The Blog

The American People Versus Obamacare

And the 40 House Democrats to watch.

8:02 AM, Mar 17, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

The New York Times writes, “For weeks, Democrats...were taking a pounding in their districts.” But now “pharmaceutical companies [have] made a $12 million investment for a final advertising push.” The Times elaborates: “The new money from Pharma, the association of drug makers, as well as contributions from labor unions and other groups [has] helped equalize the advertising fight. This week...the groups backing the legislation will focus extensively on the insurance industry with this theme: ‘When insurance companies win, you lose.’”

The American People Versus Obamacare

That's rich: While President Obama crisscrosses the country villainizing health insurers, Big Pharma — whose 19.3 percent profits absolutely dwarf health insurers’ profits of 2.2 percent  — is bankrolling anti-insurer, pro-Obamacare ads. At the Huffington Post, Art Levine frankly explains that “giveaways to Big Pharma have put that industry in the ‘reform’ camp and willing to make ad buys.” However, Levine also laments that Obamacare's grassroots supporters are “hardly turning out in droves to pressure the members of Congress.” Instead, they’re providing “a weak counterweight to the mass protests and energetic street antics of the Tea Baggers.”

So it really has become the American people versus Obamacare — or, more specifically, the common sense of Americans versus the entrenched interests of Big Pharma and Big Government, with their excessive thirsts for profits and power.

Enlisting with the citizenry, the Chamber of Commerce — representing small businesses across America — is now, according to the Times, running ads “singling out 27 Democrats who supported the health care bill last year and 13 who opposed it.” We're not sure whether their list is the same as ours or not, but Andy Wickersham and I have also listed 27 Democrats who voted for the legislation and 13 who didn’t as being the key members to influence. All but five of them reside in Republican-leaning districts (most of them clearly so), and most voted for the Stupak Amendment to prevent taxpayer funding of abortions (which the Senate bill would sanction). The American people's persistence and persuasiveness with these 40 House Democrats over the next few days or weeks will likely determine the outcome of this nation-defining debate. Here they are:

“Yes” last time:

Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz.
Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz.
Marion Berry, D-Ark.
Vic Snyder, D-Ark.
John Salazar, D-Colo.
Melissa Bean, D-Ill.
Bill Foster, D-Ill.
Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind.
Baron Hill, D-Ind.
Bart Stupak, D-Mich.
Michael Arcuri, D-N.Y.
Tim Bishop, D-N.Y.
Bob Etheridge, D-N.C.
Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.
Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio
Zach Space, D-Ohio
Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio
Chris Carney, D-Pa.
Kathleen Dahlkemper, D-Pa.
John Spratt, D-S.C.
Ciro Rodriguez, D-Texas
Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas
Tom Perriello, D-Va.
Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va.
Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.

“No” last time:

Mike Ross, D-Ark.
Betsy Markey, D-Colo.
Allen Boyd, D-Fla.
Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fla.
John Barrow, D-Ga.
John Adler, D-N.J.
Michael McMahon, D-N.Y.
Scott Murphy, D-N.Y.
Larry Kissell, D-N.C.
John Boccieri, D-Ohio
John Tanner, D-Tenn.
Glenn Nye, D-Va.
Brian Baird, D-Wash.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 18 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers