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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In response to these concerns, the White House agreed to step up efforts to educate the public on quality medicine as an alternative to fee-for-service. The president also pledged to hold a summit on the issue in Washington.
Kind voted yes on healthcare Sunday.
Rep. Paul Hodes (D) of New Hampshire
Currently in a tough race for US Senate, Congressman Hodes told his constituents that he would carefully read the health care bill before committing to vote for it. Like Kind, he is concerned about regional disparities in Medicare payments that disadvantage his state. But the Live Free or Die state is also famously independent and distrustful of anything that smacks of big government.
“I studied the bill carefully in its final form – all 2,407 pages of the bill and 154 pages of the reconciliation bill,” he says.
In the end, he voted for the Senate bill and fixes, but analysts say he could pay a price for it at the polls. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 61 percent of New Hampshire voters think it would be better for the country if most incumbents were defeated in November. Only 44 percent of New Hampshire voters favor national health reform.
“I am confident that when people I represent and the American people fully understand the benefits of this bill whatever public sentiment there may be against it will change,” he says. “This bill is a jobs bill.”
Rep. Jim Marshall (D) of Georgia
Congressman Marshall is one of 13 members of the Democratic caucus who voted against leadership on the 2009 House health care reform bill, the climate change bill, and the Senate health care bill and fixes. He is also one of the group Pelosi refers to as “majority makers,” whose views must be taken into account.
He is deeply concerned about the growth of federal deficits and says that the health care reform bill does far too little to rein in costs.
“It’s all very well intended, and millions will be helped by this, but how does this bill deal with increasing health care costs? It raises revenues,” he says. “Sixty to 80 percent of our long-term debt problem is involved with health care. We have missed quite an opportunity.”
He voted no on health care reform, again.
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D) of Massachusetts
A former ironworker with strong union ties, Congressman Lynch stunned Democrats when he announced opposition to the Senate bill: “We’re adding 33 million people to a system that’s still as broken as it was before.”
Lynch opposes a funding mechanism in the Senate bill that taxes high-end insurance plans, including many negotiated in union contracts. He preferred the House measure, which taxed rich families. He also objected to the absence of a public option in the House bill.
In recent days, he has withstood a personal meeting with Obama, an appeal from Vicki Kennedy (Ted’s widow), and a full court press just off the floor of the House from AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka. “There’s a difference between a compromise and a complete surrender,” he said.
On Sunday night, he voted against the bill.