How many Democrats voted for the ‘Keep Your Health Plan Act?’

November 15, 2013

The House voted Friday to approve a measure allowing Americans to keep current health-care plans, even if they don't meet requirements established by the new Affordable Care Act.


Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), one of dozens of Democrats to vote for a bill to roll back parts of the new health-care law. (AP)

Passage of the "Keep Your Health Plan Act" was never in doubt — the only question was how many Democrats might defect and support the legislation.

Well, now we know. Here's a look at the tally:

Final tally: 261 to 157.

How many Republicans voted yes?: 222.

How many Democrats voted yes?: 39.

How many Republicans voted no?: 4.

How many Democrats voted no?: 153.

How many lawmakers didn't vote?: 12.

Votes Notes: More than three dozen House Democrats delivered a stinging rebuke of President Obama's health-care law and his broken promise that Americans who like their health-care plans would be able to keep them. The 39 Democratic "yes" votes represent the single largest tally of defectors this year on any major or closely-watched piece of legislation.

The Democratic defectors were:

Rep. Ron Barber (Ariz.)
Rep. John Barrow (Ga.)
Rep. Ami Bera (Calif.)
Rep. Tim Bishop (N.Y.)
Rep. Bruce Braley (Iowa)
Rep. Julia Brownley (Calif.)
Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.)
Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.)
Rep. Suzan DelBene (Wash.)
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)
Rep. William Enyart (Ill.)
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (Conn.)
Rep. Bill Foster (Ill.)
Rep. Pete Gallego (Texas)
Rep. John Garamendi (Calif.)
Rep. Joe Garcia (Fla.)
Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.)
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.)
Rep. Dave Loebsack (Iowa)
Rep. Dan Maffei (N.Y.)
Rep. Sean Maloney (N.Y.)
Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
Rep. Patrick Murphy (Fla.)
Rep. Rick Nolan (Minn.)
Rep. Bill Owens (N.Y.)
Rep. Scott Peters (Calif.)
Rep. Gary Peters (Mich.)
Rep. Colin Peterson (Minn.)
Rep. Nick Rahall (W. Va.)
Rep. Raul Ruiz (Calif.)
Rep. Bill Schneider (Ill.)
Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.)
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.)
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)
Rep. Filemon Vela (Texas)
Rep. Tim Walz (Minn.).

The bill had three Democratic co-sponsors: Barrow, McIntyre and Murphy. Like Barrow and McIntyre, Matheson also usually joins with Republicans on controversial or closely watched bills because he represents a conservative district. Murphy is a freshman lawmaker who won a narrow victory last year in a district packed with seniors and retirees.

An overwhelming number of these defectors are freshmen who won tight contests last year and face difficult reelection fights in 2014: Barber, Bera, Gallego, Garcia, Kuster, Nolan, Ruiz, Shea-Porter and Sinema, among others. Two of these freshmen, Bera and Ruiz, are medical doctors who campaigned on their real-world medical experience.

Eight of the "yes" votes came from California, whose senior senator, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), has endorsed similar proposals in the Senate amid reports that as many as 1 million Californians could lose their current plans because of the new law. Notably, five of the "yes" votes came from Obama's home state of Illinois — Bustos, Duckworth, Enyart, Foster and Schneider. All of them are freshmen lawmakers representing Chicago-area swing districts and all but Foster also voted in September to repeal the law's tax on medical devices.

In a sign of how health care could continue affecting the future prospects of House Democrats, two running for U.S. Senate seats next year — Braley and Gary Peters — joined the defectors. Also of note: Every Democratic lawmaker from the presidential swing states of Iowa and New Hampshire voted "yes."

The four Republican no votes were Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Ralph Hall (R-Tex.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). They voted no because the bill only fixes and doesn't repeal the new health-care law.

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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