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House "no" votes on health care -- in chart form

Wondering who the 39 House Democrats who originally voted no on health-care reform are? The New York Times tells you in chart form and tells you how their district voted in the 2008 presidential election, the percent of uninsured in the district, whether they're freshman and more. It's a great graphic, not least because it forces you to consider the political economy of a district like Chet Edwards's, where McCain won 35 percent of the vote and one in four residents are uninsured. I'd guess not too many of those residents are voting.

But for all that, I wonder how much this stuff really tells you. Health-care reform is going to come down to a couple of congressmen who have to choose between what they think is safe in their district and right for the country. That seems like it should be an easy choice, but convincing yourself that the thing that might save your job is also the right thing is very seductive.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 5, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  Charts and Graphs  
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Comments

This is nice, but the thing I want to know now is who are the Stupak Dozen he claims he speaks for? I'm a little concerned my congressman is among them and I want to be sure to harass him as much as possible if that's the case.

Posted by: rayrick1 | March 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know the reasoning on why Brian Baird and John Barrow voted against HCR in the House? Seems to me that they had no electoral reasons to since Obama carried their districts by a good margin and they themselves won their re election with a nearly +30 margin as well.

Posted by: bullseye1088 | March 5, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"Health-care reform is going to come down to a couple of congressmen who have to choose between what they think is safe in their district and right for the country."

Couldn't agree more! The Democratic Party will experience a loss of from 27 (Sabato) to 37 (Abramowitz) seats in November regardless of the health care reform vote. The Representatives need only vote based based on the will of the majority of their constituents: some Representatives are likely to decide that a vocal party-line minority should determine policy for the majority, while others will exhibit patriotism and honor of service.

It would be my hope that the matter can be brought for a straight up-or-down vote, despite Speaker Pelosi's obstructionism. During such a majority rule vote, the various issues -- higher outlays for insurance due to lowered premiums coupled with mandates for enhanced coverage, rightfully higher taxes as described by Krugman and others, and government approval both of abortion -- are things that ought to be voted upon, with a record of those who approve and those who disapprove. Without such votes, many wouldn't remember the health care reform favored by Roosevelt and his progressives; moreover, a revival of such health care reform, favored even 90 years ago, would not be possible.

If nothing else, I will always remember the efforts towards health care reform made by the President and those who, without success, 90 years ago proposed a final solution for health care needs.

Posted by: rmgregory | March 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Ezra:

I'm with rayrick1 on this question:

*This is nice, but the thing I want to know now is who are the Stupak Dozen he claims he speaks for?*

You really haven't dealt with the "abortion language" issue much at all. I'm not worried that my Congressperson would side with Stupak, but I AM worried that this one issue can (will?) derail the D's entire plan for moving forward.

Would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Posted by: onewing1 | March 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Who says that passing this version of healthcare is the "right thing" for the country! Saving your job is the "right thing" to do if that is what your constituents want!! Let's get real...this bill is bad and the public-at-large knows it!

visit: http://eclecticramblings.wordpress.com

Posted by: my4653 | March 5, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, I think there is a typo here. In Chet Edward's district McCain won BY 35 percent, he didn't receive only "35 percent of the vote".

Posted by: jps677 | March 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I too would like to see more on Stupak. I know my Democratic Congressman voted against HCR the first time around. I've already contacted his office to say that i won't vote for him this fall if he doesn't help the bill pass, but I'd sure like to know if he's actively trying to derail it.

Posted by: MosBen | March 5, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Health-care reform is going to come down to a couple of congressmen who have to choose between what they think is safe in their district and right for the country."

Another typical false choice offered up by Klein. 55% of the country thinks the entire bill should be scrapped and rewritten from scratch. But what do the foolish American voters know? What do they think this is a representative democracy? When will they learn that left-wing bloggers from the Washington Post and their ilk know best about how to run people's lives?

Posted by: superman32 | March 5, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

--"Health-care reform is going to come down to a couple of congressmen who have to choose between what they think is safe in their district and right for the country."--

That's the essence of stupid Socialism right there, depending on glad handing twits to dispose of the dribs and drabs of one's own life. I can't think of anything more perverse.

Posted by: msoja | March 5, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Health-care reform is going to come down to a couple of congressmen who have to choose between what they think is safe in their district and right for the country."

