Did?

Bookmark and Share  As riveting as last night’s government healthcare takeover vote was, part of the mystique behind Health Care Reformit involved hundreds of individual stories that involved political horse trading, private deals, favors, bribes and even extortion-like coercion. To actually pass this very unpopular and contentious bill took more arm twisting and bone bending than you would find in a chiropractors office. The President and Speaker Pelosi asked many Democrats to, what they commonly call—- “walk the plank”. Many of them did. They need the financial backing of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee and they need the support of the leadership to pass legislation that is key to their districts. But some Democrats were also told that if they reach at least 219 votes, they could go ahead and vote against HR3692.

Traditionally, party leaders will let some legislators in their own party “off the hook” on some of the most controversial votes. This only happens if party leaders knows the bill can pass without that members vote. Some of that happened in last night’s election results.

Of the 39 Democrats who did vote against HR.3962, most are in swing districts that will be hard for Democrats to win reelection in.

Twelve of these 39 are freshman. When it comes to keeping their seats in 2010, they are some of the most vulnerable of Democrats and they have some of the most angry voters opposed to the government takeover plan. Which is why they are also some of those who were let off the hook.

Many of them took the same position that Ohio’s freshman Democrat John Boccieri stated in a press release, “While I fully support quality, affordable health care coverage for everyone, I am disappointed the House bill sadly does not go far enough to reduce the costs of getting there”. That position will allow these Democrats to remain competitive in relatively fiscally conservative districts.

The only exceptions is Dennis Kucinich.

Kucinich is safe no matter what he does in his liberal district. He likely opposed the bill because under the instructions of President Obama, House Education and Labor Committee Chair George Miller successfully shot down a his amendment that would have allowed states to choose to improve the healthcare system by creating state-level single-payer healthcare programs of their own.

Based upon the makeup and history of their districts, the other 38 nay votes were obviously concerned with voter backlash. Moderate Democrats in swing districts did not particularly like the message that last Tuesday’s election results delivered. For them it was a warning shot right across their bow.

That accounts for the who and why some Democrats opposed HR3692.  But what of the lone Republican who voted for it?

Even though Louisiana’s freshman Congressman, Joseph Cao, is a Republican from a typically red states in the red South, his particular district is heavily blue. The former long time occupant of that seat was William Jefferson, the Congressman who was forced to resign after hundreds of thousand of dollars were found in his freezer and he was convicted of illegal financial schemes. Cao simply came into office because he was not a  felon. That kind of approval does not exactly indicate a groundswell of support and a loyal following. It also means that Cao will have a hard time getting reelected if he finds himself running against a Democrat opponent without a criminal record. The district is clearly left of center, so voter backlash is also what forced Louisiana’s Joseph Cao to offer up the sole Republican “yea” vote for government micromanagement of our health care.

Congressman Cao’s vote was one of the last to be recorded and it was only cast after the Democrats exceeded the 218 votes needed for passage. It was probably one of the most astonishing profiles in cowardice we have seen in year’s. There was never even a  hint that  such a break was being contemplated, so his lone Republican vote for the HR 3962 came as a surprise to GOP leaders.

Cao’s last minute “yea” vote was just an attempt to give liberals in his district one less reason to vote against him. But you know what? It won’t work. Liberals will almost always choose a Democrat who is honest about their liberalism over a Republican pretending to be liberal.   At the same time, the minority of  Republicans who do live in Cao’s district will not necessarily vote for a Republican whose vote is no different than a Democrat’s vote.

Ultimately the 39 Democrats who opposed Pelosicare,  or were excused from having to support it, may end up in good standing come next November.  They will be able to stand up and say that they did not burden Amercans with a cumbersome government takeover that will micromanage our healthcare needs and choices while placing unelected and acountable czars, diectors, commissions, committees, bureaus, panels, advisors and political appointed hacks between us and our doctors.  All while raising costs, increasing taxes and sending jobs overseas at a time when we have double digit unemployment and need them now, more than ever.

