TPM, like the MSM, looks at the health care vote as – well as another vote.
This space asks the question – do they truly represent the interests of the residents in their districts.
Earlier I looked at a list of 85 Democrats who had not committed to supporting their party’s health care reform proposal.
Two -thirds represent districts with a health status index lower than their own states average and over half were below the national average.
So when the vote came on Sunday, did the wavering Democrats representing sicker districts vote for health.
Three quarters – 75% -of the final 34 Democrats who voted NO on health care reform represent districts with a health status index below the national average and the same percentage represent districts with a health status index below their state’s average. When you combine the two, fully 85% of the Democrats voting no on health care reform are representing constituents with an average health status index below either their state or national average.
You have to wonder who are the Sickos.
The health status index is taken from the book, Measure of America, which uses a methodology developed in the United Nations to compare the well being of all Americans.
Numbers worse than state averages are shaded
The showdown is imminent.
The Republicans have no interest in health care reform.
But why are Democrats wavering?
CNN has provided a list of wavering and uncommitted Democrats as of March 16th.
Who do they represent?
How do these so-called Democrats represent the interests of their constituents?
Two sources offer information at the congressional district level on the number of uninsured and the health status of the population. This piece does not defend or even explain their methodologies.
The Urban Institute studied rates of uninsurance at the state and congressional district level.
The American Human Development Report applies a methodology used by the United Nations to examine health, income, and education in the United States and has drilled down to the congressional district level.
The table below takes the CNN list and adds the congressional district numbers for rates of uninsurance provided by the Urban Institute and the health status index provided by the American Development Report. The national average is on the top row. Congressional district rates worse than their state’s average are shaded.
- CNN lists 85 Democrats who have not committed to supporting their party’s health care proposal as of Tuesday.
- 41.2% of those Democrats come from districts with rates of un-insured higher than the national average of 17%.
- Over half – 51.8% – have rates of un-insured higher than their own state’s average.
- 61.2% represent districts with a health status index below the national average of 5.0.
- Over two-thirds – 67.1% -represent districts with a health status lower than that of their own state.
Wavering Dems and their districts
Anyone wanting more detail should contact me directly.
Some of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s colleagues were surprised by his decision this week to include a government-run health-care plan in the Democrats’ bill.
But the mathematics of the Senate suggest the motives for the Nevada Democrat’s gamble: While a handful of Democratic moderates don’t like the so-called public option, the liberals who support it easily outnumber them — and at least some of them warned Mr. Reid they would oppose a bill that didn’t include the option.
Reid’s Math: Liberal Fans Exceed Public-Plan Foes – WSJ.com
By CHARLES BABINGTON (AP) – 10/22/09
WASHINGTON — The Democrats’ control of a hefty majority in the Senate — plus the House — would suggest that President Barack Obama is within reach of overhauling the nation’s health care system this fall.
But the numbers mask a more complicated reality: Obama and Democratic leaders have modest leverage over several pivotal Senate Democrats who are more concerned about their next election or feel they have little to lose by opposing their party’s hierarchy.
One is still smarting from being forced to abandon next year’s election. Another had to leave the Democratic Party to stay in office. And some are from states that Obama lost badly last year.
The Associated Press: Key senators may rebuff Obama on health care
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Using arguments about the social benefits of healthcare reform may galvanize Democrats but they leave Republicans cold, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.
Politicians seeking support for new regulations and laws aimed at improving health may need to carefully frame their arguments for each audience, the researchers reported in the American Journal of Public Health.
They set up an experiment that showed Republicans and Democrats alike supported measures to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.
But the Republicans lost enthusiasm when the researchers presented arguments about how hard it is for people to exercise and eat right when streets have no sidewalks and fast-food restaurants abound, Sarah Gollust of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues found.
Why Americans Disagree About Healthcare Reform – ABC News