How key Democrats voted on health care bill: Pelosi's scorecard
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had the formidable task of persuading 216 Democrats to vote for a Senate health care bill that many did not like. This is how she succeeded – and failed.
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But after talks with Speaker Pelosi and the White House, Stupak accepted the compromise of a new executive order reaffirming the principle that taxpayer dollars not fund abortion services in the new system.Skip to next paragraph
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“Although this legislation is not perfect and does not do everything I believe is necessary to reform our health insurance industry, it is a tremendous step forward for northern Michigan residents and for our nation,” he said in a statement after the vote.
Stupak backed the bill Sunday.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) of Illinois
A former consumer activist in Chicago who organized one 1989 protest that featured seniors chasing then-Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D) of Illinois down the street, Congresswoman Schakowsky was a strong yes for health care reform.
But she was outraged by Stupak’s proposal and told Pelosi that she and some 50 others would vote down the bill if Stupak were given the option of a stand-alone vote to strengthen anti-abortion language.
“We have said from Day 1 that we are not going to allow this bill to set back women’s access to abortion,” she said.
Pelosi told the group that she was suspending talks with Stupak. Pelosi’s response “made many of us feel much more reassured,” Schakowsky said.
Schakowsky voted to pass the bill Sunday.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D) of Ohio
A lifelong liberal, Kaptur also strongly opposes public funding of abortions and lined up with Stupak. “I’m trying to be constructive in this,” she said. “We have to find a way to reaffirm the House language before the vote on the bill.”
But at the same time, the plight of the uninsured has troubled her ever since her father had to give up his own grocery to take a job in a factory that ensured his family health coverage.
“It was gut wrenching,” she said. “I’ll never forget what I felt for him to give up his life’s dream.”
She praised round-the-clock efforts by both House leadership and the White House to resolve this issue.
On Sunday, she voted yes.
Rep. Ron Kind (D) of Wisconsin
A second revolt broke out in Democratic ranks after the Senate parliamentarian – who is seen as the authority on what provisions can be passed by reconciliation – said last week that geographic disparities that disadvantaged Wisconsin and 16 others could not be “fixed” under Senate rules for reconciliation.
“Wisconsin has some of the highest quality outcome areas in the country, but among the lowest reimbursement rates, because we are not practicing volume medicine,” he says.
Asked on Friday whether the group would actually vote down health care reform over this dispute, he said: “Many of us are of the belief that this is the time. This is it.... A lot of votes are hinging on it.”
Congressman Kind says that savings expected to come from wellness programs or improved quality of care are under-scored by the CBO. “The US is spending $80 billion a year on tests and procedures that don’t work.”