It is, the economy, Stupid.   But since liberals don’t get it, those Democrats who were not among the 39 that were let off the hook, may have a helluva  tough reelection ahead of them.  They won’t be alone though.  After proving to be the most spinless Republican in the House, Louisiana’s freshman Representative  Joseph Cao is likely to  find himself on the losing end of a vote.  The one for him.

The following is a list of those who joined Kucinich and Boccieri in their opposition to the government health management takeover package were as follows:

John Adler, NJ-3, Freshman
Jason Altmire, PA-4
Brian Baird, WA-3
John Barrow, GA-12
Dan Boren, OK-2
Rick Boucher, VA-09
Allen Boyd, FL-02
Bobby Bright, AL-02 – Freshman
Ben Chandler, KY-06
Travis Childers, MS-01
Artur Davis, AL-07
Lincoln Davis, TX-04
Chet Edwards, TX-17
Bart Gordon, TN-6
Parker Griffith, AL-05 – Freshman
Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, SD
Tim Holden, PA-17
Larry Kissell, NC-8 – Freshman
Suzanne Kosmas, FL-24 –Freshman
Frank Kratovil, MD-1 – Freshman
Betsy Markey, CO-4 – Freshman
Jim Marshall, GA-8
Eric Massa, NY-8 – Freshman
Jim Matheson, UT-2
Mike McIntyre, NC-7
Michael McMahon, NY-13
Charlie Melancon, LA-3
Walt Minnick, ID-1 – Freshman
Scott Murphy, NY-20
Glenn Nye, VA-2, Freshman
Collin Peterson. MN-7
Mike Ross, AZ-4
Heath Shuler, NC-11
Ike Skelton, MO-4
John Tanner, TN-8
Gene Taylor,
MS-4
Harry Teague, NM-02, Freshman

If any of these guys are in your state, you might want to call their office and thank them.  We are usually pretty quick to express or anger at legislators and our displeasure with them.  When one of them does something right, regardless of what their reason was, we should let them know, that their are many people who are paying attention and that their are some benefits when they do things right. 

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Reform Bill Passes The House But It’s A Version That Will Not Fly In The Senate

Bookmark and Share    While last night’s rare Saturday session of the House of Representatives and their subsequent Government Health Care and Insurance Takeovervote on the big government takeover of the American health care system was at times suspenseful, ultimately it won passage. The vote was quite close though. In the end 39 Democrats opposed the bill and in what was one of the most cowardly acts of the entire health care reform debate, one Republican, freshman Joseph Cao of Louisiana, waited till the last minute and only after the bill had one more vote than it needed for passage, did he cast his vote for it.

By five votes, the House of Representatives approved an over 1 trillion dollar government take over of health management and health insurance that, if it comes to fruition, will change just about every aspect of life in America. H.R.3962, the deceptively titled Affordable Health Care for America Act is one of the most transformative pieces of legislation ever passed and second only to the liberal Tax-and-Trade energy bill that Democrats in the House passed earlier this year.

Alone, each measure amounts to some of the greatest transfers of wealth in the history of mankind. Together they will be the greatest transfer of wealth and the most obnoxiously large consolidation of  federal power and control that any generation in America has ever known. Together, the Cap-and-Trade bill and the government health management measure will tax the health out of our economy and the life out of the middle class.

To be sure, the passage of HR. 3962 is a victory for President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  That is undeniable and it should not be downplayed. To have actually been able to whip enough votes together to pass this reform bill, while a majority of the American people oppose it, means that the President still has great influence over his conference and Nancy Pelosi has proven herself to be masterful at her job. But the type of influence and mastery they exhibited here may not exactly be the type that America needs. First of all, it only extends to their conference. They were unable to persuade, scare, or extort Republicans to support them. That means that the President and Pelosi’s appeal and sphere of influence is limited to those who are already on their side. They fail to expand their appeal or base in Congress or, more importantly, among the voters. Although it seems like it was months ago, the elections held throughout America this past Tuesday proved that.

