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Lynch is key defector against health care

By Paul Kane
President Obama lost a former supporter of his health-care initiative Thursday, as Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) told reporters he's opposed to the legislation.

Opposing the bill from the left, Lynch said the reforms in the compromise draft being unveiled Thursday afternoon water down those that he supported in November.

"This is a great bill if you're an insurance company," Lynch said, telling reporters that he does not trust the Senate to enact some of the changes that will be taken up next week if the House passes the legislation. Calling himself "firmly no" on the Senate draft, Lynch said he will speak this afternoon with Obama to give the president a last chance at swaying him.

Lynch's decision comes 24 hours after a momentum-building switch by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), previously a "no" vote who announced Wednesday the president had persuaded him to support the bill.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) won the Jan. 19 special election to fill the seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy, who considered national health reform "the cause of my life." Brown won Lynch's working-class district made up largely of South Boston.

Lynch considered getting into the Democratic primary for the special election but faced some resistance from labor unions, who were not happy because of his reluctance to support a federally financed public insurance option to private insurers. Now, Lynch is citing the lack of such a public option a main reason for opposing the legislation.

Asked about Kennedy's legacy, Lynch responded: "There's a difference between compromise and surrender."

By Kendra Nichols  |  March 18, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care  
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Comments

"people will be jailed": more hyperboloic disinformation.

Posted by: leichtman1 | March 19, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

People need health CARE not health INSURANCE. And will people be jailed who cannot pay the $120 a month or whatever it ends up being?

It's unfortunate that once again the legislators and the president are bowing to big business. Single payer for everyone is the way to go. Get rid of the bloated middle management in the insurance industry, and get rid of the huge paychecks and dividends for execs and shareholders. It works in much of the world, and if americans would get their heads out of their collective hind ends they would see that this is the way to go.

Posted by: greeenmtns | March 18, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse


Notice the use of stilted language by pro-Obama hacks. "Defector". Fine to change your vote as long as you are moving towards Barry, hmm?

Pathetic WaPo hacks are completely in the bag for Barry the incompetent boob Obama.

Posted by: screwjob11 | March 18, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I doubt Lynch was whining when the federal govt pissed away $15 billion on the Big Dig in his district.

Posted by: HistoryBoy | March 18, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

your statement: "You will not be able to get insurance for three more years" is more unnecessary incorrect misinformation. The exchanges will not start up for several years but no one is stopping you from buying HC on Monday after its passage and you certainly will continue to receive HC from your employer. Pre Existing exclusions, ending caps and availability to children up to 26 years old will kick in relatively soon.

Posted by: leichtman1 | March 18, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

You dont even understand most of the health care bill. You will not be able to get insurance for three more years so 135,000 more people will die before the insurance kicks in even though you are paying for it from day one.

Posted by: siglo4 | March 18, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

lets see procounsel Jesus would want this bill to fail so 30 million will continue to be uninsurred and 45,000 uninsurred Americans will continue to die each year. Apparently having no HC or not being able to obtain medical care is a religious principle written in the bible. That is an interesting perversion of religion.

Ok I will take your bait. You stated that the bill provides "mandatory abortion coverage" Where?

This is my challenge:
either show precsie language in the bill that requires "mandatory abortion coverage", or stop your hateful lying. Your choice. The bill is posted on line today so please show us the precise wording in the bill that requires that Health Insurance companies are mandated to provide "mandatory abortion coverage"

Posted by: leichtman1 | March 18, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Do ordinary Americans deserve better health care?

Quite possibly the answer is no. They haven't been good enough citizens and good enough people. They have been too selfish to stand up for the rights of other ordinary people in the world not to be murdered, tortured and kidnapped by their elected representatives.

Quite possibly ordinary Americans deserve much of the bad stuff that happens to them because they don't take their duties as citizens and as human beings anywhere near as seriously as they make claims for their needs and their rights.

Ordinary Americans do not (on average) have the backs of other ordinary people and so maybe they don't deserve health care and don't deserve the freedoms that they take for granted and which are in fact only possible as part of a quid pro quo.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | March 18, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"This is a great bill if you're an insurance company," Lynch said, telling reporters that he does not trust the Senate to enact some of the changes that will be taken up next week if the House passes the legislation
-----

Not trusting the Senate to enact some of the changes sounds reasonable of Lynch.

And Lynch is correct to point out there is a difference between compromise and surrender.

I also have a concern about the sort of mindset that seems to say, heck I feel uncomfortable about X, but I'm going to trust the judgement/leadership of Obama (or anyone else) the great!.

No one is that great. Obama compromises like many people compromise on issues where compromising really does amount to surrender.

Obama (like many Americans) equivocates, sometimes, when no equivocation is required because there are fundamental values and principles at stake - I am referring now to his equivocation about upholding the law. He said, prior to being elected, that on one hand the law should be upheld but on the other hand we must move on.

In that equivocation I see Obama's essential weakness and lack of deep abiding principle.

It is not just Obama and the United States that need the law to be upheld when the law is law as serious as, for instance, not launching illegal aggressive invasions, not torturing, not murdering, and not kidnapping using the offices of the United States to do those things, it is in the interests of all mankind that the United States officers including the President of the day not be permitted to do those things, to break those existing laws, with impunity.

I cannot forgive or forget the failure to uphold the law against launching aggressive (ie. illegal) invasions because that law more than any other is absolutely necessary for the possibility of peace between groups of organised humans.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | March 18, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Stupak, Lynch, Obamacare, and the Barley Field Battle

In the Bible, David and his mighty men faced the Philistines in Battle. When the Philistines attacked most of David’s army fled. But David and his mighty men stood alone and fought in a Barley field. And won.

I Chronicles 11 (The Bible)

12 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men.

13 He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines.

14 But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.

ObamaCare–mandatory abortion coverage–evil

Lynch, Stupak--Stand.

Posted by: ProCounsel | March 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

wa po bias

dems opposing obamacare

are "defectors"

wash po headline

"Lynch is key defector against health care"

Posted by: ProCounsel | March 18, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jujones1
It would be interesting to know how many people who say they hate what they call "Obamacare," collect social security and/or medicare benefits. I spoke recently with an elderly gentleman who has always voted Republican, hates "liberal, pinko, socialist, Nazi Democrats," was in the army during WWII and worked most of his life as an attorney "carrying his own weight." He is NOT for this health bill, but when I asked him what his health insurance was, he told me it was Medicare and the Veteran's Administration - he thinks highly of them both (except when some pinko bureaucrat messes up his paperwork). He also used the G.I. Bill to go to college. I also have two good friends who are against this bill; one is retired on disability from the State Department Foreign Service and gets those benefits, while the other works for a state university and gets those benefits. Go figure.
================================
Good examples. It's easy to figure out. These people are out for themselves, and others who they like. They could care less about those less fortunate who they don't know. I see and hear a ton of them out here in Arizona. They are oldfarty bloodsuckers hanging out at the public trough, collecting their paychecks for phony disabilities - while they still work for government contractors - and they like to also shut the door on any new immigrants unless they are "legal", but they really just hate Mexico.

It's all the same group of wanna-be fascists hanging out just to the left of Hitler. They plague this country.

Take them for who they are. They contribute NOTHING to America other than hate, confusion, and taxpayer ripoff.

Posted by: expat2MEX | March 18, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

wrong. The house voted to strip antitrust exemption on Feb 25, 2010. Why don t you try googling before you spread damaging disinformation:

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Daily-Reports/2010/February/25/Antitrust-Vote.aspx

Posted by: leichtman1 | March 18, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lynch is right, the Senate/Obama plan is a huge giveaway to the insurance companies, and the pharmaceuticals.
The Clinton administration made a tactical blunder in not involving the health industry in their policy formation.
The Obama administration learned from this, and invited the industry lobbyists in early. Only they gave the store away, which is why removing the insurers' anti-trust exemption and pharma's reimportation ban are not in the current plan.
Maybe we'll get it right the third time around...

Posted by: mtpeaks | March 18, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

good for him. I'm a Democrat and the Democratic congress and president just thew the party down the drain.

This bill is a pass so Barack Obama does not look to be as bad a leader. Good luck with that. Republicans should rejoice as'bama gives them everything they want.

I will vote against all those who vote for this bill as will millions of other Democrats.

Posted by: Realitycheck6 | March 18, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I predict gangrene setting in for Mr. Lynch, a pre-existing condition for which he has no insurance. Maybe he can move to Canada or France to get decent care?

Posted by: walden1 | March 18, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"He's right - the bill is great if you're an insurance company"

and I presume this comment and conclusion is based upon your detailed reading of the entire bill, right? Should we quiz you on the details of the bill since you make such a sweeping conclusion?

Posted by: leichtman1 | March 18, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

slim pickens' ending in '' white line fever''. thats the dems in november.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | March 18, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

walden I am urging all Ds to let the DCC know that they don't want their hard earned party contributions used to help re-elect Lynch in Nov if he follows through with his threat, if he stands with Rs and votes no. There needs to be a political price for Ds opposing the POTUS and party wishes.

Posted by: leichtman1 | March 18, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

He's right - the bill is great if you're an insurance company. Sometimes splitting the baby is a bad idea, and this is one of those times. If you support the bill, query whether you just want to see something, regardless of merit, to be passed.

All this bill does is expand a broken system; it makes no attempt to fix any of the real problems. The House bill was better, as was the Senate Bill without the special deals. Reconciliation just expanded the special deals (union deal and Cornhusker deal in particular), and uses alternative funding in the form of tax increases that should be used to make Medicare solvent.

Posted by: 1ofamillion | March 18, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Where do I send money to help unseat this guy Lynch? Don't got millions like the insurance companies but I will give what I can. Low like, America-hater. Please change parties, Mr. Lynch.

Posted by: walden1 | March 18, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse


Dems don't need Lynch. Deem and Pass is still alive.

Posted by: xcessiveheat | March 18, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lynch is wrong - I hope he changes his mind and votes FOR this bill, even though it does not go far enough.

It would be interesting to know how many people who say they hate what they call "Obamacare," collect social security and/or medicare benefits. I spoke recently with an elderly gentleman who has always voted Republican, hates "liberal, pinko, socialist, Nazi Democrats," was in the army during WWII and worked most of his life as an attorney "carrying his own weight." He is NOT for this health bill, but when I asked him what his health insurance was, he told me it was Medicare and the Veteran's Administration - he thinks highly of them both (except when some pinko bureaucrat messes up his paperwork). He also used the G.I. Bill to go to college. I also have two good friends who are against this bill; one is retired on disability from the State Department Foreign Service and gets those benefits, while the other works for a state university and gets those benefits. Go figure.

Posted by: jujones1 | March 18, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This article is incorrect in stating that Rep. Lynch's district is "made up largely of South Boston" The population of South Boston is about 30,000 while Massachusetts congressional districts have populations of over 600,000.
http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/South-Boston-Boston-MA.html

Posted by: Scott73 | March 18, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I presume that any D like Lynch who votes no on Sun. will be denied DCC funding in Nov. and should not expect Mass Ds to re-elect him. You want to be petulent and vote with Rs. Fine, then leave the party and see how Rs will treat you. His reasoning that there is no public option is about as stupid as it comes. Enable Rs to defeat this bill and expect to be booted out by Ds this Nov.

Posted by: leichtman1 | March 18, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

A great deal of democrats on here upset with Rep. Lynch ???

HHHMmmmmm,

Is it out of reach yet? Going back on the agreement to have the Stupak language in the bill is going to be costly. Blame the people who did that.

