Three Democrats crossed party lines today to vote with House Republicans to repeal health care reform. Here they are to the left, top to bottom: Rep. Dan Boren (OK), Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC) and Rep. Mike Ross (AK). All other Democrats–189 in number–voted against repeal.
Health care reform will be remembered as the signature accomplishment of the Obama presidency. But it's more than that. Ensuring that every American citizen has affordable, comprehensive coverage has been a Democratic quest for decades.
We expect the Republicans to be a "wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry," in the words of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). We're not surprised when Rep. Diane Black, new Republican congresswoman from Tennessee, is opposed to mandating health insurance companies to cover children since it's bad for the insurance business (not exactly a ringing endorsement for the existence of private insurance). We shouldn't expect the same from Democrats.
Democratic voters who live in these representatives' districts should not support them. If they can't even uphold health care reform, how are they any different from the Republicans? Vote instead for a progressive third party candidate. Write in your cat if you must. But let's establish that there are some values that Democrats hold–values clearly not held by these three.