It is also important to recognize the type of  influence that Speaker Pelosi and President Obama wielded in the health care takeover vote. To pass the bill, an endless amount of deal making went into the process. And all of those deals were conducted under the table and behind closed doors. The horse trading that took place among a group of politicians, limited exclusively to Democrats, is what helped to account for the extraordinary size of the bill—–1,900 pages. It is also something that we will pay for dearly in the next few coming year’s. This bill was passed by the creations of favors that will allow Democrat committee chairman to reward “yea” votes on HR. 3692 by approving more pork in future spending bills than all the pig farms in the Midwest. Democrats will be approving some of the most harebrained legislation you’ve ever seen and they will do so because of three words—– “you owe me”.

House%20Floor%201The same goes for the President too.

For every arm Pelosi and the President twisted, two favors were offered. So many favors were offered in order to pass government managed health reform and insurance that much of the legislative agenda for this and next year, will be based entirely on the need to payback the favors promised to Democrats running for reelection next year. If you think the legislative agenda of Congress will be based on the needs of the people, think again. Our needs will be secondary and even tertiary when it comes to the needs of Democrats facing tough reelection bids and saying to Nancy,——- “you owe me this”.

Add to that the likelihood that both Pelosi and the President may have blown their entire wad of influence on this one vote though. They may have exhausted any chance of passing any other controversial bills in the next legislative session because they may have had to call in too many favors on this one vote. That may be the only silver lining here. The liberal leadership had to pull so many strings, that they may not have the ability to try to ram through anymore of their radically, transformative agenda for quite some time to come.

What’s more is that all the favors, arm twisting, finger bending, deceit and depletion of legislative resources could be for naught. No matter what happens, the favors and deals for those placed their support for Pelosicare on the record and now face some stiff reelection bids, will still have be paid back. And the truth is, that what passed in the House is not likely to pass in Senate.

Typically, the House is much more radical, more extreme than the United States Senate. The House of Representatives is based upon extremists elected from gerrymandered districts within the population that are largely created by drawn based upon ideological preferences. Most districts are either predominantly liberal or predominantly conservative. This means that a member of the House can more afford to take an extreme position. Their districts are largely drawn based upon people with extreme positions leaning one way or the other. There are exceptions of course. There exist a few handfuls of “swing” districts which are moderate. But such seats are in the minority.

The Senate however has no members elected from districts that are carved out to match specifically match their political and ideological personality. These people are elected from entire states. So Senators try to placate everyone. That is not conducive to taking extreme positions. Between that and rules that govern the Senate which are quite different than those governing the House and you have a legislative that, unlike the House of Representatives, tends to water down legislation and moderate the final results. The Senate is also a bit more shrewd than the House. They often take a wait and see approach.

Remember that historic Cap-and-Trade energy bill that the lower chamber of Congress passed many moons ago? The Senate has yet to act on it? In the case of health care reform, the Senate which reached established a bill of their own has waited to see exactly what the House version was before they move ahead with their own. They will now carefully review what is in the House bill and monitor the public reaction to it. But Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn’t have a great deal of time to put his finger in the wind. He is going to have to call for a vote on a final government health care over right away. The more time that the public has to understand what is actually in the bill recently passed in the House, the more support and will and the more intense the objections will become.

The one thing you can rest assured on is that Pelosicare, as it was passed in its current form, will not be what the Senate approves. If a bill calling for the government takeover of health care is to be passed by the Senate, it will be watered down significantly. The public option is a major hurdle.  A final senate bill could include an opt out clause or maybe the “trigger” that liberal Republican Olympia Snowe likes. If compromise on that one issue can’t be reached, the so called public option, which is anything but an option, could be scrapped altogether.  In any event, passage of any health management and insurance reform bill that the President wants is far from done. If any version of reform is to actually make it to the President’s desk, it will modified to one degree or another in the Senate. If it isn’t, the big government takeover of health management and insurance won’t even have 50 votes, which is 10 less than they actually need to pass it. The message sent in the wake of this past Tuesday’s elections assures us that many Senator’s do not want to be saddled with the existing bill as they come up for reelection and are at the mercy of their statewide constituencies.

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