The Campaign Spot

Wondering About Those Retiring House Democrats . . .

A reader worries about John Tanner and Bart Gordon, retiring Tennessee Democrats who voted “no” on health care in the House, flipping to the “yes” column on the final vote on Obamacare.

I’d add Washington Democrat Brian Baird to that list.

Two other House Democrats who voted no, and who are retiring, are running for higher office: Artur Davis of Alabama is running for governor and Charlie Melancon of Louisiana is running for U.S. Senate. I suspect a “yes” vote on Obamacare would be unhelpful to their aspirations for higher office in those states.

In the past, Gordon has said, “Any health care bill that is ultimately signed into law must not increase the federal deficit or our long-term spending on health care.” The fact that the CBO couldn’t score Obama’s brief summary probably makes this a tough sell for him. Tanner also cited the CBO in his remarks about why he couldn’t support the House version.

Also, from Baird: “To insist that members vote on this legislation without having cost estimates of Medicare and Medicaid impacts by CMS or an estimate of premium impacts from the CBO seems premature and unwise.”

Of course, the Obama administration needs something from them, and thus this means any one of them could be the next Secretary of the Navy.