Monday, March 22, 2010

Boucher's Vote on HR 3940 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)

HR 3940 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 219 in favor to 212 against. My Congressman, Rick Boucher, voted against the bill. I'm told that he waited until after the bill had its required 216 "yes" votes (and had passed) before he cast his "no" vote.

Boucher published a statement on the reasons for his vote. Takes some time to read ther, here.

I understand Boucher's complaints about cuts to Medicare funding. I'm sure there are a number of people in Congress who are now looking around and thinking that it would be nice to find ways to restore those losses within the budget process. There will be time to do that; maybe it will happen. As the economy continues recovery, Federal revenue will increase. Budgeting is an ongoing process...

Did the original Senate Bill include some distasteful deals? Yes. But it was also clear that the reconciliation package would remove those.

It is disingenuous and problematic for Rick to say that he is voting against the bill (HR 3590) because it doesn't include meaningful tort reform or relieve the disparity in Medicare funding between urban areas and rural areas. It is disingenuous because we certainly wouldn't get either of those things if the bill hadn't passed. It is problematic because Rick will probably be provided with many more opportunities now to vote against other bills because they don't contain those things. In fact, if he continues to use those criteria he may never vote in favor of another bill for the remainder of his time in Congress.

I was asked repeatedly by one of Rick's people if I'd be unhappy with a "no" vote from him if the bill passed anyway. Wonder what Rick would have done if it hadn't passed without his vote - 215 to 215 with his vote left to cast...?

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