The Campaign Spot

What Was the Deciding Factor in One Democrat’s Health-Care Vote? “Party Loyalty”

Howard Fineman buries the lead like it’s Jimmy Hoffa:

A Democratic senator I can’t name, who reluctantly voted for the health-care bill out of loyalty to his party and his admiration for Barack Obama, privately complained to me that the measure was political folly, in part because of the way it goes into effect: some taxes first, most benefits later, and rate hikes by insurance companies in between.

Besides that, this Democrat said, people who already have coverage will feel threatened and resentful about helping to cover the uninsured—an emotion they will sanitize for the polltakers into a concern about federal spending and debt.

On the day the president signed into law the “fix-it” addendum to the massive health-care measure, two new polls show just how fearful and skeptical Americans are about the entire enterprise. If the numbers stay where they are—and it’s not clear why they will change much between now and November—then the Democrats really are in danger of colossal losses at the polls.

So, just to clarify, some Democratic senator admitted to Fineman that he thinks the bill is political suicide, raises premiums for his constituents, and feeds public anger, but voted for it anyway out of personal and party loyalty? Come on, Fineman, spill the goods so we can give this guy his Profile in Courage award.

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