Hopefully there will be more than just a couple of the former "yes" votes who make that choice and vote "no" this time.

Posted by: bgmma50 | March 5, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

bgmamma50-- My thought exactly. Out of 219 yes Dem votes, one would hope that more than a couple would do what is right for the country despite their liberal constituency.

Posted by: Steve851 | March 5, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Um, McCain had a 35 point margin of victory in Edwards's district.

Posted by: jttx | March 5, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

In this case the NO vote that will save your job also happens to be the right thing:

-15 million get Medicaid cards, soon to learn the difference between health insurance and healthcare
-5 million have to buy health insurance with subsidies (which don't keep up with health care inflation)
-10 million forced to buy health insurance without subsidies
-18 million pay a fine equal to 2.5% of income
-excise tax hitting 14% of families by 2019, 30% by 2029

NO thanks.

Posted by: bmull | March 5, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know the reasoning on why Brian Baird and John Barrow voted against HCR in the House? Seems to me that they had no electoral reasons to since Obama carried their districts by a good margin and they themselves won their re election with a nearly +30 margin as well.

Posted by: bullseye1088 | March 5, 2010 3:11 PM
------------
I know it's hard for you to grasp but isn't it just possible that they are acting out of principle?

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | March 6, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

It is being reported tonight that Eric Massa will resign. That takes away one of the prior no votes, and drops the total needed to pass to 216.

I'm not sure about Barrow, but I think Brian Baird's previous no vote was a close call, and that he is likely to support the bill this time, because the reconciled version of the Senate bill will be more moderate than the original House bill.

The election politics in Baird's district in Washington State aren't really a factor either way, because he has already announced he will not be running again.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 6, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"I know it's hard for you to grasp but isn't it just possible that they are acting out of principle?"

Uh...sure. But the question is which part of the bill offended which principle for each member.

Many of the Conserva-Dems are going to like various aspects of the Senate bill better than they liked parts of the original House bill. So it is useful to know exactly why any particular House member opposed the original bill.

And it is widely rumored that Pelosi had more potential yes votes the first time, but once she knew she was well over the top, she let a few members know it would be ok for them to vote no for their own political needs. This time is for keeps, and so it is more likely to be "all hands on deck."

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 6, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Like a typical Lib, Ezra assumes the "no" voters are now facing a choice between enhancing their reelection bids and doing what's right for the country. Ezra, did you ever consider that some/all of the "no" votes were cast because they thought it was a REALLY BAD Bill? Ya think?! Look at Kucinich; he's voting "no" on principle (from the Left) and I'm sure there are many who voted "no" because they realize the Bill is truly a budget buster 10 years out.

Posted by: JohnR22 | March 6, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, the reliable MSNBC and Obama shill.

Posted by: johs | March 6, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Americans will never accept mandates to buy health insurance from the same companies democrats have demonized for over a year. The manadates will be challenged in the courts, and guarantee the issue doesn't go away.

The "cost savings" in the bill are smoke and mirrors, relying among other things on medicare cuts that will never be made, but will keep seniors engaged and opposed to the bill.

A massive new entitlement will swell the deficit and dampen the economy further, as businesses will figure these additional costs into their plans and postpone hiring.

It is the wrong medecine for a misdiagnosis of the disease.

There is no conflict between politics & policy. The right thing to do is to vote no on this bill.

Posted by: blackmage | March 6, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I am finding it difficult to dig up information about primary challenges to these Democrats. Defeating them in the primaries has the advantage of making it unnecessary to kick them out in the general election and give the seat to a Republican.

Here are a few about whom I could find some information. Does anybody want to help compile a complete list? Any information you have would be appreciated.

Dem Incumbent -- primary challenger
John Adler (NJ) -- Barry Bendar
John Barrow (GA) -- Regina Thomas
Allen Boyd (FL) -- Alfred Lawson
Suzanne Kosmas (FL) -- Paul Partyka

(Please correct if there are any mistakes above. Primary dates and registration deadlines may also be helpful. The current political constellation present a good opportunity for someone enterprising to enter the primaries and defeat one of these people. Also, info about primary challenges to Democrats who are wavering and may renege on their previous Yes vote would be helpful.)

Posted by: opinionpieces | March 6, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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