By a vote of 220-215 the House passed the $1.2 trillion health care plan. Thirty-nine Democrats voted against it, as did every Republican except for Joseph Cao of Louisiana.
Cao replaced William (dollar bill) Jefferson (D-LA) in a special election in a heavily democratic New Orleans district. Jefferson was indicted for bribery and corruption charges. He’s the House member with $90,000 cash in his freezer.
Cao didn’t lose it for Republicans. Neither did Owens, the Democrat that just got elected in New York’s 23rd district. Pelosi had the necessary 218 votes, just 218 votes, without them. It is important to note, however, that Owens campaigned against this health care bill in New York. He wouldn’t have won the election had he been honest (there’s a shocker) with his constituents. So within 24 hours of being elected to the House, he broke 4 campaign promises. Being against the health care bill was one of them. He also indicated during his campaign that he was firmly opposed to cutting Medicare benefits, taxing health care benefits, and increased taxes on the middle class in any way. No doubt his constituents will remember his vote and betrayal next time around.
Pelosi wouldn’t have had those 218 votes if the Stupak amendment were not passed. Which it did. Proposed by Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), the amendment to the House health bill bars federal funding for most abortions and passed on a vote of 240-194. Democrats split 64-192 against the amendment, but 176 Republicans voted in favor of it while none opposed it and Jon Shadegg (R-AZ) voted present.
For those of us who reject socialized medicine and the government takeover of a sixth of the U.S. economy, and the piling on of $1.2 trillion of debt, over and above the $8 to $10 trillion in debt already incurred by Obama’s plans and policies, there is one last chance to defeat this government takeover. The Senate still has to approve it.
It will also be interesting to see how the Stupak amendment gets neutered in the Senate and what the Democrats who oppose federal funding of abortions will do if it does.
The rubber meets the road in the Senate. We will soon see which Democrats will turn on their constituents and lie like Owens did, or are bought off with earmarks. The 2010 election can’t come soon enough.