Blame Obama.

Obama has completely mishandled the entire health care debate. Blame yourselves for voting for him.


.
.

Posted by: 37thand0street | March 18, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

By comment #2, I mean the comment that was originally the second comment down by walden1.

Posted by: ricktd | March 18, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Comment #2 should be removed from the site because it contains a death threat. I tried to use the link below it to report the abuse, but the message didn't get through because the mailbox is full. That's why I'm using this method to point out the inappropriate material that should be removed.

Posted by: ricktd | March 18, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Lynch sounds fairly two-faced and untrustworthy to me. He was against the public option before he was for it? Now he's willing to kill reform entirely based on its lack of a public option? WHATEVER. Progressive Democrats should primary him and all other Democrats who vote no.

Posted by: fugitivenyc | March 18, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Lynch, big baby, join the real world. Do you object the all the conservative shake-downs because you want one in your own name?

This is the most important piece of legislation in two generations! Vote no and you are a dead man.

Of course you come from liberal Massachusetts which is enlightened enough to have its own state health insurance program that is being proposed for the whole country.

Posted by: walden1 | March 18, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The republicons stalling in the senate and the fruitless efforts of trying to get some sort of support from he party of no did have a damaging effect. But this is just the groundwork for the next round of reforms, which will include a public option if not a universal Medicare buy in. Think in terms of the Civil Rights acts. Conservatives fought tooth and nail -- it was a process that took a while to get really done in terms of legislation, and over the steady streams of lies and hatred from the right wing.

Posted by: John1263 | March 18, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I assert that Rep. Lynch is making a huge strategic blunder.

I'm a strong supporter of Single Payer - which was strangled on it's way to Baucus' Senate hearing.

I'm willing to compromise on Public Option - which was kidnapped by Obama on the path from the House to the Senate. For what reasons/trades I can't fathom, but in 8 years I look forward to reading the tell-all books.

Stupak has a 2x2 decision matrix. yes no by pass fail

If Lynch says no and this doesn't pass the Dems will appear useless and Rep. Lynch may well be in the minority party as well as disparaged by his own caucus for contributing to the loss. He'll be useless. It's not as though the Republicans will welcome him into their caucus, is it?

If Lynch says no and this does pass Obama will be the Duke of Wellington, whose victory will be the Republican's Waterloo. Lynch will be strung up as a deserter or abandoned. Again, he's useless.

If he decides to support it and it wins, he's on the winning team and gets to play another round to add the Public Option or Single Payer. Work with Pete Stark on Medicare for All.

If he decides to support it and it loses - well, with his vote it won't lose, will it?

Posted by: boscobobb | March 18, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Mitch McConnell's dress doesn't fit you too well Congressman Lynch. If you keep wearing those threadbare dresses, you'll soon be naked.

Posted by: edfunk1 | March 18, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

voting against because you think it should be more liberal is absurd. you don't have the votes. letting the system colllapse is not a principled response.

Posted by: JoeT1 | March 18, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Good for him! I wish more dems had his spine!

Posted by: solsticebelle | March 18, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Well Mr. Lynch is a fool if he thinks the his republican opponent is going to drop out now. Or that the GOP won't try to punish him.

Posted by: Keesvan | March 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Everyone will has his or her day. Rep. Lynch is having his today. Like sausage, the upside to health-care reform will look and taste much better in the years to come than it does today.

I see some needed benefits to seniors, not the least of which is the closing of the doughnut hole. If people do not understand this situation, all you need to know is that it was the Republicans' big giveaway to the drug companies.

Posted by: EarlC | March 18, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Keep The "No" Votes Coming...one at a time!

It's great to see that Southies have their eyes open and are voting their own self interests rather than blindly being led
off the cliff by another healthcare fiasco.

Thankyou, Mr. Lynch!

SCRAP OBAMACARE!

Posted by: Concerned14 | March 18, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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