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Altmire a 'no,' but Ellsworth and Kosmas on board

By Ben Pershing
More votes fell into place on both sides of the health-reform ledger Friday afternoon, as Democrats picked up support from two lawmakers but lost a member who had been the media's most-chronicled Hamlet.

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) announced that he would vote against the final bill Sunday, just as he did with the original House bill in November, after several days of very public deliberations over the decision.

"I regret that this year-long process of debating health-care reform has resulted in a final product that I cannot support," Altmire said in a statement released by his office. "The cost of inaction on health care is great, but it would be an even bigger mistake to pass a bill that could compound the problem of skyrocketing health care costs."

On the flip side, Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) announced that he would vote in favor of the health bill, repeating the "aye" he cast in November. His decision has been closely-watched, as Ellsworth is running for an open Senate seat in a state that leans center-right.

For a full list of how representatives have said they will vote -- and who remains undecided -- see The Post's comprehensive and continuously updated "Who's in play" graphic.

"After months of meetings and conversations with thousands of Hoosiers, health care experts and pro-life advocates, I am confident supporting health-care reform is the right decision for Hoosiers," Ellsworth said.

Even more significantly for Democrats' raw numbers, Florida Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D) said she also would back the final measure, a reversal from her "no" vote in November.

"I'm going to vote for health-care reform," Kosmas said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "I know this is not a perfect bill. But in the scheme of things, it provides the best options and the best opportunities for my constituents."

As other members have Friday, Kosmas cited the Congressional Budget Office's finding that the health bill would cut the deficit as a key reason behind her decision.

By Ben Pershing  |  March 19, 2010; 6:10 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing , Health Care  
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Those who are not on board for health-care reform will find themselves on the wrong side of history.

Posted by: martinmorones1962 | March 20, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Those who are not on board for health-care reform will find themselves on the wrong side of history.

Posted by: martinmorones1962 | March 20, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Congress, Team Obama: "First, Do No Harm."


• Rips Mid-Atlantic States MAGLOCLEN fusion center as regional "centcom for an American Gestapo."

• Report: Gov't radio frequency weapon system keeps 'targets' asleep, immobilized, as community "watch" stalkers invade, vandalize their homes

See latest comments:

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 20, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: rritkonlyyou | March 20, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I guess there's no last minute high stakes debate on the use of non professional gatekeepers to limit costs in the Bill's new Medicare policy? That's alright with every politician UNTIL constituents are told that they are too old for a kidney and their Representative pulls out the old Kerry imitation about being was against it before they were for it.

Posted by: thecannula | March 19, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

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